TILTING AT WINDMILLS
I only drink when I'm happy and when I'm not. Today I'm not. The random mixture of liquor that I'd consumed last night, while doing nothing to dispel my melancholy, had left me with a surprisingly durable hangover today and a headache that felt like a concussion. My faithful friend and companion, Pancho was now forcing me to eat a sumptuous meal at his Spanish restaurant in Jomtien while commiserating with me over my latest break-up.
Always looking out for my best interests, Pancho chastised me saying, "Don, I know you've lost your appetite but you cannot substitute cigarettes, alcohol and stress for three of the four basic food groups! You must eat real food! And while you're at it, why don't you look for a nice lady this time? When will you stop tilting at windmills and forget those venal, grasping strumpets from the go-gos that you are so enamored with? I'll introduce you to my wife's cousin Tu; she's only...
The Competitive Edge
Somsak was the youngest of four sons and as such didn't merit an education. Perhaps merit is the wrong word: his two older brothers had attended school and did well enough but then rice prices took a tumble and there was no money left for fripperies only essentials. His father and his brothers worked every hour of daylight but the land never gave them a profit, merely sustenance. Whilst the others were out in the field Somsak helped his mother round the house particularly with the cooking. He found, to his surprise, that he was rather good at it. His brothers had started out jeering his efforts but eventually gave him praise – especially for his Som Tam.
His mother taught him the basics – the four main tastes of Thai cuisine: sour lime, hot chili, salty fish sauce and the sweetness of palm sugar. Then he began to experiment with different ingredients. He would scour the fields and canals for pu khem, the brined black crabs the Isaan folk...
He Deserves a Medal
Disclaimer. Any similarity to any person/s or events you might have heard of are entirely coincidental. The characters depicted in this story are figments of the author's imagination.
Joy marched through the door of Barry's bar. Quickly looking around she picked out, and picked on Barry.
"Barry, you see John, ka?" she asked. It was spoken in a not so pleasant manner, more as an order than a favour. In fact the voice didn't match the petite thirty-something good-looking Thai female frame it came from.
Knowing better than to get on the wrong side of this explosive package, Barry answered "He was in about an hour a go Joy and then he went off down the soi."
"Who he with?" demanded Joy.
"No, he was alone, just drinking a beer. He looked a bit sad really." responded Barry.
Then spotting Les sitting at the corner of the bar Joy changed target. "What you say Les? Who John with? You know...
All That Glisters
Paul was down on his uppers. He'd started with a small fortune and had had it whittled down to a mere lump sum. It wasn't just the Thai girls who'd relieved him; fellow farangs all had get-rich quick schemes if only Paul would lend them the wherewithal. He had bought into bars with no customers; whose only regulars were the local Plod.
Even his regular monthly pension had shriveled to a pittance. The pound sterling had crashed by nearly forty per cent against the mighty baht. The British Government had thanked him for his honesty in declaring himself an ex-pat by freezing his pension and allowing no index linking to inflation. Paul was just about surviving but there was no spare cash. He had downsized his accommodation to a small condo off Soi Bukao. He drank only in moderation at one of the bars where he was nominally a partner. The other owner, a Thai, let him have beer at cost. It was Korn who drew his attention to the Gold-to-Go story in a...
Narathiwas Road in Bangkok is the long boulevard that runs from Surawongse and Silom roads down to Rama 3 road. Important due to its position but also due to the fact that thoroughfare is home to a number of condo and other projects that supports the central business district at Silom and Sathorn.
Also of note is the new BRT line that runs along its entire length. This recently opened mass transit system was undoubtedly the catalyst for a number of residential developments in the area and has been running for little over a year with great success.
Narathiwas proper starts at Surawongse Road but it is the stretch from the Chong Nonsi junction that has recently been home to some considerable development. Indeed the junction itself has seen some recent action. A wide pedestrian over pass has now replaced the pedestrian walkways that made up the 4 sides of a square. This overpass connects the BTS station to all of the adjoining roads...
Things are moving at light speed in the home automation and high tech fields of late. So how can you take advantage of these trends when buying a new home or simply upgrading an existing property?
First it is worth looking at the entertainment field, as this is where some of the biggest strides have occurred of late. Certainly the mainstay of TV, a satellite link, is still very much worth having, but with weather sometimes interrupting the signal it is well worth having a back up for the “box”.
Apple TV and other Internet TV boxes have become very popular of late. The ability to load YouTube and other videos is also a compelling reason to opt for these options. Sure, you could watch many of these videos on your laptop but it would be good to make use of a large 40 or 50 inch LCD or LED TV, one of the high tech additions that you likely will have already, or if not, will have soon!
CAUGHT ON CAMERA
Every where they went in Pattaya there were these signs: Absolutely No Photographs. Even on Walking Street if you tried to take pictures of Katoeys, you got hassled for money. Brian and Jezz were frustrated. It was their gap year; they were having the holiday of a lifetime. Their parents had given them a generous allowance for their month long tour of Thailand. They had seen some amazing sights – elephants on the street, temples, monks, all lovingly captured on camera for their parents. What they wanted were some photos for their new student friends; photos of girls in sexy shows; bananas and ping-pong balls. Every time their camera came out, muscular Thai bouncers would materialize out of thin air. Sometimes they were friendly; sometimes menacing.
Eventually they decided to bite the bullet. They made their careful preparations in their shared room at The Bijou Hotel, Soi Post Office. They'd bought a cheap carry-all bag from the Made in Thailand...
Rama 4 Road may be one of Bangkok’s best-kept real-estate secrets. This very busy thoroughfare runs from the Phra Khanong area all the way to the main Hualampong station and beyond.
It is as long as Sukhumvit Road and although less famous passes through many well known areas of Bangkok. As such the entire length of Rama 4 has seen a good deal of development of late and continues to do so.
Starting at its southernmost end, Rama 4’s start point is at its junction with Sukhumvit Road, almost underneath Phra Khanong BTS station. With the meeting of two very important roads, Phra Khanong would be expected to be a very built up area. Yet it is only relatively recently that this location has become developed, and new projects are still ongoing.
The most established condo is Sukhumvit Plus, (Pictured Right Page) which occupies the actual corner plot between the two roads. This low rise but still...
The global currency, equity and commodity markets have shown some strange moves of late, many of which have been explained away as “safe haven” trades.
The term is used specifically to describe the flow of funds from one instrument or asset that the market deems of high risk to one that is less risky. In recent years, with the US dollar continuing to depreciate and uncertainty about the Euro and the British pound, Gold and real estate have both seen a huge amount of interest as an ultimate safe haven when traditional reserve currencies no longer fit this description.
Helping gold prices has also been the plethora of ETFs (or electronically traded funds), which allow anyone to invest without actually buying any the underlying commodity. Indeed participants simply invest not in gold itself but the price only. This type of derivative can be found in many markets, yet whilst welcomed by many as an easy way to get into the...
With the start of the traditional high season now just around the corner, perhaps the biggest vote of confidence in Pattaya and its future prospects comes from the plethora of developers who have just launched or are about to launch new condominium projects in the city. To give just a few examples, there are Amazon and the Vision from Matrix Iguana, Atlantis, Centara Avenue, La Santir, Laguna Beach Resort and so the list goes on. Raimon Land have also just confirmed that they are about to launch a new project on their site on the Pattaya side of Pratumnak Hill. And of course this does not take into account those developments, of which there are many, that have now been launched for a while, but upon which construction has not yet started.
Particularly bearing in mind the current state of the World economy, and the relatively slow performance of some other sectors within the Pattaya real estate market, the amount of money being invested in...
Expatriates who live in the Land of Smiles may often be left worrying about how they can stay in the country without the appropriate visa, but those who are married rarely have to...
Botanists pretty much agree that the purple Mangosteen originated on either the Sunda or Moluccas Islands, and the fruit was first domesticated in Thailand and Burma. Now it is...
4 WORLD CLASS EVENTS IN SUPPORT OF LOCAL CHARITIES Mechai Foundation - The Camillian Social Center Rayong Operation SMILE Thailand - Women With a Mission IN THE PRESENCE...
The 2 most popular places for foreigners to buy property in Thailand are Pattaya and Bangkok. Let us consider each of these locations and why you would want to purchase property...