When I first went to Thailand, some thirty years ago, the airline put me up for the night at its resthouse, situated near the airport and a half an hour’s drive from Bangkok. It was my first stay in a tropical country, and I had been filled with warnings concerning its dangers, colorfully recounted by well-meaning returned travellers. The resthouse — which does not exist anymore — was a relatively simple wooden structure, built on stilts over water. For the first time in my life I slept surrounded by a mosquito net. And also for the first time I listened to the nightly noises of the tropics: the concert of frogs and toads, the chirping of the small house lizards (geckos), the sonorous call of the tuckae (a large gecko), the splashing of some bigger animal in the water below my room.
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