Lets Go Everywhere


Good luck Thailand!
December 23, 2007, 5:51 am
Filed under: army, bangkok, coup, expat, free press, politics, thailand, Uncategorized

Last year I moved to Bangkok and took up a job at a news magazine two weeks before the government was overthrown in a coup d’etat.

Needless to say, despite the inconvenience of having troops surround my office building, the declaration of martial law and a few deadly explosions in the city centre, the military takeover was kind of a kick.

Now the people are getting ready to elect the ousted PM’s replacement, possibly to result in mass demonstrations in Bangkok and more political fuckery. Add the fact that the country’s beloved king is ailing and his successor is widely detested and you’ve got a tough situation on the horizon.

People of Thailand, I wish you the best. Khaaw hai chohk dee gap thook sing thee ja thahm khaang naa!

Thailand holds first post-coup election

BANGKOK — Former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, deposed, exiled and allegedly corrupt, was poised for a comeback-by-proxy as his loyalists looked likely to win Thailand’s national election Sunday.

Mr. Thaksin, ousted from power by a bloodless military coup 15 months ago, may also come back in person early next year, sparking fears of political turbulence and sharp polarization which has already plagued Thailand for two years.

The election, which is supposed to restore democracy after the coup, comes after almost two years of intense political instability that began with popular demonstrations demanding that Mr. Thaksin step down because of alleged corruption and abuse of power. The protest culminated in the coup.

The Election Commission has been barraged by more than 700 complaints of election fraud, mostly related to vote-buying. The night before elections is popularly called the “night of the howling dogs,” as canvassers knock on doors to distribute last-minute cash for votes in rural areas.

Thai election

Latest news can be found at The Nation

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Mid-afternoon lunar eclipse
August 28, 2007, 9:42 am
Filed under: eclipse, Hanoi, media, Uncategorized, vietnam

There will be a lunar eclipse tonight (Tuesday August 28) but unfortunately most in Vietnam won’t get a chance to see it. According to Thanh Nien (Young People) newspaper:

Hanoi Education University astronomy instructor Nguyen Anh Vinh said the eclipse would begin at 2.53.39pm.

The eclipse will begin in full around 4.52pm.

The eclipse’s maximum point will occur at 5.37.22pm and the phenomenon will end at 6.22.24pm, according to Vinh.

Portions of mainland Vietnam will not be able to see the eclipse at all while some areas will be able to view the last half of the eclipse after the 5.37pm pinnacle.

Soldiers on the Truong Sa and Hoang Sa Islands will be able to see most of the eclipse’s strongest parts around and after 4.52pm. Residents on Con Dao and select groups of lucky coastal viewers may be able to catch glimpses of this part of the eclipse as well.

But visibility will be very limited due to the early occurrence of the eclipse as the bright afternoon sky will most likely drown out the phenomenon in most areas.

I just looked at my clock and it’s 4:37pm on Tuesday afternoon. Outside, it’s gray and cloudy, terrible viewing conditions. 😦

Enjoy the eclipse!

Lunar eclipse



Gun Scare at Central Vietnam computer shop
August 27, 2007, 5:21 am
Filed under: consumerism, expat, media, Uncategorized, vietnam

Two men in central Vietnam Saturday pulled a gun on a computer technician in an incident that was likely related to a dispute over a USB flash drive.

At 1.20 pm, two men walked into the second floor of a computer repair shop in Danang city and one of them pointed a gun at Do Phu Thinh, 26.

The assailant shouted “Motherfu—thought I couldn’t do anything to you!”

Thinh’s girlfriend and sister were present and screamed just before shop owner and retired police officer Tran Van Tu sneak-attacked the gunman from behind. Tu pushed Thinh and himself into a nearby room and locked it from inside.

The other man wielded a sharp knife and banged on the door.

They only left after Thinh called the police from inside the room.

“I heard the gun cocking and knew it was an authentic one”, Thinh said after the quarrel.

He also said that some days earlier, a woman had asked him to repair a 1GB Sony USB but Thinh discovered it was only 128 MB and told the customer.

On Friday the woman’s husband, son and daughter came to claim that Thinh had swapped their USB, he said.

According to Thinh, the next day, two other men came and threateningly told Thinh to return the “true” USB, several hours before the gun incident occurred that afternoon.

Reported by Vu Phuong Thao – Thanh Nien – Translated by A.N.O.N

 By the way, the Vietnamese for “motherfucker” is dich me [deek-may]. Just in case anyone was wondering.

It’s funny, I’ve been in and out of this country for close to three years and this was the first gun story I ever read. Then again, there was that story about the samurai sword wielding policeman who stabbed a parking attendant. Oddly enough, that also took place in Da Nang.



Freaky
August 24, 2007, 10:28 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

My friend Kate told me her friend saw someone decapitated in a traffic accident near the airport.

Ugh.



Helmets: Not Just For Common Folks Anymore
November 24, 2006, 6:19 am
Filed under: Brangelina, celebs, expat, ho chi minh city (saigon), Uncategorized, US, vietnam

A message to ‘Brangelina’:

Whilst in Vietnam, please refrain from riding your fancy-boy Nouvo scooter without a helmet. Sure, no one else is, but that doesn’t mean you have to be wreckless and stupid. Not to mention, wise or not, you are role models. Do to the Viets a favour and slap on a rice-cooker.

Sincerely,

Moi

Brangelina

Hollywood movie stars Brad Pitt (C) and his partner Angelina Jolie ride on a motorcycle on a busy street in downtown Ho Chi Minh city, 23 November 2006. The two are on a discrete stay in the Vietnamese Southern economic hub after a surprise visit to Cambodia where Angelina Jolie pledged to set up a new conservation project. Jolie and Pitt flew to Southeast Asian countries for the filming of “A Mighty Heart” in Mumbai, India. AFP PHOTO



Take it like a man
November 23, 2006, 4:54 am
Filed under: APEC, bush, Canada, News and politics, politics, Uncategorized, vietnam

OTTAWA — Anyone watching question period in the House of Commons today would be forgiven for thinking they’d tuned into fashion television.Prime Minister Stephen Harper and interim Liberal leader Bill Graham traded barbs over the recent Asia Pacific Summit and the best place to wear a silk gown.

It started by Graham kidding the prime minister about the blue gown he wore for a photo op in Vietnam, telling Harper he “looked spectacular.”

The prime minister shot back that wearing local garb is a tradition at the APEC summit and that unlike Graham, he was wears his “silk on the outside.”

Not to be outdone, Graham said he’s certain he has just as many embarassing pictures of himself as the ones of Harper in Hanoi.

The prime minister assured the Opposition leader that he’ll use his influence with the media to keep Graham’s pictures from being published.

harper-in-silk.jpg



President Bush in a pretty silk dress
November 20, 2006, 10:37 am
Filed under: APEC, bush, capitalism/socialism, empires, expat, Hanoi, News and politics, Uncategorized, US, vietnam

What you’ve all been waiting for… United States President George W Bush in a silk ao dai.

 Picture pops! Re-jiggered and in proportion.

Bush in ao dai

Howdy to Ao Dai

“The colourful, elongated tunics of Vietnam’s traditional dress, the
Ao Dai, are worn with much grace by Vietnamese women and men – and
extreme unease by the US president George Bush. Donning the costume
over his suit for the obligatory “family photograph” alongside 20
other leaders of Asian and Pacific nations, Mr Bush grimaced
repeatedly and shifted from foot to foot, a portrait of embarrassment
in turquoise blue brocade with yellow trim. It was obvious he couldn’t
wait to get it off and sure enough, moments after the official
photographs were taken, he strode away, ripped it off and folded it
up, according to reports. His fellow leaders showed more restraint and
waited until they were out of sight.”

The Guardian