William Putnam

William Putnam's blog on Ajarn.com


The value of a bohemian life

Free time v the pursuit of extra income?

As teachers in Thailand, we all try to maximize our earnings by taking on extra classes during our evenings and weekends. However, if we have no dependents or financial worries at home, is this really the best way to go about living in a laid-back place like Thailand?


Things I miss about Thailand

Sense of community and the pace of life to name just two

I have been living in the US for the past several months, living a peripatetic and nomadic existence that is in many ways far more adventurous than the relatively quotidian and pedestrian life I lived as a teacher in Bangkok.


Are float tanks worth it?

Who's up for some sensory deprivation?

Sensory deprivation tanks are a simple idea. You go into a tank with water at about body temperature with enough salt in it to support the weight of your body. You float in this comfortable environment, in a pod or a room, and either meditate or follow your thought patterns.


The Friese-Greene Club: An undiscovered gem

A great place in Bangkok for the movie buff

If you want to try out a different type of cinema, I recommend the Friese-Greene Club: Bangkok's unique and free theater.


Running a marathon in Chiang Mai

Going through the pain barrier in North Thailand

I had wanted to run a marathon for years, so when the opportunity came to run one in Chiang Mai with a friend, I immediately signed up.


Why I was wrong about Phuket

Phuket definitely surprised me - if only for a very short trip

Everyone I knew described it as a veritable cesspool, full of scam artists, garbage, and all the other negative consequences of over-development.


The Jae Festival

Going vegan for 10 days in Thailand

To "gin jae" means that one not only avoids meat, dairy, honey, or eggs, but also abstain from alcohol, garlic, onions, and sometimes coffee


My favorite Bangkok eateries

Some tried and tested dining experiences

I have listed some descriptions of my favorite restaurants (both Thai and other) below. Hopefully, you can use the places below as starting points to begin your own foodie adventures in Thailand's urban metropolis.


Thoughts on Koh Pha Ngan

Thailand's full moon party island

I had been to several islands before: Koh Samui, Koh Tao, Koh Chang, Koh Kood, and Koh Samet. Yet, somehow Koh Pha Ngan had escaped me


Where is the best Mexican food in Bangkok?

Here are some ideas to satisfy those Mexican food cravings.

Unfortunately, I have not found a Mexican restaurant in Bangkok that compares to the ones back home yet, but I have found a few good places for my Mexican fix.


Perspectives

It all boils down to how you look at things

As much as I love Thailand, I often find myself complaining about living here. I notice that many of my friends do the same thing. Most of the time it is just harmless chit chat, but sometimes I find myself talking to people who really do not seem to like anything about Thailand.


Coffee in the kingdom

So who comes out better than Starbucks?

I think it was Anthony Bourdain who said that most people go to Starbucks not for the coffee but for the ability to show off that they spend five dollars a day on coffee. I must say I agree, especially in Thailand, where they do not even offer free wifi.


How delicious is Thai food really?

Thailand - where food and hospitality go hand in hand

I will always remember Thai generosity, and I will certainly never forget Thai food.


Off the tourist track in Laos

Just one man, a motorcycle and the open road

About a year ago, I spent two weeks driving a motorbike through the Bolaven Plateau in southern Laos. I can honestly say it was one of the most rewarding experiences I have had in Southeast Asia


A brief adventure in Kanchanburi

A welcome break from the hustle and bustle of Bangkok

Getting out of the major cities and certain tourist areas (Samui, Pattaya, etc.) allows you to rediscover the Thai capacity for extraordinary kindness and generosity


The senselessness of Thai bureaucrats and oligarchs

Thailand is ruled by men, not laws

I understand that Thai people do not like causing conflict or losing face, but the first step in solving a problem is admitting that there is one


A big fat wonderful Thai wedding

A different perspective on the happy event

About a month ago, my girlfriend and I were invited to attend the wedding of a Thai friend's son. I had never been to a Thai wedding before, so I was both surprised and honored when presented with the invitation.


On Bangkok

Falling in love again with this unique city

Bangkok is left to its own devices. The planning is horrible so the city is left to grow naturally. It is ugly, sprawled, and terrifying to drive in, but it is also so human.


On fatalism and choice

East versus West

People in Thailand have a more fatalistic view of life than people in the west do. This view may seem odd to most westerners, especially to Americans, who believe that they should do their best to control the vicissitudes of life.


On the Bangkok protests And Thailand's mysterious culture

Thailand is still something of an enigma to me

I am currently living in the one of Thailand's southeastern provinces, in a place called Trat Town. As I hear more news about the anti-government protests in Bangkok heating up, so to speak, I am surprised by how little it affects me out here.


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Contributions welcome

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Air your views

Air your views

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Can you hear me OK?

In today's modern world, the on-line interview is becoming more and more popular. How do you prepare for it?