A mixture of news both lighthearted and unpleasant in nature graced Thaivisa in the last seven days. In this regard the last week was no different to most others as Thailand went from what Rooster’s mum would have called the sublime to the ridiculous.
As always PM Uncle Too led the way though the reader can decide if he was sublime or otherwise, I value my liberty. Before section 112 reared its ugly head he declared that Thais would not be guinea pigs in the vaccine rollout.
Thais use the term “noo thot long” that sounds more like lab rats to me but our father who art in khaki, hollow be thy name, knows best.
TAT governor Yutthasak was declared ridic (a new addition to the Scrabble dictionary in the last update) by the forum after stating that 10 million foreigners would visit in the third quarter. He compounded the idiocy by saying that was THIS year. What with the Thais finally leaving home in March, they would all sprinkle 1.2 trillion baht in the tourism coffers.
Then he went back to watching Jackanory.
One doesn’t want to put the kibosh on Thailand’s hopes of emerging from the pandemic with a tourist industry but methinks they might begin to diversify given the fact that the world landscape has shifted.
Let’s face it, it’s more like an almighty earthquake and if world travel ever gets back to anything like before the pandemic it will surely take years. Thailand’s leaders need to wake up and get real, do some leading. Diversify or die should be the message rather than harping back to former glories.
The Special Tourist Visa couldn’t even meet the tiny 1,200 a month target mooted in October before the second wave struck. Now we see tourism numpties blaming this renewed wave rather than accepting they were completely wrong all along. Visitors have been almost non-existent apart from a few Chinese who need to snap up some cheap condos.
In case the authorities haven’t noticed, major hotels are selling cut price noodles and patongo to make ends meet. A taxi driver in Pattaya has turned from squeezing the juice out of tourists to selling melons….
Thai media – and consequently Thaivisa – continued to speculate on the chances (approximately zero if the truth be known) about the country opening a legal casino to replace all the disreputable dens that contribute so bountifully to RTP salaries.
A senator called Wanchai proposed a couple in Hat Yai and Pattaya. Opinion was divided in QUOTES (the Queen Of The Eastern Seaboard) with a business leader saying no way Jose and a tourism chief welcoming the idea.
Rooster imagines that strongarm mayor Sontaya would love it. I wouldn’t be in the least surprised if his dad – the infamous murderer and Chonburi godfather Kamnan Poh – had put in a request to Yommaban – the curator of the Thai underworld – to make a return to the eastern seaboard to share in the pickings.
Gun toting Thai cops had a joyous week taking off their safety catches. A drug dealer who had purveyed “ketamine milk” (an unpleasant concoction including heroin, valium and meth) was dispatched in a shootout in Nakhon Pathom. They also lost patience with a man high on drugs called Nott who had murdered his mother and cut her tongue out before setting fire to the house. The met chief defended the judicial killing; he certainly had a point.
Later in the week, new COP (Commander Of Plod) Suwat Chaengyodsuk went to Taling Chan after the hashtag #killedownmother went viral. There he and the hapless met chief discovered that their underlings do not know the law and struggle to get to the scenes of crime in three minutes. He promised training and said the family of the man they shot could sue. Luckily for Plod they seem to be well rid of him.
Elsewhere the cops got yet more things wrong. A photog snapped several overzealous officers wrestling a foreign man to the ground as disturbances in Victory Monument and elsewhere caused trouble last Saturday. “I’m not Thai” he repeatedly screamed before showing his passport and being let go. Some posters got the wrong end of the stick banging on about the folly of being in protest areas – it seemed to me like the innocent man was just out doing some shopping. The media onliners thought Thailand would look pathetic abroad.
Apropos, a woman called Anchan, 67, was sentenced to 87 years in jail for lese-majeste, a record. The court kindly reduced this by half due to her help so she will only have to serve 43 years and six months. With time served she won’t be much over 100 by the time she’s out. She uploaded and shared things about the institution dozens of times in 2014 and 2015 on Facebook and YouTube.
Later in the week the minister for digital economy and society – the highly unpleasant lackey Buddhipongse – went after political leader and heartthrob Thanathorn Juangroonruangkit accusing him of defaming the monarchy in online posts connected to the vaccine rollout. “Distorted information” was mentioned. Article 112 is being used increasingly to stifle dissent.
In international news the BBC got into hot water after referring to record producer Phil Spector, who died in prison in the US aged 81, as merely “flawed”. They changed their headline to “murderer” after a barrage of criticism. The “wall of sound” loony liked to play with guns, killed a woman and once admitted to the UK media that he was insane.
In Russia Alexei Navalny was taken into custody and toothless governments around the world condemned the move. Putin, who probably had him poisoned, was pictured taking a refreshing bath.
Meanwhile in Washington, DC, the duly elected candidate Joe Biden became the 46th President of the United States. The last chap said he did what he came to do. Bill Maher did a nice farewell to him with a Children’s Book extract that was widely viewed:
Mr Biden started with 25 executive orders beginning to undo the damage of the last four years.
In sports news there were two magnificent triumphs for wonderful Asians. In England, Chinese snooker wunderkind Yan Bingtao won the Masters and 250,000 sobs. In Australia, the Indian cricket team pulled off a remarkable win in the fourth test to complete a 2-1 win in one of the greatest Test Match series of all time.
With the amount of nasty racist comments both Indians and the Chinese get on Thaivisa (especially on Facebook) I’d like to say a hearty well done to these two fine nations in an effort to partially redress the balance.
Back in Thailand, and also the target of online racists were the Nigerians.
The Thaivisa Facebook mob had a field day slamming one who overstayed seven years on a 60 day tourist visa before his arrest in Makkasan. He was pictured outside a parcel company and presumably will be sent packing. Then Komchadluek took a leaf out of Naew Na’s righteous hymnbook by burbling on about Thailand’s fight against foreign criminals after the arrest of another Nigerian for bank fraud.
While not condoning these two and accepting that much Romance Scamming and international email fraud can be connected to Nigeria, I do feel that the wanton racism against people from that country should stop. In my Scrabble career I have met dozens of lovely guys from Nigeria – including a world champion – and I once lent a lot of money to a stranded Nigerian in Thailand. I got it all back and made a friend for life.
My message to the people bashing others from behind their keyboards is to get some perspective. There’s good and bad in every nation.
And while you’re at it stop bashing Thais without cause. There are many decent people on Thaivisa of course (many nice ones read this column) but some need to get out more and meet some Thais, perhaps learn some Thai language. My message to those who use online forums to purvey their filth is you only show your inadequacies and look nothing better than schoolyard bullies (not that they are likely to have got this far in the column of course, they only read headlines…hence mine this week in an effort to reverse the trend).
Rant over…..until next time.
Meanwhile, Anutin of the MOPH (himself not averse to a little racism) said that he had come to an agreement with the education ministry to promote his Maryjane initiatives. On the menu when the tourists come back will be Ganja Noodles and Happy Kapow.
I don’t know about the nutritional value of ganja leaves but they sure won’t get anyone high. It has been made patently obvious that the Thais will still strictly control buds and flowers (that contain the THC) so this is just window dressing. Even seeds are still controlled by narcotics legislation so one wonders how anyone is going to grow anything!
Top video of the week came from the expressways of the Bangkok outskirts where a female motorcyclist went into a barrier before having a go at some officials who wanted to fine her.
In Chiang Rai a woman was arrested at her home after ignoring 200 traffic tickets sent through the post. She’d been engaging in a little too much of the national sport of red light jumping.
In LadPrao a young man with a knife told a convenience store lady he was sorry for the robbery. Khor Thoot na! Phom Mee luuk, he said.
Sorry, I have kids.
Being someone who also has nippers and lives nearby, I wonder if I can use the excuse next time I need some sympathy for having them at home for the best part of a year?
Finally, a classic story of a familiar genre came out of Korat where a piglet with a remarkable likeness to Ganesha was born.
The runt of the litter didn’t last long and was soon on a holy shelf being wai-ed by the locals for the lottery numbers.
The pitiful creature was only alive thirty minutes but hopefully might have a big impact on someone’s life.
And once again you can decide whether that is sublime or ridiculous.