Monday, October 31, 2011

Flood Relief Operations Command (FROC): Heartbreakingly incompetence?

Since the beginning of the flood, FROC that was set up by the Government have had more complaints and criticisms than praises, I can not confirm every criticisms but the latest act of blatant stupidity have made me so angry.

FROC’s headquarter was at Don Muang Airport, this was a large scale operation, with tv studios, press areas and other essentials that all centre of operation should have. Moreover it was also a large relief centre where the people suffering from flood in the surrounding areas were fed and put up, its other main function was a depot where a major part of the donations were stocked.

111One of the main complaint / accusation (I truly hope this is false), (with several pictures posted on FB as well as on the news) was that some politicians were packing these donations and putting their names or names of their organisation on it! I mean HOW LOW CAN YOU GET! These donations came from the kindness of normal citizens as well as from overseas (such as Japan), most weren’t billionaires or millionaires like these despicable politicians, they just wanted to help, why is Thailand being govern by these #%^$.

The sign says, Then there were the accusation of unfairness in dispersing these donations, in that only a certain politicians have the authority to release these much needed essentials. While there were requests left right and center, but these essentials still sit in the warehouse because these politicians had nothing to gain from releasing these donations to these group of suffering people, WTF!

Sod’s law, eventually the flood came to Don Muang, so what did the FROC do? They moved of course. But being with little brain and no common sense, they decided to just up and left, the people who were relying on the relief centre were still there, more importantly part of the donations were also left behind.

The news showed pictures of donations (that was left behind), whether they were clothes, make shift toilets and all other essentials (I mean really essentials) just floating in the water! What a waste! Did the flood come like a Tsunami? NO, NO, NO, it didn’t and besides they are the FROC, people go to them to find out where the flood was coming so they should know well in advance that the flood will hit Don Muang. Or didn’t they have enough resources to move all of the donations? NO, NO, NO, come on they are (again) the FROC, essentially and literally they have the whole Army, Air-force and Navy at their disposal, but no, they just decided to leave, were there any planning? Were there any preparation? I don’t know which part of their anatomy they used to make these decisions, clearly it wasn’t their brain (do they have any?).



So far, personally I have not been affected by the flood (knock on wood), but to see these people whom we trust to guide us out of danger, are acting so foolishly is just beyond belief and heartbreakingly disappointed. I am hoping all of these information I am consuming is wrong, and that there are some really good explanations behind it, please.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

In readiness for the flooding of Bangkok 2011.

Pic from: have moved into the heart of Bangkok for almost a year now, so our house on the out skirt of the city has pretty much been empty (obviously) for the same amount of time, the house sits on the very edge of a sub district named Salathammasop, which is a part of the larger district called 'Taweewattana' and that sits on the top left hand corner of Bangkok, a sneeze away from Nonthaburi Province and Nakornpathom province.

To the North of our home lay two other districts, 'Bang Bua Thong' and 'Bang Yai' (both are part of Nonthaburi Province), both have been hit hard by the flood (so my area should be next). The first floor of a colleague's house is now 50 cms under water, however if you go out onto the main road of the housing estate then the water level is chest high. How can that be that in the year of 2011 any part of Bangkok can be chest high under water! This wasn’t some freak event like a hurricane or an earthquake, I believe there were warnings, several warnings, many are saying it was just poor management by the various authorities.

Yesterday, I had to go back to the out skirt home to pick up the cot, and decided to take a short trip to the local supermarket, talking about being totally prepared, there were make shift walls, sandbags and other water stopping measures everywhere, totally putting me to shame, all I did to prepare for this flood was literally 3 extra tins of tuna, several bottled water and two dozen eggs.

This market is at least 50 to 60 cms below the road, so it shouldn’t have been a surprise to see this pretty hefty wall (but it was). 


UTurnBridgePeople were selling life jackets and boats on the street; all bridges, even the expressway have turned into car parks, so was the U-Turn bridge near our home.

I am sincerely hoping that these people, who had no choice but to stay, will be safe and that the best case happens for them, that is somehow the water manages to miss them all.


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Feeling like a Grasshopper…

Pic from:

I must admit that I have been a bit of a ‘Grasshopper’ so far with the advent of this horrific flood, as time passes and seeing the advancement of the unrelenting flood, together with all of the everyday essentials disappearing from the shelves, is quickly turning me into an ‘Ant’.

My main concern is clean water, with a three year old and another love of my life coming in about two weeks means clean water will be absolutely essential, so I have now started stocking water. To put things into perspective, we went to a restaurant today, and they couldn’t give us any water because they didn’t have any! All they had left was fizzy water (no brand will be mentioned here, lol).

That really scared the %$#* out of me, whether it was through panic buying or whatever, the result is the same if the water becomes contaminated from the flood (a very strong possibility here) there is a strong possibility that I shall not be able to find clean water in the near future and this is a good enough reason for me to also start stocking the essentials, just in case...

I wish I have become an Ant sooner than this... Well better late than never... :) Family do come first :) Personally I can live on beer for the next six months, lol.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

24 hours later… :)

Matt, all these syringes were a result of about 24 hours worth of your medicine, no wonder people (literally) feel better in hospital, lol.

DSC08106_004You are now sitting in the living room, next to my feet, and having a fantastic time with Angry bird on the iPad.

You are still far from 100%, we had a bit of a fright when you came home this afternoon, your temp. climbed up to 39c with no sign of it coming down, and this was even after a dose of your med., instead of the 4 hours gap we decided to give you another dose (after two and half hours), and so far that looks like the right decision :)

Get well soon baby, love you.


Saturday, October 22, 2011

Oh what an interesting weekend this will be :)

Dear Matt,

It all started with such a great plan, Saturday we were going to take you to your first stage show, ‘Mickey Mouse Show’ at Siam Paragon and Sunday would be another trip with your grandparents, so what happened? Life threw you, your first curve ball :)

Friday morning, you woke up with a slight temperature (didn’t think too much of it at that time), to keep you busy we decided to drop you off at Brain school just for the morning. At the same time, our house keeper turned up looking like death on a stick, she was obviously very ill. So while you and your mother were out, your mother decided to call the house keeper and told her to go home.

By the time you came back your temperature was a little bit higher but nothing to cause any alarm (still in the mid 37), so after lunch you went for your afternoon nap… then everything started heading south, you woke up burning and complaining of feeling cold… It must have been faith, your aunty turned up just as you were getting ready to go to the hospital, your mother did need a helping hand to get you ready.

DSC08070_007At the hospital your temperature reached 39.3 (not again), the Dr. decided to do another test on you, and soon after it was discovered that you were suffering from Influenza A Type and that required a special medicine (Tamiflu), you were then sent home.

I arrived at around 18:45 to see you sitting on the black sofa, all wrapped up in your blanket watching Super Why on the iPad, there were no spring in your steps, it was obvious that you were very ill, your temperature was still way above 38. After dinner and a boatful of medicine I decided to carry you for a while, your stomach felt very bloated against my chest, I knew sooner or later you would be sick so decided to hold on until you did.

Call me Bangkok Nostradamus, first came a throat full of water, and I thought that was it… of course I was wrong, about thirty minutes later the full orchestra of rice, pork and vegetables :) decided to follow suit, everything came out, even the medicine… after cleaning you up, we decided it was safe to put you to bed, we were wrong. During the next hour and a half you were sick three times and these were gut wrenching, Papa help me kind of a session.

Considering the Influenza, the vomiting and very high temp. it was decided to admit you to BNH, this time there were no sense of panic just a sense of urgency, and in no time you were again on a table all wrapped up in what I think is the largest Velcro pad in the universe, of course it was needed so that the nurse could put the IV line into the back of you palm.

All that happened last night, it is now almost noon on the Saturday, your Mickey Mouse show had already ran for about an hour, your mother is a sleep on the couch next to you, you are now sleeping on the mattress and I am writing this blog in a your darkened hospital room with a small cup of horrible coffee by my side, all contented that you are now in good hands (although your high temperature still bothers me).

This morning after your breakfast I took you out in one of those special push car just to have a quick walk around the hospital, not wanting to waste a photo opp. I took the NEX 5 with me and promptly dropped it, lens first. Luckily the clear filter took all of the blunt and everything seems ok, of course your mother think I had dropped it on purpose (a couple of weeks back I dropped the lens cap in the river (she thought that was on purpose too)), so that I could get a new camera… of course I denied it wholeheartedly, but after a bit of time, sitting in this darkened room drinking dire coffee I am beginning to think it was my subconscious who had dropped the camera this morning… perhaps I should take this opportunity to catch an appointment with the on duty DSC08082_019psychologist :)

Love you,


Friday, October 21, 2011

Thailand flood: Watching Crises Response.

I never knew this service even existed, and I must think everyone of us in Thailand are watching this right now, to see the flood coming in graphical detail is quite frightening… The ground floor of a colleagues’ home is now under water, so he is now having to move into a hotel for the time being.

Looking at the map it looks like our outskirt home will be hit as well, but I am hoping that the area where our house is, is high enough to avoid the worst of the flood, nothing is certain until it hits.

Google Flood Map

Google Flood Map 2

Everyday we are seeing it creeping closer and closer to the City Centre, nothing is certain now, Bang Yai and Bang Bon have already been hit, it is just a matter of time and the skills of the authority now.

Worth a visit:

I am convince everyone who has a camera, even mobile phone camera have at least once tried a levitation / flying photo, or in plain English taking a photo while your subject is in the air after a jump. I was doing my usual browsing this morning, and ended up at (can be informative and very funny ‘camera’ site), they had this short youtube vdo on trying to imitate the levitation / flying photo from this site.

Several photos are fantastic, and totally believable (you’ll need to scroll through her album). the key being all the essential limbs are in focus (fast shutter speed) and try to hide the effect of gravity from all the parts (including clothing) as much as you can. She was kind enough to also give the detail on how she took all of her photos, definitely worth a visit.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

When I win the lottery :)


Canon had just announced their latest professional DSLR, 1D X. Looks like I can either find a second job, or start buying the lottery again (looks like the latter will win out :)


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The flooding of Thailand 2011.

Dear Matt and Marcella,

For the past couple of months Thailand have been suffering from a terrible flood, we have seen its devastation slowly coming from the North affecting millions of people along the way, in Ayutthaya the flood have been reported at three to four metres deep!

As of today it is now knocking gently on Bangkok’s door. Bang Yai has just been hit and that isn’t that far from our home in the out skirt of the city, on the news we see homes literally being drown, the ground floor have totally disappeared under the water.

The next couple of days will be critical for Bangkok, there are whispers that the surround provinces are suffering more than it should because Bangkok is being protected. The major river of our country is Chao Phraya River and it runs right through Bangkok, but because Bangkok is the capital city ‘they’ have limited the flow of the water so that it goes around Bangkok rather than through it, meaning the surrounding provinces have to suffer from the flood longer than they should. Of course there is no way to validate this claim, just only that Bangkok is still dry while the other provinces are drowning.

The headlines are saying, “Nearly 270 dead, 8 million affected, and over 3 Billion USD worth of damages” and the ending is nowhere in sight. Several industrial estates have been totally wiped out, my thought was not only for the people who was suffering, but looking to the future, who will invest in Thailand now? Without jobs the future beyond this flood looks so much bleaker.

Flood 2011Here is a picture of the affected area, those blue patches are certainly not lakes just area that are being affected by this flood.

This map was updated on the 17th of October 2011, it is coming to Bangkok, the general feeling is that the authority may not be able to stop the water entering Bangkok, so people are preparing. Tesco, Big C and others superstores’ shelves are empty, cars are being moved up high, people are moving their ground floors belongings to the second floor.

This is a tough time for most, lets hope it subsides soon.

Blogging from my bed...

Just downloaded this Blogger app, looks interesting...

He just walked through the door clutching his butterfly pillow... Decided to let him crash on our bed, it is half term n all :)

I wonder how this post will turn out from an iPhone :)

(5 mins later: looks alright but no ability to move the pic around is a bit restrictive, but a useful app none the less).

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Conversations: Matt and us.

Matt:     “I need go to the toilet”.
Gio:      “Ok, what do you need to do?” (meaning number 1 or number 2)
Matt:     “I want mix pee pee and poo poo together Mama”.
Gio:      lol :)


It was time to leave for school...

Me:      “Come on Matt, time to go we are late”.
Matt:    “Ok Papa (in a loud voice)”.

(Gio follows behind us)

Matt:    “Mama you stay”.
Gio:     “Why baby, can’t I come?”
Matt:    “No Mama, you are too big! You stay!”
Gio:     lol :)
Me:      [Laying dead on the floor :)]

(Gio is now eight and a bit months)

Surprisingly no anger this time (stolen spare tyre).

My 5 years old Fortuner have spent more time standing still than on the road since we’ve moved into the city, and with the new job with a position car meaning the Fortuner has even less of a chance to run wildly on the open roads.

Anyway, it is well known that Fortuner is a soft target for spare tyre theft, as it hangs (in plain sight) under the boot of the vehicle. This past Sunday we drove the Fortuner to our home at the out skirt of the city, Gio noticed there was a unsymmetrical trapezium shape hole in the rear bumper... WTF, was my first thought, how on earth did that happen, even upon closer inspection I was still baffled on how it could have happened and not for a second did I realised that the spare had gone!

DSC08051Did I back the car into a horizontal ‘this is Spata’ spear? Or was it just a simple case of a vandalisation? Anyway, it quickly went to the back of my mind and didn’t think much of it, and at around lunch time we drove back to the condo in the city.

In the same afternoon I took a taxi to take Matt to his Little Gym class, and on the way back as the taxi was stopping at the condo there was another Fortuner right in front of us, naturally I was focusing on his rear bumper... Then it hits me literally like a bolt of lightening. “Oh %^#& someone stolen my spare tyre”!

There was no anger, just very annoyed that the thief actually drove through the security guards, and had the time to remove the spare tyre without being spotted by the security guards. How did I know that it happened in the parking lot? Gio went down to look more closely and found the missing part of the rear bumper, it was still there in my parking spot.


DSC08061After Gio found the plastic part, she went to verbally complaint to the management, they sat down and watched the CCTV feed, however the CCTV proved little use as they can only go back one week.

The day after I had to go to the police to log the case (this is a normal procedure in Thailand), not hoping for any compensation but will submit a letter to the condo’s management, just to let them know how disappointed we are. I was later told that another Fortuner also had his spare tyre stolen exactly in the same manner and probably at the same time as mine.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Love this photo: Chris Farley.

vintage-celebrity-14I came across this photo several weeks/months ago, felt in love with it pretty much immediately. The subject of a sorrowful pensive comedian (clown) is certainly isn’t new, but for me this must be one of the best.
The emptiness of the ‘tall’ back wall, with its bland washed out colour of grey, feels like a perfect amplifier of Mr. Farley’s mood that is so clearly projected from his facial expression.

There is a slight hope in sunlight rushing through the gap in the curtain, behind Chris the wall is unnaturally lustrous. The hanging fag from a mouth that simply just ‘couldn’t bothered’ and the dull gold crown together with a generic white vest was absolutely perfect for a tired mournful king.  

Placing Mr. Farley right at the bottom and in the middle of the composition, I could feel the heaviness of anguish that he is carrying upon his shoulders (pushing him down, being swallowed out of the frame), cutting him off just slightly below his chest just forces me to concentrate on the subject even more, no clutter, no other lines to consider, no shadows to draw my focus, no colours to pull me away from the lifelessness objective of the photo.

I believe he died of a drug overdose, I have always loved some... liked most... and didn’t care for a few of his work. I remembered I was shocked when the news broke. I like comedy and I was hoping he was going to make all of us laugh for a lot longer, much longer.

Source: I think I first discovered this photo on Chive (not sure though), but decided to find the source of the photo, hoping to find the photographer’s name or something , to give it the credit where the credit is due. Decided to Google Image ‘Chris Farley’, it came up on page 11, after a couple more click the trail went cold at The trail went cold here because this site has nothing but photos after photos in one never ending page (love it), couldn’t find a search option after scrolling endlessly for a few minutes I gave up, will try again later :)

Friday, October 14, 2011

Marcella, you are such a mover :)

Pic from: Marcella,

Your mother had a Dr. appointment earlier on this week (11.10.11), unfortunately he didn’t do the ultrasound this time so it was just a normal physical check up. I managed to arrive late but luckily didn’t miss anything important this time, the Dr. said you have already turned, so your head is now South instead of North (that is the politest way I can put it, lol), so it won’t be long now (yippp pppeee).

If you ask your mother what is the one thing she remembers when she was carrying you, I have no doubt she will say that you were a beautiful dancer, forever moving that way and this.

Sometimes while you turn you’ll hit a sensitive spot that makes her wince, and every time that happens, almost always everyone in the same room would jump, although she was in discomfort she would always have a huge smile on her face :) Tonight I’ll try to catch you on film when you decide to have your little dance.

Lots of love,


Thursday, October 13, 2011

Probably quicker than a heart beat (new camera).

imageThree years ago with Matt’s arrival I got the green light to get a new camera, that resulted in the D90 which was later stolen, now the opportunity had arisen again (thanks Marcella :), but this time the decision isn’t so clear cut.

On the table are, SLT A77, D7000, D300s’ replacement and Nex7, don’t ask me why Canon isn’t on the list for a APS-C sensor based system, it hasn’t been on my list for quite some time now. Anyway, the indecisiveness is a real pain, back and forth like a four way see-saw in my mind, several times as soon as I was happy with my decision something caught my attention and the whole see-saw starts all over again.

The top of the list is A77, so why the see-saw? SLT system, losing a bit of light somehow bothers me, I know that it shouldn’t as the IQ should really be the final point, but now in choosing the lens apart from the focal length multiplier one will now have to calculate the real f. (minus half stop) for the aperture as well is just a little too much for my liking. Apart from that the real thing that bothers me is the pixel density, 24MP on an APS-C (affects low light performance) is way above my need.

So why is the A77 on top of my list? Every review on the net seems to indicate that the AF is insanely fast and accurate, this is so important to me, of course I am still waiting for my most trusted reviewer, dpreview. Apart from the AF, and on the same level of importance would be the low light performance, I would put myself in a ‘passionate’ amateur slot, so a bit of noise would be fine but again this is ranked very high on my list (many will now say why not go with the Nex5n? I already own an Nex5 and really wanting something with more manual control).

D7000 ranked second, but purely on an emotional side, this camera is over a year old, if I have to wait I would rather wait for the D300s’ replacement, but who wants to wait for something that could still be nothing but a drawing on some line manager’s desk.

I am a normal consumer, I am not taking some high roads here and will admit that silly little things that shouldn’t matter does matter, like in the example above buying a year old system is an obstacle in my mind. The other thing is new tech. I fully appreciate that new tech. does not mean better results (our individual ability is probably the most important variable here), but if there was a chance to try it, I would, did not hesitate to get the Nex5 as soon as it came out in Thailand.

Looks like the problem would be over with another site that I trust, sonyalpharumors, well, rumour is a rumour but this site is pretty much spot on most of the time. Looks like an off shoot of the A77 is in the pipeline if it turns out to be identical to the A77 but with lower MP, this would easily stop the see-sawing for good, even if I have to wait (and pine like crazy) for six months I would.

Nothing to do but wait and go back to enjoying the still very capable Nex5 :) haa haa haa, greed and gluttony is a terrible thing, tech. is more addictive than narcotics :) Now perish the thought of Nex 6.5, identical the Nex7 but with lower MP, I swear I just saw the see-saw creeping again… haa haa haa, only kidding.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Please sir, not my zippo…

Can not believe in a few months I’ll reach the big 4-ooooohhhhhhhh, soon people will be standing up on buses and sky trains to offer me their seat, and not long after that it will probably be a nurse who feeds me all things puree (really looking forward to ‘spring roll’ puree, should be very intriguing).

A long time friend had just posted an unknown photo of me (which I never knew existed) onto FB, nothing embarrassing, in fact quite the opposite, it’s just me and another friend (Matt) sitting in the common room of our boarding house, I was in school uniform but without a tie and Matt was in his jeans.

scan11 0011From this set up several scenarios emerge, it could have been after school and we were just chilling, it could have been Sunday morning and Matt was skiving off Chapel (this was unlikely because castration was the only punishment, and everyone got caught eventually, and I know for a fact that Matt now has a family with kid(s)). Or was I in trouble and had just came off detention, there is a strong possibility here as both of us looked pissed off at something or rather (or was it during exam time, the list is endless).

As I am now approaching 4-oooooohhhhh nooooooo, afar memories are fading fast, but to see a picture of Matt and him not smiling is just plain weird. Matt was (and probably still is) always smiling.

The clearest memory I have was when we decided to have a smoke but couldn’t be bothered to go to the usual hideout, as it was a dark autumn day, the sun had already said its goodbye, the air was calm but crispy cold with light rain, so we took our chances and decided to have a fag right in the small garden at the back of our boarding house, what a mistake that was.

When I say small garden, I mean very small, against the back wall there was a kind of a shrub that was big enough (if you squeeze hard) for a couple of teenagers to hide under, so there we were Matt and I in a kind of an unheard of yoga position and puffing away like a couple nuclear power stations.

Here is a really simple physic lesson, smoke do not sink to the ground it floats, through the shrub it went and into plain sight of any passer by, and of course due to sod’s law the first person to walk by was our house master (a wonderful and kind man, unless he caught you smoking right on the school’s grounds).

Don’t remember much after that, we certainly weren’t the first kids he had ever caught smoking and we certainly won’t be the last, all I remembered was standing in the hall way in this house and got a good bolloc#ing, I think he also confiscated my pride and joy, a shiny silver zippo and 20 Silk Cuts (and I can’t even remember if he ever gave it back or not, he probably did, he really was the best) Oh happy days :)

Monday, October 10, 2011

Literally defining one’s destiny.

DuangThis concept will sound really strange to most outside of the Asian region, the concept of how important the birth’s date and time is to an individuals’ destiny. The only similar example I can give would be how many believe that the zodiac sign of your birth determines your characteristic, but in the Far East it goes so much deeper, even to the point of how successful you’ll be in life.

That got me thinking, with today’s technology and this is certainly true for Thailand, most births are through caesarean section, this simply means one can choose the date and time of your child’s birth, so in a way choosing your child’s destiny.

We certainly were given the opportunity to choose for our first child, but decided against it, so he arrived on the 5th of May, luckily turned out to be an ‘auspicious’ day (lucky for him and us).

Of course like a good table in a good restaurant, you’ll have to book the doctor in advance, “Dr. we would like him/her out at 09:45 on 9th of April, can you make it?” is a very common conversation in any hospital.

The whole thing sounds like a plot of a very bad B movie, the Dr. would goes through all the steps of the caesarean section, up to the point of pulling out the child, then he would pause and look at the clock then wait... can you imagine the deafening silence, probably only the ticking of the clock can be heard (just like in the movie :) then as the hand reaches 09:45 he would then pull out the baby... just like in a well run factory, ‘just in time’ delivery, not a minute sooner not a minute later... well done Dr.

So there is no doubt in my mind that in the (probably near) future, if parents were given the choice to choose more than just the date and time, most would jump at the chance. Deep down we all want them to be, taller, more handsome, prettier, faster, smarter, just simply better than us. I certainly would, the opportunity to give him a chance not to be bald is just too overwhelming... haa haa haa. Yet on a more serious side, to be able to stop hereditary medical condition(s) isn’t that a boon to humanity, or does it just widen the already huge gap between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’, as this has a ka-ching signs all over it.

So for our second child we are actually thinking of pin pointing the date and time, she is due some time in November, it would be nice to have her see the world for the very first time on 11.11.11 :)

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Watching you, and smiling :)


For the past couple of months we have successfully established a routine of reading before bed that seems to be working out fantastically.

I think it only works because you love to go to the library at school and you are ever so excited to show me your new book(s) whenever you got them.

Even when we left you alone, all the books still hold your interests (for a while) :) Soon you won’t be reading real books, instead you will be glued to reading tripe on FB or on some other new social media site, lol.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Bringing back memories.

Pic from: is amazing how some senses like smell can bring back so many memories, we have moved to the condo for just about a year now, meaning our house on the outskirt of the city have also been vacant for the same amount of time. Some time during this past week the ‘safety cut’ was tripped (perhaps due to the storm), so the house was without electricity for a week (at most), the consequences was a real pain in the behind.

Of course we do go back to the house now and then, so we still have some food frozen in the fridge-freezer, with such hot weather and without electricity the fridge-freezer had behaved like an oven. So when we turned up on this past Sunday, the smell was out of this world, the frozen stuff were no longer frozen but as black as night, the pork was swimming in its own juices and the mince meat was simple indescribable.

Although the stench (and the cleaning up) was a pain and very inconvenient, but I was more bothered  by the memories that it was bringing back. Back at the end of 2004 the earthquake in Sumatra had caused one of the most devastating natural disaster (Tsunami) in the South East Asia region. To cut a long story short, a group of us ended up flying down to help out with the relief effort, through osmosis all of us found different jobs to do; I ended up with the Dr. who had to individually examine the bodies that was coming in by the tens and hundreds each day.

Each team consisted mainly of a Doctor, 1 or 2 body examiners (me), 1 or 2 photographers, 1 evidence collector and 1 note taker. My job was to unwrap the body, then if they were clothed we would then re-arrange it so that it looked as normal as possible, then a photo would be taken.

After that the only objective was to find anything that could reveal the identity of the victims, going through the pockets, looking in the mouth, looking for tattoo(s), did they dye their hair, did they have false teeth, did the wedding rings have names in them, body piercing, estimate his/her age and so much more. Everything was photographed, all removable belongings were examined and collected then carefully logged.

The main message of every morning’s briefing was to ‘take them home’, meaning, find out who they were and bring them back to their family. Our group were there over the New Year period, as I remembered we didn’t celebrate much (obviously), had some beer then went to bed that was about it, in actually fact I don’t remember us talking to each other that much. I got up early, washed, walked to the temple (centre of operation) alone, drank 2 small tins of instant coffee, got dressed up then waited for the morning round to start.

Anyway this Sunday cleaning up was already a pain in itself, but all the while my mind was on old memories of an awful event that I truly wished it hadn’t happened at all, for the immense sadness did not come from the job I was doing but from seeing the families who were waiting anxiously all around.

Got it wrong again :)

First it was Michella, then it was Marchella but I was told I had got it wrong again… the name is Marcella… got it right at last, better late than never :)

Dress Rehearsal :)

Dear Marchella,

First thing first, I did get your name wrong like I said I would, your mother corrected me as soon as I had posted the last post, sorry :) We are still debating on your real name, there are a few options but nothing final until we hold you in our arms.

IMG-20111006-001s71A very good friend of ours, Khun K (her son is one of your brother’s best friend since Noddy and now they are in the same class at Shrewsbury, and that was how faith brought us together), she gave us some great advice on how to prepare your brother for your arrival. Right now all of our attentions are focused on Matt, and there is a strong possibility that he will feel left out as most of our attention will now be on you :) So she had suggested that we do some dress rehearsal for Matt, she was so, so kind  and got us our very own ‘Mini Marchella’, haa haa haa.

So last evening, for the very first time we unveiled ‘Mini Marchella’ to Matt, up to this point he had already been kissing you goodnight every night, bring you a glass of water every evening and even asked me to say a pray for you, so when we showed him your ‘Mini Marchella’ he was so excited, all of us practiced giving you a bath, giving you milk even cleaning you up after you have used your potty :)

Well we can never tell how our family dynamic will change, but there is one thing we are very certain about, and that is we can not wait to see you, to give you a real bath, even cleaning you up after your potty would be a joy :) See you soon.


Sunday, October 2, 2011

7 Nights in Munich: (part 2) Friday & Saturday.

Sugar high… just drank three pints of full sugar coke… :) Ok, back to Munich, while we were there, one of the most famous global event was being held in Munich, the grand, the fantastic the unbelievable, Oktoberfest :) I mean who hasn’t heard of it, but I never realised how f-ing ‘HUGE’ it was!

Our German colleague said each “Tent” takes around 2 months to complete, in my mind a “Tent” should take more than 30 minutes, an hour max, of course when one of the tent (and there are 14 of them) can hold 8,500 and 2,500 seats inside and outside respectively, now two months seems pretty short.

From a quick glance at Wikipedia, “The Oktoberfest is known as the Largest Volksfest (People's Fair) in the World”, enough said. Disneyland + several breweries & wineries, what a perfect combination for quite a mess :) in fact I almost went that way too and I didn’t even need the rides, lol.

I wished I could post photos of all of us making a fool of ourselves, but of course that would be so, so wrong of me (lol), Friday was only a half day at the office, everything was wrapped up by around three in the afternoon, our kind German colleagues when to change into their traditional clothes, what a lark, I was already having fun and we were no where near the festival yet :)



The undergrounds took us straight to one of the main entrance of the festival (above top), I’ve seen lots of rides in my time but doesn’t that ‘Column of Natural Selection’ (right) seems insanely high to you?

DSC07795I really thought I had more ‘showable’ photos than just these four, some were out of focus, a few were private but frankly, mostly were rather of poor quality, the subject were quite interesting but the composition was just terrible, must practice two things, a) taking photos while walking (without stopping) and b) taking photos after a few beers (PUI, Photographing under the Influence).

Well, this was the final day of work, and talking about ending on a high, great city, great friends and colleagues, even great weather, and the most important thing of all, super great beers :)

Our flight on Saturday was in the evening so we had the whole day to roam around, most of the people from our group was somehow tied to BMW, now being in Munich, everyone told me to visit the BMW Welt and the BMW Museum, so that was my first port of call on this final day.










All in all we must have spent over three hours in BMW Welt and the Museum (mostly in the museum), so that was the morning very well spent. According to the plan, the next stop was supposed to be the high tower in the Olympic park, but because of the timing the three of us decided to go to the Deutsches Museum instead.







I think we took off from Munich around eight pm, and it was around two pm when we landed in BKK; I was given one of those blow up U – shaped pillow by an elder colleague that must have contained some strong magical power… this is how my flight went… got on the plane, took off, had dinner, put the pillow around my neck… blank, blank, blank… woke up, had breakfast, land… the ten hours flight felt like two hours… :)