All about Isaan folk

What keeps them smiling exactly

What are Isaan folk like to work with? There are always going to be exceptions and I have worked with one scallywag outfit myself. But, on the whole, people here don’t go in for back stabbing or office politics. In my office we speak a mixture of English, Thai and Chinese and we always have a good laugh.


The word farang

What does this strange word really mean?

Many foreigners in Thailand seem to even wear the term Farang as though it were a badge of honor…Thai people will call you it while you walk down the street, your native friends will call you it, and other foreigners even refer to themselves as “Farang.” I do not believe that this term is generally meant to be an insult, this is simply our title in Thai society, and, if we do not like it, there is nothing we can do about it.’


The taking of responsibility 1-2-3

An alternative look at Thai culture

Much has been written about the Thai culture, some of it well researched and gleaned from many years of experience. This article is unashamedly neither.


Long-tailed Boating

Life on Thailand's waterways

One of my most enjoyable purchases here in Thailand has been my long-tailed boat – ‘ruhr-harng-yao’ in Thai, which means ‘vessel long-tail’, and which by interpreting the term in relation to our own organisation of adjectives and nouns gives us exactly what it is.


Carried away by modern waves

A Thai minority group struggling to adapt to formal education

They lived simple but hard lives. Moken caught fish and seafood with spears and hand-made nets, and they had no need for electricity or piped water. They informally learned to make nets, carve boats, gather wild plants, preserve fish in the sun and salvage fresh water for drinking. Their traditional knowledge included where to find seafood and how to navigate the flow of the seas. This education was a curriculum of survival.


The big black hole

Thais and e-mailing

I have one customer – God bless her – who checks her email between 8.30 and 8.45am every morning. If you send her an e-mail at 8.46, she won’t actually read it until the following business day. Send it at 8.46 on a Friday and she’ll deal with it after the weekend. Then how long it takes her to respond is anyone’s guess.


Bangkok getaways - Petchburi

An historical park on a hill, lots of temples and some monkeys thrown in

I went on this overnight trip to the scenic town of Petburi a few months ago. Tourist maps and road signs often refer to this city as Petchburi or Petchaburi but the believe me, the correct way to pronounce it is definitely Petburi. Unfortunately, transliteration of Thai script into the Roman alphabet is often neither clear-cut nor logical


Rocky but real relationships

thoughts on western entertainment

Western entertainment, when viewed from the perspective of living in the East, is unintentionally hilarious and makes me feel more than a little sad for Westerners. Asia, due to various cultural differences, has a far more fluid attitude to the sharing of pleasures.


Goodbye Thailand

It's definitely time to leave

So the question remains why? Why leave Thailand, the Land of Smiles, the best country in the world if Thais are to be believed? The short answer is that I didn't have enough reasons to stay.


North Eastern woes

Postbox letter from AN

How does a school that's 'out in the sticks' attract decent teachers?


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