• Wednesday, December 06, 2006

    Durian on the loose, pancakes and the bloody underground...

    Typhoon Durian is upon us. It's now been downgraded to a depression but it's still creating a few problems in the south and it's left a trail of destruction in its wake through the Philippines and Vietnam. As for Bangkok? There's a lot of lightening and there have been a few drops of rain but other than that all is well. Apparently there are about 5000 tourists stranded on Koh Samui and Koh Tao due to all boats being forbidden to sail. I can think of worse places to be stranded.

    In case anyone doesn't know what a durian is it is a large spiky fruit that Thailand grows in abundance. It's a bit like Marmite, you either love it or hate it. I fall into the latter category. It stinks. Sorry to offend any durian lovers but there's no other way to describe it, it stinks. For a picture of a durian see here. If you ever come into contact with one be sure to remove yourself before it is opened.

    Took the daughter for a pancake at Little Home on Silom Road this afternoon. It's developing into a tradition that when we got to the Neilson Hays Library we drop by Little Home for a pancake. It's a small local chain of restaurants that dates back to the early fifties and they are famous for their pancakes. Delicious rolled pancakes topped with peaches, cream and a cherry. The daughter loves them.

    As with many restaurants in Thailand most of the male staff seem to be gay and float about the floor acting more feminine than most girls. For some reason they are either sickeningly friendly or bloody rude. Today we suffered the latter. Our waiter was a miserable bugger (no pun intended) who refused to smile, was off hand, sighed and huffed when I placed our order and then snatched the menu from my hands when I'd finished. Never managed to figure this one out but I've experienced it a lot. Maybe it's just the effect I have on gay Thai men.

    On the underground there were no seats, as is usual at rush hour. Once again not one person was prepared to offer a seat to the sad foreigner holding a sleeping three year old and a bag on his back. On the odd occasion a seat became available someone would barge past me to jump into it. A Sikh guy could see this from a distance away and stood up to offer me his seat. Sadly there was such a crowd between us I had to decline so the Sikh sat down again. There was no way the twenty or so Thais between us were going to move to let me sit down. I've never had much involvement with Sikhs but the contact I have had has always been of this nature. My experience has always been that they are friendly and kind people. Maybe this is something to do with the teachings of their religion I don't know.

    The Fijian government has been overthrown by a bloodless coup. Sound familiar? Has Thailand started the ball rolling on a new, but old, trend? Who will be next?

    Durian on the loose, pancakes and the bloody underground...

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    2 Comments:

    Blogger Lynne said...

    I am coming to Thailand in late December. I was under the impression that they were extreemly friendly people. Are they all as rude as you make them sound?
    Lynne

    2:04 am  
    Blogger Life Out East said...

    No, that wouldn't be fair. I think capital cities are not really a true measure of what a country's people are like. Bangkok is very much money orientated and people are wrapped up in their own lives and importance. If you want to see the friendly, nice, jolly Thais that are talked about then you need to see other parts of Thailand.
    My experience on that particular day was that day, and on a crowded public underground. I've found that to be a regular occurrence on public transport these days in Thailand. If you drive whilst here you will find the same thing on the roads, not polite at all. But many Thais are very friendly and have a heart of gold, especially towards people with kids. I've spent many years in Thailand on and off and I've met some of the nicest people anywhere and also some of the rudest and most ignorant. Like anywhere there is a mix of attitudes and personalities. Come with a positive attitude and I'm sure you will have a great time.
    I'd love to hear how you get on.

    10:58 am  

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