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.

How hard can it be?

The weather in HH is pretty crap right now. This gives me a little time to sit on the internet and do a little research in my pursuit of happiness.

There are few things I need to be a happy little bunny in Hua Hin.

Nice house,  pool, not too far from the town center,  a car and a bike.  Simple.   I am sure I am not alone.  After all,  I’d have thought most if not all Farrangs living here would want the same. – House and transport.

So why do the Thai’s make it so bloody difficult to find either?

Lets start with the housing.  I have yet to find a house where the neighbours are not complete and utter selfish wankers.  They all seem to have dogs which are left outside all day – who like to bark.  Why do they bark?  Well, on all the estates I’ve lived on, there are gardeners and pool cleaners walking about all day – in and out of gardens at their leisure.  My current bunch of gardeners seem to spend more time in my garden than me.  Not sure what it is they are claiming to be doing, as whenever I see them, they are sitting in the shade and gazing into their phones.

So why have a dog?  I keep hearing its for security.  Now, there may have been a time whereby if a dog barked, it would raise alarm and people would investigate. But now?  No one cares.  It’s just another dog left alone in a garden barking at the pool cleaner.  In fact,  dressing up as a pool cleaner would be a good cover for burglar.  When the Thai’s get wind of that idea,  I’ll expect to see a news report on Stickboy of a pool cleaner getting caught for Burglary.. in a condo.

Getting back on point…..   How do you find a house?   The internet of course.  It is after all 2017.

Sounds easier than it is.  Not one of the Real Estate Agents (in HH) has a decent website.  At best, all you can do is search on a house or condo within a price range.  There are no filters, advace searches or boxes to check.  The photos are terrible and the content is shite.  The house I was living in has never been off the site – even though I had a 1 year lease.    Each time I inquired about a house advertised, I was told the house was rented out – but they conveniently had details on another house, which was completely different to the type of houses I was interested in.  I don’t get it.  Miss Tim said the Agents like to keep as much content on the site as possible – as it makes them look good.   I tried explaining that any normal person with half a brain doesn’t think like that.  After being disappointed a few times, I then leave that site and go somewhere else.   When will Thai’s realize that if they advertise houses that they actually have available – then people might actually do business with them.

Pisses me right off.   These people really are dumb.  Annoyingly,  a lot of these Agents have a Farrang in the Leadership/Management team.   Surely they could raise the point of saying “lets put a status on the houses we have advertised as ‘available’ or ‘unavailable’  – so that people don’t waste theirs and our time”?

So instead of what would be a simple and easy process is made into a painful long one.  I have bought many properties in the UK.  Found in the internet after a simple search and then then bought.  Easy.

Instead,  I have to enter into many conversations with the Agents – give them my requirements – and they’ll then come up with a bunch of properties that are completely different to what I want.

I now let Miss Tim do it.  As I will at some point call them all a bunch off fucking clowns who have no idea what they’re doing.

Now, Miss Tim and I have to get on a bike and ride around Hua Hin, looking at new housing estates, peeking over walls and through gates to see where the houses are that we like – and then ask security if any are available.   We also get to see if there are any bloody dogs around as we peek over fences.  Good job we’re in our Pool Cleaning uniform.

Our house hunt continues.   We’ve a few months to go.

So if anyone knows of a Pool Villa,  3 bed for upto 60k per month – please let me know.  No dogs nearby though.

Next up is transportation.    Once I have a house, I need to get to and from it.  Easy right?  Wrong.

I don’t want to go traipsing round all the bloody show-rooms, asking for a price – and then spending the next half hour of them telling you of all the different deals on offer.  I like to go to their website and compare models and prices.     Why is it none of the dealers have prices displayed on their windows?

This is for bikes and cars.   Again, back in Farangland, I have bought many, many cars and bikes from dealers – using only the internet.

It’s easy.   Go to the website,  enter in the search criteria and bam.. the results are displayed.  Click on a few buttons and it’s done.

I really can’t believe the Thai’s here do not have the technology to do this.  They have.  What they don’t have – is the brains and know-how about implementing such a new concept.

I have searched for Bike/Car websites.   Looking for a car and a bike.    Nothing is easy.

Picked up a new bike the other day – which was purchased only because we happened to ride past it the other week and it caught my eye.  After searching the internet for their website to get details (and failing), Miss Tim went into the shop to find out all about it.  – then bought it.

So my point it?

Spend a bit of money in developing a website.  It doesn’t have to be fancy – just give pertinent information on the products you are wanting to sell.  It’s not rocket science.

Half the bloody country is full of ‘IT’ experts – surely there is one out there who can come up with a plan?  They could even wave their fee – for a commission on each sale done through the website?

There are many, many opportunities.

Until then,  I’ll just keep bitching and moaning about riding round the streets all day looking for a bloody house with no dogs or termites.

Kicking off 2017…

What a great New Years Eve…..

New Years Eve celebrations started on the 30th for us. I landed at 7am… Lomeo & Juliet were are the airport to meet me – and we all headed off to Hua Hin

A few beers by the pool in the afternoon before heading into town for a skinful of more booze.

Hua Hin is pretty busy – which I guess is to be expected this time of year. But the atmosphere was buzzing –as were we.

The usual bars of Hua Hin were visited – along with a new one. The Salsa bar. Miss Tim and I visited this place last time – on my last night here. It was pretty good.

Salsa is owned by the Italian Restaurant a few doors away. The food is great, but we were just wanting Cocktails. The cool thing about this bar is…. The Manager (Mario) is a great host who makes an effort to welcome everyone in the venue. He then encourages as many people as possible to get up on the dance floor and teaches them all a few dance-moves. Makes for a great atmosphere.

Several other bars in the ‘grid’ were visited and by 1am we were ready to head back home. It had been 6 hours of binge drinking and we were all worse for wear. Some more than others. I think I fell asleep before my head hit the pillow.

New Years Eve I woke with a bit of a hangover. I don’t think I was alone.

A bit of time wasting by the pool…. A little nap… a cheeky beer and it was time to fire up the bbq. I say fire it up. It was just a case of supplying a spark to the gas.

Lomeo did a sterling job of cooking half a cow. Perfection. We were all stuffed. Time to take another nap.

Courtesy of Chef Lomeo

Courtesy of Chef Lomeo

At 6pm we caught the shuttlebus into town. The place was (as expected) heaving. There was no plan – other than to just take it as it comes.

We hit the usual haunts – El Murphys being one of them. It was full so we took a seat outside.

Opposite El Murphys is a French Restaurant. Couldn’t help but notice the menu advertising ‘Miced Salad’. That’s one way to deal with the rodent problem I guess?

A pal of mine from work was over in Hua Hin so we arranged to meet up in Le Bar. No mice on the menu here. They did however have a big spread of all sorts of free food.

Le Bar is a wine bar. It’s actually quite a nice bar. Friendly staff. Good company and good drinking! Not evening at all. My pals headed back to their villa around 11 – so we decided to head off to the Salsa bar.

whatsapp-image-2017-01-06-at-13-14-50-2

All the Staff get up and dance.. which was cool

There were a couple of tables left so we grabbed one. There was a real good buzz to the place. I am not going to go into it now, as I feel it deserves it’s own post later.

Singing, dancing, drinking, laughing… all the ingredients for a good night.

Hua Hin was busy – which was good to see.  I’ve never seen it so busy.  I know it’s the holiday season, but hopefully the momentum will continue.

As expected, there we no taxi’s/tuk tuks at the end of the night. There were however the usual ‘private’ taxi’s – crawling by the kerbside, offering their services through their window. Slapping another 100bht on the regular price. Which is less than 3 quid, so I am not going to complain.

By 01:30 we were all back to the pad.. snoring.. ready for the mornings hangover which was sure to pay us a visit in the morning.

Happy New Year 2017!

Another year almost in the bag.   What to make of it all?

Well, 2015 was a fantastic year for me – and 2016 turned out to be even better

The general feeling is from everyone that 2016 sucked arse.  What with so many famous people kicking the bucket – but then, it’s not like I knew them, so I don’t care.

I left Dubai and moved back to Thailand.  Took a hefty pay-cut,  but as my outgoings are equally reduced, I am not really any worse off – but have gained 6 months a year off.  So not bad at all me thinks?

Moved into a great new house – although, it’s now being eaten before my very eyes and although I like the house, I don’t like the neighbours, so I think 2017 will see use move elsewhere.

In 2016 we said goodbye to Jonas and GM.   They’ve gone in the Pursuit of Happiness elsewhere.

Miss Tim and I carried out quite a few trips abroad – all helping towards her eventual transition to becoming a Farang.

Not much else going on really….  I am settling into my sleepy ‘take it easy’ lifestyle quite well.

On the downside, on the 1st of January I shall no longer be able to say “last year I was in my 30’s”

But until then,  we’ll be celebrating the New Year in sleepy Hua Hin.  Kicking off with a bbq by the pool – with Lomeo showing off his grill-skills.

Here is to a fantastic 2017.

Happy New Year to each and all.

happy-new-year-picture

– Unless you’re a dick that is.

Tis the season to be jolly tra la la la la….

Although Christmas is something to do with some fictional figure being born – during these festive times,  there is not really much talk of religion. Not that I am complaining.

Listening to the Band Aid song on the UK radio – I can’t help but chuckle at the lyrics.   Bear in mind this song was about poverty/starvation in Africa..  (no, that’s not what I am chuckling about).. listening to the lyrics you’ll hear the line ‘Thank god it’s them instead of you’!

Just think about that for a moment.  ‘Thanking god that its them and not you’.   So does that mean god has made this all happen – to them and not you?  So you should thank him?    Is that how this works?

I like Christmas.  I am not religious – so am I being a hypocrite?   Probably. But I did see something somewhere that referred to this period as a Winter Festival.   I like the sound of that.

I like the trees, the lights, the cold, dark evenings, the food, the snow, the atmosphere round the shops…. great.  Love it.

Only this year, I am in the Middle-East –  specifically Iraq.  They’re not exactly known for celebrating Christmas here.

Having said that,  we do have some decorations in the office – and our local Iraqi work colleagues even have some decorations.    So I’d like to just take a moment (bearing in mind that it’s the season of goodwill to all men) to speak of my Iraqi friends here.  For those of you who have never been here and have only SKY News as a hub of information – I have to say all of the Iraqi’s I’ve met and work with have all been nice and friendly. A good bunch.

Don’t believe everything you see on the news.

Next week I fly home.   Can’t wait.  Lots planned.    I am hoping New Years Eve will be a good one.

A good end to a good year.

Who says we cant be festive here?

Who says we cant be festive here?