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Friday, November 25, 2011

The Wedding

Drummers and Dancers at the Wedding
A while ago a some friends told us that they were going to have a wedding in November, and they wanted us to be there. It would be a traditional Thai wedding, so we were quite interested to experience this new facet of Thai life as part of our continuing education about the culture we are currently living in.

The invitation arrived and it was primarily in Thai, with some English. Enough for us to know the date and time, and that there would be a western celebration to follow. From what little Thai I can read, it looked like the ceremony started at 0709 AM! The something at 1209 PM and then something at 1700PM. One of our Thai friends was over visiting, so we showed him this invitation and asked him to read it for us, especially the information in Thai about where it was. Now, I should have known better than to ask this. This is the same guy who had us driving all over old Phuket town with the largest concentration of one way streets and 5 road traffic round-abouts, only to find out 45 minutes later that he actually did not know exactly how to get there, but he did know where it was.
Basis Thai 101, always ask specific follow-up questions.
Question :Do you know where Super Cheap is?
Answer: Yes.
Assumption: you know how to drive there and guide me through the shortest possible route to avoid those traffic round-abouts.
Without the follow-up questions, you will find that you may be no further ahead than when you sought an answer in the first place.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Thai Driving License

A previous post outlined the steps for getting a Thai driver license. Initially it is good for one year. technically it is good for 1 year and 6 months. The best way to understand it is that the first license is only a temporary license. It must expire and then you apply for your 5 year license. You have 6 months from expiry date to renew for the 5 year license. If you fail to do so, then you have to undergo the whole first year license process again. The strange part of the 5 year license is that you have to renew BEFORE it expires. Or you go back to step one again. The good news is that it expires on your birthday, so in effect because my one year expired, and I waited past my birthday, my new license is actually good for 5 years and 8 months!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Empty Shelves

The flooding has continued and it seems the worst may be coming to an end, but the aftermath will be more long term I suspect. The media report conflicts between the Prime Minister and the Governor of Bangkok on the projections of how soon waters will recede and the clean-up begins. Today they report that the costs appears to be around 300 Billion Baht. But as with all things of this nature, I am sure exact figures will have to wait. The cost impacts are more than the costs of clean-up in the long run.

In Phuket it is reported that an international sporting event has seen 15 teams withdraw, and they attribute it directly to the flooding reports internationally, and the fact that some people are unaware of Thailand geography, assuming that Phuket was flooding. There was an influx this past weekend of Bangkok residents headed here for the proclaimed 5 day holiday to assist in reducing the number of people in Bangkok. The tourists continue to arrive, despite travel advisories from their home governments, only I fear they are in for a bit of a shock.