Monday, 30 April 2007
This rooster would have to be the dumbest bird alive. I mean aren't roosters meant to crow at dawn in the mornings.. You see this insomniac bird doesn't know the difference from 5 am, 1 am, 3 am or 9 pm. I am pretty sure that it has severe brain damage even. It walks fine but doesn't seem to know the right time when to start crowing.
I have a love hate relationship with it. I feed it plenty of nice left over food, like rice and vegetables and fruit but I have to say I hate the bird. I have had many instances of me going outside in the very early hours (3-4 am) with a torch into the backyard armed with a shoe to throw at the stupid creature. I am sure he doesn't like me as well. Often when I go outside and he sees me, he takes off at a canter clucking and crowing.
Okay so roosters crow. Yes, I know that. But it's what this idiotic bird does as well. About a year and a half ago I was laying in bed very early one morning (around 4:30 am) and I could hear this banging noise. Bang, bang, bang. Sometimes it was faint and other times very loud. So I climb out of bed and opened the bedroom door and the Bang, bang noise is a lot louder. Guess what I saw?
Here on the front patio of the house was this retarded bird having a cock fight. You say, So what!! Well the thing was it was fighting another rooster that looked exactly the same as it.
How you ask? Well, this neanderthal of a bird was glaring into my heavily tinted front glass doors and could see a reflection of itself (now do you see!!) and this halfwit bird thought another rooster was on his territory and had challenged it to a cockfight.
So there I was looking at this future candidate for a Sunday roast dinner pecking and jumping up trying it's bloody best to inflict as much damage to the intruder onto his turf. Well, me not having too much patience at that time of the morning grabbed the nearest thing to throw at him (I think it was a shoe). I threw open the door and at that time the rooster let out a massive clucking noise and started to slip and slide as its claws tried to get a grip on the smooth tiles. He managed to get off the patio and onto the dirt and took off with the shoe or what ever it was in very hot pursuit.
I remember going back to bed cursing this crettin of a bird and trying to go back to sleep. Within 40 minutes the noise started again. My ears pricked up like a dogs wood and I am sure my face must have flushed blood red. I remember flying out the bedroom and grabbing the broom on the way (near the front door) and hurling the front door open and then chasing this clucking and half crowing bird around the front and back yard. Now, this would have been a hilarious sight for any Thai person to see a "farang" chasing a rooster only dreesed in a pair of bower shorts at 5 am in the morning. Luckily there were not many people around (zero).
Well after 1 and a half years you think that this highly intelligent animal would have finally realised that this other rooster doesn't exist. Even after having been chased 100 + times and had so many things thrown at it and even hit a few times (I was amazed when they connected).
But no. This bird still doesn't seem to realise that his arch rival to his harem of hens is nothing more than his ugly reflection in the glass of the door.
How many times has he woken me? God, I really hate to think. I really don't know how I haven't cut his skinny green and orange head off. Maybe I am just a big softie in my heart (no chance) and I actually enjoy the sport of chasey in the early hours of the morning.
Well anyway. Here is a video of this soon to be daisy pushing rooster. Today being the 30th April 2007 he decided it was again time to have a cockfight against his arch pimping rival. I have edited the video down to 3 minutes from over 10 minutes of film. (my god it was hard there filming him and not chasing him around throwing thins at him).
clich here to view or on my movies. (I have changed my video host to blip.tv as google has been down for 5 days) http://blip.tv/file/215117/
Sometimes we run 5 laps or 10 and other nights we just walk for an hour or so.
In Ubon there are 2 parks. The main park is called Thung Si Muang. This is a very large park in the middle of town on the main road. This is another blog though.
The park I go to is a lovely little oasis just off the main road right near Nong Bua Market and Temple. It's situated about 500 metres off Chayangkun Road (the main road in Ubon). This is one of the many reasons I like Nong Bua Park as it's a lot more quiet traffic wise than Thung Si Muang. I myself believe the air is a lot cleaner at Nong Bua Park. (just my thoughts, not officially tested by scientists I believe)
As you can see Nong Bua park is built around a large man made lake and in the centre of the lake in the evenings is a fountain that they turn on and it shoots up into the sky ( a little, maybe 6-8 metres) and also lights up. There are lots of trees and palms around the park which gives it a really relaxing feel. There is also grassed areas where young teenagers and families come to play badminton, lay with their heads in each others laps or just sit and let the children play while they talk and eat. There is a play ground for the kids but that is nothing special.
There are a lot of benches and tables around the park where people just sit and lookout over the lake and students and university students will often be seen here doing homework or project work. There are also 2 huts in the park that provide shelter from the sun and the rain.
There are always 2 security guards on duty to stop young children riding around on their bikes and also animals (pets) are prohibited. There are cold water fountains that have filtered water that I drink from all the time and have never been sick from them.
There is a basketball court and 2 "Tra Caw" courts (I think this is correct) which is a game the Thai people play using a small ball. It's like a volleyball court but smaller and the net is lower and they cannot use their hands like in football (soccer). I will take my camera one night to get some photos of them playing. There are also games of street soccer being played all over the place around the paved road circling the park.
The running and walking track around the park is just over 800 metres in diameter. It's a little up and down in places but well looked after. The park itself is kept in immaculate condition. There is a full time staff of around 8 people who keep the park amazingly clean and well presented.
Every evening starting at 5:30 pm is aerobics. There are 2 places in the park where this happens each evening. Aerobics is very popular in Thailand in the evenings ever where. I see them doing aerobics in many places (even Tesco Lotus car park). There is always a good crowd participating and mainly girls but this is not the main reason I attend the park.
So if you are in Ubon and looking for a relaxing place to go for a walk or a run then Nong Bua Park is great. It does get busy but not over crowded. You also see Thai people just going about their daily life's. And as always you usually see some interesting sights.
Below is a very smelly fruit called durian. You will see signs in hotels everywhere saying that you cannot bring durian into the hotel or the rooms. Yes, it is very smelly but it's also very delicious as well. I like it when it's nice and soft but my girlfriend likes it when it's hard. Yuk.
Below are fish being grilled over hot coals. They salt the fish on the outside and in the stomachs put herbs. They are also very nice to eat and cost around 40 - 70 baht each depending on the size.
No market would be complete without your Somtam lady (Papaya Salad). This lady makes very good Papaya salad. My favorite is called Dum Sou and Dum Thai. I only get 4 or 5 chillies where most Thais get 4 or 5 times that amount.
The egg man. 12 extra large eggs are 40 baht ($1.40 Australian) and small eggs are usually 20-25 baht.
Sunday, 29 April 2007
Below is a map of Ubon Ratchathani and I have drawn roughly where the market is. It's really hard to find a good map of Ubon. I am going to go to the tourist centre and see what they have in stock.
From the outside of the market it doesn't look very inviting but inside it is very clean. The market has just been through a very big renovation.
Inside the market you can find anything you want for cooking a meal. There is a huge range of fresh vegetables and herbs as you can see below and they are so cheap. You pay roughly a third of the price compared to the supermarkets. The fruit and vegetables are definitely a lot more tasty from the market.
The range of fresh fruit is huge as well. You can find many of your normal western fruits and all the delicious Thai fruits that the market stall holders are more than willing to cut open for you to try before you buy. (try this in Bangkok and you will be abused in Thai) In the picture below you can see rambutan, dragon fruit, longan, small oranges, apples, magoesteen and grapes. At the moment there are the most delicious mangoes available and so cheap, only 15-20 baht a kilo. I am getting sick of eating them.
You can also buy food ready to go. This area has had a big renovation and is really clean now. The food is delicious (Seb elee). Most of the food is grilled (ping) over coals (tan) or deep fried (thawd). There is every meat you can think of and more parts of animals that you didn't want to think about eating but here in Thailand nothing is wasted and if you try some things outside your usual circle you will be surprised how delicious they are.
Nong Bua Market is open from 4:00 am in the morning. This is when it is really busy up until 8:00am and then it quietens down a little until later in the evening. The stalls begin to close around 7 - 8 pm.
So if in Ubon and you are looking for some cheap and tasty fresh fruit or vegetables or something delicious to eat got on down to the market and give it a try and you wont be disappointed. That's a money back guarantee...
Saturday, 28 April 2007
I will not take a bus anymore in Thailand. I am not over reacting it's just after the experiences I have had on buses and seeing how the drivers drive. I don't want to risk my life in their hands.
The majority of the drivers are crazy, I am sure it's because they are driving such a big vehicle that they believe they can do anything. They hardly ever obey any traffic laws (as does anyone in Thailand), they pass when ever they want to and just flash their lights for cars and motorbikes to get out of the way.
They are always speeding (on the buses that can) I have been on a bus doing 130-140 kilometres an hour. Out of 10 bus rides 1 might be okay where you don't fear for your life.
The problem here in Thailand is if you want to get to some places in Thailand there is no other option if you don't have a car. The rail system is good and cheap but limited in destinations. I would not for half a second ever think about getting a bus from Ubon to Bangkok (629kms).
I fly or use the rail system. I value my life to much and hope to live many more happy years here in the Far North East of Thailand.
If you look at the picture you can see the people pointing at the water and clearly see a foetus floating. Now what half decent. No, sorry. What are these idiots thinking that it's a good idea for these very young kids in the picture to be seeing this. Any normal person with 1% of a brain would not have the kids there for the photo or in the area.
But the sad thing is this is what it's like everywhere in Thailand. No one protects there kids from these sort of scenes it is just taken as an everyday part of life here in Thailand. I have seen dead twisted bodies laying on the road and the smallest of kids not even a metre away from the body just standing and staring while their parents talk with other people and laugh and joke. It's insanity.
Anyway back to the story.. The police are going after the illegal backyard clinics providing these abortions.
Paitoon Tumcharoen, 48, manager of the golf course, said "many dead infants and foetuses have been seen floating past the living quarters in the past two years."
Area residents claimed they have seen more than 30 dead infants and foetuses in the canal over the past two years.
Forensic tests showed that the three dead foetuses found on April 21 were hit by hard and sharp objects while in their mothers' wombs, Yes, these people need to be stopped.
Finding figures on the Internet relating to abortion rates in Thailand is hard or impossible, I looked and looked and could only find the figures supporting the newspaper article from 1999 (8 years ago) but found nothing for recent years.
In 1999, a total of 45,990 women in Thailand sought medical treatment from 787 public hospitals after undergoing illegal abortions. Almost half were below the age of 25 and about 30% below 20. And thankfully only 5 died due to complications (remember these are statistics from hospitals. Imagine the number of people going to clinics or not seeking help.)
There was a figure saying 300,000 illegal abortions take place in rural Thailand each year but they believe this is a big under estimate with the real numbers being much higher.
The only figures I found relate to 2002 and the teenage pregnancy rate for girls aged 15-19 was estimated at 49 births every 1,000 girls. I am sure that it's a lot higher than that.
I know of many girls who just go missing from villagers one day. Their parents and friends don't know where they are or what happened to them. Usually it is that they became pregnant and cannot face there parents and other family or friends because of the shame it will bring. I know of cases where fathers have bashed their daughters to near death because they were pregnant before being married or they are pregnant to a person who is of no value to the family and wont be able to provide support to the family or the money that some families still expect at the wedding from the groom. (I know of a groom, he took out a 200,000 baht loan to give to the brides parents).
A girl has just returned to my girlfriends village after she was missing for 7 months before contacting her parents. We all thought that she was dead because not one person knew where she was. She rang her mum from a town 200 kilometres away and told her that she was pregnant but okay. she ran away because of the shame she was going to bring to her family and scared what her dad would do. Thankfully it's all turned out for the best know and she has a lovely baby. (she is only 19) I and my girlfriend have know idea who the father is or if she knows or wants to say. (she was playing around with a married policeman, not smart)
Anyway that's my rant and I believe that a lot more education needs to be done especially in the rural areas of Thailand regarding safe sex and for abortion it should be legalised and then at least young girls can go to facilities anywhere and feel safe. (at the moment in Thailand you can only have a legal abortion if 1- Due to medical dangers or 2-Rape)
I enjoy the excitement of finding a bargain. Here in Ubon Ratchathani it's hard to find really well made dress shoes. I had bought my last pair from Tesco and they weren't cheap at 900 baht ($32.00 Australian). I bought them as they looked well made and felt comfortable and when you are wearing them for 9 hours a day at work it's what you want. Well they fell apart like many Thai made shoes (99%).
Well, I finally found a pair of Doc Martens exactly in my size and are in fantastic condition. They are the real thing not a copy and so comfortable. The price was a very high 180 baht ($6.50 Australian)
My girlfriend wanted to buy some new pillowcases and a quilt. Well she was happy looking through all the stalls. Eventually she settled for a "Hello Kitty" (original for sure. ha ha). It was 280 baht but we had it reduced to 250 baht ($8.90 Australian)
Now to shoes. I found some really good bargains. The white and brown Adidas are golf shoes in nearly brand new condition. They are really comfortable and well made and were 500 baht but I got for 380 baht ($13.60 Australian). And the joggers/trainers are a pair of Reebok. They are in pretty good condition and they wanted 350 baht but I got for 280 ($10 Australian).
If you go to the shopping centres you pay 3 and 4 times as much for shoes that the quality is very average anyway. And if you go to a real shoe shop you pay 3,000 - 5,000 baht for a pair of joggers/trainers. Not me. I will get around a years wear out of my joggers and the golf shoes a lot longer I hope. So money well spent I believe.
Well here in Isaan country, Ubon Ratchathani has it's own open air weekend market. It's on a scale of 1-30 or 1-50 of Chatuchak but it still offers everything you might be looking for. It is situated 200 metres from Big C Shopping Centre. Big C is 5 minutes from the city centre of Ubon.
It's very easy to get there as nearly all the Soi Taxi's go to Big C. The number 10 and 11 Soi Taxi's run from early morning to late in the evening and you will see one every 5 to 10 minutes apart. It costs 10 baht for the Soi Taxi from one end of Ubon to the other end.
At the market the prices are a little more expensive than in Bangkok but not much usually if you barter hard, usually 10 - 20 baht most the time.
There is a big range of secondhand shoes and clothes. If you are willing to do some searching amongst all the clothes and shoes you will definitely find a bargain. There are counterfeit brands available everywhere at reasonable prices. Again it's the same as in Bangkok, the more you buy the cheaper you get the merchandise.
Now, the Thai police raided a counterfeit CD, DVD, MP3, Karaoke CD set up last week in another part of Thailand and confiscated 140,000 CDs and DVDs and such. Well at this market there would be at least 10 - 15 stalls selling counterfeit CDs and such. They don't got raided because they pay protection money and are left alone by the local men in brown in the area.
MP3 and VCDs sell for 20 baht each ($0.70 cents Australian). DVDs are advertised as 100 baht but you can get for 80 baht if you bargain (I get for 30 baht from my friends shop).
Below are peak caps. These are very good quality and have many brands. Von Dutch, Billabong, Roxy and such. The man asks for 100 baht per hat ($3.60 Australian) but I can get them for between 60 -75 baht each depending on the quantity I buy. These hats especially Roxy and Billabong sell for a small fortune in Australia. A friend sells these hats in Australia for $20 dollars each and has trouble keeping up the demand there.
So if you are in Ubon Ratchathani and are looking at doing some shopping, then head off to the weekend market. It's also held through the week on a Tuesday and Thursday at 2 different Temples in the centre of town.
Friday, 27 April 2007
I thought I should share it with everyone as my parents wouldn't mind (I think) as they are really great.
The pictures cover from Pattaya, Tiffany's Cabaret Show where my dad molested the Katoeys/Lady boys at the end of the show and also of us playing golf in Ubon Ratchathani and many other things.
Good catchy music has been added to make it enjoyable to watch.
If you want to see it please go ahead and enjoy. It might take a little while to download depending on your Internet speed. It's 7 minutes long. Click on it under My Video's.
In the video you hear deafening thunder that shook the whole house, I thought for a moment a window night even fallout. The camera has lightened the sky so it's not as dark as it seems. The storm lasted around 40 minutes and we got hardly any rain but it cooled down for a little while.
My girlfriend was freaking out and yelled at me to get inside many times, she really hates lightning and thunder and ended up locking me out of the house and then she hid in the bedroom under the blanket. (she's a little strange)
I am actually looking forward to more storms and the real rain that will come and flood our street usually up to your thighs. It could be a little different now as new drainage has been put in through the street but we will see in the next month or so.
I hope you enjoy. It's 2 minutes long.
Here in Ubon Ratchathani it happens but not as prevalent in the cities. In the cities they really target the "farangs" foreigners as their marks. Here in Ubon the "touts" target anyone gullible enough to fork out their hard earned money.
My friend Keith from England, who has lived in Ubon Ratchathani for a while now and has been married to his Thai wife for many years is a smart and careful man. He has common sense. That's what you need here not to be scammed.
Anyway. Today his wife was in bed not feeling well and a man came into his business (he has units for rent) and introduced himself. He explained in very bad English that he was from the public hospital (Suppasit Hospital) and he was collecting donations for people who had lost limbs and this money was to help cover costs of prosthetic limbs (artificial limbs).
Okay this is for a good cause. There are many people in Thailand who need prosthetic limbs. The guy was dressed very well and had an identification badge hanging around his neck. He had envelopes that you put the donation into and seal (all the writing in Thai). Now the guy said the minimum donation was 200 baht!!! Now this is strange as not a lot of Thai people have 200 baht just to give away and usually if you are looking for donations for any sort of a cause you take what ever the person can give. Be it 1, 10, 50 or 100 baht. So this made Keith a little sceptical then.
The guy handed Keith 1 of the envelopes and Keith said that he would wait until his wife woke up and then they would talk and see how much they would donate and Keith told the guy to come back later or tomorrow and he could pick up the envelope.
The guy said "yes, no worries" sort of thing and headed off out the front of Keith's units and got into his car and left. Keith thought this was strange as well as there are so many houses around and the guy didn't go to knock on any of the doors looking for donations.
Anyway. Keith's wife wakes up and calls the hospital. They tell her that "there is no charity like that being run from the hospital or being run for the hospital by an outside source that they know of." So, It's a scam. A guy goes into an area hits 2 or 3 houses around the place and moves on somewhere else. What a dirty scumbag.
I hope this guy stumbles on my place in the next few days as I will gladly stall him and then ring my good friend 2 doors down (who is a policeman) and have some of the Thai police to come around and get this filth off the streets. This guy is low... I think of all the times I have given money to people outside of shopping centres asking for donations for schools and all sorts of things and it makes me think if the were the real deal or not.
All I know now is that if I ever donate any money to any cause here in Thailand again, I will make sure I ring the source receiving the money first to check. I know this sounds ridiculous but I really hate scammer's, I loathe them.
I don't give money to the beggars you see around the place, Do I feel sorry for them? Sometimes Yes, but most the time, No.
I see 60 - 70 year old ladies pushing carts selling fruit and food up and down the tiny little streets in the hottest part of the day and then I see a younger lady sitting at the market in the shade begging for money, I know where my money is going to go.
There are always people offering these fantastic deals for all kinds of things in and around shopping centres. If they want to know my name, address (which hotel I am staying) anything like that. It's a scam of some kind.
Anywhere in Thailand, If a Thai person asks you for any details about yourself or where you are staying and how long you are here for. Don't tell them nothing. That simple. Or you will be scammed. Even if the person seems like the nicest guy/girl you have ever met, even if it's a monk. Don't do it.
Plain and simple. There are many people out there all over the world doing this sort of thing. Here in Thailand in the cities there are lots. Nearly every Tuk Tuk driver and cab driver and doorman from the hotel tries to get you to go somewhere or to sell you something.
It all comes down to common sense in the end. If something seems to good to be true, it is..
A unbelievable cheap deal, It is unbelievable. In Thailand be smart and have a happy holiday.
Thursday, 26 April 2007
This is a Swedish man who obviously has nothing left. He was kicked out of his room in Pattaya after being unable to settle a debt. The police were called and brought him back to the police station with all his worldly possessions (which don't look like a lot) and left him sitting (sleeping) out in the car park for all to see. (pictures Pattaya City News)
Luckily a Pattaya City News reporter seen him and went over to investigate and found out all the details. They then placed a call to the Swedish Consulate who had not been contacted by the police. (they were probably to busy inside laughing and ringing people to come down and see the guy) After the call had been placed the Consulate are now helping the man.
It's good to see that he wasn't stupid and pathetic and just jumped (or get pushed) off a building and became another statistic of Thailand's carnivorous bar girls.
You have to be so smart if you take a bar girl out of a bar and try and make her live a normal life. It very rarely happens. They have learned to take and take and that's all they can do. They can tell the most unbelievable stories but make you believe them. My poor mum's sick and off they go with story after story.
If your girl is obsessed with money, then simply get rid of her. Walk away or you will go crazy and end up the same as the guy above or dead.
If she always asks for money for some sob story, if she always takes her friends out with you and you pay all the bills, get rid of her.
If there are any Western Union receipts this is a definite sign that she has more than 1 "Farang" (most do) get rid of her really quick.
If she has more than 1 phone or 3 or 4 sim cards, get rid of her. These are just a few very basic things that I would look out for.
Now once you do get rid of one of these leeches, move, change your Thai phone number as she will probably (100%) try and get payback. And this would not be nice as it would involve a Thai boyfriend and friends and they don't play around.
Simply don't even think for a minute that a Thai bar girl is going to make a great girlfriend and future wife (I am sure there are a few success stories out there. I just haven't read them on the Internet).
Sure come to Thailand and have lots of fun but be careful or your picture will be in the paper or your body in a morgue. Use just 5% common sense and you should scrape through okay.
As my friend (Poppy) from New Zealand who has lived in Pattaya for 20 years once said "You can take the girl out of the bar BUT you will NEVER take the bar out of the girl." This is so true just read stickman's website.
Well that's my rant anyway.
A famed Aids prevention Campaigner (Aids is a serious thing) Meechai Viravaidya yesterday revealed an "outside-the-box idea" - finger condoms for pre-school children so that they can get used to them!!! What the?????? (sorry, it's a serious topic).
Can you imagine kindergarten kids walking around with condoms on their fingers!! Luckily they come flavoured nowadays I see. I really don't see how this in one little bit would help these young kids for the future about safe sex but hey you never know. You can read the story here
Aids is a serious problem in Thailand and if you are a happy go lucky tourist heading to Thailand's red light areas and you don't wear a condom with the local bar girls or lady boys, you are a bloody idiot. That simple. It's not an epidemic here but there are a lot of cases and as you know you cannot tell who has and hasn't got aids.
The first Aids case in Thailand was diagnosed in 1984 and I have to admit the Thai government does a good job in trying to promote safe sex for bar girls and katoeys and foreigners.
Here is a statistic for you (complements of Avert.org). Thailand has reduced the number of diagnosed Aids cases from a 143,000 in 1991 to 19,000 in 2003. 2 Nonetheless, more than one-in-100 adults in this country of 65 million people is infected with HIV, and AIDS has become a leading cause of death.
Look at these stats. If you go by these 1 person in 110 has the aids virus. So you can imagine your chances with a bar girl or lady boy/Katoey.
Estimated total population, July 2005 - 64,233,000
Estimated number of people living with HIV, end 2005- 580,000
Adults (15+ ) 560,000
Women (15+) 220,000
Children (0-15) 16,000
Estimated adult HIV prevalence 1.4%
Estimated number of AIDS deaths in 2005 21,000
So when in Thailand be very smart and use a condom no matter what the girl says. Is your life worth the risk with a girl turning ($30) tricks? Don't be a fool.
Is piracy bad? Yes. These companies pay huge amounts of money to secure these superstars services. And if someone here in Thailand is selling burnt DVDs and Cd's for 20 - 100 baht (less than $1 Australian dollar to just over $3 dollars Australian) that are usually of good quality why would you even think of buying a real one in a main shopping centre for 500 - 900 baht ($15 - 27 Dollars Aus).
Piracy is every where you turn in Thailand. You go to MBK Shopping Centre in Bangkok to the 4Th floor (I think that's the right floor) and you can buy burnt DVDs, Cd's, VCD's and every game you can think of.
Are these places raided? Not often as they pay protection money to the right people. If you don't pay it you will not survive very long. All the little shops you see any where in Bangkok and any other place in Thailand will be paying money to the local man to stop being busted. (like I said before, My friend pays 10,000 baht every month)
So this massive bust of 140,000 Cd's and DVDs wouldn't even be 1% of the pirated copies existing here in Thailand. Obviously these people had fallen foul to the wrong people and have been used as a side show in the pretense that Thai Police are cracking down on pirated materials.
So congratulations to the Thai police in stopping this major counterfeiting ring and now Thailand and the big record companies are going to be so better off. They only have another 2 or 3 million people to bust out of Thailand's 60-70 million population to go before cleaning up the counterfeiting outbreak here in Thailand!!!
Story here http://www.nationmultimedia.com/breakingnews/read.php?newsid=30032684
Wednesday, 25 April 2007
Unfortunately this piece of human shi* is out on bail on appeal. The way this woman treated this young girl is inhumane and I hope that she cannot bribe people to get off the charges at a later date.
As the article says "It is the first time in Thai legal history that the anti-slavery law has been enforced, despite widespread slave-like labour in sweat shops and private households. "
And that's the sad hard cold truth. This doesn't even skim the surface of a massive child enforced labour problems here in Thailand. Children are forced to work like slaves for virtually no money and the worst thing is big companies/Rich People bank rolling these sweat shops turning out thousands of garments for people who pay good money for them.
I am a hypocrite as every time I buy a rip off designer shirt here in Thailand there is a 100% chance it came from some horrible dirty rundown dark sweat shop with children slaving over sewing machines.
I hope that this ladies appeal fails and then more people come forward and more and more people end up in jail over these horrible crimes.
My rant anyway... story here http://www.bangkokpost.net/News/25Apr2007_news02.php
Luckily we had an afternoon storm that cooled things down for an hour or so until it blew away.
Pitch black clouds raced raced across the sky and the wind blew like a hurricane for around 40 minutes. Massive lightning strikes were hitting the earth and buildings everywhere as I watched but all over the place as I was trying to film them (I filmed about 8 minutes of film for 1 strike) but the thunder roared like a monstrous lion let loose in the sky. It was deafening and shook the doors and the windows of the house. (You can hear in the film hopefully ready tomorrow)
My girlfriend ran back into the house and closed all the doors and windows and turned off all the power and hid in the bedroom under the blanket/quilt. It was cold from the air conditioner)The pictures show the black clouds in the sky but the camera has lightened them a lot and are not as dark as they should be.
After all the wind and lightning and thunder we probably got 10 millimeters of rain. Just enough to settle the dust and that's it..
I have been to Thailand twice, but only Bangkok, Pattaya, and Chiang Mai (the last time)...I want to experience Issan, but also want to do it within the confines of a safe, larger city..with some things to do...and also would like the opportunity to meet a local woman...which city or cities would you recommend visiting while I am there? Thanks... Burk.
Hi there Burk. Well Ubon Ratchathani is a safe city. But again if you insult the local young guys you can get in trouble but it happens rarely with "Farangs" here. Ubon has every thing you have in the cities but a lot less traffic and 98% less ripoff merchants.
We have the same bars as the cities (just not as many) and the bar girls are exactly the same as Pattaya, Bangkok (Patpong). They will say and do anything they can to get your money. So if you chase a bar girl you will end up with a broken heart and a very empty bank balance.
You can meet a lot of decent Issan girls here in Ubon just around the place. There are many other bar/restaurants where girls go and just hang out together. You can tell them apart from the money diggers as they come strolling over very quickly after seeing you and will invite you to go to their table and drink with them and then start straight away trying to fleece your money.(really they are that straight forward)
Look for the tables of girls who are just there enjoying themselves and when you have a few beers and a bit of courage go over and start chatting by simply saying that you are new in town and looking for things to do and go. Can they help?
There are lot's of students and other girls who love to try and talk English with Native speakers and usually you will be involved in a conversation with ten girls before you know it.
The Isaan people are amazingly generous and don't be surprised if you are asked to attend a dinner with their friends the next day or go somewhere with them in Ubon and 99% of these people do not expect the farang to pay like in other parts of Thailand.
So look out for the money stealer's looking for the walking ATM but you can really see them a mile away with a little common sense.
I believe Ubon Ratchathani would be a great place to start a trip heading towards Mukdahan and Khong Che yum.
That's my idea and rant hope it's helpful; my friend and post when you are heading here.
It is situated in the middle of town close to major shopping centres (Tesco Lotus and S.K Mall)Also at the complex there is a cinema complex a 1 minute walk from the front door that is currently under going a Major refit. It often shows English speaking movies and also movies with English subtitles.
The room rates are available on the Internet but you can get better prices through Asia Rooms or other Internet booking sites.The hotel is very clean and the staff are always very friendly and helpful. The hotel has many facilities that you can see for yourself at their website.
There are 4 bars and a snooker hall also within a minutes walk catering for all different tastes. The rock (nightclub) is packed every night of the week with young Thai people who love to have a drink and a good time and listen to really loud music. Most of the songs are Thai hits but they also play some English songs. There is a stage show where different performers sing songs with a live band and dancers and is worth just popping in to see this.
The Zodiac Bar plays English 60's and 70's songs and others at your request.
There are 5 or six places to eat at near the hotel (withing a 2 minutes walk). The 2 restaurants at the hotel are good.
The Marakot Restaurant is A a carte. It serves excellent food at a reasonable price for a hotel. They have a band playing in the evenings who are great and sing many English songs and if you are feeling brave you can get up and belt out a number yourself. The like people to sing karaoke so don't be shy.
A Steak Buffet is served every night in the restaurant opposite the Marakot. It's 99 baht for adults and 59 baht for kids. There is a very big range of food (My camera died last night, batteries flat). You can have steak cooked to your liking at request and also chicken, pork and fish. There are french fries, soups, vegetables, salad, sushi, rice dishes, Thai dishes, desserts and ice cream and much more.
I admit sometimes when I have been the buffet had been very average but last night the food was excellent. For the wide variety of food at this price you cannot go wrong.
Far a rating out of 5 the buffet gets a 3 and a half. The Marakot gets a 5 every time but your bills triple the price as well.
So if in Ubon for a short stay check out the Nevada Grand Hotel and you should find something for all your family or just yourself.
After struggling the last few holes on the golf course I was looking forward to getting home and sitting in the air conditioning and doing some work, well that's what I had planned.
When I started the computer and tried to use the internet, nothing. I rebooted the modem and still nothing. My phone line worked fine so I knew it had to be an Internet problem.
I called the TOT service line and it was answered very quickly. I was transferred to an English speaking customer service lady (and she spoke very good English) and we started going over all the possible problems as she said there was no Interent problems in my area.
After 10 minutes on the phone and trying everything she suggested she said to try again in an hour. I did that and every hour after until about 10pm last night and still nothing, so I gave up and watched a DVD.
Now this is when the next problem occurred. It was very hot and I was in the living room watching a DVD and my girlfriend was in the bedroom watching Thai TV. (It's atrocious).
At about 10:30 pm my power went out. I checked the neighbours and they all still had power so I knew it must be a fuse. Now the fuse in the house is an old ceramic thing and has a piece of wire that runs through it to work. This had blown to bits.
My neighbour had spare wire at his house and he gladly helped me fix it and the next 3 times after that. (last time around midnight). I still don't know why the fuse wire started to blow apart as it's never done it before and there was nothing extra in the house being used to strain the electricity source.
Anyway after a good nights sleep the Internet was fine again today as if nothing was wrong. So what ever was causing the problem has been amazingly fixed as TOT my Internet provider didn't have any problems....
Monday, 23 April 2007
It's that simple. Here in Ubon Ratchathani you can buy so many counterfeit brands, they are all over the place in different shops. If you pay protection money everything is fine, if not then you will be out of business soon.
I know this for a fact as my good friend who sells copied Cd's, DVDs, VCD's, mp3's and so forth has to pay the local police 10,000 a month to stop himself from being raided and his stock confiscated (If this actually happens you can buy it back from the police at a price). This is common knowledge everywhere.
So the police went to Pattaya for a days holiday to the seaside and also do a bit of promotional work. They said customers were thinking they were buying the "real branded items" Come on this is Thailand, If anyone thinks that they are fools.
story here http://www.pattayacitynews.net/news_23_04_50_3.htm
My rant anyway.
He lost a 500,000 baht diamond ring ($17,200 Australian dollars) and some other things and 50,000 baht cash. You cannot for 1 second leave stuff laying around in your hotel or unit rooms. In house robberies happen all the time by staff or old staff who still have keys.
If your staying in a very cheap hotel and it doesn't have safety boxes at the front desk or electronic safes in the room (Ones that you can make the code too yourself). I would keep your valuables with you strapped to your body using a body strap otherwise you could be heading home a lot earlier than you were intending too and also spending a lot of time filling out paperwork getting new documents.
1 other thing when you do go out don't flaunt big wads of cash and show off heaps of gold you are only going to draw attention to yourself and it will probably turn out for the worse. Be smart just a little and you will enjoy a great holiday where ever you travel in Thailand.
P.S This doesn't happen very often here in The Far North East of Thailand.
As you can see in the photo's the young boy looks in a rage and probably would be affected by
1-alcohol and 2- Ya Ba (which is the same as Ecstasy I suppose!! pills they pop and then go crazy). Now this isn't an isolated incident here in Thailand it happens a lot between young people and gangs.
Gangs of teens are always fighting between each other and very often there are shootings stabbings and severe bashings. You can imagine the terror the boy on the road must have been feeling thinking if he was going to die this day.
Below you can see the boy on the road has grabbed the sword. You can see blood on his face and shirt. Why is no one helping? Unless you had a gun and even then it mightn't be wise to try and stop them. (I have seen police standing around watching fights take place with people bashing the crap out of each other, They usually don't try to stop them until the people are unconscious, tired or dead before they intervene)
Below A crowd of people watching the one sided fight.
Below going for a kick to the head.
Below The kick connected.
As far as I know the boy didn't get killed and I don't know exactly why the fight happened. The problem here in Thailand are the young people carry to many weapons and use them without a second thought.
I hope he was or is arrested and put into one of the very horrible jails here in Thailand that I have read about. It probably wont do the offender any good but it will take him off the streets for the time being for all our safety..
Owners of products use these girls to get people to stop and watch (and many men do) and also they have troupes travelling around Thailand dancing at different places, sometimes where they shouldn't.
Coyote dancing has been banned in many provinces and also Her Royal Highness Queen Sirikit even has expressed dismay at the coyote girls. I agree as a lot of these girls are under the age of 18 and the way they are dancing is not acceptable for someone of that age.
If you know about how Thai men see Thai women now, young coyote girls dressed and dancing provocatively only causing more problems in society. A lot of Thai men have no respect for Thai women at all other than being there to cook, clean and make babies.
Some organisers recently had them perform at a "Temple" which is a holy place and acts like this are forbidden but are very often ignored. A member of the village videoed the coyote girls dancing and has sent it into the authorities. Authorities now have to decide if they will prosecute the organisers of the show.
I agree that temples are not the places for these shows and also that girls under the age of 18 not be allowed to participate.
You can see some coyote dancing girls examples at these following links.
The first link is Coyote girls at the Bangkok Motor Show 2007.
The second is of a girl shaking it well (her as*) in a short skirt by herself having a great time.
Hope you enjoy.....
Chaos erupted as police asked to see the migrant labour registration cards. Guests started to jump up from tables tipping them over and running in all directions to escape the police.
Police also wanted to speak to the groom who had other idea's. He quickly leaped over a balcony into a canal to escape and is still at large (What a wedding to tell the grand kids about).
Even the members in the band abandoned their instruments and jumped into the canal as well to escape.
Police arrested 48 migrants who didn't posses the correct paperwork (38 were men).
What the police need to do is find the people employing the illegal workers and give them a huge fine to deter others. There is a work shortage for Thai people without having illegal migrants taking work from them. (I know a lot of Thai village men can hardly get off their butts and stop drinking to go to work)
Sunday, 22 April 2007
(Picture courtesy of Pattaya Mail)
This lovely Irishman's luck ran out. He used up all his four leaf clovers when he was in Pattaya and on Walking Street very intoxicated. He decided to grope an actual decent Thai girl (they do actually exist in Pattaya, Not all are working girls!!).
She was a university student and has asked that charges be pressed against this buffoon and hopefully she gets a nice sum of cash out of it.
So if you are going to any of the fun (red light) areas in Thailand remember there is a place that you can and cannot do things otherwise you will end up a sad man either sitting at a police station or in a hospital getting stitches or worse.
So drink and have fun but use just a tiny little bit of common sense.. please.
I would love to see Thai officers running around the little Soi's knocking on doors saying "Excuse me. Is this your dog? It just shi* on the street and we are going to fine you 500 baht. What a laugh.
I have a dog that lives at my house but goes when and where ever she wants. I don't own her and don't know who did. If she crapped in the street and they tried to fine me 500 baht I would laugh at them. If they were going to take her away, I would pay the fine.
But best of luck to all the officials if the decide to enforce this law and I hope they have plenty of doggy poo bags to collect the evidence for forensic testing to prove that the poo matches the dog being charged... Ha ha ha ha
They do this to help bring plenty of rain for the coming wet season (their belief), the problem being is that some of these homemade rockets go as high as 10,000 - 12,000 feet!!
A pilot here on a commercial flight in Ubon last week reported a rocket passing not far from his aircraft when he was approaching Ubon Ratchathani airport. He had to pull out of that attempted landing as he was worried about more fire rockets and approach from a new angle.
Now these rockets (I will get photo's at this years festival) are big. They make them out of water pipe and bamboo. The pipe is where they stuff the gun powder and the bamboo is the launching stick. Sometimes the bamboo would be between 10 - 20 metres long (no joke).
Authorities have asked that all villagers let them know when they are going to be holding their "Bang Fai" festival and times so they can warn airlines of the dangers. I wish them all the best of luck with this but don't think they will get too many replies from villagers.
Kids are letting these crackers off all the time around now and they have no common sense or care for anyone else but themselves. So if you are flying into Ubon look out for Bright Blue bits of pipe flying past your windows as you approach to land.
So many Thai men carry guns it's scary. And they use them without thinking.
And when you are an off duty policeman and you shoot someone dead in a disagreement there is a good chance you will get away with it (especially if you are of high rank).
Example- An off duty policeman is accused of shooting a man dead on Friday night at a karaoke bar in a village. The villagers paraded the body of the man outside the police station calling on the policeman to be prosecuted. (The details are non existent to what happened)
Problem being is the policeman will say it was self defense and so will a few others and he will walk away a free man (even if it wasn't self defence). If you have rank or power (money) you can get away with what you like in Thailand... Very scary but true..
He said "the authorities cannot afford to waste time in their attempts to find missing children, many snatched by human traffickers and forced to work as child labourers, beggars or sex workers.
He also said a special task force to trace missing children by coordinating information from relevant agencies should be set up. (WOW, What a fantastic idea. I cannot believe that don't have already. How backwards of them)
He also said "Authorities need to act quicker against traffickers" (REALLY, WHY? Is this guy an idiot!!) These are the stupid comments coming from ministerial people that make me realise why there are so many problems in the Thai government systems.
For the sake of the poor Thai people affected by kids running away or kidnapped pull your fingers out of your Fat backsides and get it sorted out..
My rant anyway..
This has gone on for to long now, these uneducated lowlifes just need to be weeded out of Thai society. Not long ago a Japanese lady was shot by her taxi driver in a robbery in Bangkok.
Now a 34 year old sicko has tried to rape a 17 year old girl who fought back and screamed out for help a passerby heard her luckily. (If he had a weapon I am sure she wouldn't be alive).
I know that there are so many taxi's and Tuk Tuks on the road but the Thai government needs to come up with a way of making it safer for all people using these types of transport. In Pattaya it happens very often where people are robbed by motorbike taxi's.
It's not good for Thailand's tourism and also for the Thai people themselves.
I hope they cut this perverted as*hole's di*k off and throw him in jail were hopefully someone will do to him what he was intending to do to the poor 17 year old girl.
1- because he is my friend and 2- because it doesn't do any good here in Thailand.
I bought my computer back in early September 2006 through my friend and he set it all up for me. Now I am an idiot when it comes to computers. I know how to turn them on and turn them off. That's about it.
In the last 4 weeks my computer has just shutdown when I was in the middle of a blog or just listening to music 3 times and then it wouldn't start back up again.
1st time my friend accidental erased everything I had on my computer. 700 plus photo's and lots and lots of school work. Was I angry? Yes, but it happens and you move on.
2nd time he saved all my stuff this time. I didn't lose any photo's or work but it wasn't working properly.
3rd time yesterday. Again he saved everything for me and has installed a new version of windows "apparently that was the problem!!". The computer ran fine for 6 months and but the last 4 weeks have been an experience.
Well touch wood and fingers crossed that all is fixed now and hopefully no problems to come.
Saturday, 21 April 2007
Forty-four high schools nationwide will increase the amount of Mathayom 1 students per class from 45 to 55 to support the intake from the third round of student allocations, a senior official said yesterday.
Secretary-general of the Basic Education Commission Khunying Kasama Varavarn said 36 Bangkok schools and schools in four other provinces had proposed increasing class sizes to 55.
This is sad as the quality of teaching and learning of students falls so much by adding just a few students to a classroom. The government and "MOE" Ministry of Education really have to look at fixing this problem A.S.A.P for the sake of Thai students education.
No wonder the level of Thai students schooling is low compared to other Asian countries. When you see university graduates in English Major who actually cannot speak the most basic of English graduating you know that many things need to be changed throughout of Thailand.
He admitted to police that he would have killed her had someone not intervened and stopped him.
Now the boy cannot be identified because of Australia's pathetic over protecting laws that we have for juvenile offenders. If a child under the legal age commits an offence knowingly he/she should be tried as an adult. That simple and be convicted and sent to an adult jail.
This 15 year old Three years ago (so he was 12), the boy, from central Victoria, was found guilty in a Children's Court of four counts of rape and one of attempted sexual penetration of a child under the age of 16. (Hello, Alarm Bells Ringing.)
He was released on a 12-month supervision order without conviction. RELEASED, No juvenile detention, nothing...
I hope that the family and the grandmother Sue the state government of Victoria for millions of dollars for putting this 15 year old into the community knowing he was a danger to society.
I hate to think how many people he has raped and they haven't reported it to authorities.
Now, I am in no way racist but I bet 1 million to 1 he was a Native Australian (aboriginal)
Stroy here http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,21593552-2862,00.html
He shook his son for around 30 seconds after He said he became "a little pissed off" with Izaiah's crying and "gave him a shake" about a week before his death.
Their baby died of a subdural hemorrhage and now after being found "guilty" by a jury he is now "crying fowl".
I hope this lower than life piece of sh*t gets everything and more on sentencing day.
But I sadly hold my breathe as I know the pathetic sentencing systems in Australia judicial system means, the time given to these "dogs" never match the crime committed.
My rant anyway..
P.s. How could any woman stay with a man that killed your own flesh and blood is beside me!!
The whole story here http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,21593663-2862,00.html
Friday, 20 April 2007
Miss Wang if you don't know was incredible wealthy and very eccentric.
After her late husband was kidnapped a second time (he was very rich, They paid 11 Million dollars the first time he was kidnapped)
She paid $34 million of the $60 million to the kidnappers The second time he was kidnapped in 1990 but was never heard from again.
She seized control of Chinachem Group (a paint and chemical business) but had a long running court battle with her father in law.
Anyway, It was estimated by Forbes Magazine she was worth $4.2 Billion. And she has apparently left it all to the Feng Shui Master guy.
So, I eat my words and have to say maybe it does work!!
p.s Sorry, I still don't believe....
It's actually an amazing read about this lady and her past. There are many Bio's about her on the Internet if you want to take a look.
My god, I cannot see this draft being successful as a lot of the Cabinet Ministers are probably guilty (I have no evidence of this, just my guess) of some for of corruption and would have obtained assets over seas.
I can only imagine the, I would have to say Billions or Trillions of baht in illegally obtained assets currently overseas. I wish the justice Minister all his best in this new law being passed and the 100's of years then chasing the assets at huge costs to the local Thai tax payers.
I am sorry but I am not a big believer of Feng Shui, I believe you create your own harmony and for a government to spend their taxpayers dollars on this (crap) it makes me laugh and feel sad.