สอง. Rubies and Rucksacks

On to Pieria he stepped from the upper air,
and swooped down upon the sea,
and then sped over the wave like a bird, the cormorant,
which in quest of fish over the dread gulfs of the unresting sea

wets its thick plumage in the brine.
In such wise did Hermes ride upon the multitudinous waves. The Odyssey – Homer


A well-dressed man in a formal grey suit came up to me to ask where I was from. It was my third day in Bangkok and up until then, I had been alone. I was standing in Sanam Luang Park in front of the Grand Palace when he approached, and he had a generous smile, was fluent in English.

He asked where I was from, about London; which team did I support? He was a Liverpool supporter, he knew all the players.

“Rush, Grobbelaar, Dalglish,” he said.

He knew the players that a casual fan would not remember.

“John Wark, like Dalglish, like your father, is Scottish, yes?” He continued. “But spaghetti legs Grobbelaar I like best. He’s from Zimbabwe. I want to visit his country.”

He knew some of my own team, Tottenham.

“We’ll always beat you,” he teased.

We spent the better part of an hour talking football after which I asked him, “So what do you do?”

“Rubies”, he replied. “And other jewels, but most of the time I trade rubies.”


Photos include silk weaving and shop girls in Chiang Mai, umbrellas in Nakhon Ratchasima, the Bangkok floating market and a hostel warning from Khao San Road.

وا حد. First Sight 三. Hong Kong, a Love Story
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