Sunday, June 30, 2002
English speaking: Common in Singapore and Malaysia. Not that common in Thailand. Unlike virtually every other country in South East Asia, Thailand remained uncolonised by the European powers. Which means I may have to learn some Thai. It's a tonal language so that could be a bit tricky (as I am tone deaf).
Not explored Bangkok very much so far. The Khao San Road is bit like Carnabie Street - but with more Thai people obviously. Places to buy your trinkets, or get yer hair extensions, or watch the footie over a beer.
Saturday, June 29, 2002
Thailand: Now in Bangkok. All the stuff I have been promising to write for the last month should finally make an appearance tomorrow.
Anyone up for this:
Definitely not a con. Oh no. Perish the thought.
FROM: ENGR. SOLOMON UZO
REQUEST FOR URGENT BUSINESS RELATIONSHIP I AM ENGINEER SOLOMON UZO ,
DEPUTY DIRECTOR AND CHAIRMAN OF CONTRACT AWARD COMMITTEE IN THE
NIGERIA NATIONAL PETROLEUM CORPORATION (NNPC) I GOT THE INFORMATION
OF YOUR GOODSELF FROM A VERY RELIABLE FRIEND OF MINE WHO HAS LIVED IN
YOUR COUNTRY BEFORE .
HE ATTESTED FOR YOUR RELIABILITY AND TRUST WORTHINESS IN THIS
BUSINESS PROPOSAL I WANT TO DISCUSS WITH YOU.I, AND MY COLLEAGUES ARE
TOP OFFICIALS OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT CONTRACT REVIEW AND AWARD
PANEL . WE ARE IN A POSITION TO TRANSFER THE SUM OF THIRTY FIVE
MILLION FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND UNITED STATES DOLLARS
(US$35,500.000.00) IN TO YOUR PRIVATE /COMPANY BANK ACCOUNT FOR
THIS AMOUNT OF MONEY WAS GOT FROM OVER-INFLATION OF CONTRACTS AND
SERVICES CARRIED OUT BY FOREIGN FIRMS WITH THE NIGERIA NATIONAL
PETROLEUM CORPORATION (NNPC). THE ORIGINAL CONTRACTORS HAVE BEEN PAID
AND WE ARE NOW LEFT WITH THESE OVER INVOICED AMOUNT FLOATING IN THE
CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA, HENCE MY COLLEAGUES ENTRUSTED ME TO CONTACT
YOU FOR ASSISTANCE.
TO FACILITATE AND CONCLUDE THIS TRANSACTION YOU ARE REQUIRED TO
FURNISH US WITH THE FOLLOWING INFORMATIONS :-
A. YOUR NAME, YOUR CONTACT ADDRESS , AND YOUR PHONE AND FAX NUMBERS
FOR EASY COMMUNICATION . B. THE NAME OF YOUR BANK , PHONE AND TELEX
AND YOUR ACCOUNT NUMBERS WHERE THIS MONEY WILL BE REMITTED C.
ASSURANCE THAT YOU WILL KEEP THIS TRANSACTION SECRET CONSIDERING THE
PERSONALITIES INVOLVED AND ABOVE ALL, YOU WILL NOT SIT ON THIS FUND
WHEN IT FINALLY GOES IN TO YOUR ACCOUNT.
MY COLLEAGUES AND I HAVE AGREED THAT IF YOUR COMPANY CAN ACT AS THE
BENEFICIARY OF THIS FUNDS ON OUR BEHALF, YOU OR YOUR COMPANY WILL
RETAIN 30% OF THE TOTAL AMOUNT WHILE 60% WILL BE FOR US (OFFICIALS )
AND THE REMAINING 10% WILL BE USED IN OFFSETTING ALL DEBTS/EXPENSES
INCURRED BOTH LOCAL AND FOREIGN IN THE COURSE OF THIS TRANSFER.
ALL MODALITIES FOR A HITCH FREE TRANSFER OF THIS MONEY HAVE BEEN
CONCLUDED .YOU ARE REQUIRED TO TREAT THIS BUSINESS WITH UTMOST
SECRECY AND CONFIDENTIALITY AS WE EXPECT TO CONCLUDE THE TRANSFER
BETWEEN 14 TO 21 BANK WORKING DAYS FROM THE DATE OF RECEIPT OF THE
NECESSARY REQUIREMENTS FROM YOU , PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS TRANSACTION
IS 100% SAFE AND RISK FREE .
IF THIS PROPOSAL IS ACCEPTABLE TO YOU, PLEASE REPLY IMMEDIATELY
THROUGH THE ABOVE EMAIL AND SEND US YOUR BANK
PARTICULARS TO ENABLE US APPLY FOR THE CLAIM OF THIS MONEY FROM THE
VARIOUS MINISTRIES INVOLVED.
THANK YOU AND GOD BLESS.
ENGR. SOLOMON UZO (O.F.R)
N:B, PLEASE DO NOT FAIL TO SEND ME FAX:-
Thursday, June 20, 2002
Updates will after to wait until after my visit to Ko Pha Ngan and the legendariy hedonism of the Full Moon Party on the 24th. Which coincidentally is also my father's birthday. I'll be thinking of you, Dad.
Monday, June 17, 2002
Now in Thailand. Mucho writing about to hit both blogs soon. Seems to be a problem with the archives so I've taken evasive action and put everything that's happened so far on this frontpage.
Sunday, June 09, 2002
Coming out of the cold: Leaving the chilled Cameron Highlands today for some beach action by the sea.
Friday, June 07, 2002
I don't believe it.
A Malaysian guy I met in KL a week ago is dead. Diving accident in Australia.
Nice guy. Absolutely shocking.
Three minute silence.
Thursday, June 06, 2002
The steamboat consists of a big pot of heated soup and several plates of raw noodles, veg, fish and meat. You could the food items yourself in the soup and then consume. Two provisos:
1. Do not burn yourself with the soup.
2. Remember to cook the food for long enough.
Otherwise a ridiculous amount of fun.
Excellent book: Buddhism Without Beliefs
Sunny the Trekking Guide: "There are spirits in the jungle. Not human, not like ghosts. You have to be careful. If you get weak then something might come inside."
In the Jungle:
It's damp. It's full of vegetation and animals that move just beyond the edge of your vision. The ambient noise is the most unnerving thing. There's an intense humming criss-crossed with calls and messages you don't understand. It reminds you that here you're out of the loop.
Tuesday, June 04, 2002
To get to the Cameron Highlands:
I bought a ticket from a tiny booth in the bus station at KL (wo)manned by two ladies who owned far too much demin and make-up for people of their age and was told to be at the Shell petrol station across the road at 1pm the next day. I wasn't completely able to shake the feeling this was all a bit dodgy - kindalike agreeing to meet Joe Peshi and some baseball bat-wielding associates on a lonely country road to discuss the possibilties of credit extension. Anyway I, and a reassuring number of Malays, made it to the service station on time. Nothing happened - except we all sweat a bit. Half an hour latter, one of the women arrives (this time sporting an ill-advised pair of leggings) and directs us down the street to the bus. It's quite swish. I get a seat next to a hormone-crazed 18 year old lad who insists of waving his stash of contraceptives in the direction of his mates for about 10 mins. Tiring of this, he simply settles for yelling across the compartment at random people. I shut my eyes.
Two hours later we arrive at Tapah. We change buses. For some reason this new bus is somewhat shabbier than the first. My new companion is much quieter - apart from an 80 a day death-rattle cough. The reason for the state of the second bus quickly becomes clear. The two hour drive from Tapah to Tanah Rata is breath-taking: both for the scenery and the relish with which the driver throws his machine round the narrow, steep road and its hair-pin bends. The sight of the mist rising up out of the jungle kinda makes up for that tho.
- Cool temperature-wise
- Nice walks in the jungle
- Nothing much to do
- Generally far too laid back for its own good
- Er, none currently. I'm sure by the end of the week I'll be pining for smog, concrete and money-grabbing taxi drivers - but everything's fine fer now.
A History of Malaysia Interesting first primer - a trifle turgid.
Calcutta Dated but not as dated as it should be.
Saturday, June 01, 2002
In a weird alternative universe, Senegal have just beaten France 1-0 in the first match of the World Cup. And I am sitting a bar watching a Malay rasta band covering Phil Collins' Another Day in Paradise in a roots reggae stylee.
What is going on?
I leave tomorrow for the Cameron Highlands.
I have just been spammed by Jesus:
During the next 60 seconds, stop whatever you are doing, and take this opportunity. (Literally it is only 1 minute) All you have to do is the following: You simply say "The Lords Prayer" for the person that sent you this message:
Our Father, who are in Heaven, Hallowed be Thy Name, Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day, our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us and lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For Thine is the Kingdom, and the Power, and the Glory, forever. Amen.
Next, you send this message to everyone you know. In a while, more people will have prayed for you and you would have obtained a lot of people praying for others. Next, stop and think and appreciate God's power in your life, for doing what you know is pleasing to Him. If you are not ashamed to do this, follow the instructions. Jesus said, "If you are ashamed of me, I will be ashamed of you before My Father" If you are not ashamed, send this message...only if you believe. "Yes, I love my God. He is my fountain of Life and My Savior. He Keeps me going day and night. Without Him, I am no one. But with Him, I can do everything. Christ is my strength." This is a simple test. If you love God and you are not ashamed of all the great things that he has done for you, send this to everyone you know, and the person that sent it to you. Thanks!!!
A little bit more on the situation in India. Received this email from someone in Kolkata which I shall take the liberty of reproducing here:
"yours is one of 5 emails i've recieved in the pass 2 days about war in india! You know, here in Calcutta,its on the news papers about kashmir but really,speking to all the indians its like there is nothing going on. I received an email from a volunteer coming out asking about the 'situation' and me and xxx were like..what situation? whats going on?!! Obviously kashmir is a no go etc but as far as calcutta...well,life seems just the same.The american embassy has issued a travel warning advising against travel in india, aparenlty the NZ embassy in new delhi has told travellers they should leave.the british embassy hasnt said anything at all (except the obvious) so who knows mate.
As for CNN...well,its CNN...innit? "
So there you go. Don't get busy with the iodine tablets and hanging white sheets infront of yer windows just yet.