Tag Archives: Bangkok

Wanted: Crocodile Hunters


Thailand, where I live, is suffering from the worst flooding in over 50 years.  My home in Chiang Mai flooded a few weeks ago, but now the floods are in Bangkok, and most of the city is under water.

An unfortunate side effect of the flooding is the escape of man-eating reptiles.  This from the New York Times World a few days ago:

Thailand is one of the world’s chief exporters of crocodile products, and farms some 200,000 of the animals at 30 farms and 900 small breeding operations, according to the Fishery Department. About 100 were reported to be on the loose in Ayuttthaya, to the north of Bangkok…authorities have put out a call for crocodile hunters offering a reported bounty of 3,000 baht, or about $100 dollars each. (Seth Mydans – New York Times World http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/26/world/asia/flood-waters-in-bangkok-shut-domestic-airport.html?_r=1)

“Don’t worry,” they say later in the article, “these are friendly crocodiles who move slowly and willingly submit themselves to capture.” (…or something to that effect.)

The three men in this photo apparently believed it, and maybe it was true.  The crocodile might have willingly slipped into their restraining system.  But I doubt it.  He looks really uncomfortable.  And he was free!  Surely the gastronomic choices outside the breeding farm were much better than the slop he was fed inside.

So, assuming that he put up a bit of a fight, do you think the approximately $33 apiece that each of these men earned for risking life and limb was sufficient compensation?  Not for this crocodile hunter.

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Filed under Challenges, culture, funny, humor, motivation, overcoming obstacles, Rewards, Thailand

Upgrade


It’s been a long year, and it’s only March.  I’ve been on the road 47 of the last 65 days, spent over 220 hours in meetings, been on 35 airplanes for over 100 hours and waited no telling how long in airports between flights.  I’m tired.  I mss my family.  I’m ready to go home.

I was the first one on the plane to Bangkok, and I had been in my seat for about ten minutes when a flight attendant came to see me.

“Are you Mr. Kientz?”

“Yes, I am.”

“May I see your boarding pass?”

“Sure, here it is.”

“Here’s your new boarding pass.  You’ve been upgraded to business class.”

“Upgrade.”

Weary travelers the world over long to hear that word.  Thos who frequent business class don’t understand the envy we economy class fliers feel when they draw the curtain between us and the priveledged.  Bigger seats, more leg room, fancy meals, better movies on bigger screens, a better blanket, a bigger pillow….ahhhh….Upgrade!

As I settled into my seat, very thankful for the unexpected blessing, I opened my Bible to John 2.  It begins with Jesus attending a wedding.  The host of the wedding ran out of wine, and Jesus’ mother brought the problem to Jesus.  In his first earthly miracle, Jesus turned as much as 180 gallons of normal water into wine that was even better than what the party-goers had been drinking before.

Upgrade.

The very next story tells of Jesus chasing all the money changers and those selling animals for sacrifice out of the temple.  He was incensed that they had turned His Father’s house into a market where people profited off the worship of the Lord, so he put together some cords to fashion a whip and began cleaning house.

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Chapter 2 ends with the Jews asking Jesus to perform a miracle to prove His authority.  He tells them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days, I will raise it up.”  Of course, He wasn’t talking about the building He had just cleaned out.  He was talking about the temple of His body.  Jesus knew that His purpose was to die for our sins.  But His death was just the end of the beginning, because He would raise His body back from death to life.  He would still have a body, but the new body could fly and walk throught walls!

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But that’s just the smallest part, because Jesus’ death did so much more!  It paid for every sin we have ever committed or ever will.  It bought us life with God for all eternity if we will just leave our economy class seat and agree to move to first class, where we will get our own new bodies one day – bodies that won’t get sick or die – bodies that won’t be tempted to sin – bodies set free to love God without reservation or selfishness and love each other without resentment, bitterness, or jealousy and love ourselves without guilt or shame!

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Filed under christianity, eternity, heaven

Bangkok Knight


My oldest son (14) and I recently went to see Batman: The Dark Knight in the IMAX theater in Bangkok.  We live in Chiang Mai (about ten hours away by train).

It was his first train ride and his first trip to Bangkok.

Although we arrived at the station on time, we couldn’t leave until the train had been thoroughly washed and had all its seats pivoted in the opposite direction.

The train ride from Chiang Mai to Bangkok is a little like a plane ride in that there are stewardesses (sorry, don’t know the politically correct term – rail attendants?)  They bring you food and blankets for the trip.  The seats were a little rickety and difficult to sleep in – especially at 3:30a, when the attendant decided that the lights should be switched on so that all the floors could be thoroughly mopped twice over (mopping taking place off camera).

Dinner consisted of some rice and a little soup.  Breakfast was minimal, as well.  My son couldn’t bring himself to eat whatever was in the roll.

The amenities were the typical Thai style – all the comforts of home!

It was a little difficult keeping my son entertained for ten hours.  We were going to watch movies, but I forgot the DVD drive for my laptop.  So, we ended up doing our best to sleep most of the way.

Eventually, we made it to Bangkok.

From there, we took the Sky Train to get to the movie theater.  My son struggled with those turnstile machines, twice stacking up the locals as he tried to find where to put his card.

Once we made it to the theater, we realized that we weren’t the only ones headed to see Batman.  This line was about an hour long even though we arrived as soon as the doors opened.  For some unknown reason, we were pulled out of line and put into a VIP line of some sort.  I felt more than a little guilty skipping ahead of about 30 people, but it was the only way we were going to make the movie in time, so I didn’t protest.

Since we were in Bangkok all day until our train ride back home that night, we had a movie marathon, seeing Batman, The Mummy and Journey to the Center of the Earth. We could have saved our money, though.  Batman was the only movie we really liked.

When I tell people what we did, they typically point out that there are cheaper ways to see a movie, and they are right.  But seeing a movie wasn’t my only objective.  With my oldest, it takes a good 8-10 hours just to drain off the talk about video games and movie trailers.  These topics are always at the top of his mind.

The real payoff on the trip for me occurred as we walked home together from the train station.  During the 90 minutes or so it took us to get home, my son began to open up about spiritual topics, about school and about girls.  We had a fantastic conversation….the best one in at least a year.  I almost regretted getting home.

The deeper conversation never would have happened without the investment of time one-on-one, and sometimes that requires an investment of money to make it possible.  It was worth it, and I would do it again.

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Filed under family, Interpersonal, parenting, Relationships