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Everything posted by rickfarang

  1. rickfarang

    Should I stay or should I go?

    Don't be one of those guys who goes into work on Monday morning and promptly dies of a heart attack. Nobody on his deathbed wished that he had spent more time at work. Go for it!
  2. rickfarang

    Weather in September

    Unless you are allergic to water, there will be no problem. A little rain in the late afternoon or early evening, and then things dry up. Even if you are going to the beach, the rain is only a minor inconvenience. Maybe even kind of fun. In any case, its no reason to avoid the area in Sept. or Oct.
  3. rickfarang

    Lost Luggage

    This emphasises the most important rule of flying (well, one of the most important, anyway). Never put anything in checked luggage that you cannot afford to loose. Once, when luggage was delayed a couple of days, I spent the whole time mourning the possible loss of a book that I held dearly. After that, I never checked anything that I could not replace. No photographs, certainly no prescription drugs, and no favorite books. The wife, maybe, but not the books!
  4. Comment: Thailand is already well down this road with the Cyber Crimes Act, but as we have seen in the past, it is common for multiple laws to be created to address an issue when it is felt that the earlier law(s) are not being enforced. Therefore, I suspect that some in the government here are looking at China's most recent effort to protect their citizens' minds with some interest. The idea of a government requiring a back door on every new system sold after July 1st is troubling. Part of the story is below. Source: http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=alPTKnbdMl8Q -------------------------------------------------- begin excerpt ----------------------------------------------------------- China to Add Web-Censoring Software to PCs, WSJ Says By Mark Lee and Tim Culpan June 8 (Bloomberg) -- China plans to require all personal computers sold in the country as of July 1 to include software that prevents access to an automatically updated list of Web sites banned by the government, the Wall Street Journal reported. The plan is aimed at preventing â??harmfulâ? information from influencing young people, according to an unpublicized Ministry of Industry and Information Technology document dated May 19, the Journal reported today. PC makers have been told of the requirement, part of a government program called â??Green Dam-Youth Escort,â? the newspaper said. â??The apparent objective of the software is to control access to pornographic sites, but we donâ??t know what else is in the code,â? said Charles Mok, chairman of the Hong Kong division of Internet Society, an international standard-setting body. â??Computer users have no control over modifications to the software, which may be used to collect personal data or filter other Web sites.â? -------------------------------------------------- end excerpt -----------------------------------------------------------
  5. rickfarang

    Would You?

    Yes. If one can afford it, and the recipient is honest, why not?
  6. rickfarang

    Lost Luggage

    The same floor in MBK that has the food court. Lots of large sized clothes. Luggage gets lost and delayed a lot (its happened to me four times, and I rarely check luggage!) This is especially true if you have a tight connection. don't worry, your luggage will probably arrive in Bangkok at about the time your leave. Many tailors in the city can turn around a pair of pants and a shirt of two in 24 hours if you ask.
  7. rickfarang

    Falling on the subway/skytrain

    I am sorry for the confusion. I went off to another tab to read an article mentioned in another thread, then I clicked on the wrong tab (with this thread) to comment on it. Believe me, in the right context, mine would have been a very astute observation.
  8. rickfarang

    Pricing Changes - Dramatic Drops

    Haven't seen any price reductions up here in Udon in the last couple of years. It just been a story of ever increasing retail prices. On the brighter side, our village was recently able to hire a gardening service to care for the parks at a greatly reduce price. Could be a trend. And yes, BB, it seems that the economic crisis has strengthened the bonds with Mia-nois here.
  9. rickfarang

    Falling on the subway/skytrain

    Guys, Do you realize how terribly small the population of this test is???? Totally insignificant (except to the participants!)
  10. rickfarang

    Keeping cheese

    Similar to zzzz's comment, prior to gong through the annual Cheddar shortage here in Udon (usually in the Jan, Feb, Mar time frame) I will load up on a couple of Kg and keep them in the freezing compartment of the refrigerator. The cheese stops aging and things stop growing on it, but it becomes more "crumbly", which actually makes it very good for lettuce salads. Just make sure you thaw it in the refrigerator rather than on the countertop, otherwise the growth might resume at a rather high rate.
  11. rickfarang

    Don't get ill on Delta

    Shoot first, aske questions later.
  12. I find your analogy between driving a motorcycle in Thailand and catching AIDS pretty dumb. I had a motorcycle accident in Thailand, yet I am still here to talk about it. Being diagnosed with an HIV infection is life changing and certainly a death sentence.
  13. I am sorry if this sounds a bit harsh, but the attitude shown in the above post in one of irresponsibility and selfishness. If you might have been exposed, then failing to test means exposing your "next girlfriend" or other loved one to a grave risk. In my book, this is irresponsible to both her/him and society in general.
  14. Thai immigration used to require certification that applicants for long term visas be free of HIV infection, but several years ago (sometime around 2001), they withdrew the requirement, stating that it would not have any significant affect on the country's overall HIV problem. It would be nice if other countries could become more realistic in this sense.
  15. Somebody wrote: "Use condoms properly with adequate lubrication to prevent breakage and the chances of catching HIV are negligible." Just so the message is not lost: Any odds may seem negligible until you catch it. Also as mentioned in JS's OP and in Free2Fly's post above, being drunk or stoned and around scuzzy women is a recipe for disaster. It used to be that a diagnosis of HIV was a death sentence. In the last several years in the developed world, its more like a chronic condition for many. That doesn't make it any less of a tragedy, and any less devastating to to one's self-image and view of the future -just "less physically lethal." If you think the chances are negligible, then you have not read up on the subject enough, or you have not lived though AIDS with a loved one (yet). Be careful out there. Thanks again, JS, for the reminder. It can happen to anyone, even those who aren't punters.
  16. Ahhhh, CRAP. Thank you for the wake-up call. Some people undoubtedly think they are invincible or at least not unlucky enough. Its a lottery, even with protection, and as in your case, eventually every number can come up. I hope your confirmation test comes back negative. Whether it comes back positive or negative, you will have many good years ahead. Keep posting. Keep your powder dry. Take care. Rick
  17. rickfarang

    Longest walk you have done in Bangkok

    Hard to tell. Six or seven kilometers was the longest. And that's a pretty long way to walk without a hat in this sun.
  18. and 5) Modest. Having met you, I can attest to Fit and Slim, but not in a position to verify #3. I agree with your predictions, as evidenced by the fact that many seem to return to farangland for their final days. I suspect that state-funded healthcare is one of the reasons. I do not think it is easy for foreigners to die while destitue in Thailand. Quite simply, there are no government-supplied free health or welfare services availble to foreigners, and for retired foreigners at least, once you can't come up with the 800K Baht in your bank account, you won't be getting 1 year visas anymore. The 3k to 4k/day figure seems about right as a minimum., not counting healthcare costs.
  19. rickfarang

    Holiday From Hell

    "... nope she gives me the finger and calls me a w*nker." I think that one experience summarizes a large part of differences in culture between LOS and the West
  20. rickfarang

    Holiday From Hell

    Your words ring true. I enjoy my visits to the U.S. - especially the time I spend with family. Everything is clean and works. When you buy products in the department stores, the are very likely what they are labeled to be and very unlikely to be cheap counterfeits. If something you buy doesn't work, you can return it for an exchange or refund. You don't have to keep an eye out for gaping holes in the sidewalk, and you can get in a car and drive 40 km across town for lunch, and it only takes 30 or 40 minutes. People wait patiently in the cue at the 7-11 store, you can buy beer anytime of the day between 08:00 and 02:00. The police are there to serve the community, and you can drink tap water without a worry (most months in most cities.) There are more things in common between life in Thailand and in the U.S. than there are differences, yet similar to your experience in the U.K., life in the U.S. seems soulless and with little meaning compared to that in Thailand. Just why it seems better to live in a place that is hot, smelly and noisy, where I have a lower standard of living, worry about being stopped by the police for a random search/piss test/visa check, and where I am an alien who doesn't understand the language, hence often does not understand what's going on around me, I really can't say. Why is it that coming back to Thailand seems like the switch from black and white to color when Dorothy enters Oz?
  21. rickfarang

    The Thai's and food?

    Only too true. When the wife goes upcountry for a visit, eating Isan food seems to be her top priority. When she returns, she brings back bags of food for herself and family in the area so they can stuff themselves to thier great delight. Then she complains that her jeans don't fit the same anymore... In that respect, Thais are much the same as "westerners", only more so. RickF