Tuesday, June 17, 2008

We will we will Rock You!

That’s how you rock your cradle of babies over here. Simple, dusty, open to mosquitoes, rats and geckos. Rock your baby to sleep, beware the Python that sleeps nearby. If the Python don’t get your baby, baby may strangle in entangle, the wide gaps of the cradle.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Recess Time

Say, are you in your mid 30’s, do you remember your childhood Primary school days? What do we do during recess time and after school? We did what the Thais do now. Gone are the days where in Singapore we rode our BMX into the forest to catch crabs. Gone are the days when we played catching and such. I am not sure if children still play go-li. I got a feeling the children of Singapore spend their play time in Vice City of Grand Theft Auto. Or they did be stuck to the LCD in cyber world. There’s no more nature in Singapore, life is but full of electronics. Look at the Thai children, they do what we did back then.

Friday, June 13, 2008

People can Die from Food Allergy in Thailand

Singaporeans. Complain, complain and complain. Everyday nothing to do but complain. Go holiday, everything also complain. Come Thailand, complain, complain about service, food and Thai people stupid. Complain, complain I hear so many.

To me, theses complaining I take it as caused by the short patience of our Singapore attitude. I have now adjusted my attitude and think that, hey, it is not Thailand that is stupid, it is us Singaporeans that are just complaining too much, it is our own fussiness that is the fault. It should be the Thais that should be complaining about us Singaporeans speaking too loud and with our bad attitude in their land. Until yesterday….

13 Coins, a very successful chain of family orientated restaurant with affordable Thai and Western huge servings of delicacies catered for the average to middle income group. Who serves? The average drop out or that kid from the slump. That Dek Skoi or Dek Vann (teenagers on screaming scoters), or maybe with some intelligence, the student that works part time. Who manages? Naturally, if the crew managers are educated, they would not be working in 13 Coins serving.

I had my fair share of fun making fun of Muslims, but yesterday a Muslim was my friend. Muslims don’t eat pork. Muslims are known as Kun Islam here in Thailand. It is common sense that Kun Islam don’t eat pork and we all respect that just as how they respect Buddhist don’t eat beef. I specifically mentioned to the boy taking my order about that. I specifically told him no Pig please in all the dishes I ordered and to inform the kitchen. I spoke in Thai, it was very clear my instructions.

Kun Islam and me ate through dinner. Three quarters of the way through, he pulled a piece of meat from the Bake Prawn Vermicelli. Allah shit… we both panicked and asked for the waiter to attention.

“Whats this?” I asked. Waiter kept still.
Then manager comes along seeing our commotion.
“Whats this??!!!” I repeated.
“Bacon.” The manager happily answered smiling.
I tell you that after my screaming, both of them no more smile.
They gave me another Bake Prawn Vermicelli free of charge plus simple “Sorry”. We did not touch that.

So, if you are one of those that are allergic to certain food. Don’t trust nobody in Thailand. The food service industry is full of stupid uneducated people, proven!!!. To them, BACON or HAM could be interpreted as meat from another imaginary exotic animal but not that of a pink fat PIG. That’s how simple minded they are, word for word they understand. Dismantle your food and scrutinized every piece of suspicious object. You may die developing a reaction and add to statistics – People Dying from Food Allergy in Thailand.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Words of Wisdom

From an old wise Singaporean whom I recently met in Bangkok (an no, he is not Taxi driver):
In Singapore, you have freedom of speech. But after you speak…. No more freedom.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

I Keep Water

No, they are not giant urns where the centuries of family ashes are poured in and accumulated. Neither are they strange looking garbage bins. Of course it is impossible to balance yourself squatting on one of these so, they are not the open air nature toilets.

Kind of reminds me of the show Dark Water, could be a dead Jap girl in each of them. These huge concrete jugs are use to collect rainwater for the everyday use, from cleaning, bathing to washing the dishes. I am not sure if they cook and drink the rainwater but I hope they do not. Of course they don’t belong in the metropolitan though you do get to see them once a while among the older households within the city area, reminiscence of the past once was. However, they can be found in abundance among the rurals, where we thought of the past still lives.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Death by Balls

This news had been circulating lately. The Thais told me it was on their newspapers (I don’t know if to believe). Broken hearted, the male who got ditched decided to hang himself, by the balls. He succeeded and was found dead.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Singapore Songs

Guys…. Check this out. Found an island of dead floating ants in my leftover Cola glass in the morning.

Singapura… oh Singapura, sunny island, set in the sea.
Singapura… oh Singapura, Pretty flowers bloom for you an me….

Singapore, an island of economy. Not much of natural resources and granite had all been mined. Singapore, we live each day chasing for money for that’s what rolls the economy. That’s the only thing we got, people and brains. Envied by thy neighbors this country so rich and clean. And yet as an ant in the millions we each are, work till death do us apart. That’s what we are, like the floating island of dead ants. We work we can’t relax. We don’t join in the rat race and we will become obsolete. We have no farms we can’t be leading the simple life. We max out our life just to be a passage for the island’s cash flow.

This is my country (the island of ants), this is my flag
This is my future (they are all dead eventually working for their colony), this is my life (a bloody ant)
This is my family (all the dead ants), these are my friends (also… all the dead ants)
We are Singapore, Singaporeans

Friday, June 06, 2008

Flood so Many, Bangkok no Money?

Normally after a sudden heavy downpour, we get floods, floods, accidents, dead rats floating and more floods. The drainage system here in Bangkok ain’t that great. Couple that to the urban myth that Bangkok is sinking and the global warming induced high sea level, channeling the waters out of this crowded metropolitan could be a real challenge.

Floodgates are everywhere for control, but I guess the operators are usually drunk somewhere near their post. We see some water pumps on the roads to aid the channeling of the water, but I guess most of them don’t work when needed. Financial budgeting may not have touch down to this ground level for the much needed civic maintenance, hush-hush filtration effect of the higher echelons. One soi (street) as your only route in and out of your accommodation is common, so if it floods you are stuck. That’s the way of the Bangkok life, guess we need to have a rubber dinghy for standby when flood.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Cockles Farm

Ever wonder when flying into Thailand and you look out the window, the shorelines of Bangkok are streaky lines breaking into the dirty green sea, what they are? Well, this area is Samut Prakan, where the river empties into the Gulf of Thailand. These lines breaking perpendicular to the gulf are actually gravel roads and bunds that encircle farms of sea creatures.

These are the crab farms, fish farms, cockles and other shellfish farms, I visited one of them. Roads leading here are gravel, so when it rains there did be a high possibility that you will turn into a rally driver drifting sideways smashing into the pond of a million crustacean forming the livelihood of the simple people. When it rains, especially during a high sea tide, the proper roads leading into these areas could well be flooded so better to drive your 4WD if you got one.

The farmers live off the land (ok the water). They go into the brackish fields and feel for the cockles. They net in their fish or they massively drain the entire farm during harvest time to pick their “fruits” for the local wholesalers.

As the men work the waters, the women waited the side. The seafood is freshly eaten, by steaming, by cooking, by frying with the smell so fragrant. But the farmers will never openly BBQ their catch on the premise, for they believe it to be burning their live stock, their own money. A superstitious belief that they all strictly adhere to for the fear that their stock will diminish, as the crustacean scream on the hot coal and be heard mysteriously by their herd in the water.

And what they do for fun, they swim in the irrigation canals. The current could be strong, but their bodies could counter the streaming waters. And to the pole they held themselves against, and chatted and laughed as I wonder. I wonder the saying Thais cannot swim, and yet I saw them waddle.

Oh strange Thailand, I discover you everyday, I sat smoking, the long boat passes.