My Big Gap Year

Dispatches from Poppy Spalding


LAST week, I had meant to go to Cambodia to further my investigations into Gary Glitter, but reconsidered after reading on My Space that DJ Rico was playing practically a stone’s throw from my hostel in Hanoi this weekend: Saturday night at the Lotus in Bangkok.  Coincidence? I think not.

I abandoned my important charity work and leapt aboard a flight to the 'kok, all the while listening to his latest track. Unbelievably, DJ Rico wrote it in under 10 minutes and was inspired by the poetry of Sylvia Plath. It's called Dance to the Beat of the Rhythm of the Words. He is so talented and deep. I defy anyone to even read a poem by Sylvia Plath, let alone write a totally banging acid-house anthem about the experience.  

Everywhere in Bangkok there are skinny English blondes with great tans, no doubt here to try and get their hands all over DJ Rico. It's probably them that are making Thailand smell the way it does (of fish). I am sharing a hostel dorm with three of them, and an American guy who wears a sarong.

On my first day, I went to the internet café and met this totally friendly local boy called Fox. We discovered we had loads in common and then he gave me a massive bag of Xanax for just 200 Baht. His generous actions are so typical of the Thai people. Fox and I took like ten Xanax and I played him Dance to the Beat of the and – surprise, surprise – he thought it was fucking genius!

I totally love it here, which is just as well after DJ Rico did a no-show for his live set because of some problem at the airport. Fox was so disappointed that he left the city and went back to his parent's farm, but in an act of undying friendship he did leave me a further fourteen bags of Xanax, for a bargain 15,000 Baht. I was forced to spend time with the dullards in my hostel who keep banging on about the airport.  "I know", I said, "I can't believe he let me and the whole of Thailand down like that." I played them a bit of Dance to the and gave them five Xanax each, which calmed them down a bit.

I think I might stay here and possibly live in a hut in Phuket with the sarong guy and his metrosexual buddies. Although I have to say he was much more fun when he wasn't spending all day trying to get through to the American embassy. He looked deep into my soul and said I had amazing eyes. I was wearing my shades at the time but it is true: my eyes are my best feature. I think that in many ways Thailand is the answer I've been looking for on my travels and yes, perhaps even to life itself. Namely: Why can't everyone just chill out all the time? That is what makes Bangkok the greatest city in the world.

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Anti-Ageing Creams Are 98% Bullshit, Say Scientists

WOMEN'S anti-ageing face creams contain up to 98% bullshit, according to a new study.

Scientists who analysed a series of leading creams and ointments found that while they did not prevent visible ageing to any measurable degree, they did cost an awful lot of money.

According to the study Oil of Olay's Oil of Aloe was 97% bullshit, 2% washing up liquid and 1% Cup-a-Soup.

Loreal's Splendesse V-20 was a mixture of axle grease, marketing pish and brilliant white emulsion, possibly from Homebase.

Meanwhile Garnier's Ultra-Stop-Nature-System did contain trace amounts of vitamins G, M and L but was mainly pig fat and desperation.

Dr Stephen Malley, of the Institute for Studies, said: "The cosmetics industry has invested heavily in research and development to identify exactly the right level of scientific bullshit to use in their adverts.

"The most successful phrases so far are 'anti-oxidisational', 'firmness retention system' and the utterly meaningless combination of number and letters that is 'Derma-factor XJ-30'."

He added: "You'd be as well rubbing paté into your face or wrapping your head in clingfilm."