Annoyances


During a night drive from Phuket to Kuraburi district in Phang Nga, I had an adventure which is a nice example of the true nature of the Thai police.

Shortly before reaching the town of Thaimuang I got stuck behind a white minivan which was driving in a very erratic way. Sometimes slowing down to 40 kph, then going 90 kph, and to make things worse, the driver chose a pretty wiggly line, often driving on the wrong lane, then cutting back to the left side, often just narrowly avoiding to crash into the ditch or other cars. I didn’t dare to overtake the guy, it just seemed too dangerous, to I preferred to keep a safe distance.

We called the cops and told them exactly where we were and what we were seeing, but they failed to show up and arrest the guy. It would have been easy to set up a roadblock and stop him but nothing happened. We even passed a large police station on the way.

After some time the van stopped, and when I just wanted to pass him, he started driving again, so I was stuck again. Amazingly, he drove very fast now and went in a straight line, so I guessed there were two guys on board and the sober one had taken over. In the end, after having followed the van for about 70 kms, the van turned into a small road and vanished. It seemed as if there was only one guy, so I can’t really explain the change in driving style.

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TV Smith’s Dua Sen has some funny revelations about Malaysian taxi drivers. Bangkok may not be as neat as Kuala Lumpur, but it’s good to know their taxi drivers are just as annoying as ours… in that sense Malaysian taxi drivers are Truly Thailay.

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It’s a (small) disaster constantly waiting to happen. Bangkok’s roads are mostly very good, but certain areas are just dreadful, and the sidewalks are even worse.

What am I talking about?

Well, the sidewalks are very uneven. Their foundation is usually nothing more but sand, which tends to get washed away gradually when it rains. Motorcycles and sometimes even cars using these unstable sidewalks doesn’t help either. As a result, the sidewalks get really bumpy, so you’ll trip all the time. Even worse, they sometimes collapse, so you’ll have a gaping hole in the middle of the sidewalk which can get up to a foot deep. Not too nice when it’s dark.

A Hole in the GroundThis can even happen on the roads. As I mentioned on the way to Ko Kret, my friend stepped into hole in the road which she couldn’t see because it was filled with murky water from the heavy rain. It looked like a simple puddle, but it was more than a foot deep.

On the way to her house, I saw a motorcycle leaving a gas station. On the exit from the gas station to the street there was a large puddle the motorcycle had to pass through. Turns out there was a hole hidden below the surface of the water and the driver found it. His front wheel got stuck in the hole and he had to get off the bike and pull it out again.

A friend told me a story about how he passed a soi one day where he spotted a taxi which was stuck. The front part of the car was completely submerged in the water, so that must’ve been a hell of a hole.

My lesson: try never to walk or drive through puddles, even if they look harmless…

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Wellwellwell… here we go again…

Today in the early evening we had the first heavy rain in about a week or so. And what happens: UBC, the satellite TV, loses its signal again. I’m starting to question why I subscribe that garbage. When do I want to watch TV? Right, it’s when I can’t go out, for example because of rain. And that’s exactly when their great service fails to work. Reliably and consistently fails to work. I wish their reliability was a fraction more positive…

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