Stickman's Weekly Column August 28th, 2005

Defending Farang Women

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While chatting with a couple of farang friends this week, one pulled out what could perhaps best be described as a "wank mag", and showed us this special edition with "the 100 most beautiful women", or something to that effect. And the women were hot. All of them. If you were single and lonely, or perhaps just single, or perhaps even just lonely, you'd bonk any one of them. And guess what, 99 out of 100 were farang. White-skinned, long-nosed FARANG WOMEN! And they were hot!

Of the so called 100 most beautiful women, only one of them was Oriental, and she did not look Thai. And truth be told, in comparison with the farang women, this Oriental woman just didn't stack up. Well, we know farang women tend to be well stacked. Anyway…

Looking at this magazine and seeing all of these fine examples of farang womanhood made me wonder whether Thai women are the holy grail, or are they really not that different to women from any other country?

I mentioned to my friends that Thai women tend to be better made up than the average farang woman, tend to be easier on the eye and tend to be a lot slimmer. This wasn't denied but it was countered with some fair arguments. First of all, it was suggested, many Thai women stop going out at the age of 40. (Apparently they stop doing other things at age 40 too…) So what you get out and about on the streets of Bangkok are predominantly women aged under 40 who will always look better than older women. Contrast this with older farang women who tend to go out a lot more at that age.

We also need to factor in the areas where farangs see the Thai women they make their judgments on. The Emporium, the Central World Plaza, Siam Square and other major shopping areas in the capital. These are the areas where Bangkok's high society spend their days. These are the crème de la crème of Thai society and let's face it, the wealthy tend to pay a bit more attention to the way they look. If you are going to compare the Thai women from this part of Bangkok with farang women, then perhaps a valid comparison would be to compare the Thai princesses with their counterparts from 5th Avenue or the Champs Elysses?

Venture into the Thai countryside and while the people are generally very pleasant and a visiting farang will always be made welcome and receive a thousand smiles, classic beauty is not what I'd use to describe the way rural women look. Ok, in Chiang Mai the women do tend to be very pleasant on the eye, but in other parts of the country, I'd not have thought so. You might disagree of course.

And of course one needs to factor in the beer goggles. So many of the Thai women that the average Westerner meets are in the naughty nightlife areas where alcohol can, shall we say, enhance the way they look.

The average Thai woman, or perhaps more succinctly, the average Bangkok woman, spends more time on her personal presentation, than the average farang woman does. But scrub all of the war paint off their face and they can often take on a quite different look. Or conversely, send you average farang Sheila down to the local rarn serm soo-ay (beauty salon) and she'll come out looking much more attractive than when she went in. I'll concede that the average farang women may not spend as much time on her appearance, but if she does, she'll likely be considered attractive by most.

Even for the most diehard fans of Thai women there are some areas where farang women take the cake. Unless the Thai woman grew up in, or spent a very long time in a Western country, odds are that not just general communication, but also agreeing on various basic concepts, will be a struggle, perhaps even a real strain. Even those Thai women who learn to speak English to a very high level in Thailand will never offer you the same level of communication as the average woman from your hometown. And even if they understand the language as well as you, they won't likely fully understand the cultural issues and nuances. In my case, where could I find a Thai woman who understood the difference between a ruck and a scrum? Yeah, I did once have a Kiwi girlfriend who knew exactly what they were. Problem was, she could probably have packed down with the All Blacks too.

Granted, Thai women do have a certain grace that the average Western women doesn't, unless she is a cat walk model. And if there is one good thing about Thai women, one area where I think farang women can't compare, it is their natural grace and femininity.

We often hear guy describing themselves as tit guys, ass guys or leg guys. Well, in the tit department, forget it, farang women win by a country mile. Ass, well, many Thai women don't have one, and of course we're getting into an area of personal preference here, but I reckon the average farang girl with a good rear beats the hell out of a Thai. With legs, well it's even money I reckon.

Thai women are not without their issues. Thai women are well known for their obdurate temperament, flaring up at the smallest thing. I can honestly say that I have never seen a Western women do this. Ever! Western women tend to be far more relaxed. Thai women are a very difficult beast to tame.

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Not so long ago one of my British colleagues who was slowly getting fed up with life in Thailand said that the idea was to come to Thailand, have fun for a few years and then get "a little piece of Thailand" to take back to Blighty. But perhaps he got it around the wrong way? Perhaps the best thing would be to bring a little piece of the west to Thailand?

Of course the fact that some guys struggle to get laid in their own country but can manage to do so in Thailand with young, apparently willing ladies is going to be a huge boost to anyone's ego. Irrespective of your physical condition, age, and general appearance, any Western guy can get the same treatment as the young, fit bloke with blonde hair and piercing blue eyes – the way so many Thai girls prefer Western guys.

I was recently in the offices of a marriage agency and on the walls were photos of many couples who had been introduced through this agency and had gone on to get married. All of the guys had a huge grin on their face. They were by and large a motley bunch and it didn't take an expert to see that most of them would have struggled to meet a woman in the West. Of course any guy who is no longer in favour of Western women is going to prefer women who do take an interest in him. But does that make those women better? I think not. To say that Thai women are better than farang women simply because they are available to you makes me laugh.

Is the truth not simply that there is a group of Thai women who are easy or can be bought, and are thus found attractive by a number of farangs, many of whom are not as popular with the girls back home as they used to be? If prostitution was not so prevalent – and the average Thai woman was either difficult, or even unobtainable, what would your take on Thai women be? Personally I don't think the average Thai woman represents a substantial improvement over a farang women. They're just different.

Farang women and Thai women each have their relative advantages and disadvantages. I am of the belief that farang women still have a lot going for them. Finally, show two pictures to a Thai woman, one of an attractive farang woman and one of an attractive Thai woman and ask them who is the most beautiful. The farang woman will win almost every time.

WHERE IS THIS PICTURE Competition?

It was The Huntsman.

Look closely…it might not be where you think.

Last week's pic was difficult and no-one got it right. HOPELESS! It was one of the two statues which can be found on either side of the main stage in The Huntsman, the British style pub with expensive drinks but decent food, in the basement of the Landmark Hotel. I guess that suggests that not all Stickman readers are Nana Plaza experts. There are three prizes offered this week, one for each of the first three people to email with the correct location of the pic. The first is a 500 baht credit at Tony's Bar in Soi Cowboy. The second prize is a signed copy of Steve Leather's cult novel set in Bangkok's bars, "Private Dancer". The third prize is a beautiful hand-cast, crafted sandstone sculpture offered by BKIThailand – for this prize, you MUST be in Bangkok. Unfortunately, these prizes are only available to people in Thailand now – either resident or tourist. If you would prefer one particular prize over the others, please do not be shy to say!

FROM STICKMAN'S EMAIL INBOX

The good old days, to be relived?

I was fathoming the thought that are we seeing a trend change back to the old ways because of low tourist trade, or are they simply giving enough rope to hang a few people. So many things are driven by money here. I know that we are seeing different things in different places outside of Bangkok. This inconsistency seems to point to the rope theory. At any rate I am sure Thailand is betting the house on the upcoming high season. If it falls flat I think they will have little choice but to go back to the old ways. They messed with the formula that was working, and between that and the problems in the south, the slide will deepen. Unfortunately the Thais are slow to react.

Thailand's class system.

People taking the piss you find in any sector of the society. I just found when people from the upper sectors decide to do that the games are far more devious. Also, in the so called educated classes what I would call "broadmindedness" is very rare. I can't deal with class snobbism, and nationalism. I find dealing and having friends in the lower classes far more rewarding in that sense. Not all poor are money grabbing primitives. In my family, and my chosen friends, almost all from those poor sectors, I find a very strong sense of honour, very similar to mine. I find them extremely generous, and absolutely reliable. Whenever I have a problem, they are there for me. Obviously it is a question of respect, I have to earn their respect, and respect them in turn. I have been around many sectors of Thai society. Professionally I had to be around the upper sectors, but rarely did my relationships go beyond the professional. And when having a problem those people disappeared very fast. Speaking Thai is of course the most important thing, as very few people from the poor sectors had the opportunity to learn English any further than the most basic. Thai society is extremely classist, with very little movement between the classes. I had the fortune to be born in a society that prides itself on ideals such as equality and freedom. I may live in Thailand, but that does not mean that I give up on those ideals and join a sort of feudal class system, especially not a class that deems itself better than others by wealth / birth. I have to accept it, but I do not support it. A very unfortunate thing is that a result of the prevailing system here is fear. Interaction between the classes is additionally hindered by fear of each other, unfortunately justified fear in many cases. Many Thais I know a bit better envy my ability to move between the classes here. A thing they cannot do in their own country.

Too long in Thailand….or not long enough?

You have been here too long when: 1. You complain to the cafe staff that your Thai food isn’t spicy enough. 2. You think nothing of picking your nose in a public places. 3. You find yourself trying to sing along with the Thai sing-a-songs. 4. You're starting to believe that you "think too much". 5. You have a big jar of satang in your room. 6. You really have overstayed Thailand if you enjoy shopping at Lotus or Big C for the sole reason of using all those satang's that you have collected. 8. You don’t look twice when you see a family of five and their pet dog riding together on a motorbike. 8. When your heart doesn’t pump faster while overtaking a big truck on a blind curve. 9. You get annoyed when shopping at the open markets and discover nothing has price tags and knowing you will automatically be charged more because you are farang. 10. You really need to pack your bags tomorrow if you greet your English speaking friends with a "sawadee krup" and wai them. 11. You laugh to yourself when you see a Farang sitting with his Thai sweetheart at some cafe and they aren’t engaged in conversation because he doesn’t speak Thai and she isn’t interested in speaking English with him. I love Thailand… Honest I really do.

The plight of the poor.

Interesting that in last week's column you mentioned that the higher you move up the socio-economic ladder, the smoother the ride becomes. This assumption can be applied to any nationality. Especially when you consider that finance matters assume a disproportionately important role the lower you go down the social ladder. This is especially so in Thailand, where money is crucial for basic things like survival. In fact the words “in Thailand, if you have no money you die” still ring in my ears, many years after hearing them from a local whom I got to know well. Let’s face it: what happens in Thailand if you are poor, become too ill to work or do not earn enough to buy proper medicine or even adequate food and do not have an extended family that can help you get through. One quickly deteriorates to the point where one dies. There’s no unemployment benefit / insurance, no free government health system, not even the safety net of private or religious welfare organizations to help. Compounding the problem is the widening gap between rich and poor in most Asian countries. Poor people are not adverse to being brainwashed by commercialism. They too aspire to acquire expensive items which are beyond their economic reach and who must get “creative” in order to obtain those goods…goods that most of us take for granted. How can one then blame those individuals that get caught up in a bad predicament, from dreaming up ways to siphon some hard earned from the ones who have it? I mean, the choice is a no-brainer right? Of course it’s a different matter altogether where individuals aim to get rich by ripping off tourists. And this practice is prevalent even in western countries. What I have come to experience in Thailand is that there are so many people who do not own a home, have few assets and who are in fact living a fine line between survival and experiencing an event which will drive them beyond the point of no return.

Who is Don?!

Letter to a Norwegian farang – living in Bangkok – from his wife and 3 children. "Don". After knowing all about your lies, hidden secrets and sexual fantasies, etc. we are very grateful to God you abandoned us the 31st of December 2004. Please, do not come back anymore and we all wish you find your soul-shoe.

In Nana Plaza, nothing is left to the imagination with girl on girl action to be seen. Just jump on the "merry go round" where it is all happening. It's almost like a slice of Pattaya right here in central Bangkok.

There are twins working as waitresses in Angelwitch, but as there is a shortage of showgirls they have been recruited as dancers for two shows in which they perform fully clothed. Then it's back into T-shirts and jeans. They don't go with customers and just to make sure, Mum is behind the bar, keeping an eye on them!

A lot of rumours have been doing the rounds about Eden Club recently and the long since demise of the establishment's website has made many people assume that they are no longer in business. The Eden Club is still in business and if the emails I get from customers are anything to go by, customers are as happy as ever. No, this is not advertising, just telling you how it is.

The Rainbow Group's success in Nana Plaza has started to have an effect on themselves. With Rainbow 4 offering 10,000 baht a month salaries for its dancers, many girls from Rainbow 2 wanted to go and work there as they were only receiving 8K a month. That many of them declared that they wanted to leave forced Rainbow 2 to put the monthly salary up to 10,000 baht a month there too. And Johnny of Hollywood fame, is making a desperate attempt to retain the few dancers he has left in the Hollywood bars upstairs, by breaking records and offering 12,000 baht a month salaries. It won't be too long before these girls earn as much as some of the poorest paid native-speaking English teachers – just from their monthly salary alone. Obviously the working girls of Nana get paid much more than the average English teacher when you factor in the extras. It is somewhat ironic that they look at these English teachers as wealthy and themselves as poor! Incidentally, Rainbow 2 and Rainbow 4 are both run by Ming, while Rainbow 1 and Rainbow 3 are owned and run by another member of the family.

Diamond's dance contest in Pattaya went very well and was well attended with standing room only after 10:00 PM. The surprise of the night was one of the main show girls who won first prize and the best costume prize. Not only did she wear a blonde wig which made her look really sexy from all accounts, but being the true pro that she is, she made sure that her collar and cuffs matched. Yes that's right, she had bleached the other end to match! She also made sure that the judges got a close view of her handy work and also a lot of the girls showed a very close interest in it. Maybe this will start a new craze in Pattaya. So, the next time you see a Thai girl blonde downstairs, you could call her "Diamond coloured" after the bar where the craze started.

Angelwitch was closed on Thursday due to the death of the owner's brother who himself was a member of staff at Angelwitch. The closure was in no way enforced by the boys in brown. A bus was arranged and a good number of the Angelwitch staff went up north to attend the funeral and pay their respect. Condolences go out to Pim and co.

The tunnel between Sukhumvit sois 5 and 7 is growing up – new restaurants and more overhead cover which is nice at this time of year when it rains often. It is however still a boulevard in the main bargirl district and not a place to take your swanky Thai friends or decent girlfriend to.

Apparently the late night bar owner near the skytrain is continuing his practice of trying to close his competitors' establishments by making a phone to the local plod. One can only ask that if he treats his competitors with such despise, how does he treat his customers? This muscle tactic can’t last very long without some negative side effects for him.

Glow is the newest addition to Bangkok nightlife, a new lounge club / bar located on Sukhumvit 23, previously the home of Faith Club. The focus is on comfortable surroundings, high quality drinks, what they believe are moderate prices, good and friendly service, innovative lighting, relaxing music with a good sound system etc. The concept of lounge bars is present in Bangkok but mainly at flash hotels such as Hu'u at the Ascot and Syn at Nailert and as such can be awfully expensive. Glow is open from 6 PM – 1 AM. Beers are pricier than venues of a different style at 150 baht each. House pour mixers are 160 baht for a 50 ml pour, the biggest measure in Bangkok the management claims. The crowd is very mixed so far, and they try to target the 'locals', being local Thais and expats. The highlight will be the bar which will stretch over two floors and will be lit up by LEDs. Also the complete bar top is made from acrylic and will be lit up by LEDs. Strong enough to dance on as well! They have complimentary tapas offered between 6 and 8 PM and bar snacks are available throughout the night.

If you're looking to get your own place in Pattaya, why not get in touch with British Richard at Rosegate Consulting? A former project manager from the UK, he has been enjoying the Pattaya life for many years now and his company oversees the construction of building and work in the Pattaya and Eastern Seaboard region. Click on the banner above for more details.

Last Saturday night a new small club opened in Pattaya, called Casino. It's almost at the end of Soi Diamond near Second Road. It's done up pretty nice with a small dancing platform in the middle, sort of like a boxing ring. The girls were dancing in skimpy clothes and not bikinis, though some of them were happy to let their breasts dangle out from time to time. Music, video screen and lighting, etc. were all good and it was their opening night. The odd thing concerned the men's bathrooms. Inside they had a strip mirror that was about 60cm wide and ran the entire length of the wall (it even ran into the toilet stall, turned the corner and went all the way to the end of the wall in the toilet which was odd in itself). The problem was that the top of the mirror only went to about 120cm off the floor so unless you are a midget, there is no way to even look into it unless you bend over quite a lot, which is extremely uncomfortable if you are trying to look at yourself properly. Perhaps the Thai management did not catch this due to their height difference compared to farangs, or maybe nobody noticed? Maybe the worker who set this was indeed height challenged. Seems like someone screwed up big time!

If you've read the book, now's the chance to get the T-shirt. Or a thong for your favourite bargirl. Private Dancer merchandise is now available here. And no, there are absolutely no plans to do Stickman merchandise.

Do you know the bull in Carousel? There was a fat dumpy farang guy riding it last night with a huge amount of success – usually staying on for a full minute. His secret? Each time he took off his trousers to get a better grip! His sweaty thighs gave him all the leverage he needed!

On Wednesday this week I noticed a tall, lanky farang lingering around Ploenchit Road and he had a look of suspicion about him. I couldn't pin it down on any one aspect of his appearance or behaviour, suffice to say he just looked dodgy. I went about my business and as I was exiting from central Chidlom on to the skytrain, I noticed him at the bottom of the small flight of steps there, and noticed that a lot of farang people were looking at him as they walked past. I turned back to look and it was then that I noticed he had a sign made up, saying that he wanted to go home but that he was 6,000 baht short. I wished I had had my camera with me, or better still a laptop, because he would have been a fascinating person to interview. However, my feeling is that he was simply a professional beggar. He had that look about him. Of course I could be wrong. What do you think of people who end up in a place like Thailand with no cash? Bad news if you ask me.

I can't say I dread parties, but birthday parties especially, in Thailand, are something I am not so fond of. Firstly there is that awful rendition of Happy Birthday that to me feels too fake, and well, contrived. But the other part that I'm never fond of is the time when the cake comes out. Thai bakers make some of the best looking cakes you could hope to see but ummm, errr, they never quite taste as good as they look. This awful mock cream and a dreadful consistency, they often even put corn or some other totally inappropriate foodstuff on it. Speaking of corn, why is it that you can get corn at ANY meal, served with anything in Thailand? Hell, you can even get corn on your pizza. Anyway, I'm not the biggest fan of cakes baked locally, though that said, the 5 star hotels all have good bakeries and there are a few fine smaller bakers, Mousses and Meringues in Sukhumvit Soi 33 comes to mind. Just hold the blasted corn!

Quote of the week comes from a reader. "Girls are still passing through my life like a Bangkok taxi on a trip through the city, sometimes you get stuck for a little while, but before you can get restless you are moving onto the next intersection."

Ok, I admit it. I still miss Trink. Even though it is more than a year and a half since his column was pulled from the Bangkok Post, I still miss it. Even though towards the end the column had gone in a completely different direction to that which it started, a time well before I was born, I still miss it. And so do my colleagues. A bunch of us arrive at work early and read the newspapers and we used to fight for "the Trink section". A few of us still miss it.

If you cannot believe it that taxi fares in Bangkok have not gone up in more than 10 years despite the price of petrol doubling over the last three years, don't worry too much about the taxi drivers. 98% of taxis in Bangkok run on gas which hasn't moved in price much at all. Very few run taxis even run on petrol. How often do you see a taxi at a petrol station? Very seldom. Ask any taxi driver what it would be like if they were still using petrol and you'll get a reaction!

I have absolutely no agenda when I say this, so to all Canadians, please do not get your knickers in too much of a twist. Without a doubt, the worst cases of guys getting screwed over by Thai women, as well as the most problematic investigations I have done, at least in terms of the woman being as devious as they come, have involved Canadians. And whenever I hear stories from readers of Western women being the bane of their lives, once again, invariably it is the Canadians who suffer. Is there something funny in the water up there or what? Like I say, no ill will towards Canadians at all here, but it is most definitely a noticeable trend.

Ask the Sticks

Mrs. Stick is here to answer questions surrounding anything that confuses you in Thailand, particularly issues of the heart. Please note that for general bargirl related questions, Mr. Stick might answer them. It has to be said that Mrs. Stick is not your stereotypical Thai woman. She is not Buddhist and she is not shy to criticise things about her own country and culture, although having said that, she remains proud to be Thai. Mr. Stick will try and answer the questions which Mrs. Stick is not so sure about.

Question 1: Before we were married, my wife (Thai) puzzled me one day by asking me how much salary I was going to pay her when she eventually got to England. "Pardon teeruk" I asked, "what do you mean salary, you will be working?" "Yes but how much will you give me?" she went on. This conversation went on and on with me not understanding quite what she was getting at. I pointed out to her that in Farangland, it is usual for husband and wife to pool their money and share the expenses – at least until children come along and we're down to one salary. The conversation ended with a "mai pen rai" from her – leaving me totally puzzled as to what she meant. I should point out that my wife was working in BKK at the time and I wasn't 'supporting' her then either, nor was she working in, or connected to the bar industry. Then recently a friend told me about an internet chat room conversation he had with a girl who was looking for a farang boyfriend. Apparently this girl was not connected with the bar trade but was asking him how much he would give her for support if they met and a relationship developed. What is this Mrs. Stick? Got me baffled. Are we being asked to pay, simply for the pleasure of having a relationship or what?

Mrs. Stick says: This is a difficult one to answer. If I answer this truly honestly, I fear that many farangs will think that Thai people are obsessed with money. In Thai society, men are expected to look after women in every way, that means not just to provide for and protect, but to give them money too. In your situation, I fear that there is a difference in each of your expectations in marriage. She does expect you to give her money. She may not have known that she was expected to contribute to the marriage financially. To give you a practical example, I have a friend who studied to Master's degree level in the US. She met her husband, also Thai, while in America. They have moved back to Thailand and both have very good jobs and very good salaries. Even if the woman has more than enough money for herself, she will still expect her husband to help her whenever she asks. So if she goes out shopping and sees something she wants, she can ask her husband for money for that and he will give it to her, even if she has enough money to buy it with her own money. In relationships in Thailand, the husband is expected to take care of the major share of the expenses. In the case of the girl who met your friend in the chat room, that is "too-rate" < disgusting – Stick >. There is NO WAY a decent Thai woman would come out and say that straight away. A woman asking like this in a chat room has no class whatsoever and is much more like a bargirl and interested solely in money.

Mr. Stick says: I have to add a bit here. In the case of a guy who is both financially able to support his wife in this manner, and *is willing* to do so, then this system works. However, I can't help but feel that this is based on the old way of doing things and is not really valid nowadays.

Question 2: Where do young Thais draw the line about respect for adults? Is it race-related? In my office, I get a lot of respect because of my age and experience. But outside, I sometimes get the feeling that I'm just a strange creature, even though I am a typical, unremarkable and decent middle class person, in my 50s, which in any culture should entitle me to a degree of respect. So, picture this: In a crowded shopping centre, I was smacked on the back of the head (in itself a disgraceful act in Thai culture) by a high school student, who then danced around in front of his peers and made a great show of his daring act. Christ, it was awful for me, humongously embarrassing, even more so because it happened in front of one of my own children – I was so humiliated. How could a youngster do this to an adult? This young Thai male wouldn't dare disrespect an older Thai in that manner. So why me? I have never experienced this in any other culture.

Mrs. Stick says: This is unusual and no matter how old you are, this sort of behaviour is TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE. No-one has the right to do this. This is not related to age. To answer your question about respect and age, I think that people who know you will respect you based on your age, but people who do not know you might not apply these rules of respect based on age to you, or other farangs for that matter. It is true that older Thai people will get respect based on their age whereas a farang living in Thailand might not get the same level of respect. Remember that culture tends to work well for those who understand it or are perceived to understand it. (- I'm not saying this is right or wrong, just trying to answer your question.)

Question 3: I will get married in Thailand next month. It's well documented that girlfriend / wife's family (mother, father, sisters etc) will always take priority in a relationship. Where does this stand when she gets married to a farang and has her new family (husband and children) do the former call the shots still even then? I don't want her family telling her when to come back and help out all the time. Or do you think it's just a case by case basis?

Mrs. Stick says: It all depends on the character of her family and the character of your wife to be. In Thailand it is perfectly normal for the parents, especially the mother, to tell the daughter what to do. This works well if the parents are well intentioned. I hate to say it but if she comes from a poor family and a less privileged background then they are more likely to dominate her as, like it or not, they do rely on her to some extent. You really had better get to know her family first before you get married, as that will give you a better idea of just whether they will try to dominate her life in the future. You really need to know your wife to be too! If she has her own mind and is not easily influenced, then you should be ok. Remember that in Thailand children are raised to believe everything that their parents tell them, so even if they are told things that might seem a little weird to you, they will tend carry out their parents' wishes.

The hardest part about putting this column together is finding the time to do everything. There's never any shortage of things to write about in a city like Bangkok but with our busy, modern lifestyles, it can be hard to find the time to do certain subjects justice and sometimes I feel that I try to do too much, too fast. Reading back over some recent columns, I feel they have been rushed and ideas have not been developed as well as they could have. So much of it just comes back to time. Unfortunately the opening piece of the column is often hurriedly put together before the column goes up on Sunday afternoon. So, over the next few weeks, rather than rush something out, I'm going to do a few more interviews. Interviews are easy to put together and they seem to be popular. I've already got a few lined up from a high-ranking Western embassy official to another farang tourist police volunteer to someone with a unique view of the property market to Thailand's second most well-known farang teacher. All coming very soon!

Your Bangkok commentator,

Stick

Thanks go out to Bkk Grasshopper, ST and Dr. J.


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