Stickman's Weekly Column May 6th, 2007

When Her Heart Is Broken


Saying goodbye to a Thai woman is never an easy thing, particularly if it is you who informs her that your relationship has reached its conclusion. Her reaction to the bad news is seldom without drama and can include anything from a torrent of tears, to the destruction of property to, in a worst case scenario, a mad dash to the balcony and threats to end it all if you really want to end it with her.

The sight of a dumped Thai women is a sad one indeed. They don’t just cry, they wail and howl and you wonder if they will ever stop. It is how I would imagine someone would respond to the loss of their last remaining relative, or the loss of a child, but we’re only talking the loss of a boyfriend here.

Thai women take relationship breakups with farang guys badly indeed. If you only see the tears then it’s not so bad. Some guys see their life’s possessions flying across the apartment, and not infrequently, off the balcony. Just why do Thai women often respond so badly when their relationship with Khun Farang goes bad?

I believe that there are a combination of factors that can make a Thai woman get extremely upset, or even go crazy, when she is dumped by her Western boyfriend.

For Thai women who aren’t new to Western men and who are confident of meeting another guy quickly the departure of a boyfriend won't be nearly as bad as it will for a lass who met her prince charming by chance. Having got used to the advantages of a Western boyfriend, part of the hurt might be in thinking that he is simply irreplaceable – she just might not know where to find a new one. Of course this wouldn't apply to the Internet brigade nor ladies of the night.

Her tears could simply be a result of the despair of having her hopes of a future together with Mr. Right shattered. She may have truly been in love with him and dreamed of an idyllic future, a nice house with a picket fence in the suburbs, 2.2 kids and a dog – or whatever the silly average is these days. For women who do truly fall in love, of course she is going to be heartbroken if it is unexpectedly called off. But Mr. Cynic here does not think that this is the primary reason…

We’d be kidding ourselves if we didn’t acknowledge that many Thai women seek to marry a Westerner for the perceived security that he provides. Not all of them, mind you, but when you look around and see age gaps in excess of 20 years it is clear that our rugged good looks are hardly the first and foremost reason for choosing one of us over a Thai bloke closer in age. Thai women are pragmatic and fully aware that a mature Western guy can provide for her AND her family. So when we walk away, the dreams she had of being looked after, leading a sabai sabai life and knowing that her family would be taken care of too, are gone. This can be quite a hit. Sabai sabai is a big deal in Thailand and when pressed, most Thais are quite happy to reach the sabai sabai level. Being rich is really not that big a deal but being sabai sabai (comfortable to the point that you don't need to work nor worry about money) is. The loss of a pleasant lifestyle and a return to what may have been a rather meager existence hardly excites anyone.

It never ceases to amaze me how many Western guys have a Thai girlfriend who keeps a room that they have never seen. If your teeruk has kept digs but you haven't checked them out yet, do so! You'll see just what sort of life she lived before meeting you. I know I would find it hard to live like that…

Let’s say a local lass has an income of 16,000 Thai baht a month, a reasonable salary for a woman with a degree and a Bangkok office job. Her rent is probably around 3,000 baht a month and other apartment related expenses are perhaps 500 baht per month. If she is from upcountry she probably sends a couple of thousand baht home each month. Women’s expenses – cosmetics, beauty salon etc. – probably run around 1,500 baht a month – and for many that would be very conservative. The prettier they are, the more they spend. Let’s say getting to and from work is a total of 70 baht a day, a skytrain ride and maybe a quick hop up and down a soi on a motorbike. That’s another 1,500 baht a month. Our 16,000 baht salary now has just 7,500 baht left. At a measly 100 baht for food a day, it doesn't leave much for all the other things a modern girl wants. The bottom line is that despite earning what is considered to be a reasonable salary by local standards, Thai women do not necessarily have a great life on that money. The loss of a relatively wealthy boyfriend in a country where boyfriends pay for most things makes a real difference to a woman’s lifestyle.

Now if the parents knew about him, and if he had visited the family, then of course there can be some face loss if the Western guy suddenly disappears. He had visited the family at their home – and that means the neighbourhood if not the entire village knows about them! People will ask about the handsome farang who had visited and his departure will be noticed and will be talked about. When is he coming to visit again? Why didn't she bring him on her last visit? When will they get married the neighbours will ask. Once it is clear that he is no longer around his departure will cause a loss of face to the girl AND her family, something which every Thai woman wants to avoid at all costs. Causing family to lose face is about the worst thing a Thai can do.

Of course the loss of face is not exclusive to her family, but to herself too. I don’t know if it is a Thai woman thing or just a women thing, but there is a lot of competitiveness between Thai women over their station in life – their job, their income, their boyfriend / husband etc. A Thai woman who has a boyfriend known to her friends and workmates as a really decent sort, who looks good, is polite, dresses well and most of all treats her well, well his departure is going to cause her to lose face amongst her friends. “You weren’t good enough to keep a guy like that.” “He was much too good for a girl like you.” As nasty as these comments may sound, I have heard these very things said by Thai women to their friends (!) who have just broken up with a Western guy and are still mourning. This can be like a knife to heart of a Thai women.

Of course this begs the very big question, can they go and seek solace from their friends? Time to get controversial here. While families in Thailand may be closer than families in Western countries, I would respectfully suggest that friendships in Thailand are not nearly as close, nor as genuine, as friendships in the West. A Thai woman who has been discarded by her Western boyfriend may not get the same level of support and sympathy from her female friends as a Western woman would from her friends. Friendships in Thailand just do not seem to be as strong as friendships in the West, especially amongst women. Many Thai women just do not seem to have that really close knit group of friends to fall back on. So many friendships amongst Thai women seem to be superficial and don't think I am being cynical here, Thai women themselves have told me that friendships in Thailand are not nearly as strong as friendships in the West.

I truly believe that a lot of Thai women suffer from loneliness and this is especially so in the case of those women from upcountry who have come to Bangkok in search of work. Remember, this is often the target group that Westerners aim for or inadvertently end up with. These women suffer from loneliness, being away from their family and close friends and when they get involved with a Western guy those feelings are forgotten because they now have someone close. But once it ends she is suddenly alone, and lonely. Loneliness hits Thais much harder than Westerners. Many of us enjoy time to ourselves but for the average Thai it is hard to even comprehend that!

When she is really low, and when her mind is full of doubt, she may wonder if she will ever find another guy like him. She may believe that she was doing her best already and if that was not good enough and the break up came as a surprise then it can be especially hard. She had done her best and that was not good enough for him? Such can kill a woman's confidence. She'll possibly consider the alternative, Thai guys, but the inevitable thought is that she cannot go back to Thai guys because she has by inter laew (moved across to Western guys). Thai guys aren't keen on their women who have had a Western boyfriend, at least not in terms of a long term relationship. OK, this argument could be shot down in flames because there is a very bright Member of Parliament who married a woman who previously had a Western husband, but such open-minded, forward thinking guys are far from the norm.

Another biggy is if he was the first guy she had given herself to. If he was and she had had every intention of marrying him only to end up unceremoniously dumped then she might find this particularly hard to deal with. The balcony might become a very real option…

Of course the tears can be a ruse to try and make a guy feel guilty, to make him feel pity, and to make him reconsider walking away from the relationship. Woe be tied any guy who relents and gives in to the tears.

Thai women really do take relationship break ups with Western guys badly. It's hard to avoid not breaking their heart.

Where was this picture taken?


Last week's picture of the tuktuk mounted up in the air showed the entrance of the Khao San Road branch of Gulliver's. This week we are up to three prizes! The first three people to identify where the picture above was taken and email me with the answer win a 500 baht credit at Oh My Cod, the popular British restaurant in the Khao San Road area, a giant gourmet burrito (½ kilo, over 18 ounces) at the new Sunrisetacos on Sukhumvit Road or a 500 baht credit at Lennie's, just off Walking Street, Pattaya – perfect for our Pattaya readers. Each of the prize providers is in a different area so please specify which prize you would prefer. Please also note that the credit must be redeemed within 2 weeks! Oh My Cod – Khao San Road area. Sunrisetacos – Sukhumvit Road. Lennie's – Pattaya. I am currently in talks with two more prize providers so next week, with a bit of luck, we should be up to 5 prizes!

FROM STICK MARK II'S INBOX (These are emails from readers and what is written here was not written by Stick Mark II)

The nuances of Chinese visas.

We're going on holiday to China next month and went to the embassy here in Bangkok for our visas. There are three levels of payment depending on how fast you want the visa: Regular (4 – 5 business days), Express (2 – 3 business days) and Same Day. We're not in a hurry, so we went with Regular. Dropped our passports off on April 10 and were told to return on April 18 (the Songkran holiday made the waiting period longer). When we got our passports back, we saw that the visas were issued on April 10, the same day we dropped them off. So I guess they issue visas the same day in every case, then hold onto the passport for a while unless you're willing to pay extra.

Equalising the sin sot.

I have what I think is a great idea to tackle the ever thorny sin sot question. Agree the figure then tell the family to go take the money on loan from the bank and the groom will make the monthly repayments, just like buying a house on a mortgage in her name. With low Thai interest rates the groom does not lose out, the cash will be available for display on the wedding day and if it all goes wrong, the repayments cease. If the family cannot get credit at the bank it does not speak well for the value of their daughter, does it?

Bill Gates will be positively guffawing.

I live in Thailand and wanted to convey my experience at the Apple store in Siam Discovery Center, Bangkok. Last Friday, I placed an order for a MacBook Pro, a 30' display and accessories. The total came to 188,000 baht. Paid with a VISA Card. The Apple employee would deliver the setup later. While waiting for the delivery at my condo, the Apple salesperson phoned me and claimed to have made a mistake on the bill and wanted another 12,500 before delivery. At this point, I decided to rethink my purchase. To be honest, Thailand has lots of corruption and I felt I might be scammed? Not sure, but cancelling my order was on my to-do list the next morning. I went to the Apple store and the salesperson stated they could not return the money. I HAD TO PAY MORE AND ACCEPT THE COMPUTER. They wouldn't deliver or cancel the order. I must pay 12,500 baht more! They would not reverse the credit card charges! At this point I noticed my signed credit card receipt in the counter and took it. I did not want this rip-off Apple store to have my signature or credit card info. The Apple store employee tried to physically block me from leaving the store. Grabbed me, kicked me, scratched me punched me. This is a woman and I am not able to defend myself without injuring her. I am big. I just took the abuse. I could not leave the shopping center. Held hostage. I was able to escape the Apple store and was attacked and screamed at all the way through the Siam Discovery Mall to the street and even blocked from entering a taxi. The Apple employees called security and all claimed I had attacked her! By then many security guards showed up and the claim was I was a criminal. This is all going on in Thai. Now I am being manhandled by 5 or 6 Siam Discovery Mall security staff. My expensive Nikon camera crashed to the ground during the melee. Several bystanders joined in and abused me too. I ended up at a Police Station, charged with assaulting the employee! All the Apple store employees were conspiring at the police station, telling false accounts of the events too, all in Thai. The police treated me like a criminal and threatened to put me away for 48 hours! Now I have a police record, a court date, no computer and a 188,000 baht charge on my credit card! TIT.

Loneliness and work-related stress?

I was talking to a good buddy of mine who is a practicing MD about those guys who get involved with Isaan prostitutes at great personal cost despite all the warnings on the Stickman and other similar sites. My doctor buddy reckons it takes a very well-balanced person not to get into trouble when on vacation in LOS, and cites loneliness and work-related stress as the main reasons these guys come a cropper. For the single, divorced or unhappily married dudes in the USA who are busting their ass in the office 50 weeks a year, those two weeks away from pressure in fairytale land can play havoc on a man's psyche with so many desirable objects available to fill the empty slot in his imagination. To make matters worse, many of these ladies are victims of domestic violence and abuse, and incapable of forming loving relationships with anyone. Instead of condemning these guys for their folly, we should just be glad it is them and not us.

What do they bring to the table?

I applaud whoever wrote in the 'Ask Miss Udon' this week. It summed up what to look forward to when in a relationship with a Thai woman. I have been in many relationships while visiting, working, and living in Thailand and they all seem the very same as the gentlemen described. A whirlwind at first and then followed by a 'what can you do for me now' attitude. What makes his question / answer so spot on is that 'Miss Udon' did not and could not answer the question. In fact I have asked almost all of my Thai female companions that same very question on what they have to offer me and NONE of them can answer the question without spinning it with their BS. The man always offers up his undivided attention, money, security, face, etc. But really after the sexual desires what does she bring to the table?

Wild Phuket.

Yesterday, one of the Phuket blue buses was doing his Ferrari style driving behind me on my 125 Wave and I made a sign to slow down and back off my ass, politely, then the a-hole started to chase me on Rat Tuhit Road and tried to ram me! I escaped by rushing between two parked cars and then went after him (well there were two of them in the bus), hoping I could flag a cop, but there wasn't one to find. I reluctantly put my rage away remembering the Phuket Gazette stories like "I did not like the way he looked at me / my girl friend, so I shot him". I also remembered your very good advice "walk away, if you can". It really is a shame that more of this is happening.

The Singapore option.

I cringe when I read about the visa situation in Thailand. You really wonder what planet they are on – sure get rid of the 'undesirables', but you would think they would welcome young talented professionals like Singapore does, but no. I can stay in Singapore for 365 days a year if I want up until 2010. But even being married to a Thai, if we wanted to stay there in Thailand, I would be jumping through endless hoops, and at the very best I would be still having to exit the country yearly, but most likely every 90 days. You have to feel very sad for these inward looking and thinking Thais in power. As I said to my wife the other week after she got her Permanent Residence approved – if things were the other way around – she working in Thailand – and I married to her – but going to live in Thailand – there is no way in a million years I would be granted permanent residence.

The current after hours hot spot is Spice which can be found in the basement of the Ambassador Hotel. This is something of a freelancer venue and there is no shortage of young nymphs looking to find a nice cool air-conditioned bed for the night. But what is most curious is the attitude of the Ambassador Hotel to its guests seeking to take a lady of the night from Spice up to their room. Any unsuspecting bloke who caught hauling a bird upstairs will be stung with a 600 baht fee. Yep, you read that right. Despite the fact that they have a hire a hotty venue in the basement, and Spice is promoted within the hotel itself, don't you get silly and think you can take them up to your room without paying a guest fee. More than a few guests of the hotel have been caught out already – and needless to say not one of them was pleased.

In addition to not being allowed to meet customers after hours, did you know that the staff of some Bangkok bars have prohibited the girls from giving customers their mobile phone number for fear they will meet after the bar has closed or at a later date. This is the case in just a few bars.

Nana continues to close at or before 1 AM every night. We can assume that that is the new closing time. Even the bars in Soi 4 around the Nana Hotel and the Nana car park are cleared out at 1 AM.

It was said that the oldest bar in Patpong was Madrid, which is actually wrong. It's not the oldest but one of the three oldest. The Star of Light is said to be older.

There's a new cocktail bar above the ever popular Happy A Gogo, just off Walking Street in Pattaya. It's a venue for those with a few baht in their pocket with many of the top shelf drinks running around the 150 baht mark.

FLB Bar will host a party on May 12th with John Smith's available at a promotional price. Food and fun aplenty is promised. There'll be a dance contest held as well and the fun starts at around 8:00 PM. Should be a great night!

The bars are supposed to pay a licensing fee for the music they play, but the license is, unusually, only for farang music. It does not cover Thai music. In what sounds to me like a classic case of entrapment, 4 Thai gents employed by the body whose job it is to check the licensing for Thai music venture out to bars and after ordering drinks and settling in, they request a Thai song be played. As soon as the Thai song comes on they then ask to see the bar's license to play Thai music – even though they already know the bar does not have such a license. Without a license, the gents invoke their powers to remove the ENTIRE SOUND SYSTEM from the bar, advising bar management that it will be returned upon payment of a, get this, 200,000 baht fine! A number of bars have been visited by these guys. One bar managed to negotiate the fine down to 80,000 baht, still a hell of a hit.

Were licenses all that were being checked on the major raid on Pattaya's notorious Soi 6 the middle of this past week? Many bars were visited by the boys in brown who methodically made their way along the soi most famous for afternoon delight.

The US military, as well as the military of a handful of other nations, is expected in Pattaya this week. Some hotels and bars known to welcome America's finest will be looking forward to a bumper week, especially given that Sin City has been noticeably quieter post Songkran.

Yep, the number of visitors in Pattaya is way down on what it was pre-Songkran. Much of the decrease can be attributed to the greatly reduced number of Russians in town. Easy to spot, the typical Russian walking up and down Walking Street with video camera in hand is not so frequently spotted on Walking Street in anywhere near the same number as a month or two ago. It's Spring in Russia now so there's likely less desire to escape the bitter cold of the Russian Winter.

Silver Dragon in Nana is undergoing renovations and is closed for the time being.

When the DJ isn't on duty, Secrets in Pattaya has currently a great play list featuring many older hits that run for several hours. One of the very clever owners pulled a little trick to make sure his manager was on the job. After a bunch of upbeat songs which he just knew the girls would love to dance to, he put in "Who's That Little Doggy In The Window", right in the middle of the playlist. The girls all stopped dancing and the manager leapt into the DJ booth to hit the fast forward button. This little ploy keeps ever-popular manager Larry on his toes…and prevents him from dashing down to Soi 6 for a short time! Hehehe!

Angelwitch is a great bar but it has to be said that one of its shows it tacky and downright tasteless. A good way into the show schedule, they have one particular number where the girls dress up as nuns and sing along to a song titled "Fxxx You". In fact they are the only two words in the lyrics, fxxx + you. The song goes for perhaps 3 minutes and reaches a climax when the girls rip open their nun's robes and simulate masturbation with a built on strap-on. The bar scene might not be the most wholesome environment and there are many worse shows to be found, but I am kind of surprised that more people have not complained about this one.

And still on Angelwitch, I get taken to task every other day about just why I think it is such a good bar. I like the fact that the bars innovative with its shows. Unlike many show bars which simply copy what Long Gun has done for the past zillion years, Angelwitch serves up shows not seen elsewhere – and in the Pattaya branch they take advantage of the environment so that not only are the shows original, they cannot be replicated elsewhere because no other bars have such fixtures.

Father Joe's excellent charity work is branching out with the Inaugural Father Joe 9 Ball Charity Challenge to be held at Roadhouse BBQ, that's on the corner of Rama 4 Road and Suriwong Roads, on Saturday June 16. The first prize is 20,000 baht and the entry fee is 2,000 baht which includes a light lunch, free flow Heineken, all day buffet and a bag of goodies. The number of entrants is limited to 32. For more details email: [email protected].


The best Thai dating experience

There is a huge number of hotels in both Bangkok and Pattaya so it is very unlikely that one is unable to find accommodation somewhere. However, I have noticed that in recent times certain popular spots are often full. The trend of many locally based guys to turn up at their favourite hotel and hope to get a room for the night comes with no guarantee. It takes 5 minutes to hunt for the phone number of your favourite hotel and give them a call and make a booking – it takes much longer to hunt for somewhere else if your favourite spot is full!

There aren't that many Mexican restaurants in Bangkok and few people seem to be able to agree on any single venue that offers good Mexican food at a good price. There's a new entrant in town called Sunrise Tacos Mexican Grill which can be found in the area of Sukhumvit Road between Soi 12 and Soi 14 in the Leader Price strip mall, next to the Time Square Building. In addition to having what is said to be some of the best authentic Mexican food in Thailand (I reserve judgment for I have not tried it yet) they also have a selection of drinks. Margaritas are only 79 baht and bottled beer (Heineken, Kloster and Singha) is only 49 baht. There is no VAT or service charge added to your bill. There are 5 REAL Margaritas from which to choose – but, what is a "real" Margarita? Simple. It's one that's made with REAL tequila, REAL triple-sec and REAL limes. No pre-made mix or preservatives are added. They have mango Margarita, pineapple Margarita or an old fashioned classic lime margarita. They also have “virgin” Margaritas available with no alcohol for those that care not to have liquor. Traditional Mexican favorites like grilled chicken tacos are only 39 baht. If you really want to mix things up, try one of more than 6 sizzling burritos options or if you are really hungry, you can get a “giant” burrito which is a ½ kilo (over 18 ounces) burrito for less than 200 baht. Sunrise is open 24 hours so if you have a taste for Mexican at the end of a big night out, this venue is ideally located about half way between Cowboy and Nana. For more information check out their site here.

There does seem to be a nasty increase in the open hostility of Thai men to Western men, just around about on the streets in general. A number of readers have reported being sworn at, abused or even told to go home. It happened to me earlier this week when a motorbike taxi driver practiced his English on me in a most colourful manner. It was totally out of the blue and for a moment I thought I had misheard but I hadn't. "Fxxx off farang!" It must be said that it is generally uneducated, lower class Thai men spurting out this nonsense. This is something new and I had never seen nor heard of this sort of thing until recently.

Is it a mistake or is it intentional? The wi-fi signal that is easily picked up throughout the new Suwannaphum Airport remains unsecured i.e. it is free to use. This is incredibly handy and allows anyone with a wi-fi enabled laptop or other wi-fi enabled device to surf the net while waiting for their plane. Even if the signal should become a pay per use signal – which surely must happen soon – there are a number of other open wi-fi signals at the airport.

This week I visited a friend who is a real estate agent and he confirmed what everyone has been saying. There is just nothing happening in the market at all. I then have to wonder why prices are not starting to reflect this, and take a fall. One thing's for sure, if you're in the market to buy then I would negotiate as hard as possible – I am sure you will be able to get a heavy discount on any advertised price. That said, a lot of the locals would rather hang on to property (even if it is not generating income) than sell it at a price less than they are asking.

Why oh why do some security guards have to carry a big Rambo style knife on their belt? A certain foreign bank has a security guard stationed with this massive great knife on his belt – and I just cannot understand why he needs it.

It's a sad state of affairs when you order pizza based on the company that has the least offensive telephone operators, but that is what it has come to. Man oh man, some of the operators out there give you a real headache. They have to repeat everything a zillion times and have a seemingly never ending script of things they want to sell you. Are these wenches on commission or what? I swear, if they ask me of I want to buy a brand new car with my pizza I would not be surprised.

Do they have personal bankruptcy laws in Thailand – as opposed to corporate? I have got a funny feeling they don't. Funny that!

The state of the red buses around town is just awful. I cannot understand why they allow these buses to continue to operate – and to really destroy the environment. I wonder what all of the delegates at the global warming summit being held in Bangkok this week think about them?! I wonder if they ever actually make any new red buses or are the buses on the roads all really old?! Surely new models can't be that bad?!

If you're thinking of buying a place in Bangkok, it might be worth reading this first.

Is this guy the lowest of the low or what? Stealing from a bargirl?!

Miss Udon is here to answer questions surrounding anything that confuses you in Thailand, particularly issues of the heart. Feel free to send questions in for her to answer and get the perspective of a Thai female. You and I may well disagree with what she says. The purpose of this section is to provide a Thai woman's perspective!

Question 1: My girlfriend and I have been together for approaching two years and we hope to marry later this year but there is a major stumbling point. My girlfriend wants me to pay a dowry to her parents but I am not prepared to. Before you roll your eyes, let me explain. My girlfriend has been around the block. She wasn't a slag, we met online. She had a number of sexual partners before I met her. I know that if I was a Thai guy I would not have to pay a dowry because a Thai man would not pay a dowry for a woman who had had that many sexual partners. Thai guys I spoke to at work filled me in on this. She insists a dowry is paid but I refuse to. How do I tell her that her promiscuity before meeting me is the price she has to pay now? Should I just tell her parents that she was a walking mattress before she met me? Your thoughts please.

Miss Udon says: I understand that western culture does not have a dowry paid to the girl's family for marriage but in Thailand we do. If we look deep into the meaning of dowry money it’s for the parents, not for the girl. The parents have been looking after her since she was born and they used a lot of money to raise her and that is what the guy pays for. The meaning of dowry is “thank you money”. But mostly parents will not keep the money for themselves. They will use part of it for the wedding ceremony. Normally the bride's parents would like to be plan the wedding ceremony for their daughter to make sure the wedding will not cause them to lose face but to make them proud. That’s all they want. Maybe the parents will be happy to talk to you about that (after you talk to your girl) if you don’t want to pay a dowry, make sure you will be the person who takes care of the wedding day. She had a number of sexual partners before you met her so have you had any before she met you? Everybody has a past, living together now in the present do we have to think or look at the past especially if we have a past that we don’t want to remember? Don’t get the past involved in this situation. You are not a Thai guy. Please remember that it is the reason why Thai girls like western guys because you are different. You two are about to get married and experience a good time in your life. Don’t let a small problem which I think you two can manage destroy this period of your life.

One of the things I miss least about Farangland is the rain that just lingers, raining non-stop for days, not heavy enough to cause flooding, but largely keeping you indoors and preventing you from doing anything outside. Rain in Thailand tends to be a late afternoon affair, falling heavily for an hour or two, and then stopping. You expect it, and you can plan for it. We hear a lot these days about changing weather patterns and we have seen evidence of it over the past week in Thailand where that lingering rain, hardly common in Thailand, even in the rainy season, has fallen across the region. Cloudy skies and unseasonably cool weather have made many of us think it was the rainy season already. I'm not sure if I prefer this or the hot season (which we should be experiencing right now).



Yours,

Stick Mark II