Stickman's Weekly Column February 4th, 2018

Update From Stick

It’s hard to believe that it has been 5 months since I last published a weekly column. It feels longer than that, like Stickman hasn’t been part of my life for, well, quite a long time. With emails asking what I am doing and when I am going to resume things – oh, how some people assume the ridiculous – I figured it was time for an update.

First of all, to answer the question more than a few have asked, Stickman Weekly is not expected to resume. Nothing has changed and the reasons I stopped writing it all remain. That’s not to say that this site is dead. I still publish readers’ stories when they come in, although what was once a torrent has slowed to a dribble. I still respond to all emails. And the site still generates reasonable traffic, although it is obviously well down on what it was.

He Clinic Bangkok

I visited Bangkok a couple of months back. While it was nice to catch up with friends and revisit some of my old favourite hangouts, I was happy to get back to Kiwiland. The sort of places I covered in the weekly were not on the menu at all and while I strolled through the neon jungle a couple of times, all of that nonsense holds zero interest today, even from a photography point of view. I just don’t want to ever be part of that world again. I don’t miss that side of Bangkok at all and am quite happy to avoid it.

I had planned to write a trip report about my time in Bangkok and publish it as a one-off column, but when it came time to put it together I just didn’t have the inclination to do it. And besides, I really didn’t do all that much interesting when I was in Bangkok so it wasn’t like there were lurid or exciting adventures to write about.  In two weeks I took less than 100 photos; in the past I could snap 1,000 shots in a night out.

I still receive – and enjoy receiving – emails. Many encourage to resume writing the weekly column. To reiterate the point, that is very unlikely to happen. If anything major happens in Bangkok expat society that causes me to comment I will write about it here but as for things resuming, no. That said, a friend mentioned to me yesterday that I said Nana Plaza would never get the mooted covered roof – and that is exactly what is happening with construction now underway – so I guess when it comes to anything Bangkok-related perhaps we should never say never.

CBD bangkok

I do miss Bangkok, but …. the Bangkok I miss no longer exists.  Bangkok pre-2010 was very different to Bangkok today.  You met interesting people all the time – characters, the movers and shakers of expat Bangkok and even international celebrities, all enjoying Bangkok’s bar areas. A night out in Bangkok’s neon jungle was much more than booze and the babes. As the industry has changed the world has changed – and these days anyone who is anyone avoids the bars, except perhaps when friends from out of town are passing through and then maybe, just maybe, a visit to the places Bangkok was once known for can be rationalised.

I maintain an interest in Thailand and follow what is going on there, albeit not nearly as closely as before. I tune in to the Bangkok Post every day and keep an eye on the headlines coming out of the country. BangkokEyes is the only nightlife website I tune in to, and that is just once a month. I am still in regular contact with many friends in Thailand but for me the country no longer has the lure for me it once did.

I had a lifetime of excitement in my years in Bangkok and don’t need to do it all again. Occasionally I think it would be nice to have a night out in Bangkok but the longer I am away from the place the less it enters my mind.

I’m happy in New Zealand. Yes, it is quiet but at the same time it is peaceful and stress-free – and that is more important to me these days. Thailand just seems so stressful.

wonderland clinic

We’ve been having a fantastic summer here in New Zealand and the weather has been perfect. I have all the usual things to keep me busy and get my kicks exploring the countryside, visiting farmers’ markets, going to the local orchards picking berries, cruising around the countryside looking for the best fruit and vegetables and hunting for quirky new places to try for lunch. I’m up most days before 6:00 AM and am usually tucked up in bed not much after 10:30 PM. I haven’t had a drink this year (I am not opposed to it, more that I just don’t need to drink to have fun) and watching the latest episode of Chicago PD or The Grand Tour excites me more than the idea of visiting a Bangkok gogo bar. Why do I reinforce to you how boring my lifestyle is? Easy, it shows how unsuitable I am to chronicle Bangkok’s expat underbelly.

I don’t know if I will visit Thailand this year. I fancy getting across to Sydney and Melbourne. They’re just a short flight away. 3 hours in a plane is much more appealing than 11.

If I have the inclination to write anything – and who knows, I might – I will most likely publish on a Sunday. If on the off chance things should change in the future and I do resume writing the weekly column, it too would be on a Sunday.. Old habits die hard, eh?!

Not Your Bangkok Commentator,



nana plaza