Storm over Bangkok

An afternoon thunderstorm is brewing over Bangkok,

Interestingly, I flew here from Bangalore on an airline that does not exist anymore. To encourage the wealthy Bangaloreans to spend their money in Bangkok, the Chamber of Commerce in Bangkok sponsored a low-cost airline to shuttle passengers between Bangalore and Bangkok. For around USD 100 you’d take a 5 hour red-eye flight, arrive early in the morning rested and relaxed, and they give you a free shopping bag filled with coupons, maps, and sightseeing guides.  I’m glad I took advantage of this while I could!

Bridge over the River Kwai

This is Alec Guiness, in front of the fictional Bridge over the River Kwai, in the 1957 film for which he won the Academy Award for Best Actor:

And this is the real Bridge over the River Kwai, as it looks today:

To accomodate the flocks of tourists, the bridge is built with side platforms, so that the tourists won’t get run over when a train comes:

It’s temptingly easy to enjoy beautiful view . . . but the nearby cemetary and museum is a strong and moving reminder that this bridge had its origin in large scale atrocities carried out in WWII.