A friend of mine, who'd lived in Thailand for years, suggested I check it out. A lot of it was shut at 7.30 in the evening. But you could tell even the closed shops were mostly digital. And of course, browsing in peace isn't an option in Bangkok: You waan sexy movie? I didn't, I wanted a Holga 120N, thanks very much, but I wasn't going to get it here.
And it's hard work to walk anywhere, what with the tuk-tuk drivers hassling you every five yards. What are they expecting you to say? "Actually, I was enjoying my evening stroll, but as you mention it so nicely, and your tuk-tuk looks so inviting, I'll come with you!" When I'm safe back home in well-ordered Shanghai, I'll start exploring Taobao, where I can get a 120N for less than 150RMB.
I want the 120N because of the hot shoe. And I want the hot shoe because the Bruce Gilden approach, after nearly two years of thought, is the way to go, but with a Holga. So I need one of those telephone cable extension cables for the flash, I saw one in a closed shop in the Luban/Xietu Lu camera mart, but probably cheaper on Taobao. Like I said, I get the idea of street now, and the Bruce Gilden thing makes sense in Shanghai, in a way it doesn't in say Newcastle or Glasgow. But the same technique works inside the tribe, per Goldin, too.