Monday, March 31, 2008

Gecko Gecko

Yet another amazing creature that shot out behind of the curtain when we were at work. Now I learned their nest is normally somewhere nearby and that its an egg stuck on the wall somehow.

Hash Brown of Thailand

Home delivered from MacDonald’s hash brown with a shred of glass. Complained to MacDonald’s, one more hash brown delivered free without glass. Just how lightly they take things around here in Thailand.

So how, get caught Drunk Driving in Bangkok?

What do Thai people do the first thing they get salary at the end of month? Drink dance drunk. It doesn’t matter if this bash will cost them a quarter of their salary, they just want to live life to their fullest, worry later. Typical of the average employee, three of them decided its time for a drink and took the company car out for a Friday night bash. Maybe they will get lucky and have a wild bang-bang session with some sweet teenage girls, which I guarantee is always on their mind.

Intoxicated at 2am, they returned. From the third left lane of an eight lane road, they made an illegal u-turn cutting across the fourth lane onto the opposite in the quiet no traffic night. Then the sound of shattering glass, the loud metallic crush of metal followed by the silhouette of a rider fist bumping onto the roof of the car and flipping onwards onto the tarmac followed. Yahoo.

Here is what then transcript according to the employee…..

Police to Employee: You drunk?
Employee: Yes.
Police to Rider: Did you drink?
Rider: Yes, just a few glasses.
Police to Rider: Why are you on the right most lane of this road? Motorcycles are supposed to be on the slow left lane, not the right most!!
Rider: It is difficult for me to know which lane I am at. I don’t know where is the left lane and can’t make it out.

I guess, as long as there is nobody killed, no one seriously injured, no reporters, cases like these are treated locally and no one gets arrested for drunk driving. What then followed I will not document, but all I can say is that, there were no fines issued and they got their driving license back on the spot. I love Thailand.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Thai Cashew Nut

I came from the city, Singapore. Nature means waking up in the morning looking out the window to see the occasional malnutrition brown squirrel making its way across the overhead cables, tripping and falling and being run over by the double deck SBS bus on her fist morning run. But wait…. there are overhead cables in Singapore no more, they have all gone underground and so have the squirrels.

I woke to the calling of only birds and the light sea breeze caressing. The air fresh with a slight tingle of the sea. I saw two large furry squirrels among the tress where they are suppose to be, in nature. Many orange jumbu like fruits scattered underneath, I took a closer look. This is where cashew nuts come from, in the hard covered brown husk of that growth top of the fruit. I see, I see now. Cashew nuts are not grown in Tong Gardens, they grow on trees.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Little Gems Beyond Pattaya

The nearest beach party found on the mainland of this kingdom is about 150km away, south west and is well known. Agogo nudes performing strange tricks, famous Walking Street, nice expensive resorts, party till dawn, drink till drop – Pattaya, the commercial seaside town where thousands of tourist flock to per month.

I hate Pattaya waters however and am more of a guy in search of the crystalline. Just about 30km further south, you will be greeted by the town of Sattahip. The entire area is military run, so expect to see scores of barracks, military structures and entrances with always the sentries on guard. It’s a pity not to know Thai and not realizing that these encampments are actually opened to the public. And in there, you will find scattered patches of paradise.

Though the beachscape is not a pristine white, the inviting clarity of the water is enough to blow you away. It is surprising that the water could be so different just next door to Pattaya, which is murky. There is an island opposite where you can reach by a boat ride. They have bottom glass boats there to view the corals. The sand there is powder and white.

Don’t expect to find those luxurious expensive and exotic treatments of Pompeii here, but enjoy only the slightly overpriced simple food (for a Thai), the hut without air conditioning and of course the basic foot massage on the rental beach chairs. You can enjoy sail boating, canoeing, the banana boat and I saw parasailing.

Drive there with a Thai friend and he will be able to bring you to most of these nice short shorelines after speaking to the locals and finding out where best to go. Most of these gems are hidden and located deep within the military compound. It’s worth it and it’s not too far from Pattaya if you are already there.

I was there for work, but every morning I woke early to have breakfast on a different beach.

Breakdown on Motorway

What does a foreigner do in Thailand if his car explodes in the middle of motor way?

2 options.

1. Call all the Thai friends you have in your mobile. Eventually one will help.
2. Wait for the occasional yellow tow trucks that belong to the Motorway department. It was 2 hours before I saw one. They will stop by, asked a couple of questions then perform on the spot repairs if necessary. If your car needs to be towed, it cost THB$3,500.

I took the first option and friend arranged everything, from tow truck to destination workshop. And remember to pray that it does not rain. Attack anyone you see resembling a medicine woman attempting to rain dance in the immediate vicinity.

What to have when you own an old car in Thailand?

Always have a fire extinguisher on board. Thai mechanics are very crappy with their workmanship, especially electrical. My air-conditioner piping leaked and the system lost all its gas. Gas leakage is indicated by your entire car engulf in noxious white fumes. The compressor should have cut-off as it is a standard safety feature to not overheat the compressor when no gas is circulating. However, since Thai mechanics lacks the basic discipline and know how, they had previously hardwired many of my air-conditioning components. The compressor did not cut-off and overheated as a result, and BURNS! This is indicated by strange burning metal smell and when you slow the car, you see smoke coming out under the car. Open your hood and you could see small flickers of flames in or around the compressor. Put out fire immediately with extinguisher.

What happens after you tow the car to the Thai workshop?

Any job that requires major removal and re-fitting of engine or console will result in your car being wired up in the most imaginable wrong way ever. Car will spew black smoke with no power and engine constantly dying. Brakes normally does not work in such cases so drive dead slow. Since Thai mechanics sucks and lacks discipline, they will deny they had done anything wrong and had not messed with the electrics, since it is only the compressor that they had changed. Expect the workshop to refer you to another, and another and even offer to drive your car to the next shop they know. Drive car back to original shop and prepare your own tools. Check all wiring on the ECU. You will see that they have wired it up wrongly. Correct wiring by yourself and have the mechanics staring at you in awe after your turn on the ignition and the engine runs smooth without a glitch.

Thailand, land of smiles, but could unfortunately also be land lack of basic knowledge for most.

Monday, March 03, 2008

How fresh is Thai Milk?

Have a cow next to where you sell milk. This was taken at one of the shops in Farm Chokchai selling milk. They have a live cow producing the milk.

Just how friendly is Thai for Disabled?

Picture above answers your question.

My one better then Yours

Chatukam craze. It as popular as hell last year with many people queuing up at temples forever just to get one. Now it seems Chatukam has gone commercial. Why are people so crazy about it? Thais say wearing one will have you blessed with invisible God armor. No accidents will kill you, no knife can hurt you and no bullets can hit you.

There was a story of two Thais challenging each other on whose Chatukam was better. First guy said to the other, you shoot me with your gun first then I shoot you. First guy never lived to return fire. News showed case the gullibility of some people in Thailand

Hamster Balls

Stumbled on this in front of Central World.

Wonder what it would be like to be in one and to release a slow hot silent fart, then light up a cigarette in there and explode. Hamster balls for humans. What would they think of next?