Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Sabai, sabai

Monday, and I got absolutely blitzed. Met up with some English friends, early in the evening and had a few beers, then went up Soi Bangla. First I went to a bar in Soi Eric to warn Nicke that I had split up with peanut. The reason behind this is that Nicke and Ead are my friends, but Peanut doesn't like Ead, for some reason. I guessed that if Peanut hadn't gone home sghe would have blown the taxi money on some mekong, and knowing how leary she can get, I thought it best to let Nicke and Ead know.
Whilst I was there, another old pal turned up. He had lived in Thailand for a few years, but gone back to the UK, and was in Thailand on his way back from China, where he had been doing some work.
Then I headed up to Soi Tiger, had a couple of drinks with a Norwegian who runs a bar there, but I decided that the Soi was too noisey (I must be getting middle aged) and decided to head for Dragon-a-gogo.
Whilst walking down Bangla Road, I was accosted by this pretty young thing, who tried to drag me into her bar. I was having none of it, and told her I would come and see her the next day. She called me a liar and said I wouldn't come back.
Dragon was disappointing, the low season talent was on stage, and the colour of the night was white, which didn't do the girls any favours. A lot more girls have tattoos these days, and not particularly good ones at that. The only one I think is any good is one girl who has a massive chinese dragon on her back. One of the girls recognised me and came over to say hello, but to be honest my heart wasn't in it; so I went home alone.
The next day, the sun was shining, so after breakfast and a massage, I headed down to the beach. The sea was quite rough, despite the wind not being to strong. This made it very difficult to launch the paragliders. I had several chorttles to myself as people were being towed through the waves before they gained enough height to take them clear of the waves. One was a moslem lady, all done out in black from head to toe. I don't think she enjoyed the experience too much!
In the evening, I did go back to sea the girl in Soi Lion who had tried to drag me into her bar. She was surprised to see me. I bought her a drink, and we had a chat. She started to tell me this sob story, about.... I told her I was on holiday, and only interested in sanuk things. So we chatted about this and that, till I took her back to the hotel for a great night of sanuk!
Today its raining again, so I think I will head off for a massage!

Monday, August 28, 2006

Party on

OK, I went out and bought the tickets last week - fairly cheap with one-2-go, then it was off to get in the gifts: small multi-tool for Dad, nice table cloth for Mum (perfume is a nono as a gift in Thailand - it means that you think that they smell), small MP3 player for sister, etc.

That evening, Peanut does one of her specials. I am not going to go into details, but any way I don't see her for a day and a half. She then turns up this morning, as if nothing has happened, to go to the airport.

Gave her the plane ticket, and money for a taxi, and told her to go home and that I was staying here. Originally she said she couldn't go home without me - and I can understand that, loss of face thing: family has been saying to whole village "Farang boyfriend coming" and I don't show up. But on the other hand if I went it would have been worse, as after the other evening I had no intention of staying with Peanut, so to split up with her after the trip I thought would have been worse.

So I now plan to makje the most of the last few days of my holiday - the sun is shing again - Party On!!

Friday, August 25, 2006

Double standards

Well the shooting was fun, even if its not something I would normally do. Six of us went to the range near Loch Palm Golf course. For less than 800 baht we each loosed off 50 rounds with a Glock pistol and a .38 revolver. I found the revolver easier, and didn't disgrace myself.

Being going out to different places. On Thursday night I was a bar run by a friend which is opposite a ladyboy bar called Katoeys'R'Us. I find it strange that katoeys can get their tits out in the street and yet the Shark Club was closed down when a swedish tourist, inadvertantly showed a nipple. Oh, well, this is Thailand!

Have bought tickets to go and see Peanut's family, near Aranyaprathet next week. I have met the whole family with the exception of her Dad before. If anyone has a good idea of a present I can take him (apart from a bottle of thai whiskey) then please leave a comment!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Lobster Thermador

Its still hot and sunny, here. My surnburn is coming on a treat.

I seem to have got into a rut of breakfast, massage, beach, lunch, siesta, and going out in the evening. So this afternoon I am heading out with some people I have met to lose off a few rounds at the shooting range.

Peanut is still in bed in he hotel.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

kiss me quick

I thoughnt I was being really clever, when I checked in for my Saturday morning flight on Friday evening at Central.

The plan was ok in principle, but i shouldn`t have gone to a bar straight afterwards. I ended up having a few scoops too many.

I managed to get home at a reasonable time: but, it was a good thing that I set two alarm clocks to wake me up, as I needed them.

I arrived in Patong about lunchtime. The weather was fine, but I headed to a bar across the roadfrom the hotel forsaome nosh, washeddown by a few beers.

After that a siesta was in order.

woke up, and showered, and headed out to an open air restaurant I know, down this back alley, where I enjoyed a seafood curry.

I had arranged to meet up with Peanut, but it was still too early, so I strolled dowsn Bangla Road. Despite the fact that its low season here there are still a respectable number of peple around.

Peanut was very happy to see me but not so pleased to see that I had grown a beard since she last left Hong Kong. "Telac, why you not shave?". So I told her that since she hqad gone, I had become too lazy.

A lot of her friends cameover to say hello. It seems that boob jobs are in fashion at the moment. Three of Peanut's friends have been enhanced. It seemsit costs about 60000 baht here in Phuket.

Today was spent on the beach, ccaught the sun, so I can't swhave the beard off. Peqanut will not be happy.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Sand between my toes...

Did you ever feel that just by jumping on a plane
All your cares would drop away and you'd be born again

Returning to a nature child happy wild and free
But forgetfulness is a river and you know where the river leads

Holidays in Eden
Life before the fall
See no, hear no, speak no evil
Feel no guilt, feel no guilt at all

Naked through the jungle, mud between your toes
Following the river, where the river flows

The creatures of the forest bid you "Welcome to the dark"
Nothing here can hurt you, darkness has no heart

Holidays in Eden
Paradise regained
See no, hear no, speak no evil
Throw your past away

(Holidays in Eden – Marillion)

That’s it – tomorrow I am going on holiday. Taking a holiday is all about relaxing and forgetting about the cares of everyday life, and for a fortnight I won’t have to put up with the frustrations of working and living in Hong Kong.
I am just going to chill out, eat too much, over indulge in alcohol, get sun burnt, eaten by mosquitoes, and all those other pleasures that go together to make a great holiday.
I will try and remember to blog occasionally, so to my eight regular readers, keep coming back and checking!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Japanese Manual

As I previously mentioned the instruction manual for the UX is in Japanese. Fortunately, those clever guys at Sony have used pictures in the manual to help those of us who can't read Japanese:-

"Do not use the Vaio as a computer stand"

"Do not allow someone carrying a towel to plug in the Vaio"

"Don't throw paint over the Vaio, even if you are wearing overalls"

"Please cover your Viao in sunscreen, we don't want it to get burnt"

"We know computers can be frustrating, but don't smother your Vaio - it wont suffocate"

"Don't threaten your Vaio with a screwdriver and rude hand gestures - it may get angry"

"Don't sit down and have tea, with your Vaio, it prefers coffee"

"Don't practice kung-fu moves on your Vaio"

"Don't use your Vaio in an earthquake"

Also, its not shown here but the man in the drawing has blue hair - I am not sure whether this means that blue haired people shouldn't use a Vaio, or whether Vaio owners' hair will turn blue; what do you think?

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Beer goggles

So, after work yesterday evening I went down to pick up my new toy. By the time we had sorted that, I realised that it was only a few minutes until 'crazy hour' at Carnegies, so I thought I would troop down there and have a few scoops.
Settled down at the bar chatting to a couple of expats, one of whom was trying to get me to play rugby - hmm.
Anyway after three (or was it four?) pints - decided to head home and get the Vaio set up - didn't leave it at the bar or in the taxi - good start.
Opened the box took everything out - guessed what various things were for (mostly wrongly) - took one look at the manual - its all in Japanese - well thats a good start!
Got it flashed up - you're having a giraffe I can't see that screen! Hunted around for a pair of reading spectacles that I only use in dire consequences - looked again - oh, this is hopeless. Left the machine on charge and watched some TV on my 38" Sharp. Remember thinking to myself that 38" was a decent sized display- whoever thought of displaying windows on a 4 1/2" display?

Today, I can see the screen perfectly well - no need for glasses. Have found the zoom button for looking at small writing in documents. Have downloaded the manual for the US version, hopefully there's not to much different.

So the moral of this is trying to look at a tiny screen after several pints of lager is a futile exercise.

Monday, August 14, 2006

The glorious twelth!

Its not that I am a Jehovah’s Witness, its just that I can’t be bothered to celebrate birthdays! Saturday was my birthday, and I didn’t do anything of note (You want to know how old I am? Well, for those of you familiar with the works of Umberto Eco, the answer is fega).
I did go out on Friday night, up to Lang Kwai Fon for drinks with some friends, and it turned out to be a really pleasant evening; nothing of note to write about: just convivial company in a pleasant atmosphere.
Know although I don’t celebrate birthdays, this is no reason not to treat myself on my birthday, so I went out and bought this.
I am picking it up today, so give me some time to get the hang of it!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

"You are what you eat", they say

"When it comes to eating, we are the ilk of every tyrannical sort of animal. The wolf eats sheep, so do we; the fox chickens and geese, just like us; hawks and vultures eat birds as we do; pike eat fish, like us. We eat grass as do oxen, horses, and cows. And like pigs we eat dung and filth. But internally everything becomes faeces." So said Luther in the 16th Century. Nowadays people say that we are what we eat.

Of course this makes you wonder about the people who go and eat at this restaurant
Maybe I should start eating at Korean restaurants so people could say that I was the dog's bollocks?

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

We all know jogging is supposed to be good for us

When I was at school, we had a physics teacher named Fred Davies, we called him Barney Rubble. Despite his faintly comical appearance and mannerisms, he was a very good teacher, and managed to drum into me a most of the physics that I use today in my work. One of Fred’s extra-curricular activities, was that he coached the school’s cross-country team.

Now, I could never quite get the idea behind cross-country running; going out on cold, wet afternoons to run five miles through the English countryside, ending up damp, muddy and scratched by brambles, just didn’t appeal to me. Some of the runners, I am sure, just wanted to be as muddy as the rugby players. A lot of the cross country runners treated it as a skive; get changed into their running kit, start off and then run to the showers and get changed back into their normal clothes. Fred didn’t have any time for these cross-country truants, but didn’t stop their misdemeanors either.

Back to present day Hong Kong, and we have been joined by a new Manager, called Ken. He also likes running – every Saturday he runs from his serviced apartment at the Four Seasons, through Wanchai, upto and along Bowen Road, then back through Central. He reckons he is covering about twelve to thirteen kilometers, each time.

Now, all though I respect him for keeping fit, at his age ( he’s in his fifties), I just don’t get the point of the running: bounding up and down on tarmac and other rigid surfaces, the resulting action shaking and bouncing their internal organs, stretching and straining their muscles and weakening their bones, and doing this on some of the warmest, most humid days of the year. One can only assume that he doesn't care if his internal organs including his testes are bounced up and down and squashed, while suffering other nasty strains and sprains, so long as he gets his endorphin fix, and that his body is overdosing on adrenalin and therefore cannot feel the inevitable onset of heat stroke.

I prefer more leisurely pursuits.

Monday, August 07, 2006

I'm not going to be around much...

I have just checked my diary for the rest of the year, and realised that I am not going to be around in Hong Kong much.

I have two weeks holiday in Thailand planned at the end of this month, then, in September I go to Vancouver gor a week, followed by a week in San Francisco. In November, I am going to the UK for a fortnight, and Christmas week will find me back in Phuket. Somewhere in between I need to fit in two trips to Dalian, and possibly one to Shanghai. Oh life is so hectic.

On Friday night I headed down to Wanchai, and after a few beers in Carnegies, I started doing the rounds, but very quickly got bored, and went home. My heart just wasn't in it. I think I need to give Wanchai a miss for a few weeks, and stick to LKF.

Friday, August 04, 2006

So everyone is whingeing about HKO

As I predicted the other day Prapiroon, "God of Rain", passed close to Hong Kong. A lot of people are asking why the Observatory didn't up the warning to an eight (where everyone goes home - and you can't get a taxi), and some are even suggesting that it was a conspiracy of the Powers that Be.

HKMacs reckons that the eye passed over Hong Kong at about 11 o'clock on Thursday morning, HKMacs: Typhoon Prapiroon. It is unlikely, as the wind would have reversed direction by 180 degrees if the eye had passed over, and it didn't.

However, I can understand why he and many other people are upset with the warning system that is in place. This warning system was originally designed for seafarers, it is based on mean wind speed (usually one minute mean speeds)- great for seafarers, as they are worried about the waves and these depend a lot on mean wind speeds.

But, the purpose of a typhoon system is to give people enough warning to prevent loss of life and damage to property, and damage is most often caused by gusts of wind. In the south Indian Ocean they categorise their cyclones by the maximum speed of the gusts, not by the mean wind speeds.

They also have a timed system so there is a certain amount of daylight left before the wind gets to strong - this gives people enough time to make preparations.

Now, I am only a guest in this country, and its not my job to tell them how to run their country, but I do strongly feel that a risk based approach is needed to the warning system, and I hope it is revamped to take into account the concerns of the people (and, not just people like me who wanted to knock off work early), and the warning system takes into account the outlying areas and not just Victoria Harbour.

Thankfully there were very few people hurt when this storm passed.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Lex Libertas

When I read of the stupid rules and laws being imposed in my home country, it makes me glad that I am living ‘abroad’. Britain is not alone in passing laws that beggar belief, but, when it is done by your own politicians, it just makes me shake my head in amazement.

Of course we have some strange laws in England, but most of these are ancient laws that haven’t been repealed, such as males having to carry out longbow practice each week, supervised by the clergy, and not driving cattle across London Bridge on market day. No what I am talking about here is new rules that someone has decided will bring some benefit, but in my opinion are impractical, or useless.

For instance Police in Preston are trying to ban drinking in bars whilst standing up, and saying that people should only be served if they have a seat. So, is this on some health and safety grounds, that if you fall over when sitting down you won’t hurt yourself?

No, this wonderful idea has come from the Lancashire Constabulary’s Alcohol Harm Reduction and Prevention Team, who believe that when the mindless nerd next to you knocks the pint out of your hand, it’s much easier to go for him directly than having to get out of a chair to punch his lights out.

So, apparently, vertical drinking is one of the country’s main causes of public disorder and would like to see it banned in Preston’s pubs. OK, vertical drinking is the new definition of propping up the bar, or standing at the bar. It is a perfectly natural position to be in when drinking beer: eight pints of lager slip into the tanks much more easily when the gullet is erect rather than kinked by the body being squeezed into a chair like a half-shut penknife.

But, despite the fact that standing at the bar is natural, the police seemed to have missed the point that violence in pubs is caused by some sort of friction, and its far more likely that friction will be caused because people are not going to like being told to sit down every five minutes. Apart from that its almost unenforceable.