Mobi-Snaps: Sattahip Beach
For those living in and around Pattaya and are becoming disallusioned with the quality of the local beaches, you could do a lot worse than make a short drive down the coast and check out Sattahip.
Nice sand, much cleaner and not a bad place for a day out with the kids.
I have been fighting depression for several weeks and my downward spiral is becoming relentless.
My depression has been triggered by my dire financial situation.
As with most very bad news I have received in my life, my current predicament has taken a while to sink in. Up until recently, my situation seemed like a bad dream that will surely go away soon.
I now know that it won’t go away, and that the few desperate straws that I was grasping to save me from this disaster, were little more than an illusion.
What remains of my life savings – not a huge amount, but enough to see me through the rest of my life – is frozen. Maybe they’re not gone for good – although I will be lucky to eventually get back more than 50% – but certainly for a year, or two or three. For the foreseeable future I am pretty much broke.
I was clinging to the hope that maybe in few months I would be able to get some cash back out of my savings – even if it was only enough to tide me over for a while, but I now realise that this is impossible and it’s going to be a long haul.
Failing that, I thought I might be able to somehow accelerate the sale of my house, but even in this, my hopes have been dashed. My now ex-wife seems to be using excuse after excuse not to even put the ‘for sale’ sign back up after she inexplicably took it down a few weeks ago. I have no idea what’s going on, but I fear the worst.
Finally, I confess that I was day-dreaming that some publisher or agent might appear like a fairy Godmother with the news that they liked my novel and that somehow this would become my saviour.
I know this was a ridiculous dream and even if I do eventually get some positive responses, there will be no meaningful money forthcoming for a very long time – if at all.
Right now, on the book front, I have had two outright rejections, and one lukewarm response from an agent who I have dealt with in the past. They have suggested I do some substantial re-working of the manuscript but with no guarantees that the novel will eventually be taken on.
If I could see some way out of this mess, I think I would be much more positive.
Indeed when the news first broke I remained quite cheerful as I thought that something would come up. But it hasn’t and taking into account my age and medical condition I simply cannot see any way out.
I cannot work in Thailand, as I have no work permit and in any case no one would take me on. Even if I went back to the UK, in the current economic climate, there is little or no chance of finding any kind of work. I have no home there and I would have to rely on my family to take care of me which would not be a great state of affairs.
Also, if I were to return and re-establish residency back in the UK, it would create a tax nightmare as I have been non –resident for tax purposes for many years. I think I would have a large tax bill with no money to pay it.
We are economising as much as possible, and I calculate I can last about a year. I could sell one of my vehicles which would keep me going a bit longer but have decided a better plan is to see if I can rent one of them out. The pick-up is still in mint condition and isn’t used very much.
There seems to be a demand for pick-up rentals in Pattaya so I will see what can be done, but even if I am successful, this will only generate around 20,000 Baht per month. This, together with my small UK state pension will still be nowhere near enough to keep me and my family going.
I have another idea for a small business which would almost certainly generate a regular income, but I haven’t got sufficient capital for this. If can I sell the house then I would plough the proceeds into this project, but until- and if – that happens, there’s little I can do.
I have thought and thought about this until I am blue in the face but I cannot come up with any meaningful solutions.
If I fail to sell my house or get anything back from my main savings, then in a year or so the money will run out and I will be destitute. It is not a pretty situation. If could see even a flicker of light at the end of the tunnel, then things might be different, but as it is….
At the moment, things are carrying on more or less as normal and there are few signs of the troubles that lie just down the road…. except a growing depression.
Life in Thailand – More of the same?
I’m not too sure whether there has been some particularly noteworthy events hitting the local Thai headlines during this past week, but it did strike me that with all the doom and gloom going on internationally, that I might use the next few paragraphs commenting at some news a little closer to home, (for me.).
Frankly, I rarely comment on local (Thai) news as although it is always full of ‘quotable items’, they are all pretty much variations on a theme.
The government and opposition are always far more concerned with destroying each other by fair means or foul than running the country; there is the never ending saga of Thaksin’s desperate attempts to be pardoned so that he can return home and resume his nefarious activities in person rather than by proxy ; the cops are up to their usual tricks which has little or nothing to do with protecting the public against crime and criminals, and the endemic corruption in all facets of Thai society simply gets worse and worse.
Here’s just a small sample of stories that have hit the headlines over the past few days in the Land of Smiles?
As ever, our beloved ‘boys in brown’ have been striving to live up to their national motto of ‘Serve and Protect’, when a few days ago, a police motorcade, which included a massive trailer truck, hit a beam holding up a pedestrian bridge on a major road in eastern Bangkok, causing it to drop on a passing pickup truck, instantly killing the driver.
The traffic on the road came to a standstill for up to six hours before four cranes were brought in to remove the 30 ton piece of concrete over to the side of the road.
The 28-wheel truck, carrying a huge oil-rigging machine, was part of a three-truck convoy led by a police cruiser. Mercifully, two of the trailers behind managed to stop in time.
Amazingly, we learn from eyewitnesses that the police cruiser leading the convoy, did not stop to help and when the accident occurred, they sped away.
The driver of the truck has been charged with causing death through carelessness.
However, the Police Divison Chief said he was looking to see if the policemen in the police cruiser should also be held liable for the accident…..
Also on the subject of the BIB, I am pleased to report that the superiors of a police officer who took bribes from drivers on the road underneath a sky train station in Bangkok have been transferred away from Bang Na station.
The Metropolitan Police chief said he decided on the transfer after not one, but two video clips spread online showing traffic police officers from Bang Na station taking bribes.
The two supervisory traffic police officers at Bang Na station are being given the same positions at their new workplaces, and the traffic policeman that appeared on the video clips posted on Youtube, has been slapped with a ‘non-final expulsion’ order, pending an investigation into his bribe-taking.
The poor BIB – shall we have a whip round?
What has our beloved government been up to lately?
For starters, the education minister is planning to propose to the Cabinet that students be allowed to have longer hairstyles. According to the new regulations, all students will be allowed to get layered haircuts.
The Education Minister has approved the new regulations and will be proposing them to the Cabinet next Tuesday.
Once the regulation gets Cabinet approval, it will be published in the Royal Gazette and be implemented during the 2013 academic year.
This will remove the ban on students getting layered hairstyles as well as take away the schools’ authority to insist on their students having a specific hairstyle.
Isn’t it nice that our government for the people can spend so much time on matters that affect the rights and liberties of the common folk?
Oh, it seems that not all cabinet members are as keen as the education minister when it comes to civil liberties and human dignity for the common folk.
Deputy Prime Minister Plodprasop recently accused law abiding protesters who were planning to protest at the second Asia-Pacific Water Summit as “ garbage”.
Despite a public outcry, he has refused to withdraw his remarks or apologise.
He is quoted as saying: “If the protesters come, they will be arrested. What will you protest against? Don’t come. If you violate laws, I will order your arrest. Chiang Mai people should not allow such garbage to be around.”
The protest is being arranged by the ‘Living River Network’, the ‘Foundation for Ecological Recovery’ and people adversely affected by the government’s policies on water management.
A number of NGOs who are against the government’s water-management plans are expected to show up
You know… all the ‘garbage….
Oh… I almost forgot…
Mr ‘Plod’ is the chairman of the Water and Flood Management Commission, and part of his brief is to oversee the bidding, (i.e. head up the ‘kick back’ committee), by four private firms on the massive 350 million Baht water-management and flood-prevention scheme.
Need I say more?
Suffer little girls….
Much has been written about the reprehensible behaviour of the deceased and disgraced UK celebrity, Jimmy Savile.
Without doubt he was an evil sex monster and it beggars belief that he was able to prey on under-age girls for decades and go to his grave without ever facing the full force of the law. The public is outraged and is rightfully demanding explanations.
Yet when we learn of Saudi men, some more that 70 years old, ‘buying’ child brides from families of Syrian refugees, abusing them and returning them to their families, before buying another one to satisfy their paedophile cravings, the world is silent.
For some desperate Syrian families, their daughters are their only asset – the younger the better – as they fetch good prices in the Muslim bride market.
Ageing Saudi men, residents of one of the world’s most religious nations, are among the most eager shoppers for the youngest Syrian girls. They can afford to buy multiple girls and it’s legal because Islam allows for multiple wives.
Many of these young girls are bought and sold several times because these patriarchs of Islamic piety only need a child bride for a few weeks. Then the girl can be returned and sold off by her family again – though at a reduced price. Islam doesn’t permit the charging of interest, but it permits standard depreciation rates for ‘used’ female bodies.
The legal age of marriage in Jordan is 18 but some religious clerics will marry underage girls for a small fee. This puts the girls at even greater risk for exploitation because many of the Saudi men only want a temporary union lasting a few weeks or months after which the girl is returned to her parents.
In other words, it is religiously sanctioned, forced prostitution. Human trafficking….
There are reports of one bride who has been married four times and she is only 15.
Our hypocritical world cries and gnashes its teeth when the likes of Savile, or the Cleveland abductions are uncovered, but say or do little or nothing when we read of what is happening in Saudi Arabia and Jordan.
Back in the UK we hear about the terrible cases of the grooming and rape of underage girls by Muslim residents in Rochdale and Derby.
The Muslim Council of Britain has vowed action to stop children being groomed for sex.They would, wouldn’t they?
They did however speak very honestly when they said: “They, (these gangs), think that white teenage girls are worthless and can be abused without a second thought; it is this sort of behaviour that is bringing shame on our community.”
Yet, amazingly, the police said grooming was “not a racial issue”, with the Assistant Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police, saying that the case was about “adults preying on vulnerable young children”.
“It just happens that in this particular area and time, the demographics were that these were Asian men,” he said.
What a load of old balls!
The Muslim community puts their hands up and says, ‘sorry it was us’ and the cops, out of political correctness say, ‘No…no… no… it’s not you guys….!!!’
I just wonder how many of the male Muslim citizens living in the UK, with ethnic South Asian or Middle Eastern backgrounds, are really outraged about what these grooming gangs did?
I bet you that a vast majority of them are secretly wishing that they too had had such an opportunity and the only thing stopping them was the fear of getting caught.
I’m sorry, but there is little doubt that Islamic law is totally misogynist in nature and that women are regarded as subservient, second class citizens and are only there to serve and for the sexual gratification of the dominant males.
If you have any doubt, just look what has happened in the Afghan parliament where attempts to strengthen the existing law to protect women’s rights have been thrown out.
Or if you want to go nearer to home – check out the ‘fly on the wall’ documentaries that have been made in Sharia courts in Leytonstone – yes… Leytonstone, East London. Ask the women what happened when they went to the court for help after being physically abused by their brutal husbands.
Not very much I’m afraid and what is more, the advice they received was in direct contravention of British Law.
Frankly, what the criminal behaviour of Savile and his other ‘entertainment cohorts’ did – bad though it was – pales into insignificance when compared to what goes on in many Muslim communities, both overseas and here, our own country .
What is this world we are living in?
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