Bangkok from Dusk to Dawn…

Posted this amazing piece of Video over on the Facebooks, but I like it so much I thought I’d post it here as well. I think Florian Böhm, the creator the video, is an expat here in Bangkok as well.  Have a look for now, and Tom has a podcast brewing in the kettle…..will be recording later today babies! 😉

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Sensationalizing the News…

Good morning, afternoon, evening or night depending on where and when in the wide world this happens to find you.  It is yet another steamy Sunday here in the big Mango and I thought I’d post a few random thoughts here for you today.  I sit here writing over my coffee and frosted flakes, and I’d like to send out a special “thanks” to you guys that sent nice emails lately.   I received some very sweet emails from a couple of my readers, and it is always special to me when I hear from you guys.

There is not much to update on concerning the politics here in Thailand since my last post.  A very large group of protesters have taken the grounds outside government house  as of Friday calling for the current inept Prime Minister to step down, and he is adamantly refusing as expected.  I mean if you’d been handed an entire country’s economy as your personal banking account would you want to give it up?  Anyways, one thing about the situation I would like address that has caught my attention is the misuse of certain English language vocabulary being used in the local English press.  We have read words like “seige” and “mob” being used to describe the events unfolding here in Bangkok again and again.  Words like these are being used to evoke images of violence and civil unrest.  However, A “mob” is a large crowd of disorderly or unruly people intent on causing trouble or violence.  There have been absolutely no “mobs” at any time during the protests, and the protesters have acted in a very polite and orderly fashion.  In true Thai style the protesters have been calm, peaceful, yet firm in their message.

Furthermore, the events that unfolded over the past few days can hardly be called a “siege.”  the dictionary defines a siege as when an enemy military force surrounds a town or building cutting off essential supplies with the aim of surrender for those inside.  The protesters took the grounds surrounding government house late Friday afternoon, but I can almost guarantee you that the various government employees that work there will travel to and from work tomorrow with little or no incident at all…including the current Premier himself.  This is not a “siege.”  I can’t help but think the local media is just trying to sensationalize the unfolding events, but then again this sort of padded reporting is the same in any country, including my own.

I don’t want to dwell on Thai politics to much for fear of the little men in brown turning up on my doorstep so I’ll move on.  As many of you already know, I’m facing my last week of being 33 because I will celebrate my 34th birthday on Thursday the 26th.  Birthdays for me get less and less exciting as the years roll by, and I’ve started reflecting on the state of things in my life as you do on birthdays.  I feel like I’m just not where I wanted to be in life at this point in time, as I expected to be finished with my degree already and starting a better job by this particular birthday.  Do you ever feel like life is just flowing by, while you are standing still?  It is just a feeling a have at the moment but in order to not sound like I’m whining I should and will close here.  I’m going to try to do something productive with my Sunday afternoon.  I hope everyone is enjoying the remnants of their weekends, and that the week ahead is productive.  Have a good one and I’ll write again really soon!

Murder in Paradise…

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I read through some of my favorite blogs tonight, and surfed through the various message boards I enjoy to try and muster some idea to share with you guys.  I came across this news story on a message board I frequently read, so I want to start my entry today with a quote from an article that recently appeared in one of the big English language newspapers here in Thailand.  Brace yourself and read it slowly, then I’ll give you a bit of background following to catch you up to speed regarding this sad story.

Choochart played down the recent killings, saying, “I believe security in Thailand is better than in many other countries.” He also said that some of the attacks were occasioned by the behavior of the women themselves. Under a front-page photograph of a Western woman in a skimpy bikini, The Bangkok Post quoted Choochart as saying, “They tend to choose a quiet spot away from other people, take off the bikini and sunbathe. That’s when the attackers strike.”

Yes…you read that correctly.  This was a quote from a very high ranking officer of the Thai National Tourist Police regarding the brutal murder of a young Swedish tourist in the southern resort island town of Phuket recently.  The young lady was attacked and murdered on a public beach in southern Thailand.  The media here has bowed to pressure from the government to downplay this attempted rape and murder to counter warnings that embassies have issued to their citizens considering or traveling in Thailand.  I’m just going to have to say that the officer’s response to the horrible crime is sadly quite typical of the level of service one can expect from the boys in brown here.  I think that to blame the victim is appalling and sadly this is not the first crime of this sort that i’ve seen float through the news relatively recently.  Worse still, the murderer was caught, or I think actually turned himself in and his reason for killing this young lady was simply because she resisted the attempted rape.  That was directly from the mouth of the murderer.

Shocking isn’t it?  I mean, I never really thought much of the police, even at home, as it is a job i think bullies grow up to hold.  However, If a crime is committed or you find yourself being the victim of one, then the police are the first people you call, right?  I can honestly say that growing up I didn’t always like them, but I did respect them.  Would you ever even dare to slip a cop a bribe tucked into a piece of paper, while being pulled over for a traffic violation?  Would you ever expect to see a cop saunter into a business looking for a little “protection” money?  Sadly, these sort of things are so common here that no one ever bats an eye.

I remember walking down the street a while back with a close friend, as I needed to visit a suit shop to be measured for a suit.  We decided to have a cigarette as we walked down the sidewalk and passed a little police box on our way.  In passing the police box, my blood immediately began to run cold.  I had heard stories of cops on this particular stretch of sidewalk eliciting tea money from foreigners, and my anxiety levels shot up immediately.  Sure enough a little ways down I turned to see the cop crouched down peering at us from the edge of a building, like a gremlin waiting for sparrow to happen by.  Luckily, we ducked in the shop and disposed of the ciggies before the cop was any wiser.  It is just a sad state of affairs, and one wonders why most Thais barricade themselves behind high walls with broken glass along the top to protect their homes.  Who can we trust here to take care of us when things get bad?  Just my 2 cents I guess.  What do you think?

Where have the Republicans gone???

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Told you i’d be posting a lot more this week.  So I’m sitting here having a bit of marmalade on toast with my coffee and watching CNN.  I’m not sure why, but I only like to sit and watch CNN in the mornings when I’ve just woken up over a bit of breakfast.  Occasionally I might turn it on at night if I’m doing a bit of ironing, but most of the time I seek viewing entertainment elsewhere.  I thought I’d take a stab at politics today, though I’ll be the first to admit that It’s not a topic I enjoy.  I usually avoid talking politics like the plague, as my fear of confrontation is usually to strong to allow healthy discourse on controversial topics.  However, that’s what this is all about, right?  I started this blog to help me find my voice so why not throw a bit of controversy out there.

It is funny yet strange to turn on CNN here in Thailand and the only news stories that are running deal with American politics.  Lately, stories about the presidential race are taking up the majority of air time on news channels here and across Asia.  The CNN we have here originates from Hong Kong and serves the Asian community with their dose of western news.  The first news story to greet me this morning was of course more Hillary and Obama.  Something about someone being accused of plagiarism or something, and even though I was watching….I wasn’t paying close attention.  I was thinking about how that’s all I hear on the news.  It’s a constant loop of Hillary and Obama over and over and over.  It seems like once the primaries are over, that’s It…..we’re done.  The race seems to only be between the 2 Democratic candidates if one watches the news to get their information.  McCain and the rest of the little old men running for the Republican nomination don’t seem to be getting a fraction of the coverage from the media.  Where are the Republicans?  The only Republicans I know these days are like the mean sad little toadies you would see following around the bully at school with their head down laughing with the bully, all the while hoping not to get hit themselves.  Who do they have to look forward too?  McCain?  He is even older than Reagan when he took office at 69.  Do you really think he’s going to be in touch with the current needs and issues.  I know the last thing on earth I would want to do if I reach 70 is take the helm of control and take the responsibility of leadership for America.  Think about it?  Would you want to even take the CEO position at your place of employment at 70?  It just doesn’t sit well with me, though i will be the first to admit I’m a bit biased.

Following the endless stream of Clinton/Obama stories, I got to watch everyone’s favorite leader give an address from Africa.   “W” the train wreck is apparently “touring” Africa at the moment and was giving an address of support for Kosovo declaring independence from Serbia.   They were showing scenes of him hugging native villagers, while looking very casual in his ethnic colored shirt and it made me think.  Seems “W” is getting the most out of his last year as President and making sure to get those long extended exotic vacations out of the way before his term is up.  If your going to do a ‘tour’ of African nations, then might as well do it on the tab of taxpayers, right?  I mean its not like the U.S. is suffering under financial problems, right?  Anyways, I don’t want to ruin the rest of my day with these thoughts of failed administrations so I will close this entry here.  Much love as always and see you very soon!