Quotes from the Kids

During my time teaching Grade 4 the little munchkins came out with some comments that made me laugh, although I probably shouldn’t have found the amusing side, being a responsible teacher and all that! After a few months of teaching them and right up until I left, in September, their characters started to emerge. I thought I would share some of the things they came out with. So these are my “Quotes from the Kids” in no particular order:

1. “You’re a nerd”- On seeing me in the library for the first time wearing glasses. Don’t ya know it’s cool to be a nerd?

2. “What’s the point?”- On teaching them grammar “too” and “enough”. Er the point is to learn the grammar for you to use it.

3. “What’s your name?”- One of my favourite students, Film, got great pleasure in asking this question, and shrieked in laughter when I answered- “You know my name, think of another question.”

4. “What’s your favourite food?”- Film’s second question, still laughing at my answer. “Pizza.”

5. “What’s your favourite subject?”- Film’s third question, still laughing at my answer. “Science.” Honestly, kids are weird!

6. “He just said fuck you”- A student getting out of his seat to have his work marked, and said kid looking in horror crying: “No, no teacher I did not!”

7. Cyrus: “Do you know any volcanoes in Italy?”

Me: “Yes, Mount Vesuvius.”
Cyrus: “Yes, that’s right.” – This kid is smart. I spotted him relaxing on the grass, while his class mates were practicing a game for sports day, with one leg on top of the other knee, hands behind his head, with a piece of long grass dangling from his mouth-like something out of Tom Brown’s Schooldays. This kid will go far.

8. “Are you happy?”- Another favourite, Pern, on the way back from a school trip when I was in thinking mode, looking out of the window of the bus.

9. “Free time, yes or no?” Er no, free time is at 3.40pm when you are going home.

10. “Hello, Mrs Gills”- Cyrus again but he pronounced my name as in a gill of whiskey.

11. “Yes, very good”- On helping me with writing Thai, and getting it right.

12. “Dick” followed by “Bottom”- Complete with hand gestures to ensure that I knew where they were on his body.

13. “Teacher, can we say fuck it?”- A general question that comes from a 9 year old. I think not!

Priceless 😉

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Jesse and Son- A Tailored Experience

Jesse and Son is a tailor shop, recently opened on Soi 19.

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Manop and Jesse

Jesse has been in the business for 34 years. His old premises used to be on Soi 11, but for the past few months Jesse and his son, Manop, have been hard at work upgrading their services, and producing a brand new image. Hence the new premises, which opened in June 2014.

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While Jesse was busy with customers, Manop was happy to talk to me about the business.
He explained that there are not that many real tailors around. There are hundreds of tailor shops in Bangkok but not many real ones. They are imitation shops who pretend to do the real thing. They provide no explanation about the fabrics, and sell the fabrics for what they are- cheap and lacking in quality. They don’t really care about their customers-once the suits are made they make no effort to get feedback to improve. And most of them do need to improve.

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Not so at Jesse and Son. Their personal service comes at a reasonable cost, and they promote a brand rather than just a tailoring service. They care about their customers and want to provide them with everything they need to produce a perfect product. They ask for feedback from all their clients which they take to heart and if improvements are needed they will make them. They believe that this kind of service will make their customers return and tell others of the excellent service they have received.

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In fact, as Manop explained, they have been getting a lot of repeat customers- clients that are so impressed with the service and product they have returned to do more business. And these same customers have recommended Jesse and Son to other people for the same reason. They also get a lot of customers walking in as they pass by. These customers will invariably spend time in Jesse and Sons, leave and go to check out other shops, but return because they realise that they are going to get a great service and a quality product.

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When we were in the shop two guys did just that- walked in and spent over an hour talking to Jesse and getting measured up. They went away extremely happy. When they had left Jesse came to join us and he explained that they had just come in after passing by and seeing the shop. He says: “it works like this- the customer has an idea, I have an idea and we go from there. Their ideas might be something I had not thought of, and I think yeah, ok, let’s do that.”

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I never realised that there was so much work involved in making suits and shirts. The design part is almost as much work as the actual making part- what lapel and style you might like; whether you want pleats and pockets on your trousers; choice of collar; buttons and whether you want a monogram stitched in. in fact there is so much to choose from you really are designing your own clothing.
There are also samples of different colours, buttons, and piping to make your item unique. You can choose Bemberg Lining- which comes from the linter of cotton plants, and is used by big names such as Hugo Boss, Giorgio Armani and Zegna. You can have mother of pearl buttons which have more depth and colour and do not dissolve like the plastic versions. These buttons are considered the hallmark of a high quality shirt maker and they enhance the elegance and value of the shirt.


Manop told me that their tailors use horsehair to line jackets, this being the traditional way. Horsehair is a natural product and conforms better to the body than other man-made fibres such as polyester. A lot of other tailors will use polyester or other material- in fact Manop told us he knows of one guy who, after buying a jacket from another tailor, wondered what it was lined with, so he ripped it apart to find it had been lined with newspaper.

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There are currently 3 jacket tailors and 2 shirt tailors in the employ of Jesse and Son. They work to their customers timescales. If a customer needs a suit for a particular date, they will ensure that the finished item is ready in time.

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As well as making tailored made items of clothing they are very proficient at copying designs. I know someone who gave Jesse and Son a shirt she liked and they were able to produce a replica for her-all at a reasonable cost.

 

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If you want your new suit sent home in time for a wedding or other important event- Jesse and Son can send it anywhere you want. Recently they have sent orders to Malaysia, Japan and Dhaka.

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They have a drinks menu in the shop so you can enjoy a coffee or a glass of wine while you design your outfit. I asked why they decided to do that and Manop told me: “I wanted to make it fun, more of an experience for our customers. We even have music playing in the fitting room- it all helps to create a good ambiance.”

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Manop himself has been making clothes from an early age and the passion he has comes across very clearly when he told me he loves to explain to people what actually goes into making clothes and the reaction he gets in return. He told me “I could talk about it all day.”

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They have their own website where you can place an order online- www.jesseandson.com. They have an iPad in the shop so customers can get an idea of what the suit will look like, and there are books to show all manner of designs, colours and fabrics. Customers can spend as long as they want browsing around the shop and looking at the books before they even begin to start designing.


It’s not only the men who have made this shop a success. Manop’s wife, Manhar, has been involved giving it an artistic and feminine touch in the form of vintage typewriters and sewing machines in the shop window and strategically placed mannequins. Everything in the shop has been designed by her, even the music that is being played. This all adds to the professional and stylish feel to the place.
Manhar’s involvement has been integral to Jesse and Son’s success so far. She is active on social media sites, such as Instagram and Facebook, sharing the store image based on articles and trends she finds. She knows how to capture the essence of the Jesse and Son brand extremely well through the packaging, small gimmicks and accessories that she has designed. She is also launching an accessories brand which will include cufflinks, customised neckties, bowties and pocket squares, amongst other items. Other things Manhar has created are- thank you cards with garment care instructions for all their clients, carefully chosen wood hangers, and the store furniture and colour schemes to produce a modern classic look. Without Manhar’s creativity and vision for the smallest of details, Jesse and Son would just be another tailor store on the block- which it most definitely is not.


Jesse and Manop have it right- they know customer’s expectations are high these days, so their philosophy is if you are going to do something, do it right. For them image and credibility are the most important things. As well as giving a much more personal service, Jesse and Son are giving their customers a new impression of what a tailor should do. And Jesse and Son are proud to be able to deliver on their promises.

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Jesse and Son

Jesse and Son
Sukhumvit Soi 19
Monday to Saturday 9.30am-9pm
Sunday 1.30pm -5.30pm
http://www.jesseandson.com

Goodbye Bangsaen, Hello Bangkok

I was sorry to leave Bangsaen but I am very excited about starting afresh in my new home in Bangkok.
I am swapping the beautiful little seaside town for the concrete jungle. It’s not all concrete though, there is beauty in Bangkok and I am sure that I will find it- in fact I already know where to look I just have to settle in and then start exploring.

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Lumpini Park

 

I want to get to know Bangkok better because I only know a very small part- there are parks to discover, new bars and restaurants to hang out at and new places to visit.

I have a ready-made social life in Bangkok- I have a few friends living here already- not that I can enjoy this straight away because, until I get paid from my new job, I have little money to spend, but, on the plus side, my new apartment block has a gym, an exercise room, a large swimming pool and a jogging track- so that will be my entertainment for the time being. I am sure I will still be able to squeeze a couple of nights out though.

The View from my Balcony

The View from my Balcony

What can I say about Bangsaen? I loved the runs along the beach, dodging the monkeys on Khao Sammuk Hill, looking at birds around Bang Phra Reservoir, and tramping through the forests of Khao Kheow. Not forgetting teaching the little munchkins who I came to love.

Bangsaen

Bangsaen

I loved my weekly drinking sessions with Chris and Na, talking about running, not going to aerobics and anything else that came up. I loved learning about birds from Chris- I now know what a Scarlet-backed Flower-pecker looks and sounds like thanks to him. And for Chris’ constant stream of support and advice for which I am eternally grateful.

Scarlet-backed Flower-Pecker

Scarlet-backed Flower-Pecker

It has been great getting to know Bangsaen but that time is over- time for a fresh start in a new location. So it’s bon voyage to Bangsaen- I loved staying with you. And hello to Bangkok- we will get to know each other very soon.

Last Day with the Kids-Priceless

On the last day of teaching the kids I gave them all free time. Before in class they asked me for free time and I always said no- but this particular day I said “it’s my last day of teaching you today, so-you-have-free-time”, slowly enough so they knew exactly what I was saying. The reaction I got was priceless and I got the same reaction three times because I had three separate classes. They cheered, they screamed, they hugged me. It was awesome- and the kids, who seemed to dislike me, because I made them work hard, now appeared to love me. Kids- they are so fickle.

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In the first two classes they jumped around, played cards, played hide and seek- basically did whatever 9 and 10 years old do in their free time- and they did it very noisily. I didn’t care though, it was my last day. When it was time to say goodbye a few of them hugged me and said goodbye. I even got a bracelet from one of the girls. But that was nothing compared to my last class- grade 4/4- my favourite class.

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When I announced free time, yet again their reaction was priceless but what followed is the reason why these little ones really were my favourites- these were the ones I guess I connected with the most.

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They came to me throughout the lesson with various gifts- a phone holder, hand-made cards, bits of paper with “xoxoxo”, key-rings, pens, bits of pens (?), a purse and coins (because I told them it is good luck to put some money into the purse), they drew pictures of me on the board with “I love T. Gill,” they wrote all the students names- “Got, Tat, Kit, Kla, Kit, Kan, Patt, Non, Book, Pooh, Prince, Film, Thames, Pookao, Orm, Bai-Bua, Pai, Beam, Lookwhy, Cartoon, Am, Nu, Kaning, Chompoo, Namo, Nuna, Phing, Prim, Pern, Tonkhaow, Yam- 31 students-we will miss you, we love you.” I returned the sentiment by writing the same on the board.
One of my favourite boys, Film, saw some of the students give me gifts, so he proceeded to hand me the board wiper and say “ for you,” and then an empty packet of mints- “for you,” he giggled. “It’s empty,” I said laughing, much to his delight and he giggled some more.

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I had a notebook that I use for learning Thai and during the class the students took it from me and each of them wrote a little farewell message. We took photos and I got lots of hugs and lots of “thank you teacher” and “good luck teacher” and “are you coming back teacher?” They were all so, so sweet. I had to fight the tears back, which was quite unexpected. It was quite hard to leave them as they continued to hug me and say their goodbyes. One girl, Pern- another of my favourites and who I think had taken me to be like a big sister to her- disappeared in the throng of kids- earlier I had noticed her wiping tears away. So I went to get her and gave her a big hug and a kiss and we walked hand in hand to the stairs for a final goodbye.

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For someone who is not maternal I couldn’t help but fall for these kids. There were just so sweet and made me laugh every day. I am so happy that I got to share their lives, albeit for a few months, and I hope I helped them along their way even if just a little bit.
When I got home I unpacked all the gifts and opened the phone holder only to find the empty packet of mints from Film. That made me laugh so much. I certainly won’t be forgetting them anytime soon.

Bird Watching with the Kids

Every Friday each teacher has a two hour activity class and I chose to do bird watching. I have a group of nine students, from grades 4 and 5, aged between 9- 11.

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My Bird Watching Kids

 

On the first day I showed them a power-point presentation of what we were going to do- namely bird watch, take photographs, draw pictures and ultimately make their own power-point presentation at the end of the year of the birds they have seen and learned about.
I don’t know how I ever imagined that these kids were even going to begin to do that. Don’t get me wrong- they turn up with binoculars, cameras and even books that they have bought , but mostly they like it because they get to walk around outside of the classroom.
The lesson lasts from 1.50pm to 3.40pm, so nearly two hours. By the time they have all arrived (20 minutes after the beginning of the lesson) it’s now down to one and a half hours, which is OK because it is invariably hot in the afternoons.

I have been taking them around Burapha University Campus mostly and, always without fail, after around 30 minutes you can guarantee that one of them will say:

“Can we go back to sachool?”

“No”, I reply, “we have another hour.”

So on we go. Every time I see a bird I say:

“Look, a bird!”

One or two of them will reply:

“Beautiful,” because they have actually taken notice of where I am pointing. But the majority of them have no interest whatsoever.
One day we were walking back towards school and the free university bus passed.

“Teacher?” they cried.

And knowing what they were going to ask I replied:

“No we walk!”much to the drivers amusement followed by their little disappointed faces at having to walk back.
Most of the birds we have seen to date are common ones that are everywhere- Eurasian Tree Sparrows, Rock Pigeons, and Common and White-vented Mynas. It is quite amusing because every time we see a Myna I asked them:

“What’s that?” and they all reply together:

“Myna, Myna.”

I saw a glimpse of an Owl that my friend had spotted in a certain part of the university but, kids being kids, they were just too noisy and scared it away. Trying to spot any birds with 9 and 11 year olds is virtually impossible.

“You have to be quiet” I say to them. At which point they proceed to chase whatever bird I have spotted and, of course, it flies off.


The last couple of weeks I have taken them to the beach. The first time was good because the tide was out so they were on the beach having fun. Not a single bit of bird watching was going on. Instead, they were collecting shells, playing with sticks, and getting their socks and shoes wet. I didn’t mind though -I was still bird watching and spotting birds for their ever present non-replies and responses. I had come to realise that what I set out for them to do was never going to happen. But who cares-they were having fun and learning about stuff and, even though it wasn’t bird related, fun and learning is the most important thing.


The second time the tide was in. One of the kids, Tat, had already told me he didn’t want to go to the beach, he wanted to watch basketball. I told him he had to come as he was my responsibility for the next two lessons. So off we went me and nine kids in tow-actually as they knew where they were going it was me who was in tow, taking photographs while they steamed ahead.

We got to the beach only to find that there was no beach because the tide was in. They looked at me and said:

“What will we do?”

“No problem,” I replied, “let’s walk to the beach up the road.”

For the first 20 minutes or so they were fine with no moaning or groaning. They were running over the rocks, up and down steps trying not to get their feet wet from the incoming water, poking dead jellyfishes and saying hello to puppies.


By the time we had got to the beach Tat had already began to whine, as 9 year olds do when they are bored, and he was on the phone to his mother. He wanted water but he didn’t want to buy it at any of the beach side carts. He told me his mother was going to come and pick him up from there.

I asked:

“How long will she be?”

He replied:

“5 minutes.”

Bearing in mind I had another eight kids to get back to school, after 5 minutes I asked:

“Where is your mum?”

He called her again and I spoke to her and told her that I was going back to school and to meet us there.

She replied:

“Chai, Ka” (yes, ok).

In Thailand certain things you say get lost in translation. I think she thought I said we will meet you at the beach because one minute later she turned up at the beach and Tat and two other boys, Film and Kan, left to get a lift, waving goodbye as they went. I might add they were getting a lift back to school to collect their schoolbags- little monkeys didn’t want to walk back.

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Bored!

I have only got one more week left with these nine kids and I will take them out bird watching one last time. It’s really awesome to see them having fun with not a care in the world. And even though we didn’t do that much bird watching, however hard I tried to get them motivated, at least they know what a Myna bird is!

Some more photos of our bird watching adventures 😉

A Night of Firsts in Bangkok

Now I am moving to Bangkok I am on a mission to explore it a bit more. I know only a small part of what this wonderful city has to offer.

So a few weeks ago my friends and I went to a little street restaurant on Udom Suk Road for my, must have, dinner of somtam. I normally have the papaya salad with chicken or pork, but they had run out so we were presented with a plate of pig intestine. It definitely did not look very appetising, but my friends told me to try, so I did. I was pleasantly surprised – it tasted a bit like liver, which I like. The other dish that we had was cat-fish, again something I have not tried before, and, again, it was really tasty. Very delicious, washed down with a cold singha beer. So that was the first first of the night.

Pork Intestine

Pork Intestine

Cat Fish

Cat Fish

Next, my friends took me to Talat Rot Fai– a vintage market, translated as train market, in Sri Nakarin, soi 51.
The market is one of the best I have been to in Thailand. There are funky shops selling retro clothes and shoes. You might also find old cameras or sewing machines. The main market area is big. There are stalls selling anything from food, to DVDs and old books, and vintage clothing all at reasonable prices. There is an old train station which has vintage cars and motorbikes, antique furniture and other artifacts from long ago. The market has a lively atmosphere with live music playing out of the many bars and clubs, and there are also a few cocktail cars-including an old VW Beetle which has been refashioned into a bar. We didn’t buy anything we just browsed, enjoying the atmosphere, and watching the people from our vantage point at a cool little bar we found. The second first of the night.

Talat Rot Fai

Talat Rot Fai

I had a meeting the following day with my new boss, but afterwards I met my friend, Chris, for lunch. Once lunch was finished we arranged to meet at soi 19 to go and visit another friend who has recently opened his new tailors shop-Jesse and Son. I wanted to interview them for an article about their shop, so we spent a couple of hours there before moving on to have a drink at a nearby bar.
What was supposed to happen was go to see Jesse, go home and get changed, and then go out for the evening. But plans are meant to be broken. What actually happened was we went to see Jesse, went for a drink at a nearby bar, ordered another drink, and went out straight from there. We went to the Sky Train Jazz Club- a sky bar near to Victory Monument BTS. Not exactly a sky bar- it was only six floors up. I renamed it the “not very high sky bar” because we were still dwarfed by the sky scrapers. The third first of the night

We ordered food and a bottle of whiskey- don’t forget it was a night of firsts. Not the first time I have drank whiskey but it certainly isn’t my usual tipple. The Sky Train Jazz Club is supposed to be a jazz club-the clue’s in the name-but they weren’t playing much jazz there. There was a groovy CD playing and I liked some of the songs so I asked my Thai friend, Pond, to ask what it was, and being a little drunk I asked “could I have it?” To which they replied “sure, as long as you have your photograph taken?” Er, OK then. I had my photograph taken with the guy who had compiled the CD, and they changed the CD, which was still playing, so I could have the one I had cheekily acquired. This goes with my philosophy- if you don’t ask you don’t get!


Later on my other friend, Nay, arrived we had a few more drinks and decided to go to Silom to continue the party. But we were not allowed to leave until the whole bottle of whiskey had gone-an impromptu rule made up by Chris.


The whiskey got drunk, we hopped over to Silom in a taxi, and carried on dancing and drinking in a couple of cool little bars-one of which was another first. And we ended the night on the steps of 7 11 eating pork sticks- classy.
I had so much fun that night, fun like I am used to in the UK. I danced for the first time since leaving home, and everyone knows dancing is good for the soul. I went to familiar places but experienced some new places as well.

Living in Bangkok is going to be good for me in so many respects and I know that I will enjoy many nights of firsts over the next few months.

Bang Phra Reservoir- a good place for the soul

Around 15 km from Bangsaen, Bang Phra reservoir is a beautiful, natural place to visit. The reservoir itself is large, 40 km or so, and it is surrounded by lush grassland and woodland. There is a picnic area where you can relax by the water, and a pathway that meanders through the woods and around the reservoir. It’s a great place to go bird-watching and see the different species in their natural habitat.

 

It was so peaceful and quiet. We were the only ones there apart from the odd runner, or cyclist, who had taken advantage of the beautiful landscape for their daily exercise.

As we walked around we passed a viewing tower from which you can sit and watch the resident and visiting birds at different times of the year. In the distance we saw a flock of Asian Open-Billed Storks and Adjutants resting in the tree tops. Different species of birds, but from where we were we couldn’t really appreciate how big these birds actually are. According to http://www.thaibirding.com on a good day you may well see over 100 species- Bushlark, Prinia, Barred Button Quails, Chinese Francolin, Oriental Darters, Rufous Treepie, Laced Woodpecker to name but a few.

As someone new to bird watching and not really knowing what I am looking for, or where to look for that matter, it is kind off special to be able to see the birds through the binoculars in the first place and then, after consulting my book, to actually name what I have seen. I am getting better, but my friend is constantly asking me “what’s that”? He instantly see birds high up on tree tops, that I, even with binoculars, take several minutes to find, and then invariably too late. But as Chris says, it’s easy for him to tell me the name of the bird, but it’s better that I learn myself and that way I will remember what I have seen.

Bang Phra is a peaceful place and, even if you are not into bird watching, just taking a gentle stroll round the reservoir will sooth your soul and get you out in the fresh air.

Jungle Tripping

I had a couple of days off work, so yesterday afternoon my friends and I decided to go to Khao Kheow forest and wildlife reserve. We then went to Egret Pond at Bang Phra Reservoir to go look at birds. I wanted to go on the hunt for insects, but I soon realised that it was very difficult to take photographs of these little creatures because they don’t stopping moving, and I am not exactly the quietest when tramping through the forest. Nevertheless, here is what I came up with. 😉

 

One Couple’s Thoughts about Thailand

A few years ago two of my friends, Trudy and Jamie, came to Thailand for a holiday. I went to meet them in Bangkok for a couple of days. What follows is their take on the strange, yet wonderful things that they came across.

Tailless Cat

Tailless Cat

 

1. Tailless cats. They are everywhere in Thailand. The reason is not that the cats have broken their tails at some point, as most people may think, but more probably due to mutation and crossbreeding. Or as my friends proffered, “they may have had an electric shock, from the electricity wires”.

 

 

 
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2. Strange people on boat piers. On a boat trip along Bangkok’s canals, we happened to share our boat with a strange dude. He was on his own, nothing wrong with that, but he sat next to me on the boat, and proceeded to talk, and talk, and talk. It was nice to chat, at first, but he felt the need to speak to us, about everything! Don’t you know it’s sometimes nice to just shut up and enjoy the surroundings.

 

Souvenirs, Bread, Beer?

Souvenirs, Bread, Beer?

 

3. Mini Floating Market. On the canal, lurking in wait is a lady in a boat who wants to sell you stuff. Bread (for the catfish), souvenirs, and beer (at highly inflated prices). She always asks if the boat driver wants a beer. I am sure they are working together.

 

 

 

4. Canal Trip. One piece of advice from my friends- don’t do the canal trip after a few beers.

Feeling Green?

Feeling Green?

It’s not exactly settling to the stomach.

 

 

 

 

Post Box

Post Box

 

5. Post Boxes. As part of the canal trip, you get to see some traditional Thai houses, and the people who live there. Some of the houses are nothing more than wooden shacks, and one thing that Jamie was more than bemused about was that some of these shacks had post boxes.

 

 
6. Waving Cats. Called Maneki-neko, these little figurines are thought to bring good luck to their owners.

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Maneki-neko

Trudy took an instant dislike to these cats as she thought them a little freaky.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kamikaze!

Kamikaze!

 

7. Kamikaze Lizards. Cute little animals that are seen everywhere, but tend to dart away if you get too close. However, as Jamie experienced, one such lizard decided to throw itself in Jamie’s general direction, landing on his shoulder.

 

 

 

 

Tesco

Tesco Lotus

8. Tesco Lotus. I mean who would expect to find Tesco all the way over in Thailand; Boots, Ikea, and Marks & Spencer. Yep they are all here.

 

 
7 11

 

9. 7 11. A handy little corner shop in case you can’t be bothered going to the larger supermarkets. You can choose from any of the five located in the same area.

 

 

10. Vitamin B. Another piece of helpful advice; Vitamin B helps with mosquito bites. The little buggers don’t like it apparently.vit b

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Thai Curry

 

11. Food. The food, oh the food. Two firm favourites of my friends- chicken with cashew nuts, and the curries. I don’t think they were bothered which curry. All of them!

 

 

 

 

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RBV

 

 

12. RBV. For those not in the know- Red Bull Vodka. For some reason, if you say Vodka & Red Bull, when ordering, the Thais don’t get that; you have to order Red Bull Vodka. In a bucket preferably.

 

 

 

 

 

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T.I.T- This is Thailand

 

 

13. No Health and Safety. My friends witnessed some guys several floors up, on the outside of the building, cleaning windows, with no safety harnesses. T.I.T. after all!

 

 

 

 

 

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Taxi Metre

14. Taxi Metres. After a little advice from me, my friends always asked for the metre to be used when taking taxis. If the driver says no, get out and get in a different one.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Tuk-Tuk

 

 

15. Tuk-Tuk Drivers. Don’t believe them when they say the Grand Palace is closed. It is never closed. My friends didn’t believe them, and enjoyed a nice day out.

 

 

 

 

 

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Deserted Beaches- Just make sure you wake up in time to leave!

16. Deserted Islands. Apparently, when on a boat trip, you shouldn’t fall asleep on a deserted island. I am not sure whether this was Trudy or Jamie, or both of them!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Patpong

Patpong

17. Patpong. Be very careful if your curiosity gets the better of you, and you go into one of the many ping pong shows in Patpong. My friends got taken down a dark alleyway into the club, where they bought one drink. Five minutes later they were presented with a bill for 9000 baht. Bangkok can be expensive, but not that bloody expensive. They had watched a couple of shows- all manner of things being shot out over the audience (you will have to use your imagination for that bit). They challenged the bar staff, to which the woman replied “you have seen show, you pay”! They paid 2000 baht and quickly left. So be very, very careful if you find yourself in the same sort of situation. Suffice to say they didn’t leave a tip.

 

 

18. Football Playing Elephants. On a lighter note, elephants can play football. And Jamie decided he was going to be the goalkeeper. After trying to save the first ball, and suddenly being in pain, he let the elephants win.

elephants

Elephant’s playing football. Really?

 

 

 

 

 
My friends left Bangkok and spent the rest of their holiday on Koh Samui. They thoroughly enjoyed the time they spent in Thailand. They are planning on coming again later this year. I cannot wait to see them, to get more insight into their thoughts.

 

On Nut Night Market- an alternative night out

On Nut (pronounced oh noot) night market is located just beside On-Nut BTS station on Soi 50 in Bangkok. It’s a great place to hang out for the evening if you don’t want to venture too far into Bangkok.
It kicks off around 5pm but the later you get there the busier it is. At least if you get there earlier you can bag a seat. There are seating areas surrounded by market stalls (it is a market after all) where you can buy the usual stuff- clothing, souvenirs and the like. But there are also food stalls where you can buy anything from somtum and chicken or pork, to chicken with cashew nuts and rice, or something to satisfy your sweet tooth- whatever you fancy really.

On Nut Night Market

On Nut Night Market, before the crowds arrive

When you have chosen what you want and ordered it just tell them where you are sitting and they will bring it to you. Excellent!
I have been there a few times, and one time with friends, we arrived at around 6pm, ordered our food and had a few drinks. We didn’t leave until around 1am and we wondered how much the bill would be. Don’t think that because you are at a night market, and not one of the plusher establishments in town, that things will be cheaper, because they are not. The beer prices are almost the same as what you would pay on Soi 11- 100 baht for a large tiger. The food prices, however, are much cheaper than proper restaurants (around 35 baht for somtum for example).

Drinking with a friend

Drinking with a friend

Fruit Stall

Fruit Stall

Nevertheless it is a great place to spend a few hours. They have local bands, playing on two stages that they have rigged up, and there is a constant hive of activity, with people coming and going.

 
They also have toilet facilities situated at the back which cost 5 baht. You can get change from the toilet facilitators to use in the turnstile to get in, and there is toilet roll, which is an absolute bonus. Not the cleanest, but as long as you can put up with the squat style toilet, they are right there for your convenience.

So all in all a different night out away from the bright lights of central Bangkok as long as you don’t mind the resident rats that occasionally run under your feet, I totally recommend it to get more of a local experience.

 

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