1971 a seminal year in the world of gastronomy:
McDonald’s introduces the Quarter Pounder. It sells for 53 cents.
The first Starbucks opened in Seattle.
Coca Cola introduces the plastic bottle.
(What did we who were born before 1971 eat or drink?)
Pookie’s continuing adventures in Thailand:
A SHORT WALK ALONG JOMTIEN BEACH
As I have mentioned in previous emails, in the mornings I walk along the beach from the seawall supporting boat ramp to the dead tree in the surf and back again, a distance of a little over two kilometers or so.
I generally trudge along head down scanning the flotsam and jetsam thrown on the beach by the night’s tides hoping to avoid stepping on some bit of rubbish that may puncture my foot and possibly cause me great pain and lead to some awful tropical disease.
It addition to the normal dead fish, bits of seaweed, severed crab claws, fragments of shells, plastic bottles and the like I have noticed the recent appearance of a great number of large translucent blobs of beached jellyfish among the litter. They look like sputum left by a gang of semi-drunk giants on their way to or back from an evening in whatever night spots giants go to in the Outskirts of Hell to do whatever it is that giants do there.
I have also begun to notice among the mornings detritus a significant increase in farang (European) tourists. As the monsoon rains wind down, high tourist season begins.
Although the beach appears more crowded, it probably is not because there are a greater number of people on the beach, but on account of the fact that the westerners take up so much more room. Also the tourists appear to crowd close to the water in the sun while the Thais sensibly prefer to stay back in the shade under the umbrellas and the trees.
I do not subscribe to “W” nor do I read the “Style” section of the Huffington Post, but I have become aware of a significant style change in beach wear.
The more gargantuan the man the smaller the tiny black Speedo style brief he wears until among the most adipose endowed it almost disappears altogether into the many creases and folds of his flesh. These men generally lie on tiny towels or beach chairs exposing their skin to the sun, but for some reason never losing their pallor.
On the other-hand the younger more fit males stand by the water’s edge flexing and preening and turning bronze. Interestingly these younger men seem to eschew the black mini-bikini briefs wearing instead traditional colored briefs or trunks. They also never seem to sit or lie on the sand unless accompanied by a young woman in which case they spend their day sitting on a towel or beach chair and pouting
The women on the other hand all seem to wear what I have only seen before in some of the pornographic photographs dutifully sent to me by my male friends and which I dutifully in turn send on to other male friends within two days, fearful that to do otherwise would result in some of my appendages rotting and falling off.
Anyway these appear to consist of some thread connecting three tiny pieces of brightly colored cloth placed not so much conceal but to expose, leaving covered only those portions of the anatomy that would otherwise break the seamless expanse of milky flesh.
It appears that there is some universal rule in operation here. The younger shapelier women lie face down on their towels and unloose the upper string for some reason certainly not because it in any way could impede the ray’s of the sun. The lower portion of the set of course disappears completely into the natural cleft of the body thus in total giving the impression of someone lying stark naked on the sand.
The older, more generously proportioned women on the other hand remove their tops entirely and inevitably lie flat on their backs providing to the gentle caress of the sun and the refreshing touch of the breeze to that which the hand of man probably has not roamed in a decade or two.
Now you may think there goes old Pookie the misogynist, but that is not so. I have previously told you of my problems with my self perception of my body. When I stand before my mirror in the evening I am acutely aware of my own drooping male dugs and wonder what my size would be for one of Kramer’s male bras (C cup at least).
What you need to know is how I dress for my walk in order to understand my dyspeptic comments. I try to cover myself from head to toe with only the tips of my toes and my arms below my elbows exposed to the sun. As a result my lower arms have turned to that khaki-olive shade of my youth when the pink kids in Bronxville would call us “White N***ers”. But not to our faces, because if we heard that, some of my more excitable friends had the tendency to turn the Bronxville boys blue-veined pink faces, black, blue and red.
Now my parents fearful that I would be misled by my black and italian gangsters in training friends, sent me to a private school to get away from all that and to get a good education so that I can have more options to f*ck up my life. What I did learn was that while yes my Sicilian friends were quick to resort to violence when faced with real or imagined slights or financial gain, my new more upper class school chums while manifestly less violent, exposed me to the real meaning of sadism.
But I digress, my beach attire consists of my straw hat that appears in almost every photograph I send you and a pair of ski goggles. Yes ski goggles. Why in Thailand there would be a store that sells ski goggles I cannot even try to guess. Anyway, I wear them because they have an adjustable strap to keep them in place, and they are large enough that I can wear my prescription glasses under them and thereby avoid the expense of buying prescription sunglasses that I will lose anyway. I also like the way the high ultra-violet protection of the glasses turn the color of water in the pool while I am swimming laps allowing me to zone out even more when the endorphin high hits thereby diminishing the insufferable boredom of swimming laps. Of course I then begin smashing into the edges of the pool, or bumping into other swimmers or swimming endlessly in a circle. But that is another story.
Anyway, I wear a long shirt, a vest in which I carry things like my phone, passport, cigars and the like. Of course I am wearing my long pants. Over my shoulder is the bag in which I carry my computer.
I am miserable , sweating and generally hate anyone I see on the beach enjoying themselves.
Petrillo’s dyspeptic guide to the unwary tourist in Thailand:
Shortly after exiting the plane at the airport in Thailand the traveller will become aware of the two universal greetings by Thais.
The first is Sawatdee, followed by what sounds like Ka if the speaker is female and Kop or Krap if the speaker is male. The emphasis is usually placed on the Ka or Kop resulting in the introductory Sawatdee sounding garbled or unvocalized.
The second is, “Hey you, farang.”
Today’s album cover:
“I’m sorry, Jack, but if you had fought like a man you would not now be about to die like a dog.”
The notorious pirate Ann Bonny to her lover, fellow pirate “Calico” Jack Rackham, just before he was hanged by the British for piracy.
Today’s bonus quote for additional confirmation that women are short-changed by history.
“Now listen to me and I will advise you for your good: give me back my son and get out of my country with your forces intact, and be content with your triumph over one-third of the Massagetae. If you refuse, I swear by the sun our master to give you more blood than you can drink, for all your gluttony.”
Tomyris Warrior Queen of the Massegetae to Cyrus the GreatEmperor of Persia, conqueror of the greatest empire of the ancient world and leader of the largest and most technologically advanced army of the time.
Cyrus refused and Tomyris personally led the charge of her forces that destroyed his army. She cut off Cyrus’ head and made his skull into her favorite wine goblet.
(And history gave Cyrus the honorific “The Great”. Perhaps it was ment to be ironic.)
- Thousands Mark Anniversary of Thai Red Shirt Crackdown (voanews.com)
- Ski Goggle Technology Still New For 2009/10, according to ADS Sports Eyewear (prweb.com)
- Next generation of chefs steps up at Chez Panisse (sfgate.com)
- Ski goggle pioneer Bob Smith dies at 78 (heraldonline.com)