Saturday, November 19, 2011

Micro Wars

This thing actually works! Microwave ovens have been around for quite a while now. Even so, I will be the first to admit that cooking with one is still a bit of a mystery to me. I can reheat leftovers with the best of them, but that's about it. This can be a bummer, especially in the morning. It's usually just toast, juice, and coffee. I don't really even like coffee, but it's quick and easy to make. I long for the days when I was truck driving, and could just swing into a Flying-J truck stop, and scarf down a massive plate of hash browns, sausage, and biscuits and gravy at the $6.99 buffet. My cholesterol was hovering in the mid 300's then I believe. Anyway...

Yesterday, Roong an I had to go to the doctor, get my 90 day visa stamp, and run a few other errands. While we were at Big-C (Wal-Mart's retarded Asian cousin), we stumbled across this little doodad. I like having an egg sandwich for breakfast, but it takes more time to cook it than it does to eat it. As Roong is definitely NOT a morning person, time is a major factor. So, we gave it a shot. It works great. It makes a perfect poached or hard yolked egg in 1 min and 30 sec. That's almost the exact same amount of time that it takes to make the toast for it. Now I can have a little variety in the morning. And, as Martha would say, "That's a good thing!"

Monday, October 24, 2011

Bangkok Flood Photos












What can you say? Lots of water, and crocodiles. We haven't had any rain in a few days now, so hopefully, the water will start to recede now.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Bangkok Floods

People have been asking me just how badly Bangkok is flooding, well....

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Thailand

I know you guys think I make a lot of this shit up, but I don't. What other country in the world, can you have a 10 ft croc taking a peek inside your front door to see if there are any goodies laying around.

Friday, October 14, 2011

New York Comic Con

The New York Comic Convention has begun! There are more comic books and comic book fans there than I could probably even imagine. I would like to go there, just to meet some of the artists to ask them questions about the "how to's" of what they do. I know it would help me improve my t-shirt designs.

This year is really special because RedBubble has a booth there. They took some of our designs to show off to promote business. You can't see all of them from these few photos, but judging from the chatter, they chose some really great designs from some of the most talented artists on the bubble.

And last, but not least is the money shot. Look at the "RedBubble.com" banner there. You see the row of designs along the bottom of it? Look closer at the first design in line. Yup! It's the rabbit. Rabbit Hand Shadow made it all the way to NYC. Not bad coverage considering he's less than a year old, and made it there all the way from Buffalo Biscuit, Thailand. My 15 minutes of fame at last! Hoot, whistle, and applaud at will!

Special thanks and a hearty handshake to OneTonShadow for getting the rabbit on the NYC Comic Con deal!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Plan 9 From Thailand


On October 11, a fleet of some 1,000 boats will help push water from the Chao Phraya River into the sea fast, Science and Technology Minister Plodprasop Suraswadi said Saturday.

At the boat project launch held at Nonthaburi's Pakkred Pier with 40 boats attending, Plodprasop said that this voluntarybase project would help drain water three times faster, from two knots to six knots, and prevent floodwater from pouring into Bangkok City. He said the 1,000boat fleet would push water down to the sea on October 11, as to help lower flood in the Chao Phraya Riverside provinces such as Sing Buri, Angthong and Ayutthaya.

* Apparently the river goddess wasn't listening, so here's Plan B. This just keeps getting better!

Friday, October 07, 2011

Thai Flood Strategy


Translation:

"Most Urgent: Memo

Office : Bangkok (Office of Permanent Secretary of Bangkok Metropolitan Authority Tel. 0 2224 xxxx or Tel. xxxx Fax. xxxx)
No.: Kor Thor 0403/1093 Date: 7th of October 2011

Subject: Invitation to the Brahman water-lowering ceremony

To Directors and Departmental Heads of the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration

The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration has arranged a Brahman water-lowering ceremony on Saturday the 8th of October 2011 at 14.39 at the Bangkok City Pillar Shrine to beg to Kang Ka, the River Goddess, to lower the flood in Bangkok rapidly.

Therefore, we invite you to attend this ceremony with the agenda as follows:
14.39 hrs. Worship Ceremony (Barhma Ceremony)
15.09 hrs Chanting Ceremony

Meet at 14.00 hrs at the Bangkok City Pillar Shrine Dress Thai dress or polite dress

For your information"


This is their best idea?

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

English Camp 2011

Ahhhh.... Time for another Penpattana School English Camp! *GROAN!* I'm just kidding, it really isn't that bad. We just divide the kids into groups of grades 1-3 for Saturday, and 4-6 for Sunday. My team and I came up with a few games for them to play, and the rest just turns out as it will. The hardest part for me is the few minutes I have to talk to the entire group the first thing in the morning. Everyone is watching as I try to fire up 500 little monsters that can't understand a word I'm saying. I have no idea if the students really do learn any English from any of this, but they appear to have fun.

Luckily, there are always a few kids in the front row that will try anything, so I can interact with them to get a few laughs.

This game was like an alphabet tic-tac-toe game. They had to throw paper airplanes into little boxes to get letters to make words. I am trying to explain to 40 6 yr olds how to make a paper airplane.
This was the best part of the games. The losers had to do the chicken dance! They all line up, and the winning team sings one of the many silly little nonsense songs they have, while the losing team does this weird little dance to it. The words to the song are something like......

"Chicken 5 baht
Chicken 5 baht
Put it on a stick
Put it on a stick
Cook it now
Cook it now
Very very hot!
Very hot!
Very hot!"

And last but not least, my fearless team. They always give me 3 - 4 teachers to help with the games. Usually, at least one of them speaks a little English, so it goes pretty well. They do a great job of keeping the kids in line and focused. There were 9 different games, so we only had each group for about 30 minutes.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

R.I.P. Thuy

One of my M-2 students was shot the other day. Thuy was a pretty average student. But, he never caused much trouble, he did his lessons, and paid attention most of the time. He seemed to be a pretty happy kid. I can't ask for much more that that here. His classmates and I will miss him.

I asked around about what had happen, but only found the normal clueless smiley face blank stares and gibberish riddled answers. Some of his classmates said that apparently, someone was angry with his mother, so a few of the local dirt bags rolled up and shot her. He was shot because he was there too. I can't imagine what she could have done to deserve that in the little one horse town of Koksaleung. And I certainly can't understand why a teenage boy had to die because of it too.

But, that is the way things are here. They can't handle any type of confrontation, or the mental stress of actually working out a solution to a problem. Just pay someone off, or pay someone to stab it in the back. If you can't cheat and win, corrupt it beyond recognition.

I know what your next question is, and the answer is "no". Of course the police haven't arrested anyone, nor do they have any suspects. That's not the way it's done here. I am sure everyone involved in this has already been paid for their effort, or their lack of effort. This will just fade away, like they always do. I'll be glad when election time is over.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Pom Kow Jai!


Now, I understand! All this time, I thought it was the educational system that needed work. It's not, the kids are just drunk. Mystery solved Scooby Doo!

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

My 15 Seconds of Fame

Haaaa! Life is good. A guy named Justin liked the Rabbit Hand Shadow design. That's always good, of course. But, this is better, because he wants to sell them in his shop in the U.K. They have an online Facebook page called Buxton and Buxton.

Now, you may be thinking, "Ok, so what? A guy bought a few cards.". Well, yeah, a guy bought a few cards, but these will end up in a real brick and mortar place. This means that not only was Justin really really drunk last night, but now, the bun is out of the shadowy gray internet realm, and into the real world. The bun unleashed could cure cancer, stop world hunger, end war, and definitely make your old lady look much more attractive when she does that "I'm wearing your shirt as a nightie" thing. The possibilities boggle the mind.

Sunday, September 04, 2011


I stumbled across these two videos that do a great job at showing what it can be like to live over here. This one is pretty much what it's like trying to talk to people here. And the other one, is a great example of how hard it can be to get the kids to actually speak English.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Top 10 Ways to Die in Thailand

1. Vehicle Accident

They say Asians can’t drive. I used to think that only related to Asians in my own country. That was until I started driving in Thailand. Not obeying road rules like indicating, stopping at red lights, slowing for pedestrians and speeding. How about driving a bus full of passengers in the rain and overtaking on a curve going through the mountains. This is what happens every day. Last year alone there were well over 35,000 thousand road fatalities in Thailand that’s out of a population of 60 million. To put it in comparison there are 20 million people in Australia where there were 1,200 road fatalities. That’s about 10 times more likely to have a fatal accident in Thailand than it is in Australia. Keep your eyes on the road.

2. Murdered By A Thai

There are so many different ways foreigners have died at the hands of another Thai that I couldn’t possibly list them all here. However some of the favorite ways it seems Thais’ kill other foreigners are by stabbings. If you get cut by a Thai person it won’t be once, it’ll be many times, they’ll keep cutting you until there is nothing left to cut.

3. Murdered By Foreigner

Lately there has been a swing in trend of Thai murders Farang, it’s now Farang Kills Farang. Swedes will kill Swedes, brits will beat up other brits, and Russians will kneecap other Russians. It’s the way of the future here in Thailand.

4. Suicide

There is something magical about Thailand isn’t there. Like a long lost paradise. Must be why so many people come here to off themselves. Cats run out of money, guys get screwed over, lose a girlfriend, or the problems they ran away from just don’t seem to go away. Whatever it is it typically ends them jumping of a bridge or from a really tall building.

5. Killed by your Thai Girlfriend

If your the kind of guy that fools around on his girlfriend this is a likely way to meet your maker. There are two types of Thai Girls and two different ways to handle her with other women. First girl accepts it and your open with her, second girl repeatedly says she’ll lop your head off. If your with the later girl, then you’ve got a 20% chance to still be breathing if you slap down that bar fine.

6. Being a successful Businessman in Thailand

If you make a successful business in Thailand and make loads of cash then hats of to you. Just watch your back mate! Just like Thai girls have a jealous streak so does the rest of the population. Tall poppy syndrome is rife in Thailand and Thai people hate to see other people do well, they want a piece of it too. So while your on your yearly trip to Vegas with the guys your Thai wife or business holders will write you out of your business and if you return and cause a fuss, they will strangle you, dump you in the river and make it look like a drowning.

7. Heart attack from sex with a young girl

Older gentlemen who frequent Pattaya often and load up on the little magic blue pills will certainly worry about parting earth this way. The excitement for a 60 year old to have a 20 year old young beautiful Thai girl writhing over his gets to be way too much for some people that they will die right there and then. The girl often flees from the scene and if police can’t figure out he had a heart attack it too will go down as unexplained.

8. Food Poisoning

Think twice before you eat that sushi sitting on a side cart in front of 7 eleven, it could be the last thing you eat. Hundreds and hundreds of foreigners die in Thailand every year from sever food poisoning. The authorities can’t find out where you ate once your already gone. Even if it’s not from food off the street could even be a popular restaurant. You might want to hire someone to go around eating food for you in advance to help prevent this one.

9. HIV / AIDS

Thailand has a huge percentage of people with Aids and the prevalence of HIV infection while is down off it’s highs in the 80′s is resurfacing. This is probably due to the younger generation who arn’t subjected to the blitz advertising that the government did back in the 80′s. The younger generation are seemingly unconcerned about STD’s and the harm that Aids can do and continue to practice unsafe sex. The rate of teenage pregnancies is rising and since no one is using protection like they used it’s more likely than ever to catch the HIV virus and die of AIDS.

10. For reasons unknown and unexplained

Many deaths in Thailand go unexplained some conspirators say it’s a cover up by the Thai police, the authorities might bring in experts and like most farang bodies get sent overseas for more tests all of them inconclusive. While we might never know how they really died, we do know that we don’t know how they really died.

*This was re-posted from Chris's blog "Living in Thailand".

I think he left out a few though. There's always a chance that those idiot red shirts could burn the bus you're on, or the building you're in. Or, who knows, you might accidentally come up with an opinion all your own and get busted on that ridiculous "Lese Majeste" law.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

See? This shit really does happen here!

Man who ate partner’s dog after it was killed in a monkey attack was shot dead by the owner with a crossbow

A 25-YEAR-OLD man who ate his hunting partner’s dog after it was killed in a monkey attack was shot dead by the canine’s owner with a crossbow last Tuesday. Police said the suspect and the victim were friends who were hunting together in Kratie’s Snuol district. It is understood the suspect shot his friend because he would not help save his dog from being killed in a monkey attack. The victim then took the dead dog home to eat. When the suspect saw this, he fired his crossbow at his friend killing him instantly. Police say the suspect confessed to the crime following his arrest.


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

RedBubble Front Page!

Ok, everyone that had their artwork featured on the RedBubble home page today, raise your hand. Oh, I'm sorry, I guess it was just me. (bottom right - "Dirt Nap")

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

T-shirts Help Make the World a Better Place!

Neo-Nazis tricked by T-shirts
By REUTERSLink
BERLIN - Festival goers at a nationalist, right-wing concert in Germany were taken by surprise when souvenir T-shirts they were given had a secret anti-far right message that emerged only after being washed.

The slogan on the shirts first read “hardcore rebels” along with a skull and nationalist flags. But once washed the slogan turned into a message from a group offering help to right-wing extremists break away from the Neo-Nazi scene.

“If your t-shirt can do it, you can do it too — we’ll help you get away from right-wing extremism,” reads the slogan on the shirts after their first washing.

The anti-far right shirts were handed to 250 people at a “Rock for Germany” concert in Gera by organizers after they had been donated anonymously. They were provided by EXIT, a group which helps people disassociate themselves from the far-right.

Festival organizer Gordon Richter of the far-right NPD party said the stunt was a waste of money.

“It’s kind of pathetic that anyone spent money for something like that,” Richter told Reuters. He said many who got the Trojan horse shirts thought it was a creative idea.

Bernd Wagner, founder of EXIT, said the t-shirts were designed to reach their main target group: right-wing extremists contemplating getting away.

“We wanted to raise awareness about our program, especially among the young and less committed,” Wagner said.

(Reporting by Kalina Oroschakoff, editing by Paul Casciato)

* No H8 tee design available in black or white lettering.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

The New Thai Prime Minister

It looks like Thailand has it's new Prime Minister. Meet Ms. Yingluck Shinawatra. What's that? You say that her last name sounds mighty familiar? Well, it should, she's the little sister of none other than Thailand's former convicted criminal Prime Minister, your friend and mine, Thaksin Sinawatra.

I am watching a bunch of Brits talking about the election on channel 99 now. It seems that the hardest part of discussing the election for them, is to keep from laughing at the absurdity of it all.

At her pre-confirmation speech, Yingluck made it quite clear that she dearly hoped that she hadn't been elected due to her last name. I give it about 6 months before her crooked brother is granted amnesty and is back running the government in Thailand, instead of running it from where ever he is hiding out at the moment.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Pukky's got talent!

The last time I heard anyone play a ukulele, it was either Tiny Tim or Don Ho. I can't remember, because it was like 40 years ago. Well, they appear to be making a comeback. I started noticing our daughter Puk posting pictures of ukuleles and cases and such on Facebook. I thought it was just a cute fad thing she was going through. But, it turns out that she can actually play the mini guitar.

Pukky has always had a nice singing voice, and can play a little guitar. But, she seems to be pretty serious with this. This photo was taken at a talent contest at her university. She won her division. Yayyyy!

Friday, July 01, 2011

More Election Idiocy 2011

This Sunday, Thailand goes to the polls. Given the tumultuous events of the last few years, it has been one of the most heated election campaigns in recent history.

As with every election campaign, all 40 political parties are prowling around the country to woo voters every possible way they can.

But since this is Thailand, the run-up has its own rules and, much to our enjoyment, many laughable moments.

Here are the top 10 noteworthy campaign oddities of the 2011 Thailand general election.

10. Yingluck and her ‘customers’

Yingluk Shinawatra
Taking a final campaign visit to the northeast this week, Yingluk Shinawatra makes an appearance in Buriram.
It was an open secret that former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra would send his youngest sister Yingluck into the race to lead the Pheu Thai Party.

And much to the disgust of opponents, the former business executive did indeed throw her hat into the ring.

During a presentation on May 16, she made a very good impression. Even the questions in English were answered confidently and flawlessly. With the exception of one little slip-up (see video), when she referred to the electorate as her “customers.”

One could argue that she is still warming up to politics, having just come from the business sector. And hey, everybody gets their target audience mixed up from time to time.


9. Sophon and the Panda

Panda
Lin Ping already has her own reality show so making the transition into politics was a breeze for the celebrity panda.
Despite the nation's political divisions, there's one thing that warms the heart of nearly all Thais (with the notable exception of this author): Lin Ping, the panda born in Chiang Mai Zoo.

Over-exposed already thanks to her own 24-hour TV channel, Lin Ping made an appearance on this poster of MP candidate Sophon Damnui of the Chart Pattana Puea Pandin Party (Development of the Nation’s Land Party).

Coincidentally, Sophon is the director of the Zoological Park Organization, which overlooks all zoos in the country.

Best of all, he's promised to get Lin Ping to visit Bangkok if elected. With such a promise, what can go wrong?


8. Abhisit versus the football

Prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva is known for being an avid Newcastle United fan. After all, just like the prime minister himself, the English Premier League club had some turbulent moments in recent years.

While out campaigning, the Oxford-educated premier didn’t pass up the opportunity to put on a pair of football boots and play a game with some young potential voters.

But things literally turned upside down when he made a cross-move and passed the ball only to fall down. Luckily, the PM was up and running again just moments after the incident.

Some say this was the literal stumbling block of his election campaign.


7. Paradorn and the forgotten vote

Paradorn Srichaphan
In April, retired tennis star Paradorn Srichaphan announced plans to run for parliament, saying he wanted to boost sport in the country.
Staying with sports, having former athletes run for your ballot is another oft-used trick to lure voters.

The Chart Pattana Puea Pandin Party (yes, them again) hired a whole all-star team of former champions, among them retired tennis player Paradorn Srichaphan.

The problem though was that Paradorn wasn’t even allowed on the ballot. Why? Because he "forgot" to vote in the last general election in 2007.

Since voting is compulsory in Thailand, he not only lost his right to cast a ballot this time around, but also was barred from running for MP. Talk about an unforced error.


6. Bhumjaithai and the wife beaters

A couple of the Bhumjaithai (Thai Pride) Party's election posters certainly got people talking.

The two different shots depict a tennis player and a football player with a slogan that translates into: “If you want to take care of your wife (or your family), you have to strike!”

Strike what? Or who? Are they promoting domestic abuse?

Not really.

Despite the odd choice of words, the party is actually promoting their sport-centered policies, like more financial support for sport associations and building sport centers nationwide. This all falls under their theme, “Fight to become rich!”

5. Chuwit Kamolvisit's entire campaign

Chuwit
Chuwit waves as he tours Bangkok red-light district Patpong as part of his electoral campaign.
If there’s one underdog of the election who still somehow manages to hog the headlines, it’s got to be Chuwit Kamolvisit.

The former massage parlor tycoon (some international media have even referred to him as a "super pimp") and now self-proclaimed “Mr. Clean” is, following runs in 2004 and 2006, taking another shot at political power.

This time he's running under the new Rak Prathet Thai (Love Thailand) Party. His aim: to join the opposition and crack down on corruption.

His in-your-face election posters (e.g. “Politicians are like diapers, the more often they’re changed, the better”) are certainly a breath of fresh air.

And given how much he enjoys taking "baths," Chuwit is probably one of the cleanest men in the whole kingdom.


4. Pheu Thai and the too-small-logo

Ballot
Pheu Thai countered the ballot blunder by printing signs to remind its supporters how to vote.
When Thais overseas received their ballot papers in advance, some reportedly had difficultly making their cross in the right place.

At least those who wanted to vote for the opposition Pheu Thai Party (For Thais).

That's because they had to really squint to actually find the Pheu Thai logo, whereas the other parties’ logos were perfectly visible.

Whether this was deliberate or a screw-up cannot be determined. Nevertheless the Pheu Thai Party hastily made new posters to make sure their supporters would not mess up their vote.


3. Don't vote for animals

Vote no
One of the PAD's 'Vote No' posters, reminding the Thai electorate that politics has no shortage of monkey business.
The ultra-nationalist "People’s Alliance for Democracy" are ironically against the elections –- well, this one at least -- claiming that the whole political system is corrupt to the core.

In order to win over supporters for their "campaign," they have plastered posters everywhere urging the people to "not let these animals into the parliament.” The posters depict politicians as wild dogs, monkeys, buffaloes, tigers and so on.

There’s one small logical oversight: these animals have more backbone than most politicians. Even the monitor lizard.


2. Sanan and his pink shoes

Pink converse
It takes a confident man to pull off pink sneakers.
According to the Chart Thai Pattana (Thai Nation Development) Party, reconciliation only comes in pink, the color of the party.

Hence its leader, Sanan Kajornprasart, went for a fully pink outfit, right down to his snazzy pink sneakers. (Click here to see a video of him rocking his outfit.)

The story behind this odd wardrobe choice is that the party actually bought pink shoes for everybody to wear on the campaign trail, but only its leader wore them more than once.

Throw in a cool hat and some shades (again, see video) and you have the best-dressed dude of the entire Thai election campaign.


1. “Rock the Vote” -- Thai Style

Ending on a high note, the election commission has produced not one, but two music videos with numerous famous singers to convince people to go to the polls coming this Sunday.

While the pop version is aimed at the young urban crowd, urging them put their electronic devices down long enough to cast a ballot, the top spot goes to this folksier version with complete instructions on how to vote.

CNN International -

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Election Time 2011


Hmmm, it must be election time again in the land of smiles. How do I know? Well, the first clue is the infestation of all those cockroach like pick-up trucks with loud speakers tied on their tops scurrying about blaring bad music an bullshit about this or that candidate.
*Note to pick-up truck drivers: Don't park in front of a school to take a nap you jackass. I don't want my kids hearing that crap!


The second sign would be the onslaught of visitors not so subtly offering you 500 baht if you'll vote for their candidate.
*Note to vote buyers: If your douche bag candidate would put all that money he is throwing around into something important, like your outdated education system, people might just vote for him.

And last but not least, the third sure sign that it's election time in Thailand, the assassinations. A few days ago someone blew away the executive of the Lopburi district. No one will miss him because he was apparently even more corrupt than usual. He even pissed off the bad guys. I think that the fact that he had to go everywhere with a police escort should have been a wake-up call to him that a few changes might have been in order. The first year I was here, I had to attend four funerals, and that was just for politicians in our area.
*Note to assassins: If you are going to take these thieving bastards out, start at the top. You might actually have some effect that way.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Don't look up!

In what can only be described as a war crime the Thai military has begun shooting protestors using snipers on rooftops in an effort to quell dissent in the capitol of Bangkok.

The country of 64 million people is one of the poorest and most desperate countries in Asia, led by a military regime already known for its brutality. Around government buildings in Bangkok the military has pinned up notices which say “Live Firing Zone.”, basically allowing the snipers to shoot anyone spotted protesting or speaking to the media.

In one incident a protestor was shot in mid conversation while speaking to a reporter.

A Canadian journalist was also shot and injured, one of three journalists wounded in the fighting so far. The soldiers claim they only fire in self defense, but this does not explain the wounded journalists and civilians who are shot by snipers without warning.

So far at least 42 people have been shot and killed and another 1400+ people have been injured since the stand off began 2 months ago. Protestors have erected barricades across streets and are demanding the resignation of the government. In the last 2 days alone 24 people have been killed and another 200+ injured.

So far the army has used snipers, tear gas, rubber bullets and live ammunition against the protesters, who throw Molotov cocktails and rocks in response. Some have armed themselves with slingshots and also set cars on fire and roll burning tires at the soldiers.

Central to the fighting in the corrupt ruling class elite who control Thailand's government and military. Protestors, often known as Red Shirts, want the return of exiled former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was ousted in a military coup in 2006 but is rumoured to be corrupt.

What Thailand needs is a new election and new leaders to choose from, but since this is also a struggle being the rich elite and the poor (in a country that is very poor) it is difficult to find leaders who are wealthy enough to run in an election who aren't corrupt.

In 2006 the military junta overthrew the government, dissolved Parliament, got rid of the constitution and declared martial law. Thailand's tourism industry promotes itself as the “Land of Smiles.”

*This was re-posted from The Lilith News.

Thank God that the national past-time here is pretending that things didn't happen. What a fucking looney bin!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

As Good As It Gets!

Here they are folks, the cream of the crop of the 2010 - 2011 school year at Penpattana. This is, or was, my M-2/5 class. They were not my highest skilled class ever, but they were pretty close. They were the most colorful bunch I have ever had, though. Take the 2 boys in front.

The one on the left's name is Bom. He was a hoot. At first, he wouldn't do a damn thing, and on the rare occasion that he did, he just had one of the other kids copy his work for him. He has always been the biggest kid in the class, so even the teachers don't argue with him. This got old quick, but he seemed determined to do nothing. I finally had had enough, and told him that if he wasn't going to do anything, then he could get the hell out of the class. He refused. I told him to leave, again. He refused, again. I picked him, and his desk up, and dumped his happy ass out the door. Bom quickly realized that he was not now the biggest, and by far not the meanest guy in class anymore. I never had a bit of trouble out of him after that, and his grades improved quite a bit.

The other guy is Ron. Ron was the class clown that couldn't stay quiet for more than a minute or so. This actually came in quite handy, because Ron has no fear what so ever of trying to speak English. He was my go-to kid if the lesson was slowing down. Although, I once asked the class who or what they dreamt of being some day. I got a lot of the standard answers like a doctor, nurse, pilot, policeman, etc. Ron said he dreamed of being Lady GaGa. Who knew?

Do you see, in the first row of the kids that are standing, the second from the left. She is leaning forward. That's Tip. I have had Tip in my classes for 4 years now. I think she was a good student, but I am not sure, because she was never there. Every day, without fail, Tip had to go see a teacher, or take a folder somewhere, or had a special something or other to do that day. It wasn't just my class either. There are about a dozen of them that seemed to have adopted the role of an assistant teacher, or secretary. Wonderful girl, and smart as heck...I think.

Upper most left, giving the mandatory little Asian girl peace sign thing. That's one of the students that I am the most proud of, Bpla. Her name means fish. Someday, I would love to be there when a Thai child is born, just so I can see the process that Thai parents go through when naming their children. I can only assume that it involves mass quantities of alcohol. I have had students whose name's translate to fish, chicken, frog, pan, nurse, and dozens of other animals or occupations. The crown goes to one of my boys whose name is Foremost. When asked, he says that yes, his dad named him after a dairy company. Apparently there was an empty milk container sitting on the table at the time. Reminds me of the "2 dogs f***ing" joke.

The teacher's name is Eng. Sweet as can be, and actually speaks English pretty well. She has been a big help to me over the years. She has a good grasp of the difference between what everyone thinks the kids can do, and what they actually can do.

I will miss these kids this year. But, there is a new crop to take the place, as there always is.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Epic Photos


Quora asked which photo people thought was the most epic photo ever taken. Many are classic shots that we have all seen, but there were also a lot of pics that I had never seen. Some were amazing, like the sunny day/fireworks display/Lighting storm/Comet all in one shot. And some were truly heart wrenching, like the 9-11 photos, or the pic of the starving little girl trying to crawl the 1 kilometer to the food distribution station. There are lots of incredible shots here, check them out.

Thai Dancing Girls


Ha Ha! You thought you were in for some of Pattaya's naked cutie babes, didn't you? Well, not today (that does sound like a good idea for a post though, stay tuned).

One of the fun things about being here is the fact that they have lots of holidays and celebrations. It seems like once a week, they are having a celebration for one thing or another. Our school jumps right into the festive mood too. A big dance routine is what usually happens. They are always very colorful, and last for about an hour. That's cool, because it means I get to miss the first class of the day.

This photo is of the dance team that does most of the routines. The faces change as the girls and boys come and go, but they always put on a great show. Miss Roong is in charge of setting these things up, and doing the choreography. She also teaches the kids classic Thai dance, which is quite beautiful to watch.