The Godfather of Kathmandu by John Burdett read by Stephen Hogan

“You know how Thais are: totally fair minded Buddhists until their personal income is threatened.”

For we farang,  the improbability of Thailand is as good as fiction. Where else would one find a dejected pot-smoking homicide detective and his long-haired assistant, a “Kathoey transsexual who has not yet scraped together the courage or the funds for the final op” ? How else could one be brought to believe in the existence of  sect of nuns who meditate on dead bodies —

 “four hours sleep per night, near starvation rations, no electricity, …they were not allowed real bodies anymore but the local hospitals provided them with photographs of cadavers … ” ?

Unless they were located in a wat in the far east of Thailand, near the border with Laos? What is more tragic than a spoiled, mantic, beautiful Chinese witch, whose  pharmaceutical grade cocoa, once tasted, is forever craved? Or  the story of Rosie, the Australian hairdresser, who only wanted enough money to buy a condo in Sydney and live a real life,

it was a one-off I was going to open a beauty salon, there’s a new development of Rose Bay, I wanted south-facing, I was going to be “Rosie of Rose Bay,”….

…and who is now the unfortunate guest of the woman’s prison at Thonburi, having failed to smuggle the condom nestling 100% pure heroin inside her vagina through customs.  A story is always many stories: and the best stories are localizable.