In 80 Days...

This morning I dreamed that Nath Khamnark and I were wandering inside a huge F.W. Woolworth in Bangkok (none exists here) that was built like a huge British colonial, monumental ramblling building, partly like an Indian railway station, partly like a wooden house with many verandas. The shop had very little on sale. But Nath said to me, "Upstairs, on the top floor, there's a very interesting historical movie costume exhibit. You must see it."

We go up and there are fewer and fewer customers and goods, but big glass doors open out into an exhibition level. We go in but the exhibition doesn't seem to be open. There is a rack of turquoise polyester fake historical shirts — tunic-like — a round rotating rack like in a clothing store. From another room, I hear brass rehearsing epic music and I know (from where I am, I don't really see them) but I recognize them as members of our orchestra just by the sound they make. They must be preparing for when the exhibition opens, maybe there will be a movie music concert accompanying it.

Going a little further into the carpeted room, there is a long sales counter with books spread out, face up, all along the left half. It's like a huckster table at am SF convention. They are colorful, old, rather skinny paperbacks and they are all in Thai. The right half contains a different set of paperbacks — a different size maybe. Behind the counter is a middle aged rather grumpy women asking what we want. I see, sitting on the right side of the counter and poring over the books, an old friend from the 1970s, Witaya Tumornsoontorn.

He says, "these are all books from the old days." I see they're in Thai, but most are translations from the classics, with quite a bit of Jules Verne lying around. I start turning over the books and examining then. "What are you looking for?" says Witaya.

"I'm trying to see if any of my old titles could be adapted into movies," I tell him, but I don't turn over any of my own books, only more Jules Verne. Presently, the theme from "Around the world in 80 days" plays from the inner room where the brass have been rehearsing.

A vision of Shirley McLaine as the Indian princess in that movie comes to mind. I say aloud, "if an indian princess trying to escape suttee is 1% naughty, most women in California are about 2%. Women around the world are not much different after all."