Saturday, March 27, 2010


Until now I had never had a car in New York. The last car I’d owned – a tank-like Humber, which I learned to my dismay was the car of choice for the police in England – had been in Singapore, 17 years ago. Just before that in Bangkok I’d had another big, heavy English car, a green Rover with leather seats that was simultaneously seedy and jaunty and I loved it. We lived across the river, right on the river, in Thonburi, so we’d take a small ferry from the front of my house to a Bangkok side landing where I'd left the Rover. When we got in we’d sit for a time with all four doors open, it was so hot. The thick air smelled of warm leather and cigarettes from inside, and of flowers, musty water and cigarettes from outside. In Humphrey Bogart fashion I would put two cigarettes in my mouth, light them both, and place one of them between Bonnie’s lips. This was living.

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