Written onboard M/T Ternvik June/ July 2011
Thursday 24th of September 1998 and it was nice to leave M/T Asian Progress behind onboard the speed boat. I will have about 2 months of holiday before I'm joining M/T Stena Barbados in November/ December. So I will enjoy every day after 5 months onboard M/T Asian Progress.
It took about 1 hour to get to the port of Melaka (Malacca) and when we arrived we could see the big wooden ship at the Maritime Museum, also known as Muzium Samudera in Malay language. Of course, this ship helped me to identify the place
where we landed when I was looking for the place while anchored at Liverpool anchorage June 2011 while onboard M/T Ternvik. I also found the following information about the museum on the internet. Hell, I did not even notice the big wooden ship when I signed off in Melaka back in 1998. I discovered it when looking at my pictures 14 years after being in Melaka. Well, if I ever end up in Melaka again I might visit the museum.
Maritime museum in Malacca built as a ship. The structure of the ship is actually a replica built according to the former Portuguese ship named "Flor De La Mar".
Centuries ago, the ship which carried a vast amount of Melaka treasures was on the way back to Portugal. However, accident happened and caused the ship to sink off the coast of Melaka.
The construction of the museum according to this former Portuguese ship started in year 1990 and was opened to the public in 1994 after being officiated by Malaysia former Prime Minister, Tun Mahathir.
Well, we got ashore and there was a mini bus waiting for us. There were 3 of us, I don't remember if they were Cadets. When I signed on they were Cadets but they might have been promoted to 3rd Officer and 4th engineer during our time onboard. But I'm not sure. They were from Monte Negro.
We stepped ashore and the driver told us that we had to wait for something. I don't know
what it was but it took time. A lot of time and we were getting thirsty so I stopped a bicycle taxi and we took off to find beers.
Rickshaws (or rickshas)
are a mode of human-powered transport: a runner draws a two-wheeled cart which seats one or two persons. Rickshaws are commonly made with bamboo. The word rickshaw came from Asia, where they were mainly used as means of transportation for the social elite. In recent times the use of rickshaws has been discouraged or outlawed in many countries due to concern for the welfare of rickshaw workers.
Runner-pulled rickshaws have mainly been replaced by cycle rickshaws and auto rickshaws. The term "rickshaw" is today commonly used for those vehicles as well.
The word "rickshaw" originates from the Japanese word jinrikisha (人力車, 人 jin = human, 力 riki = power or force, 車 sha = vehicle), which literally means "human-powered vehicle".
The guy knew where to find beers and we stopped at a square with a lot of outdoor restaurants. I bought a bag of Tiger beer and I got back in the bicycle taxi. Do they call them rickshaws?
Yes, obviously they call them rickshaws, at least according to internet. And it is strange, lo and behold. As soon as we had beers we turned on my entertainment centre and the boredom waiting turned in to a memory. If you don't believe me just have a look at the pictures. At least I think we look happier with the beer and music.
I don't know for how long we were waiting, but it was for hours and when the Agent arrived he told us that we had to wait to clear the immigration. Then we were going to stay at a hotel over night and we would get transportation to the airport the day after.
Our Agent took us to the Immigration office and we got our passports stamped and we could take of to our hotel a few minutes away with car.
OK, I admit that i was a wee bit tipsy after hours of waiting. I don't remember how many times I went to town to buy beers while waiting. Well, never mind, I was tipsy and I wanted to have some fun. Melaka, Thursday night, hmm, what chances do I have to find something fun to do around here? Slim, very slim. And seriously, after 5 months onboard M/T Asian Progress I was for sure not feeling like spending a night on a hotel room in Melaka. I called the Agent.
He changed my ticket and he sent a taxi to pick me up at the hotel and we took off to Kuala Lumpur International. I got on my ANA flight to Bangkok Don Muang International and I arrived 1 hour later and I stepped inside my door 45 minutes after arrival.
And I remember buying wine in the Mini Mart when I came home. The daughter of the owner, Miss Most beautiful in the world was working.
AND THERE WAS A GUY PLAYING GUITAR FOR HER! What the is going on here? Yes, I was disappointed, but I bought my wine and left broken hearted.
Yes, back then I was drinking wine trying to hold back on the calories. And as it was a Chinese family running the Mini Mart they were keen on keeping a good service and thus making more money. Since I bought my first bottle and they, well, it didn't take them long to realise that they could make a lot of money selling wine to me.
Same with my friend on the 7th floor. They are always drinking Blue Wine Coolers and they have been running out of stock many times. When they have refilled their stock they were always calling my friend “We have Blue Wine Coolers again”
I moved from Rompo Mansion 2000 and when I was back to visit my friend I went to buy an ice cream (see if the daughter was working). I could not help but feeling sorry for them, I should obviously have given then a 6 months' notice before moving. The Mini Mart was full of wine bottles lying around collecting dust.
Saturday 26th of September 1998 and this was the first day outside my room, well, outside Rompo Mansion, since I got home Thursday evening. There had been people partying in my room for 2 days and I didn't get outside until Saturday when I went to meet a friend at a restaurant.
I think it is on Sukhumvit Soi 11, we have been there a few times and it took me a few minutes to get there in a taxi. They were drinking beer when I arrived so I had to order a Kloster beer and the party were soon in full swing again.
Nice to get outside Rompo Mansion. I don't remember where we went after the breakfast, I didn't take so many pictures back then. But I have a picture dated the very same day that I had taken of one of the telephone operator girls.
And I also note that the security guard is watching outside the door. I don't think they really trusted me. And I think there is some difference today. If you ordered something for home deliver back then and it was a girl delivering you could end up waiting for a few days.
She never came to deliver until she had found another 1 or 2 girls to join her when delivering.
Today (2011), never mind, alone or not. They just step right in without knocking on the door. Yes, my front door is always locked.
- Here is your painting, chair or whatever you're waiting for.
Sunday 27th of September 1998 and we were obviously on New Cowboy Grill and Bar on Sukhumvit Road Soi 22. At least I have a picture from there date 27th of September 1998.
And obviously we're drinking Kloster beer and B-52s. We spent a lot of time on New Cowboy in mid of the 90's. Now I haven't been there for quite a while. Back then they even had a pizza called ALADDIN named after you know who. They had very good food and their Cook made the best Nua Sat nam man hoy without mushroom I have ever eaten. Well, I got a darn good Nua Sat nam man hoy without mushroom in Los Angeles. But that is a wee bit too far to go for a meal.
If I pass New Cowboy today it is just for the Nua Sat nam man hoy without mushroom. That's the only thing I'm eating there since I ordered a Spaghetti Carbonara, most likely back in the 90's.
I got my bowl, cereal styled bowl. Looked darn good, but when I started to eat I discovered that they had poured milk over the spaghetti, just like you do with cereals.
- What the is this?
She looked at me like I was crazy
- Suppose to be milk in a Spaghetti Carbonara.
- No it's not, I said.
I sent back the spaghetti.
- And don't you dare put that so called spaghetti Carbonara on my bill!
And I don't know how many times we have decided to go to Pattaya after a few drinks.
- Let's pack the weekend bag an take a taxi to Pattaya.
- Great idea!
I know that we made it to Pattaya one or two times. But most of the times we never came over the door step. Well, we were better off. I remember my first time in Pattaya. Arriving in a taxi with my weekend bag. A few drinks and I took a taxi back to Bangkok. Same the second time in Pattaya.
I remember my first hotel in Pattaya, I don't remember the name. But it was on beach road. OK, we got of the taxi on beach road and then we had to walk. The beach reached the beach road and it pretty much continued on the other side of the Beach Road. So we had to walk through the sand for 5 minutes (might have been 2 minutes' as well) to reach the hotel. We checked in and we went for a few beers. Obviously I had checked out in the wee hours because when I meet my friend in Bangkok again he told me that my room was empty when he knocked on the door the morning after. He had asked for me in the reception.
- He checked out 3 o'clock in the morning.
Well, it was nice to wake up in my own bed in Bangkok.
Tuesday 1st of October 1998 and we were going to Khaosan Road. Back then it was a wee bit different on Khaosan road than what it is today. But 1998 was a big difference from when I stayed at Khaosan Road. Coming from India and I was recommended Khaosan Road. I checked in and I stayed for 2 nights. I was walking down the street and there was a guy, most likely from Australia, playing the guitar begging for money on the street. I turned around and went back to my guest house.
I checked out and I moved to Sukhumvit Road without any backward glances. But when we were there in the 90's it was mostly backpackers at Khaosan Road. But there was a stretch of the Thanon Tanao, not on the Khaosan Road side. But on the other side of Ratchadamnoen Klang
There were clubs and discos and only Thai people and we used to go there when we were in the area. Khaosan Road and we used to go to a place called Buddy Bar. I'm almost sure the name was Buddy Bar. It was just a bar on the street and a girl named Moo (Pig) worked there and we had the music blasting there. A nice place, maybe because of Moo because I can't remember going there when she finished to work there.
Then they turned it in to Buddy Hotel and today I think it is where Brick Bar is. Strange how easy it is to forget how it looked a few years back. Hole in the wall and other places along the Khaosan Road and it was open 24/7. I used to come down to a bar 5 or 6 on the morning.
- Aladdin, did you bring any cassette?
He always asked me if I could record some music for him and I used to bring some cassettes to the DJ. Well, of course, most of the times I had forgot the cassette in the taxi when getting out. But he was happy every time I brought some good music.
Susis Bar have been around for a long time. And when i was there my first times it was almost only tourists there. I remember one evening and I entered the place, a big sign at the entrance. THAI PEOPLE HAVE TO PAY AN ENTRANCE FEE. I think it was 300 baht and one or two drinks included. NO ENTRANCE FEE FOR FOREIGNERS and there was a bouncer at the door.
I remember that coming to Susis after this the place was always full of Thai people and there was hardly any tourists going there anymore. The whole Banglamphu area turned in to a Thai people party place, the bars and clubs are full of Thai people and the back packers stay on the streets drinking water or beers from 7 Eleven.
If you are in Bangkok I can recommend Khaosan Road, Ram Butri Road and Soi Ram Butri.
Well, it looked like it was party almost every day back in October 1998. At least by judging from my pictures.
But we were young back then so we could take it. Today? Well, it is a different story, Friday night on the pub and Saturday and Sunday is spent in bed watching hangover DVDs. That's one of the perks of getting old. I don't have to be a hero on the pub everyday of the week. And of course, today people I socialise with know what a hangover is.
Back when I was 20 the hangover was an unknown phenomenon.
- Hangover, what is that?
- I don't know, but I have heard of it.
And there are pictures of us in my room from almost every day of the month of October.
And I remember being TOP 10 customer at Blockbuster on Sukhumvit Soi 12
I went to rent a few hangover videos and when I brought the videos to the counter they scanned my member card.
- You are the TOP 10 customer.
Well, nothing I was proud off and I was either drinking too much (to watch all the hangover movies) or I spent too much time in my room watching movies. Well, Blockbuster Video was soon closing down and now there is an Italian Restaurant.
And it was a Shakey's Pizza before Blockbuster Video opened and I have had quite a few GOOD MORNING milkshakes at Shakey's on my way from Hotel 27 to Lucky Luke. And as soon as I mention Hotel 27 and Shakey's Pizza we understand that this wasn't yesterday, or the day before yesterday.
But I remember the milkshakes like it was yesterday.
Sunday 8th of November 1998 and I was supposed to join M/T Stena Barbados at the end of November or beginning of December 1998. I had a few other things to attend to in Sweden. So it was time to leave Bangkok for Landvetter International in Go:teborg with a change of flight in Amsterdam.
I meet my friend and his girlfriend at the airport. M friend was going to fly to Sweden as well and we were on the same flight to Amsterdam. We meet an Engineer that I had been working with onboard Rankki in the check in. He was going to join Rankki so he was flying to Sweden and we were on the same flight to Amsterdam. Well, me and my friend had our own row on the Amsterdam flight, well, at least until the Engineer came an joined us. Suddenly the flight turned less, much less comfortable.
We arrived to Amsterdam early morning and my friend and the Engineer proceeded to their connection to Stockholm and I went to catch my connection to Go:teborg. And yes, very nice to arrive to Go:teborg on a Monday in November. A real dream comes true!
As I'm sure you have noticed, the date stamp on the pictures and the dates are not the same.
My camera was still adjusted for Bangkok time zone.
Friday 13th of November 1998 and I had 2 friends coming over for a few drinks. We had planned to drive to Mölle in Skåne during the Sunday, but first a few drinks Saturday night in Go:teborg.
Bill & Bull came over and they started with an inspection tour of the apartment.
They were even in the refrigerator checking the groceries and, yes, these two guys walking around complaining, well, I got a laugh out of it. We had a little something to drink before we went on town.
I don't remember where we went, I remember the inspection and I remember when we arrived back home with the taxi.
My friend was, well, tipsy and the taxi stopped at the corner of Älvsborgsgatan and Mariagatan. We had to cross Mariagatan to Coop and the house I was living in. Well, I had to cross Mariagatan carrying my friend.
I don't know why we stopped at Älvsborgsgatan, maybe because I wanted to spare my neighbours from the sight of my friend coming in to the building. They had for sure had enough of me by then. And I don't know why I was still living there and why I was allowed to live there.
I had been kicked out back in 1993 or something like that and this is the reason for me living in Bangkok.
Well, coming inside and my friend felt asleep on the bed and I had to sleep on the floor. Well, never mind, I was used to sleep on a madras on the floor.
Well, and I had to carry my friend. This was great, otherwise they are always complaining if I'm happens to be a wee bit motion sick, or if I have had some bad peanuts when we're at the pubs. And if it happens they will never forget and they can go on and on reminding me for ages about the incident.
Well, thanks' to internet and Goggles map service or whatever they call it I can get pictures of the house where I used to live. And I also discover that Cop have changed from green logo to yellow logo. Well, I wonder who have to pay for the changes. Most likely the customers.
Saturday 14th of November 1998 and what's better than a November Saturday in Go:teborg. Well, I would say almost anything. And I don't know if we were very excited about the upcoming road trip to Mölle. But I have a hard time believing so.
Well, a stop at Laxbutiken was something to look forward to and we had for sure planned a stop at Laxbutiken. Yes, it's against the law not to stop at Laxbutiken North of Falkenberg when passing between Skåne and Go:teborg.
Saturday lunch/ dinner at Laxbutiken and we continued to Mölle. And if Go:teborg is bad in November Mölle is just plain terrible.
There is nothing but gloom and grey as long as we could see and we didn't stay for very long before we drove to Helsingborg for a few drinks. We had a meeting with one AB that I had been working with on M/S Nordic Link back in 1986.
We arrived to Mölle pretty late on Saturday evening and we were a wee bit late at our appointment in Helsingborg. I remember that we ended up at Natt & Dag and I took a taxi back to Mölle. I had lost my friend and he had drove back to Mölle a few hours after me.
Of course, I was sleeping and as I live in Bangkok I had locked the door. But I left the key under the doormat for my friend. Well, I didn't wake up even though he was banging on the door for 30 minutes so he had to sleep in his car.
Sunday 15th of November 1998 and my friend was banging on the door early morning. Yes, it was cold and impossible to sleep for long in the car.
- Why did you lock the door?
- I left the key for you
So it was pissing and moaning for years to come. He never let me forget that he had to sleep in the car when we were in Mölle 1998. We stopped at a restaurant in Mölle before returning to Go:teborg. I don't remember the name of the restaurant, but it was just next to Cafe Intim and they had excellent food. They informed us that they would start with the Christmas dinner the last weekend of November and my friend and I decided to go back to Mölle the last weekend of November, if I still hadn't joined M/T Stena Barbados by then.
Friday 27th of November 1998 and it is time to go to Mölle again. We had planned this trip the last time we were in Mölle and this time we had a friend that joined us. Friday and I meet an old friend when I was buying records or something like that.
We ended up drinking beer at a place on Järntorget before we went back to my place. Of course we were drinking more beers while waiting for our friends. We needed a dedicated driver so we could concentrate on the drinking. And I could attend to our entertainment centre making sure that we had good music blasting high on the Richter scale all the way to Mölle.
Our dedicated driver came to pick us up at my place and I can't remember if he was beaming of joy when he discovered that we were drinking beer. And we were tipsy even though it was early afternoon. Well, we had been tipsy since pretty much mid day when we started at the pub on Järntorget.
I don't know what time we left Go:teborg, maybe around 5 or 6 in the afternoon. The date shows 28 of November for our stop at Laxbutiken. The date in the car is 27th and it is 6 hours difference between Sweden and Bangkok. So it all makes sense.
And I remember that they were closing down Laxbutiken for the day when we arrived so it might have been around 7 o'clock in the evening.
We had to eat in the SELF SERVICE restaurant, well, this is not the place we had expected.
If you ever visit Laxbutiken make sure you're in the Al'a Carte restaurant. But it was very nice of them to let us eat even if it was closing time and they were cleaning the place.
Go:teborg to Laxbutiken took like forever, I still remember it like yesterday. We were drinking beer and darn, where is the bath room? I was disappointed every time we passed an exit from the motorway. Where is the exit to Laxbutiken?
It is maybe 1 hour, well, depending on the driver, from Laxbutiken to the Mölle exit and from there it might be about 30 minutes to Mölle.
So we had time for more beer and music and we were in a good mood when we arrived to Mölle.
Of course, there is always some OLD TIMER that is trying to get attention by complaining on the music.
- You should have stayed home watching the Golden Ladies on the telly!
It must have been around 9 o'clock in the evening when we arrived to Mölle. And believe me, there was nothing to do in Mölle 9 o'clock in the evening, especially in November. It is what we call a ghost town, or a village.
I don't remember what we did, but we did most likely spend the evening in Helsingborg. But we had plenty beers in the car and according to the pictures we had a few beers before we left.
And we had to get our sleeping arrangements in order. Sleeping bags and blankets. It was November and the house was darn cold. And even if we had turned on the heating it would have taken a very long time to warm up the house.
The best thing is to drink plenty beer and then it is no problem to fall asleep. I think that we took a taxi to Helsingborg but I don't remember where we went or what we did. I'm not even sure we made it to Helsingborg.
But there was nothing to do in Mölle and I'm pretty sure that we didn't drove all the way from Go:teborg just to do nothing.
Saturday 28th of November 1998 and waking up in Mölle with a hangover was not a nice experience. Especially waking up on a madras on the floor. No food no nothing and we went to check out the restaurant. They were open and we had our breakfast and we felt much better.
And now I remember that our driver was missing when we woke up, at least I think so and we could not move until he came back with the car.
We finished the breakfast and someone came up with the idea to have a BBQ. We had to drive to Strandbaden to buy wood for the fire and we returned to Mölle.
A stop at the convenient store in Mölle, well, I'm not even sure the convenient store in Mölle was open. So it might have been that we stopped at ICA Skeppet in Nyhamnsläge to buy stuff for our BBQ.
We were soon having the fire up and running. And this was much better than the electric heating.
It didn't take long before it was hot in the house. The hangover disappeared, OK, it might have been due to the beers we were drinking.
We had bought a whole bag of wood so we had enough wood to last us until it was time to return to Go:teborg. Later on in the evening a friend came over from Ängelholm. He had a few drinks with us and then he talked me in to coming with him to Ängelholm for a good time.
- Ängelholm??!! Good time??!! Are you joking?
My friends went to Helsingborg and I followed my friend to Ängelholm. Well, that was fun, for 1 or 2 beers. I remember going to look for a taxi to take me to Helsingborg. Took me an hour or so to find a taxi.
And it started to snow, end of November and it started to pour down snow and it was darn cold and I was desperate for a taxi. I managed to make it to Helsingborg, but I never managed to find my friends.
Sunday 29th of November 1998 and Mölle was covered in snow when I woke up. Well, last day in Mölle for a while and I can't say that I will miss it.
Thursday 3rd of November 1998 and it was time to join my next ship M/T Stena Barbados. Really nice to leave snow and winter behind for a few months in the Caribbean.
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