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Pattaya

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Grapevine Issue 03 - MARCH 2009

Thai

Lite

where East meets West

Where are they NOW?

A day AT the

Food

from the

FIELDS

Cool

COMPETITION

Courtesy of

Whacky

Races Hottest SPORTS CARS of

2009

Gulf Charter’s Quiz s e g a P Sailing School


44

HOTTEST SPORTS CARS OF 2009

contents Pattaya

Grapevine

08. Where Are They Now?

12. Riding the Wind & the Waves 16. Puzzle Mania

18. Places to go - Things to do - People to see 20. A Day at the (Whacky) Races 24. Gloria - The Magnificent 28. Food from the Fields 30. Nightmarch 32. On the Lighter Side 34. St Patrick’s Day 36. Thai Lite Kiteboarding 38. A Fool in Paradise 40. Artistic Food 44. Top Ten - Hottest Sports Cars of 2009 48. Laws of Golf 50. The Pattaya Floating Market 54. Dengue Fever 56. Avid Ocean Adventuring - Readers Competition

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From the Editors’

W

Desk

elcome to the March edition of your new magazine ‘Pattaya Grapevine’, we do hope you enjoy it. We have increased our number of pages again this month by adding an extra four and we hope that by next month we will be able to add a further eight pages, our aim is to bring you a 120 page magazine each month within the next 6 months. Not an easy task with the present local and world economy but we will keep trying to increase the size of the magazine each month.

I think we have been spoilt this year with the weather, it seems that it has been nice and cool for months, but now, as each day passes, it is getting hotter and hotter. Have you noticed the huge increase in the number of mosquitos flying around at the moment? There seems to be millions of the irritating little pests, presumably to do with all the rain we had a couple of months ago! But please take care, this month we have a special report on Dengue Fever and how to combat it, this is definitely something to avoid whenever possible. I would like to share a little story with you that happened to me earlier in the month. As I was walking back to my office from dropping my truck off for a well deserved clean, I was quickly coming abreast with a middle aged Thai man pushing his motorbike and sidecar up the hill towards me. As we drew level he stopped at the side of the road and indicated by sign language and grunts that he needed money to buy petrol. My first reaction was no, but as I continued walking I felt selfish and the thought of where he may have to be or what he should be doing got the better of me. I retraced my steps and handed the very grateful motorbike pusher a hundred baht, not a fortune I know, but more than enough to fill his petrol tank. As I continued my trip to the office, feeling good that I had managed to help someone in trouble, I turned to offer a last wave before I entered my office. I was flabbergasted to see him astride his family

limousine chugging off into the distance, leaving only little puffs of exhaust fumes in his wake! If there is a moral to this story, I do not know what it is. Will it stop me helping someone in the future? No of course not and to be honest, had he not ridden off, I would not have given him another thought, but this way, every time throughout the month I have thought about the incident it has brought a smile to my face. Money well spent really! Please remember as your read through this months edition that without the advertisers we would not be able to bring you this magazine, so please take the time to read the adverts and mention the ‘Pattaya Grapevine’ when you use their services. We are also delighted to receive comments and feedback from you our readers, so if there is something you think we could do to improve the magazine, please let us know by telephone or email. Also if anyone is interested in writing for us on a one off or regular basis, we would be delighted to hear from you. Keep safe in the forthcoming month and I look forward to writing for you again in April. Telephone 0806 442 511 or email peteread@teleline.es.

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where are they now?

Marianne Faithfull Original sweet bird of youth with an indomitable spirit

The month’s subject is Marianne Faithfull, probably best known as the late 60’s sex icon, whose initial claim to fame was being Mick Jagger’s girlfriend, Guinevere to his Lancelot; Jagger, the Rolling Stones’ lead vocalist, was into the Arthurian Myth Cycle at the time. She effectively stood in the same relationship to Jagger as Yoko Ono did to John Lennon. However, Marianne was a singer and, later, songwriter in her own right, as well as being an already budding actress. Over an often tempestuous career spanning 45 years, plagued with drug abuse, deaths and breakdowns, she has also worked and fraternised with some of the best known names in the music, theatrical and film worlds. In music, these include John Lennon and Yoko Ono, George Harrison and Patti Boyd, Paul McCartney and Jane Asher, Bob Dylan, Pete Townshend, David Bowie, Eric Clapton, Roger Waters, Steve Winwood, Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, Willy Nelson, and Emmylou Harris. In the fields of theatre, TV and film, those she has played alongside include Glenda Jackson, Oliver Reed, Orson Welles, Alain Delon, Anthony Hopkins, Peter Gilmore, Ian Ogilvy, Nicol Williamson, Britt Ekland, and Jennifer Saunders. Other celebrities she can count as friends include Kate Moss,Yves Saint–Laurent, Sophia and Francis Ford Coppola, William Burroughs, and Alan Ginsberg. When she first appeared on the music scene in 1964, singing folk songs in coffee houses, Marianne was a reserved, debutante-like figure. Justifiably so as her mother was the Austro-Hungarian Baroness Eva Erisso von Sacher-Masoch, a famed ballerina and Marianne, herself, had inherited the title, Baroness Sacher-Masoch. Significantly, Faithfull’s great-great-uncle was Leopold von

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Sacher-Masoch, the infamous 19th century Austrian nobleman whose erotic novel, Venus in Furs, originated the term, “masochism” Marianne’s father, Major Dr. Robert Glynn Faithfull, was a British spy whose own father had invented a sexual device called the Frigidity Machine. Marianne’s first exposure to unconventional lifestyles, was at her father’s literary commune at Braziers Park, Oxfordshire, until he abandoned the family when she was 6. Her mother then raised the girl like “one of her cats”, until young Marianne was sent off as a border to St. Joseph’s Convent. There, she became a member of the Progress Theatre’s student group, and by 13, she was acting Shakespeare in local rep. At 17, she fell in love with, John Dunbar, a galleryowner, whose gallery was a popular venue of the music scene. Attending the Rolling Stones’ launch party there, she first met Mick Jagger and was ‘discovered’ by the Stones’ Rasputin-like manager, Andrew Oldham, who described her as “a pale, blonde, retiring, chaste teenager looking like the Mona Lisa, except with a great body”. Her first major release, “As Tears Go By”, was written by Oldham, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, and became a chart success, followed by “This Little Bird”, “Summer Nights” and “Come and Stay With Me”. She married Dunbar in 1965, having a baby son later that year, but let her mother raise it. She preferred going off partying, dropping acid and sampling marijuana with Brian Jones. She left her husband to live with Jagger in December, 1966. She told the ‘New Musical Express’‘My first move was to get a Rolling Stone as a boyfriend. I slept with three and decided the lead singer was the best bet”. Once together, Marianne and Mick Jagger were inseparable, two of the ‘Beautiful People’ of the sixties. She also gained a fair amount of notoriety for being ‘the Mars Bar Girl’. Jagger and she were caught in a drug bust, he with his head between Marianne’s legs, performing cunnilingus with a half-inserted Mars Bar. Marianne, wrapped only in a fur rug - Venus in furs - promptly dropped the fur to the floor. Thirty three years later, she still couldn’t live down this incident, and she was even recently approached by the Mars Company - to do an advert for them! Marianne’s profound influence on Jagger emerges through his songs. Before they came together, he wrote “Let’s Spend the Night Together,” after a night of stupendous sex with her in a Bristol hotel “Sympathy for the Devil”, reflected a Russian book Marianne had given him. “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” “Wild Horses” and “I Got the Blues” were also inspired by her. “All my traumas and all my unhappiness, Jagger

changed into brilliant songs,” she recalls. The young Marianne was a typical product of the Sex-n-Drugs-n-Rock-n-Roll Era of the 60’s and 70’s. “Rock & Roll is sex”, Marianne asserted in a recent interview, “it’s driven by sex.” This was in response to the somewhat puritanical Australian interviewer’s accusation that she’d been extremely promiscuous in her youth, having had an incredible volume of casual sex. She said it was great fun. It was, after all, the Swinging Sixties, the beginning of Flower Power and the Love Generation, although the rolling Stones were soon to acquire their iconoclastic image, which has been described as “an incendiary blend of sex, drugs, Satanism, and radical politics delivered with their patented fusion of Jagger’s ironic distance and Richards’s tatterdemalion intensity.” This was partly demonstrated by their increasing disgruntlement with the music scene’s psychedelic euphoria with the hallucinogens, like magic mushrooms, mescaline and acid (LSD), in favour of hard narcotics, like heroin and morphine. This manifested in songs with titles like “Brown Sugar” and Marianne’s “Sister Morphine”, written in an attempt to reorient her lightweight recording career and recover from the miscarriage of Jagger’s baby. Soon after, Brian Jones drowned in his home’s pool, which Marianne and Jagger had foreseen in an I Ching reading about Jones, raising the hexagram “Death by Water”. Later, Marianne nearly overdosed on barbiturates because she was appalled at the band’s apparent nonchalance over Jones’ death and she wanted to make an impact on them. Already heavily

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into cocaine, she then fell under the noxious influence of ‘smack’ (heroin) and a few months later, when Jagger took her to dinner at the Earl of Warwick’s, she was so ‘smacked-up’ she fell face down in her soup. Shortly after, Jagger jilted her in favour of Bianca de Macias, whom he surreptitiously married in May’ 71, without telling Marianne. Heartbroken, she literally spent two years on the streets of London’s Soho red light district, as a street junkie, receiving daily fixes at the NHS rehabilitation centre there; though she’s adamant she never resorted to prostitution. Friends, shrinks and five years of therapy finally allowed her to make a musical comeback with “Broken English”. She, at times, looked frail and susceptible, yet this masked an indomitable spirit which would resurrect her through her often tragic cycle of falls and recovery. Her voice, for instance, which initially had been distinctive and melodic, changed through laryngitis and drug abuse to acquire a gravelly quality, not unlike those of Edith Piaf and Marlene Dietrich. “My voice is loaded with time, mature like brie cheese,” she says. This was perhaps more suitable as she experimented with different genres as she reinvented herself through phases of punk, jazz, and blues. These phases were often marked by a different partner, in a variety of accommodations, including a squat without hot water or electricity in Chelsea, and the suicide of her lover, and her own Hepatitis C and defeat of breast cancer. Through it all, she still consistently produced noteworthy music, right up to 2009. In 1999, she ranking 25th in VH1’s 100 GreatestWomen in Rock and Roll.

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All through her musical career, Marianne had pursued a parallel career in theatre, TV and film, where she has given some outstanding and memorable performances, illustrating her extraordinary versatility over 24 appearances. Illustrating her early hippie days, was her nude part with Jagger in Performance. She again appeared nude in I’ll Never ForgetWhat’s ‘is Name, where she became the first person to say “f*ck” in a mainstream studio movie. Her part in the memorable Girl on a Motorcycle (Naked Under Leather) remains iconic. In a similar vein was Lilith in Lucifer Rising. She was to alternately play God in Absolutely Fabulous and the Devil in The Black Rider. Far more noteworthy performances, however, were as Irina in Chekhov’s Three Sisters; Ophelia in Hamlet; Empress Maria-Theresa in Marie-Antoinette, and Maggie in Irina Palm, where she plays the lead role of a 60-year-old widow who becomes a sex worker to pay for medical treatment for her sick grandson. For her role of Maggie, she was nominated Best Actress by the European Film Academy in November, 2007. Marianne Faithfull is truly a remarkable and accomplished woman, who has stood the test of time. As writer David Bowman puts it “hers is the golden voice you hear when all the bars are closed and the whores have gone home.”


Power Riding the Wind and Waves in Acrobatic Splendour

Kiteboarding 12

What trendy, new, cutting-edge sport has France given to Jomtien, recently? Kiteboarding, is the answer; a sport which originated in Montpellier, France, and is currently sported by Blue Lagoon Kiteboarding Pattaya, near the Ambassador City Hotel, Jomtien. Kiteboarding, or kiting, the synthesis of windsurfing, wakeboarding and paragliding, is currently sweeping Asia, to add to the estimated 250,000 kiters worldwide, as new kiting clubs open by the month. Pattaya

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These gymnastic riders of sea and sky, their feet strapped to a small surfboard, harness the power of the wind by means of a large flying kite, using it to skim across the wave-tops before making spectacular heaven-ward leaps up to 30 feet into the air. Here they pirouette, gyrate, roll and twist in acrobatic gravitydefying contortions, for an all too brief moment before plunging seaward once again to glance off the waves, and so on it goes. It’s like the game involving skimming a flat stone across water, with an added aerial dimension. That this relatively new sport is hyper-addictive goes without saying. Mike, the manager of Blue Lagoon Kiteboarding Pattaya, told Pattaya Grapevine that he’s had students, locals and tourists, virtually every day since he opened in Jomtien in October, 2007, having so far trained over 500. The course is International Kiteboarding Association (IKA) accredited, with a 1-day discovery lesson or 3-day independent kiter’s programme, with videos to demonstrate the artful techniques. After only three 2-3 hour lessons, you’ve developed enough confidence to go solo, progressively honing your skills as you discover an almost unparalled freedom of surf and air. Popular with enthusiasts from 12 to 50, with one young geriatric from Australia still riding the air and sea at 71, this sport is relatively easy to learn. After 2-3 weeks, you should be able to master basic kiting and within two months, you ought to be proficient enough to go upwind. Depending not on muscle-power, the skill lies in learning the technique of controlling the specially designed power-generating kite, which probably explains why women are more adept at it than men.

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The waist-harness does the arduous bit, while your hands and arms deftly operate the kite, with your legs and feet steering you through the water. Ninety percent of kiteboarding skills involve flying the state-of-the-art kite competently, controlling it via rip cords. For success and safety, professional lessons are recommended, preferably from an IKA-certified instructor, which Mike is, to add to his 5-year experience. Blue Lagoon Kiteboarding Pattaya is also insured to the tune of 2 million Euros, in case of mishap, though Mike, who’s been teaching the sport for 3 years, says, apart from a few sprained muscles, he’s had no injuries among his students. Being a competent swimmer helps, but isn’t essential as a lifejacket will prevent you drowning. As you might expect, kiteboarding requires specialised kit, all of which is for sale, new or secondhand, or for hire at Blue Lagoon.You need a specially designed wake-type board with foot straps, a body harness and a power kite. Each piece kit is sized according to your body-type and weight. Mike can fully equip you for between Bt30-85,000 new, or second-hand, or Bt3,000 rental per day.

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KiteBoardingAsia (KBA), of which Blue Lagoon is a part, scoured Thailand to find locations with the right wind conditions and a sufficiently large body of water and now has 5 centres in Hua Hin, Chompon, Phuket, Koh Samui and the latest in Jomtien. They’ve been training kiters for 7 years and gaining a certificate at any of these centres means you can use them all. Mike believes Jomtien is ideal, telling Pattaya Grapevine “We receive north-easterly to westerly winds, ranging from the 8-20 knot range, perfect for beginners and intermediates”.


The Lagoona sea-front cafeteria, next to the Blue Lagoon KiteBoarding office is the meeting placed for kiting enthusiasts and being a relatively new and skilful sport will generate loads of exploits to be discussed, analysed and learnt from and, inevitably, camaraderie will develop between its aficionados. Although it needs only a light wind (10-12kmh) to take off, the exhibitionist adventurous-to-demented brigade, in the 15-35 age-range, favour winds virtually up to gale force of 60 kmp, with rough seas to boot, so they can reach estimated speeds of 52 knots. These adepts, who train on trampolines to perfect their leaping styles, roam the globe seeking out the windy places from Essouira in Morocco and Montpellier in France to Hawaii, South Africa and California. In all these locations and others, competitions are held, culminating in the world tour, which has been

operating for the last 3 years. Kiteboarding has indeed taken off, in every sense of the phrase. So all it needs from you is to contact Mike to arrange a demo and then the sea and sky will be your oysters, to mix a metaphor. Present this magazine to Mike for a 50% reduction on your first lesson, or bring some friends to get further discounts. Barter Card accepted. BLUE LAGOON KITEBOARDING PATTAYA Phone: Manager Mike - 085 134 9588 Taxi: 081-033 5869 Website – www.bluelagoonpattaya.com Open 10am-6pm, all year round. Location – turn right off Sukhumvit Road immediately before the Ambassador City Hotel, Jomtien, 10kms south of South Pattaya Road.

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e l z z u P a i n a M Sudoku

Answers later in the magazine, good luck

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Hope you enjoy the Crossword, answers later in the magazine Pattaya

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Places To Go Things To Do People To See 7th March 4th Phuket Japanese Festival The Tourism Authority of Thailand in conjunction with their Phuket Office and the Phuket Japanese Association will hold the 4th Phuket Japanese Festival on the 7th of March 2009 at Queen Sirikit Park in Phuket Town. Each year, the Japanese community of residents and hotel workers come together to show the general public the real side of their country. It is also an excellent opportunity for the young Japanese to learn about their culture and practice their language skills. The festival will have plenty for all ages including a free photo with ladies dressed in typical dress, competitions, food, films, etc. 7th and 8th March 24th Asian Bird Ground Dove Festival The 24th Asian Bird Ground Dove Festival will be held on the 7th and 8th March at Khwan Mueang Park, Mueang District, Yala. Thais believe doves to be very lucky birds, birds of peace and purity, and owners and breeders are expected to have great wealth and honour bestowed upon them. The festival attracts both local and international breeders with many different categories in which to compete, one of the favourites is the cooing competition. Local produce will also be available for sale and other animals will take part in fighting competitions. 8th and 9th March 10th International Kite Festival The annual Kite Festival event is held each year at

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the Rama VI Camp, Cha-am, Petchburi. Thais have loved flying kites for centuries; they come in all shapes and sizes, even 3 dimensional, with every design and theme possible. Expect a gathering of kites from Korea, Columbia, China, Malaysia, Japan, New Zealand, France, USA, Sweden, UK, Australia and Indonesia. There are also plenty of stalls around for refreshments 13th March Thai Elephant Week The main celebrations for Thai Elephant week are held at the Thai Elephant Conservation Center, Hang Chat District, Lampang. The centre participates in making documentaries for a worldwide TV audience and is renowned for its love and care of these most majestic of animals.Visitors are encouraged to learn from the experience of the Mahouts (handlers), and to help prepare and feed them with a special royal traditional dinner called Khantok from the north.

14th and 15th March 2nd Phangan Triathlon 2009 One of the toughest sporting events of the year within Thailand held at Thongsala beach, Koh Phangan, Suratthani.This year the event will be in four categories. 1. Duathlon: Run 10 Km. Bike 40 Km. Run 5 Km. 2. Triathlon: Swim 1.5 Km. Bike 40 Km. Run 10 Km. 3. Triathlon Team Competition: for three (male


and female) 4. Triathlon: Under 15 and Team : Swim 500 M. Bike 15 Km. Run 5 Km. There will be prize money for the winners in each category. 23rd – 30th March Kings Cup Elephant Polo Tournament The event is held each year at the Anantara Resort Golden Triangle. Entrance is Free, but don’t go with your pockets empty as they will be raising money for the Elephant Conservation Centre, which looks after up to 4,000 elephants at any time. Elephant polo is said to have originated with a couple of English guys, living in Switzerland, and looking for a bit more adventure. The new sport was quickly adopted throughout Asia and involves two chukkas of 10 minutes with three elephants on each team. The balls are the same as regular polo but the sticks have had to be extended. Not only will you have the polo to watch but also an Elephant Orchestra, Elephant Painting and auctions for the teams shirts, sticks and other memorabilia. 27th – 29th March Mekong River International Multi-Sport ITU Asian Cup This annual event is held along the Mekong River, Amphoe Mueang Nang Khai, Nong Khai from the 27th – 29th March and is not for the faint hearted. There are many different categories for all ages from 13 years with swimming, biking and running making up most events. Highlights for this year include Buddy Bike & Run, Aquathlon Asian Cup Series 2009, Duathlon Asian Cup Series 2009 and the Triathlon ITU Asian Cup 2009 20th – 22nd March Pattaya International Music Festival Back this year after a break last year because of the Princess’ death the Pattaya Music Festival is one of the highlights of the year for music lovers of all ages. This year the action will take place at Bali Hai Pier and on Soi 6 and bands and musicians from all over the world will entertain the

crowds. The music is about as varied as you can get from Jazz to Rock to Hip Hop and each evening the program will start at 6pm and go on into the wee hours. As well as the music there will be many stalls with every imaginable item to tempt you to part with your hard earned cash.


A DAY AT THE

(Whacky) Races Among Bangkok’s less well-publicised attractions are its two horse-racing circuits: the Royal Bangkok Sports Club (RBSC) and the Royal Turf Club (RTC; established in 1961). The latter is on Phitsanulok Road while the former is probably the easier to get to, being near Lumpini Park (and its underground railway station) and within walking distance of the Ratchadamri, Sala Daeng and Chit Lom Skytrain (BTS) stations. The RBSC and RTC alternate between each other, racing on a Sunday between 12:30 pm and 6:00 pm (the pictures accompanying this story were all taken at the RBSC course). The reason for running on a Sunday is that this is the standard day off for most ordinary working-class folk. Horse racing had its beginnings in 1890 when an Englishman named Franklin Hurst submitted a request to rent some land in Sra Pratum to hold occasional horse racing, gymkhanas, and bicycle races. In 1892, Hurst was granted the lease of land, which would become known as the Royal Racing Course, and started operations. He lasted only a few years.

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His place was taken by Mr A.E Olaroffsky, who asked King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) to approve the establishment of a club in Bangkok for the purpose of improving the standard of horse breeding, the holding of race meetings, and other sports. On 6 September 1901, the King granted a Royal Charter giving birth to the Royal Bangkok Sports Club. The Club obtained the piece of land known as the Royal Racing Course as the site of the Club. That piece of land is still the site of the Royal Bangkok Sports Club today. There is now a small golf course in the centre of the track. Throughout the world a racetrack, be it for horses, greyhounds or motorised vehicles, tends to be a maledominated environment. The courses in Bangkok are no different, with men outnumbering women on a ratio of about 10 to one. At least this was undoubtedly the case on a visit to the RBSC course where the crowd in the public enclosure (entry fee 100 baht) looked to be made up of the type of people who would most kindly be described as the needy and the greedy. The public stand is not a place to bring someone you are trying to impress. The place looks much like a converted correctional facility and the last time it saw anything resembling a coat of paint was just after Armstrong and Aldrin were traipsing about the surface of the moon. Betting is by totalisator (Tote) only. The odds on each horse and the amounts invested for the win or the place (the only two methods of gambling permitted) are displayed on TV monitors around the course, as well as on a semaphore board in front of the main grandstand on the infield of the track. The minimum bet is 50 baht while, surprisingly, there is also a maximum wager, of 40,000 baht.

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Golfers play as the horses approach the winning post

All races are run over 1200 metres (six furlongs) and it is possible to purchase a comprehensive formguide in English for 100 baht. The events, usually 10 per meeting, are divided into a series of Divisions with the higher numbers representing poorer quality conveyances, i.e. animals classified as thoroughbreds but more inclined to run like castrated goats. In the abbreviations guide at the start of the formguide are the letters ‘d’ and ‘m’. They do not translate as ‘deep’ and ‘meaningful’ but rather as ‘doped substance’ and ‘medicated substance’, both of which appear to indicate a rather relaxed attitude towards performanceenhancing or retarding drugs. Within a couple of minutes of the conclusion of each race the field for the following event makes its way onto the course and around to the barrier stalls. A bevy of barrier attendants then help to place the runners in the barriers where they remain for anything up to 20 minutes. Although there is an advertised starting time for each race, the events take place in a Kipling-like ‘a fool lies here who tried to hurry the East’ fashion. During that time betting on the race takes place but it’s apparent the ‘real’ money only goes on in the last one or two minutes. As the advertised start time comes and goes a course broadcaster tells gamblers they now have about one minute to place a wager. He then starts a 10-second countdown before the horses are released from the barriers; this is made very clear by the announcer shrieking in a fashion normally associated with people who have suddenly come into painful contact with a cattle prod. He then falls

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completely silent for the remainder of the race. The fields tend to be fairly closely packed as they approach the one and only sweeping bend. Once in the home straight the slowest animals drop back quickly and by the time the winner and placegetters pass the finish line there can be quite a margin between first and last. Finesse is not a word that jumps into the mind when watching the jockeys. As for the slower horses I wonder if there are ever representatives of pet food companies attending these meetings. Upset results appear to be quite rare with most races being taken out by one of the two or three favourites on the tote board. In an August 2002 article, the American magazine Newsweek suggested quite bluntly that horse racing in Thailand was ‘rigged’. It called it ‘one of the most corrupt in Asia with backroom deals occurring on a regular basis.’ One contributor to an Australian horse racing Walking around the mounting yard


website noted in 2003, ‘I recall the day I went with a business colleague and he kept backing the second-favourite, which in one race streaked away at the 300 metre mark only to be collared on the line by the odds-on favourite which had all but collapsed and called for oxygen on the home turnI think the jockey on the second horse had a bad case of hand blisters after the race (but was dying to make a point, hence his move at the 300). I had the distinct feeling the little fellow would have lost a lot more if he didn’t run second.’ Thailand may well boast a proud history of world-class lightweight boxers and the odd snooker and tennis player, but if the visual evidence of a race day in Bangkok is anything to go by they are a long way from ever having a Thai jockey equivalent of a Lester Piggott, George Moore, or Willie Shoemaker. Paddock entrance and formguide vendor

Story & Photos by Duncan Stearn


Short Story

GLORIA G A M E TH Gloria was no ordinary girl; rather, she was one in a million. The product of mixed Thai-Filipino parentage, she was the seventh daughter of a seventh daughter of a seventh daughter, which made her very special indeed. Her talents began to manifest soon after her reprobate Filipino father vanished from her life, never to be generally heard of again, although Gloria knew where he’d gone. From a very tender age, these talents showed in various small ways. Being a country girl, she soon picked up the neighbouring folklore, like how to predict winning lottery numbers by throwing talcum powder on a toad’s back and she rapidly gained a reputation for outdoing the local monk’s lottery predictions, who was no mean mantic artist himself. She could predict the fall of the cards or dice and her right palm would itch when one close to her was about to receive money, or she could correctly predict the sinuous path of an eel, put into the pool of the local wat, to forecast the petitioner’s fate. In her small Esarn village, Gloria began getting a literal deluge

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of locals constantly pestering her for her predictions. What made her exceptional was that she was never wrong. Soon, her village began to outrank all the surrounding villages in wealth, because its inhabitants exploited Gloria’s talent to the max and rapidly began to coin it in, so much so that her poor mother was forced to move her small brood to a village, several hundred kilometres away, where her daughter’s reputation was unknown; there to start all over again. If she hadn’t, the degree of envy which Gloria’s rapidly enrichening village was arousing in the impoverished villages around might well have started an inter-village war.


Short Story

T N E C I F I N

Having such a talented sister was too much of a temptation for Gloria’s elder siblings, however, and they soon alerted the new locals to their sister’s phenomenal mantic skills by boasting of her prowess. At this juncture, I suppose I should enlighten you as to the meaning of this delicious word, mantic. It relates to the art of divination, prophecy, or fortune telling by the use of what the Thais call Gypsy cards (more accurately Tarot cards), reading the symbols in tea-leaves, numerology, palmistry, or astrology etc. All of which, Gloria swiftly acquired skill in, for she was an adept student. Their respective practitioners, hearing of Gloria’s reputation, would come a-knocking at her family’s door to see if Gloria could perfect their skills, or, if she didn’t know their particular art, to teach her in return for education in one of her other mantic skills. By the age of fifteen, Gloria was a past mistress of seven of the mantic arts; a very symbolic number for her and the most magical. She was particularly in demand among young maidens seeking their fortunes in the gold-paved streets of such Thai fleshpots as Bangkok, Phuket, or Pattaya. This trend had started after a young maiden had inquired as to her likely fortunes in Phuket and was told she’d make a mint, but if she didn’t practise safe-sex, she’d almost certainly get AIDS. The girl accordingly went to Phuket, made her fortune, but, sadly, ignored Gloria’s advice and duly became HIV positive. She returned to her native village, where she was recommended by Gloria, (who’d also acquired a smattering of folk-medicine) to a particularly proficient mor pe, a traditional medicine man, who treated her using extract of toad, wing of bats, and unction of aborted foetuses, among other concoctions, to successfully stave off the onset of AIDS. Afterwards, Gloria began to work in tandem with the mor pe to save any other rash maidens, who might choose to ignore Gloria’s wise counsel. Gloria also learnt the noble art of Chinese physiognomy, or face reading. Like Lady Macbeth, who declared to her husband “Your face, my Thane, is as

a book where men may read strange matters”, Gloria could see every man’s secret intentions just by perusing the features of his face. She knew, for instance, that heavily bagged eyes indicated a rake or libertine, that those having eyes with a downward slant were jai dee or good natured, whereas one whose eyebrows met in the middle was likely an ill-tempered brute, swift to anger. She even astutely predicted a charismatic village headman’s rapid rise to provincial governorship, from his fairly large, glittering ‘Dragon eyes’, with their beautifully-shaped single eyelids that normally remained half-closed. It soon got to the stage where those who came into her company would wear shades to attempt to disguise their motives, especially the local mafia, who were occasionally prone to seek her counsel to clear the way for their nefarious schemes. She would swiftly see by their body language their true natures, however, and would give them short shrift, for she was a young lady of the highest integrity and never knowingly caused harm to any, believing in treating others as one would wish to be treated. By the age of twenty one, she’d acquired a magical mentor, a golden-scaled dragon that appeared to her

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Short Story continued... in dreams. “Dream us a dream, Gloria,” her petitioners would implore and if this dragon allowed a rainbowcoloured crystal to emerge from its mouth, the person was well on the way to acquiring a fortune. Needless to say, this rarely happened, because most people’s lots, especially in Esarn, were not happy ones. Accordingly, Gloria took to fighting for the underdog, rather than boosting their hopes by indulging their wild fantasies. She successfully prevented a few ruthless BangkokChinese developers from further impoverishing the province’s already arid soil by planting eucalyptus forests, which rapidly leech all the goodness out of the soil and acidify it, making future crop growth virtually impossible. The developers had come offering seemingly vast sums for the village headman’s ancestral pastures, promising employment and riches for all, but Gloria saw through their reprehensible schemes and rallied all the local headmen to chase them from the region, under threat of mafia annihilation. When card sharps attempted to bilk some of the more gullible small landowners from their land by involving them in drunken games with fixed cards, Gloria exposed their devious ploys and enlisted the

local constabulary’s aid to banish them. Unscrupulous money lenders, intent on enslaving the villagers by painting fantastic pictures of all the labour-saving devices they could buy for their homes and farms at exorbitant interest rates were run out of the area by Gloria’s vigilantes. But by far Gloria’s greatest triumph was in waging a magical war, partially with the help of local adeptmonks, against Cambodian black magicians, who had come to steal souls, using talismans of dead babies in bottles, incubus-possessed female road warriors, sleeping potions and nymphomaniacal maidens with knock-out-drop-smeared nipples. This battle was essentially waged in the ethers, though, and was hard won through Gloria invoking her dream-dragon and various soul-allies from previous incarnations, who used ultra-powerful high magic to defeat the demonic Cambodians. Gloria’s main tasks these days, though, are preserving the rights of her villagers against developers’ encroaches and maintaining the magical force-field against any further black magic attacks. She has indeed made herself worthy of her title ‘Gloria the Magnificent’.


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FoodFields from the

In the civilised environs of Pattaya I would imagine most foreigners, and not a few Thais, would think we are living in a fortunate situation where a tasty breakfast, lunch or dinner is just a short walk, drive, or even a phone call away.

Pattaya has enough supermarkets, franchise and locally-run convenience stores, and roadside carts to keep hunger pangs from ever disrupting the ebb and flow of life around a bar stool or on the golfing range. In the wilds of up-country Thailand -and this begins about five minutes outside the turnoff to Highway 36the task of maintaining sustenance is not quite as easy as it is for the city slickers. Supermarkets, where they exist, are generally found only in the bigger population centres; franchise convenience stores such as Family Mart and 7-11 are becoming more common in the bigger villages, but remain a novelty. In the tiny outposts off the main highways and reached only by circuitous routes the task of putting food on the table is a little more complicated than simply going to a market and purchasing a pre-packaged item. The following pictures show what happens to be a regular meal for so many families living out in the deep country areas all over Thailand. These photos were taken near a small village in the province of Buriram in Thailand’s northeast. A clever marketing guru would probably be able to package this exotic dish as something like ‘ratatouille a la Buriram’. n

chicke e k li t s ju s e Tast

Step 1

Step 2

Bringing in the freshly caught Buriram field mice

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Give the bodies a nice wash to get rid of dust and grit

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Step 3 Remove the fur and lay the bodies out in the sun

Step 4 Cook the field

mice over the open fire

Step 5 Serve the delicacy in a bowl with available veggies

Story & Photos by Duncan Stearn


NightMARCH That was the month that was (email: duncanstearn@gmail.com)

The photos featured in this edition were taken a few years back from a trio of dens of the chrome pole that no longer exist, at least under their original names. At one stage Club Electric Blue on Walking Street was one of the most popular places in Fun Town. It was situated on the same site that had previously housed the famed Baby 3 ogling den, a major player from the 1980s onwards. For Bangkokians who might be wondering if this Club Electric Blue has any association with the den of the same name in Patpong, go to the head of the class. The site of Club Electric Blue is now occupied by the Roxy show den. The remaining set of pictures feature dancers from the Babewatch and Taboo chrome pole palaces, situated in the Covent Garden complex in Soi 16, off Walking Street. Both are on the same site,

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and both have closed. As at the middle of February there were unconfirmed but solid rumours the location had been sold yet again to a new brace of people prepared to try and make a go of the joint. Third time lucky perhaps. When the original Babewatch failed, the new owners gutted the insides and remodelled the place, changing the front entrance so that it was now opposite the Catz ogling den. Naturally, the new ownership will retain the same entrance. As at the middle of February, and despite a few closures, with rumours of more to come as the high season ebbs away, the number of houses of dancing damsels numbered 77 across the length and breadth of Pattaya. Of these, 51 are on or about Walking Street; 26 scattered between Jomtien and Naklua. All photos by DAK


On the

Lighter Side

Golfing with Blondes your boss Bowling play 9 Joe decides to take his boss Phil to n are holes on their lunch. While both me d up by playing excellently they are often hel at an two women in front of them moving talk to the extremely slow pace. Joe offers to up a bit. it women and see if they can speed stops and He gets about half of the way there jogs back. “Well His boss asks what the problem is. the other one of those women is my wife and my mistress,” complained Joe. started Phil just shook his head at Joe and sh his toward the women determined to fini ladies to round of golf. Preparing to ask the d short speed up their game, he too stoppe and turned around. Joe asked “Whats wrong?” ld Joe, Phil replied “It’s a small, small wor and you’re fired.”

The Unlucky Artist

Two bowling teams, one of all Blondes and one of all Brunettes, ch ar ter a double-decker bus for a weekend bowl ing tournament in Atlantic City. The Brunet te team rides in the bottom of the bus whils t the Blonde team rides on the top level. The Brunette team down below are whooping it up having a great time, when one of them realises she do esn’t hear anything from the Blondes upsta irs. She decides to go up and investigate. When the Brunette reac hes the top, she finds all the Blondes fro zen in fear, staring straight-ahead up the ro ad, and clutching the seats in front of them wi th white knuckles. She says, “What the he ck’s goin’ on up here? We’re havin’ a gr and time downstairs!” One of the Blondes loo ks up and says, “Yeah, but you’ve got a driver!”

any interest in his paintings en be d ha e er th if r ne ow ry An ar tist asked the galle ws," the owner replied. ne d ba d an ws ne od go t go currently on display. "I've ur work and wondered if it yo t ou ab ed uir inq an lem nt all "The good news is that a ge told him it would, he bought I en Wh . ath de ur yo ter af would appreciate in value fifteen of your paintings." ?". imed, "What's the bad news cla ex t tis ar e th !" ful er nd wo "That's r." ed, "The guy was your docto pli re r ne ow ry lle ga e th n, er With conc

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HAHA AHAH


HAHA AHAH On the

Lighter Side

Oh how they will wander!

A young cou ple gets marr ied, and the groo m asks his b ride if he can hav e a dresser drawer of his own that sh e will never op en. The brid e agrees. Afte r 30 years o f marriage, sh e notices tha t his drawer has been left op en. She peeks in side and see s 3 golf balls a nd $1,000. She confron ts her husba nd and asks for an explanati on. He explains "Every time I was unfaithfu l to you, I pu t a golf ball in the drawer." She figures 3 times in 3 0 years isn't b ad and asks "But what about the $1,000? " He replied " Whenever I g ot a dozen golf b alls, I sold th em"


St. Patrick’s Day March 17th Saint Patrick’s Day has it’s origins as the feast day of the patron Saint of Ireland, Saint Patrick (386ad-493ad), which the Irish celebrate in great style and not with a little of the black stuff each year on March 17th. It is a national holiday in the Republic of Ireland and a Bank Holiday in Northern Ireland. Celebrated worldwide by Irish people and more and more by non-Irish, the day is generally themed around all things green or Irish. It is celebrated by both christians and non-christians alike and is an excellent excuse for eating Irish food, consuming copious amounts of Guiness or Murphy’s and attending one of the many parades. The St. Patrick’s parade in Dublin, Ireland, is part of a five day festival with over 500,000 people attending the 2008 parade. By far the largest parade in the world is not surprisingly held each year in New York City where each year it is watched by in excess of 2,000,000 spectators. The New York Parade was first held in 1756 when the Irish soldiers marched through the streets. St. Patrick’s Day parades are held throughout the world with many in Ireland, England, America as well as Australia and Asia. Over the years St. Patrick’s Day has turned into one of the most anticipated celebrations of the year by people from all walks of life and from every religious background, it is a day to forget political or religious differences and enjoy a day of ‘Green.’ Although we in Pattaya don’t have our own parade, I think the nearest one is in Malasia, it will not stop us from having an excellent time when we will all have the opportunity to wear that lime green T-shirt we bought whilst under the influence and thought we would never get the chance to wear.

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But where to go? There are many Irish Bars in Pattaya who will all be doing something special on this favourite day of the year, so please take the time to check out the many Irish bars we have advertised in this month’s Grapevine, all of which will assure you of an excellent days entertainment.


Auction America:

The Nerdwell Plan y

B Written

My friend Fardley Nerdwell claims to have a plan that will fix the U.S. economy and save it from disaster. Here it is, as he explained it in a recent conversation:

Tsow: So tell me this great plan of yours, Fard. w Fardley: It’s simple. What does any business do whenever it S. Tso encounters insurmountable financial problems? It sells off its

assets. The United States should do the same. T: Well, fine, but what assets? F: Our celebrities. Everybody loves American celebrities. We can hold a big auction. I figure we can get an impressive sum for Britney Spears alone. Brad and Angelina, too, will fetch a huge bundle of boodle. In their case, since they’re so intimately related, compassion will require us to sell them as a unit. T: What about all their kids? F: The kids can be part of the same package. Or we can sell them separately, at a discount. Other celebrities we can sell? Well, Michael Phelps. What rich couple wouldn’t like to have their own personal Olympic swimming champion, with all those medals? Jessica Alba, Paris Hilton, Julia Roberts, Beyonce. “Sex and the City” freaks will be eager to buy Sarah Jessica Parker, although I can’t imagine why. For elderly music fans, Madonna and Michael Jackson. For the truly decrepit, Tony Bennett and Tom Jones. Then there’s Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes, Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger. I bet lots of third-world dictators would love to have Rambo or the Terminator as their own personal bodyguard. We can raise a lot of money by selling our celebrities. T: You can’t do that, Fardley. They’re human beings, for God’s sake. That would be slavery. F: In such dire economic times, we cannot nitpick about moral niceties. Our celebrities will be sacrificing themselves for the good of the nation. However, political correctness requires that we avoid using the S-word. We won’t call them slaves. We’ll call them mandatory companions. We can sell the rest of the population, too, either individually or in bunches. T: This is the sickest idea I’ve ever heard of. Aside from auctioning off people, what else would you sell? F: Well, we could sell the whole country—the land, I mean. But the buyer would have to have a stupendous amount of money to buy the whole shebang. One man, even one as rich as Bill Gates, wouldn’t be able to afford it. So the world’s billionaires might get together and form a consortium. OPEC would be an ideal buyer; they practically own us anyway. Of course, we’d have to avoid

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being bought by sinister gangs of low-life scumbags like drug kingpins, sex traffickers, the Burmese junta, Al-Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah, and the Mafia. Now, if consortiums can’t do the job, we can sell the country off in chunks. I bet there are South American countries that would love to own Texas and California, with their rich Spanish heritage. I can envision drug-rich Colombia and oil-rich Venezuela teaming up to buy the newly integrated state of Texifornia, for instance. T: Texas and California are not contiguous territories, Fardley. F: Hey, I’m a conceptualizer, not a mechanic. I paint the big picture. Let lesser artists fill in the details. If you want to be a bean-counter and fret about the small stuff, we can throw in the connecting states as a deal-sweetener. T: What other parts of the country would you sell? F: Alaska. We bought Alaska from the Russians a long time ago. I bet they’d love to have it back. There was a joke on “Saturday Night Live” about Sarah Palin being able to see Russia from her house. If Russia buys Alaska, she’ll be able to see Russia all around her house. Of course, she’ll have to change her name to Sarah Palinsky. Canada might buy some of our northern states. Maybe the Netherlands would like to buy back Manhattan Island. France might want to reclaim the Louisiana Purchase. T: What about selling our national monuments? F: Great idea. I bet the Grand Canyon would fetch a good price. Of course, if the buyers wanted to move it, that could be a problem. T: Let the bean-counters worry about it, eh? F: Right. Then there’s the Mount Rushmore Memorial. I bet somebody like Hugo Chavez, Fidel Castro, Muammar Gaddafi, Vladimir Putin, or Mahmoud Ahmadi-Nejad would love to buy that and put his own face up there, right alongside Washington and Lincoln. T: That would certainly give the place a cosmopolitan atmosphere. But if you’re going to sell off the whole country, and its people, who’s going to collect the money? F: There you go, the bean-counter mentality again. Why am I always surrounded by petty minds? We wouldn’t actually have to SELL everything. We could lease it out, say for terms of three years. The government would collect the money, and then, when the

leases expire, reimburse all the mandatory companions for their, uh, service. T: So an oil sheikh, say, wouldn’t actually be able to BUY Britney? He’d just lease her for three years or so? I wonder what shape she’d be in after those three interesting years. F: Well, we’ll devise stern contractual measures to prevent abuse. Listen, this is a brilliant concept. I expect it to get me the Nobel Peace Prize, or maybe the Nobel Prize for Economics. For sure the Congressional Medal of Honor. T: They give that only to soldiers, Fardley. Now, what do you call your plan? The Nerdwell Plan for Utter Insanity? F: Don’t be sarcastic. No, I’m a modest man who shuns the gaudy trappings of fame and glory. My name need not be invoked. We can call it the Great American Fire Sale, or the Grand American Sell-off; or, for simplicity’s sake, Auction America. I can’t wait till the big guns in American finance hear about this one. Although he disclaims all responsibility for the Nerdwell Plan, S. Tsow can be scolded at s.tsow@ymail.com

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Fool A

in Paradise

One Tequila, Two Tequila, Three Tequila,

Floor Australians have a self deprecating sense of humour but culturally speaking, apart from ourselves, there are three nationalities we Aussies love to stir up; New Zealanders, the English and Americans. The Kiwis, our poor cousins from across the Tasman Sea, give as good as they get so, like the rest of the world, I’ll ignore them for the time being. The English, or Pommies as they are affectionately known, are more aloof and snobbish, providing us with even more reasons – and ammunition – for verbal jousts. My repertoire of ‘Pommie jokes’ is more extensive than my ‘Kiwi jokes’ but that will have to wait. This time it’s the Septic’s turn to take the spotlight and knowing them to be a sensitive and easily offended lot, I have to be careful what I write. (‘Septic’ is short for ‘septic tank’, the rhyming slang for ‘Yank’. Used as a term of endearment by Australians during and for many years after the end of World War II.) I confess to feeling sorry for Americans at times. Whatever goes wrong in the world, they always seem

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to get the blame. Beer prices go up? Blame Americans. Car won’t start? Burn the American flag. It rains on your wedding day? Picket the US Embassy. If I was them I would be getting pretty tired of that global attitude by now. But I don’t want to talk about the American political situation, or any political situation for that matter. Politics is an institution run by lunatics and supported by fools. Not this fool. I want to talk about the American in Pattaya; you know, the one you hear coming twenty minutes before he arrives. I should point out that I have many great American friends here in Pattaya and I hope to still be able to say that after they read this. My first exposure to socializing with Americans was at the (gone but not forgotten) Alamo Bar in Soi 8. I have written several stories based upon the characters who once loitered in the Alamo but mostly, they are Americans who are Pattaya residents and a great lot of fun. They accepted this little Aussie (‘little’ in terms of global significance rather than physical size) into their fold and I am not exaggerating when I say their conversations have left me in tears with laughter on many occasions. Like me, they love this city and few want to return to their


native land; some because their appearance on US soil would initiate legal proceedings involving decades of unpaid alimony and others because they simply forget how to get there. Tequila Reef, a great restaurant/bar at the Beach Road end of Soi 7, serves the best Mexican food in Pattaya and mind-blowing frozen margaritas. On many evenings my American friends can be found at ‘the Reef’. I recall drinking with them on one occasion when, to my amazement, they allowed me to get a word in. Being a born diplomat, I exercised all my tact in reminding them that Australia is one of the few countries with which America has never exchanged a shot in anger. America has fought wars with all her neighbours, England, most of Europe and almost every country in Asia, but never with Australia. Noting their nods of agreement, I explained to my captivated audience the reason was simple. Although the US is only 25% larger in area than Australia, in terms of population we have around 20 million people while the US population is near 300 million. Should a war ever break out between our two nations, we Aussies don’t have enough human resources to guard 300 million prisoners. My companions took it very well, saying I had made a fine joke. Dropping my smile, I replied that it wasn’t meant to be a joke. At that, they too dropped their smiles but, in the interests of international friendship, kindly allowed me to buy a round of margaritas for everyone. They even stationed several of their buddies at the front door to make sure I was not disturbed before making the order. What a nice bunch of guys. Observing these friends over the years, it fascinates me the way Americans introduce themselves to other people. Personally, I say my first name, shake hands and it’s over and done with, but Americans can’t seem to keep it simple. “Hi! I’m Billy-Ray-Bob from Whogivesaratsbum, Arkanseethegrassgrow, but you can call me Chuck.” It’s as if it is compulsory to give your hometown and state as an extension of your name because there is a one in 300 million chance some guy listening could be your neighbour. Attempting to learn the real reason behind this quirky behaviour, I mentioned that I hadn’t realized Americans were so conscious of geography. To illustrate, I referred to a report which stated that,

when shown a globe of the earth, 30% of American high school students could not point to the Pacific Ocean. That cost me a round of frozen daiquiris. (Mental Note: Must learn to keep my mouth shut.) But there was one truly positive result of having watched these guys at play. Many of them are fanatical golfers and after listening to their exploits over the years, I have invented a new sport which I call ‘Pattaya Golf’ (Patent Pending). For one all-inclusive fee the sportsman will get transport to and from the course, club hire, buggy hire, caddy hire and all the booze he can drink. Each buggy will be equipped with a bottomless icebox and, once the game begins, the caddy will drive to the first tee, tee off, drive to wherever the ball lands, hit it again, then again, drive to the green and putt the ball into the hole. All this while the sportsman sits in the shade of the buggy’s canopy saving himself from dehydration. After 18 holes, the caddy hands her scorecard to the competitor so that, if still capable of reading, he can find out if he won or not. I think this game will catch on with all the serious American golfers in town, but don’t try to steal my idea. Like every American, I happen to know a very good lawyer.

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artistic

40

food Pattaya

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Quick Crossword & Sudoku Answers

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2009 >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Hottest Sports Cars of

Top

ten Speed and style are still the operative words for sports cars, but they’re getting plusher and more luxurious, thanks in part to an aging consumer base. Sales of sports cars in 2008 show that the rich are getting richer, and as the average age of sports-car buyers steadily creeps up, more models with added luxury and amenities are rolling into showrooms. The healthiest segment of the small but highly profitable sports-car market is at the extreme upper end. Sales of “ultra-luxury” like Aston Martin, Ferrari, and Lamborghini, whose vehicles tend to have longer product cycles the most favourable. Overall, sports car sales are in a slump, but that’s not stopping manufacturers from releasing hot new models for 2009. In the categories, where models tend to get refreshed every four or five years, significant models for 2008 included redesigned versions of the Audi TT and the Dodge Viper SRT10 Coupe and Roadster; the latter got a major boost in power, with

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Ferrari 430 Scuderia


Lotus Elispe-Exige

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2009 >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Hottest Sports Cars of its massive V10 engine now pumping out 600 horsepower. Arguably the most anticipated new sports car in recent years the Nissan GT-R is powered by a twin-turbo V6 engine and is able to reach 60 miles per hour in less than four seconds. This sleek all-wheel-drive coupe has long been a performance icon in Japan (where it has been called the “Skyline GT-R”) but is just now being introduced to America. Among new models for 2008 in the exotic segment were the Maserati GranTurismo, an elegant and civilized near-exotic coupe, and the stunning Audi R8, which is that company’s first foray into the realm of uber-sports cars. The R8’s traffic-stopping looks — we mean that literally; people jumped out of their cars in the middle of traffic to take pictures of it on our test drive — and boasts a 420-hp V8 engine. Its price extends into six figures and Audi has made it clear that the Porsche 911 Carrera 4S is one of its chief rivals.

Audi R8

Analysts hope an infusion of new models in the years ahead, combined with a market shift as aging Baby Boomers’ transportation needs change and their disposable income increases, will breathe new life into the broader end of the sports-car segment. According to the Power Information Network, the sports car segment is still dominated by the youngest group of buyers with an average age of 42. But that average has been steadily inching up in recent decades. The average Porsche buyer’s age rose from 42.7 years old

Nissan GT-R

Porsche 911 GT2

Masserati Gran Turismo

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>>>>>>>>>>> Bentley Continental GT Speed

Aston Martin DBS

Lamborghini Reventon

in the 1970s to 51.2 in the 1990s, according to CNW data. The average Corvette buyer was 38.1 in the Nixon/ Carter era, yet rose to 49.6 in the Bush/Clinton period. Upward age creep could be one reason sports cars have been gaining computer-controlled suspensions, advanced chassis-control features, dual-clutch semi-automatic shifters, and luxury-car convenience features. One has to admit these cars are beautiful to look at, only one problem? Who has the dosh to fork out the huge taxes to import into Thailand, well that’s my excuse anyway!

Mercedes -Benz SLR McLaren Roadster

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Laws of

Golf LAW #1: No matter how bad your last shot was, the worst is yet to come. This law does not expire on the 18th hole, since it has the supernatural tendency to extend over the course of a tournament, a summer and, eventually, a lifetime.

LAW #2: Your best round of golf will be

followed almost immediately by your worst round ever. The probability of the latter increases with the number of people you tell about the former.

LAW #3: Brand new golf balls are water

magnetic. Though this cannot be proven in the lab, it is a known fact that the more expensive the golf ball, the greater its attraction to water.

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LAW #4: Golf balls never bounce off of

trees back into play. If one does, the tree is breaking a law of the universe and should be cut down.

LAW #5: No matter what causes a golfer

to muff a shot, all his playing partners must solemnly chant “You looked up,” or invoke the wrath of the universe.

LAW #6: The higher a golfer’s handicap, the more qualified he deems himself as an instructor.

LAW #7: Every par-three hole in the world has a secret desire to humiliate golfers. The shorter the hole, the greater its desire.


Mahouf

LAW #8: Topping a 3-iron is the most

LAW #15: A severe slice is a thing of

painful torture known to man.

awesome power and beauty.

LAW #9: Palm trees eat golf balls.

LAW #16: “Nice lag” can usually be

LAW #10: Sand is alive. If it isn’t, how do

you explain the way it fights against you?

translated to “lousy putt.” Similarly, “tough break” can usually be translated “way to miss an easy one, sucker.”

LAW #11: Golf carts will always run out of

LAW #17: The person you would most

juice at the farthest point from the clubhouse.

LAW #12: A golfer hitting into your group

hate to lose to will always be the one who beats you.

will always be bigger than anyone in your group. Likewise, a group you accidentally hit into will consist of a football player, a professional wrestler, a convicted murderer and an IRS agent -- or some similar combination.

will automatically adjust your score to what it really should be.

LAW #13: All 3-woods are demon-possessed.

twice each month.

LAW #18: The last three holes of a round

LAW #19: Golf should be given up at least

LAW #14: Golf balls from the same “sleeve” LAW #20: All vows taken on a golf course

tend to follow one another, particularly out of bounds or into the water (see Law three)

shall be valid only until the sunset of the same day.

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THE PAT FLOATING A Haven of Traditional Thai Culture and Ambiance

Pattaya Floating Market is the new name for what was originally called the Floating Market of the Four Regions; now the largest floating market in Thailand. However, the name change has not affected the character of the venue; it remains unique in that it gathers together, in one location, products and cultural entertainments from the four regions of Thailand, the North, South, North-East and Central regions. Pattaya has frequently been criticised for not being a sufficiently Thai city, the presence of the Floating Market does much to remedy the situation. It’s also why the Pattaya Floating Market has proved such a popular attraction for tourists as they can get a fascinating taste of all the facets of Thailand, simultaneously, as well as gaining a unique insight into the authentic spirit of the country and its culture, including being able to hear the four regional dialects spoken; most of which they would almost certainly miss out on, otherwise. The locals, Thais and farang alike, and other residents from the Eastern Seaboard are likewise strongly attracted to the venue; indeed, it’s becoming immensely popular across the board, drawing 4-5,000 visitors per day every weekend, with a slight drop off in the week.

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That it should be so popular is no surprise when you consider what is on offer: a profusion of diverse representations of Thai traditional and contemporary arts and crafts, clothing and other items of silk and other materials, folk handicrafts, wood-carvings, paintings, Thai herbs, spices and incenses, distinctly regional food, as well as international cuisine in the Lake View Restaurant, and last, but not last, regular displays of dramatic cultural expression and regional dance. The permanent Wood Carving Museum has some spectacularly intricate examples of pure artistry that truly capture the soul of Thai folklore, with its elephants and fairy divas, for example. Some of the scenic wood carvings, each figure of which is exquisitely distinct, must have literally taken years to craft. One


TAYA

Days Out

MARKET

can also intimately experience the Thai soul, aptly displayed, both in the Flora Fair and the ancient Thai art exhibition on permanent display in the front section of the Wood Carving Museum. Entering the Pattaya Floating Market, passing by the magnificent, almost life-like, twin carvings of the naka/naki – dragon fish – you then step onto the first walkway and are immediately transported back in time to the tranquil ambiance of a bygone era. The Pattaya Floating Market is situated on what used to be, indeed still remains, the largest swamp on the Eastern Seaboard, but has now been transformed into a lake, with its copious wooden islands, each representing a distinct facet of the four different regions, be it shops, restaurants, stages or exhibition

centres, all housed in traditional teak buildings, linked by walkways. On the water between, 80 water boatmen ply their ways, transporting visitors between the islands, whilst numerous floating vendors display their wares, including food. The ubiquitous background music is traditional and unobtrusive; the whole ensemble serving to immerse you in a unique plethora of sensations, sights and scents of ancient Thailand. There is sufficient diversity of product range, shows, exhibitions and educational lectures to occupy and enthral the whole family for the entire day, after which one can relax and partake of a variety of dishes in the different restaurants. It was the intention of the CEO, Khun Warida Sae-ung aka Nok, to encourage and preserve the Thai

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heritage by displaying and marketing the rich and diverse culture with a wide, yet distinct, variety of high quality products, cultural artefacts and handicrafts from the four different Thai regions, and also stimulate their respective economies and grant them the utmost exposure in a venue dedicated to maximise their potential. To this end, there are no rental charges for the different shops, which helps keep all the products competitively priced, and all shows and exhibitions are free. On an educational note, there will also be lectures at different times, for example, of differences in Thai lifestyle between the Northern and Southern cultures and grandiose shows illustrating regional Thai dance styles, puppetry and other aspects of the diverse cultural tradition. In addition, there will be fruit carving and silk weaving demonstrations and other periodic exhibitions, all to be announced in the local media. The end-game, of course, is to tempt customers to buy the products at the end of the various shows. The entertainments are by no means all passive, however, from February 21 to March 21 (so within the period of this issue of Pattaya Grapevine), there will be the interactive, Arom Thai Art Exhibition, where various skilled artists of the Arom Silp Group will hold a workshop to teach all-comers various facets of artistic expression. This workshop will be free of charge; all you need to provide is the necessary equipment. This three-day, month-long event, will teach the following subjects: Mondays: teaching clothes painting – bring your own clothes to paint

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Wednesdays: teaching various techniques of portrait painting – charcoal, air-brush, pencil and chalk Fridays: teaching scenic painting - oil on canvas. For songbirds, there will be the Turtledove Nok Kao Chawa Singing Contests, held on eight separate occasions from March 11 to 10 October. These are but two of the events, which will be held on a regular basis. Further information about future events and the features Pattaya Floating Market may be obtained by logging on to their newly revised website: www.pattayafloatingmarket.com It is important to appreciate that Pattaya Floating Market is a dynamic, evolving entity. The management will go out of their way to encourage the participation of local retailers, craftsmen and entertainers, as long as their products are of sufficiently high quality, are representative of Thai culture (ancient and modern) and don’t duplicate what is already present in the market, as they wish to safeguard the livelihoods of their current contributors. Interested parties may communicate with the management via the PR Department by email: info@floating4market.com or by phone: Thai - 084-113 2097; English – 085-282 6443 Open daily: 10am-9pm Location: just past the Pattaya City boundary on the left-hand side of Sukhumvit Road (going towards Rayong) Ample parking in front, or in the car park for all vehicles, including tour buses.


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Fever

Dengue

Nobody likes mosquitoes, especially when lying in bed and hearing the high pitch hum around your ears, you just know its war, it’s either you or him! Dengue fever is a very serious problem that you can catch from the irritating little pest which has become more widespread in Thailand in recent years. This year the Thai Government has already established a ‘War Room’ to try and combat this problem which is at epidemic proportions. I can speak from experience as I had the disease last year and both my son and daughter in law have already been infected this year. We were lucky in that we had a mild strain, in the worst cases it can prove to be fatal.

“So what is Dengue Fever”

The Dengue fever virus is contracted from the bite of a striped Aedes aegypti mosquito that has previously bitten an infected person. It can only be caught from this type of mosquito which flourishes during the rainy season but can also breed in flower pots, ponds, plastic bags, cans, etc. all year round. The first symptoms may be mistaken for the start of flue with high fever, headaches, sickness, swollen glands, sever muscle aches and pains and a burning sensation in the eyes. A few days into the illness and you should be able to see the Dengue rash. The fiercest form of the disease, Dengue hemorrhagic fever, is a far more severe form of the viral illness.

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Manifestations include headache, fever, rash and evidence of hemorrhage in the body, ‘Petechiae’ (small red or purple blisters under the skin), bleeding from the nose or gums, black stools and easy bruising are all possible signs. This form of dengue fever can be life-threatening or even fatal Basically the virus thins your blood, making the ‘blood plate’s’ drop and making it impossible for your blood to clot. Ok, so what can we do to prevent it? Specialists say wear long sleeved tops, full length trouser etc; but come on, in the tropics, with temperatures far beyond our comfort zone! The way I have coped with the battle is to always wear a cream or spray to prevent mosquitoes biting in the first place. Always spray your room before leaving, I have found the ‘plug insecticides’ to be very good and we always wake up to a heap of dead mosquitoes in the morning. Air-con also seems to keep the little pests less active, especially if you have it set to zero, or so my husband complains and have a reputable ‘Bug Killing’ company visit your abode each month and have your garden and house sprayed, it really seems to work for us.


L O ion

it O t C pe

Avid Ocean Co Adventuring m

Courtesy Of Gulf Charter’s Sailing School You may well have gazed enviously at the sleek yachts gliding across Jomtien or Pattaya Bays and poignantly wished that you, too, had the chance to sail one. Alternatively, you may have become thoroughly jaded with the regular pastimes Pattaya has to offer, or perhaps the ladies aren’t biting and then you remember the aphorism “All the nice girls love a sailor”, especially if he possesses a bareboat captain’s ticket. Whatever the reason, many of you are attracted to a life on the ocean wave, even if only briefly, but possess neither the experience nor the necessary skills to cope with the sea. Well, help is at hand in the form of the ultra-professional Gulf Charters, sailing out of Ocean Marina, Jomtien.

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Although Gulf Charters offers boat charters, deliveries, brokerage and sailing courses, it’s the latter we’re interested in here for the purposes of this article. The monthly Gulf Charter’s Sailing School International Yacht Training accredited, 3-part sailing programme is extremely comprehensive and competitively priced, so much so that it successfully attracts students worldwide, intent on mastering the art of sailing. In the 5 years that they have been in existence, their books have been full, irrespective of the season. Recreational yachting isn’t all plain sailing, though, far from it; the sea can be a harsh mistress that will brook no rank amateurism, or inadequate preparation. This fact is totally understood by the highly professional Gulf Charter’s Sailing School instructors. The director and chief instructor of the sailing school, Captain Tim McMahon, is a dedicated all-weather sailor with over 130,000 nautical miles sailing experience under his belt, with a Merchant Marine Master’s ticket, who’s literally been sailing all his life. Born to a seafaring lobster-fishing family in Maine, probably the premier maritime state in the US, Capt. Tim has experienced all the ocean has to throw at the unwary sailor, which is why he lays so much emphasis on safety, responsibility, adequate preparation and wise resource management for his fledgling yachtsmen. Rest assured if you receive yacht training at Capt. Tim’s capable hands and abide by his directives, you’ll be adequately equipped to take the high seas with aplomb and panache. He’ll also rapidly disabuse you of any overly romantic notions you might have, like the student who had visions of being able to build a 100-foot catamaran and circumnavigate the globe; both single-handedly!

Mahouf

The other school instructors have ranged the seas and oceans of Europe, the Mediterranean, the Indian Ocean and Australia, giving them a wide depth and variety of experience, and a considerable range of maritime knowledge and practical insight. All of which they yearn to impart to their students. The sailing curriculum on offer at Gulf Charter’s Sailing School consists of three-stages, which can be taken singly, or the aptly named ‘Zero to Hero’, all in, 15-day back-to-back course. The first is the International Crew Course, an entry level foundation training programme for novices, with the emphasis on gaining essential, practical hands-on experience. In it you learn the basics of sailing, yacht design, electrical, mechanical and plumbing systems and the equipment required to take a boat to sea. Also covered are the fundamentals of navigation, sailing theory and terminology, knot tying, rope-work, sail handling, yacht safety etc. The second stage is the International Watch-keeper/ Flotilla Skipper Course, which builds on the initial foundations, extending it through theory and practice to attain a level of mastery whereby the student gains

Captain Tim at Sea

Samui Regatta 2008

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Samui Regatta 2008

sufficient competency to be a yacht watch-keeper or flotilla skipper in fair weather during daylight hours, within sight of land. The course consists of deepening the student’s knowledge of passage planning, charts and navigational aids, docking, anchoring, boat handling, collision regulations and first-aid at sea. The culminating stage, the International Bareboat Captain Course, will entitle you to wear a captain’s cap and command your crew; effectively graduation, signifying mastery of the essentials of seamanship. Attainment of this level of proficiency means the graduate is considered sufficiently competent and experienced to charter a yacht safely. The areas covered on this course include seamanship skills, tides and currents, wind and weather, waves and storms and assuming responsibility for a yacht and her crew. The course culminates in a final exam consisting of both a theoretical and a practical on-board evaluation, before which the student must have logged up 200 nautical miles and 10 days at sea. Successful completion of all of these components will make the graduate the proud owner of a Bareboat Captain Certificate. Incidentally, for those unfamiliar with the term,

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‘bareboat’ means independence from having to hire an effectively supervisory crew and captain, because the course graduate is now the master and considered capable, experienced and confident enough to take a boat to sea, to assume the loneliness of command and command their crew, having tested themselves and discovered their strengths and weaknesses, (which obviously have to be remedied), but, most importantly, to have learnt to work in co-operation with the sea, respecting all her moods and copious demands. Having interviewed Capt. Tim, I can safely say that he inspires one with total confidence in his prowess, vast maritime experience and love of sailing. Anyone who enters the preliminary Crew Course with the intention of being satisfied merely with that level of basic training will rapidly reconsider when they become infused with Capt. Tim’s contagious enthusiasm and will yearn to master the full 3-part training programme. The full Zero to Hero Programme will enable students to familiarise themselves and gain valuable sailing experience on one or more of the charter boats managed by Gulf Charters, namely the Catalina 310, Benneteau Oceanis 32+46, Jeaneau Sun


Once bitten by the sailing bug, an almost guaranteed consequence of enjoying one or more of the courses

Odyssey 42.1+43, Fountaine Pajot 38, Wharram Pahi 52, or other five craft. Gulf Charter Sailing School students are extremely fortunate in the prime location of its Ocean Marina base, with such an excellent training ground, adjacent to Laem Chabang Port with the chance to learn how to cope with the maritime navigational intricacies of its often hectic ship and tug-boat traffic, sea lane and traffic separation scheme and navigational aids, like buoys and lighthouses. In the same area, lie the islands of Larn, Rin and Phai, perfect for practicing traditional navigation methods, anchoring and beach landings aboard the dingy, while the return to Ocean Marina affords ample practice in docking and close-quarters boat handling techniques. One shouldn’t get the impression that the courses are all demanding, arduous work and no play. Capt. Tim assured Pattaya Grapevine that students have ample opportunities for partying ashore, and swimming or snorkelling off the islands. Indeed, such is the fascination and level of involvement in learning how to sail that students will revel in sharing their experiences and a firm sense of camaraderie is soon built up among the students and instructors, which often lasts a lifetime. So much so that students enrol on the further courses merely to continue the friendships fostered in the first course. This especially applies to the opportunities for continuing education provided by the Mile-builders, Flotillas, Racing

Regattas and Adventure Sailing Cruises all around the South East Asia region. Once bitten by the sailing bug, an almost guaranteed consequence of enjoying one or more of the courses, the newly badged sailor will avidly seek the further experiences and opportunities to hone their nautical skills that such events can provide, for it’s true to say that one can never gain enough exposure to the sea in all its myriad temperaments. Participating in these continuing education events will also give the enterprising yachtsman the chance to venture further afield all along the Gulf of Thailand, past Koh Chang, as far as Cambodian waters and those of the Andaman Islands, off Phuket. Ironically, in the unlikely event of another tsunami in that area, you’ll be pleased to learn that its effects will be minuscule if you’re out on the open seas, as its wrath only builds 2 School Boats Startline

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Qualifying Sailing Quiz Questions

Take the Helm

up close to shore.What you’re more likely to experience off Koh Samui or Phuket is the Doldrums, with its propensity for cloud and unpredictable or very light winds. Being in the Monsoon Wind Belt, however, gives sailors out of Ocean Marina excellent sailing winds more than 300 days of the year, particularly from now until March, though if you really yearn to put your newly gained yachting experience to the test, you’ll have to wait till the period of the SW Monsoon, from May till September, when occasional high winds and low visibility will truly test your mettle. If you’re of the same temperament as Capt. Tim, you’ll no doubt share his sense of adventure and pioneering spirit. He can’t wait to explore the relatively virginal seas and islands off Burma, when they eventually deregulate them. He sometimes gets the chance to deliver boats further afield than the normal sailing grounds and his next trip illustrates how a seasoned instructor can work admirably in tandem with a student. He soon has to deliver a 50-knot speed boat to Borneo; a trip which he tasked one of his students to plot his voyage. The really thrilling aspect of the journey is that it will take him right through active pirate territory – now that’s a challenge and a half, but no doubt Tim will take it in his stride, as he has all the necessary skills to be a pirate himself if he so chose, so he will be really au fait with their mentality and well prepared to run their gauntlet. Incidentally, the cost of the individual courses is Bt30-32,000 each, but the Zero to Hero special all-in package will only set you back Bt86,000. If you have even the slightest sailing inclination, can you afford not to enrol immediately? It’s guaranteed to give you a whole new perspective and perhaps for the first time in your existence, make your life really worth living.

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Submit answers to the following 3 questions and you will be entered in our draw to be held on 20/03/2009. The winning entry will receive an all expenses paid 5 day International Crew course, courtesy of Gulf Charters Sailing School, Pattaya, Thailand. Send your name, telephone number and email address (if you have them) to Pattaya Grapevine Competition, 42/91-93 Sukhumvit Road, Nongprue, Banglamung, Chonburi, 20260, or drop them into our offices (50 meters past Spanish Condo on Sukhumvit Road) or by email to competition@pattayatoday.net. Good luck. Q1) a b c d

Q2) a b c d Q3) a b c d

1) The difference between True North and Magnetic North is called: a) Parallax b) Deviation c) There is no difference between True and Magnetic North d) Variation 2) On a sailing boat, the line that pulls a sail up the mast is called: a) a sheet b) the sail pendant c) a halyard d) the bell rope 3) A proper look-out must be kept on a boat at sea: a) when there are other boats near-by. b) only when in sight of land. c) only during daylight hours. d) at all times.


Grapevine Issue 03 - MARCH 2009  

elcome to the March edition of your new magazine ‘Pattaya Grapevine’, we do hope you enjoy it. We have increased our number of pages again t...

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