Sunday, September 6, 2009

The Regency Hotel In Hat Yai

. . . is missing not one, but two floors. There’s no Thirteenth Floor, which is not unusual around here. It’s not an Asian superstition, but Asians are so superstitious that they cheerfully adopt supernatural aversions from other cultures. My own apartment building has a floor called “12A” between the twelfth and the fourteenth floor.

The innovation at the Regency Hotel in Hat Yai is that there is no Seventh Floor either. I’ve never seen that one before. It’s not the swimming pool floor or anything, it’s just not there, the place goes from the sixth directly to the eighth floors.

The Regency is a nice place, by the way, and other than the occasional bomb blast Hat Yai is a pretty safe place. I’ve never seen so many police and armed soldiers on the street. They’re a pretty cheerful bunch, so it’s not an odious presence. The world economy, and the aforementioned periodic pyrotechnics, have slowed the tourist trade down a little, but the streets are still full of almost entirely male tourists from Malaysia, because the nightlife here is lively, lively, lively, and even Muslims can legally drink whiskey in Thailand.

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