What's going on with Bangkok traffic?!
Yes, we know that at the best of times there's a lot of congestion on the roads. But there were several days last week and the week before when the city became one huge car park, with traffic at a complete standstill for up to half an hour at times. We know the rain can cause huge backups but we can't blame it all the time as there wasn't even a single drop on some of those days. So what's the cause? Whatever, someone in charge please do something about it or the city, business and daily life will become completely paralysed.
In the midst of all those traffic problems,
The long-suffering people of Bangkok found ways to get around both literally and figuratively. There was an evening last week where I had to go to Park Hyatt for the gala dinner for the relaunch of Grand Seiko. Normally, I can make it from the office on Sathorn to the hotel in less than 15 minutes. That day, after an hour sitting in non-moving traffic—I hadn't even passed the Sarasin intersection— I decided to turn down Sarasin to get to the hotel from Rajdamri. Wrong decision. I was stuck there at a complete stop for half an hour. In the end, I had to call the PR up to offer my apologies as it was going to be impossible to get there.
What I did instead was to turn into Anantara Siam and park so as to walk to Gaysorn Urban Resort for the Omega Tresor cocktail, an event I hadn't thought I could join if I'd had to go to the Grand Seiko dinner. Hosted by Tipanat Lenbury, Omega brand manager and country manager of the Swatch Group Trading Thailand, this was the first time the Tresor collection has been shown in Thailand. Under the theme the Fountain of Youth, the venue was decorated with installations that portrayed the charm of the four seasons, a natural symbol of time in endless cycles. The guest of honour was Bella Ranee Campen while South Korean DJ June One Kim spun discs for invitees.
Another watch event...
Was the launch of Casio G-Shock's Full Metal 5000 Series, with a new all-metal timepiece to mark the brand's 35th anniversary. Organised by distributor Central Marketing Group and held at Central Chidlom, it was a special tribute to the iconic square-faced original models with archive pieces on display. In attendance were Koji Shinjo, managing director of Casio Marketing Thailand, and Viroj Sukpitak, senior Vice President of Casio and Hardline, as well as guest of honour Pok Patsarakorn Chirathivat.
Of especial interest to men...
Was the Master Group Corporation Asia Auto Fest held at Siam Paragon. This was a week-long event at Siam Paragon to showcase the group's world-class cars including Rolls-Royce, Aston Martin, Maserati, BMW, Mini, Honda and Nissan—all intended to increase the pulse of those with strong Y chromosomes. Dr Sunhavut Thamchuanviriya welcomed guest of honour Sririta Jensen to the event.
A fun party..
Was the Nespresso launch of two limited edition coffees designed for iced beverages to welcome the summer. This was held at the rooftop Escape at EmQuartier where the venue was decorated in bright, tropical colours. In addition to trying unique flavours mixed with the iced coffee, guests also enjoyed activities including caricatures by illustrator Chanaradee Chatrakul Na Ayudhya (AKA Juli Baker) and scarf screen printing. Nespresso's Samuel Dambreville and Nannapas Vivatpattanakul joined in the activities.
Jim Thompson Dinner
And finally, there was a dinner organised by Jim Thompson to introduce senior editors to the new Spirit of Jim Thompson Thai restaurant. Located on Soi Somkid, it is in a lovely house surrounded by lush greenery and, of course, decorated with Jim Thompson fabrics. The kitchen is under the supervision of culinary director Montri Virojnvechapant, who has used his talent to come up with delectable dishes that are authentic Thai but with a unique twist. Greatly enjoyed the opportunity to taste delicious food and chat with Gerald Mezzalovo, Jim Thompson's CEO and PR Chutima Dumsuwan, and to renew contact with retail director Rachaya Veerapong, who was at Louis Vuitton Thailand for many years.
I am writing this from London where I am attending the wedding of my nephew. Won't be back for two weeks, so there won't be my diary notes during that time. I am sure you can manage without this for the next two weeks.
(Previously: Naphalai's Diary: June 11-17)