Serialisation of Volume 1 of Thailand Diaries – 15 WEEKS on jamoroki was complete, after four months, following the posting of the final and 33rd episode. If you have been reading the posts I hope you enjoyed them.
If you haven’t managed to read them or you have only read a few episodes the good news is that 15 WEEKS is available as an ebook on Amazon and it’s FREE.
Here is a summary of the 3 Thailand Diaries publications.
“It is very difficult to know people and I don’t think one can ever really know any but one’s own countrymen. For men and women are not only themselves; they are also the region in which they are born….”W. Somerset Maugham, (1874 – 1965)
Thailand is split into four distinct regions; North (bordering Myanmar and Laos), North-East (bordering Laos and Cambodia), Central and South (bordering Malaysia). Then you have the myriad islands in the Gulf of Thailand and off the West coast in the Andaman Sea. I have attempted to illuminate differences in the history, environment, dialect, attitude and culture in the regions I have lived in or visited. North, North-East, Central, Koh Samet and the South Western island of Phuket. In order to get the best aspects and feel for Thailand, you must drive and walk. I suppose the same could be said about most countries except those which are largely inaccessible by road. Unless you are in a hurry, avoid flying as you won’t learn anything cramped up in a plane for two hours. Drive the long distances and walk around the villages and towns but make sure you don’t overdo it in the heat and keep well hydrated. I have driven pretty well through every Region, North to South and East to West; from the borders of Cambodia to Laos and Myanmar but I have not been to the deep South. There is still a lot to see and maybe more writing to do in the future. Join me on my road journey through Thailand and I will do my best to give you a glimpse of my beautiful adopted home.
“Sometimes people carry to such perfection the mask they have assumed that in due course they actually become the person they seem.” W. Somerset Maugham, The Moon and Sixpence. (English dramatist & novelist (1874 – 1965)
A very good friend of mine; English actor and entertainer Martin Palmer, who has lived in Thailand for 25 years, once told me to stop trying to understand Thai people. When I asked why? He said “Because you never will. I gave up 20 years ago, realised I had to change my thinking radically and have been happy ever since”.
Thailand is unfathomable, baffling, inexplicable, magical, perplexing, puzzling, veiled, enigmatic and secretive; in a word ‘mysterious’. If you stay for any length of time in Thailand there will be many times when temptation hooks you up to the internet in search of the cheapest air ticket to anywhere. You will feel like you are banging your head against a brick wall and then fall into the trap of making incomparable comparisons with your country of origin as you become bewildered by the aesthetic discord, pretence and hypocrisy. Everything seems to be broken or is about to break and whenever a workman fixes something it ends up worse than before. You will wonder why more people are electrocuted in showers than you could ever imagine possible. Then you find out that most electrical installations are not earthed and the ‘electrician’ (I use that word loosely) is perfectly content to connect several old bits of wire with tape to make up the required length. You wonder why and then you find out that he has saved the customer twenty baht in materials and charged him an extra fifty baht in labour! You are desperately trying to understand a new culture, new customs and a new ‘sign’ language. You know nobody thinks like you so you are trying to think like everybody else and you are slowly going doolally and are about to have a conniption. If you think you are the only one in step then don’t worry you’ve just joined the tribe.