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thaıland fever, the mıddle east, turkey and greece

Wednesday, June 4th, 2008

it was a sad day the other day…ı left koh tao on may 18 on the 9:30 am boat to koh samuı where ı caught the plane to bangkok ınternatıonal aırport. the samuı aırport ıs small and nıce not unlıke the aırport ın huatulco, oaxaca. it was sad because, as many of you already know, i left behind a few very special people whom i will not soon forget and will indeed see again one day soon. the buddha necklace i was given on may 1 remains a integral part of my wardrobe. the fond memories of my small bit of paradise and the genuine smiles i received daily from my south asian friends are forever imprinted in my mind. doubtless i will return there again and again and again.
ı arrıved ın bangkok after a short flight and after a couple of hours in the airport waiting area had a most pleasant surprıse ın the form of my frıend sonja whom i’d met on koh tao. turns out she was on her way to srı lanka and was waıtıng to go to her gate. we had not seen each other for a week or so and so had a great catch up and a few laughs and memory lane yucks. in the airport book shop i picked up a copy of “thailand fever” cowritten by a western guy and a thai woman and which is written in both thai and english. the book is a “how to” guide to thai-western relationships and although it speaks primarily to the western man-thai woman connection, it also has invaluable information on the differences in general thoughts and behaviors between the two cultures and how to work out the differences (eg., compromise, communication, expectation, family and monetary values, etc.) in order to successfully grow in a bi-cultural relationship. fascinating stuff and gave me some good insight as to why the thais act the way they do. doy, you say, they’re different. yeah, no sh%t they’re different. nobody could or would explain to me exactly how they are different, certainly not they themselves cuz how could they possibly explain these nuances to me, and so the book shed a bit of light on practical matters associated with close relationships with thais. this was an eye opener, although i doubt i’ll need to use many of the pointers myself (marriage, dowry, family commitments and monetary support for same), however it did explain the fundamental principles of generosity, loyalty and saving face even in circumstances where “noble lies” must be told in order to maintain harmony. the book also explained how the position of body parts (head and feet) are significant in how they communicate and show respect. for instance, one would never point his or her feet at something as that is considered offensive; nor would one touch another’s head as that is offensive too. one always sits below head level of the more respected or higher caste when they sit together in a room. there are lots of other tips to clue us farangs in on thai culture but these seemed the most important in my estimation. and it’s a funny little book with silly – but spot on – illustrations.
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living on a thin line

Monday, May 12th, 2008

sabaidee ka, dear readers. i’m STILL on koh tao enjoying (for the most part) my little bit of paradise. the bits i have not enjoyed so much include torrential rain storms, 100 mph winds (or at least it seems like they were that gusty), and the flying around of detritus (palm fronds, dead coconuts, sand, and various flora from up high and down low) during same climatic madness. another weird feeling i’ve had during all of this drama is that i am the only person remaining, and have been the only person for a couple of days now, at my bungalows besides the thai owners and few burmese workers. they all go to sleep fairly early and i suppose are used to the monsoons, but i am unused to such chaos from the heavens and i have found that sleeping through the night is challenging at best. fortunately, my bungalow is made mostly of cement but the thatched conical roof with its fiberglass windows way up high in the cone make me wonder just how secure these parts of the structure really are. so far, knock on bamboo, nothing has caved in or flown away, but the areas between cement and thatch are open, as are the windows which only have a few jail cell-like bars keeping out the larger critters and covered by thin curtains, allowing all manner of smaller debris to fly up and into my room. each morning i discover a whole new pile of small leaves and bits of seaside debris covering my floor and blanket. i have also had a late-night visitor when the winds and rain have been very heavy: a cute little gray rat. he/she is very scared of me and hides between the bed stand (the bed is up about 3 1/2 feet from the ground on a cement block with a thin layer of linoleum between it and the mattress) and bamboo bathroom wall (the latter being simply stalks of bamboo cut in various heights of about 5 to 7 feet. because thai plumbing cannot handle toilet paper, we have to toss our used paper into a bin and flush our business down with buckets of water. these buckets are usually placed right next to the loo so one can easily “flush” right after doing one’s business.
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island fever

Friday, May 2nd, 2008
after much careful thought and consideration, and due to some heavy influence from a certain person or persons, i have opted to give Malaysia and Indonesia a miss this time around. the fact is, now that it is early may ... [Continue reading this entry]

when the rain comes, they run and hide their heads

Saturday, April 26th, 2008
first off, sorry folks for all of the profanity in the previous post. i sometimes wonder how it is that i can be so moronic and vented at you, dear readers. for this, i sincerely apologize. so anyway, samui wasn't a ... [Continue reading this entry]


Wednesday, April 23rd, 2008
dear readers, today is the Very Worst Day Of My Life (in 2008). my iPod with all of my most killerest, favoritest music has been erased at the internet cafe. i never should have left Koh Tao or this never ... [Continue reading this entry]

gone bamboo

Monday, April 7th, 2008
once upon a time on an island far, far away in the gulf of thailand there occurred an event so profound that all the natives went into a deep shock and everyone wondered if things would ever return to normal ... [Continue reading this entry]

fixed pix and island livin’

Tuesday, March 25th, 2008
i've managed to retrieve the photos from the hackjob and all is again well in cyberspace...for the time being. after spending a night on a beat up old rickety local train from bangkok to chumpon, southeastern thailand, and then a 2 ... [Continue reading this entry]


Tuesday, February 19th, 2008
ummm, yeah, i know it's been awhile since i have updated ye olde blog. it's taken a bit to get back into the blogging groove and, admittedly, i'm not all the way back in it yet. here is a brief ... [Continue reading this entry]