Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Don't Smoke in Bed & A Poem About the Assassination of a Heart

One of my favourite songs is "Don't Smoke in Bed." I'm not sure why this song resonates with me, because I do not smoke and am unlikely to be romantically involved with someone that does smoke. Nevertheless, there is something wonderfully touching about the lyrics of this song. Even as the narrator is leaving her husband, she still cares for him, she still reminds him not to smoke in bed.

My favourite version is of course the one by Nina Simone, whom I've mentioned on this blog before (see here and here).

Apart from Nina Simone, the other person with whom the song is probably usually associated is Peggy Lee. I especially like the instrumentation in this version.

Patti Smith, the musician partly responsible for the punk rock genre, also does a riviting performance of this old jazz classic.

A more upbeat version in a lounge jazz style is performed by the Eddie Higgins Trio. You might be excused for getting up and dancing to this tune. The trio consists of piano, guitar and bass.

k.d. lang with her beautiful voice provides a beautiful full sounding version, but I do miss the rawness that one hear in Simone and Smith.

In around 2008 my then girlfriend and I broke up after somewhat of a tumultuous emotional period in our relationship. Shortly before we broke up I wrote her the poem below. In the poem the narrator speaks of his lover as an assassin of hearts that will soon come to murder (i.e. break) his heart and in so doing be the cause of his death. At the end of the poem I realised that I needed there to be a personal touch--a loving "don't smoke in bed". After sometime I added the line: "Don't forget to water the flowers"--the idea being that flowers are a symbol of romantic love and by caring for the flowers she will keep his remembrance and symbolically keep their love alive after his passing. In a strange way this poem I wrote was influenced by this song "Don't Smoke in Bed". Basically they have the same themes and tell the same story of broken hearts and separation. Soon afterwards I moved to Korea.

Throughout the night I battle sleep
(my fists broken       my temples bleeding
my knees and elbows chafed from fighting)
lest, like a calamity, the morning breaks
open like an egg       a skull       a heart stuffed
to the brim with love (that undaunted
heartless threatening damned type of love).
And now, as the day comes crawling
(my heart’s assassination on the agenda;
it will, I’m sure, be done with a knife)
and I have little fighting spirit left, I beg you
my love, be swift. I have already
both my stubborn shirt and chest
ripped open (I trust you’ll appreciate it).
My love, both my heart and I am ready
on this day (please don’t torture me further!)
to die enthusiastically an enormous death.
The angels (my guardian angel and yours)
are standing on their marks for a farewell number
(a necro-duet) to call me to the Big Slumber.
Don’t forget to water the flowers.

Skydive for Rhinos

We all have something we care enough about to become vocal about. Some of us even have certain charities that we support. My friend Mary-Jane, for instance, feel strongly about the protection of sharks, my friend Christine is passionate orphans that are blind or deaf, I care strongly about issues regarding liberty (religions liberty, freedom of expression, a right to privacy, etc.), and so on. Social networking is a great tool to make other people aware of the things that are worth being aware about. So when I received this forward in my inbox I thought I'd share it with you. Maybe it is something you care to get involved in too. It is a project run by my "extended" family.


Good day

Meyer Productions is proud to be a part of the Skydive for Rhinos awareness and conservation campaign to prevent the decimating and senseless slaughter of South Africa's rhinos, counted among the magnificent Five of the country's wildlife.

In support of this campaign to protect this diminishing species, Meyer Productions has produced a 1080p high resolution video, which you can view from the link below. We hope that you will watch this video and share this link with others and by so doing, help spread the message and generate support. To view the video, click on:

Here is some more background and information about this project:

Skydive for Rhinos is the brainchild of the staff of the African Conservation Trust (ACT), who in May this year, were moved beyond the point of outrage and spectatorship;, to taking personal action regarding the slaughter of rhinos in South Africa. It started small, with six women volunteering to skydive for the first time and in doing so, raise funds from their friends and family to improve anti-poaching efforts and increase public awareness of the increasing numbers of rhino being poached. But within a couple of weeks, the volunteer skydive group reached 40 and the campaign went viral.

The jumpers came from all walks of life, all ages and race groups, with 20 ACT staff members making up the bulk of the skydiving team. Others who joined in were Jabulani Ngubane (Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife's Rhino Protection Officer) and Andrew Zaloumis (CEO, iSimangaliso Wetland Park) and concerned members of the public, including varsity students, entrepreneurs, a female helicopter pilot and even a couple of youthful grandmothers. What they had in common was an over-riding passion to halt the extermination of a species that is intrinsic to South Africa's culture and heritage, voluntarily willing to put their own lives on the line for a 7 minute, 10,000ft skydiving feat that was a world-first in conservation circles.

 Skydive for Rhinos took place on 13 August 2011 at Angels Way, Durban Skydive Centre's base in Eston, KwaZulu-Natal. It was an incredible day, made possible by a group of amazing people and supported by tens of thousands others backing this campaign. Some of the skydivers had never been in a plane before - yet they put aside their nerves, embraced this new experience...and then threw themselves out of perfectly functioning aircraft in a courageous show of support for rhinos!

In just 10 weeks, these 40 people raised over R180,000 in cash from their friends and family and generated business 'in kind' support to the value of around R240,000. 100% of the funds raised are going to improve bona-fide, but under-funded, anti-poaching efforts in KZN, including aerial surveillance of threatened reserves, equipment for anti-poaching patrols, camera traps and micro-chipping identification of vulnerable rhino. In addition, a large cyber-tracking company approached us with an offer to donate their technology and we're now planning to introduce this in to the reserves in great need of this form of surveillance.

The campaign received excellent media coverage in all the major KwaZulu-Natal newspapers; as well as East Coast Radio. Some magazines also carried the story, including Africa Geographic and Wildside, as well as a large number of online media websites.

As of today, 276 rhino have been killed this year - the latest being the tragic story of the Aquila rhino in the Western Cape. We at ACT will be continuing our efforts to raise funds for those on the front line of the rhino poaching crisis.

We really hope that you will join us in helping to spread the message, generate support and keep the conservation message alive.
To make a donation you can visit ACT's website (click on the skydiving rhino animation), or see - this page is also a conduit to a host of national initiatives and networks that are trying to halt rhino poaching.

Kind regards

André Meyer

Donate now!
Bank: Nedbank
Account Name: ACT Rhino Fund
Branch: Musgrave Centre, South Africa
Branch code: 130126
Account No: 1008662976

For International Payments:
Nedbank code: 198765
Swift Number: NEDSZAJJ

Monday, 29 August 2011

Faux Pas!

Image Source
I just now made a terrible blunder. In my Presentation & Public Speaking class I had everybody tell us a little bit about themselves (a short introduction) and what they did during the summer vacation. Of course, I went first and I told them about my trip to Laos, China and Thailand. I told them how I was surprised how much I liked Laos, even though it is a communist country since I don't like Communism. Then I told them about how I disliked China because the Cultural Revolution had successfully purged the country of its culture, leaving only a superficial kitsch culture, and how despicable I found the toilets. After my turn, the students started telling us about their experiences. As it turns out, one of the students in class is actually Chinese! I had basically told her how much I disliked her country, its politics, and her kitsch culture. I feel terrible. After class I asked her if I offended her and that I'm sorry if I did. (It was a stupid rhetorical question. Of course I must have offended her. And I'm sure my halfhearted apology quickly after class cannot make up for my prejudiced insults.) When I asked her if I offended her she asked about what. I replied, about what I said, how I disliked Chinese toilets. I did not ad that I disapprove of her government and pity her superficial culture. She said it's okay and rushed off.

I still feel awful and deservedly so.

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Self-Portrait: Kukkiwon Gangster

There's a story behind this photo, but I have an appointed I need to rush to it so I cannot tell it now. It has something to do with these people and this event. The title of the photo "Kukkiwon Gangster" makes a reference to this excellent book.

I must be tired . . .

Image Source

Last night I fell asleep on my sofa around 11PM. This is quite unusual as I practically never fall asleep before midnight. In fact, I usually go to bed around 1AM and after my vacation in Thailand that is two hours ahead of Korea, I've been going to bed even later.

That I fell asleep at 11PM is not the strangest thing; the strangest thing is when I woke up. I didn't wake up until 1PM today! And I would have slept later had it not been for receiving a phone call. I guess I'm exhausted or something. It had been a busy week, but not in the way that I felt a conscious need to be comatose for 14+ hours. My body seems to think otherwise.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Cheonan Incident: Is the Truth Coming Out?

In previous posts I made it clear that I do not believe the "official story" that North Korea sunk the naval ship in Cheonan. You can read what I wrote about it here and here.

Well today, yesterday (August 23) the Korean news is full of questionable information. Apparently a naval rescue officer / Coast Guard officer has come forward as a witness and questions the official report. Unfortunately there seems to be nothing about this in the English news, and my Korean ability is far too limited to give an accurate report. Nonetheless, as far as I can understand it, this man was the first person to hear the S.O.S. call from the ship immediately after the incident. And from his testimony it doesn't seem to have been a missile attack as reported. Instead the S.O.S. call stated that the ship had struck a reef.

There are a number of things that we have to question.

First, the silliness of the official report. According to the official report we are asked to believe that one of the world's most decrepit little countries with their outdated military equipment sent a submarine to sneak up on a South Korean naval ship, fire a single outdated missile at it, that practically ripped the ship in half and sink it, and then sneaked away again, without the South Korean Navy nor the United States Navy (which happened to be there) noticing the enemy coming or going.

No, a much more plausible story is that this was a South Korean and USA navy exercise that went wrong.

Furthermore, the testimony of the naval rescue officer brings another strange question to light. Why was the sunken ship not discovered until--what was it?--three days later? The first thing one does during an S.O.S. call is to state your coordinates. Why did it take them three days to discover the sunken ship when a simple G.P.S. device could pinpoint it practically immediately. Was the delay in part to cover something up? I cannot help but to think this to be the case.

Then there is also the questions about the compensation received by the deceased's family. There is usually a fixed rate payable by the military to the family of soldiers that are killed while serving in the military. But rumour has it that family members of these soldiers got more money than usual and some of them got work at some of the gigantic companies, like Samsung. This smells terribly fishy to me.

I hope the English news catch up tomorrow, so that I can get a better understanding of the truths coming to light. Unfortunately, news in Korea is not objective, whether it is in Korean or English.


Yes, that's me caught in a pub. No, I'm sober.

I like to dance through the night, but it is something I very seldom do. The reason I tend to avoid going clubbing is because my incentive is different than most people's. Usually when people go clubbing they do so with the intend to pick someone up or to go and get drunk with their buddies. I'm teetotaler so that cancels out the latter. And as for picking someone up, a club is just not the place where I would like to pick someone up. I'd rather hook-up with someone based on more criteria than those you can profile in the noisy, flashy, senses-numbing environment of a night club. I'm looking for connections, not one-nightstands.

In South Africa I have some friends that would go clubbing with me. Particularly my "sister" Yolandi and I. (She's not really my sister, but we've known each other so long that it feels like it. She's my brother's ex, but after they split up the two of us were still good friends and we didn't see any reason for breaking up our friendship just because her and my brother's six-year relationship didn't work out.) Yolandi is also a teetotaler and like me she enjoys going out just for the fun of dancing, rather than hunting. We would go dancing through the night, especially on special occasions like New Year's Eve, and so on.

In any case, since I've been to Korea I've never gone clubbing. The main reason is that I am a university lecturer and the idea of meeting my students at a night club makes me uneasy. I'm very careful about keeping clear professional teacher-student boundaries. Since I'm a young unmarried guy, things can easily get messy, so keeping very clear and strict boundaries with students are important. One has to be careful about these things. A year back a (foreign) professor at my university was accused of sexual harassment and was sacked. That type of stigma is bound to follow him for the rest of his career and that's not something I want. For this reason I avoid dance clubs in Korea.

The past Saturday night that changed. A friend from Taekwon-Do returned to Belgium so the gym decided to have a farewell party. We went out for dinner. Afterwards we went to a noraebang. This is basically a Karaoke  literally noraebang translates as "singing room". Then we went to Hongdae, an area famous for its nightlife. Soon the subway had closed and there was no feasible way for me to get back home until the subway opened again the next morning at 5:30. Instead, I enjoyed the night dancing till 5am.

It was immensely enjoyable. I just hope none of my students saw me and took photos of me and published it on their blogs online. At least I know the photos cannot be too incriminating as I was sober and remember every part of the evening. I cannot say the same for some of my Taekwon-Do friends whose pictures are better kept offline.


I have a pen-pal. I know that it seems strange in a day-and-age where people are constantly chatting through Facebook, tweeting, SMSing and the like, and although my pen-pal and I email each other, instead of traditional pen-and-paper letters, the tone of our letters are still actual letters, rather than truncated texts typical of the high-speed inter-connected social media communication.

Something we do in our letters is to end them with a word or two that we feel summarizes our current state of mind, or the theme for our lives at that moment. I think this tradition was inspired by Eat, Pray, Love. The word I ended my latest letter with was "contentment."

It is a great thing to be content. My life is not perfect and there are things that I long for at times (a significant other?), but I'm generally happy. The Apostle Paul's words echo in my mind: ". . . I have learned to be content in whatever situation I am in. I know how to be humble, and I know how to prosper. In each and every situation I have learned the secret of being full and of going hungry, of having too much and of having too little. I can do all things through him who strengthens me" (Phillipians 4:11-13). Here is The Message's rendition of that text:

"I don't have a sense of needing anything personally. I've learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. I'm just as happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty. Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am."

No, I cannot honestly say that I am where Paul is, in that I have completely mastered the secret of being "quite content whatever my circumstances." Although I have been seriously poor and do not doubt that if I were to be in such a situation again that I will be okay because of the "One". What I can say is that although my life is not perfect at present, that I am content with where I am now. Yes, there is room for (personal) improvement; nevertheless, I am happy with my life. That is not something many people can say. I can. And I feel very privileged, very blessed, that I can.

Friday, 19 August 2011

Self-Portrait: Mouths

My previous Afrikaans post concerned the topic of self-portraits. In it I argued that the artist's self-portraits are not by default acts of exhibitionism nor narcissism. For the former the primary audience is someone else. This is not the case with a self-portrait where the primary audience is the self. For the narcissist the primary audience is also the self, but the narcissist derives not his chief pleasure from the process of making the self-portrait. A narcissist is equally satisfied with looking at his reflection. For the artist, however, the creative process of making the self-portrait is the chief enjoyment. Looking at and enjoying the resultant artwork is valued higher than the self-in-the-artwork.

The post also made me realize that it has been a very long time (probably a year) since I took some self-portraits. I have some new material (i.e. clothes I bought in Thailand) that I'll have to try out soon. But for now, here is a couplet of (skew) mouths.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Gedagtes omtrent selfportrette

'n Vriendin stuur gister vir my 'n boodskap en sê dat Rembrandt se 1630 selfportret haar aan my eie selfportrette laat dink. Ek het nooit van te vore aktief my neiging tot selfportrette (gewoonlik in die vorm van digitale fotos, maar soms ook as sketse) vergelyk met die van ander (bekende) kunstenaars nie, maar die selfportret is 'n goedgevestigde tradisie onder kunstenaar.

Wat ek skielik besef het, is dat die selfportret nie ekshibisionisme nog narsisisme is nie. Vir 'n ekshibisionis is die primêre gehoor juis nie die self nie, maar die ander. Die ekshibisionis kry sy of haar prikkel daarin om sy of haar liggaam of persona te vertoon aan 'n gehoor. Vir die ekshibisionis is die kunsproses grootliks irrelevant. Daar is nie juis 'n selfbepeinsing nie. Nie 'n selfondersoeke nie. Bloot 'n selfvertoning. Die fokus is uitsluitelik uiterlik geprojekteer.

Die kunstenaar se selfportret verskil hierin omdat die primêre gehoor nie die ander is nie, maar die self. Die primêre fokus is nie uiterlik gerig nie, maar innerlik. En daar is klem op die kunsproses. Die kunsproses wat die genot bring, maar deur die proses vind ook introspeksie plaas. Die proses fasiliteer selfondersoeke, wat ek glo een van motiverings vir die selfportret is. Die selfondersoeke is tweedelig. Dit is inderdaad 'n selfondersoeke van die psigo-analitiese aard (of miskien in die ouer bygelowige tradisie dat 'n mens se karakter in sy gelaatstrekke bespeur kan word, byna soos die afmetings van jou skedel jou persoonlikheid kan ontbloot, of jou palmlyne jou fortuin kan verklap). Tweedens is die selfportret vir die kunstenaar 'n weerspieëling van sy of haar kunsvaardigheid. Weens die bekendheid van die tema kan die kunstenaar makliker die vlak van sy of haar kunsvaardigheid bepaal. Die selfportret is in baie gevalle 'n selfveroordelende aktiwiteit.

Narsisisme is ook selfondersoekend, maar narsisisme verskil daarin dat dit nie 'n (kuns)proses vereis nie. Die selfverliefde vind genoegsaam bevrediging bloot in sy of haar refleksie in 'n spieël. Dit lei nie na selfondersoekende selfveroordeling nie, eerder selfprysing. Omdat daar nie juis 'n "proses" is nie, is daar ook nie juis 'n "bepeinsing" nie. In hierdie opsig is daar 'n hedendaagse weergawe in die vorm van selfoon-selfportrette wat hier in Korea as "selca" bekendstaan--"self-camera". Terwyl ek glo dat party van hierdie selcas vir dieselfde redes gedoen word as my selfportrette en die selfportrette van ander kunstenaars (die kreatieweproses as medium tot selfondersoeke), is die meeste selcas eenvoudig die vervanging van die spieël met die selfoon.

Rembrandt het in sy lewe verskeie selfportrette geskilder sodat 'n mens duidelik die ouderdomsproses kan bespeur. En dit verstaan ek ook. Ek het lank terug begin om 'n selfportret-foto te neem, elke jaar op my verjaarsdag. Anders as ander verjaarsdagfotos wat geneem word om die dag te herdenk en te onthou, is hierdie verjaarsdagselfportrette se doel baie meer spesifiek. Ek wil sien hoe ek oud word. Hoe my gelaatstrekke verander. Hoe my neus en ore en plooie groei. In die opsig is dit die direkte inversie van die narsisis se obsessie met sy of haar ewigjeugdige skoonheid. Dis nie die vasvang van ewige jeug nie, maar eerder die vasvang (en betreuring?) van konstante veroudering. Dis duidelik 'n kunstenaarsaktiwiteit wat seker slegs gedeel word met filosowe en ontwikkelingspsigoloë.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Jazz in Bangkok, Thailand

One of the highlights of my recent holiday was going finding jazz hangouts in Bangkok. My most enjoyable visit was to the Saxophone Pub. It is a pub that features jazz and blues music, with regular live performances. The night that I went (it was a Wednesday) a big band style band played, aptly named the JRP Little Big Band (Facebook Page). The musicians are excellent and the vocalist's has a contagiously happy stage personality, not to mention that he really gets old jazz. I was able to find some videos on YouTube. The video quality and audio is not too good, unfortunately, but I can definitely vouch for their great live performance.

Anyone that enjoys good music and finds him or herself in Bangkok should really try to get to the Saxophone Pub. You can reach it by BTS (Sky train), at Victory Monument station. When I visit Thailand again, this will be my most frequent waterhole.

Another nice place where I enjoyed jazz was at The Living Room, a lounge at the Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit Hotel. They have live jazz performances on Friday and Saturday evenings (maybe other nights too). Food and drinks are a little more pricey than elsewhere, but the performance is free and the classy ambiance is definitely worth it. Dress up a bit and go feel how it feels to live the high life.

I also went to this rustic little place called Brown Sugar. Apparently it is one of the first places in Thailand were one could hear live jazz; it has been going strong since 1985. I can't say that the performance I heard there was that great, but the food was nice and the place have a nice ambiance if you want to hang out with a group of friends.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Random Moments in Luang Prabang, Laos

One of the highlights of my recent trip to South East Asia was the short time I spent in Luang Prabang, Laos. If you are looking for a great, comfortable but also inexpensive place just to chill, then I highly recommend Luang Prabang. There're not much to do in Luang Prabang, but that's the point. This is a place to relax. Here are some random moments in images.

Friday, 12 August 2011

Muay Thai Ring

Just a snapshot of a fighting ring at the Muay Thai stadium in Koh Samui, Thailand. I took it a while before the first fight started and as the spectators slowly dribbled in.

Back in Korea

If you followed my tweets you'd know that I'm back in Korea. I arrived early this morning and spent most of today sleeping as I did not sleep on the plane; instead, I watched movies on the in-flight entertainment. I watched Beastly, Mars Need Moms, and some other movie I can't remember . . . o yeah, it is that one with that anaemic dude from the Twilight movies and a circus and an elephant . . . Watering Elephants, I think it's called.

My apartment is a mess. I had hoped that it would magically tidy itself up while I was gone for four weeks. It did not. There is also an unhealthy mouldy smell, which is not surprising as it is monsoon season in Korea. This year have seen especially high levels of rain, even serious flooding and even landslides.

Thankfullly the flooding did not affect the apartment building I live at -- apart from the mould, of course. One pair of leather shoes of mine has completely changed colour, from brown to grey-green! I put them in a plastic bag and will probably throw them away, which is a pity as I was quite fond of them. I'll try and assess the mould problem in more detail later. There is sure to be more mould casualties once I look closer. I spent half an hour doing dishes and will have to clean the rest of my apartment soon.

But tomorrow I might go to Gyeongju and Pohang to visit with a friend of mine who is returning after nearly two years of working in the Philippines.

I'll try to give more updates -- or at least upload some photos -- of my adventures in South East Asia, particularly of the project with the mountain people I was part of, but kept mostly quiet about as it may have compromised the mission in Laos and China. (Communist countries aren't too fond of "foreign devils" coming in and sniffing about.)

Busy time ahead. Apart from cleaning my apartment, I need to prepare for the coming semester. I'm teaching one new course and another one that I haven't tought in a while, not to mention other courses that I have taught, but for which we are using new textbooks. And then there are some martial art activities that requries attention like a black belt promotional test at our gym here in Korea next week and the upcoming Taekwon-Do Hall of Fame gala event in two weeks.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Koh Samui

After hanging around in Bangkok for a few days, visiting Jazz bars/lounges I decided to head out to Koh Samui, an island off the east coast of Thailand. Koh Samui is a tourist mecca, that provides the touristy attractions one can expect of Thailand, combined with the layedback enjoyment of a tropical island.

I haven't been doing much. Spend most of my days eating, reading and watching television. Wasting my time watching television might not seem like the thing to do while on holiday on a tropical island, but for me it is quite pleasant. I do not own a television, so just laying back and zoning out to a sci-fi channel is very relaxing to me, and that is the purpose of this second stretch of my holiday: to relax.

I've also gone scuba diving on Friday. I went with a scuba diving charter to another island about two hours from here and enjoyed two nice dives. It has been a year since I did my open water diving certification, so this was actually my first true dive since I got the certification, since the previous sea dives I did was actually part of the certification requirements. I did two dives on Friday, the first was more enjoyable. The second was also fun, but the actual dive sight did not impress me too much.

Today I went for a swim in the ocean. From the beach it looked like there is a sand bar about a kilometer into the ocean so I decided to swim to it. Only to find out, once I got there, that it was an optical illusion -- I was stuck a kilometer from the shore and exhausted. Luckily a yacht was close by so I hang onto it for a while to gain my strength back. After about 10 or 15 minutes I swam back to shore, but was fully exhausted when my toes could touch the sand. This was definitely one of the more stupid things I have done in my life.

I make for a very peculiar tourist on a tropical island. During the day I venture out in long sleeved shirts and walk around with a giant umbrella to protect me from the tropical sun. The other tourists are hardly dressed at all. They are salmon pink or terracota brown, just short of smelling thoroughly cooked. I'd rather walk around with my umbrella monstrousity and save my celtic skin from the damage.

Today I went to get measured for a suit. Tailor-made suits here are wonderfully affordable. Can't wait to see the final product.

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Monday, 1 August 2011

WiFi in Bangkok

I really prefer Laos over Bangkok. In Laos almost every restaurant and coffeeshop in the touristy areas provide free Wi-Fi. Here in Thailand it seems you have to pay for Wi-Fi wherever you go. Even in the Starbucks! Basically, all the big shopping centres have Internet shops that seems to have a monopoly of Wi-Fi in the centre, so that restaurants and coffeeshops provide Wi-Fi to their patrons. My opinion: IT SUCKS! As a frequent Internet user, I prefer Luang Prabang (Laos) as a tourist over Bangkok. Yes, Luang Prabang does not have the luxuries of Bangkok, but then again, the basic luxuries such as great food, Internet, hot showers and air conditioners are readily available.
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