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Post by Mrs Figg on Fri Mar 30, 2018 1:38 pm

Living in a Bangkok Summer felt like being tightly pressed between two very hot wet towels, one was either a sweating grease slick, or one was lying prone in a darkened room longing for a tiny weeny flea fart of a breeze which never came.
 It was September 1911.
40 degrees in the shade,
and King Chulalongkorn of the kingdom of Siam was dead. One week before my contract was signed, a telegram had arrived on the Princess Alice while we berthed in Colombo, after 2 months at sea, and a bout of  Malaria which had left me 2 stone lighter, and my linen suit draping my body like sails on the high seas we arrived in the port of Bangkok.
Cazzo!
I hoped the new king would honour the contract, I crunched it into a ball and threw it back in the trunk, hoping at least to see the great Emerald Temple before he sent me home with a flea in my ear.
We sailed into port and my senses were assailed by sights sounds smells which made me gasp for air. A heavy hand fell on my weakened shoulder, stumbling slightly I looked into the smiling crinkled eyes of my fellow Italian Annibale. He was from Turin and therefore rather dandified, Frenchified and therefore ate his pasta with tablecloths wrapped round his neck.
"ciao Galileo, this place smells of  smelly boy poo!"
" Yes its quite Glorious" I said

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Bangkok Empty Re: Bangkok

Post by azriel on Fri Mar 30, 2018 2:52 pm

I like Turin Very Happy It smells of coffee & Amaretto.

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Bangkok Empty Re: Bangkok

Post by Mrs Figg on Fri Mar 30, 2018 3:37 pm

Nothing prepared me for Bangkok, it was called the Venice of the Orient and life seemed to be teaming on little canals filled with boats of all shapes and sizes, the azure blue sky punctured with golden temples, pagodas and the gleaming white villas of the farang, Westerners, mainly French German English and Italian, we worked hard for the king, we got rich, and sometimes we paid the ultimate price. Malaria, Smallpox, and Plague carrying off many a young person in search of adventure and riches. There was intrigue too and royal court politics, behind the gentle smiles lay danger. Bangkok country of the white lotus, fleur du mal, something passed through my mind, a wisp, a ghost, "be careful where you walk, you might not find your way home" Who had said that?...never mind..I had forgotten, it was too hot to remember.

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Post by halfwise on Fri Mar 30, 2018 6:39 pm

Whoop whoop!  A new story! cheers

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Post by Orwell on Fri Mar 30, 2018 10:10 pm

A breath of fresh air, and a few pungent smells on it to boot. Hooray! cheers

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Post by Mrs Figg on Fri Mar 30, 2018 11:56 pm

It was hard to say goodbye to the crew of the Princess Alice, after two months at sea they had become familiar flotsam floating on a sea of repetitive rituals, rites, and occasionally vomit stinking cabins. A flurry of little Siamese boats ferried our worldly possessions and fellow citizens over the shining water to a small jetty which belonged to the great and magnificent Oriental Hotel. it was naturally owned by a large and acidulous Italian lady from Naples. She barked like a disgruntled Bulldog and all scurried and hurried under her basilisk eye.
"welcome to the Oriental gentlemen, there are gin martinis waiting in the bar"
She snapped her fingers. things moved rapidly and silently around our tired bodies, I found myself deposited on soft cushions under a noisy yet efficient electric fan which rotated with ferocious intensity on the ceiling. I watched it for a few minutes, lazily, just for fun, 'ah bliss, the gin fizzed up my nosrtils and my muscles relaxed.
'not bad, not bad at all'
"Galileo! wake up!"
"May I introduce His Royal Highness Prince Damrong our kind host" said Annibale.
His frown spoke a thousand words, so I sat up, showed some respect and nodded a lot.
I thought it was Damrong to interrupt a man drifting off into the Land of Nod. I giggled, the room swam a bit, I woke up the following morning in a high fever.
This time the Malaria left me with bad dreams and a longing for home, Florence, I would have given all the gold of Siam just to be strolling through Piazza Signoria breathing in the familiar smell of old stone cellars, drains and roast chestnuts.
I wouldn't see Florence for a year.

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Post by Orwell on Sat Mar 31, 2018 2:41 am

Mmmm.... go on.... Nod

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"Skirts!" cried our respectable Master Odo. "Skirts! And they have the temerity to call them 'kilts'.... Eru darn my socks!"

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Post by Mrs Figg on Thu Apr 05, 2018 11:18 pm

I woke up with a start, with zinging painful pins and needles. I groaned as I felt something heavy and metallic digging into my legs and feet. It was dark and shifting moving shadows of the trees outside my room on the high ceiling made me think for one moment I was still aboard ship. It was muggy and hot. I struggled to a sitting position and stopped dead.
There was a monster sitting at the end of my bed.
My heart pounded, I felt my bladder empty into the hot sticky sheets. My eyes couldn't take it in and my mind couldn't get a hold on what I was looking at.
Sitting on my legs was something I had seen that day, but it was impossible, because what I had seen was beast, the Siamese Garuda, a guardian of Buddhist temples, and very very definitely mythological.
It had the bronze crowned head and legs and wings of a crested eagle and the body of a man, emphasis on bronze, it weighed a ton and its was sitting calmly on my legs staring at me with lidless bronze eyes. As it slightly moved, its scales sounded like silver coins scraping over one another. I must have uttered a gasp because its head cocked to one side like a monstrous deadly sparrow. It seemed very still and not about to pounce and tear me to pieces, so I tried to communicate with it, I needed urgently to know what it was going to do next, would it kill me dead or just fly off after a nice little staring session and chat.
I knew that I was sitting there staring in horror at this thing, but part of me was watching events unfold as if from afar, part of me was enjoying being horrified, apart from the wet bed, and that was just embarrassing. I was just getting comfortable with the idea that it wasn't going to be dangerous when it moved, it spread its enormously heavy shimmering wings, and shook them out, and the whole room started vibrating, I could feel it shaking my bones, my teeth hurt, I bit my tongue.
"please stop that Garuda"
The vibrating stopped dead. It blinked. Its long dagger sharp beak opened and words came out, a silvery female voice.
"You come with me Galileeeouuu"
Then it launched itself into the air, wings making the sound of a whirring beetle the size of a horse, it hung over me then darted down grabbing me by my voluminous nightshirt, and swung out in a flurry of jagged metal and bronze through the window and away over the sleeping rooves of Bangkok.

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Post by Orwell on Fri Apr 06, 2018 12:16 am

....oooohhhh.... now i’m Imagining you being carried away in your voluminous nightshirt... never mind, i’m Sure it will be dried as you get taken through the air to wherever that Garuda is taking you... ooohhhh...

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"Skirts!" cried our respectable Master Odo. "Skirts! And they have the temerity to call them 'kilts'.... Eru darn my socks!"

From "The True Tale of the Un-magical Coal Scuttle."
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Post by Mrs Figg on Fri Apr 06, 2018 11:52 am

I am supposed to be a man. Laughing  not sure you want to imagine that.

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Post by Orwell on Fri Apr 06, 2018 7:50 pm

He is just the kind of man I go for, Sir. Very Happy

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"Skirts!" cried our respectable Master Odo. "Skirts! And they have the temerity to call them 'kilts'.... Eru darn my socks!"

From "The True Tale of the Un-magical Coal Scuttle."
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Post by Mrs Figg on Fri Apr 06, 2018 8:38 pm

Shocked

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Post by Orwell on Sat Apr 07, 2018 4:20 am

Oh you are sooooo nineteen fifty, Julia... Rolling Eyes I almost said ‘sooooo Regency’, but I had second thoughts. Shocked Those wigs and shoes! I could never see your handsome hero wearing any of that kit.... Shocked

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"Skirts!" cried our respectable Master Odo. "Skirts! And they have the temerity to call them 'kilts'.... Eru darn my socks!"

From "The True Tale of the Un-magical Coal Scuttle."
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Post by Mrs Figg on Sat Apr 07, 2018 12:11 pm

He prefers a white linen suit, pith helmet and black waxed moustache

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Post by Eldorion on Sat Apr 07, 2018 9:17 pm

Intriguing setup, Mrs Figg. Smile
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Post by Mrs Figg on Sun Apr 08, 2018 12:11 pm

cheers Eldo Very Happy

its based on real people and events, apart from the bed-wetting because that didn't happen.  Wink

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Post by Mrs Figg on Sun Apr 08, 2018 12:40 pm

Garuda skimmed the great river Chao Phraya, so low that with one hand I could have touched the water, if I hadn't been tightly clutching my night garments around my nether regions that is. Her wings rustled in the night breeze, and her rushing form sparkled in the moonlight. She swooped upwards towards the Dusit Park, now all dusky silent shadows with the occasional glimmering torch light pinpricking through the trees. The Park was full of night perfumes, lemon groves, the white lotus flowers looking like upside down stars in their inky pools. Up and up she flew until we reached the golden roofs of the Emerald Temple, and there she deposited me on the tallest pinnacle, dangling like a child's toy.
I wondered if this was Garudas idea of fun, I wondered if the Siamese had often awoken to dangling Italian gentlemen on roof tops.
I wondered if she was coming back.

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