Written March to April 2011 while onboard M/T Ternvik
Bangkok - 1999 to 2000
It was nice to be back home in FUNKY TOWN. I don't remember what date I arrived, but my guess is that I didn't stayed for very long in Sweden when I was finished with my fire fighting course in Helsingborg.
But I remember that my plan was to stay home over the New Year. A new millennium and the New Year's party should be something very special.
Otherwise I try to be on a ship during Christmas and New Year in order to stay away from it. Well, back in 1999 and it was party almost every day, New Year or not.
I remember spending a lot of time running around looking for a condo in Bangkok. Hell, I even bought a Thai mobile phone so I could call on ads while on foot in Bangkok. And People showing condos could reach me while on foot in Bangkok.
And a mobile phone is nothing a fancy to carry around. But back then a mobile phone was the thing to be seen with. I remember RCA back then and they had baskets on the tables were people put their mobile phones. HEY! LOOK AT ME! I HAVE A MOBILE PHONE! Who cares?
Well, what do I remember from autumn of 1999. I remember that everyone was afraid of the Millennium bug. The ships had long checklist of stuff that had to be checked and I had decided to stay home celebrating the New Year's Eve in FUNKY TOWN. This was my first New Year's Eve at home for a long time, otherwise I try to stay on the ship during Christmas and new Year.
I also remember my friend coming to Bangkok.
- Do you know a good seafood restaurant? I treat!
Back then there was a seafood restaurant on Sukhumvit Soi 24. Next to the Forth, a popular disco back then. But I don't think any of it is left. Well, we went to the restaurant and I ordered a lobster.
- What the ? 4000 Baht!!
And I threw away most of it, it was like chewing on rubber. Well, the bill ended up at 12000 Baht and I paid half of the bill. My friend still complains about how expensive it was when we were on
the seafood restaurant.
takes place on the evening of the full moon of the 12th month in the traditional Thai lunar calendar. In the western calendar this usually falls in November.
"Loi" means "to float" and a "krathong" is traditionally made from a section of banana tree trunk. Modern krathongs are more often made of bread or Styrofoam. A bread krathong will disintegrate in a few a days and be eaten by fish and other animals. The traditional banana stalk krathongs are also biodegradable, but styrofoam krathongs are frowned on, since they are polluting and may take years to disappear. Regardless of the composition, a krathong will be decorated with elaborately-folded banana leaves, flowers, candles and incense sticks. A low value coin is sometimes included as an offering to the river spirits.
During the night of the full moon, Thais will float their krathong on a river, canal or a pond lake. The festival is believed to originate in an ancient practice of paying respect to the spirit of the waters. Today it is simply a time to have fun.
Governmental offices, corporations and other organizations usually create big decorated rafts. There are also local and officially organised raft competitions, regarding its beauty and craftsmanship. In addition, there are also fireworks and beauty contests during the celebration of the festival.
- Expensive! Motherf@cker! You were treating and I had to pay half the bill.
I also remember being on the Chao Phraya River with my life coach and his girl friend on Loy Krathong. We drove down to the river and it was crowded. I was wondering what I did there most of the time. We bought floats and we managed to get on a boat that took us out on the river so we could launch our floats. This was obviously a ritual the Thai's took serious.
They just gaped at me when I threw my float in to the Chao Phraya River. So that was 2 seconds of Loy Krathong fun, where is the bar? Yes, this was how I felt, what was so fun with this? And getting back was horrible. Millions of people down at the Chao Phraya River so getting out with the car were an experience.
Coming there, looking for a parking space for 2 hours. Walking to the Chao Phraya River 1 hour, and of course 1 hour to get back to the car. And then the traffic was at a full stop. But I remember that we found a bar where we had a beer before returning home to Rompo Mansion, my home back then.
Well, as this is almost 12 years ago (Written 2011) I can't remember very much. I remember that it was party almost every day and when I finally made it out of bed I walked around BAngkok looking for condo.
I got in touch with a Chinese couple claiming to be from Taiwan. They showed me a condo on Sukhumvit Soi 49, 250 or 300 m³ and we went to have a look at it. I was really interested, but I had my doubts about the Chinese couple. They behaved very strange, or maybe this was a normal way of behaviour for a Chinese couple.
When I decided to buy the condo on Soi 49 they claimed that the management wanted 500 000 extra for redecoration and I gave it a few days thought. When I called back they had a guy from Italy that wanted to buy the condo so I missed the opportunity.
My friend and his wife were on holiday in Thailand over Christmas and New Year. My friend's wife is from Taiwan so I brought them with me when the Chinese couple were showing me a condo on Sukhumvit Soi 23/ Soi 31. I didn't like the condo, a duplex without any windows to talk about. But my friend's wife told me that the Taiwanese couple spoke Cantonese with each other and not Taiwanese. They thought my friend's wife was from Thailand so they spoke Chinese with each other but both my friend and his wife understood every word they were saying.
Of course, this didn't make me feel any better about them and I decided not to have any business with them.
Well, they called me back a few days later and told me that the Italian guy couldn't find the money. So I could buy the condo, they were going to give the Italian guy a few more days and then it would be mine.
Sukhumvit Soi 49, today I'm really glad I didn't buy that condo. Try to move on that Soi on a Friday afternoon. Pretty much all the Sois between Soi between Soi 22 and Thong Lor is at a full stop on Friday afternoons. I and my friend were on the way to a bar for beers one Friday, we just wanted to drop by a condo somewhere around Soi 39.
It took us 3 hours just to get to Sukhumvit, so stay well clear of that area. And how easy is it to get a taxi on these small back Sois? Not very easy. I had been looking at a condo on Soi 23 that I really liked and I wanted to buy it. Well, when I called (drunk) to the female Real Estate Agent to go have a second look at the place I tried to crack a few jokes and I never heard from her again.
My friend and his wife left for Chiang Mai by train on Christmas Eve and I would meet them there on the 25th of December. I would have Christmas dinner with my friends' in Bangkok and I would fly to Chiang Mai the following afternoon and we would meet at the hotel.
I had bought Christmas gifts at Emporium and as soon as I had handed them over on the Christmas dinner I started to drink. I only remember that we had the dinner at The Wall, a Swedish restaurant between Surawong and Silom. The food, well, Swedish Christmas food is nothing to write home about. But I had plenty beer and that is like drinking bread.
I took a Thai Airways flight from Don Muang to Chiang Mai and there was a car picking me up at Chiang Mai airport. He took me to the hotel and my friends' had booked me a room so it was just to check in. The winter of 1999/2000 was a record cold winter in Thailand. Back in Bangkok the Thais were wearing winter jackets. But in Chiang Mai it was freezing cold and I only had shorts and shirts with short sleeves with me.
We were soon drinking Margaritas in a bar at Chiang Mai grand bazaar or whatever they call the darn place. And the best thing with the bar was that they had a deaf girl in charge of the music. Back then it was cassette players and I handed them one of my tapes. Yes, back then I always had a tape in my pocket. You never know when you end up wanting to listen to some FUNKY music.
Well, it was just to give her the internationally recognised sign for “Please, crank it up I can't hear the lyrics” and we were soon having the music blasting high on the Richter scale. Hell, it was heard over half of Chiang Mai.
And it was cold. Even I was freezing cold and when I'm cold it is cold. I don't remember how many people died of the cold that year, but I remember reading in the news papers that they had big problem. Nothing I could understand while sitting in Bangkok. But here I really understood how cold it could be in Thailand.
We had several Margaritas and my friend was soon capsizing. When I meet them the day after his wife told me that she had found him in the bathroom in the middle of the night.
- HE WAS GREEN!
She had called the Doctor so there had been some middle of the night dram in their room with all the people and emergency crew in the room. But when I meet them he was back to his natural colour.
I stayed 2 days in Chiang Mai, 2 days too long if you ask me. There is really nothing to do up there. So it was nice to be back in Bangkok so I could get the New Years Eve celebration done with. By now I was bored senseless and I wanted to go work again. Yes it is fun to party, but I had had enough. But New Year's Eve or bust!
They had called me from Tärntank and they had asked if I wanted to join one of their ships. But I had told them that I wanted to be home over the New Year's Eve.
New Year's Eve on Khaosan Road and I meet a girl at Suzi's Bar that I had not seen for at least 4 years. Last time I saw her she told me she had ran away from home. She was angry with her mother. And I understood it as they were quite rich. I don't remember why she had run away, maybe just some youthful argument with her mother. Back then I used to live at the classic Bangkok Hotel, Hotel 27 on Sukhumvit Road Soi 22. I remember that there used to hang flowers on my door when I came back to the hotel and it was this very girl that used to come with the flowers.
Well, anyway, I was standing at Suzi's bar drinking vodka with orange when I heard “ALADDIN!”
And there she was next to me and she had some girls from USA or England with her. She had moved back home and she was study at an international school and the other girls were her class mates. And this time around she was going around in her mother's chauffeured car.
And this girl was very very beautiful, and of course, this was not without problem. There were 3 Thai gays behind us touching her all time. She told them to stop but it didn't help. They were soon pinching her butt and I lost it.
- F@CK OFF MOTHERF@CKERS!!
These 3 guys shat their pants and they ran off, and it doesn't take much to figure out who turned in to a real hero. Well, anyway, meeting her at Suzi's bar is the only thing I remember form the New Year's Eve 1999. Well, this is more than 11 years ago and I have never seen her again. Can't help but wonder what she is doing today.
After 4,5 months holiday I signed on
M/T Tärnland 8th of February in Brofjorden.
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