Advent Calendar 7 December 2014: Du & Ich 3, 1979 – Bangkok
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This must be the most unfortunately illustrated travel piece on Bangkok ever. Imagine the possibilities! And imagine being a subscriber to a gay magazine in the 1970s. Once a month, your magazine arrived in your mailbox. Each issue contained travel reportages about exotic places where you maybe couldn’t afford to go. But at least you could read the exciting stories about them. And most of all, you could enjoy the tantalizing photos of the local boys and men of varying skin color. But instead of putting some hot thai boys and men in the article, Du & Ich has chosen to illustrate it with an artistic collage of some decadent European fag (the author?) coupled with a bleak, undernourished body reminding of a concentration camp. Faux pas, Du & Ich!
On a more serious (or not so) note: I notice that the author begins with complaining about how bad Thailand has become lately, and how it was much better in 1970, when he was there the first time. Anyone who has met people who traveled to Thailand knows what a cliché this is – or at least has become. “If you had only come 10 years earlier, it was much better then!” Well, apparently that was true already in 1979!
Again, we are warned against the biggest risk with traveling to Thailand in those days: “Avoid direct sunlight. The UV radiation is so strong here that it can lead to skin burning and sunstroke.” Must have been really hard to be a gay man in the 1970s. That damn sun!