Category Archives: Bangkok Blogs

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.

The Beauty of …… Bangkok

Love it or loathe it, our nation’s capital is a kaleidoscope of colours, crowds, crack-pots and characteristics which are sure to have a serious effect upon anyone’s nervous-system and leave them with a flurry of upbeat emotions. To say that Bangkok is not Thailand is like summing-up that London is not England or Paris is not France.

Everyone knows that Bangkok ranks right up there in the world’s top five for a series of innumerable feats, including for example, the amount of taxis per person, drivers fleeing the scenes of accidents and the excruciatingly long-time length of its red-lights. Then, just last week, while watching one of me favourite morning chat shows, us viewers were informed that Bangkok now ranks third in the world for the amount of Billboards that plaster the city like the plaque.

For all the women in search of the perfect man there is an assortment of advertisements telling them what is needed: ‘get a nose job’, ‘ use armpit whitening lotions’ and ‘have a zitless forehead’. Then for us lonely men needing a wife and two kids it is statutory that we buy ‘a new house’, ‘a flashy new car’ and ‘a thoroughly fancy set of new furniture’, stressed-out cause of the finances involved? Nevermind, there are dozens of billboards advertising ‘Bury yer problems! Big loans on-the-spot – guaranteed!’

The major concern, concerning the billboards is the darned awkward size of them and so a major public safety concern – should one fall down! Countless times over the past couple of years has it hit the news headlines to the likes of ‘Sidewalk beggar banged on head and hositalised by big billboard’. Next, after a series of recent accidents, our PM has decided that all ‘dangerous and over-sized’ billboards be taken down before the end of the month! Let us wait and see!’

The same was said about the now near legendary New World Department Store in Banglamphu. Almost a decade ago now, after parliamentary deliberation, it was decided that this shopping centre was a serious health risk and that the owner had illegally added 7 floors without building permission. After a floor collapsed and a couple of dodgy deaths, the owner was ordered to knock-down the top seven floors immediately. Rather short-of-cash, the owner just didn’t have enough money and prolonged the demolition by taking the matter to court. Then last year, the infamous New World Department Store hit national headlines yet again with the likes of ‘8th floor of New World collapses, lots injured and one fatally’.

‘Til this day, New World is still stuck there for us to ‘walk past quickly’ with stacks-a massive warnings plastered around the building with the likes of ‘Darned dangerous place, enter at you own risk’.

Nearly every foreigner on arriving at Bangkok’s airport and on riding into town has been perplexed to those enormously useless concrete pillars which stretch for miles on the right-side of the highway. They are of course the ‘Stone Henge’ of Bangkok and are the ruins of a once Hope-Well Co, Ltd. construction project, who on having run into a stream of contractual problems half way through completely gave the project up to the eye-sore of the capital. They will probably be there for the next ten thousand years.

The stevesuphan award for ‘mega-mission construction cock-ups’ is afforded to the company that built Thonburi’s tallest condominium blocks. For all of you familiar with the areas surrounding Pinkalo bridge may well have wondered why on earth those two soaring twin-towers are and always have been virtually unoccupied for the past decade. Well, the condo company on having spent billions of baht completing the project didn’t have the brains to realise that the top 30 floors looked over the Grand Palace and most importantly The Emerald Buddha! The Ministry of Culture soon declared it a virtual-sin for any Thai wishing to relax with a beer and have their feet swung over the balcony with the nation’s most revered Buddha Image in view!

One Bangkok feature that certainly isnt in any ‘Unseen Thailand’ brochure has to be the precarious condition of Bangkok’s buses. Every year the government is out there on national TV advising all the capital’s ‘supposedly selfish car owners’ to ‘use public transport’ and that includes the buses! Well, im sure a darned lot more people would use the buses if all the passengers werent so squeezed on with rough looking bus-conductresses constantly bellowing to the likes of ‘Chit Noi, chit noi’ (Move-up, we can fit another hundred people on!).

The capital’s bus drivers, famous not only for their consumption of ‘Energy drinks’, falling asleep at the lights and driving like lunatics are also famed for fleeing the scene after a passenger has been run-over by the buses’ back-wheel after they fell off the bus when the driver decided to take off before the passenger had actually got safely into the thing. Ive heard the government raving and ranting over the years about the so-called deadly drivers that curse the roads but all the end results have been ‘Well… what else do you expect when employing the drunks at 200 baht a day? Michael Schumacher?

Tortured at the furnace-like heat of a Bangkok bus and red-lights that change once every quarter hour, there have been more than just a few people who have certainly ‘lost their rag’ and that includes the capital’s traffic police. One, a few years back, who on trying to manage the hellish Silom/Rama IV junction literally ‘blew his nut’ and turned all the lights green at the same time and left for home! So, there for the next hour is complete chaos at this downtown junction with half the cars piled on top of each other! This certain traffic police officer soon struck it lucky and was immediately transferred to one of those most enviable of job positions ‘inactive duty’, where he has nowt else to do but sign-in and read a cartoon-book all day long.

Then, there was one traffic police officer a few years back who decided to put on a bit of a show for all those infuriated drivers stuck at the red-lights. So, there he was dancing around for a few months juggling his gun in the middle of the road and being interviewed by all the news stations about this certainly ‘unique act’. The gun-juggling officer was so popular with the local drivers that a bunch of other so-called officers impressed by his skills were soon out there copying the likes of him all over the capital. That was until the Head of Bangkok’s Traffic cops put an end to it all after he declared that ‘just one too many accidents had occurred’ what with the drivers more interested in the cops juggling skills than the car actually in front of him!

Not only famed for scolding the capital’s taxi drivers parked illegally outside of shopping malls all day, the officers have made quite a name for themselves by helping the local motorists pay their traffic violation fine ‘on-the-spot’ instead of all that hassle of paying the fine at the station. Realising that this can be quite a ‘money-making-scam’ I can remember the story of two villains over the past few years (one just last month) who had been arrested for ‘impersonating a cop’. Supposedly, the cop-wanna-bes had taken it upon themselves to buy a cop outfit and then flag-over as many motorists as they could possibly do in order to sucker money out of them. That was until one of them unfortunately tried to score some money out of the district police chief’s wife!!

For all those Thai students wishing to improve their knowledge of English vocab, im back once again with –


A crack-pot = not the most intelligent of beings
Innumerable = uncountable
Excruciatingly = very very very
A big zit = a big ugly spot, to the likes of one of them that is found at the end of yer nose in the morning before going on a ‘big date’
To plaster = to put up (lots of)
Eye-sore = visual pollution
Precariously = unstably dangerous
A lunatic = a mad man
To lose ones rag = to lose ones temper
To blow ones nuts = to go roaring crazy with anger
To be infuriated = to be darned angry
A Bangkok Traffic Cop = One of those brown-uniformed guys who can be spotted in a traffic box, wearing Star Trek like-sunglasses, sat back, enjoying a cup of coffee whilst reading ‘Star Soccer and completely indifferent to the chaos he is causing outside.