March Expats Meeting – Laurie Simmonds


Laurie Simmonds


Laurie Simmonds with Nancy , President of the Expats Club

The speaker at this month’s meeting ot the Expats Club  at the Le Meredian Hotel was Laurie Simmonds, a Foreign Police Liaison Officer with the Chiang Mai police. Launched in September 2013, the FPLO are here to help foreigners living and visiting in Chiang Mai to communicate with the Royal Thai Police. The remit of the group covers all normal police matters from immigration to criminal investigation..

The  team is made up from both foreign and Thai staff, speaking multiple languages including Thai, English, Chinese, French, German and Japanese.

Born and bred in Sydney, Simmons worked for the Australian police for 24 years. 

“In the late seventies the Australian government was into multiculturalism. I was sent to learn Thai. Back then I didn’t even like pepper on my food!” Simmons developed a passion for a language in a country he had never even been to. “I impressed the commanders with my language ability and got into helping on human trafficking cases.”

After working in Thailand for a number of international cases and marrying a Thai lady, Simmons eventually relocated to Chiang Mai for early retirement, though there was no golf, smoking pipe and cosy slippers for this young pensioner.  Helping out with a couple of incidents with the local bobbies quickly became a regular 30 to 50+ hour week assisting the tourist police. 

 “I’ve been to every type of incident, from lost passports, domestic rows to road accidents, suicides, murders and narcotics. There are many things which are simply a miscommunication.”

“Everyone asks me what I get out of this,” explains Simmons. “Recently there was a very violent incident; my friend wondered why on earth I would want to be involved with such danger whilst not even getting paid. But for me it’s not about the money. I have a decent pension and businesses. For me it’s about giving something back to the local community. Yes it can be risky, and not everyone can do it. It takes a certain person to deal with dead bodies and drunk people.” 

It was an interesting insight into policing in this city. Unfortunately there was no time for questions as the speaker went overtime with his presentation.



Norwegian Star

We are going on a cruise. The Norwegian Star departs Singapore on 11 Dec 2016 and arrives in Hong Kong 22 Dec 2016. So we will have to find our own way to Singapore and home from Hong Kong


1.      Singapore

2.      At sea

3.      Ko Samui

4.      Laem Chabang (Bangkok)

5.      Laem Chabang

6.      At sea

7.      Ho Chi Minh City/Saigon (Vietnam)

8.      Nha Trang (Vietnam)

9.      At sea

10.  Sanya (China}

11.  At sea

12.  Hong Kong

More later.

Frogs for Lunch

The other day Toy had frogs and salad for lunch.Frogs are ver popular in Thailand and can be bought live in all markets.. They look similar to cane toads in Queensland but do not have poison glands. Here is a pictorial record of it’s preparation.




Dining Out Group – Boutique Della Pasta


Outside the Restaurant

dellaOn Thursday night the Dining Out Group ate at the Boutique Della Pasta restaurant. Yes another Italian restaurant!

The restaurant has been around for a while. It was originally located in a narrow winding soi off of Ratchadamnoern Road. but has now re-located to a better location in Ratvithi Road just up from the U.N. Irish Pub.

Despite the temperature being 35 deg and the airconditioner not working., in fact it was cooler with the windows open, twelve of us enjoyed the evening.

It was an all you can eat for 200 baht pizza night. Toy ordered the pizza which he enjoyed while I opted for a hamburger. It was fine except the meat patty was a bit overcooked and dry.

Thanks Nop and Toy for the pics.


Our Table


My Hamburger


Toy’s Pizza


Paul with the Proprieter




Our Garden Is Expanding


Limes for our Gin & Tonic

Our garden is expanding onto the footpath. In recent days we have bought a fig tree, Green Ischau variety. Hopefully we will have fresh figs in six months. As well we have two lime trees. They are said to be a West Indian variety grafted onto healthy rootstock. All are planted in concrete 80 mm tubs in good soil.



Two Lime Trees & a Fig


Fig Tree


Lime Tree