Yesterday evening was spent with old friends, Julian and Eileen Deeley. They live in Bangkok – Eileen is an expert on Chinese culture – in fact she is leading an expedition to China this coming Sunday. We had arranged to meet at the Polo Club for dinner, and Robin Dannhorn was to join us too. Luckily I was able to use the driver, as the traffic was particularly horrible yesterday. Robin – an old hand – was there when I arrived, but Julian rang to say that they were stuck in a two hour traffic jam. A couple of brandy and gingers later, the Deeleys finally joined us in the bar.
When you see films where the hero arrives at Bangkok Airport, jumps into a car and drives into and around the city, don’t believe it. There’s no way a visitor could ever negotiate the traffic here - it’s unbelievable, No one ever gives way – it’s every man for himself. I would get completely lost – and I lived here for seven years! Nevertheless we had a really good evening – old friends are good friends. Eileen gave me a book published only yesterday in which she was involved – it’s by HRH Princess Galyani Vadhana, the King’s sister, and is the story of their mother's life. Next week Bangkok will hold an elaborate State Funeral for the Princess who died last year.