Friday, March 31, 2006

Working with Thais

Almost 2 years ago, Mel, Evan, Brian, Ah neh and me was sitting at a kopi tiam before I started my life in Bangkok. As usual I cracked my stupid slapstick jokes and Mel said.. “Imagine Kings cracking all these stupid jokes in Thai…” .. I made it. Now I can. I am now mostly independent and my partner can leave me alone to work with Thais.

Blog has not been updated lately. Am just busy, not killed by angry anti-Singapore protestors. Worked at a town called Kaeng Khoil. I was at a power plant construction site for more then a week, driving in and out of Bangkok.

Yesterday I drove in a sudden heavy gale and downpour back into Bangkok, alone. Scary as hell. Lightning when touchdown 200 meters away, was a beautiful ball of green radiant fire, followed by fireworks of equally green luminescent sparks. It was terrifying beauty as the tarmac lit up shimmering green in reflection, followed by the plunge of darkness as the street lights went out. The sky was lit green every then and then as the thunderous blots was striking close by. Green, the color of lightning as I only found out yesterday.

My Peugeot was not happy with all the heavy driving. It has died once again. Brakes jammed this morning and smell of burning metal discs. Now it is in the work shop again, my mechanic grinning as I, his customer, in my car crawled into his garage.

Working with the Thais has been pretty interesting, especially if you are the lone foreigner in the sea of their men. Someone would walk up to me and consult on a technical issue, and I would answer like a retard. Then they would realize my alien originality, and what followed will be communication at 50% efficiency. But I got my message through.

After a first few day there, all would have known me by then… and then all hell broke loose.

“Thai girl pretty… u like?”

“You marry? Have girlfriend? Want to go massage?”

“500 baht beside hotel… very good… very good….”

Those are just some of the stuffs they talked to me in English… and after they realized I can communicate rather okay in Thai…

“What do u want to ride to night? Tiger or Elephant…?” I was at dinner with them. There was a Tiger Beer and a Chang (Elephant) Beer promoter nearby.

“Eat these friend frog skins, it is delicious. After you eat all of them you will be very STRONG MAN…” They were referring to genital performance.

“Good book… read!” I was in the middle of a very difficult technical issue when one of them pop a Japanese porn magazine and flip it opened, revealing all the oh-my-Buddha so beautiful round things. I had to start solving the technical issue all over from the start again.

“There is a condom called KingDome, some has studs… it is very thin…. Blah blah blah…” That was when I was typing a report and they were trying to make fun of my name. I had to redo one page of my report.

I learned, the Thais are really beautiful funny and friendly people. Even when working, they have these relax and joking attitude. It is good… it makes work easy for me as I delivered each and every technical solution. If there is a big problem, they just crack some genital related jokes on me. And so do I. And I will correct the problem and get back to them, my friendly customers.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Red Blue Pill

Am sick for a week downing pills and all. I can’t rest for I have to work. Been out country for over a week. I had a dream that I was driving. When I looked at my dashboard, I see not my speedo but just lines of coding. My name is not Neo, nor close to Agent Smith…. Curse that matrix, get out of my dream. I want to slumber, sleep in peace.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Brain Breakdown... Car Breakdown.. Cock still can use.

I drove out of my office after Sunday work yesterday. I stepped the clutch pedal and then “Pueng!!! Trakkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk” … FUG!. No clutch. Death of my Mi16… once again. Clutch cable snapped.

Its been shitty lately. I had to teach when I was having a high fever last week for two days. I worked non stop everyday till midnight. I am having a cold now, I have a bad throat, I had fever and my body shivered in class. And I had nightmares about work. I cant sleep.. when I sleep, visions of my coding and solutions came up my mental screen. When I am about to fall deep into slumber.. my imaginative program crashed and I had to wake a little and I thought of solutions that makes my products better. I am dead meat, for now… Thanks to a 500MW plant project nearby, 2 hours away.

My interviewee never turned up today at 10am. F the engineer who dare not face me for an interview. He must have known he sucks, and resume is just a bunch of bull. I could have slept.

I say Holiday. I am going for a three day beach holiday, I have to de-stress… that’s after I pay through my nose for my car in the workshop later in the afternoon.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Rally Rally

I ain’t into politics so I have no idea what’s going on, but it is kinda like a sudden election thing going on here in Thailand soon. Election means mass rally and cars with loudspeakers going around promoting the political groups. We have in Singapore the trucks with loud speakers going blah blah blah. Put a picture of the political person up the front of the truck and it would look like he died with the campaign speech so monotone alike its prayers for the dead. Similar events here in Thailand. But….

I was having my lunch at the roadside kopi tiam. Then very loud Thai pop music got nearer and nearer, then pickup emerge in the small one lane road with big big posters promoting a particular political figure. Music… not boring speech of blah blah blah. Loud bass thumping Thai pop music. Amazing, sort of shows the light hearted land of smiles side of wonderful people in Thailand.

Now to the darker side of things….. Thanks to Temasek Holdings Singapore buying up AIS, seems there is a “I hate Singapore” thing going on here now. In addition, I see the red crossy sign of UOB popping up here and there in Thailand. Wonder what other Singapore things I will see next. Singapore… what the heck is Singapore doing… buying up everything here just because its cheap?? I got a call from a friend… asked me to be caution… stay home. Why??? Read on...
Extracted from The Nation, Bangkok, 07 March 2006...ANTI-THAKSIN PROTEST
PAD stages protest at Singapore embassy
A group of 50 members of the People's Alliance for Democracy rallied in front of the Singapore Embassy Tuesday afternoon demanding Temasek Holdings to cancel its plan to buy shares of Shin Corp.

The protesters carried banners, saying "Temasek Get Out" and "Thailand is not for sale" outside the embassy.

They turned up at the embassy at 2 pm.

They chanted "Temasek get out" for about 20 minutes until Michael Chuan, the secretary of the embassy, came out to receive a letter from Somsai Kosaisuk, a PAD leader.

The open letter demanded Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to cancel the deal with Shin Corp by Thursday or the PAD would campaign for Thai people to boycott goods from companies under Temasek Holdings.

The letter said the Singapore government would be regarded as interfering in affairs of the kingdom, which could affect the national security.

The letter said the PAD would not cancel its campaign against Shin Corp and Singapore until the deal is cancelled and it added that the PAD would return to rally outside the embassy again on Thursday.

Vuthiphong Pribjrivat, an academic who has helped organise weekly rallies against Thaksin, said protesters would march to the Singapore embassy by Thursday to ask the city-state to "reconsider the takeover".

"We will inform the Singapore embassy that the Shin Corp deal has created a lot of political problems," Vuthiphong said.

At 2:30 pm, a group of some 30 students also marched from Lumpini Park to the Singapore embassy and submitted a letter to the embassy's secretary, demanding the cancellation of the deal.

Chua assured both PAD and student representatives that their letters would be forwarded to the Singapore government as soon as possible.

Singapore's state-linked investment company Temasek bought a nearly 50 per cent stake in Shin Corp from Thaksin's family in late January.

Thaksin's family made Bt73 billion on the tax-free deal, sparking public outrage that has snowballed into mass weekly protests against the prime minister.

Earlier Tuesday before the protests, Foreign Affairs Minister Kantathi Suphamongkhon said the Singapore government did not inquire about rallies which the anti-Thaksin coalition would stage outside the Singapore embassy in Bangkok.

Kantathi said Singapore understands the situation well but Thai police would ensure that would be no problems to the embassy.