Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Defective ETM in Volvo Can Result in Accident.

[This is the Blog version. I am going to send other formal versions all over Thailand.]

ETM Related Volvo Accident

This is a letter to bring attention to public that a defective component in certain Volvos built between 1999 to 2002 with electronic throttles. All of the following models with petrol engines are affected: not just the 1999-2001 V70s and C70s, but the S60, S70, S80, XC70 and the model year 2002 V70 non-turbos and C70s. Also, all S60 and V70 Bi fuel models are affected. Sources have indicated that there is a 94% failure rate on this item before 100,000 miles (160,934 km), which happens to be beyond standard warranty period covered by Volvo Thailand.

The ETM (Electronic Throttle Module) used in these Volvos worldwide will have a high failure rate due to a defective design. The component in the ETM wears out resulting in the car going into erratic idling with a diarrhea of black soot coming out from the exhaust. At such times, the engine may shut down without warning and cause the car to be out of control as the brakes will be rendered ineffective. This I, guarantee scares every piece of shit outta you, better then going for any detoxifying enema treatment. Sometimes the car accelerates without even steeping on the gas like got a piece of ghost in the engine. Even without complete engine failure, an erratic and low power output form the engine may also result in lost of control, same detoxifying experience. This, I have experienced personally many times and believe is the cause of accident mentioned herein.

When the engine check light in these cars finally turn on and a visit is made to dealers, the fault with ETM will normally not be detected as the OBD (On Board Diagnostic system which makes warning lights turn on and report on errors) will indicate oxygen sensor failures. Example of OBD codes that I have encountered are P0134, P1132, P0140, all which points to the two oxygen sensors which I have already replaced less then a month ago.

On the day of the accident, 23 December 2006, the engine was running fine at first. But a while later, the engine began to hesitate with the PRM going up and down. A truck was parked on the side of the road. On approach, the brake was applied to slow the car as an attempt to stop before going around the truck was negotiated. The car did not response and the accident occurred. Should this have been at high speeds, I could have ended up with more then one car, in separate little not so cute pieces. After the hassle of insurance claims and everything else, the car was started again and mysteriously everything went back to normal, no engine problem. WTF????

Then the next day in the middle of heavy traffic, the engine began to hesitate. However, there was no warning lights on the dash, as the day before. That was when I made a u-turn in heavy oncoming traffic and realized I cannot brake effectively, detox again. If you wanna simulate this problem, try this. Drive, then u-turn onto oncoming traffic. Turn off engine in middle of motion and try to brake. Pray for divine intervention. Fortunately this time, there was no accident. I took out my OBD tool (a small gadget which I have to perform diagnostic on the car) and plugged it in. There again, indicated the oxygen sensor problem (P0134). Let me repeat hair-raisingly that I have just replaced both bloody oxygen sensors on the dealer’s advice on the same situation mention forth less then a month ago. The car was spewing black smoke and smelt of petrol. The engine was idling erratically and cannot be driven. My OBD also indicated that the throttle was swinging between 20 to 40 degrees when actually I was not pressing on the accelerator at all. The engine was about to cut out, the traffic was heavy. I did not want to engage a tow truck to have my car towed. I cannot drive to a dealer in such a condition. How to drive? The car was puttering like shit and don’t even know when got brakes. In an attempt to solve the problem, I send a reset command from my OBD tool to the car’s computer. Everything returned back to normal immediately like magic.

I drove to the dealer, 26 December 2006, at Sukhumvit Road (SMC Motors). Normally, foreigners have tear balls experience everywhere in Thailand when facing customer service (because it does not exists). Foreigners normally need a head as cool as absolute zero to engage in more then basic customer service negotiations. I was directed to a young sales chap who claimed he could help me with the ETM issue. My first question to him was that if he was aware there were problems with the S70 cars. His shocking answer back to me was “Yes, car have problem, turbo very hot”. This effectively heated my absolute zero temperature head tremendously till the point my expanding brain almost exploded out of my still cool skull. The good thing was that he realized he could not deal with the situation. Before I went supernova in response to his lack-of-intellect answer, he asked for the Senior VP to attend to me personally. I was glad the senior gentlemen spoke excellent English. He was very helpful and explained to me the situation with this ETM issue. Dealers in Thailand were well aware of this problem in fact long ago but closed one eye. The ETM will not be replaced if the car is driven in without the engine check light on. And, if the warranty has already expired beyond the standard period, customers will have to pay for it. What then bothered me is that Volvo is aware of the defect and that the ETM may fail and pose a danger to the driver before 100,000 miles and not taken any preventive measures. Volvo is thus aware that failure may occur beyond standard warranty period and Volvo did not replace the ETM in my car in the countless routine maintenance schedules beforehand, thus leaving me to play dice with the fairies up in heaven. Must they wait for an accident to happen before they do anything? Assholes. When the problem does arise, the car can no longer be driven reliably. How can one then drive to the workshop safely with the engine check or ETS indicator bright like Christmas lights? Where is your brain dear Volvo Thailand? No wonder Volvo has only got about 2% market share in a recent car sales report in this huge market, what bad after sales service.

Over in other countries, there were already many incident reports (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, EA05021 NHTSA Recall Campaign Number, US) and Volvo has extended a warranty of up to 10 years or 200,000 miles (321,868 km) on these defective ETMs to curb unnecessary detox. According to news sources, the ETM will be replaced for free and there is a recall exercise going on. Why is it then that Volvo owners here have to pay for the replacement? Volvo Thailand is hiding something and not telling the public so as not to loose face? I have a sample receipt from another country showing that a 1999 S70 with a mileage of 132,787 had her ETM replaced for free. The technician told me I have to pay for because my S70 is a turbo. Hello, think I goondu or what? An ETM is an ETM after all. It may be of a different size but what’s the difference when the defect is due to design concept? Eg.. u got penis I got penis. Different size but still we use them to pee. Senior VP said only selected owners are notified of this issue in Thailand officially to get their ETM replaced for free. What??? That means the rest of us are selected to die in accident? As a dealer, they have to follow instructions as per Volvo Thailand (the Volvo HQ) and the latter had ordered for me to pay through my ass even thought I have encountered several near and finally an accident. Volvo for Life? Volvo I cannot drive now.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Non-existent Customer Service in Thai Banks

To all foreigners like me working here, it is next to impossible for us to get a Credit Card if you happen to be getting the standard “Thai” class salary. Why it is that banks here do not understand the fact that being a foreigner does not mean we have access to unlimited amount of legal tender? You need a salary scale at least 5 times that of the average Thai THB$15,000.

Initially when I tried to apply with SCB (Siam Commercial Bank), I got rejected several times with no apparent explanation except for the usual “regret to inform you” letter. The staff in the branch could not tell me where my application went wrong even thought my salary is definitely a few times above the average. That was until I decided to write an email to ask SCB if there exist a double standard involved for foreigners. In the country I come from, we get replies immediately the next working day but here, it takes a lot of effort to get customer service to response. I resent the email a total of 6 times. For the record, it took almost 14 days to get a response. They finally cleared the air that I needed a monthly salary of THB$100,000 (huge contrast to THB$15,000 for locals).

With the questioned answered, I know now foreigners with average income like me can forget about getting any credit facilities from the foreigner unfriendly SCB. So I approach UOB (United Overseas Bank) bank in Ratchada crying out my problem. They were kind enough to speak to me whom sometimes still cannot make complete intelligent sentences in Thai. The staff explained that unlike SCB, UOB does not have this double standard applied to foreigners. They encouraged me to open a saving account with them so as to facilitate the application of a UOB credit card and for easy future payments. Thus I took the trouble and did as they said. First of all it is not easy for foreigners to fill up banking application forms. They are never in English. So it was a cumbersome few days for me getting translation services.

To cut things short, I got my card application rejected by the UOB and am stuck with a UOB saving account of no purpose. The explanation in the letter is that my income does not meet requirements (although it definitely does). I have written an email to them to ask why I was deceived. It has been a week now with no reply and I don’t think I ever will. Getting shoddy services, double standard treatments and paying a “foreigner price” for almost everything when eating, shopping or staying are all part of fun of living and working in Thailand. But to get the same from banks where we trust our money with is not within any acceptable limits of threshold.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Rabbit Habit

My Rabbit

# A Rabbit will try to get your attention by hopping around in circles close around your feet when you are standing.

# A Rabbit will high speed crash right into the fridge when you open it and attempt to open the cookie bag within.

# When given a chocolate chip cookie, a Rabbit carries it in its mouth around the room to eat it elsewhere safe.

# When a Rabbit is out from its safe cage, you can play E-San music (Thai county songs) loud to scare it back into its cage without physical intervention.

# A Rabbit enjoys warmth by lying stuck next to you when you are in bed.

# Dogs are not the only animals that lick on us to show affection. Rabbits too but occasionally they will attempt to chew on your meaty parts.

# Kang Kong is not the only thing that Rabbits eat. They love to eat leather chairs, wooden doors and parts of your computer or handbags.

#A shoe will die when it encounters a Rabbit.

# To catapult a Rabbit in a controlled direction, put face close behind rabbit with aim and make a very loud hissing sound like a cat.

# Rabbits cannot brake efficiently on tiled floors and usually crash after catapult.

# To make Rabbits jump vertically, tap on its nose with fingers.

# To make Rabbits angry-stand-fight-claw-bite, shake a bunch of loose toilet paper violently in its face.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Smiling Silly in Bangkok

I am smiling. It’s been cool for the third day. My car thermometer reads 27 degrees C when I drive. I cherish these short Bangkok winter days. Eating outdoor for dinner by the pond, drinking coffee awaiting my car washed. It is different the feeling. I am marinated in this rare annual weather condition. The daylight carries a kind of foreign tranquility in the bustle of chaotic traffic. There is an invisible shroud of contentment around me. Its cool, I am smiling. I looked into the night sky smoking in the balcony, leaning against the soothingly chill concrete, I wished my friends were here.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Festive Gifts

During the approaching New Year, companies will send gifts (aka bribery) to customers and neighbors will exchange gifts in the community. Eggs. You can wrap a dozen eggs in one basket give it to your friends, neighbors, mother, GF’s family etc. Why I asked? They told me everyone eats eggs. It’s a common food item. Eggs = gifts.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

The Real Meaning of Thai GIG

Thailand Resort

Thailand Resort

Monday was a holiday. So me and GF went to the wild again with our wabbit. My wabbit is getting used to sitting in cars, no longer afraid and hiding, it hoped around all over the cabin and nested itself on my lap while I drove throughout the journey. Sidetracking a little, how I trained my wabbit not to get car sick? Well, my room has tiled floors. The wabbit has no grip on it. So I spin it around at 100rpm then let it loose. See it run in panic toppling and falling, banging into my cloths basket, fall, lay sideways with his legs still in frantic running motion. It was hilarious. Very good for de-stressing, pass the stress on to my wabbit.

We went on Sunday, with another couple, so it’s a couple go holiday thing. Through my half baked Thai, I overheard the gal talked about her calling her boyfriend. Sometimes in that period, the guy had incoming calls and he would stroll away from us and talk behind a tree or something. When he returned, the gal asked if that was his girlfriend studying in America calling. WTF!!!. ?? Thus concluded they are a GIG couple and confirmed with my GF. On these two days, they stayed in the next bungalow to ours. Sunday, on arrival, 2pm. Loud moaning like porno film. Near dinner, 4pm. Loud moaning. After dinner, 7pm. Loud moaning. Night time after drinks. Should have many many moans but I am deep asleep already. Monday 9am before swim, more moaning and the windows on their bungalow shook with Richter 5.0 . Fortunately, I have my GF with me else brain flooded by testosterone fluid.

Gig phenomenon is very common in Thailand. Much more then in Singapore 10 folds. Almost every one of my friends or GF’s friends I know have gigs. It even happens in my darn office. Guess Thai people really likes fun. They can have a “steady” and yet have many gigs. This not only applies to men but is very common with the women as well. Gig couples I know are normally an older woman, about 30, with a toy boy of 25. Most of the people I known do not have their fathers in the family anymore. Mostly due to a blown cover ops and the father naturally selects the gig to continue life with as she offers more excitement. When gig meets, it is carnal explosion like experienced mentioned above. Reason for having gigs – boredom in long relationship, bad sex but partner is husband quality, partner away for long time, etc. Girls will tell me if they do not have fun now, then what? Waste a life away? Interesting Thai mentality. Thai girls needs lots of sex and they really moan loud. Untrained foreigners who have girlfriends here are often living the lie of their gals. Think about it, you are not around for months, you think your girlfriend stay home and clean your house diligently? With a mentality of “Do not have fun now, then what? Waste a life away?” you think so? Have you ever tamed a tigress (aggressive sexual tigress)?

Truly, looking from the other perspective, Thailand is men’s paradise. It is easy to be a gig here as I have tested waters. No strings attached relationships are very effortless to establish. Pre-requisites for foreigners, you need to know Thai. Else your scope of reach will only be that of Ah-go-go girls.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Unseen Thailand

Thai Temple

The Thai Temple offers not only a place where you can strike lottery, but also a place where you can eat and sleep. Great news for backpackers if you do not mind the occasional drifting spirits and the skeletons that they keep for show.

Thai people when traveling, often likes to stay in temples for they do not charge you, but instead accept a donation of any amount that you will give. However, it is not to be taken advantage of as the amount of donation given is inversely proportional to the likelihood of being strike by lightning on a clear day. In a common village temple, you get to sleep in the big hall with most likely wooden floor. The toilet is literally a hole and like most Thai places, the flushing system is a bucket of water with an algae infested floating scoop in it. Sometimes when you are doing your output process, a really huge spider will stroll across the walls or a giant gecko will be watching you like a pervert camera hidden.

Meals, you get to taste real Thai food, most likely in buffet style. The caretakers will cook and layout the spread on a common table. Just pick what you want and feast. After that you could have a smoke anywhere you want, maybe even join the smoking monks, but do respect the temple and not to treat religious ornaments as giant ash trays.

Some well funded temples in the northern region offers near 3 star hotel services. It is really a hotel like building they constructed. Run by volunteers and you sleep in rooms for 2 with attached toilet that has proper heating and flushing facilities. There is commonly a pantry area where you get free flow of coffee. You need to book in advance by calling the temple up. Most Thai tour groups stay in such places. And again, pay any amount you want. From what I heard, on group tours, the organizers pays only THB$50 (SGD$2) per room per night. It is most likely they will never strike lottery in this and their next three lives.

To repay the kindness for sheltering you, wake in the morning and offer the monks your service by washing up dishes, sweeping the floor, cleaning the toilets or catching that hidden pervert gecko. Once seen on TV, in Australia, a Thai person on tour went to a scarce Thai temple there and stayed over as well.

Things I never knew. A holiday that never ends.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

What are Hot Springs For?

What I am about to write is about the working quality you could get from Thai people. Although sometimes they tend to show a slight hint of intelligence, most of the time, getting a job done means patching everything together without proper future insight into the effect of a solution. That means equipment failure in my line of work and loss.

I was having dinner one day in the food court. Thai suppose to be a rather poor country aye? But hey I see wide LCD displays everywhere in the average food court. Probably someone had got huge under table transaction for approving these installations, ripping his unknown boss. Maybe he is the boss himself and could be driving a new car by now thanks to that. I love Thailand.

Hot Spring in Thailand

Anyways, it was noisy, couldn’t hear the program. The LCD was showing natural hot springs found on several parts of this nice country. It showed mostly people soaking their foot, scrubbing their foot, washing their foot, local rural people all happily chatting together sitting by the edge of the natural formation with their buffalo shit stained foot in the warmth of Mother Nature. It seemed to focus on everything’s that got to do with hot spring giving therapeutic foot treatment. The next scene showed mineral water being bottled by a factory that draws its supply from one of these hot springs. Whomever that planned this program segment is typically showing the majority incompetent side of Thai - little brains and IQ level that of single cell organism or common sense of typical pool algae. Or he could be trying to run a nation wide boycott on mineral water. Great… Thai made mineral water is natural water flowing from the scrubbed foot of Thai people. Even if I could hear what the program was saying, I still did jump to the same conclusion. Could be a voodoo thing to make foreigners drink the water and have us love Thailand forever.

Therefore, mineral water equals foot water. Beer made from mineral water equals foot soaked in beer water. Soda from mineral water equals carbonated foot water. Etc Etc. Next time you pick up a bottle, inspect to see if you can find the small translucent scrubbed off skin fragments from the underside of the Thai population.

(My displeasures in this blog are fueled by recent work issues. Nothing against Thailand generally.)

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Budget Village Tour

A “Moo Barn” in Thailand refers to a village. Like in the past days of Singapore where we used to have kampong communities, the people here socialize a lot in a simple unsophisticated manner. Urbanization killed the unsophisticated human nature of Singaporeans. Although Bangkok is now a jumble of unorganized concrete and wooden housing, each area has their own hidden boundary of a kampong village. Almost once a month, some guy in the village will organize an outing, much like the Community Centers in Singapore organizing a budget road trip. I was on several of these budget tours with the Thai “Moo Barn” people.

First of all, chaos is an inherent nature of such tours. The bus seats are always almost definitely less then the people going. This is Thai nature. More people going means more profit for the organizer and any issues with seating can be sorted out with some simple jokes and ah-mahd-relak-jac approach. That means three people sharing two seats or some standing or sitting on the floor board and major seating re-arrangement, much like pieces of a chess game thrown all over the chess board. Being a spoilt Singaporean used to systematic treatment of every conceivable service in Singapore, this put my rage into 6th gear on VTEC roar and they had to persuade me to withdraw my furious request for a full refund and not to try perform an alien examination probe with my camera tripod on the organizer. The comforting thing to note is that on such tours, the buses are of a rather luxurious standard. A double deck air condition coach goes for about 15,000 baht (SGD$600) per day. And the holidaying monks always get the good view seats upfront.

Almost every appointment is late in Thailand. This is again Thai nature. So the bus started one and a half hour late and I am supposed to hold my cool and forgo the lost holiday experience time. The bus trip to KL from Singapore means perfect timing of your bladder with a single toilet stop on a 5 hour journey. Any toilet request is usually rejected by the lao-ah-beng driver whose excuse is a scheduled timing to follow. Thai bus trips however mean one toilet stop once per hour. I liked it. I do not need to enlarge my nostrils and strenuously filter the nicotine out from natural air.

On a trips like this where the destination involves rough remote roads to Mae Hong Son, there usually involves two modes of transport. The journey to Chang Mai was 9 hours. We had breakfast at one of the many rest areas where the restaurant owner pays the bus driver a “commission” for stopping by. Following a stuff food down my unawake digestive system session in the early morning, we switch to 10 seater vans to commute the rest of the journey. Such vans are rented at about 1,500 baht (SDG$60) per day with driver. The journey reminded me of the old roads behind Haw Par Villa known as juap-sar-wan (13 bends) back in Singapore. The Mae Hong Son road is jip-cheng-buay-ba-lam-par-wan (1800 XX bends). It was like traveling in a washing machine on wheels. Six more swooshing hours on a 400km road through the mountains. The view was exhilarating and at the same time breathtaking as the wheels rolled near the cliff edge. Up, down, left, right we went, I swore the contents of my scrotum were 15 percent horizontally further apart and more then 20 degrees vertically offset from each other. When we reached midway for lunch in one of the mountain villages, I believe I have achieved the medically impossible feat of swapping positions of whatever orbs I had between my legs.

We made several stops here and there along the way, all part of the tour route. Normally such budget tours will bring you to anywhere along the way where it says “Tourist Attraction” on the map. Occasionally, there will be the waterfall or hot spring stops but these are quite rare. Natural wonders are usually quite deep and involve some trekking. Not wanting the tour group to progress into a mass funeral for the 70 percent middle-aged to old folks on board, tourist attractions means temples, temples and more temples situated next to the roads. Those are where you can cremate any of the 70 percent conveniently, just in case.

Daylight means hectic 30 minute stops here and there. Once it started to turn dark, we were shipped to our lodging area. Now in Thailand, how you judge an accommodation by its name is always almost certainly wide off its mark. Maybe it could be the nation’s bad grasp of English. Maybe it is intended deception. Hotel equals compartmentalized and more then a single level. Anything standing on its own surrounded by grass equals Resort. Huay-Nam-Lin Resort (Pond-Water-Pouring Resort). Expecting a boutique hotel style surrounding and seeing the reality that this place looks like the old Institute of Mental Health 20 years ago in Singapore almost turned me into one of the actual patients.

And again. There were more people in the tour then the number of rooms booked. Village Budget Tour means free-riders, friends of organizer. Village Budget Tour also means more people more profit resource shortage and worry later. Accommodation like these cost only 500 baht (SGD$20) elsewhere but I spent an extra 1500 baht (SGD$60) to open up a room myself. Public extortion by the resort owner. It was way too expensive for this Huay-Nam-MyAss Resort but I really do not want to sleep in the tour-packaged non-air-conditioned longhouse with 10 other strangers. I do not want a shared toilet that lights goes out without warning. And I really do not want to share a bed with some uncle because there was shortage.

We were served dinner in Styrofoam boxes and water was bottled. And they turned the water supply off at 10pm without warning me, a sweaty meatball not bathed. Resort my ass. But hey, get used to it. This is Thailand. So I spend the night bathing out from the water used to flush the toilet bowl. The meteor shower in the night sky soothed my ridiculed dignity. Welcome to Thailand, I told myself, a land where unimaginable holiday service is possible.

Photos - Here under Mae Hong Son

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The Ever Interesting Thai English

“Welcome to UOB call center, for English please press the pun sign. Ke ka koo kwak blahhh (Thai language continues…)”


Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Thai November

Thai Graduation
It’s November now. It’s the month where sometimes cool breezes catch me by surprise when I am working at the outdoor café. Winter is here again. It is the month where Thai students attend graduation. Well they finished exams in April, but the graduation ceremony is 7 months later. And worst of all, they gotta pay for it. Thought it did be part of the school fees. It sucks, stupid rules. The graduation ceremony consist of like up to 3 rehearsals over weekends of a month. Crazy shit. All in preparation so that they will know how to shake the hand of the Princess properly on the actual day itself. The Princess will hand down their certificates. You should practice so that you will not shake and shatter the Princess’ bones in the moment of violent excitement. She gotta shake for a full shag day, all students, one by one.

Anyway, been reading a book from Michio Kaku. Quantum theory states that an electron can appear at two places at one time. You can never know both the position and velocity of an electron. You can only know one. This alters our perception of everything. We are but atoms and electrons, so are you really there? Rabbits.. can also be at two places at one time. One moment it seems to be on the floor playing, and at the same time (so it seems), it has teleported itself onto my bed and peed on my blanket. Kan ni nah. And before you know it, it is chewing on my shoes at a corner. Fugging quantum rabbits. You can never know its exact position and velocity. This also changes my perception of everything on my rabbit. I want to kill him.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Bunny Back to Nature


I know now it is a guy. I saw his bald pink balls finally. They only appear after 4 months. Having a rabbit as a pet is something I never thought of. I know I can’t have a dog coz my room is just too small. I know I can’t have a cat coz it may commit suicide bored in my small apartment. And so I have a small rabbit.

Every morning without fail when the sun is getting up, it would rattle the cage till I wake, eager to get out. I will open the door and he will hop over to his toilet and flood it with his Tsunami of urine and litter. I drift back to bed and slumber. Following his high jump onto my mattress after he is done with business, he thinks my bed is the Garden of Eden. Scurry all over, jumps and hops. And one day last week, he scurried across my naked face like a 32 legged spider. I woke in pain. My face like a flower cat, his nails the sharp weapons. I had to apply medical alcohol all over my both cheeks.

It was a long weekend just, a Buddha come down from sky day or whatever. Thais will try to be vegetarian for 10 days. Gig and me brought him to the wild. Back to nature my bunny. Shit all you want in nature.

Photos - Bunny Back to Nature

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Mission Impossible

Mission Impossible
Don't try this when wearing high voltage protection gloves. In fact... don't try this when wearing any gloves at all.

Monday, October 09, 2006

I Came, I said Short Hellos, and I Left.

Hanging by the deep end of the pool on a hangover (highly recommended hangover therapy), I contemplated.

My friends will always be with me forever, close to my heart, if I am just simply thinking of them. My friends will always be with me forever, even though I am thousands if miles away, an expat in Thailand. Fu*king bull shit.

Cold hard facts: I abandoned my life in Singapore, I abandoned my friends. I am thousand of miles away, and I can never catch up with them again. The price I paid for, for living my dreams. The paths of life are cruel and so face it I must, my big fat body and soul. There are no such things as having my friends wherever I go no matter how hard I think of them. The beautiful words that we see on cards in pretty gift shops, the soothing poems of friends afar, are all bullshit and authored only to ease the pain of banging face straight, nose first, into the hard wall of reality. We wished each moment hard that we could bring our friends together to places to share the happiness of things anew. We adjust to reality the impossibility of the wish.

Another one wedded, an old friend of 10 plus years. A reunion again where for a long time, faces you have not seen, voices you have not heard, conversations you had not had all came rushing within a tight tunnel of time. An overwhelming sensation of grief and happiness mixed like a bad cocktail. I miss you all. I wish I was back in Perth. I wish I could still be bringing you guys crabbing at Busselton, see the full moon at Cottesloe, smoke high on Blackwall Ridge and listen to Bell’s Rapids. I wish I could have coffee with you next week. But next week I am in Kop-Kun-Krup land. Facts! The next chance to meet cannot be predicted, it may be a decade again, or maybe it will be never. We move in space-time, sprawled like tentacles, each on each owns destiny. There are no such things as being fun lovingly together forever. The song played on the wedding, Forever Young, only aided to brought forth an onslaught of tears within, held back by the great dam of emotional control, constructed badly in rush. A river of unforgiving emotion I have to let flow, trickling.

Lets see how many names I can remember from a lapse of 10 years… Marcel (fat groom), Jon, Gloria, Gerald, Mattis, Carmen, Max, Derrick, Marcus, Flora, Yapster, Jacqui, Jack, Christina, Claud, Sharilyn, Malcom, Jung, Jeff, Eleen, … etc.. and how are we going to meet again? And when in time will path cross again? Don’t fu*king know dudes. And thanks dude for the hugs and pats, I never knew a hug could feel so good. One hug one memory lane rush.

I miss Orgu Jac, I miss payaya Regine, I miss Pew who’s on a different path. The four of us, together, only a reality in memory. Time changes everything. Somehow the drinking session I had with Orgu was different. I drank merrily and happily as we chatted until alcohol rendered us beyond senseless. It was not like before when I drank with a rock somewhere within. I feel free, Thailand had freed me.

I came, I said short hellos, and I left.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Toilet for Rabbit

Toilet Trained Rabbit
Hey guys…. Rabbit can be toilet trained. Strange but true. That’s my wabbit’s toilet when it’s roaming around freely. Toilet = dustpan.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

New Thai Airport

So they rushed to open the airport. If not, the project will suffer penalty at a per day basis. Just knew that the airport took over 40 years to complete. It actually started construction in the 60’s. Fact - there were numerous cases of corruption and the project was at start and stop stages through-out these decades.

First of all… as foreigners, we can never get the name of the airport right the first time.

New Thai Airport
Arrived at Swawawa..watever airport on 25th Sept morning; that was the first day of operation. 25th was the rushed opening date. No trolleys!.... They locked the trolleys! Not ready to be used.

New Thai Airport
Have to admit the Sua-gu-pukimah airport is big, hehehe Singapore’s can’t fight this for grandeur.

New Thai Airport
Just thought of taking this pic at the Savav-habababa-wateever.. airport. No more chances to get shots like this on… hopefully. Sweeper slept on floor at Departure entrance. 5am.

New Thai Airport
All currency exchanges in Supukimahnananpum airport stations not ready! Wires hanging all over, LCD’s still in plastic bags. Darn!!!!!!

New Thai Airport
As u can see… no duty free shopping in Swastika-pump airport since all shops were in wraps.

New Thai Airport
And hey…. Got prayer room for Muslims too in Swaaaaaaapum-mimi airport… interesting… Lets hope they don’t blow themselves up in there.

Ok… the name.. is Su-Var-Na-Bhu-Mi…. Suvarnabhumi. Very nice airport when all is done.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

On the 6th day of Coup

If I can write about my rabbit in my previous blog, that means I have not been run over by the military tanks yet and that all is pretty peaceful here.

Everyday life is as-per-normal. Other then the herd of people flocking to the military concentrations for once in a life time picture taking sessions, everything else is as it is. Traffic jams, shopping, clubbing etc.

New rules are being introduced into the Kingdom during this period. Didn’t really catch them but if I translate correctly, its something like shops are not allowed to stockpile on food. Any shops caught doing things such as ordering huge amount of rice will be heavily fined. This is probably to prevent over-demand due to unnecessary panic. I think they rather stockpile on beer first, then rice.

Another rule that I saw on TV was that we are not suppose to gather in groups of more then 5 to discuss about the political situation. Hmm… kinda used to this already since we have similar rules in Singapore. And why would I want to discuss it anyway? I rather talk about car modifications.

Coup Around my House
On the streets around my house, the soldiers are still around. Yeah they love the King, they have yellow ribbons. For those who love the Queen, light blue ribbons. All over the edge of Bangkok, there are military tanks. Quite an eye-opener. I was one the way back from up-country when greeted by a bank of tanks parked beside the main road. Huge big-ass tanks. Noting like our small ones in Singapore. And as usual, these tanks are worshipped by people stopping along the roads for flower/food/water giving sessions. That means traffic jam.

And I asked the Thais, what are the tanks doing, positioned on all the inbound roads to Bangkok, pointing outwards? They told me maybe to blast Taksin into thin air on sight, or probably as a just incase. Taksin has many support from the other provinces, they told me. The military is in position just incase some organized mobs or scattered military groups supporting Taksin decided to march into the city. Military group supporting Taksin? I never heard of that. Could be one of those Uncle-Taxi driver talk. But nevertheless, these are what Thais think.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Puff Bunny

Shaking Rabbit
Sometimes, after my wabbit had dinner, it would sit still and shake its head from side to side. It thinks it is an owl.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Anti-Singapore in Thailand

Temesak bought into AIS (Telco in Thailand) = start of all Taksin things. Nowadays whenever I go for meetings, the room full of Thai people will say out loud “Uh-oh… here comes Mr Temasek!! Watch out.”

Thank you ah, Singapore.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Happy Military Coup

Well… today.. scary day? No.. its more like a holiday. After the TV declared a holiday, I slept till 3pm. Situation report:

The TV returned to broadcasting normally sometime in the morning. The telecommunications seems restored, but calls to Malaysia are difficult.

Everyone seems to be happy. The TV interviews with common people seem to contradict the expected situation of a military coup. Some on TV even said why the military had taken so long to react to Taksin. Other seems pretty happy about the coup and had been expecting it. On the streets, civilians are enjoying the holiday. Bringing food and water to the soldiers, photo taking session, flowers presented to soldiers. I have not seen any news report of anyone against the coup so far. It seems like it’s an all against Taksin thing now.

The shops closed early. Big departmental stores such as Carrefour closed at 9. Central closed at 8. It’s not scary like how military coups are like else where. It’s a happy mode. No one blowing each other brains out. And if only everyday Bangkok could be naturally this less congested. No traffic, not marauding crowds in shopping center.

What an opportunity for me to rest. I slept and woke and went for dinner. Around the corners wherever government offices are, soldiers are positioned. Some of them seemed pretty happy enjoying the eye candy of scantly clad nite club girls where they are position.

See… Thailand is not like Singapore. If the general public is unhappy, no force can keep them quiet. Thai people have more balls then Singaporeans for sure. Mobs, rallies, etc, they fight for what they believe to be right. And now the military is on their side.

For my view on the situation.. I got no idea what’s happening lately really, I’m not political. I’m a working tourist. I’m smiling, what an experience.

Whats happenng in Thailand?

The whole nite, the TV station was playing nothing but songs related to the King. TV station overtaken by Army. There were occasional speech made but i had no idea what they tokking about. Then i have to read CNN to get an idea. Today is a holiday. All banks closed. All people directed off the streets... Curfew?? Some say have to be home before 6pm. But what's really going on i dunno. Going to the office soon. Out of town, away from the center of Bangkok.

Chaos in Bangkok

They blocked all the TV. TV is now full of strange Thai dunno what songs. They even seem to block all mobile comms for a while. There was no possible mobile connection... I cant call anyone. But strangely, SMS and Internet seems to work.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Hot Spring Trip

My rabbit grew so fat… it’s outgrowing the cage. And so I bought a bigger cage for her, fearing she would bore to death in her tiny space. I assembled the cage happily, put her in, and closed the door. And magically she walked right out of the cage.

Wet Rabbit
Fugging realized that rabbits are like cats…. Can squeezed through very small gaps. The bars are too far apart. And so have to soak rabbit in water to determine actual size. Wasted money.. kept big cage in store for future.

Changmai Hot Spring
Anyway, I just had a long seminar up north. That’s where I encountered hot springs. Thought I could soak in it in the cold northern weather, but was advised by Thais that I could get my testicles cooked. If me and friends were to soak in there, we can exchange testicles for taste after. This hot springs we discovered between Changmai and Changrai. They offered eggs on sale for us to soak them in the spring. Eat them after they are cook.

Changmai Hot Spring
And so the above shows me living out my dreams.. Drove into the mountains on a cold morning, having my coffee in my white ceramic mug. Life’s good. I’m smiling.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Not all Robbers Are Smart

Nakon Nayok Toilet
Picture above taken on one of my impromptu holiday trips. Shitting under the stars, just one of the resort's styling in Thialnd. And when it rained, I bathed in a mixture of rain water. Now we know where Singapore zoo got its open toilet concept from. Thailand is full of such open toilets, even in the petrol pumps.

Now back to amazing news I saw on TV. Near my home recently, there was a robbery case. Two robbers held a man at gun point and robbed his gold chain. The robbers split after that, one ran on foot. The other holding the gun, went onto the road and hijacked a car driven by a lady. He got in the car and pointed the gun at the lady, forced her into the passenger’s seat while he took over.

The robber has not much of brains, or maybe he’s not from Bangkok. The alternate meaning of Bangkok = I Love Traffic Jams. The car was in a middle of an evening jam and it wasn’t moving much. The police had only to stroll up casually and arrested him. I’m not sure about the gun’s authenticity and why he didn’t use it. Maybe robber so stupid he forgot to load bullets.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Thailand Big Big

Giant Candle at Temple

In Thailand, they like it big. The temple is big, the Buddha is big, the incredible candle is so big, the durian sculpture is so big fall on you can die. Everything big, except money.

Fried Quail Eggs

And here’s something we don’t see in Singapore’s parsa-malam. Delicious fried quail eggs sprinkled with fish sauce and pepper.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Rabbit can climb one meh?

My Rabbit Climbs
Sometimes I see my rabbit free hanging off the inside of her cage. At times, I see her attempting to scale my dustbin. Herein is photo evidence of her bag-climbing. My rabbit climbs (are they suppose to do that?????). I am suspecting maybe this furball is not a rabbit.

Saturday, August 19, 2006


Fisherman of Mekong

Restaurant Mekong

To Laso and back. Just some pictures.

Laos Hair Saloon

Laos Hair Saloon

That metal basin, I saw them wash their hands, wash their face. I half suspect they do more then that there, maybe pee, shit… etc etc etc..

My Bunny

And here’s my BUNNY!!!!.. the grass eating machine. I like it when she does that.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Bunny Weekend

My Rabbit

And I got a wabbit. As to why? Because of the stupid wabbit in the office. Too darn cute. So last week, I bought one baby rabbit.

Friends form Singapore came for weekend shopping. So I squeezed time to catch up. Darn… everyone’s getting old. Everyone is married or going to get married. And everyone that is married is pumping their wives full of sperm. It’s spawning season. So many of my friends are having babies. Darn…. This is an official sign. We are OLD!

Rabbits.. I started to compare taking care of one to my friends taking care of their bundle of joy. First of all, bundle of joy can turn to bundle of shit. Now I have to sweep rabbit shit every now and then. I guess it is the same for my fatherly friends. And I have to play with rabbit, else it gets bored. So same as baby right? Can’t put baby in fridge and leave it alone in there. Then.. baby diet. My stupid rabbit chooses her food. Don’t want to eat those rabbit pellets. Panic for fear that it will eventually starve to death, gig went around the neighborhood and plucked some grass. Finally rabbit eats. Just wondering.. what if a human baby don’t eat? Can you go around your neighborhood looking for your neighbor’s pregnant wife and say “Need milk, can borrow those breasts”?

My rabbit is weird. She does not like rabbit food. She prefers BBQ chicken. The smell if it drove my rabbit crazy and it chased me around in the room. “You’re a rabbit… not a dog!!” I have to shout to her. “And your friend died just after 3 days because it anyhow eat (my previous rabbit beginning of year, died of diarrhea)!!! Do u understand??”. Of course rabbit don’t and continued chasing my chicken. Potatoes chips, magi-mee, hot dogs. All drove her wild. But I know better not to feed her. And when I ate my chicken on my bed, she will be standing, all ears up staring.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Rain Dance

Here’s something new. In the villages, when there is a drought, they will do a rain dance. Rain dance is done by carrying a black cat over your head and running naked wildly around the perimeter of your village three times chanting hysterically. Just kidding…

The real thing I heard, is similar to our Chinese Taoist “Tiao Dang” customs. The fat black cat will be sort of placed in an altar carried by four people and they would circle the village. I am not sure if they are suppose to shake the cat violently until it is senseless like how the Taoist shake the possessed altar. Interesting Thai customs.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Office Security also Good

Thai Bunny

While the site I went for projects has a giant pussy cat as a guard dog (see previous post), my office has this fearsome little fur ball. I stepped into the office one day and discovered that one of our staffs has brought her bunny here. Because her kid at home thinks the wabbit is a football and kick it all the time.

Wabbit is named Wipo or something… dunno… must be some Thai thing. It roams in the office freely most of the time. With my training, soon, it will jump to heights on voracious instinct, severely chewing off the testicles of uninvited intruders. For ladies… it shall gnaw off your little nipples oh yeah. Nipples… oh yeah…. Nipples Thailand so many, me so horny… Give em money… touch their body….. WTF??!!! (Stress syndrome.. getting unrelated subject into this rabbit related blog entry.)

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Thai Security Very Good

Trespassers Will Be Eaten Alive
I went to work and I saw something strange. Trespassers will be eaten alive. Welcome to Thailand.

Monday, July 31, 2006


Why Stress? Let me quote an example of Thai employees…

(Translated from Thai….. )

“Ring Ring” mobile phone rang at site, one hand operating expensive electrical equipment, the other pick up Nokia.

“Wat-dee-krup Kings, its me at site.” My technician called from 200km away.

“Yes? What’s up?” I said.

“Have a problem here and I need to consult you.”

“Go ahead.”

“Customer needs to share files from one computer to the other. But they do not have a network here. How to proceed?”

“Then what do they have there? Why they ask for computers to share files when they don’t have a network?”

And the answer came. “I don’t know… they only have computers connected via LAN cables to a hub. But they don’t have a network.”

That gave me a whole new meaning to my comprehension of stupidity. STUPID STUPID STUPID STUPID STUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUPID!!!!!! F CCB KNN!! .Puar CB!!!.

How to battle stress? Other then blabbering Chee Byes in my mind all the time, I found some other alternatives. Work at site, spend a bit more money, find an oasis to unwind. Lodge a night next to the beach, in the forest resort whatever. They are all over Thailand. Wake to a morning only to be greeted by the sound of waves and singing birds. Open the notebook and watch porno in the middle of the natural surroundings. Contrast to Bangkok.. or Singapore, all traffic, all people.

Nakon Nayok Waterfall
Walk into the woods. Careful not to fall into deep trenches or be bitten by snakes. Bring hell lotsa mosquito repellent. Drink it if you have to and have your sweat pores excrete the chemicals (highly not recommended). The above picture my moments. Waterfall in Nakon Nayok. That’s where I sat my big fat ass on the rock and ingested the first few chapters of Deception Point – Dan Brown books. Read… read,,, No GSM signal, no Internet, no work. Listen to water gushing. Pee, contribute to mother nature, the water flow. Distracted from stupidity, ease my mind.

Friday, July 21, 2006

My CheeBye My Medicine

Hey guys, let u in on a little personal secret. Maybe my dear friend Orgu which is part physiologist now (psychopathic tortoise) may be able to explain why. When I am heading for a burnout, stressed beyond all my tolerance, I think of CHEEBYE, the word CHEEBYE that is. In case some angmoh is reading this, CHEEBYE is the watery gateway you burst out from between your mummy’s legs.

CHEEBYE.. a beautiful word. It makes me laugh. Two years in Thailand is as if I have undergone furnace treatment in a language refinery. I no longer used that word. Thailand is not like Singapore where u often hear CHEEBYEs floating around in neighboring conversation.

The word for CHEEBYE in Thai is Jim. One day, I met an old lady and she introduced herself as Jim. I fell off the chair and my mind is a squash court for a piece of CHEEBYE bouncing all over the suddenly blank room of my skull. Very very confused. After some friends helped me out of my CHEEBYE confused state, I found out that Jim actually means something small and cute, thus adapted and applied to refer to the Thai CHEEBYE. But… I can’t utter a word out and call her. In my mind the words Aunty Jim simply cannot be processed properly without bursting out in laughter. I cannot call her Aunty CHEEBYE. It does not work. Imagine… “Sa-wat-dee-krup Aunty CHEEBYE????????”

Lost in translation in this strange land, I sometimes mix languages up and speak as Singaporeans do in Singlish. Jim in Hokkien is crab. In a seafood restaurant, I would process before speak as “Lets eat curry CHEEBYE?????” and nothing came out of my mouth. WTF????

When I am stress, I think of the situations above… it makes me laugh.

Now CHEEBYE is a universal word. There are Internet mailers flying around glorifying the word Fuck. There are articles written, and even a UK accent sound clip, on how universally Fuck can be applied. I found out same goes for CHEEBYE. Thus CHEEBYE should also be on the Pedestal of Universal words, glorified (aka pussy on a pedestal).

“What the CHEEBYE is that?” (What the fuck is that?)
“What CHEEBYE things he doing?” (What is he fucking doing?)
“My CHEEBYE car fucking broke down.” (My fucking car fucking broke down.)
“Why he so CHEEBYE one?” (Why is he an asshole?)
“I am kan-puar-CHEEBYE angry.” (I am fucking angry.)
“Holy shit!!! What the CHEEBYE???” (Holy shit!!! What the fuck???)
“I am working on a very CHEEBYE thing.” (I am working on a fucking difficult thing.)
“CHEEBYE u lah! Why u so like that?” (Fuck u lah, why u so like that?)

See… Universally Adaptable Word, the beautiful CHEEBYE. Double CHEEBYEs up with fucks and you get double the effect in driving your message across.

Example. “Why the fucking CHEEBYE did he do such a CHEEBYE thing to the fucking CHEEBYE situation? Does he have any CHEEBYE brain left? Did God bless him with only a fucking CHEEBYE grain of brain? Chow CHEEBYE!!! Fuck!”

CHEEBYE when added to sentences also makes me de-stress in times of chaos. Look at the following email. It is a business related issue and the names have been changed to protect all their CHEEBYE identities.

[Original script.]
1. Adam u r right… John Lee behaves exactly like woman.
2. [censored out, sensitive business issue]
3. [censored out, sensitive business issue]
4. Adam… u nambleh… u know John behaves like women and yet u want to stir him up. Now John Lee attacks James Lam.

[Sprinkled with CHEEBYEs and yes I sent this out.]
1. Adam u r right… John Lee behaves exactly like woman.
2. [censored out, sensitive business issue]
3. [censored out, sensitive business issue]
4. Adam… u nambleh… u know John behaves like women and yet u stick your big fat finger into his small CHEEBYE and stir (he is kuniang, kuniangs have CHEEBYEs). Now whatever small pocket of air (xiao chi) left in his small internal CHEEBYE has oozed out because of your big fat finger. Stir some more!!! Without the small gas, for some microbiological bacterial god knows what reason, his CHEEBYE is now dry and feels like the second day of a sore throat. This brought up an onslaught of CHEEBYE rage because his small CHEEBYE is not happy. So he launched his dried up CHEEBYE initiated attack on James Lam. It is now Small Dry Bye verses James Lam.

I dunno about u readers, but this edited version sure made me feel lighter. I have been in a cocoon of hard CHEEBYE work for the recent CHEEBYE months. My CHEEBYE dreams are full of my CHEEBYE work when I sleep. My CHEEBYE brain is not functioning right. I think of the CHEEBYE, it makes me laugh. Pathetic self induced CHEEBYE relaxing method I discovered.

I am heading for a full-blown CHEEBYE burnout. Laughter is the best medicine as some say. A little CHEEBYE a day keeps my CHEEBYE mental health in check.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

3am Thai Chicken

Starbucks Ashtray in Thailand
Starbucks just opened near my apartment. Yipee. They put shit like things in the ashtray. Was there this morning savoring double espresso.

Anyway, yesterday 3am, knocking on my door. Sleepily I dragged myself to the door. Peeped outside to see big white milk. She kept knocking. I opened the door. “Wrong room.” I said.

I heard her papa-san down the corridor spoke to her “Wrong room, come back here.”. She left without even an apology. Should have dragged her in and fucked her upside down.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Ahmed wants to Bomb Thailand

Someone left me a comment in the previous post. It reads:

Ahmed said...
Islam will destroy Thailand. Allah people will rule Thai. Submit to Allah and find peace.

9:59 AM

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Highway Thai

This is the way I got to work for the past 2 weeks. 70km on an elevated highway, elevated all the way. Not much traffic and speeding shoik.





40km…. petrol empty…!!!



70km later I finally reached my destination. Check out the mountains in the distance, nice view out of Bangkok. You don’t want to be up there on the highway with a full bladder. Can deo-cheong-nau (contrary to seow-cheong-nau [sperm go up brain]). My internal penis equipment almost explode one day. It’s not as if I can swing my dick out over the driver’s window and pee.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Thai Traditional Dance, Uncut

Thai Traditional Dance, Uncut
This the way Thais do it. Taken at a temple festival. Uncensored, uncut and no fancy traditional costumes. The raw deal. Download the file at http://www.cllim.com/movie/dancindrunk.mpg (right click the hyperlink). You will get to hear the real Thai out-country music as well.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Thai Mafia Kills Doraemon

Bullet Riddled Doraemon
As you can see, this is a bullet riddled Doraemon. The poor blue fat stupid cat, shot all over and finally with two going right through his eyeballs. What a way to die. Wonder who the goondu came out with such stupid signboard.