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Thailand – nice to see you, to see you nice.


Thailand – nice to see you, to see you nice.

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While Yingluck was, perhaps regretfully, going one way, Rooster was
thankfully going the other.

Since as long as I can remember it is always with a sense of relief
that I return to Thailand after visiting the land of my birth for my
annual summer sojourn.

Ms Shinawatra, it appears, is set to seek asylum in the United
Kingdom. I have always loved that term – for while the land where the
old queen still rules could hardly be free of the term “nut-house”,
there are certainly times when one’s sanity in living permanently in
the East is tested to the limit.

Just that for me there has never been any doubt about where is home;
my heart has been ensnared by Krung Thep since I was barely out of
teen diapers.

Yingluck may well be watching the “nights drawing in” as my Thai born
son says about London. May well be donning dark glasses to do a little
food shopping at Fortnum’s, for all I know. While I snigger from afar
thankful of my relative anonymity if not my relative poverty.

A holiday in Blighty always has its moments.

Those balmy bank holiday afternoons when temperatures in places you
have never heard of top 30 degrees. Followed by the next morning when
the clouds roll in and Londoners exchange shirtsleeves for heavy coats
in August.

To the joy of seeing one’s beloved team humiliated at Wembley not once
but twice. To the price of a slab of mature Cheddar in Lidl’s not
requiring a second mortgage.

But cheese notwithstanding, Yingluck is welcome to the United Kingdom
and rather like her exiled brother I am sure she will grow to envy
yours truly as I get caught in the monsoon rain on my motorbike as the
Ratchayothin traffic remains at a standstill for several more years
amid the mythical promise of the Green Line.

Such is the nest that I have feathered and such is the certainty of
our mutual and respective fates in very different social strata in
very different parts of the world.

Bashing this out as Etihad whisks me back to Thailand, I am left to
muse on another week completely dominated by the flight of the former
PM and the abject absurdity of all the Thai officials falling over
themselves in a desperate attempt to appear the most idiotic.

His Generalness and his minging minions who would love nothing better
than to gag us are invariably the butt of the gags. In fact they put
the “n” in gagsters.

I am sure that the much missed UK comic and entertainer Bruce Forsythe
who died in August would have had an appropriate one liner for this
sideshow in Siam.

Ms S appears to have fled in everything from a private jet to a Toyota
Vios. Maybe the head honchos spirited her out in the cunningly marked
police car. Or the local som tam seller who has an uncle at the

Did I mention the cuddly toy?

Frankly, who gives a mouse dropping chili for how she left or where
she is. Amid all the titter-fest that is Thailand I thought there was
only one sane voice – a Nation comment piece, would you believe – that
sensibly reminded us that the Thais need to prosecute people for what
they do not who they are.

One who has had to take that mantra on his well-known chin is
presenter Sorrayuth who this week had his 13 year embezzling
conviction upheld.

While in other crime news – and perhaps shifting some of the heat from
what those masters of the Siamese straight face refer to as their
judicial system – it was the UK police blamed this time for their
meddling in the case of the Koh Tao murders.

Scotland Yard, you will recall, had sent over two of their finest for
a couple of weeks at the Oriental but now the UK’s National Crime
Agency has said they acted unlawfully as their actions helped secure
the Burmese accused a death sentence.

Talk about plod putting their foot in it – it really takes some going
to upstage the Thai police at that but the Bobbies were more than a
match for the BiBs in this grand national fiasco that rivals Aintree
in 1993.

All this buffoonery liberally exercised on either side of the globe
was best summed up by deputy PM Tanasak who told reporters in the
shadow of the Sydney Opera House after a Thai “khon” masked drama show
that the Thai “government practices the rule of law”.

While the dancers must have been grateful of the masks to hide their
grins, Rooster had a sly smirk at the double entendre use of the word

Except in giving us a laugh, they never seem to make it perfect.

On the lighter side of life it was no surprise to see the story
emanating from QUOTES or the Queen of the Eastern Seaboard, where a
hotel employee, who in most countries would have been praised for
doing the right thing, handed in money he found spewing out of an ATM.

Not to be sneezed at, it was 69,000 baht to be precise. Rooster wasn’t
sure whether to hail his honesty or his idiocy as he handed over the
wads of cash to the dubious safe keeping of the local constabulary.

Let’s just hope he got a receipt and the bank – whoever they are –
sees him right.

Similarly stretching the bounds of incredulity were two foreigners who
seemed to have forgotten that CCTV has in fact made its way, albeit
belatedly, into the arsenal – read pop-gun – of what passes for Thai
police procedures.

Some on Thaivisa forum would say the cameras, when they are working,
are the only means by which the constabulary have any chance of making
an arrest, a matter clearly overlooked by the American ex-serviceman
who robbed a downtown gold shop of some rings earlier in the week.

Described first as a “khaek khao”, with the translator going for
“Arab”, it was later revealed that the man in the cap was just a
whitey up to mischief. The cops followed him from shop to bike to
house with the only surprise being that it was a full 24 hours before
he was in custardy.

I use that word advisedly as rather him than me coming to such a
sticky end in a Thai jail, a fate that awaits the other Darwinian Dodo
foreigner in Pattaya who thought it necessary to use pepper spray
during The Heist of the Wine Coolers.

I get how it can be upsetting if you need a drink when the afternoon
shutters come down at 7-11 but this seemed a tad like overkill. It
begged the question as to what we might see next – armed robbery for a
bag of locusts, perhaps.

Also from the resort where the news never sleeps comes what I expect
to be the first of many stories centering on the latest wonder of the
modern world, namely Her Hole-i-ness the Pattaya Tunnel.

Some tanked up Thais whizzing through this dolphin encrusted marvel of
futuristic engineering claimed that ratatat noises emanating from
their car was gunfire rather than a dodgy exhaust.

Such has been the prevalence of shootings on the roads this year that
we should all be surprised if it was indeed just the clatter of the

Not tooled up but nevertheless as mad as Thai hell was the north
eastern woman in a car at the center of my favorite story of the week.

This was the Thai nurse and wife, unusually eschewing armory, who had
found out that her two timing hospital hubby was seeing his “gik” on
the other side of Surin.

Described as “just another day in Thailand” the disgruntled missus
laid in wait then rammed the cavorting duo with her car before a
passing reporter happened to drop by and offer his assistance.

The woman was now content though some forum newbies to Thailand-
baffling us old timers – suggested a crime had actually been
committed! Attempted vehicular homicide? Nah….this was just Thai wife
with right on her side folks!

The ‘mia luang’ had made her point and importantly got it out of her
system, while the husband and his bit on the side had fled the scene
without the former even losing his manhood to a duck’s dinner.

The only damage done was to the cars – and given the nature of the
roads they’d be smashed up by teatime anyway.

And so to this week’s joint Rooster award. The “Pie in the Sky” (PITS)
prize goes to the dreamers who announced a budget of just 28 billion
baht to connect Rayong to Don Muang via Pattaya and Swampy with a high
speed train. Multiply that by four and I may believe.

The PITS also goes to chief Sanit and his merry band of met men who
are apparently making it their mission to clean up the Nana area of
Bangkok. While it was clear that the story about the “illegals of
color” referred to the Soi 3 side of Sukhumvit it can hardly be said
that Soi 4 opposite is all that far behind in the shady characters’

Especially when you consider many of those characters hail from Lumpini nick.

Finally, on a personal note it is spiffing if not spliffing to be back
in Thailand despite some success in England.

Finishing 21st in the World Scrabble Championship in Nottingham was
not too bad; not arguing excessively with my grown up children a plus;
and keeping the column going as the mercury plummeted a fair

In fact…..didn’t he do well!


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