Monday, March 16, 2009


In Bangkok's Chinatown, I routinely looked upon a storefront window display that included packages of birds' nests - with staggering price tags attached to them. In search of program for BKK's abandoned towers, I set out to assess the potential for profitable high-rise bird houses. I didn't have to look far.

This terrific blog entry tells of another Bangkoker's story of discovery on a trip to his father's hometown of Pak Phanang, in the far south of Thailand.

To summarize, one abandoned building became the home of nesting cave swifts, whose nests are the most highly valued animal product in the world. The owner became rich, spawning a slew of copycats. Now the small town is littered with 'bird condos'. And due to the highly-speculative nature, only 10% are inhabited by swifts! How quickly serendipitous re-use begets a new round of speculation!

So my fiction in this case is a slow cousin to fact. I'll be rereading that post...

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