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Water waste of time

  • April 20, 2008

The Thais call it Songkran. I call it mayhem. Songkran is the Thai new year. For many people in the world it is 2008 but for the Thais it is already 2551. They flocked to see "2001, A Space Odyssey" expecting to see a medieval epic. Not content with having a different year numbering system, they also decide to have their new year celebrations in April, even though the year…

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My family and other animals

  • March 29, 2008

Blackadder would have us believe that there is no German word for "fluffy". I don't know if that is true, but I do know that there is no Thai word for accountability. No word for deadline either. These are unimportant in Thai culture. But they do have a word for heart (jai), and they have a seemingly endless selection of other words that they use with jai to define conditions…

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Patronising? Moi?

  • March 27, 2008

There is a gentleman by the name of Richard Madeley who is apparently a chat show host in the old country. He was interviewing a dwarf (as you do) and enquired "do you find people patronise you?" He then quickly added, in a louder voice "that means they talk down to you!" How delightfully, cringingly, recursive.

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A threat of exercise

  • March 27, 2008

My wife wants to lose weight. This could be achieved quite simply by eating less, but weaning a Thai away from a culture of snacking would be as challenging as making a Scotsman teetotal. Thai eating involves at least three main meals, linked together by continuous consumption of snacks of indeterminate content and zero nutritional value. So she has determined that exercising more will be the solution, which is worrying…

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Too much like work

  • March 26, 2008

I never enjoyed working, and nowadays I shy away from anything that could be construed as work. I am therefore disappointed to report that I spent this morning in what can only be described as a committee meeting. I survived my working days in employment by hiding in my office, drinking murky brown liquid and sending out the occasional controversial e-mail that hinted that I was operating on the bleeding…

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Might as well face it, you’re addicted to internet

  • March 26, 2008

It has been brought to my attention that I may be mentally deranged. Of course my wife has been telling me this ever since I agreed to marry her, but the latest warning comes from a more professional source, The American Journal of Psychiatry. According to Dr. Jerald J. Block, there are several symptoms of internet addiction: a sense of anger or depression when users cannot reach a computer, the…

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I’m a Barbie girl, in a Bangkok world

  • March 25, 2008

Day trip to the Big Mango (Bangkok to you, Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahinthara Ayuthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom Udomratchaniwet Mahasathan Amon Piman Awatan Sathit Sakkathattiya Witsanukam Prasit to the Thais, although they settle for Krun Thep). Objective of mission is to take wife's little sister for a trip to Underwater World, of which more later. Bangkok is a frustrating delight. If you approach it by road you…

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Let them eat chocolate

  • March 24, 2008

Apparently it's Easter. That fine pagan tradition involving rabbits and chocolate eggs, latterly hijacked by a certain Mr. J. who did a not very convincing 'back from the dead' trick which is now celebrated with almost religious enthusiasm by certain sections of the population. Personally I will always support the version that promises the most chocolate. For the poor suckers who are still locked into the drudgery of employment, the…

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Coffee with the President

  • March 24, 2008

It was Eddie Izzard who observed that being invited in for a cup of coffee after a date was a sure sign that you would not be getting a cup of coffee, but that sex was likely. He also warned that there were exceptions to the rule; if the President of Burundi invites you in for coffee then don't take that as an indication that horizontal activities will follow shortly.…

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