The Author

Previous entries

Returning Home - Again

The God Illusion

Going Home


A Change of Direction

Dogs and Pandemics

The Forgotten tenors

Nine Things I will Miss about Thailand


Just Do It

Ayr on a Shoestring

Oh Lonesome Me

Tipping Point

Movie Reviews

Putting Pen to Paper

A Year to Remember

A Year to Forget

10 Reasons I Cannot Go Home

China Girl

The State of Play


Mind Your Language

New Horizons



Taxes and Death



Grey is the Colour

Beating Myself Up

Nothing More to Say

Better Late than Never

Staying Put

Musical Chairs


A Dog's Life

A Sabbatical

A Welcome Diversion

A Guide to Business Ethics

Remembering the Austin Allegro

Our Lords and Masters

In Transit - Part 2

In Transit - Part 1

Nagging Doubts

While Bangkok Burns

An Evening to Remember

Thai Business Malpractice

The New and the Old

Christmas Lights

Groundhog Day



Adventure is Out There


Grabbing it While You Can

A Few Ups and Many Downs


Pack Up Your Old Kit Bag







Ate Two Caesar

Swine Pie

The Thai Rollercoaster

Stuck in the Middle

There's no Regrets

Profit and Loss

Running on Empty

Getting it out Your System

National Mistrust

Bring in the Old, Out with the New


I am Reviewing, My Situation...

Wat Phrabhat Nam Poo

Today I will Mostly be Eating...


The Thai Experience

Wat Khaowong

Reality Bites

Wat Simalais

Amazing Thailand

He Must have a Big Wand

Right Place, Wrong Time



And it does go on


Bring Him Home



Listening to my Reader.



Diary Archive 18.

Diary Archive 17.

Diary Archive 16.

Diary Archive 15.

Diary Archive 14.

Diary Archive 13.

Diary Archive 12.

Diary Archive 11.

Diary Archive 10.

Diary Archive 9.

Diary Archive 8.

Diary Archive 7.

Diary Archive 6.

Diary Archive 5.

Diary Archive 4.

Diary Archive 3.

Diary Archive 2.

Diary Archive 1.



Reality Bites

Thailand has a way of leveling you, of stopping you getting ahead of yourself.

The trip to Singapore had gone well, Ploy had enjoyed her time at the temple, we have a couple of orders and lots of enquiries for our company and new products are being released on time, we have started a little diet/exercise regime between us and we have been able to restore some of our savings at the bank. In short, life is good.

That, in Thailand, is the time to beware. The warning signs were already there on my return from Singapore. As I didn't take my laptop with me, (it doesn't travel well in its old age so I just let it chuff away on it's comfort blanket with a nice glass of tawny port by it's side), and my mobile telephone is, well a telephone, (it does have a camera but not one as we know it Jim, it takes photos aimed at those who think Facebook is a replacement for hand written letters), I returned to some 300 e-mails, many with attachments. 2 hours later they were still being downloaded.

I did a speed test, and yes, the download speed was at dribble level, some 300kb/s. Before I had gone to Singapore the Internet had been down for a few hours, long enough for me to send Ploy to the shop, (she was going to Saraburi anyway), to report the issue. Changing some equipment, they said, back soon. Well soon (ish) it did return but I think at this tardy speed, leaving me to believe they had actually replaced their servers with a monkey and a typewriter. But I had to travel and these things would sort themselves out, so you would think, as I am guessing TOT has more than me as a customer.

But no, on my return I have this pathetic excuse for an Internet. It is my fault, that Thailand lethargy setting in again, because I cancelled 3BB a while back as 'TOT seem quite reliable and why pay for two providers, especially as we paid more for 3BB for a higher speed that isn't and they didn't provide our phone services as TOT do. My mistake. But they don't hit you right away, oh no, they wait until your complacency is such that it takes time for you to react. I should have done something before I left for Singapore. I should have done something on Friday whilst downloading my e-mails.

So yesterday, having decided that I must be their only customer, we (Ploy) complained again. 'What did they say', I asked as Ploy returned from Tescos. 'They know about it, it should be OK in about an hour'. 'When did you go to the shop'? 'Two hours ago'. 'I see, so the repair time since we reported it Friday is almost precisely 4 days, and 1 hour'. Sarcasm is wasted on Ploy and of course the poor girl is the wrong target. By now the dribble was no more than an occasional drop. Yet the 'ping' and upload were still fine.

Ploy called this morning at 7a.m. Yes, we had turned the modem off and on, I told Ploy and yes, the lights were all on, I told Ploy and she failed to get the imbecilic 4 year old on the end of the phone to understand that as the 'ping' was OK and upload OK perhaps that sort of proved the issue was at the their end. We'll let the engineer know, they finally conceded, presumably their sole engineer who has been sent home the night before despite the Internet not working.

This is frustrating for me as my business is reliant on the Internet and I now use it for my datasheet library, replacing those huge catalogues I used to have on my bookshelves; (well, I do have a couple there for nostalgia's sake). Try downloading a 3 megabyte datasheet when you get a byte a day cascading out of your modem.

The water's gone again, said Ploy from the garden as she tried to water our dying plants. We have not had any rain, save for one solitary thunderstorm, for a long time now. It is very strange for this time of year as the high temperatures usually set them off mid-afternoon. Water interruptions are not new here, they were regular when we first moved here, so we keep two large buckets of water in each bathroom, filled to the brim (and it is cooler water than the main supply at this time of year too). The buckets are my uninterruptible power supply but they only last so long. This morning there is still no water. No excuse, no van running round telling us of the impending switch off, no refund, no notice in the post. It just disappears. Usually not for long but, as this Thailand payback time, it is for a day or so, or maybe longer. So the plants wilt and their leaves scorch and there is little we can do. Complaining to the water people rarely brings results, their sole engineer is probably on holiday.

And just to hit a man when he is down, Ploy has decided to cook some rice porridge for breakfast, with dried squid.







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