Welcome to Sunday, Bangkok.
And what a week it’s been. First we heard that street food is to be eliminated from the streets of Bangkok, then that it’s here to stay, then that it’s here to stay in only a few city spots… where are we at on the matter now? Who knows. Certainly not us. But we can’t be the only ones losing the will to live over here.
Of course, that’s not all that’s been entertaining and enraging Bangkok this week…
Artur Segarra has been found guilty of the 2016 murder of fellow Spaniard David Bernat and has been given the death sentence. Bernat’s body was discovered dismembered in the Chao Phraya River last year, and it later came to light that Segarra had kidnapped, tortured and extorted him, before the gruesome killing.
He was found guilty of 13 charges in connection with the case and is likely to appeal.
This is another classic in the ‘Brits Abroad’ repertoire. A British man was strung up by Pattaya locals wearing just a vest and underpants after causing chaos during a drunken spree, which saw him running across roofs and generally causing a disturbance. Police turned up to arrest him, brought him into custody to calm down and attempted to identify him.
A 25-year old man was arrested by Thai police in Nong Khai this week with six vials of semen packed into a nitrogen tank. It’s believed that they were to be used for the purpose of commercial surrogacy and the samples were from Chinese and Vietnamese men in Bangkok.
It was apparently the man’s 13th smuggling trip across the Thai-Laos border and he received a fine for his role in exporting reproductive tissues.
Bangkok-based author Jake Needham takes some time here to moan about the excesses of Songkran, and how it has transformed from a respectful tradition into an excuse for wet, drunken aggression. While many will find his tone negative — which it is — we’re inclined to agree. There’s only so long that you can chalk up a glut of drink driving, motorbikes swerving into the opposite lane as they reflexively tried to avoid the hose downs from revellers and just general excess trash, to just a bit of sanook.
In honour of 420 and Weed Week, an English kickboxer based in Thailand recounts his stories from life as a ganja-smoking fighter. He talks about the perils of scoring the herb in Thailand and the odd bit of cannabinoid psychosis in an Eastern European fighter at the same gym. Talking more broadly than just Bangkok, he discusses Bruce Lee’s apparent penchant for hashish and more.
Some great tips on what to do in Bangkok from The Guardian this week, that covers some well known hotspots — Smalls and The Commons, for instance — as well as some more local favourites, like Sukhumvit 31’s Holey Bakery, an acoustic karaoke bar, cycling in Ko Kret and a recommended mango seller. A good read for tourists and old-hands alike.
An interesting Reddit thread here on whether Thai people are less honest than other people. The discussion roves between the difference between ‘harmless’ white lies and more sinister untruths, the concept of saving face and the need to avoid confrontation, and the difficulties of navigating this landscape as an employer and a relationship partner.
One of the more interesting conversational tidbits:
Another funny Reddit thread here on everything you need to be a stereotypical backpacker/sexpat tourist in Thailand. Includes such essentials as:
- Chang singlet
- Elephant pants
- Bad tattoo
- Bar girl girlfriend
— Richard Barrow (@RichardBarrow) April 22, 2017
People who aren’t Vietnamese farmers who wear those pointy hats, in an airport.
— Somchai the Dog (@bkksomchai) April 21, 2017
The on/off, yes/no Bangkok street food saga has slowly made me lose the will to live.
— Phil / Ajarn.com (@Ajarncom) April 20, 2017
And that’s been The Week On Sukhumvit — see you next time!