AOB – February 2018

27 February 2018

it was Tai’s birthday last night – a few friends – dinner on our rooftop. Very enjoyable. Stress free as we prepared well in advance.

Hope you had a good time, hon.

Let us just park this here for now:

“Donald Trump has renewed his criticism of an armed sheriff’s deputy who failed to enter a high school in Parkland, Florida, during a mass shooting this month, saying he would have run into the building even if he did not possess a weapon.

Addressing a gathering of 39 state governors at the White House, Trump said officers who were outside the school at the time of the shooting “weren’t exactly medal of honor winners”.

“The way they performed was really a disgrace,” he added. “I really believe I’d run in there even if I didn’t have a weapon.””

Dear Donald – what utter bollocks.

No one believes you.

19 February 2018

Emirates will launch a new daily service from Dubai to Auckland via the island of Bali, Indonesia, from June 14.

The new service will mean that EK has a total of three daily services to New Zealand. The new flight is in addition to the existing non-stop daily service between Dubai and Auckland and its current daily A380 service between Dubai and Christchurch via Sydney, a release said.

Emirates’ new Dubai-Bali-Auckland flight will provide the only year-round non-stop daily service between Auckland and Bali.

The airline will operate a 777-300ER on the route.

The southbound flight, EK 450, will depart Dubai at 06:55, arriving at Denpasar (Bali) at 20:20 local time, before flying on to Auckland at 22:00, arriving at 10:00, the following day.

Northbound, the new service will depart Auckland as flight EK 451 at the convenient time of 12:40, arriving in Denpasar at 17:55 local time. It will depart Denpasar at 19:50, arriving in Dubai just after midnight at 00:45.

15 February 2018

Funny how I am even losing the inspiration to write. Well, not funny. Just rather disappointing.

Another day, another fight….

I am at the point where I wonder what I am doing here – I dont know if I can ever really settle here. Days go by with no one that I can have a real conversation with. Talking with Tai, and she is a wonderful woman, is still like walking on eggshells. This is her home. She knows how it works. She knows what is happening around her. Me – I am mostly clueless. I go where I am told. I ask a question. I might get an answer. I might get ignored.

I am hiding in the study tonight. Maybe I will get out later. I feel like I need permission or at least approval for everything that I do.


Health concerns are not a great help either. But we don’t talk about that beyond the constant – “have you taken your medicine?”

We should talk this through – but we wont – there will be a long period of silence.

Me – I know I am more irritable at times here. In part because I would just like to hear a yes or no or to get a decision. We drove out tonight for dinner – the roads are nuts in the dark – I swear every scooter rider in Chiang Mai has a death wish. But we never got to dinner. I thought we were going to one place. And I thought we had agreed. But she was still looking for alternates until we were a 100 years away…so what is the point of agreeing to go somewhere when it it fairly clear that you do not want to go there other than as a last resort?

I suspect I will be sleeping in one of the spare rooms later – again!

On a much brighter note Andy Browne – ex Reuters China, Singapore, Taiwan and other places in between, was in Chiang Mai this week. He has been at the WSJ for the last ten plus years and is off to a new role that maybe I will put in a link to when all is done. It is a great opportunity.

We played golf at both NorthHills and at Chiang Mai Highlands – two very good afternoons. CM Highlands is a fabulous course. In the hills to the east of the city.

The pictures are from CM Highlands.

Andy is fascinating to listen to – born in Hong Kong – western educated – fluent Cantonese and Mandarin and who knows what else – his rolodex is I suspect a list of the mighty and powerful. He sees West and East – he is American; he is English; he is Chinese. He understand them all – and understands their conflicts; past, present and future.

Oh – and he has a few stories to tell…..

1 February 2018

Tai is home in Samut Songkhram for a week. I am home alone and bored. It really is too quiet.

Played golf on Tuesday but had a major sense of humour failure at the golf club. stopped after 10 holes before I got any more frustrated. Just clueless. The club has no interest in the well-being of its members – just in getting as many tour groups on the golf course as possible, because they pay the bills and drink in the lounge etc. The trouble is the visitors will all have left by March and for seven or eight months the course will be quiet – which is when the club will need its members to keep the place ticking over.

Caddy thought it was her fault. It was not. She just made a bad day worse by saying and doing the wrong things. I walked all ten holes while she drove along in the cart!

And of course with my awful Thai there is no one at the course who I can explain any of this to.

Do go and see “The Post” – such a well made movie. Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks – directed by Steven Spielberg. Ane the message (based upon the Pentagon Papers publication in the NYT and The Washington Post in 1971) is all about the importance of a strong and free press. Thailand, the UAE and others take note.