Christmas Muzak and Cheese Doodles

Soggy Shoes, Cheese Doodles & Christmas Muzak

Bangkok. Friday. Evening. Cheese Doodles. 

Today I went too far. My damp shoes didn’t dry properly, and now both they and my feet stink. A robust scent reminiscent of Cheese Doodles permeates my life right now.
I’m airing the shoes on the balcony, wondering if our neighbors in the next room make the same smell association. They might not even know what Cheese Doodles are.
Earlier today, a young girl at the entrance to an art exhibition suggested I take advantage of their senior’s discount and looked surprised when I told her I’m not 65. I sometimes find it difficult to reconcile that I look my age, which no one else seems to have a problem with.
When the young Burmese guy working at the pool bar spots Charlotte, he quickly turns off the Christmas music. Most people staying here are Chinese and Korean, and neither they nor the hotel’s few Muslim guests seem to appreciate Last Christmas, Jingle Bells, or Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. The Emperor’s New Clothes? Most definitely. Charlotte explained to the bartender (kindly but firmly) that most Westerners who come here for Christmas come here to escape Christmas. He probably didn’t understand but silenced George Michael, Dean Martin, and Frankie Boy.
The last week has begun. The masochist in me is actually feeling a faint longing for some grey, cold, northern European weather.