Mobi’s Postbag debate on to blog or not to blog…

6 Months, 26 Days – still sober

Mobi Babble

I haven’t been babbling much lately so some of you may be wondering what I have been up to.

Well, nothing very exciting really, my life is becoming a bit ‘run of the mill’ which is one of the reasons I haven’t written much on my daily activities, as I would probably bore you all to death.

I have been trying to keep away from the hookers and their places of employment. By and large, I have succeeded, either spending my time at home or going to Pattaya with Noo on various errands. 

But Sunday saw a minor slip in my resolve when out of the blue, Rick called me at around 7 pm. and told me that a large centipede had bitten his foot, that it was badly swollen and very painful and wanted to know what he should do. I thought that he should go to hospital, and as he seemed to be in no condition to drive, I drove quickly down to the ‘Church’, where he had ensconced himself earlier that evening to watch the Formula One Grand Prix. I had intended to take him to Pattaya to get a doctor to look at it, but upon arrival, he announced that his foot felt a little better and that it didn’t require any urgent attention..

In other words, he decided he would rather risk losing his foot or even die, than miss his beloved Formula One race. Once this was established, I stayed long enough to see that over-hyped, spoilt brat of a cheating, British, so-called hero leading the pack in the most boring sport on the planet, before adjourning to a new bar, just down the road, which had recently opened – the bizarrely named, ‘Bad Luck  Bar’.

My luck was in at ‘Bad Luck Bar.’ For starters, they were not showing the Formula One race on their television, and for seconds they had a couple of bright young things decorating the bar stools and it wasn’t long before I had both of them literally eating out of my hand.

They were 21 and 22 years old respectively, Ying and Ping, and I would rate them about 7 out of ten in the looks, body and personality departments. They both appeared to be quite new to the hooking profession, having only just arrived from their Issan homes about 2 weeks earlier. They soon become fascinated with my new Galaxy Tab, which I was amusing myself with, and it didn’t take long before they homed in on the thousands of songs that I had downloaded onto it. We then spent the next two hours finding songs they liked which I then transferred to their phones via blue tooth. Every time I succeeded in blue toothing  a new song onto their mobiles, I received a lovely big hug and kiss for my efforts. Their excitement and joy was infectious and it took a lot of will power for me to reluctantly drag myself away and make my way home to the ever waiting and faithful Noo.

So while admit to being a bit of a heel, this was my only transgression in quite a while, and let’s face it, ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’. If it hadn’t been for Rick and his bloody centipede bite, I would have never have left the comfort of my home and my lovely Noo. So it’s all his fault – or maybe the centipede’s….

Postbag

I haven’t had one for a while now, so here we go…

On the subject of my deliberations on whether I should stop writing my blog, here are a couple of worthy comments

Firstly, a comment from TT, Submitted on 2011/07/14 at 10:22 pm

(It is a very long comment, which can be read in full in the  ‘Comments’ section, so below are a few relevant extracts:

Hi Mobi,

Just in reply to your previous post about your consideration to junk the blog.

Personally I am of the opinion that it would be a waste to do that and can offer only two reasons, one selfish personally and one on your side – feel free to whale in…..

….Now, in your case, the drunken Mobi used the blog, in my opinion, to look in a mirror. ‘Mirror, mirror what do I see?’ Great, you were reinforcing something in yourself. Pattaya must probably be the worst place on the planet to try and avoid any form of addiction. Within yourself you came to the conclusion that you had become nothing more than a cunt and that throwing money at the problem didn’t actually make it go away. Good on you for that strength – so many make an excuse…..

….Sure there have been some who have been most risible to you along the way, but as they always are they will not front up to your face and tell you their opinion – wee keyboard bairns with masturbatory fantasies of being ex SAS….

. ….Getting off booze is easy, just got to find something to do – which is what you do with your blog….

….Since you started being more political and newsy, your blog has in my opinion, become far more readable. You are obviously a man of intelligence and erudite with it and why therefore, stop?…..

A lot of folks for sure were interested in your novel and that seems to have come to a grinding halt. Can’t fit in the transition from sober Mobi to the previous Mobi? …..

…. Mail me and I’ll send you excerpts from [what TT used to write] 5 years ago. And why don’t you call it ‘Mobi’s Arc’?.

Biggest problem is going to be when you get back to Blighty and their culture of drinking……

Anyway, keep writing.

Another on this subject, from ‘Showstopper’, Submitted on 2011/07/11 at 8:30 pm

Wait until you get back from your UK trip before quitting the blog. That will be quite a trying time, no Noo and family issues to face. If anything can drive a man to drink it’s family bickering with no one to cuddle up with after. If you can survive that without hitting the bottle it will be a good sign. And I was looking forward to your thoughts of the UK after all this time away. I go back to Blighty every year and every time it I hate it more, apart from country walks, country pubs and proper beer it really has nothing to offer me.

I go back next week …. gawd help me …

My response

Following these and other comments, I will indeed continue with my blog  into September, if for no other reason, to let my readers know whether I survived the trip back home and whether I succeeded in remaining sober.

I am not making any promises, but I will try to write so0me blogs while I am in England, maybe brief in nature, but enough for you to know I am still in one piece. If and when it proves too difficult  to find the time and/or  the facilities to write and post a blog, I will use Twitter as a means of  keeping my readers informed, so if you aren’t doing so, you might like to follow me on Twitter at @mobithailand .

For those who have yet to take the Twitter plunge, it takes less than five minute to open a Twitter Account. Alternatively, you can read my tweets on the home page of my web blog, where all my latest Tweets are automatically posted and appear in the right hand margin, even if I haven’t written or posted any new blogs.

I am both nervous and excited about my first trip back to the UK for 5 years; nervous about going so far out of my ‘comfort zone’, but also excited to spend time with all my family and in particular my two daughters. I am extremely ‘bullish’ about my chances of remaining sober throughout my trip. I have never liked English pubs very much and will be avoiding them whenever possible, and I think that the last 7 months has provided me with plenty of experience in being with people who are drinking and in places where they drink without it unduly bothering me. I fact, these days I hardly give it a second glance – it just doesn’t register that they are drinking alcohol while I am drinking coffee, or a Diet Coke or a glass of water.

On the plus side, I will be with family and friends who will be much more supportive of my efforts to stay sober as they are my loved ones and although I have spared them the gory details,  they have some awareness of how booze all but destroyed my life. Over here, outside of AA, I get little or no appreciation of what I am about – nobody could care a less whether I am sober, drunk, or even die – and indeed, why should they?

TT, thank you for your kind words about my blog and indeed your offer to help with content. I will wait to see if I keep it going before thinking further about your offer.

It  saddens me to realise  that there are many out there who can’t wait for me to ‘fall off the wagon’ so that I can relate my latest drunken and accident prone adventures for their personal gratification. Yes, it makes me sad, but I completely understand, having so often seen the more degenerate and the voyeurism side of human nature – especially in this part of the world.

As for my novel; I don’t think that my continuing sobriety has anything to do with my lack of progress. The fact that I am writing my blog is evidence that I am not suffering from writer’s block or some other impediment. I think the main reason is that I simply do not have enough time or mental energy to keep both projects going. I do not wish to spend my whole life writing – from morning to night, day in day out, even though I do enjoy writing and get a lot of satisfaction from it.

I know it may not seem much when you read my humble offerings, but it takes the best part of a day to research, write, proof read and edit my daily blog; then sort out the photos, post them and sort out all the peripherals connected with the blog before finally publishing it. Then I have to do my tweets, post my blog on Face Book, and even try to post some of my blog pics into Flickr to try and capture more readers.

Once I get going, I actually write quite quickly, but it is all the other stuff that becomes so time consuming. At one point I was actually writing my blog and my novel on the same day, but that became such a herculean effort so I gave it up. Then I tried to write my blog one day and my novel the next, but as stated above, I found I was spending almost my entire life writing, and when I wasn’t, I was too mentally drained to do anything else. There are other things I want to do in what remains of my life.

I am not too sure what the answer to all this is, but a solution must be found. I acn confide in my readers that if faced with a choice between the two activities, even though I enjoy doing both, I would elect to write my novel and stop the blog. But I still feel that my blog may ultimately be a good ‘outlet’  – a way to publicise my novel and to increase the chances of it eventually getting published.

If I stop my blog, I will lose this outlet, let if I don’t stop it, I will not make much progress on my novel. It is a ‘Mobi -catch 22’

There has to be some kind of compromise solution – maybe TT’s idea is worth developing – getting some outside contributions into my blog. Or, better still, find someone who can put it all together – that’s the most arduous and unrewarding chore. Any offers?

Vince Cable and the ‘Right Wing Nutters’

The British cabinet minister, Vince Cable, has attacked leading US Republican politicians for holding up a deal to reduce US government debt. Speaking on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, the business secretary called them “a few right-wing nutters in the American Congress”.

The world is watching on as the US Congress and their President fight tooth and nail for a deal to raise America’s debt ceiling, and so avoid yet another world-wide economic crisis. Any intelligent, impartial observer, can see that this is a ideological debate that runs very deep within American society, and this current battle is for the very ‘soul’ and future economic and social direction of  what is still the world’s most powerful nation. There is clearly right and wrong on both sides, and the parties to this conflict, not least of which is the President himself, are all trying to score political points in advance of the upcoming presidential election next year.  

So for the estimable, Mr Vince – bloody liberal-democrat – Cable to accuse some of these Republican members of Congress, who deeply believe and indeed were elected on the basis that substantial cuts must be made to the US budget and that any increase in taxes will stifle economic growth, as ‘Right Wing ‘Nutters’, is not only irresponsible; it is also childish, ignorant, rabble rousing rhetoric that adds nothing to the debate nor contributes to its solution.

Amy and a world that worships alcohol

Many have warned me that the drinking culture in Britain these days has to be seen to be believed. Indeed, I have read much and seen much on news and documentary footage to know that the lager louts and ‘lout-ettes’ rule the town centres and that binge drinking, alcoholism and alcohol related deaths are now endemic in society.

It seems to have become a society where nurses and doctors are attacked by drunks in hospitals, where fire fighters are attacked by drunks when they try to put out fires, where the police have to allocate large numbers of valuable resources to deal with the daily drunken incidents in our streets,  where law abiding citizens are terrified to walk the streets at night and where thousands of drug addicts and alcoholics under the age of thirty die terrible deaths every year.

Amy Winehouse was one such person, and it is a reflection – I would say an indictment – of 21st century Britain, that on an impromptu, memorial shrine erected by fans outside Amy Winehouse’s apartment in Camden, that in among the banks of condolence messages, candles and teddy bears left by fans, a trio of mementoes stood out: a can of Stella Artois, a bottle of Smirnoff vodka and some pinot grigio!

WTF!

Tiger, Tiger burning bright, in the scandals of the night….

So he fired his caddy after 12 years of faithful service during which time Tiger won 12 majors and 72 tournaments world-wide. Williams stuck by Woods during his recent scandal plagued years and was visibly shocked when he was informed that he was no longer required.

There has been no suggestion whatsoever that Williams was in any way technically deficient as Tiger’s caddy and where others may have bolted when the darkest hours came, and sponsors were fleeing after Woods’ marital troubles began and the scandal concerning numerous girlfriends became tabloid fodder, Williams remained strongly supportive of his employer and his ‘buddy’.

Williams now bitterly regrets that show of loyalty, saying he’s basically wasted the last two years of his life.

“I was prepared to hang in there through thick and thin, so I find the timing extraordinary.” Williams said. “When Tiger went through the ‘Tiger Scandal’, as it’s known, I was obviously very disappointed in him, as everyone was. Obviously I lost a tremendous amount of respect for him…and I told him that he had to earn back my respect. Whatever respect he may have earned back, he’s just lost.”

I was listening to one golf professional talking about Tiger the other day on the radio. He said, matter of factly, that: ‘Tiger just uses people and moves on…’

Poll ( for those who haven’t yet voted)

BUTT…BUTT…BUTT… I don’t give a hoot!

Mobi’s take on Amy Winehouse and the ‘27 Club’

 


6 Months, 24 days, still sober.

Amy and the ‘27 Club’

I always recall Bill O’Reilly from Fox News being outraged when he learned that Amy Winehouse had won 5 Grammys in 2008, as he seemed to think that it was completely disgusting that a British drug addict should be honoured in such a way by the American music industry.

I have watched O’Reilly very carefully though the years, and while I often agree with many of his political sentiments, and do have a grudging admiration for his combative style, there is no question that is quietly anti British – probably as a result of his Irish ancestry. Any time a piece of British news comes up on his programme he can’t resist a bit of a sneer. He had a field day recently when the world’s news media was dominated by the Royal Wedding, and while, as my readers are aware, I am very anti- monarchist, Bill O’Reilly’s rants against the so-called ‘raping and pillaging’ of the poor, downtrodden Brits over the centuries by the British monarchy, almost converted me back to being a Royalist. 

He never loses an opportunity to have a ‘pop’ or sneer at the likes of Elton John, so it came as no surprise when he expressed his total opposition to Winehouse being given such prestigious awards.

So what did O’Reilly think the should industry do? I wondered. Maybe they should give the music awards to artists who had left the most blameless, altruistic and clean living lives? A bit like the ‘fair play’ awards in Football? On that basis, Cliff Richard would have clocked up about 1,000 Grammies by now, and maybe if O’Reilly had anything to do with it – he might have received some extra special awards for being a ‘Born again Christian.’

The point is, that the American Music academy judges the music industry on the quality of their creative and performing talents, and not on the quality of their private lives. If clean, drug free living was a criteria for the awards , I doubt we would have too many of our top artists lining up for awards. I didn’t hear O’Reilly complaining too much about some of the black American hip hop artists, many of whom have criminal records and connections with organised crime who  rap about raping, killing  and so on, and use highly abusive language in their lyrics.

I had heard about Winehouse long before O’Reilly’s rant about her as she had already been in the news for the wrong reasons many times and I had also heard her massive hit ‘Rehab’, but I confess that she hadn’t registered very highly in my personal musical appreciation list.

However, once she had been honoured by such an august body and had been trashed by the great Bill O’Reilly, I took a further look at this young, maverick singing sensation. I liked what I found, when I started to listen seriously to her music, particularly the tracks from her smash hit album, ‘Back to Black’.

I find it difficult to categorise Winehouse’s style – sort of bluesy – soul with a bit of sultry cockney ‘white- trash’ thrown in. Whatever it may be, it is completely original, and she has a unique, raw, dusky voice that simply oozes evocations of smoke filled, sleazy jazz clubs.

It actually surprised me that so many people throughout the world loved her music as she has clearly never been a commercial pop singer. It just shows us that great music can transcend all music boundaries and personal preferences. A great song, regardless of genre, sung by a great singer, will be always be appreciated by a knowledgeable public who loves good music..

As a recovering alcoholic, I can see so clearly how young, fragile, highly creative people with predilections for substance abuse, can be so vulnerable to the dangers of over-indulgence and become trapped in a downward spiral that so often ends in an early demise. Deep emotions, both high and low, are part and parcel of the creative process and it is often only by baring their tortured souls, that artists such as Winehouse can produce some of their best stuff.

 Unfortunately, they are ‘innocents’ in a hard, cynical world and they have no real experience of life, particularly if they have found fame and fortune at a young age. The money makes them independent and in a position to make all their own decisions. Nobody, not their friends, family or management are able to gainsay them. The more they try to advise them, the worse the artists will tend to go off the rails. 

Their only hope is for someone to really take them in hand at the point when the artist is so low – at rock bottom – and they realise that this cannot go on any longer and they are prepared to listen and to try and change.

I was watching the comedian Russell Brand being interviewed the other day and it was clear that only a few years ago, he was in pretty much the same position as Amy. Brand was taken very strongly in hand by his friend/manager, made to understand that he would soon be dead if he didn’t ‘change  his ways’ and was more or less frog marched into rehab.

Having had the good luck to have a very strong, dedicated friend, he ‘saw the light’, and was effectively ‘saved’. He could just as easily have been long dead – he admits it himself. It is a lottery. Some manage to survive their own destructive tendencies – there are countless examples of this , not least of who are artists such as Eric Clapton and Elton John. Others have not been so lucky and have tragically succumbed to their own excesses.

Much has written about the so-called ‘27 club’, of which poor Amy is now a member, along with Jimi Hendrix, Brian Jones, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain, and arguably Robert Johnson.  There are those who try to claim that there is some divine or mysterious significance to the fact that so many famous musicians all died at the age of 27.

I give these theories no credence. The fact remains that a huge number of creative folk, from all manner of artistic fields, die young, as a result of substance abuse, suicide or other self-inflicted causes, either directly or indirectly. The world is full of coincidences that people like to try and put  some meaning into; but the simple fact is, that the age of these ‘27 club’ victims could just have easily been 26 or 28. They could have all died at slightly different ages. It is just coincidence – pure and simple.

The fact that so many die in their late 20’s probably is significant. It is a period of their lives when many have already  generated creative output for several years and many of them have already had fame and fortune thrust upon them. They are vulnerable people, who are addicted to drugs alcohol or both, have been abusing their bodies for up to ten years, and have reached the stage where even heavier abuse is called for to achieve the required buzz.

So one could extrapolate from this that the late 20’s  would be a time of their lives when they start to slide out of control and, due to their elevated and financially independent existence, no one  is willing or capable of steering  them back onto the right course.

Amy Winehouse has left a legacy of music that will surely last at least as long as that left by her fellow ‘27 club’ member, Janis Joplin. She has already had a strong influence on British singers who have followed in her footsteps, such as the brilliant Adele, and she has shown the Brits and indeed the whole world, that good, original music will always be appreciated and loved and that it isn’t necessary to slavishly follow American contemporary music styles in order to find international fame and fortune.

For those who are unfamiliar with Amy’s music, I have selected two songs, ‘Back to Back‘ & ‘You Know I’m No Good‘, which to me, excluding her monster hit, ‘Rehab’, succinctly  illustrate the woman and her music.

Back to Black

(Written by Mark Ronson and Amy Winehouse)

 

He left no time to regret

Kept his dick wet

With his same old safe bet

Me and my head high

And my tears dry

Get on without my guy

You went back to what you knew

So far removed from all that we went through

And I tread a troubled track

My odds are stacked

I’ll go back to black

 

We only said good-bye with words

I died a hundred times

You go back to her

And I go back to…..

I go back to us

I love you much

It’s not enough

You love blow and I love puff

And life is like a pipe

And I’m a tiny penny rolling up the walls inside

We only said goodbye with words

I died a hundred times

You go back to her

And I go back to

Black, black, black, black, black, black, black,

I go back to

I go back to

We only said good-bye with words

I died a hundred times

You go back to her

And I go back to

We only said good-bye with words

I died a hundred times

You go back to her

And I go back to black

Listen and watch: Back to Black

You Know I’m No Good

(Written by Amy Winehouse)

 

Meet you downstairs in the bar and hurt

Your rolled up sleeves in your skull t-shirt

You say, “Why did you do with him today?”

And sniffed me out like I was Tanqueray

 

Cause you’re my fella, my guy

Hand me your Stella and fly

By the time I’m out the door

You tear men down like Roger Moore

 

I cheated myself

Like I knew I would

I told ya, I was trouble

You know that I’m no good

 

Upstairs in bed, with my ex boy,

He’s in the place, but I can’t get joy,

Thinking on you in the final throes

This is when my buzzer goes

 

Run out to meet you, chips and pitta,

You say “When we’re married” ’cause you’re not bitter

There’ll be none of him no more

I cried for you on the kitchen floor

 

I cheated myself

Like I knew I would

I told ya, I was trouble

You know that I’m no good

 

Sweet reunion, Jamaica and Spain

We’re like how we were again

I’m in the tub you on the seat

Lick your lips as I soak my feet

 

Then you notice little carpet burn

My stomach drop and my guts churn

You shrug and it’s the worst

Who truly stuck the knife in first

 

I cheated myself like I knew I would

I told ya I was trouble, you know that I’m no good

I cheated myself, like I knew I would

I told ya I was trouble, yeah ya know that I’m no good

 

Listen and watch: You know I’m No Good.

How about that closing shot on the You Tube video?

Amy curled up on the floor with a glass of whisky!

RIP Amy.

Corruption – to be or not to be? That is the question.

Back in the 1990’s I used to visit Thailand frequently with my Thai wife, (‘Noi‘, wife number 3), and we stayed at the house we had bought in Bang Sean. During my visits there, I got to know a number of middle class Thais who were all part of a ‘drinking gang’ that used to meet regularly at the home of a venerable, elderly, retired dentist in a nearby Bang Saen suburb.

The large, sprawling Thai-style home was ‘open house’, seven days a week, and come dusk, on just about any evening, you would find the host entertaining his fellow drinking pals. On a typical weekday there would probably only be 2 – 3 visitors, but weekends and holidays the huge, circular table, strategically situated in the old man’s lounge, would be packed to capacity.

All the gang, with the single exception of Mobi, were local Bang Saen folk. The retired dentist himself had three children, the oldest son being a landscape designer and the younger son and daughter were both  lawyers practising in Chonburi town. All the guests were reasonably well to do, and most of them were well educated Thais , from middle class backgrounds.

There were bankers, architects, doctors and so forth, with a few in business for themselves in a variety of trades. They would often turn up with their wives and sometimes their children who would all ‘muck in’ and enjoy their host’s spacious house and gardens. Sometimes we all got pretty drunk, but for the most part, our drinking was reasonably controlled. We drank in the Thai style; small tots of whisky mixed with copious amounts of soda and ice, interspersed with a never ending supply of tasty snacks.

In this manner we would become ‘mellow’, but rarely did any one become incapable. None of the gang spoke much English, so this was yet another opportunity for me to practise my Thai which was pretty abysmal back in those days. Fortunately, my then wife spoke excellent English and was able to translate for me when the occasion demanded.

A wide variety of subjects was discussed at length and occasionally disagreements would break out amongst us that would threaten the pleasant and friendly equilibrium of the gatherings; but our wise old host would always step in, chastise the culprits and ensure that any feelings of hostility were quietly and effectively nipped in the bud.

It reminded me of a similar drinking gang that I used to be a member of, back in the 70’s in the slums of Bangkok, as although there was much  disparity  in the class of the participants, we also had the benefit of a similar host, Pee Prasert, who, like his Dentist counterpart in Bang Saen decades later , used to ensure that any disagreements that broke out during a drinking session, never got too far out of hand.

(You can read all about my 70’s ‘Thai drinking gang’ in my ‘Mobi-Vignette’ entitled ‘Metta’ by clicking on the relevant tab above. I also wrote a short story, which had my Bang Saen drinking gang as it’s backdrop, entitled ‘Karuna’. It was published in my long obsolete collection of short stories entitled ‘Tales from Thailand’. Although the story was based on my real Bang Saen drinking gang, the actual story was my one and only attempt at a ghost story. I’m not sure that it worked very well, but at least I gave it a go.)

I am telling you all this because a news item the other day reminded me of this long forgotten collection of Bang  Saen drinking friends, and in particular, a  discussion we once had, all those years ago on the  subject of  of corruption in Thailand.

I had naively imagined that my ‘well-to-do’, well educated, professional Thais, would come down very strongly in the ‘anti-corruption’ camp and that they would tell me how much they deplored the corrupt system that dominated their daily lives. Not a bit of it. To a man, they were all pretty much in favour of corruption. The reasons were not that easy to discern, but with much prompting I eventually concluded that they felt that the system worked pretty well and that everyone knew where they stood. They understood what was required to get things done. Corruption worked to their benefit and advantage and they saw no need for change.

Not content with these replies I persevered, challenging them to admit that surely it was wrong for high ranking government officials, the Police, the Military, their families and cronies to benefit to the tune of millions if not billions of Baht in corruption, while the poor folk up-county barely had enough food to eat. What did they think about that?

They were typically Thai in their responses. Sure, they obviously deplored the huge corruption at the very top, but at the same time, they were loath to condemn it outright. In the end, it finally entered my thick, farang brain that the reason they were so reluctant to denounce corruption was because one day, they too, may become the beneficiaries of untold riches from this very same system. 

So it came as no surprise to me the other day when I read the following story in The Nation:

More than half of all Thais (64.5 per cent) believe corruption is acceptable if the new government makes the country prosper, promotes people’s well-being and benefits the respondents themselves, while 35.5 per cent said otherwise, an Abac poll reported Wednesday.

The percentage of those agreeing to corrupt government – if it benefits them – was particularly large (at about 70 per cent) among respondents aged under 20 and between 20 -29.

The July poll – involved 2,559 people over 18 from 17 provinces including Bangkok…….

Of course my debates with the good folk of Bang Saen occurred many years ago when I was younger and less worldly-wise in such matters. These days, I can fully appreciate where Thais are coming from on this issue, indeed I recall a television programme in which Thai kids, as young as five or six, were asked how they would they solve certain problems that may arise in their daily lives; offering them various alternative courses of action, ranging from doing it the right (moral) way, to doing it the corrupt way., Guess what? Almost every kid opted for the corrupt way or even invented new methods of corruption not even mentioned by the programme’s presenters.

This does not mean that the Thais are a morally bankrupt nation; it simply demonstrates the fact that for the most part, Asian cultures accept a degree of dishonesty and corruption which would be unacceptable in the west. Maybe one day this will all change, but I doubt I will live to see it. You just have to look at the endemic corruption in countries such as China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Cambodia to know that.

As for those well-meaning, crusading farangs who tell you to fight against corruption and refuse to become involved in it – that if a cop stops you on some trumped up offence, that you should refuse to pay him his 200 baht ‘tea money’ and so on.

Well they are welcome to do what turns them on, and I wish them luck; just as long as they realise that whatever they do, or refuse to do, it will not make one iota of difference to anyone in this country and they will just be regarded as ‘stupid farangs’ .

But as far as Mobi is concerned, this farang will do whatever he needs to do to fit in and have a nice easy life.

BUTT… BUTT… BUTT…I don’t give a hoot –  about corruption or anything else for that matter….