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Month: August 2011 (Page 1 of 3)

Second anniversary with Ashley, our adopted Bangkok street dog

File under: The adopted soi dog chronicles…

I am late in noting this, but August 15 was the second anniversary of our adoption of Ashley, our rescued street dog.

As I mentioned in my post last year providing the back story, we got her from the fine folks at SCAD Bangkok.

SCAD stands for Soi Cats and Dogs. (Soi is the Thai word for a small street.) The group takes in sick street animals and encourages adoption, fostering, spaying-neutering, and more.

The original post has all the details, but here, again, is what Ashley looked like as a puppy when SCAD rescued her.

You can see that she underwent a surgery for a stomach injury:

Ashley 01 PF


Ashley 02 PF

Here’s how she appeared when we took her home with us. She had been living at SCAD for about a year at this point:

Ashley2 02

The big day:

3828968151 95fb35a667 o

I think the before and after photos tell you everything you need to know about the exceptional work SCAD does.

Okay. Ashley updates for the past year:

Her likes continue to be:

  • hanging out on the patio
  • sleeping under the coffee table
  • going for walks
  • chasing birds and geckos
  • gnawing on bones and various chew toys

Dislikes, as ever, are:

  • strangers knocking on the door
  • loud noises
  • thunder
  • the guitar
  • swimming

Ashley can be a bit skittish when she encounters aggressive dogs or people she’s never met. But when there’s a knock at the door, she responds with a ferocity that belies her somewhat delicate, 12-kilo (26 pound) frame.

Here we are at the beach:

DSC 7251


DSC 7292

And here she is relaxing at home.

(She sometimes has a pensive look on her face, though I’m certain I’m projecting what I imagine to be thoughts or emotions about her human companions. I truly believe her only concerns — as they are for all dogs — are food and reliable shelter. But then again, what is loyalty anyway?)

IMG 0010

A favorite pastime: longing to lunge at the pigeons through the screen on the balcony:

IMG 0200

Caught on the couch! Not only that, but she was resting her head on a silk pillow! That is just not right…


Hmm. Doe eyes. Ears down.

Where have I seen that expression before? Oh yeah, when she was a puppy:

Ashley Nov08  2

And finally, an interesting tidbit we discovered — through the SCAD Facebook page, if memory serves.

One of Ashley’s litter mates, Amber, was adopted by a family in Canada around the time, or just before, we took Ashley in.

Here’s Amber. Despite the differences in color, I think you’ll see some similarities between Amber and Ashley:

2011 05 05 amber

Here’s to another great year. And again, here’s a link to the SCAD site. There are, as always, adoptable dogs and cats available…

TIME: “How Thaksin Stole Yingluck’s Spotlight”

TIME reports on Thaksin’s visit to Japan and Yingluck’s new government:

Is Thaksin Shinawatra a criminal or a VIP? The question must have vexed the Japanese officials who considered a request by the former Thai Prime Minister to start a six-day tour of their country this week. Thaksin was ousted in a 2006 military coup, then sentenced in absentia to two years in jail for corruption. Previous attempts by the Dubai-based billionaire to visit Japan and other major nations have been stymied by a hostile Thai government. Stripped of his Thai passport, he travels the world as a citizen of Montenegro.
But Thailand’s government has changed — Thaksin’s younger sister Yingluck, 44, recently became the nation’s first female Prime Minister — and so has the status of its best-known fugitive. He arrived in Tokyo on Aug. 22 to be greeted by Japan’s Financial Services Minister Shozaburo Jimi. “Coming to Japan is my own right,” he told reporters. “My sister has nothing to do with it.”

There’s also this, on anti-Thaksin forces and the military:

Any attempt to pardon or repatriate Thaksin could regalvanize anti-Thaksin street protesters, who in 2008 occupied the Prime Minister’s office and shut down Bangkok’s airports.

It would also antagonize Thailand’s powerful military. Its generals have remained silent of late — conspicuously so in the case of Prayuth Chan-ocha, the gaffe-prone army chief. General Prayuth helped topple Thaksin in 2006 and his loathing for Pheu Thai is one of the country’s worst-kept secrets. But with October’s annual military reshuffle approaching, Prayuth is currently preoccupied with resisting attempts by Yingluck’s government to promote pro-Thaksin officers. “Prayuth and others are waiting until the reshuffle is complete,” says Chambers. “Then I think they’ll become much more vocal in their opposition to this government.”

Normal posting will resume shortly

I’m back in Bangkok after several days of travel.

Below are two images from my journey. Care to guess where I’ve been? (This will not be a mystery to those who follow my Twitter feed.)


More soon on both of these destinations.

See you next week

Posts will likely be few and far between until the middle of next week.

In the meantime, as ever, you can catch me on Twitter: @newley.

A reminder that you can always check out the popular posts here at or visit some of the fine sites on my links page.

Bye for now.

8 links

2011 08 20 next thailand

  1. The eye of the Buddha: How Myanmar is moving ever closer into China’s orbitThe Economist‘s review of Where China Meets India: Burma and the New Crossroads of Asia, by Thant Myint-U.
  2. Interview: Robert Gottlieb, The Art of Editing No. 1 — The Paris Review, Fall 1994
  3. Scientists Crack The Physics Of Coffee Rings — NPR
  4. For Asian Soccer Stars, Swan Songs Back Home Hold Little Appeal — AP
  5. Overdone: Why are restaurant websites so horrifically bad? — Slate
  6. The Carbohydrate Hypothesis of Obesity: a Critical Examination — Stephan Guyenet at Whole Health Source
  7. The Lost Century: The ideas that sent Latin America down the path of poverty and political instabilityWall Street Journal review of Redeemers: Ideas and Power in Latin America, by Enrique Krauze.
  8. Image above: From Andy Ricker takes Next’s tour of Thailand: A night at Grant Achatz’s restaurant with America’s preeminent Thai chefTime Out Chicago.

Obama to visit Thailand in November?

Today’s Bangkok Post says:

US President Barack Obama is expected to pay an official visit to Thailand in November during his trip to Bali to attend the East Asian Summit, government sources said.

Thailand extended an invitation for Mr Obama to visit the kingdom after he was inaugurated, which was about the same time that former prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva took office.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been the highest-level Obama administration cabinet member to visit Thailand, in July 2009. President Obama telephoned Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on Saturday to congratulate her on her election as the country’s first female prime minister, describing it as a sign of “success of the democratic process”.

On Twitter this morning, U.S. Ambassador to Thailand Kristie Kenney wrote, seemingly in response to a question about Obama’s potential visit:

It is way to early to know. There are no definite plans at this point.

Elsewhere on Twitter, some have speculated about whether or not a potential Obama visit would affect the situation of Thai-born American citizen Joe Gordon.

As I mentioned in May, Gordon is being detained for allegedly insulting the Thai king.

As it happens, the AP reported yesterday that he has now been officially charged:

A lawyer says an American citizen has been formally charged with insulting Thailand’s monarchy, which carries a penalty of up to 15 years in prison.

(Emphasis mine.)

What happened to On Nut?

2011 08 18 mo chit bearing

Bangkok commuters who use the BTS Skytrain Sukhumvit line may have been in for a surprise of late.

That’s because one of the line’s terminal stations has changed. On Nut — usually depicted on the left on station signs like the one above — is gone. In its place is Bearing.


2011 08 18 bangkok bts map
(Click here for a bigger version of the map.)

Indeed. It’s the new On Nut.

As you can see in the map above, the Sukhumvit line has been extended in the southeast.

As the official MCOT reports, the extension opened on Aug. 12:

The route extends the Sukhumvit line, which until today ended at On Nut station. The new stations include Bang Chak, Punnawithi (near Soi Sukumvit 101), Udom Suk, Bang Na and Bearing stations, with a total distance of approximately 5.25 kilometres.

The extension will remain open for service without charges until Jan 1, 2012, when a new fare structure is expected to be initiated.

You can find more info at Thai Blogs. I haven’t (yet) come across an explanation for the Bearing station’s name.

Has anyone heard anything?

(Map: BTS.)

Self-promotion: New WSJ Scene Asia story about Bangkok’s Hansar Hotel

Self-promotion: I had a story over at the Wall Street Journal‘s Scene Asia blog on Tuesday about Bangkok’s new Hansar Hotel. It’s called “No. 1, Naturally.”

More on Thaksin’s Japan visa

2011 08 16 thaksin

Here’s more info on Thaksin’s recently having received an entry visa to Japan, which I mentioned yesterday.

The NYT/IHT provides some context:

Ms. Yingluck has gone out of her way to play down any influence that her brother may exert on her administration, and she has deflected questions about amnesty for him. But Mr. Thaksin is widely believed to be playing a key role as adviser and kingmaker to the new government. He was also instrumental in the election victory of Ms. Yingluck and her party in July.

There are also these additional details:

In issuing him a visa, Japan appears to have waived a rule that restricts foreigners with criminal records from entering the country.

Surpong Tovijakchaikul, Thailand’s new foreign minister, said Mr. Thaksin had requested the visa on his own. But Reuters quoted Yukio Edano, Japan’s chief cabinet secretary, as saying that the Yingluck government had “asked for our help” in issuing the visa and that Japan took the step out of consideration for “bilateral ties.”

Elsewhere, the FT has some quotes from former Thai government spokesman Panitan:

“The foreign minister is trying to create a new understanding that Thaksin is not a criminal,” said Panitan Wattanayagorn, the former administration spokesman and now a political scientist at Bangkok’s Chulalongkorn University. “Puea Thai wants to send a new political message that Mr Thaksin is no longer a fugitive,” he said, referring to the ruling party.


“He will get in trouble if he tries to push it too far,” Mr Panitan said.

(All emphasis mine.)

(Image: Wikipedia.)

Bangkok Post: NBA to hold event in Bangkok

Pro hoops fans, take note: The Bangkok Post reports that the NBA will hold an event here in Bangkok next month:

The National Basketball Association will host its first-ever event in Thailand with the NBA 3-on-3 Thailand 2011 presented by Singha Drinking Water, the league announced yesterday.

Featuring Hall of Famer Chris Mullin, the NBA 3-on-3 Thailand 2011 will take place in Bangkok at CentralWorld on Sept 10 and 11.

More info is available on the NBA’s site.

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