Thailand….!?

Alright, Thailand is in transition…in one of many transitions. One transition I find fascinating is the fight of a middle class to emerge. And immediately, as soon as there are a few middle class people, there are companies and fairs that want nothing more than to relieve said middle class from their hard earned money.

Enter The Money Expo. What di you make of that? Will there be different currencies on display? What could it be?

 

Better, yet, because Thailab is suffereing from ANYTHING 4.0 fever, the by line of the money expo is:”Financial Innovation 4.0″. I was attending tjis fair, since I was on the premises for another fair. This is what the Money Expo had to offer. – tons of banks throwing credit cards at anybody with a pulse, car companies, a dude selling Chinese made shoes and all other sorts of nick-nacks one can hope to charge money for. It was a lot of hype for nothing.
A few days later then, I was rewarded – although I really don’t know for what – with this view.

 You’ve got to love it. I sometimes wonder if Westerners are just too chicken to pull a “manly staubt” like this? I know I couldn’t. But sau what you want, you’ve got to give the manad props for his cool, calm and courage.

Stay sharp

Markus \m/

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Bad Traffic

How bad is the traffic in Bangkok? Well, I have said this before and I think it every day: Lately it seems like it’s getting worse. But don’t take my word for it, I have photographic proof. The space between the houses – and that includes sidewalks and the streets surface and the gutters…really wanted to drive home all-inclusivity if the diffferent spacwa betwen the houses, you see? – has become so overcrowded that car dealerships started to plant their test-drive cars to the side of the buildings. Not that anybody would ever want or even could begin to fathom a test drive BECAUSE IT IS AT BEST A TEST STANDING IN A TRAFFIC JAM. The inly judgement you could pass after an hour in the car is, hiw good/bad the seats are, legroom, acoustics, isolation from the outside world with all its noises, smells and pollution.


So there you have it, that’s how bad traffic in Bkk is.

Cheers Markus \m/…..oh, yes and please stay sharp – it is more important than ever in this “unique” global political climate.

Signage

When you see a sign like this – keep eding, you’ll see it – in any city, you know you are not in the US or in Europe anymore. Japanese, Korean cities are also highly improbable, too. Heck, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur do likely not qualify either – OK, maybe around the city limits. The vast majority of Russia and Mongolia is completly out of the question.


A year ago, one felt suicidal and forced a hot date with the front wheel of my road-bike. Nothing serious happened. My bike was fine (most important), I was a bit shaken and the lizard gave me an accusatory “Evil Eye”.

But this is all just a precursor to share the new signage that was installed in the park nearby. This one for example encourages bicyclists the ride their bike without their hands on the handlebar – carefully, though. It is part of the Thailand 4.0 initiative – everybody can try to join the circus.


On second glance, it could also emcourage people to read while exercising on their bike.

This last picture looks to me like a Charlie Brown tie – yellow with black stripes – it would match his yellow shirt with the zigzag black stripe around.


Alright then, stay sharp.

Cheers Markus \m/

Simple Stuff…

…I made or saw makes me happy. I saw this flower, hanging on a wall and I stopped and looked at it and I smiled. I smiled, because of the beautiful colors and the unique shape.


After my morning run, Barbara and I declared this a “Lazy Saturday” – which means, reading until I nap. After which I noticed a paperclip on my desk lying there at a weird angle so it looked like a saddle.


And that was today…..so far. Gotta do something mundane now – towel the dishes.

Appendix:

Barbara has been making handbags for ages and she still does. And thus the paperclip gives an encore performance.


Stay sharp

Markus \m/

Change Of Heart

They are renovating the pool where we live. It is a pretty big undertaking, that will take many months to complete. Why will it take many months? Don’t ask, don’t get me started, I tell you.

But, we are progressing. Demolition is underway and I can’t help but feel sorry for the workers. The sun is burning down mercilessly, there is not much to provide shade and the empty pool is reflecting the heat and light with much more efficiency that imaginable or physically possible (well, at least that’s what it feels like)

Anyway, I was watching the workers yesterday morning and I saw this one guys sitting poolside with his feet dangling in the semi-demolished work-in-progress. And I couldn’t help but wonder what was going through his head as he sat there idly.

At first I thought, he was bumming hard, thinking “So much work, so little motivation.” Then I thought of an ice-cream commercial with its catchy title-song, any German saw who went to the movies in the 1980’s (“Like Ice In The Sunshine”, Youtube it – it is a good mood commercial). I empathized with his current situation and what an ice-cream could do in that situation – bring a smile to his face and give him a 5-minute vacation. Then again, I did not act on those thoughts, primarily, because the construction site is protected and guarded like a nuclear missile silo and by the time I would have made my way to the guy, the ice-cream would have been a sticky-liquid mess of paper, molten ice-cream and sugar – pointless.

My final thought was one where gratitude and guilt competed for my attention. Gratitude, because I don’t have to perform my work in the open in the sweltering heat – I can choose everyday where I want to spend my time at work – the heat and noise of a production line, the quite and calm of product development, the vibe of creation in the tooling department or the air-conditioned comfort and solitude of an office.

Guilt, because it is by sheer coincidence, that I am in a position to be able to watch this worker. I happened to have been born in a country where opportunity is much more equally distributed and where my parents have been making it their mission to provide me an education and opportunity to find and develop my strength and to fail without the my and my family’s life collapsing into a pile of shattered dreams and aspiration.

I am glad,  waited a day to publish this entry, because it was initially destined to a funny entry about this gentlemen sitting by the pool doing nothing – based on a frozen snapshot in time that is the above photo. Now, it forced me to think a little deeper.

Stay sharp and stay cool – ice-cold.
Cheers Markus