Saturday, April 28, 2007

Thailand Killed My Party Animal

Its Saturday night. Normally a weekend in Singapore would be pub until we render the word “sober” meaningless. Why I stayed at home now blogging? What happened to the party creature in me? It’s been killed by Thai pubs. I no longer go pubbing anymore. Gig is out with friends on her once in a really blue moon party escapade. Normally I will jump at any chance to do so. But not now… nor will I party ever anymore.

Imagine even the renowned Ministry of Sound can go bust in Thailand. That can only mean one thing. Thai people do not now true music, the real stuffs that you hear in real pubs. Instead pubs here are more or less a “poser place”. The music is always hip-hop, in fact, only hip-hop, the blackman bassy rap type and the cover of old songs mixed to a fast techno tune (what is known as ah-lian music in Singapore). And there will always be that darn live band interrupting 3 times a night in colossal contrast to the hi-fidelity of electronic tune.

I want to ingest concoctions of deathly treat opposing the state of consciousness and let my mind immerse in the trippy-rhythm. I want to see the kaleidoscope of colored rays and strobes made even more untamed by my altered state infused with that good electronic beat both chaotic and yet orderly, an urge to move the body and soul and be lost in the sea of good old intoxicated close friends. I can no longer find that. Not in Thailand.

What happened to Darude, ATB, Paul Van Dyk, Fatboy Slim, Crystal Method and that like of music?? None! NONE in THAILAND! NON-EXISTENT. I declare... Thai population does not have the taste for the good kind of music. Pubbing in Thailand, for poser-losers.

(My article does not applies to all pubs in Thailand, but I believe covers the majority 99.99%. There must be one or two good ones around. Just that I don’t know where they are. Shitty.)

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

i Holiday Koh Racha 2007

A holiday too wonderful, too expensive but worth every Baht. Pay peanuts get monkey, but pay a lot, get rewards. Having a holiday now is different from when we were just tourist. I have picked up the language and so that makes holidaying in Thailand an even more pleasant experience.

Since the people think I am Thai now, when walking into shops, they will tell me to look for a covertly located price tag on their products, instead of the one smack big in the middle for foreigners. When eating out on the island, the bill is normally 50% less then that printed in the menu. But not all is good as a chameleon. I have experienced Thai looking down on Thais. I am now sometimes seen as the disfavored opposite to a tourist packed full of money in their bellies, and thus got the “transparent treatment”.

The language had enabled me to chat with the locals, the staffs and thus really dig into the cultural, and the life of the people. The bartender was bored and chatting to me was a delight for him, and so I was delighted too when I got my free Rainbow drinks as he spoke of life on the island, the Tsunami and everything else. The dead bodies of ang-mohs were like beached whales from the sea. Heavy and bloated, it took him and three other people to carry the carcasses. Back on Phuket right after the Tsunami, there were numerous looting by illegal Myanmar workers. Security guards had to work from the first day of the disaster, stationed alone in the front of their destroyed watch. In the first few nights, no one dared venture out in fear of running into translucent apparitions of the red haired tourist moon-tanning on the beach. The guards had set up altars full of Buddhas beside the lone chair where they sat, and patrolling was out of the question. Be next to the Buddha.

The beach used to be pristine white sand. But the Tsunami came in and wipe them out. The sand is gone. The rocks exposed. And what is worst is that the dead corals now wash onto the beach by the millions. Paradise is lost but nature should grind them into perfection as before, in many centuries to come.

The fishes are big and fat unlike the other islands. They are bigger then both my hands put together. They followed me in swarm as I swam and nibbled on my toes whenever I am motionless. I asked the locals why. They said I am fair and that the fish thinks I am a very big piece of white bread. Normally the locals feed the fishes everyday with leftover pastry. That keeps them coming. But I think otherwise. I think the fishes are used to eating humans from the Tsunami of 2004.

The workers on the island lived a “jailed life” they complained. After dark and after shifts, they sometimes would fish off the rocks for squid. Squid of half a kilo is common and they would gut it and BBQ over an open fire. The meat is sweet.

The island used to be farmland, but the locals now realized picking coconuts for the tourist makes so much more money. The rice farms are now reminisces of the old island life, just pools of unattended weeds and mud that the buffalos now stroll in. The laborers that took over the animals are now but fuel guzzling red mechanical tractors hauling construction materials of civilization. The islanders turned to setting up local eating joints and bars for the 300 odd employees of the resort. Some went to work for the resort. This is a small island where Thai knew every Thai.

The Thais on holiday were lawyers and university lecturers. People considered within the higher echelons of Thai society, people who could afford the stay. My cover was blown when they use very difficult Thai words and I stared blank and give the Thailand smile back at them. They guessed I was from the South, a Korean, a Japanese, from Hong Kong but never a Singaporean who has been here for only three years and could speak and behave like them.

The MD called me and we had drinks in the resort. He is an old hero bird of 18 years in Thailand, and yes, from Singapore. I lookup to him as the live I will be in a decade into the future. A seasoned experienced man of packed Sing-Thai culture, a robust, dynamic diversified and an excellent gentleman. We chatted, we partied. I died having not drank like in Newsroom Bar of MS back home for 3 years.

The limo driver was happy, and when he found I was a Singaporean jokingly said to me that Singaporeans are very good people. The resort owner is Singaporean, is very kind. Buys Benz for the drivers to drive in. He escaped the Tsunami for he was in his very fast and powerful Benz. He thinks Singaporeans are very fond of “mee-sua” and I guess his boss is crazy about that. The driver offered to bring me to eat the light noodle but I apologetically replied I prefer Thai food now.

The ang-mohs baked in the sun. The ang-mohs eat in the resort. The ang-moh walks tall and tan among the shortness of the yellow to dark skinned locals going about their duty. The chameleon walks both paths and lives the life of the people. The holiday experience is thus twice rewarding. I am Back to Bangkok’s chaotic work for now. But hey… I am still living my holiday.

Look under Koh Racha April 2007 here for photos.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Koh Racha Island

Continued from The SGD400 per nite Trip...

The ride.

The room.

The shower.

The Thai mistake as usual.

The Do Not Disturb sign. Put the frog dolly in. Take it out means the room can be cleaned.

The pool. This is one of the two swimming pools.

The sunset.

The sleep.

The morning beach.

The local kid.

The afternoon pool. A pool among the villas.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

The SGD400 per nite Trip

The flight.

The plane.

The limo.

The wait for private boat to island. Free internet now as you can see that I uploaded this blog.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Songkran 2007

This is my 3rd Songkran here. For Bangkok, Songkran festival is declared from the 13th to 16th April. As usual, there will be loud E-San (north east) music on all the little streets. Everyone will be drunk and dancing, even in the middle of the road stopping traffic. This year, I learned something new. Normally during this festival, Thai people will pay their respects to the elders. The elders will reach their hands out, forming a bowl like structure with both palms faced up. The young will pour water over them, and good wishes shall be exchanged. Of course, you can opt to hose the grandmother over with the fire hydrant until her bra snap and tehteh (breast) goes behind but that won’t be very respectful.

There will be many more Songkrans to come. There will be many more for me to be immersed in. I am in my room typing this away. As the music played on out there, as I listen to the high pitched strumming of E-San, I am living the festival, I am living my holiday, I am living my dream.

Street outside my apartment.

Even the security guards was not forgiven. He was out on the main road looking for taxis to be called into the apartment. No one dared come to the main street for taxi.

Mobile water spraying unit.

Cones put out to prevent people from killing themselves under influence of alcohol. Party animals standby beside the streets, lurching out without warning on cars and motorcyclist.

Mobile water spraying unit.

Biking teenage gangs, girls were wet - see through shirts, that was the part I love most about Songkran.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Thai Seaweed

When women wears her bikini, especially if it is white, and her inverted triangular portion reveals translucently her hair growth, it is referred to as seaweed by the Thais. How very interesting.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

To be a Thai Monk

I have attended many of these ceremonies. Every once in a while, I will be invited to a lunch or dinner celebration. Sometimes, it is in Bangkok, other I did have to drive gig and her mum a hundred kilometers to a secluded temple in another province. When a man comes of age, his parents will want him to undergo monk-hood. And if he agrees, it is an occasion to be proud of and a celebration will be held. Thais believe that if their son undergoes this stint, he will bring good luck to the family. Often, just before one gets married, if he has not already done the monk-hood thing, his parents will often try to force him to do so. This is because if monk-hood is done after marriage, the superstitious benefits will have to be shared by the wife’s family as well. So better take more now, then to take less after marriage. You can be a monk for any period of time. Over the weekend, a week, 3 months etc. Attending an occasion like this is much like attending a Chinese wedding, or a “mun-yue” (full moon party for baby). You give money or ang-pows.

I don’t think I wanna undergo monk-hood. They are not allowed to wear underwear. Although it may be cooling, I think this condition exposes you to mosquito bites where you don’t want them, especially if you are snoring in the night, saliva drooling, legs wide apart. For a man, monk-hood means 200 over rules to follow. Women in Thailand have their version of nun-hood. Gig does this once a year if time permits. I asked her… so if monks dun wear underwear, what about woman? Of course she gave me that god-gonna-slap-you-in-face-look and explained nuns only have 8 rules to follow. So they can be excused from feeling like a swaying papaya tree in the temples.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

I Just Fired my Technician

A Thai once told me "Do you know why Thailand is the land of smiles? Because when you speak English to us, we don’t understand you, so we just smile back."

How true. Last week, I fired my technician because he keeps vanishing during important work days. I send an SMS to him during his absence. "Don’t need to come to work anymore, I’m sorry."

He replied "You are welcome." .. ?????? WTF.

It’s hard to find a perfect to anything I guess. No one is 100% perfect and we just have to live with their inconvenient flaws. There is still not one good technician/engineer I can find in Thailand. Hate to say this, but most of them are simply lazy and irresponsible. The one I fired was eerily afraid of girlfriend. We work spans of late nights and continuous hours on site without going home. But this guy had his girlfriend come to the site and waited out for him, not just on one occasion. Then they would end up in a big quarrel and he had to leave, tools and in-completed work, everything left for the rest in a disorderly manner. Why so afraid? Why no backbone? My Thai workers told me that it could be because his entire family relied on this girl who drove a new Camry for financial support. How sad to be a man like this. Not just his life, but his family’s life in the hands of a women. But they also told me that’s the way it is here in Thailand. Eat a bowl of soft rice, popular scenario for men of Thailand.

Guess finding the perfect engineer is like finding the perfect girlfriend. A perfect girlfriend should have perfect breast. When she sits for dinner, her boobs must be able to rest on the table. If she cannot attain that feat, she got no breast. If her boobs do land on the table, but extends to midway of the table, they are not breast. Her nipples must be pink and perfect. Not too big, not too small. Small nipples are considered mosquito bites. Any nipple bigger then you can stuff into your nostrils will be considered ugly. .. WTF.. WTF am I talking about.

Ok.. I am stress.

Monday, April 02, 2007

April in Thailand

Mention Thailand to any girl in Singapore and the first thing that comes to mind is cheap branded bras, cheap panties. So cheap you can wear them, then make them table cloth the very next day. Whether you wash them before you do so depends on your level of hygiene and pervertness.

Its April in Thailand. There is a great festival now and I am not talking about Songkran (water festival). Its – cheap bras and panties on sale festival. During the first week of April every year, a certain part of Bangkok will have nightly bazaar. Seems only the locals know it so the foreigners don’t get the good deals. The roads will be cordoned, no access to cars and people comes like invading red army ants. Here you can find extremely cheap garments, things from factories overruns, huge discounts on branded outfits, etc. Gig and the horde of SYT (sweet young things) were yakking about it. I’ve never been there before, I hated crowds. Gig will go and buy undergarments by the kilos. What’s with girls? They have so many bras and panties and it never seems enough. We guys wear our underwear till they have some ventilation holes for our balls before we considered them expired. During work, we guys can wear one single underwear for few days at a go till flies or some unknown insects gather round your crotch if you stand still. If underwear does not look like its decaying, we wear them. We are loyal to our underwear but girls discard them like they are tissue paper.

I, NRIC blab laaa bla, pledge my diligence to my underwear, from the day I buy it, shall love and care for it, wear it, wash it, swap sides and wear it, till it perforate with holes, and still wear it, until it can no longer hold my balls, before I throw it away.