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The week that was in Thailand news: “Foot in Mouth Disease” and spending a week in the Dog House

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The week that was in Thailand news: “Foot in Mouth Disease” and spending a week in the Dog House

Midweek we received a standard letter from my daughter’s kindergarten warning about an outbreak of “Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease”. There was not much to worry about and I was informed that it usually only affected the under 5’s and they would do some deep cleaning to alleviate the problem.

It got me thinking about a much more serious condition that many Thais – especially those in officialdom – have suffered from for years.

“Foot in Mouth Disease”.

Exhibiting a particularly virulent strain of the condition was new tourism minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn who officiated at the opening night of an international snooker tournament that I attended all this week. In his program notes spouting off about Thailand as the Seventh Wonder of the Sporting World he said that the kingdom was “completely safe”. I was tempted to go up and ask him if he lived in Thailand.

Cue – appropriately enough – police spokesman Pol Col Krissana Patanacharoen who then told all tourists and business people that Thailand was potentially dangerous following a 3.6 million baht theft from a Chinese tourist who had got plastered at RCA in the capital.

The sum was not cash that he left in a bag on the back seat but perhaps the value of a Patek watch that the taxi driver had relieved him of as he lay sparko outside a condo in Ekkamai.

Phiphat has not had a very auspicious start. He is one of the richest men in Thailand and his wife’s assets showed her to be the wealthiest MP of all. They have a combined wedge of more than 8 billion baht and that is just what they have told the regulators about.

I suggest that he spend some of the cash on treating his “Foot in Mouth” – heaven knows that we could do without another cretin in charge of Tourism and Sports after the last two abject failures.

The Tourism Authority won’t be able to bail him out. Their leaders and subalterns have been shown over the years to have a completely incurable case resistant to all the latest antibiotics. The doctors in their “Amazing Thailand” have been unable to come up with a cure for the super-bug despite their claims of the kingdom being a medical hub.

The only answer is either for their feet to be amputated or at the very least for the ministry and TAT to invest in some duct tape; I recommend a strong, sticky and durable foreign brand so that they are forever muzzled. They can just appear on stages dressed in the finest yellow “mudmee” silk, smile for the cameras and be wheeled off back to the asylum.

It is somewhat of a tragedy that reporters in Thailand don’t actually need to be very good to excel. All too often officials from the government to the police top brass, down through the ranks to local state employees all suffer from “Foot in Mouth” giving the press what they need without their having to waste valuable eating time on investigative journalism.

Uncle Big Too Prayut has set the benchmark already in this year’s parliament by getting his oath completely wrong. MPs will have to sit though 15 hours of his excuses for not learning his lines when they hear an upcoming debate.

Meanwhile his minions continue attempts to stifle opposition despite the fact that those opposed to the premier are far more likely to be blessed with coherent speech and reason, rather than just the ability to bark orders as if we were all naughty lance corporals stealing from the mess.

He’s the one in the mess…..

I enjoyed my week filing reports from the six red world championships in Lat Prao near where I live. However, I learnt that I should do my interviews before players have lost on the final black. Legend Jimmy White was particularly keen to try and ignore Rooster, exit the arena and get to a more favorable environment down Sukhumvit way….

(It was however great to see one calm and collected spectator in the crowd who I ‘wai-ed”; it was none other than Thai megastar Khaosai Galaxy the now sixty year old former boxer who defended WBA titles 19 times in the 80s and 90s).

Years ago I had dined with Alex “Hurricane” Higgins who died in 2010. I say dined, in reality the icon of the snooker world was steaming drunk and throwing his pizza about at a restaurant near Nana Plaza. I said to my missus at the time that we should get him out, perhaps take him back to our place to keep him out of trouble. Wisely, she said: No thanks!

Snooker players these days are much more sensible; even “Whirlwind” Jimmy is more like a gentle breeze as he approaches his 60’s. The Thais are as brilliant as ever in organizing tournaments of a world class standard. Even the crowd have improved. Back in the day they used to clap the foreigners’ mistakes against their local favorites. Now everyone gets a cheer so well done to them. And barely a single mobile phone went off all week at least while I was there.

Going off was something reserved for Mrs Rooster who lost her Scrabble widow moniker and became a snooker widow for six days. I tried to assuage the cramped conditions of the “dog house” that I found myself in by helping out with the kid’s homework. Despite 30 years in education this is a challenge when it comes to the demands of Thai schools, however.

The maths is not the adding and subtracting variety I’m good at and the teachers have slipped in crafty vocabulary in Thai that I have never heard of. Thankfully, my six year old usually gets the drift despite the ministrations of her father.

Off the green baize Thaivisa enjoyed another bumper week of the bizarre to the scarcely believable with everything nutty in between.

In Bangkok plod discovered that red light jumping was every bit as bad as they had feared. The new 4K “megapixel” cameras are in place at 30 intersections and us bikers have been burning the midnight oil studying where we have to obey the law and where we can carry on regardless.

Fines won’t be coming in until the middle of the month when the much hyped licence points system comes into play throughout the kingdom. I predict that despite the hype we can enjoy much more “Foot in Mouth” related to that one as Thaivisa enjoys field days to match the TM 30 debacle.

Crime Suppression Plod (the CSP I think) said there were more ways to cash in than merely snitching on motorcyclists on the sidewalk. They announced eight ways to get 50% of fines by reporting trucks dropping earth, people putting chairs out in front of their houses, dogs pooping, graffiti artists. The list went on….

Methinks, this will not just make the constabulary busier in terms of processing fines. Bearing in mind that “snitches get stitches” expect an upsurge in angry neighbors fighting each other and trying to wake the rozzers from their midday to midnight slumbers to come and deal with the aftermath.

The CSP called the offences anti-social and not all that important. Terms that didn’t apply to several severe crimes caught on video this week. A gold shop robber got away with millions in jewelry and cash after pulling a gun on staff at a store in Thonburi and there was a dramatic high speed chase in Pattaya in which shots were fired. QUOTES – the Queen Of The Eastern Seaboard – seemed to have been woken up from her low season snooze to marvel at the crime and the hordes of TAT’s Indians splashing their rupees with gay abandon.

In nearby Sri Racha a hapless Thai man armed with nothing more than a kitchen knife vaulted a counter at a Bangkok Bank branch and loaded his backpack with 4 million baht. Then he found all the doors locked and was meat and drink for Sri Racha’s finest.

His wife told Thai Rath that hubby was a great guy who didn’t smoke or drink and who had said he was just popping down to the Krom Thee Din (land office). He never mentioned anything about a bank robbery…..She clearly didn’t notice that one of her vegetable knives had gone AWOL.

Obviously, when he said “tata, luv, see you in twenty” he meant years and not minutes.

Also down Pattaya way was one of the best stories of the week after a farang and his better Thai half moved one of their pet leopards in with them. Apparently they have two “guard cats” – the other left behind in the sick bay in Chiang Mai.

I contacted an old associate, Dutch animal rights’ activist Edwin Wiek to ask him what he thought. He turned out to be one of the people who had reported the case. To say Edwin is outspoken would be an understatement. A fluent Thai speaker he has both ruffled the feathers of the Thais and gained their respect over many years of cajoling residence in Thailand.

I met him about 15 years ago at his sanctuary in Petchaburi where he cares for countless wild animals that were taken in as pets then discarded. Now tame, only some of the bears, tigers and monkeys can be repatriated to the forests but he and his staff have made their enclosures the best they could be. For years I took my Year 8 pupils there to teach them how to make a positive difference in Thailand.

The leopard in Pattaya was called Typhoon and we never did find out where the farang came from. We were told that he was prowling about inside the property…..Johnny westerner, not the big cat I might add.

The Thai “Wild Hawk” team said they were powerless to act as it was all legal and the couple should just improve the fence. Meanwhile we wait until Typhoon gets out and mauls a toddler out in the soi. I’m glad I’m not their neighbor.

Best comment of the week came not from the forum but Thaivisa’s Facebook arm where “Douglas Blackwater” said sardonically and realistically of the leopard case:

“A Thai in your house poses more danger to your financial, physical and mental welfare than a large cat”.

After my week in the dog house I have to concur.

My earlier reference to stifling opposition was apropos moves by the mysteriously and menacingly named “Ministry of Digital Economy”. The vaguely Orwellian title should please Big Too who has read the title of “Animal Farm” and recommended it to the Thai people (presumably to encourage better animal husbandry in Isaan).

The MoDE are setting up “Fake News Centers” by November 1st with the intention of monitoring Facebook, Line and YouTube. They mentioned the need for real news when it comes to economics, health and government policies. Let me get the ball rolling:

The economy is in wonderful buoyant and luxurious health, the people are in fine fettle and hospitals charge everyone (especially foreigners) the correct and fair going rate and the new government is outdoing even the wildest dreams of the grateful proletariat. As a famous Siamese inscription states so correctly, there are fish in the rivers and there is rice in the fields. We are gloriously happy!

That should keep anyone from knocking on Rooster’s door.

Also deemed a hotbed of “Fake News” – the name of Drumph’s pet dog – were natural disasters. Funny that it was Uncle Too who said that tropical storm Podul would wreak unmitigated havoc the other week while the meteorological office said their views were more accurate and that the public should not believe everything they read in the press.

The met office lost a little credibility in this regard however when their chief appeared dressed as a wizard, a gangster and an Olympic gold medalist among other cartoon characters. Apparently someone forgot to turn off the special effects as Director General Phuwiang tried to be serious informing us about the latest tropical storm on Facebook live.

Don’t worry Khun Phuwiang – nobody takes weather forecasters seriously since Michael Fish’s famous pronouncements on the BBC in 1987 telling a woman viewer not to be silly about southern England being affected by a hurricane.

The entire south was devastated within hours by the biggest storm in recorded history. Mr Fish’s reputation lay in ruins as much as the trees and roofs that were decimated in the famous storm.

Finally, a few Rooster awards. The “Spoilsport” prize goes to Nataphol Teepsuwan at the Ministry of Education (now there’s a misnomer) who wants to raise hemlines and stop Thailand’s university totty showing off their attractions.

If only tourism minister Phiphat was in charge of education – he would have taken one look at the legs and recommended they stay open until 4 am. That would surely have stimulated the economy.

The “Fairplay” award goes to former boxer Nantha who was attacked by a motorcycle taxi guy wielding a spanner in Nakorn Sri Thammarat. Nantha, 47, quickly turned the tables on the thief and knocked out three of his teeth. Appropriately enough the pugilist turned som tam seller gave the would be thief a right “pounding” with fists and knees rather than pestle.

The “Michelin Raspberry” award also relates to papaya salad. A stall in Amnat Charoen was videoed dumping a whole packet of MSG into the mortar. They explained they were making up 50 batches at a time but it’s sad when vendors resort to such shameless pandering to Thai tastes at the expense of good and tasty ingredients. Many on the forum said that MSG gave them the shakes – I dismissed this notion and put it down to trying to balance on a bar stool in Pattaya after the night before.

Finally, my story of the week came from an Esso station on the way to the airport in Hat Yai. A wag who installed a line of urinals had given them the headings S, M, L, XL and XXL. Seeing me laughing uncontrollable at my computer as I attempted to translate the story Mrs Rooster asked:

“So which one would you choose?”

“Nong yang mai roo, ler? (You still don’t know) was the best I could muster.

Rooster

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Nina has worked for Inspire and Choice Group Asia since 2011 and loves to party when she can!

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01jun10:0030sep(sep 30)20:0020% discount on a la carte treatment at Hilton Hua Hin Resort & SpaOur spa promises pure relaxation and rejuvenation with targeted treatments and signature techniques.

01jun12:0031oct(oct 31)12:00Water Park Package at Amari Hua HinWith special benefits for the whole family to enjoy, our package is perfect for you to share an unforgettable holiday.

01jul08:0017nov(nov 17)18:00Cal-Comp & XYZprinting ITF WORLD TENNIS TOUR 2019 at True Arena Hua HinDue to the International Tennis Federation (ITF) together with True Arena Hua Hin, Cal-Comp Electronics (Thailand) Public Company Limited and XYZ Printing (Thailand) Company Limited organize the competition international court of “Cal-Comp & XYZprinting ITF WORLD TENNIS TOUR 2019” at True Arena Hua Hin.

01jul10:0031oct(oct 31)12:0020% EARLY BIRD discount at Tea Tree Spa, Holiday Inn Vana Nava Hua HinPamper yourself after a long week with our facial treatment at Tea Tree spa. 20% EARLY BIRD discount

01jul15:0031oct(oct 31)16:00Free Chocolate Hour at Mövenpick Asara Resort & Spa Hua HinEnjoy our daily Chocolate Hour during your stay for free, not just one but as many as you like for a full one hour from 3.00pm – 4.00pm.

05jul(jul 5)11:3030nov(nov 30)14:30‘All-You-Can-Eat’ Dim Sum at White Lotus, Hilton Hua Hin Resort & SpaWith the restaurant situated high above on the 17th floor of Hilton Hua Hin Resort & Spa, guests can enjoy an unforgettable gastronomic experience with scenic ocean views facing the Gulf of Thailand.

26jul(jul 26)18:3028dec(dec 28)18:30Weekend Pizza Lover at G Hua Hin Resort and MallBuy 1 Get 1 Free!!!!

29aug01sepInterContinental Hua Hin Resort @ The 52nd Thailand Travel Fair at BITEC BangnaPrepare to meet the great travel event of the year at BITEC. Bang Na with the 52nd Thai Tourism Fair, along with special promotions for tourism lovers to select and watch to their fullest

29aug01sepHoliday Inn Vana Nava Hua Hin @ The 52nd Thailand Travel Fair at BITEC BangnaPrepare to meet the great travel event of the year at BITEC. Bang Na with the 52nd Thai Tourism Fair, along with special promotions for tourism lovers to select and watch to their fullest

30aug01sepHungry? Hua Hin Food Festival promises a 66 foot long pizza!Star of the show at the upcoming Hua Hin Food Festival will be a 66 foot long pizza.

31aug01sepHyatt Open 2019 Hua Hin at Banyan Golf Club Hua HinThe 2-day Amateur Golf Event will draw golfers from near and far and the winner will have their name engraved on the Silver Claret Jug Trophy.

01sep10:0030(sep 30)20:00Invest In Your Health at True Arena Hua HinApply today for your good health.

01sep16:0023:00Open Jam Session at Ssshhh Cafe BarAll Musical Nomads are welcome. We open at 4pm with Jam Session from 5pm.

04sep18:0023:00Wednesday’s Experimental Music Workshop and Jam at Ssshhh Hua HinBring along your own, the stranger the better!

04sep20:3023:30The Bangkok Beatles Live in Ted’sThe Legendary Bangkok Beatles, are unquestionably the best loved and most famous tribute Band to come out of Thailand in the last 20 years and we are honored to have them perform in Father Ted’s each and every Wednesday night from 8:30pm.

06sep19:0022:00Hua Hin Chefs Table 2019 By Chef Suphot Samsang at Nurr Thai Bistro and CafeExperience Molecular Gastronomy & Thai Food. Chef Suphot has a Masters Degree in Culinary Arts and Kitchen Management from Spain and is bringing his skills to Hua Hin.

06sep20:3023:30Rod Stewart by award winning performer Morgan Kent at Father TedsWith his superb vocal range and amazing resemblance to the ‘Clown Prince Of Rock & Soul’ Rod Stewart, Morgan will take you on a very humorous musical journey through the Life and Hits of Rod Stewart.

07sep12:0014:00September Pony Club at Hua Hin Horse ClubDon’t forget to lock in your child’s spot at this month’s Pony Club @ Hua Hin Horse Club where we will be covering How a Pony Moves, plus our regular grooming and other activities.

07sep15:0016:30Family Fun Pool Day at Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Hua HinHead down to the Railway Pool at Centara Grand Hua Hin for a fun-filled day for the whole family!

07sep18:0023:30Pirate Party at Hilton Hua Hin Resort & SpaCome along with your friend and enjoy the “Pirate Night” from 10pm onwards at The Beer House, Hilton Hua Hin Resort & Spa.

07sep(sep 7)20:0008(sep 8)00:00Indigo Beats at BAR Indigo Hua HinEvery Saturday Indigo Beats at Bar Indigo, September specials, Dj from 8 til late, all inside a charm wooden Thai house with a splendid new mezzanine.

08sep16:0023:00Open Jam Session at Ssshhh Cafe BarAll Musical Nomads are welcome. We open at 4pm with Jam Session from 5pm.

08sep16:0021:00Mister Hua Hin Thailand 2019 at Hua Hin Market VillageFirst time in Hua Hin, searching for a handsome guy to the world stage with Mister Hua Hin Thailand 2019 Contest

10sep09:3023:00Golf Outing plus Music Event at Pat’s PlaceGolf Trip to Royal Ratchaburi GC – Return coach, Green Fees, Caddi Fees, Stableford Tourney, Prize-giving, 1 Welcome beer, Food, Live Music

11sep18:0023:00Wednesday’s Experimental Music Workshop and Jam at Ssshhh Hua HinBring along your own, the stranger the better!

11sep20:3023:30The Bangkok Beatles Live in Father Ted’sEnjoy the Bangkok Beatles and whole bunch of other fantastic Act’s perform exclusively in Hua Hin’s top entertainment venue, with live music 7 nights a week, all year round.

13sep18:3022:00Pizza & Pasta Fiesta at Anantara Hua Hin ResortStart with a selection of Chef’s Italian antipasti, follow with a choice of freshly made pasta with classic sauces of cream, seafood or bolognese. Enjoy just baked pizza served to your table.

13sep(sep 13)18:3026oct(oct 26)21:00Every Friday & Saturday Steak Buffet at Nurr Thai Bistro and CafeEnjoy the taste of best Beef, Pork, Spare Rib, Chicken Breast, German Suasage, White Prawn and Sea Bass together with side dishes.

13sep19:0022:002019 Hua Hin Chef’s Table at Holiday Inn Vana Nava Hua Hin4 Courses Thai​ fusion​ cuisine​ innovation​ of​ sky by Chef Ann Kanyaphat Srijareon with paired wines.

14sep(sep 14)10:3015(sep 15)21:00Sanook Shopping RC Game at Blúport Hua HinGet ready for Sanook Shopping RC Game. The most fun RC shopping game in Hua Hin.

14sep12:0014:00Advanced Pony Club at Hua Hin Horse ClubDon’t forget to lock in your spot for this Saturday’s Advanced Pony Club where we will be practicing Boots & Bandages.

14sep18:0022:00“Chilean affair” Wine Dinner at White Lotus Restaurant, Hilton Hua Hin Resort & SpaWhile savoring a 4 course wine dinner exclusively designed by our renowned Chef Wimonrut

14sep(sep 14)20:0015(sep 15)00:00Indigo Beats at BAR Indigo Hua HinEvery Saturday Indigo Beats at Bar Indigo, September specials, Dj from 8 til late, all inside a charm wooden Thai house with a splendid new mezzanine.

15sep13:0020:00Sunday Roast followed by Lee Shamrock & The Thairish Band at Father TedsRoast Beef and Lamb or a mix of both is 320THB with Roast Chicken only 295THB.

15sep17:3020:30T4 Champions League South. Home match vs Pathumthani University at Takiab StadiumHua Hin City FC vs Pathumthani University

18sep17:0022:30East Meets West at Big Fish & Bar, Hua Hin Marriott Resort & SpaEnjoy a special offer on Chef Alexander’s fantastic five-course ‘East Meets West’ menu, plus a free bottle of sparkling wine!

18sep18:0023:00Wednesday’s Experimental Music Workshop and Jam at Ssshhh Hua HinBring along your own, the stranger the better!

18sep19:0022:00Thai Temple Fair at Suan Bua, Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Hua HinThai food lovers are in for a real treat as Suan Bua Restaurant reintroduces its ever-popular “Thai Temple Fair” buffet dinner, filled with superb cuisine from Thailand and spectacular performances.

18sep20:3022:30The Bangkok Beatles Live in Father Ted’sThis is hands down Hua Hin’s best and most popular night out by far so we can not help but advise people to book as early as possible.

20sep18:0022:00Poolside “Siam Village” Culinary Night at Hilton Hua Hin Resort & SpaHilton Hua Hin Resort & Spa presents this culinary night, giving guests a chance to savor traditional Thai cuisine at the poolside accompanied by a Thai traditional performance.

20sep19:0022:002019 Hua Hin Chef’s table at Duangkaew HouseDining with Elegant Simplicity by Chef Yod Panat Boonyanit : Duangkaew Cuisine

21sep14:3016:30World Cleanup Day “Hua Hin” at Krai Lart TempleIt’s a day to raise awareness that a cleaner planet is the responsibility of each and everyone.

21sep(sep 21)20:0022(sep 22)00:00Indigo Beats at BAR Indigo Hua HinEvery Saturday Indigo Beats at Bar Indigo, September specials, Dj from 8 til late, all inside a charm wooden Thai house with a splendid new mezzanine.

22sep05:3009:00Hua Hin Run To Give 2019 at Suan Soan PradipatHua Hin Run To Give 2019 is a Charity Run Project Organized by Marriott International Hotels collaborating between Sheraton Hotel Hua Hin Resort and Spa, Sheraton Hua Hin Pranburi Villa and Hua Hin Marriott Resort and Spa all income after deduction of expenses will be donated to “Save The Children”

25sep18:0023:00Wednesday’s Experimental Music Workshop and Jam at Ssshhh Hua HinBring along your own, the stranger the better!

26sep18:0020:00Hua Hin Business Network’s at Pizza GardenYou are cordially invited to Hua Hin Business Network’s September Wine Evening on 26th September at Pizza Garden

27sep19:0021:00White Gypsea Party at Avani+ Hua Hin ResortDress up in your best white attire, delight with live culinary stations and creative drinks and come dance the night away with DJ Jerome G spinning House & Disco tunes!

28sep(sep 28)06:0029(sep 29)21:00RAAT Lady Family Rally 2019 at The Regent Cha Am Beach ResortSubcommittee on Women in Motor Sports (MR Sat.) invites to join the RAAT Lady Family Rally 2019 Tournament for the King’s Cup Prince Phatchakittiyapa Narathira Thep Yowadee on Saturday – Sunday 28th & 29th September 2019.

28sep(sep 28)08:0029(sep 29)22:00Happy Foodies Party #4 Gourmet Vacation at Veranda Resort & Villas Hua Hin Cha Am – MGalleryGourmet & Cuisine Magazine organizes trips for the food lovers. “Happy Foodies Party #4 Gourmet Vacation, traveling anywhere in Thailand is delicious.”

28sep(sep 28)20:0029(sep 29)00:00Indigo Beats at BAR Indigo Hua Hin – Saturday’s of September 2019Every Saturday Indigo Beats at Bar Indigo, September specials, Dj from 8 til late, all inside a charm wooden Thai house with a splendid new mezzanine.

29sep12:0015:00Sunday Family Roast at Hua Hin Marriott Resort & SpaTreat your family to an amazing feast including sumptuous slow-roasted meats and fish, plus an array of side dishes and desserts.

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