I'm an American living and working in Bangkok Thailand. I will attempt to write about cool foreign travel stuff on this blog so that when cool foreign travel stuff happens to you you will think back to this blog and be all, "oh yeah, I remember that blog".Ask me anything you like. Submit
Saw an exceedingly rare and coveted occurrence in Thai culture. I was able to see the King in person in his motorcade out of Siriraj for his 85th(?) birthday.
It is so rare, and so highly regarded just to catch a glimpse of the monarch in this country. The two friends I tagged along with had gone into their late twenties having lived in the same city as the King and never managed to catch a glimpse. It was a very special, awe inspiring look at community. Very moving. Thousands of people coming together to place their national pride into a living, breathing person that they can see right before them. It was actually quite moving to be in the center of a sea of people with a single, unified goal through the night.
[I know, Americans: But temper your politics. This really was something completely aside from all that]
For me, it was a completely exotic experience- drenched in community, and deep solidarity and all of it colored by the shared delirium of sitting, uncomfortably, together on the hard asphalt in the tropical heat. It was really something else.
[Dictated in semi-delirium but not read]
Dating in Bangkok is a far more fun, easy, and stress-free endeavor than I had originally thought. Partially because the Thai culture is a very social one. People simply are not afraid to meet strangers and chat them up. And partially it is because, well honestly, I’m a Western man, a.k.a. a farang. As it turns out, this is an attractive quality in Thailand.
It may be an unfair advantage, gentlemen, but upon arrival you will find a fairly impressive pool of single attractive, fun, well educated and (thankfully) fluent English speaking women in the city that will be happy to make your acquaintance. As a single Western guy; whatever your rating was back home, it is automatically raised 1 point when you arrive on the scene in Bangkok. Your humble narrator, for example, is now an 11.
And contrary to popular belief, not all women here are “after your money”. In fact, not at all. I assume that’s some weird BS brought back home by the throngs of sex tourists that come over here and fall in love with the first stripper they meet.
[Side note: Don’t get me wrong. If all you have to offer is your money, you’ll find no shortage of working girls that will be glad to take you up on that the minute you step off the plane. Just know that we legit expats are over here having a laugh.]
Single ladies: I don’t know what to tell you. As I hear it, the singles scene is a little tougher for expat women here in BKK. Not sure what the reasons are there. Y’all do seem to be vastly outnumbered by expat men. Seems like a good ratio in your favor. I dunno. If you see me on the street, come say hi. We can discuss it over drinks.
It’s really too bad I wasted so much time this year hemming and hawing about the lack of farang-friendly people in my neighborhood. That was dumb. When you move to Thailand, don’t do what I did, namely being a bit of a loner hermit and blaming it on the cultural differences. Just jump into the social scene with both feet right off the bat. There is no faster way to learn the language, the customs, make friends and feel out the physical layout of the city than to chat someone up and get together for an outing. You’ll make fast friends and add another branch to your social network before you know it.
Changed my whole outlook on this place.
I’m feeling at home in Krung Thep more and more each day.
Back from the land of Penang. Everything went very smoothly, much to my surprise.
After 5 months of hemming and hawing with the local government here in Thailand I was able to show up on the other side of the border and get a one-year multiple entry visa overnight- just like they said I would back in January.
Feels like I accomplished a major goal. But I’m surprisingly unexcited about it.
Ever heard that advice, that when you can’t make a decision you’re supposed to flip a coin, except you don’t decide by heads or tails, but by how you feel while the coin is in the air? I estimated my chances of making this visa thing work out at 50/50. Now I feel a little bit like the coin landed on the wrong side.
Maybe I’m just worn out from the trip.