With each passing day this week bringing yet more gloomy news here at Thaivisa we felt it was time to bring you Rooster’s review of 2021. Like any journalist worth his salt, Rooster always prepares well in advance for features like this. It’s like saving time by penning an ageing person’s obituary before the big day arrives. As I’m sure you’ll agree, 2021 turned out even more surprising than 2020.
Covid-19, coronavirus, pandemic – call it what you will – is now forgotten. It came to an end in January with the Suphannahong Vaccine that was a joint collaboration between Chulalongkorn medics and some little old ladies selling Som Tam in Chiang Mai who realized by accident that by combining essence of chili and dirty moat water the virus would flee the scene. Shots were produced by the billion at 5 baht a time for Thais, 5,000 for foreigners. Free service was provided for the Chinese if they promised to buy a ten day tour for two of Pattaya, Samui and Phuket. Unfortunately this great Thai success was missed by PM Prayut who resigned with his entire cabinet on January 5th – a wag at a leading English newspaper came up with “Uncle Too waves bye bye after wave Number Two”.
After the rapid success of the Thai super vax the TAT reported that 40 million Chinese people had booked to arrive on several charter flights to U-Tapao, Phuket International and Samui for Chinese New Year. Quarantine was thankfully waived after massage ladies lynched ALQ officials at the airports and trampled all over their backs as punishment. Every Thai that the Chinese met was able to converse fluently in Mandarin and several other dialects after a rapid reorganization of the Thai education system was accomplished in a single week. Asked by a solitary German tourist why his tour guide at Big Mountain didn’t speak a word of English let alone German the guide said: “Arai wa” followed by “Ni Hao”. In the end only 40 Chinese turned up with the TAT admitting there had been an error in communication after several “zeros” were added. The governor said it had been a “misunderstanding” over “zero” dollar tours. However, next day they all arrived as planned on boats with only 25% sinking in Thai waters. Ten million Chinese were saved from drowning by the prompt action of Pattaya jet-ski operators who ferried the survivors to shore before going to the Pattaya constabulary to report damage to their vehicles from overloading. One Thai baht became worth 20 Yuan.
With the multi trillion baht profits from the worldwide vaccine rollout Thailand was able to finance its first moonshot in double quick time. The BS Party (Bad Students) who had taken over power decided to put 250 former senators on the inaugural flight as it was felt they had taken the country for a ride so why shouldn’t they take the first ride. After returning with some Moon Locks (sic) they were stuffed and displayed at a Khon Kaen park that had fallen into disrepair. The local governor remarked in a witty opening speech that it was highly appropriate as the park was for old dinosaurs. One of the dinosaurs was fitted with a giant chronometer and children delighted in climbing all over it saying “I borrowed it from a friend”.
The first Songkran for two years proved to be a double celebration with the Countrywide Road Accident Statistics Headquarters (CRASH) announcing not a single person had either died or been injured on the Thai roads since January 1st. The dramatic turnaround in the country’s safety record – making it even safer than Sark where cars are banned – was put down to two new additional Thai words that were added to the national lexicon: “enforcement” and “responsibility”. Thailand’s much maligned police were sent on training courses to understand the new concepts. “Corruption” was expunged from the dictionary despite opposition from the RTP commander and several deputies who mounted a protest outside a soapy massage parlor in Bangkok formerly owned by a colleague now taken away in an assets’ seizure. The RTP was renamed PLOD. (Police Law and Order Department).
Casinos and prostitution were made legal nationwide meaning that PLOD no longer had any role left in the country and so were disbanded. A conglomerate of migrant workers from Laos, Myanmar and Cambodia were put in charge of policing as no Thai could be found willing to work for the wages. Further legislation was enacted to make marijuana growing and consumption compulsory for everyone over the age of 18. Following complaints from an Expats’ group in Pattaya called CLAM (Curmudgeons Lives’ Almost Matter) online alcohol and e-cigarette sales were reinstated and decriminalized. In sports news Tottenham Hotspur won the EPL after going on a 22 match winning streak. Arsenal and Liverpool were relegated.
The BS Party ended all requirements for foreigners to have visas or even have any funds in a bank at all. Everything was made completely free for all expats on the condition that they posted nice things online about Thai people. CLAM complained that this was a gross violation of human rights and the WHO intervened. A Thai band went to the top of the charts with their viral song entitled “WTF is WHO”. Officials at the state lottery commission were investigated then exonerated after 999999 (power ball 9) came up for nine weeks in a row. The sequence was finally broken when a seemingly random number was drawn though it later became apparent that the number was a composite of two motorcycles number plates involved in a collision outside Government House. A committee was set up and several motorcycle taxi riders were transferred to inactive ranks.
The overhaul of the Thai education system was finally completed. A team of educators from Finland visited on a fact finding mission to see what improvements they could garner from what was hailed as the “Thai Model”. All homework was banned. Parents complained that they didn’t know what to do with all the free time their children had so the government introduced a McDonald’s “buy two get three Happy Meals” stimulus package that was only slightly abused. Doctors complained that much of their custom had ceased because schoolchildren were no longer turning up with leg, bottom and hand wounds administered by teachers with metal rods. However, their concerns eased when the McDonald’s scheme backfired and kicked off an obesity epidemic. The epidemic ended when the old dinosaur with a chronometer was allowed to initiate a healthy eating scheme based on doing the opposite to his lifestyle.
Violence, gun crime and wife beating was officially declared ended. The Governor of Nakhon Sri Thammarat in southern Thailand asked the government what his denizens were now expected to do in their freetime. Gold shop robbers started begging for handouts outside 7-Elevens. Soi Dogs complained that their rights for wafts of air-conditioned air were being violated. CP stepped into the row by employing the mutts as security sniffer dogs on the recently opened Bangkok to Pattaya high speed train project. Apropos, a top speed was reached on the Sri Racha section after the driver hit a pick-up at a crossing and fled the scene at 350 kmph. An inquiry showed that the crossing lights malfunctioned after a ‘tessakit’ official forgot to put 5 baht in the meter.
Taxi drivers in Bangkok were finally given permission to raise the flag fall from 35 baht to 100 baht. They were also allowed to charge 100 baht for ladies’ handbags that exceeded 8.27 inches in length and “man bags” that were placed on the rear seats (unless they were forgotten by the passengers in which case they became the property of the cabby). However, all the improvements in the lives of cabbies were for nothing after all Bangkok’s rail lines were completed in record time and the capital’s denizens stopped using taxis. Chinese tour buses became the only road transport apart from that solitary German in his Benz who was always lost. Honest Thai citizens went to court to argue they could no longer do good deeds by finding millions of baht on the back seats of taxis. Thaivisa continued to report that honest citizens were finding fortunes left on the Red, Blue, Pink, Green and Polka Dot Lines.
British PM The Rt Hon Eton Mess declared that the pandemic was finally over in the UK and that the nation had at last won back its sovereignty and would be allowing its citizens to leave the country under Tier 17 conditions. Thailand feared an invasion of Lager Louts and appealed to Myanmar and Cambodian tourists to flood the country and take up all the hotel space that the Chinese had not yet purchased. Some Brits managed to sneak in but were rumbled in Pattaya after a spike in pie eating and an underground effort to get Thais to bathe just once a week in what became known as the “Baht Night” saga. They were eventually deported and blacklisted until Britain rejoined the EU. Referencing the issue, a group of Scandinavian expats in Krabi formed a band called BABA and got a number one hit with “Som Nam Na” sung to the tune of Waterloo.
Air pollution was finally declared to be over in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Kanchanaburi and large parts of Pattaya that didn’t contain temples popular with Chinese tour buses. The UN hailed Thailand’s smog recovery after it was discovered that all the pollution was caused by barbecuing chicken and pork on sticks. To replace these Thai staples stimulus coupons were issued for seafood. No one bought any remembering the previous December. The coupons were then found to have been traded for high level positions in the Civil Service. This caused the collapse of the government and so much shouting that noise pollution became an even bigger menace. A group called TAN (Thais Against Noise) was formed and after a recruitment drive had almost two members by the end of the month. Face mask manufactures complained that firstly the lack of a pandemic then lack of 2.5PM had adversely affected sales. The new government promised to look into reintroducing both after a 3 trillion baht study was completed.
Soap operas were banned and it became a criminal offence to put bells and whistles after Thai TV presenter’s comments. Shrieks of joy were heard from a translator’s office in Ratchayothin that became a deafening crescendo when Loei was declared a World Heritage Site and land values rocketed 100 times.
Representatives from all echelons of Thai government and society descended on Suwannaphum for the photo opportunity-cum- arrival of the Billionth Tourist of 2021. It turned out to be a couple, Mr and Mrs Kumar arriving for their honeymoon on the first flight of the year from Delhi. The TAT said they would be spending 10 million baht on their three day stay. The TAT gave them vouchers for a free happy hour drink at the recently opened Naan Plaza in Pattaya before the beaming couple were whisked off in an airport limousine to a godown in Lat Krabang where they were held for ransom. Finally, national park fees were standardized for both Thais and tourists. Previously irate netizens delighted in the spectacle of seeing pigs flying high over the Khao Yai national park. It was magical.
For those who missed the news this week here is Rooster’s dirty dozen:
- Thailand’s new outbreak could be more serious than the first wave; people warned to expect lockdown if they don’t behave.
- TAT predicts 10 million tourists in the 3rd quarter.
- Migrants found their condo shut off with barbed wire.
- Gamblers at Chaeng Wattana in court – jail for foreigners, release for Thais!
- Possible 10,000 cases of Covid a day in January.
- Anutin goes into isolation; 2,000++ cases in Samut Sakhon and Rayong
- Motorcyclist head-butts a gasoline sign.
- Pattaya goes into effective lockdown – resort deserted.
- Boxing Day trolley misunderstanding – Norwegian pays 30K compo.
- Foreigners will still need to quarantine despite having a vaccine certificate.
- RTP in a New Year gift to the people – CCTV!
- “Nan Model” hailed as Seven Deadly Days set to begin.
Happy New Year once again to all Thaivisa members.