Mar 26th, 2004

Din of discontent grows in Phuket

Din of discontent grows in Phuket
The Nation, March 26, 2004
Concerning Phuket: "Yes, it’s a great lifestyle
if your style includes a love of noise…"

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A tale of two newspapers: Ghost buildings

A
tale of two newspapers: Ghost buildings

March 26, 2004
Same day, same subject: ghost
buildings. The Post quotes "property expert
and lecturer Manop Bongsadadt," and The Nation
quotes "independent architect Yodyiam Teptaranon"
resulting in very different articles.
B135bn
needed to revive ghost buildings – Amnesty seen as
best way out of problem
Bangkok Post,
March 26, 2004
Construction on half of the buildings, mostly in
prime areas, is expected to restart this year…
“About 25% of the 508 ghost buildings are continuing
with reconstruction, such as the Central World Plaza.
The idea of demolishing them is not fair to their
owners. Rather, we should consider whether it is safe
to reconstruct or renovate them,” he said….
‘Ghost
buildings not worth reviving’

The Nation, March 26, 2004
…half of those structures should be torn down
immediately for safety reasons alone, independent
architect Yodyiam Teptaranon said.

And the answer to the question, ‘Why doesn’t someone
finish those buildings?’:
… Other experts shared the view that many projects
could not be restarted because creditors and debtors
could not agree on financial matters. Bankers are
reluctant to offer "haircuts", the experts
said.
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This land is Thailand

This land is Thailand Nashville City
Paper
, March 26, 2004
…It turns out that the photo of a DHL van chugging through
a flooded country road against a hilly backdrop wasn’t shot
anywhere near Nashville.
It was shot in a rice paddy in Thailand, Baker said…
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Former media mouthpiece turns on TRT?

Former media mouthpiece turns on TRT?
– March 25, 2004
Wisarut reports:
Even Manager
Daily
, which used to be a mouthpiece of propaganda
for Thai Rak Thai, have warned Premier Thaksin and the
cabinet that:
(translated and summarized by Wisarut Bholsithi from an
editorial in Manager Daily, March 25, 2004) His
Majesty has pointed out the new forms of corruption through
the message "CEO-Style corruption" and "The
richer of the billionaire, the more corrupt they are!"
Premier Thaksin and his cronies will be expected to suffer
punishment from heaven unless they can clarify the following
issues:
1) the privatization of EGAT
2) Bird flu
3) the controversial Laem
Phak Bia Project

4) The Detroit of the East Plan while they are claiming
to expand
mass transit projects

4) The integration
of Mass Transit System through nationalization
while
bullying private companies that won the concessions to
sell back to the government at very cheap prices before
offering an IPO.
The most blatant example of this kind of bullying is that
"If BTSC and BMCL refuse to sell the shares to the
government at favorable prices,
no extensions allowed
!"
Thai Rak Thai have played with the sufferings of Bangkokians
from the traffic jam so that those government could come
up with alternatives in favor of their cronies (e.g. bus
rapid transit, expressways striking through communities
while the cronies prosper from the local people’s sufferings).
This kind of action reveals that those cronies of premier
Thaksin want to silently kill BTSC and BMCL in the same
way they killed the Lavalin
project
even though the government is supposed to
help companies to stay alive and well so that they can
make money to pay for the concessions.
[Note that 2Bangkok.com has been reporting on the
political vendettas that have halted
the Skytrain extensions
since September 2002, but
the English-language press has never mentioned this at
all.]

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‘US apologises for human rights allegations’

‘US apologises for human rights allegations’
MCOT/TNA
We notice that the MCOT/Thai News Agency site still is
reporting the discredited U.S. apology about the human
rights report: BANGKOK, Mar 23 (TNA) – Washington
has issued a formal apology for its report which accused
Thailand of gross human rights abuses, government spokesman
revealed today.
Speaking after this morning’s cabinet meeting, Mr.
Jakrapob Penkair said that the US letter, issued in the
name of President George W. Bush and Secretary of State
Colin Powell, expressed apologies for having issued the
report, which the US has already admitted was based on
‘inaccurate information’.

Earlier: A tale of
two newspapers II – The US human rights report

– March 25, 2004

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A tale of two newspapers: US ‘error’

A tale of two newspapers: US ‘error’ – March 25, 2004
The saga of the two local English-language papers continues:
Today the Post has a different take on the US human
rights report (not mentioning its incorrect story from yesterday),
but still spins it by highlighting the ‘error’ in its headline.
The Nation again hammers home that the government
claims of an apology are false.

US
stands by report, but removes error

Bangkok Post
The United States stands by its assessment of Thailand’s
human rights problems but concedes it made an error
in a report, since removed after Bangkok objected,
US embassy spokesman Mark Larsen said.
US
Embassy confirms no apology issued

The Nation
“There have been no messages from either President
[George] Bush or US Secretary of State Colin Powell
to the Thai government regarding the human rights
report,” said Mark Larson, an embassy spokesman.
“The US is standing by its human rights report,”
he said.
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In Buddhist Bangkok, even stray dogs have their day

In Buddhist Bangkok, even stray dogs have their day
Wall Street Journal, March 24, 2004
About controlling dogs in Bangkok…

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A tale of two newspapers: US ‘apology’

A tale of two newspapers: US ‘apology’ – March
24, 2004
Basically the same information, but entirely different spin
depending on the paper you choose:

US
‘regrets wrongly assessed’ findings

Bangkok Post
…Mr Jakrapob said Foreign Minister Surakiart
Sathirathai yesterday told cabinet a message from
US President George W Bush and Secretary of State
Colin Powell expressed regret for the US report, which
had riled Thai authorities particularly with its criticism
of extra-judicial killings during the government’s
three-month war on drugs.
…Asked to comment on this matter, US embassy spokesman
Mark Larsen said he could not confirm that such a
message had been sent by his government to the Thai
government.
US
Embassy dismisses apology claim

The Nation
The US Embassy in Bangkok yesterday dismissed a
statement from the Thai government that claimed Washington
had apologised for alleging extrajudicial killings
in its annual report on human rights.
"I definitely can not confirm that any letter
was sent that can be characterised as an apology,"
the spokesman at the US Embassy in Bangkok said.
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A tale of two newspapers: TRT win?

A tale of two newspapers: TRT win?
– March 22, 2004

TRT
bounces back with landslide win
Bangkok Post
Democrat
surge sours TRT win
The Nation

There is probably no better example of the tone and type of
news the two English-language papers carry than the above
articles. The Post has just the minimum of facts.
The Nation has plenty of interesting analysis which
is likely to be slanted against the government. If the Post
does come up with some background or analysis, it is usually
in an additional article a day after the first one.

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Bangkok Tram Accounts from Famous Writers


By Nai Hon Huay, Ajin Panjaphan, Sornsan Phaengsapha, Yutthisathian, and
Thepchoo Thubthong

There is
a great deal of material here, but do not let that stop you. Here are
some shortcuts to the most fascinating info.
Cost of living in 1941-1942
Cost of living in 1946
The Japanese arrive in Bangkok
Allied bombing of Bangkok & bombing
of power plants

The Great Flood of 1942 (with tram-boat collisions)
Tram drivers’ strike (with old-time strike busters!)
The Thai people sue for libel
Bangkok Triad War!

Return to the Bangkok Tramways main
page

What it cost…
Winyoo Angkhanarak (former Permanent
Secetary, Minister of Interior from October 1, 1977 – June 6, 1980)
mentioned that during the time he was studying at Thammasart University
(circa 1937-40), Bangkok Tram tickets were 3 copper satang – enough
to cover 3 rides from Suan Mali to Thammasart University.

Nai Hon Huay
AKA Slipachai Charnchaloem – famous radio news anchor with an Isan accent
from Ubon Ratchathanee and founder of Radio 909 from Kor Ror Por Kalong
Circa 1946

Line routes
Just after WWII, everything was still in short supply even though
the tram lines services were restored after heavy damage from Allied air
raids. The fares were: 20 satang flat rate (then 1 US cent – paid in form
of a thick tin 20 satang coin) for the 2nd class trams ticket and 50 satang
(then 2.5 US cents – half a nickel – paid in a wrinkled 50 satang banknote
– defaced from a 10 baht note printed in Java) for the 1st class from
the City Pillar to Thanon Tok (Lukmuang Line), City Circle, Bangrak-Pratunam-Yotse-Silom
(Pratunam Line opened during the 30’s), Hua Lamphong line and and Bang
Krabue to Wireless Road (extended from Hua Lamphong to Wireless Road near
Cadet Preparation Academy [then the Wireless Signal Company of Royal Thai
Navy] during the 1930’s and later on to Klong Toei during the early 1950’s
– parallel to Paknam Railway which was electrified during the 30’s). Samsen
Line went from Wireless Road to Saladaeng, Sam Yan, Hua Lamphong to Yaowarat
Road, Wang Boorapha, Ban Moh, and turning right along Koo Muang Doem Canal
(the 1st City Moat dug in 1771) to Sanam Luang and then go along Sam Sen
Road to Kiao Khai Ka pier in Bang Krabue.

Prices of things circa 1946

ax 70 baht (up from 1 baht before the WWII)
a cup of black coffee 50 satang
a cup of milk coffee 1 baht
dish of rice with curry 1 baht
cup of confectionery (khanom thuay talai
– a sweet dessert made of coconut milk, sugar, and sticky rice flour)
25 satang
bowl of rice noodles 1 baht
ball of Salapao (stuffed Mun Thou made of
wheat flour)
5 baht
bowl of wheat noodle soup
sold only at Hoy Tian Lao (one of the most famous Chinese restaurants
at Sua Pa Road in Yaowarat Area – now defunct), thanks to wheat flour
smuggled from Singapore
10 baht
4-page local newspaper 50 satang
8-page for a weekly local tabloid 50 satang
pork chop (bake pork rib) at Silom Phattakarn
(Silom Restaurant) – very tasty though expensive
10 baht
bull tongue stew at Silom Phattakarn (Silom
Restaurant) – very tasty though expensive
10 baht

Newspaper and book distributors were along the tram lines.
Eastern end is at Bang Kapi commune (now Sukhumvit area) near Ratprasong
intersection, and Pratunam Flea Market. Victory Monument was then too
far away and remote. Northern end was at Bang Krabue. The city circle
was at Thewet Market, Yod Phimarn Market, Chaloemkrung, and Thieves Market.
Southern end was at Thanon Tok. Thonburi end was at Wong Wian Lek (not
far from Wong Wian Yai), Ban Khaek Intersection, Phrannok (near Sirirat
Hospital).

On November 8, 1947, Trams at Saladaeng were parked longer
than usual and it found out that there was a coup’d etat, so the traffic
near the Ministry of Interior and Defense was stopped until the Army kicked
Rear Admiral Thawan and his cabinet out. At that time the area beyond
Lumphini and Wireless Road was a paddy field. Rama IV Road used to have
a canal (Thanon Rong Canal) connecting Phadung Krungkasem (the third City
moat dug during King Mongkut’s reign around 1857) to Phra Khanong, but
the during the 60’s the traffic got so bad that the canal, Paknam railways,
and tram had to be closed for good to make way for cars.


Ajin Panjaphan

Ajin Panjaphan a famous writer who founded Fah Muang Thai
weekly magazine (now defunct). In the early 1940s he was a freshman engineering
student at Chula. However, WWII turned his life upside down–wanted to
be with his friends at Memorial Bridge, play music, write novels as the
way to escape the stress of the War that had no end in sight. Eventually,
he decided to drop out of Chulalongkorn University and study at Thammasart
Open University. He then went South to work as a miner for 4-5 years after
graduation from Thammasart.

December 8, 1941
Atsadang Line is considered the shortest Tram line in the world,
running from Atsadang Pier (near Rachinee Royal Seminary – the first girl’s
school in Thailand) along the Khoo Muang Doem Canal (the 1st City Moat)
to the Triangle Shop connecting Samsen line at the foot of Charoenrat
Bridge in Ban Moh area.

Cost of living late 1941-early 1942

tickets at Chaloem Buri Cinema 10 satang (then 5 US cents)
for 1st class
6 satang for 2nd class
tickets at Chaloemkrung Cinema 24 satang (US 12 cents)
2 duck eggs 3 satang (1 Phai for the old
men alive long enough to see Phai copper coins)
daily allowance for a boy in
the 10 grade
5 satang
daily allowance for a boy in
the 11th or 12th grade
15 satang
month salary of a clerk at
the Royal Irrigation Dept. who graduated from secondary school
20 baht
monthly rent for a townhouse
in front of Rachinee Royal Seminary
11 baht
ice coffee with fresh cow milk
at Ui Lee Coffee shop (the most famous coffee shop in Bangkok – now
defunct – but the recipe is still alive in form of Old-style coffee)
6 satang
black ice coffee 5 satang
glass of black ice coffee from
a coffee stall
2 satang
ice coffee with milk 4 satang
ice cocoa (ovaltine) 6 satang
monthly salary for Privates
(Royal Thai Army or Police)
11.75-12 baht
monthly salary for a janitor
at a district office
14 baht
monthly rental of a wooden
house
15 baht
2nd Lt. (Royal Thai Army or
Police)
80 baht
private servant 30 baht
rental for a single block townhouse
in Nakhon Pathom
4 baht a month
monthly salary for head of
a Muang District
150 baht
monthly salary for a man with
a Bachelor’s Degree
80 baht
monthly salary for a doctor 120 baht
meal for a family (a husband,
a wife, and 2 children)
50 satang
Phatthai with an egg 6 satang
10-year-old girl plus her younger
sibling sold by her mother to become beggars
35 baht
short time with a prostitute 75 satang
1 rai of land around Phra Khanong 8 baht
a pair of Asahi rubber shoes 75 satang
a pair of Sakura rubber shoes 1.25 baht
a pair of combat boots 1.75 baht
a bowl for noodles 5 satang
rice with green curry and half
a boiled egg
6 satang
a full egg 6 satang
carton of Red Lion cigarettes
(20 pieces)
8 satang
carton of Red Bull cigarettes
(10 pieces)
10 satang
carton of Tricastle and Abdullah
cigarettes
12 satang
canned cigarettes (50 pieces) 50 satang
book of matches (50 matches) 1 satang
factory-made Youth Army uniform
(pants and shirt)
7 baht
tailor-made Youth Army uniform 15 baht
glass of ice water 1 satang
public toilet fee
at Memorial Bridge
1 satang

During the 1942 flood

a pair of shoes made of rubber tires 35 satang
a durian 100 baht
a prostitute at Soi Sub 10-20 baht
a prostitute at Chaloemkrung 25 baht
monthly salary for worker at Bangkok Dock 50 baht

The Japanese Arrive
Everyday at 5:00 am, tram workers (usually young men from Isan) came
to clear the tram tracks with shovels and eaters (a construction instrument
with a sharp head on one side and flat head on the other side for breaking
stone and cleaning the narrow tracks). At that time the tram sign was
a red triangular pedant with a single white star with five arms at the
center.

Mr. Ajin came from Nakhon Pathom. He lived with his aunt
and siblings in a rental block near Rachinee Girls’ School. Mr. Ajin and
his friends witnessed the Imperial Japanese Marines marching down Ratchadamnoen
Avenue. After the invasion, black markets became a reality. Ration coupons
and death sentences could not effectively stop the black marketeers.

Early in 1942, the ticket for Youth Army was a bronze one-satang
coin (“Yuwachon Taharn”–a predecessor of Territorial Defence units. Territorial
Defence unit is a Thai version of ROTC. If you see high school students
wearing olive berets and geen olive uniforms with combat boots, they are
Territorial Defence units. Many high school students study in the Territorial
Defence course to dodge the military draft). For that amount one could
ride from Ban Moh to Sam Yan via Pahurat, Ratchawongse, Songwat, Talad
Kao (old market), Sam Yak Ton Pradoo [Note: Sam Yaek Ton Pradoo, got its
official name as "Moh Mee Intersection" because Moh Mee Dispensary
used to be at that intersection for many years.], Wat Sam Jin (now Wat
Trai Mitr-Golden Buddha Image Temple), Hua Lamphong, and Saphan Luang.
At that time, the Imperial Japanese seized Triam Udomsuksa High School
(my old alta mater). At that time, the study building of this school still
had roofs made of padan leaves, bamboo mat walls, and Phayathai Road still
had Chamchuri trees along the road up to Victory Monument. The flood increased
the price of rice from 12 baht for a 100 kg to 16 baht for 100 kg. After
that, the price of rice shot up to 32-40 baht for 100 kg.

Bombs Fall
On June 5, 1944 (Visakhapooja Day) at 11:00 am near the Memorial
Bridge. Mr. Ajin an his friend saw Allied bombers flying in circles. They
saw white smoke coming off the bomber wings. At first, they thought that
the bomber was hit by anti-aircraft guns. The bomber circled and flew
away and a few seconds later. It’s purpose was to mark the target area
with smoke for the rest of the fleet. Then a fleet of B29 bombers poured
iron eggs (bombs) aiming to destroy the Memorial Bridge and Wat Liab Power
Plant. However, they hit buildings around Tha Tian and Ban Moh area instead!
The power line for the tram (a pair of copper wires about the size of
a thumb) were cut by the shrapnel. The buildings around Ban Moh intersection
turned to debris, obstructing the tram services from Bang Lamphoo to Hua
Lamphong via Ban Moh. However, the tram lines from Pahurat, Ratchawongse
pier, Song Wat area, Sam Yaek (Ton pradoo – Angsana tree), and Hua Lamphong
still functioned. The bombs destroyed a Japanese hospital in Ban Moh and
corpses were scattered around the area. Mr. Ajin survived the bombardment
even though a bomb dropped ten meters away from him. After that day, schools
and universities in Bangkok were closed and moved out of Bangkok for safety
and the workers from Wat Liab Power Plant came to reconnect the torn copper
wires and repair the tracks a few days later.

B29’s arrived again on April 14, 1945 and plunged Bangkok
into darkness since Wat Liab and Samsen Power Plant were destroyed, tap
water cut off, no light from light bulbs, roads turned dark after sunset,
and trams not running. It took 4-5 years to get everything back to the
normal.

Odds and ends
The 2nd class tram tickets from Ban Moh Intersection (electronic
and jewelry section of Bangkok not far from Wang Boorapha and Memorial
Bridge) to Sam Yan was 1 copper stang (about 0.5 US cent). During the
30’s there were an extension of the tramway from Yot Se to Patunam and
via Sam Yan and Sala Daeng (Yot Se area is near Kasatsuek Bridge (Rama
I Road) and Patunam terminal is near the Patunam pier of Nai Lert White
Boat Service which ran from Patunam to Minburi and Nonchok). At that time,
there was only a boat trip a day along Saen Saeb canal since it took a
day or two to reach Minburi and Nonchok (then a separate province until
the Great Depression forced Minburi Province to merge with Bangkok).


Sornsan Phaengsapha

Sornsan Phaengsapha was a Chulalongkorn University architect student.
He designed patrol boats for the Mekhong Operation Unit of Royal Thai
Navy which worked much better than the PT boats from the US Armed Forces.
He is also a writer as well, and below recalls the Bangkok Tramway lines
of the 1920’s to 1930’s.

Bangkok tram services ran from 05:30 to 23:30. Tram drivers
on the last rounds (around 23:00) would drive very fast. However, the
last round of feeder lines such as the Ratchawongse line would be at 18:30
since the last round of boat services would be around that time. The Ratchawongse
area was a place to have fun for those who had money to burn at first-class
Chinese restaurants like Hoy Tian Lao (AKA Yard Fah Restaurant).

The tram officers were generally people of good hearts ….
volunteering to help people who lived along the tracks …. asking adults
to give seats for students, sending drunkards from bars back home, helping
the setup of funeral rites without asking …. When inspectors came, the
tram workers had to listen the criticism … and act according to regulations
to ensure that they would receive wages without being fined.

There were 11 tramway lines (Paknam and Mae Klong Railway
not included) during the 1920’s and the 1930’s:

1) Bangsue – Bang Krabue (AKA Bangsue
line)
A line with a single tram starting from a rest hut at Bang Krabue
Intersection (Rachinee Bon Girls School), passing Boonrawd Brewery, the
4th Calvary Battalion – Royal Guard (the toughest Calvary Unit in Thailand
– no hoodlum dare mess with the tough calvarymen from that battalion)
and Kiakkai Intersection. The line turned right at Kiakai Intersection
to go along Taharn Road and pass military units (e.g. the 3rd Cavalry
Battalion – Royal Guard, RTAF Engineer Dept., Anti-Aircraft Division (then
the 2nd Artillery Battalion), RTA Ordinance Dept., RTA Signal Dept. before
turning left after crossing Premparchakorn canal (a canal dug during the
early reign of King Chulalongkorn from Phadung Krungkasem outer city moat
in front of Wat Mongkutkasat to Bang Sai district of Ayutthaya) at Saphan
Daeng. After that, the line turned left and went along Techawanit Road
(a road parallel with Premprachakorn Canal) and passed RTA Ordinance Dept.,
RTAF Engineering Workshop, Wat Saphan Soong, Tao Poon area, Siam Cement
PCL (a heavy industry giant founded by King Vajiravut on December 8, 1913)
before ending up at Bang Sue Railway Junction.

During Boworndej Revolt in the mid-October 1933, Bangsue-Bang
Krabue tram was temporarily halted for security reasons since the government
moved the troops from the units around Dusit area to fight against Boworndej
units from Isan, Saraburi, and Ayutthaya in the rainy and muddy paddy
fields in Bang Khen area. The line ceased services around 1962-65 and
BMTA bus No. 3 (Km11. SRT Community – Klongsarn) and No.5 (Tao Poon –
Chakkrawat Temple) took its place.

2) Samsen-Sathon (AKA Samsen line)
A 3-car tram running from Kiaw Khai Kah pier (AKA Red Boat Pier of
Mae Nam Motorboat Co.Ltd.), turning right at Bang Krabue intersection
to go along the western section of Samsen Road to Sophon Bridge, Vajira
Hospital, Sang Hee Intersection, Vasukree Royal Pier, Seesao Thewet Intersection
(then Seesao Baiporn Intersection), Thewet area, Bangkhunphrom Palace,
Aksornniti Press (a publishing house printing law textbooks, novels, tram
and bus tickets), Wisutkasat area, Bang Lamphoo area Badman Store (later
the Dept. of PR and later on the lottery stalls), Saphan Siaw (a tram
bridge next to Saphan Phanphiphob Leela), Rachinee Road at the back of
the War Office (Ministry of Defense), Saphan Changrongsee (a bridge for
elephants heading to the Ministry of Interior and Giant Swing constructed
in 1910 at the place used to be the Royal Ricemill), Wat Ratpradittharam
before going across the Khoo Muang Doem canal to Ban Moh area at Saphan
Hok. Ban Moh is the area famous for trading in diamonds and electronic
items. After passing Ban Moh, the line headed to Pahurat area (Little
India – famous for textile and garment trading), Saphan Han (one of the
most famous flee markets in the City Center), Mahachai Road, northern
section of Yaowarat Road (Chinatown), Samyaek Ton Pradoo (Bangkok Tramway
HQ)–interchange station with Bangkholaem line, southern section of Rama
IV Road, Hua Lamphong Station, Saphan Lueang (Jarumuang Intersection),
Sam Yarn (Chula U. Campus), King Chulalongkorn Hospital, Queen Saowapha
Institute (Red Cross HQ), Saladaeng (Lumbhinee Park), and ending up at
Sathon Intersection which Wireless Road intersects with Sathon Road.

There were two depots at Bang Krabue near Kiaw Khai Kah Pier
(the Pier for Maenam Motorboat Co.Ltd -> the Red Boat to Nonthaburi)
and Saphan Lueang (the bridge between Hua Lamphong and Sam Yan which was
later on moved to the place near the office of Anglo-American Tobacco
Co.LTd. before the nationalization to create Tobacco Monopoly). Tram tickets
for this line can be used for riding the Red Boat to Nonthaburi and the
tickets of Maenam Motorboat can be used for riding the tram to Pakklong
Talad. The ticket from Bang Krabue to Sathon was 6 Stang (2nd Class) and
10 Stang (for 1st Class).

3) Atsadang Feeder line
A single tram for those merchants at Pakklong Talad flea market and
those girls studying at Sunanthalai Royal Seminary (now Rachinee Girls
School). The line was probably the shortest tram line in the world. It
cost the riders 1 copper stang but the passengers usually used tickets
from the Bangkrabue line to go along this line. The line was abandoned
around 1934-37 since the Bangkok Map of 1937 (now in a very dilapidated
condition at the National Archives) does not show this line at all.

4) Ratchawongse Feeder line
A single tram for those who want to ride the ocean ships at Ratchawongse
Pier (one of the most important piers in the days before Klong Toei port)
and those who want to have good meals at the Chinese restaurants around
Ratchawongse Road. The last tram of this feeder line would run at 18:30
so as to make an extra space for those who want to hang around that area
for dinner and parties at the restaurants. There was no luggage movement
to/from the ocean ships after sunset. This line was abandoned in 1934,
and Siam Electricity Co.Ltd. decided to run a blue bus from the Golden
Mountain to Ratchawonse Pier as a substitute. However, WWII eliminated
this feeder bus of Siam Electricity Co.Ltd due to the lack of spare parts
since at that time the rubber tire for a bus alone cost the company 10,000
baht [US$4,000 in the official rate and US$400 at the black market rate].
Only Nai Lert Bus (white buses) and Bangkok Municipal Buses (green buses
with an elephant seal) could afford such luxuries. Medicines such as Quinine
and Ateppine (for Malaria) and NB-639 (for Syphilis) were priced out of
range for virtually everybody. Only those with good connections with black
marketers could obtain such necessaries. Now, BMTA bus No. 204 (Huay Kwang
– Ratchawongse Pier) runs this route.

5) Sukhothai Feeder Line
A single tram for those who live along Samsen canal who want to go
to Vajira hospital. The line ran from Wat Kwid (Wat Prasart Bunyawart)
pier to the end of Sukhothai Rad. After that, it turned left to go along
Sukhothai Road at the Vajira Hospital side of the road. The line met Samsen
line at Vajira Intersection. It was constructed around 1913 (the first
years of Vajira Hospital) which one can see on the map from the National
Archives, ceased service around 1933-34.

6) City Pillar – Thanon Tok Pier
A three-car tram which was the oldest and the longest line of all.
Originally a horse-drawn line with 4 pairs of horses. The left and right
pair for normal use and the other central two pairs for going uphill at
bridges. The service started on May 22, 1887 from City Pillar to Bangkok
Dock Co.Ltd. (the oldest modern dockyard founded in 1865–still in service
for Marine Police and Royal Thai Navy but as a state enterprise which
was nationalized in 1939 for military use). The line expanded to Thanon
Tok pier in 1888. It become the talk-of-the-town after being used by Royal
Siamese Army for moving military personnel to quell triads fighting for
territory at the ricemill in Yannawa. The details of the traid suppression
in 1889 has been recorded by Prince Damrongrajanuphab (Prince Damrong
for short) in his memoir "Nithan Borankhadee" (written in 1942
and first published as memorial book for the cremation of Prince Damrong
in May 1944 after he passed away from heart failure on December 1, 1943).
[More on the Triad Wars] The horse-drawn tram did
not work very well even though the company had received Royal approval
to construct seven tram lines in Bangkok.

The line ran from City Pillar to behind the Ministry of Defense
and then along Koo Muang Doem to go across Chang Rongsee Bridge to the
Ministry of Interior to go along Bumrung Muang road to Giant Swing, and
then turned right at Seekak Sao Chingcha to go along Fuang Nakhon Road
to New Road at Seekak Phrayasri Intersection. After that, the line went
along New Road to Chaloemkrung Royal Theater (founded in 1933–the air-conditioned
cinema/theater), Werng Nakhonkhasem (Thieves Market), Wang Boorapha Palace
(the palace of Prince Bhanurangsri and the Bhanubongse family founded
in 1876, became Bahnuthat Girls School from 1928 to 1941, sold to a land
developer and then demolished to solve heritage disputes in 1952 ->
and become a trade center ever since). The line also passed Saphan Hun,
Suapah, Wat Leng Nei Yee (Wat Mungkorn Kamalawat), Phraya Sombutphaisal
Building (9-storey building), Sam Yaek Ton Pradoo (Bangkok Tramway HQ),
Nailert Ice Manufacturing at Saphan Lek Larng, Si Phraya, Bangkok GPO,
Oriental Hotel, Bangkok Dock Co.Ltd, Wat Don Cemetery before ending up
at Thanontok pier (Red Boat Pier for Maenam Motorboat Co.Ltd. to Phra
Padaeng). At Thanon Tok, there is a U-turn. It took several minutes to
move the locomotive back to the front, moving the trolley backward, and
make the seats face toward the City Pillar. BMTA bus No. 1 now takes this
route.

7) Hua Lamphong
The redline (line 1-6 for yellow lines) with 3-car tram starting
from Banglamphoo near Banglamphoo Intersection (then Banglamphoo Pratoomai),
turning right at Wat Bowornniwetwiharn to Tanao Road (now an entertainment
road in City Center beside Phra Athit Road), Khok Wua intersection (Old
cattle barn-> Tanao Rd. intersecting with Ratchadamnoen Avenue) to
Bumrung Muang Rd. near Chaopho Sua Shrine. After that, turning left to
go along the Southern section of Bumrung Muang Rd. to Yotseh via Suan
Mali, Saphan Dam Intersection (AKA Maen Sri Intersection – another office
of Bangkok Tramway-> with a depot and a maintenance center). After
reaching Yot Seh, the line went along Krung Kasem Road (a road parallel
to Krung Kasem canal – an outer city moat from Thewet to Si Phraya) before
ending up at Hua Lamphong. BMTA bus No. 53 (Ring line Thewet – Hua Lamphong
– Bang Lamphoo) has filled the slot.

8) City Circle
A single-car tram line which was also the last red line to survive
until October 1, 1968, the end of the tram service. The line ran from
Banglamphoo to go along Phrasumen Road, Prachathippatai Intersection,
Wat Trithossathep, Phan Fah Intersection, Wat Ratchanadda, Mahachai Road,
Samyod Gate, Wang Boorapha, Saphan Han Gate, Wat Bophitphimuk, Memorial
Bridge (old GPO–demolished to make a way for Phrapokklao Bridge in 1984),
Chakphet Road, Pakklong Talad flee Market, Chakkraphongse House (house
of Prince Chakkarabongse–a favorite son of King Chulalongkorn until he
married a Russian lady), Wat Po, Tha Tian pier (a pier to Wat Arun, and
the main pier of Siam Motorboat Co.Ltd. -> Red boat -> to Phra Padaeng
and Pathumthanee), Tha Ratchaworadit Royal Pier, turning right to go along
Na Phralan Road at Tha Chang Pier (HQ of Chaophraya Express Boat). After
that, it turned left at Nah Phralan intersection to go along Phrachan
Road to Tha Phrachan (ferry pier to Bangkok Noy Railway Station – AKA
Terminal of the Southern Railway until Rama VI Bridge become a reality
on Jan 1, 1926), turning left at Phrachan Intersection to pass Thammasart
University, and National Museum before turning left at the National Theater.
After that, it turned right at the mouth of Ko Muang Doem canal (inner
city moat) via Wat Phrakaeo Wangnah (now the School of Arts). After that,
to went along Phra Athit Road (a new entertainment center for Thammasart
people and other college kids) to Pass Ban Phra Athit (belonged to Chaophraya
Woraphongsephiphat [AKA Momratchawongse Yen Issarasena–grandchild of
Kromphratchawangboworn Mahasenanurak–duputy king during the reign of
King Rama II] who was the owner of Bang Buathong Railway) before ending
up at bang Lamphoo via Phrasumen fort , and Wat Sangwet. The riders of
this line needed to pay twice–once at Banglamphoo and the other at Pakklong
Talad Intersectin-Atsadang Road.

9) Yotse line
A single-car tram line which was constructed during the late 1920’s
and early 1930’s and went from Yotse to go across Kasatsuek Bridge to
Ratprasong Intersection via Rama I Road, Bunthathong Intersection, National
Stadium (then Hor Wang (Winsor Palace) of Crown Prince Vajirunnahit and
office of Prince Mahidol), Sapathum Palace (palace of Queen Sawangwatthana,
Prince Mahidol and Princess Mother before becoming Princess Mother Foundation
office), Wat Pathumwanaram (meditation center in downtown BKK), World
Trade Center (then Phatchabun Palace) before turning left along Ratchadamri
Road to Nai Lert pier at Pratoonam near Chaloem Lok Bridge. After that,
you could ride Nai Lert White boat to go along Saensaeb canal to Nongchok
via Klong Tan, Hua Mark, Bang Kapi, Saphan Soong, and Minburi. Nai Lert
boat also went along Praweturirom canal to Paed Riw (Chachoengsao) via
Ladkrabang after branching out of Saensaeb canal at Phrakhanong. Nai Lert
White boat tickets could be used to ride the tram to Bang Rak or Yotse
and the tram ticket could be used to ride Nai Lert White boat to Phrakhanong
or Bang Kapi.

10) Silom line
A single-car tram that went from Nai Lert Pier to go along Ratchadamri
Road and Silom Road to meet Bangkholaem line at Bangrak Intersection.
The line also went parallel to Silom canal which had a long line of Angsana
and Asok trees. Silom canal was gone for good with the expansion of Silom
Road (AKA Windmill Road – for the western windmill not far for the road
during the reign of King Mongkut). During the blooming time of Angsana
trees, the yellow petals of Angsana flowers made the tram track look very
beautiful.

11) Dusit line
A three-car tram that went from Wat Thewaratkunchorn to Seesao Thewet
Intersection before turning left to Uthong intersection. Then turning
right to go along Ratchaseema Road at Suan Kulab Palace. After that, the
line turned left to go along Sri Ayuthaya Road at Karn Ruan Intersection.
After that, it passed the 1th Infantry Division (Royal Guard), Wang Parutsakawan
(Palace for Prince Chakkraphongse–later the Government House after the
1932 revolution until Phisanulok House replaced it in 1939), Suan Misakawan
Intersection (Supreme Commander HQ), and Wat Benjamabophit (AKA Marble
Temple) before turning right along Rama V Rd. to Prince Abhakorn Palace
(now Rajamongkhol Institute, Chumporn Khetudomsak Campus) via Royal Turf
Club. After that, it went along Phitsanulok Rd. to Nang Leng Intersection
and turned right along Nakhonsawan Road to Worachak Intersection. After
that, the line went along Worachak Road to Suan Mali and S.A.B. Intersection
(Societe Anonym de Belge watch shop – now Xin Xia Yit Pao Press), Saphan
Dam Intersection, Wat Sam Pluem (Chakkawatrachawat temple), before ending
up at Wat Liab power plant (now the HQ of MEA).

First Allied Bombing
On Jan 9, 1942 from 2:00 am to 3:00 am – the first Allied bombs hit
Bangkok at B.L. Hua. Drugstore, Wat Tuek intersection, Yaowarat, and Yotse
– not hitting Hua Lamphong at all. After the sunrise, many Bangkokians
rode trams to see the effects of the bombs.


1942 Flood (photo from the collection of Ric Francis)
Great Flood of 1942
There was a boat service (White Boat) along Saen Saeb canal run
by Nai Lert (Lert Setthaputra) from Patunam to Nongchok via Minburi
and Paed Riw (Chachoengsao) via Prawet Burirom canal. At that time
the Sukhumvit area was full of rice and paddy fields with buffaloes.
Trams passed the Patunam Pier … During the 1942 flood, the floods
soaked the motors and tram drivers and workers had to push them back
to the depot near the City Pillar. The floodwaters near Bang Krabue
depot reached to chest level. Cars and boats had head-on collisions
during the flood since cars drove on the left while boats when on
the right. [Boats used American driving rules–right-hand driving–to
head north while cars used British driving rules–left-hand driving–to
head South.] After the flood, algae caused the tram wheels to slip
off the tracks.

Bombing the Power Plants
On April 14, 1945 at 1430, a fleet of Allied bombers (30-40 bombers)
turned Wat Liab Power plant and Samsen Power plant into rubble. It was
beyond repair–no running water, no electricity, the trams could not run
and Bangkok was in the dark. The government decided to get power from
540-HP engines of HTMS Matchanu and Wirunchambung submarines to feed Lakmuang-Thanon
Tok. However, the DC power burnt the motors when the trams reached Bangkok
Dock Co.Ltd. (the place where 2 submarines were generating electricity
to feed trams) while the trams ran out of power if trams were near the
terminals since DC power could not reach far enough. It took a lot of
labor to put the rolling stocks back to the depot.

[Note: After the bombardment of Wat Liab Power Plant on April
14, 1945, Siam Electricity Co.Ltd. managed to return to service within
three to four months since there were a few parts of the power pant spared
from Allied bombs. However, Samsen Power Plant (belonging to Public Works
Dept., Ministry of Interior) had to take six years to become active again
since almost all parts of the power plant were destroyed. Both plants
could not wait until they received the new generators and boilers from
the US, so they had to build everything from scratch. During that time
(1945-1951), the blackouts and brownouts were very common since Wat Liab
had to distribute power for both Bangkok and Thonburi. Bangkok got the
power one day and Thonburi would get it the next.]


Yutthisathian
AKA Yot Wachirasathian – recorded in 1971 and revised in 1977

When I was 60 plus 2 months (October 1, 1968), the trams
were NO MORE! No one who was born after that day would have any idea about
the trams except when they saw them in the photographs or sitting on an
old tram. My dad told me that trams were initially horse-drawn from City
Pillar to Thanon Tok via Sam yak Tone Pradoo (in front of Chaloemburi
Cinema). It was in 1894 that the trams were electrified. Trams were the
cheapest mass transit available (compared to rickshaws and rental chariots).
Trams were safe but slow every time they parked at the red pedant signs
with a white star to pick more passengers or waited to let the tram from
other directions go first. Trams were so popular that all walks of life
rode them. The back of the tram was for the 2nd class while the front
of the tram was for the 1st class. The first class tram (with covered
pillows stuffed with coconut fiber) tickets were 10 satang (a nickel)
and the 2nd class (wooden seats) were 6 satang (3 cent or 2 Phai for those
who still remembered Phai-Sorot copper coins).

Initial Lines
The lines which owned by the Danes were City Pillar – Thanon Tok
and Bang Krabue – Saladaeng (later on extended to Klong Toei). Trams were
smooth since they did not drive on dirt roads with potholes. If your tickets
still had money left, you could interchange the lines if you wanted. If
you rode a tram from Sam Yak to Nang Lerng (near Royal Tuft Club and Thewakam
Bridge that goes across Premprachakron canal), you would drop down to
S.A.B. Intersection or Saphan Lek Intersection and then ride the City
Circle line to Nang Lerng without paying more.

Bangkok Tramways Company
Bangkok Tramways Co.Ltd. merged with Electricity Co.Ltd. (Samsen
Power Plant) in 1900 which owned Samsen Line In 1901, Siam Electricity
Co.Ltd. took over Bangkok Tramways Co.Ltd. and built Wat Liab Power Plant.
Thanon Tok line went from City Pillar to Thanon Tok line via Bumrung Muang,
the whole Fuang Nakhon Rd., and went along the New Road to Thanon Tok
depot. Samsen line went from Kiao Khai Kah pier (a pier for a boat to
Nonthaburi) in Bang Krabue to Saladaeng (initially ended at Hua Lamphong
Railway Station but later extended to Saladaeng and Klong Toei) via Samsen
Rd., Chakkrabongse Rd., Khoo Muang Doem (the 1st City Moat dug in 1771),
Rachinee Rd., Ubonrat bridge, Ban Moh, Phra Phithak, Phahurat (Bangkok
Little India), Saphan Han, Rob Krung canal (the 2nd city moat), Saphan
Phanubongse Bridge (Wang Boorapha), Yaowarat Road (Bangkok Chinatown),
Sam Yak Tone Pradoo, Charonesawat bridge, Hua Lamphong and ended up at
Saladaeng. Rolling stock of both lines were painted in yellow and the
head office was a 2-floor building at Sam Yak Tone Pradoo.

Siamese Tramway Company
Siamese Tramway Co. Ltd. owned by Prince Narathip was founded on
October 1, 1905 and King Chulalongkorn went to the the inauguration ceremony.
Trams from Siamese Tramways Co.Ltd. were painted in red–thus called red
lines. There were two major lines: City circle near Wat Liab Power plant
and Hua Lamhong line that went across an iron bridge to Wat Bophitphimuk
to Chakkrawat Rd., Yaowarat intersection, Charoen Krung Intersection,
Worachak Intersection, Maen Sri Intersection (Saphan Dum), Golden Mountain,
Nakhonsawan Rd., Nanglerng, Phadung Krungkasem canal (the 3rd City Moat
dug in 1857) and then ended up at Thewet. The fares were collected by
distance which was fair to the passengers and the company. Sometimes when
the trams went off of the tracks, the workers and the passengers had to
use their own strength to put the rolling stock back on the tracks.

Merger
The tram companies were officially merged into a single company in
1926 and the electric company was changed to Siamese Electricity Co.Ltd.
to Siamese Electricity Corporation Co.Ltd. on May 5, 1927 after Thai businessmen
become major shareholders. The trams were used by fire Department but
not so good as they expected since it cannot cover every section of the
city. [For more details on the companies involved, see Tramway-related
Companies
]

Labor Trouble
There was a labor strike in January 1924 by Bangkok Tramways workers.
Initially, Mr. Thiang (a Thai worker) was sacked by Mr. Hui (a Chinese
foreman from Hainan) without reason and the Dane managers believed what
Foreman Hui said. Therefore, nine friends of Nai Thiang tried to appeal
to Mr. J. Knutson (Bangkok Tramways CEO -a Dane CEO who could speak Thai
as fluently as a Thai) but to no avail. Even worse, Mr. Knutsen believed
what Mr. Hui said. Furthermore, Mr. Hui said "Sir, you should NOT
take care of Thai workers since they were just like a bunch of dogs–running
back to our company after hearing the knocking of coconut shells with
dog food. Therefore, you can get Thai workers as much as you want to replace
those who got a pink slip."

Such an insult caused almost Thai workers to strike. Those
who worked as strike brakers (either as volunteers or by bribery) were
beaten bloody with metal-headed clubs by striking workers. Mr. Knutson
and managers were worried since the concession said the government would
nationalize the trams if the company could not run the service for more
than 24 hours. The Chinese and the Dane managers had to run the tram services
until the government of King Vajiravut could mediate the labor dispute.
The results was that Mr. Hui was sacked while Mr. Thiang went back to
work and Mr. J. Knutson had to take care of Thai workers’ welfare much
better than in the past and even get a Thai doctor who graduated from
Germany to take care of sick workers (Luang Suriyaphongse-Wisutthiphaet).
There was also a free loan for workers – they didn’t have to pay the 5-10%
market rate.

Libel Against All Thais
The leader of this strike was Thawat Ritthidet. He became the talk-of-the-town
when he and Bangkok Tram workers sued Mr. Hui for libel since Mr. Hui
insulted the Thai people in general–with Luang Srisurangwaramat as a
lawyer. However, the court dropped the case since the petition Thawat
presented required 12 million Siamese people to sign it. Thawat Ritthidet
became notorious when he attempted to sue King Prajadhipok in 1933-34.
However, the case was eventually dropped since the 1932 constitution (and
every Thai constitution) states that the "King is a venerable head
of state, and nobody can violate HM and nobody can bring HM and the Royal
Family to court."

Thawat Ritthidet became a member of the People Party since
he was a labor activist. He also tried to help rickshaw workers (usually
illiterate Chinese) to get more power to bargain. Even though the rickshaw
drivers won three times, their lives still were in misery until the demise
of rickshaws in 1954 by the proclamation on January 1, 1953 which states
that the government would no longer extend licenses to rickshaw drivers.

Trams at Phra Padaeng
After electrifying the Bangkok tram, Herrn (Mr.) Prune (a German
businessman) asked for the concession for the public boat from Thanon
Tok to Phrapradaeng and Thai Tianm to Nonthaburi and Pathumthanee. King
Chulalongkorn granted the concession to Herrn Prune who founded Siam Motorboat
(red boats). The red boats could not go along Lad Luang canal – a shortcut
canal dug during the reign of King Rama II (circa 1815) – since the boats
were too big and Phrapradaeng had no electricity at all. So, the steam-engine
tram with a track similar to the railway track along Lad Luang canal from
the canal end near Wat Prot Kate to downtown Phrapradaeng and Phrapradaeng
pier was the answer. It seems to me that the Phra Padaeng tram died after
Siam Motorboat Co.Ltd. was out of business.


Thepchoo Thubthong

Lopburi Tram
After many parts of Bangkok Tram were removed, the removed trams
were reinstalled in Lopburi. Actually, Lopburi was to have a tram system
since the day the leader (Field Marshall Plaek Phiboonsonggram) wanted
to rebuild Lopburi as a new model city in 1938, but the leader need to
wait until they removed the Lak Muang-Thanontok line to install in Lopburi
in 1955.

The Lopburi tram ran from Tha Hin Flea Market to the gate
of King Ananda Mahidol Army Hospital via Phra Karn Shrine. The fare rates
were as follows:

2nd class
Tha Hin Flea Market – Phra Karn Shrine : 25 satang
Phra Karn Shrine – Sra Kaeo: 25 satang
Sra Kaeo – King Ananda Mahidol Army Hospital: 25 satang
Tha Hin – King Ananda Mahidol Army Hospital: 75 satang
(then 1 US$ = 20 baht)

1st class
Tha Hin Flea Market – Phra Karn Shrine : 50 satang
Phra Karn Shrine – Sra Kaeo: 50 satang
Sra Kaeo – King Ananda Mahidol Army Hospital: 50 satang
Tha Hin – King Ananda Mahidol Army Hospital: 1.50 baht

Initially, the Lopburi tram was cheered by the local people.
However, the enthusiasm died down very quickly since the local buses were
much faster and passengers did not need to wait long. Lopburi tram died
after nearly five years after the inception due to heavy loss.

Trams assist in triad battle
in Chinatown
[Note: the trams below are not electrified, but were pulled by horses.]
Prince Damrong (a younger half-brother of King Chulalongkorn and the right-hand
man of the king) recorded that in 1889 the Royal Siamese Army used Lakmuang
Thanon Tok tram to move an Army battalion to suppress a riot between two
rival Chinese triads at the New Road near Wat Yannawa. The two Chinese
triads were Tang Kong Xi (Techiew) and Siew Li Kue (Fujian). The two triads
removed the galvanized roofs from local folks to build barricades to fight
on June 19, 1889. On June 20, 1889, there was shooting–20 triad members
were killed and more than 100 wounded. Police could not suppress the triads
since there were thousands of members. Therefore, the police needed to
call the army in to bail them out on June 21, 1889. The army seized all
the trams and drove them to Thanon Tok to move the infantry battalion
to deal with triads. The Danish managers of Bangkok Tramway Co.Ltd. were
willing to let the Army seize the tram since the company was fed up with
the triads itself. A company of Marines and Sailors rode river boats from
Navy HQ to Thanon Tok so as to encircle the triads.

After the fighting ended, 10 triad members were killed and
20 were wounded. 800 members and 8 bosses surrendered. Army and Navy officers
tied the pigtails of those triads into groups of triads–100 triads for
each group–to create public humiliation. Many people living along the
New Road–Siamese, Westerners, Chinese, Indian, and Islamic people–blessed
such a quick and bold action of the Royal Siamese Armed Forces to suppress
the triads. Trams moved up and down between the War Office and Yanna all
day and night of June 21, 1889.


More: The days when I was young
by Uncle Yai Naphayon

Posted in Trams | Leave a comment

Saturday Night Live: Dead Dude

(dialing)

Man#1: Hey. It’s me. It… umm… happened again.

Man#1: Well, this time, it’s a… umm… dude.

Man#1: No, I didn’t kill him!

Man#1: The Lizard killed him and then Ben Affleck killed the Lizard.

Ben Affleck: It was self-defense!

Ben Affleck: That thing was making fun of me.

Man #1: Yeah! Ben Affleck. I don’t know why he’s here.

Man #1: He crawled in the window at 6.30 this morning carrying a baby Komodo dragon under one arm and Kelly Ripa under the other.

Yeah. Kelly Ripa from ‘Regis and Kelly’!

Kelly Ripa: We’ve got to cut this dead body up and
put him in a bag.

Kelly Ripa: This is bad, man. Bad.

Man#1: Ripa! Chill. I’ll handle this.

Man#1: Dude! Stop judging me. Just give me that phone number again.

Man#1 (voice over): Because that number is in my wallet.

Man#1 (voice over): And the wallet is "in" the dead dude!

Man#1: Yeah, he is on the bed.

Ben Affleck: Yo, man. Do you know anyone who wants to buy a suitcase full of panda meat?

(applauds)

Note:

1) Notice a Singha beer bottle in the hand of Man#1 in frame #1

2) In frame # 7, Ben Affleck is holding a Sawasdee Magazine with letters read Bangkok on the front page (only a k appears in the captured frame)

3) Kelly Ripa is a daytime talk show host, "Regis and Kelly"

Posted in Humor, Thailand in the International Media | Leave a comment

Saturday Night Live: You’re selling me to these guys?

(no audio)

(no audio)

Woman#1: Let me get this straight.

Woman#1: You’re selling me to these guys?

Ben Affleck: What? Nobody is selling anybody, ok?

Ben Affleck (voice over): I’m giving you to these guys
to cover some temporary losses.

Ben Affleck: I’ve incurred from gambling on Russian
roulette!

Woman#1: You’ve been gambling on Russian roulette?

Ben Affleck: My guy wasn’t supposed to die!

Ben Affleck: I had a system!

Woman#1: You’re high again!?!

(Woman#1 screaming)

Ben Affleck: Alright, I may have socially injected some komodo dragon venom.

Just because everyone else was doing it!

Woman#1: Let go of me!?!

Ben Affleck: You’re being selfish! You
don’t need both of your kidneys!

Woman#1: This is not my idea of honeymoon!

Woman#1: Ben Affleck!?!

(no audio)

(no audio)

(applauds)

Note:

1) I guess we are famous for organ trafficking.

2) Russian Roulette? That is so The Deer Hunter (1978).

3) Ben Affleck is making fun of his, reportedly, gambling problems.

Posted in Humor, Thailand in the International Media | Leave a comment

Saturday Night Live: Dead Hooker

(Ring tone…)

Man#1: Hey, dude, it’s me.

Yeah, I know. You were right. Thailand is crazy.

Man#1: Listen, there is a … a situation.

Man#1: I took your advice. I got a hooker.

Man#1: No, Kevin, it was not awesome!

She came to my room and we started drinking this bottle of vodka with a coiled snake in it.

Man#1: The next thing I know, I woke up in the closet and she is not moving.

Man#1: Look, just shut up!

Man#1: What is the name of that guy?

Man#1: You know, that Dutch guy who helps clean up messes.

Man#1 (voice over): Thank you.

Man#1 (voice over): That’s all I needed to know.

(applauds)

Note: Notice Singha beer bottles, some Thai bank notes and a bottle of liquor with a snake in it on the nightstand in frame #1.

Posted in Humor, Thailand in the International Media | Leave a comment