Daily Archives: May 24, 2012

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. November 2, 2010

Today’s factoid:

338 BCE – The Sacred Band of Thebes, an undefeated élite battalion made up of one hundred and fifty gay couples, is destroyed by the forces of Philip II of Macedon who bemoans their loss and praises their honor.

Today’s news from Thailand:

The Thai legislature shelved a bill that would make English a second official language following  objection from an MP that to pass the bill could lead Thais into the mistaken belief that they had been colonized in the past.

(The legislator in question overlooked the fact that for 4 years during WW II Japan occupied Thailand.)

Petrillo’s dyspeptic guide to the unwary traveler in Thailand:

thailand ko phi phi 02

thailand ko phi phi 02 (Photo credit: FriskoDude)

Essential English words required for dealing with a Thai who does not understand English:

“Same, same.” This means you want the same as you had before. What you get will not be the same, but close enough for government work.

“No, no, no!” The emphasis and urgency rising with each iteration of No. Anything else you say in English will be interpreted as consent.

(My friend Gerry (with a G) from Chiang Mai sent me the attached, indicating when one’s stay in Thailand has gone on too long)

Pookie’s continuing adventures in Thailand:


When I first arrived here at Paradise by the Beach about seven months ago, I noticed a tall (about 6’6″) slender Russian man lounging by the pool. Two young boys of about 6 and 7 years old respectively ccompanied. With them also was a woman and a little girl about the same age as the boys. They all seemed part of a single family.

After about two or three weeks, the woman and the girl departed leaving only the man and the two boys.

Each morning, the three of them go to the beach where the man wades out into the shallow water turns, kneels down and motionless stares back toward the beach while the boy’s play in the water near him.

After about 30 minutes or so of absolute rigidity, he suddenly flops face down into the water where he remains for three or four minuets. The first time I saw this I thought he had a seizure and moved to give him some assistance, but before I could reach him he arose and strode to shore with the boys in tow. He repeats this performance almost every morning.

At about noon, I often see him and at least one of the boys eating lunch at a one of the cement and tile tables that located along Beach road adjacent to the sand.

In the afternoon at about two PM when I am usually doing my laps in the pool, he and the boys generally return to the pool from the beach and he lies on a deck chair in the sun until about 5 PM.

I have never seen either he or the boys dressed in anything other than swim trunks and although I have never seen any of them apply sun block of any kind their skin is only lightly tanned.

He is a young man seeming in his late 30’s and appears not to work at anything except his tan. The boys obviously do not attend school. Perhaps they are home schooled in the evening.

Now, I would like to think there is some mystery here (a spy in hiding perhaps), but alas I suspect it is only an oddity. It nevertheless, like most things, generates in me musings about…well me.

I think about what I must appear like to others in the complex.

Every morning, dressed in my top to bottom coverage (until recently) and ski goggles, I walk to the café, walking stick in hand and computer slung over my shoulder. There I eat the same breakfast every day, two poached eggs, bacon, coffee and OJ, read the Bangkok Post and then work on my computer. At about noon, I go for my walk along the beach and return immediately to my apartment. At about 2 pm, I go down to the pool and swim my 10 to 20 or so laps and again immediately return to my apartment.

Once a month I disappear for about a week on one of my “Adventures” and every Friday at about 1 PM, my masseuse arrives strolling into the building with a tiny umbrella in one hand for  protection from sun and the rain looking every bit like the Thai version of Mary Poppins. In her other hand she carries a number of plastic bags, like some NY bag-lady. The following day she leaves at about the same time along with her umbrella and plastic bags and marches off to catch her bus and return to Bangkok.

I fantasize that people view me as mysterious, like the Russian, maybe someone in the witness protection program or an artist of some sort. Sadly, however, I imagine that anyone who may notice, if anyone does, sees me as nothing more than another oddity thrown ashore at Paradise on the Beach, more or less another bit of human detritus.

Today’s Album cover:
Today’s quote:

“To truly understand Mankind, you must first break down the words that make up his name: Mank and Ind.
What do they mean?
It’s a mystery.
And so is Mankind.”
Mick Foley

Map of The Princess Bride by William Goldman

Map of The Princess Bride by William Goldman (Photo credit: BuildingaLibrary)

Today’s Bonus quote from “The Princess Bride”:

-Inigo, “Offer me money.”
-Count Rugen, “Yes.”
-Inigo, “Offer me power.”
-Count Rugen, “All that I have and more. Please. Anything you want.”
– Inigo, “I want my father back, you son of a bitch!”

(Is this the end of Count Rugen? You betcha. Is this the end of quotes from “The Princess Bride”? I don’t think so.).

Today’s Bonus Quote II:

From my friend Bill Geyer:

“Just to prove that:
1) Somebody actually reads your stuff, and
2) There’s nothing new under the sun,
I offer the following:
Your quote: “Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.” The Princess Bride

cf. “My name is Sue. How do you do. Now you’re gonna die.” as sung by Johnny Cash in “The Boy Named Sue,” addressing his long-lost father “who gave me that awful name.” I can’t remember whether it was written by Kris Kristofferson or Shel Silverstein.”



Gerry’s Attachment:



You begin to enjoy Thai TV programs.
You look four ways before crossing a one way street.
You put salt and chilli on your fruit
A Thai cop stops you for a minor infraction and you automatically reach for your wallet.
You think that a Honda Civic is a prestigious car.
All your tee-shirts are emblazoned with the name of some bar.
You think a polo shirt and jeans are formal attire.
You aren’t upset when the bar girl, next to you eats beetles as a snack.
Later the same night, you actually kiss the bar girl who earlier dined on the beetles.
You wake up in the morning and realize that you have nowhere to go and all day to get there.
You think white wine goes well with Som Tam.
You understand when your Thai girl friend says, ‘My friend you’ or ‘Same, same, but different.’
A Thai bar girl you’ve just met tells you that his mother is deathly ill and you just laugh and walk away.

You consider your mobile phone a fashion accessory.
You start driving cars barefoot
You become an expert on buying and selling gold jewellery
Dogs become animals you’d rather kick than pet.
When driving a car you’ll start using every free inch of the road.
You flash your 4 indicator lights when driving straight on at an intersection.
You only go to bars with balloons strung outside.
You realize that all the important words in Thai begin with the letter ‘S’. Sanuk (Fun), Saduak (convenient), Sabai (comfortable), Suay pretty).
You believe that buying a gold chain is an acceptable form of foreplay.
You think a calendar more useful than a watch.
You go to a Thai Boxing match and a soccer game breaks out.
You stand in the shadow of a telephone pole while waiting for a bus.
Indian tailors ignore you when you walk past their shop.
When you call and tell your parents about your sick buffalo
When you see a falang and yell “Falang!”
Taxi drivers understand you.
Not only does it not bother you a lady is cleaning the urinal next to the one you are using, but that you also start to have a casual chat with her.
You think blondes look exotic
You read the subtitles at the movies rather than listen to the English
You find that everything you own is counterfeit.


Categories: October through December 2010 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. October 31, 2010

Today’s factoid:

9TH CENTURY–The genre of Arabic satirical poetry known as hijra, originated by the Afro-Arab author Al-Jahiz, introduced satire into Arabic prose literature. While dealing with serious topics in what are now known as anthropology, sociology and psychology, he introduced a satirical approach, based on the premise that, “however serious the subject under review, it could be made more interesting and thus achieve greater effect, if only one leavened the lump of solemnity by the insertion of a few amusing anecdotes or by the throwing out of some witty or paradoxical observations.” He was well aware that, in treating of new themes in his prose works, he would have to employ a vocabulary of a nature more familiar in hijra, satirical poetry. For example, in one of his zoological works, he satirized the preference for longer human penis size, writing: “If the length of the penis were a sign of honor, then the mule would belong to the (honorable tribe of) Quraysh.” Another satirical story based on this preference was an Arabian Nights tale called “Ali with the Large Member”.

(Why is it that among some men humor begins and ends with the size of their d**k?)

Today’s news from Thailand:

1. Arecently released video tape showed two judges of the Constitutional Court discussing how to discredit the publication of potential damaging video tapes by claiming they had been doctored. The Court employee who made the tape is still missing, having last been seen on a trip to Taiwan.

2. A Thai woman was convicted of fraud for extorting money from a Thai scientist by threatening that she would take him to court for abusing her in a prior life.

3. “Politicians are very good at spending money.” Quote of the Thai Finance Minister.

Pookie’s continuing adventures in Thailand:


On the morning of the day following my dyspeptic walk on the beach, I decided that I needed to lighten things up a bit.

I left my computer, ski goggles , shoes (replaced with sandals) and long pants in my room. Yes, for the first time in almost 40 years, I appeared in public in short pants. Thus unburdened and attired in only my shorts, sandals, loose shirt and hat, I set off for my morning walk into the National Geographic photograph of the summertime beaches of the Crimea.

In was beautiful day. The waters of Gulf of Thailand, although an arm of the ocean, were as calm as a lake. It was a perfect inner-tube day and indeed people floating about on large black inner-tubes filled  the near shore area. The sand no longer littered with the carcasses of hundreds of Moby Dicks appeared occupied by a pod of  sleek Beluga’s turning a rosy pink beneath the rays of the sun. The flexing and preening young men had drifted from standing just at the edge of the water to wading in knee-deep.

Even the ski-boat jockeys zooming along a few yards off shore seemed not as annoying as usual.

Thousands of dragon fly’s hovered or darted about right above the water. I do not know anything about dragonfly sex or eating habits so I do not know the reason for their sudden appearance. Maybe they were attracted to a Thai version of no-see-ums.

All and all, it seemed like a wonderful day and a wonderful walk. Had I known that Satori was so easily obtained I would have…. What am I talking about? Diagnosed as a manic-depressive, I can achieve Satori anywhere and have done so, at dinner, in the toilet, even drafting brief’s.

Nevertheless, my advice, to all who wish to experience such liberation as I have, is to strip yourself of all unneeded clothing and electronic gear, abandon all unnecessary memories (I assume remembering how to walk and stand are necessary, talking I am not so sure) and dreams and go out and walk (I would take my walking stick since mobile meditation requires walking sticks ). Walk on and on until the police arrest you for indecent exposure and your spouse divorces you for being what he or she always thought you to be and your children shun you for embarrassing them or reminding them of the truly defective gene pool you gifted them with that passionate night in the back seat of a car or equally uncomfortable place that you conceived them.

Life is good. enjoy it…

Petrillo’s dyspeptic guide to the unwary traveler in Thailand:

Unless your hotel provides you with van or limousine service from the airport to Bangkok, you can be assured that whoever at the airport makes your transit arrangement in “The Land of Smiles,” will not smile.

Today’s album cover:

(With an elephant?)

Today’s quote:

Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.
The Princess Bride

Today’s biblical quotation (From God’s lips to your ears):

“In the same way, I became disgusted with Oholibah and rejected her, just as I had rejected her sister, because she flaunted herself before them and gave herself to satisfy their lusts. Yet she turned to even greater prostitution, remembering her youth when she was a prostitute in Egypt. She lusted after lovers with genitals as large as a donkey’s and emissions like those of a horse. “
Ezekiel 23:18–20

(Go for it girl—-I bet our gal Oholibah, told old Zeke to take a hike after she found him sniffing around hoping for a roll in the hay with her and that’s what probably got him so pissed off. Or maybe she just laughed at his inadequacy–How come no one names their kid Oholibah?)

Today’s bonus quote:

“Kneel, son of Jor-El! Kneel before Zod!”
General Zod to Superman.

Categories: October through December 2010 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

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