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About Odysseus123

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  1. Because no Thai is ever allowed to say to another Thai that "You are a <deleted> bad driver!" There are no social (let alone legal) constraints to becoming a bitumin psychopath in this country.
  2. Thank you OP. I have often wondered how the bright eyed and bushy tailed young Issan kids who delighted in chasing me and my putt putt motor scooter shouting"Hey Mr Teacher*-I speak English good!" became the glassy eyed,slack jawed and totally incurious 15 year olds destined for a life of complete apathy and ignorance in this village. You seemed to have described the downwards spiral very well. *I am not a schoolteacher but was an educator and trainer in a different field.I have had the opportunity to observe Thais that have been "trained" in my field and have been horrified at the result as they never seemed to have been taught how to analyse the results, think about them in any way or initiate a response-they merely pass them on to a "higher authority."
  3. Thank you for the references to the two books that you have listed above. I have ordered both of them from Amazon.
  4. For any British expats interested in the period of the Burma Campaign then Fergal Keane's book is a must: Road of Bones -the epic siege of Kohima,1944"
  5. After enduring three days of the usual mayhem in Bangkok I must thank you for pointing out to me that I had misspelled Bix-even if I was on the run for the airport. My focus is on the destruction of European colonization in India, the "Far East" and the "East Indies" as the British used to call it. Although,I must say, that the best micro-history of a campaign which thoroughly examines the dysfunctional nature ofJapanese military decision making (from the top to the bottom) and the consequences thereof, is Alvin D Coox "Nomonhan-Japan Against Russia,1939 Au revoir
  6. Herbert Blix?No-but he is on my must read list. I have been trying to approach things from more of an "Asian" angle rather than a "Pacific" one for ,as Dower points out,because the US were the primary victors this gave them that particular historical/geographical viewpoint. So I have been studying, S C M Paine-"The Wars for Asia 1911-1949" Rana Mitter "Forgotten Ally-China's World War II 1937-1945." and Christopher Bailey and Tim Harper's "Forgotten Armies-the fall of British Asia-1941-1945" "Forgotten Wars-Freedom and Revolution in Southeast Asia." If it is at all possible,I would like to continue to discuss this interesting topic upon my return from Bangkok in three days time.
  7. Alperowitz? Yes-a very thought provoking book indeed and one that I read in conjunction with Richard B. Frank's "Operation Downfall" which tends to stick closer to the official line. On another related issue;what do you think of Dower's argument that the Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal's treatment of the Class A "Accused" was-due to the rigid SCAP exclusion of any negative mention of the emperor -all but a hollow legal mockery?
  8. Currently reading, John W.Dower 'War Without Mercy'-A startling study of both Japanese and U.S racial hatred in World War 2. Which is an excellent companion volume to the author's 'Embracing Defeat-Japan in the wake of World War II'
  9. Yes-it is an astonishing experience and one that I have not been able to totally process as yet but fundamentally I am tired of being treated as an ATM by the family.Strangely enough I still believe that my wife had/has the best of intentions but what can you do when the entire tribe lives only five minutes away and meets for its som tum extravaganza every day. I have noticed a distinct change around here over the past few years (I dare not wonder why) and actually got the 7/11 treatment this morning whereas in the past I often had a bit of a laugh with every body trying Thinglish on me.It was fun then but it isn't now. Best of luck with your move and may you experience many happy days in the future.
  10. Yes-fortunately I am homeward bound where I can rebuild if the big "C"doesn't get me first. I was told that I had the obligatory "black heart" last night but I did point out that I was leaving an entire platoon of healthy NON WORKING Isaan Thai behind to carry on the customary family traditions.I have said goodbye to the notion that any of the loans will ever be repaid.
  11. Swissie,rather than quote you again-because "kannot" has just done so-what I see is that this is a negative loss where ultimately people are forced to sell land or houses at discount prices whereby the country's wealth ends up being concentrated in fewer and fewer hands,which is certainly happening in Thailand at the moment just as it did in ancient Rome. For such a system to work at all-moneylender-shop owner-defaulting peasants-the economic engine requires lubrication in ever increasing amounts but,alas,there isn't any oil around here and the only profiteers are the moneylenders.This cluster of villages seemed to be thriving when I came here six years ago but they are just wastelands of closed shops and unemployed Isaan Thai at present. Which all contributes to the extreme version of "cargo cultism" that I observe around here.Hordes of people just waiting for something,somehow to drop from the sky.Most Thai here appear to be a bunch of Mr Micawbers but, given their lack of motivation and disdain for education as an engine for change, a pallet of spam and canned pineapple magically descending on them from above seems most unlikely.
  12. Curiously enough this subject is most timely. I know an expat whose wife ran one of those small mixed businesses.I heard this afternoon that the wife had raised significant amounts of credit on the shop (without the expats knowledge) and disbursed the funds to the usual crowd of non working family members. They were "crunched" last weekend and have fled to Woop Woop-leaving the expat dazed and bemused. There,but for the grace of god,go I.
  13. It is. The local shopkeeper was telling my wife on Friday that I am one of the very few that pay back credit-which in my case never exceeds 500 baht. Furthermore,she states that many of the villagers owe her over 30,000 baht each. Very tough to do business here and having been burnt once (loan to help with the family restaurant) I will never do it again.
  14. Extractor fan in kitchen-just reach to the right and click on the switch,Very uncommon in 15th century Transylvania. Which poses the question-just how common were smartphones in count Dracula's realm?