December in Bangkok, Part II

Between Part I and Part III

December 8-15, 2003

Monday, December 8, 2003 (Icelandic Honey Week)

THOCBDC founders P. F. and A. E. have an admiration for FOX-cat Ann Coulter ... she was recently quoted ... 'out' of her Barbie-Look-A-Like doll ... as saying:

"Why not go to war just for oil? We need oil. What do Hollywood celebrities imagine fuels their private jets? How do they think their cocaine is delivered to them?"

PS: I think we all miss this guy: when everything in his mind was going 'right' we knew it was going 'wrong'. Now, who knows ...

Tuesday, December 9, 2003 (pre-journal)

This from either AP, or UPS, or CNN, or NYT ... it doesn't matter very much which one wrote it:

When asked in the interview about the success of rival candidate Howard Dean, whose antiwar message has resounded with supporters, Kerry responded: "When I voted for the war, I voted for what I thought was best for the country. Did I expect Howard Dean to go off to the left and say, 'I'm against everything?' Sure. Did I expect George Bush to f--- it up as badly as he did? I don't think anybody did."

Is there really anyone in the world who has not heard and/or used the word 'fuck'? Or, would be offended by it in that context? (*)

(*) At just about this same time the American prestige press (Newsweek) reported that the German cannibal, Armin Meiwes, said: "With every piece of flesh I ate I remembered him ... it was like taking communion." The Newsweek tag-sentence then nicely went on to note that Armin ate 44 pounds of his 'harvest' over the next few weeks. CNN, on its World-Wide TV network, added that the two dined on the stir fried genitals of the 'dinee' before the diner went on to the heavier cuts. [at that point the ever cheery CNN 'anchors' faded into the world's weather. "...rain in London..."]

Holy f---!

Tuesday, December 9, 2003

There are two ways to gracefully cross the Chao Phya River by boat: one costs about 2 baht (@ 6 US pennies) ... the other is free. Guess on which one you have to pay? (*)

(*) But there is a 'catch'.

PS to Yesterday:

Gee! Was he really working for Ann!

"There are no American infidels in Baghdad. Never!"

The LA Times reports that the Iraqi military was itself fooled by the creative reporting of furloughed Iraqi Information Minister Muhammed Saeed al-Sahaf (M.S.S.): "After the information minister claimed that Iraqi forces had retaken the Baghdad airport from U.S. troops, two former commanders said, Republican Guard Gen. Mohammed Daash was dispatched to check out a rumor that four or five American tanks had survived the Iraqi counterattack. Daash returned to his headquarters in a panic. 'Four or five tanks!' the commanders quoted Daash as telling his fellow generals. 'Are you out of your minds? The whole damn American Army is at the airport!'"

PPS: During the past 24 hours, THOCBDC has been experiencing a greater-than-usual number of visitors to our Tart Card pages. Apparently, interest has been piqued because of a new tart card book:

Tart cards: illicit ads from London, chronicled in new book
A fine stocking stuffer idea for literate, wired pervs. On sale for under $20. Warning: do not confuse tart cards with tarot cards. Any attempt to read your future with tart cards may bring about truly hazardous results.

"This amusing, enlightening, and beautifully designed book explains the history and graphic/technical development of tart cards with over 400 examples in color. Tart cards are the means by which providers of sexual services advertise in London, and they have become as ubiquitous a symbol of that city as the red telephone boxes where they are found. The book also contains an eye-opening, comprehensive glossary of the suggestive and coded language they use. 128 pages, trade paperback."

The book is available from

Wednesday, December 10, 2003 (Midweek day of the Icelandic Honey Week)

Watcharee's local (Bangkok) Buddhist Temple runs a small school ... for preteens. The visual messages over the individual classroom doors are usually not ambiguous ... though, today, one of them could go either way. [Hint: the one with the car ... though, the wolf and sheep picture do seem to send mixed (both bad) messages]

But, the directions to the hotels (et. al.) are not at all ambiguous.

Thursday, December 11, 2003 (Icelandic Honey Awards Night)

This Buddhist temple ... which is almost next door to us ... is really an oasis of quiet. Besides operating a school it also provides a place for solace; Watcharee visits it regularly; I pass through it several times a day.

As you can see ... from the juxtaposition ... it is located right in the heart of Thai commercial life.

PS: According to ALEXA (an company) ranked #290,357 (*) ... [for the last 3 month's average] ... out of God only knows how many URLS that there are out there in this world. But, dear reader, for just today we moved up to #133,859 (probably based on some Japanese interest in Tart-Cards).

Folks, that means that THOCBDC is really small ... ney ... really tiny potatoes. We are so insignificant that ... [ALEXA refuses to even graph anyone under the 100,000 level] ... that we would need to top to warrant a chart.

But, again according to ALEXA, 200 sites are linked to 'us' ... though many of them are places that I would only visit in disguise or in a nightmare, if ever.

(*) Yes, that means that there were 290,356 sites that were more popular than US. For comparison, was #22. Yep, was #1. ALEXA does not list who was in last place: an 'award' that I think would be worth hanging on the wall. May I nominate:

PPS: This disclaimer does change things a bit doesn't it?

The Alexa Toolbar works only with the Internet Explorer browser. Sites frequented mainly by users of other browsers will be undercounted. For example, the AOL/Netscape browser is not supported, which means that Alexa collects little data from AOL users, and our traffic to is likely lower than it would be for a more representative sample.

Friday, December 12, 2003 (Icelandic Honey Week winds up)

Gore (*) and a little cheesecake dominate the pre-weekend Thai Dailies.

More Gore

(*) Accompanied by the helpful white-gloved finger-pointing hand. If only American cops were so 'useful'; perhaps US cities would have more than one newspaper for the morning read.

Saturday, December 13, 2003

Reader A. P. from the midlands in England wants to know more about Icelandic Honey Week. Sir, it is a Monty Python 'sketch' circa 1972.

Here at River Garden the Christmas tree has gone up

It stands directly in front of a model of River Garden.

Which is just a dozen or so steps away from where we get our mail.

Not far from our front door.

Next to which is our community bulletin board.

Sunday, December 14, 2003

Do you remember that law office on Silom Road? The one that I found a few years ago, shortly after moving to Bangkok? ... It offered a bewildering range of services; even stuff that would make a Los Angeles or Miami firm blush.

Well, today I found an even more wonderful law firm: Ben's. It is located in a strange stretched-out spot called Soi Zero [really just an unofficial street name (*) that describes an alley with a 'tapering-down-to-zero' ceiling (**) ... a stretch of awful 'strip-real-estate' that lies directly under the Expressway ... just at the very point where the Expressway marks the division between Ploenchit Road and Sukhumvit Road (***)].

(*) 'Soi' is roughly 'street' in Thai.

(**) In the part of Soi Zero where there is standing room it is jammed with working girl bars, cheap food and this law office.

(***) Bangkokians will know what this means.

PS: THOCBDC is looking into the possibility that this new Soi Zero law office of Mr. Ben is actually a brilliant 'Walmartish' attempt to widen his own display case. Apparently the Mr. Ben of Silom Road is the same Mr. Ben of Soi Zero.

PPS: Back in March of 2000 I said about Mr. Ben:

My Bangkok "lawyer/solicitor/attorney" has an eclectic practice ... a no frills front office that encourages a diverse walk in trade. Besides offering the normal stock list of services such as "translations", "marriages for aliens" and "notary services" he is able to do something that no 100-partner-stateside-firm could even hope to match: as he is a licensed fortune teller, he "can tell you everything". Do you know what that means? There are no "it could go either way" ... no "the weight of authority would suggest" ... no "in my professional opinion". None of that stuff! Just what will or won't happen ... full stop!

Yikes. Has Mr. Ben given up 'fortune telling'? Not enough Continuing Education credits?

Monday, December 15, 2003 (pre-journal)

Yikes ... where I change trains on the way to Mr. Ben's new law office all sorts of major construction work is going on.

Monday, December 15, 2003

Finally, Hi-Speed Internet service has arrived at our apartment. Though Paul will 'reduce' these two photos of my two immediate-neighborhood hotels ... The Peninsula and the Shangri-La ... I am going to send them 'fully packed'.

Next: Part III

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