Sunday, April 27, 2014

True shop in Ubon

True Mini-04042Dear Matt and Mar,

I have decided to write more about what I am up to at the office, don’t want you to think it was all fun and games, haa haa haa.

A few weeks ago I was upcountry in Ubon province, the task was to look at the latest retail strategy, to understand it and see how it can be applied to the latest project we are doing, I can not say more than that :-)

I was kind of involve with what you are seeing from the very beginning, when I say involve, I should have said I was more like an observer, haa haa haa. So I was aware of its development, and I must say full marks to the team who had handled this project, with the amount of time given and the pressure from all sides (not to mention all of the other constraints), it was done rather well.

Good news is, this shop model would be almost perfect to what we are about to do in terms of design, operation processes and so on.

The opportunity of talking to the frontline team was totally invaluable, the attitudes were totally brilliant, and as everyone now that is the hardest part to cultivate, :-)

Songkran in Pattaya 2014

Dear Matt and Mar,

Been wanting to write this one up for a short while, I am starting this on a Sunday and we have just came back from supper with my parents, Matt was pretty much out of it by the time we’d finished, Mar was still full of energy after having slept for over two hours and didn't actually have lunch until about three pm, haa haa haa.

So not surprisingly Matt was enjoying his sweet dreams by around seven-ish and Mar not long after that, so I now have a little time to write this one up, haa haa haa.

Ok, spending the beginning of Songkran in Pattaya was decided literally the night before we went, a couple of ex-BMW Thailand friends (Niti and Nate (now married)), mentioned that they were going down to Pattaya (actually going to the right, lol) to visit uncle Chat (also ex-BMW Thailand) and that Arjarn (Teacher) Somkid (another ex-BMW Thailand) will be there too, how could we not be there? Haa haa haa.

Saturday morning was spent playing video games at Central Rama 3, Matt have been begging to go there three days straight :-), then there was a quick lunch before coming home to pack, it was around 4-ish when our wheels turned eastward towards Pattaya.

Songkran Pattaya 2014-04155-horz

We had a bit of a free time after checking in, judging by all the singing and the jumping I’d guessed you two were absolutely loving the change of scenery, but soon we’d left for supper and a short visit to Uncle Chat’s home.

Songkran Pattaya 2014-04138Mar was absolutely besotted with Uncle Chat’s dogs, and literally followed them everywhere. The best part was Mar kept trying to make them read her book, on the other hand, Matt was of course glued to the television, Uncle Chat had put on Wall-E. Uncle Chat’s wife, Larb was super kind enough to have kept an eye on you two (as well as her own two children), so that we could be outside drinking Herbal Juice named Beer… haa haa haa.



Songkran Pattaya 2014-04188The following morning we started with a light breakfast and a long, long, long swim. Mar didn’t stop diving and waddling for over an hour. Matt was having too much fun being thrown and landing head first into the water. As you can see from the photo, Mar wasn’t too happy when she had to leave the pool, haa haa haa. It wasn't surprising that Mar fell into a deep sleep as soon as her head touches the pillow, haa haa haa.

Matt and I had to leave Mar (still in dreamland) and your mother back at the bungalow, while we headed off to Uncle Chat’s home, because Uncle Niti and Auntie Nate had just arrived. In no time noon was upon us, but Mar was still asleep, and for some unknown reasons the sky was crying over something, so lunch was delay a little, well until the rain let up or Mar wakes up... haa haa haa, fortunately Mar woke up as soon as the rain had stopped.

Lunch was superb, we'd went to one of Uncle Chat's hidden restaurant ("only the local knows this place", but it was usually full of cars with Bangkok's number plate, lol). I didn't think the quality of food mattered much (but it was delicious) as all of our tongues were numb from all the talking, lol.

After lunch we headed back to the bungalow, I was sure that Matt was going to nod off, but he didn't, Mar on the other hand was full of energy, so going back to the room was a bit pointless, soon we were off again, back to Uncle Chat's home once more for the evening BBQ, by that time Arjarn Somkid had arrived.

Arjarn Somkid was literally one of my first boss at BMW Thailand, so there is a long connection there, again the food were delicious but all the tongues were numb once again, lol (the beers didn't help).

Mar was mingling with the dogs, Matt was inside playing with all the toys, so the your mother and I had all the time in the world to catch up with the team :-) Evening turned into night and night turned into early morning, that is for me, you two and your mother went back to the room around nine-ish. I'd driven you back and then took a bicycle back to Uncle Chat's home.

Pattaya 2014 gathering 1-horz

On the final day, it was all pool day... haa haa haa. The drive back to BKK was uneventful, your mother and I now wished we were living in a house rather than in a condo, simply because we wanted a dog for Mar and a larger space for Matt to run around, haa haa haa, going back to live at our house in the out skirt of BKK was out of question, fighting through traffic alone would have killed us, lol.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

First ever nine :-)

First Round-04371Dear Matt and Mar,

Your mother was very much looking forward to today, your proper first round of golf. For many months she has been taking Matt to a golf class, and a month ago the Pro said that Matt was ready for a proper (short) round of golf.

I was a bit apprehensive at first, and I was wrong as usual, lol. The Pro told us to meet at a golf course which is quite a way from our home, again at first I’d thought it was just a little far, but after arriving there, it was perfect. A 9 hole course, which was very quiet, so essentially we had the whole course to ourselves during Matt’s round. Because this place is quite a way from BKK, the air was clean, it was quiet and full of nature, Mar had a fantastic time too.

At first Mar was supposed to stay in the club house, but as soon as we got there Mar had decided to walk outside, Matt then followed her out side, and that was it, Mar followed Matt for the whole nine holes. Luckily your mother also rented out a golf cart, not newest one in the world, but driving it was great fun.


First Round-04352First Round-04354










First Round-04369

We were supposed to arrive there around 07:30, but time was fast on that day, haa haa haa, meaning we were a bit slow in leaving the house. By the time we got there it was around 08:00. This was the first time I’d met Pro, he was super nice and very, very patient… Matt usually don’t take to anyone easily, but I can see why he’d taken to Pro.


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First Round-04388Mar was enjoying the butterflies, the flowers and various bugs (haa haa haa) and was having the best time ever, following Matt for 2 hours in the heat (which was getting hotter every minute) without a single moan was fantastic. We were cheering Matt the whole time, no matter how many over par it was, lol. To see his face when he put his first one in the hole was superb, Pro then told Matt to pick up the ball and show it to us to a roaring cheers (well it was roaring enough with just the 5 of us, haa haa haa).

I was being a worried dad as usual, but Matt and everyone else was having a great time, and in not time we were on the back 3 heading back to the club house.

What a great way to start the final day of Songkran… looks like I’ll have to dig out my old clubs… haa haa haa.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Rodt Nham Dum Hua 2014

Page Rodt Nam 2014-04329Dear Matt and Mar,

This was the first time for our family, well on my side anyway. Your mother came from the Chiangrai and has been doing this very Thai tradition forever, lol.

I was so happy to see you two rodt nham dum hua, Matt was a little shy but Mar was all in, simply because it involves splashing water, haa haa haa.

Happy (Thai) New Year again baby :-)

Monday, April 14, 2014

Happy Songkran 2014

Songkran 2014-04113Dear Matt and Mar,

Happiest of Songkran 2014, and we’ve just got back from Pattaya, there was a mini ex - BMW Thailand get together :-) what a laugh… and you two had a wonderful time too. Mar dove and swam non-stop for an hour, no wonder afterwards her morning nap was over an hour longer, and just the same for Matt, for him, afternoon nap comes rarely now a day but it was everyday during our time in Pattaya.

Anyway, will write another post on this trip, just wanted to say happy (Thai) New Year babies… we’ll try to make this year even more fun than the last… haa haa haa. Love you…

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

On a whim…

Dear Matt and Mar,

This past weekend was a long weekend, but we didn’t have any special planned, instead we spent Saturday trailing after you two on your usual classes. Sunday’s morning started with a quick visit to Wat Hualumphong, then Mar slept her way through your mother’s mass at the church while Matt (unbelievably) behaved impeccably. Lunch with the family was probably the highlight for the day, then I’d made the wrong decision to drive to Phutthamonthon… wow, what a mistake that was. The road next to Phutthamonthon was over ran by the red shirts (pro Thaksin supporters), took us just a little short of an eternity to get out of there and back home.

Samut Songkram-04068Monday, your mother and I woke up with absolutely nothing planned, after you two had breakfast it was on a whim that we decided to have a coffee at D&L, but it was full, so once again we were driving to absolutely no where, we were bored of BKK and wanted you two have some fresh air, and again on a whim we were off to Samut Songkram (about 80 Kms away).

Along the way we stopped off at Don Hoi-Lot, famous for its seafood restaurants, neither of us had been here before so we were quite overwhelm with all the choices for restaurants. So whom do we turn to for advice? Pantip’s web board of course, haa haa haa, and we weren’t disappointed, the service was pretty good but what surprised us the most were the prices…

Samut Songkram-04093

After lunch we drove further into Samut Songkram to visit quite a famous church, but by the time we got there, both of you were fast asleep. So after a quick chat and literally 3 minutes after our arrival, we were off again to the famous Umpawa floating market.

Someone must have forgotten to make a live sacrifice to the sun or something, because he/she was very angry that day making heat almost unbearable. Worst thing was, Matt was still fast asleep but Mar was up and gearing to go. The solution was a simple one, I’d bundled up Matt into Mar’s pram, and soon all four of us were strutting our stuff down to the floating market… and 5 minutes we were back in the van, haa haa haa haa.

Actually Matt and I were ahead, and we were the first one to get to the bridge where what felt like the entire population of Thailand have decided to turn up, that and the searing heat was just too much.

As soon as I looked back at your mother across a tidal wave of people, we didn’t have to utter a word, I was Dr. Xavier and your mother was Jean Grey. The heat, the people, Matt was fast asleep, Mar didn’t want to walk and I was drenched in sweat… time to go home…

On the way back to the van Mar managed to grab a bag of fish crackers… wow I have never seen you so happy… haa haa haa.

As this was the last day of a long weekend, the traffic was horrible coming into Bangkok,  but at least we were all together and smiling…. haa haa haa.