Happy 100th Birthday, Hualamphong !

hualamphong-2
This weekend just passed saw the 100th anniversary of Hualamphong, or Bangkok Railway Station as it is officially known. After reading the publicity blurb in the papers, and with nothing better to do, the GF and I went off to check it out.
hualamphong-6

I’ll be polite and say I was underwhelmed …

With just a few steam engines on static display, a few food stalls, an empty stage waiting for something or somebody, and no ‘vintage market’ as promised in the publicity there was not much to see.

So after snapping a few photos we headed off to Chinatown for lunch, via Wat Traimit so Porn could pay her respects to the Golden Buddha. I’ve seen it enough times that I don’t need to pay another 100baht for the privilege.

 

hualamphong-8

Yes, we have no bananas today, but will have plenty soon !

So I waited in the shade of the banana trees below while she went and did her thing.

 

hualamphong-7

 

 

I was thinking of lunch at a proper restaurant, maybe some seafood, but Porn had other ideas and chose a small hole in the wall noodle shop …she’s a cheap date🙂

 

 

Posted in Events, Thailand | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Back to school.

 

I’ve decided to have another attempt at learning Thai, so for the last week have been heading into town every day for 3 hours at “Duke Language School“. Whether it will be more successful than last time remains to be seen ! With lessons every day this is more intensive, and hopefully I will retain more and not forget it🙂

The teaching style is completely different, what their brochure calls “edutainment”. There is a lot of role playing and games to practice what we learn. After teaching us numbers and classifiers (types of things, used for counting in Thai) they set up a ‘shop” and gave us play money and items to buy and sell.

After learning directions, how to get around town and use public transport they set up a map on the floor so that we could get around from one place to another as the teachers called out directions.

At the last school we started with 13 pupils to one teacher, here we had 8 and 2 teachers so that’s obviously a better ratio. Even better as one guy seems to have dropped out already…

Before we would get used to the teacher’s voice and her tonal range, but now with the two teachers you also get to hear 2 different voices saying the same words slightly different which is a good thing as Thai is a tonal language. There is also another class running at the same time so sometimes the teachers swap over and give us even more listening practice.

In the classroom the teachers try to avoid using English whenever possible, relying on charades and repeating simple Thai to get the meaning across. While I can understand the method sometimes a bit of explanation in English would be nice🙂

While it is still too early to know how much will sink in, from the first week I would put Duke Language School on the list of anybody wanting to learn Thai here in Bangkok.

 

 

Posted in Expat life, Language, Thailand, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Vampire weather…..

As anybody who is in Thailand right now and reading this will know, the country has been going through a very hot and dry spell lately. This always the hottest part of the year but has been several degrees hotter than normal, for longer than normal, in many parts of the country as we wait for the rainy season to get here. I was used to hearing the word “drought” in Australia, but it was not something I was expecting to hear and read so often here ! It was only a few years ago that the dams were overflowing and much of Bangkok was flooded.

So I have been coping by acting like a vampire lately ….staying inside out of the sun and in front of the air-con or fan during the day, and only venturing out after sunset to enjoy the relative cool of the night.

After dark in Chinatown ..the only time to venture out !

After dark in Chinatown ..the only time to venture out !

As a retiree with no necessity to go out usually I have managed to stay reasonably comfortable, but it’s not exactly exciting….which is my excuse for not posting anything lately Smile

That, and a change in personal circumstances lately in the form of a new relationship which progressed rather quickly to the point where she moved in Smile So I naturally had to devote a lot of time to her, putting this blog aside especially with nothing to write about.

But hopefully the weather will change soon, I get my mojo back and have something to write about…….

Posted in Random musings, Thailand | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Bangkok Motor Show 2016 …. the “pretties”

A slightly more politically incorrect, sexist, NSFW look at the Bangkok Motor Show “pretties”, the models hired to decorate the carmakers stands. While they are officially called presenters, not all actually present much and many are there just to look good while draped over the cars and motorcycles.

Anyway, make up your own mind :

 

 

Posted in Events, Photography, Portrait, Thailand | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cars and cleavage ….Bangkok Motor Show 2016

2016_motor_ show-13Another catch-up post ! As I mentioned last time I have not had time to download a lot of photos from my camera because of personal stuff requiring a trip out of town recently, so I had many photos to sort through.

These are from the Bangkok Motor Show held out at Muang Thon Thani early this month, supposedly the biggest and best auto show in SEA, but I’ll take that with a grain of salt.

Traditional Siamese dress !

Traditional Siamese dress !

Before the show started Big Brother at the Ministry of Culture had urged the car companies and the “pretties” to dress in a more traditional Siamese way, and not to wear anything too revealing.

As most Siamese women customarily went topless or just with a loose scarf slung over the shoulder until the 1930s, when the Prime Minister of the time mandated that everybody should be “civilised” and wear western dress that could have been interesting !

traddress_headerAs it turned out nothing much changed, there was still the usual number of girls draped over the cars and motorcycles with what was probably silicone enhanced cleavage on display, especially with the motorcycles and audio equipment stands.

 

Who needs sexy girls when you look like this ?

Who needs sexy girls when you look like this ?

 

 

The upmarket manufacturers such as Rolls-Royce and Lamborghini did not need to use such tactics, their vehicles attracted enough attention on their own.

Their models were classy, not trashy …

 

 

Who buys these ?

Who buys these ?

Once again there were several motorhomes and caravans on display, and being sold, yet you never see them on the road here in Thailand. No, actually I have seen one motorhome on the road, but never a caravan.

 

sold

Somebody bought this F type for a mere  10,999,999 baht !

 

But there plenty of more reasonable deals on offer too, not that I plan on buying a car here anytime soon.

Also lots of motorcycles on show, big and small :

I don’t know if the Minister of Culture would be happy with these :

But I bet he would not have approved of the Audio Show outside the main hall :

He would not have liked the way the coyotes dressed or danced, nor would he have liked the “music” played by about 20 modified sound trucks, each with at least one girl dancing on top. It was deafening !!

2016_motor_ pretties-15 For more of the girls click here.

 

Posted in Events, Photography, Thailand | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

The “Asia Pacific Orchid Conference”

orchid show-15 I know that I am a bit late with this as it was on a couple of weeks ago but I have been busy with personal stuff lately and have not had time to download these and many more pics from my camera. But two weeks ago there was a big orchid show on out at Impact Exhibition Centre so I wandered way over the other side of town to have a look. One of the few things that I miss from Australia is my garden, where I used to dabble in growing orchids.

orchid show-13 Nothing too exotic or difficult to grow, but I did end up with nearly 100 plants either in the shadehouse or growing “wild” on trees in the garden.

The “Asia Pacific Orchid Conference” featured growers from Japan to Myanmar to Singapore, with displays of single plants, single blooms and large landscape displays.

There were hundreds of entries in the single plant competition alone, and there must have been many thousands of orchids used in the landscape display section.

 

All the close-ups were shot handheld, not an easy task with a macro lens ! I did have a tripod but was asked to put it away😦 So there were a lot of out of focus rejects….


I was back out at Impact a few days later for the 2016 Motor Show, now to sort out the photos from that …..

Posted in Events, Macro, Photography, Thailand | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment