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An American friend at a birthday party this week said: “Rooster old chap (feigning a plummy accent)…. you really need to get out more.
“The beaches are empty – what are you waiting for man?”
We were enjoying a roast lamb dinner at his place. Yes, it was great to get out and cross the county lines out of Bangkok to Pathum Thani but I had a ready excuse for being such a homeboy.
C.I.S. – Covid Inertia Syndrome. I haven’t seen it anywhere on the internet yet, only heard of conditions called “Lockdown Fatigue” or “Coronavirus Syndrome”, the mental stress from constantly hearing about the virus.
I’m not stressed by virus news though I must admit that when my news editor sends me stories to translate that have Covid in them (50%?) I feel inclined to go and throttle his northern English neck for the sheer fun of it.
No, for me it’s CIS (better than the acronym for Pandemic Inertia Special Syndrome that would really be taking the mickey).
Many Thais are suffering from it too. Despite the fact that all Thailand is out there – much of it empty, with nature having recovered and people desperate for our custom – I just can’t be bothered.
It’s true inertia, the “unwillingness of a body to move” in the scientific sense. And this body is unwilling.
The wife feels it and the children, perhaps to a lesser extent, do too. The result is staying home, not even going to the nearby park. Cooking at home, foregoing restaurants.
I can’t say we’re particularly fearful of the virus, we just can’t be bothered and are perfectly happy letting the stories about the deserted beaches float by like the gentle breezes mentioned in the promotional material. Letting the hotels with their discounts stay empty, ignoring government handouts.
We’ll just stay home like so many others, bung on Netflix and get a home delivery if we fancy something different. Sad perhaps, but true.
Fortunately one of the best treatments for CIS is a healthy dose of Thaivisa!
Both for employees of the company such as myself and for those who follow the humor, quirkiness and flip flopping of the Thai authorities online, it was a truly bumper week.
The last seven days had everything so get a coffee, follow the links and enjoy!
The week started with the various fallout from last Sunday’s Valentine’s Day. Police were checking if a Thai wife had her fingerprints on a 15 inch kitchen knife after she claimed hubby plunged it into his own chest because of depression.
She looked worried as plod doubted her story.
Down in Pattaya (and not for the last time in a week dominated by QUOTES – the Queen Of The Eastern Seaboard) – foreigners and Thais in Walking Street were slammed for not socially distancing and not wearing masks.
Somehow the headline writer – a pitiful hack who lives in Ratchayothin – managed to say it was a St Valentine’s Day Maskacre.
Perhaps it was the fact that mayor Sontaya reminds me of Al Capone in a purple silk tunic that did it.
(The shaming of the partygoers was absurd especially when put into context by the massive queues nationwide as old folk without smartphones swamped Krung Thai bank branches for “Rao Chana” handouts).
The best story concerned a man who decided to spice up the “Day of Love” with a metal ring placed on his “Thai todger”.
Unfortunately this produced a swelling that refused to dissipate putting the pee in priapism.
The Poh Teck Tung foundation staffer, more used to putting stiffs on the back of his pick-up after road accidents than handling stiffs, was tasked with cutting it off at the ER room. The ring, that is.
He whipped out his tool (cutting equipment) and saved the day. For the full Viz comic style news report follow the link.
And to the Thaiger news round-up reporter who copied my crassness without crediting Thaivisa – eternal shame and flaccidness on you.
It was a day when my editor had said “every one of these 11 stories could be the lead” and it certainly seemed like Super Tuesday.
News came that the death toll on the roads was already 2,047 this year with a staggering 131,282 injured so far in 2021. A national disgrace is all I can muster on the issue this week.
The Thaivisa faithful, especially the bashers on the Facebook arm, were worked up into the mother of all lathers by news that investors were pumping 4.5 billion baht into Jomtien.
“Pattaya: Chinese to the rescue” did the trick as the “wu flu” brigade harped on. They seem oblivious to their Trumpesque conspiracy theories – more so dim than Dim Sum.
By the time a story about a croissant shop in Rayong arrived in my inbox Rooster was unstoppable.
The owner had rejected mum’s idea for a staid bakery and with the help of her “pretty” pastry packing pals had decided to put a bit of “oomph” in the French delicacies now all the rage in Thailand.
Some of the ladies looked like they might topple over if they overreached the counter while the forum remained good natured, a million miles away from political correctness.
Which is more than could be said for some absurd posters spouting PC about Child Labor abuse in connection with a tale about a charming 10 year old selling her gran’s organic veg for profit at a gas station.
Maybe it was the mention of the word “entrepreneur” in the headline that got to their prissy sensibilities. To me it seemed that Baiyok , jade who was a real gem, is a conscientious young lady doing her bit to help out the family in her freetime.
Of course she was not exploited or in danger at the gas station where countless people would be looking after her welfare.
Like many others who refuted the nonsense over many pages on the thread, Rooster reminisced of paper rounds, gardening jobs, cheap decorating work and child minding from a bygone era when things seemed simpler and more fun.
When child abduction was likely more prevalent than it is today but when the news media didn’t thrust bad news down everyone’s throats every five minutes.
Ganja, as the Thais like to call it, was an almost daily diet, particularly at those gimmicky restaurants where they think marijuana leaves are healthy and will pull in the customers.
They look cute draped over an omelet but give me parsley any day. I know my ‘erbs as the Americans say.
DPM and health minister, the ever hapless Anutin, penned his name to five new medications that can be made from the wonder drug including a treatment for piles.
I was relieved to see that the leaves would be processed and the fat, sticky buds were still a no-no…..imagine those being inserted.
One of the first “doctor” words I learned in Thai was “anal sphincter” – my word I’ve got some laughs from that knowledge over the years. A)they don’t expect a foreigner to know it and B) they don’t expect him to be such a smart Alec.
Anutin, who has exhibited as many gaffes as guffs over the last year, was not publicly berated for spilling the beans about the first stages of the vaccine rollout despite ministers being told by Uncle Too to hold their horses.
He couldn’t resist going on Facebook just hours after the cabinet meeting prompting grumpy Prayut – under pressure facing his own censure debate – to announce some dates.
Later in the week came news that Anutin was going to provide the jab even to the dirty farangs who refused his masks last February; anyone in Thailand would be vaccinated come June.
Cue the forum who moaned about being at the back of the queue and not wanting the Sinovac jab from China.
It reminded me of a cartoon in one of the first editions of venerable Viz that will resonate with Australian readers – it was called “Whinging Pom”.
It featured an Englishman with a knotted handkerchief on his head and a comely “shiela” by his side on Bondi Beach sipping a beverage. He was moaning about the hot weather and blue skies, the cold beer and his willing and buxom Australian companion.
Clearly some still believe the British 1950s political slogan that not only have they never had it so good but would never get it so good again! Bless…
In international news the generals in Myanmar made the khaki clad brigade in Thailand look like decent chaps in comparison as they cut the internet and threatened to throw dissenters in jail for 20 years.
In Dubai that nasty Sheikh Mohammed came under increased BBC scrutiny for locking up Princess Latifa who he had kidnapped and has held hostage for years. The toothless UN promised action, just like their hollow words whenever it comes to the rulers in Saudia Arabia who trample over human rights.
A rocket launcher anyone?
Stateside, Dr Anthony Fauci, of Covid and AIDS fame, won the prestigious million dollar Dan David prize from Israel for “defending science”. Well done, sir, you’ll be remembered for good unlike that buffoon you used to have to work for.
In England eloquent advocate for the poor, footballer Marcus Rashford found himself on Time’s
“next 100 emerging leaders” list. Already an MBE, let’s hope he continues his brilliant activism beyond his Man Utd days and becomes an MP we could be proud of.
in Australia a spat between the government and Facebook resulted in the platform removing news content. In related news Google promised to pay Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp for some content putting pressure on FB.
Many hundreds of millions of miles away from planet earth the “Perseverance” rover successfully touched down in a crater on Mars. What a stellar achievement again from NASA – and for me what a fantastic thing to share with my young children. Just like my teachers in England in the 1960s inspired me with tales of Apollo.
Back in Thailand it was Pattaya once again in the news. It was hard to “Stop Panning Pattaya” as just an hour’s worth of precipitation on Wednesday left the resort flooded.
Mayor Sontaya still spoke up for his drainage. One of his JCB’s has sneaked onto the sands in the middle of the night after his multi million dollar sands had been partially washed away yet again.
Saving face under the cover of darkness, something no doubt taught to him by his dear pater, Kamnan Poh, a convicted murderer.
Rooster summed up the possibility of improved drainage infrastructure in Pattaya as a “pipedream”.
Also at the resort came further news about the many foreigners and Thais who were swindled out of more than 100 million baht by an assistant bank manager. Foreigners really should learn to read Thai if the surname of the now incarcerated manager is anything to go by.
It is Sappermpoon that means the accumulation of money. I’d have given him a wide berth based on his “naam sagun”.
The Samut Prakan Crocodile Farm and Zoo came under fire online for mistreating its animals. After a parks’ authority visit he was allowed to maintain face though this looked particularly shoddy when juxtaposed with Thaivisa’s well chosen photo of a chimpanzee on a bicycle on a leash with a crash helmet.
Animal rights campaigner, and an old associate of Rooster, Dutchman Edwin Wiek joined in with the condemnation and further pointed to the plight of animals like elephants who are going without food due to the lack of tourists in Thailand.
A kind-hearted pick-up gang in Pattaya delivered tons of much needed sugar cane and bananas to some dilapidated pachyderms in Sriracha, well done.
A Dutchman letting the side down was arrested at Suwannaphum (my spelling) with wife and child after being implicated in the massive “Shopping Mall” online Ponzi con.
While in related news a man in Sukhothai wasn’t home but told plod over the phone that he would pop in in a day or two. He somehow managed to convince 10,000 Thais that they could get 500,000 baht and a monthy income just by giving him 100 baht.
Words rarely fail me but WTF???!!!
Also a few chilis short of a som tam, were six Thai women who thought going to war-torn Ethiopia and bringing some pretty parcels back would be a jolly jape.
Cocaine was stuffed in according to a person who started a “gogetfunding” account for the ladies. Attempts to pin down this person to try and verify the story led this columnist to believe he’s what we used to call in London a “barrow boy” – and a wide one at that.
Treat this story with as much a pinch of salt as a whole pack of Saxa.
Better news for potential visitors to Thailand came later in the week as Thai authorites from the TAT to the TCT to the ATTA to the MOPH to the THA and back to the tourism ministry continued mulling about an end to 14 day quarantine.
The latest plan is to get those vaccinated to quarantine for 14 days in their home country before doing 2 nights, three days in Thailand. This apparently was an improvement.
Group tours could be chaperoned rather like they do in North Korea but followed by doctors with needles in their hands.
Not surprisingly, April 1st was the anticipated start date.
Intriguing news came out of Thai Airways as whistleblowers went to the DSI to say that for the last eight
years 26 people had been issuing fake death certificates for colleagues at the airline to claim benefits for handling dead bodies.
This seemed a bit stiff, stiffing the state with stiffs.
Hopefully they’ll get their comeuppance though the probation department will have to build a new prison to house all the miscreants at THAI.
Meanwhile new Labour Minister Suchart Chomklin promised to go after schools that hire foreign teachers on tourist visas and avoid work permits. A survey only revealed eight WP-less khrus so it hardly seemed worth their while.
I suggest they look closer to home at the despicable Thai folk abusing school children. One “ajarn” at a university this week assaulted his own daughter who was having trouble with her high school homework then battered his wife who had the temerity to start filming. Plod did what plod usually do – pontificated and procrastinated when they should have been prosecuting.
CP group have now decided to change their name from Tesco Lotus to the unfathomable “Lotus’s” that will be even harder for Thais to pronounce. I read the reason for the name change about ten times but couldn’t make head nor tail of it.
Surely the plural should be “Loti?” I suggested to a bemused Mrs R.
Whatever, the founder of Tesco must be turning in his grave; the name came from TE Stockwell, a tea company that provided the shop’s first own-brand product and the CO from boss “Jack” Cohen’s name.
CP should have just continued calling it TESCO (Thailand Everywhere Samesame CO…rruption).
Finally, a soapier than the soaps story came out of Chainat in central Thailand.
A Thai wife dressed in inappropriate funereal black, turned up at her own legal husband’s second marriage ceremony holding her “tabian somrot” (marriage certificate) and started live streaming on Facebook.
She then proceeded to berate her errant husband while he received the lustral waters from his new relatives. He commanded her to leave as she was not invited!
A further video clip – viewed now by 100,000s of Thais who had quite forgotten the TV soaps – showed the groom’s mum giving him a thick ear as he and the bride tried to receive the monks’ chanted blessings.
It reminded me of my own second wedding but only vaguely.
The wife never showed up as I’d told her I was going to the north east not for any ceremonial reason….
But to play Scrabble.