ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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A Far-Eastern Diary

A Far-Eastern Diary A M ONE comes across, at the Hong Kong airport, a professor of sociology from Australia. You can judge the current state of the economy of any of these countries, the professor chimes along, by the rate quoted by the prostitutes. In Bangkok, in one quick year, the hourly rate for a call girl has tumbled from twenty to ten dollars; the massage parlours, like the banquet halls of yore, are all deserted; the occupancy rate in the hotels is down to 30 per cent; work in progress on several new hotels has been stopped; those who piled money during the great Vietnam boom of the late 1960s are sustaining a construction programme, but once this has been phased out things would be much, much worse; to compound everything else, the export price of rice has fallen steeply.

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