Columns
HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

The Doctor's Consultation

Agony Column

Camera Class by Snapshot

Money Matters

Life in Chiang Mai

Let's Go To The Movies

Bridge in Paradise

The Doctor's Consultation:  by Dr. Iain Corness

Another bloody pain in the bottom

I was contacted at the hospital by one of my racing mates rather worried after finding he was passing blood after going to stool. This symptom had only just made itself evident and I was pleased that he had not left it until it became a large problem, rather than a small one.
I asked, “Do you have any pain with the bleeding?” That’s what I mean when I wrote the headline, “another bloody pain in the bottom”. Embarrassing, but generally a minor problem, usually known as “piles”.
Piles are one of the most common ailments around. The medical term for piles is haemorrhoids (hemorrhoids if you come from the left hand side of the Atlantic), which shows why we don’t commonly use that name - too long and too hard to spell! I have often said that the reason that the medical course is six years is that it takes five years to learn how to spell the long words, but then, I’m joking of course.
So just what are piles and do you get them from sitting on wet grass, as the old wives will tell you? Let’s deal with the grass first. You do not get piles from sitting on anything, be it grass, newly mown or otherwise. End of the grass story. Piles are put simply ‘varicose veins’ of the anus. You see, around the edge of the anus there is a very rich plexus of blood vessels and it is possible for the veins to become distended and eventually form a grape-like structure that can even protrude from the anus itself. This is a classical “pile”.
The biggest problem with haemorrhoids is acute bleeding. Embarrassing as mentioned before, but can actually be such as to run you out of iron and you end up anemic. Other symptoms include local soiling and discomfort. You can also get a thrombosis in one of these protruding piles that can be very painful indeed. Ask anyone who has ever had one (or two).
There are lots of theories as to why we get haemorrhoids. Many women feel that they are the result of pregnancy or straining during childbirth, but since men get them as well that would appear to shoot that theory down in flames. Both sexes can get piles. A lack of dietary fiber has also been given the nod as a cause, but personally I am not convinced, as many people with great fiber diets still get piles. Constipation and straining at toilet does appear to have a bearing (as in bearing down in pregnancy?), but I honestly feel that the real reason relates very simply to our stage of development in the history of mankind.
My theory (Darwinian, I admit) is as follows - we used to walk on all fours, like all the other quadrupeds. Look at our first cousins, the monkeys, and they are still wandering around with knuckles in the dirt (and I have met some people that still do this), but many moons ago after seeing our reflections, we decided we looked better standing on our hind legs, so we learned to walk erect. This was fine, other than the fact that the valves in the veins in our legs and ano-rectal region were not up to the additional pressure the column of blood was exerting from the heart, now a meter or so higher than the valves. Straight out hydrodynamics, resulting in varicose veins and piles.
Fortunately piles are relatively easy to fix, and the common rubber-banding technique will be successful for most. The only real danger in this condition is in ignoring the bleeding, thinking, “It’s only piles.” As mentioned before, this bleeding can lead to anemia, but the biggest problem can be the fact that rectal bleeding might just be a symptom of something more sinister, such as cancer, and not haemorrhoids, and it is possible to have both complaints at the same time.
The answer is to never ignore bleeding (from any cause) and get your doctor to check. It may be embarrassing - but it could be life saving.

 

Heart to Heart  with Hillary

Hillary,
Don’t fool yourself, you’re not as smart as you think. Your column consists of mainly regurgitated garbage of no benefit to anyone, your advice is useless, and at best it’s just light comic relief. You have a poor idea of where people are coming from with their comments and opinions, so your responses are fodder. Lessen your out-sized ego and you might be able to provide advice that can make a difference for people. Your problem is you think you are real, and that what you are doing has some purpose. You poor, deluded, ignorant thing, you probably think this is real too. Let’s see if you are game enough to reply to this one, and thereby display your pettiness again.
Mr Magoo scoffs at Hillary the dunce
Dear Magoo,
Since my column, according to you, “consists of mainly regurgitated garbage of no benefit to anyone” I wonder why you continue to read it and indeed have chosen to write in again? You obviously get some sort of satisfaction by being abusive, finally calling me a “poor, deluded, ignorant thing”. That kind of behavior says much about you as a person, real or otherwise. Enroll somewhere in an anger management course, Petal.

Dear Hillary,
You will be delighted and relieved to know that Pater has recovered from his erectile gross function! He is no longer up for an extended fugue but can certainly still manage a sparkling toccata!
Mistersingha
Dear Mistersingha,
What with your email after Magoo’s I think I am succumbing to an extreme form of masochism, and always remember, a sadist is someone who is nice to a masochist! Please go away.

Dear Hillary,
Can nothing be done about the song taew drivers? For a tourist city they give the place a bad name with their stand-over tactics and demands for fares much greater than should be the case. No wonder the foreign tourists look for taxis, but unless they have their wits about them they will again be quoted exorbitant fares, rather than using the meters. For a real fun time in Bangkok or Chiang Mai, try a tuk-tuk which will attempt to take you straight to the nearest jewelry shop that pays for their fuel. Until our respective city fathers meet the song taew monopoly head on and produce a real public transport system, this will always be a third world tourist destination. Of course that is if there are any tourists left!
“Where you go?”
Dear “Where you go?”
Unfortunately you are quite correct, my Petal. The song taews which do not have any fixed or marked destination will always be a turn-off for tourists, as the majority of the drivers also do not speak another language (other than Laos). Why would you expect them to get on transport with unmarked destinations? Perhaps it is time for the TAT to get involved and issue ‘tourist bus’ licenses for drivers who meet a minimum standard in communication. Hillary has given up with the song taews, taxis and tuk-tuks, and uses motorcycle taxis when possible (still none in Chiang Mai). They appear to be a friendlier bunch and will heed the “cha-cha” (slowly) instructions. You do have to barter first, but that’s part of the fun of living in the ‘third world’.

Dear Hillary,
There is a young woman who works in an office I go into regularly. She seemed a nice enough sort of gal, so I asked her out to a party. Since then, I have taken her out to the movies a couple of times, and that was OK too. This relationship has been above board at all times (I am just getting over a divorce in my home country and don’t need hassles right now). I thought this was OK and she was happy just to have a little company now and again, but now she has been ringing me up to say that she cannot stay in her unit because they are a) repairing it or b) painting it, or c) her friends have come for a visit and the young baby will keep her awake or now the builders are in the street and she cannot get any rest because they start work so early. Each time this means that she comes over to my unit after she finishes work (she only works half days) and then sleeps over. So far I have put her in the second bedroom, but I can see this will not last. What advice have you got for me?
Bed and Breakfast Bill
Dear Bed and Breakfast Bill,
You are becoming “Bed, Boompsie and breakfast Bill”, my Petal, if you have not cottoned on to this already. Or then again, I may be wrong and perhaps she just has an interest in hydrodynamics and wants to inspect your plumbing. I am concerned that your house is in need of repairs too, especially since you are worried that your second bedroom “will not last”. Hillary suggests you get the builders in and repair and redecorate it, and following that get them to go and repair and redecorate hers. This will be the cheapest way out of this predicament in the long run. And don’t answer your phone. You have been warned!


Camera Class:  by Harry Flashman

Photography for restaurateurs

Ask food and wine critics about menus. What is the best style? Menus that have photographs in them. It is all very well having ‘vol au vent’ on the menu, but if the diner doesn’t know what it is, he is not going to order it. Additionally, with international clientele, where English may not be their language, only a photograph can tell them what is on your menu.
However, there are some problems associated with food photography, and that is why food photographers are some of the highest paid professional photographers.
There are many reasons for this, but if the final photograph does not make the food look appetizing, the diner isn’t going to order it anyway - and will probably go somewhere else to eat next time.
In the pro photography field, any old bangers and mash just will not do. When selected to shoot food, it was expected by the art director that I would employ a food stylist. This person knows how to prepare the item, so that it “looks” good. This does not mean that it “tastes” good. And yes, I know this is ‘photo-fraud’, and in the US there is legislation to try and counteract this problem - but it isn’t here!
And so to food photography. This is actually one area where there are more fraudulent practices than any other. Cold food can be made to look hot by sprinkling chips of dry ice to give “steam” coming off the dish. Not palatable, but it looks OK. Cooking oil gets brushed on slices of the cold meat so that they look moist and succulent. A few light strokes with pale red watercolor makes meat look tender. And it doesn’t taste good!
That is just for starters. In the commercial photography studio, the dedicated food photographer would erect a “light tent” of white polystyrene and bounce electronic flash inside. Brightness is necessary to stop the food looking grey and dull. If you want a “warm” look to the food, then you can use internal reflector tungsten bulbs as well, but be warned, that if you use the tungsten light as the sole source the food will turn out very orange. Lighting is just so important. If you do not have bright sparkly light then potatoes will look grey, and even the china plates look drab and dirty.
Going back to places such as the USA, there are very firm rules about photographing food, you are not allowed to use substitute materials which “look” like food, but are actually not. This covers the old trick of using shaving cream as the “cream” on top of cappuccino coffee for example, or polystyrene foam as “ice cream”. Personally I think this is a load of ballyhoo, because the photograph is just to represent what the food will look like - you don’t eat a photograph, now do you!
“Some wine with your meal, sir?” I’m sorry, but a photograph of the bottle does not really do the contents of the bottle much of a favor. Let’s look at a few examples where the photographer has to stretch the truth somewhat. Ever tried photographing champagne? There’s never enough bubbles to keep art directors happy, so you drop some sugar into the glass. Only a few grains are enough to give the almost still glass of champers that “just opened” fizz look to it. You also have to bring the light in from the back of the glass, as well as from the front. This takes two flash heads, or at least one head and a reflector, before you attack the prosecco with a sugar stick.
While still on wines, if you try and shoot a bottle of red wine, it comes out thick dark maroon or even black. Restaurateurs who have tried photographing their wines will agree. So what does the pro shooter do? Well he has a couple of courses of action. First is to dilute the red wine by about 50 percent and secondly place a silver foil reflector on the back of the bottle. So what happens to the half bottle of red that was removed to dilute the wine? The photographer has it with dinner.


Money Matters:  Paul Gambles MBMG International Ltd.

Money - How Much is it Worth?

Part 1

There was a joke going round recently that a sheet of Andrex toilet paper was actually worth more than a one billion Zimbabwean dollar note. Not surprising really when you consider what Mugabe has done to the country. However, he is not the first man to make a complete mess of his country’s currency.
Let us have a look at the history of paper money. We could go back to the time of the Sumerians who used salt as money, but that would be tactless as it could be said it is worth more than the US Dollar. The news is not good for the American currency though. If you go back to Roman times, any fiat currency fails in the end. However, it does not just stop there. Not only is there devaluation but also the economy eventually fails as well.
There are good examples of this. Although it is true to say that the Romans did not actually have a paper currency, the similarities are there for all to see. When Augustus was emperor the Denarius was basically 100% silver, once Nero got hold of it just over fifty years later, it was down to 94%. By the turn of the century Trajan has reduced it to 85%. There were so many emperors in 218 that they are too numerous to mention here but it was now down to less than 44% and by the time of Emperor Philip the Arab, the amount of silver was 0.05%. When Western Rome collapsed there was practically no silver at all and nobody used the Denarius any more for buying anything.
The first country that actually used paper money was China. This was because there was a shortage of copper which is what was used for coins. Thus the Chinese then switched to iron for its coinage but made too many which meant they fell in value. So, the banks issued paper money for the iron coins. This could also be used to buy gold or silver. Unfortunately, though, China was fighting an ongoing war against that lovely chap Genghis Khan which meant that inflation was on the up and up. As we know, the Chinese did not win the war against Genghis who carried on westwards defeating everything that stood in front of him. However, his grandson, Kublai Khan, did rule China and actually united it.
Kublai Khan did not understand paper money to start with but did in the end and created, in essence, a fiat currency. In fact, Marco Polo went on to say, “You might say that [Kublai] has the secret of alchemy in perfection … the Khan causes every year to be made such a vast quantity of this money, which costs him nothing, that it must equal in amount all the treasure of the world.”
Polo carried on, “This was the most brilliant period in the history of China. Kublai Khan, after subduing and uniting the whole country and adding Burma, Cochin China, and Tonkin to the empire, entered upon a series of internal improvements and civil reforms, which raised the country he had conquered to the highest rank of civilization, power, and progress.”
Marco Polo concluded, “Population and trade had greatly increased, but the emissions of paper notes were suffered to largely outrun both … All the beneficial effects of a currency that is allowed to expand with a growth of population and trade were now turned into those evil effects that flow from a currency emitted in excess of such growth. These effects were not slow to develop themselves … The best families in the empire were ruined, a new set of men came into the control of public affairs, and the country became the scene of internecine warfare and confusion.”
Please remember that this is over seven hundred years ago. Evidence, indeed, that economic growth has always been cyclical.
It does make you think though. Could Keynes have read Marco Polo’s thoughts about Chinese fiat currencies when he said the U.S. government should just bury bottles full of money in old mine shafts to spur economic growth?
The Spanish were the next big country to have an empire but being the practical people they are they just used gold as their fiat currency. This then brings us to the French. Unfortunately, the French have been about as successful at running a fiat currency as they have at defending their eastern borders in the 20th Century.
John Law introduced paper money into France. He was helped greatly by the fact that Louis XIV died having left over three billion Livres worth of debt. Louis was never brilliant with money. He decreed that all taxes should be paid in paper money. This was okay as the currency was supported by coinage but then the people decided they would prefer coins as, after a while, there was too much paper money in the system and nobody wanted it any more.
The French panicked and made it illegal to export any gold or silver. The government put their foot down and refused to allow the peasants to swap their paper money for coinage. Thus, the currency collapsed.
Having failed the first time, the French thought they would give it another go at the end of the 18th Century. This time the paper money went by the name of Assignats. By 1795, inflation was at 13,000% (and you thought De Gaulle was bad!). Napoleon, being Corsican, had a certain amount of common sense and introduced the gold Franc as he realized that gold is a stable currency. Having met their Waterloo in 1815, the French left it until the 1930s to try again. This time it was the paper franc. It took them just over a decade to cock things up again, for this time the currency lost 99% of its value. Admittedly, they did have that pesky problem with their Eastern border again in 1939 but it is still quite impressive.
To be continued…

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 Paul Gambles on [email protected]


Life in Chiang Mai: by Mark Whitman

Stranger in a strange land

And let’s not STOP talking about Burma

A friend, who presently and rather enviably lives in the civilized city of Seattle, has been meticulously planning his retirement and consequent relocation to Thailand (Chiang Mai, of course). The departure and arrival date are barely ten weeks away. He will soon be, in the title of Robert Heinlein’s novel, a ‘stranger in a strange land’.
He will be in limbo: a newly rootless émigré, who becomes a foreigner in two countries at the same time. Not an easy situation, and I know of only one person who managed to assimilate himself wholeheartedly and almost completely into an alien environment and that was – admittedly – easier since the two countries, (Denmark and Britain), were not that wildly divergent. He learned the language completely and without any of that pompous preciseness so beloved of some incomers. He even dreamt in English.
But, this is rare, and let’s face it, a person who is wholeheartedly American and proud of it, especially now that Obama is almost in charge, will find the transition of coming to Asia more difficult than someone crossing the North Sea. That being the case, I was astonished by a recent e-mail about future plans, (car, condo etc, etc.), suggesting that he would give the relocation project just 12 months before opting for somewhere in Europe. I’ve heard of restless spirits, but for someone who has lived in one country for some 60 years to assume that they could settle here in 12 months, having only touched the surface on three or four holidays, seems wildly optimistic.
You arrive as a foreigner and will always remain one in this enchanting and often maddening country. I’d say that a year is barely long enough to more than get to know the physical, geographical and cultural delights of this city, let alone appreciate it. Perhaps another six months and you’ll know your way around Airport Plaza and Payap University campuses.
I’d been holidaying in Thailand for 25 years before moving to Chiang Mai some five years ago. I’m presumptuous enough to feel quite at home here and, on my recent trip to the U.K., decided for the first time that I could easily miss a visit there in 2010. It is only after these years that I find things happen quite spontaneously and with an element of surprise: chance encounters with farangs and Thais which lead to new invitations, friendships and a further knowledge of what makes the city and the province tick. This was certainly not the case in my first 12 months here, (admittedly my partner and I travelled a lot), and it is only after half a decade that I feel less of a ‘foreigner’ in two places.
It seems to be that only the young have a need to be impatient – they want to move on. We ‘oldies’ need to recall the words of the great English writer, Elizabeth Taylor, (her short stories are among the greatest written since Chekhov). She wrote once in a novel, ‘It is very strange…. that the years teach us patience: that the shorter our time, the greater our capacity for waiting’. Learn this and life becomes more tranquil. She also wrote quite profoundly, ‘I think that we need to preserve our vulnerability to remain sensitive’, adding, ‘The invulnerable, the too heavily armoured, perish’.
Another friend – an Englishman - recently admonished me for using my first piece a few weeks ago to write about the ongoing problem of Burma. It’s Life in Chiang Mai, he said of this column. True, I could moan on about the disgusting state of the pavements on Huay Kaew Road, the double charges for farangs and Thais at National Parks and so on, which does incalculable harm to the tourist industry, and the many other things which occupy our thoughts and time here.
But as Gordon Brown, (the U.K. Prime Minister), wrote earlier this week, there is no greater problem facing this ‘region’ than that in Burma and the current show trial of the elected leader on nonsensical charges. This is within our short horizons and it is a situation which affects hundreds of thousands of people in Thailand as well as the 50 million Burmese.
There is no point in re-rehearsing the present scenario. We know it is a human crisis of immense proportions. We know that it is condemned world wide and that such condemnation is ignored by the junta because they are propped up by the greed of the Indian and Chinese governments, amongst others. So, no apology for mentioning it again, this week and every week. If just one more person ‘signs on’ in support of the ethnic minorities, (over 100 of them), the refugees and the exploited workers here and the Burmese people at home, then these words have served their purpose.
And if you are interested in Burma and the future of that country as well as its economic past, there is what promises to be an important and interesting talk and discussion at Payap University on Thursday 2 July, beginning at 5p.m., (admission free). This has just replaced another scheduled talk, (postponed only, to take advantage of the presence in Chiang Mai of Dr. Sean Turnell, from Macquerie University, Australia.
He has testified twice regarding Burma before the U.S. Congress and is a co-founder of the Burma Economic Watch. Dr Turnell is regarded as one of the world’s leading commentators on the subject. You can go along and hear him at Room 201, the Pentecost Building at the Payap Mae Khao Campus, (behind Carrefour). See you there.


Let's Go To The Movies:  by Mark Gernpy

Now playing in Chiang Mai

Nymph / Nangmai: [Starts Wednesday, July 1] Thai, Mystery/ Romance – a slow-paced, minimalist offering with supernatural overtones from one of Thailand’s most interesting directors, Pen-ek Ratanaruang, who gave us the excellent Ploy in 2007.  This is his seventh feature and first horror movie, and it premiered last month in the Un Certain Regard competition at the the Cannes Film Festival – to decidely mixed reviews.  It revolves around a relationship in trouble – the marriage of May and Nop which seems to have nothing left but inertia to hold it together.  The two barely speak to one another, and May has been involved in an affair with her boss for months.  Signs of physical affection are still more rare.  Despite the emotional distance between them, May decides to accompany Nop on a photography trip into a deep forest where some time before two young men were mysteriously struck dead while attempted to rape a woman.  Nobody had ever been able to sort out what happened, but Nop can’t help but feel a certain attraction to a tree near where the incident occurred.  Then one night he simply disappears.  When he eventually returns, May senses he’s no longer the same man.
Ice Age 3: Dawn of the Dinosaurs:
[Starts Wed] US, Animation/ Action/ Comedy/ Romance – If you enjoyed the previous two installments, you should like this one as well, because it’s more of the same.  Which is not at all bad.  With the voices of Ray Romano and John Leguizamo.
Wongkamlao:
[Starts Wed] Thai, Comedy – Popular comedian turned director Mum Jokmok has succeeded in several of his self-directed movies in the past few years.  This time he both directs and stars in this romantic comedy.
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen:
US, Action/ Adventure/ Sci-Fi – It’s Autobots® versus Decepticons®, Round 2, in Michael Bay’s film based on Hasbro’s Transformers™ action figures, as Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf) again joins with the Autobots® against their sworn enemies, the Decepticons®.  You just have to throw up your hands in surrender and disbelief!  What’s the use of fighting such a force of nature?  It seems to come from director Michael Bay’s childhood fantasies about playing with toys and blowing stuff up.  And fantasing about the hot-looking Megan Fox.  It’s really unapologetic about delivering these fantasies.  Bigger battles.  Massive explosions.  Megan Fox.
It’s super-intense, and bigger and longer than the original.  High noise level, smashing images, a loud and relentless score, everyone yelling their lines at high speed – if this is your idea of fun, go.  I have to say I’m absolutely amazed that there is any coherence at all to the thing.  Generally negative reviews.
Up:
US (Disney/Pixar), Animation/ Family – Everyone’s current favorite, and the most loved film of the year so far!  An animated fantasy adventure about a 78-year-old balloon salesman (voiced by Ed Asner) who finally fulfills his lifelong dream of a great adventure when he ties thousands of balloons to his house and flies away to the wilds of South America.  Also starring Christopher Plummer, and a speech-assisted dog.
As with the best children’s stories and movies, Up contains subject matter some might say is perhaps too old for the intended viewer: it exposes deep and sensitive issues like death, loss, abandonment, fear, isolation, loneliness, betrayal, and greed, knowing that little kids can grasp (and stomach) a lot more depth than we’d guess.  This is another masterful work of art from Pixar – an exciting, hilarious, and heartfelt adventure, impeccably crafted and told with wit and depth.  Reviews: Universal acclaim.
And Up has a cartoon playing before it, called Partly Cloudy, a 6-minute Pixar study of cartoon genius which reminds me somewhat of the stork sequence at the beginning of Walt Disney’s Dumbo.  Not too much has been made of this very funny short, but for my money it is pure brilliance.
Blood: The Last Vampire:
Hong Kong/ Japan, Action/ Horror – A thoroughly disgusting mess of violence and killing.  It’s depraved in its depiction of the “beauty” of killing – the graceful spumes of blood, lovingly photographed in slow motion; the languorous way that severed limbs and chopped heads slowly curve to earth.  I consider it a shameful and perverted use of the potentialities of cinema, and serves only to brutalize the people who come to see it.  Rated R in the US for strong bloody stylized violence.  In English, mostly.  Please, skip it!
Terminator Salvation: The Future Begins:
US/ UK, Action/ Sci-Fi – In this new installment of The Terminator film series, set in post-apocalyptic 2018, Christian Bale stars as a man fated to lead the human resistance against Skynet and its army of Terminators.  If you’ve seen any of the other three installments of this series, you know what to expect: Plenty of chases, explosions, and great effects.  But, for the first time, without Arnold Schwarzenegger.  Mixed or average reviews.


Bridge in Paradise : by Neil Robinson

Last week I described a hand with interesting bidding (no fewer than five cue bids in just one hand) from the Contract Bridge League of Thailand (CBLT) Open Teams event held last month in Bangkok. Here is another hand from this event with interesting bidding and a moral at the end. Plan how you might bid each of the hands with your favourite partner. West dealt and no one was vulnerable: 

                       S: KQ42

                       H: AKJ1065

                       D: 87

                       C: 10             

S: A5                                    S: J7

H: 72                                    H: -

D: K96                                 D: J10532

C: AKQ653                         C: J98742

                       S: 109863

                       H: Q9843

                       D: AQ4

                       C: -               

The reported bidding was: 

West            North      East          South

1C                 1H            P               4C

Dbl                P              5C             5D

P                    5H            6C             6H

P                    P              7C             Dbl

All pass 

The 1C and 1H bids by West and North are routine. East’s pass seems a little spineless—with that distribution I would bid 5C to try and get in the way of the opponents, in spite of holding only three points. 4C by South is a splinter showing a game going hand in hearts and a singleton or void in clubs. Now East finally bids 5C (but too late to get in the way of the opposition). South cue bids the ace of diamonds. North tries to sign off in 5H, thinking they may be missing two aces (spades and clubs). With his void, South goes on to 6H over East’s 6C. However, West is having none of this and sacrifices in 7C doubled.
West made an excellent sacrifice. 6H by North makes unless East leads a diamond at the opening. Without a diamond lead, North pulls trumps, forces out the ace of spades and throws his second diamond on South’s fifth spade. 7C doubled probably goes down only two, for -300 instead of -980 if N-S made their slam. With a heart opening lead and if declarer guesses right in diamonds, the contract is off only one, losing just the ace of diamonds (with the losing spade going away on dummy’s long diamonds). The moral of this hand, according to the CBLT Bridge News is: “when you are in doubt, don’t let your opponents play the hand”. West certainly took this moral to heart!
Chiang Mai now has an official bridge club-the Bridge Club of Chiang Mai. We welcome new players. For information on the Club go to the web site at www.bridgewebs.com/chiangmai/home.html or contact Chris Hedges at:  [email protected] If you have bridge questions, or to send me your interesting hands, please contact me at: [email protected]