Motoring in Thailand. How hard can it be?

Two weeks into my 4 week vacation – and there are several people I have come across which need punches in the face.

Miss Tim and I have bikes.  We find that a bike is really all we need in Hua Hin.  So much easier to get around on.   However, sometimes we want a car.  Miss Tim has a license but as with all Thai’s, this took only 5 minutes to obtain.  It’s a fucking joke.  No wonder there are so many deaths on the road.  Everyone involved in the ‘Learning to Drive’ process needs a punch in the face.

Anyway,  I told Miss Tim to go buy a car – that she can drive and get experience in.  Being her 1st car (and Thai) – she’’ll no doubt end up bumping into something, scratching, knocking or losing it, so no need for anything expensive.

A Fiesta, MG or Suzuki Swift should fit the bill.  First step is to hire one of each of these – to see which is the better fit.   Easy right?   Look at the hire car websites and see which are advertising these cars.

One particular company in HH advertised the Fiesta and Suzuki so we went to see them.   We asked for either – they had none available.    We explained that we don’t need a car immediately, just anytime in the next month.     They offered us a piece of shit Toyota instead.    I then explained that I was looking to buy either a Fiesta or Suzuki as we wanted to try one before we buy.   They then offered us a Honda Jazz.

Getting fed up, I asked when the Fiesta/Suzuki would be returned.  They then said they didn’t have them but  would I like to consider another Toyota?  We walked out – but not before imaging punching everyone of them in the face.

Eventually we found another Company who had one of those little MG’s.   When MG’s were (originally) built in the UK they were pretty crap.  Now the Chinese have them, they are probably worse, and now they’re assembled in Rayong, I could only go by the looks.  Which I think are quite good.

The only thing British about this – is the Driver

Calls made and the car was delivered.  Paperwork filled out and some Thai guy explained how the semi-auto gearbox worked.  I said I understood and that it is a very similar system to that of my 911 Turbo.  He didn’t get it.

After handing over copies of my passport/license and a pile of cash – they fooked off.

I asked Tim if they left any paperwork – and they hadn’t?!    I asked Tim if they took all her details too – which they hadn’t.     What is the point in hiring the car if Tim can’t drive it.   Ah… but she can. No need for paperwork as she is Thai.    Sorry,  but I am used to dealing with professionals.  I asked her to call them up and get some clarification.

As Tim is Thai – she is covered.  Even though she never had to produce a license.  The Hire Car company then went on to say that if we are involved in a crash – call them 1st so we can get the story straight.  The story being that we had ‘borrowed’ the car from them.  This way the insurance claim will be easier.

This sends alarm bells ringing.   I thought this was a professional /  legitimate company?    If we go out driving and Tim crashes or someone crashes into Tim,  who do you think will get in trouble?  That’s right.  Me, the farrang with their name on the hire agreement.   I don’t trust the Thai’s when it comes to claiming responsibility especially when there is money involved.

I told Tim that these people are clowns.  Shove the car – they can have it back and shove the money up their arse.   I am not driving it.  When I see them next, I shall punch them in the face.

After calming down – we took it for a drive after I removed all that crap dangling from the rear view mirror.  Apparently it was for ‘luck’.   I tried explaining that I need visibility out of the windscreen more than luck but she no risten.

Turns out the car is shit as predicted.  Won’t be buying one of them.

Probably not helped that Miss Tim can’t drive for shit – which had me questioning her driving instructor, examiner and authenticity of her license.     I told her to find a driving school that actually teaches you how to drive – not how to get a license.

Another crap vehicle we have – is our little Yamaha GT we purchased 7 months ago.  It’s cheap and crap. But then, it cost only 40k new.  This bike was just for popping to the local shops when there is one of us – instead of taking the PCX which is much bigger in size.

I don’t like how it rides – and neither does Tim.  Even after I set the tyre pressure correct after the idiots at the bike shop over-inflate them.   I don’t like it.  Time to get rid of it.

We like the Vespa styles Yamaha Grand Filano.   They cost 50k.   Let’s go get it.  The bike shop we purchased the GT from didn’t have one on display – so we went to another shop.  Big shop that had a massive Yamaha & Suzuki sign outside which could be seen for miles.   Of course, they sell only Hondas.   I made a note of them needing a punch in the face and left.

Another store…  we pulled up and told a salesman we wanted to see a Grand Filano.  So he walked us over to a ‘Fino’.  They are totally different.  The guy didn’t know what he was selling.   I ignored him and found one myself.  They look good – so I said we want it.   However, they wouldn’t take our 7 month old Yamaha in exchange.

Move on.

Back to the original store – the girl said they have no Filanos available – but could order one.  Fine.  Do it.

However, to exchange our GT, that would take a week processing paperwork and would be a very low price.   Of course it would.  Because no one seems to know how to do business in this fucking place.

Luckily for us – Lomeo told us of a Used bike dealer who buys and sells bikes – so off she went.   Deal done, cash paid all within 10 minutes.  Now that’s more like it!

Back to the Yamaha shop – money handed over.  Just need to find out when it can be collected.   Easy right?  Wrong.

Miss Tim (who I used to think had her head screwed on) had to look at some Thai website to find out which day was a ‘lucky’ day pick up a bike?   I wish I was joking.

So there I am in the middle of a bike shop – trying to tell anyone who will listen that this ‘Thai Good Luck’ is complete and utter shite.

For all the preying, luck, beliefs, colors, flowers, horn tooting,  none of it works as Thailand people are still in poverty, being killed in large numbers on the road,  people having lives wrecked by floods, corrupt police, volatile Government…etc.. the list goes on.   So if this is all down to ‘good luck’  – they may want to look at their belief system.

Of course, in the middle of the bike shop – no one paid me any attention.  They just sat on their phones while the mechanic over inflated as many bike tires as possible.

I think the only person who would have got punched in the face was me.

With that out of the way, I was in the mood for buying bikes.  I wanted a bigger one for me now.  I had seen the Beneli 250 recently so went to the dealer to check it out.

Into the Dealership, a few bikes scattered around but no 250 I was looking for.  Miss Tim asked someone and they pointed to the workshop area where one was having the finishing touches before it would be ready for the showroom.

I sat on it.  Liked it.  Wanted it.     What next?

Well here is my problem.   I shouldn’t have to spend time and effort to buy something of expense.  That is the job of a salesman – to make it easy for me.  I was expecting someone to give me some spiel about it.   There was us… sitting on it, fiddling with it, making engine noises and looking over at the salesman to come and take my cash.  Nothing.  He was more interested in sitting on his arse.

I had a similar experience in Dubai when Miss Tim and I went to view a Ferrari.  The salesman saw us pouring all over it and didn’t bother talking to us.  Eventually when we called him over, he had less knowledge of the car than I did.  I really do hate incompetence.

So with that, I got off the Benelli and walked out in a huff.  Fuck them.  And these people wonder why they don’t make any profits?   That would have been the easiest sale ever.  All I wanted to do was give him money.  Now all I want to do is punch him in the face.

It’s now Thursday morning.   Tomorrow we are off Bangkok.  After a spot of lunch the Rats and I shall head to Pattaya for 12 hours then back to Bangkok.  Saturday session (Frank?) and then off to watch the Mayweather  give McGregor a punch in the face.on Sunday morning.

Back to HH on Sunday night to watch the F1 somewhere.

Then I have to wait out all of Monday before collecting the new bike on ‘Lucky’ Tuesday.

 

 

 

Pattaya-man

I’ve written about this guy before.  But things have moved on in the past few years.   To recap…. I once worked with a guy who is in his 60’s, nearing retirement and looking to hang up his gloves somewhere warmer than his homeland of Scotland and preferably near a golf course.

He went to Pattaya on some golfing holidays as you do – and fell in love with a girl more than 30 years younger than him.  She was a ‘good girl’.    Even though he met her in a beer bar in Walking street – he was convinced she was as pure as the driven snow.

As time went on – he moved her in.   He then had a nice big house with swimming pool built and put her kid into private school.

There were many times where I suspected something wasn’t right – but he dismissed them all.

For example – he’d be working (away) but she could not be contacted.   Apparently the App on her phone stopped working properly so she could only text message?!  I asked what was wrong with the home computer he has, but he said she couldn’t remember her SKYPE password?!  He believed it all.

He even had CCTV installed in his house that conveniently didn’t work when he was not there.

There are many little tales like this – but what do I know?  I had only been here 10+  years, employed girls who run these scam on guys like this.  What do I know?

Roll on a few years and I find that he has had another house built – this one for her parents – who are younger than him.  I asked why?.  He said ‘because that’s what you do’?!

I also found that he has since moved out of his nice big house and has it rented out (for the income) and lives in some shithole in Issan near the parents.  He may even have had that one built to.

The kid is in school up there too – so the few years in expensive school was a complete waste of money.

He has sold his house back in Scotland and he recently tied the knot with her!

The guy is a fucking idiot.

He is 66 or 67.   She is 32 or 33.    He likes playing golf, reading books and fallking asleep at 7pm.    He claims that’s what she is into.   Do you remember what you were like when you were in your 30’s?   Moreover,  what women are like in their 30’s?!

So anyway,  I’ve not really kept in touch with this guy over the last few years – as I think he is a nob.  He has sold all his assets – and what he does have left is in his name.  His kids back home in Scotland will get nothing when he eventually chucks himself off the balcony.

His wife who he’s only known a 4 years will get it all.

So why am I telling you this?    Well,  he just got in contact and told me he has just rented a small studio condo in Pattaya and will be there this month.

Just so happens we are planning a Patts trip so I think I’ll meet up with him and remind him what a dick he is.

I shall ask him why it is – he has his dream house – rented out to pay for the living expenses of HER family?   Why it is he bought her parents a house?  Why it is, he didn’t stay in his own house and live off the money in the bank?  Or even better, buy another house and rent that out – for the income?

I may just sum it up and ask what it is he thinks a young(ish) girl sees in an old fart like him?

If he was 25 years younger – I’d give him a slap.

Next Friday – is ‘Pattaya Day’!

Do Not Disturb….

Heading to Bangkok, I stopped off in Dubai for a few days to catch up with some pals and go for Dubai tradition known as the Friday Brunch.   Basically all you can eat and drink for 4 hours.  It’s costs around 10k which isn’t too bad at all in Dubai.  The more you eat/drink, the better the value it is.

I got wasted.  Badly.  I’d been away for a month – so was out of practice.    Saturday morning I was on the plane to Bangkok and if I am honest – I had felt better.

The plan was to sleep on the plane, get fully refreshed and then hit the town when I arrived.

That plan went to shit when some horrible little fucking Arab kid was being a total pain in the arse on the flight.  He was shouting in his weird American accent to his sister (who was mostly ignoring him) telling her how to raise and lower the window blinds, or how to open up the table, or select movies.  He was a total little shit and his parents didn’t bat an eyelid.  Even though all lights were dimmed and everyone was trying to sleep – the little shit just wouldn’t shut the fuck up.   I should have upped and moved I know, but I was just hoping at any moment he’d either turn his attention to a movie or maybe stick his tongue in a power socket.    I was hoping to see them at the airport when we landed – so I could call them a bunch of ignorant twats but I didn’t see them.   Of course, I’d never say that to them while we’re on an Emirates plane – flying over the Emirates.  I am not stupid!

Into Bangkok – no traffic.  The Chauffer was there to meet me and took my case to the waiting Benz.   Cold towel and water waiting for me.  Great.  This is how it should be.

Less than 30 mins I arrived at the Landmark.   Signed my name and was taken to my suite.  Great.

After unpacking and having a quick shower, things turned a little sour.   I wasn’t feeling so good.   In fact, I started feeling quite bad.

It was almost midnight, so decided against going out.  Instead, I’ll recharge my batteries – ready for the next day (Sunday).  I had people to meet up with, so wanted to be ready.

From 4am onwards I was sick.  Proper sick.  Bits of stomach lining, shit, snot, blood and 25 year old bubble gum exited my body for the next 6 hours.   The most sleep I got was a few hours on the bathroom floor – laying in my own puddle of tears.

As daylight was breaking through the windows, I hit the ‘do not disturb’ button on the little Control Panel by the bed.  Very convenient that.    And off I dozed.

Now,  when I light up the ‘do not disturb’… I expect whoever the fuck it is on the other side of the door to see that light and well…. No disturb me.   But oh no,  the Gods of kindness were on a break.  Instead, housekeeping rang the doorbell.    I was too weak to shout out ‘foook off’.   They opened the door but there was an inside lock stopping them from entering.

A little while later – the phone went asking me if I wanted Housekeeping.   I told them I didn’t want to be disturbed.  I was not well and would be sleeping all day.  They asked if I wanted water.  NO.  I have 10 bottles in here – and don’t need anymore.   Do I want fresh towels?  NO!  I am on my own in the suite.  There are enough towels in here for a Toga party.  PLEASE, just leave me alone.

An hour later…. The phone rings.  ‘House Keeping’.      I told them once again.  Please.  LEAVE ME ALONE.

A few hours later – another knock at the door.   This time I open it and find a lady asking if I want the Turn-down service.   I told her I do not want to be disturbed.  I don’t want water and I don’t want anymore bastard towels.   And back to bed it was.

Crap sleep all day/night.    This was not how I saw my first weekend here.

I was supposed to meet up with several people – but was unable.  Genuine sick.   Luckily, the Sunday gang do their meet up every Sunday – so I’ll try for next week.

Monday morning I was glad to be heading home to HH.  I spent 15k on a hotel room which I spend all the time being ‘crook’.    When I checked out – they asked me if everything was to my satisfaction – to which I said No.  Then went on to tell them what ‘do no disturb’ means.  Thy guy on the desk was very apologetic and responsed with with what I am sure they have all been trained to respond with… something along the lines of ‘ o.k Sir, we have your feedback and shall look at changing our policies so these incidents do not happen again’.   Knowing that this was a ‘fob-off’ – I asked that surely their policy was already ‘do not disturb’ a room which has a big red light on the door that says ‘do not disturb’?

My driver picked me up at 12.   By 4pm I was on my sofa – feeling sorry for myself and thinking about how I can make up the time I have lost.

So I shall return in a week.   GM will be in town, PRP  – and Flank will still be here.   Some other pals will also be hanging out who I want to catch up with – as I didn’t see them this weekend.

Infact, maybe it’s time we headed to Pattaya?

Counting Down……

Next week I shall be heading home to Hua Hin for some R&R – having now worked a whole month, I deserve a month off.

Stopping off in Dubai for a few days to catch up with some pals – and then into Bangkok for next weekend.

Saturday and Sunday night I shall be in town trying to amuse myself.  Most of the Rats have left the sinking ship, there are still one or two around to go drinking with.

Monday I shall head home to HH – where I have nothing planned but to sit by the pool for a month.

Of course,  that’ll get boring after a while so I’ll need something to entertain me.   Hmm… there is a Ferry to Pattaya just down the road.   It’s about time I gave that one a try I think?

Didn’t I read somewhere that Flank was in town next week?   Beer or 10?