Category Archives: Traditions

Elephant Magic Trick for Thai Love

Elephants have long memories. Mostly because they have long lives. I have met 100 year-old elephants in Thailand. Not in Africa since poachers killed the pachyderms for their tusks. You would have thought somewhere along the line these ivory hunters would have invested in an elephant dentist, although I doubt elephants are very tractable for […]

Falling in Thailand

Falling from a balcony is a sad tradition for farangs in Thailand. The usual causes are suicide, drunkenness, or shoddy construction. Usually the latter is avoided by blaming the cause of death on the first two to avoid any legal repercussions for the building owners. A spate of falls this week took the lives of […]

ES TUT MIR LIED by Peter Nolan Smith

My high school German professor smoked cigarettes in the classroom. Ashes from his dying butts dropped onto his black cassock, as we read Kafta’s DAS URTEIL from a blue book. “Du sprechet wie Arschloch.” Bruder Karl’s cigarette ravaged voice grated the cinderblock wall. “Jawohl, Bruder.” Boston accents have no R and our class defiled the […]

Thai Smiles Forever

Thailand is renowned throughout the world as the Land of Smiles. Every year the country plays host to millions of tourists. These visitors for the most part return home extolling the hospitality of the Thais. Few foreigners understand that the Thais have as many smiles as the Eskimos have names for snow and the nation […]

Ganden Sky Burial

A mango tree shaded our old house in Sri Racha. Birds roosted on the branches. Our next-door neighbor hated the tree. Its leaves fell into their yard, even though the tree’s spread of shade cooled down both houses. My neighbor only saw the leaves and the other week she called up the electricity office to […]