Greetings, Bangkok! The end of another riotous week in the Land of Smiles…
Our favorite tidbit of news this week was the unveiling of UberEATS. Does Bangkok need yet another food delivery service, we hear you say.
Probably not, but we like how quick and easy it is to use compared to older services like Food Panda and even LINE Man.
We’re going to be getting a lot more burger deliveries from now on…
Of course, that’s not all that’s been entertaining and enraging Bangkokians this past 7 days. Here’s the best of the week’s news, views, videos and social media updates from around Thailand.
This week saw a Interpol Red Notice plastered across the Thai media as a Czech man, wanted for knowingly spreading HIV to men and boys in his home country, was thought to be hiding out in Northern Thailand after leaving the Czech Republic on bail last June.
After being identified by a member of the public in a Tesco Lotus and also by his landlady, Zdenek Pfeifer was arrested in Phuket on Tuesday.
This is the sad yet unsurprising news that a huge 20% of ambulance patients die on their way to hospital thanks to getting stuck in traffic or behind vehicles that refuse to give way. This statistic — which should rattle authorities — will hopefully give way to better driver education on moving out of the way for ambulances with a siren on. Empathy and a willingness to give way on the roads could transform the ambulance success rate.
A Supreme Court ruling two years ago found that all stations on Bangkok’s BTS lines must be made wheelchair accessible within one year. A distinct lack of progress and numerous excuses has lead to a 98-person class action lawsuit being filed, which disabled activists hope will shine a spotlight on their worthy cause.
A number of Thai citizens and residents in wheelchairs gathered along Ratchada on Friday morning outside the civil court as the lawsuit was submitted.
A hilariously on-the-nose column here from the Ajarn blog, as Phil gives us a few ideas for some Thailand expat related reality shows.
Personal favorites include There’s A New Sheriff in Town, in which a group of Chelsea and Millwall fans descend upon a island sounding remarkably like Koh Tao to tough it out against the mafia big wigs, and I’m A Human Being, Get Me Out Of Here, in which new expats are tasked with the Herculean tasks of collecting cash from a Western Union, sending a parcel at the Post Office and — heaven help them — opening a Bangkok bank account sans work permit.
New research has uncovered why Southeast Asia’s most infamous fruit is so damn smelly. Scientists have identified 16 distinct compounds within the durian’s distinctive smell that can be likened to a combination of rotten onion, cabbage and sulfur, amongst others.
This is an interesting look at the widespread policy of dual pricing — one price for Thais and one, higher, price for foreigners — in Thailand. Most expats and tourists are understandably against dual pricing (you can see our view on it here), especially when it’s applied to people paying their fair share of tax in the Kingdom, but this article sheds some light on the Thai perspective.
Namely, how it allows the very poor to see their country’s treasures, the complex way it intertwines with racism, and how to best respond to products and places that have a dual pricing structure in place.
‘Stereotype’ maps of various countries seem to pop up every few months and Thailand is the latest to get the treatment. This one, on a Reddit thread, is a little blunt (read: racist) but will probably prompt a knowing giggle. Bangkok is Gotham, Isaan is Naive/Ignorant Peasants (yikes), Pai is Farangs with Backpacks, Cambodia is Barbarians (yikes again) and the deep South is, er, terrorists.
Our favourite though has to be Myanmar: ‘Mexico’.
A whiny Thaivisa thread here stuffed to the brim of yet more stereotypical sayings of Thai people that apparently are incredibly annoying (although not annoying enough for the complainers to learn Thai themselves it would seem). Everything from, “no have” and “up to you” to “you think too mutt”.
The best response:
The only thing that’s ever stopped me drinking at Cheap Charlie’s on Sukhumwit is a sense of pride.
— Phil / Ajarn.com (@Ajarncom) January 19, 2017
How long can a Thai cleaning lady mop one spot and never move? Forever. The answer is forever. pic.twitter.com/7Xe3Y2xuiQ
— Lucky Erawan (@LuckyErawan) January 21, 2017
Do I get discount if I only have one testicle? Ha ha pic.twitter.com/xTltfsPWrR
— Sweet3Mango Bangkok (@sweet3mango) January 21, 2017
Porn is sort of illegal in Thailand, but just walk around in #Sukhumvit close to Nana Station and you'll find vendors selling the whole package: from dildos to erection pills, to pirated porn DVDs. It's like an "enlarge your penis" email turned into a street shop. • • • • • • @focalmark #urbex #streetshared #aov #weekly_feature #createexploretakeover #shotzdelight #mkexplore #gearednomad #rsa_streetview #imaginatones #focalmarked #urbandecay #urbexworld #streetmobs #kings_abandoned #decay #abandonment_issues #urbexpeople #sfx_decay #rsa_preciousjunk #bangkokcollection #bangkokcity #bangkokmurah #bangkoklife #bangkokready
And that’s been The Week On Sukhumvit — see you next time!