Daily Archives: April 29, 2008

Back in the Land of Warm Beer & Wellington Boots

(Typical dancers down some local club in Britain)

I guess most of yous didn’t even realized that I’d been away from the blogging scene for a while, I didn’t post anything since that last blog on misunderstanding lovely Thai women, a massive six weeks ago.

Well, in all that time I’ve been completely stacked up to here with writing work – unbelievably busy. I currently got a new full-time job with some company that is so full-on, that by the time I finish work the only thing I fancy doing is either jumping in the sack or downing a few bevies.

Well, after the better half of a year and a half, I finally had to give up my editorial columnist job at The Nation newspaper. Just in case you were reckoning that I must have finally got the sack after taking the pish out of the Education and Cultural Ministries just a wee bit much – then I’m sorry to disappoint yous. In fact, the good old Nation newspaper changed its format to a business one and since I haven’t the foggiest about such an uninteresting subject, I was shifted over to the new Daily Xpress newspaper. But just like here at thai-blogs, I haven’t exactly been working that hard.

Anyway, after a long long time, at the beginning of this month, I finally, due to no wish of my own, flew back to England for a couple of weeks. That is of course, the Land of Warm Beer & Wellington Boots, or should I say Soggy Chips & Saggy Bums – Britain.

Having been absent for so many darned years, everyone was advising me that I would have a cultural shock – but I didn’t really. I guess it’s because the friggin place looks exactly the same as it did a decade ago. I mean London (where I was staying) hasn’t exactly, in the past ten years, become a new home to a skytrain, a million 7-Elevens and shopping malls galore.

(Typical dancers in some local pub in Thailand)

As you can imagine though, I was absolutely freezing when I first arrived and spent the next couple of days looking like some uncontrollably quivering psycho on speed. But, being a Brit by blood, I was soon used to the cold (or, is that sanely possible may I ask?). Talking about the hellish British weather though, after only my second day there, there was one really groovy snow storm and being the kid I am, I was out there dancing around in it. I mean, fook me, I hadn’t seen anything like it in at least two decades.

So, what was going on in the back of my mind while I was there? Well, first and foremost I soon got completely bored of thick doughy bready sandwiches that everyone buys for lunch out of Marks & Spencers. Then, as for the chips out of a good old traditional fish & chip gaff run by some Turk, well they were a huge anti-climax – I get better pieces of such potato down some Irish pub on Silom Road in Bangkok. Will have to admit that I did feast on Tom Yum Kung Mama noodles when I was there. Actually, one thing I do like eating from Britain is definitely the crisps, far better than any in Thailand – up to here with friggin Lay crisps.

For sure, any trip to Britain has to include a bevvie at a local pub. Well, apart from having to fork out the equivalent of 200 baht for a beer, I had a bit of a good time in the pubs. The only thing I didn’t admire though in comparison to Thailand, were the women working behind the bars. Give them a smile like and they think that you are gonna rape them or something. I mean that’s the thing about the Brits back home, smile at some geezer on the Tube and he thinks you’re gay, smile at some damsel and she thinks you are a nutter and smile and say “Hello” to some young children and they think you are a wanted pedophile.

Overall though, the Brits are pretty friendly – just not to strangers on the street, unlike most Thais and theirs smiles.

What amazes about the average Brit guy and girl (in Britain that is) is why can’t they just find their own boy/girlfriends? Look at it, ask any geezer in a bar how he met his darling and he’ll explain she used to be his friend’s ex! Same goes vice-versa. Seems that Brit guys are never single and as soon as they break up in any relationship, they are soon getting their leg over with Sharon from the other end of the bar. By the way, why the heck do Brits stand at a bar when there are stools? – quite an unbelievable phenomenon.

Well, 2 weeks in England was more than enough and I was glad to finally arrive back in Thailand. One thing that I did seriously realize on this trip was how lucky I felt was to be residing in Thailand. I mean, even though every person I met made far more money than me, I felt at times that my standard of living was actually higher. It’s like don’t even bother comparing salaries, when someone in Kingston is paying the same as 60,000 baht a month for some dingy flat while I pay 3,000 for a three bedroom house! In fact, one guy I met explained that at the end of his working week after paying this and that he was left with 50 pounds to spend on going out that weekend drinking. Geez….

I’ll miss you England, but I shan’t be rushing back!