Documents. Various documents. Stories. Poems. Prose. How-To's.
How-Not-To's. Technical. Reference. Hacking. Phreaking. Home-Made-Whatever's.
You-Name-It. Men In Black Suits. Silent Helicopters. Satellite Surveillance.
Fear and Loathing.
The documents in here were written by Kim (http://www.carsena-tech.net).
Couple years back, Kim used to write a monthly article for a US West
Coast based E-Zine called "Generator 21" (http://www.g21.net)
Please note that these documents are subject to international
copyright agreements and laws. The copyright is with the author.
Please obtain permission from author before reproducing any of these
FOR YOUR AMAZING READING PLEASURE
Why my hair stopped falling out.
OK - it is time. Any regular readers of my "stuff" here at GTO Asia have,
perhaps, become used to my occasional cynicism and less than infrequent ranting and
raving. And yet, you know, every morning on my way to work I count my blessings as I drive
by them - and they are many here in paradise.
I thought, for a change, I might tell you all about them - the blessings and benefits
of working on a "tropical paradise island".
I see no hair inside my helmet when I take it off. Back in the cities there used always
to be hair inside my helmet. It was falling out of my head due to stress. Each day when I
woke up, first it would be sighted on my pillow from my night's sleep, then later in the
There is little stress on the islands. Island time allows you to be as late with
anything and anybody as you like. The "never mind" attitude of the Thais
enhances this low-stress condition. Time flows by slowly like a river of molasses. Nobody
is in any sort of hurry. There is no point in hurrying - nobody else is doing it so why
bother. Hurrying usually results in you being there an hour or two before anybody else and
winding up in a café reading a magazine and drinking coffee and - relaxing while you wait
for the others. Pointless.
I live in Nathon, the main town of Koh Samui, an island in the Gulf of Siam in
Thailand. Nathon simply has to be the funkiest and slowest town I've ever lived in. When I
get up at 7AM the town is sluggishly beginning to get moving. Smoke from charcoal braziers
drifts by in the air as I sit at the front of my home (my home being a restaurant and bar
in Nathon) sipping excellent Thai filter coffee.
Every morning as I sit, it has become my habit to wait until the monks in their saffron
and brown robes walk by. They all smile at me as I sit and sip my coffee and I smile back.
They are out and about early to get their "alms". Local town folk wait on
corners with bowls of food which they hand to the monks. This gets the folks a bit of
credit with the Lord Buddha and provides the monks with their single daily meal, which
they must eat before midday.
No particular reason I wait for the monks, I just like to watch them walk past. After
the monks, the kids on my street fire up. Dressed in their school uniform frocks of green
and red they run up and down the street from house to house to see who is up and at it and
who is going to school today.
The kids eventually line up with one of the mothers who has started up her little Honda
Dream motorcycle. With mother up front, the smallest of the kids on her lap and four more
behind her on the rear of the seat she slowly makes her way out of my street and out onto
the main road on the way to the local primary school.
It is warm in the mornings when I go off to work. Lately I've been hanging/working
around a couple of resorts on the other side of the island, fixing their PCs, doing up
their web sites for them, AutoCAD drawings of their new buildings, all the usual stuff an
IT nerd does.
After the morning coffee, the monk procession and the attack of the school-kids, I
start getting ready to leave. This involves waking up my lady Phen, opening the big double
doors to the bar, moving the two small bikes and the one big one out onto the street - and
making another cup of coffee. By the time Phen has the place open, the next door neighbor
is out back sweeping the floor for us (as she does each day - just to be nice) and I am
ready to leave.
A quick cuddle and a peck on the cheek from Phen and I hit the road. Although usually
this hitting of the road is accomplished on a 900cc Kawasaki race-tuned motorcycle, lately
the departure takes place on a Suzuki 110cc 2-stroke, a noisy and smelly little bike that
you can ride all day long for a few cents worth of fuel. The big bike is up in Chaweng
Beach getting an overhaul.
Out onto the island's ring road, out of Nathon and past the temple. The sun is rising
above the mountains in the center of the island now and the glass-tiled roof of the temple
sparkles through the drifting smoke of the many "breakfast fires" on the island.
Charcoal braziers are everywhere in the morning. All along the side of the road
food-vendors are cooking chicken legs, fish, pork on their charcoal cookers. Every puff of
smoke you ride through smells different, all smell excellent. I love those smells.
Out past the road to the ferry pier I start the shallow accent of the hill between
Nathon and Hua Thanon. I ride past whole families on single motorcycles. I love this. I
love seeing Mum, Dad and The Kids out and on their way to work and school, all bundled
together on a small and rickety motorbike, Dad grinning broadly about some joke he just
cracked, the kids giggling loudly. This always makes me smile. Do you know what it is like
when you simply MUST smile every morning? It's pretty cool is what it is.
Every morning I see groups of teenagers waiting for the bus to pick them up and take
them to the islands secondary school. Don't tell my lady that I said this, but Goddamnit,
those girls are just so damned pretty. That is the word - pretty. Nothing too sensual
about this issue, just that these teenage girls standing and waiting for the bus, grooming
their hair, all very prim and proper, well they simply (almost) knock me off my bloody
bike. I love that.
People gather in the ditches by the side of the road here and there. They are picking
wild herbs to use in food preparation. They load huge burlap sacks full of bunches of
greenery - I mean huge - onto their tiny motorcycles. Balancing those huge sacks on the
back of these tiny bikes, I am always amazed at how the hell they keep the monstrous loads
in place as they putter up the hill and back down to Hua Thanon. I love that.
Riding back down the other side of the hill as I do each day, I come into Hua Thanon, a
small Thai-Muslim fishing village on the south-west of the island. The brightly colored
fishing boats bob up and down in the gentle waves of the harbor as many smaller boats
shuttle plastic boxes of fresh fish from the boats to the market on the corner. As I pass
I can see the market well. It is a hive of activity as buyers from all over the island
wander around checking the fish and the prices. They are buying for the home, for the
restaurant, for the five-star hotel.
The fishermen's wives dress in multi-colored shawls, not as strict a dress-code as
fundamentalist Muslims, the Thai-Muslims have adopted the harsh teachings of Allah in a
most typical and appropriate Thai way. The shawls are worn like dresses, the top half of
their bodies covered by a far cooler and more practical T-shirt. None of this "cover
your wrists" bullshit for Thai-Muslims.
They run around fetching and fixing the fish and gossiping amongst each other, huge
smiles on their faces getting much broader as each bunch of fish is sold and brings home
some money for their families. It smells bad as I ride by - but the color and the activity
in the market, I love to see that each day.
Just out of Hua Thanon I often stop to smoke a cigarette as I watch the "Monkey
Work Coconut". A couple of bikes are pulled up under a bunch of coconut trees just
out of town, the owners relaxing and smoking as their cohorts, a group of monkeys, climb
the trees, pull off coconuts and throw them down for the men to gather later.
A bit of dodging goes on amongst the gathered, smoking men, the coconuts occasionally
hitting a bike instead of the ground. If one hits a person, it usually hits the head and
that person usually dies. The men smoke, watch the monkeys carefully and dodge when
necessary. But I've seen a few parked bikes and cars hit, and the damage is often
substantial. What a way to kill some time on the way to work.
Riding out of Hua Thanon each day I pass several more temples. I know one temple well,
it is named "Wat Khunaram". It is one of my favorite temples on the island.
There is a monk "living" there who I admire rather a lot. He sits facing the
road in a glass box each day. I always nod my greeting at him as I ride by. I always
imagine he nods and smiles back at me. He first sat in that box 22 years ago. After he
climbed into the box - he died in that box - 22 years ago, but the body just dried up and
did not rot. And that is really something in this sticky, humid tropical climate.
The box is not airtight at all, and yet he just sits there still, staring out at the
road from his glass box. I like to nod a greeting at him each day - he is just so cool.
Only Thailand, I am telling you, only Thailand.
Up and over and down another hill, the sun by now is higher in the sky. The coconut
palms fringing the beach sway in the breeze. The road runs mostly along the beach, here
and there diverting up and over a hill. So most of the drive/ride around the island is
along the beach. And the beaches are post-card perfect, white sand and coral reefs, sun
sparkling on water, palm trees swaying in gentle breezes from the sea, fishing boats of
many color and fantastic designs running out to sea for the day's catch. Post-card
perfect, I love it.
The last leg of my daily journey takes me through Lamai township. The road is lined
with brown teak fisherman's houses and Chinese merchant's shops. The buildings are all
very old and original, the town retains a real feeling of antiquity. Old men and women are
gathered outside here and there on covered sitting platforms or "salas" watching
the day's beginnings and the coming and going of the town-folk. Fish hang drying in the
air, very smelly. Chickens run out of shops and across the road. Old dogs and small
children play beside the shops and houses. This is a slow place, there is no hurry. Thais
are expert at simply sitting around.
After passing through Lamai town I arrive at my destination, a resort on the beach.
Thatched roofed bungalows line the shoreline surrounded by beautiful gardens. I park the
bike and make my way through the bougainvillea blossoms to a small office behind a stand
of date palms. Inside I ditch my bag and immediately go to get a coffee from the resort's
I am greeted every morning there by the smiling faces of a predominately young and
female staff. I don't have to speak my order, they know it well already. Just a hot
coffee. I take it down to the beach and sitting on a washed up tree trunk I light another
cigarette, drink my coffee and ruminate on the nature of "not being in a hurry".
This is the start of my day - every day. The rest of my day remains much the same, slow,
no hurry, mai pen lai.
I think it is more than just finding that my hair has stopped falling out. I honestly
believe that it is, in fact, growing back. My bald spot appears to have disappeared and my
hair seems far more luxuriant than before. My hands no longer shake as they did when I
lived in the city. My skin no longer bears the morbid, death-like pallor of city-dwellers.
The pimples that used to plague my bum-cheeks have left me. My mind usually feels at ease.
Give me island life any time. It takes getting used to, you have to adapt to this sort
of life. You have to abandon many of the conceptions of "getting the job done"
and "move it and shake it" that are so predominant in city life. But once you
are used to island life - I promise you, you hair will stop falling out.
A story of the cannibal island
A story of what few blessings life has to offer us. Count 'em
Buffalo fighting on Koh Samui in Thailand
to hear something really scary?
Cannibals? Sure, in Fiji there are, maybe.Shit, it tasted
just like pickled pork anyway!
Chopper runs in Bangkok
Elephants in Bangkok (no they were not pink and yes I was sober.
More or less sober that is.)
"Hey nice T-Shirt dude!". Full moon parties on Koh Phangaan
The Hash House Harriers strike again! This time it's "champagne
Mate of mine got his head smashed in by some soccer hooligans on
Mornings in Bangkok. On the way to work
PCs in the tropics
Advice for the owners of PCs in tropical regions
Search About Thomas
SEX1 Ah. The "sex"
topic. By request, I wrote about Thailand's reputed "sex industry".
And you think the traffic is bad in Bangkok? Try Samui!
How to survive in the tropics. This IS funny.
Times change. Sure they do, but it pissed Joey right off this time!
Finally, the chopper run!
in Thailand are a serious trip dudes!
troppo mate! Totally!
Like it says, up-country in Thailand on a small-ish motorcycle
of one's own desires
END OF LIST