Daily Archives: June 19, 2005

Bangkok’s Mega Bridge Updates

Back in February, I told you about the Mega Bridge project that is taking place between Samut Prakan and Bangkok. This will be the first bridge that crosses the river in Samut Prakan. Actually, it crosses it twice as the river makes a large loop at this point. There is a lot of road construction going on in Samut Prakan at the moment. Many houses are being bulldozed to make way for the outer ring road which will eventually lead to this bridge and maybe another new one. I will be bringing updates on these constructions later. Today, I drove over to Phra Pradaeng to get some pictures of how the bridge looks now.

You can see in this picture from high altitude the foundation of the bridge and the circular access and exits ramps in the middle (5). The number (1) marks the car ferry which I had to use to cross the river. As I mentioned before, there is no bridge here yet. Boats heading to the port in Bangkok enter from the bottom of the photo and then go right around the loop for about 15 miles or so before coming back at the top of the picture. The figures (3) and (4) mark the towers which will take the road over the Chao Phraya River. At figure (2), you can clearly see a canal which was built in 1722 to help provide a short cut for boats heading for Bangkok. However, big ships still had to go the long way. I will talk about this canal more another day.

These photos show the circular exit ramps in the middle (5) which seem to be progressing very quickly. The picture on the right shows the two towers marked (4) in the picture from high altitude. So far they are not connected.

This is now a closer view. At figure (7) you can now clearly see a new canal they are building alongside the megabridge. This will shorten the shortcut which I previously mentioned. However, you will see from the photos below it still won’t allow big ships to pass.

This is the northern end of the new canal marked with a figure (6). The picture on the right is looking the other way. The two towers are marked as figure (3) in the first high altitude picture.

With the completion of this new canal, the loop to the right now becomes even more of an island. I had never been to that area before, so I decided to go exploring this afternoon. I will tell you about this little adventure tomorrow.

Back to…The Beauty of Bangkok

Bangkok’s Most Famous Tourist Attraction – Wat Arun

Just when you thought i had nowt more to say on the City of The BTS and Bar Beers im back again to give yous all another look into the wonders and absurdities of which are all a part of the concrete jungle, Bangkok.

Without a doubt, our Bangkokian buddies have a frivolous fascination one for thing and it isn’t pizza, it is ‘uniforms’. Perhaps its an Asian phenomenon, but Thais indeed just love dressing-up and after being just about able to run our country’s toddlers are already being suited out in kindergarten outfits at the tender age of just two and a half. By the time our schoolgirls have grown -up and found an office job they’re straight out there buying for themselves a whole collection of uniforms for their wardrobes. It doesn’t matter whether the streets of Bangkok are in an unfit state our offices girls are soon to be found wobbling up down the sidewalks with atrociously high 6 inch heels. But then again, nothing more than a Bangkok girl needs, is the need to be beautiful.

Then, we have the nation’s univerity girls who absolutely adore nothing more than their black & white uniforms and are seen spending all their pocket-money kitting themselves out in the tighest ‘uni’ tops possible. Next, after proudly purchasing their unbelievably almost unbreathable tight tops they are found spending more of their cash on the shortest possible skirt to be had. If this isnt enough to have their male teachers fall dead of a heart attack our little darlings are at Siam Square again to get a ‘perma-hair bond job’ hoping for hair that resembles one of the Sunsilk girls’ on TV.

Even yours in name here had the awfully enviable task of having to teach a hundred of the flirts when I was called up by the fourth year accounts faculty over there at Chula Uni last year to teach them all, ‘Job Interview’ English for a few Saturdays. It has to be admitted that your regular blogger friend here too, broke out in a flush a few times and at 3,000 baht for the four hours you can well imagine that i didnt bother bunking off work, not once!

As for the high school girls, they love little else but getting promoted up to Mathayom 4 (grade 10) as they can grow their hair long and be had of that awful big noodle soup bowl haircut they’ve had to put up with since the age of 7. These days, one of the selling points of the privately-owned technical college is not the quality of the teaching materials but is in fact the cuteness of the girlie uniforms. There is in an annual Bangkok award given to the college with the ‘Cutest Techno girl uniform of the year’ This year the award was given to a Tech college along Petchburi Road that has their girls fitted out in such a uniform that you can just imagine all the Japanese male tourists having at right ‘peev’ and dribbling at such attraction.

Don’t be fooled into thinking that the nation’s high school kids are as sweet and innocent as they make look. Living over there in Thonburi before I was hired to teach privately, one very smart grade 12 boy studying at that extremely pricey private school on Samsen, named to the likes of St Garbriella’s. So, for the whole six months of the tuition our laddie here enjoyed nothing more than explaining in detail the saucy goings-on of his school-mates. I was getting paid to teach it was up to him what he wanted to learn. Once, I asked to change the subject and talk about something else, only for him to cancel the next week, was probably sulking. Well, he certainly wasn’t going to get booted out of school as his father was a deputy-leader of a leading political party. Im not going to moan about ‘a bitta connection’ meself’ as it was his mum that got me this effortlessly easy teaching job here in Suphan.

Talking about schools, it has to be said that one of the main factors governing Bangkok’s dreadful traffic jams is the fact that so many of the capitals ‘fancy’ schools are located bang in the middle of the city. The stevesuphan award to the school causing the worst possible traffic congestion in the mornings has to be that pompously poshy girlie school along Silom, called St Josephines. By gosh, the place is so posh that they even the soi gets named after the school!

Yours faithfully, even taught at the place once for the not so long time period of one month but that was long enough after having been nauseated at the sight of grade 7 girls being chauffer driven to school and having their bags carried by their servants! Personally, i think the whole lot of them should take the skytrain to school but coming from such a filthy-stinkingly rich poshy family it would be unthinkable to have such god-blessed children having to walk to school!

No other city in the world I think, has a whole host of its universities also, in the worst imaginary areas for causing traffic congestion. Perhaps the worst offenders are Chulalongkorn’s richy kids who are infamous for just parking their cars along the side of the major street outside, to the complete frustration of other drivers trying to get home after work. And darned-it, none of these institutes are not just going to relocate to a more sensible location like Bang-na or Ransit. Just look at the frivolous fuss made by the students of Thammasart a few years back when they were told that most of them were to be transfered to the new Rangsit campus.

Even though they are all supposedly ‘intellectuals’, they were on the news, reporting to the likes of “But the original location is just perfect for bars, getting drunk, attending druggy parties and buying skimpy skirts”. And man did they make fuss! So much of a fuss, that the university fell to third place behind Chula and Kasetsart in terms of freshie preference for that coming new year.

As for the male students of the country’s educational institutes well…. the worst of the bunch, undoubtedly, are the Techno boys who do their bashful best getting away with looking as scruff-wag as possible. In terms of their behaviour, a whole blog could be written solely on that! Just out of college in the late afternoon, they’re all witnessed popping into the nearest cheapo kiosk, sharing a bottle coke and one cigarette between five of them, whistling at any girl in a skirt, cursing to the tops of their voices and before you know it, are getting into a punch-up with some other dim-wit so-called students from another ‘rival’ institute.

Going back to the traffic problem yet again, it just amazes me at the selfish erratic behaviour of some of the capital’s drivers and the worst on the list, are the former champion buffalo riding bus drivers. Even though they have to put up with a whole 12 hours a day in the traffic, they are furious at the idea of having to wait just 12 seconds to go through the lights. Just like naughty students at school, as soon as they see that the traffic cop has turned his back, they are sneaking into the ‘turn only’ lane to the disgust of the drivers behind who actually do need to make a turn and cause a right queue up of traffic behind.

One thing that is an essential commodity for every car driver in Bangkok is not a seat belt, but a ‘flashy’ name-card. Any old name-card of an important person can be used when being called over by a traffic cop for going through the red lights. The name card of a high-ranking policeman, preferably with the ranking of major-general up are very handy things to have indeed in such situations. Just flashing it in front of the cops face will be enough for him to say “You may go now, have a nice day”. Then, if the cop does have the nerve to ask any questions, one only needs to say “This is my father-in-law, he doesnt take nicely to any Starsky & Hutch wanna-be minor ranking cop like you”.

I even had a farang school teaching buddy once who enjoyed getting away with not having to pay traffic fines this way, so we can’t complain of it being only a Thai phenomenon.

And finally, I could go on and on a bit longer about the bewilderment of Bangkok, but i’ll cut it short just here, so keeping a few more sordid stories for another day and another blog. Will enjoy reading any comments.


Frivolous adj. = quite useless, almost silly.
Wobble .v. = to walk with the resemblance of a drunkard.
Atrocious/Dreadful .adj. = really bad.
Adore .v. = to love lots and lots.
Flirt .v. = to do a bit of acting, hoping that the onlooker will be next asking for your telephone number.
Bunk off .v. = to call in work sick, when in fact you can’t be darned bothered getting out of bed instead.
Dribble .v. = to water at the mouth like a baby.
Saucy .adj. = rather naughty.
Sulk .v. = งอน
Skimpy .adj. = so short to be almost revealing.
Scruff-wag .n. = a person dressed to the resemblance of a London tramp.
Dim-wit .n. = a not so smart person
Erratic .adj. = quite brainless.