THE THAI for the number nine sounds like the Thai for "to advance" or "make progress". So 9/9/99 was a special date in Thailand, and very much so in Phuket. At hospitals, babies were induced, or even delivered by Caesarean section, so that they could enter the world on the auspicious day. And, car sellers also did a roaring trade. At the Honda showroom in Phuket Town, salesman Tawatchai Vechpasit said the company, which normally sells two or three cars a week, sold seven before lunch. Customers, he added, were also very keen to pick the most appropriate times to drive their new cars out of the showroom - at 9.09am, for example.
A DISPUTE among beekeepers about brown versus yellow bee breeding on the island of Lso is keeping locals abuzz. It is no more than a storm in a teacup, according a spokesman for the Beekeepers Association, which only counts "brown bee breeders" among its members, said: "To make a big to-do about this will turn Denmark into a laughing stock." He admits the dispute influences morale on the island. "Brown bee breeders scarcely talk with the yellow bee breeders."