Saturday, 26 April 2008
Kids imitating sex acts seen on Web arrested
Three boys aged between eight and 12 have sexually assaulted a seven-year-old girl after watching pornography at an Internet cafe.
The boys were apparently at an internet café playing games and seen older boys looking at pornography, the boys have admitted to the crime. These young boys then used the images they seen on the computer and made them real lifeThe victim's parents complain their daughter was assaulted on April 17. They assert she was raped, and an examination confirms she has had sexual intercourse. Police are considering charges ranging from gang rape to taking a minor for a lewd act.
‘Considering gang rape’, the boys have admitted to their crime, the charge is true it has to be gang rape, nether less their age. I don’t know the laws for juvenile offenders here in Thailand. In Australia they are absolutely pathetic; kids under the age of 16 usually receive a sentence that outrages the public but the government and judges ignore the outcry. So, what about the internet shop? Shouldn’t they be held accountable to a degree? Shouldn’t they be monitoring what is being downloaded and looked at in their shops? Pornography is illegal in Thailand, any images on a computers’ hard drive can mean the computer being confiscated by authorities, as they did in cases last year.
Laws were passed that gave authorities the power to conduct searches of peoples private homes if they believed the computer was being used for downloading illegal images. I remember one internet shop owner having computers confiscated as there was music on the hard drives that had been downloaded by customers, it was a copyright breach.
The internet shop can use programs to stop clients accessing these types of websites. Also there is software that can be bought and this erases the computers memory, it is easy to use and even recovery programs cannot retrieve files once deleted.
There is no way that a shop can stop this happening 100%. But they could monitor it a lot better. A long time ago when I would use an internet shop as I didn’t have a computer at home, I would often see a group of young guys looking at porn, crowded around a computer. The internet shop assistant would be perched behind a desk talking on a phone or playing an online game.
I remember clearly some young gay guys sitting next to me giggling; when I glanced at what they were looking at it was gay porn, it was no big deal but not really the place to be doing it.
The internet and also the terrible Thai TV dramas are having an impact on Thai teens; they see these TV shows depicting rape of young women almost on a nightly basis. Drunken men beating women and men being derogatory towards women, this is what they see their idols, their stars acting like, many young people don’t associate this is not real, it is all pretend and only a script. They look at it as real life.
They see the big houses and fancy cars, lots of money and sexy women, they see the violence, murder is a big part of the dramas and in the end after seeing so often it becomes reality to them. I really believe Thai TV to be the worst TV I have ever seen. I actually shudder when I hear a Thai women screaming at another women for stealing her man or for her boyfriend cheating or being drunk. The sound goes through me and down my spine.
This isn’t just a Thailand problem, it is a worldwide problem. How do we stop it? I have no idea. Crimes committed from internet games that are so violent are on the rise. Kids who act out what they are playing in a fantasy world is happening. Australia is finally taking a small stand by using a rating system like you see for TV programmes. G- means general, for all ages. R- means restricted, only over 18.
Of course there has been an outcry as many games will fall into the R category and will be unavailable for sale to kids under 18 but again it will not stop them but make it a little harder to access the games.
Technology is becoming a parent for many young children as parents are forced to work to make ends meet in a world becoming so expensive. The days of going to the park with the children are becoming less, dinner together as a family is virtually a thing of the past, the yearly family holiday is now a once every 3 or 4 year occasion.
When I was a kid, a teenager we got into trouble and did stupid shit but nothing like nowadays, we respected older people, we did what our parents told us, we got out of the house and did things outside together, kicked a football, played cricket, talked shit, played hide and seek all the sort of things kids used to do. Maybe they still do them.
The internet has been both a world changing and also a curse of an invention. Is what it has brought our human race, worth the problems it is now starting to create and also for the future?
Thursday, 24 April 2008
ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps whose soldiers were known as Anzacs.
In 1914 when the First World War broke out, Australia and New Zealand soldiers formed an allied force. Most of the Anzac soldiers were only young scared boys, who gave up everything to fight for their country.
The allied expedition that set out to capture the Gallipoli Peninsula to open the way to the Black Sea for the Allied navies. The plan was to capture Istanbul, capital of the Ottoman Empire and an ally of Germany.
The ANZAC force landed at Gallipoli on 25 April, what they encountered no-one had expected. It was thought the allied forces would have had little resistance but this didn’t happen the Turkish soldiers were well prepared and the campaign dragged out for eight months.
At the end of 1915, the allied forces were evacuated after both sides had suffered huge casualties and hardships. Over 8,000 Australian and 2,700 New Zealand soldiers gave their lives.
Anzac Day became a day on which to commemorate the lives of Australians and New Zealanders lost in World War 1 as well and in subsequent years, the day has been broadened to include those killed in all the military operations in which the countries have been involved.
All through Australia there will be dawn services being held, the surviving soldiers of wars past, dawn vigils, marches, memorial services, reunions, sly two-up games — became part of Australian Anzac Day culture.
At a dawn service you will hear the infamous “Last Post”. When you are standing there in a crowd of diggers and civilians listening to a bugler play this song, it’s haunting and I cannot remember a time I had dry eyes. The last post recorded in 1956 at a dawn service in New Zealand. It actual makes me emotional listening to it, but hearing it live and in person cannot be described.
I have read many memoirs that have been written by returned soldiers, who landed at Gallipoli, what they endured for our country went beyond call of duty. I cannot express my thanks to the men who died and also my sincere condolences to the families and relations of soldiers not returned in any war Australians have been to and served.
So, I will leave this post with the verse of the ode that is said during the minutes of silence on Anzac Day:
They shall grow not old,
As we that are left grow old,
Age shall not weary them,
Nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun,
And in the morning,
We will remember them.
Lest we Forget.
I remember singing this song in the school choir many years ago. I will highlight some of the lyrics:
Now when I was a young man I carried me pack
And I lived the free life of a rover
From the Murray's green basin to the dusty outback
Well, I waltzed my Matilda all over
Then in 1915, my country said, 'Son,
It's time you stop ramblin', there's work to be done'
So they gave me a tin hat, and they gave me a gun
And they marched me away to the war
And the band played Waltzing Matilda,
As the ship pulled away from the quay
Amidst the songs and the cheers, the flag waving, and tears,
We sailed off for Gallipoli
And how well I remember that terrible day,
How our blood stained the sand and the water
And of how in that hell that they called Suvla Bay
We were butchered like lambs at the slaughter
Johnny Turk he was waiting, he'd primed himself well
He showered us with bullets and he rained us with shell
And in five minutes flat he'd blown us all to hell
Nearly blew us right back to Australia
But the band played Waltzing Matilda
When we stopped to bury our slain
We buried ours, and the Turks buried theirs,
Then we started all over again.
And those that were left, well we tried to survive
In that mad world of blood, death and fire
And for ten weary weeks I kept myself alive
Though around me the corpses piled higher
The big Turkish shell caught me arse over head,
And when I woke up in my hospital bed
And saw what it had done, well, I wished I was dead
Never knew there was worse things than dying.
So I'll go no more Waltzing Matilda
All around the green bush far and free
To hump tent and pegs, a man needs both legs,
No more waltzing Matilda for me
So they gathered the crippled, the wounded, the maimed,
And they shipped us back home to Australia
The legless, the armless, the blind, the insane,
Those proud wounded heroes of Suvla
And as our ship pulled into Circular Quay,
I looked at the place where me legs used to be,
And thanked Christ there was nobody waiting for me,
To grieve, to mourn, and to pity
But the band played Waltzing Matilda
As they carried us down the gangway
But nobody cheered, they just stood and stared
Then they all turned their faces away.
And so now every April I sit on me porch
And I watch the parades pass before me
And I see my old comrades, how proudly they march
Reviving old dreams of past glories
And the old men march slowly, old bones stiff and sore
They're tired old heroes from a forgotten war
And the young people ask "What are they marching for?"
And I ask myself the same question.
But the band plays Waltzing Matilda
And the old men still answer the call
But as year follows year, more and more disappear
Someday no one will march there at all.
P.S Thankfully someone will always march. The relatives of fallen soldiers will honour their memory for years, decades to come.
The man was 50 years old, he was rushed to hospital on the 11th of April in the southern town of Surat Thani as he was ill and this is when the doctors discovered the drugs.
Three of the condoms had burst, making him very ill. On the 19th of April he lost his life. It has been reported he died of septicaemia and liver failure.
Thai police had charged him with possession of narcotics, which carries a maximum jail term of five years. A total of 800 grams of hashish was recovered from the man.
Authorities speculated that the man had swallowed the goods to get them past port inspectors at the pier to Phangan Island, notorious for its "full moon" parties, drug-fuelled all-night revels that attract hundreds of foreign tourists each month.
If you read about these parties that people have written about, they are just that, drug fuelled. If this is common knowledge, why don’t authorities stop it? Oh, of course, money.
I really hate drugs, drug users, sellers, manufacturers and so forth. They are the filth of the world. All countries need to have the harshest of penalties, be it mandatory death sentences or life in jail without parole.
Why is a 50 year old man involved in this trade? It has to be money? Is the money worth the risk? I mean sooner or later you are more than likely going to get caught. And is 5 years in a cramped and dirty jail cell worth that?
I don’t have any sympathy for the man who has died, he dealt his hand and he lost the gamble. I feel sorry for his parents and family, drugs wreck families, tear them apart. So many young people end up in holes too deep to get themselves out of because of drugs.
I personally don’t believe there are such things as ‘recreational drugs’, they all lead on to harder drugs for a bigger hit. If you look at crime rates in any country that are linked to drugs and the cost of this to tax payers, it is astronomical.
In Australia the panalties for drug crimes are an absolute joke, with most getting a slap on the wrist and a small fine and then on their way. The deterrent as in the punishment doesn’t outweigh the gain they get from peddling drugs.
If countries had drug laws like some Arab nations, people may, just may think it is a bad idea if they are issued a death sentence for their crime instead of a small fine or a few months in jail.
Drugs will always be a problem, for all countries, too much money is involved. When you see kids as young as 14 in the papers in Pattaya saying they robbed a man at gun point to feed their ‘ya ba’ habit, it is sad.
Story from The Herald Sun Newspaper Australia.
Here in Thailand you don’t hear or see of too many attacks by elephants. Elephants used to be everywhere in the capital of Thailand, Bangkok, but their owners were ordered to leave the area but I have heard that there are elephants still doing rounds in touristy areas.
I call these captive elephants, ‘sympathy elephants’ because if you look them in the eye they look so sad, lonely, mistreated. I was a culprit when I first came to Thailand for holidays and used to feed them. When I read articles and also seen video footage of the way some, not all elephants, are treated I refused to ever feed an elephant again and support this way of life for them.
There are so many videos of elephants being abused by owners in Thailand. Here you can watch a young elephant being tied up so it cannot move and then it is hit with sticks that have nails protruding from them. The elephant has pure fear in its eyes.
This video is of a large elephant that is tethered on a short chain of no more than two metres long. It pulls at the chain trying to get it loose. It is out in the baking sun with no shade.
This video, a man and his wife went to an elephant park as he wanted to ride an elephant. After he seen a mahout of one elephant continually hitting it on its head with a sharp stick, called an 'ankush', he started to think differently about riding elephants.
There are many videos of elephants being mistreated in Thailand, not all. Many owners also treat their animals with love but again an elephant shouldn’t be in captivity, it should be free or in a free range zoo.
Supporting these people by buying 20 baht bags of food to feed the elephants only encourage others to buy and then mistreat elephants. You don’t have to be rude to the touts selling the bags of food. You can say “no, thank you.” politely. They will usually hound you for a few more seconds and ‘wai’ to you but simply ignore them.
It is the same with children who are begging, don’t give them any money. Again this may sound cruel but many times behind the scene a parent is forcing the child to beg or the child has been sold to people who run rackets where these kids are paid a small amount of money of what they collect.
Women get small babies and sit and beg for money, it has been reported many times that the babies aren’t even the woman’s who is begging but a friend or relatives’.
There are many genuine people down and out of luck in Thailand and do need help but also sadly there are many who prey on hapless tourist with soft hearts. I simply stick to not giving to anybody. Actually I have lied, sorry. I have given to a guy who gets around by lying on a skateboard and using his one arm to propel himself as he has no legs. Even then I gave him only 2 baht I think.
Come to Thailand and enjoy your holiday, but think about what you could be supporting, such as acts of animal cruelty or even worse the abuse of young children. You will probably feel horrible for a minute or even a few seconds after turning down some dirty, skinny looking kid begging for money but it will go away quickly.
Sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind.
All the hype about this guy is his history of crime, well alleged, as he has always managed to avoid being found guilty for any charges brought against him. I have read a lot on this family and friends over the last few weeks and my research has left me amazed and dumbfounded at times, his father the current Interior Minister Chalerm Yubamrung also has a very interesting reputation.
The thing that has mad many people angry is, seven years ago he was accused of the night club murder of a policeman. This was with good reason at the time of the murder as there were eye witnesses to the crime.
At this time Duang Yubamrung was a sub-lieutenant at the Armed Forces Security Centre. He failed to show for work for 15 days after this alleged murder and then left the country and fled to Cambodia and Malaysia before finally turning himself in.
In the time he was on the run all the witnesses to the murder who were under ‘maximum protection’ as quoted by a police officer way back in 2002. The problem was that in the time Duang was in hiding all the witnesses to the alleged murder fell silent and didn’t want to testify!!
So, Duang Yubamrung is to return to the army, less than seven years after he was cashiered over accusations he was involved in the night club murder of a policeman, because they couldn’t be proved.
Let me set the crime scene for you:
Late on October 29th 2001 in Club Twenty, part of the up-market and swanky Chao Phraya Hotel in Bangkok, It was alleged Duang pulled a gun from his pocket and shot Sergeant Suvichai Rodwimud from point blank range in the head.
There wasn’t a problem with lighting I the club as witnesses said that the lights had just been turned up before the shooting happened.
Another interesting thing was Duang’s two brothers Wanchalerm and Artharn who were police sub-lieutenants at the time were accused of helping Duang escape from the scene of the crime, it was alleged by other police officers that Wanchalerm pulled a gun on them and this allowed Duang to escape.
Police established from the autopsy the calibre of the weapon used and then found that Duang and his wife Lamnao both had weapons of this calibre registered in their names. They had 40 weapons registered. Police went to the Duang’s house and carried out a raid looking for the weapons. Funnily enough Duang couldn’t be found and the two pistols they were looking for couldn’t be found. The couple also had 100 vehicles registered in their names.
On December 3rd Duang said he had simply misplaced the two firearms and that if he continued searching for them he would find them. To this day they have never been found.
Duang had been well known to police, he had been accused of 12 other violent incidents in the two years before the murder. He had never and still has never been found guilty of one of the accusations.
Now the list of alleged crimes goes on and on and the accusations against Duang’s father are also long. The media have long alleged he made his fortune in the gambling business. He was once charged with a gambling offense but never indicted.
It was stated that Duang’s dad had said “My sons have an uncanny ability to become involved in a brawl at almost any licensed premises they enter.
He also made this statement after recently being appointed The Interior Minister.
“Aware of public concern about the past behaviour of my family, I want to extend my sincere apology for the past record of my sons and I promise that my sons will not become involved in any role in the Interior Ministry”
Well his son Wan is now part of the Ministry, He is the secretary to the deputy minister at the Public Health Ministry he is also now “Mr. Happy Toilet.
He said “I’m proud to be "Mr Happy Toilet"
Just years ago he was dubbed "Bad Boy", but today Wan wants to call it quits with notoriety. At 33, the son of Interior Minister Chalerm Yoobamrung is pleased he is now "Mr Happy Toilet,"in charge of a campaign to make all toilets clean.
Wan believes this mission could create a public perception of him as a good guy.
Here is an interview with Wan:
Q : Why do you want to be a politician?
Wan : It's my dream. I know I've made mistakes. Now I want to prove that I can work for society. I want to run for Parliament in a general election. That might make people accept me.When I was young, people from round about used to come and ask my father for help. They were all welcome to talk with the family. I remember that vividly.My father has three sons. I look the most like him. I used to go with him to the provinces on election campaigns. He made the Yoobamrung name famous throughout the country. I'm afraid political work will fade away in the family if there is nobody to follow in his footsteps. That's why I have to get into politics.
Q: Don't you think people will laugh at you? "Mr. Happy Toilet" may sound funny to them.
Wan : Of course they will, but I'm proud of the role. I shan't care if someone says: "Hey! Here's Mr. Happy Toilet!" I've had worse said about me.
Q: How do you feel about being in the public eye?
Wan : It used to feel terrible. I used to have a good cry with a friend, or with my Japanese Koi fish, particularly when the Criminal Court banned me from entertainment spots like discotheques for two years. No one else has ever been sentenced to that. I'm just an ordinary man who loves his friends and wants to protect them. I just want to prove that I can be a good guy, and I want to tell people that there's no way my family is corrupt.Q : Has your father taught you anything about politics?Wan : No, never. He says I have to learn about it and get on with it by myself.
Q : What is your next plan in your work for the Public Health Ministry?Wan : I'm a Liverpool fan. I want to promote football as a healthy activity for people across the country. because football's my favourite thing.
Anyway, back to Duang:
Duang eventually surrendered himself to the Thai embassy in Kuala Lumpur in May 2002 the following year to fight the charge of murdering Pol Snr Sgt-Maj Suwichai Rodwimut of the Crime Suppression Division.
He was later acquitted of the murder charge by the Criminal Court on the grounds of insufficient evidence and conflicting witness accounts. Several witnesses who testified said they had received threatening telephone calls to warn them not to tell what they had seen, and no direct testimony ever was admitted.
Now he has had his rank returned to him. The man has never been found guilty for any of his alleged crimes, so no-one could really stop this happening I suppose. Only from all the papers and articles I have read, I believe that foul play was involved, such as ‘witness tampering’.
It goes to show the state of Thailand’s politics and also its judicial system, there are so many articles on families with power being able to find away out of a deep hole they may have dug.
Maybe the boys have grown up now and learnt from their previous indiscretions, maybe they will be better people but this remains to be seen. The Thai people can only cross their fingers and hope that this happens but I know from reading forums and newspaper opinion articles many are angry with the appointments of the two Yubamrung boys.
There never is a dull moment in Thai politics or in Thailand in general. keeps me entertained.
Tuesday, 22 April 2008
I was in the bedroom and heard a commotion outside. He was obviously angry as I had killed his chicken and I was angry because his chicken had scratched my car.
I had been to the police station and spoke to an officer. I know. I showed him the pictures of the car. He said I shouldn’t have killed the chicken, I would have to buy a new chicken for the man or make compensation but the man will also have to compensate me for the damage to the car.
He suggested that the two of us come to an agreement without the use of police; he offered to be a mediator, if needed. I don’t know what the cost of the repairs for the car will be and will have to get a quote. I also have no idea the cost of a chicken but cannot imagine it will be too much.
The neigbour was talking fast and angrily, Noot translated for me and then she spoke in Thai to the man, Noot then explained to him that we had been to the police and also what had been suggested by the police officer.
I actually apologised to him for killing his chicken (the policeman told me to), I did a traditional Thai ‘wai’, and said in Thai I was sorry and that I had a “hot heart” and that I was stupid or silly in Thai.
Noot said he was angry that I didn’t just go to him when I found the chicken had scratched the car, he said we could have come to an agreement. I nodded along in agreement with him.
I again said that it was in haste and in anger I did it, I then took him and lifted the cover and showed him the damage to the car. There are three spots but the left hand panel is the worst. I said that when I saw this damage I went crazy and didn’t think, Noot explained this and he listened and didn’t say a lot.
Noot explained to him I was going to get the car professionally cut and polished and then would look at the damage, scratches that couldn’t be removed I will have to have the area repainted. Noot also said I was willing to buy a new chicken for him if he was willing to cover the costs of the car repair.
Truthfully, I have full comprehensive insurance and would use this. I am going to see the insurance company on Thursday about it. I will ask if they will cover the costs or if they would pursue the man for the money. I know I am not going to pay for it.
The neigbour, after a good 30 or so minutes had calmed down; he still wasn’t overjoyed with what I had done. He understood I acted on impulse and said to Noot that if any chickens come into the yard to try and chase them away, I mentioned that he needed to keep them in a coop or in his own yard in a fenced area. I said this was my backyard, not his or his chickens.
I told Noot I am going to buy a nice dog. I will look at a ridgeback, pitbull cross and bring it up to be a guard dog. When old enough I will not have to guard our yard as it will do a great job. I didn’t really want to own another dog as they are a lot of work for a real owner, not a Thai owner who opens their gate in the morning and lets their dog out to roam the streets for the day, that’s not me.
So the coming days will be interesting, I hope the car can be cut and polished so the scratches are gone but if not then repainting will be expensive I think. I don’t know how the man would raise the funds as he is a simple man and looks like he lives a simple life.
So, the chicken is on lay buy to say, and I will see what happens in the coming days but I hope that his other chickens stay out of my yard; I didn’t see them today but tomorrow is another day. If they come over that fence I am going to scare the absolute shit out of them. I won’t intentionally kill them but they could have a heart attack from being terrified.
Noot isn’t talking to me, well unless it is necessary, like “I am hungry”. So it is a start :)
Back on the 10th of April I wrote about how 54 illegal immigrants were suffocated to death out of 120, while they were being smuggled into Thailand.
Thai authorites have come out and said that the people responsible for the deaths of the 54 human beings cannot be charged for ‘human trafficking’ but with ‘human smuggling’.
Authorities say that under Thai law human trafficking required an act of exploitation, which was absent from the smuggling of people seeking proper work.
An initial investigation had determined the evidence did not support a human-trafficking case, an immigration bureau chief said. It was a matter of legal interpretation. "This initial finding may run counter to general sentiment and reports which labelled this as a case of human trafficking. But there is a difference between human smuggling and trafficking, it's a matter of degree,"
Under Thai law human trafficking required an act of exploitation, which was absent from the smuggling of people seeking proper work. Human trafficking must involve smuggling of people with the specific objective of employing them in slave-like conditions and jobs, such as forced prostitution. People smuggling was a crime of lesser degree. The penalties were also different.
Seeking proper work! These are illegal immigrants with no papers and usually not a lot of specialized skills. Most end up as house cleaners, maids, in sweat shops, in prostitution and so forth. What a load of shit, the Thai authorities trying to say that these immigrants were looking for ‘proper work’, it is bullshit.
A human rights commissioner disagreed with such an interpretation, which she said was based on vague, incomprehensive laws. Treating the case as human smuggling would enable the authorities to speed up the deportations. The survivors should be allowed to stay and claim compensation.
Wow, that’s a surprise. Make it easier for the Thai officials so that it goes away quicker and off the pages of the papers. If not seen then they are happy. This is bad media for them.
Ranong police have begun an intensive hunt for the last piece of dung, suspect in the case, Supat Phothong, 34, believed to be the broker who brought the Burmese job seekers to Thailand. Six other suspects have surrendered to the authorities.
Mr Supat is believed to be armed and dangerous and in hiding with his relatives in Nakhon Si Thammarat province, police said.
I hope they have a law for harbouring criminals like they do back home and punish the family members for hiding this animal.
A high ranking police officer authorised the use of "harsh measures" if the suspect violently resisted arrest.
I hope that means shooting him between the eyes, but again a few years picking up the soap in a prison could also be a good sentence for the dirt bag.
There are thousands of illegal workers in Thailand that are working in slave like conditions being treated worse than animals. This happens because corrupt officials accept bribes and turn a blind eye to the crime. Corruption is a plague that needs to be wiped out in Thailand; it would be a huge effort to undertake and see through and would also result in deaths of people who opposed the human trafficking gangs and rackets and also high ranking officials with a lot of power.
It is written in forums everywhere and also in foreign newspapers about corruption problems in Thailand, it isn’t a secret. The old ways need to be phased out, slowly but surely. It can be changed over a long period of time but it comes down to the government and if it seriously wants to stop it, sadly many of these people are also guilty of such.
I would have no idea where to start, but serious sentences for people committing bribery, say a minimum 20 year sentence and for serious crimes where death is involved, as the above story, then the people should be sentenced to death. The people involved in the crime and also any officials that took bribes at the border to allow the illegal immigrants into the country.
Maybe this is harsh, but it is a penalty that may make people think twice before committing such crimes.
Monday, 21 April 2008
I was flicking through the TV stations as I was a little bored and came across a show that was recorded at Fashion Island Department Store Ramindra road, Kannayao, Bangkok.
It was a kid’s show as there were kids sitting up on the stage near the performers.
There were plenty of mums in the crowd laughing along with the jokes.
There were 5 guys on the stage, these were 2 of the main guys. There was of course a ladyboy, katoey or gay guy. Every show has one, they act outrageous and silly to get plenty of laughs.
They gay guy had a ripper of a shirt on; it read “Star Fucker”.
So Star Fucker danced around and sang and acted gay in front of all the mums and kids wearing his shirt proudly.
You cannot tell me there wasn’t one person there in the production crew or from the shopping centre that didn’t have enough intelligence to understand this was a rude shirt to be wearing.
It goes with the shirts young kids wear, kids wear shirts that often have vulgar or very suggestive meanings on them and have no idea what they mean. These kids are oblivious to it.
It is pretty funny to think that not one person at the shopping centre knew enough English to know “Star Fucker” was wrong for a kids show.
Sunday, 20 April 2008
We just celebrated Songkran or the water festival here in Thailand. We were heading towards Ubon when I noticed a smoke screen up ahead.
As we got closer, it was a van that must have been fumigating for mosquitoes, the funny thing was there were police everywhere and none of them had thought to put this polluter off the road.
During Songkran pick-up trucks are always overloaded to the max. This is a main road where the speed limit is 100km.
In Noot’s mum’s village some of the local kids where out the front of her house playing with water and having a ball.
On the way back into Ubon there were plenty of kids on the edge of the main road having a ball.
In Ubon little streets had families set up for a day of fun.
Another family having fun.
This pick-up has just fueled up and its way overloaded cargo is heading back out for more fun.
This pick-up just arrived for fuel with the kids on the back soaked to the bone.
This is a duel carriageway and as you can see a motorbike is heading the wrong way. This happens all the time and you will even come across cars doing this. They do it as they don’t want to have to go the right way for a kilometre and do a U-turn, so instead they simply go the wrong way a few hundred or so metres endangering their lives and others.
This is a main road with a 100km speed limit stopped. It is meant to be illegal to play on main roads such as this, but it isn’t enforced.
A monk was waiting for a ride into the city. It looked like people had enough respect not to wet him, thankfully.
Here some novice monks were playing on the main road; I have never seen monks play Songkran before, a first in 4 years.
The main road stopped again and some idiots in the middle of the road.
This girl threw the bucket of water into the back of the truck wetting the people trying to hide and keep dry.
These two dimwits were playing in the middle of the road. The law of averages usually catches up with you. We were going slowly but other impatient people were not slowing down a lot and passing very dangerously.
Over the Songkran period, called the 7 dangerous days; this is the official road toll. This doean’t include Pattaya which is currently playing Songkran.
There was a total of 368 deaths and 4,803 injuries in 4, 243 accidents nationwide.
When compared to the same period last year, this year's figures were 31 less accidents, seven more deaths, and two less injuries.
Most accidents resulted from drunk driving at 40.56 per cent, involved motorcycles at some 82 per cent and took place during 4pm to 8pm at 32.24 per cent.
Most accidents are on village roads, drunken kids on motorbikes without helmets, the government are thinking of new laws and alcohol measures but this will not change a thing in rural areas as it isn’t policed. If they just enforced the underage drinking law and arrested kids who were drunk underage and also people selling and supplying the alcohol to them would help a lot, but again, practically this couldn’t happen as jail cells would be overflowing out the doors and windows.
I really enjoy Songkran, it is a heap of fun in the city, of course some take it too far and use hot powder that gets rubbed in your eyes and burns, and others add stuff to their water, like chili to make it burn but the majority of people play in good spirit and have a hell of a lot of fun.
At this time I went and saw the owner of the chickens and had stern words and told them that I would kill their chickens if they came into my yard anymore. It didn’t go down well at the time but we came to an understanding after some time. I even went out and bought a new car cover which I took photos of. I did see the chickens after this but now I had the cover they couldn’t scratch the car.
Last night we had been out till late, the car was dirty, covered in dust, so I told Noot we wouldn’t cover the car as I will wash it in the morning. I only washed it 3 days ago but where we went through the day there was dust everywhere.
This morning I was in the bedroom watching the Australian news channel when Noot called out, in Thai she said that a chicken was jumping on the car. Well, I went red straight away. I went outside and there were really bad scratch marks on the front left panel. I went fucking beserk.
I went back inside the house, I have a large stick I keep there as a precaution, if there are any undesirables who want to come into our yard late at night. I grabbed the stick and then went after the chickens.
They were in the back yard, scratching around for food, I was off after them. One headed for the back fence and sort of half flew and jumped over. The other chicken headed for the cover of some timber and junk stacked in the back yard.
Noot told me to stop, but I ignored her. I located the chicken hiding in a little cave type area; there was one way in and one way out. The chicken was making a lot of noise; I simply poked or jammed the end of the stick into the chicken as hard as I could. It then made a lot of noise and tried to flee. I promptly smacked the fucking thing as hard as I could and it went down. I then picked it up and said some choice words and broke it neck.
Noot was pissed and had left to go inside; I walked to the back fence and threw the chicken into the asshole owner’s yard. I am now waiting for the other chicken to venture over the back fence, I keep looking out the back window, when I see it in the yard I will grab the stick and hopefully smack the c##t of a thing across its head.
I am sure when the neighbour finds his chicken dead; he might even pay us a visit, and this I am also looking forward to. I am going to take him the bill for the repair of the car anyway, after I get quotes to fix all the scratches. If he pays up I will buy him a new chicken, but until then I am going to kill every chicken of his that jumps my fence.
Noot isn’t talking to me at the moment but I will get over this and so will she, I think she was shocked that I followed through with my threat. Now, the neigbour also knows I am not joking so maybe he will keep his chickens in his own yard and in their coop.
Friday, 18 April 2008
The concert was meant to start at 8pm and we arrived at 9.40pm and they were still finishing things off on the stage. At about 10.30pm it kicked off with the young dancers coming onto the stage and the drunken guys jumping to their feet and dancing and jumping about. We only stayed for 30 minutes and left as Noot said it didn’t seem very safe and the quality of it was very poor. This concert cost them 15,000 Thai Baht
The next night it was at our village, a different mor lum company, it cost the village 40,000 Thai Baht for the concert. I am going to write about what I seen and it actually opened my eyes up a lot.
I have always been harsh on Bangkokians being derogative towards Isaan villagers. Often you will here people stereo type north eastern Thais but after watching and seeing what happened during the night, I actually don’t blame them anymore. When I hear the “Barn Nawk” which means hillbillies, uneducated and so forth being referred to Isaan villagers I won’t be so upset anymore.
Here we go. I arrived at the mor lum concert and there were groups of people all about the place, young groups of guys from early teenagers to mid 20’s sitting and drinking beer and Thai whiskey waiting for the concert to start. They were all mainly within 30 metres of the stage.
There were plenty of families with stray mats spread out on the road; they had food and drinks with them to enjoy the night. Most family groups were back from the younger kids which was a smart move.
While waiting for the concert to start I had plenty of time to sit and just watch people. I watched as young boys around 12 or 13 were drinking beer offered to them by older guys in the group. There were also groups of young girls turning up and sitting with the guys and they too started drinking. So girls looked real young, maybe 12 at the most drinking beer straight from the bottle. No older villagers did anything and when I said to Noot about it, she said “don’t worry”.
There were some army guys near us and I told them but they didn’t seemed too fussed and when I seen some of the volunteers and spoke to them they also didn’t seem overly worried. As the night wore on, there were many teen drunks staggering about the place. I seen a girl maybe 4 being helped by friends as she couldn’t walk properly, she made her way off down a small street and a group of boys and girls followed.
As the young Thai guys got drunker they acted like utter feral fools. The young girls dancing on the stage were offered tips by the guys and when they would bend down to take the tip the guys would grab their arms, stroke their arms and so forth and then turn around and thrust their arms in the air.
All the time this was happening during the night the volunteers, army guys and police were doing nothing about this. There was no way they couldn’t see what was happening as it was happening in front of them. The guys started plying the girls with more and more alcohol as the night wore on.
I wrote about Miss B, she stayed with us in Ubon for a while and was nearly raped a month or so ago. Well, I am ashamed to say it but maybe she did deserve it. She was acting like nothing short of a 99 Baht whore. She was with a group of guys and two other girls; she was drinking and seemed really pissed. When the music started she was dancing around like a slut. Her mum was sitting with us and didn’t do anything, B’s younger sister Beer was also with us watching. B’s mum eventually went over to them; I don’t know what she said. B’s mum was then given an orange vest to help out controlling the locals and cleaning up bottles to stop them being smashed. We looked after Beer for her.
The saying goes “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree” and this was so true. It didn’t take long and B’s mum started dancing about, this is a late 40 year old and then she was drinking beer with the kids, I made some very derogatory remarks to Noot and I could see she was angry at what I said. Watching B and her mum acting like total fools made me feel embarrassed, for Beer.
Eventually young Beer fell asleep, so Noot and I took her to her house. Her father was there and said to send her mum home to look after her as he had to go back to the concert and look after the VIP guests. So Noot informed B’s mum and 20 minutes later B’s mum turns up with Beer in her arms, this was 12.30am. She lays Beer on the stray mat; I said “are you fucking serious, you are a great mother!” Noot gave me death stares but I couldn’t help myself.
B continued on acting and dancing like a slut and the day will sadly come where a guy will rape her, no women deserves to be raped but she isn’t doing herself any favours the way she acts. She is a young girl playing with older and predatory guys that will take her to the cleaners and back, when this day happens I will not have an ounce of sympathy for her. I just hope she doesn’t end up dead.
I sat and watched this behaviour of older guys preying on the younger girls they were getting drunk. Where were the girls parents? I have no idea. These girls were dancing in ways that if they were your daughter, you would grab her by her hair and drag her home and pull out a leather strap and flog the shit out of her to teach her a lesson. Any normal parent wouldn’t accept this type of behaviour.
On our straw mat there was Noot, Benjawan, Beer, Doi, and 4 of Noot’s cousins. Ben is 16 years old and when a pissed fool came and offered her some beer I was into him. I asked him in Thai “why are you giving beer to a 16 year old? How old are you?’ I then told him to leave, rudely. The next guy got the same treatment. Noot then wanted to leave as she could see I was pissed at these idiots and scumbags getting these kids drunk. I told Noot I was fine and wanted to stay.
As the night wore on and the crowd thinned out, the behaviour of the guys really deteriorated, their antics escalated. I stayed until 2am and then left. I was disgusted that the elder villagers or police had done nothing to try and stop this behaviour. Why is this sort of culture allowed and encouraged?
In the village at this moment I know of three girls under the age of 16 with babies. One girl is just 15. She was 14 when pregnant and now is married to her 25 year old husband. I look at this as disgraceful. He should be in a jail serving time for having sex with a minor. I look at him with disgust and I am repulsed by him, I told Noot this as well, and asked how any family could accept a man of this age into their family who had gotten their 14 year old daughter pregnant. I would personally want to kill him, more than likely I would do it myself or arrange for it to be done.
I can see how teenage pregnancy happens so easily in the villages of north eastern Thailand. With adults readily accepting this type of behaviour and not stopping it, is only endorsing and encouraging it. I am all for having fun, but there are rules that need to be set and enforced.
Teenage girls and boys don’t have life experience, they really don’t know the dangers they are getting into, when mixing with older people who are street smart and have this life experience. When I was 13-16 I had no idea when I look back and if I wasn’t protected by adults I could have got into plenty of trouble, just through lack of experience.
As adults, the elder villagers need to change this culture; they need to stop young people getting into dangerous situations. The elders have life experience; they have been there and done the things these kids are now starting out to do. Isaan villages are poor because the kids of tomorrow are dropping out of school young; they don’t have any ambitions, except for maybe ‘going to work in Bangkok’. Many parents pull their children out of school to help with the family farm. Others when 16 years or older are sent to Bangkok for work, they are then expected to send money home to mum and dad.
There are many families in Isaan Villages where mum is working in Bangkok and dad is working in another country, or they are in different parts of Thailand. Their children are being raised by mum and dad, grandma or grandpa, or by brothers or sisters. Sometimes the responsibility is put in the hands of young girls, under 10 to care for cousins and try to act like a parent to them.
Here are two stories from the villages in Khong Chiam and also Barn Tae Gow.
One such case is, mum works in Cambodia, dad works in Bangkok. In 3 years I have seen the mother once, she has been home to see her 5 year old boy 3 times in 5 years I am told, dad comes once every year. Her mum and dad raise her little boy.
Another case, a girl 15 got pregnant has a baby at 16, 4 months after the baby was born she and her 22 year old husband move to Bangkok for work. The girl’s mum is now raising the baby.
If these villages are to prosper many years down the track then they need to make sure the kids of tomorrow finish school, go to university, and get work internationally or are employed in decent jobs that have a future and a retirement fund.
The kids going to work in Bangkok for 100-160 Baht a day isn’t going to set them up for life, it isn’t going to secure their future or their siblings future. Education is a big key to a better life here in Thailand, even a job at Big C or 7 Eleven calls for a level of education to have been completed.
This is their culture, not mine. They are more than happy, I believe, living the way they live. They want a simple life with no complications and so forth, and best of luck to them, if this makes them happy.
For me this isn’t a problem. I don’t live in the village, I will never build a house in the village, I spend minimal time in the village. The reason for this is because I get so frustrated watching everyday life and I get irritated. I shouldn’t but I do. If I sit on the banks of the mighty Mekong River and just read a book, I am in heaven. If I am sitting in Khun Da’s house, relaxing, no problem. So this is where I spend most of my time when there, sitting on a rock with my feet in the cool running water of the Mekong River reading a book.
Thursday, 17 April 2008
The crowd had started gathering in anticipation of the fun night ahead, the guys gather in groups and drink and then drink some more. They always offer you a drink and like to have a chat.
The opening ceremony started; a few special guests were on stage and addressed the crowd. It was about 40 minutes late, around 9.40pm as they had to iron out a lot of little microphone and speaker problems.
The concert started slowly with some traditional Isaan music being sung and danced.
It didn’t take long and the Mor Lum dancers came on stage. The music picked up pace and a group of drunk youngsters were up and dancing. In the orange reflective vest were local villagers who were in charge of keeping the kids under control. There was plenty of security people on hand but only get involved when necessary.
The four Mor Lum girls in blue I spoke to them earlier in the evening after they arrived. Their ages were 13, 14, 14 and 16 years old. These girls are not “Coyote girls”, these are considered to totally different styles of dance.
The crowd was big; at least 800 to 1,000 people were watching the show.
This guy in the red hat was, well there is only one thing to say about him; a fuckwit. This guy wanted to be seen every chance and was acting like a total dick. Actually there were many dicks starting to pop up as the alcohol started to kick in.
The volunteers were trying hard to get the local drunk teenagers to sit down and behave; this was proving a hard task.
Soon the crowd was up dancing and jumping around with gusto. The volunteers watched the dancers and amongst the crowd picking up bottles of beer so they wouldn’t be smashed all over the place.
There was plenty of security. There were about 8 police officers scattered about the place, plus these guys. They are soldiers from the local area or province. There were around 30 of these guys and at least 10 were armed with assault weapons, others had shot guns and most had a sidearm. They all carried large hard wood sticks, like a baton. I have seen these guys in action at concerts in Ubon and they do not play around. If a fight breaks out the people fighting soon know about the soldier’s presence.
Doi and a former villager visiting from Bangkok were at the concert having fun; well the guy was having more fun as he was pretty pissed, Doi doesn’t drink.
Just after midnight the partying really started, there were many teens and older drunk men dancing and enjoying themselves. They were being closely monitored by all.
I left the concert at 2am and there were still a lot of younger people there. Most of the families had left and gone home. I watched The Masters golf on TV and at 4.30am it started to rain, heavily and the music stopped for 30 minutes and then kicked off again and 5am. At 6am it was over, the concert was officially finished.
It was a long, long night and I have a big post on it coming up, about the good and bad things. I am sure it will make some Thai readers not happy, with what I have to say but it needs to be said. That should be tomorrow.
I reported a few weeks ago about how the Thai Ministry of Culture had picked a well known “Girlie Band” to be the Ambassadors for Songkran. And give the message to teenage girls to dress appropriately for this year’s water festival.
I expressed dismay and concern for them using this band as they are well know for dressing in hardly any clothes and their dance moves were more than likely perfected in a seedy red light district club somewhere in Bangkok or Pattaya.
The Ministry of Culture dressed the girl band up in beautiful traditional Thai outfits for the launch, the girls looked silly as I had never seen them with so much clothes on. I nominated Dai Orrathai to do the ambassadors job as she is beautiful and dresses appropriately all the time. She doesn’t rely on skin and shaking her butt to sell her albums.
Anyway, the Ministry of Culture defended choosing the girls after many people expressed concern at their choice; Well, funnily to me it has come back to bite the Ministry on the arse. The ambassadors for Songkran performed a show in Bangkok on Khoa San Road, the very popular backpackers destination.
The girlie band took the stage dressed in, of course, hardly anything at all. They wore their traditional “hot pants” and “revealing tops”. The Ministry wants teenage girls to not wear these types of outfits. The Ministry stated “The ministry considers tank tops and miniskirts too sexually arousing when soaked in water.”
The Ministry of Culture said “the band's agent, RS Promotion, had initially contacted the ministry, suggesting the girls be presenters for the cover-up-for-Songkran campaign.”
RS Promotion appeared unfazed by the minister's huffiness yesterday. ''The campaign had its time [only during the Songkran festival],'' said a spokeswoman. The band had offered their services free to the ministry and the girls had to ''live a normal life''.
Ha, ha, ha, ha sorry I cannot help myself, had to live a normal life. That is dressing like 2 dollar tarts and acting like “I love you long time” girls to sell their music. It was all a promotion for them, get them in the media. I don’t see their band a lot in the media, I used to a few years ago but now hardly ever. I said before I had seen the band perform live here in Ubon and it was really pathetic, really bad.
Now the Ministry of Culture has said “Wearing skimpy outfits at a Songkran event may lead to the popular girl band Girly Berry being stripped of their role as the respectable young face of the Culture Ministry. A minister expressed disappointment with the teenage girl band yesterday and threatened to ''blacklist'' them.
The Ministry of Culture should have a good look at the people who made the decision of approving the girls for this role, they need to be held responsible for this stuff up, I could see this sort of thing happening the minute I read the article. The girl band isn’t capable of being ‘respectable’ or a ‘good role model’ for young teenage girls.
Maybe next year the Ministry of Culture can contact me and I can pick their “Face of Songkran”, I mean I couldn’t balls it up anymore then the fools did this year.
The story was from the Bangkok Post Newspaper.
Wednesday, 16 April 2008
A group had gathered to walk to the temple; they had a Thai money tree with them and of course people playing music.
The music started and so did the dancing and fun.
Tonight the village was hosting a ‘Mor Lum’ concert. The truck arrived just before 2pm and started setting up the stage.
There were some of the villagers on hand watching the proceedings, supervising the workers.
Noot and I ventured to the temple to try our luck at the lucky dip. Here you simply choose a piece of paper which has writing on the inside that tells you what you have won. Each piece of paper is worth 5 Thai Baht each.
Here the volunteers are checking what we had won; a plastic bowl, noodles, shampoo, conditioner, chips and some biscuits.
This is Doi’s dad, Doi stayed with us for a few years on weekends when she was studying her Accounting Degree. Her dad had had a big morning and had now passed out for a power nap as well.
The VIP guests arrived from Bangkok; they are former villagers who have left the village and return at times to help the village out. Here they are being greeted by villagers as they arrive.
They traveled all the way from Bangkok crammed in the back of the pick-up truck, the other car had a cover or what is called a ‘carry boy cover’ and this too had people crammed in the back.
The villagers then followed the cars with of course music, singing and dancing taking place.
The guests were treated to an arrival party, food and drink had been prepared for them, I watched the day before when they slaughtered a cow and pig for this occasion, I won’t post the pictures as it isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. The guests brought with them many gifts for the temple; glasses, pots, mats and the list went on and on. The other big gift was a donation of money to help with the construction of a temple that they are hoping will start later this year.
There was a ceremony at the temple; the participants walk three laps around the temple. Here the men are carrying offerings to Buddha.
Following the men was of course people playing music and villagers dancing.
Noot’s grandfather, Khun Da was there and taking part with the help of a friend.
Khun Da is very active, he is between 81-85 years old I have been told, by Noot and Joom. Here he is outside his house sweeping up dead leaves and bits and pieces into a heap before lighting a fire.
By 5pm the Mor Lum stage was taking shape. They still had a lot to do and had 4 hours left to do it. The concert was to start at 9pm.
The village was expecting up to 1,000 people or more for the concert, I thought they were being a little ambitious but we would see in a few hours time.