You Know You’ve Been in Thailand to Long When…

my hood

I know right?  Two times in the same week…Could it really be?  Anyways, I was checking the blog this afternoon when I got home from work and it occurred to me that I should post a counterpart to the “You know your from Alabama when…” as I’ve not had the pleasure of residing there for nearly a decade.  Therefore, I poked around the internet and found MANY such lists related to foreigners living in Thailand.  So, I pieced together a list of those i found funny yet relevant to my life here and most, if not all, of these are also 100% true.  Sooooo, I thought I’d share yet another list with your reading pleasure and I hope you find it as comical as I did and do on a day to day basis here.  Also, if any questions occur to you while you are reading through the list then please feel free to post them.  I will be more than happy to do my best to elaborate!  Much love as always and will podcast over the weekend!

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You Know You’ve Been in Thailand to Long When…

1. You can go for weeks without toilet paper.

2. You don’t flinch when another car or taxi drives you down the wrong side of the street.

3. You decline to wear a motorbike helmet because it’ll mess up your hair.

4. You stand in the shadow of a telephone pole while waiting for a taxi or bus.

5. It is no longer surprising that the only decision made at a staff meeting is what the group will be having for lunch immediately following the meeting.

6. Hearing “Mai Mii” (Don’t have) or “Mai Dai” (cannot) for the 500th time in a day doesn’t annoy you anymore.

7. You no longer wonder how a civil servant, who earns 400 USD per month drives a brand new Mercedes.

8. Curry is perfectly acceptable breakfast food as long as it has a fried egg on top.

9. Au Bon Pain or the Sizzler is a chic classy hang out serving good food.

10. A policeman stops you for a minor infraction and you automatically reach for your wallet, and not to get your license.

11. You are not surprised when 3-4 men with a ladder show up to change a light bulb or change the filters in the air conditioner.

12. You instinctively know to look both ways twice before crossing a one-way street.

13. You wonder where the salt and chilli mix is for fresh fruit.

14. You’d rather SMS someone than actually meet and talk.

15. You are careful to cover your mouth when picking your teeth, but openly pick your nose at the dinner table.

16. You keep a roll of toilet paper on your dinner table, but not in the bathroom cause it doesn’t go in the toliet.

17. A hot pizza right out of the oven is smothered in ketchup and oregano and it looks just fine for dinner.

18. You know first hand that “Love You Long Time” is not a satirical quote from Full Metal Jacket, but an actual saying.

19. You know when people say they’re “going to bed” that they’ll actually be partying until 2AM and beyond in a cylindrical nightclub resembling a spaceship.

20. “Sexpats,” “Pirates,” “Yellow Fever” and “Rice Queens” are all in your vocabulary.

21. You can shame a group of prostitutes with one contemptuous stare.

22. You understand why drivers flash their 4 indicator lights when driving straight on at intersections.

23.  You just smile, shake your head and sigh when the waiter correctly repeats your order and yet the cook makes something completely different.

24. When shopping at a supermarket, you peak into another farang’s (Caucasian foreigner) cart and wonder to yourself what other farang’s eat.

25. You quietly mutter “farang” (Caucasian foreigner) to your Thai friend/partner when you see other foreigners in public.

26. You regularly fumble for five minutes to find a 10 baht coin despite 10 people waiting in line behind you to use the machine.

26. You know that dogs are animals best given a wide berth or avoided rather than attempt to pet.

27. Touts and Indian tailors ignore you when you walk past their shops.

28. Not only does it not bother you that a lady is cleaning the stall next to the one you are using, but you are not even startled when she begins to sweep/mop under the door of your stall.

29. You are adept at examining knock-off sunglasses and watches with a discriminating eye.

30. You can tell the difference between the “I-have-no-idea-what-you’re-talking-about” smile and one of genuine amusement.

T.I.T Episode 18: Catfights

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•    Welcome to episode 18
•    Christmas time in Bangkok
•    Cool weather in Thailand
•    Airport reopens
•    Business as usual or Eye of the Storm
•    Comment from Andrea in Portland
•    That scent in the air
•    Happy 81st to the King
•    Why Tom avoids talking politics
•    National anthems and communist jingles
•    A little Thai history for you
•    Religion is Thailand
•    Buddhism with a twist
•    Spirit Houses
•    New world face, Old world values
•    The love/hate relationship many have with Thailand
•    Work drama
•    Why are girls so mean to each other?
•    What is your definition of gossip?
•    The pain of being middle management
•    Sure go ahead…shoot the messenger
•    Closing remarks and love
•    Make sure you go comment on the blog!

Email me at tomnthai@gmail.com, comment or call my listener line!!!

Download Tom in Thailand: Right Click Here | The Freak Network | The RainbowPodSquad

Subscribe to Tom in Thailand in Itunes: Click here

T.I.T Episode 5: Gender and Sexuality in Thailand

• The T.I.T. Intro
• Welcome and “Sawasdee Krub” to episode 5
• Comments, emails, messages…
• Listener feedback
• acupuncture cures insomnia?
• Did you see the Olympic opening ceremony?
• Mind fogs and what causes them?
• Is gender identity is culturally specific?
• What shapes our concept of sexuality?
• Gender and sexuality in Thailand…
• Katoeys, rent boys, and tomboys, oh my!
• Personal values and family responsibility
• Attraction and Ice cream
• Check out the last post by Zillafag
• Americans and their guns
• Closing remarks and love
• Email me at tomnthai@gmail.com or comment on my blog

I feel like i was talking in circles with this one, but really hope it doesn’t sound that way to everyone. I know there are a handful of people listening, so let me know you guys are out there, ok? Any and all emails and/or comments will always be most appreciated.
For Direct Download: Right Click Here | The Freak Network

Subscribe to Tom in Thailand in Itunes: Click here

T.I.T Episode 3: Cultural Adjustments

•    Intro & Song:  You Don’t Own Me
•    Welcome to episode 2
•    Comments…or lack of?
•    Last weekend of vacation and work drama
•    Grad School frustrations
•    “No Country for Old Men” with Tommy Lee Jones
•    What is the World coming too?
•    Are things really getting progressively worse?
•    First month of “living” in Thailand wasn’t a vacation
•    My first job as a teacher
•    Quality or standard of living surprises
•    Adjusting and “not” coping…
•    Cultural work ethic differences
•    Small steps of exploration to expand my world
•    My first apartment and the reality of living in a Big City
•    Please comment you guys or email…
•    Closing Song: Teardrop from Elton John

Always please feel free to email, message, question or comment and let me know how I’m doing.  Any and all comments will be answered…least till I become famous! Hahaha!

For Direct Download: Right Click Here | The Freak Network

Subscribe to Tom in Thailand in Itunes: Click here

T.I.T Episode 1: The beginning

• Intro Song: Sweet Home Alabama
• General Background Information on Tom in Thailand
• Living and working in Thailand…”what’s it like?”
• When does the exotic become common?
• Career stuff and being a Grad student
• Discovering Podcasting through a new Mac and my first podcasts by AJTigger….SBA
• What to do when you outgrow roaming the streets…blogging and now podcasting.
• Grand message or purpose?….probably not here!
• Things about me you might not know.
➢ Love B&W movies
➢ Forgetful to a fault
➢ Southern conservative upbringing
➢ I’m really a male version of Bridget Jones…nerdy, dorky, clumsy…yeah that’s me!
• Closing Song: One Night in Bangkok

So, that’s a start….please email, message, question or comment and let me know how my first Podcast went. Please be gentle! Thanks so much for all support and encouragement and I look forward to sharing this journey with you!

For Direct Download: Right Click Here | The Freak Network

Sunday Morning Politics…

Good morning, afternoon, evening or night depending on where and when in the wide world this finds you.  It is a quite, subdued Sunday morning here in steamy Bangkok, and all I can hear is the sound of the air conditioner and some soi dogs barking in the distance.  I’m sitting here  contemplating things to write about as I finish a yummy bit of raspberry jam on toast and a coffee  flavored with caramel creamer…(Yes, I have a sweet tooth).   I actually feel like turning on a bit of Jazz music to accompany my Sunday morning, but our house guest is still asleep and I’d hate to be inconsiderate, being the good southern boy that I am.

Anyways, enough ramblings about my life and on to the topic I wanted to write about today.  I actually had quite the humorous story to tell, but I think I’m going to keep that for another day.  Now, I ‘VERY’ rarely dive into politics here on my blog, as I was raised to think of politics as a very personal thing.  We were always taught that one’s politics where no one else’s business and to this day I rarely enter into meaningful political conversations aside from the occasional barbed comment or two with my family.  Sooooo, to the small amount of right wing Republican readership I wish a wonderful week ahead, right now.  I’m going to talk about my liberal politics a bit today, so you can stop reading right now and come back to visit me here another day.

I was watching CNN last night and was lucky enough to stumble across Senator Clinton delivering her concession speech to all her supporters.  I watched the speech very closely, and I felt a sense of great pride in seeing her ability to still hold her head up high after losing such a long hard competition.  She and Mr. Obama have run a good race, but in the end he garnered enough support to pull just ahead.  It could not have been easy for her to give that speech, but it was definitely something she needed to do.  I would have expected Mr. Obama to do the same were he in her position.  I sat here hearing her drum home her support behind Barack Obama time and time again and cringed every time I heard “boos” in the crowd.  She talked about how the Democratic Party is like a family  and how we need to pull together now to push towards a common goal and I couldn’t agree more.  We are the underdogs, the minority voice, or the little guy against all those bullies out there in the world so lets put aside our slight differences.

As I said, I heard a lot of boos from the audience to begin with and such was to be expected I guess after such a close hard race.  Yesterday, I also saw a female Clinton supporter in New York tell a reporter that she would rather vote for McCain than vote for Obama.  So, to all you would be turn coats out there in the Democratic party I’ve just got one thing to say.  GROW UP!  This sort of behavior reminds me of the kid who tips the game board over when they lose, or packs away their toys and go home.  This isn’t chutes and ladders  or Monopoly here and there is SO much more at stake than pride.  After all, we are a like minded family and I’d hate to see the engine of bigotry win because of the loss of a little face.  It saddens me to think that we couldn’t all pull together and work towards toppling this right wing regime currently holding the country in the iron grasp of bigotry.   Gosh, you can almost see the  Disney villain sitting back to smile and rub his hands together when I see us fight amongst ourselves like this.  Enough is enough, so again I whole heartedly applaud Mrs. Clinton for taking this defeat in such a dignified way and making an effort to bridge the divide.  Don’t turn your back on us now, because the common goals and dreams we all share are bigger and more important than your broken pride.  Sooooo, let’s work together to put the bully out of the school house!

Have a good week ahead, and I promise another dose of my usual rambling lightness in a couple of days.  Thanks so very much for stopping by as always, and check back again in a couple of days if you feel so inclined.  I’m off to enjoy my Sunday!

American Psycho….

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I went to another location today for the gym after work that i used to visit previously, and i’m happy to say it was a much more pleasant experience. There was so much more room and space to move around, and there were no show ponies prancing about the gym constantly glancing at themselves in the mirrors. So I had a nice stress free gym session and I was listening to Cuppatea, which one of my favorite podcasts (internet radio shows for the uninitiated) on my ipod. It seems the crazies are at it again, because he was talking about the recent tragic death of the actor Heath Ledger and how upset he was that the crazed Rev. Phelps from Kansas and his clan are planning to picket Ledger’s funeral. I listened to Shirley Phelps being interviewed and to hear her justify her hatred and bigotry with her so called warped “Christianity” stirred up thoughts I have not had to think about in such a long time. Living in Thailand can be like living in Oz over the rainbow, cause Shirley honey your voice is not in Kansas anymore. Her hate seemed so alien to hear after being away from such things for so long. Not only that, but it seemed just arrogant and ignorant. Heath Ledger was an actor. He was happily married by all accounts and had a 2 year old, who will have to deal with the memory of these haters if they turn up to protest at his funeral. Now, The Phelps woman knows that he is not gay, but thinks he will go to hell anyway cause he starred in a movie sympathetic to the love shared between to closeted gay men. So….some how this woman…..this family…..this church has made the jump from going to hell cause your gay to going to hell because you act gay. Did i miss a step here? Is that anywhere in scripture?

 

How can a whole family be insane? Keep in mind, these are the same wackos that picket the funerals of soldiers when they return from the war to be buried at home. Are they just nutz? When does free speech cross the line? However, in retrospect, were not the Manson family a crazy bunch of psychos in their time as well. What could possibly be driving these people? I honestly don’t understand them, and i know enough about the bible to know that God is anything but Hate. I also wonder why more “Christians” don’t stand up to these people. Surely Christians in the US realize what a terrible message these people are portraying, and yet other Christian groups sit on their hands and let the hate continue. How many times have i heard people say how they wonder why the moderate muslims don’t sort their own people out, right? I mean if you don’t want your set of spiritual beliefs thought negatively about, then why not deal with these bad seeds internally. It seems to me that their hate and craziness has reached a point where someone needs to step up to the plate and sort it out some how. Its simply not enough to cross your arms and say “Oh, but i don’t agree with them!” It doesn’t make me angry though…..It just makes me sad! Anyways, i hope they aren’t able to carry out their sinister scheme, as i’ve heard other rumors on the net that Ledger will be put to rest in his home town of Perth, Australia. Something tells me the Phelps clan wouldn’t be welcomed Down Under!!!