Daily Archives: October 27, 2005

National Police Day

13 October is National Police Day. The Royal Thai Police in different parts of the country celebrate this auspicious occasion in their various ways. This year, Betong Police Station celebrated the occasion in a more community friendly manner.

The opening ceremony started early in the morning in front of Betong Police Station. The district officer, community and religious leaders were invited to attend the ceremony. The ceremony included speech by the Chief Police and the Mayor of Betong, paying respect to the king and queen, presentation of badges to the promoted police officers, pledge of royalty and short inspection of the troop.

In his speech, the Betong Chief Police said that the police officers must work in accordance with the Policy of the Royal Thai Police. He also stressed the importance of police-community cooperation to support effective action through a spirit of collaboration, which includes participation of the private sector, the community and the public at large in the activity of crime-solving.

There was a Monks prayer session after the ceremony. Other activities held in conjunction with the Police Day included a football match and essay writing competition entitled “Expected qualities of a good Police” and “What people expect police to do” which would be opened to the public.

Speech by Mayor/Prayer ceremony

In the evening, there was “buka puasa” (fast breaking) dinner. Before breaking the fast, the muslims had their prayer in a hall besides the police station. In order to take pictures for my blog, as usual, I had to “sacrifice”🙂 my “image” and “elegancy” and got wet running through the rains to the praying hall!

I was a little wary as this is my first time so close to the muslims praying. During the prayer session, I found them changed their postures every two or three minutes and were in good order…sat, bowed, stood, hands up, hands closed…. The whole praying session took about 15 minutes.

After the prayer, some of them used the natural rain water to bathe their hands and feet. Though it was raining heavily in the evening, the temporary tent was still crowded with more than 230 muslim guests, all males!

In Thailand, image is important, teacher normally “behaves” as a teacher and officer “behaves” as an officer. Besides the Mayor and I :), I hardly find anyone in this town that can be both high and down to earth. Tonite, as the police have to be on duties and there were only a few helpers, I saw the “less words, more works” new Chief Police arranging the tables and chairs…

Praying time

Praying/Washing legs and hands after prayer

Dinner in the rain/Simple meal

More Pictures of the Temple Fair

Some people say that the temple fair in Samut Prakan was the first of its kind in Thailand. Not sure if that is true but I have seen records that date it back a hundred years or so. Most of the city is affected by the fair. The whole of the parade ground, riverfront and the two main roads running through the city have stalls. At about 4.30 p.m. theses two roads are closed to traffic and more sellers move in to set up their stalls in the middle of the road. These pictures were taken at about that time on the road running past the city pillar.

This is probably a good time to go to the fair as there isn’t so many people. Most of the crowds will come in the evening or weekends. Though the last few evenings it has rained a lot. I have probably taken just over 1000 pictures so far. Most of them are food pictures! But there are fairground games to play too. I will try and get a better variety for you.

But, it is the food stalls that draw my attention. So many delights to try. And many of them from not around these parts. Judging by some of the signs, they have come far. But, there are some locals which I recognize. A few are parents of my students as they seem to know my name.

If you get bored with the fair on this side of the river, you can pay 3 baht to catch a ferry to the other side of the river. You will find there quite a few more fairground attractions and food stalls. I will show you some pictures from that side later.

1980:Return To Paradise:part 5

Big Dave organized a short fishing trip out into Patong Bay. We all crawled into the small boat, about 12 of us, along with cases of provisions and slowly motored toward the Kalim end of the bay where the big coral reefs were just a short snorkling distance below the sea and no Scuba gear would be necessary.

The reefs were prolific with multi-colored fish and corals. Giant sea fans were many, almost as many as the beautiful yellow tang fish that looked like they were puckered up for a kiss!

It didn’t take long for ALL of the women on board to begin feeling woozy and sick. We motored to the south end of the bay, about 4 clicks from SeaView bungalow and dropped off all the women and Capt Som of the Thai police who’d joined us that day.

Naturally the women took ALL of the food, leaving us only the Mekhong and Singha, but we managed somehow to continue fishing and snorkling around the bay for several quick hours, not noticing that Capt Som had lit a small signal fire and made a bamboo whistle that he used to summon help with his S O S peeps!

We finally came back to their side of the bay and rescued the formerly seasick, the food was all ate up by then,but so was the grog and we all piled back onto shore and finished the day at Thai Garden restaurant, happily reliving the various big moments over and over in our minds, the fish we caught become bigger with each telling!

Nok had cut his had from the fishing hand-line, but it wasnt too bad, the Mekhong he gulped down eased the pain and it really was a BIG fish at that!

Dao cooked it up “thai style” and we all enjoyed the meal, another successful day in Paradise…

Capt Som taught us a few Thai folk songs and the day was complete,,,

too be continued…