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Rooster considers himself a positive individual – I find that a light-hearted attitude, not dwelling on the negative usually gets me through the day in Thailand.
And the years – I’ve nearly been here four decades with only the odd sojourn abroad.
Thaivisa trumpeted this week that “the end is in sight” (they meant the end of bad stuff) and there was “good news at last”.
It didn’t seem that way. The met office was reporting storms for central Thailand today (Sunday) and tomorrow – and my mood felt like the dark storm clouds gathering on the horizon.
Events in Myanmar looked grim and it was painful to see the Thai government just call for meetings when people were being shot in the street and the Malaysian and Indonesian leaders were demanding more decisive action against the junta there.
In Europe there was a resurgence of the virus in places like Germany, France and Poland with more lockdowns amid talk of a dreaded “third wave”. An outbreak in Bang Khae in the west of Bangkok put the virus numbers back in the 100s.
There were vaccine shortages – even the UK was struggling to get all the doses needed from India.
Thai Rath reported that the great majority of people in Phuket – to name but one tourism place – were living below the poverty line after they were, understandably, abandoned by foreign tourists since the pandemic hit.
A group calling the parade grounds in central Bangkok “The People’s Field” put a guillotine in the style of The Giant Swing on advertising for people to go there and protest. The connection to events in France many moons ago were all too obvious.
The banning of water throwing at Songkran would have lightened my mood in years past. Now it just seemed like more regulation, less freedom, more misery.
The baht was losing some of its value, said Thaivisa. There was no joy even there at Rooster’s Ratchayothin Roost.
Near all my money is in Thai banks in baht! I’m getting poorer by the day….
The other “good news” was that quarantine “might” end in October. No one seemed sure. Now we were really clutching at straws. It’s six months away for a start and who’s to say anyone will come or if it will be remotely advisable for anyone in Thailand to risk going anywhere, domestically or abroad.
I passed two and a half years having not got on a plane. Easily the longest in my adult life. My residence book was completely full of stamps in 2018 and I needed a new one.
I’ve still got it because I haven’t been anywhere – and like millions of others I’ve had no visits from relatives either.
To top it off the price of beer was more in Thailand than even Edinburgh and Washington! Me and a mate polished off a bottle of Sang Som to drown our sorrows.
Finally came news from the “World Happiness Report” that Finland, once again, was the happiest place on earth. The UK had slipped from 13th to 17th, the US was in 19th. Thailand has steadily slipped down the rankings since 2012.
I couldn’t bring myself to look at how far we’d gone now. It was little consolation that Afghanistan was bottom.
As the pollution from the burning fields rolled into Bangkok again and my eyes stung like hell I retreated to the bedroom. Drew the curtains, turned on the air, put some noxious substance called Duratears in my eyes and switched on YouTube for my nightly dose of “Universe”.
It was comforting to know that though it may take a while we will ultimately all disappear down a supermassive black hole and the pain will be over…..
Fortunately, that innate ability to put both personal and “deeper field” upset behind me kicked in.
I looked in the mirror, saw I was still as handsome as ever despite (or perhaps because of) not shaving for days, told Mrs R that my foot felt better after she dug out that pesky verruca with a knife (my how she likes to draw blood), looked at the gorgeous faces of my adorable young children and thought.
Rooster, you never had it so good!
Thaivisa usually helps at a time like this because there are always plenty of quirky stories to both read and translate. Plenty of opportunity to grin inanely at my computer screen and bash furiously on the keyboard (bluetooth, the laptop’s bust) gaily typing some absurdly tortuous pun for the edification of the forum or secretly mocking Thailand’s leaders with language right out of Viz’s “Top Tips” page.
It ain’t all bad!
Top hoot of the week was the Thai teacher who got a surprise through the post in the form of an unordered dildo. She whipped it out (of the packaging, that is) in class. Thankfully the children weren’t present but Khun Khru still had to sit down after coming over all “atremble”.
Then to confirm fears that gangs of miscreants were doing cash on delivery scams, a less embarrassed woman in Sa Kaeo got a thick length of purple plastic through the male…I mean mail.
Even Mrs Rooster wondered why people would A) pay for stuff and B) open it when they hadn’t even ordered it. She’ll take pictures of packages before and during opening stuff she HAS ordered.
She thinks I’m a dinosaur because I have almost never ordered anything online. I even prefer to go out and pick up the pizza – a chance to get out! (and Google “sex toys online” for a friend, you understand).
Amusement continued with the news that Thailand is now the hub of sniffer dogs. The K9’s can apparently sniff out Covid and will soon be deployed to detect the virus in sweat at airports saving all those expensive tests.
This should please DPM Anutin especially after his “great unwashed” tirade last year.
As is widely known, at least according to the health minister, most foreigners are slathered in sweat on arrival in Thailand especially as the hot season bites.
The dogs should have no problems keeping us safe especially from Brits who since time immemorial have regaled the Asians about their penchant for having a “bath night” once a week.
In fact the retrievers could be trained to sniff out so much more. It should be well within their canine compass to detect the whiff of BS and corruption.
I suggest they are deployed immediately to Government House and RTP HQ in Pathumwan.
It was confirmed this week that Big Joke – Lt-Gen Surachate Hakpan – will be back in the fold at HQ working on police reform.
It’ll be the perfect job for BJ, or so his critics think. No one in the TBP (top brass plod) wants reform so they will let BJ hang himself out to dry.
Or so they think. Surachate has been very canny in the past and who’s to say he won’t prove the doubters wrong and make a good fist of it rather than put his foot in it as his superiors are wont to do.
I’m banking on BJ to smell fresher than roses in a year or two then embark on a political career that’ll once again put Thailand at the top of the happiness index. At least for jokes!
In other international news Tanzania’s president John Magufuli – a Covid skeptic – died of an unspecified virus.
In Atlanta there were shootings of eight people at Asian/American spas. Joe Biden sought to calm things amid a spike in racism against that group.
In sports there was no doubting the best of the week especially for a horse racing lover like Rooster. Irish woman Rachael Blackmore became the first female jockey to win leading rider and the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham in England.
A punter with a 5 quid accumulator scooped 250,000 sobs despite the fact that his last horse fell at odds on. He had chickened out of winning 500,000 by taking Betfair’s “cash out” offer prior to the race.
A wise fellow indeed!
Back in Thailand crime and sentencing were high up the news.
The khaki clad gang of seven who executed eight members of a family in Krabi in 2017 had their death sentences confirmed by the Supreme Court.
In Ubon a 70 year old Thai man shot his son-in-law after he broke up the family having had sex with his wife (the father-in-law’s wife that is).
A policeman in Ayutthaya shot a woman, put her in burning tires and threw the remains in the Chao Phraya. Another member of the Trang constabulary stalked his girlfriend in Surat and murdered her at a gas station coffee shop.
Unfortunately he survived his suicide attempt.
One wonders what the UK public – still reeling from a London policeman abducting and killing a young woman – would make of it all.
More law abiding plod continued to arrest loan sharks all over the country and immigration continued to detain illegal migrants and their Thai helpers.
PM Prayut and other cabinet ministers finally got their jabs then Big Too had to run the gauntlet of a group of very loud protesters at Government House shouting for him to go. He did…inside.
In Pattaya the Japanese visited to say they are interested in building the monorail, the New Nordic group applied for some form of bankruptcy, twenty hotels were keen to run Area Quarantine and Sophon Cable TV moaned that someone was digging up North Pattaya Road again.
Business as usual in QUOTES!
A poll suggested the Thais were more worried about road accidents than Covid at Songkran though few seemed to want a water fight.
Finally, my blues – and I’m sure those of many on the forum – were lifted by the actions of a brilliant former hotel maid in Buriram who stepped up to the plate when others were wavering to give CPR to a six year old boy and save his life after he looked dead from drowning.
Well done to 53 year old Sommart Nimmit who had learned the rudiments of rescue in Norway on a course. The video was heartwarming.
You saved my week not to mention that little guy’s life.
You’re a legend.