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  1. #1
    Being chased by sloths DJ Pat's Avatar
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    Bangkok Phil's info site, still priceless....

    Random excerpts from Bangkok Phil's former A-Z of Bangkok:


    Tipping (Yeuck!)

    If foreigners had never found their way to this wonderful country, Thailand would simply be a tip-free zone, which would certainly be alright by me.

    Thais will somewhat begrudgingly leave very small tips in a restaurant where they feel the service has been above the ordinary, but apart from that , professions that rely heavily on tips in the western world such as barbers and taxi drivers are generally ignored when it comes to life’s little gratuities.

    I can never get used to having a hair-cut and then walking out without leaving a little something in the barber’s hand as I would religiously do in England, but Thais used to laugh in my face when I told them I was a barber-shop tipper so I simply stopped.

    I still tip taxi-drivers because I think they do a wonderful job under very trying circumstances, so if the fare is 93 baht , I’ll naturally round it up to the ton. Thais will rarely / never do this and sit in the taxi while the driver fumbles around for the small change. I find that very mean.

    It is something of an unwritten law that you tip hotel porters ( tell me where it isn’t) and even the Thais will find it in their hearts to slip a porter 20 baht per suitcase.



    Boiler Rooms

    In a recent raid by Bangkok immigration police, no fewer than 85 foreigners including Europeans and Americans, were arrested for working at illegal financial consultants or 'boiler rooms' - selling non-existent stocks and shares to poor buggers in Australia. Actually, let me change that - non-existent stocks and shares to extremely stupid people in Australia.

    Many of the illegal stockbrokers were in fact English teachers tired of trying to survive on salaries of 20-30K and seeing the opportunity to triple their income. I suppose I do have a degree of sympathy for them in that respect, but as regards the fact that they were allegedly unaware of their companies' objectives - I have no sympathy with that all.

    The stockbrokers operated from plush offices in prime Bangkok locations, but obviously with a constant 'eye over their shoulder'. The working day would run from early dawn through to midday in order to catch their target customers - The Australians - at either home or the office. The job involved going through Australian telephone directories and making call after call in search for one gullible prat who would happily hand over his life's savings to a bloke in Bangkok who'd he'd never met in his life. And some people did. There really is one born every minute.

    After stories of the arrests broke out and were splattered all over the front pages worldwide, the remaining financial cowboys either closed operations or run for cover - but for how long is anyone's guess. For those held in custody, the world waited with bated breath as the Thai judicial system decided the fate of the unlucky 85. Hefty fines? Prison sentences of 5 years up? Deportation? - all of these were banded around as possible punishments for working illegally and deception. A couple of the farangs arrested were well into their 60's - hardly the time of life to start doing a stretch in a Bangkok prison and having to 'do things' in return for bottles of drinking water.

    Surprisingly the cases were handled very quickly - a very affordable fine was doled out along with a slap on the wrists. Sighs of relief all round. There have been rumors of one or two of the ringleaders getting deported but nothing has been substantiated.
    The moral of the story is plain and simple - most ways of getting rich quickly in Thailand are illegal. If you can't do the time, don't do the crime
     
    Finding Work in Bangkok

    The Thai ministry of employment has a list as long as your arm of occupations that foreigners cannot get involved in. Basically if a Thai has the ability to do it – forget it, you’re not wanted.
    There’s a lot of truth in the saying ‘Thailand likes tourists to come here with pocketfuls of money for a 2 or 3 week stay and then bugger off home’

    This is a major reason why many foreigners teach English. It’s very often the only way to prolong your stay in the land of smiles, and the authorities seem to ‘turn a blind eye’ to the good old English instructor. I’ve worked with many teachers who are very well-qualified in other areas such as engineering or computing, but never get a sniff of a job vacancy in their own fields (and it’s not for want of them trying). Thais may not be able to do these jobs as well as a foreigner, but that doesn’t seem to matter.

    This is not to say that no-one with white skin gets a position in their favorite field, but the success stories are few and far between. It all too often boils down to teaching or nothing, and that’s not much of a choice at all.

    Interestingly, as I have moved around the country I’ve noticed a distinct variation in the attitudes of local authorities towards foreigners working in Thailand. In Pattaya, where many foreigners own bars, one bar-owner told me that if the ‘wrong’ Thai person should see you as much as pick up a single glass behind your bar counter, you would be deported the next day, or at the very least, have a hefty fine to pay. Yet in Hua Hin, another beach resort, you have foreigners openly working behind bars, and no-one bats an eyelid. I’ve never completely been able to figure it out.

    From Russia With Love

    Russian girls engaged in the world’s oldest profession have been descending on Bangkok for some considerable time and their numbers seem to be increasing every month. I’m no economist or sociologist but it’s quite obvious that there’s more money to be made in Bangkok than on the streets of Moscow or Leningrad. It’s a damn sight warmer as well.
    To go slightly off subject, I was recently offered the chance to write a nightlife guide to Bangkok in joint partnership with a gentleman who has already produced such a guide for Moscow.
    On the subject of Russian hookers in the Land of Smiles, he said that the girls who ply their trade in the lower Sukhumwit Rd area are the real dregs of Russian society and quite frankly no Russian gentleman in his right mind would give them a second glance. I have to admit that I would need to be pretty desperate for female company to engage their services – most of them are half a dozen kilos overweight, dress cheaply, and are hardly the epitome of femininity.

    My three major questions (that have by and large gone unanswered) are firstly, why do these girls choose to congregate in the Sukhumwit soi 3, 4 and 5 area, and secondly, who is actually paying for sex and how much does it cost in relation to the far prettier Thai competition?

    In conversation with a chatty Thai taxi driver as we drove down soi 3, he assured me that you could take a Russian girl all night for as low as 1,000 baht, which I find very hard to believe. He pointed out a hotel about halfway down the soi (something like the Garden Home, but I can’t be sure) and told me that many of the girls stay there in 600 baht a night rooms and you can go into the hotel and literally choose your Ruskie. Well, it’ll certainly make it easier for the immigration police to round them up when they decide to have a purge on illegal immigrants.
    As for who is paying the girls for a few hours of pleasure, the taxi driver offered the Nigerians as the number one candidate (again, something which I take with a pinch of salt). The Nigerians are hardly the most free-spending bunch in Bangers and I think even hard-nose Russian women would find them coarse and arrogant not to mention unappealing. Then again I may be wrong on all counts. I personally think that many of the paying punters are well-heeled Thais who want to try out a European girl or perhaps even long-term residents that have tired of the sylph-like Thai physique and want to get their arms around something a bit more ‘meaty’. From the look of the Russian girls I saw sitting in Foodland on soi 5 the other day you would certainly need both arms.

    On The Crapper

    When I was studying Thai what now seems many moons ago, one of the interesting cultural aspects I learned about Thais is the way they openly discuss diarrhea. I’m not saying it’s a topic for after-dinner conversation, but the Thais feel no shame in suffering from such an affliction, and don’t feel the need to refer to it with all the ambiguous euphemisms that westerners do. No doubt the attraction of the local fruits has much to do with it. Thais are not ashamed to talk openly among friends about their bowel movements, and they will quite happily disappear into the little room with a nice, thick magazine whenever they get the turtle’s head.

    Toilets in Bangkok are virtually all western style, especially in bars, hotels and restaurants; however there are still squat toilets around. I don’t give a rat’s ass if they are better for the digestive system. To westerners, there is something almost degrading about ‘stooping to conquer’ over a dirty hole in the floor, and then sluicing it out with bowls of water. I avoid squat toilets like the plague unless I’m in real trouble.

    Hotel toilets are fantastic in Bangkok – scented toilet-paper, piped music, doors and walls that reach the floor (to keep the ankle fetishists at bay) and hot and cold running water. One thing I do find unnerving is when a female toilet-cleaner feels no embarrassment at all in mopping around the urinals when you’re trying to answer the call of nature. Things get even worse in certain bar-toilets around the city. They often employ a toilet-boy to massage your neck and cool you down with a wet towel as you stand there. The feel of a pair of male hands around your neck can really play havoc with your water flow.


    Thais at the Beach

    You don’t get a bigger contrast between the Thai and western culture than when you observe people on a beach, and yes I know that there ain’t a beach of any description in Bangkok, but I’m going to give it a mention anyway. A beach is all about slapping on a spot of sun factor 2 suntan oil and getting a golden tan, or perhaps going for a dip in the ocean in your skimpy new bikini, or relaxing on a deckchair with a Jackie Collins blockbuster.

    Thais enjoy a day at the beach as much as anyone as long as it doesn’t involve exposure to the sun’s rays, or exposing any of your naked body. A day at the beach for the Thais is all about sitting under the largest beach umbrella you can physically find, ordering enough seafood and drinks to keep a Roman senate happy, swimming in the sea wearing more clothes than a Siberian snow-sweeper, and taking part in jet-skiing, para-sailing. para-scending, para-skiing, and anything else that involves a maximum of noise.

    Thais are just in awe at the westerner who will lie in the sun for hours on end with the desire of actually wanting their skin to turn brown. Why on earth would anyone want to take on the appearance of a poor northern rice farmer?

    Thai Language

    I am always totally in awe and full of the utmost respect for any foreigner who can speak Thai well, because I think it’s a difficult language to master. Lord knows, I have lived here years. I studied it in England prior to coming here. And yet still today, I would barely class myself as lower intermediate.
    The Thai language has 5 tones, and its not what you say, it’s how you say it. For example, the Thai word for far is ‘klay’ and the Thai word for near is ‘klay’. To a Thai they sound like black and white, but for a complete idiot like me….well.

    Take the word ‘maa’. This can mean horse, dog and come. Thais have been telling me the difference between horse and dog for years and they still sound the same to me.

    If you’re coming here to Thailand with one of those phrasebooks that has loads of ridiculous sections such as ‘going to the dentist’, which includes sentence phrases such as ‘I think the nerve is exposed and I may need root canal treatment’ , then do yourself a favour and chuck it in the bin. You could of course show the book to the dentist I suppose, but if you try to actually convey the message yourself, it’ll probably come out as ‘my baby wombat is constipated and could I fondle your buttocks please’.

    Any Thai person will be only too happy to teach you a few words and expressions, but be very careful what kind of Thai person you learn from. Many foreign long-stayers learn their Thai from bar-girls and end up speaking what I call ‘bar-girl Thai’. Take it from me – it sounds bloody awful !!! And you may find yourself using it with someone who knows exactly where you picked that sort of gutter talk up. Nothing will put you down in someone’s estimations faster. You could always admit it and put a big neon sign on your head which says ‘whore-chaser’.
    I will say this about the Thai language. It has a very poor range of expression. a very limited vocabulary. If you learn the numbers , the directions , and a handful of adjectives with their negative forms , you’re well on the way to fluency.

    Thai is also a very child-like language in its formation of words. You don’t develop a negative from a camera film, you ‘wash’ a negative ( well , you do soak it in a liquid I suppose). The ankle is the ‘neck of the leg’ and the wrist is the ‘neck of the hand’. So logical when you think about it.
    I was driving past a construction site with my girlfriend and saw a large idle crane. When I asked her what crane was in Thai, she said that no word existed. If it did , you can bet your boots it would be something like ‘building-site monster’ or ‘metal arm’. I never fail to be amazed by the charming simplicity of the Thai language. If it wasn’t for those damn tones !!!

    Thai Relationships

    As an avid people-watcher, seeing Thais interact with eachother has always filled me with fascination, particularly how they interact within the family unit.
    The family is the most important thing to any Thai, yet to me it often lacks the warmth that you find in many western families. Often the relationships in Thai families are ‘kept at arm’s length’.

    My own parents come to visit me once a year in Bangkok, and the first thing we do when we meet at the airport is give each other a big bear hug. It’s just a natural reaction not having seen them for 12 months or more.
    I’ve never seen Thais hug their parents. Small children may do it in a naturally child-like way, but as they reach puberty this ‘close contact’ with their mother and father seems to be totally discouraged.

    I once saw a re-union between a Thai guy and his mother, who he hadn’t seen for 3 years (he’d been studying in the states). He gave his mother an exaggerated ‘wai’ (the traditional Thai greeting), she said "sawatdee kha" and that was it. She carried on scrubbing the bathroom floor.

    Can you imagine the Mediterraneans putting up with that? They’d be kissing and hugging one another for hours. I’m not saying you have to go that far overboard, but sometimes the need to touch a fellow human being is almost uncontrollable, and Thais seem to suppress that feeling out of perhaps sheer embarrassment at showing some kind of emotion. Sad really. I feel very sorry for them.

    Which brings me to the Thai boyfriend-girlfriend relationship. My God, how many have I observed from a safe distance. There’s no pecking on the cheek, no handholding, no stroking of a girl’s hair, sod all. And yes, I know it’s not polite to hold hands in the street according to the generation that’s now pushing up daisies, however as the world becomes more liberal, the Thais are still there, strapped into their cultural strait-jacket.

    Perhaps these young couples that are scared shitless to show affection in the street are going at it hammer and tongs behind closed doors? I somehow doubt it. I love the warmth of embracing my fellow man, as do the Arabs, the Spaniards, the Italians, The Greeks, etc, and I think the Thais are very unlucky that they are definitely missing out.

     
    Last edited by DJ Pat; 09-04-2010 at 05:31 AM.

  2. #2
    たのむよ。
    The Gentleman Scamp's Avatar
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    I'm not bothered about reading any of it but to stare at it as a flourescent turquoise mass is kinda pleasantly hypnotic.

  3. #3
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    I'd forgotten about that site. Phil did a pretty funny (accurate) account of the Thai way of using an ATM, and has a good eye for the cultural nuances.

  4. #4
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    His comments regarding language are salient

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Gentleman Scamp
    I'm not bothered about reading any of it but to stare at it as a flourescent turquoise mass is kinda pleasantly hypnotic.
    Kinda like staring at the "matrix"

  6. #6
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    Jesus, how full of shit is Bangkok Phil?

    His post is full of ignorance and arrogance. All coming from an under-educated ex paper round boy and shelf stacker.

  7. #7
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    I enjoyed it.

  8. #8
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    me too, some of it

    thanks Pat, just change the font and colour, please

    as for the Boiler room bastards, they have been noted setting up in Chiang Mai to avoid the busts

    several of the scamming scum were talking together in a bar near me and I noted they were interested in some office soon to be available
    I have reported your post

  9. #9
    Pedantic bastard
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    Quote Originally Posted by DJ Pat View Post
    When I was studying Thai what now seems many moons ago, one of the interesting cultural aspects I learned about Thais is the way they openly discuss diarrhea. Iím not saying itís a topic for after-dinner conversation, but the Thais feel no shame in suffering from such an affliction, and donít feel the need to refer to it with all the ambiguous euphemisms that westerners do.
    To be fair, this is pretty accurate. I frequently get sms'es that say : "I not come work today, I got diarrhea".

    Although I also get sms'es detailing the women staffs intimate details of their monthly cycle and why this means they will not be in work today.

    Staff now get talks on the concept of "way too much information"........and the concept that a simple "I am sick today" is good enough......

  10. #10
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    Marmite the Dog's Avatar
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    What happened to him? Did he go back to the UK?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by kmart View Post
    I'd forgotten about that site. Phil did a pretty funny (accurate) account of the Thai way of using an ATM, and has a good eye for the cultural nuances.
    Incorrect.
    He was [and continues to be] a moronic fool.

    A shape-shifter, of sort.

  12. #12
    Member ChookRaffle Jones's Avatar
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    Yep. The best part of his site is where he tells us how he mouthed off at a Thai taxi
    driver and got his lights punched out.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marmite the Dog View Post
    What happened to him? Did he go back to the UK?
    He runs and Ajarn does he not and runs a company here, don't think he has taught for a long time. Great writer, I like Anddy Biggs as well, his stuff is the only reason to buy the post on a sunday

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by xanax
    He runs and Ajarn does he not and runs a company here
    Can you rephrase that in English please?

  15. #15
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    Toilet activities are not as embarressing as in our societies i think..

    I remember some girly bar girl letting rip on the toilet in full view of myself with no shame or embarrassment. Jesus the smell afterwards.

    I knew then, and only then i was in a whole new world lol.

  16. #16
    The Bestest Expat Plan B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marmite the Dog
    What happened to him? Did he go back to the UK?
    He got more conservative, got OCD, and his witty observations on life in Thailand turned to thinly veiled contempt for the peasants that inhabit his world.

    But as they say, you can take the Englishman out of the class system snobbery, but you can't take the snobbery out of the Englishman.
    Dear Anti-vaxers: Enjoy your free trial.

  17. #17
    Thailand Expat CaptainNemo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stranger View Post
    Jesus, how full of shit is Bangkok Phil?

    His post is full of ignorance and arrogance. All coming from an under-educated ex paper round boy and shelf stacker.
    Your post is full of the supersilious pseudo-intellectual condescending ponce-dom of a Guardian-reading shit-licking leper.
    Go and kill yourself - and hurry up about it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainNemo View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Stranger View Post
    Jesus, how full of shit is Bangkok Phil?

    His post is full of ignorance and arrogance. All coming from an under-educated ex paper round boy and shelf stacker.
    Your post is full of the supersilious pseudo-intellectual condescending ponce-dom of a Guardian-reading shit-licking leper.
    Go and kill yourself - and hurry up about it.
    You must be Phil's farang ladyboy live-in friend he's mentioned on ajarn. Wind your neck in love.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChookRaffle Jones View Post
    Yep. The best part of his site is where he tells us how he mouthed off at a Thai taxi
    driver and got his lights punched out.
    That's hilarious! Is there a link for that?

  20. #20
    Thailand Expat CaptainNemo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stranger View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainNemo View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Stranger View Post
    Jesus, how full of shit is Bangkok Phil?

    His post is full of ignorance and arrogance. All coming from an under-educated ex paper round boy and shelf stacker.
    Your post is full of the supersilious pseudo-intellectual condescending ponce-dom of a Guardian-reading shit-licking leper.
    Go and kill yourself - and hurry up about it.
    You must be Phil's farang ladyboy live-in friend he's mentioned on ajarn. Wind your neck in love.
    What is this, foreplay?

  21. #21
    Thailand Expat AntRobertson's Avatar
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    What's with the sudden interest in a 2yr old DJ Prat thread.

  22. #22
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    ask that "Stranger" bloke

    bumping a thread as if it happened yesterday

  23. #23
    Thailand Expat Bobcock's Avatar
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    Haven't heard of this wannabee celeb in ages.

    He was waffling on one day about how he was so into Joy Division.

    I had a particularly good live bootleg of them and offered him a copy.

    He was all for it until I asked him where to meet, then he went all coy and seemed to think he was a superstar and that I must be after knowing him.

    So I binned the CD and didn't bother replying to him again...... stupid prick...

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Plan B
    But as they say, you can take the Englishman out of the class system snobbery, but you can't take the snobbery out of the Englishman.
    I didn't realise Phil went to Eaton. I thought he went to a comprehensive like most of us snobby Englishmen do.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by DJ Pat
    secondly, who is actually paying for sex
    Nigerians

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