Category Archives: thai culture

Public Service Announcement

Only in Thailand do people have to be told not to drive on the sidewalks.  I came across this video the other day and thought it was pretty funny.  First, the characters:

  • Douchebag – The guy driving on the sidewalk.  You know he’s a douche bag by the shirt he is wearing.
  • Grandma – Almost gets run over by Douchebag.  Lays down the law.
  • Pinkguy – Adds color.  Possibly diabetic and gay.
  • Pologuy – Calm and reasonable.

The translation:

เสียงแตร
Honking

Douchebag: โอ๊ย !! เร็วๆ ดิยาย – Ouch.  Quickly!  Quickly!  Grandma!
Douchebag: เก็บเร็วๆ ดิวะ ! – Hurry up! Pick up (your things) !
Douchebag: โถ่เว้ย ช้าเว้ย – Oh!  Slow!
Douchebag: หลบดิ๊ !! – Move!!

เสียงแตร – Honking

Pinkguy: จะบีบแตรทำไมคะ !? – Why are you honking !?
Douchebag: ก็หลบไปดิ !! – Step aside!!
Pologuy: นี้มันฟุตบาทนะครับคุณ – This is a sidewalk
Douchebag: แล้วไงอะ ? หรือจะให้กูชนไหม !?! – So what? Or you will crash into me!?!
Pinkguy: แล้วทำไมกูต้องหลบด้วย – So why do I need to get out of your way?
Douchebag: ก็กูรีบอะ – I’m in a hurry!
Pinkguy: ก็กูไม่รีบอะ – I’m not in a hurry!
Pinkguy: พี่รีบเหรอคะ You’re in a hurry?
Pologuy: ไม่เลย พี่ไม่รีบเลย – Not at all.  I’m not in a hurry at all

เสียงแตร – Honking

Douchebag: กูรีบ ! มึงเข้าใจไหมกูรีบ!? – I’m in a hurry! Do you understand I’m in a hurry!
Pinkguy: ไม่ !!! No!!!
Douchebag: แล้วมึงจะเอายังไงกับกู ห้ะ !?! อีเบาหวาน! – So what do you want with me !?!  You diabetic!
Pologuy: พวกผมไม่เอายังไงกับคุณหรอกครับ – We don’t want anything with you at all.
Douchebag: มึงก็หลบไปสิ ! มึงขวางทางรถกูอยู่ มึงเข้าใจหรือเปล่าวะ – Then step aside!  You are blocking my road. Do you understand or not?
Pinkguy: ไหนทางรถ !? ก็เห็นแต่ทางคนเดินเนี่ย – Where is the road !?  I see only the sidewalk.
Douchebag: หลบไป! หลบไป! – Step aside ! Step aside!
Pink guy: ไม่ !!! – No!!!
Douchebag: หลบไป !! Step aside!!
Douchebag: หลบไปดิ !! Step aside!!
Grandma: ใจเย็นๆ ลูก Calm down children.
Grandma: นะ ใจเย็นๆ ลูกอย่ามีเรื่องกันเลย – Calm down.  You don’t have any concern with each other.
Grandma: ใจเย็นๆ – Calm down
Pologuy: คุณยายเป็นอะไรไหมครับ – Grandma, are you ok?
Pologuy: ของในถุงไม่เป็นไรนะ? – Your things in the bag are ok?
Grandma: อ๋อไม่เป็นไร ยังอยู่ดีลูก – Oh, don’t worry child.  They are still good.
Grandma: เดินต่อกันเถอะ – Lets move along

เสียงแตร – Honking

Pinkguy: มึงจะบีบทำไมอีก !? – Why are you honking again?
Douchebag: มึงจะคุยกันอีกนานไหมเนี่ย !?! – Are you gonna talk a long time !?!
Douchebag: กูรีบ – I’m in a hurry.
Pinkguy: นานแค่ไหนก็เรื่องของกูไหม !?! – How long i talk is my concern !?!
Pinkguy: กูจะอาบน้ำ แต่งหน้า หล่อเทียนพรรษา มันก็เรื่องของกู – I will shower, put on makeup, making candles.  It is my concern.
Douchebag: มึงหลีกทางให้กูก่อนได้ไหมล่ะ ? – So can you move out of the way for me?
Douchebag: แล้วจะทำกับข้าว จะต้ังเตาบาร์บีคิว ทำอะไรก็เรื่องของมึงเลย! – Then i will cook food, setup the bbq.  Do whatever you need to do!
Pologuy: คุณขี่รถมอเดอร์ไซค์บนนี้ มันผิดกฎจราจร คุณไม่เหรอครับ ? – You are driving a motorcycle on this. It is against the traffic rules. Don’t you know this?
Douchebag: ก็ขี่แบบนี้มาเป็นปีแล้วอะ – I have driven like this for one year already.
Grandma: หนุ่มๆ – Boy.
Grandma: อย่ามีเรื่องกันเลยนะ – Don’t make an issue out of this.
Grandma: นะ อย่ามีเรื่องกันเลยนะ – Don’t make it an issue.
Douchebag: อะไรวะ ? ก็บ้านกูอยู่ทางนู้นอะ – What the fuck?  My house is that way over there.
Douchebag: แล้วกูจะไปทางนี้อะ – So i will go this way.
Douchebag: มึงจะให้กูวนรถอ้อมเสียเวลาเหรออะ !? – You will have me drive all around and waste time !?
Pinkguy: มึงก็ต้องทำไหม !? – You must do that !?
Pinkguy: หรือมึงจะตาย !? Or you will die!?
Pinkguy: กูอยากให้มึงตายตรงเนี้ย ! – I want to let you die right here!
Douchebag: รอมึงมีรถก่อนไง ค่อยทำแล้วกัน – Wait until you have a car.  Then you will do whatever you like.
Pologuy: นี่มันทางเท้าสำหรับคนเดินนะครับ – This is a sidewalk for people to walk on
Pologuy: แล้วถ้าวันนี้คุณไปชนคุณยายเขาเข้าเนี่ย – So if today you go crash into Grandma
Pologuy: คุณจะทำอย่างไง? – What are you going to do?
Douchebag: แล้ววันนี้ยายมึงเป็นอะไรไหม !? – So today is there anything wrong with your Grandma!?
Grandma: เออ..ยายไม่เป็นไรหรอก – No..Nothing wrong with me at all.
Grandma: แต่หนุ่มฟังยายนะ But you listen to me.
Grandma: ขี่รถบนทางเท้าเนี่ยมันผิด – Driving a vehicle on the sidewalk is wrong
Douchebag: อะไรเนี่ย !? นี่กูเสียเวลากับพวกมึงมากเลยนะเนี่ย – What!? This wastes my time so much.
Grandma: ฟังยายแป๊บนึง – Listen to me for a moment
Douchebag: อูยย เสียเวลาคุยเว้ย กูรีบ – Oh! Waste so much time chatting. I’m in a hurry!
Douchebag: มึงหลบทางไปเลย – You are blocking the path. Get out of the way
Pinkguy: ไม่หลบเว้ย! – I’m not moving!
Douchebag: มึงจะหลบไหม !? – Are you going to block the path!?
Douchebag: มึงหลบเลยนะ ทั้งอีตุ๊ด – You are blocking the path completely you faggot!
Douchebag: ทั้งไอ้หนวด! – Completely you fucking mustache guy!
Douchebag: ทั้งอีแก่เนี่ย !! – Completely you old hag!!

Douchebag: อุ๊ยๆ โอ๊ยๆๆๆ – ouch ouch ouch
Grandma: มึงเรียกกูอีแก่ได้ไง – How can you call me an old bag?
Grandma: กูนะรุ่นยายมึงแล้ว – I am of the older generation than you.
Grandma: กูใจเย็น นับ 1 เกือบถึง 1000 มึงยังไม่ยอมหยุด – I am calm.  Count 1 to almost 1000. You still do not accept to stop.
Douchebag: โอ๊ย!! – Ouch!!
Douchebag: ใครๆ เขาก็รีบ – Anybody, They also hurry.
Grandma: กูก็รีบ แต่กูเดินเร็วได้เท่านี้! – I am also in a hurry but i can only walk as fast as this.
Grandma: ถ้ามึงบีบแตรใส่กู – If you honk at me,
Grandma: แล้วกูหัวใจวาย ตายไป Then I will have a heart attack and die.
Grandma: มึงมีปัญญาพากูไปโรงพยาบาลไหม: – Will you take me to the hospital
Pinkguy: หูยย ตัวยายของจริง – Wow!  Grandma is a boss ass bitch!
Grandma: มึงรู้ว่าผิด มึงก็แค่ขอโทษ – You know it’s wrong you are just sorry you got caught.
Grandma: ไม่ใช่ เสือกอันธพาลมาเถียงกูกลับ – No?  You want to mess with being a gangster? Answer me.
Grandma: นะ..มึงจะขอโทษไหม!? – Are you going to be sorry?
Grandma: หรือจะให้กูพาไปส่งตำรวจ – Or are you going to let me take you to the police
Douchebag: ใจ…ใจเย็นยาย ขอโทษจ้ะยาย ขอโทษจ้า – Ca…calm down Grandma.  I’m sorry Grandma.  I’m sorry.
Grandma: ไม่ใช่ขอโทษกู ขอโทษสองคนนี่ – Don’t be sorry to me.  Say sorry to these two people.
Douchebag: อ๋อ.. ได้จ๊ะยาย – Oh.. I can Grandma.
Douchebag: ขอโทษครับ ขอโทษครับ – I’m sorry.  I’m sorry.
Pologuy: กฎจราจรอะ หัดทำตามบ้างนะครับ – The traffic regulations, practice to follow the example of other people.
Pologuy: มักง่ายกันอย่างนี้ แล้วจะอยู่กันอย่างไร!? If careless like this, Then how can we live with each other?
Douchebag: ขอโทษครับ ขอโทษครับ – I’m sorry.  I’m sorry.
Grandma: เรื่องง่ายๆ อย่างนี้ยังไม่ใส่ใจ – Easy issue.  Like this is still not mindful.
Grandma: ที่ลังมึงอย่าทำอีกนะ จำเอาไว้ – Don’t you do this again.  Remember it!
Douchebag: โอ๊ย ขอโทษครับ – Ouch.  I’m sorry!
Grandma: ไป! – Go!  Get out of here before I bust a cap in your ass!
Grandma: นู่น ถนน – There.  The street!
Douchebag: อ๋อ ทางนู้นเหรอยาย – Oh.  The way over there.

 

The King

By now, the whole world should know, the king of Thailand Bhumibol Adulyadej (Thai:ภูมิพลอดุลยเดช) died on October 13, 2016.  He was the 9th king of Thailand beginning his reign on June 9, 1946.  At the time of his death, he was the longest serving head of state in the world and the longest reigning monarch in Thai history, serving for 70 years and 126 days.  For nearly every Thai person, he was the only king they knew.

The king of Thailand was highly revered.  People considered him a family member, and often he would be referred to as “father”.  He had reached a nearly divine status.  For the first week after his death the entire country was extremely somber.  A 1 year mourning period was declared and overnight wearing black became the new fashion trend.

Thailand has had a turbulent history.  Frequent military coups and 30 prime ministers since the king took the throne.  Like any leader some of the king’s decisions and actions were controversial.  But he did a lot of good for the country.  He helped a lot of people.  He was the one constant in Thailand over all the changes of leadership.  He held the country together and prevented the coups from developing into civil war.  He was an honorable person.  He was a humble person.  He loved Thailand and he loved all Thai people.  He understood his great responsibility and served with pride, dignity, and grace.  For these reasons, he was universally loved by all Thai people.

It is my hope that one day America can have a leader like this.

Hold Me Tight by Job 2 Do

The rain has been making me lazy. Here’s another translation of a Job 2 Do song.

กอดฉันไว้ โดย จ๊อบบรรจบ

Hold Me Tight by Job 2 Do

ลืมไปได้เลย It’s been forgotten
เรื่องที่เคยผ่านมาให้แล้วไป It’s in the past
รู้เธอไม่ตั้งใจ I know you did not intend
ให้มันพลั้งพลาดไปอย่างวันนั้น To make a mistake that day
ฉันไม่เคยแคร์ I never cared
และแม้ว่าใครจะคิดอะไรไม่สำคัญ Even if someone thinks it’s not important
ขอเพียงเธออย่าไหวหวั่น I just ask you to not worry
เรายังเริ่มกันได้ใหม่ We can still start over
สบตากับฉัน เชื่อในฉัน See me eye-to-eye Believe in me
เรื่องของวันวานไม่ต้องมาใส่ใจ We don’t have to worry about the past
ที่เคยเปียกฝนเดี๋ยวก็คงแห้งไป Whenever wet from the rain, should dry off soon
แค่กอดฉันไว้ Just hold me close
เขามองไม่เห็นค่า Unable to appreciate
อย่าไปสนปล่อยเขาช่างเขาไป Let him go
เสียแล้วก็เสียไป It’s already lost
ไม่ต้องคิดสิ่งใดให้หนักหนา Don’t have to give it serious thought
เพราะเรื่องวันวาน Because it’s in the past
จะทำอย่างไรก็ไม่มีทางเรียกคืนมา What would I do, there was no way to recall
คิดถึงวันพรุ่งนี้ดีกว่า I would rather look to the future
วันเวลาที่โลกเป็นของเรา Someday the world will be ours
สบตากับฉัน เชื่อในฉัน See me eye-to-eye Believe in me
เรื่องของวันวานไม่ต้องมาใส่ใจ We don’t have to worry about the past
ที่เคยเปียกฝนเดี๋ยวก็คงแห้งไป Whenever wet from the rain, should dry off soon
แค่กอดฉันไว้ Just hold me close
วันนี้ฉันรักเธอ Today I love you
สบตากับฉัน เชื่อในฉัน See me eye-to-eye Believe in me
เรื่องของวันวานไม่ต้องมาใส่ใจ We don’t have to worry about the past
ที่เคยเปียกฝนเดี๋ยวก็คงแห้งไป Whenever wet from the rain, should dry off soon
แค่กอดฉันไว้ Just hold me close
วันนี้ฉันรักเธอ Today I love you

Hug Me by Job 2 Do

I looked everywhere for the lyrics to this song and could not find them.  So with the help from a couple Thai friends I wrote them down myself.  The translation is all me so I’m sure there are some mistakes but I think it is close.

กอดฉัน โดย จ๊อบบรรจบ

Hug Me by Job 2 Do

อยากให้เธอจงจำไว้ I’d like her to remember
วันที่เธอไม่มีใคร เข้าใจ The days when she did not have anybody to understand
คืนและจันมันเงียบเหงา Night and day it is quiet and lonely
มีแต่เรากับความฝันเรื่อยไป There is only us and continuous dreams
เท่าชีวิตมีพลาดพลั้ง As in life, mistakes are made
เก็บพลังไว้ต่อสู้ฟันฝ่า Save strength and overcome struggles
จะมีใครอีกเล่าหนา Will there ever be anybody again?
เข้าใจเราเท่าตัวเราเอง Understand us, even ourselves
จงโอบกอดฉันไว้ Please hug me tight
ยามที่เธอ ไม่เหลือใคร When she did not have anybody remaining
จงโอบกอดฉันไว้ Please hug me tight
ลืมมันไปเรื่องเลวร้ายที่ผ่านมา Forget the evils from the past
มองเมฆฝนอยู่บนฟ้า See the rain clouds in the sky
อีกไม่นานฟ้าคงสุดใส Soon the sky will clear
อยากให้เธอจงจำไว้ I’d like her to remember
ว่ายังมีฉันอยู่ ก้บเธอตลอดไป That I am still with her for all time
จงโอบกอดฉันไว้ Please hug me tight
ยามที่เธอ ไม่เหลือใคร When she did not have anybody remaining
จงโอบกอดฉันไว้ Please hug me tight
ลืมมันไปเรื่องเลวร้ายที่ผ่านมา Forget the evils from the past
จงโอบกอดฉันไว้ Please hug me tight
ยามที่เธอ ไม่เหลือใคร When she did not have anybody remaining
จงโอบกอดฉันไว้ Please hug me tight
ลืมมันไปเรื่องเลวร้ายที่ผ่านมา Forget the evils from the past
มองเมฆฝนอยู่บนฟ้า See the rain clouds in the sky
อีกไม่นานฟ้าคงสุดใส Soon the sky will clear
อยากให้เธอจงจำไว้ I’d like her to remember
ว่ายังมีฉันอยู่ ก้บเธอตลอดไป That I am still with her for all time
จงโอบกอดฉันไว้ Please hug me tight
ยามที่เธอ ไม่เหลือใคร When she did not have anybody remaining
จงโอบกอดฉันไว้ Please hug me tight
ลืมมันไปเรื่องเลวร้ายที่ผ่านมา Forget the evils from the past
จงโอบกอดฉันไว้ Please hug me tight
ยามที่เธอ ไม่เหลือใคร When she did not have anybody remaining
จงโอบกอดฉันไว้ Please hug me tight
ลืมมันไปเรื่องเลวร้ายที่ผ่านมา Forget the evils from the past

Stop For Step

I haven’t ranted about driving in Thailand for awhile.  Here are some thoughts, observations, and tips for staying alive I’ve learned after living here for a little over a year.  This post is meant to be partly humorous, partly critical, and partly helpful.  Hope you enjoy it!

Driving Culture

I read somewhere that Thai people treat driving like a videogame they are out to win at all costs.  This could explain a lot except nobody is winning.  For a very long time Thailand has been ranked near the top of road deaths per capita.  The culture of driving here is very much “up to you” / “no problem”.  Want to drive 60+ mph when the speed limit is 30 mph?  No Problem!  Want to pass cars around a blind corner?  You can!  Want to run red lights or drive on the sidewalk?  Go for it!  From a western point of view Thai people are rude, selfish, impatient, and inconsiderate drivers.  Imagine a drunk, roid raging immature teenager and that’s 90% of the drivers here.

What To Expect

  1. Children as young as 7 or 8 speeding around on motorbikes.  Usually with 2 or 3 of their friends on the back.
  2. Thai people do everything possible to avoid wearing a helmet even if it causes more problems than just wearing the helmet.
  3. Entire families on a motorbike.  Small kid in front.  Dad driving.  Another kid or two behind dad.  Mom behind the kids and holding a baby off to the side in one arm while carrying the groceries in her other arm.
  4. Oncoming traffic in your lane at any time and for no reason at all.
  5. Being passed / oncoming traffic around blind corners.
  6. Vehicles pulling out in front of you.
  7. Using a lane of traffic as a parking lot.
  8. Ninja motorbikes.  No, not the Kawasaki Ninja.  In Thailand, these are the motorbikes driving at night with no headlights, taillights, or turn signals because the owner is too poor or lazy to replace them.
  9. Overloaded trucks with bad brakes.
  10. Etc, etc…

Stop For Step

Stop For Step is an awareness campaign started some time last year in an effort to get drivers to stop for people crossing the street in crosswalks.  It is widely known that one should not stop for pedestrians to let them cross because if you do then other vehicles will just try to go around you and end up hitting pedestrians or rear end you.  So it’s actually safer for everyone to not stop.  Which is exactly what is shown in the video they created.  So although I think it is great that people are finally trying to raise awareness to change the poor driving habits here I think this approach is misguided.  Better would be to enforce speed limits, licences, and basic rules of the road.  Stop at stop signs, don’t run red lights, no passing around blind corners, etc…  Without any actual enforcement of the law and suffering consequences when one breaks the law there will be no change in driving habits.

Trying to understand the mentality of the Thai driver is an exercise in futility.  The Stop for Step video mostly shows a vehicle stopped at a crosswalk, people crossing, then the pedestrians getting plowed over by another vehicle that didn’t stop at the crosswalk.  But one clip shows a group of pedestrians crossing a crosswalk with a car approaching the crosswalk and slowing down (brake lights on).  Then, right at the last moment while one person is still in front of the car the driver takes their foot off the brake and accelerates into the person.  How the driver thought this was the correct course of action given the present situation is beyond me.

Why

This is the million dollar question.  What I have been trying to figure out since I got here.  There are a few obvious reasons why:

  1. Thailand is a developing country.  Though there are some very wealthy people here, most are poor and not well educated.
  2. Very little and arbitrary enforcement of the law.

This would be enough to explain these observations if it was just any other country.  But this is Thailand!  Land of Smiles where the people are known for being compassionate and polite so I think there are some other factors at play.

I read on another blog that tried to explain a theory of the Thai driving culture being rooted in their language.  That Thai people are unable to modify future behavior based on negative past experiences because there is no way to express tenses in the language.  I think this is incorrect for two reasons.  First, although it is true there are no verb tenses in the Thai language, there are many ways to specify past, present, and future in the language.  See words such as จะ (ja) which is used to indicate something will happen, กำลัง (gamlang) which is used to indicate something is currently happening, and แล้ว (leaow) which can be used to indicate an action that has been completed.

Second, even if there was no way to indicate tense in the Thai language it still wouldn’t make sense to me why the structure and grammar of a language would have such a dramatic impact on driving.  And like I mentioned above, the people (when not driving) are very polite.  This politeness is even built into the language and other aspects of Thai culture, so why aren’t they more polite drivers?

But I think they were on to something when suggesting that Thai drivers are unable to modify future behavior based on negative past experiences.  Thai people seem to very much live in the moment.  They do not dwell on the past and do not worry too much about the future.  I think this is due to the dominant religion in Thailand being Buddhism and the practice of meditation that goes along with Buddhism.  Now I don’t know much about meditation but I do know that it teaches to be in the present moment and to clear your mind of thoughts.  In western countries we learn to not pass around blind corners or pass when cresting a hill because there might be another vehicle coming that we can not see.  In Thailand drivers do these things because in the present moment they can not see another vehicle coming.  Then when there are close calls but no collision occurs the Thai person considers themselves lucky because Buddha was watching over them and quickly forgets about it.  So the next time they are confronted with a similar situation they do the same thing as last time.

Second, there is this concept of “saving face” in Thailand.  I still don’t fully understand this but based on what I do know, in Thailand it is very frowned upon to show anger.  It is also frowned upon to embarrass or make other people look bad.  Losing face by showing anger or causing someone else to lose face by embarrassing them could just result in them ignoring or being rude to you or in some cases result in extreme violence.  Which I find ironic considering it is so culturally unacceptable to show anger.  Because of this, Thai people will never criticize or point out mistakes made by someone they are with.  They are always tiptoeing around this idea of saving face.  So nobody ever gets told they are acting like an idiot, not to do something, or that their behavior is inconsiderate or dangerous because doing so would embarrass them and cause them to lose face.

Speaking of saving face, this guy completely lost it.

There are two other smaller reasons I can think of to explain the driving here.  Thai people literally grow up on a motorbike.  When / if they are able to afford a car, they drive the car just like a motorbike.  Meaning they zip in and out of traffic, and in general do things that you can get away with in a motorbike but are more likely to cause problems in a car.

Finally, when driving a car to get the same perception of speed in a car as on a motorbike the car will be going 30 to 40 kph faster.  I realized this after I rented a pickup truck to move to a new room not too long ago.  I thought I was going 50 or 60 kph and was a little surprised when I looked at the speedometer and saw I was going 80 kph or so.

Culturally Acceptable Behavior

All this brings up another issue I’ve been interested in.  What is considered culturally acceptable behavior?  I’m pretty sure Thai people are not trying to be inconsiderate, selfish, and impatient when driving.  I’m also pretty sure that other Thai people don’t view these actions in a negative way either.

Thai people also wait in line like they drive.  They will blatantly cut in front of people and can be very pushy.  The change in personality of a Thai person when driving still amazes me.  It seems Thai people have never been taught that patience is a virtue and the concept of waiting your turn.

Then there is the culture of the Chinese tourist in Thailand.  Despised by everyone, Chinese tourists are even worse drivers than Thais.  They are known for making a complete mess of bathrooms and eat dinner as if they are attacking their food like rabid dogs.  But I guess this is considered OK in China.

And of course Thai people probably think tourists drive like idiots.  To be fair, plenty of them do.

How Not To Die While Driving

Many people say that if you’ve never driven a motorcycle or scooter you should not learn in Thailand.  There are some places this is true.  I’m thinking specifically of Koh Tao which has many very steep poorly maintained roads.  Koh Tao is also filled with tourists who think that just because they are in Thailand they can act like idiots.  But the fact is a motorbike is the best way to get around Thailand, especially in the city.  A motorbike really isn’t much harder to drive than riding a bicycle so most people will have no problem.  Just approach with caution and you’ll be fine.  Here’s a few tips I’ve learned after being here a year:

  1. Drive DEFENSIVELY!
  2. Anticipate unexpected actions by other drivers.
  3. Do not expect other drivers to follow any western standard of driving etiquette.
  4. Check your ego.  If somebody cuts you off or does something to anger you just let it go.
  5. Don’t speed!
  6. Wear a helmet!
  7. Right of way is determined by vehicle size.  The larger vehicle has right of way.  Always!  Pedestrians and motorbikes are at the bottom of the food chain.  Don’t get out of the way and you will be run over and it will be your fault.
  8. Don’t be afraid to use your horn to make a couple short beeps to make others aware of your presence.  So far it hasn’t caused a problem and I’m pretty sure has avoided a few crashes by now.
  9. Longer more aggressive sounding of the horn is not appropriate but could be done on rare occasions.  Thai people will definitely think poorly of you for doing this but I’d rather avoid a crash than care what some random Thai person thinks of me.
  10. Motorbikes are expected to drive on the shoulder to the left.  But Thai people do not look before pulling out into the street.  So if driving on the left or on the shoulder go slower than normal and give extra caution when approaching side streets.
  11. Front brake is on the right.  Rear brake is on the left.
  12. Thai drivers are erratic and not good at planning their route or anticipating when they will need to do something.  Because of this, give them plenty of room.  Don’t tailgate, etc…
  13. At night be extra cautious and watch out for the ninja motorbikes.
  14. Don’t let your guard down just because you are on vacation.
  15. Don’t do things you wouldn’t do in your home country just because you are in Thailand / on vacation.
  16. When cars flash their brights at you it means DO NOT go because I will not stop or slow down and will run you over if you get in my way.

 

Bat Cave Birthday

On the 15th, Martin had a birthday party at Bat Cave as well as a Buddhist ceremony.  The day started early as Anong and I went to the temple to take a couple monks to Arawan Resort then to Bat Cave.   The morning was dedicated to the ceremony then exploring the cave and relaxing on the beach.

Around 1pm the sun was no longer shining on the wall so we got started climbing.

I warmed up on Pick Pockets 6a+ while Martin put up Mini Kingdom 6a.  Then I moved over to Tai don’t die 6b and got the redpoint without too much trouble.  After that it was time for Don’t kill Killer 6b+.  This was my first time leading it but after Koh Phi Phi I was feeling strong and was feeling pretty good about redpointing it.  The route starts with some big moves to the first two bolts.  Then some balancy moves on smallish but good feet up to a steeper section and then the crux.  I was feeling a little tired and started to panic a little at the crux trying to remember the beta.  Luckily it came back to me and I was able to fight my way through the crux.  Now on easier ground and a good rest, I knew the redpoint was not far away.  I thought about calling it a day but decided I might as well do the last climb at Bat Cave so I quickly climbed Mini Kingdom 6a.

Both Martin and I sent all the climbs at Bat Cave.  I guess that means we don’t have to go back anymore.  But I like the climbs there so I’m sure we’ll be back.  For now I think I’ll focus on some new routes (for me) at Chong Phli and Ton Sai.

Chiang Mai – Part 2

One night we decided to have a traditional northern cuisine dinner along with a show of traditional Thai dances.

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The food.

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There were many different dances and lots of good costumes.

The next day was Loy Krathong.  We visited a few more temples.  I’ll spare the pictures since they start to look all the same.  In the evening we walked around the city and participated in the festivities.

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A couple weeks ago we met Christine when climbing at Tonsai.  Turns out she was going to be in Chiang Mai around the same time as us.  She was with a bunch of other friends and invited us to Thanksgiving dinner.  There was no turkey (we had some chicken) but we got to have some other traditional thanksgiving dishes.  We also made plans to go climbing a day or two later.

Anong wasn’t feeling too well so she stayed in the city but I met Christine and Kat at CMRCA in the morning for a day of climbing.  We decided to climb at Reunion Buttress.  It has a few fun moderate climbs and a really good three pitch climb that we were able to do as 2 pitches thanks to my 70m rope.  First we warmed up on Teamwork 5c which was relatively straightforward.  Then we climbed Smells Like Team Spirit 6a which had a cruxy middle section and a really good finish.  Then we did did the Reunion 6a, 5a, 6a+ which was fun, a little scary on the last pitch, and had some really good views.  By this time, Kat had to catch her ride back to town but Christine was riding with me so we had time for one more.  We finished up with Reminisce 6a.  By now it was starting to get dark  so it was time to head back.  Pro tip, best to leave the crag around 4:30 or 5:00 even though it stays light till 6:00 or 6:30.  Once the sun starts to go down all the bugs come out.  My helmet didn’t have a face shield so dealing with all the bugs was annoying.  Other than that, it was a great day climbing!

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Kat going up Teamwork.

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Me getting started on Smells Like Team Spirit.

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Christine on Smells Like Team Spirit.

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Kat on Smells Like Team Spirit.

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View from the top of Reunion.

The next day we went back with plans to meet some friends of a friend who were also in Chiang Mai the same time as Anong and I.  We climbed at The Rooftop which doesn’t actually have any roofs but gets up up really high at Crazy Horse and the views are really good.  Warmed up on A Route With a View 5c+, then did Heun Fah 5b, and finally the best route at the crag, Skyscraper 6a.  It’s a rather long route at 29 meters with lots of fun moves.  We ate lunch then headed over to Tamarind Village and climbed The Chimney Sweep 6a which took me a couple of tries to get.  I guess I need to work on my chimney climbing technique.  Then The Queen Bee 5c, 4500 5a, and finally finished up the day on Happy Birthday 6b which I climbed clean first go but on top rope and was a good finish to the day / climbing at Crazy Horse.

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Anong belaying me as I head up Skyscraper.

Back in the city we had Khao Ka Moo from the cowboy hat lady.  It was really good.

Dinner.

Dinner.