Happy New Year (round-up)

Happy New Year to all!

happy new year 2015

It’s not been a particularly eventful year really. Thailand is going down the toilet at a rapid rate.

Some highlights of the year gone by…

Miss Tim learned to drive. Well, she completed the Thai required training that enables her to have a license.
http://mangounchained.com/2014/02/learning-to-drive-in-thailand/

Flank arrived on the scene. Tales of him and his (crazy) girlfriend kept us entertained while we all wondered where it was heading.. and still do!
http://mangounchained.com/2014/04/back-in-bangkok-by-frank/

It all kicked off in Thailand. More chaos in the streets. More protests, more disruption and the return of the dreaded curfew. Seriously, is Thailand not suffering enough?
http://mangounchained.com/2014/05/here-we-go-again-2/

Life in Thailand is starting to take it’s toll on me (and many others) and many of us are thinking of life after Thailand. I’ll have an update on my situation in the new year.
http://mangounchained.com/2014/07/life-after-thailand/

DavetheRave was fired from the Nana Group – as cutbacks had to be made. This was actually a blessing for Dave and he has a new lease of life and returned to his old routes. Dave is now the Manager of what I say is the best gogo in Nana Plaza.
http://mangounchained.com/2014/08/spellbound-aka-pretty-lady/

Starting to get annoyed with Thailand… A list was generated stating 10 things I had forgotten about Thailand.
http://mangounchained.com/2014/10/10-things-i-had-forgotten-about-thailand/

With Thailand going down the pan and it not being so much fun, Miss Tim and I decided to spend a little more time in the UK. But first, we needed to apply for another visa.
http://mangounchained.com/2014/08/visa-uk-not-thai/

When in the UK… Of course, we hit London, joined by our good pal Jonas. Bangkok’s resident drunk.
http://mangounchained.com/2014/10/day-out-in-london/

Good News for Gamblin Man – he landed a job at a Casino across the border – Lomeo paid him a visit…
http://mangounchained.com/2014/11/savanvegas-baby-by-lomeo/

Speaking of Lomeo – he often visits Pattaya and shared one of his tales…
http://mangounchained.com/2014/10/lomeo-heads-to-pattaya-by-lomeo/

One of the things that Miss Tim and I have been searching for these past few years – is the perfect hotel. In one of my posts where I cover a few weeks of traveling around – I gave it a little mention. S15!
http://mangounchained.com/2014/12/my-hectic-few-weeks-traveling-hotels-bar-crawls/

2015 looks to be an interesting year – certainly for Miss Tim and I. We have a few things planned. It’s the year when I shall turn 40, so according to the saying – ‘my life will begin’.

It’s been a few years since we’ve seen some of the old regulars…. RainMan, Rolln, nRon, but to name a few.
– (getting old, can’t remember all the names)

Maybe we’ll see them in 2015?

One the best days out with ‘the rats’ was this one. Still remember it well. Hopefully we can repeat it in 2015?!!
http://mangounchained.com/2014/06/lomeos-tale-through-my-eyes/

– Carry on.

True Love?

Maybe I am just an old cynic, but… I work with a guy who is in a relationship with a Thai girl. Here are the FACTS. After you’ve read it, you’ll know as much as me. What’s your take.

He is almost 64.

She is 31.

He first went to Thailand 3 years ago, fell in love with a girl who cheated on him. He then met his latest. He has been with her 2 years now.

He works away for 1 month and then goes home for a month. Continue reading “True Love?”

Happy Birthday Flank! – Tales from the Vault : When it all begun…

The year is 1989….a young Construction Engineer is summoned by the main Contractor (Kajima) and asked to go to Bkk to help out the Condominium in Soi Somkid to get out of the ground and reach typical floor levels….ok, no prob…but!!! Bangkok, never been there before…..fuck, shitting myself, me being me, I went Fuck it and there I went….

Hit Do Muang Airport and our Manager Picked me up….driving to Sukhumvit was like ‘ on what fucking planet was I??’
Checked in in a small hotel in a soi next to the British Embassy and off we we went for lunch at the big mall in Somkid, forget the name, might have been Robinson, but I stand corrected.

After that my Manager said….do you want to go for a beer?…..Fuckin right on!!!

That is how I ended up in Nana Plaza in a bar called Three Roses, right next to the Hog’s Breath which was to become my preferred haunt, especially on Sundays for the free Chilli and rice and the CNN News……………..

That’s when I met Won and moved into an apartment in Soi sip ed off Suk….and things went nuts………..

to be continued…..

Flank and his Daughter.   - We like her more than him.
Flank and his Daughter. – Obviously got her Mothers looks.

Buriram : The Aftermath – By Flank.

(Update from last time)

Well I have been back in Oz for a while now….but …Thailand never seems to get of your system. Funny that. I am still with RC but I am not sure when I come back to the land of smiles.

There is a good chance I will end up in the Middle East early next year.

So now, it seems I have a house in Buriram…RC and her family are building a big annex to their house and it looks good from the 5thousand pics she sends me each day.

Ok fair enough, I asked her , where she got the money to finance this…well it seems the shop I set up for her is making money…sweet. you have to understand, I don’t send her any money…so this is interesting.

Anyway all is good……Thai Girls!…you never really under stand them but you can’t stop loving them….right guys….

live long and prosper….Frank

Asians with Attitude

Sitting in what was Zen Bar the other week…… I have to say was not a pleasant experience.

We wanted to sit at the counter with the street view – which meant 3 or 4 girls had to stop applying make-up, eating noodles and playing with their phones and move. They were not happy with this.

After we got our drinks, a rather aggressive girl asked us if we wanted a girl. I declined. If I want a girl, I’ll ask. Thanks. She then went on to say that we should buy the girls a drink, as it makes up their salary. Thanks – I know how it works. I said that I don’t feel in the mood to buy a girl a drink just because I happen to be in the same bar as her. With that, she copped a mood swing and ignored me. – thanks!

She then turned to my pal and pestered him. Telling him that we should buy the girls drinks as they need to get them for their salary. No ‘please’.. no chat-up, no flirting. It was a straight.. you are in this bar, therefor you should buy me a drink. With that – we check-binned, no tip and left, never to return again.

We all know that some bars have quotas and drink sales targets – but there are ways and means on how to achieve that. The hard-sell just does not work.

Back in the day at the Mango, there were no quotas. Of course the girls made money on each drink that was bought for her – but there was never (allowed to be) a hard sell.

I remember a girl we took on.. a real ugly thing she was. So ugly that when one of the partners saw her, he wanted her fired. I stepped in as I had seen her work the floor with the customers. An absolute professional. Pleasant, polite, articulate… she knew exactly how to work the crowd. I believe she held the records of how many lady drinks were bought for a member of staff. Put the others to shame.

As stated everywhere on many sites – Bangkok is not the place it used to be. To be hounded by hounds when you’re just wanting to have a beer with your pals is not a place I want to be.

The Zen Bar is dead to me.

Picture Post

I am no photographer… and if I am honest, most of my pictures are taken on my iPhone when I am drunk.

Doing a little house-keeping on my phone today, I came across some that I thought I’d share. Saves typing a thousand words.

M-Pub Doner Burger

Not officially on the menu – but as Kwan runs the place, I was served with my odd request!

Toffee Apple Cider?
Toffee Apple Cider?

What IS on the menu at the M-Pub is Toffee Apple Cider. Not bad!

I need leg room
I need leg room

The limo that GM arranged to bring Miss Tim and I to his Casino. People must have thought we were hot shit!!

S15 Hotel Room
S15 Hotel Room

Not a very good quality pic – but I think you can get the gist. Big TV, large sofa and round the corner is a desk, CD player and arm chair.

Got milk...
Got milk…

This was stuck to a wall somewhere. Not sure what the message was or why?

Guess who?
Guess who?

And last of all… a drunk guy falls asleep at the (old) M-Bar.

My hectic few weeks…. traveling, hotels, bar crawls….

It’s been a bit of a hectic few weeks!……

I hate flying. Or at least I thought I did. I fly a lot. And by that I mean I must take more than 30 long haul flights per year. I am however in the fortunate position to be able to fly mainly Business and First Class. On occasion, Economy (when I am paying)

I have noticed that people who are in First Class are quite rude and demanding. I never hear a please or thank-you and never see them crack a smile. But then, I guess in their world, they don’t have to say please and thank-you?

In Business Class, most of the people I see are trying to get as much out of the flight as possible. They eat everything available and then ask for more. They ‘relocate’ all the toiletries, pajamas and other items given out on the flight into their hand luggage. You can spot the Economy travelers who have scored a free upgrade – as they are the ones smiling and saying thank you for everything.

Back in Economy, you get the selfish people who don’t think of the people behind or the people in front when reclining their seats or punching the touch screen – waking the person up in front.

When the food comes out, it’s served on a tray – much like prison. Again, every scrap of food is eaten and the plastic bowls licked clean. Economy can be a nasty place.

I fit into the Business section, however, I am always polite, never give the cabin crew any grief and always keep my area tidy. It’s just the way I am.

Being such a frequent flyer I have managed to obtain the Platinum card on Emirates. So, if you’re smart and book an economy flight… depending on the plane size and timings, you can almost guarantee you’ll get a free upgrade.

This is something that 9/10 times I manage to secure. However, the other day, the flight I had to take just didn’t work out and I ended up at the back of the plane on a row of 3 seats by the window. Luckily there was no one next to me but the guy on the isle was a fat old German. I’d have a guess at ‘sex tourist’ as he sat with his trousers unbuckled the whole journey. Ate/drank everything that was on offer and even asked for extra.

As per the norm, the Cabin staff came to me (the Platinum member), welcomed me onboard and asked if there was anything they could get me. – ignoring everyone around them. I politely asked for a bottle of water and in return was given a ‘goody bag’ from the crew containing water, nuts, snacks, a pen and other odds and sods. A nice touch.

So why do I hate flying? Well, it’s not so much the flying, it’s the other people on the plane. I guess I just don’t like people. Rude, obnoxious, ignorant assholes. Manners cost nothing.

One thing that summed it up for me was this. When you travel with a bag/back pack/ handbag / holdall or whatever, that bag will at some point spend time in the trunk of a car, on a hotel reception floor, at a bus stop, by your feet in a queue or stuck in the loft for 6 months when you are not using it. So why oh why is it, as soon as you get to the gates an airport that bag becomes so fucking precious that you have to put it on a seat next to you – stopping others from sitting down. For me, I now look for these people and tell them to move their fucking bags off the seat. So take away all the people and I am the happiest traveler in the world!

The arrival…

Landing in Bangkok at 8am on Monday morning, I had a choice of going to soi 4 and meet up with Jonas or head home to Hua Hin for a bit of relaxing. I chose the latter as I wanted to be in a fit state for Pattaya on Wednesday.

My driver was waiting for me at the airport and I was sitting by the pool by 11am.

Into town to see the latest shoes that Miss Tim has her eye on and then a quick bite to eat. Nothing much has changed in Hua Hin in the 6 weeks I’ve been away. Nothing except for my favorite Steak restaurant ‘Prime’ has now moved location to be situated opposite the Hilton Hotel.

It’s pretty nice and they’ve spent a lot of money. The only down side I’d say is that they have now become that big that it’s no longer a cosy little restaurant. Not good for us, but for the owners, good for them for increasing their success.

As I was heading to Pattaya with the lads, we decided to head to Bangkok on Tuesday so we didn’t have to get up early to head to Bangkok. As stated before, we thought we’d give the Galleria 10 a try.

If ever there was an advert for photoshop.. the Galleria10 website is it. Bastards. The pictures looked so attractive and inviting.

For starters, the parking is a nightmare. The site says Valet parking but when we arrived, we were left to park the Fortuna on the driveway. Fortunately there was a space. At no time did we have to give the registration number or take a ticket. We could have just parked there for a week and stayed somewhere else.

Checking in took about 15 mins. Not sure what the hold up was? It was all done online but that means nothing. The girl behind the counter still spent 10 mins punching hell out of her keyboard.

The room was clean enough so we dumped our stuff off and headed to the roof to check out the pool / bar. Expecting to be similar to the website pics, we were disappointed. The plan was to hang out there and get drunk. We decided not to bother.

Off to T21 for a mosey round the shops and take in a movie – Interstellar. 17 hours later we left the movie theater and headed to Soi 22 ‘Too Easy Bar’ to see our little pal Ja. She wasn’t there, but there were a couple of old bastards there putting on a load of Heavy Metal/Rock shite on the speaker system. After a couple we headed home – ready for the off in the morning.

Breakfast at the hotel was not too bad. Good selection but the place was packed. Mainly with youngsters and a lot of Indians. Not the Indians from the Western World…. the Indians from India who don’t know how to queue or wash. They just literally stood in the middle of the dining hall eating by the serving tables. Odd!

I like a bit of tea and toast in the morning – so chucked a loaf of bread in the conveyor belt style toasting machine. I hate these as the bread always gets stuck at the back of the machine – meaning I have to stick my arm in to free it up. You’d have thought I’d have learned not to do that after the 4th time I burned my flesh on the stainless steel. More than a week and I still have the wound!

11am was time to meet at the Black Swan with the Rats. Rick Masters and Lomeo were already in there drinking. The plan was to have some breakfast, but after seeing the size of the BLT that Rick ordered – there was no way we could eat that. It’s was huge. Got to say – very impressed with the food in there.

– Jonas arrived shortly after having been for a few warm up drinks in Morning Night.

Off we set for Pattaya – which I shall write up in a separate report a little later – as I am still trying to piece together the events. So I’ll continue this as I arrived back at the hotel….

Going to Pattaya, there were 4 of us. Returning, there was only Jonas and I. When the van pulled up outside the hotel, Jonas and I woke. We felt bad. Real bad. I handed Jonas the bag of 6 unopened McDonald’s burgers and headed to my room. I was still drunk. Badly drunk. So much that I now had to double time it as I was needing to be sick. No time to exchange pleasantries to the reception staff who tried to talk to me. As I got through my door, I aimed for the bathroom and all hell let loose. It was a mess. I could not control it. Miss Tim was soon up and (bless her) – sat me on the toilet and cleaned up what looked like 3 bottles of wine that had been poured all over the floor. It took a while, but with the bathroom and myself all cleaned up, I got into bed and held on for dear life. Never again. I am too old for this shit.

In the morning, we drove to T21 and ate there. I had no intentions of inflicting more burns to myself. After we were fed and watered – we headed home to Hua Hin.

Not much happening in HH. Weather is good right now so it’s quality time by the pool topping up the tan. Not much time for rest – as the next day I headed back to Bangkok airport to fly to the UK.

Just so happens PRP was transiting in Dubai the same time as me so we hooked up for some Bloody Marys in the 1st class lounge. Not too shabby!

A few days in the cold, wet and dark UK was enough and I was back in Bangkok on Wednesday. Straight back to Hua Hin to check out how many more shoes Miss Tim had purchased since I had been away.

Again, not much time to relax in Hua Hin, as Saturday we headed to see GM in Savanaket.

True to his word, GM had arranged a VIP van to pick us up from the airport and take us to the Border., where we then transferred to the stretch limo which took us to the casino front door. It got many heads turning – by people wanting to know who the bald midget is – getting the VIP treatment.

Miss Tim and I are no gamblers. I’ve always had the philosophy that you should never gamble with any money that you’re not prepared to lose. And as I don’t know (or want to know) how to play cards – my money gets spent at the bar – where I am a winner every time.

Until later that night when I throw up over myself. Then the house wins.

GM had the following day off so took us on a bit of a tour. The town is kept alive by the Casino. A lot of the old town looks to be abandoned. I wonder what the town did before the casino was there?

Personally, I find it interesting to see how a large company can effect a town. To see all the little businesses pop up which are only there to service the people to come to the casino or work there. The business/money that cascades down from the Casino to the man on the street is fascinating. The woman in a little shopfront selling crap probably had no concept of the people sitting in the back of that limo were infact the reason she has a business at all.

There is one main bar in Savan.. called Many Bar. They seem only to serve beer – but don’t mind you bringing your own booze – so we brought along a bottle of Grey Goose and smashed that in.

Got to love good quality vodka that gets you drunk but doesn’t give you a hangover.

We knew it was time to go when GM’s face was so red he looked like a traffic light. Back to the hotel and call it a night.

Next day we headed to Bangkok. GM has a few days off so we thought we’d head out on the town.

Calling up the troops… Lomeo, Jonas, Aussie John GM and myself.. to say our farewells to a good friend and ex-business partner of mine. He has been in Bangkok for around 10 years partying. I have had some serious party’s with this man. The time has come for him to head back to Farangland and live a normal life after living life to the full in Bangers.

I shall be following him in the next few years for sure.

S15 Hotel.

Recommended to me by a pal. Ideal location, right on Sukhumvit road at soi 15. Looked at Agoda and other hotel sites – then decided to go direct to the hotel site. Same prices!!

When we arrived at the hotel, I was shocked to discover that they were actually expecting me! And that any forms that needed filling in, had in fact been filled in by them. The whole process took under 5 minutes. The staff actually seem to be hotel staff. We were impressed.

For some reason or another – we were upgraded to an Executive room too. Nice and big, huge sofa, big TV etc…. all in all, very happy and have now made that our hotel of choice when staying in Bangkok.

until they piss me off that is.

Into the night we went. Meeting up with the gang in Hilary 4. Jonas and Lomeo were already totally twatted, having been out drinking all day. When we arrived at 7pm, we were greeted like dying Brothers or superstars. It was getting close to the time when Jonas would soon be sleeping.

A night in Nana was pretty uneventful. The usual bars, usual places. The traveling must have taken it’s toll on me and I was pretty drunk and feeling sick by midnight. Real sick. So sick that I had thrown up in the toilets at SpellBound and decided to call it a night.

Back to the hotel to cry and feel sorry for myself.

The next day was the best day. Get up, have some breakfast and head back to Hua Hin for some rest.

My all time pet hate
– I’ve think I may have mentioned once or twice how bad the standard of driving is in Thailand. It really pisses me off.

The other day I was at the traffic lights. There was a guy and girl on a bike. The girl was holding a baby. It could not have been more than 8 months old. Just holding it! I shook my head and told Miss Tim if that were to happen in the UK, most probably the baby would be taken away from them an put into Child Care. Miss Tim didn’t understand. She pointed out to me that the Mother had a strong grip on the kid and the kid would not be dropped.

I then asked what would happen if one of them mad Toyota Racing Buses that go up and down the country were smash into the back of the bike? Not even fast. As far as I know, babies heads do not bounce on roads?. What is wrong with these people? Do they have no forward thinking about what ‘could’ happen? Do they think that if they drive safely, then everyone around them will too? I’d like to know the stats of people getting hurt/dead in Thailand that were not responsible for a crash.

So anyway, there I was, on my little PCX with Miss Tim on the back. Nearing a restaurant I indicated to pull into a parking spot. coming to an almost stop, I saw some mad cow on her Scoopyi heading towards me. With nowhere to go (tight parking space in a row of bikes) I aimed the wheel and dived into the space while shouting!

Inevitably, the girl hit the rear of my bike and ended up sliding down the road and giving herself and her bike some fresh road tattoos. Stupid cow. No helmet on either.

The only damage to my bike was a bent license plate. When the girl was scooped up off the road and we made sure she wasn’t badly hurt – I pointed to the indicators on my bike that were still flashing to show I was turning left.
She wasn’t interested. To her it’s just a tiny setback.

Had I not have leaped forward, she would have smashed into Miss Tim. The girl had no helmet and I am betting no license or formal training. What if we were holding a toddler?

It’s incidents like these where I do think I am better off being in the UK where there is Law and Order and standards.

Don’t get me wrong – I love Thailand. My girlfriend is Thai so I don’t want to be too derogatory about her country but I have to think about where I/we are best placed in this world to live which is to the highest standard we can achieve.

Worth a thought….