Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Election Day

Yesterday was holiday and not because of Christmas Eve. No jingle bells here. Only jingle my own balls. It was an off day for government companies succeeding election Sunday.

Well, it was much like in Singapore, held at schools or any other public facilities. They have this strange rule that no alcohol was to be sold and no pubs to be opened during the days before election.

Political people waving flags at roads junction wooing for support. It did be better if this was accompanied by the sporadic Chinese dancing lions jumping over the giant waving flags into oncoming buses.

As soon as past 3 pm, the party signs magically disappears. The people stripped them from the roads, brought them into the houses to be used as recycled materials. For that hole in the wall, to be the shade of the road side food stall or to be sold for the wood. Trends of the scavengers, wise of the normal street life here.

No... she’s not promoting some Yan can Cook shows..

Basically it was an election of mainly the Takshin supporting party against the non-Takshin supporting parties. The result being Takshin’s party having near 50% of overall votes. Looks like he will be back. Here is the strange trend I found interviewing people casually. Bangkok people tend to anti vote Takshin. Reason being they see Takshin as the country seller, selling many important nation owned entities to the foreign hand. They joke that if Takshin is back, you will see Singapore currency notes replacing the Thai Baht.

I traveled and I spoke to the upcountry guys. They seem to favor Takshin. Each village was given funds during his time for progress. Sounds like how we Singaporeans get the “Progress Fund” or something in our CPF aye? Each district was sponsored a scholarship during his time for one lucky student. There are about 400 districts. There are about 400 students overseas now. When he was overthrown, the funding stopped. There are about 400 poor villagers who have to sell their house, land, cows, car and buffalos just to make sure their sons or daughters could continue their education. Anger driven, the mouth works overtime and soon, they all wish he is back. Some told me though they know that he and his family were benefiting the most during his regime, they don’t really care because welfare clearly reached them. The Bangkok people however, see this as “buying them out”.

Then in retrospect I thought… hey.. progress funds and etc in our CPF… wow.. our government simply bought all of us. Yes, all 4.6 million of us. Amazing.

Getting to Hoi Lot

And here’s for G, who left a comment asking how to go to Don Hoi Lot. Firstly, I am pretty bad in giving detailed directions. I found this map on the net and modified it to show the location of Don Hoi Lot. G, you did have to know how to get to Central Rama 2.

Through my years of getting lost in Bangkok, I have learned to ignore most road signs and to navigate by landmarks, the position of sun relative to earth at different times of year and the time of the day. We all know guys don’t ask for directions and navigates with a mental map marked with N,S,E,W. Gals however, are always better with zoomed in details, such as knowing at which particular junctions to turn left or right. However, gals do not know the orientation of the junction relative to Earth’s four corners. That’s why, always bring a gig or some female form when traveling. In addition, they can read Thai unlike us. With combined mental map details and arguments, you will eventually get to your destination. And… never ever use Seven Eleven as landmarks, too many of them around.

Get to that long road that leads to Central Rama 2. On that road, follow the big green signs towards Samut Songkhram passing Central on your right. Much further along this way, you will start to see the blue tourist attraction signs that indicate Don Hoi Lot. Eventually, you will reach a bunch of bridge crossings and the sign will indicate for you to cross the flyover into the city of Samut Songkhram. At that point continue to drive straight, do not turn into Samut Songkhram. Finally, just a few short kilometers after, there will be a tourist attractions sign that points left to Don Hoi Lot. Turn in to that road and continue until you see the sea. That’s it. Good luck, eat scallops till you drop.

I asked, why so many places have Don this and Don that? What exactly is a Don? Don, according to the Thais, is a raised land, something like a plateau, hill or mountain of sorts. And on this raised land, is an area of festivities such as a market, a temple or some happy thing etc. I like Don Hua Nom, they make me very happy.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Buddha Spa - Pavilion Samui

Samui Photos here

Click on Samui Dec 2007.

Samui is a Sad Place

Samui, a small island of joy as we have thought. Until you talk to the islanders, will you discover the local folk’s perception of this sunny southern paradise. Samui is for the broken hearted. A tattered relationship, a second woman in marriage, an abandoned life. The masseur told her own dark story, and that many have come to work on Samui from various part of the Kingdom. Just to get away from it all, just to start their small lives anew. Lonely on the island, a new job, a group of new found friends, and many with a similar relationship saga. And always the hoping for that unexpected twist of luck, of wedding that foreigner, the white prince on the Suzuki 4WD, and be brought away into another life impossible unaided.

I talked to a number of the Samuis, and many of the small resort owners have always the uncanny similarity of daughter or themselves being married to that overseas husband. Could she herself be that capable owner, I tried hard not to tarnish the sight by probing further. Wonder no more, the number of bars and their saucy workforce in the after dark of Chaweng and Lamai. They do their best to speak a different tongue. They live their fullest drinking the brew. In their nightly encounters with different strangers different nights, they forget the stories of old that drove them to their becoming. In their nightly encounters, maybe just one is what they need to make a difference.

Don’t speak, don’t listen, don’t want to know Thai. Maybe I should not have heard and kept Samui a simple happy paradise in my mind.

Monday, December 17, 2007

I Spa Samui

Saturday till Wednesday Thursday. Discovering the island life again.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Typical Thai Family Day

Today is a holiday again. This month of December, there are two holidays and one Election Day. Election Day = holiday. When holidays coincides near to weekends, many of them Thais will return to their local village, to be with the mother, father, the truckload of family members and the famous farm buffalo. Thais are family centric and visits relatives on holidays.

We picked up gig’s mom and her gay uncle for a trip to Samut Songkram. Its another province south of Bangkok. In Singapore, we bring parents to shopping malls, dine in posh restaurants. Over here, we bring them to the seaside markets and dine in the restaurant on stilts above the sea. Her mum enjoyed throwing all the curry crab debris into the sea very much. Gay uncle is still saving for his sex operation and was happy just eating the simple steam fish.

A relative of gig’s in the village has a water front house with her own jetty and dumping river. Life is simple here where average Thais are not surrounded by the many EMF emitting gadgets in typical Singapore. Many of them still stay in beaten down homes of which some are wholly made of wood. Many of them are squatters awaiting the dreaded day of modernization. Where do they go from there but the down line of poverty. The living standards have been elevating. The average Thai salary has not.

Extreme cleanliness is not of importance as long as there is a bed to sleep and a hole to shit. Some Thais have never even seen or taken the MRT before. They live in tiny circles around their homes and villages. Ask yourselves if you are able to live in these conditions. We are spoiled brats of society that need concrete and feed on a constant source of electromagnetic waves for survival. Molded by the city state, scenes like these makes me ponder what do they do every minute of everyday. Friends that we meet back home, at least we know they stay in HDB. Friends that we make here, only a minor percentage are that of our expected social quality. We should never despise the living conditions, this is Thailand, this is what we have to expect to live here.

Don Hoi Rot, the Bamboo Clam market next to the sea in Samut Songkram. Main produce of shellfish, squid and fish sauce.

Scallops, SGD$2 for about 12 of them, BBQed simmering in butter. Didn’t know Thailand produces scallops.

Giant Otak, fish, crab or mixed seafood for SGD$0.80.

Eat the roe of the horse shoe crab. I remember, Singapore’s east coast was full of them when I was young. You can find them humping their brains out on the morning beach. Now they are extinct in Singapore.

Giant prawn paste ball. Here they use it for fried rice. Rojak does not exist here. It would be fun to fall on one of them and smell like a walking giant lan jiao for one full day.

Millions of cheap seafood…. Thai price.

Now we all know why maids hang around open spaces behind Wisma on weekends.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Father’s Day Thailand

Today is “wa-si-lin-lao-beh” day in Thailand and it’s a pubic.. public holiday. So what do most of the Thais do then? Nothing…. Absolutely nothing. Because their father had most probably ran away with the other women.

Well since it is winter now, these beer gardens have been sprouting up everywhere like some kind of seasonal flora. They only grow in the months form November till January wherever there are empty plots of land. They will be gone with the onset of summer but will return faithfully next season. On the night before Father’s day, these gardens are full of people.

And why not head to the pub on the eve of a holiday since it is just the beginning of the month and pockets are full of salary? Better to spend the money now then to keep and keep for what as the Thais have always said. But I hated the pubs as usual and since it was an “office” gathering, I had to patronize.

Fuck you Thai Pubs with all your lousy hip hop songs. I endured 3 hours yesterday. They had live band, badly mixed hip-hops and songs with squeaky vocals. Squeaky songs - ever step on a bird? Well that’s how it sounded like.

However, the girls were as usual pretty and sweet. And here’s how it works. Have to do some Math here. If you are a pubber, you jolly well know that it is quite common to be hit on occasionally and there after… bang-bang.

In the typical arena of a Singapore pub, 1 in 10 girls will be good to look at (lets call them SYT – sweet young things). When you score, there is a 90% chance she is not in your SYT level, unless you are deadly drunk or on some heavy medication. Multiply that by the order of chaos, 1 in 4 pub trips (Singapore’s theory) you score, your chances of success becomes (1 / 4) * (1 / 10) = 0.025 * 100 = 2.5% hit rate.

In the typical arena of a Thai pub, 6 in 10 girls will be SYT. When you score, there is a 60% chance she is in your SYT level. Multiply that by the order of chaos, 1 in 2 pub trips (Thailand’s theory) you score, your chances of success becomes (1 / 2) * (6 / 10) = 0.3 * 100 = 30% hit rate.

In Thai, your typical hit rate is 30 / 2.5 = 12 times better that in Singapore. Note, this calculation is based on typical local pubs.

If you are Asian and in one of the city pubs, your hit rate will be severely condensed to near negative values. These pubs are infected with Sarong Party Girls.

Calculation does not work in Patpong, Phuket and Pattaya pubs because your hit rate will be severely inflated to near 100% values. It’s a different breed of girls in these areas.

So how does the average diminutive SYT make her move? Very daring compared to Singapore I would say. Lets not get into details but the base algorithm here would be, they initiate some body contact, you response.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

18 to 28 in Thailand

The weather is simply awesome now. Even working in the polluted Raying industrial estate is enjoyable. You can sit in the middle of noon, under the sun and yet not break a sweat. The breeze blows and you will be immersing in winter air of just 22 degrees. Enjoyable omnipresence of 18 to 28 this season.

Go for the Moo-Ka-Tat … The Thai version of cheap Marina Korean BBQ buffet that’s just over SGD$4. Cool air, warm pot. Nice winter season.

Beer at the brewery with beer towers at just SGD$20. Chivas.. under SGD$40. Piangs… and we paid SGD$230 at Mohammed Sultan.

DIY your own coffee at the food stalls. This is common in Thailand. Pour as much coffee powder as you want and be owl at night. Feed the wondering dogs coffee power and watch them go hyper.

Refill your gas for a full tank that takes your car 300kms for just SGD$16. Whats with the horse at the LPG station?…. I don’t know.

And fear…. Be very very fearful that one day, Thailand will go nuclear. Without a good command of English grasp by the average engineer, Chernobyl WILL happen in Thailand.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Let’s Litter the River

Loi Krathong. A festival where Thais pay respects to the river, thanking her for bringing precious water into the rice fields tirelessly 24x7 so that we can have food 24x7 just like Seven Eleven. Ironically, on this festival, the river is thanked by dumping loads of litter called Krathongs by the millions into her. It’s also considered a family event, so expect most restaurants by the river to be packed full of chatty aunties. The lower income will spend time by going to the parsa-malams set up in 99% of the temples throughout the Kingdom. Yesterday was almost like hell broke loose as every festival in Thialand is celebrated by Thais drinking themselves senseless followed by driving or riding. Sirens of the ambulance was heard frequently among the recurring bangs of firecrackers and fireworks. The police were all busy, and so were the volunteers.

Schools held Krathong making competition.

Most shops will sell them so no worries getting one.

Even the Mercedes owner was banging in on the profits.

Having one of these land on your head is no fun.

My rabbit almost died when I played these fireworks and crackers at home.

They are called Krathong… not Kapong as I have mispronounced. Kapong means mini skirts. I did like to be looking at the students if their Kapongs were floating in the river.

Just another weird dish you can find in the restaurant.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Car Insurance Thailand

And here’s on how to claim insurance in Thailand.

First of all there are three types of insurance. They term it Level 1,2 and 3. Level 1 is cover mountain cover sea. Level 2 is cover third party and only a small amount on your own car, does not cover fire or thief. Level 3 is purely third party and your car is your own business. There is now a Level 3+ that has a bit of covering your own car as well. Level 3 (referencing a 5 year old Euro car)… about SGD$300. Level 2 about SGD$400 and Level 1 about anything from SGD$800 to SGD$1200. Old cars more then 10 years old can never get Level 1.

So… normally, Thais wait until their insurance almost expires before they go and claim, even for nothing. Then after they claim, they simply switch companies to avoid high premiums on the second year. It is not like in Singapore where all insurance companies are linked telepathically and your premiums only increase as you claim. Thais.. never seem to treasure NCBs. They always will definitely claim for something every year… and here’s the how to.

First.. be very polite and need to speak Thai. Then drive to designated garage of insurance company. For scratches and handiwork of assholes parked next to you leaving behind door dents, pay SGD$80 extra and tell them you ran into multiple poles or protruding structures that you can’t remember. The extra payment is necessary where a third party is not available for the insurance company to witness and blame. This also applies to hit and run accidents where you are unable to remember the license plate number of the whisky motorbikes that victimize you.

For things missing, such as lower lids, fog lights, skirting broken or whatever at the bottom of you car, say you drive into flood and knock into unidentified floating objects such as dead cats or dogs. Of course, they will ask you when it happened and do pick a day that has heavy downpour.

Dents in your rims due to stupidity (such as lending your car to women), or transmission issues due to wear and tear, you can try to cook up a story that you avoided a buffalo crossing the road and swerve into a pit in the middle of a dark moonless night 10,000 miles away from Bangkok in the jungles. But they will investigate, so your story must be solid and you did have to do your own homework first.

Every year… you will get a renewed car. This is how Thais do it. Some of the stories are authored with the help of the nice lady in the garage. I will have a looking-new Volvo next week with a fresh paint job. Oh yeahhh baby. And I will never lend my car to women.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Singaporeans are Easy to Rip Off

Just found this out. The studio unit of 30 sq meters in which I stayed, was bought for SGD40k. Then some smart companies went to promote City Living Condo in Singapore.. and sold them studio for a good SGD72k average with promise of rental opportunities at about SGD400 per month. Coz.. you can’t get anything for SGD72k in Singapore and not surprisingly, people fell for it, thinking it could be long term investment that is self funding via rental.

Now… this area is Red Light District. Average rental is between SGD140 – SGD280. Who then rents the condo for SGD400. And to add to that, the market price of these units as of current date are about SGD60k.

Kena rip off lah.. .some Singaporeans.

The moral of the story is… do your own research if you intend to invest in foreign properties. Yes… one day, maybe the price of the units will go above initial purchase price, but still.. you have been ripped right from the beginning. If you have cash to invest, then bring them over by yourselves. Walk into the showroom, and the deal will be done, transparent and at the real local price.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Frigging Discovery

In life, we discover many things along the way. As we transverse the passage of time, we hear, we question, we discover. Holy cow.. I didn’t know cock hair can grow white!!!

Yeas ago during our whacky school days, we often joke about nothing but genital objects. Subjects linked to genitalia are of often the best candidate for a good joke. Hey… you ever ask your ah-mah or ah-gong, their cheebye or lanchio hair are white or not? I mean look, they got a whole head full of them.. so does it apply to their privates?

We almost wanted to strip one of our classmates who genetically have white hair during adolescent to find out. But we never did.. and so this mystery remained in our childhood minds, carried on with us through the decades. It became an urban legend in my life. Thanks that classmate who never did answer our question truthfully. May your cock hair burn in hell.

Then exactly one day before my 36. I was crapping, I looked down, and I saw my very friggin first white strand of glorious curl.

I , NRIC blah blah blah, here-by declare that I solemnly process with pride, my very first strand of undercarriage silver glory, have thus officially reach the milestone in my existence on third planet from Sun, bow down to admit and carry the title of anything related by Thesaurus to uncle-hood. Amen.

Now I admit I am uncle. But only when my armpits turns silver.. shall I admit I am Ah-pek.

Oh my Buddha… are we old…..

Oui… Melvyn same age as me.. u got white hair already bo? Oui.. Antz.. u are Jurassic compared to me.. u got white hair bo? Regine… Orgu… time of your life yet? Bang Bang brothers.. u shaved your heads.. .do u shave your down there too? And if you do… do you first apply shaving cream? What about ur assholes? Do you shave ur assholes?

Any of you have white hair yet? … compare notes leh.. (I… have Ageingunclephobia..)

To my sister who reads my blog…. Dun ask.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Of Dek Skoi and Dek Vann

Dek = small people. Example… teenagers. It was brought to my knowledge of Amazing Thailand lately by one of my young technicians. In the south provinces of this Kingdom, you may be driving and all of a sudden you see a naked chee-bye (vagina) under the short skirts of a local girl on scooter coming your way. Cock stand, jams your steering wheel, and you fly off the cliff.

It’s a trend now.. The teenage girls, knows as Dek Skoi, are catching on this trend like wild fire and have the local police in a fit of uneasiness. I would be very happy catching these Skois however.

Dek Vann. Vann.. Thais says that’s the sound of high pitch scooters. Instead of vroom vroom like how we always say it, Thais thinks scooters goes vaaaaannnnnn vaaaannnnn. So Dek Vanns are the teenage boys on scooters chasing the naked easy Skoi-byes all over the Kingdom.

Dek Vann competes illegally on roads and the winner wins over the Dek Skoi riding pillion with his competitor. After that, what the Vann does to the Skoi is up to the former. But it is carnal… oh yeahhh . Skois keep records of how many Vanns they slept with, and compete among Skois themselves. Damm… where was Vann and Skoi when I was a teenager.

Have no fear oh farangs and foreigners who are Vann wanna-be. The scooters of the Vann cost only an average SGD800. With our middle age income level, we could buy a Harley and cream them Vanns. Oh yeah.. we can screw a Skoi every week, day or every hour. Just ride your big ass bikes into a group of Vanns & Skois and do your stuff. If you are over 50.. do prepare bags of Viagra.

…. How shitty I can’t ride a bike.. I am a bike idiot. However we do have plans to sponsor a bike for our technician, on the condition he must win races and win us 3 Skois per day.

Sex crazed aye?… Amazing Thailand.

Explosions Everywhere

No, its not 9-11 in Bangkok, only thing you can 9-11 here is Baiyoke Sky Hotel. No, it is not the southern insurgents blowing up people here. And no, it is not Takshin’s revenge to set off the explosives at the telephone booths. Ever since the end of October, the country has a widespread phenomenon. Firecrackers and fireworks set off every now and then. The Kings birthday is around the corner, and so is the Floating Lantern festival. The Loi Krathong (floating lantern) is like an annual prom event. People are pairing up boy girl, guy gal, man women, old man old lady and of course man and man to celebrate the event by releasing the fireballs into the river by the couple. It is suppose to be romantic. Weather is cool now, onset of winter is here. Bang bang in the sky …. bang bang in the bed.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Monday, October 29, 2007

Ball Tearing English

... and i thought the English in Thailand is bad... The below is extracts from a China user manual.

Concerned receipt slowly being deposited big or smelly reaching send data time limits, and the mouthful speed that user can be according to present time gone here and there in all whole bundle conveying and designing for the cooperation industry data, calculation big length wraps what roughly needs time, respectively big wraps dimension and on the foundation of the time needing suitable increases the remain of 20%, sets up respectively two parameters.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Free Hair Cut Thailand

Wanna get a free hair cut? I am in my office, in the morning. The temple just next door blabbering away via loudspeakers that you could here all the way to the next province.

“School term is open, our temple is providing free service.”
“Guys will look handsome, girls will look pretty…”
“Come to temple now, people of this village.”
“The hairdresser is free now, come now and quick.”
“Free hair cut, for both guys and girls.”
“Don’t worry, they will not cut your ears off…. “
“The school term is open.”
“Come come, free hair cut service, hairdresser will not be available after 2pm.”
“Free….. “
“Cut hair free…. “

And on and on and on and on and on and on. By the way, school term opens means excessive traffic jams. Seems all Thai kids are rich, either parents driving them or themselves driving their cute little Jazz, Vios, City, Yaris etc cars that looks like loaf of breads to school.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Splat Splat

Heya… check it out…. Two boys splat on the floor. For a moment they looked like they had fallen off the building. But.. no blood. Left by parents to be baked in the sun. I think the mother is a cleaner on the block. Anyway in Thai delicacies, there is such a dish called “pork-sun-only” (direct Thai translation). Means pork seasoned, left in the sun to dry (like the splat boys), and then deep fried upon. Quite delicious.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Loosing our Roots in Thailand

Roots…. What roots? The only thing that resembles roots on my body are the stray curly hairs that grows out under my balls. Maybe, if I meditate hard enough under the Bodhi tree, by balls will start absorbing nutrients from the surrounding soil. That will impress the Yoga masters for sure.

Yesterday I met some suppliers form China and Hong Kong. And when I tried to speak in Mandarin, it came out a jumble of Thai instead. I can’t even say the word “stairs” or “island” in mandarin at some point of time. Phrasing the Chinese words in my mind seems so hard. I realized it is even difficult to speak Hokkien now. Does one loose ones roots when away for long periods? Do we forget who we are? I look into the mirror now. I still see me. But inside my head, everything seemed cross wired severely.

I guess if you were to plant yourself alone in a different environment, your mind, behavior, living life styles, they way you speak and etc changes. You just merge as you mingle, but the results are just a bad mixture. However, there are some of us who are re-located, who tend to still flock together most of the time. And these are some who retain their roots unaffected. But they can’t merge. Where are our characters headed, we re-located people? We are yellow people, who just look like any other yellow people you can find in Thailand. The Caucasians however, will always remain different just by looking different themselves. Is the Singapore Singlishness to be proud of and kept alive out here? We used to speak loud and proud in kopitiams, but that is a style unacceptable by Thais. We simply speak too loud and too proud. Now I speak gentle as Thais.

I miss… speaking like a Singaporean. The jokes we can crack, the famous Hokkien versus related to every mother on the globe, I just miss talking like I used to talk with friends. Many sentences of humor, curses, slang or phrases simply cannot be translated into Thai. They can’t comprehend when we do a word for word translation. It is sometimes just soothing to be sitting at the hotel lobby, listening to the next table of Singaporeans talking cock and me laughing till tears within.

Ask again.. what is Singlishness but an interesting mixture of Malay, Indian, Mandrian, Dialects and English all in a rojak bowl. So adding Thai into that already over-ingredient bowl results in still an interesting mixture we discover with each minute here. It is us still here, just with more to add in the blend and looked by the Thais as hell of a weird walking language machine.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Meetings in Thailand, Red is No-No

In my recent and continuing hectic work life of going everywhere north-east and south of Thailand, I learned and seen a few interesting things. Some stories were told to me during the frequent night dinner and drink sessions with the Thais of various regions.

A sales guy was asked to leave the room by the high positioned government officer. Reason, the guy who was representing the product he was trying to pitch to the officer was wearing orange. I learned, you should never wear bright colors to meetings involving Thai government officials. Any bright colors such as red, luminous orange, lime green pink and whatever that “eat the eye” are deemed impolite. However no one will complain if you wear glow in the dark lime green underwear within. Yellow, used to be a no-no is now accepted. It is the color of the King. But wear only on Mondays.

The north east of Thailand used to host several bases for the US during the Vietnam war. Since many decided to stay on and have offspring with the natives and it is well known that Thai girls will throw away their local boyfriends anytime for a farang, there is a whole bunch of mixed blood new generation there now. You want to find exotic fair wife… go there. The US bases are history now. One had been taken over by Singapore Air Force and I bet they are having lots of fun there with the locals.

The reason why there is lighting is because a giant is throwing thunder bolts at irritating angles playing with loud toys disturbing his sleep.

Sometimes, it is ingenious what some Thais can come up with. Other then the above, a local Thai had invented Chicken breast milk for children who are lactose intolerant. I know chicken got breast but I never tried to suck on one to see if milk can come out at KFC.

I am watching TV in Kon Kean now… they are reciting Muslim prayers and showing the Quran. I don’t know what channel is this. But next the Malay guy is speaking in Thai.

And check the above out…. Coffee Beam.

And the above…. Another big friggin gecko when eating dinner. About 30cm.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Ponder…. Ponder….

Confucius, the man with a thousand phrases for you to ponder and ponder ….and ponder some more. Thai monks say similar things for you to ponder your mind away in the midst of traffic jams. Hair, your head is full of it. Girls see the plumage on the other, like it so much as it is smooth silky and black, being caressed and swaying so gently in the breeze. Hair, seen clogging your toilet is seen as dirt, belonging to the same group as your house dust and whatever that clogs your drain pipe. Hair on the head is beauty but the moment it detaches and falls to the ground, is perceived so contrastingly different. Hair is thus dirty no matter how well maintained, how silky, how smooth to the touch.

Ponder…. Ponder….

I ponder how the monk can explain to me the bayi-signh with all his hair in the turban.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Buying a Condo in Bangkok

Well, since it is impossible for us foreigner to splurge our money and buy pieces of land all over the Kingdom, we can only go with a condominium. Of course there are ways to get a landed property if you want but do be aware of the high chance that your native wife of charade will win it over in a not too distance legal suit. (You can get married and then buy the land in her name.) By the way, we foreigners can never get a loan from the bank. You need to be cash rich, and pay when condo is completed. For down payment, it is typically 10%. If we do try, we will experience stupid advices from Thai bankers, asking us to get our home bank for a housing loan for a property out of the home country.

I told a Thai friend that I brought a condo. There began the lecture. First of all, the location I have chosen is “red light district”. Naturally, that means low-so (low society). Secondly, to reside in a commune living block, Thais choose their neighbors. The high-so Thais will distance themselves by buying condos with starting prices above 3 million Baht. The very pretty residents in short skirts will never able to afford this. The Thais do not want their kids growing up in such company. That was shocking information, Thais know how widespread the country wide open leg business is and talk frankly about that to me.

I said my condo is above 1 million, not the type he thinks. Condo of 1 million Baht starting prices attracts another so (society). Normally they contain a large percentage of females who have sugar daddies to supplement their income in metropolitan Bangkok. A condo is beyond the league of the normal country people. For such condominiums between the price of 1 to 4 million Baht, the lower levels in the tower will contain all such people. Wow… interesting. Now I am witnessing for myself. Sidetracking a little, it is common talk between Thai guys that all you need is to spare 10 grand (SGD400) a month for a university student, and she’s yours. 10 grand can pay for the monthly installments and utilities in such condominiums.

Weird aye… it seems the only thing the Thais worry about is to coexist with the people who made a large part of the country’s tourism economy.

Some other friends told me why buy an expensive condo? I can get one for 300 to 400 grand (SGD 12 to16 grand). Well, I looked at the brochures. No facilities and looks like living in HDBs of 30 years back, no thanks. But for the country people, these are heaven to them. Not for us foreigners however.

The stranger situation now is that, amid the bad economy and political chaos, condominiums are sprouting up everywhere and many of them have a low occupancy rate. The Thais said that this in preparation for all the county folks constantly streaming into the metropolis looking for jobs. The smarter Thais thus, with cash to spare will buy them up, and await the demand uprising as free land diminishes, profiteering as a result. How very enterprising.

Now to share some of my experience….

The risk of buying an undeveloped condo in Bangkok is that you never know if it is going to be completed. However, if it does you can be assured of an estimated 30%-40% jump in value. That’s what I got waiting 2 to 3 years.

Be wise and buy condos only from big developers. Buy only those above 1 million. The condo next to where I stayed prices between 700-800k and I am glad I did not purchased that. Ten large monotonous blocks which looks like barracks and I am sure the people inside are more wonderful then those surrounding where I am. Buy a condo with a design, some pretty engineering and such. You do not want your condo to look just like any other concrete block. It helps in future valuation. Facilities, a must have swimming pool, and pool must not be simple hole in ground. Such condos are at 30 to 50 grand (SGD 1200 to 2000) per square meters and can be found on the inner skirts heart of Bangkok. To stay in the heart of Bangkok, means guaranteed good neighbors and a condo of arty design, with many facilities. However, that means prices of 50 to100 grand (SGD 2000 to 4000) per sq meters and enjoying the traffic every morning and evening in front of you residence.

You can never have dogs in condo. They normally ban it. Have cats at your own risk, they may suicide off the balcony. I keep a rabbit which behaves like a dog to over come the “no-dogs-allowed” situation.

Transport system. It is not Singapore here and it is not everyday you can buy a condo next to the MRT. Have no fear, dial a motorcycle. You can even dial for food and that’s not Macs or KFC. It’s the little Thai food shops spread out on the streets.

And lastly… how to live the dream for Singaporeans and experience the true bliss of real freedom? Get out of Singapore. Everyone I know who got out, they are all very happy with their lives now.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Conspiracy Theory – Stories from the Street

Just what the local street aunties are talking about nowadays. Overheard somewhere, aunties were gossiping about the many cases of bird flu reported throughout the year. They yakked that this is all a conspiracy caused by the big companies that supplies fresh or frozen chickens to the giant supermarkets. Since these companies cannot beat the low prices of local produce, bird flu cases were reported wildly and chickens of local folks were condemned to burn in hell. So there won’t be anymore competition, and the general public will be forced to buy the products from the giant supermarket.

What will they think of next…

Sunday, August 19, 2007

The Menthol Effect

I sat on the bench after my swim. The breeze was strong in the late afternoon sun. My eyes forced to shutter down to just the typical lined eye of a Chinese face, I watch the waters. It was but a shiny tattered mirror of reflections as the afternoon breezes on. I was alone, I inhaled my Davidoff, the menthol effect, and the taste of coolness filled me. As I closed my eyes watching the waters, I was back by the river.

It is summer, and I am in the jetty near Blackwall. I am early as usual to get the best spot on the jetty. I am alone. Holding my rod with my eyes close, I am waiting patiently for the first sign of the Tailor run. Peeking out onto the glaring afternoon, the tatter of reflections on the Swan, the Marlboro, the menthol effect, and the taste of coolness fills me. I can smell the brackish river. The water splashes, the Blowies plays. A crow calling I hear now. The tree rustles in the wind. The crows of Perth are elegant, steroids in shiny black feathers like silk. They do not look anything like their undernourished cousins in Asia. I hear the bark. Must be a Retrieval on the river walk with his owner. It is summer. I am in the state of blissfulness.

I opened my eyes. I was beside the pool. The tattered mirror of reflections filled my vision. Maybe this is self denial, but maybe just enjoying the euphoria so long lost never to be found in Singapore is all that’s worth for. I am the free yellow bird (ok,,, fat yellow Chinese bird), away form the cage of a diminutive, routine and restricted population.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

i-Home Finally

For over 30 years, I have waited for this day. A home I can call my own. Ironically, a home is where my home not is. Singapore had made it rather impossible for me, but I can’t blame her all. It’s the longing to be elsewhere that has driven me to this. A home, away from the motherland. A dream home costing so much less but alluring so much more. Though it may not be vast, a studio she is, I have built my own Shangri-La. 30 years was a long wait. I never had a home. A resort…., my Resort.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Granny so Corny

Just this Sunday, which was Thailand’s Mothers Day, I brought gig’s mum and gang for the usual “tamboon” trip. “Tamboon” means something like going to the temples and boring myself to death while offerings were given to the monks followed by prayers.

Gang includes one about to be transvestite, the mum and a granny of about 55 years old. Yakking non stop as I drove, I tried to pick out and understand what I could of their conversation….

Mum: So you are saving for a sex change operation soon?
Transvestite: Yes, I am goin to XYZ hospital to do it. I am going to be a woman soon (sounding very happy).
Granny: How old are you?
Transvestite: 36.
Granny: Are you sure men will use your new thing after sex change? You are already so old.
Me: ... (Continue driving in shocking silence)

Granny: When you see men’s thing, will your thing rise?
Transvestite: No… prefer to be entered so my thing will not rise…
Me: ... (Continue driving in shocking silence)

Mum: Brother has been bringing different girls home in the night lately.
Gig: Brother is very “playboy”.
Mum: He is so young (18) and have many different girlfriends.
Granny: His thing can use? He is so young still.
Mum: Sure can, seen it recently…. Big and good.
Me: ... (Continue driving in shocking silence)

Then in the temple in front of Buddha…

Mum: Have you eaten? You have been driving non stop.
Me: Its ok, I had milk in the morning.
Granny: Why drink milk? Your gig don’t have enough milk for you?
Me: ... (expecting lightning to shoot from Buddha’s eyes any moment)

It is interesting ain’t it. In Chinese families, your grandma will not speak like that unless senile. But here in Thailand, they seemed so open. However, there are a certain “high-so (high society)” group of people, normally Thai-Chinese, who thinks talking like that is definite taboo. They consider normal families like what I encountered “low-so” and of a lower grade. Interbreeding with such families is a no-no. Having the transvestite on the journey was also one of my first. Don’t get that much in Singapore but here, most groups of friends will certainly have one or two of these interesting gentle creatures within. Thailand, still new to me after 3 years.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Footbon Thai & Aussie

Girl: Friend of me going to watch match football Thai & Australia at stadium.
Me: Friend you is girl?
Girl: Yes.
Me: Wow, this good na, Thai people love country real real, go support county Thailand.
Girl: No, farang (Caucasians) handsome more then men of Thai, have many many girls go watch.

…! ? Makes me really wonder if the many people that I see in cinemas watching movies are going for the story, or just watching Brad Pitt in motion. Bet they don’t understand the movies at all.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Downtown Thai Roads

Thai roads are a nightmare for foreigners. It is very common for us to be driving in the wrong direction. Road direction changes according to time of day, bus lanes are opened to traffic from X to Y time, some lanes changes direction during period X, can’t turn left or right into soi from X to Y time, traffic to turn right at cross junction blocked, U-turn blocked, lane blocked, road blocked and Z marks the spot where you hand a fine to the police. There are many makeshift signs put up along the roads, especially in downtown areas. I was on the left most lane one morning behind a bus when I saw a wooden sign with scribbling at the lane’s edge in middle of road. Traffic was a standstill and there came the brown police, always in his fake Ray Ban shades. He looked at me and pointed across the sign. About 15 seconds passed without any brain activity within my skull. Then he showed his big eyeballs and pointed across the sign from left to right at almost 10 swipes per second with his index finger. His eyes grew very very big when I realized I must be doing something wrong and therefore decided to edge out onto the next lane. It is assumed by all traffic authorities, that all foreigners can read Thai.

Bus lane… one other day, again these signs are in Thai writings. So the police stopped me at the junction and the first thing I did was put my hands together and said in as lousy a Thai as I could “sarrrr wat deee cup”. He looked through my documents and then started shooting away that I can speak Thai because I have a Thai license. I tried as best I could not to break character and smile at him holding my “I England Only” stand. For your info… the Thai driving test can be conducted in English as an option for foreigners. Unlike Singapore’s Traffic Police Force which lives by the rules of “Ignorance is not an Excuse” or “I didn’t get laid yesterday nite and so I will take it out on you” plus “I got a big butt plug forcefully shoved up my arse now so don’t mess with me” or “ants are chewing my testis so don’t fu*k with me”, he was a kind policeman and smiling as he explained to me as best as he could about bus lanes rules. Coz… I had to pay for the lesson… but I paid the fine happily and he even gave me proper directions to my destination Hotel.

I now learned that certain bus lanes downtown can be used by cars only during 6pm to 6am. I have however, still not learned how to identify these bus lanes.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

The Black Car II

Ok…. Definitely… some Thais are really fascinated with picking up dead scantly dressed women. This sticker inset, is all over the place as well. I believe it to be modified from the “volunteer sticker” as shown in the big picture. I think its nuts.

Anyways.. people die all the time here for weird reasons unheard of in Singapore. Big storm, bill board falls, people smashed. Then there was the recent case of a young girl who accidentally reversed her car into the pond at some parking lot. She drowned because door cannot open. And of course, people are still getting blown up every week in the south near Malaysia. There was this touching story of a police who accidentally shot a kidnapped girl and decided that he should become a monk. Then motorcycle accidents all over as usual because the irresponsible rides on opposite directions, rides three without helmets, accelerate on full speed like in movies zig zagging across traffic when a police tries to stop them. And I encountered a hit and run by one of these punksters out the front my office on a recent night. Rode on opposite direction with girlfriend as pillion, banged into my front as I braked hard not to run him over. Instead of stopping, he sped away fast and furious squeaking at high RPMs, in oncoming traffic for fear that I asked him to pay for the damage. Life is cheap for him, no helmets no responsibilities for the pillion.

Dear all, if you ever encounter a rider with no helmets riding into the path of your car and he happens to crash into you, I encourage you to run him over and forget the brakes, then reverse and run him over again. You will be doing him a favor making him reborn as a better person. And after that, hang a dolly behind your car.

Dolly behind Car
The Black Car

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Thais Love the Plastic Surgeon

Often on later night TV, you will get to see talk shows where they invite some already famous stars and talk about everything. And definitely some when in the program, photographs of before-famous will be flashed on the screen. You realized most of the time something is different, especially the breast size and the skin tone.

Thai people are very ok getting cut up and modified. One of gig’s SYT (sweet young things) friends had her ears redone, pulled back. That’s because she has (had) ears that, if capable of flapping, she will be airborne.

In hospitals when I visited the doctor for flu, the walls will be a jargon of colorful promotions with prices and pretty pictures. Breast enlargement THB4000 – 7000, double eyelids THB600, vagina modification / tightening / make like virgin / etc etc etc… about THB3000. They even have finger extension for THB 2400 and if they can do that to fingers… of course they can do that to your precious. Penis implant… THB150!!!! SGD$ 6 to make it what… big and fat? Endless possibilities under the surgeon’s knife, can I have vagina for a face thus reviving into reality the legendry Hokkien chee-bye-bin? Incredible prices… kind scary cheap to believe.

SYT friend of gig accidentally pushed her ear a little hard. Now she has one flappable ear. She has to redo the surgery.

Genetically, some people here have nostrils that can fit their thumbs in comfortably to dig the nose shit out. Noses are rather flat and holes are not like us Singaporeans, angled down. They have the base of their nose slanted up at steeper angle so riding on motorbikes means forced air induction of the normally aspirated lungs. My Chinese Thai friend told me this applies only to some of the darker native Thais from certain regions where their jaw bones are generally broader too. Imagine.. brown version of Spongebob Squarepants. So they will go surgery for their jaws and work on the nose. The general population here have a darker skin tone too. Thus many of them spend a lot of money going to spas to make themselves fair. And as for the fairer Chinese here, it’s popular to work on their boobs (most Chinese women have cute tiny pieces of meat on chest we called breast).

The idea of getting cut up and re-plastered like clay model eeks me. Why don’t they start from young? I have heard that the skulls of new born baby is soft like clay… so that means bones are soft I presume. So why not work the head of the new born like a plasticine and you can get that smaller jaw line. Pull the chin for that masculine look. Knock in the eyes with the base of your palm for deeper eye sockets like the Caucasian. Thumbs and fingers on the forehead to get Klingon from Start Trek looks, or enlarge the forehead to look like Chinese deities? Want your kid to be tall then pull the legs with some mild strength… or pull the precious so he will have 30 inch dick when reach adolescent. For identical twins, punch holes on their scalps with your fingers, one indent – Baby 1, two indents – Baby 2. But never have three indents or they become blowing ball.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Weird Car on Thai Roads

I swear to Buddha that if I had wind down my window and shout at that thing, it would jump off the flyover and explode into a fireball.

Cars like theses are invented for one purpose, to reduce the traffic congestion on roads by occupying less space. So many political figures in Thailand had promised to curb the traffic, pollution and energy problems of the country and none have done so in reality. Why haven’t they thought of heavy subsidies or mass orders for economic of scales reasons on such easily frightened cars and then increase the tax on fuel guzzling big vehicles by an unreasonable amount (just like Singapore’s COE)? All talk and do nothing, traffic jam = burning fuel for zero work done = energy waste = pollution.

Welcome to Bangkok, land of a thousand smiles, smiling in our cars because the monoxide had rendered our brains spastic, watch for that uncontrolled twitching side of our lips.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Dolly behind Car

Lately, there has been a trend that every driver seems to be picking up. Hanging cute soft toys below the rear of cars and have it exposed to every possible environmental hazard, killing them eventually at maybe 80 mile per hour on the highway. At first, it seems hanging the cuddly toys boost performance of your car. The bigger the better. Hello Kitty + 10hp. Ultraman +15hp, Superman + 20hp, Garfield +50hp no need turbo and can beat WRX. You can see them on Jazz, Taxi Vios, pickups of all makes and others. The more you hang, the better. So again, I asked the Thais…… Why?

It all started when some driver long ago ran into a pedestrian and killed him. The Thais believe the ghost will then linger in the car. So the killer driver then hung a human like figurine behind the car in the hope that the ghost will move into it instead of staying around within the cabin. I guess it will be even better when the toy is accidentally severed from the car, taking along the ghost within it, only to be run over by a 10 wheeler behind and letting out a soft but long “chow chee byeeeeeeeeeee…..” in the process. So, kill one pedestrian, hang one toy. Kill two, hang two. Kill fifty, fill up your boot with a shit load of soft toys. Having them lingering outside the car is better then having them in. Apparitions of dead materializing at the point of climax when you are doing it with your gig can result in an irreversible condition known as SPSCC (severe permanent standing cock cramp).

Anyways, the real purpose of having toys behind cars has now been lost and it became a fashion statement instead these days. This is monkey see monkey do without knowledge of basis. Now a superstitious group of Thais believe that following this trend may result in uninvited tenants of your cuddly toy, such as when you drive over the spot where the 10 wheeler ran over the detached toy of the car up front, still in the midst of softly screaming the last word “byeeeeeeeeeeeeeee….”.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Blogger turned Stupid

With so much intelligence in detecting which country I logged in from or whatever, Blogger has gone Thai on me. There seems to be no way I can turn it back to English. There is not any English word to indicate “Change Language Here” on my dashboard. Blogger intelligence is thus stupid and it is making it very difficult for me to trial and click all over the stupid site just to publish my blog.