Ben’s first word – Plaa (Fish)

You CAN'T go Without Me!
You CAN'T go Without Me!
Hmm! Can't Quite See! But I'm Driving Anyway!
Hmm! Can't Quite See! But I'm Driving Anyway!

This year low season in Thailand is worse than low, in fact its worse then ever. Since the Red Shirt protests in May everyone has run away and the place is empty.
Ben just seems to be growing so quickly that its hard to keep up with him. He is using a spoon now, and he is Talking! Only afew words like Plaa = Fish and Nam = Water. Still waiting on the first English word but it will come I’m sure. Everyone who see’s him says what a lovely little two year old (he is only 15 months) so I guess he is doing OK.

I think he really likes this!

Bens new Wheels
Bens new Wheels

Cha went out the other day and bought a present for Nong Lemon but she really isnt sure about it. But as for Ben………. He absolutely loves his new car.
What is really great is that its radio controlled so we can send him across the carpark and bring him back without any worries.
He found the horn on the second day which is permanantly fixed under his left hand. That was until he discovered that by holding the wheel and turning really hard he can overide the radio control…. It only took him three days to work this out. Me thinks he is going to driving a real car as soon as he can.


Kangaroos!
Kangaroos!

I have been in Australia for the last two weeks and thought a Kangaroo would make a good present for Ben. But he didn’t think much of that, he was much more interested in my phone. Never mind you can’t win them all..

A Busy Time for Master Ben

As Sa and I needed to go to Bangkok to make her English Visa and as Cha’s wife would be in hospital for a couple of days Sa asked if we could take Nong Ben to Lat Buri for the night so she could take him to see her favourite monk and get him blessed. Much to my better judgment I agreed!

Short Time Hotel me thinks!
Short Time Hotel me thinks!

We set off OK and reached the UK visa Office in Regent House, Bangkok . It took 3 hours to submit the application during which time I had to stay outside with Ben, as they won’t let us inside. As you can imagine Ben really wasn’t too happy but he just about kept is cool.
So it’s off to Lat Buri. A two Hour drive from Bangkok. We eventually got there to find our favourite hotel closed for the night and had to go searching for another which was a real pain at 8pm. However we found what I think was really a short time hotel which looked like it had come straight out of a cartoon. I think Ben enjoyed the bright colours, but as for me, it just gave me a headache!
I was getting grump because I hadn’t eaten all day and Ben was tired so we ended up trying to eat quickly in a restaurant with an unhappy little boy with his nappy overflowing – not the nicest of situations.
Not a Happy Chap
Not a Happy Chap

After a bad night’s sleep it’s off to the temple. I really tried hard to look after Ben while Sa did her bit. The trouble was, it was very hot and Ben was obviously uncomfortable but that seems to take second place to the temple.
Eventually everything was over and poor little thing got his blessing and his bit if hair cut, but oh boy did he let everyone know he was hot and unhappy. Checkout Ben screaming on the Monks lap!
Apparently this is a Buddhists ritual which is why Sa wouldn’t cut his hair. The Monks have to make the first cut! I never will understand!
Once it was over, I was looking forward to a nice run home! Sa said to me please can we stop quickly to see a friend and go to the department store – foolishly I said yes. It wasn’t the friend or the department store that was the problem, but leaving things late meant that we got caught in the traffic for the Queen’s birthday celebration! Big Mistake! You have never seen anything like it. What should have taken 20 Minutes took 3 hours. Unfortunately for us the Boys in Brown can’t organise a piss up in a brewery so we watch as policemen and motorist argued face to face while we waited and waited and waited. At least it provided some entertainment.
Ben gets his Ferrari!
Ben gets his Ferrari!

All in all what should have been a 4 hour journey took 7 ½ hours so poor Master Ben really had had enough when we arrived home.
The only really bright point today was that in the department store I fell in love with a baby walker. Ben’s eyes lit up when we put him in. So it was an easy sale. When we got home I couldn’t believe within 5 minutes he was pushing himself backwards. I really didn’t expect to see that for a few months. Amazing Babies!
Anyway Ben has his new toy and he can have a hair cut tomorrow! Thank God for that.

Bens First Merit Making Ceremony

Oblivious as Always
Oblivious as Always

In spite for his cold (which is better today) Sa was determined that Master Ben was going to make it to Pattayas yearly Merit Making Ceremony. So we got him up at 6am and he sat in the Sun with the rest of the family of 3 hours while the monks droned on and on and on…… I am not sure who was more uncomfortable. A very hot little Boy in his carry cot or Daddy trying to sit on the ground for 3 hours!

The idea of the ceremony is to bring good luck and prosperity to Pattaya. I can think of plenty of ways to do that and none of them involve today’s proceedings. It totally amazes me how much food and supplies the monks receive in the hope that it will bring people good luck.


Ben Makes Merit!
Ben Makes Merit!

As always Ben was as good as gold not one murmur. He drunk lots of water and milk then fell asleep despite all the noise around him. But the most important think for Sa was that Ben made his first offering to a monk. It made her so happy. It was quite a spectacle but was it really worth getting a 4 Month old up at 6am for! I am not sure.

Ben and the Ladyboy

Ben and the Ladyboy
Ben and the Ladyboy

Last night we went out for dinner on Jomtien see front. After we had finished I really fancied a drink so we decided to go down Soi Whitehouse, which is a small Street full of bars.

One bar we know quite well as a friend of mine has shall we say, an interest in one of the bars. As we approached it was obvious that everyone was well on the way to a good night.

Nobody has seen us since Ben arrived and as you can imagine Ben was overwhelmed by all the attention.  Most of the attention died away quite quickly except for the resident lady body who kept on tell everyone how “Nalak” or sweet Ben was.

She went and found him a Mickey Mouse fan and proceeded to fuss all over him and cool him down while we finished our drinks. As we said our good byes and walked off the lady boy shouted after us. “Can I look after him when he gets to 18 please”

In the picture you can see the warning symbol on his carry chair. But I do think its very appropriately placed on the Lady boy, don’t you!

Definitely time to go home master Ben. Quite enough excitement for one day!

Ben Heads for Issan

Arrivng in Issan
Arrivng in Issan

After last week rushing around in Bangkok, it was off to Issan this week. Kantaralak near Ubon Ratchatani to be more precise. Sa’s family up country have been putting on the pressure for Master Ben to make the long journey up country.
So it was with trepidation that we headed off last Friday Morning. It’s a 7 hour car journey and we really were not sure how Ben was going to cope!
Well, as it turned out he was a little star. Slept most of the way and only had one little grizzle about an hour before we arrive – outstanding considering the poor little mite was trussed up in his car seat like a kipper for 7 hours!

Pass the Parcel... err sorry Ben
Pass the Parcel... err sorry Ben
Sleeping in the Village
Sleeping in the Village


Knacker after a long Drive!
Knacker after a long Drive!

Once there, what I found amazing was that we never saw him! He was literally passed from house to house for 4 days. I’m sure he is totally confused as who is Mummy and Daddy are now.
They didn’t even want to give him back at night!

Yet again the return journey was a joy as he gurgled almost all the way home.
Now everyone is waiting for Nong Lemon to appear next week. It seems really funny that Ben is going to be an Uncle at 3 Month old!

More Hospital Goodies

Yesterday we took Ben back to Hospital for the third round of his vaccinations they told us he would probably get a cold and be a bit hot for the next couple of days. Wow was he grump last night. Neither Sa or I got any sleep and he isn’t much better this morning. Normally he is such a lovely quiet little boy but not today!

A Nice Present
A Nice Present

While we were there we also collected the last two gifts from the hospital. These were the DVD of Master Ben being born and a large photo frame with all the hospital pictures. It really does amaze me. This is all part of the service in the hospital and you don’t pay extra.

I am also surprised nobody in England offers anything like this even if it were a paid for service.

The Extended Thai Family

The Extended Family
The Extended Family

I thought it was about time I explained a few things about my life in Thailand. As with some other countries the idea of the extended family is fully embraced in Thailand. You may have heard me mention “Big C”. Well, Big C is my term for the property we own opposite the “Big C” Superstore in South Pattaya. Basically it is a four story building of which the bottom two floors are the Hair Salon and Massage Business. With the top two floors forming “family accommodation” broken in to about 5 rooms. The first thing to say is that Sa and I DON’T live there because there is no way I want to share my personal space with the rest of the human race. That said everyone else seems quite happy.

This photo is just to illustrate how many “family “do live upstairs.

Back row left to right
Kwan – Sa niece from her dead brother who is staying for a while.
Na – Sa’s Sister who donated her eggs for Master Ben
Master Ben – My lovely little boy!
Sa – My wife
Nui – Sa’s daughter in law who is 8 Months Pregnant so a new family addition next month!

Front row left to right
Purn – Na’s Eldest Daughter
Pat – Na’s Younger Daughter
Cha – Sa’s Son with his Ewok (Sorry Dog) called Lucky
Camta – Sa’s Nephew from her older Sister

And missing from the picture………

My Cat Neo who did a disappearing act when he thought he might have to wake up and Grandma who is away up country.

So, as you can see its one great big family with another new addition on the way. It’s pretty good really but without somewhere else to go home to, I think I could very easily go totally bonkers!