There’s no place like home

After 5 weeks in the USA, I felt like Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz when my plane landed at Suvarnabhumi Airport a couple of nights ago.  I almost clicked my heels together out of joy!

I did have fun on my trip.  I went to lots of baseball games and got to cheer on my beloved San Francisco Giants, during both spring training for 3 weeks, as well as 5 games, both in LA and San Francisco.  I squeezed in a jazz show, seeing Warren Hill, one of the better smooth jazz sax players out there at Yoshi's in San Francisco, perhaps the best jazz club in the world (ok, maybe I'm a bit prejudiced, but the place just rocks!).

But the attitude of Americans, especially those in California and the women specifically made me want to throw up on numerous occasions.

First it was the dude at the Costco pharmacy in Phoenix, who lectured me when I thought it was wrong for the entire pharmacy to close for lunch.  The dude tried to tell me that I should know the hours, even though I don't live there.  What a tool. And I as much as told him that.

Then it was the chick who called me an ass for complaining about the terrible service at my ex favorite sushi place, then two women berated my buddies when I complained about the check (the Chinese couple who own the place always fudge a bit, but since I was picking up the entire tab I complained about a 15% error and these chicks didn't think that was right!).  Well, fuck them and their money, since they flaunted to my friends they were so rich!

I tend to be a bit loud, but I mean well.  The problem is that here, people look the other way when someone is making a point.  In Califuckya they lecture you.

I had always dreamed of once again living half the year in Bangkok and half in San Francisco.  That dream is fading, not for lack of cash, but because I just don't like this place like I once did.

Now let's talk about my return.

Coming back to Bangkok was heavenly.  No more overweight bitches, just lovelies as far as the eye can see (and that was just at the airport).

And it's not just the eye candy that made me smile.  It's the people.  Thai people have so much less than Americans and they seem so much happier (in general). The difference is amazing.

Today I went out and after dealing with the ever crashing dollar at the money exchange I took a walk down my old street where we used to live. I got a great laugh out of a fine example of Thai commerce.  There was a shop with no sign and no indication of what it was (I think it was some kind of skin center based on some products on the shelves).  So I decided to have some fun.  I asked the three girls who worked there what they did at this place and they frighteningly let me know that they didn't speak English.  And this is in a heavily western area!  No wonder so many Thai businesses fail.  I had no clue what they did and neither would anyone else!

Then I went to Big C shopping mall on Rama 4.  If you ever want to find a girlfriend, come to any mall in Bangkok.  The sightseeing is amazing! Today at Big C, what I saw in just 30 minutes will blow away the eye candy you'll find in any city in the states for an entire year.  I'm not in the market, but I'm just sayin….

Until next time, enjoy yourself!

Thailand is killing the goose that laid the golden egg

I just saw this in The Nation after getting raped at the money exchange, turning dollars into baht and running to the bank.  It has even gone down since 2 hours ago when I did this, down to 28.64 at the close:

Baht moving beyond fundamentals: BOT

At 8.18am, the currency hit a new 16-year high at 28.71 per dollar, gaining 2.02 per cent from end-March, according to Bank of Thailand data. At one point, it touched 28.68. This indicates the 6 per cent increase from the end of last year.

Month to date, the currency also gained 6.40 per cent against Japanese yen, at 29.26 per 100 yen. It also appreciated by 0.17 per cent against euro to 27.478.

Prasarn said today that the currency is strengthening above the economic fundamentals.

He did not elaborate further or mention any measure the contain the appreciation.

Prasarn had a meeting with the prime minister and economic government units on April 18. He said that the agenda was mainly about the export target, not about the exchange rates.

These morons, who obviously have no clue about economic principles (or it wouldn't have gotten to this point), are going to ruin this country.  It's trade will go in the toilet, if it hasn't already (there is very strong competition from Vietnam, China and others), as will it's tourism, which is now soaring again. And they will make it a place that expats won't dare live in.  It's right on the border of not being cost effective already.  30 is kind of the magic number. Low, but doable.  28.64 at the moment and free falling.  Lovely!

Isn't it amazing how Thailand always shoots itself in the foot when things are going well?  If it isn't politics and protests it's something like this.

I can stay here for awhile, but if this gets much worse we may soon be looking for greener pastures.

Thais “approve” of bribery

Saw this in The Nation:

BANGKOK: — The Abac Poll yesterday released results of a survey showing that an overwhelming majority of people approve of bribery and had bribed officials themselves.

The survey was conducted on 1,561 respondents aged over 10 in Bangkok from March 12-16 (with an error margin of 7 per cent).

Of the total, 87 per cent approved of lying for survival and had lied at some point over the past 12 months; 87.5 per cent believed pampering state procuring committees with special treats was normal; 87 per cent said they had jumped queues to buy goods and services; and 80 per cent said they had bribed officials in return for convenience and self-interest.

Of students, 92 per cent said they had copied homework in the past 12 months; and 74 per cent had taken a peek at friends' answers during exams. Some 85 per cent believed the questions in teachers' exams had been leaked.

Of respondents who are state officials and company staff, 81 per cent said they had used office time to conduct private business; 83 per cent said they had acted out of self-interest; and 88 per cent believed there was graft in all state agencies.

This has a lot to do with why the Thai culture is so screwed up by Western standards.  Bribery is accepted.

Until which time that Thai people start to know the difference between right and wrong, Thailand will never become a first world country and will always be a third world society.

More Ignorance in Thailand

I know this may sound bad, but I'm going to say it anyway.  One of the things that drives me absolutely nuts is the ignorance level in Thailand, even in the capitol of Bangkok.

Check out this item from Yahoo:

It is absolutely beyond me how anyone would glorify this monster.  Being a Jew makes this even more sickening.

People were also selling Osama Bin Laden T shirts after 9/11.

I know these kids are young and have never heard of Hitler.  But someone older needs to tell them, as opposed to just staying silent.

Not that the older generation is any less ignorant, but for god's sake, when the first news story came out about the uproar when kid's dressed up like Hitler, they should have received the memo.

The Thai people are very kind, don't get me wrong.  But they are horribly ignorant and sometimes I just get crazy over it.

Until next time, enjoy yourself!!!

The Police In Thailand Are So Dirty It’s Ridiculous!

I saw this today in The Nation.  More police corruption:

Funeral gambling session raided

Six policemen yesterday raided a gambling operation set up at a local residence in Nakhon Si Thammarat that was hosting a funeral rite, seizing about Bt160,000 in alleged gambling money.

The raid angered people at the funeral, as a relative of the host said he had paid Bt10,000 to police to allow them to gamble, which is a custom at some funerals.

They claimed four police arrested the gamblers while two others rushed to seize about Bt160,000 and left.

Angered by this, gamblers detained the four police, until others turned up and negotiated their release.

So the cops got paid for protection, stole their money and then 4 cops got "detained". I'm sure that was hilarious! Sounds like the cops should have been the ones arrested.

Until next time, enjoy yourself!

Finally Cracking Down on Bangkok Taxi Drivers

I saw this today on Thai Visa:

Taxi drivers face harsher penalties for rejecting passengers

BANGKOK, Feb 15 – Any Bangkok taxi driver found repeatedly shunning would-be passengers will soon be at risk having his/her driver’s license suspended or even revoked, the Department of Land Transport chief warned.

The department is considering additional penalties against taxi drivers who turn down passengers as the agency has been flooded with complaints.

Land Transport Department Director General Somchai Siriwatanachoke said the department imposed a Bt1,000 fine on any taxi driver who refused to accept intending passengers since September. However, complaints from passengers over the issue account for over 60 per cent of all complaints regarding taxi services.

To solve the problem, he said, the department has prepared to take legal action against those who repeatedly reject passengers by suspending and revoking his/her public driving licences.

Moreover, Mr Somchai said, the department has invited managers of 35 leading department stores in Bangkok and adjacent areas where there are taxi stands nearby to discuss measures to solve the problem.

All department stores have been asked for cooperation to install signboards publicizing regulations that taxi drivers are forbidden to refuse passengers.

He said that CCTV cameras will also be installed at the taxi stands to record the images and publicizing of taxi drivers who violate the regulations.

Call centre telephone number 1584 for receiving complaints will also be published, he said.

The Land Transport Department's passenger protection centre 1584 hotline is available around the clock. Passengers may lodge complaints by giving details on the registration number, time, date and place to make it easier for the authorities to track down violators. (MCOT online news)

I really hope people start calling 1584 and reporting these assholes who refuse to take you somewhere just because "there's traffic". You're a taxi driver buddy, it's your job. If you don't like your job then find another one!

Until next time, enjoy yourself!

Bangkok Crackdown on traffic offenders

From the Nation:

BANGKOK: — Deputy chief of the Metropolitan Police Worasak Noppasitthiporn Tuesday instructed traffic police in each precinct to set up checkpoints and issue 100 tickets a day to motorists who break five common traffic offenses.

These are driving against the traffic flow, driving on footpaths, double-parking, cutting in front of other vehicles from close range and running a red light.

Police precincts that fail to meet the goal would have to explain why directly to Worasak.

The move follows many complaints about people on motorbikes and cars who violate the law and cause traffic jams and accidents.

Let's just say I'll believe it when I see it.

The biggest offense I see is motorbikes on the sidewalks, which is very dangerous as these guys whiz by pedestrians, often at high speeds. I'd love to see some tickets doled out.

Of course what is more likely to happen is that the cop's pockets will get lined instead.

Until next time, enjoy yourself!

A bribe is not a bribe in Thailand

I saw this in Coconuts Bangkok today:

Chalerm: Not a Bribe if Cops Ask For Money on Chinese New Year

Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yubamrung, responding to recent security cam footage of three police officers “requesting” money from an Indian tailor shop owner, claimed that said behavior was acceptable during the Chinese New Year as it constituted religious tradition and was not merely an act of bribery.

While the Deputy PM admitted that it was not appropriate for police officers to make this type of request of an Indian (who presumably was not celebrating the holiday), he did not foresee a need to change existing regulations on the issue.

Mr Chalerm said that it is common for Bangkok’s finest to ask for tae-ear (traditional Chinese red envelope containing money) during the New Year period.

”I’m not protecting the police because this is a part of society, of tradition,” Chalerm, a former police captain, said according to the Bangkok Post.

First of all, Chalerm is a complete tool for saying this. 

Second, this is a great example of why Thai society is so fucked up and how corruption and graft will always be an intregal part of it. When the deputy PM says bribes are ok, or that they aren't bribes in the first place, you know that the way these people look at the world is a bit upside down.

Of course Chalerm is a former cop. Enough said.

Until next time, enjoy yourself!

Hypocrisy in Thailand

I saw this in The Nation today:

Nok Air Calendar "Inappropriate"

BANGKOK: — Culture Permanent Secretary Prisana Pongtatpitakkul on Saturday attacked Nok Air for its controversial calendar.

"The calendar shows that several business operators still adhere to conventional practices in using female bodies as the PR or marketing tool," she said.

"They lack the sense of social and cultural responsibility and ignore social and cultural repercussions – particularly female dignity."

She noted that this explained why foreigners still have negative attitude towards Thai women and all parties in Thai society need to lend a hand in fixing this.

Nok Air now shows the photo of 12 girls in yellow bikinis, posting in front of its aircraft, on its Facebook page: The girls appear on the front cover of its calendar, which will be distributed to 300 fans.

Prisana admitted that it is within the airline’s rights to do so and the Culture Ministry has no rights to punish it.

She said the ministry will soon host a discussion with related parties like the advertising association, PR companies, media and consumer protection agencies to address the issue, before using female bodies as a marketing tool will becomes an acceptable norm.

Sometimes I think Thai people are the biggest hypocrites in the world. In a country that gets a high percentage of it's visitors via sex tourism and is permissive about prostitution, pictures of girls in bikinis are taboo. Pornography is illegal. Sex toys and sexual aids are illegal. 

While I agree that this isn't the most effective marketing someone could do, if they want to do it, so be it! The girls are beautiful! Why not show them to the world?

Eliminating the Pedos in Thailand

Saw this today on Pattaya 103 FM:

Foreigners Arrested on Charges of Underage Gay Sex

Supermarkets are ideal for food shopping, but not as a pickup point for underage boys as 60 year old Englishman, Andrew John Tracey,  found out to his cost in Pattaya this week end.

Karl Josef Rupple, charged with sexual activity with a minor in Pattaya

Tracey was arrested and charged with procuring underage boys outside a Pattaya department store and offering them 300 baht to go with him.  Police have been aware of his activities over a period of several years but finally caught him and took him in for questioning before formally charging him.  A resident of Bang Saray, he isn’t the only one caught in a net which was cast by local police this week end.

A 69 year old German, Karl Josef Rupple, was also arrested at his accommodation in South Pattaya, and charged with picking up a 14 year old boy in front of the   Chai Mongkol Temple, and taking him back to his room.  The “man” is charged with sexual acts with the 14 year old and it is reported that he paid the child 200 baht, a charge which he denies.

Both men were arrested on court issued warrants after undercover operations involving the Women and Children’s Protection Service and Pattaya police reported on a series of crimes involving sexual deviants and children.  We have been told to expect more arrests in the near future as further warrants are issued as a result of the same Operation.

A pimp for underage sex was also arrested  51 year old Mr. Rachan Panpleng (nicknamed  Runy) from Nong Prue has been charged with providing children , including a 12 year old boy, to foreign customers. In at least one instance he is charged with supply a 12 year old boy to a foreigner , currently known only as “Brian”  for the sum of 2000 baht.

Charged with Pimping children to foreigners

The authorities are determined to remove these types from the street of the city and members of the public, together with visitors, are encouraged to assist the Police by reporting any similar activities they may see in the region.

It's good to see the police cracking down on these slime balls! Thailand has had a reputation for this kind of thing forever. Time to root out the shit.

Until next time, enjoy yourself!