Ms Chocaholic with lots of opinions and an attitude

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

My worthy ordeal in Singapore

I had assumed Singapore being one of the football-crazy-hub in Asia, I would certainly get live coverage of the big EPL game Liverpool vs Arsenal on the Sunday 28th.
Well I guessed wrong!
found out late into the night, (this at a time when I was already suffering tremendously from the nasty flu that Ive had for a few days). Anyhow...I ponder for a few seconds, and decide to set out to the next hotel where Im told...SHOULD definitely have it. well they dont! grrr.
so they send me to Harry's bar at the I think..well a nice enough place...hop on the short cab ride...and voila. sure enough the footie was on.....and
them: yes we will show the Liverpool vs Arsenal game next. Kick off at 1155pm.
BUT the bar will close at 1am!
me: HUH?!?! but thats only half time.
them: its sunday ma'am. we close at 1am

grrrr. so off I go again. this time walking!! can you believe that? well the guy told me across the bridge (its a small bridge) there are a number of bars. so I walk. get to other side, ask some guy walking by, he says yeah...just go behind this building..turns out to be some cricket club HAHA
anyhow...i end up near my hotel..almost gave up and went back to my room, but decided to give it another go and walked opposite direction away from hotel. see a jazz bar around the corner.....head further down...and woohoo finally rows of clubs and bars! find myself a spot in the most decent looking bar that had a huge TV. settled down for a drink of hot tea...yep hot tea! and then Im told they close at 1am too!
by then i couldnt be bothered to hop to the next bar, and try to watch it in some bar with loud karaoke music, so decided Id stay and leave whenever they close. somehow the staff were nice enough to let me stay on while they packed up and cleaned shop. awwww how sweet

was well worth all that trouble though..... a really good game. quite tough too. we lost a penalty early in the game, and didnt have any luck getting a goal back. only in the 80th minute, Fabregas scored. yayyyyy. a number of other missed chances, otherwise despite the tough fight from Liverpool it should have been 3 points for us. anyhow....still happy...1 point in an away game.
back in bangkok now....still with the nasty flu. stopped off at hospital on way from airport...lets hope this will go away quickly. need to keep warm and fit for the cold cold europe!


Czech National Day

October 25th
Ive been doing a couple of czech-ian things in the last few days. Last week was at the photography exhibition at Paragon Hall.
got the invite for the reception at Dusit ballroom, turns out boss is also going so I figure Id get a ride. turns out hes going earlier as his invitation says 5pm? while mine says 6.30pm. hmmmm....anyhow boss says I should come along anyhow. turns out the Czechs must really like to party...cos they put on 2 celebrations in 1 day! the earlier one came complete with a fashion show with young stunning Czech models that had not only the guys oogling, but us girls hot (with envy!!).

On the weekend, berthold arrived from beijing, and we went out along with P Pim and bhakti (Dennis' friend from Chicago). Apparently berthold wasnt happy with the arrangement...but thats just how life, in particular mine, seems to pan out. things dont always work to plans....and you should already know Im not much of planner....besides...plans change. what can I say.....
anyhow Saturday night we went to virtigo for some indulgence...and my what a meal it was. excellent food! pricey ofcourse! still feel a bit guilty, yet appreciative, about this 'treat'.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Champion League Arsenal vs Slavia Prague

what a stunning result! 7:0 nil to Arsenal!! I didnt stay up to watch the game...hoped for a win..but wasnt quite expecting such a tremendous victory. the team has been doing really well in recent weeks. The young players in the team have done a really good job. At the start of the season many were saying Arsenal really has no chance this year with the departure of players like Henry (after Viera left last season).

well, they may like to rethink their predictions Arsenal is now top of the English Premier League, not lost a game in the EPL, and similar in the European Champions League.

below is excerpt from the match report of the Arsenal vs Slavia Prague game:

Theo Walcott began this game as a boyish Arsenal talent, he finished it as a full-fledged member of this emerging side.

The 18-year-old was playing only his second game up front under Arsène Wenger but he put in a manful display. Although the goals were shared between Walcott, Alex Hleb, Cesc Fabregas and Nicklas Bendtner, it was the former Southampton man who took the eye.

full story at

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Remembering Bali bombing victims

Its been 5 years since the bombing in Kuta, Bali in October 2002 that killed 202 people. Almost a year since I went to Bali myself. I still remember how some friends asked me why I would still go there around Christmas time...which tells me that even after so many years people were still fearful to travel there during any peak season.
I was there just around Christmas period..the supposed high season...yet the shops and restuarants were mostly empty.
terrorist attacks certainly leave behind a scar, not just physically and emotionally, but very much financially as well.

speaking of victims, October also marks some pretty dark days in Thai history..... both the October 6th event, and the October 14th 1973 event, where a number of student protestors were shot at by Thailand's military government at the time. sounds too painfully familiar to whats happening in our neighbouring country doesnt it.

may their brave soulds rest in peace. Lest we forget.

Monday, October 15, 2007

News from burma

While Ive spent the last few days enjoying myself with some friends (Jeny is in town from Phuket..met her Thursday night...along with P Pim, then Saturday was out with P Pim again....also ran into Benedikt, Holger and Oliver.......bangkok IS a small town!!)

anyway, while all that was happening, things continue to look grim in burma. News of the junta targeting citizens whose photos appeared in foreign media, issuing statements like 'those that are calling for UN intervention are traitors, and will meet their tragic end'. Also heard from a 'friend' in burma who didnt say much, except:

"just dropping a quick line. Still here, it's quietened down a lot, but there are still troubles. Can't say too much but it's still sad.gif
Hope your well,"

The irony of it, him being in burma wishing me well, when Im sitting here hoping and really hoping that everyone there stays unharm. sighhhhhh

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Images of Burma

no not the images we see of recent weeks from the protests and the violent crackdown,

but rather images from my previous trips and encounters with

some of the people from Burma Ive had a chance to cross path with...
........many inside the UN Refugee camp or other villages in the northern part of Thailand,

and also some from the border town inside Burma

makes one want to help in whatever little way, to make sure these little signs of happiness can be returned and put on the faces of all in that country

Another goodbye

Went out to dinner with Jochen last night...I thought he had already left (or was leaving earlier that evening) was a nice surprise to be able to meet up, especially considering its unlikely I will be in Bangkok on his next visit.

Anyhow.....a nice dinner at Curries n More (just to continue with tradition) and then finally the goodbye time. Im really terrible at this, and totally messed it up. Why do they even call it 'good'bye?

Had my first in July when I had to say an early goodbye to Rainer. was quite an emotional one for both of us I think...... the first time Ive cried saying goodbye to a (former) boss. but then again, he has become a friend rather than just a boss.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Having a bad day......

almost midnight, Monday...a really long day at work, a number of meetings.......the reality of my imminent move to Aus.....leaving my current job....and the people Ive known at work over the eyars.......all that combined with the thought of possibly not seeing a certain friend again...perhaps ever.....has made me a not so happy person this evening.

but I suppose as they say .... c'est la vie

tomorrow may be a brighter day.

Arsenal vs Sunderland

watched the game at Londoner with Martin, P Pim, Tony and blissy. In the second half of the game they had me slightly nervous when Sunderland got 2 goals bringing the score to a draw at 2:2. Later in the game Arsenal finally managed to get our 3rd goal in after missing a number of good chances. On the whole I think we looked quite clumsy....still got our 3 points and continue the no-defeat run. Not good to concede 2 goals at home to Sunderland though, considering Sunderland hasnt exactly been a difficult opponent this season.
still was a good game.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Global protest against Burma's military

Protests has been planned in close to 30 countries around the world on 6th October, starting in various cities in Australia and Asia.

The campaign originated through the popular networking site Facebook, and later another site burma watch was created to spread the word also to those without profiles and access to Facebook.
(I still dont have a profile there despite getting repeated invitations from friends of various groups ranging from teenage cousin to those of my father's age...but thats a different story altogether...back to story at hand.....)

Interesting phenomenon about citizen power coupled with the internet. The turnout might not have been that impressive, especially in Asia, but its certainly receiving coverage in prominent media like Associated Press and Reuters.

In Bangkok there were 2 protests, one outside the Burmese Embassy, and the other led by Amnesty International at our Democracy monument.
(speaking of that, Thailand's democracy is another issue that makes my hair curl!! some day I wonder how to choose what I in solidarity with the people of Burma, or my usual Friday black in mourning for Thailand's 1997 constitution. Red is not really my colour, but looks like I will have to stock up on some more!)

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Free Burma!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

German Unity

3rd October marks the day the West and East Germany were reunited. Today Germany celebrates the 17th anniversary of reunification on October 3.

ofcourse another date of significance is 9 November 1989, when the last icon of the cold war, the Berlin Wall, was struck down. not by any authority or government body or military might, but by the people of East Germany.

more on this later.

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Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Solidarity with the People of Burma/Myanmar

Statement by the Liberty Network
(an informal collection of liberal individuals and think tanks around the world)

We, who are united by common principles and values of individual liberty, declare our steadfast support for the freedom of expression and freedom of association of the people of Burma/Myanmar to exercise these rights peacefully. In particular, we declare our solidarity with the people of Burma/Myanmar in their present hour of crisis, the people who have bravely faced the brutal force unleashed by the military junta against its own people. By its action on peaceful protestors the military regime in Myanmar has not only underscored its own illegitimacy, but also exposed its own vulnerability.

We call on the military regime in Burma/Myanmar to respect the popular sentiment of the Burmese people against authoritarian rule. We also call on the military to release from detention all political prisoners, initiate an honest dialogue aimed at reconciliation, and respect the ideal of political pluralism.

We, also call on the international community to support the democratic aspirations of the people of Burma/Myanmar to exercise their sovereign right to live in peace, with freedom and dignity.


NOTE: If you wish to endorse this statement, and add your name as a signatory, please send an email to

Why Burma?

A few friends have asked me why such fervent interest in Burma and the fate of its people. I cant answer or pinpoint the why, it just happened. In fact I cant even claim to be more passionate about the situation in Burma than I am in other cases. I feel as strongly or even more so? about whats going on in southern Thailand, as well as the political climate in the country since the last year (after the coup and military takeover). Granted, particularly in light of recent events in Burma, we should feel as though the military regime in thailand is almost a blessing in comparison? but ofcourse I dont believe that! just cos someone is worse than the thai military regime, does not mean we should always compare ourselves to those that are worse. Id like to believe Thailand has come much further than that, and expect a lot more from our political elites.

Anyhow.....I suppose my interest in Burma and its people was made more strong in the last 2 years. Prior to that I never had friends from Burma, but back in 2005 I met a friend with ties in Burma that first triggered me to learn more about the country and its problems. Coincidentally only a month or so after that in October 2005 I came across the "Threat to the peace" commissioned by Desmond Tutu and Vaclav Havel that gives a very clear picture of how bad things are in Burma and that something needed to be done soon. That same year I had a chance to go up north Thailand along with Virg and the GAIN team on the mobile medical camp. Most people we worked with were either migrants or refugees from Burma.

At the UNHCR refugee camp in MaeSot I still remember the endless patients we saw...all young women with newborn babies crying non-stop! They were suffereing from all sorts of illnesses.

(picture from UNHCR website)

or some other memories I still have from that trip, was setting up medical clinic in the school in one village. After we had finished seeing the patients, the young kids gathered in the tiny 'sala' (an open area with roof? not sure how to describe it). Anyway, there they were
, these lovely children, thin and frail, but with delighted smiles on their faces..delighted at the sight of seeing new faces, and the thought of knowing that some strangers still care about their fate, and to show their appreciation for our visit they performed dance after dance for our enjoyment. At the end of the day before we left, each of the kids gave us a hand-drawn 'thank-you' card. Some put aside their shyness and gave us hugs. Still brings tears to my eyes.

When you have had that kind of personal encounter...I suppose you identify with their problems more.....thousands of faces have been put to the story that you normally would have only read its more personal...cos Im thinking what would happen to that little girl that hugged me, or the one that gave me this card, or ...the list goes on......

Each time I think about those little lovely ones...I really wish there is more I can do...I wish theres more each of us can do.

How can one human being be so cruel to another? I really wonder about those that lift the baton, the rifle or whatever other weapon against their can they bring themselves to do it?

a very baffled and very saddened me.