Daily Factoid: 1973 Vodka sales beat out whiskey sales in the United States for the first time. (And signaled the beginning or the end of life in as America as we knew it)
“These capitalists generally act harmoniously and in concert, to fleece the people.”
Daily correction: In order to resolve the issue surrounding the real meaning of the nick-name “Boy” given to a Thai acquaintance, a few nights ago exhibiting by insensitivity to the Thai custom of avoiding questions that may embarrass either party, at dinner with him I asked him directly what his name meant in english. He said it means the same as it does in english. Mystery solved in part.
I am writing this from Chiang Mai (Paradise in the Mountains) where I am residing for a few weeks until in early September when his mother takes Hayden with her to the US or Italy or wherever. After arriving here yesterday afternoon and dropping off my luggage, I went to the school to pick up Hayden and his friend Leo. School had not let out yet so I passed the time talking with Choti, the school principal.
Eventually the children, all dressed in their Friday orange ”traditional” shirt (on other days they wear a european type school uniform, a yellow shirt for the king on another day and anything they wanted on another) came tumbling out of the classrooms, the two and three-year olds toddling every which way into the play yard. The four-year olds all in line, one hand on the book-pack of the child in front and the other holding a small umbrella came next and marched to the small tables sent up for their mid afternoon milk, cookie and fruit snack. Finally the five-year olds from the second floor came running and shouting down the stairs and into the play-yard after quickly devouring their snacks.
Hayden and Leo were with these latter. We then went for ice cream with Gerry to a nearby temple that was first constructed in the 7th century and restored in the 1990s. There is a gigantic sitting Buddha at least 40 feet tall at the site. We later went with Choti to a restaurant for dinner and the monsoon rains thundered down as we ate.
The monsoon storms mostly bypass Jomtien Beach (Paradise by the Sea, two miles from the Gates of Hell). I sometimes watch them off in the distance as they, all angry clouds and sparkly lightning, pass to the West on the storm track up the Bay of Thailand to Bangkok and then on to Chiang Mai and points north. When they arrive in CM in the evenings they usually suddenly shed their water seeming almost all at once, more like God flushing his toilet than rain and they usually last an hour or so.
With the departure of what passes for spring here, the floral exuberance in World Club Land (where I am now) is replaced with the deep green of untended grasses going to seed in the many empty lots in the subdivision that intersperses the what for the most part would be considered mansions that dot the landscape. The grassy expanses teem with Thai suburban fauna, snakes (Cobras?), rodents (rats and mice mostly.Alas no squirrels or chipmunks ), poisonous insects and those less so and birds. I have seen what appears to be egrets fishing in the canal/drainage ditches that criss-cross the subdivision. The most common bird I see during the day is one that looks a lot like a skinny pigeon with white markings on its wings and spade shaped tail feathers. In the evenings, what appears to fill the niches in the West by swifts, swallows and starlings come out to gorge themselves on the abundant mosquito and other insect populations, followed by the bats as the sun goes down.