Yet More Brief Notes from a Tainted Paradise – 13th December 2015

An Overabundance of Musical Riches

2014-05-31 Immanuel Orchestra group C

I see corruption is still alive and kicking in the Land of Tainted Smiles, (“LOTS”) – well we wouldn’t have it any other way, now would we?

We’ve had the scandal of the airport scanners that don’t work, then the unbelievable cost of new clocks and microphones in our beloved parliament building; not forgetting the Fire Engine scam and the twenty billion dollar rice scam.

As you know, I could go on …and on… and on, but one particular titbit of outrageous graft caught my eye the other day and I thought it was worth sharing it with you.

It concerns the 1.3 billion baht ($43 million) purchase of musical instruments for Bangkok city schools.

In 2009, the Bangkok Administration spent 259 million baht for 90 schools and in 2014 they spent 587 million baht to buy instruments for a further 197 schools, 187 of which didn’t even have a music teacher. They also spent 14 million baht for efficiency training for music teachers… but there were only 10 of them….

It goes on and on… every school was given one piano, 15 keyboards, and 30 guitars.  69 of these schools had less than 200 pupils which make you wonder why they received something in the order of 46 instruments.

We learn that less than 10% of the 437 pianos have been used. We are also told that the prices paid for the instruments were exorbitantly high. Surprise! surprise!

Examples of this were the electric drum sets bought for 65,000 baht whereas the retail price was only 38,000 baht.

Electric drum sets???

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Mystery of the Hung Cock in East Pattaya

cock-1

I’m not trying to be saucy – it really is a hung cock and it really is a mystery… well, a solvable mystery …I doubt it needs Hercule Poirot…

The man in the picture is the cock’s owner. There is a strong suspicion that the cock was on the losing end of a cockfight and was killed by his owner who may have lost money gambling on the outcome of the fight. We are told the man appeared nervous…

I guess he lost face and money… woe is he…

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The Red Road to Hell

red road_big

A highway in Nan Province has become the country’s first “red road” after being covered with special anti-skid, light-reflective paint.

The move is a bid to reduce the number of road accidents during the so-called seven dangerous days of the New Year holiday period.

The winding, two-lane highway has many dangerous curves, which leads to several accidents every month, so a contractor was hired to turn the sections red with anti-skid paint. It is hoped this might reduce accidents.”

Apparently, warning signs are useless in getting motorists to slow down when approaching a curve, but it is thought that the red paint, which is luminous at night, will work better. Apparently ‘winter’ is the high season for Thais and foreign tourists to visit Nan – meaning there will be more traffic.

I’m sure this isn’t the first highway in the world to be painted with red ant-skid paint, but what I particularly loved about this little story were the comments about it made on the Thai Visa forum, some of which I share with you below:

  • The speed bumps, rumble strips, warning signs, yellow and black reflective warning on tight corners haven’t worked – now red anti-slip.
  • Red – so we won’t be able to see the puddles of blood… How thoughtful!
  • I can see the drivers driving with one hand on their phone taking pics of it as they drive over it.
  • Safety Paint? – Really? Or just normal paint, in appropriately labelled tins, but billed as the special product?
  • Does it cure stupidity by osmosis as you approach it?
  • Perhaps lining the side of the road with billboards of naked chicks would be more effective…
  • Why is the vehicle in the photo parked right on a very dangerous curve?
  • Wow!…anti-skid paint…So now they will be able to drive even  faster around those five bends. Very clever!

It goes on and on….

 

MAB mini pic