Last year I wrote a short piece on the necessity of patience here in Thailand. Further down the time-line towards now I wrote another on TIT which is short for “This is Thailand”, an expression foreigners use to describe the frustrations associated only with Thailand. Last year’s articles drew attention to roadworks on Sukhumvit Road and Soi Siam Country Club Road, and to bad driving in the centre of Pattaya. The bad news : Months later the roadworks continue and the bad driving, too.
However, I am writing today to draw attention to the deplorable state of Soi Siam Country Club Road, and to the tranquil state of its Chinese Cemetery!
Last night I had an hour to kill while I waited for a friend to arrive for a meal so I put on my walking shoes and off I went. I turned left into Soi Siam Country Club and immediately noticed large holes which anyone can fall down. Some of these holes had water dripping into them from blue tubes. I passed a part of the road which last year regularly claimed “car” victims, and this year does exactly the same!
You drive too near its edge and your car gets stuck with two wheels unable to reconnect to the surface. Of course, if I had turned right and gone towards Wanasin Market I would have come across a crater fit for about 10 war heroes.
Effectively, our soi has been closed or inconvenienced for years, and Wanasin is a good example. The crater is a great inconvenience, and any businesses on the other side are suffering and will probably need to retighten their belts on their already anorexic tummies.
Nevertheless, after rueful reflections of the above sort, I entered the peace and quiet of our very own Chinese Cemetery. There was a dad and a son kicking a football, a guy urinating behind some bushes, swirls from little aquatic creatures lurking under the water lotuses, and birds!
I clocked up two species of swifts, ashy woodswallows, bee-eaters, a coucal, myna birds, two species of doves, a drongo, sparrows, a pied fantail, and some bulbuls. Not bad for a few minutes in a local cemetery surrounded by roadworks, traffic, Thai businesses, and now a new Shell garage. I reflected that some things get done super quick, and others super slow in Thailand’s TIT. The Shell garage appeared rapidly, and last night I also noticed a new residence where you can get a contract for six months for 24,000 baht.
The rooms looked clean and sported aircon. 24,000 baht is about 600 English pounds. That works out at 100 pounds a month. Not bad for a room 3 kilometers from the centre of Pattaya. The rooms are near poorer dwellings and at six last night the Thai guys were settling into their strong spirits.
With all this activity going on up and down Soi Siam Country Club, it was remarkable to see so many birds and to be able to escape into a landscaped graveyard which had that eternally quiet atmosphere sleeping souls create.
Time was approaching when that friend would arrive so off I walked, down towards my local 7-Eleven. I crossed the road to kill a last cluster of minutes and got surrounded by nine dogs and eight black chickens.
Here, there were shacks (poverty again) just opposite the relative opulence of 7-Eleven.
Conclusion : Endless delay, poverty and danger exist but my piece of the dark side of Pattaya is certainly brightening up. (If you want to enjoy the contrasts, come over for a gawp but do not fall down any of my local holes!)