Classic JDM Cars in Thailand

Note: My Kujira Crown is still running strong and you can find every post on it by browsing through my Cars category.

Recently, there have been a lot of interesting JDM classics popping up in my Facebook feed for sale in Thailand. There’s nothing I would consider buying as most of the sellers are just asking for way too much, but it’s interesting to see these cars are still somewhat maintained. Here’s a few that caught my eye last week.

Mitsuoka Bubu 501. The 502 was much cooler because it was even stranger, but still… 
Hino Briska (with unspeakably horrible wheels)
Daihatsu HiJet S70 or S80

The HiJet is nearly identical to the one I had at university, except the one pictured has a sunroof. I rode this car so hard and created so many legends in it… We once packed 19 people in it and drove from Nara Koen to Amemura. I stood it up on 2 wheels with a parking brake turn while driving back home from Rumours. It may still currently hold the speed record from the top of Tenri Dam to Nara Kyoikudai via Terni Kaido.

Climate Change in Thailand

The Nation published a cool infographic about what climate change means for Thailand. Having lived here for over a decade, I have noticed huge changes in the seasons and climate. When I came, the first few years contained long drought periods (one year in particular it didn’t rain for almost five months), and the long-term trend since then has been one of persistent flooding instead of drought.

LINK: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/national/30355898

The new bobos.


My little sister’s incredible twin stars – devil bunnies!

Ken and Cam, one day you will awaken in a magical forest, and I will be there to show you around. Until then, you just be you.

Who Owns Victory Monument?

 

The district where this most famous of Bangkok landmarks (created to mark conquest over territories in Indochina that have since been returned ) proposed building a museum and pedestrian tunnels underneath it, but it was stalled because nobody knows who owns it!

A historian expressed surprise that no government agency has claimed Bangkok’s most iconic war memorial. But he also notes that ownership of a historical site has always been something everyone took for granted.

“We never asked ourselves this question before,” Thamrongsak Petchlertanan said in an interview. “Because we always knew it was government property. We never observed who actually owns it.”

The monument was built in 1941 to celebrate Thailand’s victory in its conquest of French colonies in Indochina. Inspired by modernist aesthetics at the time, it features an obelisk rising from a base guarded by five hulking statues representing the four branches of the armed forces and civilian volunteers.

The victory it marks did not last. After the end of World War II, Thailand – who joined the Axis powers following Japanese invasion in December 1941 – was forced to return the territories to the French government.

So, I guess it’s settled then – it should be auctioned off to the highest bidder, who can turn it into another Bangkok shopping mall (underground!!).

When you go out in the woods…

… And have that realization that, hey, I could die out here! It’s kind of linked to the first time my life flashed before my eyes. I was on Catalina with my aunt and cousin’s church group. We went on a hike all the way up the coast one side of the island and by the time we had to turn and go back, we were all getting a bit thirsty.

We knew there was a small store just up the hill toward the center of the island, so we tried to climb up directly instead of walking all the way back on the rocky beach and then doubling back after going up the more gradual slope there. About halfway through the steep climb, the “hill” turned into cliffs, and everyone else gave up and started hoofing it back down the coast. As the last member of the group disappeared down the hill, I decided to push on by climbing the cliff.

About twenty-five feet up, the outcroppings started crumbling under my feet. Still I pressed on. I started losing grip strength from climbing for so long, and got stuck in an extended position with nowhere to advance for what seemed like hours… I was stuck there, sweating and wondering why I’d been so stupid and tried climbing by myself in the first place, and I wondered why everybody was so selfish and had not come back to look for me. I wondered what would happen if I fell from that height, pictured everyone being so sad for having left me… When I stopped feeling sorry for myself, I gathered my remaining strength and found a new way up (it still hadn’t occurred to adolescent me to go back down).

Finally, I got to the top of the cliff and a wave of relief physically passed over me. The long, thirsty grass covering the island was a welcome sight, and the slight breeze blowing over the tops cooled my face. I could see the dirt road to the general store just in front of me… Wouldn’t it feel great to get there first and to be sipping on a soda when the group arrived and everyone asked me how I got there so quickly!

And then I realized I couldn’t pull myself up over the top. I didn’t have the leverage, and there were no more footholds. The grass I was holding onto was pulling out of the crumbly ground, and throwing one leg over the top was an all-or-nothing proposition. In my mind, it always ended in nothing. I started to cramp up in the position I was holding, so I made one of those important life decisions, and decided to climb back down. It took just as long as climbing up, and I thought I would fall many times. Getting back down safely, though, felt hardly as good as getting to the top had felt. No breeze on my face. No imagined bragging rights.

When I walked all the back down the coast, up the more gradual slope there, and all the way back to the general store, everybody asked where the hell I’d been and why it had taken me so long to get there. They looked happy sipping on their Cokes and laughed at my dirtied up clothes. Nobody believed that I’d climbed the cliffs to the top or that I’d been in danger. I totally understood why – I wouldn’t have believed a story like that, either.