The story of this issue of CURVES begins in Bangkok. It begins with a man driving in his Porsche to see a friend. They sit and chat and, at some point, the Porsche driver tosses the key to his 911 to his friend’s son. “Fetch some drinks,” he says with a grin. He had seen how the young man had been eyeing up the Porsche, thrilled and aghast. The lad can hardly believe his luck, drives off – and never returns from this first drive in a Porsche. His name is Sihabutr Xoomsai. His friends call him Tenn, and he went on to organise southeast Asia’s first Porsche meeting in 2016.
It’s called: “Das Treffen” (The Gathering). A German name that is short and sweet, and says it all. It contains a certain sympathy for the unembellished nature of the German language, as well as recognising the German-ness of the Porsche brand – and of course, the name says exactly what it’s all about. At some point, in one of the years that followed, as the size and success of “Das Treffen” continued to grow, we couldn’t resist the temptation and simply had to see it for ourselves. So, we booked a flight to Bangkok … and were utterly stunned. “Das Treffen” is a force of nature, both global and regional at the same time, a melting pot of the most diverse car stories and biographies, a moving reminder of the binding, equalising, democratic effect of the Porsche brand. And a festival of friendship. Exactly the same as the idea behind CURVES, the small wonder that emerges again and again on our road trips when we surf soulful roads together. When we left Bangkok, we had found friends: Tenn, the Renndrive gang, the Porsche community of southeast Asia. And we knew that we would be back next year. After the 2018 “Treffen” plans were put in place for a CURVES-style extension – a road trip in northern Thailand, out of Bangkok and into the mountains. Tenn told us that the roads up there are amazing, and we were keen to find out for ourselves. A few stunned days later, it was clear that one of the next issues of CURVES would definitely take place in Thailand. Not merely a small, controlled and tentative trip in a strange world, but a bold dive head-first into this wild, confusing parallel universe of southeast Asia. Total immersion, with no going back.
It is exactly this CURVES that you now hold in your hands. During its production, we moved our lives to Thailand for several weeks, drove 4,700 miles – a good 3,000 of them on roads that were unbelievably intense and emotional, full of surprises and our favourite thing in the world – curves. We would also like to thank Porsche Asia Pacific, Porsche’s regional office for Asia Pacific in Singapore, for allowing us to abduct the new Porsche Taycan Turbo S for a few days in Bangkok. The electric sports car burns with a passion to its very core, with an effect that goes beyond unsettling to turn perceptions inside out, making it an extremely good match for our take on Thailand. Thank you, Porsche, for this opportunity. Thank you for the privilege of giving us a place in your hearts – you have one in ours.
Time now for a confession: We would have ended up hopelessly lost in the mangrove jungle, would still be wandering through Thailand right now as desperate souls without having seen and experienced all the wonders and beauty of this land if “Au” and “Song” had not shown us the way. Anyone who would like to retrace this CURVES without a safety net can turn for help and advice to these two connoisseurs of the best street food, most amazing roads and most enchanting scenery. Just send an email to email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, ask for Song and Au – and enjoy the time of your life.On the stages through the northern highlands as well as the coastal stint in the south, we were able to rely on the company of our friends from Renndrive. They took good care of us in the way that only real friends do, and showed us their version of road-tripping. Traveling in Thailand; on a magical journey so uniquely alien, yet, because of you, strangely familiar. We’re pretty certain that these amazing guys did things for us behind the scenes of which we remain blissfully unaware to this day. And the many wonders of which we are aware bring a great big lump to the throat. You have our love, you have our friendship, you have our respect. The same also applies, of course, to our families and friends at home. We go, just have to go, but we always return. You are the destination of every journey. Thousands of miles long.Standing somewhere at the end of the world we know – and we experienced moments like this more than once in Thailand – one thing again became important to us. We have often thought it, but never told our readers about it. Get up from the sofa. Right after you’ve finished reading CURVES and daydreaming about it. And then – drive. Not to places you can reach with geotagging and on well-worn paths as hunters of a million Instagram posts. Or using a list: “The 10 best spots in Thailand – the eighth will totally shock you” … But simply by driving straight ahead. To the right. Or left. Whatever you want. Amazing things will happen. You will experience wonders. See beautiful things without a single #hashtag. We have all already wasted way too much time in an artificial world that is replaceable, bland and trivial; full of dangerous half knowledge and a herd mentality. The. World. Is. Other. Than. You. Think. It’s out there, waiting for you. Right now.
At this precise moment, the sun is rising somewhere, all alone on a beach, and nobody is watching. At this precise moment, a child playing by the roadside is laughing, and nobody has noticed how joy is pouring into the little dimples at the corner of his mouth. At this precise moment, a gust of wind is swirling through silvery grass in the meadow, just because it can. We will all forget that if we spend any longer than is absolutely necessary staring at a couple of square inches of screen, waiting for life to happen. Life is offline. See you outside.