Thailand Travel Stories, Page 53

Khao San Road WIFI

Khao San Road WIFI
Bangkok, Thailand Southeast Asia
Tuesday, October 9, 2007

I have moved into a hotel with WIFI, and somehow got the WIFI to work, all is good so far. The Hotel WIFI requiresd a key, password, this always require I travel with my own private tech staff, open systems are 500 percent better, as the staff of Hotels never seem to understand the Key. This one is a keyed one, however, the staff is very helpful and I heard the man calling some techie to try to suss out the problem.

It took about one hour to connect, using every combination, permutation and hope of finding the right combination. I suspect the WIFI may work in about 4-6 room, they are installing one on the third floor. I truly believe an Ethernet wire is better.

As long as there is concrete, there is a problem, WIFI is stopped by concrete. I really hope they jump to second-generation home WIFI routers, where the whole block is covered and not just 25 meters in line of sight. WIFI will go through a wood door, and if the wall is not too far from the router. Bottom line, you rent a specific room close to the WIFI router, and not just land in the hotel, only specific well-positioned room work.

Alternatively, I suppose you can go work in the common areas, but then why not just live in a room and go to the internet café.

I think the best internet is with Ethernet wire to all rooms, then WIFI in the common areas, and an open, non-key required system, with a some techie on staff… hee hee

I think in reality only about 1 in 10 WIFI works adequately to say, I have a dependable connection. The verdict is still being made here in the (Hotel Name Edited) near Khao San Road, but so far, I think the staff will keep it up and running.

WIFI sucks, but I need a connections, I am using flashget to download my 3.5 gig site as backup from some Tar file. We now have a designated server, and it does not provide backup, go figure… Well, we already have a system to synchronize send the site to another company server.

I am looking for my mobile office:

Khao San Road WIFI

The Presence of Asia on a Jet

The Presence of Asia on a Jet
Bangkok, Thailand Southeast Asia
Tuesday, October 9, 2007

This is a photo of the Kenya Airlines toilet on way to Bangkok, Thailand, if you look close you will see footprints on the toilet seat.

Culture cannot be erased, thqt is my comment on cleanliness of India doctors, or African doctors. Here is the proof in the pudding, a person has squatted on top of the toilet, they refused to adapt, and the footprints is the proof. Culture does not disappear just because you are in a modern appendage.

The same flight a Mali man spit four times on the floor of the plane.

- I am what I am, and that is all I am. -
Poppye the Sailor Man.

I wish we could erase our past, erase our culture, the truth it is imprinted on our souls with indelible ink. Do not for a second think an immigrant left home and did not bring with them their culture, they will change the new one. But their Mom will not be left behind, the person will behave as he or she did when they were young, I do not care what the textbook taught them, they will obey their culture first.

This is real, no games, no santized politically correct crapola.

The Presence of Asia on a Jet

Aging Khao San Road

Aging Khao San Road
Bangkok, Thailand Southeast Asia
Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Anyway, I think about it, I would say I am in an older Hippie Backpacker Ghetto; Khao San Road is not the new one on the block. Khao San Road is now an institution with the world class backpacker, it is old hat, there are backpacker here as old as 65 years old, however fortunately for the girl watching, the mean age is closer to 23-24, with some jumps to 30.

I am the old man of backpacking, I think my eyes have been altered, the naïve Indiana boy has been removed, and the I know the world has been inserted. It is not a good feeling, I like to be USA, Indian naïve, it was less jaded and I made simple assessments of people. I did not look at their body form, their nose, the way a person walk and say,
- European, probability the Netherlands. -

Last night I was with Craig of, and to girls would hump up three-four bags per girl. Craig astutely said to the girls,
- Hey, Rain Covers. -
More or less saying, put on your rain covers.
I piped up,
- You have the wrong sandals one, why? -

The one for sure was Israeli, and they are known to always have rain covers on their bags, it is some national backpacker rule, a backpack has a rain cover. The other one spoke French at me, because the other day I forgot and said,
- Ca Va -

Naïve is good, even when I have to try to be naïve. Khao San Road is freak city, full of frumpy young people, not in good shape, to fat for their age, and all have tattoos. It is the place where a person without a tattoo does not fit in, I am drastically conservative here.

The idea of Khao San Road, the Center of the Backpacker Universe is lack of clarity; it is a place where people go when they are not sure where to go.

I am a little worried about Khao San Road, the big boys by development attrition are tearing down all the backpacker ghetto building with wooden walls, and replacing them with four story, AC, TV, and sterile hotels, small restaurant in the bottom and boring. Not a rites of passage hotel, a tourist hotel. There is a larger than belief building going up on the walk as you leave the Wat and go towards the Burger King. It will remove a 50-meter section of the street and place in the modern world, maybe I will be walking by a Mall, and the clutter will be replaced.

This is the problem with good Backpacker Ghettos, the renovate and make modern and the flavor changes, and slowly people have lost the right to say,
- I was there. -

They have to admit, I was just in a nice hotel in the area, I did not suffer, and I presently am in a new hotel, the new Four Sons Chain close to the institution called the Peachy, next to the new 7-11. AC, remote control TV, Hot Water Tank, a key card that demands to be used to turn on the electricity, signs saying 150 to bring a Thai girl in the room, they use the word Guest, but I know they mean Thai girl. Rules and more rules, and they know how what the rules should be.

Housekeepers, that clean, I am in a small Chain, the new one on the area, and the successor to the Sawasdee group. The Four Sons has about 5 or 6 in the area, about the same as the Sawasdee chain, and then the Siam One or Two or Three, etc.

Take done freak and put up a chain hotel, take a freak and give them what they want, a nice room in a place where they can pretend to be somebody, however they have lost the plot, they are not unique. When all the people are freaked, then freaked is normal, and old hat. The social norms of Khao San Road are not being an individual; you are not just the sheep.

I found a WIFI hotel for 390 a night, about 200 Baht more than I like to pay, however, I am a business, and I need to do some business. It is the first hotel in the area that I have found that is properly priced with WIFI. I think there are at least 4 rooms where WIFI will work in the room, I HOPE. WIFI is a terrible choice for internet in room, a good Ethernet wire word ten times better in the concrete world of a hotel, and a coffee shop is good for WIFI. I am semi-happy, it is more the old expat area of Khao San, where there are fewer tourists, and they walk slow as Wade says. A freak walking fast, with a reservation in pocket, and an itinerary is not free, they are on schedule.

Goodbye to the ghetto, say hello to modern word. Taking down paradise and putting up a mall, then saying it is mom and pop. Chain hotels will soon rule Khao San Road, maybe time to find a new Ghetto where I can get dirty, be outside.

I do wander to find new place to wonder. Someone will give me a map, Alex Garland knows this.

Aging Khao San Road

Reading Glasses and Fan Glasses

Reading Glasses and Fan Glasses
Bangkok, Thailand Southeast Asia
Friday, October 5, 2007

I purchased one pair of glasses for reading, and another pair to protect my eyes from fans in the hotel room.

Today, I a made my way to my savior, a funky computer machine that somehow analyses my eyes and out pops a Thailand person with great reading glasses. I can read!

These are two sets of glasses, one is prescription type, she even gave me a copy of the correct measurements or whatever they call it, and then….

I purchase them BIG ugly type black glasses, there were sunglasses, and however she replaced the lens with glass, no power as she says. I wanted goggles that look like glasses. The fans of the world in my Hotel rooms dry my eyes, therefore now, I can wear these glasses while watching TV and the fan is trying to toast my eyeballs or at least make into a desert.

The prescription ones on the left were 500 Baht or 15 USA, and the clear ones were 300 Baht or about 9 US. If you are on Khao San Road I go to this cheap shop above the first grocery store, department store, you go to the second floor and wonder around. Somehow, wonder around above grocery stores on the second floors. I suppose you would say it the small one closest to Khao San Road. Alternatively, I suppose you could go to the police station and walk away from Khao San Road.

Reading Glasses and Fan Glasses

Making a Record of a Culture

Making a Record of a Culture
Bangkok, Thailand Southeast Asia
Monday, October 8, 2007

There is a timeline in cultures, there is a spot, where a culture can say, this was our time, and this was our culture. Shortly after World War II there was a uplift in the USA, the I can do it culture of the USA was taking hold, as the USA realized it was now the Alpha Male of the planet Earth, and now we are in the epic of little dog nipping at our heals. There was a time, when we said, we are this…it changes, it must.

I enjoy culture, and I am not sure if many Anthropologists are recording cultures. I think there is real time and there is history of culture. I read about cultures and think,
- That was true maybe 50 years ago, that is history, not today. -


There is somewhere between 10-100 years of lag time between what a person is reading about, and what is real. I am told by the read-too-much, and do-too-little intellects on the planet.
- Andy, you know they do this, or they do that. -

I think,
- Yes, they did about 50 years ago, and you have read a lot, please go outside and look around, please. -

Reading is good, but real time, real truth is, well, it is the reality and there is a big difference between some offbeat study done 10 years ago and what is today, a culture can change 100 percent in 10 years. The basic culture stays the same, but the window dressing is different, then it is difficult to see the underlying culture, a normal first time person is overwhelmed by the first impressions.

I sometimes start on these big aspirations of explaining a country, or even a place, I think, I will explain Khao San Road, how to get a hotel, how to make your way, and then I think, this will all change, within six months the rules will be different.

However, some cultures will be glossed over, given new clothes and covered by the modern world within the next 20 years. There are cultures that will 95 percent give up their traditions and adopt the TV culture, the Radio, the Music, the outside world will be too tempting and their children will become parts of the global planet, Adios Amigo.

Everyone thinks stereotypes are bad, I think stereotypes are good, the archetypes of a culture is the general explanation of the culture, to generally give an overview of how the culture works. The problem here lies in the comparison, to see a culture, a person has to see. To see how a culture is unique, to see how a culture is similar, a person needs to see social behaviors, and be able to compare. The planet is big, too big, there are too many cultures, the overview is hard to grasp. How can we compare 251 countries, I do not know them.

I see people defining cultures according to recent history, in Peru, there is the culture of Cocaine, or the Coca leaves, this was just a small leaf they chewed on, now it has taken a status of this is our culture, when in reality, it is just a great way to make money that happened in the last 50 years, before that it was a leaf.

There are parts of the culture that goes on and on, like the potato, or how to farm on the side of a mountain, semi-boring, but longer in existence.

The overview snapshots, the explanations of a culture is an interesting challenge, I think of trying to explain things, like,
- What is Thai Style? -

There is a style to the way a Thai person does something, the in-group calls it Thai Style, hard to explain, but when you hang around Thailand, you eventually say,
- Thai Style. -

Not hippie style, but real Thai Style, like the way a girl walks, the way a house was built, the way of sitting, this is Thailand, it is uniquely Thai, it was not a colony, there is no overlays, and no templates set on top of Thailand.

I do strive or reach for the edges of the earth, to find the places where nobody has put a template of culture on top of the ages old culture, this is not easy to find, but fun to find, and record in time, something to remember before we put a cell phone in their hands.

I think I am dreaming now of the video, a video can explain massive amounts of small behaviors by just watching, and words have limits.

Making a Record of a Culture

Unwinding Africa

Unwinding Africa
Bangkok, Thailand Southeast Asia
Monday, October 8, 2007

I am like a person grieving over a dead person; I can feel myself going through all the stages of the acceptance of death. I had or have great aspirations and hopes for Africa and I find myself about the same as the NGO’s and Volunteers in Africa.

- I have accomplished nothing! -

Strange, I am a person that prides myself in doing nothing well, and I continually find myself in an emotional vacuum where I need to accomplish something. There is an inherent need in man to accomplish something, some cultures, for example the Germans are obsessive in this and maybe Africa is on the bottom, lacking desire. I would say I am about 90 percent German brain, and about 10 percent African brain, therefore my mind needs to accomplish.

Accomplishing something is fools gold, what I accomplish is only important in the end to me, what I give to the world is where I will reap my real awards. I guess I know that if I give my accomplishments to the planet, the powers above me, not the weak, however the powers above me will return double.

However, even in giving, we must do it, I must accomplish, we must give to receive, and I find myself impotent in my ideas about Africa, nothing works, this is Africa, and hard to grab a string and pull on it, nothing comes of my pulling. Where is the handle, where is the grip, I just cannot seem to get my hands around Africa and say, yes, this was accomplished.

I think of the NGO’s, the only accomplishment that has obviously been accomplished in Africa is they have scared them into using Condoms. All the other nut case people, are just grabbing at straws, and telling everyone they have wagonloads of accomplishments. I feel it, they just have straws, then again when a person cannot accomplish something easily, their may not be anything to do, I mean, when something needs done, it is easy to do something. I really do not have any idea what Africa really needs, they really have what they need.

I do not think Africa needs help, I would like to do some other things in Africa, however there is a quagmire of cultural problems, that defeat independent thoughts, moreover a person has to become the king in Africa, there is no half commitments. I suppose one day Africa will decide to become parts of the outside world, and they will open the door, and that will be that, their culture will open.

Unwinding Africa Over 100 Unique Over 100 Unique
Bangkok, Thailand Southeast Asia
Saturday, October 6, 2007

On October 4, 2007

Passed over the 100 mark of unique visitors per day, and is increasing the average by about 5-10 per day, a very rapid growth pattern. This is unique persons and not HITS, hits mean nothing, or can mean How Idiots Test Success, I want to know how many unique people were on the page daily.

This is a graph as created by, a small graphic that is on every page of and creates an easy way to know the power of the page, the link is located on the bottom of all pages. sends me a daily report, this report is my constant reminder of failure or success, giving a feel and the tempo of the sites. A person need to know history to plan the future, there is a song in the world that can be heard. Over 100 Unique

New LED Lighting of World

New LED Lighting of World
Bangkok, Thailand Southeast Asia

Candles versus batteries? This is the real fight for lighting in homes with no electricity.

This is real; a battery-powered flashlight has a rough time competing with candle.

A candle has a tough time competing with kerosene and a wick.

Batteries are slowly becoming a cost effective feasible way to light houses in the world.

This is the second version of this home made LED light I have seen, I took these photos in Orodara, Burkina Faso and saw them all around the country of Burkina Faso. The first version of this home made house light I saw in Katmandu Nepal.

They used 4 1.5 Volt Batteries and said it would last a month.

The plucked the LED bulb from a Chinese made cigarette lighter and used them to make the light for the house.

This is real, this is not a toy, this is real people using their noggins to create something they will buy. The cost of candle is cheap, works, and is efficient; to surpass a candle is a feat.

New LED Lighting of World