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About Johpa

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  • Birthday 04/01/1953

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  1. I daresay that your last bit of faith lasted a long time. As for myself, I am always amazed that my disdain for the Royal Thai Police can even reach lower lows.. But as always, when it inevitably occurs, well here it is....Chaiyo!
  2. The road is not quite as steep as the road up to Baan Rak Thai, but there are still a few steep short sections with hairpin turns. Traffic will be heavy during the holidays and moving slowly. There are actually better views across from Mon Jaem closer to the cell phone towers such as Mon View Ngaam and Mon Tawaan. There is no regularly scheduled public transport from the city but of course you can hire a vehicle for the day and enjoy the rental, with or without a driver, to visit all around the Samoeng Loop. Below is an image in the late afternoon from Mon Tawaan, a somewhat rustic camp site where you can buy some drinks and enjoy the view, the highest venue in that neighborhood.
  3. Do you then also consider Muslims who moved from India into Pakistan or Hindus who moved into India during that partition now living in a diaspora? Or perhaps the more existential question, are there Palestinians, as a national identity, without an Israel? Without an Israel I would imagine the land would have become part of Jordan. Of course we could argue whether Jordan should be ruled by an outsider, one from the Hashem clan. But clan and tribal identities do not map well onto western modes of political geography.
  4. Gobsmacked I am. And in Lad Phrao of all places.
  5. It is not that unusual to have some parts that need to be ordered from Bangkok and that can take often take a week to 10 days, and longer if Honda Bangkok needs to order the parts. And for most bikes 250cc or below, I also have had good service from Nat Motors on Huay Khao, just west of Maya. I drop off my ride, walk over to Maya to watch a matinee movie, and then walk back to pick up the bike.
  6. That would be Sangchai, perhaps the largest distributor of Honda motorcycle parts in Chiang Mai. Helps to speak Thai there. The place is usually very busy and I still have not figured out the system there but instead rely upon the woman at the counter by the small accessories shop. Sometimes it may take a week to get parts in from Honda in Bangkok. But always helpful and honest. For larger bikes and dual sport servicing try Burning, just west of Sangchai towards the bridge on the other side of the street.
  7. I actually know a few people who use this formal language in everyday speech. There is another Hi-So group in Thailand apart from the social climbers, mostly families from the Sakdina era who may or may not have great wealth but who retain high standards of social etiquette in both speech and dress. I had one friend who used the term รับประทานอาหาร in front of me and noticed that I took pause to parse the phrase, a loss of face on my part.
  8. More likely that it is not a coincidence that the increase in road checkpoints coincided with the clampdown on the nightlife venues in Chiang Mai. No need to bring up BIB from Bangkok, just the local commanders replacing a lost source of revenue with a new source.
  9. You want to learn Central Thai and not Kham Muang (Northern Thai). If you happen to settle in the north then you can slowly learn some words and phrases in Kham Muang. But everyone understands Central Thai and fewer and fewer people speak Kham Muang outside the rural areas. You probably don't want to become like me speaking mostly Central Thai with a mix of Kham Muang words thrown in because I never learned the correct Central Thai word. Let us just say I don't get the most respect from Central Thai speakers when that happens or when I have to ask about some common Central Thai word. This happened on my last visit regarding the word "สัปดาห์" (week) a word I last heard in my Thai language class back in the 1980s but never heard up north in conversation during the intervening decades.
  10. Maybe it is time for the local headman to get modern and use e-mails or Facebook. Just ask around, or have the GF ask around if others don't also think it is a bit antiquated. You only need to convince a single phu yai (influential and respected local) to effect change. Many villages now have a new generation of younger headmen who are favorable to such change. And most villages now use the loudspeakers far less frequently than in previous years. As for western food oriented restaurants, there are great spots off the 3009 (Prem Rd) north of town, both Chez Phillipe and the Pansawan, that are as good as STOD. But like most Thai establishments, if busy the service can be slow. The rural ambiance of Pansawan makes such a wait comfortable and at Chez Phillipe the smiles of the owner and her daughters make the occasional wait worth the time. Just enjoy a bottle of wine. And bkk6060, check out the 12 Panna market and some of the restaurants nearby, which are just across the bridge on the south side on the Mae Jo connection road (1260).
  11. For the record, I am a devout atheist whose has never leaned toward the Christian persuasion. But I have met some Christian missionary folks in Thailand that are decent people starting with the now retired Catholic Basque missionary who tended his flock of highlands people in the Fang region to some of the founders of Payap who are still in Chiang Mai living as Thai citizens. The common thread is that they represent an older generation of missionaries. Thai Christians I meet are nice people but with little theological understanding. Not peculiar to just Thais, many Asian Christians I meet in the US are clearly of an evangelical bent and I am trying to understand why they are such rabid Trump supporters. Delusion seems to spread across domains.
  12. You can't compare Mae Rim with Hang Dong. Mae Rim does not have the critical mass of ex-pats that the Hang Dong region has to support a "Kat Farang", a western market. Even SOTD depends upon folks from the big city coming up, not locals. Phillipe had his restaurant in the Plaza, arguably, no not arguably, as good as STOD with great salads, and it was rarely crowded, but it is doing OK in its new location. It is interesting as to wht STOD does well and everyone else struggles. Sort of like why Mon Chaem is always crowded and the neighboring places with even better views struggle. The demographics in Mae Rim just aren't there yet for expanding western oriented restaurants. Besides, the ex-pats in Mae Rim seem to go a bit more native than those in Hang Dong and there are many local Thai restaurants far better than anything to be found in the big city relative to both price and quality of food: e.g., Baan Suan, Rabiang Palm, Pansawan, and Hi-So Lanna.
  13. It will take several years to get certified. It will take even more years of reliable and safe service in China before other airlines consider this particular model. And it is already obsolete relative to say the 737 MAX. But it does show that the PRC can build such aircraft and that further down the line they will become competitors to Airbus and Boeing. Kudos to them for taking this first step.
  14. What?!? You doubt some dossim are involved in money laundering? Even my local Chabad rebbe got caught. Of course it is not just the Dos. If you read David Cay Johnston's biography on Trump you will learn Trump has long been involved with the mob, another group that is perhaps even more heavily involved in money laundering. But that is just anti-Italian drivel The point is that the nexus of all these nefarious undercurrents is money laundering.
  15. And international money laundering is the criminal nexus tying this scandal together. Putin and his crony oligarchs need to launder vast amounts of money. Big oil anointed rulers and their close confidants in natural resource rich despotic nations ranging from Azerbaijan to Nigeria need money laundering services. And those of us with long ties to Thailand know that one of the primary means to launder money is through resorts and hotels. And add to the mix Kushner's proximity to money laundering circles (where is his kipa?). On the other hand there is keen competition to receive that same laundered money by the big banks so don't expect to see too much pressure placed upon your neighborhood prosecuting attorney.