Daily Archives: May 21, 2006

An Alien Blob, a Ladyboy and a HK Woman

(Shiver-me-timbers….a friggin Alien Blob!)

Just last week I enjoyed giving you the lowdown on Thailand’s scandalous superstars who get their faces plastered all over the show. So, what other kinda news hits the headlines of the Thai newspapers?

Go to any magazine stall and you’ll be astonished at the amount of weeklies with saucy pics of bikini-clad girls painted on the front. As for the newspapers, well nothing the readers love more is a good-old close up picture of the remains of some sizzled-up corpse. So apart from just gruesome murders, rapes, scandals and boring politics, what else there?

Well, story of the week, is another classic which had the nation’s people glued to their TV sets in anticipation of a ‘War of the World’s-style Alien attack!’ The Thai Rath newspaper started the story about ‘Alien Blobs’ falling from the skies and landing in laundry-tubs around the country. Amazingly, these Alien Blobs would start wriggling and changing size within the hour of being found. The country, in panic of an alien attack, saw the government set up a special ‘hotline’ number for any latest report on more Alien Blobs. On top of this, one highly respected doctor from a top university even sent a ‘Blob’ to NASA as proof of alien life.

As for the country’s lottery players, they once again took the splendid opportunity to use the Alien Blobs to predict the lucky Government Lottery number of the month. Wriggling away, the Alien blobs were set before altars, sprinkled with holy water and asked to wriggle in the sand naming the lucky 3-digit number of the fortnight! Sadly however, the Alien Blobs, after laboratory tests, were found to be nothing more than a huge national hoax. The Blob was in fact, just cooling gel used on patients in hospitals.

The national newspapers here in Thailand, just love any sordid bad story about the likes of murdered Farangs, randy monks and absolutely anything concerning ‘fortune telling’ and the Government lottery. I was rather surprised at the anti-steve comments by a couple of angry Indians after my not-so-serious blog on money-lending/Roti vending Indians a few weeks back. Why? Well, the Thai media is just full of sordid stories about our Hindu friends too – perhaps such Thai-Indian commenteers never read the Thai press! Then, there is the Thai Ladyboy! I once wrote up a blog on ladyboys and I know how sensitive some readers are about such a subject, as for the Thai media however – they show no remorse on sensationalizing any story about them!

Just after the ‘Alien Blob Hoax’ story began to die down, the TV news and the papers picked up on the sordid story of a ladyboy and a policeman. If it had been a girl, I guess the story would only have made mediocre news, but because it concerned a ladyboy there was national outcry. Here it is:

(No more discos for this certain ladyboy!)

A Bangkok based Police Lt Colonel went to a disco with some buddies of his over on the Thonburi side of the river. The high ranking officer got into conversation with a ladyboy sat on her own – he invited her to sit at his table. When the disco closed, the policeman’s friends went home and the cop invited the ladyboy for some ‘rice soup’ at a nearby restaurant. At the restaurant, a waiter asked the policeman if he realized that his partner for the night was a ladyboy, to which he honestly replied “I wanna try something different!”

Next, the high ranking policeman took the ladyboy to a short-time hotel. After a couple of hours, the ladyboy was seen driving away – alone, in the cop’s car. After bashing down the door, the policeman was found suffocated-dead, along with a couple of Valium wrappers on the dressing table. Huge story, and the ladyboy was amazingly arrested the very same afternoon at a hotel in Lopburi province.

Of course, she admitted to unintentionally killing the officer, but just wanted to rob him of all his possessions instead (Pretty daring wouldn’t you say!) The media quickly latched on to the story and after the ladyboy was forced to put on a re-enactment of the scene for the courts, literally 200 people were forced back by riot police after they admitted wanting to kill the ladyboy in avengance.

Stirring up the story, just cause she was a ladyboy is nothing new, but what surprised me – not once did I read in Thai, anything about this high-ranking policeman breaking the law in the first place! The waiter in the restaurant and the ‘boy’ at the short-time hotel told the media “He takes ladies of the night to the hotel every week, but we were shocked when he took a ladyboy”. Perhaps this knowledgeable police officer forgot that such night-time activity in Thailand is……against the law!

After writing about Rock Star ‘Mr Dag’ of the band Big Ass in my last blog, it has been guaranteed fair and square after two DNA tests that he did not father a child to a 16 year-old girl. Who started this story off? It was in fact, respected MP Paweena Hongsakul of the capital’s most famous organization for ‘Women’s and Children’s Rights’. This organization, though it may have helped a few underprivileged folks in the past, has caused a lotta controversy in that they supposedly pick on stories – which are just potentially scandalous! Thus, bringing Mrs Paweena into the media limelight. If the case of ‘Mr Dag’ isn’t a prime example of this, check this huge one out from two years back:

Two years ago, a Hong Kong woman, after been told to “Get that quack-wack story outta here” by the local police, went crying to Mrs Paweena. According to the Hong Kong woman, she was gang-raped by 4 men including her Tuk-Tuk driver at the side of a Bangkok main road at 2 am, not too far from parliament in fact.

Mmmmmmm…..already sounding rather fishy, when one realizes that Bangkok’s main roads are full of traffic 24 hours a day! Anyway, Mrs Paweena had the police intervene on her request and the Tuk-Tuk hotel taxi driver was imprisoned. Anyway the Hong Kong woman, who reckoned she was a well-known news reporter, went into great details about the attack and the newspapers just lapped up the story. While the poor-old Tuk-Tuk driver is left behind bars, the girl’s hotel’s security guard starts babbling to the press about some naughty activities he had recently been enjoying with the Hong Kong victim! “She’s a complete quack-wack, takes drugs and slaps herself silly”

After one week, the Tuk-Tuk driver was released from jail after the cops dropped charges – the evidence just led to one thing and that was – the Hong Kong girl had completely fabricated the whole story……..and Mrs Paweena had just sucked it up! After the Thai police flew over to Hong Kong for a background check on the girl, it was discovered that she had a serious history of drug abuse, theft and mental disorder. She was sentenced to three years in jail for making up the story but freed after one and a half – courtesy of HM The Queen, and deported home.

Now, I am sure if the girl had just been a nobody Thai girl, the story wouldn’t have got anywhere. Sensationalizing is one thing, but falsely imprisoning somebody because of it, is pretty….out of order, don’t you think?

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Loy Krathong In The Village Of Ban Phutsa

Ban Phutsa kids

Loy Krathong is probably the most visually evocative of all Festivals held in the Kingdom of Thailand. It would take a very mean spirited individual not to be moved by the sight of a November full moon with thousands of candles and incense sticks flickering and burning on floating Krathongs.

As November is the month that Mali and I normally visit Thailand, I have attended many Loy Krathong celebrations over the years. In the main these have been in rural areas in Isaan. Although these village celebrations don’t have the scope or grandeur of mainstream celebrations in say Krung Thep or Sukhothai they are still marvelous due to their relative simplicity and the community involvement of Village people.

Last November I attended once again another Loy Krathong celebration in the Isaan village of Ban Phutsa in Nakhonratchasima province. In the days leading up to Loy Krathong night there were many reminders of the significance of this celebration.

Ban Phutsa Sala

The Hindu origins of Loy Krathong date back centuries to the Sukhothai period of Thai history where it commemorated both the ending of the rainy season and the all important rice harvest. As such one of the two main Sala’s in the village were decorated with palm and coconut fronds and included mounds of freshly picked green coconuts.

Many villagers were in attendance at the Sala where the village monks chanted and were offered alms. Amongst this the Monks blessed small sacks of rice from the all important rice harvest that was occurring at that time. It also reminded of the important role that the village Wat plays in the life of rural Thailand. Village temples are places, which Thai people enter and use freely and take immense pride in.

Over at the other Sala in the village Wat a small cottage industry was creating the colourful Krathongs that the villagers would float on the night. In the main they were being built out of banana leaf and decorated with flowers, candles and incense sticks. The only sign of modernity were the Styrofoam bases. The Krathongs were then sold for a few baht to villagers with all profits donated to the village Wat.

Krathong Construction

completed krathongs

As the moon rose on the night of Loy Krathong the villagers slowly gathered in the grounds of the temple. From there holding their Krathongs people moved out to a large irrigation pond in the rice fields immediately behind the temple.

As the Candles and incense sticks were lit and the obligatory coins also placed on them, the Krathongs were launched by young and all. The pond soon came to life with the flicker of candlelight and the musky odour of burning incense. Amongst the throng of people village monks moved easily, talking and laughing with family, friends and neighbours. As an event it could only be described as Sanuk.

loy kratong lights

As mentioned above, it wasn’t as grand as the celebrations in Krung Thep and other places but just like home made chocolate cake, just so much sweeter.

And then it was over, another important cycle completed in that intriguing place called the Kingdom of Thailand.


I love Thai food

I’d have to say that I have many Thai dishes which I love to eat. My favourite being pad Thai and tom ka gai. There are many Thai restaurants in Sydney which I go to. I always order the same thing. I absolutely love Thai food.


Thai food here is so expensive.
When I go to Thailand, I always go to Robinsons on sukhumwit. They have a great food hall downstairs with many different food shops. I always get pork soup and sweet sticky rice for dessert. One thing you can’t get here is sweet rice. I also like tub tim and the little green noodles in coconut milk. That’s delicious.

Tub tim.. mmmm

Last time I was in Bangkok, I was walking with my friend and I saw an ice cream man. I remembered back to Richard’s blog about the ice cream in the bread roll. It sounded weird to me but I decided to give it a try and it was the yummiest thing I have ever tasted!!!

I could eat Thai food all the time!!

Pad thai…

Old Patong:Investing

Old Patong had a string of new bars going up.

The huge woven palmfond roof of the Gonzo bar finally caught fire and the place quickly burned to the ground, really a matter of minutes!

Since Gonzo had the most space on Soi Bangla[Bar Road], the powers that be decided to add another Soi off Bangla.

I believe it is what is now, Soi Eric?

But, before Soi Eric was even around, Soi Gonzo was and the new bar spaces, little more than big cubicals were short leased to any and all that could come up with 10,000baht.

Many were immeadiately sold to ExPats, several Aussies and a few Germans had those little cubes up and running almost overnight.

Naturally they all had electricity, meaning that each bar had it’s own ghetto-blaster going at a minimum of 100watts 24/7…:-(

Our good friend “3” worked at the Happy Heart Bar, actually she went and sold hooch to the tourist for a month or so anyway, “3” never was in one place too long, perferring to do her own thing. She was the first of what is now thousands of “entertainers/hostesses”on the beach. She was gifted with Miss Universe good looks, a heart of gold and the ability to take care of herself under all conditions!!

The stroke she’d had several years before left her limping some, but she was still a force to be reconned with and Patong Patty and I always liked her laugh and the way she took on the world! She had a bright spirit, her father, now a Monk, she’d been on her own since the War, marrying a GI, actually moved to NYC for a short stint, but her husband was soon killed in the War and “3” returned to the Land Of Smiles.

She’d worked in the R&R camps up Kon Kin way, even worked with Guitar Noi years back in a stage show!

Anyway, the new barsoi, Soi Gonzo was soon full of little, noise making businesses, the word got out all the way to Bangkok and MANY folks came south for the sun and work! There was ALWAYS work in Old Patong! It was growing like a weed, wild and out of control.

The tales of the bar sois are many, like the Kangaroos that lived under the counter after closing time, and only bought the place to get a “discount” on beer…:-)

Most of the “businesses” lasted a season at most, some two seasons, but, they soon became the business model for little bars!