Sunday, November 8, 2015



Nearby to my hotel is a Thai husband and wife who work at and own a small restaurant I sometimes frequent.  Their English is pretty decent though sometimes a bit rough.

My hair had gotten to where I began to feel like a 'dirty hippy' (about two centimeters) so it was time to get that shit chopped off.

I asked the lady at the restaurant and got confusing directions.  "Go up this street to the traffic jam."  You mean the traffic light?  No, the traffic jam.  Looked at the street, no traffic jam.  Fuck it, I'll find one eventually.

Thanking her, I wandered up the street looking for the turnoff but instead found what looked to be a popular barber.  After scouting around, I went back and sat to wait for the sullen barber to finish his other three customers.

A teen who had just finished up said he would take me to a different barber that was 'very close by'.  Screw it, I thought, why not.  There was some hesitation when he and his buddy got onto their scooters but I figured 'what the hell, I haven't had much exercise today because the foot was hurting earlier' so I climbed on.

They took me to a place near the McDonald's/KFC that looked to be a high volume fancy boutique.  I'm use to getting my hair cut at the kind of place where if you wear long pants and socks you'll want to tuck the pants into the socks to keep the rats from climbing up.  Fortunately, I don't wear socks or long pants.

This place looked way too fancy for me.  "How much is it for a shave and a haircut?"  The sullen barber hole in the wall place we'd just left was 150 baht.  The guy assured me it was 200 baht and even offered to wait for me to give me a lift back.  Since it was only half dozen blocks or so from where I'd started - and my foot was giving me less trouble - I assured him I could make it back.  I thanked them profusely for their kindness.

This is one of the huge differences between northern and southern Thailand.  All of the tourists (including the ones who would be locked up in the USA for their actions) go to southern Thailand.  As a result, the Thais there have been described by expats and tourists as 'mercenary'.  In the north, they haven't gotten so burned out on tourists - you are seen as a rarity.  Like finding a dead leprechaun in your box of Lucky Charms cereal.

The place was run by either a ladyboy or transvestite who had smashed into the wrong side of forty.  I negotiated with her as they wanted to charge me 250 baht.  After getting it down to 200 baht for a 'shave and a haircut', I had all the hair removed.  Any drill sergeant would have been well pleased with my shiny melon.

Approaching her to pay, I said "Am I pretty now?"  "No!"  Not even any hesitation.  Ain't that a bitch?

Another good thing about going to that part of town at night is it seems to be the location of a huge night market - and that means Thai street food.   There were a lot of things which looked like they would have been right at home in the writings of Abdul Alhazred rather than on the end of a skewer.  Since my bowels haven't been acting up too badly lately, I'll take them out tomorrow night.

If you don't know what this is, you clearly haven't read enough Lovecraft.

It's one of the interesting things about SE Asia.  People don't like to go out during the day (other than to work, presumably) so between about sundown and ten PM is when everything happens.  After that, most people head right to bed.  It's a fairly narrow window.

Since I don't enjoy traveling out at night (it's when all the bad shit happens), I normally don't participate much in this.


Need to find someone who can speak English?  Here are some places you might find someone.

Computer/phone supply store

Essentially, you are looking for educated people.  Some young people will be able to speak English but are often 'shy' about attempting it.


This works for anywhere you are staying - especially if it is a cheap place.

Most people like to get into the shower and soak in the water, letting the pulse relax them.  Eventually they get down to the business of soap and cleaning.  Or, applying a lot of chemicals if they are so inclined.

In Asia especially, the order must be reversed.

As soon as the water hits a bearable level, you ruthlessly clean yourself as quickly and efficiently as possible.  After that, you can stand around and soak.


Because the electricity powering the 'oh god will this electrocute me' device that heats the water (a bit) may suddenly go off.

Or the hot water may suddenly end.

Or the temperature of the water may suddenly erratically alternate between scalding and ice crystals.

Or you may actually begin to get electrocuted.

Don't even think about complaining to the management.  They will either tell you there is nothing they can do, tell you to wait 'five minutes' (a unit of time ranging between twenty minutes and never) or offer to have you trundle all your crap to a different room.  Which will either have the same or worse problems.

Showering in this manner gives you the greatest chance of actually getting 'clean' before everything goes to hell.


This is a fantastic article.


Limitless (2015)

They took something which is scientifically not correct (the 'we only use 10% of our brain' misconception) and made a movie out of it.  This in turn has spawned a TV show.

It's pretty much a 'buddy cop' drama - one of the few things they feel they really can't beat to death in TV and movies.  Though they do try.

It's OK (5/10 on my scale) but again, the writers are lazy.  For someone who is suppose to suddenly be the 'smartest guy in the area' from taking this wunder drug (yes, I used the German spelling for a double entendre thing there.  If you don't get the meaning, go back to WW2.) this guy is about as clever as spaghetti.  You'd think that it would be the whole 'plans within plans' thing.  You'd be wrong.  Lazy writing.

Even if he isn't the kind of guy who thinks like that, being on the drug allows him instant recall and such - he could simply read 'The Prince' and be in a much better position.

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