27 June 2011


Rambling quite literally on Saturday and rambling thoughts in my head. My last full weekend in Bangkok. Above a seething mob of fish in the Chao Phraya River when I crossed to the western bank to walk round old Thonburi and to climb The Temple of The Dawn at Wat Arun. I had been to the National Museum and later I paid my dues and was elevated to the revolving observation platform on top of the Baiyoke Tower - Thailand's tallest building. Below a late evening view along the Vipawadi-Rangsit Road:-
Then afterwards in a little Indian curry restaurant, the waiter wasn't asking me how hot I would like my curry or what kind of rice I'd prefer - instead he was asking me how many Thai girls I had copulated with and the dimensions of my own Baiyoke Tower - the one I keep in my trousers. "Oh Thai girl like older farang. Eighteen. Nineteen. No problem. She let you do it. How many you have?" I must say, I suddenly wanted to punch this odious, perverted and racist creep on the snout but I kept my dignity, ate my curry and went.

On Sunday I went cycling in Rot Fai Park and then walked in the heat to the massive Chatuchak Weekend Market where I bought a couple of presents to take home. I am flying to Cambodia on Friday - as soon as the school year finishes - to see Angkor Wat - the world's largest religious complex and then on on to Phnom Penh. One reviewer speaks of the increasing frequency of tourists being "bricked" in Phnom Penh. Gulp! I'm going to have to keep my wits about me.

In a few hours, it will be exactly one year since my brother Paul died. At his little anniversary event in County Clare, this poem by W.B.Yeats was recited:-

The Fiddler of Dooney

When I play on my fiddle in Dooney,
Folk dance like a wave of the sea;
My cousin is priest in Kilvarnet,
My brother in Moharabuiee.

I passed my brother and cousin:
They read in their books of prayer;
I read in my book of songs
I bought at the Sligo fair.

When we come at the end of time,
To Peter sitting in state,
He will smile on the three old spirits,
But call me first through the gate.

For the good are always the merry,
Save by an evil chance,
And the merry love the fiddle
And the merry love to dance:

And when the folk there spy me,
They will all come up to me,
With ‘Here is the fiddler of Dooney!’
And dance like a wave of the sea.

Paul would have appreciated that I'm sure. Hi Paul! How are ye doing? Tell me - have they got Guinness in heaven?


  1. almost punching waiters
    you can take the boy out of sheffield........

  2. You must be the brother in Moharabuiee and other places far and wide. And it sounds like you're ready to be home, where the fish don't suck your toes and waiters don't rent their female relatives to the tourists.

  3. Just calling and trying to leave a comment YP. This business with Blogger and comments is driving me crazy.
    I've been following your adventures with interest.I can't believe it is almosst time for you to go home and though your stay has been very interesting I think you are beginning to sound like you are ready.If you hurry you might be back in time for some nice Summer weather.

  4. JOHN GRAY The keyword is "almost"...but in my imagination he was delivered to a hospital after I left.
    JAN B In several ways I shall be sad to leave Thailand but the fact that my contract was only for five months meant that I was living my days here with that end in mind.
    HELEN I never encounter any problems leaving comments via Blogger. I am glad I will be returning to England in July and not November or February. But of course I have got to survive Cambodia first of all!

  5. The first anniversary is bound to be difficult, YP but he stays in your heart.

  6. Another great post, YP! I continue to be amused/shocked/educated/warmed by your blog.

    Those fish are horrible. Those Thai names are charming (Rot Fai Park, the Temple of the Dawn at Wat Arun, Vipawadi-Rangsit Road), that Thai waiter assumes too much regarding older farang, your brother is looking down smiling, I think, and W.B. Yeats always pleases me.

    Your very own Balyoke Tower indeed...you remain ever the same, lovable, incorrigible Yorkshire Pudding.


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