Archive for October, 2014

A year ago came the announcement of a huge barter deal wherein Thailand would pay China for equipment for a high-speed rail project. The plan was for two links, one that passed through Chiang Mai in the north of Thailand to Bangkok, and another that passed through Sakon Nakhon in the northeast of Thailand and then on to Bangkok.

According to Forbes, the new military government of Thailand announced that the deal is off. It’s not really clear why. Maybe the details turned out to be unattractive for either side. Maybe all that stockpiled rice that was planned for the barter isn’t really in the silos or is already rotten – there’s been plenty of searching and posturing in previous months about it.

Forbes says this would have the been the biggest barter deal of its type in history. The most interesting aspect of the high speed rail project is that if it ever does get completed it will provide a very valuable route from mainland China all the way to Singapore. Goods, people, and troops (as needed) will be able to be rapidly and relatively inexpensively shipped a long way.

I stumbled upon this video clip of a ferry being loaded in Greece. The poster and commenters got a chuckle out of it. Take a look.

It reminded me of what happened to a friend a few years ago while boarding a ferry in Greece. She lost part of her foot. It got caught under that loading ramp when the boat lurched just as she was trying to jump on. Very painful, lots of medical treatment, and long period of rehabilitation to be able to walk again. Not so funny.