Visa Time – Again……

Once again, the time has come to apply for a Shengun Visa for Miss Tim – so we can pop over to France/Spain to see our pals.

I may have let slip one or twice before – that I HATE the visa process.   But by that,  I am referring to the people that handle/manage it.

It used to be a second rate bunch of clowns called VFS.  Total bunch of jobs-worth fools.   They angered me so much that Miss Tim suggested I no longer accompany her to the offices to apply for visas with her.

Bear in mind,  we have never had a visa rejected.  All our papers, tickets, letters, finances, flights etc.. were always above board and present.    There has never been a reason to refuse a Visa or even reject the Visa Application paperwork (by the handling agent).

Last year the VFS clowns infuriated me when they would not accept our nice neat typed (using PDF pro) Visa Application form downloaded from the Spanish Visa Website – oh no,  it had to be transposed onto the VFS form which was identical except for a little VFS form number on the bottom of the page.

The only reason I can fathom for them insisting we do this is so that VFS can pretend they have been doing something.

– tossers.

Once filled in – we then had to make photocopies (why?)  from their machines which were available at a fee.

Surely – for the 3000 or so fee, they could have done this?     I still get angry thinking about it.

When we got the Visa back, it had the wrong dates on it.   We didn’t know until we went to collect it from Hua Hin.  Why the Agent who we paid money to ‘manage’ the process couldn’t check this before we made the journey is beyond me.  VFS to me was less than useless.

So it was with great pleasure and satisfaction when I heard the news that VFS is no longer dealing with Visas.  Wahoo.  Good.   May all of you idiots spend the rest of your lives realising what a bunch of twats you are.

Moving on… there is a new outfit in town.   BLS.    Thinking this mob would be better than the last – I was mistaken.

With all our paperwork completed – Miss Tim went online to book an appointment.   Nothing available for a week!

One week later – she turned up, they looked at the papers and rejected it!

In the application,  we listed the full agenda.  Flight tickets, hotel reservations etc.. it was all there.   All except for 3 days where I stated we would be staying at my friends house.    We had (confirmed) hotel reservations either side of the stay with my pal.   So what could be an issue?

They wanted a copy of my friends passport.   Why?       Like I said,  I had reservations in hotels before and after my visit to my friends.  Come to think of it,  what is stopping me from sleeping in my car if I wanted??  Twats.

Anyway,  if I asked them for what reason they needed it – they’d not be able to give me an answer so it was easy to just give it to them.    It was just a case of adding one bit of paper.

Easy enough – but we had to book another appointment.  Which was ANOTHER WEEK!   Why do they not have slots for re-submissions?  Why go through the whole process again?

Why?  because each appointment is recorded.  And the results of each appointment is recorded so that performance figures can be produced.  The more applications which are knocked back – the better it looks for BLS.   Oh what a good job they are doing!  Dicks.

So Miss Tim had to go back to HH and wait another week.   Back to Bangkok to handover the paperwork which took all of 2 minutes.

Then wait.    This is the second Spanish visa in a year.   One would assume that her records are on file – and that the background checks have already been done, so why is it taking longer than a 1st time application?

BLS do however give you a Tracking number so you can follow your application online.   This is actually horse shit.

For more than 2 weeks… this was the ‘tracker’

According to the ‘status’ online – the visa application is in Transit.   It has been in transit for 2 weeks now.   A distance of 100 yards has taken 2 weeks.  Why can’t they change the status to ‘being processed’?   That would at least make me think the application/passport is not in some idots bag who is walking around the city – lost.

After 17 days – we received an e-mail saying the passport was ready.     As many people don’t actually live within walking distance to the Agency – they do offer a postal service.   However,  as we have no confidence in these buffoons and as the Agency doesn’t check the visa before handing it over to you, Miss Tim had to once again head to Bangkok from HH.

I can only imagine the journeys (lots of them pointless) for people who live up in Issaan or other Shitsville places having to go to and from these Agencies.       I feel for them.

Here is an idea… if your visa application is missing something minor – then why not let the applicant address that error and re-submit with a day or so?    NOT have them wait another week for a new appointment.

Many people don’t have the means to hang around the city for a week.   They may have come from 100’s of miles away.

And then – when the application is back from the Embassy – and in the hands of the Agent – why can’t the agent check the Visa to confirm it’s o.k?   How many times have  there been errors?    How many poor people have travelled for hours to collect their Visa to find a mistake and have to resubmit it yet again through no fault of their own? Why oh why can those fools not check it before you embark on what is for some – and epic journey?

Seriously, why are Thai people making life so difficult for Thai people?   I am truly amazed.

So… it’s been two and a half weeks since submitting the visa application.   The ‘tracker’ says its in transit ever since day 1.  It’s now day 18 and the status has changed to ‘Ready for collection’. No e-mail or phone call.

What’s more, its Friday lunchtime.   So no time to travel from HH to Bangkok before the place closes for the weekend.

This morning Tim travelled to BKK via the ‘Mini-Vans of death’ to collect it.  Luckily I am not there – or I’d be asking the numpties what is the point of their Tracker.   All it basically says is ‘its submitted’ and ‘its ready’.   It’s a status, not a tracker you imbeciles.

Anyway – Visa is now in her hands – which is good.  Thankfully there are no mistakes this time which is a bonus – as next week we are off to Barcelona.

Good… need a bit of R&R.

As you were…

(Thai) Music to my ears…….

Seems I am not the only one who likes a little moan. I recently read on Stickboy that he is less than impressed with the music being played in some bars. – A subject close to my heart and one that I have written about many times in the past.

The beef? Well, my beef is with the bars that play that horrid Issaan music. Or any Thai music come to that. The patrons are not Thai,  they didn’t come to listen to that and It’s not as if it’s nice on the ears is it?

There is the (weak) argument that if it makes the girls happy – then that’s a good thing and in turn, that’ll make the punters happy?

No. I don’t agree. Every time I have been in a bar where they whack on a set of Thai music, every Thai starts jumping around, singing and generally going nuts with EACH OTHER. They don’t even notice there are Farangs in the place.

Mandarin have got it right. Next to the stage they have a big bucket of what I can only assume is cheapest, nastiest booze they could find – with about 50 straws. The girls get drunk. They’re happy, the punters are happy. At no point are everyone’s ears assaulted.

But let’s not beat up on the bar owners too much for the music.  Gogo’s are different – as they have some Thai DJ who plays the shite music that he and all his Thai mates are into.  When it comes to a small bar – its not so easy to please.

You can please all of the people some of the time or some of the people all of the time.  Casting my mind back to the Mango days – there was a particular group of people that I remember.  Always bitching about the music.

First they asked us to move a speaker – as it was above the table which they liked to sit at.  So we did.   Soon after they switched tables and complained the music was too close to their ears.

At the Mango we had the usual Rock/Pop collection of CD’s.  They’d moan everytime a song came on they didn’t like.    Eventually I asked one of them to give me a list of music they liked and I’d make up a playlist for them.  I was nice like that.

The guys response was (and I quote)  “It’s not my job”!!   Brilliant.  There I am trying to please him by playing music he likes – but am told I more or less had to read his mind to find out what he liked?!

From then on – I made a point of ignoring them.  All I had to do was stay away from the bar during happy hour or when there was a promotion on so as not to bump into the cheap charlie peasants.   I still see them about soi 4.  Hanging out in Happy Hour bars where they are not acknowledged by anyone.   Serves them right.   I could go on for hours about those expats who barely survive in Thailand . Buying fake crap and selling it on eBay.  These people are losers.

Another peeve I have (and I need to be careful so as not to offend some friends) is the people that wear those Amulets – when they are clearly not Thai or  Buddhist.

There is a guy at work who has one round his neck. He was married back in the UK.. got divorced, got some money, got old and then got a Thai bride. Fair enough. He’s happy, but why have this thing hanging round his neck?

I asked him. “I wear it to keep the wife happy” was his response. This made me dislike him even more. Nob. I am sure there are many things that he wife would like him to do – which he doesn’t. Lose weight, stop fucking around, stop speaking pigeon English, stop being a dick…etc… he doesn’t pay any attention to those requests.

No.. the only reason these guys wear this stuff is because they think it makes them interesting and Thai’s respect them – which they don’t. There is no other reason. I don’t buy this ‘it brings me luck’ crap – as that’s false and to be honest – total fantasy. I’ve not met one person who is in a good place right now who can lay claim to the fact the soppy piece of gold around their neck brought them luck.

I am however open to anybody explaining how this luck thing is real.  I’d like them to explain how these bring ‘good luck’ – when almost every car/van/truck in Thailand that was involved in a fatal crash had been blessed or had some kind of religious Charm in there somewhere.

If that’s good luck – you can keep it.

 

 

 

 

Back in Bangkok….

As some of you know – I am always on the lookout for a decent hotel.  While I am sure there are many out there – I  guess that I am too much of grumpy old bastard to appreciate the fine offerings out there.

Well that’s all changed now!

Someone suggested the Landmark Hotel.  And glad I am that they did.

I can’t tell you how refreshing it is to be a guest in a hotel where everyone there knows what they are doing – or should be doing.

I arrived at 8am – well before the usual 2pm check-in.  Normally I’d just head straight out for breakfast with the rats, but this time I was carrying some frozen (Indian) food in my case and I needed to get it back in the deep-freeze.   I’d already e-mailed ahead to the Landmark who told me they had the facilities to keep frozen goods.  Great.

I checked in at 8am and handed over my little cool bag.  The very smartly girl on reception asked me only for an electronic signature and apologized that it was not possible for them to give me the room just yet.  That was fine.  It was me that was early.   She did however say the room is empty and shall cleaned shortly.  With that, she gave me a drinks voucher and pointed me in the direction of the outside bar/café.

I couldn’t have been there more than 5 or 6 minutes.   Everything went as it should.   The reception desk was spotless, the staff dressed immaculately and utmost polite.

A few hours later, someone came and got me from the Café.    Room was ready by 10am.

I didn’t go mad – I went for the Executive room which was about 3500 a night – which I didn’t think was too bad.

Very nice room.  Everything you’d expect.  Massive bath, TV stations that I could actually watch and 24hour room service.

Not the cheapest of room service

The two days I stayed there were pleasurable.  When I was coming in and out, I was always greeted by the staff – regardless of what state I was in.

I shall most certainly be staying at the Landmark again.

Bath is big enough for 3….

But enough of that…. I was in Bangkok……

GamblinMan had a weekend off from the Casino so popped over the Bangkok.  Lomeo was out of town on some personal business so it was just to two of us.

We met up at the Huntsman.  Many times in the past we’d both been in there for a Sunday lunch.  Never disappointed. – until now!

I ordered the Chicken Pie with Curly Fries and GM ordered the Fish n Chips – with the fish to be in breadcrumbs.

When the food arrived, my fries were not curly and the fish was battered.   Hmm…  Even after the waitress read our order back to us and we were very clear on the order.

Still, it didn’t seem to matter to the waitress who basically just said eat your food and shut yer face.   GM was having none of it and sent it back, much to her annoyance.

It took them a whole 20 mins for them to scrape the batter off and dip it in breadcrumbs.  I should have told them to take mine and keep it heated up, but I have learned the hard way not to piss off the people that handle your food.  Besides, waiting that long for GM’s food – I am sure my fries starting curling up.

With a belly full – we thought it best to get a little exercise and walk it off.  All the way to soi 4.

Big Dogs (I think) was the first stop.  The usual corner.  Pretty uneventful.   The soi doesn’t cut a very nice picture in the daytime.  Or the night time either if we are honest.

The bars along Soi 4 are not of much interest to us anymore.  There is not one better than the other. None that have pretty girls or give better service than any other bar along the soi.  I don’t know how the prices compare but I assume they’re all competitive with each other.  – with the exception of Hooters which as everyone knows is a rip off – but is at least clean.

We did notice that in some of these bars – we were approached by girls – wanting to score drinks off us.  We politely told them to scram as 1) we were there to catch up and have a drink – not speak in ‘kids talk’ about where we are flom and what our names are and 2)  the daytime girls are hogs.

We did actually have one girl come out with ‘hellowhatyournamewhereyouflom’  without so much as a breath or pause.  One long sentence.  I don’t even think she knew what she was asking?

This past year or so has seen us ditch soi 4 and head for the soi 22 area.   Is this what happens to all people who have been in Thailand for a long period time?  I ask this as the people around the 22 area all seem to be of the more ‘mature’ end of the age group.

After several hours hopping around bars between 18-22 soi’s we headed to Cowboy.

Crazy House is always pumping so we thought we’d see what all the fuss is about.

Having had a few drinks in there – I am still not sure what all the fuss is about?  In fact, I really don’t like the place.  Its’s way too crowded with Japs downstairs and upstairs feels like you’re sitting in a staff changing room.  It’s dingy, dark and there are bunches of girls milling about the place.  In the corner we saw a pile of shoes which girls would come and put on, take off with no regard for verrucas or used band-aids which maybe lurking in them.

Not impressed with CH – we went for a stroll up Cowboy.  It used to be a soi where there would be many hot girls outside trying entice you in. No longer is the case.  The only reason to choose a bar over another – was because we had an old memory of the bar it used to be.

It didn’t take us long before we found ourselves at the top of the soi being offered fake Rolex watches by Indians and  being asked if we wanted an overpriced taxi.

And what is it with these Indians selling watches now?   Do they have an agreement with the Thai’s?  On a few occasion now, I have seen Indians approaching customers in bars – trying to sell fake/cheap shit.  Isn’t this the Thai ‘turf’?

In fact, that really annoys me now.  I tolerate Thai’s coming up to me when I am in a bar – trying to sell me a wooden flog, or a map of Thailand.  It’s their Country and they’re trying to make a living.  But Indians?   WTF?  Isn’t there a law against this?  Hang on.. what am I saying?  Law?

If memory serves me correct, we walked from Cowboy to Nana.  Gotta get them fitbit steps in.  Didn’t take long – not since the sidewalks are clear of ladyboys, dildos and DVD’s.

As per usual – we hit Pretty Lady.  Only a few girls I knew and none of them Pretty. There was a guy launching ping-pong balls at the girls.  I’ve done it many times myself.

Looking at it though – I see a flaw.  Why do people chuck ping-pong balls?  They chuck them so the girls can get a few bucks tip.  Good on them.  The girls are doing their thing on stage.. why not?

But where do most of the balls end up?  On the floor.  And who is on the floor?  The service girls.  Who more often than not are too ugly to be on a pole.  A lot of the time they are horrible creatures and don’t deserve the 20bht ping pong balls.  And if they are any good – they’ll have been given tips directly from the customers.  No.. I don’t agree with the Service Urchins getting in on the ping-pong ball act.

Out of there and into another bar.  Can’t remember the name.  It was shite though.  We drank our drinks as fast we could.   And saw something that both pissed us off and impressed us at the same time.

When GM paid the bill and was given his change… the girl held the little silver tray out to receive a tip.   As the note almost hit the tray, the girl pulled the tray back so the note landed on her hand – where she said a quick thank-you and backed away.  Masterful move.   If I ever go back there (and I wont) I’ll make damn sure she never gets a ping-pong ball.

Next up was Diamonds.  Owned by the girl who has Strapps and Jersey Bar.  I’ve known her for many years so we had a catch up.  Business is down all round.  Heard some interesting things about the place.   All I can say – is that I am glad I am no longer part of that world.

Time was cracking on and it was time for me to hit my crisp bed sheets.  The best thing about staying at the Landmark was its location.   Took me less than 5 minutes to get home.

Out like a light…  good comfy bed.  I could get used to that.

Lazy morning – driver was picking me up at 12.

Checking out was simple.  The staff were really polite and were nothing but professional.  The little guy arrived at my car with my still frozen cooler bag. Brilliant.

Time to head back to HH…….  looking forward to it.

 

 

 

More whinging….

Time flies when you’re having fun – apparently. Well, this past month has flown by, so I must have been having fun. I was having fun. But you know, as much as I have fun, there are always a few reasons that have my blood boiling and make me want to punch someone in the face. So what have I to whinge at this time? Only a few things. I’ll keep it short.

I have given up caring about the motorists in Thailand. I’ve learned to accept that no one can drive for shit here and I’ve no sympathy when I see people crash. The only people I feel bad for are the innocent people on the roads who get hit – but saying that, there is a high probability that person doesn’t have a license or insurance either.

But anyway…..

Thai Banks. I don’t have a Thai bank account. I bank in various places in the world, but when it comes to Thailand – I feel they’re in the dark ages.

Each month I am back in Thailand I’ll send Miss Tim (or a Rat) an amount of money which they’ll withdraw and give to me in cash which I can then invest into the local economy.

When I carry out my online transfer – I check all the boxes which say I shall pay ALL fee’s from my account – which I note I am always charged. ALL fee’s.

So why is it, the receiving bank then charges the account holder 100bht? What part about me saying I’ll pay all fee’s from my account to they not understand?

– its no biggie – I just have to add on another 100bht when I send money. It’s just as this extra 100bht is not mentioned anywhere in the transfer fee’s, I feel like a motorist during a police roadside check.

And then there are the branches. Why is it you are charged to withdraw your own money from an ATM – FROM YOUR BANK but in another city? Miss Tim is charged each time she uses an ATM in HH. Using the ATM of HER BANK but the account was opened in Bangkok. Really? Why?

I can’t remember the name of her Bank, she has a few and probably a few secret ones too, but she is not offered a Visa card or Online banking for some reason. And don’t get me started on all the queues, form filling in and little books that have your balance printed on them. Like I said. Dark ages.

So there I am with a fist full of dollars – which at some point I’ll head off to a supermarket to purchase food that looks like it’s been prepared by a professional company rather than some scabby old woman using a cauldron of 6 month old cooking fat.

What is it about shoppers that makes them leave trolleys and baskets at various stages of being filled – all over place? Just the other day I must have had to move 2 or three ‘abandoned’ trolleys out of my way and kicked at least 2 or 3 baskets which some lazy bastard couldn’t be bothered to carry.

O.k, maybe I can understand a full basket being placed on the floor if it’s heavy, but not in the middle of the isle?

Again, it’s numpties that have no brains that piss me off. More often than not, I’ll give Miss Tim the shopping list and have her seek out the goods – leaving me outside to take deep breaths while trying not fantasize about going on a rampage.

Speaking (whinging) of shops, I plain refuse to enter any shop that requests I remove my shoes – and therefore expose my feet to whatever filth, disease, puss and germs which have been laid down by the people who have walked there before me.

My latest experience in this is the pet grooming clinic. Hmmm, a ‘Clinic’. O.k, maybe an exception should be made? Well, I have no choice in going inside, as I have the hairiest Persian cats in the world who need their monthly pampering. Inside the clinic there is a vets surgery and all the floors are shiny and polished. Maybe this place is the exception and kept sterile all the time?

Wrong. After leaving my shoes OUTSIDE, I entered the Clinic only to find a motorcycle in the corner and a puddle piss in the middle of the floor. So I question the need for me to remove my shoes and expose myself to whatever else is on the floor which I can’t see?

I could be accused of being a little fussy, but then is it fussy – wanting a better service? It’s not like I am expecting people/companies to use technology they don’t have or use skills they’ve not acquired – all I am (foolishly) expecting is for people to use their brains and think about what they’re doing and why they’re doing it.

Seems to me like an awful lot of people need a punch in the face.

Carry on.

Phuk This – Final Update…..

Week 2 into my month off – Miss Tim and I headed for Phuket. It’s been quite a few years since the last visit and couldn’t really remember too much about it.

Is there a reason neither Sticks ever mention Phuket?

After a few days in Bangkok (more on that at a later date) we were ready for some R&R.

The Kalima Resort was the accommodation of choice. Not too far from Patong Beach.

The resort is pretty nice. Lovely views over the sea – infinity pool and nice rooms. All the things you’d expect from a nice place.

What we didn’t expect was the occupancy seems to be 80% Chinese! They are now everywhere. They seem to have taken the planet by storm. I guess I just hate all people. As I get annoyed when they all descend on the pool – talking (shouting) at each other and taking selfies everywhere. Seriously.. they never put their phones down.

And what’s with tattoos these days? I don’t mean an ‘inked-up’ arm or lower back tatt… I am talking about the most hideous front thigh tattoo – a greeny blue stupid image on a big fat white leg?! Some fat skank had tattoos on the thigh front and back – but we had no idea what the tattoo was of? Maybe it was a pet she loved and lost – so thought she’d have a picture inked onto her leg. – Of how the dog looked after is was hit by several cars.

I must say that the Chinese must have amazing motabalisms. They all seem to be relatively small – so how on earth are they able to demolish the breakfast buffet with such militarily precision.
Once again, I just sit and dream about a time when I can sit in my own planet – with no one around to piss me off.

A few days kicking around the resort – saw us head into the town. Bit of day time perusal of the large shopping mall. – And what shit it is. Every shop seems to be selling the same old tat. And it is tat. The usual crap that you’ll see all over Bangkok, but at twice the price.
Everything here seems expensive. And when I say expensive, it’s still not expensive as other places in the world, but compared to Bangkok and Hua Hin, it is more expensive here.

Into the bars – Bangla road looks a mess. Very similar to Pattaya Walking Street. In the daytime it’s just a hot mess with cables, garbage bins and noodle stalls everywhere. The darkness is a warm welcome as it hides much of this pig-sty.

We hit a few bars – and were consistently served Vodka with some flat coke. The bars all seemed old, which matched the age of the staff. Not much fun or atmosphere. A couple of the bars which are expat owned had their loyal friends propped at the bar. Older guys, faded tattoos, overweight with cheap jewelry trying to convince themselves they are living the dream. They stay in the same chair all night – talking pigeon English telling lies to hookers. Tossers. If I ever end up like that – shoot me.

The street itself is closed off from traffic around 7pm – and it’s then a ‘walking street’. People watching being a interesting pastime for us – we couldn’t help but notice the majority of the tourists here are Chinese, followed by Scandos and Arabs. Not seeing many Americans/Brits.

I assume that for many of the tourists – Phuket is the only experience of Thailand for many people. That can only be the reason why people flock towards a few LB’s who are dressed up in some theatrical frocks. Here the ‘3 lads’ stand together and charge 100bht to have their photo taken with you.

Really? 100bht for a photo of an LB?

Cheaper in Nana….

Jonas knows an LB who will suck you off for an extra 100bht.
Madness.

We stuck it out – and in no time at all we were drunk. Five hours of bar hopping was enough and it was time to head home. The 2km back to the hotel is mainly uphill – so phuk that, we’re getting a cab. The 7 minute journey costs 300bht. Again, can’t help but feel we are being ripped off.

Speaking of the traffic – it’s nice to see that everyone wears a crash helmet. Although, with the amount of traffic there is here, I don’t think it’s possible to go fast enough to get hurt in a crash.

Another few days left before heading back to HH. If I am honest, I think I’d have preferred to stay home that visit this shithole. The hotel is great and the staff are really nice. The room, view, pool fantastic. Phuket though – seems a bit lowerclass scumbaggy for my liking.

Of course – there are many other parts of Phuket – but as I didn’t fancy renting a car or bike, we are limited to a smaller radius.

Tomorrow we shall head to the beach and see if we can get ripped off by assholes renting out jet-skis.

** Updates….

Went for a little stroll in the hood yesterday. Stopped off at a little beach front cafe.

Pina Colada & Water Melon juice…. 700bht. Plus the obligatory service charge and tax which is 17% on top.

I would happily pay that – if it was worth it. But it was shite!

For 700bht, I’d expect 500 change.

Later on… we went on another stroll and came across a nice looking restaurant called the ‘White Box’. Went in and was asked if we had a reservation. That’s a normal question to be asked when there are customers – but as we were the only ones in the place – it was rather funny.

One of those very swanky places that is total over-kill. I’ll not bother going into it – as it’ll make me sound like a grumpy old man – but when I pay over 4k (+ tax!)for dinner – I don’t expect to leave the restaurant feeling hungry.

Oh it looked very nice – but the ‘see view’ is not really a feature at night – when all you can see is your reflection in the windows. The background music was so quiet that you can hear staff talking and bugs farting. No atmosphere whatsoever.

I wished I lived next door – so it would have meaning when I say I will never return there again.

Like a scene from the Walking Dead.

Final update…

I am no photographer. Never wanna be, never gonna be. When I am out about and see something I want to capture – I’ll snap it with my phone. Maybe I’ll share it with some friends, maybe I’ll recall upon it at a later date when telling a story – but more often than not – I am the only one that will see it.

When I see people walking around with bloody great cameras strapped around their necks – all I see is someone who is saying they need professional equipment to take pictures and post on facebook/snapshat and Instacrap. Dicks.

Since being here – at this lovely hotel, every single Chinese person I have seen is either taking selfies in the pool or setting up major camera equipment to take pictures of their boiled egg. Really?

We watched a couple of clowns in the pool yesterday – posing for ages for the camera. Who do they think they are? Supermodels they are not. The pictures they took (when they could have been relaxing) will no doubt end up on facebook – in a bid to convince everyone they are having a great time in a wonderful place. In reality, they are painstakingly using up all their time trying to get a photo while waiting for other people to move out of the background shot. – Dicks.

I know I sound like an old bastard when I say this – but why is it people are so dependent on their smartphones? I sit at dinner and talk to whoever I am with. I now see a table of four or more and each one is glued to their smartphone. – Dicks.

Moving on…

Last night was the last night of our little getaway. – We headed into Patong to give it one last chance to impress us.

Opinion unchained. The place is still a shithole.

For 100bht, you can have your photo take with her.

Chatting with the driver – he was telling us how the place is just overrun with Chinese. The Chinese are not big drinkers either, but they do eat. So most of the establishments are now restaurants rather than bars. Sign of the times.

If you’re thinking of starting a business here – forget the bars. Don’t even bother with a restaurant. If you want a business idea – open up a camera accessory shop. Instant success.

I’m a Westerner…. Get me out of here.

Happy (for some) Songkran

Since laying my hat in Thailand many moons ago, claiming it to be my home, I have managed to avoid more than 10 years of Songkran. I did get caught one time – but tended to stay in the safety of the bar.

If memory serves me correct – I had some Scando backpacker train his water gun on me and just before he could fire, I told him where that gun was going to end up if he got me wet.

I have nothing against the Thai’s celebrating. It’s their celebration, its their culture, it’s their time. I do however take issue with all those farang pricks who take it to the extreme of wearing their combat fatigues and carrying a massive water gun – with the sole purpose of drenching as many girls as possible. Dicks.

The main reason I don’t like Songkran though – is that it brings out the worst in many people. They see it as acceptable to drink in excess and don’t act responsibly. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve done that plenty myself, but I I haven’t got wasted and then driven a loaf of passengers in a Mini Van – and killing them all.

How many people have died this Songkran? Have you seen the Thai news? It’s a terrible waste of life at what should be a happy time. Miss Tim has gone to see her family Songkran and it’s a totally different scene in Ratchaburi. A few splashes here and there, some sitting around a table, eating and drinking. All very civilised and all are happy and enjoying themselves. Not one death in the village.

Thankfully it shall all be over by the time I arrive next week. I am off to Dubai for a weekend and then into Bangkok to meet up with the Rats. After looking at all the hotel options that were given to me – I was spoiled for choice. I couldn’t decide between Soi 4 area or soi 20. In the end, I decided on the Landmark. Not a bad location.

As per usual – I arrive at 7am, so it’s straight out to the Queen Vic for breakfast with the chaps so we can plan the days ahead. Hmmm…. we’ve not done a Pattaya in 12 for a while……..

Couple of places worth a mention….

Coming back to Thailand after being away for a month – there is always a need to spend a little time with the Rats in Bangkok. Kicking off in Soi 4.

Anyone noticed what a craphole soi 4 is these days?  The place looks like a building site.  Oh I am sure in a few years there will be some nice buildings spattered down the soi – but the road itself, the sidewalks, the telegraph poles, pot holes street and vendors will still be there.

The rendezvous point with the Rats was Hooters.  This is becoming a bit of a hub to meet at – mainly due to the people watching opportunities.

Monday afternoon saw the rats meet up at 2pm.   Bottle of GG ordered.  For the 3600 you get the mixers thrown in.  All well and good, but why is it they display everything out on your table?  I don’t want 6 cans and a big bucket of ice sitting in the sun for the next few hours.  Please – just leave it in the fridge.  I lost count of the times we had to ask for the jug of water to be replaced with a jug of ice.

Wasn’t really paying much attention, but Hooters is pretty expensive – food wise.  Don’t get me wrong, the food is o.k – typical American style chicken wings and the like – but come on… waaaay too expensive for what it is.

The Hooters girls still break out into a little dance every now and then, but you can see the enthusiasm has long gone.   Not too many punters in – so doesn’t make for a great atmosphere.   Maybe they should try slashing their prices and get the place packed out. Speculate to accumulate and all that..   Or an even better idea – relaunch the loyalty cards they gave out when it first opened – basts.

Magnum P.I had let himself go….

After polishing off the bottle of Grey Goose – we did the usual rounds.  Big Dogs, Morning Night, Soi 22, Nana blah blah…  you all know the places.

There were a few places that were new to me – so thought I’d give them a mention.   In no particular order…

Penalty Spot

Some pals and I stopped off here a couple times during our Bangkok visit.  Never really been on our radar as it’s full of old bastards.  Turns out that we are also old bastards so fitted right in.

Took a seat outside which for us was perfect.  Bit of privacy out there  so no one could hear us taking the piss out of everyone with our obnoxious drunken talking.  Pretty nice place to be fair.  Food was good too.  Recommend the goulash!

They have girls working there which I guess are Freelancers?   I did notice one of the waitresses come over to us and tried to get us to buy her a drink.  Sorry, but if we’re going to buy you a drink, you have to have done something to deserve it.

Kiwi Bar – Soi 8

Being a first time Kiwi Bar patron, I am having mixed views.    First let me say the service staff do a great job – and the bar itself is nice and professional looking.

However,  Tuesday night is ‘free bbq night’.  We didn’t know this as there were no balloons outside.  That didn’t matter, the freeloaders knew – and they were out in numbers.

It is a great gesture from a bar to lay on free food and I don’t think the general public know what goes into it.  It’s not just a chance for the bar to get rid of the food that’s almost out of date.  I am not going to go into it – but putting on a spread costs money.  From the food, the staff, the plastic knives/forks etc…  it all has a cost.

I just hope the people who were shoveling the free food down their mouths were leaving good tips.   I doubt it though.

The problem with giving away free food – is the kind of people it attracts.  I am not talking about poor people, who we can cut them some slack.  I am talking about the people who want something for nothing and binge on it.   We saw one guy on his second plate – piling it up like it was some kind of gameshow task.   I’d have loved to have pulled him aside and asked why he needs to overly large platefuls of food. Ask yourself this – “if it wasn’t free –  would you have still eaten it”?

This guy was a greedy fat bastard.  I can only assume there was MacDonalds somewhere that also gives away free food?

We paid up, left a tip – Lomeo made sure of tipping our service girl direct and thanking her for the good service.   We were offered a visit to the bbq which we thanked them for but declined. We then headed to Monsoon for some dinner.

Monsoon – Soi 8

It’s not often we have sat in a bar/restaurant and said ‘this place is getting better’. Usually, the best a bar looks is on its opening night.  From then on Its run into the ground until its sold on or refitted.

The Monsoon however, seems to be looking nicer each time we go.  Has it been refitted recently?  Or are they just taking good care of it and making subtle improvements?  The food is great, the service is really good and it’s a nice place to be.

One thing we noticed, was the Chefs/kitchen staff working in almost silence .  They worked we together and from what we could tell, were very efficient.  It’s rare to see a place working this well these days.  That is, in a restaurant that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg to eat in.

Of course,  our time in Bangkok was not just spent sitting around and stuffing our faces. Well,  a lot of it was, but there was the darker side too.

Now, if only I could remember what we got upto?

I’ll have a think.

Carry on…

 

 

 

 

 

Staying a few nights in Bangkok

This time home in Thailand – I had a few little trips to Bangkok.  Only a couple of nights each time.

Where to stay?

The Rats tend to stay in Ratchada.  But as I have no idea where the fook that is – and have no desire to subject myself to riding in stinking taxis or share a BTS carriage with dirty old perverts I tend to stick to Sukhumvit are  – where I can walk to most places I want to go.

What is it you want out of a hotel?  Well,  if you’re intending on being out all the time, there is little point in spending good money on an empty room.

Personally,  when I am staying in Bangkok, I do like to spend some time in the hotel / room. Watch some tv, order some room service and just basically lounge around.   I like it to be relaxing.  It’s a balance. I like going out – but at my age, I need my recovery time too.

So when I choose a hotel, I want it to be a little bit nice, but also don’t want to waste money.

A buddy of mine lives on Soi 31 – and as it was him I was primarily going to see, I thought I’d stay at S31.  I’ve stayed at S15 many times and have always been impressed.   It’s the little things – like not making me fill out a soppy little form, having already given my information online.

I booked the Duplex Suite.  Not sure why?   Duplex sounded like it wouldn’t be out of place in New York or somewhere else that’s pretty cool.   In reality, it’s a pain in the arse – having to go up and down the bloody stairs all the time.

Don’t get me wrong, the room was nice.  Very nice.  Two toilets, kitchen, lounge, bedroom, walk-in wardrobe and a fantastic ensuite bathroom.  Top notch.  Impressed I was.

It could probably do with a little update though – as the ipod speaker was for the older type ipod/iphone.  Who still has them?

And why is it these hotels don’t have Smart TV’s yet?

S31 is pretty nice.  It was around 4k per night – which I didn’t think was bad at all.  Good place to hang out and ‘entertain’ if that’s your thing.

The staff were very professional and helpful – but that’s to be expected when staying at an ‘S’ hotel.

Being on the corner of Soi 31 – it’s a great location too.   For that visit I stayed mainly on soi 22 and the like.   All in walking distance.

One of the main things I’ll take away from my stay at S31 is – the view.  Overlooking the Dinosaur park!

– What on earth is that place? Do they have any customers?  Surely its worth more to property developers?  Get rid of it.

I returned to Bangkok a week later – hoping to stay at S31 again.  For the days I wanted – it was fully booked.  Well, all the rooms under 5k a night were booked.

That’s o.k, I’ll try S15 instead.   – Fully Booked.

Not far away and another hotel we like ‘Grand Swiss’ on Soi 11.  – Fully Booked.

Really?  What’s going on?

For a moment I thought about the Citidines at the end of Soi 11 – but as that road is one big long construction site – I didn’t fancy it.  It’s just a mess at the moment.

Thinking about it a little more – I was going to be hanging with the Rats – so staying closer to Soi 4 was a better option.

DyNasty Grand on soi 6 it is.   Around 3k a night for the Exec Suite.  Not sure why it’s called Exec?  To me, it looked like just an average (old) room.  I remember when this place was being built about 10 years  ago.  I used to live next door in Saranjai Mansion.   Oh boy how the area has changed.

It was clean which was good.  It had a sofa and the usual stuff, but it wasn’t really a place I’d want to hang out in for too long.  Certainly not a party room.

Soi 6 is also a bit of a construction site these days – more on that later.

Dy-Nasty Grand was ‘ok’.  Probably a little bit pricey for what it is – but then I guess it’s comparable with most of the hotels in the area?

I did like the feature of pressing a button on the phone to state ‘Do Not Disturb’ or ‘Please Tidy Room’.  How many times have I had to crawl out of bed with a stinking hangover to put the sign on the outside of the door.

I’d stay there again, but probably opt for the cheaper room.  It’s one of those places where I want to spend more time out of the room than in.  Staff were good and very pleasant.

I’ll be back there again next month – so need to start looking at hotels soon.

I wonder how the Omni Tower is doing these days?   Must be (over)due for a refurb by now?

 

And we’re back…. moaning as usual….

Been off the radar for a month now.   It’s my time off and I’ve been a tad busy.  And when I say busy, I mean eating, drinking and laying by the pool.  A whole lot of doing nothing much at all – and loving it.

So, I find myself in transit once again – so thought I’d fill the boredom of yet another airport and cobble a few notes/whinges down from the past month.

I’ll kick off with Hua Hin – which has been my home for 4 years now.

It probably took about 2 weeks in HH this time before I hated everything and everyone.  Hua Hins (and all of Thailand for that matter) charms are starting to wear thin.

What’s pissed me off this time?  Well, for no reason other than it maybe raining in Vietnam – the power keeps going off in my house.   No warning, no reason – no power.

And when the power is back, the internet decides to have a little break too.  Just long enough to stop anything streaming or downloading.

To make it a full Utility set, the water has also been out of action for a few days due to someone digging up a pipe locally.    Really,   I know I shouldn’t let this bother me – as it’s Thailand, but come on, I have not seen any progress or improvement in the last 10 years.

As it’s not much fun sitting at home with no aircon or electricity – we decided to go for a little ride into town.

We recently purchased a new scooter so thought we’d give that a little test run.

A new Yamaha GT 125 for something like 45k?   The PCX we have is perfect for both of us to ride on, but when there is just one of us – and we just need to pop to the shops, a little scooter is all that’s needed.  The tired little Honda we’ve had for a few years was sent off to a Brother, Sister, Mother or Buffalo of some sort.  Never to be serviced or cleaned again.  Out with the old and in with the new.   Only 3km on the clock – time for a ride.

Marvelous – it already has a puncture.    Pumped it up and took took it to our local dealer where we bought it.      Instead of checking the tire to see if it had be pierced, they just pumped it up further – then did the same to the rear tire.   When I rode it – it was completely off-balance.  The handling was terrible.   There is a reason the bike manufacturer states tyre pressures.

I pulled over, let some air out and hey presto – the bike handles like it should.  So I can probably guess that when Miss Tim took delivery of the bike, the tires were over inflated – which contributed to a puncture as the roads here are crap.

It makes me mad that what is supposed to be a professional / trained mechanic is just ‘guessing’ on how much air needs to be in a tire. What else are they not doing correctly?

On the same subject, we’ve noticed a lot more bikes riding around with blown bulbs – some front, some rear – and some both. Really, how much does it cost to replace a bulb? It’s just fucking laziness. I really would like to approach each and everyone of them and ask why they are so bloody thick that they think they don’t need lights at night. No helmet, no lights, probably no license… if I see a crash, I swear I will pull over and say ‘som nam na’.

Each morning Miss Tim watches the (Thai) news with me making sarcastic comments. I don’t understand what the reporters are yapping on about – but I can see by the footage of minivans smashed to pieces what has happened. These crashes are always reported as accidents – and I’ve even heard that the weather was blamed for one minivan crash. Really? When will the Authorities wake up and realize the roads are full of incompetent assholes. What they should do is confiscate any vehicle being used by an idiot without a license.

So only a few days into my time off – I was already up against incompetence.

Still,  deep breaths, I am sure things will get better.   I’ll cheer myself up by going into town for a bit of dinner and a drink.  Hell, maybe even have a little dance?

Oh no… ‘Salsa Steakhouse & Italian’ has closed down.  Basts.

The Salsa place was one of our favorite places to go in HH.  I’ve mentioned it many times before.  So it was with great sadness that we saw it has now closed.  It was always going to be tough getting people into the bar/restaurant via the tunnel/passage.   On NYE the place was heaving.   The last time we went (last month) there was only us and another couple.  I really felt for the owner/manager as they had provided a really good product.  I have no doubt it would have been a success had the venue been closer to the street where people could see in when walking past.  I hope they don’t give up on the idea.   Salsa/Ballroom dancing for the more ‘mature’ persons?!   In HH!??!! Like shooting fish in a barrel.

When walking along the road – one of the old Salsa staff saw us and said hello.  She was now working in another Italian restaurant.  It’s just round the corner from Salsa – and is a tiny place on the corner.  If you’ve walked around HH – you’ve probably seen it.

It’s a lovely little venue.   Pity the food is a little on the dry side.  Worth a visit – but not somewhere you’d probably visit more than once.  We only went there because of the old staff that said hello.     We did tap her up for some info on Salsa – and she said they maybe re-opening again?   There is a forsale sign on the door – but maybe they’ll open while they are looking for a sale?  Hope so.

Indian Restaurant

About 9 months ago – a new Indian Restaurant opened in Hua Hin – claiming to be a ‘British Indian’.  Big claim.   Being British and some what of an Indian Food expert (of course) I was very excited as was Tim.  When in the UK – we do eat a lot of Indian food. It must have been the 1st week of opening that we visited.  It was a sham.  The staff didn’t know the menu and the lighting was so bright it was like sitting under a sunlamp. The staff/cooks were talking like they were in a nightclub and the food was utter shite.

We asked if they could dim the lights or turn the heatlamp above us off.   The girl did – but then the (Thai) manager turned it back on.

The food came – it didn’t look or taste like what it should.  To us, it felt like a bunch of Thai’s made an attempt to attract people who were only going to visit once. Holiday makers.

We tasted the dishes but couldn’t eat them.  Total garbage.  We paid the bill, told the girl it was nothing like Indian food and left never to return.

Last week we returned!    We were walking past – when I saw a bunch of Indians.  The only other place I have seen Indians in HH is outside a Tailors – trying to sell me a suit in the 90 degree heat.

So an Indian in an Indian restaurant? Hmm.   Let’s give it another go.

The heat-lamps are still there – so we took a seat not directly under them.   The shouting Thai cooks are no longer there – or if they are, they’re hidden out the back.  Various Indian people floating around which is a good sign.

We ordered a few dishes…..    What a difference.    Don’t get me wrong, it’s still not a patch on the Indian food we get in Britain – and even Dubai – but for HH/Thailand it’s not bad at all.  I am not sure how it would fare against the authentic pigslop food that you get in India, but that’s not the British pallet.  Sorry If I have offended anyone there – but I’ve  only my personal experience of sitting with Indians – eating real Indian food was not a pleasant one.  What’s with the use of hands instead of cutlery? Moving on….

So it was great to see things have improved and they have now won back a customer.

All they need to do is now understand what the word ‘spicy’ means.

I am a strong believer in restaurants that specialize in specific Country/Nations foods should at least be from that Country.

Tapas

There is a little Spanish Tapas Restaurant called ‘Cool Breeze’ – which was recommended by friends.

We like the idea of having a table full of small dishes to mix things up a bit.   The food was really tasty and the service was good.

They did give us a dish though – which we hadn’t ordered.   We sent it back because 1) we didn’t want it and 2) someone else was probably now waiting for it.

The English guy (Manager/Owner?) came to use an apologized about the cock-up – and gave us the dish anyway and said we may aswell have them as it was cooked now and would only go to waste.

Not sure how I feel about that?  Maybe chuck the stuff back in the pan?  If he was to give it to the staff – then that may encourage them to get more orders wrong?!     If you’re going to cut the staff the money for the food wrongly ordered – then you at least have to give them the food right?

Anyway – turns out, the extra dish (garlic mushrooms) were pretty damn good – so we scoffed them all anyway.

Can’t fault the service and the food.  Excellent.   The bill came, I have a 500bht tip to cover the mushrooms and to thank them for the enjoyable time.

If you’re in HH and fancy something a little different – then get yourself along there.

Each morning I can be found laying by the pool in the sun.  That’s my ‘me time’.   Love it.  Of course, by 10am I have to contend with various gardeners and pool cleaners invading my private space.  There does not seem to be any kind of formal timetable these people stick to.  They just turn up whenever they feel like it.

As my neighbor has a barking dog which I can only assume is just left outside all day – we feel it’s time to move on when this years lease runs out – next month.   I emailed the owner and told him that as much as I like the place – I don’t like the noise so I shall be moving on.     It was only then I found that the neighbor is moving on too!  I guess they were getting fed up with the farang next door always shouting ‘shut that fooking dog up’?

Advertised at 50k per month – but no mention of the barking dog.

Lunchtimes force us into making decisions on where to go and what to eat.    Market Village and Bluport shopping mall are usually visited.   The reasoning for those places is that we can have a slow walk around the shops after stuffing our face.   I have to say, as nice and new as BluPort is,  I don’t think its as popular as Market Village.    Shame.  They’ve put a lot of time and effort into it.

One of our fave places for lunch is ‘Beach Cafe’.   Again,  I’ve mentioned this many times before – but really, you have to see it to believe it.   It’s not a place you’d pass or stumble across, you’d have to go looking for it.   It’s a right little gem though!

So, once or twice a week we’ll go sit in the sun and have lunch while watching the kite surfers.  Not a bad way to kill and hour or two.

Weather turned out nice again

Sitting around HH for 4 weeks certainly took it’s toll.  I had to head to Bangkok for a few trips to restore my sanity and to keep me active.  More on that later.

 

 

Up in the Air

It’s that time of the month again.  Time to go on leave from work for a month.  Off home to Hua Hin..  well, that was the plan.

As per usual, I’ll fly out of Iraq, into Doha, spend a few hours in the lounge and then connect to Bangkok.  Home the next morning.

Only this time, when I got to Doha I had to change my plans and head to the UK for a couple of days.     Unfortunately my ticket was a non refundable or changeable – so had to kiss goodbye to my Business flight to Bangkok.  Oh well, can’t be helped.

On top of this, in a few days I have to get back to Thailand – so that’s another Business flight which is going to cost me a few thousand.  o.k.. I can live with that.   However,  I need to get to the UK.

Looking at all the options, the best available was the midnight flight to Amsterdam with KLM and then onto the UK – to have me in my house by 10am.  Perfect.

As it’s midnight and I would be sleeping (and I have just had to shell out for expensive flights) I got an Economy seat to Amsterdam.  How bad could it be?

First off,  I went to the Qatar desk in the Doha Business lounge – to tell them I would not be getting on my flight at 8pm heading to Bangkok.  (I arrived there at 4pm)   They informed my ticked is not refundable and I told them I had accepted I had to take it on the chin.  All fine and well, I had no checked-luggage, so all that was needed was to inform some lady with a clip-board so they would not be calling my name out over the loud speaker when I am holding up the plane.

Now here’s the problem.  I had 6 hours of waiting.  I had paid for a Business seat which I would not be taking – so there is no feeding me, one less set of blankets, washbags, headphones etc…that would not be used by me.       So when I asked if it was o.k to stay in the lounge while I wait, I was surprised to hear them say no!

They said I could stay up until my original flight boarding time – which was basically 2 hours.    I couldn’t believe my ears.

Anyway, I went back inside and ate and drank my bodyweight.  Charged up every device I could and went to the toilet as many times as was physically possible.  I was getting my monies worth.

Now,  I am not sure how they were going to police my stay in the lounge?   Were they going to come looking for me and hoof me out?  If they could find me that is?

Around 9pm (an hour over-stay) I got bored and thought I’d go walking around for a few hours.  As I left,  I went up to the counter and said to the guy who told me I was not welcome after 8 and told him..

“I take more than 20 Business Class flights a year with Qatar.  My colleagues and staff do also.  I have paid for Business Class flight which I can’t take – and you have told me I can’t stay in the lounge for 3 hours”

“Because of this,  I will not fly Qatar again and I shall tell all my colleagues and make my staff switch airlines”

(He went to call over his supervisor)

“Don’t worry talking to anyone – I shall explain it all in the customer satisfaction survey they you guys send me all the time”

And with that I left.   Looking forward to my Emirates flight in a few days where the usual pampering service shall be resumed.  Twats.

So…   what’s KLM like then?   In one word – horrible.     The plane looked old and nasty.  The TV screen was smaller than my iPhone and for some reason – I was surrounded by people with kids.  I say kids,  I really mean FUCKING MONSTERS.    I do believe that kids should not be allowed on planes.  I guess putting them in the Cargo hold would be o.k. They might a blanket?

I tried my best to sleep, but with the elbows stuck in my ribs, the kid infront screaming and the big Quatari looking chap grabbing the headrest of my seat everytime he wanted to either get up or lift an arse cheek to fart – there was no relaxing being done in my chair.

When I arrived in Schipole – I was tired and grumpy.  (no change there then)

I have to say, Schipole is my favorite airport.  It’s been recently refurbished.  Lots of bright lights and beach wood everywhere.  Very nice.

So here I sit,  waiting for my flight to the uk.   I have 2 nights there before heading to Thailand.     Lomeo and Bubba Steve shall be waiting in a bar when I arrive.

It’s been a month, a lot of flights and a lot of stress.

I expect Monday night to be messy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And this is why we wear crash helmets

Saw this on Stickboy…. shocking! – hope young Sticky doesn’t mind me using it?

I hope the people people who see this will now understand why it is we should wear helmets?!

Apparently the wheels on the bus wouldn’t stop going round – as the brakes failed.   Which got me thinking 1) the bus is probably not maintained – which is typical and 2) to  slow a bus (or any vehicle) you can use the engine breaking.  The driver could have slammed it into 1st gear and brought the speed right down.

Obviously not as quick-thinking as the passenger on the bike it hit.

Put yourself in the drivers shoes… what would you do?  Try and avoid (as best you can) everyone and end up going through a busy intersection – or look for something to crash into?

Think I’d have ploughed into the nearest shittiest bus I could find.  Get them both off the road!

 

 

 

 

 

Happy(ish) Valentines

And once again – a typical example of how the service in Thailand has let me down.

Valentines Day for many people would involve a bunch of flowers, going out for a nice meal, good bottle of wine and a bit of hand-holding and romantic walking along the beach.

However, this is more or less what we do most nights – so it’s nothing special.

This year I am in Iraq. I could just ignore it – but as Miss Tim is a female, I should at least send a bunch of flowers.

There are many sites on the Interwebnet which offer the flower delivery service – so I went to one of the main sites.

We’ve all seen these.  Nice big website – shows the products, takes the order and then contacts a local supplier to you from their network.

Looking a their ‘Best Seller’  a bunch of Roses, box of chocs, little heart shaped cushion thing and a Teddy. All for $130. Probably only worth in total – $30, but I as I am in Iraq, they have me by the balls.

Best Seller? I’ll take it….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now, its always been my belief that Florists are passionate about their job. Arranging flowers is something that people WANT to do. Not something you just end up doing as a job.

Valentines Day must be the one time of year that Florists enjoy and look forward to. A time when they can show off their skills.

So imagine my surprise when Miss Tim sends me a thank-you message with accompanying picture of her delivery which showed a nice bunch of flowers and a box of chocolates STILL IN THE SUPERMARKET PLASTIC BAG!!!

Hmm… $130?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Would it be that difficult to take them out of the bag from the shop they just bought them from? How unprofessional is that? To me, that ruined the ‘luxury gift’ part of the event.

I also noticed – there was no Teddy. Not that Miss Tim has a thing for Teddys, in fact, my thinking was that our cats could drag it around the house instead of my shoes. But still… I paid for it – therefore I want it.

I sent an e-mail to the Company – complaining that I was not impressed with the presentation and noted there was no stuffed toy.

An e-mail reply came back apologising for no Teddy and that one would be delivered. No mention about the presentation and that they would endure that would be addressed (so others don’t receive the same)

They sent an (over-sized) Teddy the next day.

The cats are scared of this.

All in all, a poor experience. An event which comes one a year – which should be managed by people who do this for a living – I’d expect a perfect service, which I don’t think is too much to ask. I won’t accept ‘This is Thailand’ – that is not an acceptable excuse.

This is incompetence.

Another company added to my growing list of companies I shall never give business to in the future.

Carry on…

Salsa in HuaHin

Fantastic. What a great place to hang out which has a feel-good factor.

Miss Tim and I stumbled across this place one night when walking around the town. It is the venue which used to be Coco Beach Bar. If anyone knows Coco Beach Bar, they will know it was ‘ok’ but nothing special. We never saw it busy – but that may have been down to the over ‘E.T’. He used to run Bullys near the corner of soi 4. He was/is a twat.

They kept the fridge from Bullys… binned the rest.

Anyway, the PR guy outside Salsa beckoned us in – so we thought we’d give it a go. And glad we did.

Novel kind of layout – cocktail bar and open grill and tables/chairs located around a dance floor.

Small cocktail bar – but still a good place to hangout.

The menu is pretty good. Italian and steak. What’s not to like? Personally, I could live on the bread they give you when you first sit down.

The food was great and the service was really good. The best part though – is the Salsa (Ballroom) dancing. The Manager (Mario) gets up and dances with anyone who is up for it and will encourage those who aren’t.

The staff are all on the dance floor too – as Mario gives the punters a little lesson on basic steps. Everyone in the house had a smile on their face. A Fantastic atmosphere.

Did they have to dance at their interview?

We’ve been back a few time since. Sometimes just for cocktails. With the average age of a HH resident being 90 – the oldies do like to have a bit of a dance. They put us 40yr olds to shame. Most oldies know how to dance (properly) and get up on the dance floor and re-live their youth. It’s great to watch the happiness in their faces. I’ve not seen another place like it. No other bar gives you that feel good factor as that one does. A clean bar anyway.

We now make a point of going at least twice a week. Mario is a good host and happy to spend time shooting the breeze with you. The staff are very friendly and approachable. Prices? No idea? The soups, pastas and steaks which we’ve sampled are all great.

The only fault I can find is the spelling on the menu. There are some funny mistakes, which could have been on purpose, as it when you see a mistake, you look for more. A good way to get you to read the whole menu I guess?

I recommend the Mashrooms…

If you’re ever in HH – then do give this place a look.

Back from my travels

Just returned back from a few weeks in the UK with Miss Tim. A good time only to be tarnished by the dregs of society that are around us when we travel.

When I am flying on business, then I fly ‘in’ Business. When I am on my own dollar, I tend to fly economy and use my miles to upgrade. As I’ve recently flown a lot, I didn’t have enough miles to upgrade us. I could have paid the extra 150,000 bht to upgrade us, but that would pay for 3 months rent, so with my sensible head on I decided against it.

Bear in mind that I take more than 50 flights per year, so I know how to conduct myself at check-in, immigration, customs, the lounge and most of all – on the plane.

I can’t stand these imbeciles that go through the metal detectors more than twice, having forgotten to empty their pockets of phones, keys and coins.

I then get annoyed when wealthy old bastards in the lounge talk on their speaker phone to their ’tilac’ – talking pigeon English to a bargirl who is telling them they are staying in tonight eating noodles with their friends.

This, I now laugh at and move to the other end of the lounge so I don’t have to listen to the fool.

When at the departure gate – what I really get annoyed about is the selfish assholes who put their bag on a chair. These bags have been in the trunk of a car, sitting on the ground at a bus stop, been in the back of a wardrobe for months and yet when they get to an airport – are that important that important that they need to take up a seat that someone could be sitting on. Wankers.

I snapped this couple at the departure gate. Sprawled out on the seats which are reserved for certain passengers (elderly, people with kids etc). I’d have loved to have punched their fucking lights out.

Selfish assholes

On a plane – my experience in Business Class has always been good. It’s only when I sit at the back of the plane with what I can only call ‘scumbags’ it’s rarely been less than pleasurable.

This time – the person in front of Miss Tim reclined her seat before take off. I wanted to kick off with a torrent of abuse but Miss Tim insisted I didn’t. There was a guy with her – which meant he’d have to stick up for his botox-faced wench. Which would then lead to me hurling insults and probably an uppercut to the asshole. This would then end in tears.

When walking through the cabin to leave the plane – have you ever noticed what a mess it is? Are these people fucking animals? I pity the cabin crew. When they see the mess left behind, what kind of opinion to they form of economy travelers?

Don’t get me wrong, I am not being a snob. I travel in the economy section, but I behave like a human being. I don’t see the need to make a mess everywhere, drop food on the floor and leave empty bottles/cans under the seat. There is no need.

This time on the plane – an announcement came over the speaker telling people that smoking on board is a criminal offence and you can be prosecuted for. Which means they had detected a smoker.
– I have to ask myself why this prick thought he didn’t have to follow the rules?

When we landed, we were then told to stay in our seats while the Police boarded the plane and took someone away. This delayed us about 15 minutes. I hope the guy was given a severe beating and fine.

This was just the journey to the UK. I wasn’t going to let that spoil my vacation…..

The weather outside’s delightful……

Now in the UK with Miss Tim. Thought I’d pop over and see friends and family as I didn’t see them at Christmas.

I do like going to the UK. Love everything about it. Well.. nearly everything…..

I notice that every airport in the world I have visited – (and I average 60 flights per year) all the people working at Immigration are from the Country I am visiting.

All accept when I come into the UK. Can’t remember the last time I was greeted by a British National?

Why is this a concern?

Well, I don’t take too kindly to being asked what the purpose of my visit to the UK is – as I hold a UK passport and I was born here and am a UK citizen. Is he? Cheeky twat.

But also, the ‘ethnic’ chap who processed us – handed back Miss Tims new passport and said he only needed (to stamp) her old passport (which has her visa in) as it has 2 weeks left until it expires.

I pushed the new passport back over the counter and said he needs to stamp the new passport – as the old one will expire in a few weeks. Again – he said he doesn’t need the new passport.

This was when I asked if a passport needs to have a minimum of 6 months validity to enter into the UK.
– the penny then dropped and said ‘oh yeah, you are right. I need to stamp the new passport’!!

REALLY????

That aside – when we arrived in the UK – it was snowing! For the 1st time in her life, Miss Tim saw/touched the snow. She can also check the box of having a snowball chucked at her.

Loving the cold, dark weather.

Been out on the last with the gang and suffered hangovers most days.

Time is flying by and will soon be back to work.

The only thing I am missing in Thailand is my cats.

Carry on.