Old iron on the road gets harder and harder to find every year, but the Provincial Electricity Authority still has a fleet of classic cherry picker trucks from Japan.
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!!).
This is still my favorite Coconuts video of all time:
Thai cholos? Bangkok bangers? Siam-esés?
It’s the Friday night before a four day weekend, and the streets of Bangkok are uncrowded. It feels like a dream. I’ve come back from our trip to Pattaya with my coworkers, Teera and Kwang, in their Almera.
We’ve just checked into a hotel on Rachada soi 20, and will go out exploring the empty city in a while. I’m looking forward to not feeling crowded in this city for once.
My mother-in-law gave this to us last week, and this is the first time I’ve ever seen one. The flavor is 90% lemon and 10% pomelo (grapefruity), which is surprising since it looks mostly like a pomelo. This probably means it can be used as a lemon substitute for many cooking applications , and in fact, Nam put it in a killer Tom Kha Gai last night. The pomelo flavor was not noticeable at all. Overall though, it wasn’t quite as sour or pure as a normal Thai lemon – the flavor was a bit muddled.
In the first pic, I included a few objects for size reference: A small bottle of Sriracha, an Old Spice deodorant stick, and a tube of CPU grease. You know, random things I use every day, strewn all over the kitchen counter.
Triumph is alive and thriving in Thailand (300 units/week):
OK, but why did they ever go to Thailand in the first place?
“It was primarily for us to be able to do certain processes that we wouldn’t be able to do in the UK… So, every company has had to make a choice, in terms of where it’s going to source its components from globally. And some companies are comfortable with saying, “OK, I’m going to go and work with a supplier in China, or – I’m going to buy my complete engines (in some cases) from a different company”. That’s never been Triumph’s way of doing business. John Bloor has always taken a viewpoint that we want to be in control of the things that we believe are important, in order to get the quality of the product right, and to be in charge of the supply chain.
I’ve never been to a motorcycle factory here, but I’ve been to automotive component factories on industrial estates in Chonburi and the production lines managed by major Japanese companies are almost on the same level as ones in Japan.
Thai workers can be trained to do work every bit as well as their Japanese counterparts, this I have seen. I’ve spoken with factory managers, floor supervisors, and line leaders as well, and the consensus is that clear instructions and objectives are what determines good product build specifically here in Thailand. Whereas Japanese workers might take it upon themselves to point out problems or suggestions as part of their constant improvement process, a Thai worker is more likely to express pride in their work by doing exactly what they’re told.
Unsurprisingly, this probably mirrors the evolution of the Japanese line worker as well. Not all Japanese production lines or systems are created equal, and I’ve seen employees discouraged from adding any input during production meetings, and simply told to shut up when being vocal about bad parts or processes. The thing is, this used to be the norm… Now, it’s probably the mark of a company that isn’t going to make it. Every takeover I’ve ever seen (and I’ve seen a few) has involved a shakeup of production systems, because everyone wants to force their own culture on the new fish in the pond. The thing is, going through every one of those instances in my mind now, I’ve never seen the production line workers being told to communicate line problems less, only more.
The other thing is, I’ve often been told by Japanese supervisors sent overseas (overwhelmingly in Asia) that the local workers act like Japanese workers used to act decades ago – with no voice and just doing what they’re told (which inept supervisors liked and smart supervisors realized was not sustainable).