Orange diamonds denote wired coffee shops where a to-do list of pending e-mails, headlines, and blog entries succumbs to Instagram filters and Tweet-nothings. They furnish bonbons of a boho voyageur: byte-sized sign-value exchange and oodles of material for an episode of Keeping Up Appearances. The Internet and social networks validate a Debordian spectacle or “where the real world is replaced by a selection of images which are projected above it, yet which at the same time succeed in making themselves regarded as the epitome of reality.”4 It’s a phenomenon that we buy into and readily assume; the spectacle of being me.
Further inspection of the map reveals quadrangular overlays. They imply the spatiotemporal ambiences in which I attempted to satisfy desires simulated as Maslovian needs. And at their osculation, Z Store bridges the two districts:
Thamel is a blur. Nag Champa, Buddhist chants, exchange rates, Skype dates, fisherman pants, Northface knockoffs, cheap Chinese, and Jew’s harps. With its façades swamped in signage promoting oil massages and two-for-ones, Thamel bears an eerie semblance to Bangkok’s tawdry Khaosan Road. “Rickshaw! Change!” heckles a tout. “Smoke, smoke,” whispers another. The short shorts and fanny packs lap it up.