German TV documentary
Last week I spent time with a German TV documentary crew who were in Bangkok to film Vincent Calvino’s Bangkok. I took the crew around to locations from the Calvino novels: Lumpini Park, Tuptim Shrine, Erawan Shrine, the Royal Bangkok Sports Club racetrack, though the staff of the BTS were not too happy to let the camera roll from the station overlooking the racetrack. Erawan Shrine at ten in the morning was packed with Chinese tourists and locals. All had come to offer flowers and incense to the Hindu Goddess Bramaha. The edited film will show on German public TV early in 2006. I noticed that Tuptim Shrine while retaining the ten-foot tall phallus has otherwise been reduced in size. The new postage stamp sized grounds take about five minutes to walk around. Someone from the hotel staff arrived at the perfect moment to hand me a dozen incense sticks and flower garlands. The film crew zoomed in as I knelt at the shrine and completed the ceremony. This is a fertility shrine. Whether my wife will produce evidence of the effectiveness of Tuptim rituals will take about nine months.