After the floods and rioting: Bangkok Rising

Bangkok Rising – NYT, May 15, 2012
One morning in January, I watched as young Thai men and women emerged from the Erawan Bangkok shopping mall, put down their Comme des Garçons and Burberry bags, and bowed with folded hands to the Hindu creation deity Brahma at the Erawan shrine conveniently located just outside. In Bangkok, it seemed, retail therapy was not a secular substitute for religious healing, but rather went together with it. This was merely one contradiction in a city famous for them. Walking past the massage parlors and transvestite clubs of the red-light district Nana and into the packed temples and spirit houses, I marveled at how the city combines the promise of guilt-free sex with a profound faith in the Buddhist cycle of karma…

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