On the Road 2007 (Part 6) – The Animatronic Chicken Roasters of Rayong, Thailand

On a previous trip to Thailand, I wrote about the most delicious roast chicken I have ever eaten. I have many special memories of Rayong, and the awesome roast chicken stands by the roadside are certainly counted among them. I had been looking forward to reevaluating the chicken itself since the last time I visited, to be sure it hadn’t been a fluke, or just how hungry I had been at the time.
The chicken stands to which I refer are concentrated along a half-kilometer stretch of a long road into town, from the east end of Mae Ramphueng beach. We scoped out the whole stretch a couple times and stopped at the one that caught my eye.

This stand had the best chicken illustration on their sign (important!), as well as the freshest-looking birds.

Aloha shirt, ski goggles and mask, and a straw hat! What’s not to like?

Grinding away in the heat – this guy’s job really sucks

The entire setup is powered by an electric motor drawing power from the lines directly above the stand.

If shirts could talk…

My man here is styling, too.
As it turns out, this wasn’t the only stand with animatrons, but it was the only one with multiple animatrons. I saw other stands that already were, or were in the process of being semi-automated with motorized spits, and most had the automatrons as well, so I figure the same man or crew may be creating them for everybody on that strip – whoever he is, the guy’s a genius.
The non-automated spits actually require a person to turn them, which is just torture in the midday heat amplifying the heat of the coals. The stands still of course require humans for all the other tasks, and this one was manned by a mother/daughter team:

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I came for chicken and by god, I got chicken (and sticky rice, biooootches!):

The sauce from this stand was good, but not great. The funny thing is, this chicken is so good, it doesn’t need sauce.
Mandatory “glistening fat” closeup:

That bottom right part is the neck – mmm, mmm good.
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All links for the On the Road 2007 series:
On the Road 2007 (Part 1)
On the Road 2007 (Part 2)
On the Road 2007 (Part 3) – Koh Chang
On the Road 2007 (Part 4) – Overloaded
On the Road 2007 (Part 5) – Tamnanpar
On the Road 2007 (Part 6) – The Animatronic Chicken Roasters of Rayong, Thailand

Riot in Bangkok

The situation described in this article is rapidly developing into a riot on live television. It looks like the anti-coup protesters have erected some sort of bastion in the street in front of the Privy Council President’s house and the police may have used tear gas.
The riot police, I must say, are really disorganized and poorly trained. You can tell by their loose formations when advancing that they are not very good at controlling a crowd that is turning increasingly violent. The crowd was originally throwing what appeared to be empty plastic bottles, but have now turned to throwing rocks and other debris they find on the street. There are some frantic women in the crowd pleading the angry young men to calm down, but they are caught up in the heat of the moment.
Some of the camera crews are staked out on buildings opposite the house and have a good view of the situation only partially blocked by tree branches. From their perspective we just saw one of the protesters parading around with a plexiglass riot shield. Another camera crew on the street, about fifteen minutes later, possibly caught the policeman who lost his shield on the front lines brandishing a heavy plastic chair. At first, he was using it to block things being thrown at him, then he swung it down with great force in someone’s face.
Things do not seem to be calming down at the moment, I will keep watching and perhaps update later.

"Here's the internet – ah, wait, you're not supposed to see that"

Seen over at TechCrunch: OLPC Brings Porn To The Third World

According to a report Thursday from the official News Agency of Nigeria, laptops in a primary school in Abuja “have gone awry as the pupils freely browse adult sites with explicit sexual materials.”

Next thing you know, they’ll stop distributing matches in these countries for fear somebody will get burned… Whoever didn’t see this coming from the very beginning is Evian, backwards, to say the very least – how could you forget the entire point of the internet?