Tag Archives: North Thailand

‘Thailand in Perspective’ – Thailand Diaries – Volume 3 – Available from Amazon NOW

Over the past few months I have posted 10 excerpts of Volume 3 of Thailand Diaries – THAILAND IN PERSPECTIVE on ‘jamoroki.com’.

Thailand in Perspective - Paperback
Thailand in Perspective – Paperback

If you have read any of the posts I hope you have enjoyed them.

If you haven’t managed to read them or you have only read a few excerpts the good news is that THAILAND IN PERSPECTIVE is published by ‘Amazon’ in Paperback and Kindle e-book.

This is a book for anyone who wants to be entertained and wishes to learn more about Thailand in the process. It is definitely not a travel book in the accepted sense but can easily be categorised as such.

Part 1 gives a potted history of Thailand from the first century.

Part 2 is a critical memoir of my observations of the people and culture of Thailand; a Country, monopolised by superstition, ancient cultural values and old religious beliefs, struggling to come to terms with modernity and the 21st century; people who have, as yet, travelled little.

Over a period of 10 years, first visiting then living, in Thailand I have come to the conclusion thatThais are just like everyone else; vibrant, intelligent and adorable people.

And Thailand is, in a word, irresistible.

But be ready for the culture shock and to find out the things you need to know.

Welcome to this captivating and enthralling land. Contradiction, controversy, confusion, frustration, weird language, cultural barriers and mystery will haunt you. When you eventually get over the early shocks, which may actually take years, and you realise that you cannot fix a ‘dysfunctional’ nation without a modicum of help from above you can begin your bumpy journey.

I present my views objectively although, in setting out the ‘pros and cons’ of life in and the mysteries of Thailand, some of my arguments may be viewed as polemic which ‘was absolutely intentional’. I believe there should be, and usually is, a balance to be found in every society and that most cultures and religions may have syncretic elements to their beliefs, to a greater or lesser degree and we are all ostensibly the same if we look behind the mask.

Volumes 1 an 2 are available as e-books only but are FREE.

Volume 1 – 15 Weeks (FREE) DOWNLOAD NOW

Volume 2 – DRIVING THAILAND (FREE) DOWNLOAD NOW

I’m back – But not yet fully functional!

It seems like a lifetime but it is only five months since I posted ‘Taking a break’ on October 17.

Only now do I realise that post was inaptly titled. The five months have been anything but a break; more a physical and mental ordeal I promise myself never to undertake again.

House warming
House warming

I have now built two houses in Thailand which, for an amateur developer, is quite a daunting challenge. Both have been vastly different experiences and I could easily write two books; novels even!!

Forgetting the novels for a moment, my first book would be entitled ‘How NOT to build a house in Thailand’, which would be the ‘go to’ bible for any unsuspecting ex-pat attempting the feat for the first time.

The sequel ‘Second time lucky’ would be a definitive guide on how to learn from your mistakes, proof that miracles do happen and the impossible is not.

From the back garden and Lam Yai farm
From the back garden and Lam Yai farm

I can chuckle now when I recall an American gentleman, a few years younger than me, saying “You are only managing the project, I take it.” Experience has taught me that if you want the house to be built to a reasonable standard you have to roll your sleeves up.

Fortunately I have always benefited from physical activity and am a great believer in the importance of maintaining fitness throughout life. So undertaking the strain, even at the ripe old age of 73, was not actually a consideration. Perhaps it should have been; but I feel fine although 5 kgs lighter and a little weary. No doubt it will pass.

Builders finishing up party. (They had more than one!!)
Builders finishing up party. (They had more than one!!)

For now it’s time to return to a more sedate life, not forsaking daily exercise – walking and swimming – of course. I’m not surprised that the lack of stimulation I get from writing and photography has left me a little flat. Now that my focus is shifting back to my passions I’m sure my creative juices will flow again.

I am ready for action on the writing front; mentally that is. I say that because my PC, despite hours of coaxing, debugging and frustration, has decided to ‘go slow’. It is now about as fast as a one-legged tortoise on Valium! The fix is in the mix and will be done by early May when everything will be up to F1 standard.

After that, I promise that I will be doing my utmost to publish more works of interest for the small but loyal number of readers who seem to enjoy my writing and photography. I’m not sure but maybe I’ll seriously consider those house books!

However, my first job is to complete the publication of Volume Three of ‘Thailand Diaries’. In the meantime I plan to post some poems, some written, some in process, plus some short stuff which my dysfunctional PC may just be able to handle.

For now I’ll leave you with this thought;

“Life is like climbing a mountain. You spend the whole time trying to reach the summit. When you eventually do it’s time to come down and die.”

Are we human?

As Koh Phuket suffers from deliberate crop burning in far-away Sumatra and Northern Thailand prepares itself for the same treatment in February and March each year, I wonder are we obsessed with fire?

Rawai Sunrise – September 2015

Air pollution drifting in from Indonesia changes the landscape in Rawai Bay, Phuket
Air pollution drifting in from Indonesia changes the landscape in Rawai Bay, Phuket

Rawai Sunrise – August 2015

Sunrise in Rawai Bay - August 2015
Sunrise in Rawai Bay – August 2015

We are human after all – or are we human at all?

Do those who cause the problems feel guilty that 50% of the people of Northern Thailand suffer from respiratory problems? If they don’t care for their own health then the answer is obvious.

In March 2014 I posted on this topic in ‘Is North Thailand a Health Hazard’  In the light of the recent fires in Indonesia it seems appropriate to air the issue once again.

In that post I wrote:

“Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai only have populations of between 2 and 3 million. Pollution is mainly caused by subsistence farmers employing outdated ‘slash and burn’ techniques used for hundreds of years to clear forest and scrub land and grow crops. The government is well aware of the dangers to health but is failing the people miserably. Together with the many ‘Forest Fire Control Centres’, throughout the provinces, the authorities are once again proving to be either unwilling or powerless to prevent the recklessness of ignorant rural people. It would seem that most have little or no concern for their own or others health and safety.”

We know that the very star that gives us life will eventually destroy us; consuming us in a fire of cataclysmic proportions.

Surely this cannot be the reason we are committed to prior self-destruction by the constant burning of our planet?

Is the knowledge that the Sun will take away the life it gives reason for our own pre-emptive strike on the World.

Forest fires, wars and crop burning rage across the world with never-ending regularity.

Despite the fact that laws are in place governments are powerless to stop the destruction of the planet by its inhabitants. Ignorance prevails and prosecutions are few and far between.

Have we such disregard for our neighbours that we continue to burn our lands and stand by as the smoke drifts on the wind thousands of miles across the seas to choke our brothers?

And let us not forget the never ending environmental problems and the silent suffering animals, birds, sea creatures and insects affected by our actions.

Despite all the knowledge at our disposal it seems we still fail to understand that we desperately need nature but nature does not need us.

 

 

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FREE – ‘Driving Thailand’ – Ebook now available

The serialisation of Volume 2 of Thailand Diaries – DRIVING THAILAND on ‘jamoroki.com’ is now complete following the posting of the final excerpt. If you have been reading the 9 posts over the past weeks I hope you have enjoyed them.

Book Cover (Smash)If you haven’t managed to read them or you have only read a few excerpts the good news is that DRIVING THAILAND published as a FREE e-book by ‘Smashwords’ is available NOW.

Witty, informative, sometimes ‘tongue-in-cheek’ and full of typically British humour, ‘Driving Thailand’ is an overview of Thailand’s different regions. Highly recommended for travellers, would be ex-pats and those who enjoy light reading. In this second volume of my Thailand Diaries I take you on a conducted tour of the South, Central, North-East and North of Thailand. 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 tried my best to highlight the 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. 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 round 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 have not yet been to the deep South. There is still a lot to see and maybe more writing to do in the future.
Buckle up and join me on my road trip through Thailand and I will give you a glimpse of my beautiful adopted home with my candid opinions of the places I have visited and lived in.

During 2015 this will be followed up with the publication of the last Volume 3 of Thailand Diaries – THAILAND IN PERSPECTIVE.

All three Volumes will be published as e-books and excerpts will be posted on ‘jamoroki.com’ prior to publication.

Volume 1 – 15 Weeks (FREE) DOWNLOAD NOW

Volume 2 – DRIVING THAILAND (FREE) DOWNLOAD NOW