Douglas Thompson's Gay Asia Blog

10 December 2013

Whistles in the Streets

You can always tell when the demonstrators are on the move because you can hear music and about ten thousand whistles. If you are a veteran of this blog you know that I live just of Petcheburi Road, which is a major thoroughfare near Central World Plaza, where the Red Shirts did their dirty work in 2010.

I heard them begin to come down Petcheburi about an hour before I left for work yesterday. I walked out of my soi to the street and I saw a parade of people blowing whistles and waving flags as far as you could see in each direction. I watched for half an hour and decided to walk a couple blocks to a place where I could get a taxi. Unfortunately the only one I could get was pointed in the wrong direction so we had to turn onto  Petcheburi in the opposite direction the crowd was going. We had no problem turning through them onto Chidlom since they had their own traffic control people on motorbikes. I could not see any end to the parade.

We drove a long block on Chidlom to Ploenchit--another major traffic artery, where there was yet another parade of protestors on the move. There was yet another on Rama IV, where our office is located.. Honestly there had to be at least a million people celebrating the end of the Little Sister government.

Driving home last night I have never seen Bangkok so jubilant. People were celebrating. There were fireworks. Little Sister is hanging on. They are still protesting today and will not stop until she quits. An election will not probably be possible until she does so.

It is hard to tell what will happen when the second shoe drops. The Reds may have response, or a tactic in mind. There are surely people deep in the rice belt--Taksin's traditional source of support--who are not as happy as so many are in Bangkok. I will predict, however, that Taksin will no longer be the darling of the people, that he will  never return to Thailand alive, and that the opposition party will prevail. Or maybe  not.

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Cheese Abuse

I am admittedly a cheese addict, possibly because it is so difficult to get decent cheese here. Consequently I have to embarrass myself by begging those on their way to Bangkok from more cheese-enlightened lands to bring me survival rations.

Recently, a friend told me that his mother would be stopping in Bangkok on her way to London to visit his brother, then stop again on the way back. Shamelessly, I asked her to be my personal shopper. I wanted a kilo each of Montgomery Cheddar, and Appleby Cheshire. I recommended that she procure these precious commodities from a well known London purveyor of cheeses.

Not long after she left my friend stopped by the office. His mother was apparently told by one of the shopkeepers to keep it frozen while she went with her son an daughter-in-law to the Czech Republic. I was horrified. Freezing destroys any cheese except for pre-packaged, ready-made fondue, which you should be embarrassed to buy.

I carried on a very polite email exchange with the manager of the store I had recommended. He was as horrified as I was. He generously promised to replace what had been ruined, but my shopper made a direct connection from Prague to Bangkok, so that was not possible. I am not sure why such a thing could possibly happen. She would not take any money from me. I hope her family in London enjoyed the world's most expensive mac and cheese.

More horrifying things have happened here. Central Chidlom department store has an expansive/expensive supermarket on the ground floor. A couple of years ago they installed a "cheese room," a refrigerated room just for fromage. I was impressed at first when the piece of Ocelli al Barolo (a luscious Piedmontese cheese that is encrusted with the must of Barolo wine grapes) I selected was cut properly with a steel wire. It did not take long for the brain trust of the cheese room to deteriorate. I stopped shopping there when I saw an employee slice a whole Tete de Moine in half from top to bottom. If you know about this lovely late-summer Alpine treat you will know that cutting it at all was absolute heresy.

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Bacon Extends Your Life?

A recent "study" claims that eating bacon can help to extend your life. Well, it might help to delay the decomposition of your corpse after you die, but a diet rich in bacon is one of the fastest ways I know to clog your arteries. Bacon apparently has gobs of vitamin B3, an antioxidant. If you don't believe me, read it yourself (you will have to log in as a guest):

Thanks. I'll just pop an Exec B capsule every morning.

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Happy Ending. Columnist Darika Watchalottaporn, best buddy of Miss Fu (membership secretary of Club Sanook, our private travel club),  has announced that her long awaited "tasteless virtual greeting card" app for all kinds of mobile devices will be released before the end of the year. I have seen the photos and you will indeed want to part with 99 cents/30 baht/.72 (more or less) Euros to get Darling Darika for your iPhone. You can choose from a group of photos, write your own text message and send your virtual greeting card by IM, email, Line, WhatsApp, or post it to a Facebook page. She is giving away 25 free in a drawing to those who "Like" her Facebook page: darlingdarika. You can even gift the app to share tastelessness with your friends.