Posts Tagged With: Pattaya

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:

ANOTHER WALK ON THE BEACH

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

This and that from re Thai r ment. August 27, 2010

Today’s Factoid:
1959 Danny’s Coffee Shops are renamed Denny’s. (How’s that for an example of marketing genius?)

Todays quote:
Last night I could not sleep, haunted by thoughts of Sarah Palin and Shakespeare. In the morning I realized, (I am sure much to the surprise and chagrin of my progressive and liberal friends) that Sarah, that aging beauty contestant and part-time elected official, deserved to be added to my list of great American philosophers along with Scarlett O’Hara and Rosanna Rosanna Dana. Sarahpalin (I shall hereafter call her Sarahpalin from now on since Shakespeare was originally two words and if that was good enough for those Elizabethan worthies than it should be good enough for our Sarah.)

Anyway I thought that it would be appropriate to demonstrate her wisdom in the quote I sent to you in my last email by demonstrating how the Bard himself may have used Sarahpalin’s neologisms.

To be or not to be wee-wee’d up — that is the question.
Whether tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles
And by opposing, refudiate them.
—-
To die, to sleep,
To sleep perchance to misunderestimate.
Ay there’s the rub

Rub that you refudiating, wee wee’d up, misunderestimating, liberal pooh-pooh heads (that last provided by Hayden). Or in her own words: “I’m not politically correct. I am not one to be a word police,” — Fox interview with Chris Wallace Feb. 7 , 2010.

(You may be pleased to know that this section is driving my spell check crazy)

Today’s Thailand News:
There is a big debate going on in the Thai legislature regarding the Thai military budget. Since the Thai military’s function appears to be domestic security in competition with the police and not dealing with foreign threats, one can assume that the debate is not about national defense but a continuing subset of the political conflict between the red and yellow shirts. This of course is not like in an advanced country such as the United States where failure of military contractors to achieve their annual profit goals could seriously impact our domestic tranquility.

As for my life here in Paradise by the Sea my lease is up at the end of September and my landlord would like me to tell him this week if I plan to extend it. This decision has just become more complicated. Within the past two days SWAC introduced me to Madame something or other who has a 4 story town house under renovation here in PbyS but much closer to the Outskirts of Hell (more like the suburbs of Purgatory). She would lease the house to me at the same rent I am paying for my studio in at Paradise Condominiums. She would maintain a bedroom for her use whenever she visits here.

According to SWAC, Madame is the widow of a Thai general who was also Prime Minister during a short-lived coup who died suddenly two years ago leaving her with one billion baht (This all was related to me by SWAC so you can make up your own mind as to its veracity)

Anyway, at dinner Madame broke down and cried and told us all that she does that often now because she misses her husband so much and has not had a man in her bed since he died.

In a normal blog at this point one would have a poll so that the readers could vote on whether I should re-up my lease or take the new offer. However, since this email only goes out to my closest and dearest friends I turn to you for advice. Should I or shouldn’t I? What’s the worst that could happen?

I also have two other options. I could move back to Chiang Mai where the living is less expensive and I have a real social life beyond the Wednesday BBQ’s, Soi Six and weekly massage that is the sum total of my social life here in Paradise by the Sea.

Or I could move out of Thailand altogether and into another low-cost jurisdiction like Ghana, or El Petrillo, Ecuador (it’s a real place. Look it up) or, as has been suggested to me recently, to the state of Maine where I could live on an old wooden boat and in the Maine winter benefit from free Cryogenics and be frozen solid until science discovers why I do what I do or why I wrote this.

Ciao…

Categories: July 2010 through September 2010 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This and That from re Thai r ment. August 26, 2010

Today’s factoid:
800 AD Africa is using coffee beans for various purposes but it is not yet consumed as a beverage. (OK, what else can one use coffee beans for? Simulated rabbit droppings is one, any others?)

Today’s Quote:

“‘Refudiate,’ ‘misunderestimate,’ ‘wee-wee’d up.’ English is a living language. Shakespeare liked to coin new words too. Got to celebrate it!”

—Sarah Palin, Tweet, July 18, 2010. (Was Shakespeare “wee-wee’d up” when he wrote his plays or was it one of the other guys?)

Today’s news from Thailand:
Since January when I arrived here intending to retire to a “low-cost jurisdiction” the dollar has declined against the baht by over 7%. Since its high point about a decade ago it has declined more than 30%. I soon may have to move on to another “low-cost jurisdiction,” maybe to the United States.

Thailand Report:
When last I wrote, I had dropped Hayden off in Bangkok, returned to Paradise by the Sea to await the call to return to BKK and take him on to PbyS which came one day later. He and I set off together to travel from BKK back to PbyS by bus. Upon our arrival at the bus station in the outskirts of hell we needed to take a songtheuw from the OofH to Pbys.

A songtheuw is a Thai transit vehicle that consists of a pick up truck with a roof over the bed and open sides that the passengers access from the back and sit on two benches facing each other. At the Bus station the songtheuw drivers try to pack between 12 to 15 souls (you pay extra if you want to bring along your body) into the vehicle. Since we leave from the bus station, the driver departs from his regular route and travels through the back streets just beyond the gates of hell to drop the passengers at their various hotels.

After one such stop the driver surprisingly turned into a small side street. This was Soi Six, a street somewhat closer to the Gates of Hell than the center of town. Soi Six is about 200 yards or so long and quite narrow. It is lined on both sides by what in another context could have been referred to as pleasure palaces but in this case as more like a pleasure fast food court. Although it was only mid-afternoon the ladies of the evening were getting an early start and the shouted and waved at us as we passed. Hayden then turned to me and said, “Pooky (My name in Hayden talk) are they all your friends?”

The giggles and guffaws of the other passengers followed me for the remainder of our trip. And since my condo in Paradise is at the end of the route all the other passengers exited before me, departing with what I believe they thought were humorous comments to me. Luckily none of them spoke english (although they all clearly understood it) but commented variously in Russian, Korean, Japanese, Thai, German and Australian. (I could not understand this last one either.)

Anyway, for the next 4 days, I got to vicariously experience what single parenthood is like, something no seventy year old should attempt without counseling. For the first time when he departed to return to his mom, ultimately to at least temporarily pass out of my life, it was not with a feeling of sadness, but of the overwhelming need for a nap.

Ciao

Categories: July 2010 through September 2010 | Tags: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

This and that from re Thar r ment. July 28, 2010

Daily Factoid: In 500 BC Turkey domesticates the, you guessed it, turkey. (Hmm could this be right, I always thought the turkey was something the American Indians gave as a gift to feed colonists so just before they were exterminated?)

Quote of the day:
“I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial by strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country.”
Thomas Jefferson

CORRECTION: One of my correspondents more familiar with the Thai language has pointed out that the name “BOY” mentioned in my previous email in spoken Thai could mean “often”. I leave it to your imagination to deduce what was on the father’s mind when he named his son “OFTEN.”

Thai Politics: The preferred replacement for the Thai police chief has been announced in the newspaper. As I previously pointed out this appointment is politically important as the police were generally seen as sympathetic to the Red Shirts. Also a bomb has been exploded in downtown Bangkok killing one person. The Red Shirts claim that they were not responsible and that it was the military government who planted the bomb to make it look like a red shirt action so they could extend the state of emergency (which is what appears to have happened). As I commented in another email this could be plausible since the conflict is no longer a socio-economic one, but a conflict over control over the dominant institutions of Thailand with the military general the most eager to defend their prerogatives. On the other hand it is equally plausible that some elements of the Red Shirts set off the bomb. I mentioned before that I expected the more heavily armed members of the Red Shirts who escaped the army sweep of downtown BKK, like most suppressed rebels will degenerate first into terrorism (e.g., bombing) and then into criminality (e.g., robbing banks etc). One the other hand it could be neither of these. Stay tuned….

This morning began inauspiciously. “It was a dark and stormy morning.” Since, however, it had not begun raining and a brisk breeze was blowing making the temperature almost pleasant, I decided to walk the two kilometers from my condo to the Thai immigration office for my renewal of my 90 day residency authorization. As I walked along, as I often do, I lapsed into deep daydreams about who knows what and promptly walked into a low hanging sign and was knocked onto my back. A couple of Thai me rushed to help me up. I thanked them and told them I was all-right. My embarrassment peaked as I limped off (I had slightly twisted my ankle) and could hear their giggles. Further proof of the genetic and intellectual deficiencies of the fat, clumsy, white farang in their midst.

The immigration office visit was relatively painless, A short wait, a lot of stamping of documents and I was sent on my way again a legal resident for another 90 days.

In my role as a bit player in the Hayden drama, Tomorrow or Friday I will leave again for CM. It appears that the heroes of the play, Choti (the school principal) and Gerry her husband have persuaded SWAC to leave Hayden with them and their son Leo at least until September so that he could finish this semester at school before going to the US. Since the big house has been rented Choti and Gerry kindly offered to allow Hayden and me to stay in their home until he departs. They have steadfastly refused all offers of compensation from me. I do not know how I could ever repay them for their kindness. My traditional obliviousness to politeness and gratitude makes it even more difficult for me to figure out what to do. Perhaps if I ever get back to my attempts of writing fiction, I could write a detective story with them as the detectives. Choti, as the school principal would find herself (as she already has been) involved in the lives of their Baptist, Thai-Farang and wealthy Thai family problems. Her tall, thin, long-haired, tattooed, motorcycle riding, book reading, rugby obsessed ( go All-Blacks) and music loving husband assisting her in solving the mysteries. Since Gerry is a New Zealander, I would have to learn a bit of their slang, a lot of “mums” and “mates” and the like.

Anyway Nikki, Hayden and H’s two 14-year-old cousins showed up in Paradise by the Sea a few days ago. They rented a two bedroom suite in a toney hotel nearby. in fact it was the same suite in the same hotel that I used to stay in when I did not understand the use of money as anything more the entitling me to stay is such places and fly first class.

Today’s photos were taken during their stay. The first on is of me and Hayden in the hotel pool and the second is of part of the hotel grounds.

Finally, as most of you know I have done a bit or writing for a left-wing blog. Recently, I started a blog of my own, basically to store those same submissions usually in a revised and reedited form in response to comments and additional research. While I have no ambition to have this later blog achieve any recognition, I have been troubled by a graphic on my home page that shows the number of “hits.” The absence of “hits” makes me feel inadequate. While I do not wish to urge on you need to read the entries since they were written primarily for practice and the whet the appetites (or insult as the case may be) of the rabid readers of the parent blog, you may want to connect into my blog and then immediately disconnect just so that the hit counter shows some movement and I can persuade myself that I am engaged in something other than self-flagellation. The email address is http://trenzpruca.wordpress.com/.

Ciao


Categories: July 2010 through September 2010 | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This and that from re Thai r ment. May 27, 2010

Having nothing really better to write about, I thought that I will describe my typical day. I say this up front so that those of you that feel inclined to can press your delete key now.

As for the rest of you, I start my day at about 7AM and try to be back in bed by about 9:30 to 10 PM. I spend between 7 and eight hours of the day on what I call “work”. Actually, work to me now is what is left over after deducting the time I spend sleeping and taking naps, eating, staring at the walls or the ocean, swimming or engaged in various erotic pursuits. This latter for me, at my age, generally consists of surreptitiously staring at the tall thin blond russian women sunning themselves by the pool. This activity always makes me contemplate the wonders of metamorphosis (and no, not cockroaches). How amazing is it, that these tall thin creatures, obviously in their larvae stage can in a few short years in their adult stage change into the 300 pound monstrosities, lying snoring and drooling on the deck chairs near by. Do young people snore and drool when they sleep? I forget.

Maybe the 300 pound beached manatees are really the cocoon stage and just as the sun begins to set, giving everything a rosy glow, they will split open and out come the tall, thin beautiful blond women (and yes men too) and they will turn, wink at me, shake themselves off and walk off into the sunset. I have been too long in the sun. Time to get back to work.

During my work hours, I attend to my email correspondence like this and other things. I work a bit on the diary that I write for a so-called radical liberal blog where I gleefully warn those dear hearts of the ravening hordes of tea drinkers with their photographs of the President sporting a Hitler-like mustache and their “We are all Arizonans Now” signs, stalking the streets and by-ways of the country searching for them. “Get up,” I tell them. “Put out your joints, go out into the streets and organize.” “But please don’t refer to yourselves as some namby-pamby ‘coffee party’. Use some imagination dammit. Call yourselves the ‘Crack Cocaine Party’ or the ‘Crossing the Border Illegally Party’. You are liberals for christ sakes. Get a backbone. Get a life. Get a job”.

When I am not rabble-rousing, I some times work on the calendar I invented. In my calendar all the days of the week every month fall on the same day. So, the first day of the month is always on Sunday and the seventh day is always on Saturday. And every special calendar day, like one’s birthday, falls on the same day of the week and the same day of the month every year. And Winter Solstice is aways the first of January and summer always begins on the first of July. Of course, it has no practical application but I amuse myself with it. I now am trying to figure out how I can personally use it. For example today is Thursday, May 27 in the standard Gregorian calendar but it is Tuesday, June 3 on my calendar and June 3 will always fall on Tuesday.

One quirk of the calendar is that every year following the last day of the year and before the first day of the new year there is a day that falls outside of the calendar, outside any month and any week. It is a free day. You can call it anything you like. I call mine “Joe’s Day.”

I thought it would be nice if on that day, if my calendar were ever adopted, no one would be compelled to work. And at the same time no one would be entitled to receive pay for work they do perform. So, we all would have to consider volunteering for the jobs that need to be done that day. I like volunteering for hopeless tasks, like becoming a traffic control officer in downtown Pattaya for the day, or working as a volunteer on the Palin for President in 2012 campaign although now that I think about it, I probably worked on the Arlen Specter campaign. That’s enough, I need a nap.

Ciao..

Categories: April 2010 through June 2010 | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

This and that from re Thai r ment. May 25, 2010

I did not mean for my last post to spark a controversy. I only was trying to thank those (like my daughter Jessica) who expressed concern for my safety . I did not mean to imply that they or anyone had criticized the subject matter of the emails. My bad.

On the other-hand, I am pleased to learn that there are those who read this stuff and feel passionate about it.

You know, there are a lot of reasons why I write these emails. One of them is that being alone here as I am, seeing your names in the “To” box makes me feel that in some small way you are here and I am talking to each of you. Another reason is that I often get bored writing in my journal, like earlier this afternoon when I recorded how long it took me to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Yes, old habits die hard, even though the cost of obtaining american peanut butter and jelly raises the price of the sandwich to rival a lobster diner.

Of course, I do not write everything that I record in my journal. For example, as a parent whose children and grandchildren are recipients of these emails, it had been impressed upon me that in order to be a good parent, I should never let my children know, that I use foul language, that I have sex of any sort, that I doubt just about everything that I do and that I know next to nothing about child-rearing. As for the last, those of you who are parents probably, like me, had the worst teachers imaginable, their own parents who in most cases married too young to know anything and had to muddle through it like everyone else. Or in the case of my parents who were so poor and ill-educated they had to fumble through old world nostrums to figure out which fit the new order they found themselves in.

Anyway, I am no longer your reporter from the front, since there no longer is a front. Each of the contestants have retreated to their respective corners (and in Thailand there are a lot of corners) plotting their next moves. And make no mistake about it there will be more moves. Rumors of new demonstrations and crackdowns flood the daily press reports.

Recently in the english language press, there have been a number of articles calling for the government to crack down on the police for their alleged sympathy and assistance to the Red Shirts. This reflects the ongoing conflict between the police and the military in Thai society. They along with the Monarchy, the government and the Chinese-Thai business community make up the more or less independent institutions that govern Thailand (no checks and balances here).

The police resent the military because its officer corps are reasonably well compensated and comfortably housed on their military bases and the military has never had to fight a real foreign invader since almost the beginning of the creation of modern Thailand, while the police must confront corruption (often their own), politics, violence and criminal gangs on a daily basis for very low pay. The resentment and jealousy increases by the fact that the military officer corps is mostly immune from responsibility to the police and the country’s court system for any civil crimes that they may commit.

Until this fundamental conflict between the forces of order in the country is resolved one can expect to see the Red Shirts, the Yellow Shirts and the other institutions of Thai society try to take advantage of that conflict for their own advantage.

In short, little has been resolved except that now one can get to most of the major shopping centers in downtown Bangkok to shop.

Categories: April 2010 through June 2010 | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

This and that from re Thai r ment. May 13, 2010

A SHORT’S TALE OR BURNT BRITCHES

I was not allowed to wear long pants until I was eight years old. That was a southern Italian custom imposed upon me by my Sicilian mom. So while other children romped in the playground in their jeans, I stood by watching them enviously, dressed in my pressed and starched short pants. As a result of that trauma, I have with few exceptions (e.g., bathing suit) avoided appearing in public bare-legged.

Here in Paradise by the Sea, a Mile from the Outskirts of Hell, the prevailing male attire consists of the much hated shorts, and a T-shirt, polo shirt or dress shirt hanging loose outside the shorts. I on the other hand am a fashion renegade, resplendent in my khaki trousers, flowered shirt and straw hat.

Last week when I opened the bag with my returned laundry, I found therein a pair of khaki shorts with cargo pockets that fit me perfectly but they were not mine. My attempts to return them failed when the clerk at the laundry angrily denied they could ever have made such a mistake.

Now the dreaded attire sits at the bottom of a drawer in my wardrobe calling to me daily with its siren’s song of sartorial conformity. The question I now wrestle with every day is will I or will I not appear in public with bare knees.

Ciao

_____________________________________________

EXCERPTS FROM DIARY ENTRIES PRIOR TO POST:

SUNDAY MAY 9, 2010 7 PM

Stayed close to home today. Breakfast at Cafe Le Mar and return to apartment for a nap and to write some emails to those that I have fallen behind on. Tried to nap. Felt horny, did not want to pay to relieve myself so I did it myself in the shower. I am still resistant to being with a woman right now although I hope one will call me. That depresses me more because it reinforces the syndrome.

Went down to pool and swam and returned to apt. to work some more on the computer. Looked at the email, diary combination for January and began to see some possibilities. Wrote a long email to Irwin.

MONDAY MAY 10 2010 5:30 PM

Stayed close to home again today. Worked on Jessica’s birthday present. It is looking pretty good. Lek called, but I did not answer. I do not know what to do.

10:30 PM

Went to buy out Lek. Nervous because I fantasized, as usual, that there was something personal going on. Went to Central food court. Good buy only 160 baht for two. Then to Apt.. She watched TV. I showered. She jerked me off. Would not get totally naked. Finished and I paid 1000 baht.

THURSDAY MAY 13, 2010 2PM

I am almost certain that I wrote in here within the last three days. Could I mistakenly have erased it?

Anyway, Tuesday I think I spent almost the entire day in my room. Doing what? I think I completed draft of Jessica’s Birthday Dream.

Wednesday, I went to the BBQ. I had to call Gary a few times for directions and then walk around a bit to find it. Gary was busy and so I went alone.

Jade is a bar and a guest house with several open air sitting and eating spaces along the side and the back. The bar is a small enclosed space in the back, separate from the guest house. I went in there to get out of the heat. There were a lot of bar girls around and one showed me to my seat and hung around me until I ordered a coke and told her I wanted to be alone. There were about 5 or so customers in the bar. They appeared to be American they were all grossly overweight. More customers arrived (I had gotten there at 1:30 but the BBQ would not start until 2). A bar girl I had been observing because she seemed especially outgoing approached me and attached herself to me like glue, rubbing against me and grabbing my crotch. I asked her how much. She told me the short time room was 300 baht and she was 1000 baht. That she would take me into the room give me a massage and a blow job before the BBQ began. I said that I wanted to eat first and would consider her offer after. The BBQ was not too bad. Several large bowls of potato and other salads, BBQ pork and beef, sausages, chicken legs and ribs were set out on a table outside of the bar. I got my food, ate, found out that my drinks were included in my 200 baht entrance fee, gave the glue lady a 100 baht tip and left. Bought some fruit and peanut butter at the supermarket and came home.

Today after breakfast, I finished another KOS Diary, This and that.. email and emails to Anthony, Nikki, Ariane and others.

8 PM

Sent off Kos diary and other emails. email Kesorn. Email May tomorrow. Decide on writing project for tomorrow. Joe, Genesis, Biondi, T. Rhapsody, something else??? Sleep on it…

Categories: April 2010 through June 2010 | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This and that from re Thai r ment. April 29, 2010

The day before yesterday I went to Bangkok to get a verification of income form from the US consulate so that I can update my current 90 day so-called Type “O” non immigrant visa to a one year retirement visa. Yes, the unending ex-pat visa hassles continue.

Anyway, I stayed the night in a guest house not too far from the Consulate and in the morning set off to do get the document needed. As I walked down the street, I could not help to notice that there were knots of bored soldiers and police, stationed every 100 yards or so along each side of the main road. The overpasses were filled with more soldiers armed with machine guns. The police and soldiers did not mix nor as I could see even spoke to each other. The police were lightly armed mostly with side arms and wore their regular daily brown uniforms designed for a certain amount of comfort in the heat. The soldiers on the other hand were very heavily armed and in full battle dress with what looked like plastic shin and thigh guards attached. Most soldiers carried an assault weapon, a shotgun and various side arms to go along with bandoliers and, bulging pockets and packs that I guess contained additional ammunition. The soldiers were all dressed in their jungle camouflage outfits. I could not really understand that. There is no jungle in Bangkok. Instead of camouflage it seemed more like an advertisement. If they wanted camouflage for Bangkok, the fatigues should have been grey decorated with images of dead rats and broken pavement.

Anyway, I took the Skytrain, Bangkok’s elevated inter-urban train system to where the main road called Sukhumvit is crossed by Wireless Road on which the American Consulate is located. As I left the train, I saw the barricades erected by the protesters (the Red Shirts) closing off vehicular traffic on Sukhumvit (but not the Skytrain). There were no red shirts in sight since I guess in was too early for the working press to get into position.

The barricades were very picturesque, all prickly with sharpened bamboo stakes sticking out in every direction (even back towards the red shirt area). They looked menacing but flimsy and were weighted down by old automobile tires. It was obvious that despite their apparent menace, they could be breached by one man on a bicycle or better yet anyone with a match. The Barricades did not however close off the street entirely, the edges by the buildings, lacking good angles for press photography were not defended.

Wireless road, which the American Embassy grounds straddles, appears to be the boundary between the areas controlled by each side. The Ambassadorial Residence site is within the area of the city controlled by the Red Shirts and the Consulate is across the street on the side controlled by the government, symbolizing the ambivalence of the American government’s position on the mess.

Anyway, I finished my business and returned to Jomtien Beach. I later learned that shortly after I left there was a contretemps over something the press was unsure about, resulting in the death of a soldier (I would not be surprised if it were from heat prostration) and injury to 18 protesters. Sorry I missed it.

_____________________________________________

EXCERPTS FROM DIARY PRIOR TO POST:

SUNDAY APRIL 25, 2010 2 PM.

Reviewed the comments to the Kos diary and was thrilled at the positive response. Responded to as many comments as I could. Waiting for Lek to get back to me regarding dinner tonight.

5 PM

Lek busy with customer tonight. went for 10 min. Swim called Gates arranged to meet him at P-72 at 8 PM. I am going to try to nap.

11:30

Met up with Gates, Roy. Gary and Mike at P-72. Had dinner. Went to a Go-Go Bar (name ??). Left. Had slight altercation with songtheuw driver re cigar. Got off before stop to avoid further contretemps. Walked to bar near condo (Name ??). Had coke. Spoke with bar girl Cat. May try her next week. Went home. Did accounts. Not good.
Go to bed…

MONDAY APRIL 26 2010 1:30 AM

Cannot sleep. Coughing and mind racing. Decided to eat some yogurt to sooth my throat and to write a new “This and that…”

Will compose it here and transfer to email tomorrow.

A lot has gone on since I last wrote to you all, but nothing that makes a story.

I have lost almost 20 pounds since I left the US. That means either I am eating a lot less or I am exercising more or I have come down with some horrible wasting sickness. I hope to lose about 10 more pounds before beginning a more vigorous exercise regime than my 10 to 20 minutes swimming a day. Maybe I will start lifting weights. On the other hand, probably not.

Yesterday I published my first piece in a political blog. I was very excited. The blog is the one that Bill O’Rielly called the most evil in the nation. He seems to believe the contributors to the blog are those same people who used to attend demonstrations criticizing and ridiculing the President. Of course that would be the blog I would attempt to write for first. Actually it is all quite simple you just sign up and write away.

Nevertheless despite the simplicity, I found trying to write the first piece daunting, fearing that whatever I submitted would be ridiculed. After writing and erasing a number of attempts at composing a miserable little three or four paragraph comment, I gave up. To divert myself from my frustration, I started rummaging through the few documents that I had brought with me from the US after disposing of everything else I own. In addition to two diaries from the 1960’s containing some horrid poetry and the musings of an evil, self-absorbed pissants, I came across something entitled “The Fred Harris Campaign Handbook”, perhaps the last copy in existence. For those who are too young or who may have missed it, Fred was very briefly, a candidate for the presidency of the United States on the democratic ticket during the 1972 and 1976 presidential campaigns. Fred campaigned as the populist candidate of the little people of America.

I was his issues chairman for the California Primary, and as such prepared the Handbook organized by issue containing Fred’s writings or speeches on each topic so that campaign workers could respond in the candidate’s own words to inquiries about where Fred stood on an issue. As it turned out the Handbook was never needed because Fred never made it to the California primary in 1976 where we were convinced that he would clinch the nomination and I would be up for an appointment as Secretary of State, Attorney General or a nomination to the Supreme Court or at least an indictment. No, Fred lost big time in the New Hampshire primary and was forced to drop out of the race for lack of money. When asked by the press what happened Fred responded, “Well I guess the little people were too short to reach the lever by my name”. (For those of you too young to know, before the invention of fire voting machines required a voter to pull down a little lever by the candidate’s name in order to record the vote)

Anyway, I thought since I was not confident in my own words, I would use Fred’s and add my own witty comments and insights to elucidate and relate Fred’s thoughts to the current political situation. That worked quite well and I submitted the piece and was quite pleased to see it published.

I was even more pleased when the next day, there were a number of positive comments on my submission and nary a negative. One articulate gentlemen’s comment contained only the word “awesome.”

Almost immediately my pleasure passed when I realized that I had to write a follow-up and that just had become much more difficult. It was like when I was much younger and did a little bit of acting on the stage, if the audience liked my performance, I could not go on the following night unless I was pushed onto the stage because I was paralyzed with fear that I would not be able to repeat the previous night’s performance.

Anyway, what ever happened to Fred? Well he dutifully campaigned for Jimmy Carter in California. Fred and his wife La donna spent election night at my house in San Francisco and when Carter accepted Ford’s concession I looked at Fred and could see that the light had gone out of his eyes in despair over the ending of his political career. Either that or he was dead drunk and about to pass out. Come to think of it, it was probably the latter since I seem to recall that the next morning we found Fred asleep in my back yard.

History is great. They should start teaching it again in High School.

MONDAY APRIL 26, 2010 10 PM

Went to Central to meet Marty the visa hustler. Grew up in Brewster NY. Charges 10,000 baht plus fees. Too high.
I need to get BanK Verification from BKKB. Make CopY of Passport, bank statement. Need 4 passport photographs. Go to BKK to get income certification from US consulate. Got Bank verification. Could not find place for copies of passport photos.

Went to meet Lek at entrance to Central. received a call from Tai that she was coming to live with me and bringing the baby. Told her I was going the BKK tomorrow for visa issues and will bring her back with me. She wanted to know if baby’s 20,000 baht/mo could be covered. I said yes. Met with Lek for dinner. I really would prefer her now to Tai .
Met with Gates, Gary and Roy. Gary left a message for Marty offering 10,000 baht for visa including fees. They ate and I came home. Called Tai and worked on new budget.

TUESDAY APRIL 27 2010 5 PM

Tai called at about 8 AM. Gates called to tell me Visa deal ok. Went to Breakfast. Tai called again. Made arrangements to meet in BKK. Got to bus station. Called Tai, no answer. Got on bus, called Tai, no answer. Got off bus at Ekamai, called Tai, no answer. Got on skytrain to Asoke. Got off called Tai, no answer. Went to Honey Hotel, no rooms. Went to eat in HH cafe, called Tai, no answer. Got room in guest house near by. Got docs copied. Came to my room. Got naked. Lay on bed wrote this.

7 PM

Napped. Woke up. Peed. Called Tai, no answer. Wrote this.

9:30 PM

Tai called about an hour ago. Said he phone was not working. I told her I did not believe her. Strained conversation. I told her that I will go to consulate as early as possible tomorrow and expected to return to Pattaya in early afternoon. She seemed surprised at that and when I asked her if she had packed yet, she said only a little that I interpreted as none at all. I said that I will call her after I finish with my visa business, will her phone be working? She said she had charged it. I asked about transportation. She said, by taxi. I asked how much. She said 1800 baht, she did not know, she did not make arrangements yet. I told her I would like it to be cheaper. More strained talk and we hung up. I do not think that this will work out.

Am being eaten alive by bed bugs.

11PM

Cannot sleep again. Mind keeps going over Tai situation.

WEDNESDAY APRIL 28 2010 7:30 AM

At Starbucks. Still cannot figure out how to connect to internet.

9:30 AM

In different Starbucks. Had Bkfst. in prior Starbucks. Took Skytrain to Wireless Road. Went to Consulate. Got proof of income statement. Saw barricades on Sukhumvit. All prickly with sharpened bamboo and tires to hold it gown. Lots of soldiers in jungle camouflage. Called Tai 5 times this morning, no answer. Will walk to Nana take Skytrain to Ekamai and return to BKK. Will withdraw 20,000 baht from bank to pay Rent and cleaning costs. Then to home.

5 PM

Home. Showered. Did accounts. Called LL. Pay rent 12 noon tomorrow.

Categories: April 2010 through June 2010 | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This and that from re Thai r ment. April 20, 2010

I am writing this from the overnight bus to Chiang Mai. I am heading back to my suburban paradise to pick up some of the things I left there when I moved to Jomtien Beach Paradise, which is located about a mile down the road from Pattaya, a city clearly on the outskirts of Hell.

Last night feeling a bit bored, I decided to travel the road to Hell for dinner and to look around. I dressed for my night out in freshly pressed pants and shirt only to discover that the Songkran festival was still going on and would continue through today. In any event, by the time I arrived at the outskirts to Hell I may as well have jumped fully clothed into the pool. I found a falafel shop and huddled near the spit to dry off, with little success. After eating, I walked around OOL (OUTSKIRTS OF HELL) . Although OOL was created out of a little Thai fishing village to provide RR for American service men during the Viet Nam War, it has developed a number of ethnic areas such as a Muslim section containing good food and water pipes to smoke and the new Russian tourist area that appears to specialize only in loud talking and giant white bodies.

Just about anything you could possibly want and a lot that you would not can be obtained in OOL for a price and it is all exhibited right there in front of you. The main street of OOL is called the Walking Street, it runs along the waterfront and all the establishments open on to the street so that, like the Plaka in Athens. You sit in front of the bars drinking your Retsina (in this case Beer) and watch the doings.

I strolled around for a while, stopped by a Go-Go bar called “Sharks” to visit a friend who used to work as a bartender in my bar in BKK and now is a featured dancer and then returned home.

This morning I awoke and realized that the suitcase I was going to bring with me to CM in which to pack my things was too small to carry everything I needed. Also after I left to go to the Bus station, I discovered that the Songkran festival was not only continuing but that this was to be the “big day.” As I set off to purchase an adequately sized suitcase and go to the bus station I found that the road was so jammed with partiers that it was impassable and no covered conveyance was available. So, I had to walked the mile or so distance to the turn from the beach road onto the street that would take me into Pattaya where I could buy some cheap luggage, do some banking and hopefully get to the bus station on time all the while praying that I could avoid getting too wet. I arrived at the junction depressed that my dry run of two days ago seemed a complete failure and pleased with the rationalization that probably without the dry run things could have been much worse. Although I avoided most of the water, I was drenched in sweat anyway. (Today’s photos show a bit of the madness).

Unfortunately, the intersection had the inflammatory situation of being the locus of a collection of gay, transgender and straight bars, hysteria and costumes and everything was…well, rampant. Also large water trucks, not the pickup trucks with barrels of water in the back, but real tankers were parked in the middle of the intersection with their operators gleefully spraying the overheated revelers with hoses.

Anyway, although I worked my way through the intersection mostly successfully, about 300 yards further along the road I came upon a particularly nasty knot of bleached white Caucasians and a few Thais gleefully wetting down anything that moved. I gingerly made my way through the crowd shouting “no water, no water.” The Thais complied. As I explained previously, when you signaled to a Thai that you did not want to be drenched they would desist or politely ask you to let them anoint you for the sake of the festival and if you agree they gently throw a few drops of water on you. Not so with the european contingent who seemed to determined to use the festival either as an occasion to practice for total war or an opportunity to demonstrate their racial dominance.

So just as I was about to pass beyond this particular group I was struck violently in the back by a jet of water from one of those plunger operated water cannons I described in my previous email. I turned and saw a rather large male with his faux penis erect and dripping and pointed directly at me. He stared at me in triumph looking a lot like a water buffalo in heat. I wagged my finger at him. He clearly interpreted it as a challenge and sprayed me again with his cannon this time drenching my front. Well, I immediately saw that this was going to become an epic challenge for leadership of the herd and so I strode back to him and pored much of the cola drink I was carrying over his head. He retaliated by spraying me again, so I threw the remainder of the drink into his face. That’s when I learned he was Australian because he could not say ‘fuck’ properly, pronouncing it something like ‘fawrk’ and he threw more water on me and that’s when I bitch slapped him up-side his head as they say (In a later post I will explain why a bitch slap is often better than a closed fist punch). Anyway that elicited a number of ‘fawrks’ from him and the others. Satisfied with my manly response to the challenge, I turned began to walk away fairly confident there would be minimal retaliation because men everywhere are usually dumb as stones when challenged. Suddenly a woman (the brighter and quicker of the sexes) yelled “Are you going to let him get away with that” and I was pelted on my rapidly receding but now heroic back with a few more bursts of water and a lot more ‘fawrks.’

Flushed with pleasure from the adrenaline high and happy with that pleasure generally experienced by the males of the species whenever they are able to beat their chests and roar over doing something stupid and worthless, I jumped on the next songtheuw, got even more thoroughly drenched, bought my cheap one trip luggage ($20), did my banking and purchased a change of clothes, a pair of pants too big in the waist and too short in leg and a polo shirt from a company appropriately named “Geek.”

(As an aside I must mention one of Joe’s rules: “Doing something incredibly stupid and getting away with it can make your whole week.” So Joe’s advice is do something stupid at least once a week, it’s better than Prozac)

I arrived at the bus station in plenty of time to change. I got on the bus and am ready to sleep, pleased in the knowledge that had I been a little smarter and had a little more foresight, I would have missed the events of the day and had no story to tell. G’night.

Ciao

Categories: April 2010 through June 2010 | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

This and that from re Thai r ment. April 17, 2010

Yesterday afternoon the Monsoon finally arrived with the suddenness appropriate to its name. The sun was shining and then abruptly it became dark and the rains came down in a torrent, knocking out the lights and more significantly the internet connections. It stopped just as suddenly but the clouds remained and it rained on and off throughout the night. There was a strange-sounding thunder, more like someone threw some pot and pans down a flight of steps. Several times I awoke thinking there had been a car accident outside my window. This morning the sky remained cloudy.

Contrary to what one may expect the monsoon rains do not bring relief from the heat. Yes, the temperature is lowered a bit for a while but the humidity prevents that from providing any comfort. What the rains do however, is wash the particulate matter from the air relieving some allergies and the like.

Often when I am spending some time in a place I am not to familiar with and need to do something fairly complex like finding the various bus stations and other transportation venues and make reservations, I make a dry run a few days earlier when I don’t care what happens and can avoid the anxiety of being some place at a particular time. I did so today. Pattaya has multiple bus stations and other transportation venues placed around the city, each owned by a different company and specializing in taking passengers to a different part of Thailand. I planned to take the overnight bus to Chiang Mai tomorrow to pick up some of my things. I am glad that I did my dry run because it was more difficult to get to than I thought and there were no spaces available on tomorrow’s busses. So I plan to leave on Monday and hope I can find a way back from CM since the return busses are all filled throughout the week.

On my return, it rained hard for a while and I was thoroughly drenched while changing the taxi-bus, a modified pick up truck called a Baht-bus or songtaew in Thai. The worst part of the trip back which takes a different route then the trip out is that the route back is along Beach Road in Pattaya, the main nightclub and bar area in the city and the Songkran festival was still in full swing despite the coming of the monsoon and I was drenched again by the revelers as I transferred from one songtaew to another. I found a songtaew that was covered and not open like most and it sheltered me from the worst of the excesses.

The weapon of choice was a three and a half-foot long tube with a plunger at one end. One fills the tube by inserting the business end into a barrel of water and pulling out the plunger. When the tube was aimed and the plunger depressed in could propel a copious amount of water across a sizable street and knock the unwary to the ground. This weapon was wielded most often by young male western tourists (Farangs). While the Thai children and young adults were happy just throwing the water from a pan or bucket in my general direction or could be dissuaded from doing so with a stern look, the farang delinquents seemed to find great pleasure in hunting you down. At one point I was about ready to jump from the vehicle grab the dripping phallus and shoving it where…you know the rest. If I sound like an irascible dyspeptic old codger, well I am. Also my prescription happy pills have run out and cannot be reordered until the festival is over, I am slipping into withdrawal which always makes me happily annoyed at everything.

When the Baht-bus arrived at the Jomtien Beach Road, we found that the road was flooded much like, for those of you who have been there, Soi 11 in front of Ava Pub during the rainy season except that this flood extended for about a mile and lacked the rats, snakes and stinking offal pouring from Bangkok’s sewers and canals that assured a long slow death to anyone foolish to let their unprotected skin touch the water.

Anyway when I got off at my stop, I found the long driveway flooded knee-deep and had to wade the 50 or so yards to my building.

And if I did not enjoy the whole thing, I would not have spent the time writing about it.
_____________________________________________

DIARY EXERPTS PRIOR TO POST:

WEDNESDAY APRIL 14 2010 11 PM

As usual cannot sleep. Will try Valium tonight. I seem to be getting back into a daily rhythm again that allows me more time to work on my writing. Today joined Daily Kos diarist. Suddenly all my contemporary political commentary rattling around in my mind that often kept me awake at night has vanished. I need to calm myself and perhaps review my emails for material.

FRIDAY APRIL 16 2010 2PM

Well the monsoon season just began. A few minutes ago a torrid rainfall began and knocked out the lights in the condo. The internet is down also.

Today I will probably not take my nap. Instead I intend to work on some of my much delayed writing projects and prepare for my trip to CM on Sunday.

The Cafe Le Mar is closed for vacation beginning tomorrow and continuing at lest until Tuesday so now is probably time to go.

SATURDAY APRIL 17 2010 2 AM

Cannot sleep again. Took two Tylenol but they haven’t worked. Took a small portion of Valium and am now waiting to see if it works. Do not know why I have been having such trouble sleeping recently. Whenever I think of Hayden my mind becomes so agitated sleep becomes impossible. Usually I solve this by thinking of something less emotionally stressful like the 49rs draft prospects this year. Even that does not work when my agitation it accompanied by itchy skin. I am not too sure what has been causing that condition. I think there are fleas in the apartment. On the other hand my bedding feels scratchy and uncomfortable. When I go to CM for the rest of my things I will try to take some sheets and pillow cases with me. I am sure they have a higher thread count than those that I currently sleep on.

Speaking of CM, my plan is to go to the bus station tomorrow and check the schedule and make a reservation if necessary. I will also check to see if my SS payment has been deposited yet.

I hope to arrive in CM early in the AM and get my work done at the house before the maid can call N. in Italy. Then I will go visit Choti and Jerry and the missionaries to say goodbye before meeting with Cordt and then returning to Pattaya on the night bus.

Categories: April 2010 through June 2010 | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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