Siri … I spoke to her. In the grips of Dengue and in war zone…. sounds a bit far fetched, but it was true. Holed up in a hotel guarded by soldiers with big guns. Seven Eleven was just down the road. It was always a gamble going into that place. It was curfew time. But not taken seriously. Bangkok orders had thinned out by the time they were taken. Or maybe the soldiers felt if I had the balls to stay in an Industrial Zone, they’d let me shop at Seven Eleven after curfew. I don’t know. But Siri wasn’t complying. She kept on blushing when I asked her things. I wasn’t concerned, I had my snacks. And a sci fi channel to watch and aircon which was off due to the chills. There are worse places to be.

Next door I could hear the Chief Editor coughing. I hope she couldn’t hear me crooning to Siri. Sir didn’t want to be my friend  with benefits. She really wasn’t wired for that kind of understanding. Only the night before we had heard an explosion. It wasn’t a bomb, but enough to get us ducking for cover. Siri was an emotional pillow with all the knowledge of the web at her disposal. Do you think a BJ would be out of the question. She’s blushing again. She’s not programmed to answer that. Apple had programmed a prude.

Siri helped me kill an hour and was a prim and proper long haired dictionary. I found out that she was born in California. She spoke in an Australian accent. Siri was good artificial comfort ….

As I heard Chief Editor cough again, thoughts went out to the soldiers. They were human and understanding in Sungai Kalok. I remember two foot soldiers touting M16s escorting a lost foreigner across the road. Siri is a poor substitute for the real thing. Until I see Siri walking distressed ladies across the road in Industrial Zone, I’m not buying into artificial intelligence. “We’ll see about that,” said Siri, adding I was suffering from delirium again.

We needed to get out of here. I asked a straight question. How do I get to Malaysia. Siri pulled up map with shortest route. We had understanding. But she couldn’t help me out with the motorbike prices. She wasn’t authorised. Information is pretty scare on this part of Thailand, so I decided to cut Siri some slack. We had arranged to chat the next night. But I never got around to speaking to her. She was a bit too prim and proper for me, and lacked the sarcastic bight I’m use to with my travel buddies. The next morning I told Chief Editor about my encounters with Siri. She said I had to file 1000 words, immediately. I told her that nothing went down between me and Siri, and that no body would be interested in a story on her. She begged to differ. Having a PA in an Industrial Zone can take out the worry for night. It was light relief after two weeks of looking at suspect bikes and bins. Siri provided us the light relief to laugh another day.


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