• Christopher G. Moore

Bangkok Book Launch in a Monsoon Storm

On Tuesday evening 10th October at Q-Bar, Bjorn Turmann launched his second novel The Karaoke World of Cortous Hair. Most of the brave souls who showed up at the Q-Bar were drenched from the monsoon down pour that started at 3.00 p.m. and was still coming down at 9.00 p.m. The Q-Bar is around the corner from Soi 11, Sukhumvit Road, and this soi would have my vote for the top ten list of Bangkok’s most flood prone sois. I rode on the back of a motorcycle starting out for 50 baht (the driver’s first quote—I didn’t negotiate) from Soi 20.

We turned from Sukhumvit Road onto Soi 11. There is nothing at the top of the soi to prepare you for what comes next. Halfway down Soi 11, the driver pulled onto the pavement and watched as cars slowly drove through half a meter of water. The tidal surge from the cars hit halfway up the side of the motorcycle. I woman rode a bicycle through the soi. You couldn’t see her ankles for the water level was over them. A cop emerged from the driveway of the district revenue office, his pant legs rolled up over his knees, and caught one of the waves before he reeled back. He was still grinning as he disappeared. The driver turned around, and we tried Soi 13, which was also flooded. By this time the driver was a veteran and the floodwaters were no more than 30 cm at the deepest part.

The crowd may have been thin at the book launch but they had a good party spirit. The Karaoke World of Cortous Hair is described on the back cover as “One man’s adventure tale that is comic, tragic, outrageous and heart-warming.” Published by Konstrukt Books, it retails for Baht 395. A video to support the book opens with the author talking about his novel and suddenly cuts to characters from the book on locations in Singapore, Thailand and Laos discussing their role in the story. Have a look at: Members of the cast also swam up stream last evening to join the author in launching his novel.

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