Thhai Days: Bangkok magicians


Hugh Paxton’s Blog has encountered many things that are surprising. But nothing quite like this!

And, I didn’t have a camera and I really, really wished I had.

I was carrying a bulky box of (unfortunately broken) ancient Chinese ceramics and plastic squids and rays and lots of stuff in the box sent by my beloved brother and my goal was to buy onions and four dragons made out of dismembered rope to send to family in England.

And then go home and forget!

I was carrying the package and Bangkok was unruly. The weather surged from hot, to violently windy, then thudded with thunder, then got very hot, and just to confuse matters further surged back to hot with the possibility of a serious bout of raining. The sort of rain that makes you very glad you are wearing a hat and reminds you to buy a new umbrella.

Through the impending storm came a figure.

It was wearing black. Had lost its front teeth. The sun glasses were bigger than its nose could happily support. And it was wearing a British policeman’s helmet. There was also a beard, a dangling cigarette, a delighted smile and I thought “Oh Gawd, it’s the magician!”

OK. The magician wasn’t looking like anything you would like your daughter to marry. But Thai magicians are like that.

And his appearance was not just bizarre but rather…what’s the word for it???…magical!

He had a dragon with a wire sticking out of it.

“Beer?” he suggested. “I love you! Put this on his arm!”

Robin, my sister’s boy has broken his arm, I hadn’t mentioned it, hadn’t even talked to this freakish thing but he seemed to know more about it than I did.

I said “Thank you!”

He yelled “It’s free for him!” and then I bought him a packet of cigarettes and gave him two hundred baht to pay his dentist (if he has a dentist, which I doubt) then he dodged off through angry traffic and Japanese tourists fled at the sight.

I really wish I had had a camera!

And I forgot to buy any onions!

Let’s hope his magic works!

Hugh in Bangkok!

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