Family Money: Estate Planning
If you are one of the considerable number of immortals who live in Pattaya, who are sure they are never going to die and therefore have given no thought to
their estate planning or making a will, this article will be of no interest to you.
If on the other hand you are not immortal, then estate planning should be an important consideration in your financial planning.
Unless you are amongst the landed gentry, estate planning has nothing to do with deciding which fields to plant with what, or how to maintain the herds of
deer. (Although the sort of estate planning I have in mind is also of considerable concern to members of the landed gentry, who want to avoid their estates being parcelled
off to pay rapacious amounts of inheritance tax, or forcing them to allow us peasants to wander around their stately homes to earn some money to pay those taxes.)
Last week we touched on the importance of protecting your interests and those of your loved ones after you’ve gone. Several readers have asked me to
expand upon this theme, as it has evidently caused a few of the local “immortals” to wonder just how immortal they really are.
Estate planning is simply ensuring in advance that your affairs (financial, that is) are in order - and any offspring from the other sort are provided for
also, if that is your wish.
Many people are happy to hold assets in an offshore financial centre, comforted by the thought that those assets are outside the reach of creditors,
unfriendly governments, exchange control regulations and unnecessary death duties.
But their assets may not be as secure as they imagine. The problem lies with the planning of their estate.
A person who dies, who has assets in any jurisdiction of the world, is considered to hold an estate in that country which will require the appointment of
The executor must obtain a Grant of Letters of Executorship before any assets can be released and before he can, in turn, pass on those assets to the
When assets are held in many different jurisdictions, this process is often very complicated.
When someone dies, their assets in each country are frozen and no one - not even the spouse or children - will be granted access until the Grant of Letters
of Executorship has been obtained in each country where assets are held.
In order to obtain the Grant of Letters of Executorship in the individual’s country of residence, it must first be proven that death has occurred.
This is fairly easy in most cases, simply requiring the production of a death certificate. (Although it should be noted that in Thailand, unless you die in
a hospital where your doctor may - but not always - be able to issue a death certificate, a death certificate is usually issued only after an autopsy, which is generally
carried out in Bangkok. This can cause your family additional inconvenience and expense.)
Once the Grant of Letters of Executorship has been issued, it can be used to appoint an agent in each country who will, in turn, apply to the court of that
country to obtain a local Grant of Letters of Administration.
This will allow the agent to instruct the bank or institution holding the assets to hand them over to the executor in the client’s country of residence,
to be administered in accordance with the terms of your will - assuming you’ve made one.
(Otherwise you are deemed to have died intestate, and the State will administer your estate for you, with your assets passing to your next of kin. It is
worth noting that if you have chosen to live with someone locally without having entered into a formal marriage, that person will have no legal claim to your estate at all.)
It is now that the problems start to become evident - and it is usually the grieving family that is left to cope with them.
Delays: Just at the time when cash-flow is most important, the family finds that all the available assets are frozen. It can take months, and even
years, to finalise an estate, causing at best inconvenience, and at worst, genuine distress.
Cost: Administering an estate can be a lengthy and time-consuming process, and the legal costs, agents’ fees and statutory charges can amount to as
much as 10% of the value of the estate.
Taxes: As the will is a public document, the full details of the estate will be known to the authorities in the individual’s country of residence and
may be liable to inheritance tax. In some regimes - UK for example - this can cost as much as 40% of the estate above the nil-rate band.
It is also worth mentioning that if you are British but your wife is not UK-domiciled (she was born in Thailand for example), then she may inherit only
ฃ55,000 of your estate tax free, and the remainder is subject to inheritance tax at the full rate.
In addition, an individual may have been avoiding the payment of income and capital gains taxes on these overseas assets - but the estate may now become
liable to substantial sums in back taxes and penalties.
Forced Heirship: As was touched upon last week, in some civil law countries, such as France, Spain and the Philippines, as well as in many Moslem
countries, legal restrictions are placed on the way in which a testator (what lawyers call someone who has made a will and is now deceased) can dispose of his estate.
For instance, his wife and legitimate children are each entitled to a stipulated minimum percentage of his estate, as are his natural children (those born
out of wedlock).
This can mean that the estate may not be distributed the way the now-deceased testator may have wished. It can also mean that not all of the heirs are
properly provided for. And the testator is hardly in a position to argue!
Exchange control: If the offshore assets are brought to the attention of the authorities, countries with exchange control regulations may require them
to be repatriated.
Financial planning: A single member of the family - typically the family patriarch - will often have assumed the burden of controlling the family’s
finances: managing investments, properties and business interests on behalf of other members. That person may well be you.
After this person’s death, the family may find it difficult to locate all these assets - especially when the head of the family hasn’t told other
family members, or his executor, about ‘secret’ bank accounts, offshore assets, etc.
And even if he has, no other family member may wish or be able to take on responsibility for the management of these assets.
Assets may then be lost forever, or subject to mismanagement, misappropriation or unwise or speculative investment, leaving the family in a difficult if
not destitute position.
There are a number of ways in which an individual can plan for a more efficient, and less costly, distribution of an estate.
Local Wills: It is possible to make a separate will for each jurisdiction in which assets are held. One for Thailand (properly translated into Thai),
and one for the rest of the world may be sufficient. But professional guidance should be sought in this regard.
Making separate wills has the effect of reducing the time taken to administer the estate; but under international law, the assets must be administered in
accordance with the laws of the country of residence at death.
If you are resident in Thailand when you die, you know how simple, efficient and speedy bureaucratic processes are here...
Joint Accounts: Holding assets in joint accounts may avoid the problem of obtaining a Grant of Letters of Executorship on the death of the first
account holder. But the problems have only been deferred until the death of the survivor, and not actually solved.
In many regimes - the Philippines, for example - even joint bank accounts are frozen if one signatory is known to have died.
Trusts: Holding assets in a trust can provide not only flexibility during one’s lifetime, but also ensures a simple and swift distribution of assets
after death - in full accordance with one’s wishes, and avoiding any restrictions imposed by forced heirship.
As there is no requirement to obtain a Grant of Letters of Executorship with a trust, there are no costly legal bills to pay. The distribution of assets
takes place without disclosure to any third party, so estate duty, which would otherwise have been payable, is often avoided.
As was touched upon last week, many people believe that trusts are expensive to set up, expensive to maintain, and are only for the super-rich.
This is not necessarily the case, however, and next week we’ll look at trusts in more detail.
Leslie Wright is managing director of Westminster Portfolio Services (Thailand) Ltd., a firm of independent financial advisors providing advice to
expatriate residents of the Eastern Seaboard on personal financial planning and international investments. If you have any comments or queries on this article, or about other
topics concerning investment matters, contact Leslie directly by fax on (038) 232522 or e-mail email@example.com Further
details and back articles can be accessed on his firm’s website on www.westminsterthailand.com
Successfully Yours: Monika Rottmann
By Mirin MacCarthy
Many of you have heard of Monika Rottmann. Even more will have heard her sing. Monika is the lady with the amazing alto voice who used to sing with the
Seaboard Sound, and now can be heard performing in MoJo - her own restaurant/nightclub in Jomtien.
Monika was born in Hamm in Germany some forty odd years ago. Neither she nor her elder brother had easy childhoods. “My brother and I were both rebels. My
father worked for the railways and my mother was a housewife. They were both strict Catholics and wanted me to settle down and be a good little haus frau too. I had different
ideas, as even at a very early age I had music on my mind. I wanted a completely different lifestyle than their narrow view.”
Monika left high school at sixteen and then put herself through architecture for the
next ten years by doing practical draftmanship and playing the guitar at the weekends. She is indeed a qualified architect, so why the change to music? “Architecture is all
about logic and numbers and art and self expression, and so is music. It was just a natural follow on really; music was taking up more and more of my life instead of drawing and
then I heard of the Cologne University where you could study jazz singing.” Monika spent the next four and a half years taking a degree in instrument teaching then, including
the teaching of singing, piano and sax. She has been successfully singing for her supper ever since. For the next 19 years after her graduation she, “Made a living travelling,
singing, playing the guitar and playing sax. It was great fun really; my whole life was music.”
However, do not assume that Monika is just a hair-brained warbler. She is compassionate, fun, resourceful and philosophical. She has been the vice president of
the Pattaya International Ladies Club (PILC), the manager of the Seaboard Sound choir and now a restaurateur.
About seven years ago Monika decided to retire to Thailand to rethink her music career direction. “When you sing mainly popular songs for nineteen years, as
the market dictates, you get stuck in the Hotel California groove. There is no development,” she said with a laugh. “It was great fun but my life then was all music and I had
no time for great romances or other friends either.”
Monika’s philosophy in life is to live and let live. “Thailand is the perfect place for it. I think it was one of the reasons why I left Germany for here.
Germans generally have a narrow, correct and proper outlook, whereas Thais are interested in sanuk. I love Thailand because of the blue skies, the smiling faces, and the
tolerance. What more could you ask for? Additionally though, there are many more opportunities for women to make a career here than there are in Europe, especially if you are
prepared to work and do your homework.”
One very important aspect to life for Monika is, “Relations between people. My philosophy is live and let live, accept people the way they are. I want to be
accepted the way I am. I don’t want to be judged or changed or restricted. So I just enjoy people for their differences. Here in Thailand we are living between the worlds. The
moral standards you have in Europe and the moral standards they live in Thailand are very different. It all comes down to having a live and let live attitude like the Thais.
Thailand is ideal for that. I chose this country and was happy to leave Germany.”
Success to Monika is, “Having your own idea or dream and being able to put it into reality and have it accepted in the market. In Thailand again you have
more opportunities for this than you do in Europe.” Does this then explain the giant leap of opening her own restaurant/nightclub here in December last year? “I actually did
a lot of work researching both running a small business and establishing one here. Wow! Even so it is a fast learning curve. MoJo has been a roaring success. It attracts all the
locals in the know who come for the great relaxed atmosphere, cool cocktails and music that is not overwhelming.”
Life for a successful businesswoman is not always a bed of roses, however. “I was actually threatened by one of the guards in my condo. I had the most
horrible night. He had been watching me for weeks apparently, and knew I came home late every night with takings. I reported him to the tourist police and now I am employing a
personal bodyguard to escort me to my door every night.”
Whilst music may be her life, there are more strings to her bow. She is also a talented, award-winning photographer; she enjoys reading, travelling and meeting
as many people from different nationalities as possible. “Now I am here in Thailand it is the perfect opportunity to learn about other countries and their culture. Pattaya is
so international. It is very interesting learning about places I will never have the opportunity to travel to.”
Monika Rottmann is the very definition of success, life and living. Someone who has made their passion their life. Salute, long may you sing, Monika.
Snap Shots: Panning - for gold?
by Harry Flashman
One of the best techniques to show speed and movement in photography is the gentle art of panning. Not for gold - but the results can be golden! Action
shots can demand good money in the publishing world.
Panning is the most popular technique for action sports photographers, because it is one of the best ways to really show “action”. Now many of you will
have cameras with an “Action” or “Sports” mode that you can select at the flick of a switch. Despite what the camera manufacturer would have you believe, professional
action sports photographers don’t use it! Forget about it and blot it from your consciousness.
The reason for this is simply that the selection of the “Action” mode puts the
camera on to a fast shutter speed to “freeze” the action. “Isn’t that what I want?” I hear you cry. No, I’m sorry, you will get a very static shot of your moving
subject - a shot which does not imply movement or action at all. A shot of a dog running can end up looking as if Rover was frozen to the spot with its legs in a strange
Contrary to that which you would imagine, the technique to show speed and action is not a super fast 1/1000th of a second shutter speed or even faster with
some of today’s super SLR’s - but rather something around 1/15th to 1/30th. Now that really is surprising, isn’t it? However, for this to work, the technique to handle
this slow shutter speed is called “panning”.
The objective with panning is to be able to “stop” the moving subject, but leave the background a blurred smear. This is carried out by moving the
camera in time with the action, so that the subject is in the centre of the frame at all times, while the background “moves” behind the subject. Moving the camera to keep
the subject in the centre means that the slow shutter speed is “fast” enough to stop the subject’s action, but too “slow” to stop the effect of the movement of the
camera on the background.
This, by the way, is not an easy technique and will require that thing called “practice”. Begin by picking on an easy subject, like motorcycles going
past you down the road. Start by selecting 1/30th of a second for the exposure and practice turning your body as the subject moves past you. You have to synchronise your
movement with that of the moving subject, and when you press the shutter you must continue to move at the same speed especially when the viewfinder goes black as the shutter
fires and you cannot see the subject for a brief instant - the most important brief instant.
When you have become good at this technique at 1/30th of a second, it is time to then try 1/15th of a second. At the slower shutter speed, the background
will become even more of a streaky blur, giving an even greater impression of speed and action.
Take a look at this week’s photo. This was done by Brendan Richards, a self professed amateur photographer, but he managed this admirable shot with less
than one roll of film’s practice. The racing car is sharp enough to be recognizable for what it is, and the background blurred enough for anyone looking at the photograph
to see that the car was really moving. Brendan estimated that the car was doing around 100 kph at the time. A good effort, Brendan.
To sum up, to show action and movement, select a slow shutter speed and stand side on to the action. Turn your body as the subject goes past, keeping the
subject in the centre of the viewfinder. When the subject is directly opposite your position pop the shutter, while still continuing to turn your body in time with the
subject. Now rush to the photo-processors and pray a lot! Happy snapping.
Modern Medicine: Up I come - but Vert-I-go!
by Dr Iain Corness
Vertigo is a very distressing, and quite common condition. Vertigo is also not a “disease”, but is the symptom that may be produced from many causes.
It is also necessary to understand that Vertigo is not just simple dizziness. In true Vertigo there is a feeling of rotation to the point that the patient will have to grab
something solid or otherwise he or she will fall over. It is not a case of feeling “faint” and wanting to sit down.
A brief understanding of how we manage to stand upright is in order here. When our eyes are open, our brains know that we align ourselves with the
verticals in doorways and walls - but when our eyes are shut, it is a different story. Stand still with closed eyes and you have no visual reference points - so how does your
brain know which end is up?
The answer is in your Vestibular System - a complex arrangement in the inner ear, fluid filled like three carpenters levels, to denote the three planes of
horizontally backwards and forwards, sideways and vertically up or down. These carpenters’ levels are known as the semi-circular canals and microscopic “hairs” inside
the canals detect the movement of the “bubble” as you change position. These minute canals then tell the brain which way is up and the brain, in turn, moves the body via
the musculature system, to keep the head end up!
The conditions that can upset the Vestibular system include Acute Vestibulopathy, Endolymphatic hydrops, Perilymphatic fistula, Benign paroxysmal
positional vertigo, Acoustic neuroma, Chronic suppurative Otitis media, Multiple Sclerosis, Brainstem tumours, Migraine and Epilepsy. How did you go getting your tongue
around that lot? As I have often said, five years of the six year medical course is taken up learning to spell the big words!
Now while many of those conditions are fairly trivial and non-life threatening, there are a couple you’d prefer to live without. Brainstem tumours and
Multiple Sclerosis being high on my list. This is why it is important to have attacks of Vertigo investigated. Catch some of these things early and you can correct the
problem. Too late and it’s too late, if you catch my drift!
A friend of mine has just recently spent two days in hospital with her attack of Vertigo - an attack she doesn’t wish to have again. Hers was most likely
due to Acute Vestibulopathy, and settled over the two day period with appropriate treatment. She has been lucky.
One type of Vertigo that becomes commoner as you get older is the benign paroxysmal positional Vertigo, otherwise known as BPPV for short. This comes on as
a very acute form of Vertigo when the head is rapidly turned in one direction or another. The attack only lasts a few seconds, but in that time the sufferer will actually
fall over, being totally unable to work out how to stay correct end up.
So that’s the Vertigo story. A tale of how to keep your life in balance - or more correctly, how to keep the balance in your life!
My friend and I spent 3 months in Pattaya last year and we had the time of our lives. Now we’re back again for 6 months and were devastated to learn that
Samsara had closed down. We loved Samsara and frequented it at least twice a week. We always had such a good time - it was the only place we could dance the night away to
good music. We hate Marine, don’t think much of Tony’s and Hollywood is passable. We wondered (as you are so knowledgeable on most things Hillary) whether you could
suggest anywhere else?
Cathy and Kate 26 & 25 respectively
Dear Cathy 26 and Kate 25,
Like the old jokes, Hillary has good news and Hillary has bad news. The bad news first - yes Samsara Lifestyle (to give it its full title) has indeed shut
down. The good news is that it will re-open in another location. The bad news is that the new premises have not been located yet. The good news is that there are lots of
other dance places for you to try in the meantime. In no particular order, there is dancing at the Hopf Brew House (next to where Samsara was), Henry J Bean’s, Shenanigans,
the Moon River Pub, TW One, the Palladium Disco, Star Dice Pub, Baillamos at the Royal Cliff, Jigsaw at Jomtien, or the Green Bottle Pub. There’s more if you go up Soi 2.
Then there are always the chrome pole palaces, if you want to be the centre of attraction. Glad to hear you enjoyed yourselves so much that you came back to Pattaya. And some
people say Pattaya’s just a place for the male tourists. They don’t know what you and I know, do they! Chuckle, chuckle.
Last holiday I met the most wonderful girl in the world right here in Pattaya. We were together for four fantastic weeks. She has been writing to me every
week since I went back to the UK and I am looking forward to seeing her again in April when I get my holidays again. I have asked her if she would come over to the UK for a
while and stay with me and my Mum, but she did not answer my question. Do you think she would do it, or do you think she is stringing me along? Should I ask her to marry me?
That’s a pretty big ask, young Dave. After all, I’ve never met your girlfriend, but if she is still writing to you after all this time, then she
definitely cares for you in some way or other. Whether she would go to the UK though, depends on many factors. Firstly, even if she wants to go and live with your Mum for a
while, there is the hurdle of getting a visa for her. It’s not that easy. Secondly, many Thais have no wish to ever leave Thailand. This is their home. This is where their
family is, and family ties mean more to Thais than they do for Westerners. Hillary suggests you come over for your holidays and enjoy getting to know your Thai girlfriend
just a little bit more before doing anything rash. Don’t be an April fool. Be careful! While waiting for the plane, get hold of a copy of ‘Bangkok Angel’ written by a
compatriot of yours, Mike Smith. You can order it from the ‘net and there’s even a link to it from the Pattaya Mail web site. However, if you wish to send Hillary the
plane tickets (return of course), then I’d love to pop over for a week or two. I’m sure your Mum and I would get along like a house on fire. Please stock up on chocolates
and champagne. You won’t go wrong with the good French brands. And single beds, too! Thank you Petal.
My wife and I are quite confused about the “Wai” custom. Are we supposed to “Wai” back every time people “Wai” to us, which seems to be all the
time these days? Even when I go into our usual pub we get “Wai’d” at. What is the correct thing for us to do? We are a little worried by it all and don’t want to do
the “wrong thing” and inadvertently insult our Thai hosts. We also feel a little embarrassed when doing a “Wai” ourselves.
Dear Confused Canadians,
The first thing is don’t worry. The custom of the Wai is a unique Thai form of greeting, and as such, you as the Westerner are not expected to know the
subtleties of the Wai. In general, the person of lower status Wai’s first to the person of higher status, who then in following “returns” the Wai. It is a way to show
respect, so it is not the exact equivalent of the Western “Shaking Hands”. There are also indicators regarding the height of the fingers when performing the Wai that
indicate social stature. Until you fully understand the hierarchical system in Thailand you are safer to just smile in return, when you are Wai’d to (not Wai’d “at”,
A US invention which allows both men and women to have an instant orgasm on the press of a button is unlikely to hit Pattaya, informed sources said this
week. The surgical operation entails implanting electrodes into the spine which then uses electrical impulses to generate the desired effect in the nether regions. Some
doctors feel that Pattaya is not desperately in need of artificial aids of this kind because “the real thing is just around the corner”. Another problem with the US
invention is that the button has been placed in tests on the patient’s bottom. This can result in chaotic over-excitement every time he or she sits down.
Retired farang, Greg Austen, feels he has been duped after buying a delightful four bedroom bungalow just off Sukhumvit Highway near Jomtien. He moved in
with the former virgin Moy after meeting her in a bar in Soi Yodsak, which resulted in a fairytale romance, a local marriage and the decision to set up home together.
Friends had warned him against getting too involved with a bar girl, but Moy explained she had formerly worked in an abattoir but was forced to quit because she disliked
seeing dead animals. The new relationship worked very well for ten days before Moy moved in her entire family of eight whose ages ranged from two months to 73 years. The
distraught Greg asked what the heck was going on. Moy explained the custom in her family was to share and share alike whatever you happen to have. She and Greg would share
their home with the relatives from Isaan and they would be very happy indeed to share hot Lao curries with them twice a day.
Driving licence woes
Reader Alison Fay asks what happens if you forget to renew your annual Thai driving licence by the expiry date. She wants to know if she must take the
test again. No problem, you may be surprised to hear. You can renew the licence any time up to 364 days late, provided you take along your passport with photocopies of the
ID pages and current non immigrant visa, or better, two recent tiny photos of your face and the renewal fee which is about 110 baht. If you are later than that, you must
start again and thus additionally require a medical certificate, confirmation of address from the immigration police and a current international driving licence. Without
the valid international licence, you must take a multiple choice written test. The driving licence center staff are customer friendly at this difficult point as you may nor
readily realize why policemen blow their whistles twice or what evasive action to take if an elephant is blocking the intersection.
JH bizarrely wants to know what the charge is at Banglamung mortuary for a cold stay. Goodness knows why you want to know John, but expect to pay 300
baht a day. Additionally, if you want to see your own autopsy report, that’ll be about 10,000 to set aside as well... PL is curious whether lesbianism is illegal in
Pattaya as he has seen such shows advertised in the sleazier parts of town. Adult lesbianism in itself does not figure prominently in the criminal code, but lewd shows of
any description are open to police raids. The new inspector general of the tourist police has promised a renewed crackdown on staged indecency. You have been warned... PK
complains that south and central Pattaya are much smellier now that the sewage pumping station is sort of operational. He says he has looked down some drains and is
disgusted. Well, the best thing Pete is to hold your head high whilst cruising the streets of Sin City. Especially in the dry season.
Expats on parade
Overheard in Pattaya bars:
I thought it was a cataract, but apparently I have a detached retinue.
No, I’ve never had lobster thermostat.
Well, he’s got a top surgeon and has asked for RIP treatment.
What was the answer to that question, Arsenal and Old Lace?
I blame that monoglutium sodomite they put in your food.
That’s a one baht gold chain? It’s bloody cheap.
The wife’s an excellent cook. She’s a condom blue you know.
And finally, we just love that sign over a bar entrance. “If your wife is driving you to drink, get her to drive you here.”
Dining Out: Bruno’s Restaurant and Wine Bar - Gold Standard?
by Miss Terry Diner
Established only four years, Bruno’s Restaurant is already a Pattaya institution. Born from a partnership between two professionals, restaurateur Bruno
Forrer and chef Fredi Schaub, this restaurant is known for its fine dining.
It is in a quiet soi in the Sri Nakorn Centre, complete with security parking
outside. You are met at the door by the smiling uniformed restaurant staff and escorted to your table - covered with an immaculate starched white tablecloth. Comfortably seated
in the well padded chairs, you take stock of the surroundings. There are orchids on the table, along with highly polished crystal glasses. White porcelain dishes with your own
butter knife, small touches, but they all add up in fine dining experiences. There is a hushed and unhurried atmosphere, broken only by the chiming of the antique clock.
The menu is large, both physically and comprehensively. For example, there are seven cold appetizers (190-390 baht) which include such items as beef
carpaccio with tomato, shallots, hazelnuts and balsamic vinegar. Six hot appetizers follow (190-380 baht) with rare items such as oven baked snails, ragout of wild mushrooms
and saut้ed frog legs Provencale.
Next up are five soups (around 110 baht) and four pastas (210 baht or 120 baht for a half portion) plus an invitation to select one’s favourite salad from
the salad buffet. Twelve charcoal grill items follow (270-690 baht) including fish, lobster and assorted steaks, lamb, pork and chicken. They come with your choice of baked
potatoes, ratatouille or daily vegetables, and a choice of green peppercorn sauce or Caf้ de Paris butter.
This runs into eight mains (generally around 400 baht) with duckling breast, Australian deer stew and NZ rack of lamb as some of the offerings. Five seafood
dishes follow (310-450 baht) with different types of fish baked, poached or pan fried. There are also eight Thai favourites (140 baht) for those who would prefer the local
cuisine. At the front of the menu are Chef Fredi’s rotating specials which on our night included a Saltimbocca and a Teriyaki steak.
Passion fruit sherbet
On the evening the Dining Out Team was invited, we were fortunate to be joined by Bruno himself, who also selected the wine from the extensive Wine Cellar to
go with the meal which chef Fredi had prepared. We began with a spring salad with shrimps, avocado, macadamia nuts, apple and mango in a light balsamic dressing accompanied by
a 1998 Tyrells Sauvignon Blanc Semillon. The wine was excellent - and the salad even better! The combination of the warm shrimps and the macadamia nuts being heavenly.
We followed that with a potato cream soup with smoked salmon and leek which was wonderfully smooth and flavoursome. It was also served hot - a necessity that
so many restaurants forget.
To refresh our taste buds, Fredi then presented us with a sherbet from imported passion fruit. Again, this was a fabulously different palate cleanser.
At Bruno’s suggestion we moved to a 1999 Penfold’s Rawson’s Retreat Shiraz-Cabernet Sauvignon Ruby Cabernet to go with our main dish of pan fried
Chilean snow fish medallions, topped with a light cream sauce, herbs and tomatoes, gratin with Hollandaise. And what a dish! Succulent, savoury and sensational.
There was no doubt in our minds that we had just partaken of a brilliant meal. The subtle combinations of tastes, textures and flavours can only come from
someone who truly understands all the intricacies of haute cuisine.
I put it to Bruno that his restaurant was truly the “Gold standard” by which all other restaurants were judged. In his usual self-effacing way, Bruno
shrugged this off, saying, “We just try to do something different from everyone else.” The Dining Out Team can assure you that Bruno’s Restaurant not only manages to do
something different - they also do it best.
We could easily run out of superlatives, but just accept the fact that we gave this restaurant the highest rating and recommendation possible. You must try
Bruno’s Restaurant and Wine Bar, 463/77 Sri Nakorn Centre, North Pattaya, tel. 361 073, fax 428 269.
Breeding Creatures Great and Small - Part 1
To Breed or not to breed?
Breeding, not only cats, dogs, and birds, but all creatures is a serious responsibility. The breeder must be prepared to take full responsibility for their
animal babies for their entire life. This means having the ability and knowledge to provide food, secure shelter, veterinary and home nursing care plus finding placement in
responsible homes and a commitment to readopt and place any unwanted animals or retired breeding animals.
It is just not on to dump them at the local over-run wats, animal shelters, drown them or let them stray and live rough on the streets. Breeding is a serious
commitment. This requires a certain amount of knowledge including - elementary genetics and veterinary first aid, practical animal or bird-handling skills, behaviour problems,
training ability and above all a love and devotion to the chosen pets. No one ever makes a fortune out of breeding and selling pedigree animals or birds; the costs including
emotional ones are just too high.
Let Felicity have a first litter?
It is often said it is best to let Felicity have a first litter before you spay her. This is complete nonsense. The decision to reproduce, human or
otherwise, should be just that, a well informed decision, and based on a responsible ethics including genetics and race survival. As for cats and dogs and primates, a female
that is spayed at approximately seven months is much happier than if she had been through the months of producing and feeding a hungry brood. Additionally, responsible humans
need to consider the unwanted domestic animal populations. Otters, dolphins, reptiles, horses, elephants, birds, bears, big cats, etc., have more critical ecological
In breeding, line breeding or out-crossing?
Animals should be bred to maintain their inherited genetic characteristics, for natural survival of the species. It is not OK to inbreed animals or birds to
alter their genotypes just for profit. It is my considered opinion that inbreeding, genetic engineering and animal cloning is morally and ecologically wrong and a travesty of
nature. Inbreeding is the mating of close relations, mother to son, father to daughter, brother to sister, etc. It imprints genetic faults for all future generations. The risks
of producing seriously genetically flawed young far outweigh any possible benefits. To think that humans may irresponsibly practice inbreeding of animals for profit is
Line breeding for improving the species is, however, acceptable in animal husbandry. Line breeding involves mating closely related animals such as
cousin’s, etc. Well known geneticist Roy Robinson said, “To inbreed animals is acceptable, but the progeny must be out-crossed to different lines.” (Veterinary Notes For
Cat Owners, Chapter 30. ISBN 0-09-175103-9). Out-crossing, the practice of mating pedigree unrelated animals is far preferable.
Mamma and Papa
Suitable breeding stock has to be selected with special care; however, it is not always an easy task and may take time. “It is frightening to find that one
is responsible for the occurrence of health defects, and unfortunately it can happen especially when inbreeding is practised.” (Alison Ashford FZS, “Veterinary Notes for
Ideally, healthy, strong, independent, young animals and birds, from award winning unrelated parents should be chosen as potential breeders, so that a close
bond and training may be established as sexual maturity is reached.
Further articles will be presented as follows - Part 2, Basic Genetics; Part 3, Breeding Cats; Part 4 Breeding Dogs; Part 5 Breeding Birds; Part 6 Breeding
Horses, Part 7 Breeding Fish and Koi, Part 8 Exotic creatures, Part 9 Creatures Not to keep as captive pets.
Down The Iron Road:
The Achenseebahn - An Austrian Curiosity
by John D.
The modest Austrian town of Jenbach has, among its several industries, a small locomotive building firm turning out good quality small diesel locomotives, of
which many are in use in industry and on the Bundesbahn, the nation’s main rail network. A holiday resort as well, Jenbach is notable in being the starting-point of two
narrow-gauge railways. One, the subject of this article, is the Achenseebahn, whose terminus is on the north side of the main east - west railway which serves Jenbach; the
other is the Zillertalbahn, which is on the south side of the main line, serving the people of the Ziller Valley as far as Mayrhofen, about 32 km from Jenbach. It is a pleasant
but ordinary narrow gauge line, in the common narrow gauge of 750 mm, and is now almost totally dieselised (you may note that simply by crossing the tracks from one small
station to the other you can pass from ‘A’ to ‘Z’!).
The Achenseebahn has little about it that is ‘normal’ or ‘commonplace’. It is worked entirely by steam, noisily and unmistakably! It is a rack
railway, but unlike so many, it does not simply go to the top of a mountain - it goes instead to a lake-side landing stage on the Achensee (Achen Lake), whence it used to be
possible to travel on a vintage paddle-steamer to the town of Pertisau on the far shore. I have heard nothing of this steamer for some years, and it may have been replaced by
something more modern.
Locomotive No. 1 stands at the
rear of its two-coach train, waiting to charge the fearsome grade that begins at the end of the station platform at Jenbach. The different styles of coaches, closed and open,
will be noted.
On opening in 1889, the Achenseebahn was the proud possessor of four locomotives of unusual design, even for a rack line. They were designed and built by the
Wiener Lokomotiv-fabrik at Floridsdorf, Vienna; one of these was scrapped in 1930; the reason is not known to me - but the remaining three have worked the service between them
ever since; some record, as they approach their 112th birthday. About 1996 there was a suggestion that a new ‘fourth’ locomotive was under construction, using some spares
and some new parts, but nothing has been heard of this for some time.
The photograph and drawing will show that like many rack locomotives, these are built on a slant, so that when on the steep grade, the boiler is level, an
appearance one writer has described as ‘like kneeling cows’. The cylinders drive on to the ends of a ‘jack-shaft’, which is geared directly to the main driving shaft,
between the frames. This shaft also carries the main cogwheel which engages with a rack between the running rails on the section where the steepness of the gradient calls for
its use. Coupling rods from this main axle also provide power to the two pairs of carrying wheels, through which the power is transmitted where the rack is not in use.
Ian Beattie’s fine drawing of
an Achenseebahn locomotive. The main cogwheel which engages in the rack can be clearly seen near the centre of the locomotive. This should help to explain the unusual driving
gear, if seen in conjunction with my explanation in the text.
Leaving Jenbach, the rack is engaged at once, and the little train charges up the steep gradient out of the town. On this section the locomotive is at the
rear, as is always the case on very steep grades, so the conductor rides on the front coach, and he can give warning on the locomotive’s whistle, by pulling on a cord passing
over the coaches. The mountain views on this section are superb, and it seems a short time has passed when the train reaches Eben, 4 km in just 28 minutes. Now the hard work is
over, and the locomotive parks the coaches (not more than two are allowed), and running round to the front, is coupled to the train, which for the rest of the run to Seespitz,
the lake-side terminal, is worked by adhesion. These final 7 km are run in a far less time than the first difficult rack section, and soon the train arrives at the lake side.
On the return journey the locomotive is at the front of the train throughout.
The Achenseebahn seems to be flourishing now, although at the time of my first visit, 44 years ago, its future was very much in doubt - when I enquired about
the first train of the day, I was told it would be a bus, which did not sound hopeful, and not a good start to my first visit to Austria! On that occasion I had to miss a ride
on this line and go down the Zillertalbahn’s line instead. But the following year I was with a group, and our steam run was definitely assured. Austria has been building up
its tourist drive ever since, and it may be that money for essential repairs to these vintage locomotives has become available. For many, the absence of steam on such a line
would deprive it of one of its main features, something that some Swiss and Austrian rack railways have already discovered, and which, as already recorded in an article in the
‘Mail’ last November, has led to the design of a totally new and modern rack steam locomotive type - I have doubts of its suitability on this very traditional little line.
The excellent drawing comes from ‘Continental Modeller’ by kind permission of its Editor and long-time friend Andrew Burnham; the drawing is by the
magazine’s late illustrator, Ian Beatty, whose outstanding work is now sorely missed following his sudden death last year.
I don’t want to over-do rack lines, fascinating though they are, but I think the Nilgiri line, the only remaining rack railway in all India (there were
only two at best) is worth a look, and I will put something together on this in the near future
Social Commentary by Khai Khem
Santched from the Jaws of Oblivion
Recent headlines revealed that occasionally a May and December love match can often end in tragedy. Young ladies who murder their elderly husbands or
boyfriends are rare indeed. Observers who have never found themselves in a relationship where the generation gap is as wide as the Grand Canyon may not comprehend where the
attraction lies. For the young woman from a poor county, perhaps poverty, lack of education, and hope for security may be the inducement. For the older man, the reasons could
be more complicated.
It happens. We all know the drill. The marriage you entered into with so much enthusiasm and hope, ends. Or the job into which you put so much of yourself
goes sour, or is ‘downsized’. Any big set-back in life leaves you with hard questions about who you are. Using an unforeseen break in your life to figure out where you are,
and where you want to go next, can give you the insight that makes second chances happen.
The inclination to leap into something new and different can be very tempting. Dye your hair, grow a beard, get that facelift you’ve been contemplating for
years. Find a lover 20 years your junior; leave town, leave the country! However, quick ‘fixes’ can often plunge us into worse scenarios that those from which we thought we
were escaping. In these hard edged, modern times, people sometimes think they can fix their lives like they fix their cars.
Perhaps the secret to new beginnings is to give ourselves some time to drift into a neutral time frame, which allows us to look over our lives, and pause to
reflect. Too bad hardly anyone actually does anything that rational, and Thailand is a great place to observe people who have come here because something went very, very wrong
with their lives back home. Of course, not everyone is here because they are running away from their demons. Let us just say, there are plenty of individuals who simply decided
they wanted a change of scenery for personal reasons. This category covers a wide range of subjects.
Growing old is a good example. Asians have a hard time understanding that to grow elderly in the West is rather like being put out to pasture, especially for
the man. Not only do Western nations deify youth and beauty, their societies imply that to grow old and infirm is tantamount to a social insult.
In addition to finding himself on the wrong side of youthful vigor, the divorce rate in some Western countries is higher than 50%, so chances are his
marriage broke up long ago, and the ‘dating scene’ in these nations is fraught with obstacles. Unless these gentlemen stay in the work force, or immerse themselves in
active hobbies or charity work, many find themselves at loose ends. I used to think Western women handled this time of life better than their male counterparts. After all, they
have grandchildren and all those soppy women’s magazines to turn to, while Sports Illustrated and Popular Mechanics don’t gear themselves to social issues.
But as the Baby Boomers advance toward the age of retirement, the women of this generation are proving me wrong, but that is a subject for another time.
Eastern societies place a premium on older people, and great age commands respect. The elderly hold elevated positions in their neighborhoods, and are
revered for their accumulated wisdom. A wai, a salaam, or a bow from the young is always proffered with sincerity. While gray hair and a wrinkled face will get
you nothing in the West except a name card from a plastic surgeon or a discounted fare on the city bus, a wai, a salaam, or a bow from the young is always
proffered with sincerity.
And if these gentlemen, by chance, or design, find themselves in Thailand, a fresh young bride in her 20’s is not exactly out of reach. Out of reach? He
will most likely be pursued. After all, he probably has money; at least a generous pension, maybe a business. He will buy her a house and a car, perhaps send her to school,
take her on foreign holidays, and support her relatives. At least that is her dream. And the gentleman? It depends on what kind of bargain they have made. Surely it will beat
sitting in a public park in Chicago, London or Frankfurt, feeding the pigeons.
The Computer Doctor
by Richard Bunch
This week, I thought it would be a change not to have readers questions but something which is fairly topical at the moment: and that it the latest processor
from Intel, the Pentium 4.
This processor is available in 3 speeds, 1.3, 1.4 and 1.5Ghz, all of which feature Intel’s new NetBurst? micro-architecture which incorporates a 400MHz
system bus, hyper-pipelined technology, rapid execution engine, execution trace cache, advanced transfer cache, advanced dynamic execution, enhanced floating point/multimedia
and streaming SIMD extensions 2. The hub architecture is based on the Intel 850 chipset, which was in itself designed with the Pentium 4 and NetBurst technology in mind. This
doubles the length of the pipeline between the processor and the chipset, which enables higher performance than ever before. In addition, the Pentium 4 has a 400 MHz system bus
that provides three times the bandwidth over previous technologies. It also provides advanced dynamic execution to more accurately predict branch utilization while an execution
trace cache stores decoded instructions, which removes the decoder from the main instruction loop. The processor also provides 144 new streaming SIMD Extension 2 instructions,
with double precision floating point, 128-bit SIMD integer, and improved cache and memory management instructions.
I recently built a Pentium 4, 1.4Ghz on Intel’s D850Gb motherboard. The boxed Intel Processor comes with 128Mb RDRAM (2 * 64Mb/800Mhz), yes one again
memory has to be inserted in matched pairs and all memory on the same motherboard has to be the same speed. RDRAM is available in both 600 and 800Mhz speeds. The board
naturally supports ATA100 hard disks, which further enhances performance. The motherboard is physically larger than that used for Pentium 3 and Celerons; this added width
initially caused me a problem as I could not mount my removable HDD rack where I wanted as there was insufficient clearance. However, moving it up the tower resolved the
problem. As well as being somewhat larger physically, the next thing to note is that it requires 3 separate power connections, so no standard ATX case here! The processor
itself is a 423 pin grid array and comes complete with a syringe of heat transfer grease and a humungous fan, the latter of which is not that easy to mount.
Whilst that sums up the basics, it is very important that when building a performance PC like this that the ancillary equipment like AGP cards, hard disks
and sound card are not scrimped, as a poor performing AGP card will drastically reduce overall performance, as will pre ATA100 hard disks thereby negating the expense of
building the Pentium 4 based PC in the first place.
In operation I have found overall performance a little disappointing. It is true to say that it opens programs much quicker and multitasks better, but
clearly the 128Mb of RDRAM, as supplied, is inadequate and needs to be increased. This is not a cheap upgrade and 128Mb of RDRAM will set you back over 9,000 baht, in contrast
128Mb of PC133 SDRAM will cost just over 2,000 baht. Also, at the time of writing RDRAM is rather scarce.
So, should you rush out and buy one? The answer, unless you really have a burning desire for ownership is probably no. Prices will undoubtedly come down,
although when is uncertain. As yet, Pentium 3 chips are holding their price and no significant reduction has been seen, whereas when Pentium 3’s were introduced the price of
Pentium 2 chips was slashed.
Send your questions or comments to the Pattaya Mail at 370/7-8 Pattaya Second Road, Pattaya City, 20260 or Fax to 038 427 596 or E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org The views and comments expressed within this column are not necessarily those of the writer or Pattaya Mail
Richard Bunch is managing director of Action Computer Technologies Co., Ltd. providing professional services which includes: custom database and application
development; website design, promotion and hosting; computer and peripheral sales service and repairs, pro audio solutions, networks (LAN & WAN) and IT consulting. For
further information, please e-mail email@example.com or telephone/fax 038 716 816 or see our website www.act.co.th
Sea Worlds : Temperate Oceans
by Apichart Panyadee
New Zealand Waters
Hookers sea lion off coast of Poor Knights Island
Bordered on north, east and west by the bountiful South Pacific, and on the south by the harsh, polar Southern Ocean, New Zealand’s temperate waters
encircle thousands of miles of coastline. Off the west coast of South Island, where an early snow may dust Doubtful Sound, the bottlenose dolphins cruise and hunt. These sea
mammals use biosonar to create “pictures” of their surroundings. In these waters, the bottlenose dolphins feed on sea creatures including squid. They also snatch up fish
discarded by fishermen. In shallow waters, these clever creatures often roll over on their backs and feed upside down. It is thought this peculiar method of eating is used in
the shallows to enhance echo-location by subduing surface echoes. In this way they filter out the surface noise.
New Zealand’s Bottlenose dolphin
On New Zealand’s opposite end, about 15 miles off North Island’s north east coast, lies Poor Knights Island. These isolated and uninhabited bits of land
overlook a magical underwater sanctuary where the sea has etched cavities out of volcanic rock. Amongst a throng of underwater creatures, there dwells the tiny, two inch
crested blennies. Divers will also find the long-spined red urchins feeding on seaweed here. This sea urchin defends itself with two sets of mobile spines. Each spine is tucked
into a ball-and-socket joint, and attached to that joint is a muscle at the base, which allows the spine to swivel around and aim it at passing predators looking for a meal.
Seven inch male seahorse
The Auckland Islands are located in New Zealand’s outermost territory of its southern islands. In these waters lives the Hooker’s sea lion. Probably less
than 10,000 live and breed in this region. However, populations are increasing since laws were passed to prevent the hunting of seals. In shallow bays on Steward Island, scuba
divers observe the sea horse, which may grow to about seven inches when mature. This curious creature is an interesting example of reverse roles in parenting. Sea horse
reproduction occurs when the female injects her eggs into the incubating pouch of the male. He inseminates them, nurtures them, and after a few weeks, spews them forth into the
sea. It may take several days for as many as 300 half-inch babies to emerge. Hungry when born, sea horses eat crustacean larvae and other small creatures with their tubular
mouths. Sea horses are becoming increasingly rare as collectors and traders decimate their populations for domestic aquariums.
Forgotten Classics : Roger Waters “In the Flesh”
by Mott the Dog
Do we really need another double live collection of old Pink Floyd songs? No we jolly well don’t, especially when it’s done as badly as this appalling
This is a complete waste of perfectly good plastic, metal, and paper (yes, even
the artwork & sleeve notes are dire).
The music starts off with a collection of cover version sounding songs from Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” (a great version of which was only released last
year as a double live C.D. “Is there anybody out there” with the original band) then after a couple of tunes from Pink Floyd’s worst album “The Final Cut” things
really take a turn for the worse when the band trip into “Pigs On The Wing” from “the Animals” album. This version needs a musical Zimmer Frame to keep it stuttering
along for sixteen turgid minutes. Worse is to follow, as Roger Waters then decides to desecrate holy ground by taking on songs from the album “Wish You Were Here”. After
the song “Wish Your Were Here”, Roger Waters tells the crowd “They wish they were here”. Well, I’m quite sure Mr. Gilmour, Wright & Mason were glad to be
anywhere, as long as they were not associated with this racket.
Then the band attempts “Shine on You Crazy Diamond”, and this is when this Dog had to cover his ears with his paws. Snowy White, the band’s lead
guitarist should be truly ashamed.
As for Andy Fairweather Lowe’s involvement with this road band, well “Wide Eyed & Legless” indeed.
Incredibly things get worse on Disc Two with Roger Waters torturing the crowd with songs from his unsuccessful solo career, before rumbling through a few
old Pink Floyd cornerstones to thankfully bring it to a close.
But no, we have to suffer once more, as tacked onto the end is “The New Song”. It’s not important to review it; it’s just rubbish, & explains
why Roger Waters can only tour these days as a glorified cabaret act.
If you want to hear real Pink Floyd go out & find the double CD “Pulse” from 1995, which goes to prove that Pink Floyd are the only band in space.
To sum up, the worst thing about Roger Waters “In the Flesh” is that it’s over 2 excruciating hours long.
This CD deserves no star rating and a warning sticker that it could damage your ears. Best forgotten and definitely not a classic.
The Carnage Track Listing
|1. In The Flesh
||1. Breathe (In The Air)
|2. The Happiest Days Of Our Lives
|3. Another Brick In The Wall, Part 2
|4. The Pros And Cons Of Hitch Hiking Part 11
|5. Get Your Filthy Hands Off My Desert (Aka 5:06 AM - Every Stranger’s Eyes)
||5. Perfect Sense (Parts I And II)
6. Southampton Dock
|6. The Bravery Of Being Out Of Range
|7. Pigs On The Wing, Part 2
||7. It’s A Miracle
||8. Amused To Death
|9. Welcome To The Machine
||9. Brain Damage
|10. Wish You Were Here
|11. Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Parts 1-8)
||11. Comfortably Numb
12. Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun
|12. Each Small Candle
Shaman’s Rattle: The Shaman Stones Hailona (Part 2)
(Hailona is Hawaiian, meaning - Casting for Divination.) The Shaman stones method of divination is the casting of seven coloured stones or beads as a way of
accessing our intuition. Just buy seven different coloured beads or buttons or paint 7 stones white, red, orange, yellow blue, green, and violet. Throw the stones and read the
one that falls closest to the white.
You ask a question and concentrate on it while throwing the stones. Here is a Casting Variation. Instead of asking for advice or a plan of action - ask,
“What is in the way of me achieving my goals?” Toss the stones as before and read the closest to the white, reading them in their opposite sense.
RED - Mental or Physical stress
ORANGE - Lack of Focus
YELLOW - Procrastination
GREEN - Anger
BLUE - Fear or Doubt
VIOLET - Rigid Thinking
Remember to refer to the 7 Huna Principles for how to overcome a problem.
Corollaries for the 7 Principles:
1. White. IKE. The world is what you think it is. Be Aware.
You create your own experience by your thoughts. Thoughts of fear, anger and resentment can make us sick and diminish our effectiveness, while thoughts of
confidence, love, determination, and forgiveness can increase our health and performance. Learn to recognize the effects on experience of attitude, expectation, telepathy and
belief. Thoughts will telepathically attract their equivalent. Positive thoughts will attract positive people and events. Negative thoughts will attract negative people and
2. Pink or Red. Kala. There are no limits. Be Free.
Everything is connected. A single thought of love or hate influences the whole universe. Connectedness may be described as a web or infinite electromagnetic
fields. Anything is possible. By assuming such interconnectedness we assume the possibility of influence at a distance. Our energy or spirit extends to the ends of the Universe
because there are no limits. Keep the connection clear by continually releasing mental and physical stress and tension. (“Electromagnetic fields” is an excellent way to
describe Reiki energy. Reiki 11 and 111 practitioners effectively use this electro-magnetic principle to send healing energy over any distance.)
3. Orange. Makia. Energy flows where attention goes. Be focussed.
Those aspects of your present experience which seem enduring are the result of sustained focused attention. If you don’t like your present circumstances
then find some way to shift your attention to a new pattern. (Meditation or hypnosis are some techniques.) Keep your intentions, objectives, goals and purpose in mind,
including frequently reviewing your motivation. This lends a high degree of efficiency and a low degree of frustration.
4. Yellow. Manawa. Now is the moment of Power. Be present.
Remember your beliefs, thoughts and behaviour change your world. It is futile to live in the past or the future. The greater your presence in the now, the
greater your effectiveness. Be more consciously aware of the input from your senses. Be aware of sounds, colours, shapes, lines, touch, energy. Decide for yourself what is
worth following up on.
5. Green. Aloha. To love is to be happy with. Be happy, praise.
Criticism kills relationships, praise builds them. Whatever you criticize or praise increases and grows. Self criticism causes stress, anxiety and inhibits
awareness memory and energy whereas self praise increases awareness, energy, strength, memory, and contentment. Whenever you are criticized personally praise yourself aloud or
silently and the criticism will have no effect. Sending blessings is as important as praise. To bless is to reinforce actual or potential good, to acknowledge beauty, admire
skill, appreciate kindness and give wishes for success and safe journeys. Telepathic blessings can be just as effective.
6. Blue. Mana. All power comes from within. Be confident.
Confidence is vital because without it, it is difficult to function. All the power that creates your own experience comes from your own body, mind and
spirit. You create all your experiences through your beliefs, desires, fears, expectations, reactions, and responses. Neither affirmations, prayers nor visualizations will be
effective if they are spoken with wistful hope and feelings. Confident authority is the key to all conscious creation and manifestation. Suitable confidence raising
affirmations are - I approve of myself. I send praise to myself and others. I speak, think and feel with conscious authority and belief, I and everyone have the power to create
our own experiences. I am doing well. I feel great.
7. Violet. Pono. Effectiveness is the measure of truth. Be Flexible.
What is really important is what works. Every problem has more than one solution. There is always another way to do anything. This translates as the way you
do anything determines the result, definitely not the reverse. Reach success through helping others.
From “The Urban Shaman” by Serge Kahili King. Published by Simon & Schuster Isbn 0-671-68307-1
Women’s World : Cleopatra
by Lesley Warner
Why is Cleopatra thought by some to be one of the most seductive and beautiful women in all-human history?
Cleopatra was born in 69 BC in Alexandria, Egypt and was only 18 when she became the queen of Egypt in the springtime of 51 BC.
What is often not associated with Cleopatra was her brilliance and her devotion to her country. She was a quick-witted woman who was fluent in nine
languages. She was a mathematician and a very good businesswoman. (She was the first Ptolemy pharaoh who could actually speak Egyptian!) And she proved to be a shrewd
There are different accounts about whether or not she was beautiful; some say she was, and others say that she had an unglamorously long, bent nose and
coarse masculine features. But there is a general accord amongst historians that she gave a lot of attention to the care of her body and the way she deported herself. It is
also agreed that men found her very attractive and her ways, seductive. So I decided to find out why. I thought I might learn something from our sister in the past!
I discovered that Cleopatra made herself appealing to men by giving them what they wanted; no I don’t mean sex! She was not a promiscuous woman and had few
lovers but she knew how to make them feel good about themselves and her.
When Alexandria was overtaken by Caesar, leader of the Roman Empire, Cleopatra arranged to be smuggled into his court wrapped up in a carpet. Caesar himself,
overtaken with her attractiveness, became her lover almost immediately. She later gave birth to a son who she named Little Caesar.
When Caesar was later murdered at the hands of conspirators against him, Cleopatra became the lover of Mark Anthony, one of the three men who became Emperors
of Rome after Caesar’s death. It is reported that when Mark Anthony first summoned Cleopatra to speak with him, she arrived on a barge, and even though Egypt was on the verge
of economic collapse, Cleopatra put on a show for Mark Anthony after first researching the kind of man that he was and what he liked. She sailed with silver oars, purple sails
with her Erotes fanning her and the Nereid handmaids steering and she was dressed as Aphrodite, the goddess of love. This was a very calculated entrance; considered vulgar by
many. It was a vulgar display to attract the attention of a vulgar man. The silver oars must have been striking as they cut the water’s surface.
Plutarch, a Greek historian, perhaps provides some insight into what it was that men found so irresistible about her, when he writes, “Plato admits four
sorts of flattery, but Cleopatra had a thousand. Were Anthony serious or disposed to mirth, she had at any moment some new delight or charm to meet his wishes: at every turn
she was upon him, and let him escape her neither by day nor by night. She played at dice with him, drank with him, hunted with him: and when he exercised in arms, she was there
to see...” In other words, she fed a man’s ego! Do you think it’s that easy to become one of the most beautiful women in history?
Cleopatra had dreams of becoming the Empress of the world. She was very close to achieving these dreams and her favorite oath was, “As surely as I shall
yet dispense justice on the Roman Capital.”
In 48 B.C. Cleopatra was stripped of her power and she was forced into exile in Syria.
She would not live this way, so history says she had an asp, which was an Egyptian cobra, brought to her hidden in a basket of figs. She died on August 12,
30 BC at the age of 39.
She had a charismatic personality, was a born leader and an ambitious monarch who deserved better than suicide.
Out of the Rumour Mill: The Lovely ogling den (Naklua Road) is reported to be closing its doors sometime this coming April. The
reason being offered is that the lease is up for renewal and the present ownership feels the current return on investment is not worth the money. Instead, they will concentrate
on improving their other operations in Walking Street, namely Happy (Soi Happy) and Peppermint (upstairs and next to the Marine Disco).
It is also being reported that the Star Night ogling den (Soi 6) is up for grabs and will, in all likelihood, be shutting down in the near future.
However, hope springs eternal, for when one door closes it seems yet another one opens. If the sign is anything to go by then the new Giligins (Pattayland
Soi 1) is certain to be noticed. The beer boozer by day, ogling den by night is due to open its doors to the paying public sometime in the next couple of weeks. Management is
also suggesting that around 2:00am the ogling den will then turn into a disco and continue on until the wee small hours.
In the Boozers: As of March 1, the sedate nosh house and laid back beer boozer Larry’s Dive (South Pattaya Road) turns into Blacky’s Pirate Den from
10:00pm until closing (around 4:00am).
The popular Blacky has been around Pattaya for the last eight years singing and playing his own brand of rock and roll and was formerly the resident musician
at the Bamboo Bar, just across the road from Larry’s Dive.
However, Blacky has struck a deal with the Larry’s Dive management and now his ensign, the black flag sporting the skull and crossbones, will be hung out
Happy Hour kicks off at 3:00am and continues until closing and Blacky will have a super VCD show to enhance his performance and hopefully attract passers by.
Shameless Plug: For those of you who like a good laugh then may I humbly recommend a new magazine entitled ‘Pattaya Unplugged’. The magazine features
sections on some of the T-shirts put out by ogling dens and beer boozers, restaurant menus that don’t quite make sense as well as unusual signs, posters, sayings and the like
from a multitude of boozers and nosh houses. It costs just 40 baht and is available from Bookazine, DK Books in Soi Post Office and DK Bookmart in Central Pattaya Road (Beach
Road end) and was compiled by yours truly.
In the Hot Spots: To be perfectly blunt, there are some ogling dens around Fun Town that employ dancing maidens who, quite frankly, should really be
plying their trade in places where abundant apparel is a requirement. Siberia in mid-winter is one place that comes readily to mind.
In one particular establishment I counted around 15 or so wobbling specimens, and most of them looked like the ‘before’ photos used in advertisements for
Weight Watchers. ‘Hi, I’m Ton and I lost 300 kilos in just six weeks’.
This den offers three shows a night, but I left before the first offering as I’d only just finished my dinner and wasn’t keen on losing it. Just the
thought of it gave me hot and cold flushes all night.
Worthwhile Websites: The recently re-named FLB Bar (past the big tree on Walking Street) has one of the most popular websites in Pattaya. I recently
spent some time checking through it and I’d have to say it’s well worth a visit, whether you’re living here, a tourist or planning on coming to Fun Town for the first or
fiftieth time. Ignore the odd spelling mistake and grammatical glitch, the site is chock full of valuable information and interesting stories. You’ll find it at www.freelancer.com
My e-mail address is: firstname.lastname@example.org
Guide to buying a large dog: Airedale
by C. Schloemer
Good points: attractive, sporty appearance, faithful, (if formidable) guard, good with children
Take heed: that hard, wiry coat needs to be hand stripped; if it gets into a fight you could end up with the other guy’s vet bill.
The Airedale is the king of the terriers and the largest of the terrier group. It is
a splendid looking animal with plenty of stamina. The Airedale can ideally combine the roles of family pet and guard dog. Prior to the First World War, the Airedale worked as a
patrol dog with dock and railway police. During the War, it served in both the Russian and the British Army. It worked for the Red Cross, locating the wounded and carrying
messages. Indeed, at that time its abilities as messenger and guard were superior to those of the German Shepherd. This dog is intelligent and faithful, as well as hard
working. The Airedale is now a modern day family pet and is good with children. The owners should socialise this dog as a puppy. It can sometimes have a problem with other
dogs, so be prepared to train your Airedale to a lead. And the sooner the owner trains this dog to respond to voice commands, the better.
Size: Approximately 25 kg, height: dogs, 61 cm at the shoulder, bitches slightly less.
Exercise: One of the useful features about this dog is that although large, it will adapt easily to living in a reasonably confined space, provided that
it has at least two good 20-minute walks and off the leash free runs every day. Alternatively, it will be in its element running with horses in the country and slopping though
muddy fields. Not exactly adapted to downtown city life because of exercise requirements, the Airedale, however, will be happy in a medium sized garden as long as there are
public parks for free runs. This dog needs training early, and will reward that training with obedience and loyalty.
Grooming: The Airedale needs a daily grooming with a stiff brush, and if you plan to enter him in the show ring, it is absolutely essential to that his
coat is hand stripped regularly. Ask the breeder to show you how this is done and don’t be ashamed if you eventually resort to a grooming salon. If you own an Airedale in
Thailand’s tropical heat, you will need to hand strip the coat more often to keep him cool. Those owners who live in cold climes will allow the winter coat to grow thick for
protection, but still need to strip the coat in Spring and Summer.
Origin and History: The Airedale is named after the valley of Aire in Yorkshire from which its ancestors came. It was originally called the Waterside, or
working terrier. The forerunner of the present-day Airedale was kept for vermin control by Yorkshire gamekeepers and it was probably crossed with the Otterhound. In the late
1800’s the Fox Terrier enjoyed immense popularity. Lots of thought and care went into the breeding of the Airedale. It was a bigger terrier, attractive, and at the same time,
a very useful dog. It was soon adopted as a companion, and a pet. But when given a chance the Airedale can still be an expert ratter and can also be trained to the gun.
The Message In The Moon: Examples of Moon sign influences
by Anchalee Kaewmanee
In order to more accurately synthesize the elements of your Sun sign with those of your Moon sign, and arrive at a startlingly accurate picture of your
personality - your passions, fortes, compatibility with others and your career potentials - you must understand the underlying influences of the Moon sign over the more obvious
personality traits of the Sun sign.
Let’s take some quick examples. If you are a Gemini, for instance, you will probably have many of the traits common to all Geminis. These subjects are very
talkative, usually high strung, and incredibly mobile. As a Gemini, others may find you somewhat quick-changing, inconsistent and hard to follow. You will most likely lead an
active life, and your quest will be geared towards the pursuit of variety and excitement.
If, however, you are a Gemini with a Moon in Taurus, you will possess an underlying emotional stability, and thus appear much more consistent than your
Gemini cousins with a Moon sign in a less earthy sign. You will also be more stubborn, less flexible, and you will be inclined to hold on to impressions and beliefs with fixed
In addition, the Gemini Sun sign personality with a Moon sign in Taurus will also be inclined to pursue a life geared more to comfort, luxury, and material
security, rather than a search for constant novelty and what some may refer to as downright chaos.
To cite another example, let us say you are a Cancer with the Moon in Sagittarius. You may have all the other traits so characteristic of the stereotypical
Cancer, it is true. Outwardly, you might be somewhat cautious, self-protective and shrewd. Your particular quest in life may lie in pursuit of emotional security and domestic
happiness. That would be perfectly natural for a Cancer Sun sign. If, by chance, you happen to be a Cancer with a Moon in Sagittarius, you will be far more freedom-loving,
uninhibited, and certainly more adventurous than what is typical of your sign.
The Cancer-Sagittarius will have deep dreams and aspirations which are geared more to the quest for truth, liberty, and philosophy. This subject is a deep
thinker, who ponders on the meaning of life and the desires and motives of others. So we see, that by adding the Moon sign, we gain a whole new dimension to our understanding
of the personality of the individual. Our view is no longer only a one-sided calculation of the Sun sign.
Now let us take an actual example. Former American President Jimmy Carter is a Libra with the Moon in Scorpio. His Libran nature is very evident in his
style, mannerisms, and tactics. We know that Librans are concerned with establishing peace, harmony, balance, and happiness for those around them. Jimmy Carter’s presidential
campaign rhetoric, true to his Libran nature, was filled with references to love, the ‘politics of joy’, and the importance of bringing the population of his country
together as a society which could work in tandem. His appeal was populist, which is also a Libran trait. They generally do not make decisions without first consulting others.
They are fond of partnership and co-operation. Librans always favor compromise over combat. True to form, his administration policies were full of compromise, avoiding extremes
and usually walking the middle path.
Librans are also known for their vanity, and perhaps this is why Mr. Carter was so concerned with the image he presented to the world while he was in office.
But what about the other side of Jimmy Carter? That side was not always so apparent. The side which is represented by his Scorpio Moon sign would, by its very
nature, be the opposite of a typical Libran. Scorpios are confident and bold, ambitious, stubborn, and decisive. Carter’s intense ambition and self-confidence attest to this
Scorpio facet of his personality. During his term as president, there were plenty of times when he proved himself to be decisive and unafraid of initiating bold actions; all
very much Scorpion attributes. While on the public stage, many could observe an underlying self-righteousness and egotism in Mr. Carter which sometimes brought about downright
tyrannical behavior, especially in times of crisis. Again, this was the Scorpio Moon side of his emotional makeup.
Coins of the Realm: Finding a treasure in the sea
by Jan Olav Aamlid - President - House of the Golden Coin
A diver’s dream is finding treasure. In the sea not too far from Pattaya several treasures have been found; unfortunately it is rarely reported to the
authorities. The reason for this is that the law is not clear of the ownership of the items found.
Historically important evidence found in the sea is part of our heritage, and lots of questions from the past can be answered when curators have the
opportunity to examine the items and the site where treasures are found.
This situation does not only apply Thailand, but also several other countries. In
1972 three divers, two Swedes and one Norwegian, were diving off the cost of Norway at the island of Runde in Sunnmore.
The reason for diving outside Runde was to see the interesting marine life by the Norwegian coast. Suddenly, one of the divers came to a clearing in the
metre high forest of seaweed. He saw a great number of regular objects, and after he picked up a few he released that they were coins. Not only a few coins, but also a
After a few days the three divers took up about 75 kilos of gold and silver coins. They reported the find to the local police and handed over the coins to
the police for safekeeping. The first reaction from the police was to tell the divers that it was prohibited to dive at this spot.
A few days later the leading expert in marine law made a statement saying that in his opinion the coins found on the bottom off the sea off Runde were no
man’s property and that the finders were entitled to claim them.
During the next couple of weeks the divers picked up almost 500 kilos of gold and silver coins. The ownership of the coins was not clear. The ship was Dutch,
named Akerendam, and foundered in 1725. Akerendam was on her way to Batavia, and the coins were supposed to be spent in South East Asia; maybe some of the coins were supposed
to be used in Thailand buying silk.
The Dutch State wanted the coins, the Norwegian State wanted the coins and the divers wanted to keep what they had found. After some discussion, an agreement
was made; the Dutch State got 7%, the divers got 67.6% and the State of Norway kept the rest.
In my opinion this was a good solution. Curators obtained historically important
evidence, several books were written about the ship and the circumstances when Akerendam sank. The coins kept by the Norwegian State are exhibited at the University Coin
Collection in Oslo. Some of the cannons and other items found are at the Maritime Museum in Bergen. Divers can still today dive at the sight and have the pleasure of seeing
cannons still on the seabed.
One of the divers sold his coins to an investor. This investor and the two other divers in 1978 sold their coins at an auction in Switzerland. A Norwegian
coin dealer ended up buying the coins, and sold them as collections of about twelve coins to collectors. The collectors are happy, not only do they have a part of important
historical evidence, but also the price of their collections has increased a lot.
The Dutch State did not impress me. The 7% of the coins they received were later sold at a private auction. In my opinion the Dutch State should have kept
the coins as a part of Holland’s important part in international shipping and trade and in respect of the seamen that died off the coast of Norway in 1725.
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