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About Yann55

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  • Birthday 06/23/1955

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  1. Now THAT is what I call a clear and concise summary of the situation here. When I go on my daily morning walk in Jomtien around 6:30 in the morning, the last section is (unfortunately) along the main road (Tappraya Road). Every morning I see strings of these giganormous tourist coaches roaring by at full speed, one after the other, more than half of them sending massive clouds of stinking black smoke into the air (and the lungs of everyone around). I can't find a verb that's strong (and rude) enough to express how much I dislike them, the companies that run them, the Rambos on steroids (and God knows what else) who drive them, the system that welcomes them, and the non-existent authorities that let this outrageous pollution go on and on because they're too busy setting roadblocks elsewhere, where they can fleece farangs on motorcycles (mostly) for whatever reason. Grrrrr....
  2. It's OK sweetie, you're a bit of a nutcase, that's for sure, but when it comes to the reputation of taxi drivers in Bangkok, don't loose any sleep over it because there isn't much left to damage, and it's been that way for a loooong time.
  3. This is one of the funniest headlines I've read in a long time ...
  4. I was a kid back then, but I distincly remember the shores of the Mediterranean in the 1960s. Whether you were in Italy, France, Greece or Spain, the amount of littering was shocking. People would stop by the road for a picnic with a breathtaking view, and then simply leave their pile of trash behind. The beaches, too, were infested with all kinds of rubbish blown in from the sea, a gift from the passengers of the boats. Fishermen, yachtmen and tourists on cruise ships simply disposed of their garbage overboard. To make matters worth, the big tankers regularly 'cleaned' their tanks in the open sea, releasing billions of sticky black oil balls that ended up on the beaches. At the end of the 1960s a major sociological shift occurred in the Western world, and even though thousands of books have been written about it, the making and magnitude of that phenomenon still remains quite a mystery. The way Westerners saw themselves, others, their destiny, religion, politics, feelings, and attitude to the environment suddenly underwent a massive shake up. It was no less than a change of paradigma. Today we (Westerners) are still bathing in this paradigma. It defines our thoughts, opinions, judgments, enthusiasm or indignation, it is so deeply infiltrated in our neurones that we can hardly see it any more, just like a driver can't be driving and watching himself drive by at the same time. This sociological shift did not occur in Asia. People who live in the countries known as the 'Far East' (ie East of India) operate on a paradigma that is extremely different from ours. Unless we acknowledge that fact, we simply cannot understand this continent and its inhabitants. We can judge them, patronize them, chastize them, and we do it constantly because 'the West', led by the US, still has the upper hand economically and politically (albeit not for much longer), and like all conquerers we feel that our ways are right, better, more efficient. On many issues I believe we are delusional and arrogant, but on the ecological issues I think we've got it right. For example, throwing one's garage around is simply unconscionable. But, but but ... Unless a deep sociological tsunami occurs in the 'Asian mind' (sorry for the shortcut, I realize it's unsatisfactory) the trashing habit will simply continue, and new laws are not the solution, because laws do not change societies, it's the other way around (the helmet issue being a striking illustration of that truth). If that change occurs it must come from within, it cannot, and should not be forced down their throats. When, for instance, the Chinese say to the West : "hey, you want us to shut down our coal-powered plants, but your fabulous wealth today is largely based on the fact that you did that very same thing for more than a century, so don't throw stones at us from inside your glass house".... like it or not, they are right.
  5. Trump blasts Oprah over 60 Minutes episode

    Because it has become a tabloid society ?
  6. Trump blasts Oprah over 60 Minutes episode

    Hear ! Hear ! Spoken by a true expert.
  7. Talk about lousy reporting ... this sentence is a blatant distortion of reality. It implies that Thaksin fled the country just after being deposed, for fear of being politically harassed. In other words a political refugee... Well, nothing could be further from the truth. This version of Thaksin's exile pops up every so often in the news, no matter what, and one might wonder how some journalists can be so sloppy in their work. Or is there another, foul-smelling, explanation ... ? After all Mr Thaksin von Dubai is a very VERY rich person and has a whole team of 'communication' specialists around him. He is also a Thai-Chinese person, a business man, and a politician...
  8. Foreigner database to be ready in six months

    One of the top 10 rules in the politician's handbook, all over the world, is : When you're in trouble at home, one of the easiest ways to regain at least some popularity is to lash out at foreigners. Show your fellow countrymen that you're tough with these annoying aliens who are basically responsible for pretty much every single problem in the country.
  9. But I'm sure you're aware that there is a very active 'Pattaya Haters Brigade' on this Forum, who will use just about any article to spew their hysterical hatred of this city. Which says more about them than about Pattaya.
  10. Last night in the 'gay street' of Jomtien Complex one of the bars had decided to generously offer live music not only to their own customers but to the entire street. A stage was set up in front of the bar and an impressive number of (aptly named) loudspeakers were installed around the stage and all the way up to the entrance of the bar zone. Around 7:00pm a guy with a raucous voice jumped on stage and started delivering the usual Thai pop songs which are fabulously popular with all the boys who work in the area... and notably less appreciated by the white-haired Western customers who form 90% of the money spending lot in that area. Most of the latter put up with it because when in Rome... some (the Thaier-than-thou brigade) actually pretend to love it , and the grumpiest just turn around when they see the balloons. But hey, who cares about what customers think and like ? Aaaaaanyway ... The 'music' was going on at full blast when, lo and behold, a Thai lady popped out of the business she owns (a restaurant) looking extremely irate, somehow found the DJ and gave him a piece of her mind. The music was immediately turned down noticeably, and for once, it was possible to enjoy a drink for another half hour without having to put up with the usual earsore that is called 'musical entertainment' around here. It was still there of course, but bearable. My point(s) ? 1/ Not all Thai people are sheepish, afraid to confront bullies or worried of losing face by going against the local customs. 2/ When the music was turned down, the bar boys around were still having a good time while the Western customers were not having a rotten one, for a change. So... obviously it's possible to find a volume level that satisfies everyone. 3/ What does that have to do with the Buddha head issue in the article ? Well, just about everything, if you ask me, because clearly the problem is not about Buddhism (*) but about the identity crisis that Thais have been going through for decades, the most obvious manifestation of which is xenophobia. Are the Thai people who organize musical 'entertainment' in Jomtien Complex unaware of the fact that most Western people (both tourists and expats) hate it when the music is outrageously loud ? Of course not. So, call me paranoid if you will, but in my eyes the paroxystic volume of these sound sytems is not due to ignorance or a sabai sabai attitude, it's a way of telling the white people around there that they are tolerated, not actually welcome, and if they don't like it, they can go home. More and more of them seem to do just that. The Chinese business which just opened at the entrance of that street (with all the signs in Chinese as if this country were a vassal state of the Empire) is probably an omen. (*) The Lord Buddha clearly forbade representations of himself, so ALL Buddha images are shocking from a strictly Buddhist point of view.
  11. For the umpteenth time ... 1/ You cannot return to something that was never there, or to a place where you've never been before. 2/ Democracy and elections are two completely different things. Democracy is a set of principles, a concept, while elections are a mere technicality. When elections occur in a context that is all but democratic, they're not only useless, but actually perverse because they serve as a cover up for the lack of democracy. 3/ 'common democratic values' ... LOL... a lot of people in Thailand and in the US do have democratic values, but the US as a country (and they do have that in common with Thailand) does not run on democratic values at all. One may well ask if it ever did, as a matter of fact. The Founding Fathers had no trust whatsoever in 'the people', what they wanted was a country where the 'masses' were under tight control (OK, with a pinch of Christian compassion) of the ruling elite, ie themselves and their peers. In effect that country is still run by an oligarchy of self-appointed, non elected, so called 'elite' (read : rich folks) who have total control - by way of financing - of the two political parties. It is worth noting, incidentally, that these parties are BOTH on the right hand side of the political spectrum which in itself proves the fact that there is NO democracy in the US, unless you spell it demockracy.
  12. Gruesome murder ... ah, here we go again. Journalists keep little boxes full of words on most subjects and tend to pick up their adjectives from these little boxes, allowing them to write more and think less. On the subject of murder, for example : - A 'gruesome murder' : one or more people kill another person, and then proceed to burn, butcher or otherwise damage the body. - A 'brutal murder' : one or more people kill another person, but instead of killing him/her nicely, they either torture the person first or kill them in a most disorderly and repugnant manner. - A murder : one or more people kill another person, but they do it fast, neat and painlessly, so it's just another day in paradise and it doesn't sell so well in the media. That's why the first 2 kinds are more often talked about in said media.