Vol. VII No. 14 - Tuesday
April 1, - April 7, 2008



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by Saichon Paewsoongnern


OUR COMMUNITY
HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Happy Birthday HRH Princess Ubolratana

Local author and photographer launches his new book

CMU’s Language Centre English Summer Camp presents its awards

Horeca presents an afternoon of Mediterranean food and drink

Mr Sand retires after 13 years of faithful service

“Green” outing for CM Cycling Club on Easter Sunday

Happy Birthday HRH Princess Ubolratana

Chiang Mai Mail humbly joins the Kingdom of Thailand in wishing Her Royal Highness Princess Ubolratana a most happy birthday on April 5.

 

Local author and photographer launches his new book

Ron Emmons’ “Portrait of Thailand” celebrates the spirit of the Kingdom

The well-known travel photographer, author and Chiang Mai resident Ron Emmons held a party last Saturday at Villa Duang Champa on Ratchdamnoen Road to launch his new book, “Portrait of Thailand”. Those lucky enough to be able to attend were able to buy discounted copies of the new publication, (signed by Ron, of course), and to enjoy a great evening and some excellent jazz.

The author of “Portrait of Thailand”, Ron Emmons, pictured here with Kanjawan and Ratana, who provided the delicious food.

Ron Emmons is a British writer and photographer who has lived and worked for long periods in Africa and the Americas before moving to the north of Thailand where he is now based. Other popular works by the author include ‘Walks along the Thames Path’ (New Holland, 3rd edition 2008), ‘Spiral Guide to the Dominican Republic’ (Automobile Association of Great Britain 2005) and ‘Top Ten Bangkok’ (Dorling Kindersley 2008). He is also co-author of the Rough Guide to Vietnam and has made significant contributions to the Rough Guides to Thailand and Cambodia. Ron has also submitted feature articles on travel, culture, nature, Buddhism and photography which have appeared in a wide range of international publications such as ‘Hemispheres’ (United Airlines inflight) and ‘South China Morning Post’.
For ‘Portrait of Thailand’, Ron travelled the length and breadth of the Kingdom to photograph all aspects of Thai life, resulting in an amazingly rich selection of images. With his deep knowledge of the land and its culture, as well as a keen sense of composition, Ron has managed to capture the essence of 21st century Thailand, through endearing everyday scenes, inspirational landscapes and joyful festivals that reveal the true spirit of this fun loving land.


CMU’s Language Centre English Summer Camp presents its awards

Graduation day celebrated by song and dance!

English Summer Camp at the CMU.

On March 27, the CMU Language Centre held its awards ceremony to mark the end of the English Summer Camp. The camp was designed as part of a TEFL, (Teaching English as a Foreign Language), course which instructs and qualifies would-be teachers of English in Thailand. In order to graduate, trainees were required to plan and teach eight 50 minute classes during the 4 week course. Graduates of the program received an add-on certificate to certify their experience in planning and managing an English Camp, an extra facility provided to students by many of the city’s schools. On the final graduation day, the young students who had been the “guinea-pigs” for the aspiring TEFL teachers, celebrated the end of the course by performances on stage - great for confidence - building and enjoyed by all!
More than 70 students took part in the 8 day Summer Camp, with some of the girls coming from as far away as Lampang, and, because of the journey, having to wake up at 5 am each Saturday and Sunday, with school not finishing until 5.30pm! The camp was free to students aged between 10 and 17 years old, and CMU even provided a free lunch. The partnership between TEFL International and the Language Institute at Chiang Mai University began in 2007. At present, there are no solid plans as to the date of the next camp; however, prospective teachers and students alike can visit www.teflintl.com/teflcoursesthailand_chiangmai for further information.


Horeca presents an afternoon of Mediterranean food and drink

New products include tequila and extra-strong Italian coffee!

Last week, Horeca Chiang Mai held an F&B Fest at the Empress Hotel for local hotels, restaurants, caterers and guesthouses. Guests were treated to an afternoon of food and drink, including various Latino drinks and cocktails such as the delicious and refreshing Spanish Sangria, a huge tub of which was kindly prepared by Joon and the chefs the night before! Various fruit juices from Dole, in flavours new to Chiang Mai, were on offer, along with Lavazza coffee - Italy’s favourite coffee for over 115 years! Although it has been available elsewhere in Thailand for 8 years, Lavazza is also new to the Chiang Mai beverage scene. Rudy, the MD of Horeca, explained that this particular brand makes very, very, strong coffee! Nice!

Veronica and Ralph, doing a great job of introducing various new products.
Plenty of traditional Italian food was on hand for sampling, prepared by Chef Juan Carlos Torre from ‘El Toro’ in Phuket. Ralph, together with Veronica, introduced all the stands; however, many people tried, (but not too hard!) to avoid her eye as she was carrying a tray of tequila shots - not quite the day’s best idea when you have to go back to work! Especially when the recently introduced and delicious Peruvian Pisco was also on offer…
With traditional Flamingo Dancers entertaining everyone, it proved an excellent way to spend the afternoon, with or without the tequila!

Hoteliers from across town attended the F&B Fest, pictured are Paiboon, (Suriwongse), Peter, (Rydges), Mongkorn, (Pornping,) Boomlert, (Empress),
 and Siwach, (Imperial Mae Ping).


Mr Sand retires after 13 years of faithful service

A day in the life of a buffalo and his butler!

People came to bid farewell to Mr Sand on his farewell
at the Four Seasons grounds.

Staff Reporters
Last week, The Four Seasons Resort witnessed a farewell party with a difference. Mr Sand, after 13 years faithful service, was retiring to pastures new. He began working at the resort when he was three years old, is considered to be extremely handsome, and, being an albino, is very rare. He has not been known to touch alcohol or smoke and is considered the ‘family type’ because he always goes straight home after work and has dinner with his family every evening. He works from 8 until 5 daily, and has a butler to look after his every need, including giving him his two daily baths! Mr Sand is a strong buffalo; he enjoys ploughing the Four Seasons rice paddies in order that guests can still see the ancient techniques involved. His daily routine is defined by that important document, the Four Seasons Resort Water Buffalo Job Description, as follows!
Mr Sand Buffalo: I.D. #94 B2
8:00 am: Start work. 8:30 am: 1st bath by his personal Buffalo Butler.
9:00 am: Tour around the Resort to greet/socialise with guests along buggy pathway from Lobby to Cluster 2, 1, 6, 7 and Residences and return by way of the waterfall in front of the Elephant Bar terrace to cluster 11, 12, 16 and rice barn
11:00 am: Nibble grass near the rice barn.12:00 pm: Lunch, consisting of 2 baskets of delicious fresh grass. 1:00 pm: Work in the rice paddies. 3:00 pm: 2nd bath
4:30 pm: 2nd tour around the Resort. 5:00 pm: Finish work and go home to rest/relax.
Should anyone know a buffalo who might wish to apply for the vacant position - the following fringe benefits apply, according to another, equally important, document, the Four Seasons Buffalo Welfare Benefit List, which guarantees 3 free main meals a day plus all-day all-night snacks, free accommodation with full facilities, free cleaning services, bathing service, a butler service - each buffalo will be provided with a personal assistant to take care of grooming, meals and other personal issues, free medical service including an annual medical check-up, a no-limit sick leave scheme, 6 months’ maternity leave, (of which Mrs Mud takes full advantage), and technical training in ploughing skills.
The life of a buffalo butler, even in such luxurious surroundings, is sometimes difficult, as witness an incident involving our retiree. Mr Sand and his stepson Mr Clay, not the best of friends for various unknown buffalo reasons, were engaged in their regular walk with their butlers around the resort’s grounds one sunny morning. For even more unknown reasons, a major disagreement involving buffalo horns and rather a lot of noise ensued between them This attracted a crowd of guests, who, from a fairly safe distance, shouted encouragement to the antagonists.We are not sure whether or not bets were placed, as gambling is illegal in the Kingdom. Finally, Mr Sand’s butler, a brave man armed only with a bucket of iced water, brought the fight to a close by a well aimed splash which landed on Mr Sand’s genitals, causing the buffalo to exit, hurriedly, in the opposite direction, followed by roars of laughter!
Obviously, never a dull moment!


“Green” outing for CM Cycling Club on Easter Sunday

Visit to Ban Papai’s “self sufficiency village”

The intrepid Chiang Mai Cycling Club at Ban Papai Village.

Staff Reporters
Early on Easter Sunday morning, around 200 cyclists gathered at Thapae Gate and set off at 8.30 am for Ban Papai Village, well past Doi Saket. The roads were pleasantly clear, as, at that time on a Sunday morning, most motorists were either still in bed, or at breakfast! Regular stops, both to give the less experienced cyclists a chance to catch up, and for welcome refreshments, made it a reasonably easy ride, even for novices. Another advantage of the route was that weren’t many hills to climb along the way! As well as to enjoy a pleasant ride, the aim of the Cycling Club on Easter Sunday was to promote a “Greener Chiang Mai” and to make a stand against global warming by publicising cycling as a mean of transport. To that end they were accompanied by members of Chiang Mai Friends’ Group, and staff from Boutique Travel, who, (some what unfortunately), came by car! CM Mail would also like to mention that our intrepid reporter/photographer came by motorbike…
During the ride, a number of participants decided that the 56 km ride was too much for them - it was a very hot morning, after all - however, the rest battled on and 40 made it to their destination. They were welcomed by Ban Papai’s headman, and were then shown around the ‘self sufficiency village’ which provides many of the villagers with a living whilst promoting their traditional way of life dating from, of course, long before the tourist invasion! After this interesting experience, the cyclists then joined others from the Chiang Mai Friends Group and Boutique Travel Service in planting trees in the village.
Anyone wanting to know more about the Sunday Cycling Club should contact [email protected] or telephone 087 302 9358. There is also a website www. cmcycling.org. However, it is mostly in Thai language.



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