Guess what? I'm back, been in Thailand and Cambodia for three weeks, on holiday. I've got a tremendous tan (still), a box of chopsticks and a wooden frog that makes a noise like a frog when you rub it's back with a stick (stick included).
Right, here's what I found out; "According to Section 86 of the Land Code, an alien may acquire land in Thailand only by virtue of the provision of a treaty providing him with the right to own immovable property". What's immoveable? I can pick up the dirt in your garden and put it in my carry-on luggage, what can you do? The King was somewhat perplexed by my ridiculous question and hastily changed the subject slightly. "I can send you to jail matey, so be careful what you do in my country, I am the law here".
He's right, while it's a well known fact that Thais love their King, it is equally well known that the King will incarcerate anyone who doesn't, fun place for a holiday. Nevertheless, section 96 of the land code was added in 2002 allowing aliens to buy land for residential purposes. In the meantime the illegal Vietnamese aliens are continuing to live in a floating village; "flooding's a pain in the bum" apparently, easier to live on the lake. Also easier to piss in the lake while your neighbour gut's a crocodile on the porch. Frankly I couldn't see the logic "you left Vietnam for this? How bad can it be?" I politely enquired, "You think we're doing bad? It's your vacation, how much did you spend to get here, more than us I'll bet". They were right, you can take the idiot out of Belgium but he'll be back when he's hungry. It was an interesting contrast of cultures and ideologies but as a conversation it was just another piss in a putrid lake on a balmy late summers afternoon. At least I understood what killed the crocodile, It was a mixture of raw sewage and a fella with huge spear although it really made no effort to dodge the spear at all, almost as if it wanted to die.
After that it was all elephant rides, bamboo rafting, snorkelling, sailing, jet ski's, massages and stretching out on the beach, not bad. But before that we saw the marvellous and enchanting ancient temples of Angkor in Cambodia. It would have been great to appreciate it for what it is without every tour guide and tourist saying "here's where they made the Tomb Raider movie, did you see it?". It's a thousand year old temple complex, an extraordinary reminderer of a lost civilation, which will now be forever associated with Angelina Jolie's tits, thanks again Hollywood great contribution as usual.
Oh yes the 'limpits, China won, I don't know if America entered, they've been unusually quiet, CNN is only showing Barack Obama but I'm not sure if he's a runner or a basketball player. We saw bits of the opening ceremony in Cambodia in Hindi and some of the closing in Thailand in Thai. Apart from that we saw some bits at the Billabong Surf Club (I know you can't surf on a Billabong) in the Fishermans Village in Koh Samui. I also gipped in their bog on the last night, not beer induced, it was something I ate, I think. I cleaned it though, well most of it went in the bog but there was splash back.
Nevertheless, great holiday, great food, great to be back, everything's great, great, love it. Oh sorry about the saw Nigel, I'll bring it round this week definately.