September 1-10, 2002
Today's 'top drawer' NEWNES is for our dear friend Hermann:
For the rest of us, NEWNES wanders all about the place:
As you know by now, Hong Kong is right out! So, is The Oriental, as of late yesterday. Which means that Watcharee and I are now back to our bed at River Garden.
Today's 'blog'3 is just about shopping for frozen yogurt and spicy Thai flavoured cuttlefish crackers: actually ... in a fuller sense ... it's about shopping at "Tops". "Tops" is the giant food supermarket in the basement of "Robinson's Department Store". This place is just behind the Shangri-La Hotel; so it is only a five-minute walk from our place. I shop there frequently.
I am addicted to Yogen Früz! I have it four or five times a week. The one I always order is plain vanilla. The girl who serves me is always the same person; except for when she has her day off. Usually she wears a red baseball type of cap. The workers in the adjacent food booth serve spicy dishes ... things like cuttlefish crackers. Salads and soups are available near the shoe repair concession. The whole place is always busy with people.
"Jesus, Alf, will you get a life! Either do something interesting ... or give US a vacation. Next thing you'll be detailing your bowel habits! God, man, how about a link to one of your dead babies in a jar ... or a cuddly crotch shot ... or a shot-to-shit face ... anything but this!"
Well, if that's what you really want ...
1 These "Idiot Savants" were the 'wonders' in the old time 'freak shows'. Able to multiply large numbers without the aid of paper and pencil, capable of counting and ascribing all the spoken words in long-drawn-out cabarets, gifted with the skill to keep track and the count of people's footsteps ... yes, beside these mathematical prodigies the fat ladies were just piggy; the thin man was just a bag of bones ... and, yes, even the 'Elephant Man' was just a case of someone in the tertiary stages of Von Recklinhausen's Disease.
2 The Blitzkrieg started in the early hours of September 1st. It is not known if the BBC Home Service was able to report on those early Panzer strikes as every one of their vinyl records of that historic first broadcast day were destroyed in subsequent V-1 rocket attacks on the Aldwych archives of the BBC.
3 The word still seems strange to me. It reminds me of an intestinal blockage.
I received a few unfavorable e-mails about yesterday's journal. Typical was this short note from reader Miss L.F.J. of Tigermountain, Nepal:
"What you put in your mouth is of no interest to me. Go back to basics!"
It was really very parochial of me to subject you, last night, to my tastes in frozen yogurt. Whether I favor vanilla or strawberry or chocolate ... well, this is something that is just not proper 'blog' material. And, it was a bit much for me to go on and on about my regular Yogun Früz service person.
Tomorrow, Nick Hunt (a fellow corkscrew collector) is coming to Bangkok for a few days. Though I don't have a formal Patpong Corkscrew Club2 meeting scheduled for him, I'll see if Nick wants to visit Kings on Patpong I. Remember? That's where most of the club's 'ladyboy' members work. You know: Ohmy, Amma and Gift ... three charter members. [Paul, can you throw up some pictures of the 'girls' in case we have some newcomers here?]
1 For Vietnam September 2 probably has something a lot less to do with dogs and burgers over hot coals and cans of Bud ... and more with capturing Saigon.
2 THOCBDC's wholly owned and operated subsidiary, The Patpong Corkscrew Club, has its own web site that you are encouraged to visit.
PS For reader L.F.J.: this is my neighborhood Godmonger; nothing Christian, Jewish, or Muslim in her inventory.
Only in NEWNES:
NEWNES and elsewhere:
The elephants are back in Bangkok!
Dear reader, surely you remember those halcyon days a couple of years ago when the great jumbos of the jungle were free to roam our city streets in search of alms and strokes ... particularly ones from the ladies of the night? Back when chirping Patpongettes, all a-giggle, gathered about and groped at those great trunks ... all the while shouldering and hipping each other aside so that they could be first with a handful of peanuts.
Well, they (the elephants) are back. The babies came first ... nuzzling food venders and tourists with small children in hopes of just vegetable peelings and woofs of cotton candy. Well, this week a big one came ... firmly knocking on the door of one of my neighborhood massage parlors. He was welcome!
Ah, the first steps on the slippery slope!
And, I suspect that it won't be long before my old friend Porn, down at The Super Queen, will be passing up tankards of Heineken's coldest to the mahouts ... while her bar-stool regulars pay dearly for those amphetamine laced balls of honey crusted rice that keep both the elephants and the 'slappers'3 going all night with a full head of steam. Hey, with a little luck the great beasts will drive away the street merchants and those awful bargain basement ladies ... and Patpong will return to its golden days.
Yikes!!! Something incredible is happening at THOCBDC. Between midnight (the cusp between Monday and Tuesday) and noon today4 ... just a 12-hour period ... we had more hits and byte transfers than for the entire month of September 2000 (with its 720 hours)!
1 This James Hannington ... the first Bishop of Eastern Equatorial Africa ... will someday have one, and ONLY one, entry in GOOGLE. And, that one entry will be right here. How long do you think it will take for GOOGLE to index him? Three weeks? Three months?
2 Was this part of today's southern Somalia? Kenya? Uganda?
3 Unflattering slang (British) for a whore.
4 New York City time; the time zone of my host server.
We had to go the whole way to Saudi Arabia and Kuwait to find someone who could translate our cryptic Arabic page into English.
"Refresh us, Alf!"
OK ... a week or so ago ... maybe longer ... an Arabic-worded web page carried a photograph that I took of Watcharee's cousin. The picture ... quite innocuous by itself ... showed her asleep on the back seat of a car that we were driving from Bangkok to Hua Hin. Incidentally, on that morning we were going to Hua Hin for the Elephant Polo matches ... which just so happened to fall one or two days after the 9/11 disturbances in New York, Washington and rural Pennsylvania. Anyway, underneath this 'swiped'1 photo of Watcharee's cousin were several paragraphs in loopy Arabic. Lord, what did they say?
Click here to see my original photo page.
Click here to see the Arabic captioned page.
"Got It, Alf. Continue."
An Arabic/English translation robot that we found on the Internet provided next to no help in our attempt to figure out what this person was saying about Watcharee's cousin. I think you'll agree? Click here to read the robot's translation. It's all broken biscuit nonsense to me.
Finally Paul was able to pull some strings with his college alumni association; yes, these strings led to the Middle East. And, here is what we have2:
A friend of mine who worked in a girls' school, told me that there was a smart female student whose grades started to decline. The supervisor questioned her, and the student told her that the driver was trying to molest her and she didn't know what to do. The supervisor called her mother.
The mother said, "Please don't tell her father or he will fire the driver and deport him."
The supervisor was outraged with this answer and called the father immediately. The father hit the driver and deported him immediately.
The author is warning people about the risks of drivers taking kids to school alone. THE END
Apparently the Arabic scripter needed a photograph to accompany his article about this terrible danger in allowing someone's female daughter to be driven to school by the family chauffer. So, he went to GOOGLE and typed in "driver sleeping girl." Try it. See whom you get.
Nick Hunt arrived in Bangkok yesterday. As many of you know he is one of the charter members of the Patpong Corkscrew Club3: Asia's first invitation-only corkscrew club. We were also expecting Don Bull to show up for the Special Meeting ... which was scheduled for tonight in the VIP room of the Super Queen. As Don missed his plane connection out of Wirtz, the meeting has been held-over until tomorrow night. We are waiting, Don.
So, tonight Nick, Watcharee and I had dinner over at The Peninsula Hotel. And a fun dinner it was! Nick had us in stitches over the clever way that Howard Luterman managed to sneak a Pitt's Patent from right under the noses of every other collector who went over to Holland last week for the big ICCA and the CCCC meetings. While everyone else was waiting for a 'sleepyhead' Howard to make it to the lobby to get on the bus, Howard was already at the 6 AM flea market ... loading up his satchel with antique corkscrews picked up at totally non-competitive prices.
1 The word 'swipe' is not a pejorative term here at THOCBDC.
2 I've edited out the personal prefatory words as well as the salutation.
3 Along with myself, Ning, Amma, Ohmy, Don, Ferd and Helgir ... and two members who do not want their names associated with the Club in public.
PS: THOCBDC's web site was inundated with 'calls' yesterday. In one 24-hour period (midnight to midnight) it received 358,990 HITS; it replied by dispatching 2,429,496,096 BYTES of information.
PPS: How wrong I was about James Hannington, the Bishop of East Equatorial Africa. Yesterday I said that my mention of his name would be his only claim to fame in GOOGLE. Take a look! The man must have a hundred entries on the web. Jesus! Sure, mostly it's just fawning religious stuff ... but, still ... it's right there in GOOGLE hot lead, fresh from the printer's pot.
"This meeting is called to order!"
And with those words the 2nd Annual General Meeting of the Patpong Corkscrew Club (Thailand) opened its doors.
Readers will remember that in 2001 the PCC AGM was held in an infamous Bangkok condominium ... a location which only months before had been the scene of a grisly murder and dismemberment ... a place once plastered with sloshed blood, chunks of hacked out cellulite, roughly sectioned organs, brutally ruptured offal, rudely torn out innards and grossly fat-matted hair that had been raggedly ripped from the scalp. And, all of this stuff and been nastily strewn on the bathroom floor to await its individual turn to be forcibly plunged and flushed down the toilet. And, eventually, from the overflow valves on the building septic tanks the putrid semi-liquefied remains of the murdered victim would have then been vacuum slurped into the fecal dominated sewers of Bangkok's ...
"Yes, yes, Alf, we recall the scene ... but can you move on to the 2002 venue?"
This year The Second Annual General Meeting of the Patpong Corkscrew Club was held at Kings on Patpong I: in one of Bangkok's designated entertainment zones. The meeting was refreshingly short and to the point:
1) Alf Erickson welcomed members Nick Hunt, Gift and Ohmy.
2) A 'group' photo was taken by the house 'Madam'. She was thanked with a 500 baht note.
3) Apologies were read into the record from Don Bull, Ferd Peters and Amma.
4) Someone said, "We thank thee Lord for etc."
5) Member Ohmy raised a point that had been noted in my journal of yesterday: that non-PCC member Howard Luterman took advantage of PCC member Ferd Peters' hospitality by 'jumping the queue' at a Dutch flea market; because of this breach of etiquette 'Early Bird' Luterman managed to pick up a Pitt's Patent for next to nothing. Member Gift said she would have done the same thing had she been in Luterman's shoes.
6) Member Hunt said that the large American, Canadian and European corkscrew clubs were now considering eliminating the term 'go-withs' to describe the hangers-on and leeches that regularly attached themselves to full fee paying members. He hoped that this would not be the case with the PCC. Member Gift suggested that a separate auxiliary group could be formed to accommodate this excess baggage.
7) Members Ohmy and Gift moved that the PCC have more 'Special Meetings'.
8) The meeting was adjourned when the bar bill came.
Loyal reader Mr. D. B. from the American state of Virginia was curious about the tremendous 'spike'1 in Tuesday's readership over here at THOCBDC. He asked if it was just one country that was largely responsible for the request to roam around our 'stacks'. 'No', I said ... people from all over the world were lengthening the queues to get in the door. But ... and this is a big BUT ... more than 75% of them were rattling the gate to our Bangkok Forensic Science Museum. Of course, once inside many of them spilled into other rooms, including the corkscrew chamber.
In the past THOCBDC has prided itself on the quality of its loyal readers. And I am sure that once this aberrant interest in Si Quey's mummified carcass, the pickled baby display, the orifice expanding 'pear', the cleanly sliced head with the bullet trail ... yes, once people have had their fill of chopped off fingers and bloated entrails ... well, our little readership will settle back to its old-world reading room ways.
But it's only fair to our new guests to allow them to share their thoughts with you. Their words come to you via a surrogate guestbook: as with all solicitations, some comments shine more than others:
The 'pickled baby' display at the Bangkok Museum of Forensic Science prompted several pens to write. To protect their privacy we limited ourselves to giving their 'Christian' names, leaving off the @Somewhere.com:
Mr. MuddSkipper wrote:
Why is 'Dead Pickled Babies' password protected?2
Mr. Frogman questions:
Are those 'dead pickled babies' kosher or dill?
Mr. or Mrs. Rico pushes the 'password' question further:
No shit.....Why is 'Dead Pickled Babies' password protected?? Are those pictures in the Si Quey gold area membership?? I want my pickle babies!!3
Lord or Lady HarvesterOfSorrow rages:
Yea what the fucks up with that? I want some pickled babies.
But, Miss Magnolia positively gushes over what she saw:
heheh..........BitchyCat..........I wonder how that happened to that guy like how he got his head sliced in half.....after his death?.......I am thinking.........GOOD JOB CORKSCREW its a great site.....also check out the torture museum with the links at the bottom of the page.
Dr. TheHarshTruth obviously was not content with looking at flesh in turmoil. The good man was keen to see my corkscrews ... but, by God, he must have stumbled into the PCC headquarters:
Anyone check out the link titled "CORKSCREWS" here????? I admit...I was surprised. I expected to see antique corkscrews, and the guy with the nekkid asian gals sitting on his lap being the first thing that comes up on the page was a shocker! LOL! What does nekkid asian chicks have to do with corkscrew collecting? Hehehe ... 4
Mr. Frogman adds:
Those 'nekked asian chicks' are all men....now use ure imanageination where the 'corkSCREW' connection comes in!
Apparently Mr. STONER is stoned by this news:
Men? You gotta be kiddin me man. Them are some good lookin fellas. Ever since I was in the service, I have a special place in my heart for asian, especially filipina women. Say, did'nt you mention you lived there? Wonder why.
The surrogate guest book does go on ... but it becomes more of a wander into the occult and why it is cool to sleep in cemeteries and why UFO's exist and why ex-wives look better dead on a slab and .....
1 Almost 2.5 Billion Bytes were sent in just one 24-hour period; more than twice of what would normally be sent in a very busy fortnight.
2 Good point, Mr. Muddskipper. We have removed the password protection at your suggestion.
3 See footnote 2. THOCBDC does not have a 'Gold Membership Area'.
4 A damn good point, doctor!
I guess that the year of mourning is officially over.1 The FRIENDSHIPS section of this weekend's International Herald Tribune again has Gabriele Thiers-bense spread across five full columns.
ELITE RUSSIAN MILLIONAIRESS 42/ 5'8" IN WESTERN EUROPE - A sophisticated, seductive cosmopolitan woman, University Graduate with a Major Economics Degree, fluent in five languages and disposing of a self-made fortune due to her outstanding tasks - especially because of her immense efforts and achievements she is humble, totally unpretentious and determined to be perfect - to merge with her as a business partner and to have her as the "behind the scene advocate ..." in any case, she will definitely create constructive production plus an inspiring relationship! Accustomed to a good marriage, she seeks again an intellectually challenging and emotionally sincere and faithful Gentleman/husband with the appropriate esteem for her culture. FOR MARRIAGE ONLY!2
Thailand is going to introduce a new commemorative, collector's edition 100 baht note. It is shown here along with the current 100 baht note and a much older 100 baht note.
This manikin was recently seen in Patpong. She appears to be one of a kind. Is she German? Reader help wanted.
Can any of our frequent readers identify the location of this clock tower?
What about this eclectic urban confluence? Can you place it?
I have just finished watching all the episodes of the third year of The Sopranos. And, it'll be another 12 months before the complete fourth season will reach Bangkok. This is so depressing because I know that everyone back in the States is about to start on the fifth season. God, I wish the lads over at Puntip would worry more about HBO and less about Windows.
1 Admittedly this is the nearest Saturday/Sunday IHT edition to the 9/11 day ... but, for the record, Gabriele is rolling up the black crepe three full days early; four if you count Saturday. She's not alone: Edith Brigitta Fahrenkrog is also telling everyone it's time to stop pulling long faces and get on with the nuptials. Edith is offering a "BRILLIANT INTERNATIONAL DOCTOR AND BUSINESSMAN- EUROPE/USA" and "UNE FEMME DE MODE - AN OUTSTANDING LADY FROM ITALY." Rather prosaic compared with Gabriele's "For Marriage Only," so it's best to rejoin the text, above.
2 A more modest Russian proposal (from a hotmail.com address): "FEMALE, RUSSIAN, 25 years old, well educated, English speaking wanting to meet a successful, attractive, single man for a long term relationship [Spbfirstname.lastname@example.org]."
We have friends visiting us from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Eric and Joan Bancel arrived from Hong Kong yesterday...and they will be at The Oriental for the next five or six days before they leave for Bali.
Tonight Watcharee and I took them to dinner at Harmonique.
This from the United States Embassy in Bangkok:
INCREASED POLICE ACTIVITY and DEMONSTRATIONS
Tomorrow morning, September 11, in support of the Embassy's 9/11 Ceremony, you will see increased Police and guard activity around the Embassy starting at about 0730 hrs. Effective 0800 hrs, the vehicle entrance gate at the EOB will be closed, except for VIP arrivals, until the ceremony has been completed and the area cleared of participants (approx: 10:00 AM).
We have also been made aware of several demonstrations that may take place in the next few days.
First, the World Bank has informed us that a group of protesters, about 50 persons, will come to the Bank on 9/11, to submit a letter to a Bank Representative. The group will come to the Diethelm building around 1:00 pm and stay for about one hour.
Second, we have been informed by the Police that a group of around 50 to 100 people will demonstrate at the Embassy on 9/11 at approximately 11:00 AM. This group is demonstrating against the US concerning Iraq.
Third, police have also told us about a group of Muslims that may demonstrate at the Embassy on 9/11 or 9/13. At this time little information is known about the size of the group, or it's specific makeup.
Below is the U.S. Department of State's latest Worldwide Caution notice:
|SUBJECT: PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENT
THIS WORLDWIDE CAUTION SUPERSEDES THE PREVIOUS WORLDWIDE CAUTION, DUE TO EXPIRE ON OCTOBER 1, 2002, TO ALERT AMERICANS TO THE NEED TO REMAIN ESPECIALLY VIGILANT DURING THE PERIOD AROUND THE ANNIVERSARY OF THE ATTACKS OF SEPTEMBER 11. THERE IS A CONTINUING THREAT OF TERRORIST ACTIONS, WHICH MAY TARGET CIVILIANS AND INCLUDE SUICIDE OPERATIONS. THIS WORLDWIDE CAUTION EXPIRES ON OCTOBER 31, 2002.
THE U.S. GOVERNMENT HAS CONTINUED TO RECEIVE CREDIBLE INDICATIONS THAT EXTREMIST GROUPS AND INDIVIDUALS ARE PLANNING ADDITIONAL TERRORIST ACTIONS AGAINST U.S. INTERESTS. SUCH ACTIONS MAY BE IMMINENT AND INCLUDE SUICIDE OPERATIONS. WE REMIND AMERICAN CITIZENS TO REMAIN VIGILANT WITH REGARD TO THEIR PERSONAL SECURITY AND TO EXERCISE CAUTION.
TERRORIST GROUPS DO NOT DISTINGUISH BETWEEN OFFICIAL AND CIVILIAN TARGETS. ATTACKS ON PLACES OF WORSHIP AND SCHOOLS, AND THE MURDER OF AMERICAN CITIZENS DEMONSTRATE THAT AS SECURITY IS INCREASED AT OFFICIAL U.S. FACILITIES, TERRORISTS AND THEIR SYMPATHIZERS WILL SEEK SOFTER TARGETS. THESE MAY INCLUDE FACILITIES WHERE AMERICANS ARE GENERALLY KNOWN TO CONGREGATE OR VISIT, SUCH AS CLUBS, RESTAURANTS, PLACES OF WORSHIP, SCHOOLS OR OUTDOOR RECREATION EVENTS. AMERICANS SHOULD INCREASE THEIR SECURITY AWARENESS WHEN THEY ARE AT SUCH LOCATIONS, AVOID THEM, OR SWITCH TO OTHER LOCATIONS WHERE AMERICANS IN LARGE NUMBERS GENERALLY DO NOT CONGREGATE. AMERICAN CITIZENS MAY BE TARGETED FOR KIDNAPPING OR ASSASSINATION.
U.S. GOVERNMENT FACILITIES WORLDWIDE REMAIN AT A HEIGHTENED STATE OF ALERT. THESE FACILITIES MAY TEMPORARILY CLOSE OR SUSPEND PUBLIC SERVICES FROM TIME TO TIME TO REVIEW THEIR SECURITY POSTURE AND ENSURE ITS ADEQU ACY. IN THOSE INSTANCES, U.S. EMBASSIES AND CONSULATES WILL MAKE EVERY EFFORT TO PROVIDE EMERGENCY SERVICES TO AMERICAN CITIZENS. AMERICANS ARE URGED TO MONITOR THE LOCAL NEWS AND MAINTAIN CONTACT WITH THE NEAREST AMERICAN EMBASSY OR CONSULATE.
AS THE DEPARTMENT CONTINUES TO DEVELOP INFORMATION ON ANY POTENTIAL SECURITY THREATS TO AMERICANS OVERSEAS, IT SHARES CREDIBLE THREAT INFORMATION THROUGH ITS CONSULAR INFORMATION PROGRAM DOCUMENTS, AVAILABLE ON THE INTERNET AT HTTP://TRAVEL.STATE.GOV. IN ADDITION TO INFORMATION ON THE INTERNET, U.S. TRAVELERS MAY HEAR RECORDED INFORMATION BY CALLING THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE IN WASHINGTON, D.C. AT 202-647-5225 FROM THEIR TOUCH-TONE TELEPHONE, OR RECEIVE INFORMATION BY AUTOMATED TELEFAX BY DIALING 202-647-3000
Agents of THOCBDC will gingerly approach the danger areas cleverly disguised as e-polo ladyboys. Armed with 560mm telephoto lenses we hope to bring you pictures not available on CNN, BBC or CNBC. Unless, of course, things look too dangerous...in that case we'll join forces with whatever faction seems to provide the best security...before we back out of the crowd to safety.
Next: More Autumn