Sunday, Bloody Sunday.
Another characteristically busy week in Thailand, what with the arrival of Filipino president Rodrigo Duterte, a dead turtle, and a 14-year old Thai student making a fake bomb threat on board a Thai Smile flight at Suvarnabhumi.
Not a good idea, it turns out.
But that’s not all that’s been entertaining and enraging Bangkok this week…
This is the sad conclusion to the tragic story last month which saw a 22-year old Australian tourist accidentally kill his girlfriend in a jet ski accident off the coast of Kata Beach. Thomas Keating collided with his girlfriend, 20-year old Emily Collie, as the sun was so bright that he couldn’t see his girlfriend. He was handed down a 2 year suspended sentence and a 5,000 baht fine at Phuket provincial court.
The latest series of street food closures will be affecting a huge swathe of Sukhumvit: vendors operating on pavements in the Thonglor, Ekkamai and Soi 71 have been ordered to close down by 17 April. The order, from Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, is in response to pedestrian complaints about the blocked pavements that impede walking in the area. This comes just after Bangkok was named the best city in the world for street food by CNN for the second year running.
A sea turtle, nicknamed Bank after she was found to have swallowed over 900 coins from her home in a Chonburi pond, has sadly died from complications following surgery to remove the coins. Blood poisoning was ruled to be the cause of death.
“She at least had the chance to swim freely and eat happily before she passed,” said Dr Nantarika Chansue of Chulalongkorn hospital’s aquatic research centre.
An interesting piece on the Sweet Mango blog this week, wherein the author asks himself whether he’s fallen out of love with the life he’s created for himself in Thailand. We imagine this is something that hits many expats here at some point or the other.
The author also takes issue with a group of expats he terms the “like or leave it” brigade — those who think leaving is preferable to staying in Thailand despite the fact that you don’t like living here any more. He complains that these people have their head in the sand by ignoring all of Thailand’s problems. We would argue that it’s the other way around — why stay if you hate it so much? Incessant moaning won’t change your situation — only your actions will.
An interesting piece on Vice this week about a New Zealander’s experience before, during and after being busted for cocaine possession in Bangkok. This tale’s got it all — illegal after parties, coke arrogance, urine testing, dilated pupils and various cack-handed attempts at bribery.
A long and interesting discussion about how Bangkok has changed — for the better and the worse — in the last decade or so. What’s particularly interesting is how many long-term expats and tourists’ views on Bangkok’s rapid development differs from locals — Thais seem keen to see their capital develop to the level of a Singapore or Seoul, whereas westerners besieged by romantic views of poverty seem to long for the days of crumbling buildings, cheap food (and lower wages for workers) and, of course, friendlier attitudes to foreigners.
— Justin Dunne (@justindunne) March 24, 2017
— Stickboy Bangkok (@StickboyBangkok) March 23, 2017
“Can I help you?”
“No, just looking.”
“Ok I’ll stand 14 inches away & stare at you until you leave.”
– The official Thai store clerk manual
— Greg (@BkkGreg) March 24, 2017
And that’s been The Week On Sukhumvit — see you next time!