Where we belong purple disco machine Robosonic

Letters to the editor

Dear editors.

We are very surprised that the event of the year in Berlin cannot be found in your issue. What is meant is the appearance of the Thai megastar Carabao and band in the TU cafeteria. Especially since the fees were donated to charity. The event was absolutely successful, and there were many Farang and Thai faces present, who did not necessarily belong to the Thai park clique. Is this the reason for your inaction? With best regards Matthias and Phen

Dear Mr. Bradtberg,
Thank you for your critical letter to the editor!
As we have already noted several times, for personal and technical reasons it is unfortunately not possible for us to report on all events at the large number of events of the Thai-German community here in Berlin.
A monthly magazine - as opposed to a daily newspaper - simply has the problem of being on the market either too early or too late. We have to live with that and I think that the majority of our readers will understand. You can't always report on everything, you have to leave something out. Often even leave out a lot so that more important things can be given more space.
In addition, in this case, the famous Karabao and his band hardly need any advertising or encouragement. The concert in the old TU canteen on Hardenbergstrasse was sold out and a huge success.
Why you now accuse us of "inactivity" or want to construct a connection to one of you so-called Thai-park clique (what is certainly meant is "Thai-park clique") is incomprehensible to me. Or do you want all the hundreds of Thai-German recreation seekers who, in their free time, meet their children, friends and relatives in the Prussian (Thai) Park in their free time in their leisure time with their children, friends and relatives as "Klüngel" describe? I can't imagine that either.
Sincerely, Jens-Peter Richnow, FARANG

Dear Mr. Richnow, attached a consideration:
As you tell me, your spending is mainly limited to the Berlin area. Many Thai people also live here in the Mannheim and Heidelberg area, and I am sure that the "FARANG" would also be very popular here.
Sincerely
Fritz Fünkner, 69502 Hemsbach, Germany

Dear Farang editorial team.
I have now (unfortunately) returned from my short trip to Thailand and I really have to get rid of a few things with regard to the service related to flying.
My outward flight was overshadowed by the renewed accident of the American plane, which exploded shortly after take-off the same day. The security precautions at Frankfurt Airport were of course correspondingly high. I only flew with hand luggage and so I had no way of stowing my "highly dangerous" travel items such as deodorant and replacement razor blades in the suitcase. In any case, all of this was taken from me during the bag inspection on the grounds that the strict security measures would not allow these items. Well, I can somehow understand it. Deodorant as a flamethrower and the razor blade are also dangerous instruments of torture. A razor blade from the brand "Gilette-Sensor" is of course soooo dangerous that I could certainly use it as a dangerous weapon, although the advertising promises me that the blades are so safe that I could no longer cut myself while shaving. But no matter what you don't do for safety.

But when the food was served on board the Lufthansa Jumbo, I was amazed when I was handed a stainless steel knife and fork as cutlery. Hmmmmmmm, do I make the mistake or is something wrong in the system?

The Thai are a bit cleverer. On my return flight today with "Thai International Airways" at least the stainless steel knife was replaced by one made of plastic. The fork - still made of stainless steel - is probably not that dangerous, is it? In any case, I couldn't help but grin.

And now a few words about the service on board: This year this was my fourth (outward) flight with Lufthansa, just as many return flights with Thai Airways. There is no need to talk about legroom in the wood class anyway. Thai Airways is the clear winner on points, but Lufthansa does not necessarily have to be inferior to the Thai airline when it comes to service. But here, too, the German star fleet (which is not one of the cheap anyway) cannot keep up in any way. Special requests such as drinks outside of the official service hours are either not fulfilled at all or only with grinding of teeth. A woman in her mid-fifties, who was almost 1.80 m tall and weighed 85 kilos, pointed out to me in a "friendly" manner that there were some filled water glasses waiting in the service area and that I could help myself. Class! Zero points for it! Once again the confirmation that we live in the SERVICE DESERT GERMANY!

The young, pretty and graceful Thai stewardesses, on the other hand - and even the gay steward - were not too bad to bring the drink of my choice (even outside of the usual service hours) directly to my seat. And there was a friendly smile on top of that! That's what I call service! Dear Lufthansa employees, there is a lot to be done. Get on with it!

Sincerely yours
Wolfgang Payer, 63450 Hanau / Main

To the Farang editorial staff!
I have to be very surprised about your series of articles "The first rendezvous with a Thai woman" by Wolfgang Payer. You probably think that women in general, and especially in Thailand, are a commodity and that you can buy them there. With the said article you also provide the instructions for use. So no, as a woman I feel very offended in my honor. Or are you still planning to publish an article "How do I marry a Thai man"?
Gertrud Winkler, Prenzlau

Dear friends of FARANG,
thanks for the detailed contribution by Wolfgang Payer "The first rendezvous with a Thai woman". Since I like to spend my vacation in Thailand myself and also toying with the idea of ​​living with an Asian woman, I find the many pieces of advice and tips very helpful. It could well happen to a youngster like me to step into the famous faux pas. You have to learn to understand another culture before you can live well in it. Far be it from me to offend other people. So thank you, dear Mr. Payer, you have helped me a lot. Keep it up FARANG!
Peter Konrad, Düsseldorf

Dear editors,
Since I have been a reader of your newspaper from the very beginning, I would now, after hesitating for a long time, also speak up.

I belong, so to speak, to your "fans", as they say today in modern German. The articles in FARANG are informative, well illustrated, contain excessive polemics and usually have real news value. Unfortunately, I have had to do without the mostly delicious jokes for several editions. Is it over with you with the fun society? But only by the way.

What really burns under my nails is Mr. Payer's unspeakable contribution! Also in two episodes! Why do you publish such filth ?! Does this "gentleman" want to write a pig doctoral thesis with insults to the Thai population? And you also give these instructions on dirty things space in your paper!

Like many other decent Germans, I have been happily married to a Thai for years, whom I got to know just as normally (I am a qualified banker, three years abroad as a management consultant in Southeast Asia!), Just as many men meet their future wives in Germany would.

Unfortunately (better: fortunately!) I can't do anything with all the behavioral recommendations of "Mr." Payer. I have had completely different experiences! Clearly - I don't really know what this scribe is talking about.

Please refrain from publishing such graffiti in the future, which can only have sprung from the infantile fantasy of old, horny goats and do not destroy our positive image of Thailand and its lovable people.

With best regards
Your loyal reader Dr. Dr. Werner Pretzel, Frankfurt / M.

Dear Dr. Dr. Pretzel,
We have expressly put Wolfgang Payer's contribution up for discussion and hope that we will meet the concerns of our magazine if we continue to do so in the future.
Thank you for your letter and best regards
Your FARANG editorial team.

Hello Farang editorial team,
Wolfgang Payer's article was a piece of sugar next to the Thai recipes. Now and then you have experienced yourself in situations and thought with a smile about your own stupidity. Hope that we get to read more such interesting stories from Wolfgang Payer, because there were a lot of things that I didn't know ...
With that in mind ... Clark De Niro

Dear Sirs and Madames,
I came across Farang magazine, issue 12/2001, by chance.
What surprised me was the article by Wolfgang Payer. Finally - after years - you can read an article about Thailand that gives the real background and interpersonal relationships and explains the Thai way of working. Since I often have to deal with Thai business partners in Bangkok and have also gotten into such situations, the article would have made sense for me two years ago. Since everyone has to make their own experiences in Thailand in some way and every now and then good advice from Thailand connoisseurs is appropriate, I find the article by Wolfgang Payer a successful edition. I would be happy if such articles would continue to be published so that we can be spared a lot.
Yours sincerely Wolfgang Wilke

Consideration on the subject of "road users"

With at least 20,000 road deaths in Thailand every year - a multiple of the victims in the more populous Germany - you must be allowed to think about the uncertainties. Especially if you want to actively participate in road traffic yourself.

First of all, you should get a Thai driver's license. Preparations for the purchase are usually made in your own vehicle. However, this should not be repeated in the home country. In Germany it is believed that someone who does not have a driver's license is not allowed to drive a vehicle at all. A somewhat antiquated view of opinionated German authorities.

A round without the doctor

First you go to the ophthalmologist in Thailand. If you do not see it, it does not necessarily mean that you are blind. One looks concentrated in the direction from which one can hear the office hours help, avoid tactile attempts if one only recognizes the outline of the lady and get a certificate that one has no visual defects. There is a fee to be paid.

This certificate is then presented to the driver's license office, where you pay a fee again. Don't worry - probably nobody cares if you can drive. After all, you came with your own vehicle. Thus the test is passed.

The following tips should help the beginner: It is a purely misleading invention to claim that highways are one-way streets. That may be the rule, but it is confirmed by numerous exceptions. So: Don't just look to the right when you want to cross or thread your way. It is a truism that a lot comes from the right. But it's about the squid seller and the moped drivers who come from the left and look quite indignant if you don't take them into account. Mobile street kitchens also usually come from the left. Many of the popular Thai dishes only get their full flavor from the dust blown up on the highway.

Also note the tenths of a second intervals when changing colors at traffic lights. These are very popular with motorcyclists to change direction or lane, which is associated with a lot of artistic freedom. Thrown in speed pills give drive, vigor and courage.

It is extremely cool and casual not to signal to the taxi until the very last tenth of a second that you want to be taken along. So the taxi driver steps into the iron like world champion Schumi in front of the hairpin bend, and woe to the tourist or resident who drives behind without enough distance, dreaming of palm trees, sand and beach. His vehicle will shrink by several centimeters and lose its length.

The braking process is even more skilful when Farang want to ride out of the side street. The expansive pools of the Rubens models, including broad-shouldered, beer-bellied companions, promise three times the fare, as they also take up three times the space and fuel consumption.

Pass the radiator from the right

Motorcycle overtaking maneuvers are remarkable, mostly from the right, then whizzing past the radiator and turning into the left side street. Women in particular are masters of this maneuver and are even able to cast an insulted look through dark eyelashes, even though they have just got away with their prosperous lives thanks to the driver's emergency braking.

It should also be noted that shortly before the end of the month many underpaid law enforcement officers run out of pocket money. In the absence of radar measuring devices, the following rules apply: Everyone who drives on the left, where they belong, drives at the permitted speed. If you drive to the right and overtake, you logically drive faster than permitted and have to pay.

The right speeds can also be determined with good hearing - if you don't have to drive in a column. A long, restrained whispering of the vehicle - similar to an "SSSSSSSSD" - shows the officers the prescribed speed, whereas a hissing "SSTT" proves that it has been significantly exceeded. If we allow the cashier the little extra income, we don't insist on a receipt. By negotiating in a friendly and understanding manner with the police officer, the fine can usually be reduced from 200 to 100 baht.

A receipt is never refused, you just have to pick it up with your driver's license at the police station. The officer responsible is often present on the third visit. However, the receipt is then 500 baht - the opinionated Farang can calculate the travel costs, trouble and time required for himself. The main thing is that the "principle" is preserved.

And now Khun Krut, slightly overly optimistic as always, wishes all road users: Have fun in traffic, free travel in the "Land of the Free" and a healthy return home!

(Out The FARANG, Pattaya, Thailand, with the kind permission of the editor.)

NOW THE EURO IS HERE - FACTS AND OPINIONS

Exchange old currencies quickly

Anyone who has forgotten to exchange their German Mark or Austrian Schillings for Baht should hurry up. Thai banks are not sure how long they will continue to accept the old currencies. With the introduction of the euro on January 1, 2002, the banknotes of twelve European countries are no longer an official currency. Thai financial institutions are not obliged to exchange these currencies.

What is happening with the stamps?

All postage stamps with double price labeling (DM and Euro) will in future be valid indefinitely. On the other hand, stamps with only printed pennies lose their validity after June 30, 2002. From July 1, 2002, old stamps can be exchanged for three months in all post offices up to a total of 50 DM.

A central exchange office will be set up in Frankfurt / Main for larger amounts and will be open until the end of 2003. From January 2002, German stamps will no longer appear with imprinted pfennig amounts, but only with the euro amount. The standard letter (20 grams) will then cost 0.56 euros instead of 1.10 DM. The postcard will cost 51 cents. The large letter (up to 500 grams) is charged at 1.53 euros.

What will happen to my pension?

As with all other things - rents, prices and credit - the amounts are converted into euros at the normal Euro-Mark exchange rate of 1.95583 DM = 1 Euro. According to the pension insurance agency, this can lead to slight rounding errors downwards or upwards. In Germany, the Federal Insurance Agency for Salaried Employees (BfA) or the State Insurance Agency (LVA) remain responsible for the state pension insurance. Despite the introduction of the euro, there will be no financial equalization between the various European old-age insurance systems in the future.

Fixed conversion rate from DM to EURO:
1.95583 DM = 1 euro.

Which countries participate in the monetary union?

A total of 12 states:
Belgium, Germany, Finland, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Austria and Spain.

Affiliated in Europe:
Monaco, San Marino, Vatican State;

in Africa: Réunion, Mayotte;

in North America: St. P.-et Miquelon;

in Central America: French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique;

Legal tender in Europe declared unilaterally:
Andorra, Kosovo, Montenegro.

National currency in Africa, linked to the EURO:
Equatorial Guinea, Benin, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Gabon, Guinea-Bissau, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Comoros, Mali, Niger, Republic of the Congo (Kinshasa), Senegal, Togo, Chad, Central African Republic.

Which EU countries are not yet participating?
Denmark, Great Britain and Sweden.

Banknotes
Seven uniform notes for all euro countries:

5 euro note (gray), 10 euro (red), 20 euro (blue), 50 euro (orange), 100 euro (green), 200 euro (yellow / brown) and 500 euro Glow (purple).

Coins

Eight coins that are only the same for all euro countries on the front. The backs are individually designed nationally. All coins are legal tender in the monetary union:

1 cent coin (red, backside oak branch), 2-cent- (red, backside oak branch), 5-cent- (red, backside oak branch), 10-cent- (yellow, backside Brandenburg Gate), 20-cent- (yellow, backside Brandenburger Tor), 50-Cent- (yellow, backside Brandenburger Tor);

1 euro coin (white inside, yellow edge, federal eagle back), 2 euro coin (yellow inside, white edge, federal eagle back).

January 1, 2002:
Euro bills and coins come into circulation.

February 28, 2002:
Last exchange date for DM notes and coins at commercial banks (permanent exchange at central banks and their branches).

March 31, 2002:
Last exchange date for foreign notes from euro countries at the branches of the Bundesbank.

What effects does the euro have on the saver tax credit?
Overall positive effects. The previous tax allowance including the flat rate for income-related expenses will be increased.

From January 1, 2002, single people can reap investment income of up to 1,601 euros (3,131.26 DM - previously 3,100 DM). And married couples now have a combined allowance of 3,202 euros (6,262.57 DM - previously 6,200 DM).

Exemption requests are converted by the banks. If someone has deposited his money in several banks, he should check whether the sum of the exemption requests does not exceed or fall below the maximum limit. If you only have your money with one institute, you don't have to worry about anything in this case.

Thailand currently
German DM were accepted at all banks in Bangkok until December 31, 2001 at noon. Outside of Bangkok, the regulation until when the DM is still accepted differs depending on the bank.

Travelers checks, made out in euros, have been accepted at all banks since November 8, 2001.

The last
As was learned from a dpa report, some machines can also be used to pay with the Thai currency baht instead of the euro:

The Thai ten baht coin is so similar to the two euro coin that the machines won't tell the difference. "It has happened during tests that some coin validators have accepted the baht as a euro," said Stefan Mesch, managing director of S + M Schaltgeräte from Erkelenz.

(Out CTT-YINJOCK, CHENTHAYTRAVEL, 28.12.01 with kind permission)

Baht shock in euro country
Anyone who has spent their vacation in Thailand these days actually only heard one continuous message from distant Europe on the television media there: The euro is being introduced.

The news was spread that in Europe the bureaucrats responsible for the new currency had surrendered to the sleep of the righteous and slept off comparing the new euro coins with the Thai baht coins. At first glance, the ten-baht piece resembles the two-euro coin: the diameter seems to match and it shines golden on the inside and silver on the outside. The ten baht coin is only worth the equivalent of around 50 pfennigs. Yes - do it! Of course, the plan to feed coin-operated machines with foreign currencies is in itself a criminal offense (!) And a test on a cigarette machine quickly revealed that the ten-baht coin failed. Coin weight and edge notch are not identical. Thank Buddha! Otherwise, in the next few months and years, an unintended money transfer of unimaginable proportions would spill out from Thailand to the euro country.

All information is expressly without guarantee! FARANG editorial team

Money exchange
Tourists shouldn't expect to have their local currency changed in Thailand's banks for many weeks to come. After the euro was introduced as the new currency in twelve European countries on January 1, 2002, there are no uniform rules in Thailand's financial institutions. Some banks will exchange Deutschmarks and Schillings by the end of January, others even by the end of February. Other financial institutions only want to exchange the currencies of the twelve countries for baht as long as they can exchange the European currencies without any problems.

Be.Set in Europa-Senta
Born Berliners, but also those who grew up or moved here - so-called backpack Berliners - have problems with the dative and the accusative. This is well known and is just tolerated as a local peculiarity. You just talk to "the" caretaker and also know "the" Peter and his "lambs" - that's "Petern his". So what - let "her" do it! But now, especially since January 1st, 2002, there are other, new language difficulties.

If you research more deeply - there is a special Berlin language problem: As of that date, the new small coins are no longer called pennies, but cents - more precisely, euro cents. How do you pronounce that correctly, according to political correctness - we are so international and cosmopolitan and apparently there are no other worries apart from the pink governor Wowereit and the red mayor Gysi - that's a good thing ... .

Where's the joke now, asks the inclined reader ?! Coming in a minute - for those who still haven't buckled up. The name for the new change offers two pronunciation variants - at least for Berliners, but not only for them. Proof: ZDF is said to have ordered its speakers that "Cent" should be spoken with an anglophone soft "S" at the beginning. Professor Krämer in Münster, chairman of the "Verein Deutsche Sprach" (Association of German Language), finds this offensive and as "an ingratiation to a foreign language and culture". He is firmly convinced that we should say "Zent" (for non-Berliners "Tzent") because the cent is rooted in the German tithe.

Now one could simply bring the language custodian and protector close to the fact that the cent represents only a hundredth - not a tenth - of the euro. When the name was found, a German "center" was not considered, but rather the Latin "centum" (hundred).

Another problem: All of my poor German fellow sufferers had to grapple with the following problem in Latin lessons: Does the title "Kaiser" come from Caesar - pronounced "Kaesar" - or does it come from an extremely important but unprovable sound shift in the Indo-European languages ​​?!

God-oh-God! Do we really have no other worries ?! I don't care about the pronunciation, but the content of my purse is important to me!

By the way: My friend from the "Sement" group of the Berlin concrete heads is buying his "Be.Set." still in the "Europa-Senta" - he, too, only allows water and CeDe to control his language! ... Rainer Cuvall

LIKE NOW, HONORARY CONSUL?

Stancke's duties and fees

Misunderstandings and misinformation, which quickly made the rounds at regulars' tables, accompanied the start of the "small German embassy" in Pattaya.

So once again as a reminder: The German embassy in Bangkok has proposed lawyer Robert A. Stancke as honorary consul. Until the official appointment, the 32-year-old is a shop steward in Berlin.

His duties as shop steward (see below) and as future honorary consul of the Federal Republic of Germany differ only insignificantly. As an honorary consul, however, he will have an official seal and thus be able to issue notifications and certificates. Germans who need a certified copy of their passport, for example, have to continue to their representation in Bangkok for the time being. It has not yet been clarified whether the declaration of commitment can soon be signed in the office of the honorary consul for visa applications or whether the signature must continue to be given in person at the Bangkok embassy.

For notarizations (marriage, adoption, acknowledgment of paternity, etc.), Germans and Thai have to accept the almost two-hour drive to the capital today and in the future. That won't be possible in Pattaya.

The Stancke office is now and will not be financed with taxpayers' money. The Berlin resident has to bear rent, personnel and material costs himself. Therefore, as a shop steward and as honorary consul, he is allowed to charge fees for administrative processes. These add up to the fees that the German Embassy in Bangkok charges for its work in accordance with the Foreign Costs Ordinance or Passport Costs Ordinance.

Two examples: The Stancke office charges 2,000 baht for a passport application (the issue is as usual in Bangkok), and 3,300 baht for a tourist visa. Stancke has to forward the "Bangkok" portion of each applicant to the embassy, ​​which in turn transfers it to Germany. As an honorary consul, the lawyer may withhold the fees for some official acts (notarizations, certificates). Neither a German nor a Thai are required to bring their concerns to the contact point of the German embassy on Thepprasit Road in Pattaya (Tel. 038 - 300.951). Visa applications can still be made in the relevant offices in Pattaya or at the German representation in Bangkok. This also applies to applying for a new passport.

Before traveling to the Thai capital, however, Germans and Thai should make a phone call with the embassy to make sure that they have all the necessary documents.

(Out The FARANG 1/02, Pattaya, TH, with friendly Approval as a rule)

Communication from the Stancke office
The office of the shop steward of the German Embassy in Pattaya has been open since December 3, 2001.

The shop steward's job is to help Germans in need, to provide information and to receive applications in administrative proceedings. Passports and visas for Germany can also be applied for and given there.

Passport and visa applications can be submitted Monday to Thursday from 10 a.m. to noon without prior notification. For other matters, please call in advance Monday to Friday between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

The office is located in the offices of the Stancke / Tanun law firm on Soi Thepprasit in the direction of Sukhumvit Road, directly in front of the PTT petrol station. The address is:

FARANG: As a shop steward at the German embassy in Pattaya, what can you do for Germans and Thai? You want to inform about all "consular matters". What is meant by this?

Stancke: My most important task as a representative of the German embassy is to support Germans in need with information and assistance. That is why I am available to our German compatriots as the first point of contact in all emergencies. This applies to problems with the local authorities as well as to accidents or illness.

In addition, administrative processes with the German embassy can be handled through me.

Passports and travel documents can be requested from me and received in my office after they have been issued.

Thai citizens can apply to me for visas for Germany and the Schengen countries. The visas can also be received from me. It is therefore no longer necessary for the applicant to speak to the embassy in Bangkok in person.

In this context, I would like to point out that declarations of commitment according to the Aliens Act still have to be certified at the embassy in the capital Bangkok. For applicants from Pattaya, the relevant declarations are prepared in my office. The certification at the embassy will take place on previously agreed dates so that waiting times are avoided.

Legalizations and notarizations must still be done at the embassy in Bangkok. However, the relevant declarations can also be prepared through my office and an appointment can be made with the embassy.

That something like this still exists - and in the middle of Berlin! Delicious ham from Turkey, completely dry, low in fat and salty. Good with a drink. Your rum driver ate the same in the Dee-Da, on a Saturday, around midnight. Jogi from Rudow put the load of ham on the counter and said: "Eat!" Jogi was then tired and slept on his bar stool for about half an hour. Since his center of gravity was clearly in the lower center, he sat very stable and swayed only a little. The wonderful karaoke singing by Düan (moon) didn't bother the sleeper ... She sang for almost two hours straight, smiled and winked occasionally and used the PC keyboard very professionally. The dee-da was freshly colored, dark green, and tastefully decorated. Very fine. Boss Linda and her sister Mem worried about the well-being and satisfaction of their guests, especially after angry tongues had spread in the city that not everything in the music café was completely kosher ... But the rum driver was really able to do that notice nothing!

Recently in Waitz Café Your rum driver met some of the usual suspects. Yai, Ohlti, Santa Claus, Analita and - Arthur, as always on the beer front, staring spellbound at the screen. The boss came with a black pirate kerchief on his head. Very daring. When the Pils beer stopped splashing from the tap due to the lack of pressure, he surprised the guests - completely in Rambo style - with a heavy oxygen bottle at the ready. Then he went to the basement ...

The Doi Suthep near the lively Turmstrasse seems to be on the right track again. Pleasant yellow on the walls, a sophisticated menu, an obviously good cook. The goal is: Authentic Thai cuisine, especially with a northern Thai focus. Whatever that means - have a look. The rum driver treated himself to a Laab Nüah (phed) and the landlord thanked him at the end with a red-colored tiger drink of the finest kind. Behind it are numerous spices - marinated in vodka, house brand and rarely in Berlin. In a good mood he moved on.

Now - on the way - your rum driver received a telephone invitation to the festive dinner on the occasion of the end of Ramadan. Au fine, happa happa with muslims... 4 p.m. and the sun is gone. Location Kurfürstenstrasse. Host: an Egyptian PC dealer. Incidentally, has the same name as bin Laden's deputy. Well, peek. Several pots were served with rice, veal goulash, aubergine casserole, potato pieces in red sauce (Letscho style), fresh salad, red apples, lots of pide breads and figs. There was also a colorful shower. Many words were not exchanged, no speech, no prayer, no music. Everyone filled their plastic bowl and immediately began munching irreligiously. The rum driver emulated his hosts ... Quite tasty. At the cat table sat the only two female beings in the large multinational group. When asked whether this separation of the sexes would be so common among Muslims, the answer was an embarrassed smile: In principle not!

The conversations between the men were quite lively. The question was what kind of currency would come after the EURO, whether it could be called Afghani or American Mark? Depending on the outcome of the war ... Another topic was the question of what the state looks like in Arab countries. Not at all, actually not there! Well, learned something again. After two hours it was over. For dessert there were greasy, sweet pastries. But the rum driver left this behind better. The next Ramadan will definitely come ...

Even German can occasionally be very cute. In the rum driver Moabit corner pub it's homely. You get your name off here very quickly. Roughly: zero threesomes and a little coffee, good afternoon too. Is not so bad. On the other hand, it is strange when you order two Viennese and then have four on your plate. The reason: they used to have a long Viennese, now two little ones. But they kept the "internal designation". Fortunately, Axelmann was there and took over the two surplus. On another occasion he was unfortunately not there: The order was: A "Strammer Max" with 2 loaves next to each other. What came? Six eggs, of course - fully double the load. enjoy the meal! What your rum driver can't get used to in this Urberliner Stampe is of course the enormous volume of the German Skat brothers. There is screaming and thrashing for what it takes. You can't see them because of the thick air, but you can hear them very well ...

Unfortunately, there has recently been less positive news about the youngster Lord Gabriel aka Dag to hear. Somehow he is supposed to have misunderstood something with the numbers, the freedom of movement and the travel traffic and is now waiting until the "issue of a matter" has been clarified in the Moabit Monkey House.Not even his wife Yuvadee, who was temporarily in Thailand, was informed by the responsible "organs"! The very best greetings from this point, everything will work out for the best, dear friend!

Well then - have a nice vacation, wishes Your rum driver.

THE NEW YEAR'S EVE PARTY 2001 - LOTS OF SANUK & KARAOKE POWER

Six hours to midnight can be an eternity. This is what the Thai-German interest group experienced at the 2001 New Year's Eve party in the old TU cafeteria.

This time the organizer was not an association or a Wat, but a private initiative of German and Thai companies and private individuals. The invitation poster referred to the numerous sponsors of the party, as there were: Restaurant SAWADDI, Travel Agency ATT, Asia Special "Ching", Goldshop THONG THAI, Restaurant Thuc Thai I and II, Travel Agency TTA, City-Massage Arirat Schulz, Restaurant Praya Thai, Mary Kay, Asia-Shop Vinh Loi, Music Café THAI THEK, Tawan Café, etc. Although the organizers had finally provided enough chairs and tables for this party (praise, praise !!!) - as always it was very difficult Get seat. So this time the FARANG team hurried and was already at the traditional location around 6 p.m.

But puff cake, the sponsors' placeholder cards were already emblazoned on almost all tables. Until the program started at 8 p.m., some singers (including Edd) began to sing their vocal cords warm - to get in the mood. At the same time, the advertising videos of the individual sponsoring companies ran on the screen. This presentation was a bit amateurish, but at least a good idea (!). So also the whole event. The goodwill was visible. always visible. The direction, if you may say so, was quite bumpy - we'll just practice that again ... The stage was lit more poorly than well, actually not at all! But we don't want to complain ... After all, fun is also possible in the smallest galley, this time also in the cafeteria.

At 8 p.m. sharp, the official program was opened by the two moderators Noi and Alan. Both referred to the charity purpose of the party. The proceeds would be donated to a monk hospital in Thailand.

Special program items that should definitely be noted: The royal anthem at the beginning on the stage with the organizers, plus a whole crowd of children (with pictures of the king and queen) in traditional robes, flags and colorful uniforms from all regions of Thailand. Then a blast from now "old" friends: The children's dance group from Berlin-Spandau presented itself excellently with great hits. That crashed powerfully! Then a short, but very confidently performed break-dance interlude, and of course the smart guys from Srithong Placa celebrated a lot. Many singers gave each other the microphones. Karaoke non-stop. In between, individual dance performances - sometimes pop, sometimes classical, and of course Mo Lam - by Sabina, the Mini Dancers (with Gae) and the dance group Baan Mai Ruh Roy, the latter in elaborate Thai classical costumes.

The following were seen in the illustrious circle: Edd (temporarily), Arirat Schulz and husband Dieter, Thong Thai boss Prapha Mall with star surgeon husband, co-organizer Ralf Schlesinger from BAUCONTAKT (had the bar well under control!), Dieter Graf (Travel agency TTA) with Lek, some masked beauty, Dag wife Yuvadee (he was unfortunately unable to ... See rum driver!), Khun suai RAin Bümlein, Torten Andy, who constantly demanded "mood", Ralph from the travel agency Ci Travel, Hansi for the first time as an admission control while his Nang was on stage, and many more ...

On the stroke of 12 o'clock numerous champagne corks popped. Sparklers crackled and hissed at all tables. This smoking illumination gave the moment something very solemn. Then it went right in front of the door to bang. The "New Year" had started.

Back in the hall, the party was on its way to the end. It is also thanks to the young Thai on stage that from the New Year's on, a two-hour power disco kept the party guests on the dance floor. They danced like crazy. The New Year was thus properly welcomed. What remained was a wild battlefield on all tables - and the anticipation of the next hearty Thai party in the Berlin TU cafeteria. As always, we will report on it in detail - in words and pictures.

In 1995 I was able to convince my friend Franz (name changed), then 34 years old, to fly with me to Thailand for three weeks. I knew that he would never embark on such a journey to an unknown distant land alone. After I had always raved about this breathtaking, exotic country with its multifaceted culture, the friendly people and the tasty food and promised to always stand by him, he finally dared to take this step into the unknown with me.

Already on the plane I gave the first briefings and basic rules that you should simply know and follow in Thailand. For example, when and where you can haggle over the price, how to behave towards the Thai if you don't want to make yourself unpopular and when it is better to leave without getting involved with anything or anyone. It was particularly important to me that he knew not to mess with money, gold or the like if he wanted to take full advantage of his vacation and not lose all of his few thalers at the beginning of the vacation.

I myself had already made various experiences in my previous vacations that cost me a baht or two of the tuition.

But since Franz's finances weren't too rosy at the time and he had this vacation financed in part, but on the other hand had also really saved it, I didn't want to let him run into the open knife and save him from the worst. I hoped he would write my advice behind his ears.

When he arrived in Thailand, he initially pretended not to leave my side for the entire vacation. But after the first few days in Bangkok his initial fear and insecurity evaporated, and he quickly realized that he would be able to make ends meet in Thailand even without perfect knowledge of English and with a little common sense.

So we drove on to Pattaya. As soon as he arrived at my regular hotel (Jade-House Berlin), he wanted to rent one of the rental mopeds there and get to know the area. Said and done! Franz swung himself on his rental moped full of anticipation and set off on his first tour of discovery alone. Actually, he just wanted to take a test drive and be right back. Without knowing his way around, he drove off and ... yes, of course, soon he had lost his way and no longer knew how to get back to the hotel. Perhaps he should have pocketed a business card for our domicile beforehand or at least remembered the hotel name in order to find his way back. Anyway, I almost died of heartache from worry. The waiting time seemed almost infinitely long. After all, there was left-hand traffic, which he didn't know. He was also unfamiliar with the way Thai people behave in traffic. Maybe I should have told him that the Thai can get their driver's license on the side (in the time we need to eat a pizza). And the driver's license in Thailand doesn't cost much more than a pizza. The Thai way of driving is accordingly. You always have to expect the worst when you expose yourself to the traffic there.

But I underestimated him. At some point, after a long time, he was standing in front of me again and grinning stupidly at me. I was so angry that I would have loved to pound it into the ground. Pretty much the worst swear words I knew I threw at him. After all, it was I who persuaded him to come to Thailand despite his skepticism, and so I felt somehow responsible for him! But now he would know his way around, Franz told me with a flushed head. After all - to find his way back - he drove pretty much all the streets of Pattaya.

All right, he was back safely now. That same evening he wanted to get to know the beauties of the night. "Take care," I told him. "The girls here make love quickly, turn your head, then rob you of the last little bit that is left of your mind and then take off your pants". I meant the latter in a figurative sense!

But somehow I had the feeling that my words were deaf in the room, because it wasn't long before I saw him sitting in the bamboo bar with a pretty girl in his arms and cuddling in love. From his eyes I could immediately see how crazy he was with the girl. Had he really overlooked the fact that the woman had a bum as wide as a brewery owl? No matter what. If he likes it?

The next day it wasn't much better. Then I met him in the bar when he let another girl shove her tongue deep into her throat. Should I have told him that the warm and soft tongue that so pampered his palate was the tongue of a man - or rather a lady man? Denial is pointless! (The photo that I took back then is still in my possession today).

What! Am I god? Will he find out for himself what he was laughing at at some point, I said to myself and grinned inwardly with glee!

Well, I thought, let him see how far he gets and what becomes of it. I had warned him more than enough and if you don't want to hear, you just have to feel. But he definitely doesn't feel what he hoped to feel in a (not yet fully operated) lady, except perhaps a slight bump in a place that is unfamiliar to a woman. I knew him so well that I knew what his preferences were. I had better stay out of it, after all, I didn't want to act like an omniscient father to him all the time and didn't want to have to be accused later of having deprived him of his luck. The next day he assured me that he had recognized his mistake in time and could scratch the curve. Haha who believes it! I just hoped his financial resources would at least make it through the majority of his vacation. I would be able to help out financially for a few days left, I thought.

But somehow - I have to admit retrospectively - he wasn't as stupid as I thought, or as I myself have often been. Many a vacation has cost me considerably more than I had estimated and yet I have never regretted it. Okay, maybe it was because I didn't have to turn every baht twice. But with Franz the situation was somewhat different.

In any case, to my amazement, he got along reasonably well with his money, and he didn't have to bleed too much. Over time, he became very frugal, humble and undemanding.

Back in Germany, he was now attacked by a mysterious virus - the Thailand virus -! The virus that most travelers to Thailand catch - especially those who travel there for the first time. This virus spreads quickly in the body, robs us of our senses and understanding and is practically incurable. It is the great longing for Thailand.

From then on, all of his attire and endeavors were aimed at returning to Thailand as quickly as possible. And in fact, it only took a few months and he was back (like me) on the plane to Bangkok. The money he had pocketed for the two weeks vacation would not have been enough for most of us even for the first few days, but he was happy to be back in his beloved Thailand that he had missed so wistfully. And one is amazed, this time too he was able to keep a good house and got along well with his few puny marketers. In the meantime he had cut his cord from me and was planning his vacation in his own way. On the one hand, I envied him, because he was so good at managing his money - much better than me - and was satisfied with so little. But on the other hand, I also regretted him because he had to make so many compromises. When others went on an island tour or marched around the houses, he would stay on the beach or by the hotel pool. He also had to organize the drinks at the bar in the evenings in order not to have to take the flight home early. But he did it terrific!

A few years passed and the thrifty but frugal Franz, who had been constantly creeping around the poverty line, became unemployed to make matters worse. In this emergency, he now recognized the signs of the times, reflected on his talents and changed industries. He realized that he still had to perfect his computer skills, which were already good at the time, in order to be able to earn a little more money than before as a Compu-Crack. And that's what he did.

After many months of hard independent work, Franz made his way to Thailand again. But this time with one difference. He had stuffed his pockets full of money and stacked one gold card on top of the other in his wallet. Gone were the days when you had to turn every baht three times. So now he really wanted to let the pig out. Finally do what he had to resist until then and could never afford and, above all, one thing: have endless fun!

This time he left nothing, nothing at all and certainly nothing to burn. One lavish party chased the other. Pool parties and private boat tours were organized, and he carted the bar girls in en masse in groups of ten. He hung himself and of course the girls with gold chains and various rings. At times he looked almost like the gold-draped Mister-T. from the well-known television series "Das A-Team". He did pretty much everything I warned him about at the time. It was now only a matter of time before he would fall on his face and be totally ripped off. When he told me that he had bought a few hundred thousand baht from a couple of Thai men he had recently met as a partner in an A-Gogo bar in Pattaya, I thought that this was the end of a dumbass unteachable farangs and his prosperity. In any case, I had never met a foreigner before who had managed to make money with a bar and that in a partnership with Thai. Have no idea about Thai business, can't speak the language and then something! Oh god, the poor lunatic, I thought to myself. Now is he completely freaked out? I was beginning to regret ever dragging him here in the first place.

But I should be wrong again. After a few months he got out of the cash business, sold his share and earned a nice penny in the process. Man-om-man, that guy was bogus. Doesn't exist anywhere else in the world, and certainly not in Thailand!

But of course Franz's happiness did not last forever. He also had to take some bad blows, which cost him a lot of money and which he had to nibble on. He's not so fond of being reminded of that, but that's also part of the learning process. And one or the other woman knew how to wrap it around her little finger and make it a lot easier, even if he doesn't like to admit it. Maybe they didn't mean it at all, but maybe just felt sorry for him and wanted to avoid his posture being permanently damaged due to the heavy gold chains that Franz wore around his neck.

In any case, some of the things that had happened to him had taught him a lesson, he told me later. He remembered my admonishing words not to flaunt his possessions too carelessly, and before he flew to Thailand one more time, he made up his mind to do it smarter this time. He just wanted to try to turn the tables and show the smart bartenders what a rake is and that not all farangs are as stupid as most look.

Back in Pattaya he quickly made friends with three pretty "nightshade plants". Since he had made up his mind once again not to mess up, but to plop down straight away, he asked all three of them if they would like to spend the next three weeks of his vacation with him. Of course, they made it very easy for him to understand that this luxury of running his own little harem would cost him a lot. Thereupon he made it clear to you that under no circumstances did he want to pay for love services, since he did not see her as prostitutes, but as good friends with whom he wanted to spend a nice holiday together. He would pay for all the necessary expenses, such as food, clothing, and everything related to vacation, but not give them any cash. He would also be interested in the fact that after his departure they would have to do a lot for their education until he returned. After all, he had big things to do with them, he told them.

He would of course be happy to cover the costs of this training, he assured them.Education and training costs a lot of money in Thailand too, of course, and so they agreed on the appropriate sum of 20,000 baht per person. In order to make sure that they would only use this money after his departure to finance an English and computer course, he suggested that they open a separate bank account for each of the three on the same day, which would be in their names and should be paid to them on the day of his departure. Since this seemed risk-free for the three pretty ones, they agreed to this regulation. Certainly they NEVER intended to use the money for purposes other than those intended by Franz - i.e. training and further education.

So they went straight to the nearest bank branch, and each was given its own account, into which Franz paid the agreed amount. Satisfied, all four strutted out of the bank. I will spare myself mentioning the details of Franz's deception at this point. It wasn’t the best way, anyway.

The days and weeks passed and in the joyful anticipation of Franzes departure the three pretty ones stayed by his side the whole time of his vacation. After all, they wanted to make sure they would get hold of the big bucks.

And as befits a nice holiday acquaintance, the dear ladies brought him to the airport in Bangkok. As always, everyone howled like castle dogs and they promised to see each other again soon and to write to each other by then.

But the three pretty beauties had done the math without the meanwhile clever Franz. You ended up with nothing.

Dear Franz! I would love to see YOUR face, should you ever run into one of the three again. Your features would either petrify or derail. Anyway, it would be fun for me to see your reaction!

Since I know that you are a regular and loyal reader of the Farang, I would like to give you one last piece of advice at this point, and it would be better to really follow it for once:

Either you never fly to Thailand again and try whether your trick works elsewhere in the world or you disguise yourself so well (preferably as an Indian) that your own mother doesn't even recognize you anymore. Because, should one of the ladies meet you again at some point, you will either quickly pay back the 20,000 baht per person with compound interest or I won't give a cent more for your health and / or your life. The lovely and nice Thai girls have a memory like elephants when it comes to financial matters. You don't forget anything or anyone! EVEN YOU, my dear Franz!

But I can't avoid saying that the story of Franz somehow amused me in a certain way. I couldn't help but smile ...

Nevertheless, I give all those who have similar plans to consider that the bar girls also want and have to live. And that is only possible with money and not with natural produce. Not every night fairy is enthusiastic about having to work in this often ungrateful environment. For many heavily indebted families, it is the only way to get out of debt quickly. And finally, the dear Thai girls have already sweetened our vacation for so many of us and turned it into a unique and unforgettable experience in one way or another.

So please: Live ... and let live!
By Wolfgang Payer

Phone Savan is the small administrative capital of Xiangkhoang Province (other spelling Xieng Khouang), which is also known as the southernmost province of Northern Laos.

With about 7,000 inhabitants, Phone Savan is a very small town, with its own small airfield, but otherwise quite inconspicuous. A few stalls, small restaurants and hotels or guest houses make this place an ideal starting point to visit the plains of the clay jugs. The best and safest way to reach the town and the province itself is by plane from the capital Vientiane. The return flight costs around DM 120.

Level of clay jugs
About 150 km of the airline north-east of Vientiane and 12 km to the south of Phone Savan's gates you will find the mysterious "Plain of Clay Jugs", which has been attracting archaeologists and tourists for many years. So far, around 300 large, scattered stone vessels of up to three meters in height have been found, the smallest clay jug weighing around 1,000 kg and the largest clay jug around 6,000 kg. Allegedly there is even an unexcavated clay jug weighing 12,000 kilograms.

The term "clay jugs" is actually wrong because the material is not clay. Although there is still some argument about it, the material of the jugs is clearly sandstone. The dispute broke out because no sandstone was found in the whole area. That makes everything even more puzzling. One legend even reports that everything was made of a certain type of concrete - consisting of sand, water, sugar cane and buffalo skin. But the archaeologists confirmed that it was clearly sandstone.

Many questions remain unanswered: There is also the legend "Thao hung Thai Chong" about the mysterious builders, which explains that it was the Khon Päät Sook, the eight-cubit-people who are said to have built a mysterious wall. How did the builders manage to transport such large weights? Sandstone can only be found many kilometers away from here. The minimum age should be 2000 years, some claim even up to 10,000 years. How old are these stone jugs really and what are their purposes? The theory that they were once urns could not be confirmed as no traces of bones or ashes were found. The theory that it was supposed to have been storage containers could not be confirmed either. The meaning and purpose of these large stone jugs has not yet been clarified.

It is doubtful whether modern archaeological investigations will really solve the riddle of the transport of the stone jugs. Even the French archaeologist Madeleine Colani, who examined this place very carefully, was unable to clarify the question of transport, the meaning and purpose, despite all possible explanations.

Photos and map:
© INFO Verlag GmbH, Karlsruhe - Bernhard and Petra Schmitt;
We took the two photos and the map from the highly recommended travel book
Bernhard Schmitt "Encounter with Laos" with the kind permission of the publisher.

By Wilfried Stevens

Dismissed the TAT governor
Pradech Phayak-vichien, lord of the country's largest foreign exchange broker, tourism, as head of the state Tourism Authority of Thailand, was relieved of his post when it became known that he was a partner in Ase Co., a construction consultancy that has carried out four large contracts received TAT, including building a tourist train station and a tourist center at Bangkok Noi Railway Station.

According to the new constitution, decision-makers in government offices are prohibited from benefiting personally from their decisions in the economy. This contradicts all traditions, efforts are being made by the government to change this. They are in the process of gaining a majority of over 350 votes in parliament. Last week, a governor of a state institution was fired: the head of the railway workers, Saravut Thammasiri, was accused of corruption. There are still a great many inactive posts from which a comeback can be prepared. In the last nine months, 39 high officials had to leave their posts - they were either deported to inactive posts because they did not fit into the government concept or other minions were placed on their posts, or because they were accused of corruption.

501 New Year deaths in Thailand
Road traffic or stupidity and recklessness of the participants in the same caused alone between Friday and Saturday night, 28/29. December, 84 deaths and 3,345 injuries. That was the introduction to a horror weekend. From December 27 to January 2, over 500 people died, including 396 men and 105 women. Almost 30,000 injuries were recorded. That's 4 dead and 240 injured every hour. Drunkenness was the cause of half of the accidents. The Minister of Health announced that 70% of fatal accidents and 80% of injuries were caused by reckless driving and alcohol exposure. Geographically, the accidents were concentrated in the north and northeast of Thailand.

Siemens delivers subways to Bangkok