Pathetic Fool-6

Taking my series further, here’s Pathetic Fool 6 from Bangkok.

Pathetic Fool 6

Of all the places, this one works in my own company. And is an Indian to boot, adding to my shame.

Has lost almost all of his hair but has still tried to salvage the situation by doing this very pathetic comb over. Why people just don’t shave their heads before reaching this stage is beyond me.

Bonus points for that fancy orange loop to hang his mask from his neck.

New Year’s Resolutions

I am not one for New Year’s resolutions. Never made them. However, recently I have been quite unhappy with how some aspects of my life have been going. So I decided to make some changes. And now seems like a good time to start as any. So here are my New Year’s Resolutions for 2023. Nothing too ambitious

  1. I will try my best to cut down on my Anxiety medication. No set targets, no time bindings, will just do my best without being miserable and see how it goes.
  2. I will stop wasting money this year. I will spend money as much as I want, within my means, but will stop wasting like here and here. I have made a comprehensive list of the mistakes and lessons learnt from last year. I will also try to start saving some money. No set goals.
  3. I will not consume alcohol except when the occasion calls for it. Not mindlessly when I am getting bored and have nothing else to do.
  4. I will listen to music more. Will give new music a chance.
  5. I will shave my head for good once I get a SIM card replacement and spend 0 effort or money on my hair. Finished.
  6. I will take less sick leaves.
  7. I will be more grateful for what I have in life.
  8. I will cut toxic people out of my life.
  9. I will start reading books again. Again, no set target. Will read as much as I enjoy.
  10. I will lower my time on Social Networks – especially Quora and Reddit. Will replace the time mindlessly scrolling these apps with book reading. Will lower my screen time.
  11. I will close the rings on my watch at least 6 days a week. Will run at least 4 days a week.
  12. I will call my parents, especially my father more.

Let’s see how many I can actually go through with.

Anxiety Medication Withdrawal Fail-3

Continuing my series about my battle with anxiety, this is a new year special. My latest medication withdrawal fail and third in a year.

So I planned a vacation to Hua Hin for new years. I am anyways not completely at ease while travelling, but this time I topped it by forgetting to take my medication with me. Epic fail! when I realized this, I considered scouring the local pharmacies, begging for prescription medication like a junkie. But since it was only 2 days, I decided to swallow the pill.

Night 1/Day 1

I had a decent amount of alcohol to numb me down and delayed my sleep as much as possible. Once I was really sleepy, I went to sleep. Luckily I fell asleep relatively easy. However, I woke up after a few hours drenched in sweat with my heart trying to escape my chest. I tried going back to sleep but the rest of the night I was in an out of sleep. While being acutely aware of my heartbeat.

Woke up the next day tired. The day was better than the night but was jittery throughout. Sometime during late morning, my hands started shaking. After having some Coca Cola and chilling at the beach, I felt much better. By evening I was almost normal.

At night we went to a New Years Eve party on the beach and I consumed alcohol to distract myself from the impending time I have to go to sleep.

Night 2/Day 2

I went to sleep at 11. Luckily, I fell asleep without much issues, but the fireworks at midnight woke me up. I spent the first few hours of 2023 tossing and turning in bed. I was tired and I was sleepy. But I just couldn’t fall asleep. It was like a brick wall. Eventually I fell asleep but most of the night I was in and out of sleep.

Next morning I woke up tired but otherwise OK. Drove back home and went for a run to clear my head as soon as I came back. Feet felt like bricks while running. Resisted the temptation to pounce on my medication immediately.

In the evening, I figured that I am likely already past the worst phase of the withdrawal so why even go back on my earlier full dose? I had half a dose (0.5mg, compared to 1mg original dose) and went to sleep very tired.

Sleep Changes

One thing I noticed is that my sleep had turned very light, especially in the second half of the night. I was able to fall asleep and sleep well for the first few hours, but for the second half, I was in a strange state. It felt as if I am awake, but I am not because time passes too fast. But I have awareness of things around me, daylight etc. I was miserable, but decided to stick to it to avoid another medication withdrawal fail.

Nights 3/4/5

Nights 3/4/5 went equally poorly. I could only sleep for the first few hours each night and woke up mid-way and failed to go back to proper sleep again.

The days also started seeming gloomier and sadder in general. I even gave up alcohol temporarily.

On day 6, I decided to chalk this up as a medication withdrawal fail and upped my dose to 0.75mg, which is still lower than 1mg, my original dose. With 0.75mg, I am doing more or less okay, something I can live with.

Overall, not a complete withdrawal fail, as I was able to reduce my dosage, by a bit. Baby steps, baby steps.

Creative Cannabis Stores

It is somewhat shocking, the rate at which Cannabis stores have popped up in Bangkok, ever since the legalisation. Seemingly overnight. Suddenly I am surrounded by more Cannabis stores than 7 Elevens.

Below are some that I see on a regular basis that I found creative.

High Society Cannabis Club

This is the one closest to my home. This started out as a small nook above a donut shop, but they eventually bought the property next door for their own place.

Kush House

The first time I saw this place, I thought it was a play area for children. But no.

Kush House Cannabis Store
Kush House Cannabis Store

Green Day Dispensary

I see this every day on my way to office. I find the name funny

Green Day Dispensary
Green Day Dispensary

Happy Star CannaBistro

CannaBistro hahaha.

Happy Star CannaBistro
Happy Star CannaBistro

Mary Jane Cannabis Dispensary

Nothing special, just reminds me of my friend’s band in college.

Mary Jane Cannabis Dispensary
Mary Jane Cannabis Dispensary

Sukhumweed

Nice plan on the words Sukhumvit and Weed

Sukhumweed
Sukhumweed

Wonderland

This is my favourite. It has no pretensions about what it is selling. Everything is clearly labelled.

Wonder Land
Wonder Land

As per Google, there are 241 cannabis stores in Sukhumvit area alone. Thais are extremely shy about smoking up, so it remains to be seen how long all these stores last on expat business alone.

How to be an Assamese

Following up on articles on how to be a Tamil, Gurgaon-ite and a Delhi-ite, this one is about how to be an Assamese. Information gleaned from observing many friends from that region.

  1. Wear a goatee.
  2. Listen to heavy metal music.
  3. If you can, grow long hair.
  4. Smoke weed all the time.
  5. Say “Maksudai” and “Kela” to address incidents you don’t agree with.
  6. Go to study engineering/architecture outside Assam and pick fights with groups of Biharis and UP bhaiyas.
  7. Pretend that famous people were born in Jorhat and try to convince people of the fact.
  8. Sleep at 3 AM and wake up close to noon.
  9. Talk to fellow Assamese in Assamese while people standing with you who don’t know the language look befuddled.
  10. Be obsessed with the flesh of pigs.
  11. Pronounce “ch” as “s”.
  12. Shoot water out of your mouth to impress girls.
  13. Look at Bangladeshi migrants with disgust and treat them as filth.
  14. Insult every other type of food except Assamese food.
  15. Relish pigeon meat.

Some fun Manglish words

Last week, I travelled to Malaysia for the second time. Malay is a tough language to crack. But one thing that makes it easy is that they use the same Latin script as English. So you can at least read the words. This is how I came across many Manglish (Malaysian English) words, which seem to be funny variations of standard English words.

Manglish Commuter=Komuter
Manglish Commuter=Komuter

By the way, these Manglish words are not only used as slang. They are part of official communication and signboards everywhere. Below are some of them I found funny

English Word/PhraseManglish Variant
StationStesen
CentralSentral
Minar (Sorry, I know)Menara
RestaurantRestoran
ClinicKlinik
ActionAckshun/Ekseyen
Is it?Izzit?
What to doWatodo
LiftLif
DiscountDiskaun
CylinderSilinder
MailMel
ProjectProjek
OperationOperasi
SecuritySekuriti
AccessAkses
PolicePolis
CabinetKabinet
UtilityUtiliti
SystemSistem
PremisesPremis
ParkingParkir
CanteenKantin
LobbyLobi
PantryPantri
IntercomInterkom
TelephoneTelefon
TrainTren
CommuterKomuter
ProcedureProsidur
CoachKoc
CantonmentKentonmen
ElectricElektrik
GalleryGaleri
RespiratoryRespiratori
PhilharmonicFilharmonik
CalorieKalori
ExpressEkspres
EscalatorEskalator
MuseumMuzium
ZoneZon
ReceiptResit
MotorcycleMotosikal
ExpoEkspo
TheTeh
LorryLori
LampLampu
MonorailMonorel
TicketTiket
MinuteMinit
BrakeBrek
CommercialKomersial
AccessibilityAksesibiliti
CounterKaunter
ImmigrationImigresen
CustomsKastam
BusBas
HoseHos
AccountAkaun
KioskKios
Common English words/phrases and their Manglish variants

Pathetic Fool-5

Taking my series further global, here’s Pathetic Fool 5 from Malaysia.

Pathetic Fool 5
Pathetic Fool 5

I discovered this one at a Skybar in Kuala Lumpur. She brought with her a framed photo of herself and set it on the table before being seated. Throughout her dinner, she kept looking at her own photo and asked her lover to take pictures of her, with her framed photo.

I am not sure whether she was crazy or just vain.

Pathetic Fool 5
Pathetic Fool 5

iPhone 14 Pro first impressions

So I upgraded from my iPhone 12 Pro to an iPhone 14 Pro. Here’re my takeaways after 1 day:

The camera module is huge. There’s a perceptible slope to the phone when lying flat. The phone looks stupid without a case. Like it has sprouted a tumour.

But the cameras take very nice macro images. Will get creative with this in the days to come.

It is and feels heavier than 12 Pro. I am glad I didn’t get the iPhone 14 Pro Max, which I almost did. My little finger is already suffering.

FaceID is noticeably faster.

The dynamic island is cool. Even the parts with the FaceID sensor and the camera are touch sensitive. Hope more apps develop cool features for it.

Dynamic Island, iPhone 14 Pro
Music, Dynamic Island
Dynamic Island, iPhone 14 Pro
Charging, Dynamic Island
Dynamic Island, iPhone 14 Pro
Lock Screen, Dynamic Island

Although, the notch on the older iPhones had become invisible to me, I still can’t un-see the dynamic island. Also, the Dynamic island sits a bit lower on the screen compared to the older notch, so app content starts even lower. This change is just barely perceptible.

Mail app, iPhone 12 ProMail app, iPhone 14 Pro

The always on display is cool. Time will tell how much battery it uses up.

The display is cooler (as in colour temperature). I think my iPhone 12 Pro Display was unnecessarily warm.

The 120Hz display difference is visible, especially during screen animations and when using the 12 Pro.

Will sell the iPhone 12 Pro once my eSIM situation is sorted out, hopefully in March 2023.

My List of Mobile Handsets (updated)

I’ll go back in time now and make a list of all the mobile handsets I have owned till date. You may notice that the list is quite long, with it being especially dense in the first few years.

The iPhone X still holds the record of the longest used mobile handset by me (almost 3 years).

YearPhoneComments
2003Reliance LG RD2030 (CDMA)My first phone, my father had to pull many strings to get me this.
2004Nokia 3530My first colour phone. I miss the paragliding game.
2004Samsung C100Had a hidden temperature sensor and a notification LED supporting customisable colours.
2004Samsung X100Slightly better than the above.
2004Nokia 1100My first phone with a torch.
2005Nokia 2112My last CDMA phone.
2005Nokia N-Gage QDDidn’t have stereo audio for music playback.
2005Nokia 3510iPurchased Second hand.
2005O2 Xphone IIOne of the best phones I had.
2005Motorola C350When the above got stolen. I think I got it for ~₹1000, second hand. Shitty.
2006Nokia 6100Second Hand.
2006Nokia E50One of the best phones I had. It was the sleekest Symbian ever. I still use the Text Tone “Flurry” as my wife’s message tone.
2006Sony Ericsson J100iShitty.
2007Nokia N73 MEIt was thick, but had a good (back then) camera.
2007Nokia E51Back to the thinner E Series.
2007LG KS20One of the worst phones I had. It was unrefined and shitty.
2008Nokia E51Went back to E51.
2009Nokia E52Good phone, died on the flight to Palo Alto. I spent an entire weekend in San Francisco and many days in Gurgaon trying to get it repaired, but failed.
2010iPhone 3GGot this as a temporary phone in Palo Alto, later gifted to mother. Used only a week.
2010Nokia E63Mooched this one off my father.
2011Nokia E7-00First phone I ever pre-booked, and got immediately after returning from Turkey. My first AMOLED phone.
2012Nokia Lumia 900Was obsoleted by Microsoft within a few months of launch. Got it from SGBest.
2013Nokia Lumia 720Got it from MGF Metropolitan Mall
2013Nokia Lumia 925The Lumia 720 didn’t feel premium enough, so.
2014Nokia Lumia 920The Lumia 925 didn’t have wireless charging, so.
2014Nokia Lumia 830Slightly bigger screen, but LCD.
2015Microsoft Lumia 950XLLumia Flagship. Also, a big mistake.
2017Apple iPhone 7 PlusFirst legit iPhone.
2018Apple iPhone XGift from a fiend.
2019Apple iPhone XSGot it for dual SIM during travel, gifted iPhone X to wife.
2020Apple iPhone XSwapped Xs with X with wife, as I switched jobs and didn’t need to travel anymore.
2020Apple iPhone 12 ProFirst phone I bought in a long time with money I already had
2022Apple iPhone 14 ProCurrent phone
List of Mobile Handsets

As you can see, my mobile handsets have gone through different eras:

2003-2005 : Feature Phone era. I generally bought any handset I liked.
2005-2011 : Symbian Era. I mostly had Symbian phones with some other platforms sprinkled in between.
2012-2015 : Lumia Era. I purely had Windows Phones.
2017-Present : Apple Era.

Let’s see what the future brings.

The Thai Cannabis+Alcohol Experience

Another weekend with not much to do. I had some Cannabis left over from last time, so decided to give it another try. Like last time, I chewed it all up around 4 in the evening, assuming it would hit be hours later. Soon, I forgot about it and gulped down some Smirnoff. Big mistake, the Cannabis hit me within an hour this time.

The main thing I remember feeling was as if I was a young kid living with my parents. The second thing I remember feeling was a strange sense of smell in my sinuses. The familiar feeling of nasal congestion (I used to be frequently sick when I was young).

Then I felt as if I had just watched a South Indian movie (I think Roja or Bombay). It makes me feel like I have some very repressed and strong memories of watching these movies.

Last time the Cannabis hit me after dinner, but this time it was early evening so it made things a bit complicated. I took our dog for a walk. It was still evening, but to me it weirdly felt as if it was early morning. Then I started over thinking things, what would happen if I do something specific. But it was one of the best walks I had with our dog. It was as if I could feel what the dog was thinking and where she wanted to go. It was as if we both became one during our walk.

Soon I started to feel the familiar dread of wasting the weekend in such a state instead of being present. Back home, if I held my head still for too long, any sudden movement after felt as if a huge jerk hit my head. I remember being very thirsty. Also, it brought out some hidden memory of being at some temple very early in the morning. We had also booked a table for dinner at a fancy restaurant and I remember feeling as if that it would now go to waste.

I booked a taxi and went to the washroom. Then I felt a sudden sense of panic as if I booked the taxi and then forgot about it for hours. When I rushed back to my phone, I realised it has only been a few minutes. I felt a weird feeling that my upper jaw would ram into my lower jaw at high speed breaking all my teeth. Soon I felt as if I was going to Murthal dhabas early in the morning. Then I felt as if I was finishing my shift at a call centre early in the morning to go home.

At dinner, I was completely absent. I had no idea what the staff was saying and had to think about everything twice before I understood it properly. I remember ordering normal food and then something overcame me and I ordered a full chicken. When it arrived, I decided I don’t want to eat it anymore and gave it to my dog below the table. It was spicy and afterwards, I remember the dog drinking lots of water. I do remember eating more than 1 Churros and wanting to eat even more.

Somehow (I don’t remember) I came back home and went to sleep.

On the bed, it felt as if the bed was moving like a roller coaster. I remember holding on to the side of the bed with my fingernails afraid I will fall off. Bordering on panic, I somehow closed my eyes and forced myself to go to sleep.

Cannabis and alcohol fuelled sleep
Cannabis and alcohol fuelled sleep

Overall, I wouldn’t call this a pleasant experience. I regret wasting so many hours of what remained of my weekend high and asleep. Or perhaps next time I will eat the buds in the morning, so that I am high by afternoon and normal by sleep time.

PS: Reconstructed from notes taken. during the experience.

Earth bound misfit, I