Friday, February 29, 2008

Skewl Update

Ok, it seems that the Thai government, in all their greedy ass, only thinking of today, waste my F**king time yet again type glory , have decided that all teachers need a teaching certificate to teach here. While I understand the need to make sure that all teachers can actually teach, this still smacks of just another way to get a few thousand baht (12,000 to be specific) out of all of us rich foreigners. It doesn't seem so bad though. All I need to do is take a Thai culture course for two weekends, and then take a basic teaching technique/practices test. Shouldn't be too bad.

It is also contract negotiation time here at good old Penpattana. This sucked! The boss knows that I can't change schools while I am in the process of getting that damn teaching certificate, so the little prick won't give me a raise. He says that because I get 2 months off a year, with pay, he can't afford it. Well, no shit ya little baboon! Most teachers are off for at least part of the summer vacation period everywhere else in the world. Roong says to just "accept" it for now. Yeah, the Thai national mantra. But, I will do it. Pukky still has 3 years of school left to go here, so we probably won't move anywhere until she is finished.

Speaking of Roong.... It seems that now the government has decided that people at her position level can only stay at the same office for a maximum of 4 years. This means that wifezilla has to switch offices this year. She isn't sure where she wants to go yet, but I doubt that she will want to go to far away. It also depends on what other offices have people at her level that have to move too. She can just switch with one of them. It shouldn't be hard, because her office is considered to be a pretty good one.

Lastly, our little niece Bing Bing will be coming to stay here soon. Thaa and Boonam are having..umm...problems, so we suggested that Bing come and stay here with us, or next door with mom and dad. I think Bing Bing is 8 now. She's a great kid, and no trouble at all. She will go to my school this next term, so she can just ride into work with me.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Get up and vote!

Vote-buying is an old practice in Thai politics, but one candidate in December’s Thai elections has reportedly come up with a new tactic - handing out Viagra instead of cash.

The allegation, made Thursday by a campaign worker against a rival party, comes as rules about handing out favors to voters have become stricter than ever, barring even the distribution of free T-shirts and soft drinks.

Sayan Nopcha, a campaigner for the People’s Power Party in Pathum Thai province just north of Bangkok, said the drug used to treat sexual dysfunction in men was being distributed to elderly male voters at social functions.

* This may help explain why Thailand has a voting turn-out of better than 70%.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

It's the law!

Every country has a few strange laws that are still on the books, though nobody remembers why they were there in the first place. Heres a few from here.

1. "You must wear a shirt while driving a car"...... ummm, ok. Some kind of vinyl related phobia maybe.

2. "You must pay a fine of $600 in Thailand if you’re caught throwing away chewed bubble gum on the sidewalk"....... Ok, I can see that, it's pretty nasty. Is the fine $300 if the gum isn't chewed?

3. "It is illegal to leave your house if you are not wearing underwear"........ Uh, why? I wonder if they set up check-points like they do on New Year's Eve to catch drunks? It's about 90 degrees here all the time. I am thinking there's a lot of folks going commando.

4. "No one may step of any of the nation’s currency"....... Ok, this one I know the answer to. The currency has a picture of the king on it. And god help you if you say anything bad about the king. Hell, they can actually shoot you for it here.

But just to show there is no hard feelings, I will remind you that...

In Ohio, it is illegal to get a fish drunk, or to hunt whales on Sunday! Aww, they're not whales, they're just big boned.

In Alaska, it is still illegal to either get a moose drunk, or to push said drunk moose out of a moving aircraft! This could explain why the Elks lodge is more popular there.

In Scotland, It is illegal to be drunk and in possession of a cow! This is toooooo easy, I am not going to touch it.

In Arizona, it is illegal for donkeys to sleep in bathtubs!
I can only wish that I had been at the party that caused people there to feel a need for this law.

In Switzerland, It is illegal to flush the toilet after 10pm if you live in an apartment! Maybe they just need a few decent plumbers there.

In Georgia, it is against the law to tie a giraffe to either telephone or lamp poles!
Ok asshole, then just where am I supposed to tie up my wombat?

In British Colombia, it is illegal to kill a Bigfoot! Yet, it's only a misdemeanor to pull the old flaming bag of dog poop on the front porch gag on poor Nessie. Go figure!

And last, but not least....

In Mississippi, It is still the ultimate of no-no's to shoot a squirrel with a shotgun inside a courtroom! .......
No matter how inept of a lawyer he is.

* This just in...In Thailand, it is apparently now illegal to drink, or have sex on the king's birthday!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

I don't know what to call this one

POTHARAM, Thailand (AP) -- Inside a dark room, realistic-looking "human body parts" are stacked on shelves and hanging on meat hooks. The place looks like a mortuary or the lair of a serial killer, but in fact, it's a bakery. What appears to be putrefying body parts are the bread sculptures of 28-year-old art student Kittiwat Unarrom.

"Of course, people were shocked and thought that I was mad when they saw the works. But once they knew the idea behind it, they understood and became interested in the work itself, instead of thinking that I am crazy," said the fine arts masters degree student.

Yeah bubba, we don't think you're crazy.

Monday, February 11, 2008

No questions asked...

I have mentioned before that Thai people do not like to ask questions. Maybe more to the point, they won't ask questions if they need help. Roong has no problem what so ever with asking me the strangest things, but if we need directions or help at a store when deciding on something to buy, forget it. Here's an example.....

"A woman who boarded the wrong bus on an attempted shopping trip from Thailand to Malaysia has returned home after 25 years.

Jaeyana Beuraheng told her eight children she accidentally boarded a bus bound for Bangkok instead of Malaysia, and once there she boarded a second incorrect bus because she could not read or speak Thai or English, The Times of London reported Wednesday.
Beuraheng, who speaks only the Yawi dialect used by Muslims in southern Thailand, said the noise and traffic of the big city confused and disoriented her, leading her to board the second wrong bus to Chiang Mai, near the border with Burma.

The woman said she spent five years begging on the street in the city and was often mistaken for a member of a hill tribe because of her dark skin tone.
She was arrested in 1987 on suspicion of being an illegal immigrant and was sent to a social services hostel when authorities were unable to determine her origins.
However, last month, three students from her home village arrived at the hostel for training, and they were able to communicate with Beuraheng and help her find her way home."

This is just plain nasty!

Farmers in Thailand and the Philippines are celebrating the Year of the Rat by eating rat meat.The farmers aren't just eating the rats, they're profiting off the rodent's newfound popularity among diners.The farmers are catching the rats in their fields, grilling them and selling them to people wanting a non-conventional culinary experience.Among the recipes being served include rat stew, rat with rice, grilled rat and poached rat. Poached rat? You gotta be kidding me! Kind of takes the juice out of all the dog jokes though, doesn't it? Yummmmm!

You truly never really know here..

For many young Thai men, kickboxing is a way out of poverty, a chance to escape the often rural confines of life in a developing country where the average annual wage is less than U.S. $2,000. It is also revered as a sort of religion. The traditional boxing known as Muay Thai was once used to decide the fate of kings—ritual and ceremony surrounds this most respected of bloody battles. Champions become national heroes. And it's just for men.

Nong Tum is a champion kickboxer. She's the winner of 22 professional fights, one for every year of her life—18 knockouts and countless bloody noses span a six-year career in the ring. And now her life is the subject of a critically acclaimed movie. The photo is a history of transition in her career.

A bit fishy

Fishers in northern Thailand netted this huge catfish in the Mekong River on May 1. Nearly nine feet long (2.7 meters) and as big as a grizzly bear, the behemoth tipped the scales at 646 pounds (293 kilograms). Experts say the fish, which belongs to the species known as the Mekong giant catfish, may be the largest freshwater fish ever recorded.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

The search continues.......

As I have mentioned before, you can buy anything here in Thailand, and I mean ANYTHING (or anyone), but still, no Velveeta! The only cheese readily available is made in Australia. That stuff stinks. It has this strange smell to it, as if it is already gone half bad. I can get good cheeses in Bangkok at a shop that my friend Jan goes to. We even have an "in" for good cigars, through his buddy Paul, and a friend in Holland. But still, no Velveeta! I have even found a lot of great cheese recipes on the internet, for making real cheese at home. But still, no Velveeta!

As this is Superbowl weekend, and I do get a fair amount of sports on the TV, I though it would be cool to have nachos. I can get Doritos here, and the girls have never had Mexican food, so I thought that might be a fun thing to make. A few weeks ago, I started searching seriously for "da cheez". I now have a very good friend named Kathleen at the Kraft company 's consumer help dept. The only thing we could come up with, was a pack of Velveeta singles (12 slice). But they wanted over $7 for 1 pack. Plus, the shipping was almost twice that! Are you kidding me? $21 for fake cheese?

The other day, I got an email from Kathleen, in which she said that she had found Velveeta online. It turns out, that you can buy a 2 lb. block of "Kraft Premium" cheese on Haaaaa! Who new? Kathleen says that it is the same as Velveeta, but just in a fancier box. The only downside is that it costs $22, but, it's 2 pounds, so that is much better than the slices.

I wouldn't be able to get it in time for the Superbowl obviously, but it's nice to know that it is there. My next search is going to be for Lasagna noodles. They seem to be a bit scarce here also. But that may have to wait until I actually find a real oven, or at least a microwave.

Friday, February 01, 2008

This explains everything

Bangkok, Thailand (AHN) -- A 52-year old woman from Thailand is claiming that aside from enjoying riding toy motorcycles, her pet frog can also predict winning lottery numbers.

Tongsai Boommrungtai, 52, said she came across the black spotted frog outside her house in Roi-Et.

"The frog had a small chick in its mouth," she said of her frog which she named Nong Oui. "I looked her straight in the eye and knew I could communicate with her. I told her to drop the chick and she did and then came hopping in."

"Ever since she has been a member of the family. For a long time villagers would come round and get tips on the National Lottery with the frog's help. They used to read the skin on her stomach and look for numbers."

"Ten people subsequently won the lottery which drew crowds to the house - and then they started losing. So I have had to ground her. I promised one day to take her to the seaside, and her dream has come true."

"There is nothing more that she likes than to ride her toy Harley-Davison, or a battery operated dumper truck. But she can strike a pose just about anywhere."

The frog also recommends diversification of stock portfolios, due to the recent downward trend of the Dow Jones. Oh, and he says that Hilly will kick Obama's ass in November.

Please be sure to see my next post for "Kung Pao Frog" Yummmmm!