• Gerald Hogg Author

The Week That Was in Thailand 6th June 2021 weekly news roundup courtesy of Thaivisa


Well, well….June already. The Derby was yesterday and soon it’ll be time for the groundsmen to pull over the covers as the rain will be falling on day one of Wimbledon.

I was reminiscing about the land of my birth this week, anything to try and forget the ghastly heat in Bangkok, Thailand, the land of my choice.

I’d been reading multiple comments of the moaners on Thaivisa when I recalled a TV show from my youth.

Why Don’t You Just Switch Off Your Television Set and Go and Do Something Less Boring Instead?

It ran mostly in the holidays for 22 years and was designed to get kids into art and crafts, games and magic tricks. Kind of a twentieth century YouTube.

Rooster has been criticized for being boring and waffling. I’m used to that, I have a wife.

After reading the forum this week, it struck me that cabin fever has set in for some. Bad news was greeted with moaning. Good news was greeted with complaining. Amusing news was greeted with cynicism and brickbats. Some people are never happy.

I know the pandemic has taken its toll on all of us but for some, it really might be time to not spend quite as long sitting in front of the computer.

For those who did pull the plug, here's a rundown of some stories that caught my beady eye this week - there were some belters!

There was a strong reaction from the authorities in Thailand to the scandalous notion that a virus strain might be called the “Thai Variant”.

Fortunately the WHO (why do I always think of Abbott and Costello’s Who’s on First?) had already decided that political correctness was the order of the day and that the Indian variant was to be called “Delta” and the UK one was now Alpha.

It all seemed like Greek to me.

Apparently Kent, the county of my birth, was no longer good enough. Sheesh! It’s the Garden of England I’ll have you know!

Putting aside that Thailand missed a trick at being named the Hub of Variants, maybe the WHO also missed an opportunity.

Thailand is brilliant at categorizing nations with terms like Phoo Dee Angrit (English gentlemen), the Land of Beer (Germany), the Nationality of Raw Fish (Japanese) to name but three.

At Rooster Central we were on tenterhooks praying that they don’t put the start of term back again. The school had the temerity to send me a bill. I thought of responding with one of my own listing what we’ve been doing - namely teaching, using our air-con, providing meals. While they send out banal cartoons trying to teach my kids to add and subtract.

Look here school, I love my kids but I want them to meet their friends again at your place. Please, pretty please, take them off my hands on June 14th.

Meanwhile, the biggest D-Day since June 1944 is upon us tomorrow, June 7th not the 6th! That’s when we will find out - or begin to discover - if the Thai vaccine rollout is hot air or the hottest thing since hot cakes.

Posters have been whining about conflicting news stories. What do you expect Thaivisa to do? We get our stories from the Thai media. It’s not their fault. They get theirs from the Thai authorities. If you wanna break the vicious circle and one which is replicated across every major new cycle on every major event! Why did you expect information regarding the vaccine rollout would be any different?

I’m waiting till August when I see my doc for a check-up. I expect they’ll have some form of vaccine for me by then; I couldn’t really give a monkeys. I’ve got better things to think about, such as Euro 2020 and Harry Kane’s Golden Boot.

Apropos the vaccine, the xenophobes (who hate China even more than Thailand) were out in force, especially on TV Facebook. Despite WHO approval, putting Sinovac in your veins is tantamount to injecting cyanide apparently.

Look people, China needs to be watched like a hawk, there are some mischief makers there, but you need to choose your battles. Sinovac isn’t one of them. It’s a sideshow.

Another D-Day looming is July 1st and the Phuket Sandbox. TAT’s Yutthasak revealed that 20 Americans were coming! Whoopidoo - here comes the cavalry!

Somehow, this will add up to four million by the end of the year according to tourism minister Pipat’s abacus. Thaivisa did the math and lo and behold, more than 20 a day were needed!

Reading behind the headlines and the absurd rhetoric, it was clear that the Phuket governor (and everyone else in a modicum of authority) knows that the sandbox is destined to be more like a litter tray.

Yes, they have to start somewhere with reopening the country. Yes, Phuket is as good a place as any. Yes, the tourism industry is desperate. Yes, the people are starving…...But NO. Foreign tourists will NOT be coming. Quarantine or no quarantine.

People all around the world, conditioned by the last 18 months as much as anything, are staying put in their countries. Governments have too many restrictions on their populations.

The Thais need to focus on the bare bones of domestic tourism and put any thought of foreign travel off until 2022 at the very earliest.

Don’t raise the hopes of the little people in the tourism industry. Encourage them to get into manufacturing. Provide some incentives to retrain. Diversify for goodness sake. Face it - the international tourism industry is dead and buried for years.

Johnny tourist doesn’t give a hoot about your herd immunity. Yes, he’s got plenty to spend but he’s going to part with it near to home, in a place he can easily return from.

For goodness sake, Brits are even being put off going to Portugal and why should Americans even consider leaving their continent?

The only “tourists” coming to Phuket will be those looking for a convenient and cheap way to finally rejoin their families in Phijit….

Enough of the pandemic. Time for crime….

It was a juicy week for crime-watchers with the arrest of “Uncle Phol” the man who became a celebrity on the back of the murder of his niece Nong Chompoo.

Pitiful, three year old Rose Apple was left to die a year ago in a Mukdahan field. Now the police and their forensic experts have determined that the only feasible suspect is her uncle.

The case divides public opinion with celebrity muddying the waters as it so often does in Thailand. But while much of the evidence is circumstantial, its accumulation is close to damning.

Whether close is enough to convict a slick operator like Uncle Phol remains to be seen. The case has shades of Azaria Chamberlain about it.

My, how so many Australians were convinced of the guilt of Lindy and Michael as murderess and accessory in the death of their nine-week old baby. And my, how they had to eat humble pie six years later when Azaria’s clothing was found by a dingo lair.

Lindy was innocent and the dingo was guilty! Who would have thunk it!

The Thai case is a cause-celebre that is more like a cause-he’s-a-celebrity. The case may yet have more twists and turns and cause more dining on humble pie.

Humble pie is not something anyone is likely to ingest in the case of Red Bull Boss. The new chairman of a committee that oversees public prosecutors has promised a new investigation.

This news will not be quickening anyone’s pulse, least of all the fugitive’s.

And so to a few Rooster Awards.

The Darwin Award for absolutely no service to the gene pool, goes to the motorcyclist caught on video trying to nip under a barrier at a level crossing on his motorcycle.

Unfortunately the load on the back got caught and reared him up like a praying mantis as the Iron Horse approached.

Please don’t even think of having kids.

The “Life” award sponsored by Volvo goes to Laan in Buriram who returned home after going to help his mates in the field for a few days to see that his relatives had put his picture next to his coffin and were mourning his passing.

“Nee goo tai laew ler!” (WTF I’m dead am I) was the best he could muster as it emerged that the person who was really creamed by the 12-wheel truck was someone else in the village.

Finally, the “Stick to your Guns” award is jointly presented to the authorities in Surin who insisted that a wiggly road conformed to their plans and to nationwide Plod.

The constabulary have had their revenue stream from traffic offences caught on CCTV cut off by the finance Mandarins. They will no longer be able to syphon off a proportion of the fines sent through the mail.

In future all extortion must be done face to face.

How comforting.


Courtesy of

-- © Copyright Thai Visa News 2021-04-03