Writing, beaches and sand wishes

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Mac sorts out traffic - true story, fire in the hole!

Coming from the bus on the back of a motorcycle I saw a fire under a car parked on the street outside my condo village. I thumped the driver and yelled "Stop!"

No way he's driving me by a vehicle with a fire ball under it. So he stops, I pay him and he zooms off. I'm at the corner, a good way off from the fire under the car. Now the security guards and the drivers at the mo'cycle station get active - no fire extinguisher. I'm afraid the vehicle will blow so I stay where I am. Traffic keeps rounding the corner - then stops when the drivers see the action.

I hear the first emergency vehicle. I set down my bag of groceries and start motioning for the stopped drivers to back up, turn and keep going down the main artery I'll call it. I'm waving at the other traffic that wants to turn into my street and wave them forward away from the corner. The drivers are cooperating and they get out of the way. I see the emerg vehicle pulling in and by the time it arrives to turn the corner the other cars have moved out of the way.

They stop and thank me in Thai, saluted me and carry on as I give them the thumbs up with a grin. (Why take the time to stop wandered through the caverns of my mind at the time, but hey, I wasn't driving.)

Now there were likely 30 people who could have easily grasped the situation and worked out what needed to be done. Instead the running around like chickens was amazing. There was no extinguisher handy, the next condo village security ran out with a hose - about 500 meters too short. It was like the politics here. All the frenetic activity and nothing of meaning going on. The innate ability here to miss the point every single time time must be ingrained in the cultural/societal structure.

The fire had consumed the engine by the time the emerg vehicle got in place, but they had an extinguisher and it was quickly put out. A new Lexus is now a barbecued Lexus.  No one hurt, nothing too dramatic. I hiked up my skirt, picked up my groceries and finished my walk home.

All in a day.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Long time no blog - I moved and have been getting sorted.

I left the district I have lived in with barely a backward glance. No more bus/motorbike noise, no more voices at 5:30 am drifting up from downstairs, it is good to get situated in a different type of neighborhood.

Peace and quiet reigns here. I have moved into a gated community with a pool, a health facility, it is a well developed quiet spot.

I did a fill in at a gov't school (I know what was I thinking of?) for 1 day at a primary school. It was just fine. Polite little kids waied me non stop. Quite enjoyable. I have my full weekends and work 2 hours Mon - Thurs, evenings 6 -8. I'm trying to keep Fridays free for a day off.

I've got several convenience/service outlets in the condo village, restaurants, a small store, laundromat and so on. I can get a hair cut, and there is a pharmacy here. I don't have to leave the place on the days I'm home.

Good security. A few teachers live here so it is wonderful. Great change for me.

Not much going on in the news these days. We do have a Hoof and Mouth outbreak however. There is a very interesting post here http://www.khonkaen.ws/ commenting on a Reuters article on Thailand. If you go to the site, click on the picture of food on a blue table.

All about tourism and the problems that need addressing.

Myanmar tourism should make a huge dent in Thai tourism. I hope as they open up they will keep the pristine beaches clean and make wise decisions on development. Letting things run amuck causes quite a problem as we see here in so many places.

Anyway, back to my day.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Fortunately everything on the protest/rally side is quiet.

Life ticks on without disruption. Weather, frequent downpours, hot and sunny in between. I don't know (know one does) at this point if there will be flooding this year. Work has been going on concerning dredging and flood walls.

The flood situation could go either way. It depends on the amount of rain. I haven't heard of any tree plantations going on. There must be some reforestation going on but if there is it hasn't been in the news.

I would love to see less garbage going into the klongs and rivers. That would help a lot of things, the garbage blocks drainage and adds to the problem. It's all about education and having proper waste removal systems in place.

I hope we don't face what we did last year. That was astounding when I think of it. Let's hope this year is better.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

It's pretty hard to overturn a bus...but the driver managed it

Three people were killed and about 20 others injured when one of three buses taking executives of the National Anti-Corruption Commission to a seminar at Khao Yai overturned on Mitraparp highway in front of Choke Chai farm in Pak Chong district of Nakhon Ratchasima province on Sunday morning, reports said.
Of the three killed, one was a woman identified as Somrak Phukchodngam, 51, the wife of the bus driver, one was Supawan Pinyothammakorn, 54, a female executive, and Chai Chinso, 51, a male executive of the NACC. Go here for the short news story. http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/local/302536/3-killed-in-nacc-bus-accident  

Sad, very, very sad. Please fly to your destination. No bus or van is safe here. These were gov't VIP's. Imagine. From today's Bangkok Post. 
PS: The Nation reports two died. To be fair, two could have died in the crash, one later. Who knows?

Friday, July 13, 2012

Looks like all will remain calm. Case(s) dismissed.

Got that 6 minutes ago from Associated Press. Breathe a sigh of relief, everyone can take off/retire their colored shirts, go back to work or home and have a nice relaxing snooze.

Nerve wracking business. All's well at this point. Let's hope it maintains.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Judgement Day: Friday the 13th, tomorrow. Tourists take note.

From today's Bangkok Post:

Mr Korkaew, who has warned of the distinct possibility of civil war if the decision goes against the government, said he was worried that the red-shirts would be manipulated by ill-intentioned people intent on inciting violence. Police have also prepared helicopters for the evacuation of the judges if necessary, he added. http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/local/302128/pm-asks-all-parties-to-accept-verdict

In his soft-speaking monotone, the party list MP (Korkaew Pikulthong) threatened Constitution Court judges that they would be kidnapped by the people and charged with treason if the court ruled against the government’s charter amendment bill this Friday.
He incited hatred of the ammart (elite) clique, accusing them of plotting a coup against the government by mobilising people to confront the red-shirt supporters, leading to violence that would justify the military intervening and seizing power.
He (Mr Korkaew) told red-shirt followers to brace for an all-out civil war, asking them to stay home and wait for his signal. "Once you hear a whistle blow, pack your bags and bid farewell to your family. Then it will be a decisive fight for us," he was quoted as saying.
A huge judgement is being handed down tomorrow. The above quotes are from today's Bangkok Post. Shudder. 

Take care tourists. There could be trouble. If you read the articles you will know what shopping area to keep away from.

Be safe.   

Monday, July 9, 2012

The big rally/protest didn't appear. Happy for that.

So far so good.

Weather has been rainy off and on. We're moving toward monsoon days. The work is going on concerning flood walls and dredging. I have tried to find info on tree plantation projects underway but have found little on the subject.

I found a bus company that has GPS on all its buses. If a driver is speeding he's told to slow down. Good news, this company always puts 2 drivers on for long distance runs.

I hope that safety training is implemented and these horrendous accidents stop. Speed governors would help,  
mandatory safe driver training would be beneficial..  Defensive driving courses for all drivers would go a along way to improve road safety.  Let's hope for some positive action on all fronts to lower the risk to the riders.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Tourist coming to Thailand - read this.


In part, today's Bankok Post,
If the Constitution Court judges did not resign, between 300,000 and 400,000 red-shirt supporters would show up to let it be known that the entire panel of judges were not acceptable to them, regardless of what the court's final ruling on the charter amendment bill might be, she said.

So where do you want to spend your tourist bucks? This will paralyze the city, again. Scary. Really scary.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Mung Bean Souper night, pure nutrition

Feeling draggy, back to nutrition is me.

If you have a pressure cooker, toss a cup of beans (rinsed, picked) in with 3 C water and 1 chicken boullion cube. I love mung beans for the high nutrients but any bean will do.

If not, rinse, soak overnight, then slow boil until tender/done.

When the beans are done, about half an hour plus/minus in the pressure cooker, turn it off and let it cool until you can safely take the top off.

As the beans cook wash/chop 1/2 head of broccoli, 1/2 head of cauliflower a BIG carrot or two, onion, a whole one, and anything else you like. Kale, tomato, beans, corn, squash.

Throw that in, pressure cook for about another 10 - 15 minutes. Serve.

Without a pressure cooker, 20 - 30 minutes, just enough to cook the veg.

This is power soup. If you go to Eat For Life, (there are many sites) that will give you the scoop on eating extremely healthy. Nothing processed, no salt or sugar, dairy or meat. You won't be hungry. Promise.

If you have to have meat, every tenth meal can be a meat meal. Everyone tells me I look bright when I strictly adhere to this. You eat 4 fruit a day, a few nuts and eat a  pound of raw veg and can have a lot of cooked veg. You can eat corn on the cob and at least a cup of beans/legumes a day. So the hummus is encouraged. Wahoo! Salad can be the main part of the meal but doesn't have to be. Flexible and cheap to eat this way.

Dr. Fuhrman is the man. Find him, follow him. You look and feel better overnight. No guff. And he has recipes. I'm a hummus hag, allowed, almost as much as you want. When I adhere everyone says I look younger. Skin glows or something.

Discovered a great travel blog


Travelfish has been around for years. Great photos and lots of first hand experience in many parts of Asia. Different experiences, like staying in a jungle canopy tree house.

I'd check it out if you're looking for off the beaten track experiences. I know some parts of Asia reasonably well and the blog details the sites/places nicely.

Very stunning photos. Always a plus.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

10 dead, another bus accident. 7 killed in van crash


17 more hurt, many seriously injured. Can the carnage end? My best advice is to fly to where you want to go. This is another example of how unsafe tourists are here. So sad, so unreal. 10 people who were alive yesterday are not alive today. My mind is blown. I can't imagine 10 bodies, lives snuffed out like this.

 Road transportation is deadly here. Beware.

The link will take you a popular foreigner site. The photos of the bus are horrendous. It looks like it went through a machine blender. Absolutely horrendous. I can't believe anyone survived the wreck. 
Terrible tragedy.  http://teakdoor.com/thailand-and-asia-news/110137-bangkok-surat-thani-bus-crashes-10-a.html

I missed the van crash. The vehicle hit a tree head on, killing 7 day before yesterday. 8 injured. Driven by a 19 year old. You can't get a commercial licence until 20 years of age.  One girl had graduated from university and was returning home.

The magnitude of these accidents is staggering.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Odd/weird news in Pattaya papers

Strange goings on in the metropolis. A foreigner was caught shoplifting a model airplane. Odd item to covet.

Wacky stuff goes on there. I read a few news sites from time to time, an eye opener. Bizarre place.