Franco-Thai War of 1940-41

It was back on 2 January 2007 in an earlier version of Thomo’s Hole that I noted:

Er, and for consistency, have you heard this o­ne before?


I still have that research o­n the French-Thai War of 1940-41 – just not with me at the moment. It is done – just the articles need to be written. Aircraft in 1/300th scale have been purchased for this as well. The research I have with me. The aeroplanes are still in Australia. I will get to this eventually. I had pressed my Old mate Bill in Boston into service in this regards too and hopefully I will be able to bring up an article o­n the Battle of Koh Chang as a starter. I almost made it to Koh Chang this Christmas to have a look around … next holiday down this way.

Well, I need to add to that:

  1. Er, I did not get to Koh Chang … although it is still on my list of places to visit
  2. I do still have all my research notes for this
  3. I do still have the 1/300th scale aircraft – they are under the house at mum’s and I will get them out for some paint this year … maybe
  4. I do have access to the appropriate Conway’s for ship details as well so will get around to writing that up as well. I’ll also look for appropriate ship models to allow the Battle of Koh Chang to be recreated on the tabletop … perhaps with it being a little less one-sided this time
  5. And maybe, just maybe, I might do something based around Blitzkrieg Commander for some land battles (which really never occurred apart from the odd artillery bombardment near as I can see but which would make an interesting addition for a wargame).

So yes, Gunna Thomo will get around to it … honest!

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Saving Money Travelling

Thomo’s touring at the moment. Currently I am in Bangkok getting three months supply of pork and beer in (Oktoberfest seems a perfect time to do that of course).

Whilst here I booked a couple of day tours. Heading to the tour desk at the hotel we organised a trip to the floating market and the Rose Garden. Later, we were walking along and stepped into a travel agent to inquire about a trip to the tiger temple and the River Kwai. It was there that we noticed that the prices for the tours were between 30% and 60% cheaper than they were at the tour desk in the hotel – and the tours were all with the same companies.

Doh! You would think that after all these years of travelling I would have remembered this – hotel = expensive, outside of hotel = not-so-expensive! 😦

Songkran 2007 – สงกรานต

It was the 13th of April for 4 days. Songkran is Thai New Year and I was lucky to be here this time. In the past I have managed to pass through Thailand a few days before but never had the chance to stay here for it.

Songkran (สงกรานต) is the New Year in the Thai Buddhist Calendar. This Songkran marked the change from the year 2449 to 2550. The Thai solar calendar, Suriyakati (Thai: สุริยคติ) is based around the Buddhist Era and traditionally New Year is that period 13 to 16 April. However, in 1941 the then Thai Prime Minister aligned the Western and Thai New Years so that from 1941 onwards, adding 543 to the Western year will indicate the Thai Year. Prior to 1941, the Thai year number changed each Songkran. Now, the year number changes on 1 January with the western year change, but the Thai’s still celebrate Songkran at the traditional time.

It was terrific. So much celebration, happiness and fun. The greatest part of the day consists of being drenched in water and having powder patted onto your wet face and head, no matter where you go. If you are here for Songkran, just assume that when you go outside over those four days that you will be drenched in water. Leave mobile phones and cameras in your room or wrap them securely in plastic (or put them in a water-proof housing).

I really can say that I had such a fun time over Songkran. There was not an unhappy face I saw anywhere.

I’ll add a picture to this entry later when I get hold of them – it is of yours truly after arriving back in the hotel from the day out at Songkran.

Talking about Thomo’s Baggage Flies Further Than Thomo

For those of you who were interested, the bags did not turn up to the Hotel. At 9:00 pm, after a Pizza from Ronnie’s New York Pizza in Sukhumvit Soi 4, I went to the airport. My bag had still not been seen.

At the airport I asked a Thai Airways type person where Thai Airways handled lost baggage. She said “G Floor”. I went to the lift and checked – there was no “G” Floor. So I found another Thai Airways person and asked them. They said “on the arrivals floor under G Section here”. I went there.

I located the Lost Baggage office and stormed in, really, annoyed by now about my baggage. I let the staff there have it with a full description of how long I had been without my baggage and finishing with a comment about how unhappy I was.

The Thai Staff in that office said “er, we are domestic lost baggage – you need to talk to International”.

“Where is that?” I asked.

“In the secure area” they noted.

At this point they told me to wait and then they telephoned the International Lost Baggage Office. A guy from that office met me and accompanied me into the secure area. We spent a happy 45 minutes searching through hundreds of lost bags until someone said “flight from Sydney?” Upon answering yes, he took us to the back corner of this office and lifted a bag down from the shelves … my bag.

So, about 10 pm on the night I was flying out I was reunited finally with my bag. I had flown Bangkok to Sydney (then driven to Canberra and back) then returned to Bangkok.

My bag had travelled Bangkok to Frankfurt to Vienna to Kuala Lumpur to Sydney and then on to Bangkok.

Pity I could not get the frequent flyer miles for my bag.

Quote

Thomo’s Baggage Flies Further Than Thomo
Sunday night, Bangkok, nice new airport called Suvarnabhumi (still haven’t got my tongue around that one yet) and Thai Airlines (who had recently moved their head of Baggage Services to a desk with no responsibility). Thomo was flying from Bangkok to Sydney on the flight that left 18:15 from the airport. Thomo arrived in Sydney Monday morning but his bags did now.

 

So, finally, an email from the Bag Lady in Sydney to tell me that my bag will be arriving Sydney soon and she will instruct for it to go on the flight to Bangkok tonight means I may have my bag tomorrow – before I fly out again.

Thomo …. Not a happy passenger!

On the Road

Currently Thomo is sitting in Bangkok. Tomorrow, it is on to a flight and off into Mongolia for six months. Thomo has taken up a role with the Khan Bank in Mongolia and will sit in Ulaan Baatar for the next six months. The money was the overriding concern here – the fact that Thomo actually needed money from anywhere.

Look for the reports from Mongolia soon.

Teeth

Whilst I was in Kazakhstan, I loosened a tooth. It was a front tooth. I was eating Solyanka and drinking Vodka with a local or two and I caught one of my front teeth top with my front teeth bottom. Result? Loose tooth.

I got back to Seoul last Friday and with translator in hand, went to the dentist. Seems tsk tsking is the same in all languages. After prodding and poking as dentists have a want to do, he then started messing with the tooth.

“Ow” says Thomo. “What did he say” asks the Dentist. “Ow” says the translator. “Oh” says the denist.

So, tooth and Thomo were separated as the tooth had fractured. The dentist tried to glue the tooth back in but today it came out again after eating cheeseake of all things.

Result? Well Thomo is back to the dentist tomorrow so we shall see. Otherwise I shall need to learn to smile on the left side of my mouth only. 50 and he has finally lost a tooth.

Update from Early April

I have now been crowned. I went to a dentist in Bangkok whilst travelling and have had the tooth replaced as part of a crown. Smile is even again 🙂