Tag Archives: Thailand

This is Pulp XII – Despair

A British school teacher in Pattaya, Thailand, following his arrest for dealing large quantities crystal meth. He will be spending a long, long time in the Bangkok Hilton. The very face of despair:

For the record, when in Thailand, do not become a drug dealer.

Full story on this sad bastard here.

In a debauch of sun

We just got back from Thailand and the heat, my God, the heat.  Oppressive does not begin to describe it.  Continuous defeat of all reasonable attempts at ambition is more like it.  You get acclimated after a while, but we were there only a month, not nearly long enough.

Glaring white sunlight in the rice paddies, Phanat Nikhom, Thailand, obscuring all else.

Put me in mind of  my favorite description of tropical scorch, from George Orwell’s vastly underappreciated Burmese Days:

They went out into the glaring white sunlight. The heat rolled from the earth like the breath of an oven. The flowers, oppressive to the eyes, blazed with not a petal stirring, in a debauch of sun. The glare sent a weariness through one’s bones. There was something horrible in it–horrible to think of that blue, blinding
sky, stretching on and on over Burma and India, over Siam, Cambodia, China, cloudless and interminable. The plates of Mr Macgregor’s waiting car were too hot to touch. The evil time of day was beginning, the time, as the Burmese say, ‘when feet are silent’. Hardly a living creature stirred, except men, and the
black columns of ants, stimulated by the heat, which marched ribbon-like across the path, and the tail-less vultures which soared on the currents of the air.

Bangkok burns

I’m not sure, but I think this is the CentralWorld shopping center in Bangkok:

When I first moved to Thailand I used to meet up with cronies at the food court several times a week there, and was constantly seeking refuge in the air conditioning when traversing downtown on various teaching gigs.  Now the protestors have set it on fire and there’s a curfew, even out in the village where we used to live.   Thailand used to just stagger on.  Now I fear it’s on the verge of falling over. It sure isn’t looking good.

Image from godalone.

The scary section

In Japan there was once a department store hall that featured a crucified Santa as part of a “Christmas” campaign (though Snopes says this is of dubious authenticity).  I personally saw an energy drink advertisement in a subway with salarymen dragging a cross a la Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ. More amusing than offensive, really, unless you are one of those who take ancient parchments and Hollywood scripts far too seriously.

But surely advertisements featuring Adolf Hitler represent a universal taboo, right?  Right?

Nope.

The Thai says: "Hitler is not dead!"

The Thai says: "Hitler is not dead!"

This giant billboard was prominently displayed on the main highway into Pattaya, Thailand, where about half a million Thais live, 3 million foreign tourists visit annually, I used to drive to work every day, and the scioness was born.  Meant to promote some new waxworks “attraction”, the sign drew more than 100 letters of protest and an official letter of protest from the Israeli embassy.  The managing director of the museum, Somporn Naksuetrong, doesn’t understand what the fuss is all about:

“We think of Hitler as an important person, but not in a good way,” he said.
“In the museum we don’t show him with other world leaders, we show him in the scary section.”

“We think of Hitler as an important person, but not in a good way,” he said. “In the museum we don’t show him with other world leaders, we show him in the scary section.”

Ohhhh, the scary section.  I see.  Well, never mind then.  Besides:

Mr Somporn said they were considering offering discounted entry to the museum by way of an apology.

Problem solved, then.  Ah, Thailand.  You stagger on.  I’m looking forward to visiting you again, seeing the village and in-laws, re-acquainting the scioness with half her heritage.  And then leaving again.