HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

The Doctor's Consultation

Agony Column

Camera Class by Snapshot

Money Matters

Films on DVD for Rental in Chiang Mai

Let's Go To The Movies

Life in the laugh lane

The Doctor's Consultation:  by Dr. Iain Corness

Irritable Bowel Syndrome and how to pacify it

Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or IBS since we like acronyms, is an interesting condition. It is not a disease, and in fact tests for abnormalities come back reported as ‘negative’. Does this mean that IBS isn’t really in the bowel, but all ‘in the brain’? Unfortunately, there is a school of thought in medicine that says that if all the tests come back negative, the condition is not real, only imagined. This is however totally wrong. There are many conditions for which we did not know (or had not developed) the right tests. Until the last couple of decades, we did not have a definitive test for HIV – but the people had the ailment, even though we couldn’t identify it. We doctors must never forget to treat the patient, not the test results. (I thank my eldest son, Dr. Jonathan Corness, for that sage little homily.)
Getting back to IBS, I repeat that it is not a disease, but can be a very debilitating condition, characterized by some of the following (but not necessarily all) symptoms: cramping pain in the stomach area, painful diarrhea or constipation (now that’s confusing), mucus in the stool, swollen or bloated belly, increased gas and the feeling that you are unable to totally empty your bowel.
If IBS is not a disease, what is it? It is a functional disorder, which means that the bowel doesn’t work as it should. What appears to happen is that the nerves (called Auerbach’s Plexus from memory) and the muscles of the bowel are extra-sensitive. For example, the muscles may contract too much when you eat. These contractions can cause cramping and diarrhoea or rapid bowel movement during, or shortly after, a meal. Or the nerves can be overly sensitive to the dilating of the bowel (because of gas, for example). Cramping or pain can be the result.
Any condition that does not have some nice finger-pointing in the right direction test result is then too often put into the ‘psychosomatic’ pigeonhole. “It’s caused by stress,” say the non-medical ‘experts’. In actual fact, emotional stress will not cause anyone to develop IBS. However, if you already have IBS, stress can trigger the symptoms, just as it can for a myriad of medical conditions. Stress does not cause the problem, but it can make it appear worse. In fact, the bowel can overreact to all sorts of things, including food, exercise, and hormones (women with IBS get more problems around the time of their menses).
Food and drinks that tend to cause symptoms include milk products, chocolate, alcohol, caffeine, carbonated drinks, and fatty items. In some cases, even eating a large meal will trigger symptoms.
Another complicating factor is that the symptoms of IBS can also mimic other gastro-intestinal problems, which is why in the ‘work-up’ there may be a barium enema or lower GI (gastro-intestinal) series. Barium is a thick liquid that makes the bowel show up on X-ray. Another examination is a colonoscopy. This is where the doctor inserts the ‘black snake’ into your bowel via the anus and can look through the small camera on the tip.
Although there is no ‘magic bullet’ to cure someone of IBS, there is treatment that will help. This includes dietary changes, anti-spasmodic medicine and stress relief if you are a highly stressed person. As a starter, fiber (found in bran, bread, cereal, beans, fruit, and vegetables) reduces IBS symptoms - especially constipation, because it makes stool soft and easier to pass, but you have to identify the ‘triggers’. (And it ain’t Roy Rogers for those old enough to remember the celluloid hero!)

Heart to Heart  with Hillary

Dear Hillary,
I always enjoy your column and have found that your advice is usually spot on in most cases. However your latest piece of wisdom is probably the best you’ve done to date where you said to the guy looking for a wife, “If you want to buy some cheese, then you don’t find it in a hardware shop. Can I be any more plain than that?” No Hillary you cannot be more plain than that. As you point out, the good time girls are great for a good time, when you’re here on holidays, but if you’re here for the long haul, then you need someone prepared for the long haul as well. I found mine, and it wasn’t in the hardware shop either! Keep up the good work, Hillary. I reckon your advice should be given to all young bucks at the Suvarnabhumi airport. It would probably produce a slump in the gold shops though!
The Long Hauler
Dear Long Hauler,
Thank you for the nice words, my Petal, makes me goosey all over. Like champagne does. You obviously found your long haul mate and are happy. There are plenty of happy marriages out there, but of course they don’t need to write in for advice, so people only get to read about the disasters and imagine that all marriages to Thai women end in failure. The failure rate of first marriages in the western countries is around 50 percent, so no society can claim itself to be superior to another. Keep on hauling, and thank you again.

Dear Hillary,
Do you know where I can get my favorite shoes soled and heeled? These are a pair of snakeskin leather shoes that are now starting to look a little tired and need a rebuild. But I don’t want to go anywhere, just in case they ruin them. Any ideas?
Snake Eyes
Dear Snake Eyes,
You don’t give me much to work on, Petal. Where are you living? Your email does not say. There are plenty of shoe repair shops, or even small sidewalk operators, in the major cities in Thailand, be that Chiang Mai, Bangkok or Pattaya. However, since it sounds as if these were bespoke shoes, why not go back to the shop that made them for you? I’m sure they’d be happy to rejuvenate the shoes for you. Resuscitating the snake could take a little longer.

Dear Hillary,
I went to take some photographs in one of the up-market food courts in one of the local shopping centers, so that I could show my friends back home. After I had taken about three shots I was told by a security guard, “No photo!” I asked him why, but he could not speak any English other than “No photo!” Then up came the floor manager who did have some English, and she said “Not allowed!” No reasons were given. Do you know why this was so, Hillary?
Dear Confused,
There can be many reasons that the food court could get a trifle tetchy, Petal. They might think that you are from a competitor, trying to steal their good ideas, though one food court is pretty much the same as another, I have found. Only the décor and the prices are different. The food is the same. You might also be working for another shopping center. Another reason could be the fact that the nationalities of some of the cooks could be non-Thai. Aliens generally don’t like to be photographed (even ET was photo shy). But don’t worry, you managed to escape with your three shots. That’s probably enough to show the folks back home.

Dear Hillary,
I am sure that you must make up some of the letters in your column because surely people are not that silly. What I want to know is just how do you dream them up? Do you study other agony aunt columns or what? Do you get your inspiration from real life? Tell me and I promise not to tell a single solitary soul.
The Unbeliever
Dear Unbeliever,
Are you suggesting Hillary makes up this drivel? Sorry, Poppet, Hillary couldn’t possibly make up letters as silly as yours. So you think people aren’t that silly – well think again - you just joined them, my little turtle dove. By the way, other aunties get their inspiration from me. I’m an inspirational kind of person.
Dear Hillary,
My step daughter is coming to stay with us for a few days. Over the years she has not been at all friendly towards me and takes whatever she can wheedle out of her mother. I am sure that this will be no different than in previous years and she will spend her time finding new and more inventive ways of getting into my wife’s purse. Do you think I should warn my wife, or confront the daughter?
Dear Stepfather,
I don’t think your wife or your stepdaughter has the problem, but you obviously do. Leave your wife to deal with her daughter as she sees fit. Don’t be meddlesome, just try to be a little more accommodating. You have already admitted it’s just for a few days. Leave the pair of them alone and they’ll work out their relationship, and in the long run, does it matter what your wife gives her daughter? Loosen up, Petal.

Camera Class:  by Harry Flashman

Promote yourself – get a portfolio

At least once a month I get asked if I could take a photo of someone’s wedding, or a golf tournament, or a charity event, or someone’s daughter or take a shot of some products to be sold on the internet. At least once a month I turn down these requests, and then answer, “And no, I’m sorry, I don’t know of anyone else who might be able to do it for you.”
All this means is that there is scope for some enterprising young photographer to make a little money on the side. The clients are out there with a need that is not being met. So is that you?
Up till now you have been an amateur, with no paid assignments that you can show to prospective clients. You may not have photographed products for an internet catalogue, or someone’s daughter as a portrait, or shot a golf tournament. But it isn’t really too difficult. If you are a keen amateur then you’ve got the photographic eye, you just need some experience.
At this stage, clients will still not be beating a path to your door, where you wait, camera in hand and flash all primed and ready. What you have to do, while waiting for the path-beating clients, is get yourself a portfolio. Something you can show to clients. A mini ‘showcase’ of your talents.
Back in the pre-digital days, we all produced portfolios with individual transparencies mounted on heavy card. The trannies were a minimum of 6x6 cm, and 5x4 inch were even better. You lugged a portable light box around that you plugged into the power supply in the client’s office. Showing your wares was a hassle.
Not so any more. In the digital era, it’s a breeze. You store your good shots in your computer in Photoshop or whatever, and when showing your work, you just email suitable samples to the clients. Well, those people you hope will be clients!
So what should you have in your electronic ‘virtual’ portfolio? Go back to my opening paragraph where I stated “photo of someone’s wedding, or a golf tournament, or a charity event, or someone’s daughter or take a shot of some products to be sold on the internet”. That is a reasonable start. I’d also throw in a couple of food shots, as there are always restaurants looking for someone clever enough to make their food look appetizing.
So how do you go about getting these shots, when nobody has given you a commission yet? Again this is simple. You pretend to yourself that you have been asked to cover a golf tournament, so you put together your shot list which would include golfers teeing off, putting, someone in a bunker, a ball beside the pin in the hole, a nice shot of a pretty caddy. Starting to get the idea? By the way, nobody will complain about you being there, especially if you offer to send them a couple of shots. And, you never know, they might ask you to do some more – that is how I got my first commission.
Now offer to do a wedding at no charge. OK, so you just used up a Saturday afternoon, but you now have some more portfolio items. And I will wager that someone at the wedding will want to buy some shots from you as well. Do the same with some food photographs and product shots, and you are on the way to putting together a working portfolio.
Now some of you will be saying, “But I don’t know the best way to shoot food, or product, or weddings or whatever,” but this is no giant hassle either. There are more ‘how to’ photographic books published than just about anything else, other than cook books and personal advancement. This how you learn. Countless thousands of photographers have learned the same way. You read, you try for yourself and you review your results. It actually does not take long. Once you can produce consistent results, you are almost there.
The final steps? Display your photographs in a gallery, and advertise in this newspaper. Then they will ring you, instead of me!
Best of luck in your new career.

Money Matters:  Graham Macdonald MBMG International Ltd.

Doom and Gloom?

From time to time we’re accused of being too gloomy and continuously preaching Doom and Gloom. We resent this slightly in that we try to highlight the negative and positive aspects of
what’s happening in the world - it’s just that at the moment there’s far more negative stuff that we feel the need to write about because the outlook for equities is in general so rocky and equities have a disproportionate impact on the economy and most people’s investments. If sometimes we get evangelical about the 5 asset class message, it’s because of the fact that while some sectors are bad, there’s always some good news somewhere. For sometime now, commodities have been an area that have afforded opportunities. In part this is because the supply and demand curve for many commodities has skewed the traditional backwardation effect (the fact that in real terms commodities tend to get cheaper over time because extraction, refining and production methods become more efficient). It’s also a feature of the fact that as physical, deliverable items commodities have to be traded in a way that creates massive disparities in the market allowing for exploitation of these over and above any increase in the price of the underlying commodity itself.
However, today we’ll just look at the first aspect - the upward pressure on commodity prices. Jim Rogers - founder of the Rogers International Commodities Index, co-manager of the Quantum Hedge Fund with George Soros when it was launched in 1973 (every $1,000 invested at launch was worth $3mn by 1998, when Rogers left to ride his motorbike around the world and set up his own commodity funds), world expert on commodities and author of “Hot Commodities”, “The Investment Biker” and “Adventure Capitalist”, widely regarded as one of the best analysts and asset allocators in the World - believes that the rise of China (all US-based analysts are still obsessed with trying to estimate the point at which China will become the world’s number 2 economy whereas many non-US-based analysts are looking beyond that!!) and the change in the status of the US Dollar as a reserve currency is having a profound impact on global demand. Jim Rogers has for some time stated that the bull market for stock and bond markets is over and that investors should get into the long-term bull market in commodities which will extend to 2014-2022.
Recently, he repeated these views to the Credit Suisse Asian Investment Conference in a keynote speech yesterday. Rogers’ research indicates that the shortest commodity bull market has lasted for 15 years while the longest was 23 years. The commodity fund index set up by Rogers on August 1, 1998 has increased by 243% since then, whereas the S&P index over the same period has risen 43%, with a strong negative correlation to equities - whenever commodities are in the ascendancy stocks and bonds are in decline, and vice versa. Rogers believes that the big bull market for bonds was in the 1980s and 1990s and peaked out in 2003 and has been treading water around the peak since then preparatory to an impending long decline - We’re not sure how the conference will ultimately respond to Rogers’ exhortations - “I would urge all of you to go home and sell all your bonds. I know some of you are bond managers - I would go home and look for another job,”.
Not that equity investors or mangers should feel any more comfortable - at least in the West. Rogers believes that application of time tested criteria (P/e ratios, dividend yields, price to book ratios) shows that Western stock markets were overvalued, similar to the 1970s with big trading ranges. Stock pickers might be able to exploit this successfully, but anyone brought upon buying and holding is likely to be in for a prolonged period of disappointment; as Rogers says about stockpicking “most people are not very good at this. They need to have a secular bull market when markets are rising all the time to make a lot of money,”.
Rogers believes that commodities are neglected as an investment class, because of a lack of information and understanding - he feels that this is reminiscent of attitudes towards stocks and mutual funds some 30 years ago (today there are 70,000 mutual funds available to the public to invest in stocks and bonds compared with fewer than 50 commodity funds).
Rogers then turned his attention to China and to the Greenback - changes in global demand for commodities are taking place against a backdrop of the rise of China and the change in the status of the US Dollar as the world’s reserve currency - “It is amazing how many people do not understand the rise of China - China is the next great country in the world......I know they tell you that they call themselves communists in China - but I tell you they are among the world’s best capitalists right now,”. As a result of this structural change, increased demand for commodities, particularly oil, will emanate from both China and India - China’s per capita consumption of oil is a fourteenth of that of the US and one tenth that of South Korea and Japan.
Set against this increased demand, many of the world’s major oilfields are in decline. Demand is increasing and supply is tightening; prices are destined to rise.
But what of impending US recession? - the shift from the US being a creditor nation in 1987 to being the biggest debtor nation in history with debts of $13 trillion will also have major repercussions for global demand - “What is terrifying to me is that our foreign debt increases at the rate of one trillion every 15 months.” As a result of this, Rogers believes that Asian
countries, now among the world’s biggest creditors, will start to dump Dollars and instead buy real assets such as oil, gold and other commodities.
Who are we to argue?

The above data and research was compiled from sources believed to be reliable. However, neither MBMG International Ltd nor its officers can accept any liability for any errors or omissions in the above article nor bear any responsibility for any losses achieved as a result of any actions taken or not taken as a consequence of reading the above article. For more information please contact Graham Macdonald on [email protected]

Films on DVD for Rental in Chiang Mai: Mr. I. Dewcritique


Directed by Clive Gordon, 2006

Early on in any class of film studies I have taught, there comes the moment when I pause and ask what the significance of that particular shot or detail is, and the students look at me as if I am slightly deranged. We tend to watch films as if they are spontaneous and treat things on the screen as if they are details of ordinary life. People who start seeing significance in the telephone numbers and car license plates around them are regarded as disturbed, but in the case of films, which people have spent a couple of years meticulously planning, discussing, arranging, filming and editing, details do count and are not accidental. Someone took a conscious decision about everything, and the initials of John Connor, the future savior of mankind in The Terminator, are significant; the names of characters in The Matrix are worth thinking about; the car number plate in Psycho [ANL 790- anal behaviour] is deliberate, and the pictures on the wall in the motel have been chosen very carefully to supply extra information. Of course, the amount of symbolism and intricate detail varies from film to film. Some people have little patience for such things; others love the challenges.
When I picked up Cargo I imagined from the cover design that I was going to watch a horror movie, possibly something like Ghost Ship. As I took in the details I soon realised this was a false impression. The director has made a number of serious films about Africa [Lost Boys], the writer has worked on serious movies such as The Wind That Shakes the Barley, and the actors also have art house reputations [Daniel Bruhl of Goodbye Lenin and Lavender Ladies; Gary Lewis of Billy Elliot]. Cargo was likely to be more like Thailand’s Pen-ek Ratanaruang’s Invisible Waves.
The basic plot is simple enough. Chris, a young German with a liking for adventure, is stranded in an African port and becomes a stowaway on a battered cargo ship, The Gull, in order to get back to Europe. He is discovered and put to work on the ship, which is carrying cocoa and illegally exported birds. The crew members are strange and unfriendly. Events become increasingly puzzling and violent. Knives and sharp blades seem to proliferate across the screen. Chris has an infuriating desire to see things it would be wiser he kept away from. The skipper, Captain Brookes, becomes ever more enigmatic. Tragedy ensues and the film ends rather than closes, but leaving one with the expectation that Brookes will scuttle the ship and go down with it. A lot of loose ends are left untied and possibly untie-able. If that sort of thing annoys you, this is not a film you will enjoy.
If, however, you enjoy getting your teeth into symbols and mysteries and arguing about a film for some hours after watching it, there is plenty of meat here. Start with the names. Chris[t-opher] and the Baptist are clear enough. The captain asks Chris why he is risking his life for people he does not know. Chris stays in the cabin of the dead son. There are images of Chris with out-stretched arms. There is a pieta scene near the end when the birds [Holy Spirit?] are released. An earlier ship was called ‘Rebecca’ and there’s a character called Abrahim [more father-son sacrifice there]. The Brookes was the name of the boat portrayed in the famous picture of an overloaded slave ship, an image which helped persuade the British to abolish slave trading in 1807, an event whose bicentennial this European film is clearly intended to celebrate. The horrors of the Middle Passage, possibly even the Zong massacre, are in the film-makers’ minds. Joseph Conrad and Billy Budd hover in the background too. There are plenty of things I have not sorted out yet: why cabin 9? Subira is Swahili for patience- but is there more to it than that- are there hints of Salome or Sophia? This is a film to avoid or ponder.

Let's Go To The Movies: Mark Gernpy

Major Cineplex
4th Floor Airport Plaza
Telephone: 053 283-939
Movie times can change daily.
Vista – Kadsuankaew
4th Floor Kadsuankaew
Telephone: 053 894-415
Times usually remain the same for entire week.
Vista – 12 Huaykaew
Across from Kadsuankaew
Telephone: 053 404-374
Times usually remain the same for entire week.
Spider-Man 3: US Action/Adventure – This very expensive blockbuster opened on May 1 in about 80% of the available screens in town. It may have cost more to make than any film in Hollywood history. Some published reports have placed the budget at above $300 million. It is in the process of breaking all box-office records.
I did not find it particularly compelling, except for the Sandman, and felt there was something ungainly and cumbersome about it, as if its plot elements were the product of competing contractors who never saw the need to cooperate on a coherent final product. But if you like this sort of thing, you should like it very much. Mixed or average reviews: 60/62 out of 100.
Pan’s Labyrinth: (Spanish/Subtitled in Thai and English) Mexico/Spain/US Fantasy/Thriller – At Vista/12 Huaykaew only. Not to be missed. You owe it to yourself to experience this film, but do not take your young children to see it unless you want them to be scarred for life. There are deeply frightening creatures in the film: the Pale Man, with his removable eyes in the palms of his hands; the giant toad with his unspeakable vomit; and the Mandrake root, the “plant that dreamed of being human.” And Pan himself is a nightmare come to life. But the most frightening of all is the Captain, the human being in the film who has lost all vestiges of his humanity. Rated R in the US for graphic violence, language. Reviews: Universal acclaim: 98/85 out of 100.
28 Weeks Later: UK Horror – This follow-up to the wildly successful 28 Days Later picks up six months after the “rage” virus has annihilated the British Isles, which are now occupied by American troops, to bring peace and stability to the region, much as they do in Iraq. I found it a thoughtful and chilling movie, not for the faint of heart or the weak of stomach. Brutal and almost exhaustingly terrifying, as any respectable zombie movie should be. But there is an admirable freshness to it, both in its ideas and in its techniques. Rated R in the US for strong violence and gore, language and some sexuality/nudity. Generally favorable reviews: 79/65 out of 100.
Shooter: US Action/Drama – With Mark Wahlberg. For an action movie and thriller, excellent! Very nicely acted by Wahlberg as a marksman involved with a Presidential assassination. Good dialogue and plot. Rated R in the US for strong graphic violence, some language. Mixed or average reviews: 53/56 out of 100.
Next: US Action /Sci-Fi – Nicholas Cage stars as a magician with the ability to see two minutes into the future. Terrific action movie with nice twisted plot. I thought it was a pure delight, but most people didn’t. Mixed or average reviews: 42/46 out of 100.
Me…Myself (Khor Hai Rak Jong Jaroen): Thai Drama/Romance – Of interest for Ananda Everingham, who gives a fascinating and subtle performance as an amnesiac who falls for a young woman without remembering his true identity as a gay cabaret singer. Director: Pongpat Wachirabunjong.
Bus Lane (May-Na-Rok): Thai Comedy – Songkran on a hijacked bus. Worth seeing. The preview really did a disservice by making the film look truly awful, showing nothing of its charm: All you remember was the image of a girl continuously farting. Actually, some very nice things happen in the movie: good moments, interesting observations, and it ends sweetly. Director: Kittikorn Laiwsirikun.
Train of the Dead (Ghost Train)/Rod Fai Phee: Thai Horror – Five Thai teenagers do bad things and end up on a spooky train to Hell. There are some great posters for the movie; I suggest you look at them rather than the movie itself. Seems the director, Sukum Maetawanitch, is practicing his considerable skills here for better films down the line.
Epic Movie: US Comedy – Uses characters from recent hit movies and subverts them with inane dialog, fart jokes, and a lot of urine. Dreadful, but some in the Thai audience laughed a lot. Reviews: Extreme dislike or disgust: 17/22 out of 100.
Scheduled for Thursday, May 24
Pirates of the Caribbean:
At World’s End: US Action/Fantasy – I imagine you know what to expect from this: more of the same. If you liked the previous two episodes, you should like this one too.

Life in the laugh lane: Scott Jones

Waling on Wales

If England harassed my Welsh ancestors as much as my British friends make fun of me, I understand why my relatives left the United Kingdom. Unfortunately, they ended up in a town and state that all of America ridicules—Fargo, North Dakota—the letters of which can be rearranged to spell “a good, hot, rank fart.”
I had no choice in being born half-Welsh—in the United States of America, which rearranged spells: 1) “An armistice? To us, defeat!” 2) “Fat, roasted, meat cuisine.” 3) “Oi! France made its statue.” 4) “A fantastic idea? Sure, to me!” My mother’s maiden name was Jones, supposedly the Welsh name for John. Darlene Jones married Ken Jones and my friends will never believe they weren’t closely related, probably brother and sister. I wish my mother had popped me during a trip to Canada, or maybe neighboring Minnesota, which at least produced a Vice-president who lost miserably in his bid for the Presidency because of bad hair, oversize ears and too many gums when he smiled, a recent governor who was a former professional wrestler and, just last year, in the wake of 9/11 and Bush’s current War On Terrorists And Random People Who Aren’t Bright White, elected the first Muslim representative in America, rather remarkable for a bunch of large, blonde, Scandinavian Lutherans. North Dakota has only produced one semi-famous baseball player—Roger Maris, one semi-famous singer—Peggy Lee and several prize-winning cows—Bessie, Bossy and Beulah, though these may be the names of their large, blonde Scandinavian owners. It’s often hard to tell them apart, because, like the cows, the owners appear to have five stomachs. What’s the difference between a champion cow and its owner? Two choices: 1) about two kilos; or 2) lipstick.
Even though I’ve left America for good, my relentless British mates continue their not-so-subtle jokes about my sordid heritage. While standing with four Brits, in a vain attempt to salvage my reputation, I plead, “But I’m half-Welsh!” Like a well-crafted, movie scene, as if they’d carefully practiced this synchronized maneuver, each of my friends silently take a giant step away from me. Is Wales that bad?
The Internet told me this negative British opinion started in 1847 with the English-speaking commissioners’ official report on their educational system, then largely conducted in Welsh. They concluded the natives were “dirty, ignorant, lazy, drunk, superstitious, lying and cheating because they were nonconformists and spoke Welsh.” (Sounds like Bush’s image of Iraq.) My knowledge of Wales was originally slim: it’s the birthplace of gold-chained, famous-to-aging-housewives, big-voiced Tom Jones and has the town with the longest name in the world that, unlike my home town, must be difficult to chant at sporting events: “Go get ‘em, Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogery chwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch! (Fargo was much simpler: “Go, Fargo, far, go far, go far, go!”) With this many consonants and four “l’s” in a row, their language may have developed in pubs after several hundred pints of ale and sessions of slurred singing. I also learned these grim facts: “Jones” means “an addiction to a drug, especially heroin.” “Welsh” means “to cheat or swindle by failing to pay a debt,” perhaps causing “wales” that are “large welts raised on the skin by the lash of a whip.”
When I finally visited Wales, I really only remember castles, more castles and food that tasted like ground-up castles, perhaps the worst I have ever experienced. In London, dining is an anticipated event with delicious cuisine from around the world, though not from England. In Wales, I’d say, “Let’s try to find something with some flavor.” I did love the ale and consumed great quantities while trying to forget I’d have to eat again. I don’t remember anything about the capitol city of Cardiff except it was called Cardiff. Most people were reasonably friendly, not overly, okay, they seemed a bit distant, but maybe they could tell I was from Fargo.
Conclusion? Who cares? Make fun of me. I do. Final facts? Llanfairpwellgwy...etcetera means “St. Mary’s Church in the hollow of white hazel near a rapid whirlpool and the Church of St. Tysilio near the red cave,” but the longest name is actually in Thailand: Krungthepmahanakornamornratanakosin-mahintarayutthayamahadilokphopnopparatra jathaniburiromudomrajaniwesmahasathan amornphimarnavatarnsathitsakkattiyavisanu kamprasit, which means “Bangkok...whatever.” Fargo means nothing, but its right across the river from Moorhead and everyone knows what that means.