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25 June 1986

Dear Wally,

I can't recall whose turn it is to write so I thought I'd drop you a line.

Last weekend I went to Hatyai with some friends and had a wonderful weekend shopping. Once again my views on the friendliness of the Thai people were reinforced. They are very helpful compared to Malays.

I had a 2 hr ancient massage which was quite good (a bit painful at times). You feel really good after it's over.

The food at the motel was very nice which is rather unusual as the food in Thailand is rather ghastly at most places. Needless to say after hearing all about my weekend and bargains we've decided to go back up at the end of October for a weekend, Fri, Sat Sun.

I bought Andrew a very nice leather briefcase (genuine imitation Dunhill). They call their Gucci, Yves St Laurent etc. genuine imitations which is rather amusing. One thing that is genuine is the fact that it's leather. They do the lighter tests on wallets etc.. If it doesn't melt it's leather.

We are taking the amah and Sam and Jenny next time we go. Madglune is jumping up and down really excited about going again.

Deepavali, (which is similar to Christian Christmas) a hindu celebration is on 21st October and Andrew and I have been invited to a Deepavali party along with Sam and Jenny. They really like to invite the Aussies along to their houses.

Our amah is a Christian so she doesn't celebrate Deepavali even though she is an Indian.

We have identity cards (ICs) up here. All the RAAF wives have green ICs and the locals blue ICs. I found out something interesting about the IC system the other day. Madglune was born in Johore Baru (near the Singapore freeway!) which at the time was under Malay rule. She used to have a red IC, which means even though she is 3rd or 4th generation Indian, she had to apply for a working permit in her own country (Malaysia) and she was supposed to eventually return to India even though her family hasn't been there for 3 or 4 generations.

People born in Penang which was under British rule were given blue ICs, so you can see that the Malays are more corrupt.

I had a friend of ours' (Danny Chong) brother from Melbourne around here with his Aussie wife last week and Ronnie was saying that he hates it here now. He hasn't seen the place for 7 yrs and he said that the muslim women and men hae become more extreme than they were 7 yrs ago. They wear the full regalia up here, long sleeve shirts, long skirts, head veils. The country is also becoming poorer rather than more self-supporting. English has been cut out in schools so I would imagine there'll be fewer childen going to overseas universities and very competitive to get into uni here.

Jenny and Sam are looking forward to going back to clean Aust. No open monsoon (more likely rubbish) drains and people not spitting everywhere.

I took a photo of a monnie monster (tramp) yesterday. I hope it works out. They have long, dirty, curly fingernails and toenails, matted long hair and baggy shorts with most of their glory hanging out.

In Thailand I was amazed at the amount of kids (early teens) with their legs amputated and an arm amputated on some, out begging. I imagine they have been amputated on purpose so the children can beg for sympathy and money.

A lot of women sell their children to rogues, pimps etc. and prostitution is rife in Thailand at as young an age as 10.

I must go now as Andrew will soon be home for lunch.

By the way have you read 'The Australians' series by Vivian Stuart? There are 7 possibly 8 volumes. I have 7 here belonging to a friend which I must read before I go. I'm up to volume 4 so I see no hardship in finishing it. I intend to buy the full series for myself when I get back to Aust.

Keep well and good.



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