Nov/Dec 2016 • Vol. XXXVIII No. 6 Fiction |

When in Bangkok

The morning after we landed in Bangkok, my father tossed some baht onto the restaurant table without counting it. Enough eating, he said. My sister and I stood immediately, still chewing. But the girls haven't finished their breakfast, my mother said, and got up to file out of the hotel restaurant behind us. Our hotel was only two blocks from the Patpong district in Bangkok. Patpong was a different place during the day. All the bar girls slouched around in flip-flops and dirty tank tops. Crumpled cigarette butts clutched each other in the gutters, and the garbage of the night before rotted gently, mixing with the aging urine. We walked looking down to sidestep the vomit and sticky spit that would never dry here. My father hustled down the street, his hands swinging, knocking into other people and swearing. He darted in and out of stalls, peering at the signs written in Thai and English. He strode so quickly, it was hard for the rest of us to keep up. What are you loo

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Erika Krouse is the author of two books, Come Up and See Me Sometime (Scribner, 2001) and Contenders (Rare Bird Books, 2015). Her short stories have appeared in the New Yorker, the Atlantic, Ploughshares, One Story, and other magazines and anthologies. She currently lives in Boulder, Colorado, teaches fiction writing at the Lighthouse Writers Workshop, and works part-time as a private investigator for Title IX and sexual-assault cases.

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The morning after we landed in Bangkok, my father tossed some baht onto the restaurant table without counting it. Enough eating, he said. My sister and I stood immediately, still […]

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