*2543 in the Thai Buddhist calendar translates into the year 2000 in the Gregorian calendar.
509 Flamingo Drive
Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33301, USA
The Oriental Hotel
48 Oriental Avenue
Bangkok 10500, THAILAND
Fort Lauderdale, Florida – November 3, 2000
It is very difficult to find 'antique', old, unusual, interesting ... or, even new & boring ... corkscrews in Bangkok. As Thailand was never a colony of any European power, bottles with corks in them never caught on in Thailand. While the French were drinking themselves silly in French Indo-China ... while the Brits had their little pockets of 'civilization' in Shanghai ... little Siam contented itself with drinking the stuff straight out of the jar. Even today, wine waiters at some Bangkok restaurants have been known to take a hammer to the neck of a bottle of Smith Haut-Lafite.
So, when faced with putting together my "Best-Six" for the year 2000, I have had to be creative ... creative to the point of flirting with 'non-compliance.'1 As you know, dear reader, Watcharee and I are in Florida ... but, for only enough time to do some restocking of essentials that we want to ship back to Bangkok; not nearly enough time to 'find' a half dozen 'new' corkscrews for my "Best-Six" photo. So, I asked Watcharee to 'find' six FOR me. Her knowledge of corkscrews is ZERO.
"Watcharee, do me a favor. Go around my house ... look everywhere ... and find six corkscrews that you like ... any six ... six of them that you like ... I don't care what they look like, or how valuable they are ... just pick out six that you like. OK?"
"Are you sure?"
"Yes, I am. Will you do that for me? It'll save my ass ... big time. Please."
1 ICCA 'guidelines' are thankfully vague as to when a "Best-Six" is not a "Best-Six." "Permitted alternates" seem to allow almost everything under the sun.
Fort Lauderdale, Florida - November 4, 2000
Yesterday I asked Watcharee to 'find' my "Best-Six" for 2000. Remember, Watcharee knows practically nothing about corkscrews. Before meeting me she may not have even seen one; she's Thai, and Thai people are not used to pulling corks out of anything. Her sole exposure to this thing was "Berlin 2000," and frankly, I don't think her mind was in that at all. So, in essence, I was asking her 'virgin' fingers to wander about my collection and 'find' six pieces that she liked.
Here are some of the places where she looked. There were tables of corkscrews ... walls of corkscrews ... cabinets of corkscrews ... drawers of corkscrews ... shelves of corkscrews ... baskets of corkscrews ... trays of corkscrews ... cubbyholes of corkscrews ... ledges of corkscrews ... and, the 'garbage' drawers, with 'high' and 'low' order junk. Oh, I almost forgot; there were some pieces in the kitchen.
How did she do? Pretty good, I think.
I promise you, dear reader, that I did not give Watcharee any help. The six corkscrews that she found ... she found entirely on her own.
Here they are!
P.S. Did you spot my rarest piece? A clue: It's 'hidden' by the company that it keeps.