Connect with us

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

Lifestyle

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

Join the Inspire Events & Offers Line account…
Every day, the best event/offer from each region will be sent on one message. Plus, fun polls, where you get instant access!

เพิ่มเพื่อน

Continue Reading

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

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

More in Lifestyle

Join our Newsletter

Events

january, 2020

12dec01janFestive Season 2019 at Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Hua HinIn addition to a diverse range of seasonal dining offers at our signature restaurants, we encourage you to visit and enjoy the activities we have prepared to keep you feeling festive all season long.

24dec01janFestive Season at Hilton Hua Hin Resort & SpaThis year, guests can discover the perfect festive destination with a variety of venue options and a selection of tempting cuisine, together with sparkling entertainment.

31dec01janCountdown New Year Party – 2020! at Sanae Beach ClubLet’s celebrate the New Year together!

31dec01janEight-course Gala Dinner & Symphony Night at InterContinental Hua Hin ResortMark 2019’s coda and applaud 2020’s intro with our Eight-Course Gala Dinner & Symphony Night.

31dec01janNew Year’s Eve The Rock Hua HinJoin the New Year’s Count Down with Lavish Dinner Buffet and watch fireworks display evening by the sea over Khao Takiab Beach and live music.

31dec01janNew Year’s Eve The Rock Hua HinJoin the new year’s count down with lavish dinner buffet and watch fireworks display evening by the sea over Khao Takiab Beach and live music.

31dec01janNew Year Gala Dinner at Laksasubha Hua Hin ResortCelebrate and send off the last night of the year at a Thai temple themed festival.

31dec01janNew Year’s Eve at Amari Hua HinAn international buffet lets you pick your favourites from the salad bar and beyond, with live entertainment, games and lucky draw.

31dec01janBubbles, Balloon and Bow Ties New Year Eve Party at Anantara Hua Hin ResortCelebrate in style with our Bubbles, Balloons & Bow Tie Party.

31dec01janNew Year Silver Celebration at Mozza Mia Hua HinJoin us as we say Goodbye to 2019 in Style & Bring In The Year 2020 with a Big Bang.

31dec01jan2020 NYE Party with “The Bangkok Beatles” and VDJ at Father TedsThis year we are very proud to announce that we will be providing the good people of Hua Hin, and very much welcomed guests to our beautiful City, with a quality New Years Eve Party to remember.

31dec01janNew Year Eve Countdown Party Hua Hin at EAST – Rooftop Bar & LoungeEnjoy the spectacular view of Hua Hin fireworks & Midnight sparkling toast!

31dec01janNew Year’s Eve Countdown Beach Party at Hua Hin Marriott Resort & SpaDance the night away with your loved ones, enjoy cool drinks and be dazzled by amazing retro-themed decorations, entertainment and our grand firework display.

01jan11:3015:00New Year Brunch & Barbecue at McFarland HouseWelcome the first day of 2020 with a brunch and BBQ. Enjoy a relaxing day with loved ones and savour a selection of local seafood, imported prime cuts of meat, fresh oysters, sushi, sashimi and, local Thai specialties. Meanwhile, work off the previous night´s hangover with the beautiful sounds from Chris and Maria.

01jan11:3015:006 Course Festive Dinner at McFarland House24-hour crispy skin pork belly, slow-roasted turkey and finishing up with Christmas desserts. Sounds incredibly good and the menu has all the traditional options too, serving coffin bay oysters, 24-hour crispy skin pork belly, slow-roasted turkey and finishing up with Christmas desserts.

08jan19:0021:00Wine me up ‘Japanese night’ at Avani+ Hua Hin ResortDining that is entertainingly delicious. Wine Me Up goes Japanese with a live teppanyaki station and other national delicacies. Raise a glass to the best of Japan!

08jan20:3023:00The 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

10jan18:0022:00Romantic Moonlit Dinner on the Beach at Hua Hin Marriott Resort & SpaExperience a romantic dining on the sandy beach under the magical full moon.

11jan10:0017:00Happy children’s day promotion at Black Mountain Water Park Hua HinFree entry to Black Mountain Water Park Hua Hin for kids (max 140 cm) to enjoy the day on children”s day

11jan17:0020:00Children’s Day : Kids Party at Infinity Pool, Holiday Inn Vana Nava Hua HinBring your swimming suit and your favorite goggles for a day with new friends for fun in the sun at Infinity Pool only at Holiday Inn Vana Nava Hua Hin!

11jan18:0021:00Duo Jag Outdoor Live Concert at Black Mountain Golf ClubTop Swedish band “DuoJag” will be on the big stage, performing live outside our clubhouse.

12jan16:0021:00Cocktails & Beats at Sanae Beach ClubJoin us for this special event with DJ Denis DoubleDeuce Martinovic. We will have cocktails and tapas served during this evening.

15jan20:3023:55The 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.

18jan18:3022:00Chef’s Table: a Journey Through Thailand with Chef Mama Duu at InterContinental Hua Hin ResortPresenting an extraordinary evening of cuisine under the direction of a Thai food master.

20jan(jan 20)12:0031(jan 31)22:30Chinese New Year Fabulous Feast at Baan Dum Beachfront Seafood, Mövenpick Asara Resort & Spa Hua HinLet it be a prosperous celebration for abundance of goodness, health and luck.

24jan(jan 24)18:0031(jan 31)22:00Chinese New Year Semi Buffet Prosperity Platters at Holiday Inn Vana Nava Hua HinUsher in the Year of the Rat and spend quality time with your family and friends with our prosperity platters and semi buffet.

24jan(jan 24)18:3025(jan 25)22:00Chinese New Year Celebration at Hilton Hua Hin Resort & SpaA prosperous reunion with friends and family over a sumptuous Lunar New Year feast at Hilton Hua Hin.

24jan20:3023:55Rod Stewart by award winning performer Morgan Kent Live in Ted’sWith 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.

25jan10:0011:00Celebrate Chinese New Year with Us at InterContinental Hua Hin ResortThe lion dance is one of the most important traditions of Chinese New Year and is performed to assure prosperity and good luck in the upcoming year.

25jan16:0017:00Celebrate Chinese New Year with the Dragon Dance at Holiday Inn Vana Nava Hua HinThis Chinese New Year 2020 on Saturday 25th January, celebrate Chinese new year with us at holiday inn vana nava hua hin.

25jan18:0022:00Aussie Day Evening Beachside BBQ at Sheraton Hua Hin Resort & SpaThe Sheraton Hua Hin Resort and Spa will host a Pre Aussie Day Evening Surf and Turf BBQ, with a selection of Australian imported meats and Desserts.

25jan18:0022:00Chinese New Year Seafood Feast & Grill at Hua Hin Marriott Resort & SpaAmber Kitchen invites you to celebrate Chinese New Year with an exquisite buffet dinner.

25jan18:0022:00Chinese New Year Dinner at Luna La Pran Restaurant, Sheraton Hua Hin Pranburi VillasGather a whole family for a convivial Chinese New Year’s Dinner.

25jan18:3022:00Chinese New Year Dinner at Anantara Hua Hin ResortCelebrate the start of the Chinese Zodiac cycle with the year of the Rat.

25jan18:3022:30Chinese New Year at Talay Thai, Hyatt Regency Hua HinIndulge in delectable Chinese favorites along with a seafood barbecue station and a selection of Thai dishes accompanied by Chinese dance performance and live music.

25jan18:3022:00Chinese New Year at Amari Hua HinCelebrate the Lunar New Year with family and friends and welcome in the Year of the Rat.

25jan19:0022:00Chinese New Year Prosperous Gala Dinner at Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Hua HinJoin us as we celebrate Chinese festivities and welcome the prosperous ‘Year of the Rat’ in Chinese New Year Gala Dinner.

25jan19:0023:55Lee Shamrock Followed by the Somphot Soul Band at Father Ted’sEnjoy Lee Shamrock tonight and every Saturday from 7:30pm offering you all the Irish Trad & Folk a person could ask for followed by the Somphot Funk Brothers until late on.

26jan(jan 26)14:0027(jan 27)01:00Feels Like Sunday – Deep House at EAST RooftopCome to join us on the rooftop for the 1st edition of Feels Like Sunday ! Delicious cocktails. Sparkling conversation. Groovy sounds.

Sponser

Trending


werehumans web design and SEO Pattaya

To Top
X