Well, here we are in 2013 and wondering, rather nervously perhaps, what's in store for us in the Year of the Slithering Reptile. Unfortunately, it will most likely be a grim year, but we'll leave the gloom and doom stuff for the experts. It is time for a bit of positive thinking.
No doubt we are in for another amazing 12 months in Thailand. In fact last year we enjoyed a bonus _ 2012 Thailand was not only "amazing", but it was also a "miracle year", not that I can recall too many miracles. I suppose simply surviving is some kind of miracle these days.
You don't have to be Nostradamus to predict that in the Kingdom there will be some entertaining tales of alleged skullduggery emerging in the coming year, featuring influential persons, with daily front page helpings of absurdity, silliness and ludicrousness, bordering on preposterousness.
So, here is PostScript's upbeat - well, not entirely - forecast for 2013:
January: The government denies newspaper headlines which appeared on New Year's Day claiming Bangkok's "Traffic Snarls to Last Five Years". Rebuffing the reports, a spokesman announces, "This is absolute nonsense, everyone knows the snarls will last for at least 10 years, and probably much longer." He also denied speculation that resolving the city's traffic woes was based on "chaos theory".
February: There are amazing scenes in Hollywood as the little fancied Thai production, "Heartbreak Hotel", sweeps the Oscars. The offbeat tale features a tourist, known only as Mr Boris, who takes a Miss Noi for a romantic interlude at the Dancing Cockroach Hotel, only to discover Miss Noi is in fact Mr Noi. Amusing scenes at the police station, including a cameo role by Sgt Nop as the arresting officer. ( Russian subtitles).
March: A leading Thai politician announces a fact-finding educational trip to Britain to study the workings of parliament there. The study group, which will be accompanied by 127 journalists, will also visit important historical bastions of democracy, believed to include Old Trafford, Stamford Bridge, Anfield and Harrods.
April: Tourism authorities announce a new Red Light Tour of Bangkok. They admit the tour might be regarded as a little "sensitive", but it was time to face the fact that tourists visit Bangkok not really to see the temples, but rather the traffic lights. Visitors will be taken on a city-wide tour of the lights, which invariably seem to be red. They are already a local attraction and motorists in motionless vehicles can daily be observed in huge queues at intersections admiring the red lights. Tourists may even have a chance of spotting a stalled samlor at some intersections.
May: A Thai version of Gangnam Style, known as "Nakhon Nowhere Style", becomes a massive international hit. Originating in the remote district of Nakhon Nowhere, it features the world's only synchronised dancing buffalo. On lead vocals is the newly crowned beauty queen, Miss Watermelon, backed by the massed choir of the Three-legged Stray Dog Society.
June: A brawl erupts at the packed Spoiled Brat Bar when someone accidentally treads on the toes of the son of an influential person. Curiously, all eyewitnesses suffer a sudden case of amnesia.
July: An international road safety committee awards Bangkok's pickup drivers the 2013 Road Courtesy Award for agreeing to drive on the correct side of the road "at least once a week". Runners-up are Bangkok's samlor drivers who promise not to drive ever again. In a related development, it is officially announced that the Bangkok pedestrian is an endangered species. This follows a moving documentary entitled "And Then There Were None", highlighting the plight of pedestrians, featuring harrowing scenes at pedestrian crossings.
August: Officials from Greece, Spain and other economically troubled countries, hail the Thai government's Inactive Post Policy as the breakthrough economic model for solving unemployment in Europe. "Employing people to do nothing is a master stroke," claimed one expert. "Thailand definitely leads the way."
September: There is an uproar in the Thai parliament when an MP calls the government's performance an "omnishambles", a hitherto taboo word . In a sharp riposte, the MP is shouted down with the more familiar cries of "lizard", "toad" and "buffalo".
October: Following complaints by thousands of foreign visitors, the government announces the end to the much criticised two-tier pricing policy at tourist attractions. It would instead be replaced by a three-tiered policy _ the cheapest for Thais, a middle price for farang and a third top price for those who keep bitching about it in letters to the Bangkok Post.
November: Bangkok's shophouses are awarded first prize in an international "Amazing Architecture" contest. The judges particularly noted the clever blending of filthy iron grilles and dangling electric wires, set off by potted plants that look like they died 10 years ago. Among the judges' comments about the shophouses were "mind boggling" and "beyond description".
December: Following the impact of the "first-car buyer scheme" which has succeeded in achieving unprecedented daily gridlock in Bangkok, the government is seriously considering a "second-car buyer scheme".
A spokesman said "this should have an impact in the provinces and soon even places like Nakhon Nowhere will have their own traffic jams, just like everyone else".
Anyway , I wish everyone the best of luck for 2013. I have a sneaking suspicion that we are all going to need it.
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About the author
- Writer: Roger Crutchley