Thursday, August 31, 2006

Bangkok Life August 06

August is always my favourite month, partly because it’s my birthday, but mainly it always used to be holiday month.

In my former life, trips to Spain, Turkey and Greece were always the highlights of the year. Now all of that holds very little significance. I just enjoy life everyday. Being forty this month was a lot easier as I’m in Thailand, none of my so called mates taking the piss out of me because I’m forty.

My life now is so much quieter, although I’m sure that will change at the end of September when small Parker turns up. Thanks Mum for sending us a boat load of baby clothes. Even though I’m busy with my e-business, its not 9 – 5, so I have time to myself, why I didn’t become my own Boss years ago, I don’t know.

We have been told by the Hospital that the baby is more likely to come at the end of September, rather than the middle of October. Can’t wait, neither can Nuch, being pregnant is getting boring,

Like the rest of the world, the political and terrorist situation in Thailand is getting worse. A huge bomb found in Bangkok, daily killings in the south of the country and the political problem getting violent. I’m seriously planning a possible escape route. I will have to include Nuch and the baby, but my favoured destination will be Penang in Malaysia. Close to Thailand, regular flights and easy to get back from. This would be a last resort, but one a lot of ex-pats are looking at.

The weather in august should be fairly simple to forecast in Thailand. Very hot during the day and the last hour of daylight a heavy downpour, then oppressively hot and humid night. We have hardly seen any rain so far, only the last few days of the month yielding any rain. At the moment it is a cool 28C, which is cold for the time of year.

I hope you all like my blog site, I try to keep it interesting and when in the near future we get a land line, I’ll try to post every day.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Not the Murderer

John Mark Karr, Kiddy Fiddler Supremo. Turns out not to be the murderer of six year old Jonbenet Ramsey.

The DNA analysis proved his innocence, so he got a Business Class ticket back to the US, probably a huge newspaper deal and book deal in the offing and notorioty around the world.

What extremes people will go to to get out of a stay at the Bangkok Hilton!!!!!

Monday, August 28, 2006

Military Coup


Earlier in the week a huge car bomb was defused near the Prime Ministers house, had it have gone off, many people would have been killed and the country would have been thrown into turmoil.

The perpetrator was caught and is an Officer in the Army. This isn’t good, basically a military coup was planned, the in’s and out’s of Thai Politics are above me, just seems an argument about who gets the biggest piece of the pie.

What worries me is what will happen to foreigners living in Thailand should there ever be a coup? I would leave for Malaysia, but it’s what I do with Nuch and the soon to be baby? I think its only right to get an exit strategy, just in case!

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Cabbages & Condoms Hotel


I reviewed Cabbages and Condoms Restaurant in an earlier post, it as to be the best Thai restaurant for western people in Bangkok.

They have also recently opened a Hotel in Pattaya. I have too tell you that it is one of the best Hotels that I have stayed in.

It is located in Central Pattaya, a headland that separates North and South Pattaya. It is down a 1km road off the main road and you know as soon as you walk into the complex, you are in for a good time.

The theme is the same as the restaurant, Condom based and charitable work for the working girls of Thailand, It as a Jungle setting and as an eco theme as well.

All the rooms have a sea view and it as its own 300m stretch of beach, which was deserted. The pool overlooks the beach and that as a Jacuzzi at its side.

My room was deluxe, which had too be four star and Kim’s was a bigger room with its own patio.

We didn’t have dinner there; instead we went just outside to “The Elephants Bar”. Run by an English guy who knows how too please is English guests. I have craved fish & Chips now for ages, I ordered fish and mix. What came had to be one of the best fish & chip suppers I’ve ever had. Norwegian Cod, mushy peas, well cooked chips, lashings of salt, vinegar and red sauce. Bloody great. All washed down with several pints of John Smiths.

The resort is so quiet; Kim and I discussed the world for a couple of hours in the afternoon while drinking Vodka tonic in the Jacuzzi. Where was Nuch? I made Nuch go to work and go home by herself.

The buffet breakfast was very good, all the parts needed for an English breakfast including baked beans.

The cost of the all this was 2800bht per room, that is around £40 per night. Not bad when you compare to a £50 stay in a travel Lodge.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

40 Today, can't be!



Still bloody handsome!!!!

God! It’s my 40th birthday today; I can’t believe I’m 40. I’m sure yesterday I was only 25.

Nuch woke me at one minute past midnight to give me her card and her present. She bought me a superb pair of Hush Puppy shoes, feel like slippers.

Thanks to my Mum and sisters for the cards and SMS messages and of course to Phil who phoned me up to wish me all the best.

I’ll be having a quiet day, moving all of Phil’s stuff out of his condo, it’s now rented, and then Nuch and I are going for a quiet meal at a nearby Restaurant.

A perfect, quiet birthday.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Get Tooled Up!


When I say “Get Tooled Up” I don’t mean a quick trip to B & Q to buy a Black & Decker Workmate. No in Thailand buying any manner of weapon is a breeze.

Go to any market and over the counter you’ll be able to buy legally; Flack Knives, extendable batons (Like in Picture) Hunting Knives, Swords, Machete’s and incredibly real replica guns. Under the counter you can buy Strobe and laser lights to blind people, Mace and CS spray and Tazer guns.

Even deeper under the table, firearms are available at around $100USD for an old revolver.

Thailand petty crime and burglaries are similar to the UK; car crime doesn’t come close to the UK standards. However gun crime is second only to South Africa, whilst the foreign visitor doesn’t see much of it, it is encroaching more and more on everyday life.

I asked Nuch about the level of force that can be used to protect your family and home, the reply was simple “Oh, you can shoot them”. Seems better than the UK, were if you shout at a burglar you will be prosecuted for restricting his trade!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Snakes on a Plate


The new film “Snakes on a Plane” is due out any time now. My latest experience of dining in Thailand as to be called “Snakes on a Plate”

Very close to the house, I have noticed a sign for a restaurant. Not thought much about, but I asked Nuch what the sign said. “Snakes” came the reply!

This as you can guess got my attention. It seems that this is what we would refer to as a Game restaurant in the UK, The menu had all the usual Thai stuff, but in a separate part of the menu there was a list of around a dozen specialities. A lot was lost in translation, so I’ll do my best.

“Deer” Venison
“Snake” Self explanatory
“Fish like snake” Eel
“Pig live in Jungle” Wild Boar
“Other fish” Who knows
“Frog” Probably whole one

I wasn’t very brave and went for the Venison, which was very nice. There was no way Nuch was going to eat anything from this part of the menu….

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Murderer Found! Maybe?


This week as seen Thailand in the news again, and not necessarily for the right reasons.

In 1996, Boulder Colorado, six year old JonBenet Ramsey was murdered at her parent’s home; she had been sexually assaulted before death. The murder in its self didn’t attract too much attention, what did, was the fact that JonBenet was a famous juvenile Beauty Queen!

Loads of footage of this pretty girl parading up and down stages, dressed somewhere between a Barbie Doll and a Strip Hooker. It all looked in very bad taste.

The parents battled against the media who were convinced they were guilty; I myself was swayed by the media reporting and knew the Father must have done it.

This week a really creepy dude called John Mark Karr owned up too the murders, this guy who had just got a job teaching 2nd grade kids at an international school in Bangkok confessed to the Police about the murders.

The international media is having a field day, the Thai press have reported on it but that is it. He as said it was an accident and he didn’t mean to kill her.

John Mark Karr has a record of kiddie fiddling in the US and as for several years plied his teaching skills around the world. A lot of holes have begun to appear in his story, including an alibi from his ex-wife!

The story going round the Expat web boards is that he concocted this story too make himself a celebrity and stay out of Thai Jail, A good idea, you are pretty much dead as soon as you enter there.

All this looks bad for Thailand, which 10-15 years ago had a bad problem with child sex. After sterling work from NGO’s, Charities and even the Thai Government, the whole issue is probably no worse than any other country. Unfortunately, even though this sort of crime happened in Thailand, most of the perv’s where from the developed countries that are just sick fucks!

Lets wait and see if the perv Mr. Karr as done the crime? As a punishment he should serve any time in the Bangkok Hilton.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Via Vai


Via Vai on Sukhumvit Soi 8 in Bangkok as got to be the finest all round Italian restaurant in Bangkok.

Nice, spacious surroundings, good food and good menu.

The cappacio roast beef starter or the mixed neat starter is to die for and the calzone with mozzarella and spinach is the perfect main dish.

Obviously the tiramisu as to be had for dessert and to finish off with an aperitif of Lemon cello.

The best part is that the price is very reasonable for the dining experience you are given.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Pay the Bribe


The other day I was driving along, minding my own business. I changed lane very correctly and was just about to proceed, when it happened. A Boy in Brown pulled me over.

This is not uncommon, the Bangkok Police are well known for extorting money out of drivers, I’ve been stopped before for riding my Mountain bike on the road.

What follows is a farce, he tells you what you have done wrong, in my case, I'd changed lanes! Then he begins to write you up a ticket, what was different this time were the cost. I could get a ticket and pay 1000baht or I could pay him 500baht now, usually it is half this amount. Being as I’m driving on a UK license, I didn’t want any problems so I paid the 500baht.

When I told Nuch, she was furious, firstly. None of the money I paid will end up in the Thai Treasury; secondly I should have got the ticket because her Uncle could have sorted it out for 200baht.

At the end of the day I had too pay a bribe, not happy….

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

The Dubliner


The Dubliner as the name suggests is one of around half dozen Irish Bars in Bangkok, located between Sukhumvit Soi 22 & 24.

Good interior, nearly authentic, lots of wood and good pictures up on the wall.

As you would expect the Guinness is first rate, they also serve a couple of English bitters which always go down well.
The food is very good and reasonably priced. The Pub as a good atmosphere and a whole night could easily be spent here.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Rams crush the Pussy Cats


Here are a few excerpts from the match between the mighty Rams and the lowly Pussycats from Hull.

Last year despite being the best team on the pitch, Derby was robbed by some very poor refereeing decisions, and I took a load of shit over it!

This year, we were again the best team, but we deservedly won!

“Derby deserved the game after dominating most of the game”

“They started brightly and went ahead as early as the seventh minute, courtesy of a lovely Matt Oakley finish.”

“On 73 minutes, the Rams were offered a lifeline when Dawson deliberately handled the ball in the area.”

Hull City (Cod Heads) 1 – 2 Derby County (Mighty Rams)

Life doesn’t get sweeter……….

Monday, August 14, 2006

Nana Plaza


Nana Plaza Entertainment Centre is located on Sukhumvit Soi 4 and a better name should be Den of Aniquity.

Probably the grottiest of the three main sex entertainment venues in Bangkok, this place needs an overhaul.

A small entrance gives way to a medium sized court yard with bars on three sides and three stories.

The ground floor as loads of bars and even places to eat, most of the staff has numbers in case you fancy taking them back to the Hotel.

The first floor as more bars, but you get into them through curtains, once inside there is a central bar area where the girls dance, nowadays the girls aren’t naked, again they all have numbers and can be taken out of the bar.

Should you want to take a girl out of the bar, there is a short time rate and a long time rate; you don’t need to use your imagination to know what they mean. You have to pay the bar to take the girl out, this is usually around 500baht (70baht = £1). Also your Hotel will charge you what they call an extra person charge; this is also around 500baht per girl. The rate for short time I’ve heard from 1000-1500 baht and for long time is anywhere from 1500-3000baht.

Angel Witch on the first floor is an excellent club, talk, watch the girls and have a good laugh.

For people from Ashbourne, there are several Ladyboy Bars just for you.

Couldn’t tell you what’s on the second floor, never been. When you visit Bangkok, don’t be prudish, visit Nana Plaza, it’s as much a part of Bangkok as all the other tourist attractions.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Terror


Yet another terror alert in the UK!

This one looks like it had very serious intent, and was thankfully thwarted in time. Hats off to the MET.

I can’t help thinking that since the war on terror began the world as become a less safe to live in, by this very statement the war on terror seems to be going in a negative direction.

There is a huge problem in the south of Thailand, with insurgent Muslims setting bombs off every day and drive by killings of Thai people the norm. Like Northern Ireland it seems to be a conflict of Religion. Muslims in Thailand are referred to as Thai Muslims, not as Thai’s. The weight of the law also seems to be against them.

Whether they have a valid grievance or not, killing 1500 people in two years is not the way to solve the problem

Saturday, August 12, 2006

P' First does America


P’First is Nuch’s 17 year old cousin; her father who is a Policeman in Song Klah is Nuch’s Mum’s Brother.

P’First as been lucky to get on a project for her to go and live with an American family for a year, the main reason being she is Muslim and the US is keen to tell the rest of the world it’s not so bad.

Last week P’First left for the US, she is going to stay with a family in Washington State in North West US. She is in for some major shocks, whilst I can only compare P’First with girls of that age in the UK, I’ve listed below a few differences she will find.

The weather, Washington is going to be cold and bear in mind when the temperature goes below 25C, most Thai’s break out the thermals; she is in for a big shock.

P’First main goal is her education, boys, drinking, drugs, shopping have hardly touched her life, I recently took her to buy some clothes and found out her Mother still buys her clothes.

Food in the US whilst being fantastic for my taste will be a source of a few problems. Getting original Thai food and ingredients will be a problem.

Lastly, the Thai’s are so family orientated, being away from her family is going to be a huge problem, and technically she want speak Thai now for a year.

I hope everything goes well for her, which I’m sure it will, I just hope she remembers she is Thai.

In the piture below, the people are moving round from Nuch, Uncle, Elder Brother, Kuking, Nuch's Mum and her younger Brother.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Del Luvs Chelle


earlier this week my good mate from Hull, Derek. Married his long suffering partner, Michelle.

Nuch and I wish them all the best for the future and hope he as several bottles of ice cold Efes beer for me on their honeymoon.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Bloody Cat


This stupid cat got my attention whilst up in my office, it was yowling like a good un’. Stuck up the tree.

Once I’d got this picture I rushed round and plucked it from the tree, by the time I got back to my desk the bloody thing was back up, but even higher. Sod it! I left the bloody thing there.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Massage Parlour, or Not?


Bangkok as the reputation for being the capital of the world for Massage Parlours. Too cut a long story short, it is!

There are hundred’s of Proper Thai Massage Parlours offering authentic Thai body massage and other spa treatments, these are legit establishments and everyone who visits Thailand should experience a Thai Massage.

There are also hundred’s of “Massage parlours”, you know the one’s I’m talking about, you can get a massage of sorts, but for male clients there are endless amounts of extra’s to be had!!!!

How do you spot the difference?

Actually it’s not that hard. First thing is the area they are located, the closer to the Go-Go bar areas, the more likely it’s an extra’s Parlour, although to confuse things, the one I’ve been to several times for a proper massage is in the heart of one of the red light areas. Secondly, the girls outside a proper massage joint will usually wear the same uniform, not high heels, short skirts and lashings of make up. Thirdly and probably the biggest give away is the price board. Most body massage cost around 350baht, if there is a special body massage on the same board for 1500baht, you’ll get a lot more than you bargained for.

Lastly the extra’s parlours tend to have a lot of neon lights, again not full proof but a good indication.

The one in the picture is an extra’s Massage Parlour, allegedly!

Sunday, August 06, 2006

The Londoner


The Londoner Pub on Sukhumvit Soi 33, in the basement of the UBC building is probably the best English Pub in Bangkok.

It looks the closest to a pub and the food is first rate.

What makes it very special is that is as its own micro brewery on site, you can get a distinctive pint of bitter and a good pint of Pilsner.

They usually have a band playing, the last time I went, they were first class. Playing some more complicated songs than what Thai bands usually attempt and pulling them off. Another good point is the lack of Working Girls, whilst very nice to look at, they can be a pain in the ass, places like the Hard Rock CafĂ© is so full of working girls that you can’t people watch just in case you catch the eye of one of the ever watchful professionals and she comes over to you.
Wednesday night is always packed as it is 2 for 1 drink night….

Friday, August 04, 2006

Angkor Wat


Angkor Wat is the largest religious site in the world, located near Siam reap which is Cambodia’s second city, it is a pretty cool place and should you have three days spare whilst in Bangkok, it is worth going to see.

Built nearly a 100 years ago, the whole complex is huge, there are many temples all around the site, some still not accessible because of land mines.

Other's with the famous Banyon faces are just incredible.

Most of the tours take three days, they take in the floating village, if your not ready for some third world sites and smells dont go on this part of the trip. You can visit a Killing Fields memorium, which is worth the visit, if only to think about all the jokes that were amde up about the cambodians weren't really that funny!

At night there is a good traditional kheomer dance festival for you to visit.


Two draw backs are that it is in Cambodia, you all know how I feel about the place and the only way to get there from Bangkok, is by Bangkok Airways, they charge a fortune for the privilage.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Bangkok Life July 06


July as been the busiest month for me, I don’t seemed to have stopped all month.

Highlights include my business being very busy, just missing out on the best ever! We found what sex the baby will be, which is good, now we can begin to buy stuff we need.

Low points were finding Phil’s Condo with two inches of water in it! A faulty water hose burst, luckily it could not have happened that long ago and I was able to clear away the water, no problem.

This month, several people have told me about the weather in the UK, being hotter than Bangkok. I say “Good”. That’s means its cooler here. The rainy season hasn’t really started yet, only one bad day of rain. The pictures below were taken during that storm, one out of the car and one watching the storm head towards the
house.

Luckily it missed us and we escaped with a small shower. As I write this at 11.22am the temperature is 31.2C, quite cool.

I must again say thank you to Kim and Jimmy for the weekend at Koh Samut, it was great and just what the Doctor ordered.

Bye for now!