As you may know, we are not actually in Bangkok right now. Presently we’re in Los Angeles, having traveled through Seoul and Idaho. None of things have very much to do with our being in Bangkok which is why you haven’t heard about any of them, except for the cat cafés.

But! Just before we left, Wat Yannawa had a temple fair. Wat Yannawa is just south of Saphan Taksin, the local transportation hub; we visit it semi-regularly to feed the catfish there. Wat Yannawa is mostly notable for having an enormous shrine shaped like a boat, which Rama III had constructed because he didn’t want the local population to forget that the Chinese had settled much of this part of Bangkok with their junks. Wat Yannawa also seems to be a fairly wealthy wat: they own the parking lot right behind the boat dock we use much of the time (maybe they own the boat dock as well), which used to be a block of shophouses they owned called Soi Wanglee. About ten years ago they decided they wanted to go into real estate development and bulldozed the shops; the development deal fell through and now there’s a parking lot which is mostly empty. It used to have a hipster coffee stand, but they left. Right now it has a little funfair. Probably it’s gone by now? Who knows, we are no longer in Bangkok.

But here are some of the highlights, at least those that we remembered to video. There is one of these things that you expect to see that has a name I don’t remember – is this a Tilt-a-Whirl?

Also trampolines, which at first lead to disaster:

But then everything is of course fine:

Also goats:

That’s what happened. More when we return to Bangkok, around the end of August.

Korean Cat Café Update

The more observant of you may have noticed that we are not actually in Bangkok anymore; for the past few days we have been in Seoul. Obviously once we arrived in Korea we planned to inspect their cat cafés, the Koreans having come up with the idea in the first place. So we went to Hongdae and promptly found a promising cat café (I don’t remember what it was called but it was opposite a makeup store) but! it turned out they had a no pre-schoolers policy which, they determined, applied to Harriet. We were sad but not that sad as evidently there are eighty thousand cat cafés in Hongdae, a number which does not include the sheep cafés. But: a Korean family who were also trying to go the cat café decided to take pity on us and suggested that they give us a ride to another cat café in Sinchon. So we did that, which was a little odd, but they did seem determined that we go to a cat café. We explained it was not that big a deal, we could just walk down Chan Road to our local cat café, but that meant nothing. So we got in their car and drove to Sinchon, which is an adjoining neighborhood. Yes, this seemed strange, but they did very much want Harriet to see some cats.

We arrived in Sinchon and went to the Sinchon cat café – which did seem grander than the last one – but they also had a no children policy, which they were not willing to relax. So we can at least report that Korean cat cafés are more selective than Thai ones. The Korean family was extremely apologetic that their plan to drive us to a new cat café had not worked out and they offered to drive us to another one, but we said no, it’s fine. But they were apologetic and took us out for yoghurt shaved-ice and then to see all the sights of Sinchon. The people of Seoul, it should be said, are extremely hospitable.

We spent most of the rest of that day watching a street dance troupe which enraptured Harriet; she got an offer to join, but that would have meant giving up her lucrative powdered milk modeling career in Bangkok. Also there are no pictures of any of this because I hurled my phone at the ground, making it unresponsive; however, a shop near the Nowon subway station fixed it for under $10, so we’re back in business, though you don’t get to see what it looks like to be thrown out of a Korean cat café, who is doubtless what you wanted to see.