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12
Jun
2009

What people write about me

Somehow I really like it when people write about me, though it´s still surprising. The tenor is most often pretty similar. Reading about myself is like listening to my recorded voice ore seeing a picture that shows the back of my head –a view that I am not familiar with.

The Basque blogger and traveller Iñaki who met me two months ago wrote on his blog Iñaki`s Diversion about me

…all this was indeed very interesting, my mission at the overstay was to meet people for a trip to the north. And this is how I met Jessica Flores (mid-20s, 88% German, 12% Brazilian). This hyperactive girl moved to Bangkok a couple of years ago and since then she's been working as a journalist, actress, Ebay vendor and volunteer at a hospital among others. Jessi invited me to join her for a short visit to an old friend who lived in a small town near the Lao border.


The brazilian author and director Thiago wrote on his blog Abrindo Cabeças in Portuguese:

Filha de alemaes e brasileiros de novo hamburgo, ela entende alguma coisa do que eh ditto em minha lingua. Se diverte, comas pessoas, e aparentemente eh super forte e imperativa. Mas eh menina como todas as meninas e as vezes se sente soh e desprotegida no alto de seus 1.85m . trabalha como paramedica, e de uns dias pra ca comecou a ver os fantasmas de seu trabalho. Digo pra ela nao ficar bebendo pra esquecer isso nao ela quase nao me ouve.


Let me translate as good as I can:

Daughter of German and Brazilian from Novo Hamburgo, Is having fun, eating people, and is apparently super strong and imperative. But as a girl like all girls she feels unprotected at times even at a height of 1.85. She´s workin as paramedic and a few days ago she started to see the ghosts of here work. I told her that drinking would not stop this but she would not listen.

(I am not 1.85, I just like to wear high heels)

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11
Jun
2009

Watch out, Southeast Asia!



Sometimes, people really annoy me. Stupid remarks, silly questions, getting the wrong food in a restaurant and most enraged I get when my beer is to warm or –even worse- there`s no more beer at all.

It seems like people really don`t know, who they are dealing with. It´s a fact, that I have the potential to annihilate whole Bangkok and render most parts of Southeast Asia unlivable for generations.

Don´t believe me? But it´s pretty easy and known for quite some time: I have the power to generate energy that equals my body mass multiplied by the speed of light to the square (E=mc²).
This means, that I could set free 7 times 10 to the power of 18 Joule.

In video: The biggest ever developed Hydrogen Bomb RDS-220 “Tsar”, which was launched on Oktober 30th 1961 in the Novaya Zemlya archipelago. “Tsar” had an theoretical explosive force of 100 mega tons, which is 20 times the amount of explosives that were used in world war two, including the nuclear bombs that were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Converted, this means, I have a nuclear explosive force of more than 1500 of these “Tsar” bombs, which I am willing to use if necessary.

End of announcement.

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10
Jun
2009

No dumping dead bodies here

No dumping dead bodies here!
That`s what a sign reads, that had been erected in Ban Khuan Kong in tambon Tamnan in Patthalung.
Village head Krachang Noondam says the location is frequented by criminals.

In that isolated area with thick vegetation and lots of rubber trees only few people are brave or stupid enough to use the road that`s running through the area at night, says Krachang.

Rapes had happened there and thieves used the spot to disassemble stolen cars. But worst of all, murderers dump victims, that were killed elsewhere at the site.

''Recently, two women were killed and their bodies were dumped here,'' the village head said. ''One was a hairdresser, the other was a massage therapist. Both were from the downtown area.''

To improve security villagers now set up a sign until the area is safe again.

Chapeau!



Please do not dump dead bodies at the red `A´. Thanks!

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8
Jun
2009

Doctors of Bangkok

The owner of the food stall next door, where he prepares and sells boiled chicken, likes dogs. Whenever I see him, he plays with the stray dogs. And whenever I go to his stall and order he stops playing with the dogs and prepares the chicken with bare and unwashed hands. This miay be the reason, why, whenever I eat there, I have to see the doctor. Last time I even had to stay in hospital because of severe food poisoning including an infection to the abdominal wall. Three days in a private but definitely not one of the top Bangkok hospitals summed up to 47.000 Baht. Quite a lot. The actual treatment and accommodation was not the most expensive but the medication. And they prescribed me everything. Just a couple of weeks a had slight food poisoning again. They immediately gave me a drip with antibiotics. Then they checked my blood and found out that there was actually no infection at all. Still they prescribed me tons of antibiotics, cortisone, painkillers, dietary supplement and stuff, but I refused. Still they bill was a little more than 10.000 Baht –for just one day!

Another time I went to Ko Chang and while swimming I cut my foot. Back in Bangkok I tried to cure it myself and put Tiger Balm on it of which no I know I am allergic against.
The allergic reaction was enormous and I showed up in hospital again. The doctor hardly checked on me. No blood check. Instead she prescribed me cortisone to deal with the inflammation and strong antibiotics against an infection that had not been there at all. Also I had to come back every day for the next week to get acid dressings. All of this had been completely unnecessary.
Some closer examination and a couple of questions about my medical history would have been enough to save me a lot of money. But this is obviously not on the mind of the doctors.
I rather got the impression that most of the hospitals and clinics are rather extended pharmacies, where they just try to get as much of their merchandise as possible over the counter.

The wellbeing of the patient -or in this case rather customer- is rather in the background.
I even came across a Bangkok doctor who prescribed me high dosed cortisone for over six months. Though I asked him a couple of times about the ingredients of his pills he stayed elusive.
Most of the times doctors in Bangkok don´t tell you about the medication they prescribe. They just tell you what it is good for but leave out the part with the side effects. Also, most of them just cure the symptoms but almost never try to work out a proper diagnosis to really cure the medical problem.
Thai people seem to like it. If some medicine works, they are happy. Unfortunately, it doesn´t cure they disease.

Pretty symptomatic for many issues in Thailand.

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7
Jun
2009

Pictures of the Mekong from Lao, Vietnam and Thailand

Basically, you can travel wherever you want in south east asia and will always meet the Mekong river. Just last week I have been there again and had lunch in a restaurant on his banks like a queen.

I could write a lot of facts about this river now. I could tell you very smart stuff like the Mekong has many different sources which come from the Tibetan Highlands. That the exact length varies between 4.350 km and 4.909 km. Still it is about the 10th longest river of the world.
And if I really wanted to brag with my knowledge I would write, that the Mekong has 1.300 differnet types of fishes, like giant fish and unlimited numbers of birds and reptiles.
But to be honest. Who cares? That´s why I just better only show pictures:

The Mekong river from the Thai side from Nong Khai






The Mekong with nice weather and water…





...and without water during bad weather





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6
Jun
2009

Isaan Country – Farmer`s Breakfast

Farmers Breakfast. In western counntries this means bread, egg, bacon, cheese. None of this has a tradition in Thailand – especially not in the Isaan countryside. Over there you will find Chicken-Stew instead. I calle it Chicken-Stew because there are all parts of the chicken in it. Even the feet and the intestines. And of course you will find Som Tam – Papaya Salad. Hot like hell but always tasty. In ddition everything that is green an grows on the side of the road.



To get into the mood: The Iron Buffalo. A multi-purpose machine which can be used as tractor, car, power generator und much more. The possibilities are almost unlimited.



Never to be missing. Chillies as much as possible. Isaan has the hottest Papaya salad of all Thailand.



Typically Isaan: Kaao Niao – Sticky Rice. In Thailand`s Northeast people eat with their fingers. The stiky rice helps doing so. You take a big lump of sticky rice in your left hand. With your right hand you will break smaller pieces from it away which you put in your mouth together with the actual dish. The rice is also used as some kind of spoon. Eating with your fingers isn`t as easy as you might think. During my first trials I always looked like a 3 year old after eating spaghetti.



Now it gets a little bit fishy. Thai cuisine tastes great but once in a while smells pretty bad. Fish sauce (left) is for some Europeans already unbearable but “Pla Ra”-Sauce is just cruel. It`s kinda sauce mde from rotten fish – the spice of Isaan . Even some Thais from Bangkok get cramps in their stomachs after eating it. I don`t have a problem with it though I would not drink from that bottle.



Like always the most beautiful at the end: Lao Kaao – Rice Liquor. Brute stuff if you drink it pure. Even the rice farmers of Isaan have to drink a big gulp of water afterwards. At Mor Lam-Festivals this spirit works grea with me. At least people say so, because I could never remember.

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Back on Elephant Island

Give the case that I called Bangkok my first home then Ko Chang, the Elephant Island, would sure be my second. That jungle island in the Gulf of Thailand close to the cambodian border doesn`t leave all those Robinson Crusoe/Cast Away-clichees unserved. White beaches with palm trees hanging over the water, cliffy rocks and jungle with no end. In addition, peaceful silence.
Ko Chang is for me the exact opposite of Bangkok, which is also the most importnat reason why I keep coming back every 4 weeks. I know almost everybody over here and can roam the island with my motorbike freely without traffic jams and smog whenever I want. A fresh breeze instead of exhaustion fumes, the rush of waves instead of traffic noise, loneliness instead of crowds of people.
I just love it.









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Poor !/?

Actually I don`t like to prejudge people to early. But isn`t it poor, to come from a rich country to a poor country and spend your lots of money on drinks so that one sleps on the street like the poorest of the poor? And even them don`t sllep with their head in a pissed bush next to dead rats. And at least they sleep on cardboeards.



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My Neighbour the Elephant

There are not many people in the world who can claim having an elephant as their neighbour. But my neighbour is an elephant.
I am not sure waht he does for a living but we meet each other often in street in the evenings when he comes home from work and I am going to the gym.
Today we walked a little down the street together again.
It´s crazy how fast you get used to it. Walking on the street and an elephant is walking next to me. Of course it`s still interesting but I am not astonished any more.
Since the harvesting of wood has been banned in Thailand in 1996 a lot of elephants, that had been transporting the logs out of the forest, have become unemployed. Now they are roaming the streets of Bangkok with their Mahouts and beg for food.
Sad thing.
But I don´t dare to come close to those monsters as I am scared of all animals that are either bigger or smaller than me.



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European Championship Final in Bangkok

An important event like the final match of the European Championship ist of course also in Thailand of great interest. All Thais and Expats had been pretty sure, that the german team would win, but as we know now, this was not to happen.
I watched the match in Shamrock Irish Pub on Khao Sarn Road, but I did not really follow those happenings on the screen.
Anyway, here are some pics from the Khao Sarn Center that show how the fans celebrated that football event over there:









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I am living in a Slum

I dont know if I`ve ever mentioned it before, but I am living in a slum. During the last months a Slum had been created now surrounding my condominium. The inhabitants are as far as I know all construction workers from Isaan.
At night the dirt road that leads from my home to the main road is not illuminated, but I have never been scared to walk through it. Only during the early evening hours I am scared of those low flying batst hat might get stuck in my hair.
The houses of the slum consist only from a couple of wooden poles and six pieces of wielded iron that are nailed to the for walls and on the roof. The people shower outside.
On Saturday nights there is always party with Mor Lum music, drinking and dancing. On the day people will rummage through the rubble and hammer the steel out of the concrete parts that they can find. Also they are looking in the trash cans for glas, paper, cans and plastic and anything else that can be sold. In the evening they will burn their rubish.
Actually everyboy that I met on that pot hole road is pretty nice and sometimes even shy. This is maybe because I am coming from a differnet world and also a different class of society. Anyway, we sit together at the same tables, drinking and eating. As long es they don`t mind – cause I don`t care.





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Military Draft in Thailand



In Thailand the military has always been playing an important role. The military operates broadcasting stations, banks and military schools as an alternative to the regular public schools.
In politics one finds much more Generals than in western countries.
Of course there is a military draft in Thailand. All males at the age of 21 have to do their duty for two years. And the draft is always due in this time of the year. From April 1st to April 12th draft-time in Thailand during which all 21-year-olds and all males born in the year 1987 have to submit to the draft.
Conscripts will receive an monthly salary of 1,550 baht and a daily allowance of 75 baht.
Assistant army commander Gen Jiradet Khotcharat said the army had set up 154 committees to supervise the annual draft to make sure it is free of fraud and bribery.
Gen Jiradet said the army must be careful in drafting men from the three strife-torn southernmost provinces for fear that insurgent sympathisers could mix with and infiltrate the army. He said military training would help instil good attitudes into conscripts from the South and help them stay away from insurgents. This year, a total of 85,760 new conscripts will be recruited into the armed forces. Of these, 1,392 will go to the Defence Ministry and the Supreme Command, 62,323 to the army, 16,000 to the navy and 6,045 to the air force. More than 20,000 conscripts have agreed to sign up for military service so far

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Thailand: Gang of 30 Beat up British Tourists

After a vicious fight at an food stall in Nakhon Sawan a Briton had to be hospitalized due to a skull crack. A gang of about 30 Thai, including one soldier had kicked and punched the victim and two other Englishmen while they were dining at a roadside restaurant early Sunday morning.
After the three victims had been taken to hospital the gang stormed the building and resumed beating the three Brits until police eventually arrived. Responding to questions about the attack, Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont said the incident must be thoroughly investigated by police and the army.
Meanwhile police have arrested the accused soldier and another man. The suspects face a maximum seven years in jail if found guilty.
Police are searching fort the other suspects.

Also read the post : Battle with Thai People - You better don't

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Thai Food Diet: Fish Sauce – South East Asias smelly seasoning

Some call it a smelly liquid made of fermented fish but for others it it is part of the national culture. Even the ancient Romans used it for seasoning their dishes and called it Garum. What soy sauce is for the Chinese, fish sauce is it for the people in South East Asia. Especially in Vietnam fish sauce (Nuoc Mam) is very popular – cook and poets refer to it as eatable perfume. There are even poems and songs about it. In Thailand fish sauce is known as Naam pla, on te Philippines they call it Patis and Koreans speak of Jeotgal. But all have the strong, fishy smell in common, which needs to getting used to for foreigners. The production ist quite simple: Fresh anchovies are mixed 2,5:1 with salt. During the next months the salt abstracts water from the fishes, which drains through a small tap in the fish sauce barrel and pour back into the barrel. Like olive oil Nuo Mam has different levels of quality. Fishsauce increases the taste of most dishes without adding a fishy taste. With fish sauce, chillies, garlic and lime juice you can fix yourself easily a asian seasoning sauce on your own. Just chop some Thai chillies and garlic, pour some lime juice and fish sauce on it an leave in the fridge for some days.
But, as I said, it takes some time to get used to the aroma. I remember the small village Mui Ne at the coast of Vietnam which is famous for its fish sauce production. At 40 degree Celsius the stench was unbearable.

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Thailand: Culture Ministry Encourages Parents to Choose Thai Nicknames

The Thai Culture ministry wants to encourage parents to nickname their children with Thai names after a survey displayed that in the Isaan province of Khon Kaen 45.9 percent of the children have English nicknames already. "Now, more and more parents give English nicknames to their children," Culture Ministry permanent secretary Vira Rojpojchanarat said.
In Thailand people have nicknames additionally to their official first and last name. Official names hardly play a role in everyday life in Thailand. Instead, nicknames are used even on the job. If people are close to each other or younger than you, they may call themselves by their nicknames instead of using pronouns. Some Thai nicknames have meanings, and some don’t. Treat them as mere names – don’t try to translate the names because some might be funny or not make any sense like pig (muu), chicken (gai) or fish (pla). Common Nicknames are: yai, duk-daa, gung, mot, an, jäng, dim, mai, bum, dtui, än, ding, nooi, däng, mäm, nüng, miao, nok, gop, oo, nit, nuu

Source: Benjawan Poomsan Becker: Thai for intermediate Learners and The Nation

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Thailand: Hackers are Thais living in Germany

Police say the hackers who invaded the Information and Communications Technology Ministry’s Website were Thais living in Germany. The hackers breached the website from an Europe-based computer said Colonel Yannaphon Yangyuen. The officer explained, that his department had already warned the ministry about possible online attacks. He said the first findings suggest, that the culprits were from Germany. As a reaction to the invasion, the ministry handed over all systems security to CAT Telecom. After the hack the Internal Security Operations Command (ISOC) is also concerned about the military’s systems security. ISOC spokesman Thanathip Sawangsaeng said the Council planned to draft precautionary measures together with CAT Telecom.
Meanwhile, it is still unclear if the hacking was conducted to discredit the Council for National Security and its chairman Sonthi Boonyaratglin. Inofficially ISOC sources estimate that the hacking could have been to confuse the public over the coming referendum on the new Thai constitution.
In the meantime, the and Communications Technology Ministry has filed a complaint against the hackers.
Afer the new omputer-related Crimes Act offenders can be sentencedto prison between three to 15 years and fines ranging from Bt60,000 to Bt300,000.


Source: The Nation

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Thailand: Hackers attack Communiction ministry's website

An hacker attack on the website of the Thai Information and Communications Technology Ministry's website paralyzed the ministry's online presence for some time the day before yesterday. Instead of the welcome page the site displayed the grinning and waving Thaksin Shinawatra with the message "take back your dictatorship and return our Thailand". The attack to place at 11.50 a.m. and lasted about ten minutes. After that the page returned online not until 2 p.m. Up to now it is unclear whether the hackers started their defacement from Thailand or from overseas. Also, it is unclear whether or not supporters of Ex-PM Thaksin were responsible for the hack.

Information minister Sitthichai Pookaiyaudom said he was "glad" about the skills of the hackers, but he disapproved the misuse of that talent. "The ministry will take action against those behind the attack, to make them pay for what they did," he said, adding that he had set a deadline for their arrest. A ministry spokesman said the attack had been launched simaltaneously from three different locations. A ministry employee described the hack a a "slap in the face" as it had hapened just one day after the Computer-related Crimes Act became effective.

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Thailand: Thailand's first Blogger is doing time

There is no doubt that Panrit “Gor” Daoruang is Thailand's most famous internet kid. At the age of 12 Gor startet writing about his life and about what it is like growing up in Thailand. His Blog entries were first published at the internationally known website ThailandLife.com in 1997. A lot of people regard Gor as Thailand's first true blogger. In his online diary he wrote about school, his home and his vacations all over Thailand. But only when he fell into an turbulent relationship with his first girlfriend and became drug addicted he really became famous. At the age of 16 he was discovered by the Bangkok Post, where he was offered to write a weekly column named Gor's world about his life.

For more than two years he entertained and shocked his readers with insights on the life of a typical thai teenager, who tries to cope with the strict rules of thai society. Motorbike races, teenage pregnancy, smoking in school, gambling, alkohol and drugs were presented week after week in a shockingly free spoken exposure. Nonetheless Gor also showed his appreciation for the thai values, for example when he wrote about his wedding, the birth of his daughter or is ordaining as a monk. A the age of 20 Gor was arrested for drug posession just a few months after he left monkhood. Since the age of 15 he had been addicte to "yaa baa", the crazy medicine", an amphetamine which is more widespread among thais than one would estimate. Gor had been trying to halt his addiction many times but had always failed as the drug was too powerful. At his trial he was sentenced to six years in prison, but the judge reduced the penalty for Gor pleading guilty at the last second. Today Gor is doing his time in Samut Prakan Central Prison, where the guards recruited him as an inofficial translator due to his fluent English

found at thaiprisonlife.com

pictures courtesy by thaiprisonlife.com

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Thailand/Laos: Hmong to be deportet

Thai authorities are planning to deport members of the Hmong-tribe back to Laos within the next two months. "Those who came from Laos will be repatriated to their place of origin with no resettlements in Thailand or third countries,"said Third Army Region commander Lt-General Jiradej Kotcharat after an inspection of the shelter in Huay Nam Khao.
In total 7,653 hmong are registered, with an average of 26 births a month and 1.2 deaths a month sais the commander in the newspaper The Nation.

Most of the hmong refugees claim to be associated with the CIA financed hmong guerilla, wich fought until the fall of the laotian capital in 1975 against the communists. They had fled to Thailand because of the oppression in Laos.
Laotian government is still fighting against the former hilltribe soldiers although they not much more than small rugged units in the jungle with antique weapons.
Even though laotian military keeps on attacking Hmong villages.
"In one of the largest settlements with more than 800 inhabitants about 30 percent had gunshot or shrapnel wounds. Due to the attacks by the army many of the Hmong retreat in even deeper jungle areas. Some flee to Thailand, but there they are threatened by forced deportation back to Laos before they are registered by the UNHCR," reads the Amnesty International website.
However, Thailand and Laos regard them as illegal immigrants who should be deported home.

More on the Hmong: Hmong - People between diaspora and annihilation

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Thailand: Full Bladders in Schools

A survey among 418 students age seven to 19 resulted, that 73 percent of the questioned find their school toilets too dirty said helath department director general Dr Narongsak Angkasuwapla. Second rank on the list is the drinking water.
The poll sais that 67 percent of the students hold their bldders, becase they find school toilets are too dirty or have no water."Cystitis is often the consequence - escpecially with girls," sais Narongsak.
After the positive echo on the campaigns for cleaner and safer toilets in gas stations and restaurants the department now launches a campaign for better onditions in school toilets.

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Laos: Lao central bank releases thai baht

Other than the cambodian government Lao central Bank pursues completely difernt currency strategies. The institute released 30 million Thai baht (abot 8.6 billion Lao kip) last week to protect against black-market gains, said bank governor Phouphet Khamphounvong. "This was because the bank doesn't want entrepreneurs to exchange money in the black market. He said illegal traders might use this chance to make gains," quotes the Vientiane Times.
In Cambodia the situation is meanwhile completely differnet as politicians first of all Tiolong Saumura try to get rid of foreign currencies like the US-dollar or the Thai baht.

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Thailand: No more Karaoke at the wheel

In order to reduce the number of road accidents, Thai government now prohibits the use of cell phones while driving a vehicle.
"Many accidents took place because drivers were speaking on the phone," sais Police spokesman Lt Gen Ronnarong Yangyuen in <i>The Nation. The fine for offenders would be between Bt400 and Bt1,000 for offending motorists.
In addition Justice Ministry permanent secretary Jaran Pakdeethanakul states that karaoke singing and playing motion picture in moving cars were even more dangerous to drivers than the use of cell phones. For that reason the new law will also prohibit those activities. The law had been drafted for a good reason: In Thailand it is not unusual to watch karaoke DVDs or movies on small screens while driving.

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Thailand: Pardon for Child Abusers if they marry their Victims

In the US, it's the charges of Genarlow Wilson, who faces 10 years in prison for having sex with 15-year old when he had been age 17. In Germany it is 17-year old Marco Weiss' detention in an turkish penitentary. He is is alleged having abused a 13-year old british girl.

In Thailand there is a discussion about the law on child abuse, too.
Child-right activist Sapphasit Khumpraphan plans to petition His Majesty the King of Thailand in order to change the Thai Criminal Code., which allows courts to pardon offenders of child abuse of any age if they agree to marry the victim!

Sapphasit, director of the Centre for the Protection of Children's Rights Foundation, sais, a National Legislative Assembly (NLA) subcommittee had initially proposed only to pardon offenders up to the age 18 if they marry the victims.
The crusial factor of that rule was the age difference between offender nd victim:"A child's future should not be decided in legal squabbles. The order could be based on inaccurate information supplied to judges," he said. The activist sais, the NLA simply jumped to the conclusion that this should be decided by the court and passed the entire article in the first reading.

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Heiligendamm: The Aftermath of the Clashes

During the G 8-summit at Heiligendamm the german police's measures had been critisized more than once for their disproportion.
Now, the incidents were topic of a Berlin panel discussion: Which arrests and which deployment of water canons had been really necessary?
A review of confrontations of G8-critics and police is most necessary. German post-war history has shown, that the german constitutional state`s value can only be prooved thoroughly by such occurences.
Therefor it is crucial, that the media stick to the topic as well an keep up the discussion in society. They owe it themselves at least since the Spiegel-affair.
Doing so it is inconclusive to charge up each hit by a police club against each thrown stone, which will lead rather to a rigidification of fronts.
Questions we have to ask now are rather: Why did't police helicopters fly over the camp of the summit's critics but warplanes on a reconaissance mission? Where did the federal government derive the right to deploy it's army for highway surveillance from?
Why did they play after other rules at protests against the decisions of the economically most powerful nations than they usually do at big rock festivals or soccer games?

According to german constitutions 35th paragraph a deployment of the federal army is only possible in assistance to the police at natural disasters or other large disasters.
Both had not been the case at Heiligendamm. This means that the german federal government had just overridden the constitution.
It had already been known before they did so. So, why hadn't there been an outcry by the media and politicians?
If freedom is the price to keep up security, then what is our security worth, at all?

Watch a video showing a unit of the german federal army surveilling a highway (English subtitle)

Watch a video report on the review of the clashes during the G8-Summit

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Dawn of the urban millenium

Bangkok, like most of the large Cities in the developing Countries could become "uncotrolled, toxic anthill", warns the Thai demograph Kritaya Archavanitkul.
According to a report by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) the "dawn of the urban millenium" will begin by next year. Then, half of the world's population will live in urban areas.
Especially in developing countries, where 80% of the urban humanity will be living by the year 2030, this trend is significant.
"Global urban Polulation increased from 220 million to 2.8 billion people during the 20th century. During the next decades we will see a unprecedented growth of population in the developing world.", quotes the Thai Newspaper The Nation aUN-report.
"This is particularly concerning in africa and asia, where urban population will have doubled in the years between 2000 and 2030."
Within a single generation asia's metropoles will have duplicated.
The fact that half of the 65 million Thais already lives in urban areas is due to the "urban bias - rural neclected" policy at the beginning of the developing era in the 1060's, sais Kritaya Archavanitkul, director of the mahidol university population and social research institute.
"Thailands economic growth is based on the withdrawal of resources from the rural areas. Hydropower dams feed the industrialisation and urbanisation but take resources from rural population."
The demograph suggests plans for urban development for a banced to stop the massive migration to the cities.

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No more Cigarettes in Duty-Free-Shops?

Cigarettes and other tobacco products wont't be available in duty-free shops worldwide if a proposal by Thailand is approved.
During the 2nd Framework Convention on Tobacco Protocol Health Minister Mongkol na Songkhla wants to lead tobacco products to the customs duty.
Also, the proposal askes for a ban of tobacco advertising in online-media and other visual media worldwide. As a result, Thailand will block all websites showing such advertising.
Thailand joined the Convention in June 2003 and ratified it November 2004.
About 600-800 participants from 161 nations will decide on global enforcements of smoking-bans and rstrictions against the tobaco industrie.
Thailand is recognised for its strict measures on anti-smoking campaigns and tobacco control.

Information on the 2nd Framework Convention on Tobacco Protocol

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5
Jun
2009

Rolling with the BMTA - The Riverboat Shuttle

As everybody knows Bangkok is choked by ite eternal traffic jams which make comfortable transportation between 7 a.m.- 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.-7 p.m. almost impossible.
Canal boats and the riverboat shuttle are some of the few ways to get from A to B on time in the City of Angels.
The trip from Khao San (Phra Athit Pier) to the BTS link (Saphan Tahaksin Pier) takes only 15 minutes.
In addition, you spare yourself an intoxication by exhaustion fumes and get lots of photo opportunities on a southbound riverboat trip



To find out which boat belongs to which line, just check the triangular flag on the boats. The orange on stops almost everywhere




The pier at Khao San Road. Don`t let them confuse you: Some touts try to convince you that the shuttle boat is an „Express Boat“, which it is not. Just wait until…




…a boat like this one comes






Rama XIII Bridge


Video of a docking maneuver - Check it out:





Ugly on the daytime…




…cheesy at night




If one got off the boat on the wrong side of the river, these ferries will take you to the right shore




What isn´t in the picture, ist he enormous noise of this LOngtail boats engine



Slums im/am Fluss



Lots of buddhist monasteries on the river banks, which is why there are almost always monks aboard




During some seasons parts of the river are overgrown with this kind of water plants



Best address next to a victim of the Asian Crisis



A pier




About to dock

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Nouveau Riche

Weeks of filming the movie „Pyaar Impossible“ spilled that much income in our now much too small wallets, that Nick and me spontaneously restarted our night time Burger King habit and made us carry our bed bug bitten bodies to BK at Khao San.

Never before had an american restaurant chain so accurately complied to my needs. Instead of three “Pepper Woppers” I could enjoy a “Triple Pepper Whopper” – pure beauty.
And as far as I remember, we spilled it down with some beer at Khao San Center – but I am not sure. It`s just the pictures that look a little like it.





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3
Jun
2009

Jessica Flores

Jessica Flores

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