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Trials and tribulations 2. Returning to Thailand in the Covid era – a personal view

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by guest writer David Jackson

Part II in the series of articles from David who has been writing from his quarantine room. David waxes lyrical as even the tiniest moments seem larger than life in his 25 square metre cocoon…

I begin writing this second article on Day 7 of my quarantine in a Bangkok hotel, so the sentence of quarantine minus hard labour is halfway complete. I am officially ‘covid free’ following my nasal attack from two charming nurses a couple of day’s ago and this result represents some very good news indeed. Nevertheless, I can hardly announce that I am in any way euphoric because I am definitely beginning to struggle with the boredom.

Thoughts of Papillon begin to come to mind as I focus in on my sealed window to my illegal balcony; I can hear the odd sound of humans from the complex, however I don’t think they have set up the guillotine from the 70s film quite yet… pull yourself together David… you can do it!

So, how do I keep busy, maintain spirits and not pile on the kilos too much whilst restricted to the confines of a fairly tiny room with a limited view?

Luckily, I prudently remembered to bring a tube of glue, some poster paints plus a craft knife whilst panic packing last week so I have been surprisingly busy on constructing a Thai temple complex using some of the recycled boxes used to provide me with my three daily square meals. You can see the fruits of my labour when boredom initiates motivation in the accompanying photograph. My apologies to any perfectionists reading this article… I cannot guarantee any specific scale, it was just nice to pass the time.

Trials and tribulations 2. Returning to Thailand in the Covid era – a personal view | News by The Thaiger

The food is surprisingly good and I have used the halfway milestone to switch from Thai to ‘Farang’ food. So, the volumes of carbohydrate in the form of rice have now been replaced by something slightly more familiar to my western palate; the food is adequate and does the job and will probably do a particularly bad job to my rapidly expanding western belly if I am not careful.

Unfortunately, though, the volume of food packaging is quite disconcerting although I believe this is all part of our new neurotic regime; it will probably have to be incinerated to cover the rare event that it might indeed be covered in covid.I can almost see the perplexed faces of all future geologists examining the brief epoch of human expansion and wondering where all my pointless plastic knives, forks and bags surrounded by larger bags suddenly came from in their ice core.

So, back to the boredom…

I decided a few days ago that some kind of exercise routine might be in order. Luckily the wifi in this hotel is excellent so I had no problem enjoying, yet failing miserably, to recreate the shapes from some random yoga sessions on You Tube. In looking for further adventure I discovered that by placing both of my single beds into the centre of the room it was possible to make a figure of eight track and, when augmented by the judicious placing of my huge pile of dirty washing on the floor, it was possible to introduce a small chicane along the home straight. Hence, in classic Schumacher style, my increasingly competitive time for twenty laps of my abode is rapidly reducing as my desire to escape begins to increase, sounds like a kind of weird maths paper… “If X represents boredom and Y represents the number of laps a slightly autistic quarantining expat runs around his room in time T, use algebra, trigonometry or maybe even bananas to express how X is inversely proportional to YxT!”

Oh… what’s that, a sound of a door squeaking and emanating from my deserted corridor? I cautiously open mine less than an inch so as not to upset the rigorous anti-covid regime in place and behold, with eyes peering out at me I spy a fellow human lurking in room 925.Quickly we both realise the poignancy of this fortuitous random timing and, with doors held firmly ajar at less that 5 degrees a conversation of magnitude begins for the first time in a week.

With visions of claxons blaring and boots stomping like some kind of prisoner of war film, my fellow Brit, Michael, and myself begin a quality conversation about nothing. The sheer delight of face to face discussion , albeit sideways through the thin slit of a thoroughly soundproofed door, is amazing as we both quite boringly realise we are both teachers and therefore have nothing seemingly interesting to talk about.

Nevertheless, a human is a human so I wish my fellow expatriate every success in his new international school and we agree to meet in a similar fashion tomorrow to talk about exciting things such as phonics, onomatopoeia and why that man is currently randomly blowing his whistle outside in the car park as no one even bats an eyelid!

My final article, assuming the light at the end of the tunnel finally arrives, will be on Monday where I will go through the pre-departure documentation again more thoroughly as there is some ambiguity in the current process. In the meantime If anyone knows an invisible barber please ask them to breeze into my hotel to sort out my scruffy mop. Thank you.

David Jackson in an English teacher and former headmaster from London working at St Mark’s International School, Bangkok.

You can read David’s previous article HERE.

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Avatar

    TIMOTHY

    September 10, 2020 at 2:11 pm

    He said the second piece would tell about the paperwork needed and instead he publishes this tripe? Seems to think people want to listen to him blather.

  2. Avatar

    Patrick Nouvel

    September 10, 2020 at 3:02 pm

    May Isuggest the government scientists to study the world scientists suggestions of 7 days quarantine enough after tests,it would ease a lot the tourism industry + surrounding economy. After all washing hands, Distanciation and mask can already eliminate 95% of risks potentials easing the return to jobs and normal lives of millions.

  3. Avatar

    Peter

    September 10, 2020 at 3:54 pm

    Dear David,

    I’m sorry to hear that you are a virtual prisoner due to the “Covid-19” hoax. There is no quarantine necessary because there is no virus nor is there any test that can detect it and the sooner people start rising up in the face of these insane restrictions the better our world will be.
    By the way – if you need something to occupy your time I would suggest taking up meditation. Its probably the best way you can spend your time.
    Good luck.
    Peter

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Road deaths

Bangkok DJ dies in high speed crash on notorious ‘death road’

Caitlin Ashworth

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PHOTO: INN News

A well known local DJ died early this morning in a high speed car crash on a Bangkok road bend nicknamed “Curve of 100 Deaths.” Police say his car’s speedometer was found stuck at 200 kilometres per hour.

Police suspect 33 year old Annop Poonsripattana was going around a curve when he lost control of the car due to the slippery road conditions from the rain. His black Toyato Altis was found smashed into an electricity pole around 2:30am today. The impact caused Annop to be flung to the back seat. Police say his skull was shattered and his neck broken.

A security guard at a nearby building says heard an explosion and the electricity cut out. The entire area went black, he says. The so called “Curve of 100 Deaths” is near Ratchada Criminal Court in Bangkok’s Chatuchak district. The guard says many fatal crashes happen on the road.

“This area is highly prone to road accidents. Just last week a mother and her small child were killed here.”

The Ratchada Road curve so dangerous that locals honk when driving through the curve to show respect and to ask for permission from the spirits of those who have died there for safe passage, according to Coconuts Bangkok. In the past, many people have left offerings like zebra statues in honour of those who died in car incidents while driving on the road.

Annop played music at many entertainment venues in Bangkok. He was also a contestant in the Take Me Out Thailand TV show in 2015. An autopsy is being done at the Police General Hospital. Electricians are working to fix the electricity pole and restore power.

Bangkok DJ dies in high speed crash on notorious ‘death road’ | News by The Thaiger

An event with Annop Poonsripattana.

SOURCES: Nation Thailand | Coconuts Bangkok

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Road deaths

1 dead, 2 injured, as out-of-control construction truck ploughs into family car

Maya Taylor

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1 dead, 2 injured, as out-of-control construction truck ploughs into family car | The Thaiger
PHOTO: The Pattaya News

A man has died, and his parents have been injured, after a construction truck lost control and ploughed into their car, crushing the vehicle and killing the 27 year old driver instantly. The Pattaya News reports that the truck also hit 5 other vehicles in the incident, which occurred in the Minburi district of Bangkok.

The truck driver, named as 41 year old Piean Sricharoen, says he was having problems with the truck’s brake booster while travelling from the central province of Saraburi. While attempting to emergency park in the middle lane to check the booster, the truck began to lose its balance, crashing into surrounding vehicles. One witness confirms the account, saying the truck began to sway back and forth before crashing into the victim’s car, crushing the vehicle, and causing a 7 car pile-up.

Emergency workers arrived on the scene and rushed the dead man’s parents to a nearby hospital. The truck driver has been charged with reckless driving causing death and is in police custody.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

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Bangkok

Bangkok officials issue advice to motorists to avoid parliament area due to protest

Maya Taylor

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Bangkok officials issue advice to motorists to avoid parliament area due to protest | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Jakapan Chumchuen / Flickr

Bangkok motorists would do well to avoid the roads around the Sappaya-Sapasathan building later today, with a political rally set to take place there this afternoon. That’s the word from officials, who have issued guidance to motorists ahead of the protest in front of the new parliament building, expected to kick off at 2pm and continue late into the evening.

According to a report in Nation Thailand today, the Metropolitan Police Bureau are advising drivers to avoid Kiak Kai Road, in front of the parliament building, as well as a number of other roads in the vicinity.

“On Thursday afternoon, the Free Youth group will hold a political rally in front of Parliament, where a meeting to amend the constitution is taking place. We expect the rally to start at 2pm and last until 10pm.”

MPB chief Pakkapong Pongpetra adds that the following roads are also best avoided:

• Samsen Road (from Bang Kra Beu intersection to Kiak Kai intersection)
• Pracharat Sai 1 Road (from Kiak Kai intersection to Bang Pho intersection)
• Thaharn Road (from Kiak Kai intersection to Saphan Daeng intersection)

Nation Thailand reports that drivers who need to get from Bang Kra Beu intersection to Bang Pho intersection are advised to take Amnuay Songkram Road, to Rama V Road, Techa Wanich Road, Pracharat Sai 2 Road, and finally Bang Pho intersection.

Pakkapong says officials are not expecting any trouble at today’s rally. The rally was announced last Sunday by protesters at the weekend demonstration held around the grounds of the Thammasat University’s Tha Prachan campus and the adjacent Sanam Luang royal parade grounds. The weekend protests attracted around 30,000 people.

“Protest leaders have asked Parliament for permission to hold the rally and have promised to obey the law and not block public roads. The MPB expects the rally to end peacefully, when the meeting concludes at 10pm.”

Despite officials’ confidence that the rally will pass off without incident, security has been tightened around the building. Additional police officers are being drafted in, as well as a security patrol along the Chao Phraya River, and an evacuation helicopter in the event senior parliamentarians need to make a swift getaway.

Meanwhile, motorists in need of further traffic information or roadside assistance can visit www.trafficpolice.go.th or call 1197.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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