December 21-31, 2007
On Sunday, Thailand will hold a national election to replace the 'government' created by the army coup of September 2006. The coup ousted the last democratically elected government.
Stephff, a political cartoonist at The Nation prefers to see the election go to the dogs (*).
(*) 'Soi' means 'street.' Bangkok has lots of soi dogs; dogs who live on the streets and have no owners. They are generally friendly.
PS: The Pope comes out of his Holy Closet:
PPS From Monty Python
Chaplain: Let us praise God.
[The congregation rises.]Chaplain: O Lord ...
[The congregation sits again.]
Not all soi dogs lack owners, as evidenced by the collars on these two. But, all soi dogs are capable of sleeping anywhere.
PS: We have booked Christmas Eve dinner at the Millennium Hilton (*). This will be a first for us as in the past we have always done it at The Oriental of The Peninsula.
(*) The little red circle on the map shows our table for 5.
I love Sundays mostly because of the funnies.
PS: I didn't think people did this anymore; well, except in really undeveloped parts of the world. Maybe now that the Pope has 'outed' Himself (see above) Tony feels he can 'out' too.
PPS: I almost forgot. Today Thais went to the polls to choose a new Parliament. The odds makers are putting their bahts (money) on the PPP (People's Party). The PPP is a surrogate of the TRT (Thai Loves Thai party). Many people here speculate that if the PPP forms a government Thaksin will return to Thailand. Needless to say, those who engineered the September 2006 coup are uncomfortable.
PPPS: At 18:41 Bangkok time, with 37% of the vote counted, the PPP is way ahead. I am sure that Manchester United is pleased. In case you did not know it, Thaksin owns Manchester United. He bought the football team in order to have something to do while in the UK.
Last P: The PPPs won.
Last night the expressions on the faces of the Democrats tell the story.
And, today's newspapers confirm it.
Reader Phillip corrects me; I named the wrong Manchester team as the one that Thaksin bought.
"Thaksin bought Manchester city!!!!
Both dishes looked delicious.
Crows visit the Athenee Residence. A good omen?
Traffic on the way home was heavy.
PS: God never seems to be happy with his Christmas gifts. Every Boxing Day ever since I have been keeping a record he takes a swipe at people, especially those who live in Asia. Remember his super-fit in 2004?
JAKARTA, Indonesia (CNN) — Landslides triggered by heavy rains on the Indonesian island of Java have killed scores of people, with at least 61 feared dead, a search and rescue official told CNN Wednesday.
According to Sutarso, who only goes by one name, about 100 people are assisting with the search, but are not able to reach all areas. Heavy equipment to help in clearing the debris is en route.
KATHMANDU, Nepal (CNN) — Authorities in a remote region of Nepal searched downstream up to 20 miles (30 km) for bodies Wednesday, one day after a suspension bridge collapsed, sending hundreds of Hindu festivalgoers into the water below.
The bridge collapsed under the weight of hundreds of people, police said.
While many people swam to safety, 15 bodies have been recovered, with another 33 people confirmed as missing, authorities said. Earlier reports had up to 200 people missing.
Exact figures were difficult to come by, as many family members were separated from each other in the confusion after the collapse.
Rescuers took 20 women and 12 men to a hospital, police said.
While initial reports suggested the river's currents were swift, photographs of the scene sent to CNN showed a relatively slow flowing river.
The pictures also showed the bridge was just a few yards above the water, contrary to earlier reports that it spanned a gorge with the river as far as 100 feet below.
"The bridge collapsed because there were hundreds of people on it," said Nepal police officer Nibandha Budha. "They had gone to the river for a three-day Hindu religious festival on the occasion of full moon."
The number of people on the bridge is estimated between 700 and 1,000, Budha said.
The 120-yard-long bridge spanned the snow-fed Bheri River in the Surkhet district, about 280 miles (450 kilometers) southwest of Kathmandu. The river is fed by snow from the Himalayas.
The men, women and children -- taking part in the final day of the festival -- were crossing the bridge from one religious site to another when the structure gave way, police said.
Nepalese soldiers and police officers were involved in the rescue effort, which was hampered by the remoteness of the location.
My friend Hermann sent us some wine glass identifiers; as you can see, two corkscrews are represented.
From Goodshit ... better than food shots, huh?:
A post Goodshit table:
After a six month make-over the Italian restaurant Angelini has opened again in the Shangri-La hotel. Located on three levels it has two bars, two dining floors and an outdoor eating area. As we live right across the road from the Shangri-La hotel I hope to see a lot of this place up until the time we move to Ruam Rudi.
Your choice: two food shots from my last evening's meal or this clever chicken piece from my friend Susan.
Tonight we are going to The Peninsula for dinner and to watch the fireworks. The river traffic suggests this will be an active evening. And the fireworks boats can be seen loading up.
PS: My friend, Dan, from Shanghai and Taipei just returned from a cruise with his charming wife, Jill. He writes:
Dear Alf and Wacharee,
How are you doing?
Jill and I just returned home after a 5-night holiday cruise to Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand. We had good time on board the ship as well as on all ports of call.
Please find some attached images which were taken last week.
Five of us had dinner at The Peninsula hotel: Watcharee and I, Pom and Golf and our friend Alex. This first set of photos shows us 'on the way'.
Sort of a Pre-PS:
Our family bakery was once involved in this. Many years ago I contracted with the RC Church to provide Eucharists (SP?) ... well, croutons for all those holy Masses ... you know, the stuff that communion takers were supposed to eat when they pretended that they were chomping down on Jesus's flesh. But, they (the Cardinals of the Church) were more interested in plain stiff white bread that they could slap on cheeks. So, we gave them toast.
Image of a piece of toast seen on face of the Virgin Mary
Pilgrims were flocking to the Hampshire town of Basingstoke today after a local woman claimed to have seen a vision of a piece of toast on a picture of the Virgin Mary at her local church. Betty Tilley, 42, was praying silently at the Sacred Heart Catholic church when she looked up to see a ray of light slanting in through the window, illuminating a reproduction painting of the Virgin Mary and as she moved closer she was amazed by what she saw.
"There's just no question in my mind that it was a miracle. Right there, on the face of the Holy Mary, Mother of God, I could see a nice piece of toasted sliced white bread. The amazing thing is that it was just like the one I had had for breakfast, so clearly this must be some kind of message from God."
When news of the apparition spread, a crowd of pilgrims rapidly flocked to the church to witness the toast miracle for themselves. A tented camp sprang up and around two thousand people from all over the UK started queueing for a chance to view the holy snack solution.
Some claimed that the appearance of the toast heralded the end of the world as know it, and that a new world order based on liberty, justice and wholewheat loaves for all would soon follow. Although one local said his little brother had drawn the picture of a piece of toast on the painting for a laugh.