Category Archives: Thailand

Sleeping on the Job #1

When I was a kid, some men would see road crews leaning on their shovels and called them lazy bastards. My father had worked a lumber camp in his youth and told his white-collar cohorts, “You’ve never worked a day in your life, if you say that.” He was an electrical engineer. His hands were […]

NAPS OF THAILAND by Peter Nolan Smith

When a Chinese general was asked about the defeat of the People’s Army by the Vietnamese in 1979, he replied, “We get up at 5am and they get up at 4.” The draconian work ethic of NVA seemed to have been sapped by the torrid climes closer to the equator, because Thais and Laotians are […]

Never Can Say Good-Bye

Sam Royalle and I mourned the closing of Don Muang Airport. The International Terminal was the scene of so many hellos and good-byes. The new Bangkok Airport doesn’t offer a third of the venues for tearful departures and joyous arrivals. Myth has it that many girls timed one boyfriend’s farewell to coincide with another’s hello. […]

THE FAITHFULNESS OF LIES by Peter Nolan Smith

Several years ago my friend, Sam Royalle, suspected his girlfriend was seeing another man. “How do you know that?” Farangs don’t understand how hard it was for a Thai woman to be with a westerner. They don’t speak the same language. Their tastes in food, movies, music, and humor were complete opposites. No matter how […]

Thai Mai Thai

My family first came to Thailand in the 19th Century. Great Grand-Aunt Bert arrived in Bangkok on a clipper ship. Her father was the captain. The year was probably 1879, but on her 100th birthday she recounted seeing a city of golden temples surrounded by a jungle. “And all the women had black teeth from […]