Thursday, August 29, 2013

No More Mr. Nice Guy

The short-time bars of Soi 6 and go-go bars of Walking Street are not the only tourist attractions of Pattaya. Farangs and Thais travel down from Bangkok to lounge on the beach, dine at the thousands of restaurants, shop at street markets, and take in the sights.

Several years ago Louis Tussaud’s Waxworks promoted its pseudo-museum with a new billboard on Sukhumvit. Farangs couldn’t read the words in Thai, however the giant photo of Adolf Hitler sieg heiling said a million words to foreign travelers on the busy highway.

The ad campaign was aimed at Thais, since the wordage was in the native tongue of Siam.

“Hitler is not dead.”

German and Israeli embassies complained to authorities and the Louis Tussaud’s Waxworks manager apologized for this cultural faux pas.

“We think he is an important historical figure, but in a horrible way. We apologise for causing any offense which was not at all intended. We did not realise it would make people so angry.”

Thais were unperturbed by the mistake.

‘Man kill farang. Not kill Thai. What problem?” One of my Thai friends said over the telephone. Thais aren’t too concerned with anything happening outside their borders or the present. Neither are my fellow Americans. “If he bad. Why no one kill him?”

Indeed Hitler has been rumored to have escape the Berlin bunker. George Steiner wrote THE LAST PORTAGE OF AH about an Israeli intelligence squad finding the Nazi leader in the jungles of Brazil. Several films have centered their plots of the lost empire of the Third Reich. Adolf would be a very old man if he was alive. In fact he’d be the oldest person alive on this planet.

“120 years old.” An overweight Hassidic diamond broker told this joke the other day. “Things are bad on this planet. troubles so bad that people want a strong leader. someone finds Hitler alive in Brazil. 120 years old but still mentally capable. The world leaders struggle to persuade Hitler to take over the world. He refuses time and time again, until he agrees.

“Okay, okay, I’ll do it, but this time no Mr. Nice Guy.”

Yes, Pattaya, Adolf still lives in the minds of many.

Good thing he can’t collect on his royalties.

AH 1889-1945?-2009? and beyond

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