Friday 12th of December 2014 and time turns really quick here in Bangkok. Seems like yesterday we were on the Photo Walk #33 at Talat Rot Fai. I have started a new school, Pro Language at Time Square. My friend study Thai there and as he liked the place I decided to go to try it out. So Monday 6th of December 2014 will go down the history books as the day I started to study Thai at Pro Language.
3800 Baht for 20 hours and I can come and go as I want, comes in handy when it is time to go for holiday. I liked the school on Ratchadapisek, but if I paid for 50 hours I had to do it in one stretch, impossible for me as I'm easily getting bored and I want to take off for a weekend tour or a visa run
First lesson was a “free” trail lesson and as I liked it I paid the 3800 Baht. But we had a bad start, when we were ready my friend asked if I wanted to go for a meal at Hemingway's. And I said yes, darn, the dream of a V-shaped torso was crushed.
But I was lucky, I found mushrooms in the pasta. I was upset, there was a full book attached to the menu explaining what was in the pasta. And I pointed out to the staff that there was nothing mentioned about the mushrooms.
- Everything is mentioned, even the black pepper. But nothing about the mushroom!
But the smoked salmon bruschetta was excellent, melted in the mouth and they must have Bangkok’s most beautiful tea pots, well, except for my Höganäs Keramik pot I have at home.
But I told my friend that this was a one-time only, next time I would only drink tea or my diet is down the drain. We have evening classes at Pro Language 2 times per week and I have 4 afternoon classes per week, so I will soon be fluent. And if I'm lucky I will find the time to Learn Thai with Mod and the Alif Silpachai videos.
There was an e-mail from Guardian Holidays in India when I came back home, seems like finally they have managed to set up the Indian Safari for me. So I will have to go to the Indian Visa Service Office at the 22nd floor in the 253 building on Asoke tomorrow morning. Yes, this is something I look forward to.
I found a web page: live-less-ordinary.com and it seems like they were upset with the visa fees as well. Why do we have to pay to visit India?
They want tourists to come visit their country and I have to go through this hassle! If it wasn't for the fact that the travel agent was a friend of our 2nd Engineer on board Roy Maersk I would have cancelled the trip. 1700 Baht for the visa but I had to pay 2250 Baht
Sp. Cat. Charge:
And plus a SMS/EMAIL charge at 60 Baht. What a scam and I will for sure never go to India again. The only good thing happened was that the police at the zebra crossing on Asoke stopped all the traffic when he saw me coming and he escorted me across the Asoke Road. And that is after all the stories about the Police on Sukhumvit we have read about the last few weeks.
My itinerary for the Indian Safari starts to come together, not a smooth operation to get this together, but as I said. The travel Agent is a friend of the 2nd Engineer on board Roy Maersk. Otherwise I would have given up the Indian safari a long time ago.
Here we have the by now infamous HITLER movie
Students dressed in Nazi uniforms with swastika armbands march during a sports day at Sacred Heart College in Chiang Mai in 2011
Picture from Bangkok Post
“Superhero Hitler” mural at Chulalongkorn University briefly became a popular backdrop for graduation photographs
Picture from www.globalinsecurity.net
The Nation - You can't make up stuff like this
But not all salutes are OK. “A Thai theatre chain has withdrawn the latest “Hunger Games” movie after several student protesters were detained for using a gesture taken from the films, a three-finger salute of resistance to authoritarian government”
Click HERE and you can find the original article from New York Times
And if you click HERE and you can find another article from New York Times dated back in June 2014
This week started good, my passport at the Indian Embassy, Tiger safari lined up and I had started a new school. And on top of all this, my diet was somewhat on track. And that’s even though I was back at Dairy Queen for a Nutella Ice Cream, this time made with vanilla ice cream.
I kept an eye on the girl during the process. Vanilla ice cream - Check
- Add 20 Baht worth of Nutella
- OK, no problem
It looked good and when she was ready with the ice cream I relaxed. She was about to hand me the cup (biggest size available at Dairy Queen) and I was drooling with anticipation. I held out both my hands towards her to receive my Nutella “speciall” Suddenly, things happened very quickly in front of me and I felt like living in a SLOW MOTION world. The girl reached a bottle of chocolate sauce and she drenched my ice cream in chocolate sauce and while I was screaming.
She looked at me like I was crazy continuing to destroy my ice cream with the chocolate sauce. And yet again, Nutella DON'T TASTE like chocolate and it is no boost to the Nutella experience to pour chocolate sauce over my Nutella “surprise” I was not happy when I left Dairy Queen, but as soon as I had managed to ate my way through the chocolate sauce layer the ice cream was excellent.
I also bought one of those tea strainers used for loose tea leafs. And I was at Siam Paragon looking for loose tea and I ended up at TWG tea. And I quote from Siam Paragon's web page: “TWG Tea, the finest luxury tea brand in the world, founded in Singapore, welcomes you to its Tea Salon & Boutique. With over 800 of the world's greatest single estate teas and exclusive blends, TWG Tea offers a luxurious variety of tea accessories and gift sets. TWG Tea also houses an intimate tea salon, with breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner”
I wish I had read this before buying my tea, the finest luxury tea brand in the world. Where do they come up with stuff like this? Luxury tea? Seriously, the world is about to come to an end and people are more considered about their image and need to drink the finest luxury tea brand in the world. Yes, we are really putting our priorities right.
I can easily say that I have been drinking tea all over the world but this is the first time I hear the expression luxury tea, and this was the finest luxury tea. I wonder what they were thinking about me when I was at Central Rama 9 to eat with my friend almost 2 weeks ago. I had been buying tea before going to meet him and as I use quite much tea and I bought all the Earl Grey tea I found in the shop.
And I'm pretty sure it wasn't any luxury tea, finest tea maybe. But that means foock all as all tea boxes are having “finest tea” printed on the box. Anyway, never mind what they thought about my cubic meter of Earl Grey tea bags. I was soon to find out that the restaurant had shark fin soup on the menu. What the
I had already ordered my food, or I would have left when I discovered that they had shark fin soup on the menu. I have a very hard time to believe that there is anyone in the civilised world that don't know what the shark fin industry are doing for the shark existence.
Or why not? Let's kill everything in the world, I have been to Africa and I'm off to watch the Polar bears next summer. So let's kill everything in the world, we can always enjoy a cup of the finest luxury tea in the world. Maybe, and I say maybe we are so lucky that there is someone knowing us passing by while we enjoy the finest luxury tea. They will think the sun is shining from our behinds. And then imagine the same people catching sight of us driving a car. Like winning the lottery, they will think we're something really important here in the world.
Yes, I have used loose tea leafs before so I knew my way around the tea strainer and my new TWG Earl Grey tea. And it would not have been very hard to figure it out. But it was a very long time ago I have used loose tea. And as soon as I prepared my second pot I remembered why I gave up the loose tea and start to use tea bags.
First pot was OK, but when I prepared the second pot I had to empty the tea strainer, I got wet and my hand was fill of the tea leafs. I flushed my hands and the tea strainer as it was impossible to get rid of the tea leafs without running water for rinsing.
My kitchen sink was soon full of tea leaf and my hands were still clammy (I have used a towel for several minutes to dry my hands, in vain) when I refilled the strainer. Dipping the hand in the tea jar and my hand looked like a hedgehog because I had half the jar of tea leafs hanging on to my clammy hand. And of course, all this tea ended up in my kitchen as it was next to impossible to get it in to the tea strainer. But I must admit that I felt quite luxurious walking
Safaris are looking difficult at Corbett, Bandhavgarh and Gir. If you can postpone your trip dates ,that will be great , If you have already booked the flights etc and wish to take a chance, please see the status as given below:
1. Best zones of Corbett National Park (Bijrani and Jhirna Range Forest) are not available. Only Dhela zone is available.
2. Safari permits are not available in Bandhavgarh and Gir National Park. We can try in spot bookings quota on the same day but that is on first come first serve basis and there is guarantee for that (chances are 50-50).
Accommodation at all the places is not a problem and we can manage.
around my kitchen with all the tea leafs all over the place. I will go back to bags again!
Well, anyway, looks like my Indian Safari is down the drain. Hotel and flights are no problem, but to get a jeep for the safari is impossible.
So I'm pretty disappointed, I really wanted to go to India for the tiger safari. Well, I save 7000 US ++ and that is not a bad Christmas gift, but what to do instead? I have ordered new glass shelves for my laundry room and they told me that they would be here on Friday (today) at 10 thirty. And they were at my door exactly at 10 thirty with the new shelves.
I bought a new laundry machine and they put up new wood shelves, the new shelves had termites or something and they had soon destroyed the shelves and they spread to the old shelves as well. I decided to change to glass and metal and I wished the termites’ good luck in the future.
They got started with the work in my laundry room and I enjoyed myself drinking tea reading the online news. They were ready just after 12 o'clock and I was pretty happy with the result. Now I just wait for the painter to come for some painting job in my living room. And he is better off hurry up as we will start our boxing exercise at 2 o'clock.
But I won't be surprised to find out that the painting won't be ready today, but I hope
We finished the boxing and I had come up with an idea, and a foocking brilliant idea, while we exercising. As there is a slight chance for a hangover tomorrow I need a hangover “emergency” kit.
My friend had brought me bananas, he have a tree at home and I always get bananas. So I need ice cream and I asked my friend if he could drive to the Family Mart to buy some ice cream for me.
I had no cash, well, 40 Baht and some coins. Not enough for any ice cream and a night out in FUNKY TOWN. I grabbed my ATM and we went to the ATM at my local 7 Eleven. I was soon having 20,000 Baht in my hand, now I feel confident to go for a San Miguel Light. When you start with the San Miguel Light there is nothing stopping you.
My friend came out from 7 Eleven, he had been there to check out their ice cream to familiarize himself for the Family Mart. He called me to come inside to show him what kind of ice cream I wanted to have.
The staff was screaming ALADDIN, as they do almost every day when I pass 7 Eleven von my way to my language school
- Why you never come inside anymore?
And yes, there is a Family Mart close to me since a few months
Well, I didn't wanted to go through the slavery and CP food with them. I sent an e-mail to 7 Eleven back in June 2014 and still no acceptable answer, so Family Mart it is. I went in to 7 Eleven with my friends and the female staff started with the Aladdin this and Aladdin that as soon as I stepped inside. We looked in the freezer and I told my friend to get 4 of the big ice cream containers, vanilla. Or take 20 of the small ones if they don't have the big containers.
We moved over to the milk cooler and I showed him what kind of milk I wanted. We left 7 Eleven and my friend took off to Family Mart for some shopping
He is coming out from 7 Eleven to ask me to show him the ice cream
You want the biggest size?
And yes, that is the EMERGENCY size!
We sort out what kind of milk to buy and he is ready to take off to Family Mart
He comes back with my hangover kit
OK, I'm ready for a San Miguel Light
My ice cream was finished before my friend arrived Saturday afternoon for our boxing session. And the session was, well, I was suffering from a hangover. And I don't know if the ice cream make me felt any better. But I felt OK while drinking my milk shakes reading the news on line. And yet again we have Chinese tourists sticking out turning a flight in to a nightmare.
We did some training and we went to New Cowboy Bar & Restaurant at Sukhumvit 22 for what might be the best breakfast in Bangkok. The rest of the day was spent in the bed watching hangover DVDs. I made a quick run for Dairy Queen at Terminal 21 for a Nutella surprise in the evening. The best Nutella surprise so far as I didn't let my eyes off the process of making the ice cream until I had the darn thing in my hand.
I have put my safari uniforms in my wardrobe. Yes, the Indian safari is cancelled, or well, they will try to see if the can find any jeeps for me in the parks. But I'm not holding my breath and if there is no news tomorrow I will book some cruises on Mekong River. 4 days on the Mekong River leaving Luang Prabang to Houay Xay and back to Luang Prabang again. I have called Shompoo cruise in Luang Prabang and they have one cruise leaving 7 o'clock in the morning on the 23rd of December.
Thai Airways don't have any flight on the 22nd and the flight on the 23rd arrives in the afternoon. So I checked Bangkok Airways and they have a flight on the 22nd. I don't want to miss Bangkok Photographers Photo Walk #34 on the 21st of December. But Bangkok Airways on the 22nd is perfect. One way ticket as my plan is to fly back from Vientiane or Paksa
Mekong River Cruise in the North of Laos
We will be back in Luang Prabang on the 26th and I have planned to stay until the 29th of December and that gives me time to rent a motor bike and drive around the area looking at waterfalls etc. Well, if I can rent a car and driver I will do that.
On the 29th of December I will leave Luang Prabang for Vang Vieng. I spoke with Shompoo cruise in Luang Prabang and the only way to get to Vang Vieng is by bus. 6 to 7 hours on a bus was nothing I looked forward to.
- Do they have VIP buses? I asked
- Only to the name, not very comfortable
Never mind, I decided to go from Vang Vieng to Vientiane instead of going back to Luang Prabang as it is only around 3 hours with bus to Vientiane.
I will fly from Vientiane to Paksa and I hope I can take Vat Phou Mekong cruise - This cruise on the southern part of the Mekong river in Laos visits the majestic UNESCO World Heritage Vat Phou ruins at Champassak, the mysterious Oum Muong ruins at Huei Thamo, the 4,000 Islands with its myriad of waterways, and the Pha Pheng waterfall on the Laos/ Cambodia border
Still no answer from the Vat Phou Southern Mekong Cruises, but I hope I can get a ticket to one of their boats. Otherwise I fly back to Bangkok from Vientiane. Well, Laos are OK, but I'm disappointed with the Indian safari as I want to see the tigers. And all the trouble I have been through to get my safari uniforms and safari helmets. Lao, not the place to wear a safari uniform, unless you want to make a complete tit out of yourself. Well, I'm sure the safari uniform will come to use again.
But I have sent an e-mail to the Indian Visa Service in Bangkok to see if they can give me a visa for November 2015 and 6 months as I plan to go next winter instead. Tiger safari or bust.
And in Sweden it looks like we will have a snap election in March and Socialdemokraterna, top leaders and the Swedish PM are calling Sverigedemokraterna for fascists. “It was Stalin who first realised how effective it was to turn the enemy into a fascist. That is what they are doing to us today”
Sverigedemokraterna have gone from nothing to 13% of the Swedish voters over a very short period of time. 10 years ago and I knew no one voting for Sverigedemokraterna.
And not because they were afraid of being called Nazis, racists, fascist and xenophobic. Well, maybe one or two were voting for Sverigedemokraterna back then, but today almost everyone I know vote for Sverigedemokraterna. And the old established parties refuse to discuss the problems with this mass immigration to Sweden.
They only bring up how much the immigrants have meant for Sweden. They always tell us about all the Germans that immigrated to Sweden. But never what they have brought. Of course, this was 4 to 5 hundred years ago.
We were living in caves back then and they brought new ideas and inventions from the south. And of course, when they discuss how important the immigration is they always pull out the good ol' Kåldolme from the hat. This was not brought to Sweden by immigrants, it was brought to Sweden by soldiers coming back from Turkey 300 years ago.
Kåldolme and the Germans are the main argument for bringing in hundred thousands of people from Somalia and Syria to Sweden. And today we bring people from caves to Sweden and this will benefit Sweden. We cannot afford this anymore and Sverigedemokraterna are growing year by year. First public opinion survey, 3 months after the national election and Sverigedemokraterna already increased to 17%
Of course, we should help people, but that doesn’t mean that we have to bring all the people here dragging down the country. It is already a disaster as they just dump all these people around the country. Schools are not working and we have 17 year olds that don't know how to tell the time. And to calculate 3,7 - 4,5 and this is something you can do without pen and a paper. Of course, no calculator needed for this simple calculation.
Nothing short of a disaster and it is not a bright future for Sweden. So when it is time for the snap election it is time to get out from the sofa and to go vote.
I was picking up my VISA on the Indian Embassy, 70 to 80 US Dollars wasted, and on top of that I wasted a lot of time. The VISA expiry in June so no Tiger safari on this VISA and I will see if I ever want to go to India again. 7000 US Dollars plus pocket money and I have to waste all the time and money for the VISA. Nah, I can spend my money somewhere else.
Well, time turns quick and it is time for yet another Photo Walk with Bangkok Photographers. The Tha Chalom Photo Walk #34 and you can be in the middle of that adventure just by clicking HERE!
OK, it has come to my knowledge that we have senior citizens visiting my web page. How hard can it be? So it's not very easy for them to see the blue coloured links to the next page.
Jiffy (also jiff)
noun [in SING.] informal a moment: we'll be back in a jiffy.
ORIGIN late 18th cent.: of unknown origin.
So as you understand, in a jiff pretty much depends on your internet.
So I put a “Next” button here and I hope that there isn't any problem to understand how to use that one. So just CLICK the “Next” button on your left hand side and you will be on the next page in a jiff!
Marunong ka mag-tagalog? Walang problema! Magpunta sa kabilang pahina pindutin ang “NEXT” button sa itaas
Faites vous parlez le français? Pas de problème! Pour arriver à la page suivante faites s'il vous plaît un déclic le bouton “Next” ci-dessus!
Haga usted dice el español? No hay problema! Ver la siguiente página sólo hacer clic el botón “Next” encima!
Farla parla l'italiano? Non problemi! Per vedere la prossima pagina lo scatto per favore giusto Il bottone “Next” sopra
Sprechen sie Deutsch! Kein problem! Wenn Sie die folgende Seite sehen wollen gerade klicken der Knopf “Next” oben!