3 Months, 13 days – still sober
What Mobi Did
Today I started Chapter 7 of my novel and managed just under 2,000 words. Hopefully I can keep the momentum going and get this chapter put to bed over the next week or so.
I am feeling pretty good and seem to have recovered from my ‘out of sorts’ mood of a day or so back. Yesterday I took Noo to Bang Sare for a late afternoon seafood meal and it was a nice little trip out for the two of us. The last few times I have been to Bang Sarae, the beach has been conspicuous by its absence, with the sea washing right up to the edge of the road. A few years ago the beach was much larger, but something seems to have happened and much of it seems to have eroded away. Yesterday it was low tide, but even so, the amount of beach remaining is woefully small. Judging by the presence of a JCB on the beach it looks like the authorities are belatedly trying to do something about it. Or maybe they are digging out sand for use at the nearby condo construction site….
I haven’t been using my little Canon camera very much since I bought it a couple of months back, so I thought I would give it a bit of an outing. It really is an extraordinarily good piece of equipment and here are a few examples of what it can do.
A little dingy, about 30 meters away.
Fishing Boat at anchor with the Jomtien skyscrapers miles away in the distance.
Another fishing boat, washed up onto what remains of the beach.
Every picture tells a story……
Another story…. Beach erosion and efforts to put things right.… or wrong?
The restaurant… good food, wonderful view…
Songkran is upon us once more and the mayhem has already started. Here in Pattaya it seems to go on forever and every year it starts earlier and finishes later. Much has been written about how the Songkran festival has strayed so far from its origins – from the gentle sprinkling of water over family and friends at Thai New year to the crazy, frenzied wild affair that it is today. Nowhere is this more apparent than here in Pattaya City. I always try to avoid the Songkran revelling – partly because I am getting too old for all that nonsense, but also because I object quite strongly to what Songkran has turned into– an opportunity for yobbos – both farang and Thai – to inflict discomfort and pain on countless, hapless people who are trying to go about their daily business. This whole nonsense of water full of ice, powerful, destructive water cannons, thick white powder that is plastered indiscriminately over bodies and property, and their penchant for throwing buckets of water over moving vehicles – especially motorcycles – is just plain dangerous, and causes accidents, even loss of lives. In previous years in Pattaya, there have been cases of dangerous chemicals being added to the water, causing injuries to eyes and other parts of the body and I have no doubt that there will yet more such instances this year.
Last year, I was stuck in a traffic jam in a soi near my home when my car was ‘attacked’ by a bunch of drunken Thai yobs. They had buckets of thick white powder and they proceeded to wipe the greasy substance all over the windows and bonnet of my BMW. Later, when I tried to wash it all off I found that a corrosive chemical in the white powder and wreaked permanent damage to the car’s paintwork.
(I almost consider myself ‘fortunate’ when a short while after Songkran I had a major car accident, which resulted in a completely fresh body re- spray, thus repairing the Songkran inflicted damage; crazy, ain’t it? )
Every year, the authorities piously announce that water cannons and other unsafe, deplorable practises are banned, but of course, no one takes any notice and the mayhem carries on as before and as each year passes, it seems to get a little worse. We painfully chalk up the number of accidents, injuries and even deaths that are the result of all these ‘illegal’ activities. But they will never be curtailed; the extended Songkran celebrations are a money spinner for the businesses and residents who supply the revellers with their booze, food, water-weapons and other accoutrements.
Despite the large number of resident farangs who hate Songkran and try to get away from Thailand during the Songkran period, there is no doubt that the festival always attracts thousands of fresh tourists, and for this reason alone it will be allowed to grow and grow and grow. Probably, in few years’ time, Songkran will start on April 1st and finish on April 30th.
What say you?
Arabs – a personal perspective – (postscript).
Yesterday I ended up rushing my essay on Arabs because I wanted to get it finished before I took my little Noo out for a meal, so it ended up being a bit of a ‘dog’s dinner’ I’m afraid.
When I returned home later and reviewed what I had written, I found that not only was it fully of typos and badly constructed sentences – the worst of which are now corrected – but the whole thing is somewhat unbalanced. Too much of the essay is taken up describing my personal experiences in that part of the world and not enough in dealing with the problems that beset the Arab world today, the knock on effect in the west and where the world may go from here.
I don’t think the essay is a disaster as I do believe I managed to get across most of my major points, namely: how difficult for us in the west to truly empathise with such an alien culture and religion, with their misogynistic and other reprehensible attitudes; how the rise of fundamentalism and the current democratic ‘Arab Awakening’ are both the result of decades of dictatorial, highly repressive regimes; and how The Arab/Israeli conflict has been and always will be at the heart of the Arab / West problem, and nothing will be solved until this is satisfactorily dealt with.
Anyway, no doubt I will return to this subject many times in the future as it seems that this is a world issue that is not going to be resolved any time soon. So for now, I will leave it at that.