Wednesday, 19 October 2011

First Thing,

over to the Sabai Resort,

to meet up with Uday and the other non-golfers,

a self portrait of us by Diana,

 we parked up at Friendship as we wanted to do some shopping there and have a look around Soi Bukaow market,

 Uday had a look at some of the food stalls on the way in,

 lots of herbs on sale too,

 we walked past the fish shop, we were going to the cafe where we would all meet up in so we all knew where it was,

 the the shopping fest began,

 I looked around as well as we had arranged to meet in just over an hour, I could not resist buying a nice white dress for Diana,

 lots of other bits and pieces for sale as well,

I took a walk to the TukCom Center as I wanted to buy some fine wire to extend the lamp we bought a few days ago, passing a chicken to go stall, it is strange out here, a stall like this can appear outside your shop window blocking the view for your intended customers, but there is little you can do about it as the pavement is not yours,

this is the problem on market days, a line of stationary taxis block off the entrance of Soi Bukaow,

 all the way along Pattaya Tai,

 and along Soi Bukaow,

 unfortunately they do not sell wire so back to the market,

 the latest fashion in sparkling dresses,

 Diana was already waiting for me in the cafe,

 we were soon joined by the boys, laden with bags of goodies,

 but the buying did not stop, a 1,500 baht huge painted fan went down to 300 baht,

 and a 650 baht zip up bag went for 200 baht,

 next stop the artificial flower shop,

 so many to chose from,

 in so many colours,

 and types,

 lots of orchids as well,

 even trees,

 almost forests of them!

 the shop had been opened up into the shop next door,

 this is the front of the shop, it is on Pattaya Tai,

 if you want to find the shop it is almost opposite the TukCom Center,

 looking down the road towards Second Road,

mission completed, then back to the truck Diana had spent about 400 baht in Friendship as usual so the parking was free, but today we got caught (robbed) by the security guard, although we had the till receipt stamped by the cashier the guard insisted we should pay him 120 baht, I asked for the manager, NO, I asked for the receipt, NO, a friend of ours was caught the same way a couple of months ago, he parked up in the street and walked back to the store but was told no one was there except the people on the tills, no management in the building, so what could we do? the situation was made worse when another security guard came along demanding that we hand over the money, as there were a queue of cars forming behind us we had no choice but to pay,

400 bahts worth of food had cost us 520 baht, so no more Friendship for us we will stop off at Tesco Lotus which has free parking in future, also much nearer to us their is a Tesco Lotus Express, shame on you Friendship for treating a customer for yours for over 8 years so badly, I actually did the math, we spend 2-3,000 baht every 10 days or so, plus 3-400 baht every 4 days or so as well, average it all out and it comes to 120,000 baht a year, in the grand scheme of things a piffling amount for a super market, it will not make Friendship poor or make Tesco rich, but along with my friend who was also robbed and has never been back I wonder how many other shoppers have stop using the store for the same reason? rant over, moving on,

 we arrived after a huge rainstorm, it was so dark I even had to put my headlights on, at the Million Year Stone Park, photo call!

 as it's name suggests it has a number of petrified tree trunks in the grounds also many water worn rocks,

 the skies still looked a little ominous,

 one of the many nice things about the park is the number of mature trees that are in the grounds,

 and rocks positioned so that you can have your picture taken by friends,

 new for this time were a number of extremely noisy blue and yellow macaws,

 a bit of the wire cage got in the way of this one,

 we slowly made our way along to the fish pool,

 it was packed with Mekong Giant Catfish, (Pangasianodon gigas), these ones I am guessing weighing in at about 60 - 80 kilos each,

 on the far side of the lake an island,

 we bought another plate of food, the fish are vegetarian, so they eat plant matter and prepared vegetable pellets, 50 baht a plateful, a big mouth to fill up!

 now is it black on white or white on black?

 we then saw our first baby crocodiles,

 next door some larger ones,

 what ever you do do not say 'handbags' it could scar them for life!

 speaking of scars these are I guess battle wounded, all with out tails, or perhaps they were born this way?

 an Indian crocodile I am guessing, either a mugger or gharial,

 mainly fish eaters they have needle sharp teeth to pierce the slime and scales of their prey,

 now this is the lake you do not want to fall into!

 just waiting for a meal,

 so Doc grabs a rod baited with a piece of chicken,

 and quick as a flash it is gone,

 we next walked past the albino tiger enclosure,

 and a place where you can have your picture taken with a normally coloured one,

 or with a bear perhaps?

 one of the many tigers, this one cooling off in the pool,

 next a bit of souvenir shopping,

 and some fresh coconuts,

 by now the show was about to start,

 not wishing to get wet we sat towards the back,

 I have heard of holding a tiger by the tail,

 but not a crocodile,

 before the show starts,

 a wish for good luck,

 instead of 'mind the doors' it is more mind the fingers!

 go to the far end of the display area, run, land on your belly,

 slide and hope you stop in time!

 just waiting for a bite to eat,

 way too dangerous for me,

 as is that,

 and that,

 after the show the audience show their appreciation,

 I do not know what he is paid, but I can not think of enough zeros after a number to make me want his job!

 the boys make a contribution, but look at the guys shoulder,

could that be that one of the stars got a little carried away I wonder?

 as we made our way around the enclosures, a round up was going on,

 crocodiles were being moved from one pond to another,

 careful of that tail,

 a second attempt is made to cover the creatures eyes, it makes them a little more easy to handle,

 once subdued handlers quickly sit on the animal,

 load it into a carrying frame and take it to it's new quarters,

 then the next,

 it all looks so easy,

but this one put up a real struggle,

 it just did not want to be moved,

 after a couple of attempts to cover him with a sack the job was nearly done,

 easy does it,

 almost there,

 and off we go,

 going around the park there is another small section,

that has a lake, 

 with some fountains and waterfalls,

 camera shoot, so all pose,

then past the big trees to the way out, everyone had a great time, admission is 400 baht for tourist or 150 baht for locals, back to the tuck I made a worrying discovery, having turned the headlights on in the rain storm I had forgotten to turn them off! luckily a couple of locals along with the boys got us started so back to the hotel for the boys and to 388 for us,

feet up and a bite to eat whilst watching the Hindenburg, a thoroughly watchable documentary,

what can one say about Sir Henry at Rawlinson End, not so much a black and white movie, more sepia toned, so many wonderful lines, 'If I had all the money I'd spent on drink, I'd spend it on drink,' sounds like me! the film is totally mad, Vivian Stanshall narrated and starred in the movie, as it happens I saw him live in The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, when they performed at the Goldsmiths Collage in New Cross, the film you will love or hate, I loved it, Diana fell asleep!

first of the Planet of the Apes DVDs we have, Taylor and two other astronauts come out of deep hibernation to find that their ship has crashed. Escaping with little more than clothes they find that they have landed on a planet where men are pre-lingual and uncivilized while apes have learned speech and technology,

 The New World is beautifully filmed, but at over 3 hours long could have been cut to keep up ones interest, Captain Smith is spared his mutinous hanging sentence after captain Newport's ship arrives in 1607 to found Jamestown, an English colony in Virginia. The initially friendly natives, who have no personal property concept, turn hostile after a 'theft' is 'punished' violently on the spot. During an armed exploration, Smith is captured, but spared when the chief's favorite daughter Pocahontas pleads for the stranger who soon becomes her lover and learns to love their naive 'savage' way of harmonious life, as a aside Pocahontas visited the UK, but died there and was buried at Gravesend in Kent,

the group featured in Midsomer Murders must have been around at the time of The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band in tonight's episode The Axeman Cometh, when old rockers Hired Gun reform to play a gig at the Midsomer Rocks Festival, paranoid lead singer Gary Cooper is convinced someone is trying to warn them off, first rock diva Mimi Clifton is electrocuted on stage, then drummer Nicky Harding is found in a car dead in the swimming pool, sounds just like the old days! with that we were off to bed.

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