Yet even amid the bursts of action, the pace is relaxed, the dominant mood that of a slow feeling-out, an openness to Bangkok's strange and wonderful sights. Some amusing and telling lines help:
"A couple of yings dressed like Japanese geisha called out to him. They liked his jacket. They smelled money.and
"`I'm not Japanese. I can't go inside,' he called back in Thai.
"`No problem. You not come in. We go out. Sure.'"
"He'd packed Graham Greene's The Quiet American -- on the basis that he'd never met such an American -- and George Orwell's Burmese Days."and
"There were other private security contractors like them mixing in, looking for new recruits, talking about the situation in Baghdad and the bad old days of Desert Storm. That storm had left the desert and pretty much spread everywhere. That much everyone agreed on as they bought each other rounds of drinks and waited to crank up one more Cobra Gold exercise."
© Peter Rozovsky 2009