Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Harassment is fun

Following is the email correspondence we’ve had with the serviced apartment building in Bangkok we used to live in.

From: Us
Subject: Room for One Week
To: Our former apartment building
Date: Monday, April 20, 2009, 8:57 AM

Hello!

This is Jacquie and Matt [Us].  We stayed with you for about 2 months during the months of May and June.  We'll be coming into Bangkok during the first week of May and we were wondering if you had any rooms for us.  We would require only a studio apartment.  You were in the process of adding onto the building when we left, so maybe one of the new places would do us fine.  Your website doesn't specify what your rates for a week are, and we were wondering if you could let us know if a discount applies.  We were thinking that somewhere between 2000 and 2500 baht would be a fair price.  Let us know the rates, and we'll confirm a room with you.

Thank you, and we hope to see you again soon.

Sincerely,
Us

From: Them
Sent: Tuesday, April 21, 2009 8:35 AM
To: Us
Subject: Re: Room for One Week

Hi,

Sorry. We do not have rate for 2000-2500 baht per week. Minimum rate is 4000 baht.

Thank you.

SSV Team. [Them]

From: Us
Subject: Re: Room for One Week
To: Them
Date: Tuesday, April 21, 2009, 6:48 AM

Hello,

That is over half the entire monthly rate you offer.  We only want to stay for a quarter of a month (ONE WEEK).  You must be kidding.  If you aren't kidding, we won't be seeing you.  We can stay at the new Ibis hotel in Sathorn for the same amount of time for the price you offer.  YOU are NO Ibis.

P.S. I'm NOT an idiot.

Us

From: Them
Sent: Wednesday, April 22, 2009 11:53 AM
To: Us
Subject: Re: Room for One Week

The monthly rate is not including water and electricity. But weekly rate is including water and electricity. Ok. No problem. You can stay anywhere you want.

Thank you.

SSV Team.

From: Us
Sent:
Wednesday, April 22, 2009 9:35 PM
To: Them
Subject: Re: Room for One Week

I know how much electricity costs in Thailand.  I live here.  For a studio apartment it would be no more than 1500 Baht for one month.  And water is free right now.  [Thanks, Thai Government!  But we still can’t drink it]  So, divide 1500 by 4 and you get 375.  For example:  7000/4=1750.  Then, 1750+375=2125.  This is 1/4 of the monthly rent.  Why are you trying to steal?

Us

Friday, April 24, 2009

Ho Chi Minh is the man

Who would choose to make this statue:

IMGP1065

when a photo like this exists?

500px-Ho_Chi_Minh_at_Lijang_River_(China)_in_1961

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Open Letter

Dear Thailand,

Regarding music or sound of any kind: Louder ≠ Better.

Shut up, already.  Not all of your shitty music needs to be played at the highest possible volume.  I prefer not to have my hearing damaged beyond repair every time I am in my house, out of my house, at work, shopping, not shopping, awake, sleeping, walking, running, driving, eating, drinking, sitting, standing or laying.  It’s seriously so loud that it causes me pain.  Just turn it down, all of your music sucks anyway.

STFU or I wish upon you violent and painful ear drum ruptures.

I’m moving.

Seriously,

Jacquie

PS – You don’t have to play along to the simplistic drum beat with your utensils and dishes.  That’s really annoying and I can hear it clear as day through our shared wall.

PPS – Don’t sing along, either.  Amazingly, you’re even less talented than the original artist.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Living in Thailand

Lesson Number Three: Fuck Natural Selection and everything it stands for/accomplishes.

I especially hate this part. 

The ease with which First World Rejects (see below) are able to procreate seems to completely nullify the process of natural selection.  The combination of Thai women being excessively fertile, great in number, ignorant of contraception and not at all discerning in choosing a spouse is dangerous.  These characteristics coupled with the influx of First World Rejects into their country is turning/has turned Thailand into a hot bed of anti-evolutionary activity.  It is my opinion that if these men cannot find a mate to reproduce with in their native language, it is probably because they should NOT be passing on their genetic traits.  Often (but not always) physical deformities (or mental deficiencies and general unattractiveness) is indicative of poor genes.  As a result, it is difficult for them to find a partner with which to share their [unfavourable] genetics.  That is, until someone spread the word about Thailand.  Now these men are able to sow their seed with ease and spread their weak genetics to a new side of the world. 

 

Exhibit A 

 

                 Exhibit B                                                                                                                          Exhibit C

I don’t want to live here anymore.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Engrish stories

Friday I was given the following story and told  to “plan lesson to student with this if you are extra time.”

No problem.

A Cicada and a Wild Cat

As a cicada was singing in a full bloom mango tree, a wild cat passed by and stopped at the tree.  The cat looked up at the cicada, thinking of a trick to eat it.
How beautiful your song is! ,  I’ve heard the melody from a long way off.  You can sing to such a far distance, let me see how big you are!” the wild cat said flatteringly.
Not easily to be tricked, the cicada dropped a piece of broken branch in front of the wild cat.  The wild cat promptly pounced on the branch, biting it, thinking that it was a cicada.
My dear wild cat, it’s your wrong!.” said the cicada, “I know your trick because I saw wings of my friends in your droppings.”
Hopelessly, the wild cat left the cicada.

Vocabularies: droppings, flatteringly, melody, misfortune, pounce, promptly

A lesson from the story: A sensible person learns from other’s misfortune.

All punctuation and general errors are not mine.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Living in Thailand

Lesson number two: Freedom of speech is restricted arbitrarily.

It’s not ok to criticize the monarchy.

It is ok to wear a coloured shirt and protest for months on end, force the cancellation of a multi-national economic summit, be so out of hand the government declares a state of emergency in the capital city, and if you’re up for it, shut down the international airport and all but destroy what little was left of your country’s [sex] tourism industry.

Thailand is the ultimate paradox; on one hand you can get away with nothing, but on the other hand, you can get away with everything. 

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Complete change of life plans week

As people may or may not be aware, upon concluding my ESL-teaching experience [specific date is still TBA(I know, so sad)] I had been planning to return to university and complete the required courses to become a high-school teacher.   I enjoyed teaching Kindergarten, but quickly realized it would be unfulfilling and monotonous as a career choice.  No worry, thought I.  I shall teach high school in my home country, where the kids are better behaved and where I will have the last opportunity of their required-schooling lives to install in them excitement towards learning that I have.  Unfortunately, it turns out that all students of all ages in every country are complete shit heads and I am seriously reconsidering this life path.  

From the sounds of things, the way the education system is going in every part of the world seems to be tying the hands of the teachers and putting all the power in the classroom into the hands of the [shithead] students.  Hearing the stories of recently graduated teachers and the little control they are given over not only what they teach and how they teach it, but even how they are allowed to deal with disruptive students has successfully detoured me from entering the education system.  This all sounds far too frustrating and bureaucratic for someone with my personality. 

I can’t won’t have people telling me constantly ‘you can’t do that’ and yet offering no alternatives.  Or worse yet, offering ineffective alternatives and further frustrating me. 
I can’t won’t spend my life filling out paperwork regarding problem children for parents (who don’t give a shit about their kids anyway) to sign and return to me so I can give them whatever state-approved “disciplinary” action is still allowed. 
I can’t won’t spend my life passing students who don’t deserve it and letting kids get away with doing nothing, never trying and not valuing the education that they are being GIVEN… FOR FREE. 
I can’t won’t spend my life frustrated and stressed out, taking my work home with me night after night and feeling as though I’ve accomplished nothing.  Not even if it comes with 2 months of summer holidays. 
It seems as though the idea of becoming a teacher is like a Kevin Smith movie or Communist government; it looks good on paper but seems to fall short in practice.

As you can imagine, this was startling at first, since I thought I had successfully planned a serious portion of what remains of my 20’s.  But better I realize this now, before wasting thousands of more dollars on education I won’t use.  So, staying true to myself, after taking my aggression out on some random individuals who [most likely] deserved it, I rolled with the punches and considered a new idea: a career in publishing, ie: book editor.  This career path presents several pros and only one con.  For Dwayne, I will get this con out of the way first:

A career in publishing will require me to change my major to (gasp) Linguistics and Languages.  This major falls into the category of (gasp) Arts.  :(  I will have to pursue a Bachelor of (gasp) Arts, with a major in Linguistics and Communications.  This will effectively place me into a group of individuals I have been making fun of for the last 4-6 years.   artsdegree

Karma?  Probably.  I like to think it’s not as bad as it sounds, being that Linguistics is essentially the science of language and I will be enforcing upon the world the rules of grammar, which I will soon know inside and out.

Karmic retribution and personal embarrassments aside, I will (ideally) get paid to do several things I love:  Read books before anyone else even knows about them, be a grammar/spelling Nazi, and criticize others’ work.  I can’t believe I never thought of this sooner, considering I used to be editor of the local newspaper, my high school yearbook, and I’m constantly finding errors in everything I read and have a seemingly uncontrollable urge to correct all peoples’ grammar every single day and takeover editorial positions of all publications I read.  I’ve edited the schoolwork of countless friends and classmates and always demand perfection from myself on the proofreading front.  I guess I never considered trying to get paid for something that brings me so much personal satisfaction, but correct me if I’m wrong in saying that might be the ideal outcome of a career you’re well-suited to. 

These websites made me feel pretty confident that this would be a decent career choice for me, but the only concern of mine is now my employability…which I will worry about AFTER I finish my (do you want fries with that?) degree.

Further reading:

http://chavelaque.blogspot.com/2006/08/faq-2-how-do-i-become-book-editor.html
http://www.atotalwaste.com/getajob/BookEditor.html
http://www.fabjob.com/bookeditor.asp?affiliate=593
http://mediacareers.about.com/od/mediajobprofiles/a/BookEditor.htm

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Cambodia charged me to LEAVE

I was in Cambodia this past weekend to renew my Thai visa and they charged me $20 US to get in (expected: Cambodia visa) and then they had the gall to charge me $25 US to leave!  Wtf is that about?

I talked loudly about how "truly stupid and ridiculous it is to charge someone to leave your shithole of a country" in front of the payment window.  I think I made my point.

At first I considered just stealthing past security, but then it turns out going through border control to stamp me out, they would notice I hadn't yet gotten the "Paid for absolutely nothing" stamp on my visa, so I would be sent back to the “”Passenger Service charge” counter to pay up.  They even give you a receipt that says "passenger service charge".
Service charge?  What service?  Collecting my money?  If you weren't there collecting my money, I wouldn't have to pay you to collect my money.  Not impressed.