Category Archives: Traditions

The Thai Etiquette Of Hands

When greeting a Thai male or female, a westerner will stick out his hand. The smiling Thai will offer a wilted bundle of fingers. The farang grasping this imitation of a dead octopus will mistake the weakness of the grip as an exhibition of effeminate behavior. They couldn’t be more wrong. Thai men are vicious […]

Thai National Anthem or Phleng Chat Thai

I haven’t been to a Thai movie theater in ages, but like a baseball game in the States the cinemas play the Thai National Anthem before any feature film. Here are the words. Bring them with you to sing in English, although you probably will get arrested for lese majeste. Thailand is the unity of […]

Songkran Driving

Nothing says Songkran better in Thailand than getting into an accident with a drunk, as revealed in this series of email dated from 2006. EMAIL from the Old Roue April 4 after I invited him to join me on a trip to Phnom Penh to escape the Songkran madness. His reply. No thanx, I’m driving […]

Songkran Sanuk

The Songkran celebration ushered in the Thai New Year as well as the coming of the rains ending the hot season. This year’s festival has been focused on Wan Parg-bpee April 14, when homage is paid to ancestors, elders and other persons deserving respect because of age or position. Traditionally younger people poured scented water […]

Songkran Party Time

My old mistress, Mrs. Carolina, used to say about blacks weekending in her home town, “They’re either drinking, fighting, or fixing their car.” It was a particularly racist thing to come out of the mouth of my lover, however the statement is very applicable to Thai men on this Songkran festival, despite the government’s media […]