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Everything posted by torrenova

  1. I left for my daughter's education with a view that I could drop back 3 or 4 times a year at will almost but though the relationship with her mother barely survived the birth, I put my daughter first and pushed thoughts of retiring again into the longer, if not quite the long grass. Today I am a single father to a teenage girl whose mother abandoned her to return to the village and "marry" the local rat catcher. Honestly, you couldn't make it up. So my holiday plans went up in smoke as did my realistic hopes of moving back to Asia full time. I've lived in other Asian countries but I wouldn't go back to live in Japan as I've forgotten what language skills I had and without a Japanese partner or a corporate life, it is a hard place to integrate into. Singapore is pretty much the same though I prefer it to Tokyo. Hong Kong is lost these days. Of the rest, I haven't spent long enough in Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia or Burma to give an opinion and in truth, I'm not sure I really want to pick a country and give it a chance when I could waste 2-5 years finding out it wasn't for me. Having spent so long in Thailand and been attached to it for 3 decades, I know where the boundaries are and they are different in those other countries. The appeal of Thailand is thus perhaps my own inertia, the security of familiarity and though I can't go back to my unspoilt Andaman Islands, sometimes it is better not to try to retrace the past, though forging ahead into completely new territories might be a step too far.
  2. For a decade I loved Bangkok. To me, it was Mallorca on steroids and it took the unlawfulness of Magalluf and added spices and lime juice to create a cocktail that was as much hedonistic as it was addictive. That was the 1990s. Since then, I have been in a sort of love / hate relationship with Bangkok, loving it for weeks, months and even perhaps years before swinging about turn and needing to get out. Once I was out however, that feeling of desire for old Bangkok came slowly or sometimes quickly back. And so my world turned. I have the opportunity, perhaps, to spend the UK summer in Bangkok. I cannot change the dates as I am a single parent to a teenage daughter (16) who will accompany me and though she may go and see her mama in the jungle for a week or two, it would mainly be us alone. We've done beaches, lots of beaches and more luxury hotels than you can swing a a cat at but self catering in Bangkok for just a couple of months is stupid or I think it is. I used to live in the JW Marriott and I know most decent hotels can conjure up a monthly figure which is a huge discount against the normal rate and we'd have a combined 4 months of booking to leverage. My guess is that I'd get a decent room, breakfast and lounge access, 25% or more off everything bought and free laundry etc. for around 150k to 200k a month for 2 rooms. Or I rent a large apartment and forego the on site room service etc. But what to do with my time and how to entertain a 21st century internet connected teenager in Bangkok ? Malls and cinema are good for a bour 2 days then we are both done, save the cinema, which can be repeated. I know Bangkok has 1000s of things to do but I'm out of touch and I couldn't care less about another bloody temple. Equally, I no longer desire to sit in Soi 4 bars every day. Help me with some ideas to see if Bangkok can inspire me once again.
  3. I have no property in Thailand now. I was last there for a month in August 2022. I loved the warmth and the food of course but I quickly lost interest in the people or what they were doing and rather counted the dates until my return flight. I was intending to look at a new place, a couple of places actually. There is a very beautiful house and land outside Hua Hin which reminds me of Spain with the view of the mountains and memories of a happier life. In a relative sense the house is not hugely expensive and is certainly more than I would ever require but I feel it would be a prison of sorts and I would either have to fill it with a partner I don't have or suffer the isolation alone. Or at least until Somchai decided he'd rather have what I have. Built it and they will come or so the saying goes but in Thailand, setting up a life for a family without first having that family can mean poor decisions swiftly follow. I know I could get lucky and find someone who swapped their time and affection for security and so forth and I am not delusional to think that is not the same the world over but it isn't enough to put me into house ownership once again. So I read this latest saga about being able to buy land if you do this or do that or qualify this way or that and I turn the page because I have heard it all before. Same same but different the locals say, or at least they used to.
  4. As an extension of the Friday night where nigh on no-one might actually turn up to scheduled meetings in pre mobile phone days when you'd have to return to the internet cafe to check a message to see if or why someone from overseas hadn't turned up etc., it would take a lot to bring people together now, age and other shit aside. In truth, technology may make working together easier but it drives people apart because you can do so much without ever meeting. Back in the day, merely 20 years ago, you had to be there and people crossed continents on the back of a promise not lightly given and not likely broken. Today, you couldn't get 5 guys living in London to meet up in London so what hope is there for a meet in Bangkok. Strangely enough, I'm one of the daft loons who might well turn up. Trouble is, I might be on my own !
  5. I have for years thought about Flashermac's comments from even longer ago that someone ought to sponsor a book to be written about Trink's life. I knew but dared to hope otherwise, that with advancing years, this was unlikely and for a fleeting second or three, I even thought whether I would be that sponsor, not to commercialise the idea but simply to have it noted for posterity. I didn't of course and as with so many things of Bangkok and Thailand past, Trink too is past. I remember being amazed that a regular newspaper could carry such detailed news but as I grew to know Bangkok, then Thailand, it seemed normal I guess, in a pre internet age. The internet is like taking pictures of your kids. You take so many thousands that you never look at any and finding information is impossible unless catalogued correctly, which after a few years becomes impossible in itself, save by date. With Night Owl you were there, in the moment but it was concise and limited and left you waiting for more. There was no fast forward to more information. Sad he has gone but sadder that his life and memories go with him. RIP.
  6. I had been using this place since it opened well over a decade ago and though well down the Soi I needed a couple of rooms for a few nights and their website had a spectacular deal so I booked. Rolled up and the front of house was like a shabby curry house. I saw a total of 4 rooms and they were all shite. Very worn, stale smelling, old, just terrible. I didn't stay and used Bt100 to have the porter ferry me to the JW Marriott down the Soi where I negotiated a very good deal under their website including a suite upgrade for me and club benefits for both rooms. Many more options I know but it was for so many years a safe bet down Soi 2 with apartment like rooms with kitchens for very reasonable prices.
  7. I can't make it back to the 1970s but go back 3 decades and yes, along with a few others from that era, it smacked of retaining that seedy underbelly we all fell in love with and now have largely lost forever.
  8. Back to LOS in mid October but tied up until the end of October with preplanned shit. 50/50 on whether to have a few days in Bangkok but feeling like it might be time to dust off the City of Angels shoes once again. I fly out on 15th November so somewhere in the first week I guess but flexible on dates. If we could find a place to park our zimmer frames then we'd be good to go would we not !
  9. I think the fact that so many "names" from the past have not contributed to this thread is tantamount to the sad departure of many, often to their next life. But I'm glad it is still here, if only as a link back to better times and the memories. For instance, at the beginning of the rugby world cup in 2003, I was one of many making arrangements to meet up in Bangkok with friends new and old. There was no Facebook, no instant messaging and one way I arranged to meet a now good long time friends was in the Biergarten with a name tag with my board name written on it. It says a lot that I actually went to the appointed place at the appointed time and yet he didn't for some reason 555.
  10. It isn't going to get any busier is it ? The times we knew are as gone as the frequency of the posts. Yet I still look in occasionally, hoping for something to generate interest. It is what it is I guess.
  11. A couple of chance meetings over the years, now long ago, but enough to remember. Those who were there during the times we would likely most remember are now so thin on the ground. RIP.
  12. Life hasn't been easy to get time away recently as I keep buying businesses instead of wasting money going to LOS However, I feel the planets a going to be aligned for a few options in early 2018. End of Jan, Feb and March seem good. I fix the employees salaries, then bugger of for some R&R. Not many of the old school (skool) left, these days so why not ? I favour Jan or Feb.
  13. I thought the overnight Laos thing was if you weren't married ? Biggest memory I had was from someone who was married and living in Laos but still getting hassled ?
  14. Oh please let me get back to this type of life. I have so much more now but so little of importance.
  15. Do it on retirement and Bt800k in the bank. Deposit and forget. Why ? Well, they might raise the Bt800k substantially but you'd most likely be grandfathered. You might also get divorced or widowed and you'd have to do the cash option anyway.
  16. Facebook killed all forums and much of the blog type business. I guess it might have been hard to switch to Facebook but that ship has sailed. I wasn't your biggest fan but I wish you well.
  17. To the outside reader, without hundreds of days on the ground or years on the forums, Nanaplaza and Nanapong seemed interchangeable, though Nanapong had more lunatics With a bit of time spent on Nanapong, you realised that it was simply a message tool for a few uber regulars and their hangers on. If anonymous messaging (easily and simply) existed back then, then there would be no Nanapong.
  18. Is your life worth so little as to travel on these mickey mouse airlines ? Mine isn't.
  19. Bar is Billabong https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@12.9301615,100.8844114,3a,75y,161.12h,88.54t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sSgiLrZ-x6eaGUaqrnwIicw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656 It is a 241 sort of place really (or was). Quasi MILF hang out but not sure how many are really on the payroll and how many click a BF and get a backhander from the staff. It was suspect on my last visit.
  20. I realise years have passed and some are no longer with us, either in spirit or in continent (no pun intended) but for some strange reason I thought I'd reach out and see whether there is a quorum who might be interested in a meeting in the UK ? Old meets of course in London which might be suitable ? I'm in Surrey / Hampshire but can make London with minimal notice. It would be good to see if anyone is still left or any newcomers fancy the idea ?
  21. I have a sneaky suspicion that we met in Pattaya, though having just come across this thread, recollection will take time to recover, if it does. Such is age.
  22. Only if you know and are brave enough to bypass the regular drop down from the tollway. Even then, only open until 4/5pm I think weekdays ?
  23. Areca is however well known by the taxis and not too far from 2nd Road to stagger. I don't like it too much because it sits at a place where I tend not to go, that being a decent middle ground place to base yourself. I tend to stay in apartments, houses or 5* hotels.
  24. We bought our first vehicle out of necessity and then wondered how we had managed all those years previously without one. It facilitated a move to a cheaper and larger property with far more space and a pool and made hated tasks such as shopping via baht bus or similar a thing of the past. Pattaya had no taxis back then. As a rough cost, depreciation was no more than Bt50k a year, insurance Bt30k, maintenance say another Bt20k at a generous push so you have about Bt100k a year all in. That is Bt8k a month plus fuel, so perhaps Bt10k a month all in including local trips and add a few thousand more for more miles. I would never live there again without a car or truck.
  25. Areca Lodge is a fairly safe bet in the lower mid range price bracket and has a wide selection of rooms and a half decent online booking system.
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