philsquest

the adventure I find myself in / das Abenteuer in dem ich mich finde

Category: Living in Thailand (page 1 of 10)

End of the school holidays

 My kids had a long summer break and tomorrow it is back to school for two of them. My oldest daughter finished school and has plans for this year. Two weeks we spent at the beach in Au Nang Krabi. A place we like as a family. Highlights were rock climbing at Railey, scuba diving, slack lining at the beach, climbing and jumping from cliffs, kayaking and just relaxing at the beach.

I hope to do some more climbing this year. Unfortunately the rain in Chiang Mai is not letting up and so we couldn’t go as often as we wanted to . Yesterday I went bouldering at CMRCA with my youngest and we both enjoyed it a lot. My hands were pretty wounded and today I needed a long rest.

Cobra in the garden

This is how the snake looked like (not the actual one)

Yesterday the gardener was cutting the lawn and some bushes in our front yard when I saw him hitting something with a long bamboo stick. I went out to asked him what he found. Somehow I knew it was probably a snake. He showed it to me and said it is a งูเห่า (Ngu Hau) which means cobra. I asked him if it was poisonous. He smiled and said this one is very poisonous; he was scared of them because they are deadly. Then he added this was a small one, only about a meter and a little thicker then my thumb.

Of course this is not the first snake I have seen. We encountered many over the years. Usualy the once we have seen are not poisonous. Still it reminded me that we actually have dangerous creatures around and sometimes in our house. Like in other posts Centepede, and Snake alarm

UN Irish Pub

This Friday we are playing in the Irish Pub again. Our once a month gig. (Always last Friday in the month) We start after eight and play sometimes close to midnight.

So if your are in Chiang Mai and you like Irish Folk and other folk music then come and listen and also enjoy original Guiness. Yes, best Guiness in town and also great food at the UN Irish Pub.

UBC True Vision office Chiang Mai gone!

We use the UBC true vision to get tv to our house. We have done so for years because there is no good alternative. Sure I am not really happy with the all of their service. Especially that UBC loves to move channels around, charge more money then Swiss providers would dare and the latest, that the UBC true vision office in Chiang Mai has suddenly disappeared.

Yesterday I wanted to go and pay the bill and the office was gone. With it also Siam TV a big shop for electronics that managed the Chiang Mai office was gone to. No notice where they moved or a letter to their subscribers.

This morning I phoned UBC true vision in Bangkok about my billing status. I haven't received a bill even though someone from true vision phoned me a month ago and said they would do so. The friendly guy in the billing department will send me the bill via e-mail. To the question where the true vision office in Chaing Mai moved to he answered that they haven't received the new address yet. Living in Thailand still an adventure after 11 years 🙂

Thai Drivers Lisence

If you are in Thailand for a longer time it is worth to get a Thai drivers license. I know that many expats drive their cars with their their regular license and get away with it. If you get stopped you bribe the police man. Another group drives their international license. But Usually those are not valid longer then a year. But why going through the trouble of getting a Thai drivers license? There are several reasons. 

First it is the law (even in Thailand) to have a valid drivers lisence. An international lisence is okay, but it has to be valid. 

Second. If you ever get in a bad accident, you want to have a valid drivers license. (This is especially with motorbikes). You will have enough problems without an invalid license.

Third. You can use the drivers license as a ID card for banking business, at national parks or any kind of place in Thailand and get treated more respectfully and not just as a tourist. Therefore get the Thai price at the parks and zoo’s. Be aware that you can’t use the drivers license to board a plane!

I found the Car registration office in Chiang Mai quite efficient. You still have to take about a day off to do this. Because you need to get an amount of papers and copies first. Then at the place you need to apply, do a reaction test, a color test and watch a forty minute video about Thai traffic laws (I must say I learned alot from the video and was surprised that there are laws in Thailand for traffic).

Here I wrote out the note I got from the office. This is for the renewal of the license

1. Non-Immigrant visa and Passport copy (bring the original Passport as well)

2. Certificate of Residency from the Embassy or consulate, or from the Immigration office, or Workpermit, or Residence book(the yellow book) copy and original.

3. Medical certificate

4. Your old Thai drivers lisence

5. Pay the fee of 505 Baht for car, 255 Baht for motorbike

If you have to do a license for car and motorbike you need to make 2 copies of the documents

You also need to come in 9.00 A.M. or 1P.M. to watch the video and do the testing. Of course everyone who lives in Thailand knows that those things and regulations change about every year a little and you need to inform yourself about what you need. For example the last time they didn’t want a medical certificate. 

Finally. Take something to read along or a friend to talk etc. Even though I think they were very efficient, you still have to wait because there are so many people. 

Flower power

This is a “Gänseblümchen” Bellis Perrenis in Latin, or kind of daisies in English. I found them only in one place in Thailand.
High up in the mountains at Doi Angkharn in the North of Thailand. This photo though was taken last year in Switzerland in the alps. I know strangly this is one of my favorate flowers. Perhaps because it grows on any field in Switzerland.
When I found one in Thailand my heart took a leap 🙂

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Here the one from Doi Angkharn, Northern Thailand.

Flying Ants

Rainy season started in Chiang Mai. It has rained every day the last week. In the evening after the rain stops the flying ants come out for the "light party" looking for a girl. Yeah right they are all male. Then after a short time partying they drop to the floor and die of exhaustion. What a life! 

It's on me next day to clean up the mess. I feel like the bartender who has to throw the drunks out after hours. I just throw them over the wall after the birds have feasted on them. 
To be honest I also tasted some over the years. Thai people fry them and it them with some fish sauce…… yummy…. they are high on proteins. I cannot really warm up those bugs as a snack, but perhaps I should dip them in chocolate next time.

Here are some pictures:

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Last week in short

It is Sunday. The kids are in a camp for three days and it is so quite around the house. I spent two days in the mountains. We had to drive pipes and building material to a remote area in the Hui Kau Laam valley. My truck suffered a little, got scratched up and the tail gate was bend under the heavy load. 

Driving back and forth through the forest I realized how much this placed has changed in the last 8 years I have come here. It used to be populated by four Lahu villages, which all have been relocated in the last four or five years. Further back in the deeper forest where we did our biggest water project the forest has disappeared due to slash and burn farming. There is a lack of land for the growing population of hill-tribe people in this area. Alot of the beautiful bamboo, the village has it's name from has been cut down for sale to orange farmers. Somehow sad what is happening in this once so very beautiful valley.
Enoch said how he remembered us coming here regularly to share the love of God with the people deep in the valley where in rainy season it was sometimes impossible to enter. All this is slowly disappearing and we are left with memories and pictures from our digital cameras.

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On the last trip back from the jungle I caught a terribly itchy rash that lasted the last three days. Today I feel a bit better. I had to take some strong antihistamine that made me quite tired. 

Friday evening I played with the Itinerants in the UN Irish pub. Once again I realized how much I enjoy playing folk music. 

This is last week in short. I wish you all a good start into the new week.

Thai Language studies

I finished module six in my Thai studies and past the test with a mere 75%. I guess I could have done better. My problem is still the writing part. I just don't practice enough. I started with module 8 today. Module 8 is all about social problems in Thailand. It is quite a jump from module 6 and the first lesson was rather challenging due to a much bigger vocabulary. 

Staying in continuous Thai studies for the last year really helped improve my Thai alot and greatly encouraged work with my staff as well. Things are getting so much easier as my ability to have more complicated talks with them. There is still a long way to go to be as fluent as in English. But I really hope to get there some day. 

Ein tödlicher Unfall

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Als ich Gestern ins Büro in die Stadt ging fand ich dieses Gebilde neben dem Eingang. Ich wusste sofort das da Jemand sein Leben verloren hat. Hier in Thailand sieht man des öftereren kleine Sandhaufen mit Fähnchen am Strassenrand. Ein Unfall mit tödlichem Ausgang. 

Ich ging zum Essensstand gegenüber der Strasse und fragte was passiert ist. Die Frau sagte mir das eine 67 jährige Grossmutter auf dem Motorad von einem Auto angefahren wurde. Die Grossmutter wohnte gegenüber von meinem Büro. Sie erlag drei Tage später ihren verletzungen im Spital.
Die Familie machte die Sandhäufchen und die Fähnchen dorthin so das der Geist der Frau mit einem Segen in den Himmel gehen kann. Ich lies mir sagen das die Grosse Anzahl der Fähnchen im Sand auf das hohe alter der Person die starb hinwies. Im kleinen Topf hinten wurden Räucherstäbchen verbrannt.

Heute Morgen waren die Sandhäufchen verschwunden. Ein Tanklastwagen, der die Strasse reinigte, schwemmte den Sand zur Seite. Nur ein paar Fähnchen, welche von dem tragischen Unfall zeugten lagen noch im Gebüsch.

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