Thonburi Gets Cooler with the Opening of Lhong 1919

I've written before about how Thonburi is the 'uncool' side of the river, often called Bangkok's Brooklyn or the hipster side of the river or some other cutesy term. But that reputation won't last long. I was excited to finally hear that Thonburi's newest attraction is now open, Lhong 1919. I was even more excited to get a private tour before it opened to the public, and even more excited to get invited to the grand opening. Like most of Bangkok, it's all who you know.

2017-11-04T08:21:46+00:00 Bangkok, Culture, History|0 Comments

On Expat Identity and The Tragically Hip

You may have heard the recent news that Gord Downie, the lead singer of iconic Canadian rock band The Tragically Hip, has passed away. It was not unexpected, and Gord filled his last year with a tour that acted as a sad, triumphant thank you and goodbye to Hip fans across Canada and around the world. But unexpectedly, his death got me thinking about a few things,

How Expat Life Forces You to Open Your Eyes

Fair warning: This post is sort of a rage-filled rant against elements of western media, Asian governments, and the apathy that people show towards what’s really important in life. Why? Because I saw something today that broke my heart and got me mad. Cuss words may appear.

So, forgive me folks, I’m kind of pissed off now. I’ve written before about how a person changes when they become an expat; how living in a strange culture and being constantly exposed to new and different viewpoints can alter how one thinks about the world. It’s one of the great benefits of being […]

Expat dilemmas: When Thailand excites you more than it does your Thai partner

Like most long-term expats in Thailand, I have a Thai wife. Other people have Thai husbands, boyfriends, girlfriends, special friends, significant others’s’s, or whatever label you want to sling at it. Point is, a lot of expats are sharing their life in Thailand with a Thai partner, which is great. I’ve previously written about the challenges that inter-cultural relationships can bring, but I was talking to a friend the other day and managed to ‘formalize’ my thoughts on yet another challenge we face daily (using Bangkok as an example): the difference between what you’re getting out of Bangkok, […]

2017-07-07T03:50:18+00:00 Bangkok, Culture, Travel|8 Comments

Reverse Culture Shock: A Few Observations from my Visit to Canada

I love living in Thailand, but nothing energizes the spirit more than a return visit home. I don't feel the need to go back too often - money and time are limited, and with all the video chats and Facebooking and instant messaging available at my fingertips, friends and family back home are never too far away. Not counting a quick solo trip this past Christmas, it's been 8 years since I spent any time of consequence in the Great White North. But that just means that when I do get home, it's even more special, which was definitely the case from October 6-24, when I, my wife, and our son packed our bags and visited the old country.

2016-12-05T15:01:49+00:00 Culture, Holidays, Travel|8 Comments

Petition: Let’s Rename the Thai Vegetarian Festival

It's that time of year again - the vegetarian festival is upon us. This is the time of year when observant Thais eat only vegetarian food for ten days as a sort of penance for all the suffering that meat-eating causes for the rest of the year. It's a good idea, if you're of that mindset, but I usually spend those ten days actively seeking out shops, stalls, and restaurants that don't have that annoying yellow flag that says jae (เจ), which means vegetarian.

2017-10-19T04:14:39+00:00 Bangkok, Culture, Food|3 Comments

My Childhood in Canada vs. My Son’s Childhood in Thailand

After living over 35% of my life in Thailand, I’m always reminded on my all-too-infrequent trips back to Canada how much I took for granted growing up. When I was a kid, I hated the town I lived in – “Ugh, I can’t wait to get out of this place!” we all used to say, like we were singing the chorus of a Springsteen song. But looking back with grace and age, it’s clear to me how idyllic my childhood really was – miles of green grass, flat sidewalks, bike lanes, and baseball diamonds. The bank tellers knew me […]

You’ve Probably Bought Fake CDs But Have You Ever Eaten Counterfeit Food?

I’ll be the first to admit that in the past, from time to time, I have bought counterfeit things. You know, in moments of extreme weakness. Taken a shortcut to save a few bucks. Usually it was for things that were pretty low profile – DVDs (back when people still bought those), shoes, sunglasses, and the like. But as I got older, I started to appreciate that, generally, you get what you pay for. When it’s a DVD it’s not a huge deal, but when you start to realize that the world of counterfeits extends to more serious […]

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