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Everything posted by a-447

  1. The Rose Hotel is a minute walk from the action. I stayed there many times over the years. If I ever returned late to the hotel alone the ladies at reception (sisters?) would ask why I didn't have a guy with me! They always kept the guy's ID card and if he only had a photocopy or didn't have one at all, they would interrogate him to check his age. This was never a problem as I tend to go for guys in their 20s. It has a pool and a first-rate restaurant. It's not fancy but it is clean and inexpensive. (I'm presuming it's still there!) These days I stay at the Raya or Tarntawan but would be happy to go back to theoRise of they were full.
  2. People have been predicting that for at least 10 years.
  3. “………..he discovered that his wallet, containing 9,500 Australian dollars (around 200,000 Thai baht), 1,500 Thai baht, and various documents, was missing from his backpack……”
  4. This seems a bit odd. How would 95 x $100 notes fit into a single wallet (assuming that the money was all in that denomination)?
  5. Neil's story is a lesson for all prospective business owners in Thailand, especially businesses involving sex and bars. Although he was the most despicable, narcissistic human being I have ever met (I haven't met Trump), he was a great businessman and went out of his way to look after his young, sometimes wild, staff. He tried to sit all night at the bar in order to supervise what was going on and make sure the guys stayed inside with the customers, but due to various health issues, he was often absent, leaving the running of the place to his manager. One evening I turned up at the bar when Neil was absent. Despite pleas from the timid manager, the boys had taken over the bar, standing out on the street drinking copious amounts of alcohol and chatting up women while the customers sat by themselves inside without drinks. Needless to say, there was no show. It was obvious the bar would not survive if customers were ignored and the guys were drinking the profits. If you are going to run a successful business, you need to be in a position to supervise it all the time and/or employ a strong, competent manager. Given how well Neil treated his staff it was disappointing so see how they treated him. But boys will be boys and while the cat's away.............etc, etc.
  6. I always bowed - and still do - when in Japan.
  7. It doesn't mean that. Just like the VIP not wai-ing me doesn't mean she was displaying a lack of respect towards me. It's more complicated than that. And although the guys might think it a bit strange that you are wai-ing them (given the cultural context), I'm sure they are not laughing at you.
  8. When I wai-ed the VIP, suffice to say she did not wai me back - nor did she return my bow. If she had, it would have been front page news in Thailand. Was she being impolite or disrespecting me? Was she disrespecting the crowd to whom she also did not wai or bow? Of course not. Let the bar guys wai to us, as for them that is perfectly natural according to their culture. We can return the greeting with a smile and a nod. BTW, when a bar boy turns up for work, have you ever seen those already on stage wai to him, or vice versa? But as I said in my post above, no harm done if you wai. Up to you.
  9. Only once - and it was because I panicked at the time! I was in Siam Paragon when I saw a crowd of people. Always curious (and never ever wanting to miss out!) I politely pushed myself to the front and found myself standing with the press corps. And what was all the fuss about? A VIP - the daughter of a Very Very VIP was opening a French cosmetic boutique. As she chatted animately in French with the owner she headed over our way. Our eyes met! She kept coming closer! I thought she was going to order me to move, but instead she smiled, I wai-ed and bowed very deeply. We ended up exchanging a few words in French. French is my first language and I grew up speaking it as a child until I went to live in Japan. So I hadn't spoken it for a long while, but adrenalin kicked in and I reckon my French would have been perfect! (Lol). Hers certainly was. After our brief conversation ended, she moved on. A security guard (who obvioudky wasn't doing his job and is probably still languishing in prison!) rushed over and told me to l leave. In Asia, the way you greet someone depends on your "status" in society. That it why it is rather funny to see farang who wai bar boys. It's totally inappropriate and demonstrates a lack of cultural awareness. But no harm done.
  10. Just make sure you don't get into a blue with Blue!
  11. If you stick your wallet down the front of your pants you can kill 2 birds with 1 stone!
  12. Japan has 2 seasons -summer and winter - when cash bonuses are handed out to employees. The better the company is performing profit-wise, the higher your bonus. Some companies can pay up to a year's wage or more if it is doing well. Needless to say, politicians grant themselves huge bonuses. These are cash bonuses, handed over in bulging envelopes and stuffed into your pocket. I worked for a very large Japanese company and was the happy recipient of rather large envelopes. We all headed off to the bars and restaurants and spent up big. The thought of being mugged just never crossed anyone's mind. Afterall, this was Japan. And BTW, wages are paid monthly and are paid in cash, not into your bank account - although things might have changed, although I doubt it. The envelope would be handed unopened to your wife, who would then give you your monthly allowance to pay for food, transport, entertainment, etc. Unfortunately, Japanese think that the whole world is like back home and so are prime targets when they travel.
  13. Security can't check every single bag but putting them through a scanner and patrons walking through security gates would be better than nothing at all. It would have picked up the bullets the boy was carrying. They can do it quickly and efficiently at airports so I don't see the problem.
  14. Are the authorities investigating the apparent lax security procedures at Siam Paragon? CCTV would show whether or not security guards were performing their duties at the entrance. SP is one of my favourite places and over all the the years I've been visiting no one has ever checked my bag - I've either walked straight past the guards or there haven't been any on duty. No doubt security will now be strengthened but as usual, it's after the horse has bolted.
  15. I have just returned from Japan and South Korea. The big topic of conversation in Japan at the moment is the effect over-tourism is having on the local people. The vast majority of tourists were from Singapore and Taiwan. The locals in Kyoto were complaining that they can't move around freely or even catch buses to work and litter is becoming a big problem. For those who are not familiar with Japan, years ago the government removed all bins from public areas and told citizens that from now on, you are going to take your rubbish home and dispose of it there - which is what everyone does. When you head our for the day you always make sure you have a bag of some sort into which you can put your rubbish and then carry it around all day. Unfortunately, tourists are not always familiar with this concept and so in frustration, they tend to just quietly - or blatantly - dump it along the way of leave it in toilets. Kyoto's government decided to deal with the problem by setting up 3 large bins on the main street but by late afternoon they were full and rubbish was piling up around them. Litter is such a rare sight in Japan that it came as quite a shock to everyone. The biggest fear now is what will happen once the mainland Chinese tour groups start returning. If Japan is already overwhelmed by tourists and finding it difficult to cope, this will be disastrous for the locals. I recall a couple of years ago when I was walking around Kenrokuen, one of the 3 great Japanese -style gardens. I was enjoying the serenity when suddenly large numbers of huge tour buses turned up all at once and disgorged a tsunami of Chinese tourists. The serenity disappeared, as did the views, because everywhere you looked you just saw people. They all wanted the photo with the famous stone lantern; the problem is, they don't just take 1 photo and move on so that others can have a turn; they have to take multiple shots going through a series of poses. I, along with others, fled the park and vowed to return another day - which I did back in January and without the tourists. It was wonderful! Chinese tourists have a perfect right to visit these places just like we do. But I wish they would not travel in such large groups because the sheer number overwhelms everyone and everything. (Try buying an icecream when the Chinese are in town!) I remember the tour groups being a problem in Pattaya before Covid. I dread to think what it will be like once the Chinese start to travel again.
  16. I returned to Japan from Korea last night. OMG!!! Some of the most handsome, cutest guys on the planet live there! I went on a tour to the DMZ and I couldn't take my eyes off our guide. I melted every time he smiled. At the airport I was patted down as I stepped out of the body scanner. Instant hard -on and it took all my willpower to resist the temptation to put my arms around him. Body image is important in Asia and especially in Korea.
  17. They are slowly introducing this method of payment in Japan, too.
  18. I'm in Japan at the moment and it is all over the media. Julie Fujishima controls 100% of the company shares and had promised compensation. At the end of the day, it is just another example of the "casting couch" culture which is also prevalent in the West. But in Japan it is difficult to question those above you. The role of the media is also being questioned as they apparently knew what was going on. It is now being reported that sponsors are abandoning the company. This could be the beginning of the end.
  19. What are they?? Am I missing something?
  20. I'm off to Japan in a couple of weeks time. I'm going with a straight friend but he's very open-minded and doesn't care what I get up to. My plan was to visit Hokuoukan sauna in Osaka but just discovered that it had closed! WTF??? I'll have a look around to see if another establishment has taken its place. I'm also thinking of returning again in November as it's been a while since I've seen the autumn leaves. They are spectacular! Fedssocr, if you do go in November make sure you visit places like Kifune shrine, Tofukuji, Nanzenji and Eikando. Here you'll be mixing with the locals as most tourists have limited time and so head to the more famous temples and it can be a real nightmare. We are also visiting Korea - Busan and Seoul. We were planning to go on the tour to the JSA in Panmunjom but those tours have been cancelled since that dickhead ran across the border into North Korea. I've been to Seoul before. I visited the gay area but didn't see much. Might take another look of I have time.
  21. a-447

    HCMC hotel

    No, that was the Rex Hotel which is just down the street from the Caravelle. I went to their rooftop bar a couple of times but preferred the live music at the Caravelle.
  22. a-447

    HCMC hotel

    I stayed at the Caravelle Hotel. It is centrally located.and although it's not particularly cheap, it's got everything you could wish for and the rooftop bar is a great place to relax. They had an excellent Philippines band playing every night. The only problem is you can't have guests in your room after 9pm.(I hear that's the rule throughout Vietnam). But you could have your fun beforehand and later head up to the bar. Perfect! Oh, and the breskfast is awesome.
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