Reed in Asia
First day at the dome and a little more
At breakfast the next morning, I had breakfast with the other guys and they told me that an RTAF landrover came to pick them up each day at 08:00 take them to the dome and drop them off, the landrover would return to the dome at 17:30 and take them back to the hotel again, this was the routine for them and now for me too. After breakfast we all got in the landrover, but instead of going to the base it turned down a side street not far from the hotel and then stopped, all of the guys then got out of the vehicle went into a small shop there, bought bottles of water, 7-Up and a bag of ice, got back in the landrover and then we went to the base. At the dome, the first thing that everyone did was to help to clean out a large cool box, then pour all of the water, 7-Up and ice into the box and stir it around, they explained to me that they did this each day because there was nowhere close by to get a cool drink when they were working and it can get very hot at times. The other guys then stripped off a little and then went to work on the internal dome surface, I opened the container with my equipment in and started to sort things around in order of installation that I had planned. The first thing that I had to install in the dome was the Mains Distribution Unit (MDU), I got one of the guys to help me to carry it into the dome and position it near the door, I could see the feed pipes coming out of the dome base there. I then I asked the other guys about the mains power, they said that I would have to wait for Dumrong to arrive and then get him to sort it out with the RTAF.
I decided to check the air conditioning unit out next, this unit was already in place outside of the dome and the input and exhaust ductings were already in place connected to the dome, the other guys had done this as part of their dome erection routine, so I just checked the electrical box and then I fitted the thermostat control inside the dome on the wall and fed the control cables through. I then fitted the mains master breaker box to the outside of the dome wall, next I ran some power cabling from the master breaker box to the MDU through the feed pipes and crimped and connected them at both ends, then I needed power before I could do anything else. About one hour later Dunrong arrived at the dome and said he would take everyone for lunch in his car, so we all got in the car and he took us to the Cafe On. At lunch, I asked Dumrong about the power for the dome and he said that he would sort it out after lunch. The food was good in there again and everyone ate their fill, we then set off back to the dome again, we all got out at the dome and Dunrong drove off to sort out the power for me. He arrived back at the dome about one hour later and told me that he had sorted it all out and the power would be fed to the dome at 09:00 the following day, I didn't expect that, I thought that I would get it that same day, so then there was nothing else that I could do that day on my installation, so I just helped the other guys with their screen surface work on the scaffolding. The landrover turned up on time later, so we locked the dome and took the transport back to the hotel.
Back at the hotel we all went straight to the lounge and got a beer each, Eddie then asked me if I would like to go out and eat at a Thai foodstall not far away from the hotel, he said that the others wouldn't go with him because they wouldn't eat Thai food, so I agreed to go with him after we had finished our beer. So a little later Eddie and I wandered down the road away from the hotel and then we turned down the same road that we had bought drinks for the dome that morning, he pointed out the food stalls to me and we sat down at one of them. The guy at the food stall couldn't speak any English so Eddie and I just pointed to a couple of things that interested us and he cooked them for us. The stall sold beer aswell so we were fine there and we sat and drank beer there for quite a long time. When we had finished, I took some Thai money out and let the stall holder take what he wanted, but as I stood back a little I thought I felt some rain on my neck, I then held my arms out to feel for some rain and as I did so, a young Thai guy walked into my hand, there was a cigarette in that hand and he nocked the end off it with his head, as he walked by I just said in English that I was sorry, holding up the cigarette then he stopped and turned around, he looked at me, then he looked at the cigarette, then he put both hands up to his head bent over almost double and started screaming words loudly in Thai, some people came rushing over and spoke to him and then he would rub his head with both hands shout something loud in Thai and point at me, so then they all started shouting at me in Thai and pointing to this guy.
Eddie came over to me then and asked me what was happening, I told him that I didn't really know and explained to him about what happened with this guy walking into my hand, so then Eddie walked over to them apologised a lot in English and kept saying "just an accident", but then a group of guys surrounded Eddie and all started shouting at him, I could see big trouble brewing, so I went over and stood with Eddie and about six guys surrounded us both all shouting and looking threatening, so I just said to Eddie "back to back, you cover one half and I'll cover the other" so we did this and was expecting a big fight, over what! I wasn't really sure, but when we got back to back and faced these guys, they all started drifting away slowly, until eventually they had all gone. We talked about this incident whilst walking back to the hotel, but neither of us could figure out just what the problem had been, it was just a stupid accident that had somehow got blown up out of all proportions. Back in the hotel, we joined the others in the lounge and just spent our usual night in there and in the disco until we got tired and all drifted off to bed.
P.S. Today, knowing Thai people very well, I know exactly what the incident in this diary was about now and I should have learned something from it back then, rather than just ignoring it and putting it down to just that one guy being a little crazy. It goes a lot deeper than that and not just one guy!
I shall be adding to this site over time, so if anyone is interested then please have a little patience and call back here from time to time. One of my very few pleasures in life these days is beer so I shall be occasionally referring to beer, I just wish that beer was the only reason that I am legless all the time
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