Friday, 28 October 2011

More English sign fails

Fight ticket

Tank (Thank)

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Thai flood crisis hit non-affected areas as well

A Bangkok beggar donates to the flood crisis.

Surely not one of the worst examples: An almost empty cigarette shelf in a 7-Eleven outlet in one of the dry areas, Ao Nang, Krabi.
The severe Thai flood crisis shown in the news all over the world, let many people assume all of Thailand is under water. Truth is that altough the South and mid-South had to deal with a major flood in the end of March and begin of April this year, in the last half year big part of the country especially in the North-East and South of Bangkok largely have remained unaffected. Besides the historic city of Ayutthaya and parts of Bangkok, only one major tourist destination, namely Chiang Mai, got flooded nearly one month ago, but has in the mean time been declared safe. Still, those travelers planning to visit one of the dry areas this season, have to take the aftermath of the crisis into consideration as well. The closing of Don Muang airport today has severely delayed or stopped people flying to tourist destinations like Phuket, Chiang Mai, Koh Samui and Krabi. At the same time the flood and the current insecure situation in Bangkok is having major effects on Bangkok as a logistic center. Shops and outlets in other areas are forced to pre-order scarce products in quantities as much as they can get hold of. Despite the fact that the majority of Thai people seem to be unanimous to help eachother in these times of despair and are not willing to unselfishly profit from the situation, the unbalanced supply and demand mechanism has already started to get it's grasp on retail prices. The situation is worsened by the fact that understandably an increasing number of people have turned into hoarding. Besides huge damages of the flood to industry and agriculture, tourism is bound to get a severe blow as well. Relying on official figures this segment is good for 6% of the gross domestic product, but it's real impact is thought by some experts to be considerably higher. The Thai high season runs from November to April. Many entrepeneurs in the segment regard this period as a time when the profit for the rest of the year has to be made. A considerable decline in visitors in the coming half year could have a large additional negative impact on the  economy of the Kingdom, which has already seen so much devastation this year.

Monday, 24 October 2011

Happy birthday Thai version

Here's the happy birthday song in Thai/Isan Morlam style.
Surprise your Thai friends on their birthday by posting this vid on their facebook:

Friday, 21 October 2011

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Weird travel magazine

Seen in a local magazine called Passport:
15.000 copies are issued of this free tourist magazine distributed in Krabi province.
Obviously quite some advertising space has not been sold and is filled up with nonsense, however some funny ads are real.
Crappy service?
The Chatchada House really exist in Ao Nang and no matter what they say, reviews are very positive.

Warm beer, Crap food, Rubbish service, Useless staff.
It's always nice when people are honest
Also this place called Ling Uan or Fat Monkey really exist on Koh Lanta.
All you can eat: Boys 295฿, Ladyboys 280฿, Girls 260฿
Assuming it's not a restaurant for cannibals,
prices are fair considering average size.
Matt's Joint Grill can be found on Koh Phi Phi.
Another version they use is: Boys 295฿, Girls 265฿, Kids and Rabbits 150฿
A filler: Surgical Palmistry: Extend your lifeline..
This image comes from

Magazine cover

A bit of a blasphemous filler page towards Christians and Muslim. An almost identical version can be found on Considering 42% of the population in Krabi is Muslim, this kind of content doesn't look like a wise promotional proposition for advertisers.
Another filler.
Partly or mostly faked 'funny' letters from readers.
Some of them pretty racist.
Click to enlarge.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Dubious items for sale at Thai fair

Seen at a fair in Ao Nang, Krabi:
Looks like an old model phone.
Hey, what's that at the top, not the antenna..
Push a button on the side and it functions as a 100,000 Volt taser.
A pocket size scale for weighing ?gold?

Obviously not, and these items are not for junior chemistry experiments.
Seems they are useful for  users of cocaine, heroin, ice and marijuana. 

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Online Thai flood map

For an up to date nation wide view of the Thai flood crisis click here.
Another useful site is Google Thai floods crisis map.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Where are you from?

When abroad, the most popular opening line is: "Where are you from?"
After answering the question, provided you're not from the same country, conversation often continues about what one knows about the other's country.
Below is a list of clichés experienced travelers from various countries have to deal with and are actually fed up with.
Australia: "Put another shrimp on the barbie mate!", "Steve Irwin" 
Australians usually don't appreciate it when you try imitate their accent, especially the above sentence.
Another taboo is to tell that you like Steve Irwin, let alone try to imitate him.
Even after his death lot's of Australians feel shy about how he managed to become the 'prototype' Australian in the eyes of the world.
Generally Australians do appreciate it if you know something about their country e.g. cities and states, prime-minister etc.

USA: Simplified judgements about the US
Lots of Americans who traveled abroad found out that overseas USA or America doesn't have that good ring anymore, consequently many suffer from a slight inferiority complex about their origins.
Discussions with foreigners about the US often lead to oversimplified statements and consequent arguments.
Questions about where the're from will usually be answered by just naming their city (and state).
Besides more or less concealing the country of origin this can have several other motives:
1. Emphasizing that the US is a huge place and obviously not all Americans are the same.
2. Pointing out the fact that the're proud of their city and/or state.
3. Mentioning a city or state which you probably don't know, which will usually silence the topic all together.
I even read a story from an American blogger that people couldn't believe she was from the US and assumed she was from Canada, because she was so nice. Once I met an American expat and business man in Vietnam who was so negative about his home country, that I felt I had to remind him about the good things.
Be very specific if you talk about America. Distinguish between the government and the people since like with so many countries there's a huge difference.

Germany: "The war"
"Don't mention the war" has become a cliché ever since the episode "The Germans" from Fawlty Towers was broadcasted.
Germans are really fed up talking or being reminded of the war. Germans who actively participated in the second world war are well over 80 now, so it would be hard to talk with any wrongdoers nowadays.
Unlike for example the Japanese, Germans learn at school in every detail how bad their (great)(grand)parents were at that time.
As a result a certain number of people are so fed up with it, that some of the sickest jokes about this period are being told amongst Germans, just to compensate for the trauma.
Personally if I like to, I am able talk with most older Germans about the war. Stating that my grandfather was one of the 100,000 members of the Dutch colaborating fascist party, will usually break the ice.
If I add the conveniently forgotten fact that the Netherlands had the highest percentage of jews deported in West Europe nl. 71.4% vs. 25% in Germany, I got myself a free beer.
In general however it's not the best topic of conversation. Talks about the people, their rich culture and food score much better.

Italy: "I love Italian food", "I love Italy"
To say both of the above to an Italian is quite okay, but when being asked what food you exactly like; just mentioning spaghetti and pizza will almost be an insult to every patriotic Italian.
- The rich Italian kitchen has numerous delicacies which will need years of study just to discover.
Although habits are changing, for most spaghetti is just a starter, not a meal.
The word spaghetti is not used that often, most Italians will simply refer to it as pasta.
- Although this habit is changing as well, pizza is still widely regarded as a poor man's snack, commonly eaten by groups e.g. students, who don't have enough money to visit a 'decent' restaurant.
Some Italians show little emotion when being told you love their country.
- There's still a big difference between the 'rich' North and the 'poorer' South.
Some Italians even regret Garibaldi, unifier of modern Italy, ever existed and some North-Italians contemptuously refer to the Southeners as 'Africans'.
Having been in Milano wouldn't impress a Southener, similar to North Italians who wouldn't be much impressed about your trip to Napoli.

Netherlands: "Do you live in Amsterdam?", "Windmills, wooden shoes and tulips", "Marijuana"
-Really, I hear this question being asked 8 out of 10 times. Not only by Asians but by anybody.
No, not all Dutch people are from Amsterdam, in fact more than 95% of the population does not live there.
- Talks about windmills, wooden shoes and tulips will make one look even more naive.
Many Dutch children probably have never seen a windmill or wooden shoes and the tulip is an export product.
- Talks about the cliché of legally smoking marijuana are usually considered okay, but tend to get boring.
- Except with me, football will be a good topic of conversation for most Dutch men and some women too.
Personally, I only watch the world championships and I don't really care that much if Holland lost, they do each time anyway. Also I didn't come to S-E Asia to smoke marijuana.
Note: As of june 2011, foreigners can be banned from purchasing soft-drugs in the Netherlands.

Probably every foreigner abroad has to deal with tiresome clichés one way or another, unless you come from Palau or something.
I'm very interested to hear your stories, so feel free to comment.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Kanhu - My "ear" is itching

Last summer a YouTube video became an overnight hit in Thailand.
In the video singer Jah performs an old luk thung song named Kanhu, which mean as much as; [my] ear [is] itching.
Although the old song was indended to be unambiguous and innocent, scarcely dressed Jah managed to give a whole new meaning to the title in her show. When the video went viral, similar to the bare breasted songkran scandal in Silom earlier this year, the conservative part of Thailand was upset and questions were being raised by government officials.

As of now a warning to all foreigners learning/speaking Thai is in it's place. When you're referring to an itchy ear, saying kanhu can lead to embarrassement.

Sniff Kissing

Read in the Thai for Lovers guide:
A "sniff kiss" is the traditional Thai romantic kiss. You plant your nose on your loved one's cheek (or other part of the body) and gently sniff in.
Thai people consider this very sweet and romantic. It is also used by parents to show affection for their children.
In general, men tend to "sniff kiss" their lovers more than women do.
Lips on lips western style kissing is a relatively recent introduction, but is increasingly popular between lovers.
Nevertheless, if you learn to "sniff kiss", your Thai lover will certainly appreciate it and be very pleased!

Friday, 7 October 2011

Multifunctional urinal

Seen in Ao Nang at Amy's bar.
Now men can comb their hair or wash hands and pee at the same time.
While doing so, make sure you keep aiming in the right direction though.


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