Movies and Magic Tricks

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For about the same price as a movie in the states, they’ll roll out the red carpet for you here in Bangkok. Last night me and my new friend Phil, the economist from DC who quit his job, sold his house and is now traveling the world for two years while researching, photographing and writing a book on spiritual contemporary art, went to the “Gold Class Movie Theatre” down the street from my guesthouse. We paid $12 each to see Munich in luxury (which by the way was an amazing movie and renewed my faith in Spielberg). After buying our tickets, we were ushered into a lounge much like one you’d find at a high end casino, and seated in cushy seats at a private table. They brought us complimentary drinks from the bar and took our order for snacks during the film.

When the movie was about to start, we were brought to our pre-selected seats in the theatre. Each seat is a giant, leather lazy-boy, with a motorized back and footrest. Waiting on each seat is a pillow, blanket and even those little slippers like the ones you get on an airplane. A theatre full of people taking their shoes off at once isn’t exactly the best idea though. Every time I took a big whiff of what I thought was popcorn, I got a tasty little feet-treat in my mouth. The personal waitstaff brought our snack orders to us and if we wanted anything else, they were there waiting. I still had to leave to take a leak, which almost got messy trying to rock myself out of the lazyboy.

After the film, we were chatting at a table outside our guesthouse and the woman who works there looked in nervous alarm at the deck of cards I was holding. I knew why she was concerned. Evidently gambling is illegal in Bangkok and if caught with a deck of cards, you could get arrested. It must just be Bangkok, because I never had any trouble last time I was in Thailand.

A few times I’ve been walking down the street practicing my card tricks and bystanders have pointed at me in wide eyed shock; like I was carrying a gun or something. The first couple of times I was like… “Wow, cool. I must be getting good. I’m amazing people just walking by them!” Then a few nights ago I was out getting something to eat and the waiter asked me to put them away, worried the cop outside would see and accuse him of running a gambling ring. Which was funny considering the fine eatery is located between two brothels. I complied of course. I’m a pretty sick magician, but I doubt I could break out of jail.

Phil has been hassled by the cops twice. Once for not wearing a helmet on the rental bike that didn’t come with one and another time for throwing a cigarette butt onto a street that had trash and sewage running down it. $4 fine for the helmet, but he got off with a back alley bribe for the butt.

One Thought on “Movies and Magic Tricks”

  1. Kevin F. Says:

    Do you think the chairs reclining was to get your pocket change and that is how the real money is made? Have you learned any new tricks lately…card wise that is.


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