Oneway East

Friday, October 27, 2006


Does anyone recall that silly debate on NPR this winter, some lefty groups attacking the military for using white phosphorus in Iraq?
listen here:

The contention from the anti-military groups was that white phosphorus, or "willy-peter" or "WP" is a chemical weapon, and therefore in contradiction of some anti-chemical weapons act from Geneva. The counterpoint from the military was that WP is used primarily to obscure, distract, and confuse, and therefore is not a chemical weapon and is perfectly legal. It was a complete charade. Sure, it's a chemical weapon in that it's made of chemicals, but then again so are cordite and TNT. IT's not a chemical in the sense of mustard gas. Thinking of this debate, I was asking Preecha Nitsisupha, or "Spotlight" about it. It's a ferocious incediary that will burn the meat off of your bones even underwater.

begin transcript, Preecha Nitsisupha, one of the Thai F.A.Gs fighting for the Americans in Laos. FAGS are the guys who run deep into Indian Territory to find the enemy and call in airstrikes.

"When they outside and they coming, maybe we have like, white phosphorus bomb or 500 lb. or 1000lb bomb, and they ask us what, we have to recommend them what they use. If the [enemy] people in the bunker or in the concentrations, we have to use the white phosphorus bomb because they not allowed for napalm.
“White phosphorus, it burns. If it hit you, they will go and cut the body. Yes hot. It burn you. It can burn the glass and the metal and whatever, it burn everything. So the thing that protect you, you have to get the [???] off of you, you have to cut it off, because it will not [afford shelter?]. Yes, it keep going .”

“Napalm not allowed. We don’t use. We mostly use the white phosphorus. So if the enemy concentrate or something, we use this. It burst in the air, before it hit the ground. It hit a big area. You see a lot of smoke. It burn the grass and everything. That will be a lot of, there will be a lot of wounded troops afterwards.”

...the killing in the town, everything is coming down. If that time is overrun[battle with the Vietnamese T-34s on skyline ridge he previously described], Skyline [ridge, overlooking the American/Hmong HQ Long Tieng] coming back, everybody would have to go. We lost the position for sure. When the tank coming, how you fight? They come booumm and pak! Afraid. And not only tank coming, believe me. A lot of people would be following. Vietnamese people. Not just tank coming, tank coming you know, they are follow by. So that night we can hold the position. And when that is turned, we can counter them back. After that they, the next couple days, we had the b52 coming, and we destroy almost two GMs. 335 and 148 or something? One GM is three battalion. One battalion for our side, about 450 or 500. For them should be the same. So they are get injuried, killed, and cannot find replacement, so they have to start to withdraw. And then we more attack. Put more heavy on the bomb. Made a lot of airstrikes, a lot. Almost every day,… before when I am in the position, make every day, for the enemy, counterfire and shoot at, incoming something, and we have to request… at least every day.
[Were they PL or Vietnamese?]
“North vietnamese. Lao only a little bit. They just only support, not the fighter. The fighter are Vietnamese. “
“Vietnam who is control everything. Pathet Lao is just, not too many. Support. Vietnamese they put at that time about sixty thousand. At first we did not know when we coming back. Even when I am in position one thing we did not know, the troops, they coming, the enemy, how they coming. But before they coming, go outside, they come back later and maybe we can see them, then they shoot, and can not going out of the bunker. At first I make a try outside, outside the bunker, and after when they shooting.

end transcript:

The whole WP discussion last november was such a silly contest of semantics. Is it a chemical? Yes yes it's evil, no no we just use the smoke from it to hide our movements. Sure, the smoke from burning steel and meat and sand and plastic. What irritated me about the debate was that everybody knew already what was going on, and they were trying to find legal grounds to either attack or justify the war in Iraq. It's a war. It's nasty. Weapons are designed and used to kill as many people as possible.

The trouble with these stupid modern wars between the first world and the third world is they can't be won. There's two different sets of rules. The first world feels that it must set some example of nobility and proper behavior when fighting. The third world has very few resources compared to us, so they weapon they choose is "by ay means necessary."

The only way to win a war is by the old rules, the rules used by the old empires. Kill everyone, burn it all down, enslave who's left, and then, your enemy will no longer be able to fight back. That's the only way. Otherwise, you'll end up in a quagmire until the political will runs out in the country which values its lives more. There's no room for these rules in war, and since we must behave in this way, respecting human life and so on and so forth, why bother fighting? How's that go, "the only thin in the middle of the road is yellow lines and dead armadilloes"? What a stupid waste.

Of course there are complexities to it, but honestly, we haven't won a war since World War two. After the horror of which, new rules were established. I wonder if the framers of those rules had the idea of making war impossible in the formation of those rules.

Thursday, October 26, 2006


Wednesday, October 25, 2006


One more nutty story for you folks. I do live my own life, sure, but tales from daydream island aren't necessarily as interesting as some of these old war stories.

John, flight mechanic based in Nakhon Phanom AFB in Thailand during the period.

begin transcription:

“ I had this hooch boy, his name was Rawin. He was 15 yrs old, and he lived in a little Lao-type… I think he was probably Phu Tai, you know, hill tribe. And I gave him my second pair or combat boots, because my first pair was tough enough for my feet. Only there for a year, certainly not going to wear out two pairs. So after I gave him the boots, he kept telling me that his father was village chief, so a couple days later the next line is that his father wants me to come to the village. Well, you know that’s nice, but I got no way to go there, but the kid keeps pestering me, so eventually I get this other kid, we were both buck sergeants at the time, three-stripers you know. So we get in this jeep with the kid, you know, and we got there, and to him, the Americans are coming! They had the old big feast routine, they had,… The first thing that happened when we realized that things weren’t what we thought they were going to be, when they had a thai boxing ring set up. And these people are sitting on benches and rows, raised elevated platforms and… This tiger soldier was there. And they were having a lot of matches, the soldier was smoking butts. So he had his M16 on, and we walk over, and the monkey fucked off his butt, and he says, “You brave GI. Many Thai communists here.”
Well, I hadn’t read the reports, the counterinsurgency reports, but it was shocking enough to me. So we go back and sit down. The other kid says to me, “Look at me. I really want you to not turn around and look at everybody, because; as soon as I told him of course he turns around and looks at everybody. And then in the meantime these guys are getting ready to do the Thai boxing. I’d never seen Thai boxing except like on TV or something. But these guys wrapped rags around their hands, around their legs above the knee. And do you know why? They put liquid candlewax on top of the rags, and then they put broken glass on it. And I’m sittin there like, this is their culture, this is, hmm… So one guy starts winning, and the other guy starts losing, and then all of a sudden he starts winning, and the other guy starts losing, and he gets him right up into the corner here, in this corner, and we’re sitting here. We’re in like the third row or something, and I can see that this guys definitely lost, his eyes glaze over, and the other guy keeps shoving his knees up into his lungs, blam! Blam! Blam! That often, and then all of a sudden he backs up and the guy falls right onto his face, face forward, and there’s a pool of blood half the size of this table. And then they pick up his feet, they didn’t even pick him up they just pick up his feet and drag him off. They musta killed him. And I’m thinking, Jesus, they’re doing this because I’m here? They killed a dude in a fight because I gave a kid a pair of shoes. So then we go in to have dinner with the old man, of course Lao style villages, they raise them up on sticks. So we’re up in there, and I don’t speak any thai, you know, a couple phrases, and the kid speaks pidgin English because he cleans the hooch. So he’s the interpreter, and it’s rough. Well then I find out why the old man invited me to the village in the first place. He tells me through his son, we’ve got this bottle of, this old whiskey bottle. And it’s got rice in the bottom about this thick. And they made homemade style rice wine out of it. And I’m sitting there watching this fly go in and out of the bottle, you know, and we’re eating this water buffalo, and no matter how small a piece you took, it seemed like there was a bone chip in it. So, they went and got dessert, I don’t know, you have to ask somebody here who’s Lao or Thai from Issan, but they had these little woven baskets. They get these woven baskets, and they dig it up out of the red earth. You ever had this? I’ve never seen this before, but I know that you eat what they give you. But they pull the top off the basket, I look in the basket, and it looks like somebody’s dirty old softball. But it’s rice, that’s been fermented. And the outside of the rice is just a crust, a brown ball of grey, and they take their fingers and stick them in and rip it off, and inside it was all turned into a white paste. Fermented. What I got out of the kid is they bury it for a certain length of time. We couldn’t figure out what the hell he was saying about how long, but I got this feeling from looking at it that it had been in there for quite a while. So I’m eating that, and I figure if I don’t get the runs from eating this shit, nothing’s gonna get me. But it tasted pretty good! And after that, that was dessert, the old man, through the pidgin English translation of his kid, he‘s giving me one of his daughters. And I don’t know for sure that that’s the exact translation. It was either that, or… but she was mine. There was no doubt about that. And I figured, well hell, I can’t take he r back to the base. I had heard, that if I took her out of the village, they wouldn’t let her back. I knew that. So I figured ok, better come up with an answer that saves face real quick. When you’re in those situations, you think pretty fast, you know, so I said, ’thank you very much, well I, uh, I’ll be back for her, I have to prepare a place for her to sleep. So then the old man figures I’m really gonna… Well he picked me because I gave the boots to the kid. And he wanted somebody to find a way to get his daughter over to the land of milk and honey where the streets are paved with gold. Of course he loves the kid, it’s just, westerners think ‘he gave the kid away, he doesn’t give a shit bout his kid, but no, I i he loved his daughter and wanted her to have a better life. So either way I can’t say, ‘no no, I can’t do this’ so… So things went ok after that. I mean, we left, and we got maybe fifty yards down the road and then floored the goddamn jeep to get the hell out of there. For three weeks, I was telling Rawin why I couldn’t keep his sister. And he couldn’t get it, he just couldn’t get it. So I’m working in the message center and the phone rings. It’s the guard out at the gate. So the village chief and the boys with their old flintlock weapons, they had brought her. Because I didn’t come back, they had brought her. They had my name from the hooch boy, so he got ahold of me, and wanted know…evidently, he must have called the wing to find out where I was working. Right in the office, the phone rings, ‘what do you want me to do?’ And I said, tell them I went home! So I didn’t go off the base for about two months after that."

Wow. Not really that much to do with my topic, but still. To have someone killed in your honor and then be given someone's fifteen-year old daughter, and to be unable to refuse politely.

A guy I know in Laos, he avoids big communal get-togethers in Laos. Not his cup of tea, so to speak. He's Lao, but he finds all the requirements of manners and face to be oppressive, particularly the continuously-circling cup of Lao-lao (rice moonshine) that you cannot refuse in politeness. Everybody gets sloshed off of this rotgut, and he's not a drinker at all. So he avoids these things. I believe many of your have had the good fortune to sample the Lao-lao that I brought back to New York last time I was in Laos. Mmmm. Cheap rotgut. My favorite.

I wonder if I could mix that stuff into the fuel from my motorbike. It's certainly flammable, and much cheaper than gasoline.

A bottle of cheap whiskey I brought back from Myanmar was dubbed "Burmese Two-Stroke" by the group of us, since it's good for cleaning out the buildup in your bike.


Something from an old International Voluntary Service member, an interesting chap I met at the old soldiers reunion. The final thought is not particularly encouraging to a young fella trying a new thing, just because he wants to.

Think midwestern farm accent while reading this transcription. Kansas farmboy.

Begin transcription:

Well, what happened after I left Laos and went back to the united states?” Anti-waaar! What are you doin? What are you doin over in Laos?”
“Well, I taught’e to raise pigs.”
“Oh. Okay”
They didn’t give a shit.. So most of them just went into a cave. And said,
“I dunno anything about Laos.” And even I told them anything, they’d say,
“Oh! You’re part of the Waaar! You’re one of those sonsabitches.” But whatever. But what did, what all of Vietnam come back to the US was all about.
“You work for the military, you work for the war. You’re one of them.” And so, I had friends, they’d even, didn’t want to talk about it for ten years. Where you been? Whatd’ya been doin? And so, the post Vietnam, you didn’t talk about it. Two of these people that I knew of that spent a lot of time in Vang Pao’s area, if you may… And they said,
“I’ve been back, people spit on me. They didn’t want to hear about it, so I forgot about it.” They didn’t wanna talk about it. They just went into a cave, and said, I don’t wanna talk to you about it. You don’t wanna hear about it? I don’t wanna talk about it. It’s starting to kind of come out. Some of these people are saying maybe it’s ok to talk about it. I can think of any number of people, they were, take your pick, they were AID, they were IVS, they were USIS; a lot of those people just kinda said,
“You don’t wanna talk about it? Lets go onto something else. How’s your kids? How’s your wife? And so, you know, my part was the same thing.”
“How was Laos?”
“Oh! I did such and such…” And they said,
“Did you see the game last night? The Yankees were loving it! The Dodgers are losing!” Whatever. And I would argue that they’re still saying it. People are saying to me when I go home, I say, Oh I spent some time in Laos. But they don’t give a shit. So I guess my response to you is maybe, nobody gives a shit so why talk about it? And my question is who’s gonna buy your book? Who’s gonna read it?

End transcrition

Perhaps Larry's right; perhaps nobody gives a shit. No one gave a shit when it was current, according to him. We've got new wars. We've got lots of dramatic international intrigue on these days. Will anyone want to know about a little forgotten war up in the mountains of Southeast Asia? We'll see. In any case, I do.

Saturday, October 21, 2006


More species that I've named here:

Goddamned carrion flies. Can't keep them off of any broken skin. Tiny little bastards resembling fruit flies. I don't think they do anything, but it looks really nasty. Flies clustering at your wounds. I'm almost fully healed up, but there's one particularly deep gouge that's hanging around. And bacteria breed brilliantly in the tropics. Love those antibiotics. Hippies are always warning you against them, saying they screw up your system. Possible, but on balance? How much harm do they really do?

Brown Fish Eagle: Looks just like a Bald Eagle, frequents the river delta between Ranong, Thailand and Kawthaung, Myanmar, cruising over the rubber-stamp visa charade offices in the river.

Waistcoat Heron: similar shape to a Black-Crowned Night Heron from home, but it's body is brown on the back and body, white everywhere else. Looks like they're wearing a tweed vest.

Black-winged Heron: looks just like a Snowy Egret or Cattle Egret in non-breeding plumage(all-white small heron), but it has all-black primaries on it's wings, making for a striking imprint.

Screamer Beetle: About an inch long, but you never see them. Just the casting from a molt, stuck to a treetrunk, as if they're so loud they jumped out of their skins. You hear them ringing through the forest, a high-pitched electronic sounding whine, much louder and higher than that of a Cicada.

I think I mentioned the Walking Myna and the Talking Myna last time I posted on this topic, way back when. The walkers fill the same niche as Robins, also being about the same time. The talkers are all-black with a yellow wattle, and you've prehaps seen these in pet stores.

White-fronted tern: these resemble Forster's Terns in that they have a white patch at the very front of their black cap, but they're a bit smaller. Close to the coast they follow your boat and relentlessly plunge into your wake. Odd thing about them is sometimes when they catch something, they streak away immediately, as if taking the food somewhere else, even though I don't think it's nesting season.

Coconut Ape: They don't behave like this in the wild I don't think, but you see these on the end of a long leash scurrying up a coconut palm to knock them down for their owner, or sometimes you see them perched in the basket of a motorbike as it cruises past you. That I like. Sometimes you see little fluffy house dogs in the same position.

Luminescent Scorpion: At a party, it is a really bizarre sight. Scorpions invisible in the dark, but fluorescent under blacklight.

Ghost Crab: about two inches across, completely sand-colored. Recognizable especially by their sharp turreted eyes which stick up about an inch above the body of the crab. They dig deep burrows in the sand and sometimes jsut stick their turrets up above the surface to keep an eye out.

Blackrock crabs: Only visible when they leap off of the rocks into the ocean at your approach. Very well camouflaged for algae-covered rocks.

Reticulated Boxfish: They're shaped like a wedge you'd use to split logs, with an almost completely squared-off head. Patterned in black and beige almost like a python. About nine inches long.

Blue Dart: a tiny minnow-sized fish, but such a shimmering bright shade of iridescent blue that they're quite visible even when the water's cloudy.

Cleaner Minnow: Maybe more than one species. They go for scabs and soft parts of your body, nibbling in a way that's sometimes quite cheeky.

Bearded Kingfisher: This one's lovely. They've got a russet beard that extends down their chest under their heavy spearfishing bill,and when they fly or show you their back you see the brilliant iridescent blue wings and back. Such a bright shiny blue.

Piebald Osprey: They're much like the ospreys we've got in the states, same behavior, crook-armed dihedral flight silhouette, ragged fingertips, but they're much patchier in their mix of brown and white, notably with a white spot at the base of their tail.


Stuff from my interviews of the old soldiers that may not make it into the book:

From a CASI(Continental Air Services International) a contract subsidiary of Continental Airlines, working for the CIA and USAID in Southeast Asia during the troubled times) pilot, refutations of rumors about the activities of pilots over Laos:

"You know about airmailing? You don't know what airmailing is? You sit on the drop door and…[take a dump out the door, or in its nastier expression chuck a prisoner out the door as an interrogation method for prisoner #2 who got to stay int he plane.] We didn’t do it. No. No unconventional ordnance. We did not do it."

"I remember we carried some kind of hybrid pig one time. It had a disease, like that one that eats you out, you know the flesh-eating virus, and it was eating at the carcass. We were just carrying it to fix it! It was a special hybrid. We had to take it to the vet. I mean, it was expensive! They brought it all the way from the states, and it caught some kind of disease, a virus. I mean, it was a big goddamn pig. A big white pig."

From an Air America Pilot:

"The people, when they send you down there, there was a radio operation there, and every flight, was monitored by the White House. And when we went out of there, same number on the back of the airplane, another C-123 would take off in Vientiane and cross into Thailand, in case they lost the engine, they’d drop the load in the jungle somewhere."


There's a peculiar breed of justice here in Thailand, perhaps due to the intersection of large foreign economies with a smaller local one. Here are some stories I've heard that are rather unpleasant.

A Swedish friend of Carl's was sitting on his motorbike with the engine running, not moving. A young Thai guy whistled down the street on his, not looking where he was going, smashed full force into the Swede's rear. Nasty wreck. Injuries, motorbike damage all around. The poice show up, take a brief look around, and say to the unconscious Swede's girlfriend, "You pay."
"What? We weren't even moving!"
"You pay." The idea is that the Thai guy has no money, and the foreigner can always get money from somewhere, some magic fountain of cash that only flows in faraway places. It got worse. The man's bill's at the hospital added up to over 400,000 baht, due to numerous procedures necessary for the collapsed lung and the rest of it, and each procedure would not begin until the cash had been presented. So the girlfriend basically took up residence at the ATM at the hospital. This all took quite a long time, so needless to say their visas ran out. The girlfriend eventually took two letters from the hospital explaining their overstay and their inability to make a border run over to the immigration office. The bureaucrat behind the desk accepted the letter on behalf of the man, but to the girlfriend, they said, "No. You go. Go to a border." Her arguments notwithstanding that it was only her continuous presence at the hospital that was enabling her man to be treated, banging her head on a hardhearted wall of bureaucracy, he left in tears. I don't know what she did after that.

It's about the money. It's about the money, and not in a long-term sense. How horrible is that? Much worse than the shitbag cab driver who claimed that I had hit his particular waterpipe, when I was standing there covered in sand and blood under a geyser. Far worse than that.

Here's another awful one, also about motorbikes, also about money.

Justin was riding in Phuket, and doesn't recall what happened. What seems to be clear is some farmers found him on the road and pried the motorbike out of him where it had penetrated him, like the kickstand impaling his calf muscle. At this point what seems to have happened is the local town boss, something like the mayor of Phuket, had run him over while drunk in his big SUV, and then kept on moving. When Justin was at the hospital, apparently word got back to the town boss, so he sent one of his guys around to inform the friends of the still-unconscious man that he expected to be paid 40,000 baht (~1000$) for the damage to his SUV.

Last horror story.

Three friends, one Thai and two foreign, got busted smoking a joint. The bribes demanded were as follows. Mr. Thailand, kick down two grand (baht). Mr. France, we'll take 40 grand. Oh, Mr. Belgium with the loud mouth, You owe us sixty grand.

And that's the way it is. If you're a foreigner, you're expected to apologize with legal tender. It makes you a little cranky, stories like this.

I wonder what would have happenned if any of the parties in question said, ok, let's settle this properly. LEt's put this on the record, I'll get myself a Thai lawyer and we'll see how it pans out.

The fear is that speaking up for yourself could land you in worse trouble, since our rights are somewhat limited in a foreign place with its own logic of justice.

It's not all bad; A, who runs my guesthouse, has complained to me about the too-common greed and shortsightedness common amongst here people in touristed areas. She says, "yes, I love my people, but sometimes I hate them. So stupid sometimes!"

Regarding long-term foreign residents and tourists, an analogy to a cow might work. We see that the cow is drying up a bit. Rather than doing things like massaging the udder and beefing up the feeed for a bit with measures such as more generous visa policies and greater protection under the law, what seems to get done more often is measures like cutting open the udder to see if perhaps there's a little more milk hidden away in there somewhere. Lots of the laws enacted under the now-departed Thaksin fit that description. There are many many foreigners living here, working here, contributing their skills and cash to the economy, yet Thaksin was constantly finding ways to facilitate squeezing ever-more money out of them. Cracking down on loopholes enabling them to own businesses and homes, things like that. I know it's not just about squeeze, it's about keeping Thailand Thai, but it seems like that sometimes.

The logical explanation is that most of the folks around here have been living hand-to-mouth for such a long time, long-range planning is just not really part of the mentality. For many.

This will come home to roost, I think. Once Vietnam opens up further, and if they make things a bit easierm then Thailand will start losing its growing expat population. Vietnam's got just as many beaches, just as many pretty girls, the food's just as good, it's just harder to go there at this time.

The mentality is just so different from what we're used to in the west! Building for the future is not really part of the thought process. Building for cheap for now. I've got enough today. But what about tomorrow when there's no trees left, or fish left, or expats left, because you sucked too much money out of them in the short term? Um...

Glass houses: we've already developed, we've already savaged our natural resources, but I think we've learned a bit. Can't you take the good and bypass the bad, learn from our mistakes?


Saturday, October 14, 2006


I've healed up, gotten out into my own place, and am working again. At last. Fortunately, I have the luxury to be able to lag until the urge strikes to work. Not forever. Just for now.

Optimism about a self-powered project is a funny thing. Comes and goes. Can't predict when or why. This time, I thin I'm generally cheered up by a few different things. I'm pretty much healed up, with one oozy exception. I moved out on my own and have much more contact with strangers than I did. And paradoxically, paying attention to America has made me more excited about being here, largely through some lively correspondences with friends back home started while I was convalescing in a place with full-time internet. The monsoon rains are in full force here, but when they're not, it's gorgeous. I'm living on the beach. That's my view when you step out my door of my little bungalow.

A, the woman who runs my guesthouse said something funny to me when we were hanging out yesterday. She was telling me about what kind of guys she likes. She said, "I want him fat, balding, and starting to get old. That way he can't cheat on me." Fair enough. Her previous marriage didn't go so brilliantly I guess.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


Can't shave hairy scabs. So you end up looking even worse than you are.

Fear not, I only looked like this for a couple of days.

I will come back to America someday. Can't see making a life here.

I sit, therefore I heal. Faster.

Always have a vice, a retreat, a bugbear. trick is switching up the bugbear
away from what you actually want to get done.

Friday, October 06, 2006


In so many Hollywood movies, people get thrown off a cliff, shot, hit by cars or some other serious injury, then they just pick themselves up, grunt a few times, and keep on running or fighting or whatever hazardous activity they were just doing. The reason that bothers me is because I know it doesn't work that way. You are out of the race when you get racked up. I know this. I've been injured so many times that I know what it's like. Like today for instance; I've barely been able to move around I'm so beat up by the spill I took on my motorbike this morning. Rear wheel fishtailed out from under me on a sandy corner, tried to control it, couldn't, went down. My legs took the worst of it, my left one losing a bit of skin on the asphalt, my right getting a good whack off of the bike. It's really not so bad; I wasn't going too fast. But nonetheless, I got smacked around like a rag doll by the impact, and my joints are so stiff and sore that I can barely hobble around. Nothing's broken, just a bit of skin, but hell. I have been brought low. Reminds you a bit, getting banged up once in a while. Reminds you that yes, I too can fuck up badly. Also humbling is being dependent on one's kind friends to fetch food and water and other necessities while I'm laid up.

Interesting sidestory: during the skid, my left footrest hit a hose that was just at the surface. A jet of water conveniently came hissing out so I could clean up my wounds. Silver lining. A taxi pickup truck pulled over, and starting saying that it was his water pipe and that I ought to pay him for the damage. Sure. Right. Your hose. And you happened to be driving by at the exact moment this foreigner nailed it. No problem. Don't worry about it, don't ask me how I am. Just see an opportunity to scam someone to make a few baht and go for it. Try this one: go fuck yourself.

Another instance of degraded social relations between Thais and foreigners in touristy areas. I'm sure many of them have seen things here that give them no cause to see tourists as anything but cash fountains, but still. I thought that was in poor taste. Sven helped pick me up and dust me off and away we went. Wait, so I guess that contradicts what I wrote previously. I did just grunt and get up and resume. Just later, after things stiffened up that I've become totally decommissioned.

I am alive and well, although my various bits damn well hurt. And I'm getting a bike with tires less bald. That is, once I'm up to riding again in a day or two.

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