Reading some people’s inane posts on Facebook they seem to have the perfect life.
Their pictures of dinner always seem to have come out perfectly, the children are exemplary at school and wow, they just finished a tricky jigsaw puzzle in time to post that perfect pint down at the pub with the ever smiling wife with whom they have the ideal marriage, the envy of their massive circle of friends.
I’m sick of it.
I never thought that the good times were what defined our lives, but what we did to overcome the bad, what we accomplished putting strife behind and moving on despite the adversity.
To wit, no story this week impressed me more than that of 25 year old Kusama Nakthong-in in the sub-district of Bua Khao in Kalasin.
She was getting married last Saturday and was busy putting the final touches to her bridal gown as relatives prepared for the wedding at her house.
Then a short circuit caused a fire upstairs and soon the whole building was engulfed. Fortunately no one was seriously hurt though the house was destroyed.
Kusama brushed herself down and instead of feeling sorry for herself took everyone over to her groom’s place ten kilometers away where she married Kasama.
Yes, there were tears and yes, there was a Facebook post. But that was a thoughtful one thanking other people and warning about overloading electrical systems at one’s house.
If anyone epitomized the English expression “making the best of a bad job” it was this fine young lady. She’s a keeper Kasama – I hope you have a fantastic life together and can laugh about the loss of the house one day.
Forum reaction was fairly typical. Banging on about Thai electrics rather than praising the fortitude of the bride and her family. Or worse still making jokes about the “jao sao” looking “hot”. One poster – in Oxfordshire – just said that the house was not destroyed.
Thanks for all that.
“Kensawadee” took one poster to task in a nice post though to be fair to “Colinneil” – a severely disabled Englishman and former Thaivisa poster of the year – he has also bravely made the best of a bad job after a devastating motorcycle accident several years ago.
What surprised me a little about the Daily News story about the fire was they did not specifically comment on the ages of the married couple or the day they got married.
Perhaps this was the former teacher of Thai culture in Rooster coming out, but they are both 25 and it is a central theme of cultural beliefs in Thailand that at this age – called benjaphaet – something life changing is bound to happen!
For years whenever I have met anyone who is 25 I have asked them if anything earth shattering has happened so far this year! It always elicits conversation and a smile.
The day of weddings – though often subject to scrutiny of calendars for auspicious astrological signs, are often held on Fridays because the sound (if not the spelling) of Wan SUK indicates happiness.
Funerals are more likely to be held on Saturdays as Wan SAO sounds more like the Thai word for sadness even if the tonal value is different. Though only some Thais follow this one.
Also making the best of a bad job, the Thai government blundered on with attempts to reopen their country to foreign tourism and roll out the vaccines this week.
Tourism minister Pipat spoke of pilot “sandbox” projects in Phuket, Pattaya and then Chiang Mai with the southern island receiving the first vaccinated tourists in July.
He has promised quarantine will end for the vaxxed though they will have to remain within a stone’s throw of their hotel for seven days in, say, Pattaya before being allowed out to somewhere decent like Bangkok. (Much also depends on how many people in the tourism industry can be jabbed and how quickly).
No tourists would be allowed to sneak out, we were told, that caused many on the forum to get in a predictable lather for no reason whatsoever.
Lather also rose when Thaivisa wrote a headline that said a man died after being vaccinated. Some on Facebook called for TV to be reported to Mark Zuckerberg.
No folks, he did die after taking the vaccine but – if you bother to actually read the story as few actually can or bother to do – you would have seen it had nothing to do with the jab.
It was some gastric embolism that was destined to happen anyway. Some more sensible posters accepted that it was important to report on the story for the sake of transparency.
Head Health Honcho Anutin said that he had been in contact with “many countries” about forming travel bubbles but when asked who they were he wouldn’t say. I’m convinced if you asked this creature what he had for breakfast you wouldn’t get a straight answer!
Meanwhile Big Too was all concerned for his twin daughters who have been bullied online. Cyberbullying is a bad thing, as a police spokesman explained, but it would have sounded better if Prayuth had mentioned the seven year old child shot dead by his KKK (Khaki Klad Klan) pals in Myanmar.
The lack of condemnation coming from the Thai government is deafening and utterly embarrassing.
Finance minister Arkhom caused Rooster to glance over to check that it was not April 1st already with his assertion that 40 million tourists would be beating a path to Thailand’s door by 2024.
I have this very strong feeling that even when the leashes are off, even though people who have kept their jobs have huge amounts of saved income to spend, that recovery from the pandemic will be very slow and very painful. I feel very pessimistic but feel it is realistic.
Further tourism fodder came in the form of stories about the TAT promoting Chiang Mai to “quality” tourists from India and the country becoming a “wellness hub” and cannabis retreat.
Thailand has more hub(cap)s than a Scouser with a screwdriver on a Saturday afternoon in Liverpool.
In international news the devastating floods in Australia continued. In Russia Putin got his vaccination but his macho personality meant he didn’t make a song and dance about it.
The British government – looking every bit like a totalitarian state – threatened 5,000 sob fines if you so much as took a foreign holiday. Spats between them and the EU over vaccine continued.
Stateside, Uncle Joe held his first press conference in a while though Fox still managed to blast him for doing so. How they must miss the LOTUS who thankfully is mostly off my TV screen these days.
In Colorado ten people were shot at a grocery store and more calls were made for gun control. Talk about wasting your breath.
Back in Thailand there was a great deal of horrific crime this week.
In an area where I have a house in Sam Khok, Pathum Thani, a pump attendant was slashed to death over a 40 baht non-payment of fuel.
In the north east an abusive husband murdered his wife, stuffed her in a sack and threw her all trussed up in a pond.
In Lamphun, a wife killed her husband with a breeze block then told everyone at the grocery store she had murdered him.
No one believed her as she had cried wolf once too often.
In Buriram a mother was charged with assault after she went to a primary school and attacked her child’s P1 friend over some medicine going missing. The phu yai ban made excuses for her.
At a police station a cop shot his wife multiple times after chasing her inside then turned the gun on himself. She survived and he didn’t so there was a semblance of justice there.
A “Superpoll” suggested that Thais were overwhelmingly in favor of the country opening to foreign tourism. I would be very wary of these polls – the sample sizes are not the problem, it’s who and what they ask.
New ministers were announced principally for the positions of Education and Digital Economy and Society, the latter being akin to Orwell’s Ministry of Truth.
Twenty five people will face charges or summonses in the death of “pretty” Wawa at a drinks party last month. An autopsy revealed she had meth, ecstasy, diazepam and ketamine in her system. Hiso’s beware!
A Thai tycoon said he was on the lookout for failing hotels. Posters called him a vulture – don’t they have any idea of what business is? And don’t they realize that one of the best times to make money is in a crisis! Rhetorical questions as the Thaivisa school of business acumen is on permanent hols.
In Bangkok the international motor show at Muang Thong Thani began on Wednesday and is worth a visit to ogle the pretties, the cars and especially the motorbikes!
The latter featured in many stories this week about road safety and the fact there are now 21 million bikes on the Thai roads, more than twice the number of cars. One story said that 10 million riders don’t wear helmets and that one dies every 35 minutes.
Another story laid the blame for motorcycle fatalities firmly at the door of the riders themselves. Many are poorly trained, if trained at all, and don’t know how to handle a motorbike in an emergency situation, don’t have the most basic skills or even roadworthy bikes.
In Minburi, a macaque called Godzilla was taken away from a luuk chin stall owner who had kept him chained up. Manop, who bawled his pathetic eyes out, said Godzilla was like a son to him and denied that passers-by threw him scraps (Godzilla, not Manop). The monkey weighed in at 20 kilos when he should have been eight.
Please call the parks’ department on 1362 when you see cretins like Manop with wild animals that should be in trees not chains.
Top hoot of the week concerned a watermelon seller who was fined 500 baht for offending public morals after a woman in a yellow bikini showed off her melons at his roadside stall.
He was only helping a mate out who promised to pay the fine but hundreds turned up to ogle and, thankfully, get their hands on a few of his melons.
Finally, it was announced this week that the popular Hard Rock Cafe in Siam Square will shut at the end of the month.
The previous day I was going stir crazy at home and told Mrs R that I had to get out to Gullivers to have a few beers and a chicken pie. No problem she said as I headed off at 5.30pm.
Gullivers was shut “temporarily” so I went to my old hunting ground of “The Old Dutch” on the corner of Soi Cowboy and Soi 23 for a schnitzel.
It was now an empty go-go bar.
Everywhere was either closed, boarded up or half deserted so I had a ham Subway for 89 baht and was home by 7.30 pm to put the kids to bed.
This is not the Bangkok I remember from my misspent youth!