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  • OPINION

    Once it was almost a botanical garden

    News, Roger Crutchley, Published on 18/11/2018

    » About 20 years ago I was standing on the steps of the British ambassador's residence in Bangkok after interviewing England and Manchester United football legend Sir Bobby Charlton. Shameless name-dropping again, l know, but there is a point. While we were waiting for transport, Sir Bobby surveyed the embassy grounds and remarked what an idyllic scene it was, with all the trees, ponds and well-manicured lawns. He was definitely impressed. With traffic gridlock only a stone's throw away, it was a truly tranquil oasis presided over with aplomb by the statue of Queen Victoria.

  • OPINION

    One way to get into the swim of things

    News, Roger Crutchley, Published on 11/11/2018

    » As a kid I would marvel at reports of someone swimming across the English Channel. Being a total wimp in water, I couldn't believe that anyone would want to swim the chilly 33 kilometres between England and France when you could hop aboard a ferry.

  • OPINION

    Being a pilot is not always the high life

    News, Roger Crutchley, Published on 28/10/2018

    » Times have not exactly been "smooth as silk" for the national airline recently. The tale of the two pilots who insisted flying first class from Zurich to Bangkok, delaying the flight for more than two hours, prompted considerable debate. The incident brought to mind a chance meeting a long time ago with someone who had a very different attitude.

  • OPINION

    Possibly an uncanny case of hoof in mouth

    News, Roger Crutchley, Published on 21/10/2018

    » The gentleman in the White House has run into self-inflicted flak over his indelicate use of the word "horseface" in describing the adult film actress he may or may not have dangled with. However, she came storming back with a tweet of her own, referring to him as "Tiny", which one suspects was not a compliment. These exchanges could become quite entertaining.

  • OPINION

    A long flight for the paper plane pilot

    News, Roger Crutchley, Published on 14/10/2018

    » It was pleasing to see that Mong Thongdee's dream of becoming a Thai citizen appears to have finally come true. Nine years ago Mr Mong made the headlines as a 12-year-old when he won the Thailand paper plane championships. However, he was devastated after being told he could not represent the kingdom at the international tournament in Japan because he was stateless, his parents being immigrants from Myanmar.

  • OPINION

    Suffering a case of the whirlygigs

    News, Roger Crutchley, Published on 07/10/2018

    » It was the unlikely setting of the US Senate Judiciary last week which has sparked considerable debate on what constitutes drunkenness. There were references to a "stumbling drunk", a "sloppy drunk", a "slurring drunk" and a "belligerent drunk". But there seems to be a certain lack of creativeness in these descriptions. Perhaps a little European influence would liven things up a bit.

  • OPINION

    Throwing the cat among the pigeons

    News, Roger Crutchley, Published on 30/09/2018

    » The rapidly increasing numbers of pigeons (nok pilab) has ruffled a few official feathers in Bangkok. There was bit of a flap after authorities warned that citizens caught feeding the birds would face a stiff fine, explaining the pigeons were spreading disease. These birds divide opinion, some calling them "rats with wings", others more generously "doves without the PR".

  • OPINION

    From a cultured cabbie to the Albert Hall

    News, Roger Crutchley, Published on 23/09/2018

    » The recent column on the musical tastes of Bangkok's taxi drivers prompted quite a few comments from readers relating assorted cab rides featuring the joyful strains of Cliff Richard, Boney M and even Pavarotti. However, Elvis remains the favourite amongst the veteran cabbies.

  • OPINION

    At least the Lady Plods put on a happy face

    News, Roger Crutchley, Published on 16/09/2018

    » There have been understandable mumblings following the announcement that the Royal Police Cadet Academy would no longer be recruiting females, scrapping the normal 280 places available for the ladies. The explanation, in which we were assured the move would not affect the number of women in the police force, was something of a head-scratcher and had a definite "Catch-22" feel about it, which is probably exactly what was intended.

  • OPINION

    You can't beat a good song in the gridlock

    News, Roger Crutchley, Published on 09/09/2018

    » Earlier this week a veteran taxi driver told me he was a great fan of Elvis Presley. He proceeded to sing Love Me Tender for most of the journey. He wasn't too bad either -- Elvis would have been proud. The crooner cabbie said singing took his mind off the horrors of Bangkok's traffic.

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