Matchbox

Look out for matchboxes with communist champions on them in Thailand
Matchbox
Matchbox

Revolutionary dreamers, leftie icons, doomed musicians &mdash all that lot &mdash have been put in their place in more ways than one. One sure place to find their stern-earnest-passionate faces is among the piles of bags, slippers and clothes at the street markets of Bangkok (Pattaya and Phuket too). I ignored the T-shirts and declined the matchboxes. Then I went to Doi Suthep, the Buddhist temple on a hill outside Chiang Mai, and saw this lot and more displayed proudly in the quiet bookshop. Icons of counter-culture aren&rsquot really my thing, visually speaking however, matchboxes are, practically speaking. I never find the damn things when I need them, and I needed them badly then &mdash there was something about the clash of tranquility with gusto of a tourist that sent me hurtling down the hill. This time I had the damn things. Yours too, for 10 baht apiece.

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