Sisaket, Thailand – Isaan Through and Through

Young boy monk in Sisaket, ThailandI’ve not spent a lot of time in Sisaket, Thailand, maybe a 4-5 months or so, in total. Sisaket is a province and a town. The town is located west of Ubon Ratchathani in the Isaan area of Thailand. “Isaan” is what the northeast area of the Thailand is known as.

In the summers the temperature is blistering hot. The Songkran Water Throwing festival is seriously appreciated during this time. They should throw water for all of April, May, and June because it is like a desert during these months. Even on into July and August, you don’t want to leave your flip-flop sandals on the outside of a temple you’re visiting because if you need to walk across the ground that has been brightly lit by the sun for a couple hours you’re going to be dancing your way towards some shade in a hurry! In the winters it can be COLD. Riding the motorbike in Isaan after 10 pm on a winter’s night can get below the freezing point with the windchill. Frequently during the winters at night, it’s possible to breathe out the fog.

Sisaket town is smaller than Ubon Ratchathani and doesn’t have near as many shopping outlets available. There is one small mall in the town called, “Soon Heng” with a supermarket, theaters, bookstore, KFC chicken, and MD’s Sukiyaki (like MK’s), a coffee shop and a donut shop, plenty of karaoke booths, a place for kids to play and a small food court.

All around Sisaket seems to be a market. The entire town is like one big market. You can find tents and small shops selling fruit and every kind of food and clothes. But, uhm, no farang food like pizza and spaghetti. One would need to go an hour east to Ubon’s “Risotto” restaurant to find the closest quality pizza and spaghetti.

Sisaket has a train station and a bus station. The train will get you anywhere in Thailand as it goes through Nakhon Ratchisma (Korat) as well as Bangkok. There are air-conditioned and fan-cooled coaches. Overnight trains to Bangkok are comfortable as you can sleep for 10 hours and when you wake up, you’re there! Cost of an air-conditioned sleeper seat would be around 600 baht (in 2007).

Everyone seems to know each other in Sisaket. I remember a couple years ago I was at an outdoor market with my friend who is from Sisaket (born there) and she had her back turned to traffic, but someone KNEW it was her as they drove by in a truck and stopped to chat with her. How they knew it was her we haven’t the slightest idea except that everyone knows everyone.

As a foreigner in Sisaket, I was treated really well. There are many Thai people that want to practice their English with me and laugh when they see me. Some stare. Some point. Some say, “Mommy, farang!”. There’s no ill-intention, just curious people. A long time ago during the Vietnam war, they saw quite a few soldiers from America around, but we’re scarce now. As I said in the review of Ubon Ratchathani, there are about 1% of Thailand’s visitors having a look at Isaan. Isaan is a big place covering many provinces. Ubon is the largest province. If 1/20th out of the 1% of visitors to Thailand are going to Ubon, then about 1/500th of 1% are visiting Sisaket.

Last time I was in Sisaket I don’t remember seeing any farang (western) tourists or residents. I was there for almost a week – and it was just me and the lovely Isaan people.

Sisaket townspeople really enjoy having foreigners around. Some think we bring them good luck. Others, that we bring money. Others still, that we will marry their daughter or other relations! There’s no shortage of beautiful girls here, but most that are of working age have moved on to Bangkok or somewhere else to earn money. Girls in high school can be frequently seen, but those of college age are pretty rare. There is a Rajabhat University in Sisaket, though I think it must be much smaller than the one in Ubon Ratchathani. Ubon is kind of a college town considering they have Rajabhat, Ubon Ratchathani University, Polytechnic, and a lot of technical schools.

Young Buddhist monks at temple in Sisaket

There are many elephants walking around at night. Here is a short video of a very small baby elephant that is paraded through the street. The owners take the food with them and get people to pay to feed the elephant. Kind of sad I guess, but elephants like to walk I think. This one I saw a month ago is really cute, but when the guy realized I wasn’t paying to feed it, he quickly moved on.

On the road going towards Surin is a golf driving range, though I’m not sure there is a place to play golf since I’m not a player.

There are 4 public parks that can be seen. One very large park is very special and was built in honor of the present King’s mother. The name of this park is, “Soowan Som Det”. It is a BEAUTIFUL park with many lakes filled with large catfish and Tilapia (Nile Perch) that can be fed for 10 baht for a bag of fish-food pellets.

During March and April, the yellow trees called in Thai, “Dok Koon”, are blooming along with some purple flowered trees. There is another tree with flowers called, “Lum Duan” that suffuses great areas of the park with the most incredible smell – like a woman’s perfume. The first few times I smelled it as I ran around I thought that a woman must have just ridden through on her motorbike or something. I never imagined that the smell could be a flower because it is exactly like a perfume someone might purchase in a beauty store. The people of Sisaket have a big festival during the time these flowers are blooming in March. The park at that time is filled with hundreds (thousands?) of people dancing, eating, playing sports, selling their products and showing their artwork.

There is a small zoo in this park where you will find deer, hippos, alligators, birds of every sort, peacocks, turtles, a vulture, snakes, lizards and water monitors. There is one group of animals with genetical anomalies here which is sad to see. One was a cow with another cow growing out of its right shoulder area. Three or four legs can be plainly seen coming out of the shoulder region and there are other bones under the skin that give the cow a distorted appearance. Next to the cow is a buffalo with a malformed jaw and another buffalo missing a leg. It’s quite sad to see. Especially sad was that the cow with the deformity was a male and seemed to be horny for the female cow that was in the same pen. I kept telling him not to mate, it’s going to be nothing but bad news, but I think eventually he’s going to be able to pull it off successfully. There will be another addition to the zoo’s genetic wonders section if that happens.

The other parks are very small and don’t have many trees for shade. The weather during summer is very hot in Sisaket, I can’t stress that enough! Bring a hat and water with you wherever you go, you’ll need it.

There are a couple hotels in the city that tourists should have a look at. The best one is probably “The NorthEast Hotel” which is located on Sisumung Road near Wat Luang. The rate is about 600 baht per night and there is no discount for multiple days or weeks staying. It’s a new hotel with a coffee shop and free internet broadband place close to it. The rooms are all air-conditioned and clean. I didn’t stay there, but went and had a look at the room. I stayed at a hotel that is near the train station called, “Prompeeman Hotel” for 500 baht per night for a fan room. The sheets were incredibly disgusting and so I took some from the maid’s cart which was brand new and I re-did my bed with those. Maybe better to stay at the “NorthEast Hotel” for the cleanliness factor. There are numerous nightclub type establishments off the lobby area of the Prompeeman hotel and it seems like the one happening spot for night time activities if you are into that.

There is a bus station that can get you anywhere with air-conditioned or fan buses. Across the street is a nightclub – the largest in Sisaket, and called, “Nona”. I’ve not been there, but a friend said it resembles “The Rock” nightclub in the base of the “Nevada Hotel” in Ubon Ratchathani.

Sisaket has many temples in the area of the city and surrounding. There is a temple right outside the city about 5 kilometers called, “Wat Prathat Ruang”. If you visit there you can ring many of the bells and gongs in the temple for good luck. Great fun! Other temples are on the way to Surin and some have ancient ruins that are part of the Khmer dynasty. I have some photos here of an old brown-stoned temple on the way to Surin that was really nice.

This will sound funny, but when I was at that temple I went in to look at the Buddhist amulets for necklaces and other things they were selling. There was an odd man behind the counter whose eyes were wide and hazy, almost like he was blind, but he got around the office OK. He was missing his front two teeth. When he saw me said, “Florida” about 8 times until I understood what he was saying. I’m from Florida. I told him. He just shook his head and said, “child”. Then he said, “boy”. It was so strange. I’d never met him and he’d never have met anyone that I knew. I have a son in Florida that I think about every day and that I miss a lot. He’s always on my mind. This guy picked it up immediately. Very odd.

Khmer Buddhist temple, Sisaket, Thailand

Anyway… so, Sisaket is a very quiet town that is safe and a great place to relax if you want to unwind from Pattaya, Bangkok, or some other high-energy area of Thailand.

Don’t forget to try the ant-eggs. Women carry them around the city in clear plastic bags – they appear to be queen ants by the hundred that they chilled to stop the development. They are big, juicy, and a unique taste that you’ve likely not found elsewhere.

Sisaket, Thailand… is Isaan personified.

ThaiPulse Blog for Sale

We decided, after quite a lot of thought that we should sell all the websites that are taking my time away from what I want to do – write books.

ThaiPulse.com, ThaiPulse.com/blog/ is a well established domain with over 700 pages of written content and a couple thousand image pages and video pages.

The content on ThaiPulse is focused on expat life in Thailand.

Traffic has been nice lately – and climbing – 500+ unique visitors per day, usually many more.

Adsense income has been $10+ per day the last few days, but I don’t expect that to hold. Typically Adsense is about $5-6 per day on average. In a year – around $2,000.

The price is only $2,900 and the value is predominantly in the strong inbound links and constant traffic over 4+ years. The name lends itself to a number of possibilities.

If you’re serious about buying this domain, bring an offer through Escrow.com. Email with questions: trythaifood@gmail.com. Once you’ve deposited the funds in escrow.com we will transfer the domain and give you the logins for the other accounts.

We are also selling a couple of other sites you may have an interest in:

SOLD already. :P

Farang and Bargirl Relationships in Thailand…

Farang and bargirl relationships in Thailand

(Last updated: 29 December 2016)

I’m thinking that these notecards are better off done in a graphics program, but my g/f likes them better handwritten like this. I’m sort of ambivalent except hand writing these goes much more quickly. MUCH by a factor of 10 much.

Farang-bargirl relationships are doomed from the start. That’s my own personal take on it. You can’t possibly think that a girl that has lied to everyone she knows for a period of months or years will EVER come around and start telling you the truth about everything she is doing, the friends she has, the guys she knows abroad that are sending her money for years after you’ve married her… the different bank accounts, the numerous cell phone SIM cards she has.

You wouldn’t date a girl like this in your own country so why in he11 would you date and MARRY one here?

I know the temptation must be overwhelming to some. Some guys have not had a girlfriend during their entire LIVES and they come here and suddenly they have 3 girls – all 10/10 fawning over them and making promises to love them long time…

A guy like that is going to be duped into believing totally unbelievable BS and worse, can be led down the path to marriage very easily.

This is really so far from reality that to those of us that can see it (and I can only see it because I fell for a girl that was “not” a bargirl, but then, ended up to BE a bargirl!!!) that it defies explanation.

The need to be loved… to conquer a beautiful 10/10 girl and have her falling at your feet is a part of life that these guys will do anything to experience.

Once they start playing that game, the girls know just how to milk every baht from them and ditch them when the baht stops flowing or slows down to a level that isn’t worth their time.

Guys that come to Thailand looking for a girl, a girl that they are going to spend their entire life with – or at least a percentage should really do the
following:

Look for girls here:

  • Mukdahan
  • Sisaket
  • Surin
  • Yasothon
  • Ubon
  • Loei – or any other backwoods city in the
    northeast

Limit spending on “your girl” for 1st year to:

60000 baht. That’s 5000/mth and more than enough for EVERY girl in Isaan to live happily on. They DO IT FOR LESS.

3 strikes you’re out:

If “your girl” doesn’t answer the phone 3 times during the course of you knowing her – drop her. No, I’m not joking. A Thai girl can answer her phone AND have a conversation at 100km/hr on a motorbike. She KNOWS when the phone goes off at all times. The phone is their life.
If she misses 3 of your calls, there are 3 very good (or bad) reasons why. Drop her and move on to the next.

Count how many times “your girl” mentions money in the course of 1 year. A bargirl, or a girl with a similar mentality that is focused on money and sees you as an ATM will mention money once per day or so. This is a MINIMUM.

My g/f from Isaan has mentioned needing money exactly twice in our 2+ year relationship. Once she was in Bangkok and didn’t have enough money for the train ticket back home (600b). The other time was when she needed some clothes for work (1500b).

Other than that I give her 4000 per month and she has been happy with that. THIS is how a good Thai girl should be… HAPPY that she doesn’t have to go to work at a chicken parts factory because you will pay her 4000 baht per month, pay for her food and her rent and phone cards.

That’s it.

If you don’t have a relationship similar to this – then you have found a parasite that is milking you for money.

Good relationships exist in Thailand, it’s just that finding one takes more than the minute it takes you to enter a bar, have your future wife sit beside you and give you a crotch grope and ask for a drink.

Invest 1 week, 2 weeks, a month in Isaan. Hang out at the malls or shopping areas. DON’T date the girls working at the shops – as they seem to be ex-pattaya and Patong girls for some reason.

Especially Robinsons. I’m not sure why.

Don’t date ANY Thai girl with a Tattoo. Good girls don’t get them here. (Update 2016- many girls are getting them. Trust me, no girl that hasn’t worked in a bar gets a huge spread eagle across the top of her ass!)

Go to the college library and sit around with your laptop in Isaan and see how many smiles you will get. Turn a smile into a “practice your English” session and you’ll be on your way.

Be careful because though you may be in Isaan, even some college girls have friends that are plying the sex-trade in tourist places in LOS. If she mentions money at all when you first meet. She is one of those girls that knows the game from that perspective. For what ever reasons… she thinks farang = ATM. Move on.

There are THOUSANDS UPON PRECIOUS THOUSANDS of drop-dead gorgeous, smart, funny, sweet and innocent girls in Isaan at the colleges.

Put a little time in there and see what you can find.

Your chances for finding a lasting relationship will improve by a factor of “9” and you’ll look less stupid in a group, bringing your covered with tattoos, smoking cigarettes, underwear and bra-showing Thai girlfriend or wife for everyone to laugh at.

Case in point. A teacher from England at my school brought his bargirl girlfriend (his word) to a school function where the kids are to put on a play.

All the teachers are there, the parents are there…. and this guy brings his black as charcoal girlfriend (number 1 bargirl identifier), covered with tattoos (#2), with her ultra tight and short skirt (#3), pierced nose (#4) and low cut shirt (#5) to the children’s function!

I was sitting at a table with the other Thai teachers in the English program. When my friend and this girl walked in – in Thai the teachers said she was ugly and a whore!

They knew INSTANTANEOUSLY.

So – this is part of the reason farang get no respect here in Thailand. We don’t know how to act. A Thai man would never, EVER in his life bring a whore to a children’s function at the place they work! NEVER!

Actually, the only guys that are EVER in public with a whore is when they are pimps themselves or brothers or fathers.

Thai guys are very aware of their standing in the community. Even a large community. There is no anonymity here. Everyone knows everyone. Farangs – even more so. There are people that know my name in the town that I’ve never seen. They know more about me than I could have ever guessed.

Thai culture is built on face – and levels of face. Walking around with whores from Pattaya is a sure way to get zero respect in Thailand. You might think – oh, they love my wife… in truth – they all are calling her whore and nobody likes her or you for bringing her.

Anyway – I’m a bit out of material!

Don’t date bargirls for more than a night!

Escape from Thailand – Do You Have a Plan?

I had an interesting conversation with some guys here in Southern Thailand yesterday about the future of Thailand. Sometimes I think I’m over-exaggerating the idea that Thailand is going to be a scary place to be when that certain event nobody dares talk about – happens.

But, apparently there are plenty of Thais that are thinking the same thing. In fact, these guys were planning for a much worse scenario than I ever thought would happen. One guy is trying to get a passport so he can go to Germany. Another is planning a quick exit strategy with his family to move to Malaysia. They were telling me that large numbers of Thais believe that parts of the south – large parts – will be going to war because there is a high-up guy in the military that commands the southern army and they have their own agenda.

What this means – the truth of it, the reality of it – is all just hearsay at the moment. Maybe these guys are watching too much TV or listening to too many anti-government radio broadcasts. I don’t have any idea. But, it makes me think harder about what is going to happen at a future date.

Is Thailand going to be totally inhospitable for foreigners? Is Thailand going to be warring within it’s own borders as various factions fight for power? Is the military going to attempt to take over – and, is the military united as one – or, will they split up into different groups and fight against each other?

Quite a situation could develop. Not that it will – but, the possibility for unrest is there. Maybe it’s likely.

Do you have a plan to escape Thailand – if or when that becomes necessary?

I wasn’t thinking all that seriously about it before, because I tend to just ignore everything that is going on. However, it’s probably something each of us expats living in Thailand – need to spend some time thinking about. Probably a lot of time.

What are you going to do – what is the plan?

For us – I guess we’ll do things like get baby’s passport in order, get legally married, and all that. Though it wouldn’t be my first choice… or maybe not even my 5th choice, we’d be prepared to move back to the states if there was no better alternative. I’d like to consider some other countries first… Malaysia, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Australia, Fiji, and I’m always looking for more. I am glad we didn’t buy property – and it’s not likely we ever will buy something in Thailand. The risks are just too high with the present state of things.

If I was single – I’d probably not even be thinking about this… I’d just wait to see what happens. Those of you that have family in Thailand are probably thinking more about this issue.

Feel free to write me email if you don’t want to respond in the comments section. Keep in mind that I’ll edit comments when necessary.

German Family in Thailand for 1st Time

Met this guy and his family last night. They’d never been to Thailand and he had some questions…

1. Q: “I can’t imagine that anyone in Thailand ever dies of a heart attack. Don’t they stress out about anything?”

A: Nope… they really don’t. I can’t even remember one instance where I heard a Thai say anything about worrying what is going to happen in the future. They are not oriented to be looking at the future, and definitely not worrying about it. Anxiety and worry seem to be missing entirely from the culture.

Anybody experience anything different?

2. Q: “The roads are just…” (he couldn’t find the words for a long time) Eventually he came up with it… “Are there are no RULES in Thailand.”

A: No, there really are not. That’s why I stay here. It’s really nice to not worry about the ridiculous things in life like speeding 10 mph over the speed limit. He told me a story about visiting Miami, Florida ten years back. He was speeding a bit to get to a place he had a reservation – about 10 mph over the 55 speed limit. A big highway patrol officer grabbed him by the shirt and said – I AM THE LAW, when he asked the cop to show a photo and prove he was speeding.

Whether true or not – whatever, the point is that there are laws in Thailand, but the police and everybody else is not that strict on enforcing them. At all. Public pressure to enforce something – leads to more enforcement, but in general the Thais are live and let live type of people.

I hate to say it, because the mere mention of Apple makes me cringe, but, “It just works.” Thailand just works. Things work themselves out. Some people love it and some can’t deal with it. At times I’ve embraced it – and at times I’ve ranted and raved, probably like a lunatic. Eventually I come to terms with it and accept it, or just work it out. There’s nothing else to do.

Life in Germany was considerably different, he said. He couldn’t imagine a life in Thailand – his head just couldn’t wrap around it.

I think that must be the feeling a lot of people have about moving to and living in Thailand. Those of us from the west just can’t wrap our heads around it. It takes years for most of us to really adjust and start living even a little bit like Thais. Most of us cannot. I see it everyday. I have friends that have lived in the country for years and years… and they’re still holding onto the US, UK, Canadian mindset.

Thailand is an amazing place to live… I hope it stays this way.

What do you think?

I Learned Something About My Burmese Friend Yesterday…

I have a friend from Northern Burma, his mother was from Nepal, his dad, in the military in Burma before he died of drinking too much.

I’ll call him Mick, he seems like a Mick to me as much as he seems like his other name. Mick is 28 and has lived in Thailand for the past 8 years doing various construction jobs when and were he could. He stayed in Bangkok for a while and then moved south for the past couple of years where I’ve been lucky to know him.

He doesn’t work in construction anymore with the other Burmese in the area, he found himself a new job that pays pretty well (9-15,000 THB per month) depending whether it’s Thailand’s tourist ‘high-season’ or not. Mick is a funny guy, he listens well, and more importantly – the guy has hundreds of stories that are just fascinating to me, about his life in Burma before coming to Thailand.

Yesterday we ate apples as he told me about what was going on in the workplace where he works with four Thai guys, three of which he has known for more than 3 years…

One of the guys was new to Mick – but not new to the job. He’d been there years before, and had long since quit and done other jobs. Some weeks ago he returned and wanted to get right back into the job like he was before.

Problem was, Mick was now doing part of this guy’s old job. Let’s call the new Thai guy, Dick, because, as you’ll see in a minute – Dick was a serious dick, and he and Mick were at odds constantly.

Dick wanted Mick out of the business. He wanted his old job back just the way he had it before, and he wanted Mick the hell out. It started with some short disagreements and arguments between the two. Dick would tell Mick things the way Dick wanted them done – which went against how Mick was taught by the owner – uhh, lets call the owner “Mack” as in “Mack Daddy”.

Eventually it became too much and Mick started to directly disagree with Dick and to do it his own way. They had many talks with Mack about it – and Mack didn’t care one way or the other. He told them to just resolve their differences and quit bothering him. Mack loved Dick because Dick could do some crucial parts of the job – and was happy to have him back. Mack loved Mick because Mick worked his ass off and was VERY friendly to customers and other co-workers alike. Mack wanted them both to stay and get over it.

Dick wasn’t OK with that and ramped it up by saying, throughout the day, something like…

“Oh, your wife, she’s not pretty, but I’d give her about 200 baht to fuck her… She’d probably give me change though.”

Mick boiled inside, he told me. But, Mick wanted, more than anything – to continue to work at that job because otherwise he’d be making 3,000 baht per month as a construction worker like the rest of his Burmese friends. Mick realized at the first signs of a problem with Dick that he’d have to keep hold of his emotions for as long as necessary.

After the offer of cash for his wife, Mick told Dick that it wasn’t nice to say such things and that he would never say anything bad about Dick’s wife or family. Mick asked Dick to leave his family out of their discussions.

Now, at this point – I don’t know about you… but, for myself I’d give a warning and make it real clear to Dick that the next time the words “your wife” came out of Dick’s mouth my fingers were going to be wrist deep in his eye sockets.

Dick listened to what Mick told him, then quickly said,

“I’ll give her 250 baht, that’s IT, and she better give it to me 3 times for that much money!”

Mick was able to keep his cool over it – repeatedly. It has happened daily for weeks, and is still going on. Mick told me that he went from fuming, to being able to rationalize that he was winning the game – the more that Dick was a dick to him.

Dick then started, during arguments with Mick to fake like he was going to punch Mick in the face, holding back just inches from connecting. He was trying desperately to get Mick to fight him. This is almost comical, considering Mick fought often back in Burma with police and military from the time he was 15 years old and working in the ruby and gold mines. Someone cheated Mick out of some money in Burma that was worth about 800 Thai baht… for months Mick could do nothing because the guy disappeared. Then Mick saw him at the table after he played soccer with his friends – they were eating and laughing…

Mick walked over calmly, and then grabbed the guy by the throat, pulled him up out of his chair and punched him in the face with his right hand as hard as he could swing for a half-dozen times or so, before anybody at the table even knew what was happening.

Mick fought the other 3 guys as well – and everybody was hurting by the end of it – including Mick of course.

I have no doubt, that Mick could either destroy dick, or just hurt him really bad.

It’s escalating all the time… just yesterday Mick told me that Dick grabbed him by the throat and threatened to punch him – Mick also grabbed the smaller Dick by the throat and squeezed it like he’d pop his head off. The boss saw it – and broke it up. See, Mick isn’t going to get hurt physically over it. If Dick hits him – I think it’s “game-on”.

But, it’s amazing to me that even up until now – Mick has never given in and let his anger get the best of him. He needs the money to support his wife and kids, and mother in Burma. He’ll do almost anything to keep that up – even take abuse from a big dick like Dick.

How many of us could do that?

Count me out.

Thai Lack of Responsibility

I could write a whole chapter for a book on this topic with the experiences I’ve had over the years with Thais. If you have stayed in Thailand or visited for any length of time, you have probably seen it too.

The most recent event, and the one that prompted this post came yesterday…

I had dropped off a new snake the week before – a deadly, and rare snake for this area, with some Thai friends that also keep venomous snakes. I didn’t have a good place to keep this new snake, and I trusted that these guys would take care of it for a few days until I was able to take it myself for a week and get some video of feedings.

So, I put it in a cage with about 3 other innocuous snakes – none big enough to bother my snake, and none small enough to be eaten by my snake. It’s a big cage and more than adequate for the small number of snakes that were in the cage.

I returned a few days later to find a king cobra in the same cage as my snake. King cobras eat other snakes. I explained to my friend – this wasn’t a good arrangement. He insisted it was fine. There were other snakes in the cage that the cobra would eat first before risking anything with my snake – also deadly to the cobra if bitten, but with a slight chance it could actually inflict damage to the king cobra.

I didn’t like the arrangement – but, my snake was under a rock, hiding and my friend insisted it was safe. I told my friend I’d come back the next day and pickup my snake. He assured me that the king cobra would not eat my snake. I wanted to believe him – thinking – he must know what the hell he’s talking about.

I returned 2 days later – having been unable to return the following day.

My snake was gone.

There were no openings in the cage – the snake could not have got out.

All the other snakes were still in the cage – including the king cobra.

Result – king cobra ate my snake.

So, I was bummed yesterday, and even more so because my friend showed no sense of responsibility at all. No remorse. And, least of all – no “Sorry about that…”

Thais so rarely say “I’m sorry.”

My wife doesn’t do it. My Thai friends – after having just destroyed my ping pong paddle, or 800 baht badminton racquet, or camera, or anything else… never even offer… “Sorry about that…”

That kind of sucks. I don’t expect it to change… it just sucks from my perspective because I go way out of my way to make it “right” if I break or lose someone’s things. There is a feeling of responsibility among farangs to do so – don’t you think so?

Thais just don’t have it. They don’t feel it I guess. Their culture taught them that “shit happens”. Karma, fate, whatever – it happens. Wasn’t my friend’s fault the king cobra ate my snake. There were 9 other cages my snake could have gone into – or that the king cobra could have been placed into and it would have been safe… but, no.

Thais have this tendency to do whatever the hell they want, and whatever results, results, they don’t get upset about it or feel any responsibility for what results – it’s as if they have no “me” sometimes. While this is the Buddhist ideal, hardly anyone in the country even meditates… none of my friends do. My wife doesn’t. It isn’t a lack of me – induced by Buddhist practice…

What is it then?

No idea… I just live with it. Yesterday was pretty much the last time I’ll ever trust a Thai with anything of value – even people I know very well. My friends knew how important that snake was… they had never even SEEN one themselves… and to be reckless with it – just doesn’t add up in my head.

Another thing that is hard to understand…

Over the years – I’ve been the reason for tens of thousands of baht going into their pockets… I never ask them for any favors at all… and this one time, I say – can you take care of my snake for a few days for me – until I get a good cage?

Sure, sure… yes, we can…

And they fook me over…

Such is life in Thailand.

Anybody else see it that way?

Is Thailand Blocking Email Attachments & YouTube Uploads?

I’m having trouble with two things lately – within the last 5 days.

Email attachments in Google mail don’t work – at all. I’ve tried .zip files, jpgs, and .doc files.

YouTube uploads don’t work in the regular uploader – but I just tried the bulk-uploader to upload just 1 video – and it appears to be working.

Is anyone else having trouble? This is a totally new error for me – never had this before.

I wonder if it might be… ahhh, nevermind. I’m not talking about it…

Is Thailand Safe (Feb 2010) for Visitors?

Again – the question.

I have same answer as always… Thailand as a country – is safe. Come and visit and ignore the craziness going on – if there is any.

Bangkok is probably not safe at this time – as 2 embassies – AUS and CA (That’s Canada… lol) have issued statements that Bangkok might not be a good place to be in the near future.

Tourists are not being targeted. Have they EVER been? Not from my understanding of it all.

Stay away from Bangkok and the southernmost 3 provinces and you’ll likely be fine. Things are coming to a head soon because Thaksin Shinawatra, ex PM is set to lose about 2 billion US Dollars. Of course he doesn’t want that to happen. He has millions of followers, mostly in the northeast of Thailand – the red shirt country.

Look for some excitement in the next few weeks… or a total non-issue.