June in Bangkok, Part I

After May

June 1-7, 2005

Wednesday, June 1, 2005 (pre-journal)

My readers might think that the only Thai language newspapers in Bangkok are rags like the Daily News and the Thai Rhat. Not so! Phoojadkarn publishes a Thai daily that is well respected and read by other than 'the man on the street'. I don't buy it for THOCBDC because, like most serious newspapers, it lacks eye candy or blood soaked pavements.

Starting today ... and every day hereafter ... the International Herald Tribune will include with its regular Bangkok printed edition a separate section entitled "Thai Day". This paper is "... designed to complement the IHT's regional and international content with in-depth local content created specifically for the IHT's readership." The insert is published by Phoojadkarn; though its circulation will be in lock step with that of the IHT's ... 60,000 ... its advertising rates are on a par with its other papers that enjoy many times that number of readers.

Clearly unworried about their own circulations are the big broadsheets: both the Thai language ones and the English language ones (like the here-pictured The Nation). All the newspapers shown today gave coverage to the new Miss Universe; but it was only the more 'colorful' ones that covered the case of the blackmailing girl who gave oral sex to a politician in order to 'capture' his sperm for DNA 'evidence' in a false claim of rape (all she got for her mouthful was 9 years in a Thai jail).

PS: One of Kevin's friends is interested in this subject.

Thursday, June 2, 2005 (pre-journal)

Those handshakes keep getting closer! Last month (plus or minus) I revealed that our family was just two handshakes away from Michael Jackson: the Serrano connection.

Today I can reveal (*) that I am but one handshake away from everybody who was ever involved in Watergate (**). Donald Segretti was a classmate of mine at Boalt (University of California School of Law at Berkeley). Yes, we were in the same class ... so, we must have had the same professors for Constitutional Law and Criminal Law.

Headed the "dirty tricks" campaign for the Committee for the Re-election of the President, which might have benefited from information the Watergate burglars were seeking at the Democratic National Committee headquarters. Segretti served four and a half months in prison on three misdemeanor charges for dispensing false campaign literature. A lawyer, Segretti had his California license suspended for two years. He practices law in Orange County, where he briefly ran for a judgeship but withdrew because of Watergate publicity. (***)

(*) Now that W. Mark Felt has 'outed' himself in Vanity Fair.

(**) Beloit students rank this event right up there with the Teapot Dome scandal. "Nixon? Was he before or after Coolidge?"

(***) Swiped from CNN's "Everything You Wanted to Know about Watergate".

Thursday, June 2, 2005


"Bless us, Oh Lord, for these thy gifts we are about to receive." - Anon.

Shut up and eat!

Friday, June 3, 2005

These MILD SEVEN Lights are "Made by Fortune Tobacco Corporation Under Arrangement With JT International, a trademark of Japan Tobacco Inc". Obviously Virginia tobacco growers are not harvesting any profits when someone picks up a pack of these.

I bought this package of 20 for 83 baht ($2.08). They are twice as expensive as the cigarettes sold by L&M: the ones that I showcased on World Anti-Smoking Day. Perhaps it is the artwork that makes them so dear; with the L&M brand, smokers just get stained teeth to look at. Today's item offers them a fully exposed chest cavity with a pair of wonderfully blackened cancerous lungs (*).

OK, I lied. The artwork has nothing to do with the prices. The L&M's came from a street hawker; the MILD SEVEN's from a lobby shop in the Shangri-La hotel.

(*)Yes, at first glance the picture does suggest a nicely cooked Peking Duck that is about to be eviscerated.


I missed my period!

I think I am pregnant!

You got me pregnant!

You are the father!

Pretty frightening words for any guy to hear. Right? But, how many of those words are always truthful?

But, if the lady with the problem is smart, really smart ... [and, remember, back then when I am talking about this it was Ground Zero Time in the Middle East, an era when men could just walk away from a 'tainted' dame with total impunity] ... well, our luckless girl just might have to improvise a little. Caution: this only works when the guy is a little bit slow.

Matthew 1:18-25
Now this is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about. When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found with child through the holy Spirit. Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man, yet unwilling to expose her to shame, decided to divorce her quietly. Such was his intention when, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her. She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins." All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: "Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel," which means "God is with us." When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took his wife into his home. He had no relations with her until she bore a son, and he named him Jesus.

Saturday, June 4, 2005

Have you ever played the flip-back calendar game? When you are in your 20s it is really pointless and silly; but as the years pass by it becomes more and more interesting.

This is how it works: you take your age and subtract it from your birth year. In effect you are taking yourself to the year you'd be at if you had lived your life backwards instead of forward. And then you look at what happened back then, or who was born or died in that year.

If you are now only 25 years old (born in 1980) the 'flip' will only take you to 1955. Just to when Eisenhower was president and the Olympic games at Melbourne were only a year away. Maybe Sting was born that year; I think he is approaching 50 ... I don't remember. Anyway, there is nothing there that will make you look at that world in B&W; color film had been around for a long time, albeit at a low ASA.

For me the game is much more exciting (sure, the advancing years do lower my excitement bar). But, I can now look out the 'time window' and see Brigham Young being arrested for bigamy, Ulysses S. Grant defeating Horace Greeley for the US presidency, Zane Gray's birth, Bertrand Russell's birth, Calvin Coolidge's birth and the death of Benjamin Disraeli's wife. But, it is all in daguerreotype.

Try it. The older you are the more fun it is. Until you see the world in sketches.

It has been almost four years since we went to Hua Hin with two of Watcharee's cousins for elephant polo. Do you remember them? Tick and Tong; Tick was the girl whom you saw sleeping in the back of The Oriental Hotel limousine. You can click here if you don't remember her. The girl is very pretty so you might want to go there anyway.

Both have now graduated from the university and are starting life in the real world. Last night we took them to dinner at ... surprise ... the Thai restaurant (Salathip) in the Shangri-La hotel.

Sunday, June 5, 2005

It's not always the Shangri-La.

Sometimes we dine directly across the street from our building: authentic Soi food. Really! She is one of the many food hawkers that are on our block; and she serves lunch and dinner seven days a week.

Monday, June 6, 2005 (pre-journal)

My son, David, who lives in Brazil is now thinking about moving to Peru. He likens the climate of Lima to that of northern California and quality of the women to those in Thailand.

Tuesday, June 7, 2005

Reader J. K. of Pleven, Bulgaria, writes: "On June 4 you published a head shot of a beautiful girl named 'Tick'. Do you have any Photo Shop variations of that same head shot? Also, do you have a photograph of Tick taken in your living room so that I can verify that she is a friend of the family and not just some super model who you saw in a restaurant? Finally, is Tick the same girl that years ago appeared in some Arabic language web site that warned of the dangers in allowing unchaperoned girls to be driven to school by the family chauffeur? Oh, and do you have a translation (into English) of that warning?"

Normally THOCBDC would be turned off by such a needy (and 'hintingly' accusatory) request. But, given that we too are smitten by Miss Tick's presence it's really very easy for us to put together a string of nods:




And, yes.

Next: Part II

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