Sunday, June 6, 2010

Barricaded Bangkok, Before the Shit Be Hitting the Fan.

This is one of the main shopping districts the Red's moved into before it all went to hell. Admittedly, posting these a bit late, since these malls have probably reopened by now... bar Central World.

I took these one day on a trip to MBK, before the shit hit the fan. It was eerily weird to see these extremely busy streets of Bangkok cut off from day time traffic. I had no urge to go down into the barricaded area.

You could have shot an awesome Zombie apocalypse movie in Siam square (I think that's what it called - again, never felt the urge to go there, as I don't like to shop). Desolate. Totally desolate.

The tires you see probably got burnt.

Friday, June 4, 2010


The Lotus our Mee Baan (maid), Noi, grew. Housed in a bowl of slimy mud, in our front courtyard (if you could call it that). My Ma would be proud... probably prouder if I kept it alive myself.

Let Them Eat Cake

Personally, I think they should teach more history here. As we are doomed to repeat... yadda yadda. Although it didn't seem to work for the last credit card economic downturn, I know. Please note the financial crisis of 1929... etc. We haven't seem to have learnt a thing.

This was taken in a makeshift mall, set up across from what I like to think of as 'White Man's Stake' on Sukhumvit, The Emporium. It's rumored to be stock that has been saved from the malls which no longer exist, or suffered from a case of the fires.

You get the drift...

Things we do while living in Asia.

Yell… a lot. Preferably in your own company so you don't 'lose face'.

Drive like shit, and not apologize to anyone, because everyone drives like shit.

After about 3 months stop haggling over 30 cents… it's 30 fucking cents people, give it to them, the little people make like 6 bucks a day.

Listen to drunk people talk shit. It's probably the most decent conversation you will get in your native English language.

Love the maid. She is awesome. Luckily she is naturally acclimatized and can cook in shit hot heat. Try not to make funny faces when she cooks what smells like steaming dog turd for herself. It's probably a local delicacy in her country.

Cry… inside. Again, preferably in your own company. Asians don't deal well with the waterworks of emotions.

Avoid the heat by running the aircon day in day out, over what they call the 'summer' period. There is really only two seasons here: Hot, and Fucking Hotter. With a bit of wet chucked in. Freak out on a monthly basis when you get the unreasonably expensive electricity bill.

Lower your standard of people who you would call 'friends', otherwise you won't have any.

When a mini civil war occurs, stay inside and keep running that aircon, praying to 'the big man of your choice', that the warring parties don't burn down the local power exchange. Because you will have no cool air or webbertudes. They won't be serving food over the internet if a curfew occurs, therefore, previous flood experience is good for survivalists who can get through long periods of time being housebound. Stock up before the Asians start 'panic buying' all the 2 minute noodles, and pushing each other out of the way for cabbages. Remember to buy candles.

Get used to the fact that doing anything simple… SIMPLE, will take a day of your time.

Get more used to the fact that doing anything bureaucratic, or something a bit harder than simple, will take up to 3 days of your time, and there will be a lot of kicking and screaming involved (at home, in your own company).

Get used to being fucked over and extorted by the lawyer that your company chooses to use. Expect to pay 10 times the amount that you normally would have to, if you could speak and read the fucking language.

After trying to accomplish something simple, and kicking and screaming in frustration (in your own company), then complaining to your husband, realize that him saying 'welcome to my world', becomes an everyday occurrence. Laugh at the absurdity of the situation when something is actually accomplished.

Glow in schadenfreaude on the rare occasions you can share the frustration around.

Realise that globalisation has occurred. Buying something here in a mall will be on par with buying it in any other country worldwide. Acknowledge that there are a shit load of high end shops that you will never be able to afford to shop in, let alone the little people who make 6 dollars a day. Display wonderment at the fact that people in Asia can afford, and do shop in these places.

Get disgusted with the 'Hiso' attitude of 'Let them eat cake'. Try to avoid these people at all costs, they will make you feel like slashing your wrists, up the tracks not across. Especially avoid the vapid, vacuous, vain younger generation. They are, quite plainly, oxygen thieves.

Get disgusted with the little people holding a capital city, the main business and travel hub, hostage for over 2 and a half months. Ruining all business and taking up the amount of real estate, which is comparable if you lived in Sydney to: Lower Darlinghurst, Hyde Park, Pitt St Mall all the way down to RPA hospital. Feel slightly terrorized by their ongoing erratic behavior.

Quietly celebrate the protesters burning down the banks and stock exchange - sticking it to the man. Feel sorry for the small businesses, their brothers and sisters, who initially supported their protesting, that the people of a particular colored shirt persuasion, then burnt to the ground.

Come to terms with every bar being a business opportunity for a poor Asian chick. Embrace it, these women are quite good at english conversation, they are nice, protective of loyal customers, and rack up your pool balls for you. NB: you will never beat them at pool or Connect Four.

As a white chick, get used to the fact that if you are over 22 you will be seen as: mature, overly opinionated, mouthy, too expensive an investment with no return, and therefore not worth the effort. Relinquish any idea that you have any hope of 'getting some' in this country. Especially when it's being handed out by 18 year old Asian chicks for next to nothing, with a lot less hassle. On the odd occasion, appreciate that some dude who you are talking to, taking notice of you. Yeah... you probably won't be getting laid.

*EDIT* my husband would like me to point out here, how lucky I am to be married, and that I'm the recipient of as much 'great' sex as I desire. Which means, to me, young 18+ year old girls could come in handy for 'headache duty'.

Drink lots of water everyday. You sweat like a mother fucker in this relentless muggy, hot climate.

Enjoy the many house guests which will come through to stay, they provide light relief and entertainment. Avoid, at all costs, going shopping with them.

Get used to power cuts, brown outs, the airconditioner failing on a regular basis, no house phone because it just won't work, even when the phone company tells you it works, things taking a really long time, people always being late, bad traffic, everyone using bad traffic as an excuse for being late, computers cutting out because of the heat. Mostly get used to the fact that you probably won't be achieving much on a day to day basis. And come to terms with it. And be able to fucking laugh over it. Otherwise you will have a heart attack, stroke out, strain some muscle by kicking something, or just feel generally frustrated all the time.

Ironically, get used to the white man complaining... because they do that shit A LOT.

Again…love the maid because she is AWESOME.