In May of 2010, my friend Tony Joh and I stuffed ourselves into a hot, tiny little room in the back of a friend's office, set up a few beat-up old microphones, and hit record on a laptop. It was the beginning of the Bangkok Podcast, and we had no idea if it would be successful or not, or if we'd even enjoy it or not. Luckily, it panned out, and over the next few years we did a weekly show that allowed us to meet monks, journalists, celebrities, politicians, and scholars, among others. It was great fun, but when Tony moved to Tokyo and I got busy with a new job and married life, we pulled the plug. However, as of November 2016, the Bangkok Podcast is BACK, BABY!
Podcasts have so completely taken over my iPhone that it’s almost sad. The thousands and thousands of songs that I’ve worked hard to collect over the years are sitting neglected, covered in digital spiderwebs, as I load up on podcasts about history, movies, art, comedy, and science. I may be biased, of course, as I co-hosted the Bangkok Podcast for nearly 2 years, but I really think that this format is an underrated game-changer. […]
My friend Tony and I had a lot of fun doing the Bangkok Podcast, but as I've written here before, it was a surprising amount of work to put together a weekly 1-hour show. Scheduling guests, booking studio time, lugging equimpment around, editing...it took its toll, especially when both of us had other full-time gigs to deal with. As they do, things change - Tony moved to Japan, I got married and started working on a handful of new projects - but now with the magic ot technology, we're both pretty happy to say that Bangkok Podcast has returned! Although in a slightly different format.
If you've ever walked by any abandoned lots in most any big city in the world, you know that plastic has a habit of piling up and causing all kinds of ugly problems. Well, it's no different in Thailand and the biggest and most visible kid on the block in terms of where all this plastic comes from is the ubiquitous 7-11. Indeed, it's one of the long-running jokes here that whenever you go into one to buy a few little things, you come out with two bags, four straws of varying sizes, a handful of little plastic spoons, a bunch of stickers and a receipt, all for something that you bought with pocket change. I thought, as a retailing behemoth, surely they're aware of just how much they're contributing - and more importantly for a big company, how much they could save - if they weren't handing out so much damn plastic. To find out, I called and called and called, and finally got through to their Corporate Communications Division.