Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Chaophraya Cruise

Finally, I was on board the infamous river cruise so well talked about by the tourist. Cost about SGD$32.00 per pax. We got it at SGD$24.00 during a recent travel fair. To get your tickets, normally would be to call up the hotels along the river side where these cruises are offered. And they range many. From the really expensive ones offered by Shangri-la to the really “low-so” ones by what looks like above average “hotel-fun-fun”. That’s the one I went… “cruise-fun-fun” by the “hotel-fun-fun”. The food was terrible.

Steak was cold, overcooked and somehow powdery. None of that BBQ charred fatty bits giving that unique taste to a good steak, more evidence you can never find good western steaks here in Thailand.

The Thai spread was limited and even the Thais complained it was worst then eating from the lousy street side stalls set up by the unlicensed hawkers. It was terrible. They made even the simplest BBQ river prawns taste bad. They were small and tasted like they had died three months ago but kept in the freezer.

DIY coffee tasted like it had baby cockroaches brewed with definitely not Arabica.

Chunks of cheap looking ice blocks, otherwise known as ice-creams.

The deco of decades old, like that of an old 70’s dining hall. They had a live band and the only things worth looking at were the dancers. The uncles drunk went up to them and they all danced together. Must give tips. Reminds me of bad karaoke clubs in the distance provinces.

And I had to be in the worst place to die if the ship hit a barge, I had to do the big business in their confined toilet, surprisingly, I have to give credit to this. The toilet was clean.

Well, I guess the objective was not to enjoy the bad 15 minutes of buffet accompanied by Pepsi overdosed with too much carbonated water losing its taste. We spent the next 2 hours or so up on the deck enjoying the breeze. And we scrutinized the couples so many, the old men with their young karaoke girls on their Sundays off.

Moral of story. Pay peanuts get monkey. Go for the expensive cruise if I have to. Next time.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Thai Aerobics

The birds chirp away, the morning breeze blowing gently. A bunch of ah gongs and ah mahs in the vacant lot below the block going…. “fuuuuuuuuuuu siiiiiiiiiiiiiii fuuuuuuuuuuu siiiiiiiiiiiiiii”. Typical Tai Chi exercise in Singapore. If you stare long enough, you may just witness one or two of them dropping dead as their hearts stop. And what do we have in Thailand. Its evening about 5pm. Middle age aunties dancing to techno music anywhere there is vacant land where a stage can be set up. The feminine man aerobics instructor dancing vigorously to the beats, the aunties all hoping they had brought better sports bras.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

The Pet Clinic

Surprisingly, if you can read Thai, there are so many vets you can find in Thailand just driving around compared to the number of them in Singapore. Clinics and vets share the same common green gross sign so it can be quite a challenge to find one if you don’t read the language of smiles. If you have a dog or a cat (common pets) then every what looks like a vet will be able to treat them. If you have exotic pets, such as lizards, birds or the weird rabbit I own, then going to find a vet becomes an adventure. The wordings out front the vet states what animals they treat, the brain of mine was however unable to make out what is written. Your beloved pet may accidentally undergo a sex change operation, the abundance of gender change clinics here, the same green cross and words in Thai I don’t understand.

Thais are never on time. So fitting a plan to the vet in your tight working schedule will definitely be blown apart. So take half a day off. He came an hour late, and stared at rabbit thinking it was a small dog. I doubt the certificate hanging on the wall. I don’t read Thai. It could have been qualification for balls massage issued by some Temple of Kamasutra. He grappled with my rabbit and of course rabbit panicked. My rabbit was lovely, it ran towards my belly jutting over the low table top. Rabbit attempted to scale my body but sick without energy he stood and cling. I embraced my rabbit to soothe his panic, still he stood and grip on my tummy.

One rectal thermometer probe, two jabs and saline or whatever intravenous drip of a minute it took. Rabbit had a fever the doctor said. 3 days of visiting and now my rabbit is back to almost normal but developed a strange appetite rejecting the pellets he so liked. I will have to change his diet. The visit didn’t cost much, about SGD$14 per trip. You can get the doc’s number, call him for a house visit if in emergency. Vets for dogs and cats are easy to locate. Vets for rabbits and exotic pets are not. My vet is not a rabbit specialist. The medication I took home labeled it’s for dogs.

Dear vet, my rabbit is not a small dog.