And… it’s back again. Sunday, bloody Sunday.
It’s been another busy week in dear Bangkok, with plenty a #ThailandOnly news story to savour.
Most notably was the case of the Korat teacher who threw a mug at one of his students, causing an injury to the girl’s facial nerves and causing a distortion of her features. The PE teacher has now been transferred to office duties — let’s hope his new colleagues don’t do anything to irritate him.
This week has also marked the arrival of the Zika virus into the heart of Bangkok, with 21 cases reported in Sathorn. The public health ministry is working hard to contain the spread of the virus but in the meantime, it’s time to get liberal with the mosquito repellant.
Or eat lots of garlic, apparently.
Anyway, let’s find out what else has been entertaining and enraging Bangkok this week.
Here’s the sad story of a Nigerian man and his Thai girlfriend who were arrested after it was found they allegedly conned a number of Thai women out of large sums of money while pretending to be wealthy, white men looking for a wife.
Preying on these women’s desires for a Western husband, the scammers would tell their victims that they wanted to send them a present, but they would need to pay around 1.7 million baht towards the import fee. After the money was transferred, they would immediately ‘ghost’ these women — totally disappearing and cutting off all contact.
This week saw the scrapping of the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology in favor of the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society, which promises to work with an emphasis on social and economic development.
In order to welcome in this modernisation, a new logo was put forward:
So, here we see the Hindu interpretation of Mercury — the Roman god of, amongst other things, communications — with a finger working as a WiFi hotspot.
Khaosod reports here that netizens have been up in arms about the archaism of the new logo but we’re going to go out on a limb here and say we actually quite like it. It represents the fusion of old and new, the wise with the progressive. And it’s quite witty.
This is the story that Thai officials are scrambling to lessen the impact of the Zika virus in the country, in a bid to reduce any discernable impact on tourism.
Calling for calm, officials have been demonstrably proactive in containing and monitoring new cases, especially in Bangkok, while emphasising the non-fatal nature of Zika infections.
Will Zika affect Thailand’s tourism? Time will tell.
This is a fascinating photo diary journal of the epicentre of Bangkok’s backpacking district before Khao San Road came along and stole all the glory: Soi Ngam Dupli, towards the back end of Sathorn, just off Rama IV. Party animals might recognise it as the neighbourhood where the legendary Wong’s is located.
For many, this will be an unexplored part of Bangkok. It’s certainly piqued our interest.
The Nine Emperor Gods celebration is one of Thailand’s most weird and wonderful festivals, internationally renowned for the scores of young men who come together in Phuket, following the strict abstinence principles of the festivals, and impale their bodies with various instruments.
These instruments includes knives, swords, guns, spears and more besides. This photo diary is an incredible glimpse into this almost incomprehensible ritual.
This is an in-depth analysis of the strengths of both Thailand and Vietnam as potential locations for western retirees. Taking into account housing and food costs, lifestyle and health care, this article is a good place to start if you’re considering retiring to Southeast Asia.
This is a funny Reddit thread discussing the age-old question of where Thailand’s working girls go once they reach a certain age. Redditors in the know exchange anecdotes of ex-hookers who hustled their way to properties across the world, those that become mamasans and street food vendors, and those that continue working the oldest trade.
Our favourite answer:
This is a long and sprawling Thaivisa thread that was actually instigated by someone asking why foreigners assume that many Thai girls are ‘easy’. Outside of the bar scene, the poster suggests, it can be difficult to approach local women for the purposes of dating.
What follows is essentially poster after poster screaming the opposite. They reveal how hordes of Thai women apparently fall at their feet: we’re told of Thai women giving out numbers in 7-Eleven in front of their husbands, propositioning their friends’ western husbands, and bombarding westerners with Skype calls at all times of day and night.
But aside from the chest-beating machismo, the subject is anthropologically interesting: are Thai women easier to approach than their western equivalents? And, if so, why is that?
— The Durian Nation (@DurianNation) September 15, 2016
Sweet, short, 90 year old lady in front of me at the mom & pop store… Buying 4 bottles of Lao Khaow. Ride the lightning grandma
— Lucky Erawan (@LuckyErawan) September 12, 2016
Most absurd censoring in Thailand when you can watch a movie with a man being eating by dogs, whilst the guy smoking is blanked out
— Glenn (@_GlennCollier) September 15, 2016
Always get a thrill when I’m having a slash and the maid mops between my feet. Only in #Thailand.
— Signore Sammy (@signoresammybkk) September 14, 2016
And that’s been The Week On Sukhumvit. See you next time!
Featured image is by survivaladmin (under a CC BY 2.0 licence)