As a keen student of sociology, it behooves one to indulge earnestly in the literature of one’s adoptive homeland. It is timely, therefore, to release the New Year’s Best Sellers List from my beloved Isaan. Truly, a barometer of the local culture and lifestyle…
Clear and Present Lethargy: The new military / action/ suspense thriller by Somchai Clancy centres on one Isaan man and his life-or-death struggle with his own innate inertness. “Shade and hammock wait for no man.” Laziness has never been so riveting. All Action. All the time.
The Buffalo Whisperer: A rugged out-doors type with a heart of gold; Somchai is the world's first water-buffalo 'whisperer'. He doesn't help people with buffalo problems, oh no! He helps buffalo with people problems. Unfortunately, the buffalo don't pay him very much, so he deals a little 'tranquiliser' on the side…
A Tale of Two Tambons: 'It was the best of times; it was the worst of times. Then it was better for a bit, then it got worse again. Then it was the best of the worst of times, then it was the worst of the best of times, then it was som-tam time and everyone forgot about everything, including the time…' Somchai Dickens' timeless classic will never be forgotten by those who’ve read it, but who has the time?
The Catcher in the Rice: Follow Somchai Caulfield's coming-of-age adventures as the slightly homophobic and mildly delusional funster flunks out of yet another school, (even though the pass mark on his multiple choice exam was 25%). He also complains a lot. A fun read.
Zen and the Lack of Motorcycle Maintenance: Explore the Eastern mystical traditions and how they relate specifically to your motosai. Is it bad luck to check your exhaust for black smoke? Will regular servicing cut down your bike's performance? Who defines 'bald' anyway? Is it rude to NOT return a text message with your left hand while accelerating with your right, as four generations of your family cling to the back and front of the bike? Helmets- are they all they're cracked up to be? And bribery etiquette when stopped for not wearing one: how much is too much? All this and lots more…
Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Eating Indoors (But were afraid to ask.): You've seen it in the movies; you've seen it on TV. The Europeans have done it for Centuries. Even the Japanese adhere to this curious practice... So here, in one information-packed volume, we have all your indoor-eating questions answered! Chapters include: Why Indoors? Is doing it too much bad for you? Where do you spit? If it's so good, why didn't Thailand invent it? This is the companion publication to the hugely popular books: 'Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Mobile Phone Etiquette in Public Places (But couldn't find anyone who knew’) and the million-selling ‘Toilet Paper: - Farang use it for WHAT?!!!’
A highly creditable mention must be given to the winner of the ‘People’s Choice’ category at the recent Isaan Poetry Slam and Sam Song Swilling Awards Night.
Isaan Morning (A poem by Somchai Taylor Coleridge)
O, Where is the yee-sip baht that I had in my pants just last night?
Did I leave it at sing-song? Did Ning take it?
Did I go to go-go bar last night? O, why can't I remember?
Did I give it to that dancer with the blonde streaks?
Did I buy Krong-Thip cigarettes? Did I buy beer Leo?
O, why can't I remember?
My mia noi will call me names! No baht! No baht!
Did I buy Lottery? Did I gamble with the cards?
Did motosai need oi and benzine?
O, why can't I remember?
Must saleep; perchance to dream....
All titles available in hardback, paperback, or 7-11 plastic bag (straw optional).
-WilliamBlake sends his blessings to everyone for a safe and ‘sanook’ New Year!