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Life in the bustling metropolis in the middle of a developing nation is sometimes a challenge. But always fun!

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Podcast Episode's:
Bangkok vs. Plastic Bags [Season 2, Episode 66]
<p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Key links for this episode:</span></em></p> <ul> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><a href= "https://www.change.org/p/7-11-%E0%B8%A5%E0%B8%94%E0%B8%81%E0%B8%B2%E0%B8%A3%E0%B9%83%E0%B8%8A%E0%B9%89%E0%B8%96%E0%B8%B8%E0%B8%87%E0%B8%9E%E0%B8%A5%E0%B8%B2%E0%B8%AA%E0%B8%95%E0%B8%B4%E0%B8%81-%E0%B8%94%E0%B9%89%E0%B8%A7%E0%B8%A2%E0%B8%A3%E0%B8%B0%E0%B8%9A%E0%B8%9A-opt-in-%E0%B9%81%E0%B8%97%E0%B8%99-opt-out-ask-7-11-to-introduce-an-opt-in-system-for-plastic-bags-rather-than-an-opt-out-system"> <span style="font-weight: 400;">Sign the Change.org petition to put the pressure on 7-11</span></a></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><a href= "https://www.weeboon.com/en/campaign/support-our-fight-against-plastic-waste-in-thailand"> <span style="font-weight: 400;">Donate to support the fight against plastic waste in Thailand</span></a></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><a href= "http://www.greenpeace.org/seasia/blog/producer-responsibility-the-key-to-solving-th/blog/59748/"> <span style="font-weight: 400;">Greenpeace’s position on Thailand’s plastic problem</span></a></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><a href= "http://patreon.com/bangkokpodcast"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">Support the Bangkok Podcast on Patreon</span></a></li> </ul> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Yes, there are too many plastic bags floating -- literally -- around Bangkok. But rather than you listen to just more expat bitching, we brought on a local Thai person who’s doing more than just bitching about the problem.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Joey</span> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">Liptapanlop is roping in his fellow citizens to start a grassroots movement aimed at… 7-11?</span> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">Did you know that Thailand is the 6th worst plastic polluter in the world? That’s thanks to the 1.03 million metric tons of plastic Thais release into the water. Joey and his crew want to do something about that, and this seems like the generation to (finally) get it done.</span> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">This is something we can get behind.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Slacktivists can join the almost 25,0000 people who have </span><a href= "https://www.change.org/p/7-11-%E0%B8%A5%E0%B8%94%E0%B8%81%E0%B8%B2%E0%B8%A3%E0%B9%83%E0%B8%8A%E0%B9%89%E0%B8%96%E0%B8%B8%E0%B8%87%E0%B8%9E%E0%B8%A5%E0%B8%B2%E0%B8%AA%E0%B8%95%E0%B8%B4%E0%B8%81-%E0%B8%94%E0%B9%89%E0%B8%A7%E0%B8%A2%E0%B8%A3%E0%B8%B0%E0%B8%9A%E0%B8%9A-opt-in-%E0%B9%81%E0%B8%97%E0%B8%99-opt-out-ask-7-11-to-introduce-an-opt-in-system-for-plastic-bags-rather-than-an-opt-out-system"><span style="font-weight: 400;">signed the Change.org petition to put the pressure on 7-11</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. There’s also a</span> <a href= "https://www.weeboon.com/en/campaign/support-our-fight-against-plastic-waste-in-thailand"> <span style="font-weight: 400;">Weeboon page to support the efforts of plastic pollution with small donations</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400;">, currently getting close to ฿100,000. #deathbyplastic</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">We’re staying controversial with the Love, Loathe, or Leave segment of the show, this time taking on “White Privilege”. Clearly, the two of us are the beneficiaries of such a reality. But how do we feel about it? How do you feel about it?</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Listen to what we have to say and let us know in the comments.</span> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">Special thanks to Mr. Woolibeans -- no, that’s not his real name, and that makes for an interesting story -- for his support of the Bangkok.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Join him and the other ~50 people who</span> <a href= "http://patreon.com/bangkokpodcast"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">support us on Patreon</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400;">. You’ll get bonus content, the regular show early, and feel good about yourself. And help us keep the show going strong!.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">Thanks for listening. Hit us up on</span> <a href= "http://bit.ly/2jotd7u"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">Facebook</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400;">,</span> <a href= "http://bit.ly/2iV5xrZ"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">Twitter</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400;">, or</span> <a href= "http://bit.ly/2iVKohx"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">LINE</span></a> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">with your questions, comments, or whatever you want to share.</span></p>
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Breaking Down The Thai Smile [Season 2, Episode 65]
<p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Key links for this episode:</span></em></p> <ul> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;"><a href= "http://patreon.com/bangkokpodcast">Support us on Patreon</a> to get the show early</span></li> </ul> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">You’ve probably heard of “the Thai smile”, or know that Thailand is referred to as “the Land of Smiles”. Both of those phrases are well-earned, but that whole smiling thing is more than something done just in the hospitality space. For many Thais, smiling in a situation is a default reaction, even when the experience they are smiling at is a negative one.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Like when a dog almost eats a small child and the owner’s reaction is to smile it off. Oh, and that’s not a hypothetical. It happened to Greg’s kid. Or when a Thai driver almost hits a pedestrian and just smiles and waves. Also not hypothetical, as our special guest Ed Knuth (filling in for Evo Terra this week) will tell you.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">But what looks like a blow-off really isn’t. It’s a cultural difference, and those of us who’ve been here a while learn to self-correct our immediate emotional response when we encounter the Thai smile. Or at least, we try to. It’s hard to break those old social contracts in favor or new ones.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Is smiling at everything just another example of Thais being nice, often to a fault? Is it about saving face or avoiding confrontation? Or just the ramifications of a successful ad campaign? Greg and Ed will share more than a few of their thoughts and experiences gathered over the collective 33 years they’ve lived in Thailand.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Speaking of living here for a long time, how do you feel about the “unboxing” that takes in the store when you buy damn near anything with an electrical plug in Thailand? Is that something you love, loath… or do you hate it so much you’re ready to leave Thailand? Listen in to find out how we feel, and share your thoughts with us.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Special thanks to Paul Johnston, who’s deep love of Meatloaf led him to a life of … tires? OK. Paul and the other ~50 people who</span> <a href= "http://patreon.com/bangkokpodcast"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">support us on Patreon</span></a> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">-- is getting this show early. You can, too.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Thanks for listening. Say nice things to Ed about his guest appearance, and hit us up on</span> <a href="http://bit.ly/2jotd7u"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">Facebook</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400;">,</span> <a href= "http://bit.ly/2iV5xrZ"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">Twitter</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400;">, or</span> <a href= "http://bit.ly/2iVKohx"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">LINE</span></a> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">with your questions, comments, or whatever you want to share.</span></p>
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Cultural Takeaways With Educator Frank Smith [Season 2, Episode 64]
<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">To help us ring in 2018, we’re bringing back a prior guest on his annual pilgrimage to Bangkok. Frank Smith from UC Berkeley teaches Khmer to children of Cambodian refugees. We caught up with him in person at Bangkok’s Central World mall… before we got kicked out by security. Yes, again. Not just because one of us made a foot</span> <em><span style= "font-weight: 400;">faux pas</span></em><span style= "font-weight: 400;">.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">What’s it like for a Thai speaker who doesn’t live in Thailand to plop back into Bangkok, suddenly surrounded by other Thai speakers? There are actually lot of ways to keep up with the evolving language, thanks to the pervasive nature of the internet.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">Or what’s it like when your a young person, with parents speaking their native tongue and all your friends and the world around you speaking English? Frank faces that every day in the classroom, and shares some interesting tidbits from his students.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">Also, Frank reports the Bay area of California has a sizeable and well-knit Thai population, so we press him for some impressions (from the outside, obviously) on how that contingent live their lives abroad, which makes for a nice parallel for those expats like us living in Thailand.</span> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">You’ll also hear Frank bust some myths we’ve heard (and may be following) as we both struggle our way through learning Thai.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">And on Love, Loath, or Leave, we talk about not having easy access to clean drinking water. And by “easy”, we mean getting it straight out of the tap. It’s pretty obvious where we fall on this question, but your mileage may vary depending on where you are from.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">Thanks for listening. Hit us up on</span> <a href="http://bit.ly/2jotd7u"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">Facebook</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400;">,</span> <a href= "http://bit.ly/2iV5xrZ"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">Twitter</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400;">, or</span> <a href= "http://bit.ly/2iVKohx"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">LINE</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400;">.</span></p>
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A Motorcycle Meets A Car Door In Bangkok [Season 2, Episode 63]
<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Before we start, we have to mention a recent news story from Bangkok, which is rather appropriate considering the topic of tonight's show. You may recall we discussed traffic on episode 2.27 --</span> <a href= "http://www.bangkokpodcast.com/blood-on-the-highway-thailands-seven-deadly-days-of-songkran-2-27/"> <span style="font-weight: 400;">Blood on the Highway: Thailand’s Seven Deadly Days of Songkran</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400;">. On that episode we mentioned that Thailand was the second-most deadly country in the world for road fatalities. Well, not anymore.</span> <a href= "https://www.bangkokpost.com/news/general/1376875/thailand-tops-road-death-ranking-list"> <span style="font-weight: 400;">We’re number one!</span></a> <span style="font-weight: 400;">And that’s a good way to set up the rest of the program, as it’s all about an accident we (yes, both of us) were recently involved in. Explaining what happened is tricky, but it involved doubling-up on a motorbike taxi without helmets, a possibly illegal Uber driver, three different quasi-cops, a crazy chicken lady, and someone high up in the taxi mafia (Probably. Possibly. Actually, we have no idea who he was). It’s a story you have to hear to understand, so listen up.</span> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">We even stuck with the theme on Love, Loathe, or Leave! Someone told Thai drivers to turn on their hazard lights to signal intent to drive straight through an intersection. It’s not hard to guess how we each feel about this reality of living in Bangkok.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">Thanks for listening. Hit us up on</span> <a href= "http://bit.ly/2jotd7u"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">Facebook</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400;">,</span> <a href= "http://bit.ly/2iV5xrZ"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">Twitter</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400;">, or</span> <a href= "http://bit.ly/2iVKohx"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">LINE</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400;">.</span> [/fusion_text][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]</p>
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Do They Celebrate Christmas in Bangkok? [Season 2, Episode 62]
<p><a href= "https://open.spotify.com/show/71nfvyqI6ytceVkSDaM1It?si=ZlcOmzvCTn6mKZfi7OCTkw"> <span style="font-weight: 400;">You can now follow to the Bangkok Podcast on Spotify!</span></a> <span style="font-weight: 400;">It's nearly Xmas, so we figured we'd might as well start getting into the spirit of things with a Xmas-themed show. Now those of you who are westerners understand just how important Xmas is in your home countries. In most places it's the BIG DADDY of holidays, the one that the entire year has been building up to. In fact it's so big that they even celebrate it in countries where, to be honest, it has no real business being celebrated. Like this one!</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">Trouble is… we’re not good experts on the topic. Evo’s never experienced the holiday in Thailand, and Greg usually spends Christmas at work. So rather than being all bah humbug, we reached out to some Thai nationals to find out what they do, other than spend a bunch of money at the malls.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">For <strong>Love, Loathe, or Leave</strong> this week we take on the great toilet paper debate. Where do you sit (heh) on issue? Are you a flusher, or are you a trash bin user? And what if there isn’t a bum gun in use? Our answers may surprise you. Or anger the public works people.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">Engage with us on</span> <a href= "http://bit.ly/2jotd7u"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">Facebook</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400;">,</span> <a href= "http://bit.ly/2iV5xrZ"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">Twitter</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400;">, or</span> <a href= "http://bit.ly/2iVKohx"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">LINE</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400;">, and</span> <a href= "http://patreon.com/bangkokpodcast"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">support us on Patreon</span></a> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">to keep the goodness coming!</span></p>
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A Few Strange (and Possibly False) Laws You Might Experience in Thailand [Season 2, Episode 61]
<p>On this episode we get into a few vague, strange - and possibly even non-existent - rules that you may or may not bump up against in Thailand. From buying chainsaws to changing your name to flying helicopters to losing your &$%@#! "book bank" (known throughout the rest of the world as bank books), these are things that govern the nuances of every day life. Greg reads 'em off, Evo plays Devil's Advocate to try and discount them, and we land somewhere around the middle.</p> <h2>Love, Loathe, or Leave</h2> <p>Have you ever seen someone - usually a taxi driver - standing right out in the open answering the call of nature without a care in the world as to who sees him (or it?) Yeah, so have we!</p> <h2>We Love Our Supporters!</h2> <p>Join dozens of fine people who help keep the show free of annoying ads by <a href= "http://patreon.com/bangkokpodcast">supporting us on Patreon</a>. You'll get exclusive bonus episodes, cool swag, and access to every show that the regular people get - a whole day early! Who doesn't want that?</p> <h2>Want More Bangkok Podcast In Your Life?</h2> <p>If it’s your first time experiencing The Bangkok Podcast, you really should get our show downloading to your phone automatically every week. If you use iOS, it’s a breeze to <a href= "https://itunes.apple.com/podcast/bangkok-podcast/id372985372?mt=2&ls=1">listen via Apple Podcasts</a>. Android users are be able <a href= "http://subscribeonandroid.com/thaifaq.libsyn.com/rss">get the show any number of ways</a>. And for bonus points, leave us a review on those platforms or however you listen to the show. We’d love to hear from you! You can <a href= "https://line.me/R/ti/p/%40bangkokpodcast">add our official LINE account</a>, comment on a post or send us a message via our <a href="http://facebook.com/bangkokpodcast">Facebook page</a>, tweet to us <a href= "http://twitter.com/bangkokpodcast">@bangkokpodcast</a>, or simply via <a href="http://www.bangkokpodcast.com/contact/">the contact form on our website</a>. You may also be interested in Greg’s <a href="https://twitter.com/bkkgreg">tweets of snarky Bangkok goodness</a>, and you can see way too much of Evo’s face <a href="http://instagram.com/evo_terra"> on Instagram</a>. If you’re really new, the Bangkok Podcast is co-hosted by <a href="http://gregtodiffer.com/">Greg Jorgensen</a> and <a href="http://evoterra.com/">Evo Terra</a>. Together the have over 20 years expat experience in Bangkok, and are self-certified experts in living in the City of Angels. (Not Los Angeles. Thailand, silly!) [/fusion_text][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]</p>
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Thai Craft Beer's Secret Weapon Is... A Korean Expat? [Season 2, Episode 60]
<p><a href="http://bit.ly/2iU0U1n">RSVP to the I Love Podcasting In Bangkok meetup on Nov 29, 2017!</a></p> <p><a href="http://bit.ly/BP-Patreon">Patrons get early access and exclusive bonus content.</a></p> <p>Today’s focus is on Korea's influence on Bangkok. Ted Ahn, an expat and ex-power plant manager from Korea, is actively working to bring about change in Bangkok’s local Thai craft beer industry.</p> <p>Ted is the owner of <a href="http://bit.ly/2joGMUp">Changwon Express</a>, and Evo sat down with him at his newest location on the top floor of <a href="http://bit.ly/2AAhBcq">Flow House</a>. A few key bits from the episode:</p> <ul> <li>Ted estimates that around 90% of his customer base is all local Thai people.</li> <li>He reserves at least 20 taps for the exclusive support of Thai craft beer.</li> <li>His genius idea of catering to Thai girls with Korean food to in turn attract the Thai guys.</li> <li>What influence Brooklyn Brewery played into his efforts of making and supporting local brewers and local beer drinkers.</li> <li>His challenges and successes finding and training local staff to work behind the bar.</li> <li>He designed his own two-row tap system that separates the liquid from the head to create the best pour in Bangkok, a popular design in Korea.</li> <li>Ted’s plans to build a local brew pub with satellite locations, branches, to get around Thailand’s restrictive (draconian?) brewing laws in a totally legit fashion that would enable legal, local Thai craft beer… finally!</li> <li>What a huge pain in the ass it is to brew “local” beer in another country (which is why Ted wants to break out of that!)</li> <li>Ted’s thoughts on Thai local breweries (all contract brewing in other countries) growing from 3 - 20 in a couple years, and how that would change if only the laws would change. (Though he’s not waiting!)</li> </ul> <p>Love, Loathe, Or Leave?</p> <p>Listener Ryan asked us to <a href="http://bit.ly/2zEPoRJ">watch this video of the Asian koel</a>, or <em>Eudynamys scolopaceus</em>, and comment on its song. Greg loves its call. Evo wishes he had his shotgun.</p> <p>Engage with us on <a href="http://bit.ly/2jotd7u">Facebook</a>, <a href="http://bit.ly/2iV5xrZ">Twitter</a>, or <a href= "http://bit.ly/2iVKohx">LINE</a>.</p>
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Does Living In Bangkok Change Who You Are? [Season 2, Episode 59]
<p><a href= "https://www.facebook.com/events/794495284056432/"><strong>RSVP to the big I Love Podcasting In Bangkok meetup #2 on Nov 29th!</strong></a></p> <p> </p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">We’re working hard on the special gifts that supporters at the Gift Box level are going to receive… and they are hand-made pieces of awesome. Yeah, we’re teasing a bit, but these are going to be quite cool mementos and tokens of our appreciation. (If you want one,</span> <a href= "http://patreon.com/bangkokpodcast"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">get signed up</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400;">!)</span></p> <p> </p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">This topic stems from a discussion the two of us were having while we were stuck in the back of an Uber on the way to find our Patreon gifts, and that discussion was: How much does living overseas change you as a person?</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"><br /> <br /></span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Evo’s lived deep in the "travel blogger" world where there the transformative power of travel is  common theme, and that if you take a 6-month sabbatical, gap year, or whatever... you'll come back a changed person. But from his perspective, it's all crap.</span><span style= "font-weight: 400;"><br /> <br /></span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Greg experience is quite difference, having personally been transformed by one fateful trip to Thailand (oddly enough.) And more recently, he’s noticing just how divergent his views are from those of his lifelong friends who never left their hometown.</span></p> <p> </p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Not sure where you stand on the issue? Do you think living overseas really does change you? Or does living overseas appeal to a certain type of person that doesn’t need to be changed? Listen in and see which one of us you side with at the end. (And yes, we’re still friends!)</span></p> <h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">Love, Loathe, or Leave</span></h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">No one likes cars that double-park. But on Bangkok’s BTS, you’ll see people “double parked”, trying to squeeze on before… well, us! And that doesn’t make us very happy, which sort of spoils this segment for you as we both LOATHE it! Except for one of us at one specific</span></p> <h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">We Love Our Supporters!</span></h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Especially Mos Miner. He’s one of our favorite patrons, and today you’ll hear about his odd connection to a harbor town far, far away. It’s a story that is quite literally out of this world. You should thank Mos and dozens of other people who help keep the show free of annoying by</span> <a href="http://patreon.com/bangkokpodcast"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">supporting us on Patreon</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400;">. Mos and others also get exclusive bonus content, like the full episode about the unreliability of Thai Post and tearing down buildings because a street is too narrow. You aren’t getting the full Bangkok Podcast experience unless you become a patron, so… do it?</span></p> <h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">Want More Bangkok Podcast In Your Life?</span></h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">If it’s your first time experiencing The Bangkok Podcast, you really should get our show downloading to your phone automatically every week. If you use iOS, it’s a breeze to</span> <a href= "https://itunes.apple.com/podcast/bangkok-podcast/id372985372?mt=2&ls=1"> <span style="font-weight: 400;">listen via Apple Podcasts</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. Android users are be able</span> <a href= "http://subscribeonandroid.com/thaifaq.libsyn.com/rss"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">get the show any number of ways</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. And for bonus points, leave us a review on those platforms or however you listen to the show.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">We’d love to hear from you! You can</span> <a href= "https://line.me/R/ti/p/%40bangkokpodcast"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">add our official LINE account</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">, comment on a post or send us a message via our</span> <a href= "http://facebook.com/bangkokpodcast"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">Facebook page</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400;">, tweet to us</span> <a href= "http://twitter.com/bangkokpodcast"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">@bangkokpodcast</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400;">, or simply via</span> <a href= "http://www.bangkokpodcast.com/contact/"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">the contact form on our website</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. You may also be interested in Greg’s</span> <a href= "https://twitter.com/bkkgreg"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">tweets of snarky Bangkok goodness</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">, and you can see way too much of Evo’s face</span> <a href= "http://instagram.com/evo_terra"><span style= "font-weight: 400;"> on Instagram</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400;">.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">If you’re really new, the Bangkok Podcast is co-hosted by</span> <a href= "http://gregtodiffer.com"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Greg Jorgensen</span></a> <span style="font-weight: 400;">and</span> <a href="http://evoterra.com"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Evo Terra</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. Together the have over 20 years expat experience in Bangkok, and are self-certified experts in living in the City of Angels. (Not Los Angeles. Thailand, silly!)</span></p>
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How to Shop (and Not Shop) Like a Thai in Bangkok
<p><a href= "https://www.facebook.com/events/794495284056432/"><strong>RSVP to the big I Love Podcasting In Bangkok meetup #2 on Nov 29th!</strong></a> <span style="font-weight: 400;">How will you celebrate the season this year? No, we’re not talking about Christmas. We’re talking about the</span> <a href= "http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/politics/30331071"><span style="font-weight: 400;"> Thai government’s annual shopping stimulus program, this time called "Shop For The Nation" for 2017</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400;">. It started on Saturday, November the 11th, and it runs through December the 3rd.</span> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">We’ll cover this program in detail (and maybe poke just a wee bit of fun at it) as we give you all the details so you can get up to ฿15,000 off your taxable income next year. Yes, Bangkok expats pay taxes. At least our two families pay taxes. We’re not talking to you freeloaders out there. Get a job.</span><span style="font-weight: 400;">Sticking with the shopping theme, every expat eventually starts assimilating into the culture. You have to buy stuff in your new country, and your own personal history influences the things you buy. Some of your everyday purchases will seem odd to any of your friends and family back home. And some things you hunt down to buy locally would make some of your natural born citizen neighbors wonder just why the heck anyone would want that.</span> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">We put our own purchases to the test, discussing the most and the least Thai things the each of us has purchased while we’ve lived here, and exactly what our friends -- both local and back home -- probably think about those purchases. Ane we’ll even give you the answers: The most Thai things we own are a Buddha shelf and Thai pillows, and the least Thai things we own are licorice and a top sheet. If those answers make no sense, give the show a listen as we good-naturedly (?) poke each other for our answers.</span></p> <h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">Love, Loathe, or Leave</span></h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">If you think our choices of products in this episode stink, just shove a stick of camphor up your nose. That’s the plastic tube or tub you see people sniffing as you go about your day in Thailand. What’s that all about? Why do they do it? And what do we think about it? Listen in and find out.</span> <img class="aligncenter size-medium wp-image-3855" src= "http://www.bangkokpodcast.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/BKP58-SOCIAL-LOGO-500x750.jpg" alt="" width="500" height="750" /></p> <h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">We Love Our Supporters!</span></h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Before we recorded this episode, we recorded an entire episode about Evo’s recent trip to Indonesia and just why he might be slurring his words tonight. You can get that full episode when you join dozens of other people who help us keep the show free of annoying by</span> <a href= "http://patreon.com/bangkokpodcast"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">supporting us on Patreon</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400;">. Today, you’ll hear about one of our favorite patrons, Sion, and his amazing career as a nude model. Come to think if it, he’ll probably be amazed by the story too.</span></p> <h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">Want More Bangkok Podcast In Your Life?</span></h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">If it’s your first time experiencing The Bangkok Podcast, you really should get our show downloading to your phone automatically every week. If you use iOS, it’s a breeze to</span> <a href= "https://itunes.apple.com/podcast/bangkok-podcast/id372985372?mt=2&ls=1"> <span style="font-weight: 400;">listen via Apple Podcasts</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. Android users are be able</span> <a href= "http://subscribeonandroid.com/thaifaq.libsyn.com/rss"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">get the show any number of ways</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. And for bonus points, leave us a review on those platforms or however you listen to the show.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">We’d love to hear from you! You can</span> <a href= "https://line.me/R/ti/p/%40bangkokpodcast"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">add our official LINE account</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">, comment on a post or send us a message via our</span> <a href= "http://facebook.com/bangkokpodcast"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">Facebook page</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400;">, tweet to us</span> <a href= "http://twitter.com/bangkokpodcast"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">@bangkokpodcast</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400;">, or simply via</span> <a href= "http://www.bangkokpodcast.com/contact/"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">the contact form on our website</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. You may also be interested in Greg’s</span> <a href= "https://twitter.com/bkkgreg"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">tweets of snarky Bangkok goodness</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">, and you can see way too much of Evo’s face</span> <a href= "http://instagram.com/evo_terra"><span style= "font-weight: 400;"> on Instagram</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400;">.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">If you’re really new, the Bangkok Podcast is co-hosted by</span> <a href="http://gregtodiffer.com"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">Greg Jorgensen</span></a> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">and</span> <a href= "http://evoterra.com"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Evo Terra</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. Together the have over 20 years expat experience in Bangkok, and are self-certified experts in living in the City of Angels. (Not Los Angeles. Thailand, silly!)</span></p>
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Ten Expats Share Where They Go To Get A Taste Of Home In Bangkok
<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">We know that Bangkok’s expat community is much more diverse than a Canadian and an American can hope to represent. So this week, we reached out to the wider community and asked a simple question: Where do you go in Bangkok when you want a taste of your own country?</span> Before we get into that, though, Greg regales us with his story about being summoned by Frank Lam, the founder of Foodland grocery stores (and the excellent Took Lae Dee food counters inside), who wanted to say thanks to Greg for including Took Lae Dee on his list of <a href= "http://edition.cnn.com/travel/article/bangkok-worlds-greatest-city/index.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener">50 Reasons Why Bangkok is the Best City in the World</a>. Turns out Frank was the type of legendary character that you can only meet on a random Bangkok night, and Greg explains why. <span style="font-weight: 400;">But back to the main topic of where to find a taste of home in Bangkok. Listen in to get these great insights from local expats:</span></p> <ul> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">Hidden Hungarian hangouts</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Which restaurants Kuwaitis frequent for great middle eastern food</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Where a Spaniard suggests you go for amazing cheese, cold cuts, and olive oil</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Why Poles are jonesing for homemade pierogi and sauerkraut</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">Places in Thailand Australians avoid to avoid more Australians</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Which soi off Sukhumvit is perfect for Germans who have a hankering for Schweinshaxe and Rotkohl</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">The one spot that Singaporeans/Malaysians say you don’t want to miss</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Spots in Bangkok where Norwegians and other Scandinavians hang out other than IKEA</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">A local church in Sala Daeng where Italians can feel like at home</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Why Russians day-trip out of Bangkok to get their homeland fix in Pattaya</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Why an Indian-descent Thai national asked an American to cook Thanksgiving dinner, paying him in quality craft beer from</span> <a href= "https://www.facebook.com/bootlegbrothersbrewingco/"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">Bootleg Brothers Brewing</span></a></li> </ul> <h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">Love, Loathe, or Leave</span></h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">We need to talk about privilege, Bangkok. It’s humiliating, it’s unfair, and it perpetuates stereotypes. Of course, we’re talking about the special parking spaces for supercars and superbikes in Bangkok. Those of us that don’t drive a Lamborghini or some 3000cc crotch-rocket are mad as hell, and we’re not going to take it any more!</span></p> <h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">We Love Our Supporters!</span></h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Before we recorded this episode, we recorded an entire episode about Evo’s recent trip to Indonesia and just why he might be slurring his words tonight. You can get that full episode when you join dozens of other people who help us keep the show free of annoying by</span> <a href= "http://patreon.com/bangkokpodcast"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">supporting us on Patreon</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400;">. Today, you’ll hear about one of our favorite patrons, Ciaran Faulkner, and his amazing life-changing -- or at least name-changing -- story.</span></p> <h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">Want More Bangkok Podcast In Your Life?</span></h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">If it’s your first time experiencing The Bangkok Podcast, you really should get our show downloading to your phone automatically every week. If you use iOS, it’s a breeze to</span> <a href= "https://itunes.apple.com/podcast/bangkok-podcast/id372985372?mt=2&ls=1"> <span style="font-weight: 400;">listen via Apple Podcasts</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. Android users are be able</span> <a href= "http://subscribeonandroid.com/thaifaq.libsyn.com/rss"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">get the show any number of ways</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. And for bonus points, leave us a review on those platforms or however you listen to the show.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">We’d love to hear from you! You can</span> <a href= "https://line.me/R/ti/p/%40bangkokpodcast"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">add our official LINE account</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">, comment on a post or send us a message via our</span> <a href= "http://facebook.com/bangkokpodcast"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">Facebook page</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400;">, tweet to us</span> <a href= "http://twitter.com/bangkokpodcast"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">@bangkokpodcast</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400;">, or simply via</span> <a href= "http://www.bangkokpodcast.com/contact/"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">the contact form on our website</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. You may also be interested in Greg’s</span> <a href= "https://twitter.com/bkkgreg"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">tweets of snarky Bangkok goodness</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">, and you can see way too much of Evo’s face</span> <a href= "http://instagram.com/evo_terra"><span style= "font-weight: 400;"> on Instagram</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400;">.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">If you’re really new, the Bangkok Podcast is co-hosted by</span> <a href="http://gregtodiffer.com"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">Greg Jorgensen</span></a> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">and</span> <a href= "http://evoterra.com"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Evo Terra</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. Together the have over 20 years expat experience in Bangkok, and are self-certified experts in living in the City of Angels. (Not Los Angeles. Thailand, silly!)</span></p>
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Talking Travel Insurance With Stuart McDonald from Travelfish.org [Season 2 Episode 56]
<p>Before we get into the ins and outs of travel insurance with one of the most well-traveled people out there, we dive right back into the shallow end of debating whether or not Bangkok's traffic has improved. Why would it improve? Well, last month the police commissioner said that traffic police will no longer be setting up checkpoints...so, did it work? Evo weighs in (because Greg drives a car, and they get pulled over way less that motorbikes, which he's really happy about). But the real reason we're here is to talk insurance. Travel insurance, specifically, and why it's so important. Stuart McDonald, the founder of Southeast Asia's best site for independent travel - that's <a href= "https://www.travelfish.org/" target="_blank" rel= "noopener">Travelfish.org</a> in case you live in a cave - was kind enough to join us from his home in Bali about his experiences traveling, writing about traveling, and giving advice to people about traveling. For instance, did you know that if you ride a motorbike without a helmet and get in an accident, your insurance might be void? Why? Because you're breaking the law silly, and insurance companies loooove to find little loopholes like that. But these days it's more complicated than simply buying insurance and then heading off on an adventure. Among other things we talk about:</p> <ul> <li>The ubiquity of social media and how it changes how bad news is spread and how people view travel</li> <li>The importance of putting the effort into understanding how your insurance policy works in different countries</li> <li>Why travel insurance probably isn't going to cut it if you cross the line from traveler to expat</li> <li>Why most of these elements can be covered by simply using your noggin (to think with, not as a helmet holder)</li> </ul> <p>Trust us folks, you'll be hard pressed to find someone as knowledgeable as Stu on how to travel properly. He's also a father, as well, so that makes his opinion doubly valid. Don't make him come back there!</p> <h2>Love, Loathe, or Leave</h2> <p>Have you ever put your hand into your pocket and pulled out a fistful of <del>dollars</del> baht? Evo has, and he hates it! It vexes him, the nasty coinses, and he's going to tell you why! It's a good thing too, because Greg had no idea what he was talking about until Evo explained his oddly specific coin rage.</p> <h2>We Love Our Supporters!</h2> <p>You want bonus episodes? You can get bonus episodes! This week we talked about germs, vacation days, and what it's like to take a holiday while working at a Thai company. Here's a hint: you don't have time to go very far. You can get that full episode when you join dozens of other people who help us keep the show free of annoying by <a href= "http://patreon.com/bangkokpodcast">supporting us on Patreon</a>. Please?  Thank you!</p> <h2>Want More Bangkok Podcast In Your Life?</h2> <p>If it’s your first time experiencing The Bangkok Podcast, you really should get our show downloading to your phone automatically every week. If you use iOS, it’s a breeze to <a href= "https://itunes.apple.com/podcast/bangkok-podcast/id372985372?mt=2&ls=1">listen via Apple Podcasts</a>. Android users are be able <a href= "http://subscribeonandroid.com/thaifaq.libsyn.com/rss">get the show any number of ways</a>. And for bonus points, leave us a review on those platforms or however you listen to the show. We’d love to hear from you! You can <a href= "https://line.me/R/ti/p/%40bangkokpodcast">add our official LINE account</a>, comment on a post or send us a message via our <a href="http://facebook.com/bangkokpodcast">Facebook page</a>, tweet to us <a href= "http://twitter.com/bangkokpodcast">@bangkokpodcast</a>, or simply via <a href="http://www.bangkokpodcast.com/contact/">the contact form on our website</a>. You may also be interested in Greg’s <a href="https://twitter.com/bkkgreg">tweets of snarky Bangkok goodness</a>, and you can see way too much of Evo’s face <a href="http://instagram.com/evo_terra"> on Instagram</a>. If you’re really new, the Bangkok Podcast is co-hosted by <a href="http://gregtodiffer.com/">Greg Jorgensen</a> and <a href="http://evoterra.com/">Evo Terra</a>. Together the have over 20 years expat experience in Bangkok, and are self-certified experts in living in the City of Angels. (Not Los Angeles. Thailand, silly!)</p>
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Contemporary Art Tour In Audio: Exploring Bangkok’s MOCA [Season 2 Episode 55]
<span style="font-weight: 400"><img class= "size-medium wp-image-3774 alignleft" src= "http://77.104.151.179/~bangkok9/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/BKP55-SOCIAL-LOGO-500x750.jpg" alt="" width="500" height="750" />We’re not whispering to make it hard for you to hear. We’re doing it to be respectful, because we recorded this episode inside the Museum of Contemporary Art in northern Bangkok. Now, bear in mind that neither of us are huge art people. But museums such as Bangkok MOCA are designed to be accessible by anyone, not just art aficionados. Today, we put that to the test. Spoiler: We loved it!</span> <span style= "font-weight: 400">The middle part of this episode features our honest reaction to some of the art as we encounter it. Now, keep in mind that art appreciation isn’t the type of experience that lends itself to being expressed in audio. So you won’t be surprised as we try to interpret for you the… well, let’s say “more eclectic” pieces from Thailand’s contemporary artists. Hopefully it comes off as funny as we intended it, and not mean-spirited. Even though the choice bits below may appear the opposite, we really did enjoy our time at Bangkok’s MOCA and would highly recommend you visit, too.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400">If you do listen to the full episode, you’ll have some context for these choice reactions and more:</span> <ul> <li style="font-weight: 400"><span style="font-weight: 400">“It’s hard to fault a painting that has a 3D penis.”</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400"><span style="font-weight: 400">“Body, mind, peaceful: Three words I don’t think about when I think of Hitler.”</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400"><span style="font-weight: 400">“This looks like something out of Ghostbusters…”</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400"><span style="font-weight: 400">“That dog has no head. This one is wearing a necklace with three penises on it.”</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400"><span style="font-weight: 400">“And… the painter likes big balls.”</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400"><span style="font-weight: 400">“What would happen if a hippopotamus had a baby with a cicada? That’s your answer.”</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400"><span style="font-weight: 400">“This would really cool if we had a skateboard. It would be even cooler if we remembered how to ride it.”</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400"><span style="font-weight: 400">“I’ve never seen so many boobs in such a short amount of time.”</span></li> </ul> <span style="font-weight: 400">Seriously. Give our interpretation a chance. You’ll laugh at our antics (and likely lament our lack of cultural exposure) and hopefully decide to add all six floors of Bangkok’s MOCA to your must-see list. It’s a fantastic way to spend a good part of your day, whether you’ve been in Bangkok for years or are just visiting for a few days. It’s worth it!</span> <h2><span style="font-weight: 400">Love, Loathe, or Leave</span></h2> <span style="font-weight: 400">This building is sparkling clean, which makes it an anomaly in Bangkok. Unless you’re on a public escalator in Bangkok. Those things are sparkly clean, from the handrails to the treads. Listen in to find how how we feel about that (which is pretty obvious) and how and why the janitorial staff keep them immaculate.</span> <h2><span style="font-weight: 400">We Love Our Supporters!</span></h2> <span style="font-weight: 400">Before we recorded this show we recorded an entire episode about our journey to the MOCA exclusive to our patrons! You can get that full episode when you join dozens of other people who help us keep the show free of annoying by</span> <a href="http://patreon.com/bangkokpodcast"><span style= "font-weight: 400">supporting us on Patreon</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400">. Please?  Thank you!</span> <h2><span style="font-weight: 400">Want More Bangkok Podcast In Your Life?</span></h2> <span style="font-weight: 400">If it’s your first time experiencing The Bangkok Podcast, you really should get our show downloading to your phone automatically every week. If you use iOS, it’s a breeze to</span> <a href= "https://itunes.apple.com/podcast/bangkok-podcast/id372985372?mt=2&ls=1"> <span style="font-weight: 400">listen via Apple Podcasts</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400">. Android users are be able</span> <a href= "http://subscribeonandroid.com/thaifaq.libsyn.com/rss"><span style= "font-weight: 400">get the show any number of ways</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400">. And for bonus points, leave us a review on those platforms or however you listen to the show.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400">We’d love to hear from you! You can</span> <a href= "https://line.me/R/ti/p/%40bangkokpodcast"><span style= "font-weight: 400">add our official LINE account</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400">, comment on a post or send us a message via our</span> <a href= "http://facebook.com/bangkokpodcast"><span style= "font-weight: 400">Facebook page</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400">, tweet to us</span> <a href= "http://twitter.com/bangkokpodcast"><span style= "font-weight: 400">@bangkokpodcast</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400">, or simply via</span> <a href= "http://www.bangkokpodcast.com/contact/"><span style= "font-weight: 400">the contact form on our website</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400">. You may also be interested in Greg’s</span> <a href= "https://twitter.com/bkkgreg"><span style="font-weight: 400">tweets of snarky Bangkok goodness</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400">, and you can see way too much of Evo’s face</span> <a href="http://instagram.com/evo_terra"><span style= "font-weight: 400"> on Instagram</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400">.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400">If you’re really new, the Bangkok Podcast is co-hosted by</span> <a href="http://gregtodiffer.com"><span style= "font-weight: 400">Greg Jorgensen</span></a> <span style= "font-weight: 400">and</span> <a href= "http://evoterra.com"><span style="font-weight: 400">Evo Terra</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400">. Together the have over 20 years expat experience in Bangkok, and are self-certified experts in living in the City of Angels. (Not Los Angeles. Thailand, silly!)</span> <!-- START 3638 Download Link --> <a href= "http://traffic.libsyn.com/thaifaq/BKPS2E55-bangkok-hidden-gems-museum-of-contemporary-art.mp3" target="_blank" rel="noopener">(Direct download .mp3)</a> <!-- END 3638 Download Link -->[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]
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Acting Like an Actor in Thailand [Season 2 Episode 54]
<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">So Evo was recently the star of a Pakistani commercial shot in Thailand, and by “star” we mean he was on-screen for about four seconds. That got Greg thinking wistfully of his own time as a thespian here in the Land of Smiles, so we thought we'd talk a bit about what it's like being an actor in Thailand.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">While Evo is the most recent “actor” in this two-way conversation, Greg has by far the longer</span> <a href= "http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2314993/?ref_=ttfc_fc_cl_t27"><span style="font-weight: 400;"> filmography</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. And he went to film school! Here are some choice bits from the episode, including some links if you want to watch:</span></p> <ul> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><a href= "https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TiFI9yCS-ik"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">Watch Evo’s Sprite commercial</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. He’s the Pakistani chef, obviously.</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><a href= "https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ejGe98V4pc"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">Watch a clip featuring Greg in the TV miniseries Blackbeard</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. He’s the panhandler, obviously.</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Where you can find acting/model/extra gigs in Thailand</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">Working with agents/scouts</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">What you can expect when you go on casting calls in Thailand</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">What life on set is really like on set for every actor who isn’t the star</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">How to hobnob with the actual stars (and make all the extras jealous!)</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">How you too can make thousands of baht (not dollars) acting in Thailand</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Why you probably should leave your comedic antics at home and not get in trouble like one of us</span></li> </ul> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">But don’t worry: We won’t let our huge acting success go to our heads. We like doing the podcast, if only because we don’t have to sit around waiting to start. Or share 30% with an agent!</span> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">Also: Did you know that</span> <a href= "http://eepurl.com/cOjVKf"><span style="font-weight: 400;">you can listen to our show via email</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400;">? We’re all about making it easy to listen to us every week, and email remains the killer app. Sign up if that make sense to you. Oh, and we’ll never send you anything other than the episode each week. We’re not big on email marketing. Like… at all.</span></p> <h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">Love, Loathe, or Leave</span></h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A good chunk of Bangkok’s commuters avoid traffic by taking… a boat? Yes, the boats of the Saen Saep canal are quite the experience and a super cheap way to get around the city. Find out how we feel about putting our lives and hygiene at risk by taking this low-tech high-speed transit option. We’ll say one thing: it’s authentic!</span></p> <h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">We Love Our Supporters!</span></h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A quick shout out to cool-as-a-cucumber Juhani Makaranta. And wow, do we hope Juhani has a good sense of humor about the… let’s just go with “special” way Greg introduces him. [sigh] Want Greg to make up stories about you? Maybe you’d like early access to our episodes. Or what about the full-length exclusive episodes we produce every weekly just for our supporters? Join the others by</span> <a href= "http://patreon.com/bangkokpodcast"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">supporting us on Patreon</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400;">. You get some cool stuff and we get what we need from you to constantly improve the show. Win win!</span></p> <h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">Want More Bangkok Podcast In Your Life?</span></h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">If it’s your first time experiencing The Bangkok Podcast, you really should get our show downloading to your phone automatically every week. If you use iOS, it’s a breeze to</span> <a href= "https://itunes.apple.com/podcast/bangkok-podcast/id372985372?mt=2&ls=1"> <span style="font-weight: 400;">listen via Apple Podcasts</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. Android users are be able</span> <a href= "http://subscribeonandroid.com/thaifaq.libsyn.com/rss"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">get the show any number of ways</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. And for bonus points, leave us a review on those platforms or however you listen to the show.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">We’d love to hear from you! You can</span> <a href= "https://line.me/R/ti/p/%40bangkokpodcast"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">add our official LINE account</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">, comment on a post or send us a message via our</span> <a href= "http://facebook.com/bangkokpodcast"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">Facebook page</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400;">, tweet to us</span> <a href= "http://twitter.com/bangkokpodcast"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">@bangkokpodcast</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400;">, or simply via</span> <a href= "http://www.bangkokpodcast.com/contact/"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">the contact form on our website</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. You may also be interested in Greg’s</span> <a href= "https://twitter.com/bkkgreg"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">tweets of snarky Bangkok goodness</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">, and you can see way too much of Evo’s face</span> <a href= "http://instagram.com/evo_terra"><span style= "font-weight: 400;"> on Instagram</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400;">.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">If you’re really new, the Bangkok Podcast is co-hosted by</span> <a href="http://gregtodiffer.com"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">Greg Jorgensen</span></a> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">and</span> <a href= "http://evoterra.com"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Evo Terra</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. Together the have over 20 years expat experience in Bangkok, and are self-certified experts in living in the City of Angels. (Not Los Angeles. Thailand, silly!)</span> <img class= "aligncenter size-medium wp-image-3749" src= "http://www.bangkokpodcast.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/BKP54-SOCIAL-LOGO-500x750.jpg" alt="" width="500" height="750" /></p>
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Thailand Taboos: How To Avoid Getting Kicked Out Of The Kingdom [Season 2 Episode 53]
<span style="font-weight: 400">It’s generally considered bad form to use curse words in the land of peace, order, and smiles that is Thailand. And when a farang uses native Thai bad language, it’s a bit more culturally insensitive. Just like Greg learned this week. But that’s not what we’re talking about today.</span> <span style= "font-weight: 400">Thai taboos are the topic of today’s show, a topic we’re all too familiar with. Hey, it happens, and we’re not doing it on purpose. In this episode, we’ll share our personal experiences of things NOT to do during your time in the kingdom. And not just the easy stuff to avoid, like touching strangers on the head (seriously, who does this?), failing to stand quietly when the national anthem plays every day on public transport terminals, not taking off shoes when going inside someone’s house or condo, or committing</span> <i><span style="font-weight: 400">lese majeste</span></i><span style="font-weight: 400">. Clearly you should not do those things.</span> <span style= "font-weight: 400">On the program today, we’ll cover some lesser known taboos, like:</span> <ul> <li style="font-weight: 400"><span style="font-weight: 400">Being careless with your money (Not spending-wise, as visitors are encouraged to be non-thrifty, but how the bills are treated)</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400"><span style= "font-weight: 400">Pounding postage stamps</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400"><span style="font-weight: 400">Tapping gogo dancers with your foot</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400"><span style= "font-weight: 400">Stepping over the dead or those pretending to be dead (true story, bro)</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400"><span style="font-weight: 400">Picking your teeth (noses are OK)</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400"><span style="font-weight: 400">Gesture to a human like you’d gesture to an animal</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400"><span style= "font-weight: 400">Smuggling Buddha out of the country (please ignore all the vendors trying to sell you Buddha memorabilia, we guess?)</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400"><span style="font-weight: 400">Being in public with your naughty bits exposed to the world</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400"><span style="font-weight: 400">Raising your voice when you get angry (and you will get angry)</span></li> </ul> <span style="font-weight: 400">The reverse is also true, because some of what we Westerners think of as taboo are perfectly fine here. Things like</span> <ul> <li style="font-weight: 400"><span style="font-weight: 400">Using rather direct terms to describe body size, level of hirsute-ness, and skin tone</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400"><span style="font-weight: 400">Asking direct questions about income level, age, or other private (from our perspective) affairs</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400"><span style="font-weight: 400">… and more</span></li> </ul> <h2><span style="font-weight: 400">Love, Loathe, or Leave</span></h2> <span style="font-weight: 400">It’s not a taboo that prohibits you from buying booze or beer from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm or from midnight to 11:00 am. It’s the law that does that, and it’s enforced at every 7-11 or grocery store. So if you’re in the mood for a beer in the afternoon or just want to prep for a party later that night, you might want to plan ahead. Find out how we feel about this handy law when you listen. (Though you will not be surprised.)</span> <img class="aligncenter size-medium wp-image-3713" src= "http://www.bangkokpodcast.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/BKP53-SOCIAL-LOGO-500x750.jpg" alt="" width="500" height="750" /> <h2><span style="font-weight: 400">We Love Our Supporters!</span></h2> <span style="font-weight: 400">Among our fantastic group of supporters is Mr. Mark Wisdom. You literally will not believe what we found out about this strength trainer from Texas who studied Thai massage. It’s completely unbelievable, and if you’d like Greg to make up stories about you, plus get early access to our episodes and a whole series of exclusive content made just for our supporters, just</span> <a href= "http://patreon.com/bangkokpodcast"><span style= "font-weight: 400">support us on Patreon</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400">. You’ll get all of that and more!</span> <h2><span style="font-weight: 400">Want More Bangkok Podcast In Your Life?</span></h2> <span style="font-weight: 400">If it’s your first time experiencing The Bangkok Podcast, you really should get our show downloading to your phone automatically every week. If you use iOS, it’s a breeze to</span> <a href= "https://itunes.apple.com/podcast/bangkok-podcast/id372985372?mt=2&ls=1"> <span style="font-weight: 400">listen via Apple Podcasts</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400">. Android users are be able</span> <a href= "http://subscribeonandroid.com/thaifaq.libsyn.com/rss"><span style= "font-weight: 400">get the show any number of ways</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400">. And for bonus points, leave us a review on those platforms or however you listen to the show.</span>   <span style="font-weight: 400">We’d love to hear from you! You can</span> <a href= "https://line.me/R/ti/p/%40bangkokpodcast"><span style= "font-weight: 400">add our official LINE account</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400">, comment on a post or send us a message via our</span> <a href= "http://facebook.com/bangkokpodcast"><span style= "font-weight: 400">Facebook page</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400">, tweet to us</span> <a href= "http://twitter.com/bangkokpodcast"><span style= "font-weight: 400">@bangkokpodcast</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400">, or simply via</span> <a href= "http://www.bangkokpodcast.com/contact/"><span style= "font-weight: 400">the contact form on our website</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400">. You may also be interested in Greg’s</span> <a href= "https://twitter.com/bkkgreg"><span style="font-weight: 400">tweets of snarky Bangkok goodness</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400">, and you can see way too much of Evo’s face</span> <a href="http://instagram.com/evo_terra"><span style= "font-weight: 400"> on Instagram</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400">.</span>   <span style= "font-weight: 400">If you’re really new, the Bangkok Podcast is co-hosted by</span> <a href="http://gregtodiffer.com"><span style= "font-weight: 400">Greg Jorgensen</span></a> <span style= "font-weight: 400">and</span> <a href= "http://evoterra.com"><span style="font-weight: 400">Evo Terra</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400">. Together the have over 20 years expat experience in Bangkok, and are self-certified experts in living in the City of Angels. (Not Los Angeles. Thailand, silly!)</span>[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent="yes" overflow="visible"][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type="1_1" background_position="left top" background_color="" border_size="" border_color="" border_style="solid" spacing="yes" background_image="" background_repeat="no-repeat" padding="" margin_top="0px" margin_bottom="0px" class="" id="" animation_type="" animation_speed="0.3" animation_direction="left" hide_on_mobile="no" center_content="no" min_height="none"] <!-- START 3626 Download Link --> <a href= "http://traffic.libsyn.com/thaifaq/BPS2E53-Thailand-Taboos-How-To-Avoid-Getting-Kicked-Out-Of-The-Kingdom.mp3" target="_blank" rel="noopener">(Direct download .mp3)</a> <!-- END 3626 Download Link -->[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]
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Bangkok's Hidden Gems: Chulalongkorn University Centenary Park
<span style="font-weight: 400">Before we get started, we’ve a quick warning for visitors headed to Bangkok in October 2017. We don’t normally recommend listening to the tuk tuk drivers hanging out around the Grand Palace when they tell you that the attraction you want to visit is closed. But this month, they are correct. It’s the culmination of the year of mourning for Thailand, and lots of things are closed. But don’t turn to us for the latest info. You want Richard Barrow for that, as he has</span> <a href= "http://www.thaitravelblogs.com/2017/09/everything-you-need-to-know-about-the-funeral-of-king-bhumibol-in-october/"> <span style="font-weight: 400">all the details of what’s closed and what’s open for your Bangkok visit this month</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400">.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400">Today we are on location in an area of Bangkok known as</span> <a href= "https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sam_Yan"><span style= "font-weight: 400">Samyan</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400">. This area was first settled by Thai-Chinese people, which isn't all that surprising, seeing that Bangkok's Chinatown is just a kilometer or two up the road. In more recent times, Samyan had become synonymous with street food, supplying locals and attracting visitors from all over Bangkok. Then - and  stop us if you've heard this one before - the vendors were all given notice to pack up and move, and the bulldozers followed quickly behind, leaving many wondering what project was under way.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400">The answer?</span> <a href= "http://www.cu100.chula.ac.th/cu-centenary-park/"><span style= "font-weight: 400">Chulalongkorn University Centenary Park</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400">, which is more than just Bangkok’s newest green space. Listen in to hear us share our experience with this new but still hidden gem in Bangkok:</span> <ul> <li style="font-weight: 400"><span style="font-weight: 400">It sits on 28 rai of land, to form an "urban forest" concept</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400"><span style="font-weight: 400">It features a specially designed wetland that includes a rain garden, retention pond, and underground water drainage system</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400"><span style="font-weight: 400">Evo sharing some botanical knowledge (Fabacea family, not Cannabaceae, stoner)</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400"><span style="font-weight: 400">Why the grass at CUCP is way more friendly on your feet than that in Lumpini park</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400"><span style="font-weight: 400">But it’s more than just a park. CU sees the park as a an important component of their master plan to convert the Samyan area into… Thailand's Silicon Valley?</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400"><span style="font-weight: 400">Other development in Samyan, either planned or underway, including Zy Walk, Samyan Mitr Town, and Suan Luang Square.</span></li> </ul> <h2><img src= "http://www.bangkokpodcast.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/BKP52-SOCIAL-LOGO-500x750.jpg" alt="" width="500" height="750" class= "aligncenter size-medium wp-image-3651" /></h2> <h2><span style="font-weight: 400">Love, Loathe, or Leave</span></h2> <span style="font-weight: 400">Perhaps inspired by the beauty of the park, today we’re taking on an iconic food in Bangkok and all of Thailand: dragon fruit. It’s arguably the most beautiful fruit to look at. But the taste? Well, without giving the answer away, we’re at another split decision. Listen in and tell us where your taste buds fall on this issue. And which one of us needs to drink better beer.</span> <h2><span style="font-weight: 400">We Love Our Supporters!</span></h2> <span style="font-weight: 400">If you haven’t yet heard, we’re recording additional full-length episodes every week just for our patrons. We get a little more intimate, a little more fast and loose with the topics, and hopefully provide even more insight into the lives we live every day in the City of Angels. And we’d love to share those episodes -- all of them -- with you. Just</span> <a href="http://patreon.com/bangkokpodcast"><span style= "font-weight: 400">support us on Patreon</span></a> <span style= "font-weight: 400">for immediate access.</span> <h2><span style="font-weight: 400">Want More Bangkok Podcast In Your Life?</span></h2> <span style="font-weight: 400">If it’s your first time experiencing The Bangkok Podcast, you really should get our show downloading to your phone automatically every week. If you use iOS, it’s a breeze to</span> <a href= "https://itunes.apple.com/podcast/bangkok-podcast/id372985372?mt=2&ls=1"> <span style="font-weight: 400">listen via Apple Podcasts</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400">. Android users are be able</span> <a href= "http://subscribeonandroid.com/thaifaq.libsyn.com/rss"><span style= "font-weight: 400">get the show any number of ways</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400">. And for bonus points, leave us a review on those platforms or however you listen to the show.</span>   <span style="font-weight: 400">We’d love to hear from you! You can</span> <a href= "https://line.me/R/ti/p/%40bangkokpodcast"><span style= "font-weight: 400">add our official LINE account</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400">, comment on a post or send us a message via our</span> <a href= "http://facebook.com/bangkokpodcast"><span style= "font-weight: 400">Facebook page</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400">, tweet to us</span> <a href= "http://twitter.com/bangkokpodcast"><span style= "font-weight: 400">@bangkokpodcast</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400">, or simply via</span> <a href= "http://www.bangkokpodcast.com/contact/"><span style= "font-weight: 400">the contact form on our website</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400">. You may also be interested in Greg’s</span> <a href= "https://twitter.com/bkkgreg"><span style="font-weight: 400">tweets of snarky Bangkok goodness</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400">, and you can see way too much of Evo’s face</span> <a href="http://instagram.com/evo_terra"><span style= "font-weight: 400"> on Instagram</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400">.</span>   <span style= "font-weight: 400">If you’re really new, the Bangkok Podcast is co-hosted by</span> <a href="http://gregtodiffer.com"><span style= "font-weight: 400">Greg Jorgensen</span></a> <span style= "font-weight: 400">and</span> <a href= "http://evoterra.com"><span style="font-weight: 400">Evo Terra</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400">. Together the have over 20 years expat experience in Bangkok, and are self-certified experts in living in the City of Angels. (Not Los Angeles. Thailand, silly!)</span><!-- START 3620 Download Link --> <a href= "http://traffic.libsyn.com/thaifaq/BKPS2E52-Bangkok-Hidden-Gems-Chulalongkorn-Park.mp3" target="_blank" rel="noopener">(Direct download .mp3)</a> <!-- END 3620 Download Link -->
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Tuk Tuk Tours in Bangkok Are Not Just For Tourists [Season 2 Episode 51]
<span><em><strong>On-location from the back of a tuk tuk in Bangkok, we’re pretending to be tourists for the day and, surprisingly enough, discovering some new things about our adopted home. Ride along with us!</strong></em></span> <!-- START 3562 Download Link --> <a href= "http://traffic.libsyn.com/thaifaq/BKPS2E51-Travel-Like-a-Tourist.mp3" target="_blank" rel="noopener">(Direct download .mp3)</a> <!-- END 3562 Download Link --> <h2>Episode Details</h2> <span style="font-weight: 400">Astute listeners will notice the marked increase in Bangkok traffic noise in this episode. That’s for a very good reason, as we recorded it from the back of a <a href="http://expique.com/?agentCode=BANGKOKPODCAST">tuk tuk, driving through the streets of Bangkok</a>. Why are we in a tuk tuk? We’re glad you asked.</span> <span style= "font-weight: 400">For as much disdain is thrown on the idea of “doing tourist-y things”, there’s actually merit in that concept. Bangkok is a rapidly changing city, and our friends at Expique are true masters at showcasing some of the greatest areas of Bangkok for their clients -- including a couple of long  term expats (that’s us)! So we hopped in one of their tuk tuks, broke out the microphones, and recorded the activities we experience on their</span> <a href= "http://www.expique.com/tour/bangkok/evening-food-tuk-tuk-adventure/?agentCode=BANGKOKPODCAST"> <span style="font-weight: 400">evening food and tuk tuk adventure</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400">. Thanks for having us, Expique!</span> <span style="font-weight: 400">Here’s what you’re in for in this episode recorded on-location:</span> <ul> <li style="font-weight: 400"><span style="font-weight: 400">A restaurant in Bangkok that serves over 30,000 sticks of pork satay every single day</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400"><span style="font-weight: 400">The amazing sights, sounds, and smells of the Bangkok flower market</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400"><span style="font-weight: 400">Tasty food made fresh -- with flowers! -- from the chefs at The Market Experience</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400"><span style="font-weight: 400">A minor altercation between two tuk tuk drivers post-collision (That was fun!)</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400"><span style="font-weight: 400">Why people are no longer allowed to swing on Bangkok’s Giant Swing (Hint: Dead people)</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400"><span style="font-weight: 400">Why food tours are a great way to try new food… that you will love or hate, depending on your Canadian palate.</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400"><span style="font-weight: 400">Royal guards, missing plaques, and merit making</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400"><span style="font-weight: 400">A cameo appearance by our guide, Net</span></li> </ul> <h2><span style="font-weight: 400">Love, Loathe, or Leave</span></h2> <span style="font-weight: 400">Speaking of touristy things to do that locals do as well, you’ve likely heard of Chatuchak Market. There probably isn’t anything you can’t buy there, which makes it an easy place to love. But there are a few loathe-able aspects of JJ market as well. We’ll tell you want we think if you take a listen to this episode.</span> <h2><span style="font-weight: 400">We Love Our Supporters!</span></h2> <span style="font-weight: 400">Due to our recording environment, we didn’t call any specific patron out on the episode. But that doesn’t mean we don’t love our patrons! You can join dozens of other people who help us keep the show free of annoying ads and get access to bonus content, cool swag and more by</span> <a href= "http://patreon.com/bangkokpodcast"><span style= "font-weight: 400">supporting us on Patreon</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400">. Please?</span> <h2><span style="font-weight: 400">Want More Bangkok Podcast In Your Life?</span></h2> <span style="font-weight: 400">If it’s your first time experiencing The Bangkok Podcast, you really should get our show downloading to your phone automatically every week. If you use iOS, it’s a breeze to</span> <a href= "https://itunes.apple.com/podcast/bangkok-podcast/id372985372?mt=2&ls=1"> <span style="font-weight: 400">listen via Apple Podcasts</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400">. Android users are be able</span> <a href= "http://subscribeonandroid.com/thaifaq.libsyn.com/rss"><span style= "font-weight: 400">get the show any number of ways</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400">. And for bonus points, leave us a review on those platforms or however you listen to the show.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400">We’d love to hear from you! You can</span> <a href= "https://line.me/R/ti/p/%40bangkokpodcast"><span style= "font-weight: 400">add our official LINE account</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400">, comment on a post or send us a message via our</span> <a href= "http://facebook.com/bangkokpodcast"><span style= "font-weight: 400">Facebook page</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400">, tweet to us</span> <a href= "http://twitter.com/bangkokpodcast"><span style= "font-weight: 400">@bangkokpodcast</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400">, or simply via</span> <a href= "http://www.bangkokpodcast.com/contact/"><span style= "font-weight: 400">the contact form on our website</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400">. You may also be interested in Greg’s</span> <a href= "https://twitter.com/bkkgreg"><span style="font-weight: 400">tweets of snarky Bangkok goodness</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400">, and you can see way too much of Evo’s face</span> <a href="http://instagram.com/evo_terra"><span style= "font-weight: 400"> on Instagram</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400">.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400">If you’re really new, the Bangkok Podcast is co-hosted by</span> <a href="http://gregtodiffer.com"><span style= "font-weight: 400">Greg Jorgensen</span></a> <span style= "font-weight: 400">and</span> <a href= "http://evoterra.com"><span style="font-weight: 400">Evo Terra</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400">. Together the have over 20 years expat experience in Bangkok, and are self-certified experts in living in the City of Angels. (Not Los Angeles. Thailand, silly!)</span> <a href= "http://traffic.libsyn.com/thaifaq/BKPS2E51-Travel-Like-a-Tourist.mp3"> <img src= "http://www.bangkokpodcast.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/BKP51-SOCIAL-LOGO.jpg" alt="" width="735" height="1102" class= "aligncenter size-full wp-image-3566" /></a>
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The Q&A Episode: Happy Anniversary to Us! (2.50)
<span style="font-weight: 400">After a brief moment of vindication on the news that 10% of Bangkok traffic police failed a test about traffic laws, we dive right into the questions from the audience. This is our one year anniversary show since the re-launch, and it’s all about you talking to us!</span> <span style= "font-weight: 400">Shaun wants to know our opinion on outdoor activities such as “wild swimming” in the seas and rivers and hiking in the forests and parks all around Thailand. Vincent is looking for some recommendation on movies from Thailand, plus has some geeky questions about the process we use to record episodes of the podcast each week. Oh! And he scoops us on a new “jungle” being built on an old swamp that’s now an airport. Gotta check that out! Dan is curious about the dining/entertainment options just across the river from us in the Silom/Surasak area, and Dylan has a tricky immigration/citizenship question, which means we need to give a serious answer?</span> <img src= "http://www.bangkokpodcast.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/BKP50-SOCIAL-LOGO-500x750.jpg" alt="" width="500" height="750" class= "aligncenter size-medium wp-image-3540" /> <h2><span style="font-weight: 400">Love, Loathe, or Leave</span></h2> <span style="font-weight: 400">Matthew makes the suggestion this week, asking how we feel about getting the attention of wait staff in various restaurants around Thailand. It’s not like we’re totally ignored...just mostly. But that’s really more a cultural thing than an “ignore the big white dude and maybe he’ll go away” thing. Still, it takes some getting used to, which means we probably love it or loath it. Listen in to find out which it is!</span> <h2><span style="font-weight: 400">We Love Our Supporters!</span></h2> <span style="font-weight: 400">This week, we’re thanking another of our supporters and his time, Terry Blackburn has the honors. Greg found out that Terry was such an inspirational student of karate, he forever changed the sport. Curious why that fact (?) is relevant? You’ll have to listen to find out what story we have to tell. You can thank Terry and dozens of other people who help us keep the show free of annoying ads and get access to bonus content, cool swag and more by</span> <a href= "http://patreon.com/bangkokpodcast"><span style= "font-weight: 400">supporting us on Patreon</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400">. You should join them!</span> <h2><span style="font-weight: 400">Want More Bangkok Podcast In Your Life?</span></h2> <span style="font-weight: 400">If it’s your first time experiencing The Bangkok Podcast, you really should get our show downloading to your phone automatically every week. If you use iOS, it’s a breeze to</span> <a href= "https://itunes.apple.com/podcast/bangkok-podcast/id372985372?mt=2&ls=1"> <span style="font-weight: 400">listen via Apple Podcasts</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400">. Android users are be able</span> <a href= "http://subscribeonandroid.com/thaifaq.libsyn.com/rss"><span style= "font-weight: 400">get the show any number of ways</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400">. And for bonus points, leave us a review on those platforms or however you listen to the show.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400">We’d love to hear from you! You can</span> <a href= "https://line.me/R/ti/p/%40bangkokpodcast"><span style= "font-weight: 400">add our official LINE account</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400">, comment on a post or send us a message via our</span> <a href= "http://facebook.com/bangkokpodcast"><span style= "font-weight: 400">Facebook page</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400">, tweet to us</span> <a href= "http://twitter.com/bangkokpodcast"><span style= "font-weight: 400">@bangkokpodcast</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400">, or simply via</span> <a href= "http://www.bangkokpodcast.com/contact/"><span style= "font-weight: 400">the contact form on our website</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400">. You may also be interested in Greg’s</span> <a href= "https://twitter.com/bkkgreg"><span style="font-weight: 400">tweets of snarky Bangkok goodness</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400">, and you can see way too much of Evo’s face</span> <a href="http://instagram.com/evo_terra"><span style= "font-weight: 400"> on Instagram</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400">.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400">If you’re really new, the Bangkok Podcast is co-hosted by</span> <a href="http://gregtodiffer.com"><span style= "font-weight: 400">Greg Jorgensen</span></a> <span style= "font-weight: 400">and</span> <a href= "http://evoterra.com"><span style="font-weight: 400">Evo Terra</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400">. Together the have over 20 years expat experience in Bangkok, and are self-certified experts in living in the City of Angels. (Not Los Angeles. Thailand, silly!)</span><!-- START 3527 Download Link --> <a href= "http://traffic.libsyn.com/thaifaq/BKPS2E50_-_Q-and-A-episode-happy-anniversary-to-us_3.mp3" target="_blank" rel="noopener">(Direct download .mp3)</a> <!-- END 3527 Download Link -->
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Getting Married In Thailand: A Western Perspective (2.49)
<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Today Greg looks back to his Thai wedding to help us discuss just how much you can expect to spend on your own happy day in Thailand. That’s after a brief talk about avoiding floods and transit-hacking in Bangkok, obviously.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">Good news: we’re not flooded out, though plenty of the world is right now. Perhaps influenced by the terrible news from Bangladesh, Houston, and much of the Caribbean, the government issued warnings about flooding on the Chao Phraya River, which both of us see every day. But what we didn’t see was any part of the river exceeding its boundaries here in Bangkok, so we’re calling ourselves safe. For now. But weren’t we here to talk about Thai weddings?</span> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">A few years back, Greg wrote a blog post about</span> <a href= "http://www.gregtodiffer.com/thai-wedding-costs-the-cold-hard-facts/"> <span style="font-weight: 400;">how much his Thai wedding cost</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">, a post that remains one of his most popular. That and the fact that Greg still gets questions about getting married in Thailand, we’re dedicating this episode to all the nitty gritty details, what went right, what went wrong, and what you can expect if you decide to get married to a Thai in Thailand. It’s bananas. No, literally. Bananas are involved. You’ve got to listen to this episode and compare it to your nuptial experience. Or experiences, if you’re a repeater.</span></p> <h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">Love, Loathe, or Leave</span></h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Since we’re talking Thai weddings, we discuss the touchy subject of the dowry. You probably don’t have to think to hard to hear how a couple of Western dudes feel about the sometimes symbolic, sometimes all too real concept of paying the family for a bride, but you should listen in anyhow. And then tell us if you agree with our summation or not!</span></p> <h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">We Love Our Supporters!</span></h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">This week, we’re thanking another of our supporters and his time, Kurt Martens has the honors. Greg found out that Kurt was not just a track star in his younger days, but a track hacker. What’s that all about? You’ll have to listen to find out what story we have to tell. You can thank Kurth and dozens of other people who help us keep the show free of annoying ads and get access to bonus content, cool swag and more by</span> <a href= "http://patreon.com/bangkokpodcast"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">supporting us on Patreon</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400;">. You should join them!</span></p> <h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">Want More Bangkok Podcast In Your Life?</span></h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">If it’s your first time experiencing The Bangkok Podcast, you really should get our show downloading to your phone automatically every week. If you use iOS, it’s a breeze to</span> <a href= "https://itunes.apple.com/podcast/bangkok-podcast/id372985372?mt=2&ls=1"> <span style="font-weight: 400;">listen via Apple Podcasts</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. Android users are be able</span> <a href= "http://subscribeonandroid.com/thaifaq.libsyn.com/rss"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">get the show any number of ways</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. And for bonus points, leave us a review on those platforms or however you listen to the show.</span>   <span style="font-weight: 400;">We’d love to hear from you! You can</span> <a href= "https://line.me/R/ti/p/%40bangkokpodcast"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">add our official LINE account</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">, comment on a post or send us a message via our</span> <a href= "http://facebook.com/bangkokpodcast"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">Facebook page</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400;">, tweet to us</span> <a href= "http://twitter.com/bangkokpodcast"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">@bangkokpodcast</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400;">, or simply via</span> <a href= "http://www.bangkokpodcast.com/contact/"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">the contact form on our website</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. You may also be interested in Greg’s</span> <a href= "https://twitter.com/bkkgreg"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">tweets of snarky Bangkok goodness</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">, and you can see way too much of Evo’s face</span> <a href= "http://instagram.com/evo_terra"><span style= "font-weight: 400;"> on Instagram</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400;">.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">If you’re really new, the Bangkok Podcast is co-hosted by</span> <a href="http://gregtodiffer.com"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">Greg Jorgensen</span></a> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">and</span> <a href= "http://evoterra.com"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Evo Terra</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. Together the have over 20 years expat experience in Bangkok, and are self-certified experts in living in the City of Angels. (Not Los Angeles. Thailand, silly!)</span></p>
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Do Only Weirdos Live In Bangkok? (2.48)
<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">On this episode we ask the immortal question: do you have to be a little bit strange to live in Bangkok? We don’t mean that (necessarily) in a bad way, you understand. But it sure seems that, on some level, people who tend to thrive on chaos deal really well with the uncertainty, noise, culture shock, and political instability that are endemic to Thailand. If nothing else, you sure need to have an 'elastic outlook' on life.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">All of that is the exact opposite of life in most western countries, so by definition, you have to be okay with rejecting the "normal" parts of your native culture. And that’s something not everyone is comfortable with.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">Not surprisingly, your hosts of the Bangkok Podcast self-identify with the moniker “weirdo”, which probably explains why we’re doing alright here. In this episode we talk about why we fit, what other strange people we’ve met during our time in the kingdom, and then diss on some people who claim to be strange, yet just follow along with the crowd. Let your freak flag fly and enjoy this fun episode of our show.</span> <img class= "aligncenter size-medium wp-image-3481" src= "http://www.bangkokpodcast.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/BKP48-SOCIAL-LOGO-500x750.jpg" alt="" width="500" height="750" /></p> <h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">Love, Loathe, or Leave</span></h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">We’ve all seen them - trimming hedges, fixing cables, doing construction work. The hidden ninjas of Bangkok, the manual laborers who clad themselves from head to toe in clothing despite the ungodly heat and job in direct sunlight. Why do they do it? Don’t they get dehydrated? And why do they look at us like WE’RE the strange ones for wearing shorts?</span></p> <h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">We Love Our Supporters!</span></h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">This week, we’re thanking another of our supporters. This time, it’s Chris “The Coin” Stevens. How did Chris earn that cool nickname? You’ll have to listen to find out what story we have to tell. You can thank Cookies and dozens of other people who help us keep the show free of annoying ads and get access to bonus content, cool swag and more by</span> <a href="http://patreon.com/bangkokpodcast"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">supporting us on Patreon</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400;">. You should join them!</span></p> <h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">Want More Bangkok Podcast In Your Life?</span></h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">If it’s your first time experiencing The Bangkok Podcast, you really should get our show downloading to your phone automatically every week. If you use iOS, it’s a breeze to</span> <a href= "https://itunes.apple.com/podcast/bangkok-podcast/id372985372?mt=2&ls=1"> <span style="font-weight: 400;">listen via Apple Podcasts</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. Android users are be able</span> <a href= "http://subscribeonandroid.com/thaifaq.libsyn.com/rss"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">get the show any number of ways</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. And for bonus points, leave us a review on those platforms or however you listen to the show.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">We’d love to hear from you! You can</span> <a href= "https://line.me/R/ti/p/%40bangkokpodcast"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">add our official LINE account</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">, comment on a post or send us a message via our</span> <a href= "http://facebook.com/bangkokpodcast"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">Facebook page</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400;">, tweet to us</span> <a href= "http://twitter.com/bangkokpodcast"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">@bangkokpodcast</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400;">, or simply via</span> <a href= "http://www.bangkokpodcast.com/contact/"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">the contact form on our website</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. You may also be interested in Greg’s</span> <a href= "https://twitter.com/bkkgreg"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">tweets of snarky Bangkok goodness</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">, and you can see way too much of Evo’s face</span> <a href= "http://instagram.com/evo_terra"><span style= "font-weight: 400;"> on Instagram</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400;">.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">If you’re really new, the Bangkok Podcast is co-hosted by</span> <a href="http://gregtodiffer.com"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">Greg Jorgensen</span></a> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">and</span> <a href= "http://evoterra.com"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Evo Terra</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. Together the have over 20 years expat experience in Bangkok, and are self-certified experts in living in the City of Angels. (Not Los Angeles. Thailand, silly!)</span></p> <!-- START 3478 Download Link --> <p><a href= "http://traffic.libsyn.com/thaifaq/BPS2E48-Do-Only-Weirdos-Live-In-Bangkok.mp3" target="_blank" rel="noopener">(Direct download .mp3)</a></p> <!-- END 3478 Download Link -->
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Paradise Lost? Island Living in Thailand (2.47)
<h2><span style="font-weight: 400">Today we compare living in Bangkok vs a tropical island paradise in Thailand. Also, we share how you can participate in our upcoming one year anniversary show, and give yet another reminder about the big Bangkok-wide <em>I Love Podcasting In Bangkok</em> event coming up August 30th, 2017.</span></h2> <span style="font-weight: 400">Please forgive the sound of the rolling surf in the background during the interview with this week's guest. That’s just one bonus of living on an island in Thailand vs the big city of Bangkok: giving up the sounds of traffic for the sounds of the sea. Like many people, our guest this week - an old friend of Greg's named Tad - first discovered Thailand on a famous full moon party island. After stretching his vacation to two months, he went back to his native home in Los Angeles and started making plans for full-time living in his newfound paradise. A year later, he was back at the same spot, ready to do it again and forever. Stop me if you heard this one, but it wasn’t quite the same the second time around. Paradise, as it seems, can be lost.</span> <h2 style="text-align: right"><em><span style= "font-weight: 400">“It’s like Groundhog Day, but with Red Bull and SangSom.” - Tad</span></em></h2> <span style="font-weight: 400">Still convinced that island living was what he wanted, he packed up and moved to the barely-occupied Thai island Ko Lanta to try his hand at living pre-tourist wave. But that was a decade ago. Fast-forward to today for our episode topic: Expat living in Thailand away from the hustle-and-bustle of Bangkok, deep in paradise. Is it really all it’s cracked up to be? Can you really trust a “professional electrician” who wears flip flops on the job? And how often can you hit the waves when you’re running your dream business seven days a week? Tad brings a healthy dose of reality for those ready to follow their dreams. Listen in to get some pro tips.</span> Oh, and to add a bit of color to the interview, here's a photo Greg took from Tad's pad on Lanta. No wonder you could hear waves in the background. Click to embiggen. <a href= "http://www.bangkokpodcast.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Lanta-pad.jpg" rel="attachment wp-att-3449 noopener" target="_blank"><img src= "http://www.bangkokpodcast.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Lanta-pad-500x186.jpg" alt="" width="500" height="186" class= "aligncenter wp-image-3449 size-medium" /></a> <span style= "font-weight: 400">As mentioned on the episode, we're quickly approaching one year of doing the podcast, and for our 50th show we’ll be featuring questions submitted by our listeners, so get in touch via the links below! Also, if you haven't yet RSVP'd to</span> <a href= "https://www.facebook.com/events/1673646019312412/"><span style= "font-weight: 400">the big I Love Podcasting In Bangkok meetup</span></a> <span style="font-weight: 400">coming up on August 30th, please do so.</span> <h2><span style="font-weight: 400">Love, Loathe, or Leave</span></h2> <span style="font-weight: 400">While there are many cultural affections in Bangkok that stand out to North Americans, we’re covering the comb-over on this episode. You know, that thing that went out of style in the ‘60s and only adopted by old men who didn’t get the news? It’s categorically not out of style over here and is as commonplace as women carrying shoulder bags. Listen in to find out where our heads are on the issue. (Did you see what we did there?)</span> <img src= "http://www.bangkokpodcast.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/BKP47-SOCIAL-LOGO-500x750.jpg" alt="" width="500" height="750" class= "aligncenter size-medium wp-image-3444" /> <h2><span style="font-weight: 400">We Love Our Supporters!</span></h2> <span style="font-weight: 400">This week, we’re thanking another of our supporters. This time, it’s <strong>Matthew “Cookies" Cramer</strong>. How did Matthew -- or just Cookies -- earn that title? You’ll have to listen to find out what story we have to tell. You can thank Cookies and dozens of other people who help us keep the show free of annoying ads and get access to bonus content, cool swag and more by</span> <a href= "http://patreon.com/bangkokpodcast"><span style= "font-weight: 400">supporting us on Patreon</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400">. You should join them!</span> <h2><span style="font-weight: 400">Want More Bangkok Podcast In Your Life?</span></h2> <span style="font-weight: 400">If it’s your first time experiencing The Bangkok Podcast, you really should get our show downloading to your phone automatically every week. If you use iOS, it’s a breeze to</span> <a href= "https://itunes.apple.com/podcast/bangkok-podcast/id372985372?mt=2&ls=1"> <span style="font-weight: 400">listen via Apple Podcasts</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400">. Android users are be able</span> <a href= "http://subscribeonandroid.com/thaifaq.libsyn.com/rss"><span style= "font-weight: 400">get the show any number of ways</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400">. And for bonus points, leave us a review on those platforms or however you listen to the show.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400">We’d love to hear from you! You can</span> <a href= "https://line.me/R/ti/p/%40bangkokpodcast"><span style= "font-weight: 400">add our official LINE account</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400">, comment on a post or send us a message via our</span> <a href= "http://facebook.com/bangkokpodcast"><span style= "font-weight: 400">Facebook page</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400">, tweet to us</span> <a href= "http://twitter.com/bangkokpodcast"><span style= "font-weight: 400">@bangkokpodcast</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400">, or simply via</span> <a href= "http://www.bangkokpodcast.com/contact/"><span style= "font-weight: 400">the contact form on our website</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400">. You may also be interested in Greg’s</span> <a href= "https://twitter.com/bkkgreg"><span style="font-weight: 400">tweets of snarky Bangkok goodness</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400">, and you can see way too much of Evo’s face</span> <a href="http://instagram.com/evo_terra"><span style= "font-weight: 400"> on Instagram</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400">.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400">If you’re really new, the Bangkok Podcast is co-hosted by</span> <a href="http://gregtodiffer.com"><span style= "font-weight: 400">Greg Jorgensen</span></a> <span style= "font-weight: 400">and</span> <a href= "http://evoterra.com"><span style="font-weight: 400">Evo Terra</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400">. Together the have over 20 years expat experience in Bangkok, and are self-certified experts in living in the City of Angels. (Not Los Angeles. Thailand, silly!)</span><!-- START 3442 Download Link --> <a href= "http://traffic.libsyn.com/thaifaq/BKS2E47-Paradise-Lost-Island-Living-in-Thailand.mp3" target="_blank" rel="noopener">(Direct download .mp3)</a> <!-- END 3442 Download Link -->
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Bangkok Needs A Facelift (2.46)
<h2><span style="font-weight: 400">This week we take a break from talking about how much we love Bangkok to discuss the city's ugly, dusty, dirty side. Prior to that we'll tell you about our bike-tastic weekend. Because sometimes you just gotta get out of the city and enjoy the rest of Thailand, right?</span></h2> <span style="font-weight: 400">Evo gets burned on the beach in Hua Hin, and Greg MacGyver’s his way through a bike ride in remote Bangkok. Clearly we love living in the Kingdom,</span> <span style= "font-weight: 400">but as with most relationships, there are things that drive you a bit crazy. One of those things about Bangkok is that while it's certainly a fascinating city, it is not a very</span> <i><span style="font-weight: 400">attractive</span></i> <span style="font-weight: 400">city. At least not at first sight.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400">What’s not to love? Well… abandoned buildings still dot the landscape, giving many aspects of Bangkok a bit of a post-apocalyptic feel. And even for occupied buildings, the elements aren’t nice to our hi-so condos, and many could use with a fresh (or perhaps first ever) coat of paint. When you do see color on buildings, it’s often from re-purposed polyvinyl signs used in some rather ingenious (and likely not permitted) construction project. Of course, we’ll talk about the twisted knot of telecommunication lines that is inescapable in Bangkok if you happen to look just slightly up. Which you probably don’t do very often for fear of stepping into an open hole in the sidewalk, falling down a bottomless pit.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400">But maybe that’s just our perception as farangs who’ve lived too long in the city? For it certainly stands in contrast with the army of street cleaners who sweep the streets around Bangkok with brooms and dustpans. Give this episode a listen and let us know your thoughts on the less-beautiful side of Bangkok. Maybe we’re being to critical?</span> <h2><span style="font-weight: 400">Love, Loathe, or Leave</span></h2> <span style="font-weight: 400">How do we feel about fish sauce, that salty, MSG-laden black liquid that Bangkokians put on just about everything? Not surprisingly, it’s a split decision this week. (Spoiler: One of your hosts might have sent</span> <a href= "http://shevo.wtf/postcards"><span style="font-weight: 400">a whole bunch of postcards around the world</span></a> <span style= "font-weight: 400">doused in the savory goodness! And the other likes ketchup. Gross.)</span> <h2><span style="font-weight: 400">We Love Our Supporters!</span></h2> <span style="font-weight: 400">You really need to meet Christine Foti, the lovely person this week who deserves our thanks and your awe. Why? A few years back she called her cable company to cancel her service, and they were so scared of losing such a stellar customer, they offered to pay</span> <i><span style= "font-weight: 400">her</span></i> <span style="font-weight: 400">if she didn't leave. Now she makes a nice chunk of change from companies that simply want to be associated with her. When she’s not doing that, Christine and a few other fantastic people help us keep the show free of annoying ads and get access to bonus content, cool swag and more by</span> <a href= "http://patreon.com/bangkokpodcast"><span style= "font-weight: 400">supporting us on Patreon</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400">. You should join them!</span> <span style= "font-weight: 400">Also, thanks to J Robert MM for the lovely review of the Bangkok Podcast on iTunes. You rock, JRMM, and enjoy life in Kanchanburi!</span> <h2><span style="font-weight: 400">Want More Bangkok Podcast In Your Life?</span></h2> <span style="font-weight: 400">If it’s your first time experiencing The Bangkok Podcast, you really should get our show downloading to your phone automatically every week. If you use iOS, it’s a breeze to</span> <a href= "https://itunes.apple.com/podcast/bangkok-podcast/id372985372?mt=2&ls=1"> <span style="font-weight: 400">listen via Apple Podcasts</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400">. Android users are be able</span> <a href= "http://subscribeonandroid.com/thaifaq.libsyn.com/rss"><span style= "font-weight: 400">get the show any number of ways</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400">. And for bonus points, leave us a review on those platforms or however you listen to the show.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400">We’d love to hear from you! You can</span> <a href= "https://line.me/R/ti/p/%40bangkokpodcast"><span style= "font-weight: 400">add our official LINE account</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400">, comment on a post or send us a message via our</span> <a href= "http://facebook.com/bangkokpodcast"><span style= "font-weight: 400">Facebook page</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400">, tweet to us</span> <a href= "http://twitter.com/bangkokpodcast"><span style= "font-weight: 400">@bangkokpodcast</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400">, or simply via</span> <a href= "http://www.bangkokpodcast.com/contact/"><span style= "font-weight: 400">the contact form on our website</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400">. You may also be interested in Greg’s</span> <a href= "https://twitter.com/bkkgreg"><span style="font-weight: 400">tweets of snarky Bangkok goodness</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400">, and you can see way too much of Evo’s face</span> <a href="http://instagram.com/evo_terra"><span style= "font-weight: 400"> on Instagram</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400">.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400">If you’re really new, the Bangkok Podcast is co-hosted by</span> <a href="http://gregtodiffer.com"><span style= "font-weight: 400">Greg Jorgensen</span></a> <span style= "font-weight: 400">and</span> <a href= "http://evoterra.com"><span style="font-weight: 400">Evo Terra</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400">. Together the have over 20 years expat experience in Bangkok, and are self-certified experts in living in the City of Angels. (Not Los Angeles. Thailand, silly!)</span><!-- START 3430 Download Link --> <a href= "http://traffic.libsyn.com/thaifaq/BPS2E46-Bangkok-Needs-A-Facelift.mp3" target="_blank" rel="noopener">(Direct download .mp3)</a> <!-- END 3430 Download Link --> <a href= "http://traffic.libsyn.com/thaifaq/BPS2E46-Bangkok-Needs-A-Facelift.mp3"> <img src= "http://www.bangkokpodcast.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/BKP46-Pinterest.jpg" alt="" width="735" height="1102" class= "aligncenter wp-image-3436 size-full" /></a>
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Holy Cow! The Role of Hindu Priests in Buddhist Thailand’s Royal Court (2.45)
<h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">Today we’re talking with an expert on the Brahmin, a Hindu caste that plays a very important role in the highest levels of Thai society. And we have something special planned for our one year episode. Oh, and there's</span> <a href= "https://www.facebook.com/events/1673646019312412/?acontext=%7B%22action_history%22%3A[%7B%22surface%22%3A%22dashboard%22%2C%22mechanism%22%3A%22calendar_tab_event%22%2C%22extra_data%22%3A%22[]%22%7D]%2C%22ref%22%3A1%2C%22source%22%3A2%7D"> <span style="font-weight: 400;">a Bangkok-wide podcast meetup coming up.</span></a> <span style="font-weight: 400;">We’ll cover that and more on episode 2.45 of the Bangkok Podcast.</span></h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Have you RSVP’d to the big, huge, love-fest that will be</span> <a href= "https://www.facebook.com/events/1673646019312412/?acontext=%7B%22action_history%22%3A[%7B%22surface%22%3A%22dashboard%22%2C%22mechanism%22%3A%22calendar_tab_event%22%2C%22extra_data%22%3A%22[]%22%7D]%2C%22ref%22%3A1%2C%22source%22%3A2%7D"> <span style="font-weight: 400;">the I Love Podcasting In Bangkok meetup on August 30th</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">? It’s free, low-key, and something we’d like to repeat on a regular basis. So if you’re in town and free that evening, come join us and lot of other podcasters, podcast listeners, and those just interested in learning more about podcasting for a few beers and conversation. It’ll be fun! And if that’s not interesting enough, we’re coming up on our one-year anniversary of the podcast relaunch! We’re collecting questions, comments, and other items that you, our loyal listeners and fans would like for us to talk about on this special show. There are plenty of links at the bottom of this post if you’d like to send a query. But that’s not what we’re talking about on this episode.</span> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">Recently, Greg chatted with Nathan McGovern, Assistant Professor in Philosophy and Religious studies at the University of Wisconsin - Whitewater. He has a BA in Physics and a PhD in Religious Studies, and is a specialist on a unique Hindu Caste called the Brahmins. Not a lot of people have heard of the Brahmins, and even if you have you may not be aware that they play a vital role in the highest levels of Thai society and have been doing so for hundreds of years. Here are a few tidbits you’ll pick up from this fascinating conversation</span></p> <ul> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">How Hindu priests (Brahmins) became employed by Thailand’s Royal Court (a Buddhist institution) hundreds of years ago -- and remain today</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">What services the Hindu priests perform in Thailand’s Royal Court and how that differs from the Buddhist priests</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Why having Hindu priests quite close to the center of power in Thailand isn’t quite as strange as it might seem</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Which modern ceremony performed by Brahmins expats in Bangkok have probably have seen</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Where to</span> <a href= "https://www.google.co.th/maps/place/Thewasathan+(Bot+Pram)/@13.7522488,100.4990911,17z/data=!4m14!1m6!3m5!1s0x0:0x84f49c77c970ffc1!2sDevasathan+(Brahmin+Temple)!8m2!3d13.7525379!4d100.5006094!3m6!1s0x0:0x5332b013910004e4!8m2!3d13.7522485!4d100.5005915!9m1!1b1"> <span style="font-weight: 400;">visit the almost-hidden Brahmin temple in Bangkok</span></a></li> </ul> <h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">Love, Loathe, or Leave</span></h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">What’s up with the trend (?) of using “bro” via messages in Bangkok? And how is it supposed to be pronounced? Brough? Brugh? Brah? We’re puzzled, so listen in and see just how much tiny things like this bother us. Or not.</span></p> <h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">We Love Our Supporters!</span></h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">While we love ALL of our listeners, friends, and fans, we especially love the supporters on Patreon who help us keep the show going and free of annoying ads. This week we’re shouting out to Amy P. As is the norm, Greg did some research on Amy P. and came up with an interesting story. Have a listen to hear why she's such an amazing person! </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">To help support the show like Amy did and get access to bonus content and cool swag, head to <a href="http://www.patreon.com/bangkokpodcast" target="_blank" rel= "noopener">patreon.com/bangkokpodcast</a>.</span> <img class= "aligncenter size-medium wp-image-3420" src= "http://www.bangkokpodcast.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/BKP45-SOCIAL-LOGO-500x750.jpg" alt="" width="500" height="750" /></p> <h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">Want More Bangkok Podcast In Your Life?</span></h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">If it’s your first time experiencing The Bangkok Podcast, you really should get our show downloading to your phone automatically every week. If you use iOS, it’s a breeze to</span> <a href= "https://itunes.apple.com/podcast/bangkok-podcast/id372985372?mt=2&ls=1"> <span style="font-weight: 400;">listen via Apple Podcasts</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. Android users are be able</span> <a href= "http://subscribeonandroid.com/thaifaq.libsyn.com/rss"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">get the show any number of ways</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. And for bonus points, leave us a review on those platforms or however you listen to the show.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">We’d love to hear from you! You can</span> <a href= "https://line.me/R/ti/p/%40bangkokpodcast"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">add our official LINE account</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">, comment on a post or send us a message via our</span> <a href= "http://facebook.com/bangkokpodcast"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">Facebook page</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400;">, tweet to us</span> <a href= "http://twitter.com/bangkokpodcast"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">@bangkokpodcast</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400;">, or simply via</span> <a href= "http://www.bangkokpodcast.com/contact/"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">the contact form on our website</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. You may also be interested in Greg’s</span> <a href= "https://twitter.com/bkkgreg"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">tweets of snarky Bangkok goodness</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">, and you can see way too much of Evo’s face</span> <a href= "http://instagram.com/evo_terra"><span style= "font-weight: 400;"> on Instagram</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400;">.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">If you’re really new, the Bangkok Podcast is co-hosted by</span> <a href="http://gregtodiffer.com"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">Greg Jorgensen</span></a> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">and</span> <a href= "http://evoterra.com"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Evo Terra</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. Together the have over 20 years expat experience in Bangkok, and are self-certified experts in living in the City of Angels. (Not Los Angeles. Thailand, silly!)</span></p>
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Bangkok's Hidden Gems: The Scala Theater (2.44)
<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again - Bangkok is an</span> <em><span style= "font-weight: 400;">interesting</span></em> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">city; but it ain’t a</span> <em><span style= "font-weight: 400;">pretty</span></em> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">city. But that’s not to say that there aren’t places of architectural significance or historical importance, because there are. One of those is the magnificent Scala theater - at least until it gets knocked down for another mall. Oh, and while recording this episode</span> <strong>on location</strong> <span style="font-weight: 400;">at the Scala, we were</span> <em><span style="font-weight: 400;">kicked out</span></em> <span style="font-weight: 400;">because we didn’t have permission (you can hear this conversation with the theater’s</span> <em><span style="font-weight: 400;">major domo</span></em> <span style="font-weight: 400;">in the Patreon bonus content). Also in this episode, Evo wonders why bowling in Thailand is more glam than redneck, and Greg muses about the dangers of driving huge trucks in Bangkok if you can’t see out of the goddamn windows.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">Where we come from - and perhaps where you, dear reader, also come from - bowling is something you do for a laugh. It’s a sport so ridiculous, so fringe, so cheesy, that it’s hard to take anyone seriously who takes it seriously. But not in Thailand - no, here people actually</span> <em><span style="font-weight: 400;">dress up</span></em> <span style="font-weight: 400;">to head to the bowling alley with friends. As he prepares to head out with wifey’s friends for an evening of ball play, Evo is unsure what to expect.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">But our main topic is the awesome Scala movie theater, one of the Bangkok’s last, best remnants of a more glamorous time, where movies were shown in 70mm and theaters were - as you can still see - built with more love and attention to detail than a modern office building.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">But how long will it last? Owned by Chulalongkorn University, the land that the Scala sits on is some of the most valuable real estate in the country, and when money talks, no one’s speaking very loudly by selling movie seats at 100 baht a pop. So sadly, inevitably, it’s only a matter of time until the Scala gets turned into a new mall, but until then, it’s open for business. We discuss its history, its significance, and why should make it a point to make a visit post-haste.</span> And - as a bonus - here's the picture if Pinocchio from the Scala that Greg mentioned in this episode's Patreon bonus content - just before they got kicked out of the theater. <img class= "aligncenter size-full wp-image-3412" src= "http://www.bangkokpodcast.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Pinocchio-e1501940166807.jpg" alt="" width="332" height="452" /></p> <h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">Love, Loathe, or Leave</span></h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Greg wonders why in the HELL the drivers of trucks - not pickups or ¼-ton specials, but full-size 2-ton big-rigs - feel the need to cover their windshields with stickers, add lights and various bling to the mirrors, and otherwise bedazzle their trucks all to hell. Safe? Nope. Aerodynamic? Nope. Cool looking? Also nope...at least from our perspective.</span> <img class= "aligncenter size-medium wp-image-3411" src= "http://www.bangkokpodcast.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/BKP44-SOCIAL-LOGO-500x750.jpg" alt="" width="500" height="750" /></p> <h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">We Love Our Supporters!</span></h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">This week we’re giving a HUGE thank you to <strong>Matt B,</strong> who is supporting the show at the highest level, meaning that he’ll soon get a personalized, very special gift from us. We also tell you why Matt is the type of guy you wish you knew, and hope to have around if a fire ever breaks out.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">We’ll say nice things about you on an episode too, plus give you bonus content and early access to our shows, for a modest level of financial support. And by “modest”, we mean a couple of bucks! Join the growing list of listeners who support our podcast on Patreon.</span></p> <h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">Want More Bangkok Podcast In Your Life?</span></h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">If it’s your first time experiencing The Bangkok Podcast, you really should get our show downloading to your phone automatically every week. If you use iOS, it’s a breeze to</span> <a href= "https://itunes.apple.com/podcast/bangkok-podcast/id372985372?mt=2&ls=1"> <span style="font-weight: 400;">listen via Apple Podcasts</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. Android users are be able</span> <a href= "http://subscribeonandroid.com/thaifaq.libsyn.com/rss"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">get the show any number of ways</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. And for bonus points, leave us a review on those platforms or however you listen to the show.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">We’d love to hear from you! You can</span> <a href= "https://line.me/R/ti/p/%40bangkokpodcast"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">add our official LINE account</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">, comment on a post or send us a message via our</span> <a href= "http://facebook.com/bangkokpodcast"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">Facebook page</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400;">, tweet to us</span> <a href= "http://twitter.com/bangkokpodcast"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">@bangkokpodcast</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400;">, or simply via</span> <a href= "http://www.bangkokpodcast.com/contact/"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">the contact form on our website</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. You may also be interested in Greg’s</span> <a href= "https://twitter.com/bkkgreg"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">tweets of snarky Bangkok goodness</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">, and you can see way to much of Evo’s face</span><span style= "font-weight: 400;"> </span><a href= "http://instagram.com/evo_terra"><span style="font-weight: 400;">on Instagram</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">If you’re really new, the Bangkok Podcast is co-hosted by</span> <a href= "http://gregtodiffer.com"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Greg Jorgensen</span></a> <span style="font-weight: 400;">and</span> <a href="http://evoterra.com"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Evo Terra</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. Together the have over 20 years expat experience in Bangkok, and are self-certified experts in living in the City of Angels.</span></p> <!-- START 3407 Download Link --> <p><a href= "http://traffic.libsyn.com/thaifaq/Bangkoks_Hidden_Gems_-_The_Scala_Theater.mp3" target="_blank" rel="noopener">(Direct download .mp3)</a></p> <!-- END 3407 Download Link -->
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News Flash: English News on Thailand from Thailand is Hard to Find (2.43)
<h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">A discussion about the challenges and barriers to getting quality English-language news</span> <em><span style="font-weight: 400;">on</span></em> <span style="font-weight: 400;">Thailand</span> <em><span style= "font-weight: 400;">from</span></em> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">Thailand. And Evo’s learning to write like a 3-year-old. After that, the magic of pork floss. Because Bangkok Podcast.</span></h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Evo’s decided that maybe he does need to learn Thai. So he picked up a new book, <em>Fun Training From Chicken to Owl</em>. Well, that’s the English translation. Why has he flip-flopped on his opinion on learning Thai? Because <a href= "http://www.bangkokpodcast.com/unlearning-thai-talking-with-stu-jay-raj-about-cracking-thai-fundamentals-2-41/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Stu Jay Raj said so</a>. Fine. But that’s not what we’re talking about today.</span> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">Thailand isn't quite as dedicated to the concept of a "free press" as most Westerners are used to. While it's not quite state-controlled like North Korea, China, or Russia, there are limitations -- about 44 of them (<em>wink)</em> -- to how far the Thai press will go. But for expats, there's a more fundamental problem: Actually getting any news from Thailand about Thailand in a language other than Thai. M</span><span style= "font-weight: 400;">ore than one expat new to the area has bemoaned the lack of English-based content coming out of the Thai media. And for good reason.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">On this episode of the Bangkok Podcast, we’re covering English-presented news generated from within the kingdom of Thailand. So if you’re looking for your TV, radio, or newsprint-based fix for news, this episode of our podcast will help point you in the right direction.</span> <img class= "aligncenter size-medium wp-image-3402" src= "http://www.bangkokpodcast.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/BKP43-SOCIAL-LOGO-500x750.jpg" alt="" width="500" height="750" /></p> <h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">Love, Loathe, or Leave</span></h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">This one needs no preamble, as we’re talking about the magic of pork floss. Yes, pork floss. Or as Greg calls it, pig-flavored cotton candy. Because if that doesn’t sound tasty to you, there is something terribly wrong with you. Like one of us. Listen in to see and see who you side with, as we’ve a split decision this week.</span></p> <h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">We Love Our Supporters!</span></h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">This week we’re giving a HUGE thank you to ex-expat <strong>Adam Payet</strong>. He’s been forced to move back to a big desert island, but keeps up with the goings on in his adopted homeland (that’s Bangkok), by listening to The Bangkok Podcast. And because he’s a super nice guy, he’s helping to keep the show going every week. Thanks, Adam!</span> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">We’ll say nice things about you on an episode, plus give you bonus content and early access to our shows, for a modest level of financial support. And by “modest”, we mean a couple of bucks! Join the growing list of listeners who <a href= "https://www.patreon.com/bangkokpodcast" target="_blank" rel= "noopener">support our podcast on Patreon</a>.</span></p> <h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">Want More Bangkok Podcast In Your Life?</span></h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">If it’s your first time experiencing The Bangkok Podcast, you really should get our show downloading to your phone automatically every week. If you use iOS, it’s a breeze to</span> <a href= "https://itunes.apple.com/podcast/bangkok-podcast/id372985372?mt=2&ls=1"> <span style="font-weight: 400;">listen via Apple Podcasts</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. Android users are be able</span> <a href= "http://subscribeonandroid.com/thaifaq.libsyn.com/rss"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">get the show any number of ways</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. And for bonus points, leave us a review on those platforms or however you listen to the show.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">We’d love to hear from you! You can</span> <a href= "https://line.me/R/ti/p/%40bangkokpodcast"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">add our official LINE account</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">, comment on a post or send us a message via our</span> <a href= "http://facebook.com/bangkokpodcast"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">Facebook page</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400;">, tweet to us</span> <a href= "http://twitter.com/bangkokpodcast"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">@bangkokpodcast</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400;">, or simply via</span> <a href= "http://www.bangkokpodcast.com/contact/"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">the contact form on our website</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. You may also be interested in Greg’s</span> <a href= "https://twitter.com/bkkgreg"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">tweets of snarky Bangkok goodness</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">, and you can see way to much of Evo’s face</span> <a href= "http://instagram.com/evo_terra"><span style= "font-weight: 400;"> on Instagram</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400;">.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">If you’re really new, the Bangkok Podcast is co-hosted by</span> <a href="http://gregtodiffer.com"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">Greg Jorgensen</span></a> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">and</span> <a href= "http://evoterra.com"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Evo Terra</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. Together the have over 20 years expat experience in Bangkok, and are self-certified experts in living in the City of Angels.</span></p>
Listen: podcast - audio/mpeg

The Science Behind Tasty Thai Food (2.42)
<h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">This week we’re talking with an honest to goodness food scientist who gives us the lowdown on the health benefits - or lack thereof - of Thai food and its sundry ingredients. But first, Evo plays Robin Hood as he recounts a pleasant encounter with a wandering sheriff.</span></h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">What are the odds a visitor to Bangkok would not only run into one of the hosts of his favorite podcast, but run into said favorite podcast co-host just minutes after listening? Pretty high if you happen to visit Jack’s Bar. But as cool and unexpected as that was, it’s not what we’re talking about today.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">Adam Yee is a food scientist who works at a billion dollar health-and-wellness company in Phoenix Arizona. He’s the kind of guy who takes his work home with him, because he’s also the host of a</span> <a href= "http://myfoodjobrocks.com/"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">podcast called My Food Job Rocks!</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. We brought Adam on the show to dispel the rumors and myths about the healthiness of Thai Food. Adam has a lot to share about what science says about fad diets and more, including these choice bits:</span></p> <ul> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">How gluten spreads civilization (no offence to those diagnosed with Celiac Disease)</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Why you shouldn’t (and practically can’t) avoid MSG in Thailand</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">A</span> <a href= "http://www.stuffyoushouldknow.com/podcasts/how-umami-works.htm"><span style="font-weight: 400;"> reference to the tastiest of tastes: umami</span></a></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Why you can blame the American military for Thailand’s dedication to sweetened condensed milk in everything</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">How to</span> <em><span style="font-weight: 400;">curry</span></em> <span style="font-weight: 400;">favor from a food scientist (did you see what I did there?)</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">The curious case of tamarind and why</span> <em><span style= "font-weight: 400;">anyone</span></em> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">would find it a tasty food additive</span></li> </ul> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Since Adam is curious about Thailand (his roomie is Thai), we talked about some unique aspects of Bangkok that shows why he’s a great food scientist. Among other things, we covered:</span></p> <ul> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">The flavors and styles of snacks are made from seaweed</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Mexican food scene of Bangkok (since he’s from Arizona, right on the Mexican border)</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">How mayonnaise contributes to the Thainization of sushi</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Why Thais love Red #40 like French Canadians love Yellow #6</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Macro trends on Thai-centric health concerns</span></li> </ul> <p><img class="aligncenter size-medium wp-image-3392" src= "http://www.bangkokpodcast.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/BKP42-SOCIAL-LOGO-500x750.jpg" alt="" width="500" height="750" /></p> <h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">Love, Loathe, or Leave</span></h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">As we’ve talked about on prior episodes, Bangkok cops are cracking down on helmetless riders. Mototaxi drivers are accommodating, offering pay passenger a spare helmet. But when you’re sporting a mellon the the size of a beachball like both of us, it’s more about fine-avoidance than safety. Listen in to find out how we deal with this reality.</span></p> <h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">We Love Our Supporters!</span></h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In fact, we’re considering a special meetup for anyone who lives in or will be traveling to Bangkok next month. Are you interested? Even if you can’t make it in August but do travel frequently to Bangkok, let us know. Maybe we’ll do it on a regular basis!</span></p> <h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">Want More Bangkok Podcast In Your Life?</span></h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">If it’s your first time experiencing The Bangkok Podcast, you really should get our show downloading to your phone automatically every week. If you use iOS, it’s a breeze to</span> <a href= "https://itunes.apple.com/podcast/bangkok-podcast/id372985372?mt=2&ls=1"> <span style="font-weight: 400;">listen via Apple Podcasts</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. Android users are be able</span> <a href= "http://subscribeonandroid.com/thaifaq.libsyn.com/rss"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">get the show any number of ways</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. And for bonus points, leave us a review on those platforms or however you listen to the show.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">We’d love to hear from you, either on</span> <a href= "http://www.bangkokpodcast.com/contact/"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">the contact form on our website</span></a> <span style="font-weight: 400;">or through a comment or message on our</span> <a href= "http://facebook.com/bangkokpodcast"><span style="font-weight: 400;"> Facebook page</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. You can Tweet to the show</span> <a href= "http://twitter.com/bangkokpodcast"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">@bangkokpodcast</span></a> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">or follow Greg’s</span> <a href= "https://twitter.com/bkkgreg"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">tweets of snarky Bangkok goodness</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. Evo chronicles his</span> <a href="http://instagram.com/evo_terra"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">Bangkok adventures on Instagram</span></a> <span style="font-weight: 400;">from time to time, if that’s your thing. And as mentioned,</span> <a href= "https://line.me/R/ti/p/%40fqk8298f"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">we now have a LINE account</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">! Yep. Just for the Bangkok Podcast. Join us over there, too!</span> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">See you next time on The Bangkok Podcast!</span></p> <!-- START 3388 Download Link --> <p><a href= "http://traffic.libsyn.com/thaifaq/BKPS2E42_-_Food_Science.mp3" target="_blank" rel="noopener">(Direct download .mp3)</a></p> <!-- END 3388 Download Link -->
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Unlearning Thai: Talking with Stu Jay Raj about cracking Thai fundamentals (2.41)
<h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">We’re talking with Stu Jay Raj, who uses his fluency in 12 languages to help "fluent" Thai second-language speakers connect on a more personal level than they ever thought they could. But first, the most Thai way to listen to the show and communicate directly with Evo. (Don't tell Greg!)</span></h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Before we get started, we need to talk about</span> <a href= "http://patreon.com/bangkokpodcast"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">our Patreon page</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400;">, the only way we raise funds to support the show, and how many people have already signed up to get bonus content and extra content from us for a few bucks. There’s also</span> <a href= "https://line.me/R/ti/p/%40fqk8298f"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">our quasi-official LINE account</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">, where a few of our followers are engaging in one-on-one conversations with Evo all the time. Are you connected with one or both of those? No? Fix that. You’ll get the warm fuzzies almost immediately!</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">Prosody. It’s not a Thai word, but it’s not a word that either of us were familiar with. And, as it turns out, it’s key to becoming a better Thai speaker. That’s what you’ll learn when you listen to Greg’s conversation with one of the most talented and well-known polyglots in Asia,</span> <a href= "http://stujay.com/?p_link=9bf31c7ff062936a96d3c8bd1f8f2ff3"><span style="font-weight: 400;"> Stu Jay Raj</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">.  He’s fluent in over 12 languages including English, Thai, Lao, Indonesian, Malay, Khmer, Burmese, Spanish, Hindi, Danish, and Vietnamese, with working knowledge of several more.  But he's not your average language educator. He has a degree in Cognitive and Applied Linguistics and uses his skills as a corporate facilitator, cross-cultural training specialist, and to assist multinationals, governments and NGOs in high-level conflict resolution.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">Here’s what you’ll learn from Stu when you listen to this conversation:</span></p> <ul> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Why the street is your best classroom when learning the natural rhythms and patterns of the foreign language you’re trying to learn.</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">The truth about “fluency” and why it doesn’t really tell you how well someone can communicate</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Why you never want to be complimented on your skills when speaking another language</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">How much leaned sound patterns from your native tongue are screwing up your mastery of Thai</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Why it’s OK to blame the Romans for the naughty phrases we accidentally say when we try to speak Thai</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">How much easier it is to learn multiple languages at a time (as crazy as that sounds)</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">What the biggest mistakes Thai language learners make… and how to stop!</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Why Stu claims that Thai is a beautiful, logical, and confusion free language -- once you learn it the right way</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">And finally, why you should</span> <a href= "http://stujay.com/product/cracking-thai-fundamentals-book/?p_link=9bf31c7ff062936a96d3c8bd1f8f2ff3"> <span style="font-weight: 400;">buy the book</span></a> <span style="font-weight: 400;">or</span> <a href= "http://stujay.com/courses/cracking-thai-fundamentals/?p_link=9bf31c7ff062936a96d3c8bd1f8f2ff3"> <span style="font-weight: 400;">take the course</span></a> <span style="font-weight: 400;">and start learning Thai the right way.</span></li> </ul> <h2><img class="aligncenter size-medium wp-image-3381" src= "http://www.bangkokpodcast.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/BKP41-SOCIAL-LOGO-500x750.jpg" alt="" width="500" height="750" /></h2> <h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">Love, Loathe, or Leave</span></h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Some things really push our buttons. In this case… it’s Thai people in elevators pushing the door close or door open button. Every. Time. Even though they know the door will close in a matter of sub-seconds… they’ll still push the button. Every. Time. You can probably guess how we feel about this. But if you listen, you’ll learn a fun prank to play. (And it won’t get you kicked out of the country! Probably not.)</span></p> <h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">Want More Bangkok Podcast In Your Life?</span></h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">If it’s your first time experiencing The Bangkok Podcast, you really should get our show downloading to your phone automatically every week. If you use iOS, it’s a breeze to</span> <a href= "https://itunes.apple.com/podcast/bangkok-podcast/id372985372?mt=2&ls=1"> <span style="font-weight: 400;">listen via Apple Podcasts</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. Android users are be able</span> <a href= "http://subscribeonandroid.com/thaifaq.libsyn.com/rss"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">get the show any number of ways</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. And for bonus points, leave us a review on those platforms or however you listen to the show.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">We’d love to hear from you, either on</span> <a href= "http://www.bangkokpodcast.com/contact/"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">the contact form on our website</span></a> <span style="font-weight: 400;">or through a comment or message on our</span> <a href= "http://facebook.com/bangkokpodcast"><span style="font-weight: 400;"> Facebook page</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. You can Tweet to the show</span> <a href= "http://twitter.com/bangkokpodcast"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">@bangkokpodcast</span></a> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">or follow Greg’s</span> <a href= "https://twitter.com/bkkgreg"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">tweets of snarky Bangkok goodness</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. Evo chronicles his</span> <a href="http://instagram.com/evo_terra"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">Bangkok adventures on Instagram</span></a> <span style="font-weight: 400;">from time to time, if that’s your thing. And as mentioned,</span> <a href= "https://line.me/R/ti/p/%40fqk8298f"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">we now have a LINE account</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">! Yep. Just for the Bangkok Podcast. Join us over there, too!</span> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">See you next time on The Bangkok Podcast!</span></p> <!-- START 3379 Download Link --> <p><a href= "http://traffic.libsyn.com/thaifaq/BKPS2E41_-_Unlearning_Thai.mp3" target="_blank" rel="noopener">(Direct download .mp3)</a></p> <!-- END 3379 Download Link -->
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Talking with Ron Morris, author of The Thai Book: A Field Guide to Thai Political Motivations (2.40)
<h2>On this episode of the Bangkok Podcast, we interview Ron Morris, the author of The Thai Book: A Field Guide to Thai Political Motivations. But before we get into that discussion, Greg goes into (thankfully minor) detail about his second experience with food poisoning after 16 years of eating street food.</h2> <p>Given the size of Greg, it's safe to say he's an expert on street food. But despite eating his way through, under, around, and on top of Bangkok for his entire time here, he has only been sick from eating street food once. Until last week. There was no hospital visit or death bed vigils, but the crab curry he ate made sure he spent a "lot of time alone, in a small room," if you get the drift. Nothing to do with Thai food...it could happen anywhere. But still...you play with fire, you get burned. But our main topic today is miles away from street food yet still very much in the street. Ron Morris is an author and Thai political commentator who has been in Asia for decades. As the man behind <a href= "http://www.2bangkok.com" target="_blank" rel= "noopener">2Bangkok.com</a>, he's built up a reputation as someone who calls it like it is, with a keen insight into the motivations and reasoning behind the often murky - even opaque - political machinations of Thailand's leaders. Evo's discussion with him is broken into "chapters" which Evo and Greg comment on, but they include topics such as:</p> <ul> <li>What Bangkok was like in the 1990s when Ron's first coup took place, the infamous Black May protest of 1992, which saw 52 deaths</li> <li>Why protests in Thailand are seen as a very last resort before it hits the fan, unlike in western countries where protest is a sign of a strong, stable democracy</li> <li>The concepts of "face" and "big man" and how they guide relationships, reactions, business, and politics</li> <li>Why it's impossible to graft the western ideas of liberal/conservative/libertarian etc onto Thai political parties</li> <li>Ron's comments on the current administration, and what they're doing that others have not.</li> </ul> <p><img class="aligncenter size-medium wp-image-3370" src= "http://www.bangkokpodcast.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/BKP40-SOCIAL-LOGO-500x750.jpg" alt="" width="500" height="750" /></p> <h2>Love, Loathe, or Leave</h2> <p>This week is more of a "Would You Rather", but Greg and Evo discuss transportation in the rainy season. Which do you prefer: having a car, deciding when/how/where you go, controlling your environment....and possibly getting stuck in traffic for 3 hours? Or would you rather be crushed into the BTS, fighting off commuters and splashes from the rain...but have a pretty good idea of when you'll get home? OR...how about just ignoring all of that and riding between the cars on a motorbike...but having to deal with wet shoes and rain gear?</p> <h2>Want More Bangkok Podcast In Your Life?</h2> <p>If it’s your first time experiencing The Bangkok Podcast, you really should get our show downloading to your phone automatically every week. If you use iOS, it’s a breeze to <a href= "https://itunes.apple.com/podcast/bangkok-podcast/id372985372?mt=2&ls=1"> listen via Apple Podcasts</a>. Android users are be able <a href= "http://subscribeonandroid.com/thaifaq.libsyn.com/rss">get the show any number of ways</a>. And for bonus points, leave us a review on those platforms or however you listen to the show. We’d love to hear from you, either on <a href= "http://www.bangkokpodcast.com/contact/">the contact form on our website</a> or through a comment or message on our <a href= "http://facebook.com/bangkokpodcast">Facebook page</a>. You can Tweet to the show <a href= "http://twitter.com/bangkokpodcast">@bangkokpodcast</a> or follow Greg’s <a href="https://twitter.com/bkkgreg">tweets of snarky Bangkok goodness</a>. Evo chronicles his <a href= "http://instagram.com/evo_terra">Bangkok adventures on Instagram</a> from time to time, if that’s your thing. And as mentioned, <a href="https://line.me/R/ti/p/%40fqk8298f">we now have a LINE account</a>! Yep. Just for the Bangkok Podcast. Join us over there, too! See you next time on The Bangkok Podcast!</p> <!-- START 3368 Download Link --> <p><a href= "http://traffic.libsyn.com/thaifaq/BKPS2E40_-_Ron_Morris.mp3" target="_blank" rel="noopener">(Direct download .mp3)</a></p> <!-- END 3368 Download Link -->
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The Best Pad Thai Is Average By Design (2.39)
<h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">This week we take a closer look at why Thailand's national dish -- pad thai -- isn't actually very representative of Thai food. But first, an innovative way to get out of a traffic ticket in Thailand when it happens to you. Evo tested. Evo approved.</span></h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Before we get started with the meat of the show, we have to tell you the story of Evo getting ticketed for a traffic offense he really didn’t commit. Which meant he lost his license and had to then go argue his case in person at some some tiny cop-shop in the far northwestern corner of Bangkok. And by “argue”, we mean smile, stay friendly, and then don’t go away until the police officer gets sick of the whole situation, leading him to tear up the ticket and hand over the license. (Note: The Bangkok Podcast does not endorse this behavior. Drive safely, please!)</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">But that’s not what we’re talking about today. Instead, we’re covering the classic, quintessential dish that everyone has to have when they visit Bangkok -- pad thai. Only... what if it's not all it's cracked up to be? To get to the bottom of this, Evo put on his investigative journalist hat once again and looked into the national -- or perhaps</span> <em><span style= "font-weight: 400;">ultra-national</span></em> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">-- dish of Thailand.</span> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">Some fascinating things you’ll learn about this dish when you listen to this episode of the Bangkok Podcast:</span></p> <ul> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">It’s not ancient and came about from a nation-wide competition</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">It was designed to showcase Thailand’s entrance to the western world</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">It’s either the most un-Thai Thai food or the most-representative-of-Thai-culture Thai food, depending on your perspective</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">A dozen or so dishes that are much tastier (and spicier!) than pad thai (we recommend <em>laab moo</em>)</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><a href= "http://www.gregtodiffer.com/meanwhile-in-bangkok-sticky-rice-in-your-dairy-queen-blizzard/"> <span style="font-weight: 400;">The best Dairy Queen Blizzard you can’t get in your home country</span></a></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><a href= "https://www.facebook.com/bangkokpodcast/photos/a.132976326729788.19219.132961356731285/1731226000238138/?type=3&theater"> <span style="font-weight: 400;">How to make your grandmother shudder by putting sugar in her beef stew. Unless she’s Thai.</span></a></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">How two farang think you should apply the best spices from the <em>kruang prung</em> collection the next time you visit Thailand (or your local Thai food joint)</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><a href= "http://patreon.com/bangkokpodcast"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">The easiest way you can show your support for our show (and get cool stuff) via Patreon.</span></a></li> </ul> <h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">Love, Loathe, or Leave</span></h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Middle aged men in Thailand have a natural, built in air conditioner that the two of us really need to get behind. You might have heard of “buddha belly”, but I don’t think you mean the same thing. How do we feel about these large dudes and their makeshift midriff? Listen this episode and find out.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;"><img class= "aligncenter size-medium wp-image-3364" src= "http://www.bangkokpodcast.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/BKP39-SOCIAL-LOGO-500x750.jpg" alt="" width="500" height="750" /> </span></p> <h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">Want More Bangkok Podcast In Your Life?</span></h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">If it’s your first time experiencing The Bangkok Podcast, you really should get our show downloading to your phone automatically every week. If you use iOS, it’s a breeze to</span> <a href= "https://itunes.apple.com/podcast/bangkok-podcast/id372985372?mt=2&ls=1"> <span style="font-weight: 400;">listen via Apple Podcasts</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. Android users are be able</span> <a href= "http://subscribeonandroid.com/thaifaq.libsyn.com/rss"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">get the show any number of ways</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. And for bonus points, leave us a review on those platforms or however you listen to the show.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">We’d love to hear from you, either on</span> <a href= "http://www.bangkokpodcast.com/contact/"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">the contact form on our website</span></a> <span style="font-weight: 400;">or through a comment or message on our</span> <a href= "http://facebook.com/bangkokpodcast"><span style="font-weight: 400;"> Facebook page</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. You can Tweet to the show</span> <a href= "http://twitter.com/bangkokpodcast"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">@bangkokpodcast</span></a> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">or follow Greg’s</span> <a href= "https://twitter.com/bkkgreg"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">tweets of snarky Bangkok goodness</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. Evo chronicles his</span> <a href="http://instagram.com/evo_terra"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">Bangkok adventures on Instagram</span></a> <span style="font-weight: 400;">from time to time, if that’s your thing. And as mentioned,</span> <a href= "https://line.me/R/ti/p/%40fqk8298f"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">we now have a LINE account</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">! Yep. Just for the Bangkok Podcast. Join us over there, too!</span> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">See you next time on The Bangkok Podcast!</span></p> <!-- START 3362 Download Link --> <p><a href= "http://traffic.libsyn.com/thaifaq/BKPS2E39_-_Pad_Thai.mp3" target= "_blank" rel="noopener">(Direct download .mp3)</a></p> <!-- END 3362 Download Link -->
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Best Mobile Apps For Bangkok in 2017 (2.38)
<h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">A listener suggestion drives this show as we talk about which smartphone apps we use to make living in Bangkok that much easier, on this extra-long episode of the Bangkok Podcast. Oh, and Evo is terrible at his job. But he’s getting better, and it makes for a funny story.</span></h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">We launched our Patreon page last week, and it’s working! People are supporting us! Not a huge number, but some. Which means you love it. Wanna help? We’d love it. We even recorded cool video for you. Actually, we had to re-record that video, as you’ll hear later. But enough about us begging for money (but seriously, a buck or two each month goes a long way) and let’s get on with the show proper, shall we?</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">The topic of this week's episode was sent to us by listener Amy. She asked:</span></p> <blockquote><span style="font-weight: 400;">"What apps do you use that are especially useful as expats in BKK? I'm visiting for the first time in 9 years (!!) next month and I know the city is going to be VERY different than when I lived there. Anything I can use to make it easier?"</span></blockquote> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">We thought it best to break the conversation into various app categories. And even though we’re spoiling it here in our show notes, be sure to listen to the episode to hear why we recommend them, as well as a few tips and cautionary tales. Oh, and where possible, we’ll link to the developer website to make this as applicable to everyone as possible.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">Getting around Bangkok</span></p> <ul> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><a href= "http://maps.google.com/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Google Maps</span></a></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><a href= "https://www.uber.com/en-TH/"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">Uber</span></a></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><a href= "https://www.grab.com/th/en/taxi/"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">Grab</span></a></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">DLT Check-In (which, as you'll hear, has apparently stopped working)</span></li> </ul> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Getting food in Bangkok</span></p> <ul> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><a href= "https://www.foodpanda.co.th/contents/apps"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">foodpanda</span></a></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><a href= "https://www.ubereats.com/bangkok/"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">Uber Eats</span></a></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><a href= "https://eatigo.com/home/th/en/bangkok/"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">Eatigo</span></a></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><a href= "https://www.tripadvisor.com/"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">TripAdvisor</span></a></li> </ul> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Getting News about Bangkok (and back home)</span></p> <ul> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><a href= "http://news.google.com"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Google News</span></a></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><a href= "https://www.reddit.com/r/redditmobile/"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">Reddit</span></a></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><a href= "https://twitter.com/BkkGreg/following"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">Twitter</span></a></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><a href= "https://flipboard.com/"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">Flipboard</span></a></li> </ul> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Communicating with others in Bangkok</span></p> <ul> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><a href= "https://line.me/en/"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">LINE</span></a></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><a href= "https://www.messenger.com/"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">Facebook Messenger</span></a></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><a href= "http://www.whatsapp.com/"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">WhatsApp</span></a></li> </ul> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Finding entertainment in Bangkok</span></p> <ul> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><a href= "https://www.apple.com/lae/music/"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">Apple Music</span></a></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><a href= "https://www.spotify.com/int/free/"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">Spotify</span></a></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><a href= "https://www.netflix.com/app"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">Netflix</span></a></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><a href= "http://imgur.com/apps"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">imgur</span></a></li> </ul> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Thai Language</span></p> <ul> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><a href= "https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/thai-english-dictionary-from-thai-language-com/id707246890?mt=8"> <span style="font-weight: 400;">Thai-English</span></a></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><a href= "https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/id411632067?mt=8" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><span style="font-weight: 400;">ThaiDict (aka Talking Thai)</span></a></li> </ul> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Special Use</span></p> <ul> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><a href= "http://shevo.wtf/vpn"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Express VPN</span></a></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><a href= "http://www.xe.com/apps/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">XE Currency</span></a></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><a href= "https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/currency/id284220417?mt=8" target= "_blank" rel="noopener"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">Currency</span></a></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><a href= "https://voicemap.me/tour/bangkok"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">Voice Map</span></a></li> </ul> <h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">Got A Favorite App We Missed?</span></h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">This is the type of topic where we know we can’t be right all the time, so help us out by adding your favorite app in the comments or through one of the many social media outlets listed below.</span></p> <h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">Love, Loathe, or Leave</span></h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">We know it’s incumbent upon us to to learn Thai, not the other way around. But still, it’s a little off putting and jarring when “YOU! YOU! YOU!” is how someone here wants to get our attention. But do we hate it enough to make us want to leave? Probably not, but you should listen and see if you agree.</span></p> <h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">Want More Bangkok Podcast In Your Life?</span></h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">If it’s your first time experiencing The Bangkok Podcast, you really should get our show downloading to your phone automatically every week. If you use iOS, it’s a breeze to</span> <a href= "https://itunes.apple.com/podcast/bangkok-podcast/id372985372?mt=2&ls=1"> <span style="font-weight: 400;">listen via Apple Podcasts</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. Android users are be able</span> <a href= "http://subscribeonandroid.com/thaifaq.libsyn.com/rss"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">get the show any number of ways</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. And for bonus points, leave us a review on those platforms or however you listen to the show.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">We’d love to hear from you, either on</span> <a href= "http://www.bangkokpodcast.com/contact/"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">the contact form on our website</span></a> <span style="font-weight: 400;">or through a comment or message on our</span> <a href= "http://facebook.com/bangkokpodcast"><span style="font-weight: 400;"> Facebook page</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. You can Tweet to the show</span> <a href= "http://twitter.com/bangkokpodcast"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">@bangkokpodcast</span></a> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">or follow Greg’s</span> <a href= "https://twitter.com/bkkgreg"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">tweets of snarky Bangkok goodness</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. Evo chronicles his</span> <a href="http://instagram.com/evo_terra"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">Bangkok adventures on Instagram</span></a> <span style="font-weight: 400;">from time to time, if that’s your thing. And as mentioned,</span> <a href= "https://line.me/R/ti/p/%40fqk8298f"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">we now have a LINE account</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">! Yep. Just for the Bangkok Podcast. Join us over there, too!</span> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">See you next time on The Bangkok Podcast!</span></p> <!-- START 3354 Download Link --> <p><a href= "http://traffic.libsyn.com/thaifaq/BKPS2E38_-_Bangkok_Apps.mp3" target="_blank" rel="noopener">(Direct download .mp3)</a></p> <!-- END 3354 Download Link -->
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The Funniest Way To Get A Thai Drivers License In Bangkok (2.37)
<h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">Now that we’re both legally licensed drivers in Thailand, we take a little extra time to tell you about the process we went through… and why not one bit of it actually prepared us for driving in Bangkok. Plus we'll share a new way you can show your support for our show. Because you love us!</span></h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Before we get to driving in Thailand -- legally or otherwise -- we should talk about <strong>Patreon</strong>, a new way to let you, dear listener, help fund our efforts. If you're a fan of the show and want to show your appreciation, just go to <a href= "http://www.patreon.com/bangkokpodcast" target="_blank" rel= "noopener">Patreon.com/BangkokPodcast</a> to make it happen. For just a buck a month (that’s only ฿34), you help us out and get some cool stuff in return. Check it out. We’ll love you forever!</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">As a frequent listener of the Bangkok Podcast, you already know that</span> <a href= "http://www.bangkokpodcast.com/blood-on-the-highway-thailands-seven-deadly-days-of-songkran-2-27/"> <span style="font-weight: 400;">Thailand is the second most dangerous country in the world to drive in</span></a> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">- right behind Libya! - but despite that, both of us are licensed to drive. Evo just got his motorbike license last week, and Greg has had his automobile license for about a decade now. On this episode, we’ll tell you in great comedic and exasperating detail the process that we went through to be legal drivers in Thailand. Spoiler alert: it’s maddening. But funny! And a great example of “Thainess”.</span> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">Many (perhaps most) expats living in Bangkok don’t even bother getting their licenses, opting instead to pass a few hundred baht to the cop when (not if) they are pulled over. But that seems to be changing, with a slew of new initiatives that are compelling cops all over Thailand to start cracking down on bad behavior, actually impounding bikes and issuing actual fines.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">If you think getting your license was a challenge in your own home country, you have to listen to this episode to see how it compares to Thailand. For fun,</span> <a href="http://thaidriving.info/"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">check out the test online</span></a> <span style="font-weight: 400;">and see how you fare. Keep your eyes out for tanks and race cars! And if you’re also expat-ing in Bangkok and have gone through the pain, please share your experience with us in the comments, our social sites, or with your own network. (And use the #thaipod hashtag!)</span></p> <h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">Did We Mention Patreon?</span></h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">If you love the show we produce every week, we’d love -- as in really, really appreciate -- your support. Patreon makes it very easy to support the creators you love (hey, that’s us!) for just a buck or so a month. As an incentive, we’ve put in a few fun rewards in the mix, from bonus content to t-shirts to live events. Thanks in advance for your support. Just check out <a href= "http://www.Patreon.com/bangkokpodcast" target="_blank" rel= "noopener">Patreon.com/bangkokpodcast</a> to help us out.</span></p> <h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">Love, Loathe, or Leave</span></h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Are the girls on the BTS vampires or stoned? Probably neither, but the cheap colored contact lenses that are all the rage sure make them seem that way. Not that either of us have an issue with an effort to change your appearance or be unique (let your freak flag fly, people!), but this can’t be healthy. And it can be a little terrifying. Surprise? We’re not fans. How do you feel about it? Are you as creeped out as we are?</span> <img class="aligncenter size-medium wp-image-3349" src= "http://www.bangkokpodcast.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/BKP37-SOCIAL-LOGO-500x750.jpg" alt="" width="500" height="750" /></p> <h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">Want More Bangkok Podcast In Your Life?</span></h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">If it’s your first time experiencing The Bangkok Podcast, you really should get our show downloading to your phone automatically every week. If you use iOS, it’s a breeze to</span> <a href= "https://itunes.apple.com/podcast/bangkok-podcast/id372985372?mt=2&ls=1"> <span style="font-weight: 400;">listen via Apple Podcasts</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. Android users are be able</span> <a href= "http://subscribeonandroid.com/thaifaq.libsyn.com/rss"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">get the show any number of ways</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. And for bonus points,</span> <strong>leave us a review</strong> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">on those platforms or however you listen to the show.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">We’d love to hear from you, either on</span> <a href= "http://www.bangkokpodcast.com/contact/"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">the contact form on our website</span></a> <span style="font-weight: 400;">or through a comment or message on our</span> <a href= "http://facebook.com/bangkokpodcast"><span style="font-weight: 400;"> Facebook page</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. You can Tweet to the show</span> <a href= "http://twitter.com/bangkokpodcast"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">@bangkokpodcast</span></a> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">or follow Greg’s</span> <a href= "https://twitter.com/bkkgreg"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">tweets of snarky Bangkok goodness</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. Evo chronicles his</span> <a href="http://instagram.com/evo_terra"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">Bangkok adventures on Instagram</span></a> <span style="font-weight: 400;">from time to time, if that’s your thing. And as mentioned,</span> <a href= "https://line.me/R/ti/p/%40fqk8298f"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">we now have a LINE account</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">! Yep. Just for the Bangkok Podcast. Join us over there, too!</span> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">See you next time on The Bangkok Podcast!</span></p> <!-- START 3344 Download Link --> <p><a href= "http://traffic.libsyn.com/thaifaq/BKPS2E37_-_Driving_Licenses.mp3" target="_blank" rel="noopener">(Direct download .mp3)</a></p> <!-- END 3344 Download Link -->
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The Challenges Of Urban Planning In Bangkok (2.36)
<h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">A Bangkok city planner helps bring some clarity to the ongoing (and confusing) development of Bangkok. But first, a very magical (and very Thai) cure for terrorism. All of that and more on this episode of the Bangkok Podcast.</span></h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Remember the news from a few weeks ago when</span> <a href= "http://www.reuters.com/article/thailand-journalists-idUSL3N1IW1A5"> <span style="font-weight: 400;">two journalists were arrested in Bangkok’s airport because they were carrying body armor</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">? While the the arrest captured everyone’s attention, it’s not the funniest part of the story. Greg happens to be friends with one of the journalists in question, and he related an unbelievable (unless you like in Thailand) alternate body armor solution offered by the Royal Thai Police. Ah, Thailand. But that’s not what we’re talking about today.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">Bangkok is a growing city. To the untrained eye (that’s us) a lot of it looks like disorganized chaos, unrepentant disregard for historical properties, and unchecked sprawl -- vertically and horizontally. To get a better perspective, we invited Tao Rugkhapan to help us out. He’s a lecturer at the School of Global Studies at Thammasat University and he used to work for the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration as an urban planner. He also did his PhD work on Bangkok's preservation of Chinatown, an area of Bangkok we both love.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">Kuhn Tao helps us understand some of the finer points of Bangkok's urban development. Some of them are:</span></p> <ul> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Why density is so high around current and planned transit stations</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">What sort of planning cycle Bangkok uses</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">The problems current zoning restrictions face</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">The friction between private property owners and historic preservation efforts</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Why Sathorn is no longer the financial district of Bangkok</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">A couple of major overhauls to Bangkok that will (again) change the landscape</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">The unwavering impact of gentrification on Bangkok’s oldest communities</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">A look at what the future might hold for Krung Thep</span></li> </ul> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In reality, we have a wet, crowded, and likely less historic city ahead of us. But it’s not all bad news on the Bangkok-living front. While we can’t predict the future with any accuracy, we certainly do seem to be living in interesting times, for whatever that’s worth.</span> <img class= "aligncenter size-medium wp-image-3336" src= "http://www.bangkokpodcast.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/BKP36-SOCIAL-LOGO-500x750.jpg" alt="" width="500" height="750" /></p> <h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">New Things To Do!</span></h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">If you want to do something helpful to expose the world to Thai podcasting, would you mind sharing your favorite show (hopefully this one) with your friends on Twitter, Facebook, LINE, Instagram, or whatever and use the hashtag <strong>#thaipod</strong>. Unsure how far it’ll go, but why not? Share your favorite show based in Thailand with the world using #thaipod.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">And if you’ve been looking for a universal way to review and rate this podcast -- heck, this specific episode if you like -- check out</span> <a href="http://podchaser.com"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">Podchaser</span></a> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">and use the key “Bangkok” to get early access. Rate us (say nice things!) and any other show you listen to -- no matter what platform you use to listen to your podcasts. It’s new and we’re helping them out by sending our listeners their way. Try it out!</span></p> <h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">Love, Loathe, or Leave</span></h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Since the dawn of time (or at least public toilets), man (the gender, not the species) has had but a single refuge: The Men’s Room. But that sacred ground isn’t all that sacred in Thailand, where the cleaning staff is ever present and invariably female. Listen in to find out how we feel about this invasion of our only private time.</span></p> <h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">Want more?</span></h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">If it’s your first time experiencing The Bangkok Podcast, you really should get our show downloading to your phone automatically every week. If you use iOS, it’s a breeze to</span> <a href= "https://itunes.apple.com/podcast/bangkok-podcast/id372985372?mt=2&ls=1"> <span style="font-weight: 400;">listen via Apple Podcasts</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. Android users are be able</span> <a href= "http://subscribeonandroid.com/thaifaq.libsyn.com/rss"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">get the show any number of ways</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. And for bonus points,</span> <strong>leave us a review</strong> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">on those platforms or however you listen to the show.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">We’d love to hear from you, either on</span> <a href= "http://www.bangkokpodcast.com/contact/"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">the contact form on our website</span></a> <span style="font-weight: 400;">or through a comment or message on our</span> <a href= "http://facebook.com/bangkokpodcast"><span style="font-weight: 400;"> Facebook page</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. You can Tweet to the show</span> <a href= "http://twitter.com/bangkokpodcast"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">@bangkokpodcast</span></a> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">or follow Greg’s</span> <a href= "https://twitter.com/bkkgreg"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">tweets of snarky Bangkok goodness</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. Evo chronicles his</span> <a href="http://instagram.com/evo_terra"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">Bangkok adventures on Instagram</span></a> <span style="font-weight: 400;">from time to time, if that’s your thing. And as mentioned,</span> <a href= "https://line.me/R/ti/p/%40fqk8298f"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">we now have a LINE account</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">! Yep. Just for the Bangkok Podcast. Join us over there, too!</span> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">See you next time on The Bangkok Podcast!</span></p> <!-- START 3334 Download Link --> <p><a href= "http://traffic.libsyn.com/thaifaq/BKPS2E36_-_The-Future-of-Bangkok.mp3" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">(Direct download .mp3)</a></p> <!-- END 3334 Download Link -->
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Bangkok’s War On Street Food: A Live Report (2.35)
<h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">Live from Bangkok’s Chinatown, it's Sunday night! Well, at least it was when we grabbed our mics, left the cozy comforts of our condos and recorded a live episode of the show from the streets of Chinatown to get to the bottom of this reported "War" on Bangkok's street food. We'll tell you what we discovered on episode 2.35 of the Bangkok Podcast.</span></h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">For the better part of the year, news reports, blogs, and pundits the world over have been raising the warning flags of an active war on Bangkok’s street food scene. Whether highlighting the plight of the vendors who rely on the revenue to survive, lamenting the loss of an inexpensive source of food for the working class, or pointing out the irony of Bangkok’s reputation as a top street food destination; all of the reports have a common thread: S</span>treet food in Bangkok is doomed. <span style="font-weight: 400;">But is it really? To find out, we visited Yaoworat Road in Chinatown, visiting one of Greg’s favorite noodle shops (incongruously positioned inside an opera house/second-run cinema/gay pickup joint) to see just how far reaching these new government mandates really were.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">Listen to find out what changes we noticed, what actions we think are still likely to come, and what doom-and-gloom predictions likely won’t come to bear. Without giving too much away, we’ll just tell you that we’re declaring the war on street food non-existent. But please bear in mind that we are not investigative journalists. Our observations are based on this single trip and casual visits to street vendors in this immediate area. It could be worse elsewhere, but it sure looks like street food in Bangkok isn’t in immediate peril.</span></p> <h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">Love, Loathe, or Leave</span></h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">As y</span><a href= "http://www.bangkokpodcast.com/i-want-to-get-back-to-nature-in-bangkok-is-that-even-possible-2-21/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">ou’ve heard us talk about before</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400;">, there are plenty of green spaces in the heart of the Bangkok metroplex, but occasionally, you can find a large stretch of beautiful, untouched, pristine lawn just begging for a blanket and a picnic. But invariably, those areas come with large KEEP OFF THE GRASS signs. Listen in to find out if we loathe it or if it’s something we hate some much we’re ready to leave the Kingdom over.</span> <img class= "aligncenter size-medium wp-image-3320" src= "http://www.bangkokpodcast.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/BKP35-SOCIAL-LOGO-500x750.jpg" alt="" width="500" height="750" /></p> <h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">Want more?</span></h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">If it’s your first time experiencing The Bangkok Podcast, you really should get our show downloading to your phone automatically every week. If you use iOS, it’s a breeze to</span> <a href= "https://itunes.apple.com/podcast/bangkok-podcast/id372985372?mt=2&ls=1"> <span style="font-weight: 400;">listen via Apple Podcasts</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. Android users are be able</span> <a href= "http://subscribeonandroid.com/thaifaq.libsyn.com/rss"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">get the show any number of ways</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. And for bonus points,</span> <strong>leave us a review</strong> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">on those platforms or however you listen to the show.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">We’d love to hear from you, either on</span> <a href= "http://www.bangkokpodcast.com/contact/"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">the contact form on our website</span></a> <span style="font-weight: 400;">or through a comment or message on our</span> <a href= "http://facebook.com/bangkokpodcast"><span style="font-weight: 400;"> Facebook page</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. You can Tweet to the show</span> <a href= "http://twitter.com/bangkokpodcast"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">@bangkokpodcast</span></a> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">or follow Greg’s</span> <a href= "https://twitter.com/bkkgreg"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">tweets of snarky Bangkok goodness</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. Evo chronicles his</span> <a href="http://instagram.com/evo_terra"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">Bangkok adventures on Instagram</span></a> <span style="font-weight: 400;">from time to time, if that’s your thing. And as mentioned,</span> <a href= "https://line.me/R/ti/p/%40fqk8298f"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">we now have a LINE account</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">! Yep. Just for the Bangkok Podcast. Join us over there, too!</span> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">See you next time on The Bangkok Podcast!</span></p> <!-- START 3318 Download Link --> <p><a href= "http://traffic.libsyn.com/thaifaq/BKPS23E35-War-On-Street-Food.mp3" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">(Direct download .mp3)</a></p> <!-- END 3318 Download Link -->
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Invading Green Monster Chokes Out Bangkok (2.34)
<h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">One of Thailand's most persistent pests - the beautiful but invasive water hyacinth - is once again clogging Bangkok’s waterways. And while Evo didn't die on a motorbike just yet, a friend of his is in the hospital after his scooter accident. Maybe he’s rethinking his chosen mode of transport?</span></h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Motorbike accidents happen. Though this is Thailand, and Thailand holds the ignominious title of deadliest place to ride a motorbike. Last week the inevitable happened to a fellow expat here in Bangkok, though thankfully on a low-speed collision. Will it impact Evo’s decision to ride? You’ll have to listen to find out. But really, that’s not what we’re here to talk about.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">The Chao Phraya these days is a little more green than usual. Which sounds good, until you realize the green is from huge, floating islands of plant matter. It happens every year, and we’ve always wondered what it is. Evo took it upon himself to dig deep and has learned a few things about</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;"><em>phak tob java</em>, or water hyacinth as it’s commonly known, or</span> <em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Eichhornia crassipes</span></em> <span style="font-weight: 400;">as it’s known to botanists.</span> <img class= "aligncenter size-medium wp-image-3312" src= "http://www.bangkokpodcast.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/hyacinth-500x726.jpg" alt="" width="500" height="726" /> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">Here are few of the things you’ll learn when you listen to this week’s episode</span></p> <ul> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">The royal connection for how the invasive species from South America to Indonesia and finally Thailand</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">The immediate nuisance the plant causes for those who make their living on the river</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">How the plant contributes to Bangkok’s flooding, which arrived a bit early this year</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">A bunch of management techniques that don’t work, and only one that does</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Some good news about how the plant can be used to clean the water, as a textile source, as biomass to generate fuel, and possibly a foodstuff</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">But some bad news about the plant’s propensity to kill fish and incubate mosquitos</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">A comical tale of how three -- or possibly four -- different government agencies are passing the buck as they say “not my problem”</span></li> </ul> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Finally, when you fully understand the complexity of the problem, you’ll see why water hyacinth is the perfect metaphor for Bangkok’s bureaucracy. That was meant to be funny, but...</span> <img class= "aligncenter size-medium wp-image-3307" src= "http://www.bangkokpodcast.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/BKP34-SOCIAL-LOGO-500x750.jpg" alt="" width="500" height="750" /></p> <h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">Love, Loathe, or Leave</span></h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">If you’ve only uttered “Hey Dude, where’s my car” when referencing a cult-classic from the turn of the century, you haven’t left your car -- or your motorbike -- in a parking lot in Bangkok. It’s a little maddening. The only good news is that your bike probably isn’t stolen. Probably. Listen in to find out how we feel about this totally alien concept to us two expats who’ve been trained to set the parking brake and -- obviously -- take the keys. But it’s not like that stops people from moving your ride.</span></p> <h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">Want more?</span></h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">If it’s your first time experiencing The Bangkok Podcast, you really should get our show downloading to your phone automatically every week. If you use iOS, it’s a breeze to</span> <a href= "https://itunes.apple.com/podcast/bangkok-podcast/id372985372?mt=2&ls=1"> <span style="font-weight: 400;">listen via Apple Podcasts</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. Android users are be able</span> <a href= "http://subscribeonandroid.com/thaifaq.libsyn.com/rss"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">get the show any number of ways</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. And for bonus points,</span> <strong>leave us a review</strong> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">on those platforms or however you listen to the show.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">We’d love to hear from you, either on</span> <a href= "http://www.bangkokpodcast.com/contact/"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">the contact form on our website</span></a> <span style="font-weight: 400;">or through a comment or message on our</span> <a href= "http://facebook.com/bangkokpodcast"><span style="font-weight: 400;"> Facebook page</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. You can Tweet to the show</span> <a href= "http://twitter.com/bangkokpodcast"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">@bangkokpodcast</span></a> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">or follow Greg’s</span> <a href= "https://twitter.com/bkkgreg"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">tweets of snarky Bangkok goodness</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. Evo chronicles his</span> <a href="http://instagram.com/evo_terra"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">Bangkok adventures on Instagram</span></a> <span style="font-weight: 400;">from time to time, if that’s your thing. And as mentioned,</span> <a href= "https://line.me/R/ti/p/%40fqk8298f"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">we now have a LINE account</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">! Yep. Just for the Bangkok Podcast. Join us over there, too!</span> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">See you next time on The Bangkok Podcast!</span></p> <!-- START 3305 Download Link --> <p><a href= "http://traffic.libsyn.com/thaifaq/BKPS2E34_-_Water_Hyacinth.mp3" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">(Direct download .mp3)</a></p> <!-- END 3305 Download Link -->
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The Bangkok Double Pricing Debate (2.33)
<h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">On this episode we get into one of Thailand's most contentious topics - double pricing. But first we talk about selfies in a ball pit and a hidden hipster hangout.</span></h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Just down the road for us on our side of the river is a hidden hipster hideout in Bangkok called called The Jam Factory. And by “hidden”, we mean new to Evo. Because it’s pretty well known by everyone other than him. Also Greg visits Central Embassy and attempts to lose his child in a giant plastic bubble bath filled with selfie takers. But as interesting as both of those topics sound, neither are what we’re talking about today.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">Let’s just get this out of the way: We think double pricing sucks. Thailand is notorious for pricing things like museums, national parks, landmarks, and other civic works differently depending on where a visitor was born. Foreigners -- we stand out a bit -- pay an inflated price, where Thai nationals pay much, much less. Sometimes Thai nationals pay nothing at all. As representatives of the foreigners overcharged, we don’t like it. But we try to understand the rationale for it on this week’s episode and present their side. We’re not sure we did a good job. But here are the</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">excuses</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">main arguments most often offered to justify dual pricing in Thailand:</span></p> <ul> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">Foreign workers make more money than Thais, so they can afford it.</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">Tourists don’t pay Thailand taxes to support those civic works. (Note: both of us pay taxes in Thailand)</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">It’s a nationalistic benefit reserved for Thai citizens.</span></li> </ul> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">All of those are valid concerns. However, we’re not buying it. Listen in to learn how we carefully (and hopefully respectfully) dismantle each of those</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">excuses</span> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">arguments.</span> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">And though we try very hard not to push our own agenda on our adopted country, here’s what we think could be the consequences if the dual pricing issue isn’t addressed (which it hasn’t been for decades, we get it.)</span></p> <ul> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">It may be seen as racist to a world becoming more and more aware and intolerant of racism.</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">It’s a deterrent to tourism as it has been to other countries that have done stupid things in the name of squeezing out a few bucks from hapless tourists.</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">It’s a constant PR black eye that will cause (and perhaps is causing) people to seek out their SE Asian vacation/expat home in other neighboring countries.</span></li> </ul> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Now, hopefully we didn’t go overboard on complaining. It’s not what we set out to do. And if you have a different opinion, we invite you to leave a comment below or on our social channels. Let’s keep the conversation going. One great way is</span> <a href= "https://line.me/R/ti/p/%40fqk8298f"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">our new LINE account, just for the Bangkok Podcast</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. Hey, we’re in Thailand, and LINE is huge here. So of course we have a LINE account. Follow along and talk to us there, too!</span></p> <h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">Love, Loathe, or Leave</span></h2> <p><a href= "http://www.bangkokpodcast.com/magic-mysticism-mana-superstition-in-thailand-2-10/"> <span style="font-weight: 400;">Almost half a year ago</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">, we talked about Bangkok’s “saluting security guards” in an early LLoL segment. But Greg forgot something key to the conversation that Gregory Hines would be proud of. Listen in to find out why we’re being so mysterious, and whether or not this clicks for us. (Heh.)</span> <img class="aligncenter size-medium wp-image-3300" src= "http://www.bangkokpodcast.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/BKP33-SOCIAL-LOGO-500x750.jpg" alt="" width="500" height="750" /></p> <h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">Want more?</span></h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">If it’s your first time experiencing The Bangkok Podcast, you really should get our show downloading to your phone automatically every week. If you use iOS, it’s a breeze to</span> <a href= "https://itunes.apple.com/podcast/bangkok-podcast/id372985372?mt=2&ls=1"> <span style="font-weight: 400;">listen via Apple Podcasts</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. Android users are be able</span> <a href= "http://subscribeonandroid.com/thaifaq.libsyn.com/rss"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">get the show any number of ways</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. And for bonus points,</span> <strong>leave us a review</strong> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">on those platforms or however you listen to the show.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">We’d love to hear from you, either on</span> <a href= "http://www.bangkokpodcast.com/contact/"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">the contact form on our website</span></a> <span style="font-weight: 400;">or through a comment or message on our</span> <a href= "http://facebook.com/bangkokpodcast"><span style="font-weight: 400;"> Facebook page</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. You can Tweet to the show</span> <a href= "http://twitter.com/bangkokpodcast"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">@bangkokpodcast</span></a> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">or follow Greg’s</span> <a href= "https://twitter.com/bkkgreg"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">tweets of snarky Bangkok goodness</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. Evo chronicles his</span> <a href="http://instagram.com/evo_terra"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">Bangkok adventures on Instagram</span></a> <span style="font-weight: 400;">from time to time, if that’s your thing. And as mentioned,</span> <a href= "https://line.me/R/ti/p/%40fqk8298f"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">we now have a LINE account</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">! Yep. Just for the Bangkok Podcast. Join us over there, too!</span> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">See you next time on The Bangkok Podcast!</span>  </p>
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Why Bangkok Is A Medical Tourism Hotspot (2.32)
<h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">This week we talk to an expert on medical tourism to get the inside scoop on what makes Bangkok a key medical tourism destination. And we share an anecdote that proves even the 2nd largest city in SE Asia is really just a small town on the crossroads of life.</span></h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">What’s it like to return to Bangkok 30 years later after growing up here as an expat kid? And what are the odds that one obscure blog post on</span> <a href= "https://www.theopportunistictravelers.com/blog/2016/8/2/how-to-get-a-chinese-visa-in-bangkok"> <span style="font-weight: 400;">how to get a Chinese visa in Bangkok</span></a> <span style="font-weight: 400;">would lead to rekindling a friendship while overlooking the Chao Phraya river? Only in Bangkok. But that’s not what we’re talking about today.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">Instead, we’re trying to answer this question: What, exactly, makes Bangkok such a hotbed for medical tourism? Neither Evo nor Greg are experts, so we pulled in Kevin McGaffey from renuval to get to the heart of the matter. Kevin’s</span> <a href="https://www.renuval.com/"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">technology company helps people find the best medical services and best medical service providers</span></a> <span style="font-weight: 400;">here in Thailand. Here are a few of the questions he answers on this episode of our show:</span></p> <ul> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">What’s different about the Bangkok medical scene that makes our medical skills world class? It has to do with home-grown talent who not only got their training abroad, but come back and do their job so well they often become medical trainers themselves. Some end up here in Thailand and some abroad at the top Western medical schools and facilities.</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">How smart marketing, an abundance of talent, and a commitment to world-class facilities combine with a desirable tourist destination to make the perfect storm for medical tourism</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">What other SE Asian nations are looking to take their own piece of the medical tourism pie, and where Bangkok needs to keeps its edge</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">The types of clientele that come to Bangkok for medical procedures and what their country of origin likely tells you about the medical services they are seeking from Thai providers</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">The difference in the quality of medical care you might expect from government vs private hospitals in Bangkok; and both of those compared to the Western world</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">How some aspects of “Thainess” make for a pleasantly surprising (and rather fantastic) experience for expats who seek out medical services in Bangkok</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">… and two pieces of excellent advice for expats or long-term visitors of Bangkok when it comes to medical insurance and getting discounts on high-cost medical care</span></li> </ul> <h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">Love, Loathe, or Leave</span></h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">This week one our Twitter followers (wrongly identified in the audio by Greg [sorry!] but corrected in the show notes, Mattiaz!)</span> <a href= "https://twitter.com/Mattiazinfo/status/863640802890702848"><span style="font-weight: 400;"> suggested we talk about the poor excuse for napkins</span></a> <span style="font-weight: 400;">found in most Bangkok restaurants. Oddly enough, we both completely flip-flopped on the issue after discussing it for a few minutes. We’re not fickle. We’re just open minded. Listen in to see if the same happens to you.</span> <img class="aligncenter size-medium wp-image-3287" src= "http://www.bangkokpodcast.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/BKP32-SOCIAL-LOGO-500x750.jpg" alt="" width="500" height="750" /></p> <h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">Want more?</span></h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">If it’s your first time experiencing The Bangkok Podcast, you really should get our show downloading to your phone automatically every week. If you use iOS, it’s a breeze to</span> <a href= "https://itunes.apple.com/podcast/bangkok-podcast/id372985372?mt=2&ls=1"> <span style="font-weight: 400;">listen via Apple Podcasts</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. Android users are be able</span> <a href= "http://subscribeonandroid.com/thaifaq.libsyn.com/rss"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">get the show any number of ways</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. And for bonus points,</span> <strong>leave us a review</strong> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">on those platforms or however you listen to the show.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">We’d love to hear from you, either on</span> <a href= "http://www.bangkokpodcast.com/contact/"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">the contact form on our website</span></a> <span style="font-weight: 400;">or through a comment or message on our</span> <a href= "http://facebook.com/bangkokpodcast"><span style="font-weight: 400;"> Facebook page</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. You can Tweet to the show</span> <a href= "http://twitter.com/bangkokpodcast"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">@bangkokpodcast</span></a> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">or follow Greg’s</span> <a href= "https://twitter.com/bkkgreg"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">tweets of snarky Bangkok goodness</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. Evo chronicles his</span> <a href="http://instagram.com/evo_terra"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">Bangkok adventures on Instagram</span></a> <span style="font-weight: 400;">from time to time, if that’s your thing.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">See you next time on The Bangkok Podcast!</span></p> <!-- START 3285 Download Link --> <p><a href= "http://traffic.libsyn.com/thaifaq/BKPS2E32-Medical-Tourism-in-Thailand.mp3" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">(Direct download .mp3)</a></p> <!-- END 3285 Download Link -->
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Is Birth Control Evil In Buddhist Bangkok? (2.31)
<h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">This week we talk with Bangkok-based Buddhist monk Phra Pandit about abortions, birth control, and how Buddhism defines evil. And you'll likely think Evo an idiot for his dangerous flirtation with Thailand's terrible traffic fatalities statistics, but what's a <em>farang</em> to do? All of that and more on this episode of the Bangkok Podcast.</span></h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Evo’s decided to rent a motorbike for the next month. Let’s hope he doesn’t get killed as he foregoes safety for convenience. Favorite quote:</span> <em><span style="font-weight: 400;">It’s like having a cheat code to Bangkok’s traffic.</span></em> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">But that’s not what we’re talking about today. Instead, we’re chatting with one of our favorite repeat guests, Phra Pandit. The topic? Abortions, birth control, and how Thai Buddhism defines evil.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">All of this started when we learned that</span> <a href= "http://www.khaosodenglish.com/politics/2017/03/30/planned-parenthood-opens-asia-pacific-headquarters-bangkok/"> <span style="font-weight: 400;">Planned Parenthood has moved its Asia-Pacific headquarters to Bangkok</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400;">. Which, given what we know about Buddhism and things like birth control or abortion, there’s a conflict. Or maybe we</span> <em><span style="font-weight: 400;">don’t really know</span></em> <span style="font-weight: 400;">what we</span> <em><span style="font-weight: 400;">think</span></em> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">we know.</span> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">To find out, we brought back one of our favorite  guests,</span> <a href= "http://www.littlebang.org/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Phra Pandit</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">, to give us the official Buddhist party line on the topic of abortion and birth control. What he has to say will likely surprise you, especially if you’re not all that informed of the differences between Buddhism and other religions.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">Listen to this episode to become a little more enlightened on the concepts of evil, irredeemable sin, hell, and random soul-searing insults anti-abortion protesters like to shout about when they protest Planned Parenthood clinics in the West.</span></p> <h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">Love Loathe or Leave</span></h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Many of our fellow Bangkokians aren’t big on queueing. Nor are a lot of other Asian tourists who show up in the City of Angels. Just how tolerant are the two of us Westerners who have a pretty healthy respect for the “social contract” of just waiting your turn in line? Not very, as you could probably guess. What you probably won’t guess was Greg’s reaction when it happened to him (again) the night we recorded this episode.</span></p> <h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">Want more?</span></h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">If it’s your first time experiencing The Bangkok Podcast, you really should get our show downloading to your phone automatically every week. If you use iOS, it’s a breeze to</span> <a href= "https://itunes.apple.com/podcast/bangkok-podcast/id372985372?mt=2&ls=1"> <span style="font-weight: 400;">listen via Apple Podcasts</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. Android users are be able</span> <a href= "http://subscribeonandroid.com/thaifaq.libsyn.com/rss"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">get the show any number of ways</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. And for bonus points,</span> <strong>leave us a review</strong> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">on those platforms or however you listen to the show.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">We’d love to hear from you, either on</span> <a href= "http://www.bangkokpodcast.com/contact/"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">the contact form on our website</span></a> <span style="font-weight: 400;">or through a comment or message on our</span> <a href= "http://facebook.com/bangkokpodcast"><span style="font-weight: 400;"> Facebook page</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. You can Tweet to the show</span> <a href= "http://twitter.com/bangkokpodcast"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">@bangkokpodcast</span></a> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">or follow</span> <a href= "https://twitter.com/bkkgreg"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">Greg’s tweets</span></a> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">for snarky Bangkok goodness. Evo chronicles his Bangkok adventures</span> <a href= "http://instagram.com/evo_terra"><span style="font-weight: 400;">on Instagram</span></a> <span style="font-weight: 400;">from time to time, if that’s your thing.</span> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">See you next time on The Bangkok Podcast!</span></p> <!-- START 3203 Download Link --> <p><br /> <br /> <a href= "http://traffic.libsyn.com/thaifaq/BKPS2E31-The-Nature-of-Evil-in-Buddhism.mp3" target="_blank" rel="noopener">(Direct download .mp3)</a></p> <!-- END 3203 Download Link --> <p><img class="aligncenter size-large wp-image-3206" src= "http://www.bangkokpodcast.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/BKP31-SOCIAL-LOGO-683x1024.jpg" alt="" width="683" height="1024" /></p>
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Bangkok Tourist Scams Are Still Alive In 2017 (2.30)
<p><em><strong>On this episode of the Bangkok Podcast we talk about one of the negative aspects of Bangkok, the immortal, ever-present tourist scam. But before we get there, we'll have a brief discussion of feet. Yeah... feet.</strong></em> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">Pick up any piece of tourist literature and you’ll note warnings of “tourist scams” running rampant in Bangkok. But are they as bad or prevalent as they’re made out to be? Back when Greg was a new expat in Thailand, he played the part of an investigative journalist, purposely attracting the attention o a “tuk tuk scammer” just to document the experience. <a href= "http://www.gregtodiffer.com/taken-for-a-ride-a-thailand-scam-story/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">In fact, here's the story</a>. And he’s still with us, so how bad can they be, right?</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">Severity aside, these damned tourist scams just won’t die. Hopefully you’ll be better educated against them after listening to this episode. We go into detail on the tuk-tuk scam (no, the Palace isn’t closed today), the ping pong scam (no, you don’t want to see it), the official-who-isn’t-really-an-official scam (no, not all badges are real), and the birdseed scam. Yes, the birdseed scam. Not kidding.</span></p> <h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">Love Loathe or Leave</span></h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Free your feet, free your mind. Open sandals are all the rage here in Thailand, but how do we Westerners feel about it? On this Love, Loathe, or Leave we’ll dip our toes (ha!) into the conversation.</span> <img class= "aligncenter size-medium wp-image-3128" src= "http://www.bangkokpodcast.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/BKP30-SOCIAL-LOGO-500x750.jpg" alt="BKP30 - SOCIAL LOGO" width="500" height="750" /></p> <h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">Want more?</span></h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">If it’s your first time experiencing The Bangkok Podcast, you really should get our show downloading to your phone automatically every week. If you use iOS, it’s a breeze to</span> <a href= "https://itunes.apple.com/podcast/bangkok-podcast/id372985372?mt=2&ls=1"> <span style="font-weight: 400;">listen via Apple Podcasts</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. Android users are be able</span> <a href= "http://subscribeonandroid.com/thaifaq.libsyn.com/rss"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">get the show any number of ways</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. And for bonus points,</span> <strong>leave us a review</strong> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">on those platforms or however you listen to the show.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">We’d love to hear from you, either on</span> <a href= "http://www.bangkokpodcast.com/contact/"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">the contact form on our website</span></a> <span style="font-weight: 400;">or through a comment or message on our</span> <a href= "http://facebook.com/bangkokpodcast"><span style="font-weight: 400;"> Facebook page</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. You can Tweet to the show</span> <a href= "http://twitter.com/bangkokpodcast"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">@bangkokpodcast</span></a> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">or follow</span> <a href= "https://twitter.com/bkkgreg"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">Greg’s tweets</span></a> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">for snarky Bangkok goodness. Evo chronicles his Bangkok adventures</span> <a href= "http://instagram.com/evo_terra"><span style="font-weight: 400;">on Instagram</span></a> <span style="font-weight: 400;">from time to time, if that’s your thing.</span> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">See you next time on The Bangkok Podcast!</span></p> <!-- START 3126 Download Link --> <p><a href= "http://traffic.libsyn.com/thaifaq/BKPS2E30-Bangkoks-Immortal-Tourist-Scams.mp3" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">(Direct download .mp3)</a></p> <!-- END 3126 Download Link -->
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Exploring Thailand’s Crazy Gun Culture (2.29)
<h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">From hitmen to red tape and homemade guns to the black market, we bring in a local expert to help us navigate the murky waters of the past and present realities of gun ownership in Thailand.</span></h2> <p>We know you want us to weigh in on the issue of Bangkok’s impending street food ban, but not today. We need to let things settle down before we offer up our opinion on the matter. Instead, we’re going with the safe topic of the right to keep and bear arms -- guns in Thailand. <span style="font-weight: 400;">Though the two of us -- Canadian and American -- grew up with firearms, we aren’t familiar at all with the reality of the gun culture of Thailand. Khun A, however, has a considered opinion and is is our guest today. He’s a Thai national and avid gun aficionado, owning several weapons and is a member of the</span> <a href= "http://www.idpa.com/"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">IDPA</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400;">. We wanted to really understand Thai gun culture from a Thai point of view, and he’s the expert we needed to chat with.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">Just how big is the Thai gun culture? Well, Thais may not be a gun crazy as</span> <a href= "https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution"> <span style="font-weight: 400;">2nd amendment</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">-loving Americans, but it certainly exists. There are shooting ranges, gun clubs, and firearm stores all over Bangkok and the rest of Thailand. But just like any imported good, gun owners pay a premium for the privilege of ownership, with prices several hundred percent higher than other countries, thanks to import duties and other taxes levied by Thailand’s government. Anytime you have skyrocketing prices, you have a black market that seeks to get around them. So yes, you can buy guns illegally -- even illegal assault rifles -- in Thailand. Worse, you can buy “homemade” guns. But think less gunsmithing and more gee-I-hope-this-doesn’t-blow-up-in-my-hand type construction.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">Of course, you can’t have a conversation about guns without talking about gun violence. While getting accurate numbers specific to gun violence in Thailand are notoriously had to pin down, Khun A sheds some light on Thailand’s hitman history from the ‘60s and ‘70s, which shockingly still exists today. Perhaps more surprising is the notated lack of a cohesive and vocal anti-gun community in Thailand. No, not everyone is pro-gun, but the voice of those who want them banned is rather quiet.</span> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">Perhaps that’s because Thailand’s red tape processes to actually own a gun are seen as enough of a deterrent? If the four- to six-week waiting period isn’t enough, perhaps asking your employer for permission to own a gun does the trick? We’re not sure why the Ministry of Interior needs to see your bank records before issuing you a permit either. But such is life in Thailand.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">But here’s the good news: Gun responsibility is preached at every step of the process. As much as headlines may make it seem like it’s the wild, wild west over here; the laws definitely don’t do much to protect you if you are forced to use one in self defense. Khun A’s description of what happens after what seems like a justifiable use of deadly force should make anyone carefully consider their actions. (Spoiler: It’s murder.)</span></p> <h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">Love Loathe or Leave</span></h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">We covered the shadow recently, but let’s get to the root of the problem: the 15 to 1 ratio between customer and retail employee. What’s up with that? And how do we feel about the perceived overstaffing in just about any retail establishment in Bangkok? You’ll have to listen to find out if it’s something we love, loathe, or hate so much we’re ready to leave Bangkok.</span> <img class="aligncenter size-medium wp-image-3119" src= "http://www.bangkokpodcast.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/BKP29-SOCIAL-LOGO-500x750.jpg" alt="BKP29 - SOCIAL LOGO" width="500" height="750" /></p> <h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">Want more?</span></h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">If it’s your first time experiencing The Bangkok Podcast, you really should get our show downloading to your phone automatically every week. If you use iOS, it’s a breeze to</span> <a href= "https://itunes.apple.com/podcast/bangkok-podcast/id372985372?mt=2&ls=1"> <span style="font-weight: 400;">listen via Apple Podcasts</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. Android users are be able</span> <a href= "http://subscribeonandroid.com/thaifaq.libsyn.com/rss"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">get the show any number of ways</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. And for bonus points,</span> <strong>leave us a review</strong> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">on those platforms or however you listen to the show.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">We’d love to hear from you, either on</span> <a href= "http://www.bangkokpodcast.com/contact/"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">the contact form on our website</span></a> <span style="font-weight: 400;">or through a comment or message on our</span> <a href= "http://facebook.com/bangkokpodcast"><span style="font-weight: 400;"> Facebook page</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. You can Tweet to the show</span> <a href= "http://twitter.com/bangkokpodcast"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">@bangkokpodcast</span></a> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">or follow</span> <a href= "https://twitter.com/bkkgreg"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">Greg’s tweets</span></a> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">for snarky Bangkok goodness. Evo chronicles his Bangkok adventures</span> <a href= "http://instagram.com/evo_terra"><span style="font-weight: 400;">on Instagram</span></a> <span style="font-weight: 400;">from time to time, if that’s your thing.</span> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">See you next time on The Bangkok Podcast!</span></p> <!-- START 3115 Download Link --> <p><a href= "http://traffic.libsyn.com/thaifaq/BKPS2E29-Bang-Krap-Gun-Culture-in-Thailand.mp3" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">(Direct download .mp3)</a></p> <!-- END 3115 Download Link -->
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Time for Change: Should Begging Foreign Backpackers Take a Hike? (2.28)
<h3>You may have seen them on the streets of Bangkok, Singapore, or Hanoi. Many play instruments, juggle, or sell postcards. Some simply stand there with a hat and a sign asking for pity. We're talking, of course, about the round-the-world adventurer looking for a handout. Should these begging vagabonds take a hike, or do they deserve some leeway to, er, find their way? We also talk about staying dry (or attempting to) during Songkran, and Greg's foot fetish (in that he'd really like to be able to find shoes to fit his giant feet).</h3> <p>The story has been tearing up the newspapers and internets lately - the foreign backpacker. Usually white, European/North American, usually with scraggly bears, matted hair, and doing their best to trade a skill for a bit o' spare change, their presence inspires anger and pity in equal amounts. But they are nothing new. Indeed, as far back as 10 years ago, Greg remembers seeing the first 'famous' farang backpacker as he sat there with a sign begging for help to buy his plane ticket back home, as group after group of university students passed by and dropped some hard-earned cash in his hat. "That's nice," thought Greg. But then Greg saw the same guy in a different part of the city. Then another. Then another. Then it dawned on Greg - this guy was a scammer. But now farang beggars are much more common. Many offer legitimate - if not entertaining - services, such as selling handmade wares, playing an instrument, or doing some tricks. But should they even be doing it? In a region as poor as Southeast Asia - where <span style= "text-decoration: underline;"><em>real</em></span> poverty is an every day issue for far too many - is it really proper for able-bodied, western-educated foreigners, likely with a healthy support network back home, to be begging for scraps to fund their adventures? Greg and Evo argue the pros and cons, and come up with more cons than pros.</p> <h2>Love, Loathe or Leave</h2> <p>We think it's safe to say that Bangkok's street food scene would not be as creative (and delicious) as it is without the, er, less-than-stringent food safety ecosystem that many of us westerns are used to. We posit that a food safety inspector from, say, Canada or the US, would have a stroke if he saw how food is prepared here, but should he maybe loosen up a bit? Greg and Evo discuss the safety (and sickness) of street food, and if the lack of regulation is something that helps or hinders eating out.</p> <h2>Want More?</h2> <p>If it’s your first time experiencing The Bangkok Podcast, you really should get our show downloading to your phone automatically every week. If you use iOS, it’s a breeze to <a href= "https://itunes.apple.com/podcast/bangkok-podcast/id372985372?mt=2&ls=1"> listen via iTunes</a>. Android users are be able <a href= "http://subscribeonandroid.com/thaifaq.libsyn.com/rss">get the show any number of ways</a>. And for bonus points, <strong>leave us a review</strong> on those platforms or however you listen to the show. We’d love to hear from you, either on <a href= "http://www.bangkokpodcast.com/contact/">the contact form on our website</a> or through a comment or message on our <a href= "http://facebook.com/bangkokpodcast">Facebook page</a>. You can Tweet to the show <a href= "http://twitter.com/bangkokpodcast">@bangkokpodcast</a> or follow <a href="https://twitter.com/bkkgreg">Greg’s tweets</a> for snarky Bangkok goodness. Evo chronicles his Bangkok adventures <a href= "http://instagram.com/evo_terra">on Instagram</a> from time to time, if that’s your thing. See you next time on The Bangkok Podcast!</p> <!-- START 3106 Download Link --> <p><a href= "http://traffic.libsyn.com/thaifaq/BKPS2E28-Farang-Beggars.mp3" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">(Direct download .mp3)</a></p> <!-- END 3106 Download Link -->
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Blood on the Highway: Thailand's Seven Deadly Days of Songkran (2.27)
<h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">On this episode of the Bangkok Podcast we talk about traffic in Bangkok - specifically the “Seven Deadly Days” of Songkran - and Thailand's awful road safety statistics. We also talk about what men do when their wives are away... or won't go away. Don't worry... it's not as bad as it sounds.</span></h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Songkran is upon us, a week-long celebration of Thailand’s new year. What will we be doing during Songkran? Staying off the roads, because it’s also known as the Seven Deadly Days, when road traffic shoots up to three times the normal rate. Yes, that’s likely a contributing factor to Thailand’s hold on the #2 spot in global traffic fatalities per 100,000 people.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">In an effort to get those crazy numbers under control, Thailand’s military junta announced sweeping changes to vehicle motor code. Effective immediately, police would be issuing fines anyone in any vehicle not wearing a seatbelt, and anyone riding in the back of a pickup truck.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">And then the very next day -- not surprisingly -- they softened their enforcement language. Perhaps the fact that many taxies have removed seatbelts from the back seat. And a substantial chunk of the population ride in the back of pickups to get to work, into town, to the doctor… And in urban areas, some governmental-sanctioned transportation methods are nothing more than riding in the back of a modified pickup bed, none of which have seatbelts. As it turns out, mandating behavior changes for a country of 65 million people is… messy.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">Neither of us are so arrogant as to say we have the answers. But that didn’t stop us from offering up some ideas. Got a few yourself? Take a listen to the show (on iTunes, Android, whatever) and tell us if you think our ideas would work or not. And speaking of stupid ideas...</span></p> <h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">Love, Loathe, or Leave?</span></h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Thailand really, really wants to make us whiter. Something neither of us need. Nor does anyone else, but such is life in Thailand, where it’s hard to buy personal hygiene products that aren’t loaded with whitening agents. And who are these people with super dark armpits? When did that become a problem?</span></p> <h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">Want more?</span></h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">If it’s your first time experiencing The Bangkok Podcast, you really should get our show downloading to your phone automatically every week. If you use iOS, it’s a breeze to</span> <a href= "https://itunes.apple.com/podcast/bangkok-podcast/id372985372?mt=2&ls=1"> <span style="font-weight: 400;">listen via iTunes</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. Android users are be able</span> <a href= "http://subscribeonandroid.com/thaifaq.libsyn.com/rss"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">get the show any number of ways</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. And for bonus points,</span> <strong>leave us a review</strong> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">on those platforms or however you listen to the show.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">We’d love to hear from you, either on</span> <a href= "http://www.bangkokpodcast.com/contact/"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">the contact form on our website</span></a> <span style="font-weight: 400;">or through a comment or message on our</span> <a href= "http://facebook.com/bangkokpodcast"><span style="font-weight: 400;"> Facebook page</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. You can Tweet to the show</span> <a href= "http://twitter.com/bangkokpodcast"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">@bangkokpodcast</span></a> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">or follow</span> <a href= "https://twitter.com/bkkgreg"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">Greg’s tweets</span></a> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">for snarky Bangkok goodness. Evo chronicles his Bangkok adventures</span> <a href= "http://instagram.com/evo_terra"><span style="font-weight: 400;">on Instagram</span></a> <span style="font-weight: 400;">from time to time, if that’s your thing.</span> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">See you next time on The Bangkok Podcast!</span></p> <!-- START 3090 Download Link --> <p><a href= "http://traffic.libsyn.com/thaifaq/BKPS2E27-Blood-on-the-Highway.mp3" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">(Direct download .mp3)</a></p> <!-- END 3090 Download Link -->
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Talking Languages With Educator Frank Smith: Thai, Lao & Khmer (2.26)
<h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">On this episode of the Bangkok Podcast we talk languages with Frank Smith. He speaks Thai, Khmer, and Lao, and teaches Khmer at UC Berkeley in California. Add to that a quick conversation on the pros and cons of raising a kid in Thailand, and we’ve got the makings of another great episode of the Bangkok Podcast.</span></h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">We start the show with an easy question: Is Bangkok the kind of place you want to raise a kid? Greg is facing the reality of doing so right now, and Evo has sage advice from someone who decided not to raise a kid in different City of Angels some 20 years ago.</span> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">Everyone loves a good mystery. And everyone loves a good origin story. But when it comes to the people who live in Cambodia, Thailand’s neighbor to the east, the origin story of their language -- Khmer -- is a complete mystery. Oh, and it’s even harder to learn than Thai. Go figure.</span> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">Our guest this week is</span> <a href= "http://sseas.berkeley.edu/people/faculty/frank-smith"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">Frank Smith</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400;">, a language professor at the University of California Berkeley. Frank’s students are often of Cambodian descent, having been raised abroad by displaced parents. Their goal is to reconnect with their heritage, in some cases learning to speak, read, and write in their native language… from a white guy. A white guy who has been speaking, reading and writing Khmer for 30 years, though.</span> <a href= "https://youtu.be/-z1YKKMyLy4?t=30s"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">With a bit of flair</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400;">, we think you’ll agree. And if you’re</span> <a href="http://www.studykhmer.com/"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">ready to study Khmer, he can help</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">!</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">He passes along several interesting facts to Bangkokians like ourselves, like busting the myth that the languages native to this part of the world are based on Sanskrit (they aren’t), and that the “Khmer” spoken in Thailand bears little resemblance to the actually Khmer spoken in Cambodia. What does Frank think of</span> <a href= "http://www.bangkokpodcast.com/is-learning-thai-really-necessary-2-19/"> <span style="font-weight: 400;">our opinions on whether or not foreign workers should bother to learn the local language in SE Asia</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">? His answer just may surprise you.</span></p> <h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">Love, Loathe, or Leave?</span></h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">It’s a listener suggestion this week from our friend Tim, another Bangkok expat. The topic? April. Yes, the month. Is this nutty month marked by oppressive heat and a state-sanctioned water fight something we love, loathe, or are ready to leave over? Listen to find out. Spoiler: it’s a split decision.</span></p> <h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">Want more?</span></h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">If it’s your first time experiencing The Bangkok Podcast, you really should get our show downloading to your phone automatically every week. If you use iOS, it’s a breeze to</span> <a href= "https://itunes.apple.com/podcast/bangkok-podcast/id372985372?mt=2&ls=1"> <span style="font-weight: 400;">listen via iTunes</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. Android users should be able</span> <a href= "https://goo.gl/app/playmusic?ibi=com.google.PlayMusic&isi=691797987&ius=googleplaymusic&link=https%3A%2F%2Fplay.google.com%2Fmusic%2Fm%2FIec4hztjaepf6x5stwxyknppvhu%3Ft%3DBangkok_Podcast_%257C_Thailand_Life_Lessons_From_Two_Expats_from_Canada_%2526_America%26pcampaignid%3DMKT-na-all-co-pr-mu-pod-16"> <span style="font-weight: 400;">get the show automatically through Google Play</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. And for bonus points,</span> <strong>leave us a review</strong> <span style="font-weight: 400;">on those platforms or however you listen to the show.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">We’d love to hear from you, either on</span> <a href= "http://www.bangkokpodcast.com/contact/"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">the contact form on our website</span></a> <span style="font-weight: 400;">or through a comment or message on our</span> <a href= "http://facebook.com/bangkokpodcast"><span style="font-weight: 400;"> Facebook page</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. You can Tweet to the show</span> <a href= "http://twitter.com/bangkokpodcast"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">@bangkokpodcast</span></a> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">or follow</span> <a href= "https://twitter.com/bkkgreg"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">Greg’s tweets</span></a> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">for snarky Bangkok goodness. Evo chronicles his Bangkok adventures</span> <a href= "http://instagram.com/evo_terra"><span style="font-weight: 400;">on Instagram</span></a> <span style="font-weight: 400;">from time to time, if that’s your thing.</span> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">See you next time on The Bangkok Podcast!</span>   <a href= "http://www.bangkokpodcast.com/talking-languages-with-educator-frank-smith-thai-lao-khmer-2-26/"> <img class="wp-image-3064 size-full alignnone" src= "http://www.bangkokpodcast.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/BKP26-SOCIAL-LOGO.jpg" alt="BKP26 - SOCIAL LOGO" width="735" height="1102" /></a></p> <!-- START 3060 Download Link --> <p><a href= "http://traffic.libsyn.com/thaifaq/BKPS2E26_-_Talking-Languages-With-Educator-Frank-Smith-Thai-Lao-Khmer.mp3" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">(Direct download .mp3)</a></p> <!-- END 3060 Download Link -->
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The Little Things We Miss About Home...And Will Miss About Thailand (2.25)
<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">On this episode, we discuss the little things we love about Bangkok, as well as the little things we miss about where we're from. Plus Evo’s recent trip to Siem Reap and the concept of farang “embarassadors”.</span> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">Evo spent a week in Siem Reap and completely loved it. Greg agrees that it’s likely the most amazing destination in SE Asia -- possibly the world -- for those interested in archaeology. Color us impressed, ancient Khmer people!</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">The main topic of the show: It’s the little things. No, not a Royale with Cheese, but the little things we miss about where we’re from, now that we live in The Land Of Smiles that is Thailand. Not to spoil everything from the episode completely, but here’s the list of things we miss:</span></p> <ul> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">Clothes dryers</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">Psychological weather cues</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">E</span><span style="font-weight: 400;">asy access to drugs</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Easy access to my money</span></li> </ul> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">But the reverse is true, and there are little things about living in Bangkok that we’re going to miss should we ever leave The Big Mango. Again, you’ll have to listen for the full details why we’re really liking:</span></p> <ul> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">Pain-free condo moving</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Rules bent cheaply</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">Instant, ubiquitous transport options</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Space not at a premium</span></li> </ul> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">If that doesn’t make perfect sense, just listen. You’ll get it it. And then you’ll know why we love this place. Speaking of that...</span></p> <h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">Love, Loathe, or Leave?</span></h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">First, heck yes!</span> <a href= "https://twitter.com/search?q=%23loveloatheorleave&src=typd"><span style="font-weight: 400;"> Let’s keep the #loveloatheorleave hashtag going!</span></a> <span style="font-weight: 400;">Drop one on any social media property. We’ll probably see it. Kinda like the shirtless farang. The clueless, class-less, totally-missing-the-point of living in Bangkok idiot who isn’t wearing a shirt. Guess where they fall on our #loveloatheorleave scale. Listen in to find out some surprising facts about how the law can get involved if you choose to go topless, fellas.</span></p> <h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">Want more?</span></h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">If it’s your first time experiencing The Bangkok Podcast, you really should get our show downloading to your phone automatically every week. If you use iOS, it’s a breeze to</span> <a href= "https://itunes.apple.com/podcast/bangkok-podcast/id372985372?mt=2&ls=1"> <span style="font-weight: 400;">listen via iTunes</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. Android users should be able</span> <a href= "https://goo.gl/app/playmusic?ibi=com.google.PlayMusic&isi=691797987&ius=googleplaymusic&link=https%3A%2F%2Fplay.google.com%2Fmusic%2Fm%2FIec4hztjaepf6x5stwxyknppvhu%3Ft%3DBangkok_Podcast_%257C_Thailand_Life_Lessons_From_Two_Expats_from_Canada_%2526_America%26pcampaignid%3DMKT-na-all-co-pr-mu-pod-16"> <span style="font-weight: 400;">get the show automatically through Google Play</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. And for bonus points,</span> <strong>leave us a review</strong> <span style="font-weight: 400;">on those platforms or however you listen to the show.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">We’d love to hear from you, either on</span> <a href= "http://www.bangkokpodcast.com/contact/"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">the contact form on our website</span></a> <span style="font-weight: 400;">or through a comment or message on our</span> <a href= "http://facebook.com/bangkokpodcast"><span style="font-weight: 400;"> Facebook page</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. You can Tweet to the show</span> <a href= "http://twitter.com/bangkokpodcast"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">@bangkokpodcast</span></a> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">or follow</span> <a href= "https://twitter.com/bkkgreg"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">Greg’s tweets</span></a> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">for snarky Bangkok goodness. Evo chronicles his Bangkok adventures</span> <a href= "http://instagram.com/evo_terra"><span style="font-weight: 400;">on Instagram</span></a> <span style="font-weight: 400;">from time to time, if that’s your thing.</span> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">See you next time on The Bangkok Podcast!</span> <img class="aligncenter size-medium wp-image-3054" src= "http://www.bangkokpodcast.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/ep-25-social-logo-200x300.jpg" alt="ep 25 social logo" width="200" height="300" /></p> <!-- START 3050 Download Link --> <p><a href= "http://traffic.libsyn.com/thaifaq/BKPS2E25-The-Little-Things-We-Miss-About-Home-and-Will-Miss-About-Thailand.mp3" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">(Direct download .mp3)</a></p> <!-- END 3050 Download Link -->
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Teaching In Thailand: A Professional Western Teacher’s Perspective (2.24)
<h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">What do pro Western teachers think about teaching in Thailand? And are we seeing the end of Uber in Bangkok? And if so, will canal taxis pick up the slack? All that and more on this episode of The Bangkok Podcast</span></h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Taxis in Bangkok would probably make for a good Love, Loathe, or Leave segment, but recent moves by Thailand to restrict popular “ridesharing” services make it worthy of our opening banter.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">After that, Greg has a chat with Sheila Dee a Western-trained, professional educator working in Thailand. There are lots of Westerners acting as English teachers in Thailand. Greg used to be one of them. But Sheila’s a bit different, holding a Bachelor's degree in elementary education and a Master’s degree in curriculum and instruction.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">In the Thai private school where she teaches, five subjects -- English, Math, Science, Physical Education, and Computers -- are taught by native English teachers. Social studies and Thai (as in the language) are taught in Thai, and her students also study Chinese (actually in Chinese, if that’s not obvious). For her school as well as the many international schools in Bangkok, that level of immersion and integration requires educators trained in their subject field, not just someone who happens to be a native English-speaker.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">As a Western trained teacher, Sheila’s learning how to modify her style. As an American teacher, she knows how to deal with American students. But not all of that directly translates to teaching in Thailand, with different expectations from administration, parents, and students. Some of those are a net positive, like the premium administration places on Western teachers and the noticeable lack of discipline issues, for example. But some require her to change her expectations, like translating the concept of “saving face” into classroom management and not trying to “fix” everything.</span> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">It’s not easy being a teacher, which is why Thailand is starting to change how they look for teachers. Yes, there are still plenty of teachers with a degree in something (anything) and a TEFL certificate. However, Sheila’s seeing an emphasis on seeking out real teachers (like her) with real experience of prior teaching in the Western world.</span></p> <h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">Love, Loathe, or Leave?</span></h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">It’s our first listener submission!</span> <a href= "https://twitter.com/thailightzone"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">ThailightZone</span></a> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">wants us to talk about the khlong boats, specifically those that shuttle busy commuters along the saen saep canal. It’s a uniquely local Thai experience, but you’ll have to listen to see how we feel about this odd transportation style.</span></p> <h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">Want more?</span></h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">If it’s your first time experiencing The Bangkok Podcast, you really should get our show downloading to your phone automatically every week. If you use iOS, it’s a breeze to</span> <a href= "https://itunes.apple.com/podcast/bangkok-podcast/id372985372?mt=2&ls=1"> <span style="font-weight: 400;">listen via iTunes</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. Android users should be able</span> <a href= "https://goo.gl/app/playmusic?ibi=com.google.PlayMusic&isi=691797987&ius=googleplaymusic&link=https%3A%2F%2Fplay.google.com%2Fmusic%2Fm%2FIec4hztjaepf6x5stwxyknppvhu%3Ft%3DBangkok_Podcast_%257C_Thailand_Life_Lessons_From_Two_Expats_from_Canada_%2526_America%26pcampaignid%3DMKT-na-all-co-pr-mu-pod-16"> <span style="font-weight: 400;">get the show automatically through Google Play</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. But if you run into a snag, get in touch. We’ll help!</span> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">Drop us a line using the contact form</span><span style="font-weight: 400;">, or leave a review for us on iTunes or Google Play. Oh, and</span> <a href= "http://facebook.com/bangkokpodcast"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">we have a Facebook page</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400;">! You can even Tweet to the show</span> <a href="http://twitter.com/bangkokpodcast"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">@bangkokpodcast</span></a> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">or us personally at</span> <a href= "https://twitter.com/bkkgreg"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">@bkkgreg</span></a> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">or</span> <a href= "https://twitter.com/evoterra"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">@evoterra</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400;">. We’ll see you next week on The Bangkok Podcast!</span></p> <!-- START 3035 Download Link --> <p><a href="http://traffic.libsyn.com/thaifaq/BKPS2E24.mp3" target= "_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">(Direct download .mp3)</a></p> <!-- END 3035 Download Link -->
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Magic Ink: Evo Visits the Mystical Sak Yant Tattoo Festival (2.23)
<p>You may or may not have heard about the Sak Yant tattoo festival before, but after hearing this episode of the Bangkok Podcast, you sure as darn heck won't be able to forget about it. For years travelers have been entertained by tales of screaming men rushing the stage, possessed by the spirits of the tattoos that cover their bodies in sheets of intricate sub-dermal ink. But it's not merely an odd tourist attraction - the men who have them, the monks who give them, and the shamans who 'recharge' them all hold the tattoos - and the power they say they represent - in the highest regard. With an origin story that involves a Burmese invasion, sinking boats, lost Buddha images, and man-eating tigers, it sounds like something from a novel by Graham Greene or Joseph Conrad, but it's all - very probably - true. Evo and his lovely wife Sheila headed up to Wat Bang Phra in Nakhon Pathom - about 50km west of Bangkok - to check out the festivities and boy did they get the goods. Hanging out with devotees on Friday evening and then recording their screams, gurgles, laughs, and chants on the Saturday, Evo gives a description of what it's like in the middle of the action. Those screams, gurgles, laughs and chants can be heard in the podcast, by the way. Here's a few pictures - but head over to <a href= "https://www.flickr.com/photos/sheila_dee/sets/72157677932225403" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Sheila's Flickr album</a> to see more. <img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-3020" src= "http://www.bangkokpodcast.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/33238959142_064c6bc0a0_z.jpg" alt="33238959142_064c6bc0a0_z" width="640" height="427" /> <img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-3021" src= "http://www.bangkokpodcast.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/33238974392_421e079fa2_z.jpg" alt="33238974392_421e079fa2_z" width="640" height="427" /> <img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-3023" src= "http://www.bangkokpodcast.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/33394953115_271198d71d_z.jpg" alt="33394953115_271198d71d_z" width="640" height="427" /></p> <h2>Love, Loathe or Leave?</h2> <p>Evo springs his LLoL on Greg - what does he think of the national anthem that plays every day at 8am and 6pm? Is it an annoying distraction, a treasured cultural identifier, or something in between? Have a listen to the song in the video below if you're not familiar, then follow along with their discussion at home! https://youtu.be/BrcGzLIEsAU?t=10</p> <h2>Want more?</h2> <p>If it’s your first time experiencing The Bangkok Podcast, you really should get our show downloading to your phone automatically every week. If you use iOS, it’s a breeze to <a href= "https://itunes.apple.com/podcast/bangkok-podcast/id372985372?mt=2&ls=1"> listen via iTunes</a>. Android users should be able <a href= "https://goo.gl/app/playmusic?ibi=com.google.PlayMusic&isi=691797987&ius=googleplaymusic&link=https%3A%2F%2Fplay.google.com%2Fmusic%2Fm%2FIec4hztjaepf6x5stwxyknppvhu%3Ft%3DBangkok_Podcast_%257C_Thailand_Life_Lessons_From_Two_Expats_from_Canada_%2526_America%26pcampaignid%3DMKT-na-all-co-pr-mu-pod-16"> get the show automatically through Google Play</a>. But if you run into a snag, get in touch. We’ll help! Drop us a line at the contact page up top, or leave a review for us on iTunes or Google Play. Oh, and <a href="http://facebook.com/bangkokpodcast">we have a Facebook page</a>! You can even Tweet to the show <a href= "http://twitter.com/bangkokpodcast">@bangkokpodcast</a> or us personally at <a href="https://twitter.com/bkkgreg">@bkkgreg</a> or <a href="https://twitter.com/evoterra">@evoterra</a>. We’ll see you next week on The Bangkok Podcast!</p> <!-- START 3017 Download Link --> <p><a href= "http://traffic.libsyn.com/thaifaq/BKPS2E23-Sak-Yant-Tattoos.mp3" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">(Direct download .mp3)</a></p> <!-- END 3017 Download Link -->
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Talking with Paul Mueller: How Much Time Does Bangkok's Green Lung Have Left? (2.22)
<p><em><strong>When you look at Bangkok on a map, you see this enigmatic little patch of green just off center. It’s not a trick. It really exists. Historically, few people fought the traffic to get here. But that’s changing, and modern encroachment on the green lungs of Bangkok is threatening this not-quite-hidden gem of Bangkok.</strong></em> <span style="font-weight: 400;">Life in Thailand is hot. Welcome to the tropics! But this year seems to have gotten hotter earlier. Or maybe we’re just getting old and are fixating on the weather. Of more importance to this issue is a lovely place in Bangkok to visit that allows some respite from the heat.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">That place is</span> <a href= "https://www.google.com/maps/@13.6830783,100.5693439,7266m/data=!3m1!1e3"> <span style="font-weight: 400;">Prapadaeng</span></a> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">-- also called Bang Krachao -- Bangkok’s “green lung”. We mentioned it briefly on a previous episode, promising to return to the topic with a much more in depth discussion. To give the topic the proper consideration, Greg invites his friend Paul to talk about this hidden-in-plain-sight key area of Bangkok that is, saddly, in danger of losing it’s luster. Because development.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">Today on the show we speak with six-year resident</span> <a href= "https://www.google.com/search?q=Paul+Mueller+bangkok+bike"><span style="font-weight: 400;"> Paul Mueller</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. This American expat made this amazing meander in the Chao Phraya river his home after a solo bike trip led him to a rickety looking dock with an even more rickety looking ferry attached, but with an enticing green area on the other side of the river. He was stunned by the peace, quiet and space -- things that are hard to find in urban Bangkok, where we literally live on top of one another. But not in Bang Krachao. Cars are rare in the interior, and even motorbikes aren’t terribly common. Instead people walk or ride bikes to get from place to place, harkening to a simpler time.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">But those small bikeways are getting blocked, trees are being uprooted, and that abundance of space is threatened. Not by condos (yet), but by people who are choosing to make their home there, taking advantage of the tranquility of the area. As in the rest of Thailand, if someone is properly connected, they can probably side-step a few zoning restrictions. The floating market is growing in popularity -- and that’s a good thing -- but that’s bringing it’s own challenges. More cars. More room for those cars to park. And of course more businesses to sell stuff to the people who drive those cars. You know… development. There’s a lot of pressure on the area, and we can only hope that the commitment to keeping Bangkok’s green lung, well… green, stays the course. In the meantime, you might want to plan your trip sooner rather than later. Just in case.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">Here’s a</span> <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_a-I5TSIKp0"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">short video you can watch that talks about the challenges the green lungs of Bangkok are facing</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. Or you can just listen to the show to learn more from Paul’s perspective. That’s a good idea!</span></p> <h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">Love, Loathe, or Leave?</span></h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Let’s not beat around the bush. Sometimes, when you feel the call of nature in Thailand, sometimes the porcelain throne is actually a porcelain hole in the ground. That’s called a squat toilet. And, well… you’ll figure it out. Quirky? Sure. Pleasant? Less so. But it’s something you’ll likely encounter. And something that will make you appreciate your western toilet.</span></p> <h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">Want more?</span></h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">If it’s your first time experiencing The Bangkok Podcast, you really should get our show downloading to your phone automatically every week. If you use iOS, it’s a breeze to</span> <a href= "https://itunes.apple.com/podcast/bangkok-podcast/id372985372?mt=2&ls=1"> <span style="font-weight: 400;">listen via iTunes</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. Android users should be able</span> <a href= "https://goo.gl/app/playmusic?ibi=com.google.PlayMusic&isi=691797987&ius=googleplaymusic&link=https%3A%2F%2Fplay.google.com%2Fmusic%2Fm%2FIec4hztjaepf6x5stwxyknppvhu%3Ft%3DBangkok_Podcast_%257C_Thailand_Life_Lessons_From_Two_Expats_from_Canada_%2526_America%26pcampaignid%3DMKT-na-all-co-pr-mu-pod-16"> <span style="font-weight: 400;">get the show automatically through Google Play</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. But if you run into a snag, get in touch. We’ll help!</span> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">Drop us a line over at  </span><a href= "http://bangkokpodcast.com"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">bangkokpodcast.com</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400;">, or leave a review for us on iTunes or Google Play. Oh, and</span> <a href= "http://facebook.com/bangkokpodcast"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">we have a Facebook page</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400;">! You can even Tweet to the show</span> <a href="http://twitter.com/bangkokpodcast"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">@bangkokpodcast</span></a> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">or us personally at</span> <a href= "https://twitter.com/bkkgreg"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">@bkkgreg</span></a> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">or</span> <a href= "https://twitter.com/evoterra"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">@evoterra</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400;">. We’ll see you next week on The Bangkok Podcast!</span></p> <!-- START 2998 Download Link --> <p><a href= "http://traffic.libsyn.com/thaifaq/BKPS2E22-How-Much-Time-Does-Bangkoks-Green-Lung-Have-Left.mp3" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">(Direct download .mp3)</a></p> <!-- END 2998 Download Link -->
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"I Want to Get Back to Nature in Bangkok." Is That Even Possible? (2.21)
<h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">While Thailand is a great place to experience the natural beauty of the tropics, Bangkok is a giant metro area and not all that appealing to nature lovers with a short time to visit. Or is it? That’s the topic of this episode of The Bangkok Podcast.</span></h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Evo’s still sick, but he’s on the mend thanks to a doctor. Because as you’ll recall from an episode just a few weeks ago, antibiotics are available over the counter here. But you know what isn’t? A diagnoses of illness from a qualified physician. Luckily there is no shortage of great doctors in Bangkok. And they are quite cheap. Some people are just stubborn. Ahem. And did you see the article that claimed</span> <a href= "http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/general/1201869/thailand-has-worlds-most-congested-traffic"> <span style="font-weight: 400;">Thailand has the worst traffic in the world</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">? We do a little debunking on that before we get to the heart of the matter. Finding nature in the confines of Bangkok’s concrete jungle.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">What, exactly, should a nature lover visiting Bangkok do if they only have a few short days? That’s the question Evo’s friend and</span> <a href= "http://www.shelivesherdream.com/en/"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">Finland-based travel blogger</span></a> <span style="font-weight: 400;">Lottie put to us. No, she doesn’t really want to hit all the rooftop bars, shopping malls, countless temples, or the seedier side of tourism that form Bangkok’s well-deserved reputation. We have a few ideas, including:</span></p> <ul> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><a href= "https://www.google.com/maps/@13.6830783,100.5693439,7266m/data=!3m1!1e3"> <span style="font-weight: 400;">Prapadaeng</span></a> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">(also called Bang Krachao) - Bangkok’s “green lung”</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><a href= "https://www.google.com/maps/place/Phutthamonthon/@13.7719332,100.3329558,8189m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0x85b29fd39da03958!8m2!3d13.7768799!4d100.321151"> <span style="font-weight: 400;">Phutthamonthon</span></a> <span style="font-weight: 400;">- “Spiritual center of Thailand”, says Greg</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Chao Phraya river - It’s always breezy and cool on this big, navigable river that bisects Bangkok</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><a href= "https://www.google.com/maps/place/Phra+Nakhon+Si+Ayutthaya,+Phra+Nakhon+Si+Ayutthaya+District,+Phra+Nakhon+Si+Ayutthaya,+Thailand/@14.3530099,100.5498219,13246m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x30e275daaebc8f83:0x47c36f90a7ff2b19!8m2!3d14.3692325!4d100.5876634"> <span style="font-weight: 400;">Ayutthaya</span></a> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">- Archaeology and history only 3 hours away by train</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Lots of great parks we mention in the show, some rather hidden</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">Lovely beaches not too far away, but you’ll want to do an overnight, probably</span></li> </ul> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">So… yeah. Bangkok offers more than just shopping, sex tourism, temples, and rooftop bars. Just keep the weather in mind when you visit. Because it’s always summer here. Speaking of that...</span></p> <h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">Love, Loathe, or Leave?</span></h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Holy volcanos, it’s hot here. We have no volcanos, but we do leave very close to the sun, apparently. There weren’t any seasons to speak of this year in Bangkok, which has an impact. Listen in to find out how we feel about it.</span></p> <h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">Want more?</span></h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">If it’s your first time experiencing The Bangkok Podcast, you really should get our show downloading to your phone automatically every week. If you use iOS, it’s a breeze to</span> <a href= "https://itunes.apple.com/podcast/bangkok-podcast/id372985372?mt=2&ls=1"> <span style="font-weight: 400;">listen via iTunes</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. Android users should be able</span> <a href= "https://goo.gl/app/playmusic?ibi=com.google.PlayMusic&isi=691797987&ius=googleplaymusic&link=https%3A%2F%2Fplay.google.com%2Fmusic%2Fm%2FIec4hztjaepf6x5stwxyknppvhu%3Ft%3DBangkok_Podcast_%257C_Thailand_Life_Lessons_From_Two_Expats_from_Canada_%2526_America%26pcampaignid%3DMKT-na-all-co-pr-mu-pod-16"> <span style="font-weight: 400;">get the show automatically through Google Play</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. But if you run into a snag, get in touch. We’ll help!</span> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">Drop us a line</span> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">or leave a review for us on iTunes or Google Play. Oh, and</span> <a href= "http://facebook.com/bangkokpodcast"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">we have a Facebook page</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400;">! You can even Tweet to the show</span> <a href="http://twitter.com/bangkokpodcast"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">@bangkokpodcast</span></a> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">or us personally at</span> <a href= "https://twitter.com/bkkgreg"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">@bkkgreg</span></a> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">or</span> <a href= "https://twitter.com/evoterra"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">@evoterra</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400;">. We’ll see you next week on The Bangkok Podcast!</span></p> <!-- START 2983 Download Link --> <p><a href= "http://traffic.libsyn.com/thaifaq/BKPS2E21-I-want-to-get-back-to-nature-in-bangkok.mp3" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">(Direct download .mp3)</a></p> <!-- END 2983 Download Link -->
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Crafty Bangkok Beer: Talking with Brian Bartusch from Beervana (2.20)
<h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">Like everywhere, craft beer is exploding in Bangkok. But there are some subtle nuances that cause beer lovers to scratch their heads. Why is it so expensive? What’s up with “illegal” beer? And where can I get more? We’ll answer that and more on this episode of The Bangkok Podcast.</span></h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">After a brief and elusive discussion of the infamous Thailand beach town Pattaya, we jump into the heart of the conversation: Beer in Thailand. Specifically, craft beer in Thailand. To make sure we cover things in an appropriate (read: true) way, we invited Brian Bartusch -- co-founder of</span> <a href= "https://www.seekbeervana.com/"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">Bangkok’s largest craft beer importer, Beervana</span></a> <span style="font-weight: 400;">-- on to the show to answer some key questions Evo --</span> <a href= "http://brewdiet.com"><span style="font-weight: 400;">our resident beer nerd</span></a> <span style="font-weight: 400;">-- had about the state of craft beer in Thailand.</span> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">Together with a few other entrepreneurial importers, Beervana makes it easy for the visiting craft beer fan to not be forced to drink the standard Thai beers. Not that we’re dissing the local beers. But craft beer fans are going to find Chang, Leo, Singha, and locally-produced Heineken or Asahi rather lacking.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">Evo and Brian met up at</span> <a href="http://roadhousebarbecue.com/"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">Roadhouse BBQ</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400;">. By way of example, they offer a half dozen quality craft beers on tap and a rather large selection of craft beer from all over the world. While you’ll probably find a wider selection back in America simply due to proximity to some other local breweries, you won’t be disappointed in the selection.</span> But you probably will suffer a bit of a sticker shock. Imported craft beer in Thailand is more expensive than the same beer back home. Why? Well, two main reasons: The first is shipping. It’s a long way from here to there, and it has to be kept cold the entire journey. Then you layer in the import taxes and compliance fees, which are not trivial. Brian digs into it a little deeper on the show if you want more information. Just keep it in mind the next time you plop down ฿350 for a bottle you’d expect to pay $6 for back in The States. Other topics relevant to craft beer in Bangkok and beyond:</p> <ul> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Craft beer consumption is only about .02% of overall beer consumption in Thailand. (Source:</span> <a href= "https://www.facebook.com/Chitbeer/"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">ChitBeer</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400;">)</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">Homebrewing is illegal in Thailand. People can be and are thrown in jail for brewing.</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Which means local Thai craft beer -- which is all home brewed -- is illegal… yet available everywhere. Honestly, we have mixed feelings about this.</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Some Thai brewers of quality craft beer are working with the system, doing contract brewing outside of the country and re-importing. It’s crazy, but it’s legal. And tasty!</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">The big Thai brewers have taken notice of the craft beer movement and are taking a Blue Moon approach for now.</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Local Thais are keenly interested in the craft beer scene. </span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Brian shares some notable places around Bangkok to find great craft beer. You’ll be amazed at how quick it’s growing! Some special call outs:</span> <ul> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><a href= "https://www.facebook.com/fattysbardiner/"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">Fatty’s</span></a></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><a href= "https://www.facebook.com/craftintersect"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">Craft Intersect</span></a></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><a href= "https://www.facebook.com/bricksandbarrelsbkk/"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">Bricks and Barrels</span></a></li> </ul> </li> </ul> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Find Brian at various craft beer events around Bangkok, or at</span> <a href= "https://www.facebook.com/pijiubar"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">Pijiu Bar, his newly opened craft beer bar in Bangkok’s Chinatown</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400;">.</span></p> <h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">Love, Loathe, or Leave?</span></h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Bangkok, like every city, has more than one rat hanging around. We don’t want to alarm you, but the ones in Bangkok seem a little bolder than most. Can you guess where we put this little critter on the Love, Loathe, or Leave spectrum?</span></p> <h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">Want more?</span></h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">If it’s your first time experiencing The Bangkok Podcast, you really should get our show downloading to your phone automatically every week. If you use iOS, it’s a breeze to</span> <a href= "https://itunes.apple.com/podcast/bangkok-podcast/id372985372?mt=2&ls=1"> <span style="font-weight: 400;">listen via iTunes</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. Android users should be able</span> <a href= "https://goo.gl/app/playmusic?ibi=com.google.PlayMusic&isi=691797987&ius=googleplaymusic&link=https%3A%2F%2Fplay.google.com%2Fmusic%2Fm%2FIec4hztjaepf6x5stwxyknppvhu%3Ft%3DBangkok_Podcast_%257C_Thailand_Life_Lessons_From_Two_Expats_from_Canada_%2526_America%26pcampaignid%3DMKT-na-all-co-pr-mu-pod-16"> <span style="font-weight: 400;">get the show automatically through Google Play</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. But if you run into a snag, get in touch. We’ll help!</span> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">Drop us a line</span> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">or leave a review for us on iTunes or Google Play. Oh, and</span> <a href= "http://facebook.com/bangkokpodcast"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">we have a Facebook page</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400;">! You can even Tweet to the show</span> <a href="http://twitter.com/bangkokpodcast"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">@bangkokpodcast</span></a> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">or us personally at</span> <a href= "https://twitter.com/bkkgreg"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">@bkkgreg</span></a> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">or</span> <a href= "https://twitter.com/evoterra"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">@evoterra</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400;">. We’ll see you next week on The Bangkok Podcast!</span></p> <!-- START 2967 Download Link --> <p><a href= "http://traffic.libsyn.com/thaifaq/BKPS2E20-Crafty-Bangkok-Beer.mp3" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">(Direct download .mp3)</a></p> <!-- END 2967 Download Link -->
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Is Learning Thai Really Necessary? (2.19)
<h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">To learn to speak Thai or not learn to speak Thai. That is the question. No, literally. It’s the question we’re asking each other on behalf of all people who come to live in Thailand. As you'll hear, we have a difference of opinion.</span></h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">So yeah, we’re the #1 travel podcast in Thailand. That’s kinda cool. But it’s not what we’re talking about today… (but thanks for subscribing!)</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">We ask ourselves a simple question on this week’s show: If you’re going to “live” in Thailand, do you need to learn Thai? Not surprisingly, we have differing opinions on the matter. Greg, the 16 year expat, staunchly feels anyone wishing to live in Thailand needs to learn the language. Evo, not surprisingly, takes the opposite view. Then again, he only has a year under his belt, so take his opinion with a shot of nam pla.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">Some arguments for include the ability to keep yourself out of trouble by knowing what warning signs say, having</span> <a href= "http://www.bangkokpodcast.com/rikker-dockum/"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">a deeper understanding of Thai culture</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">, and generally paying homage to the fact that you’re living in a country with something other than your native tongue as the official language.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">Arguments against include the fact that most (but not all) signs that you really need to see are also presented in English, Thai students have been forced to learn English (or at least enroll in English classes) for decades, and that technology makes for easy as-you-need it translation.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">Not surprisingly, there’s more to it that that. Listen to the show to see which side of the argument you identify with. For bonus points, leave us a comment on the blog, or even a review on iTunes with your thoughts on who’s right. Because we strive for your approval! Kidding.</span> Oh, and that better translation app Evo mentioned? It comes from <a href= "http://www.thai-language.com/">Thai-Language.com</a>, a great web resource. <a href= "https://itunes.apple.com/app/id707246890?ls=1" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">They have an iOS app</a>, but we're not sure about Android. Get it.</p> <h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">Love, Loathe, or Leave?</span></h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Thai pajamas. Or the “farang uniform”. Lightweight, colorful and comfortable pants  that gather around the waist that no self-respecting Thai person would be caught dead in. I think we’re giving away our opinions on these horrid garments. Clean it up a bit, tourists. This is Bangkok. Put on the big person pants when you go out in public, OK?</span></p> <h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">Want more?</span></h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Leave a review here or send us a message on the contact tab at the top menu</span><span style= "font-weight: 400;">, or leave a review for us on iTunes or Google Play. Oh, and</span> <a href= "http://facebook.com/bangkokpodcast"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">we have a Facebook page</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400;">! You can even Tweet to the show</span> <a href="http://twitter.com/bangkokpodcast"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">@bangkokpodcast</span></a> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">or us personally at</span> <a href= "https://twitter.com/bkkgreg"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">@bkkgreg</span></a> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">or</span> <a href= "https://twitter.com/evoterra"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">@evoterra</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400;">. We’ll see you next week on The Bangkok Podcast!</span></p> <!-- START 2954 Download Link --> <p><a href= "http://traffic.libsyn.com/thaifaq/BKPS2E19_-_Is-Learning-Thai-Really-Necessary.mp3" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">(Direct download .mp3)</a></p> <!-- END 2954 Download Link -->
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Being Disabled in Bangkok: A Conversation with Sawang Srisom (2.18)
<h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">No one is going to say that Bangkok is an easy city to navigate. Near-constant congestion, poorly paved sidewalks, non-existent pedestrian crossing areas… that’s just a start. Now imagine that from the point of view of someone who uses a wheelchair. Suddenly these difficulties seem like insurmountable obstacles.</span></h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The show starts with a recap of the new “blowing up on social media” scandal: It seems</span> <a href="http://news.sanook.com/2160170/"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">some mototaxi drivers are placing a surcharge on passengers with additional mass</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400;">. But that’s not the injustice we’re talking about on this episode.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">On today’s show we chat with Sawang Srisom, Secretary for</span> <a href="http://www.transportationforall.org/"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">Transportation for All</span></a> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">(T4A), a grassroots organization that’s forcing Thailand’s bureaucracy to actually follow the law and make the city -- specifically the BTS skytrain system -- fully accessible to people with disabilities.</span> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">Laws aimed at supporting the rights of the disabled have only been on the books in Bangkok since 1991, and that one didn’t even address accessibility. That didn’t happen until 2005. Yes, you read that right: There were no laws governing accessibility requirements just over a decade ago. And since the BTS system construction started 10 years before that, enabling officials a convenient excuse for not including things like elevators in all but five of the 29 stations. Amazing.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">To get action, T4A started filing lawsuits against the BMA (Bangkok Metropolitan Authority who oversee the BTS system) for failure to comply. The goal wasn’t financial compensation, but to force change. It went all the way to the Supreme Court, and it’s now been ruled that all stations must have lifts installed on both sides of the tracks.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">If you’ve used the BTS and thought “but I see lifts and other accessibility additions. What’s the problem?” Listen to the show to find out how insane it is for wheelchair users like Sawang to try and use those accessibility additions you’ve seen. It often involves taking a taxi just to cross the street. Fair warning? It’s maddening to listen to.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">The good news is that Thailand has the right policies on the books. The problem -- and stop us if you’ve heard this one before -- is getting bureaucrats to follow them. Good luck, Bangkok. You’ve got a lot of work ahead of you. But clearly it’s the right thing to do. Because accessibility is for everyone.</span></p> <h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">Love, Loathe, or Leave?</span></h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Not this week. Evo’s voice (as you noticed) is giving out. We’ll try again next week.</span></p> <h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">Want more?</span></h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Drop us a line over at  </span><a href="http://bangkokpodcast.com"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">bangkokpodcast.com</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400;">, or leave a review for us on iTunes or Google Play. Oh, and</span> <a href= "http://facebook.com/bangkokpodcast"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">we have a Facebook page</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400;">! You can even Tweet to the show</span> <a href="http://twitter.com/bangkokpodcast"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">@bangkokpodcast</span></a> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">or us personally at</span> <a href= "https://twitter.com/bkkgreg"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">@bkkgreg</span></a> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">or</span> <a href= "https://twitter.com/evoterra"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">@evoterra</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400;">. We’ll see you next week on The Bangkok Podcast!</span></p> <!-- START 2934 Download Link --> <p><a href= "http://traffic.libsyn.com/thaifaq/BKPS2E18-Being-Disabled-in-Bangkok-a-Conversation-With-Sawang-Srisom.mp3" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">(Direct download .mp3)</a></p> <!-- END 2934 Download Link -->
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Red Cliff Coffee: Talking With Derek Kirk About Chiang Rai's Most Delicious Export (2.17)
<h2>So a guy from Alaska who owns a coffee plantation in Hawaii hires a guy from Indiana who’s living in Thailand to help him grow coffee. There’s no punchline. Just a great episode of the Bangkok Podcast!</h2> <!-- START 2918 Download Link --> <p><a href= "http://traffic.libsyn.com/thaifaq/BKPS2E17-red-cliff-coffee-talking-with-derek-kirk-about-chiang-rais-most-delicious-export.mp3" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">(Direct download .mp3)</a></p> <!-- END 2918 Download Link --> <p><a href= "http://traffic.libsyn.com/thaifaq/BKPS2E17-red-cliff-coffee-talking-with-derek-kirk-about-chiang-rais-most-delicious-export.mp3" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">(Direct download .mp3)</a> <span style="font-weight: 400;">After Evo explains why he was in Finland and gives us a crash course on world travel expos (like</span> <a href="http://matka.messukeskus.com/"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">Matka 2017</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400;">) and blogger conferences (like</span> <a href= "http://nbe.messukeskus.com/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">NBE Finland)</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">, and Greg runs down his recent motorbiking misadventures in Chiang Rai, we get down to business. What business? Serious business. Coffee.</span>   <span style="font-weight: 400;">Greg had a conversation with Derek Kirk, a fellow expat who manages a coffee plantation that puts out</span> <a href= "http://www.redcliffcoffee.com/"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">Red Cliff Coffee</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400;">, a personal favorite of Greg’s that Evo needs to try.</span> Starting as an English teacher, Derek fell in love with Northern Thailand and wanted to find a way to stay. In his spare time, he started working with coffee farmers from the Akha Hill Tribe. Some of them had recently started planting coffee as a cash crop but didn’t have much experience. Derek made the decision to learn as much as he could about coffee production, vowing to return to Northern Thailand and spread that knowledge. He moved to Kona, Hawaii, became a sponge for coffee knowledge, and brought 10,000 trees back to Thailand to start his enterprise. <span style= "font-weight: 400;">The beans that come from this experiment are, in his opinion (backed up by Greg’s insatiable appetite), the best beans grown in Thailand, far outpacing the standard Thai coffee fare.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">More importantly, coffee -- quality coffee -- is giving a huge economic boost to the region. As evidence; other farmers in the village are seeing the success of their neighbors and getting in on the action, and small vendors on the side of the road in heavily Thai areas -- even outside of Bangkok -- are selling quality cappuccino for 55 baht. Not great news if you want cheap coffee. But outstanding news if you -- like us -- appreciate a quality cuppa and wish to see it spread.</span><span style="font-weight: 400;">But don’t think this is the story of one (more) farang coming in and taking over from the locals. Yes, Derek did inject some know-how into the system, but the farmers producing coffee are doing so on their own terms, on their own land, and producing their own product. Now that’s social entrepreneurism at work!</span></p> <h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">Love, Loathe, or Leave?</span></h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">For our North American friends, we give you the lowdown of 7-11, which is *much* more than just a convenience store in Bangkok: It’s a way of life. Not surprisingly we love 7-11 if only because it’s so ingrained into society here in the Big Mango. But there is one aspect we rather loathe. You’ll have to listen to find out.</span></p> <h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">Want more?</span></h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Drop us a line over at  </span><a href="http://bangkokpodcast.com"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">bangkokpodcast.com</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400;">, or leave a review for us on iTunes or Google Play. Oh, and</span> <a href= "http://facebook.com/bangkokpodcast"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">we have a Facebook page</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400;">! You can even Tweet to the show</span> <a href="http://twitter.com/bangkokpodcast"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">@bangkokpodcast</span></a> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">or us personally at</span> <a href= "https://twitter.com/bkkgreg"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">@bkkgreg</span></a> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">or</span> <a href= "https://twitter.com/evoterra"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">@evoterra</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400;">. We’ll see you next week on The Bangkok Podcast!</span></p>
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Talking with Phra Pandit: Is Having Everything the Same as Desiring Nothing? (2.16)
<p><em>Continuing with our Buddhism series, we welcome Phra Pandit, a Brit who has been a monk in Thailand for the past 20 years and is a noted lecturer on Buddhism, dhamma, and psychology.</em> Desire - or the lack of it - is one of the key themes that the Buddha taught his followers. But as we find out in this very interesting discussion with Phra Pandit, it's not as easy as saying "I can do without those cool new pair of shoes."</p> <!-- START 2900 Download Link --> <p><a href= "http://traffic.libsyn.com/thaifaq/BKPS2E16-Is-Having-Everything-the-Same-as-Desiring-Nothing.mp3" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">(Direct download .mp3)</a></p> <!-- END 2900 Download Link --> <p><a href= "http://traffic.libsyn.com/thaifaq/BKPS2E16-Is-Having-Everything-the-Same-as-Desiring-Nothing.mp3" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">(Direct download .mp3)</a> Since Evo is off galavanting around Europe, Greg talks to Pandit about what it means to have nothing, how it feels to want nothing, and why having or wanting nothing doesn't necessarily make you a better Buddhist than someone who has everything. Indeed, Greg poses a question - when someone has more money than they will ever use, things that are valuable to the 'average' person - like an iPhone - become almost meaningless. Since this person places no great value in craving the iPhone, or grief when he loses it - is that a similar state of mind as not desiring an iPhone? It's a great conversation about exactly what desire is - and how wanting something isn't always a bad thing. Phra Pandit also gives a shoutout to his friend Marisa Cranfill (<a href= "http://www.bangkokpodcast.com/thai-spirit-houses/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">a previous guest on the Bangkok Podcast</a>), one of the foremost (non-Thai) experts on Thai spirit houses. She will be giving a seminar later this month about this topic, where you can finally learn the answers to the big questions: why is red Fanta left out more than other drinks? Why do zebras get left so often? Why are some houses supported by one pillar, and others four? Head to <a href= "http://www.littlebang.org" target="_blank" rel= "noopener noreferrer">www.littlebang.org</a> to read more about <a href= "http://www.littlebang.org/thai-spirit-houses-and-land-guardians-public-lecture/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Marisa's speech on Saturday January 28th at the Rojana Center</a>. And since this episode airs a few days before Chinese New Year, Greg - who lived in Yaowarat, Bangkok's Chinatown, for 4 years - gives his advice for really getting the most out of a visit to one of Bangkok's most interesting neighborhoods, and the center of the city's Chinese New Year celebrations. And just for an extra visual, here are the incense sticks that Greg talks about. Note the dudes on the bottom left for scale. <img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-2901" src= "http://www.bangkokpodcast.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Chinese-Temple-11.jpg" alt="Chinese Temple 11" width="740" height="555" /> You can also follow the Bangkok Podcast on <a href= "https://www.facebook.com/bangkokpodcast" target="_blank" rel= "noopener noreferrer">Facebook</a>, or <a href= "https://twitter.com/evoterra" target="_blank" rel= "noopener noreferrer">Evo</a> and <a href= "https://twitter.com/bkkgreg" target="_blank" rel= "noopener noreferrer">Greg</a> on Twitter.</p>
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Expat Realities: Reverse Culture Shock (2.15)
<p>If you've lived any amount of time overseas and returned to your home country, you're likely familiar with reverse culture shock, the feeling that you just...somehow...don't quite fit in to your old life anymore. It's a disorienting feeling, and it affects everyone differently. Seeing as how Greg was back in Canada three months ago and Evo just returned from a trip to the USA, we thought'd we discuss this uniquely strange phenomenon, how it affected us, and how we deal with it.</p> <!-- START 2891 Download Link --> <p><a href= "http://traffic.libsyn.com/thaifaq/BKPS2E15-Expat-Realities-Reverse-Culture-Shock.mp3" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">(Direct download .mp3)</a></p> <!-- END 2891 Download Link --> <p>Greg recounts how the relationships with his friends have changed, details of "the most Canadian standoff ever", and how it's always the little things that trip you up - like the fact that people wear shoes inside the house, which really freaked him out. Evo mirrors this "little things" mantra, like the incredibly weird feeling of drinking water from a tap, and how much he forgot he loves listening to the radio...and how quickly he realized it actually sucks. We also do another round of Love, Loathe, Leave, and discuss - rather shamefully - how much joy Greg got from showing his visiting sister around Bangkok's shopping malls.</p>
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Four Things We Tell Everyone to Avoid in Bangkok (2.14)
<h2>Everyone loves Bangkok and it is indeed a great city. However, that's not to say everything is worth seeing or doing. For this show we each come up with two items, places, or pastimes that we tell visiting friends and family or even expats new to the city of Angels that they can go ahead and avoid without losing out on everything that Bangkok has to offer.</h2> <!-- START 2878 Download Link --> <p><a href= "http://traffic.libsyn.com/thaifaq/BKPS2E14-Four-Things-We-Tell-Everyone-to-Avoid-in-Bangkok.mp3" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">(Direct download .mp3)</a></p> <!-- END 2878 Download Link --> <p><a href= "http://traffic.libsyn.com/thaifaq/BKPS2E14-Four-Things-We-Tell-Everyone-to-Avoid-in-Bangkok.mp3" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">(Direct download .mp3)</a> Evo’s finally back from his three week trip to America and mostly over his jet lag. At least to record another episode. Today we’re talking about some things we think it’s OK for you to to skip when you visit The Big Mango. Because there’s simply too many things in Bangkok to take in in a single trip, so you won’t have a lack of things to do. First up, Evo smashes the myth about getting smashed on cheap Thai beer. Because, shockingly, beer isn’t inexpensive here in Thailand. You’ll spend at least a buck -- IN A GROCERY STORE OR 7-11 -- per beer. That’s a little more than you’ll spend to buy crappy beer back in most Western nations. Which isn’t cheap! (Though it is cheap in quality.) Second, Greg commits near sacrilege by suggesting that there are other historic temples and places to visit that are not The Grand Palace. Yes, it’s a lovely place. Yes, it’s filled with history. Yes, it’s akin to Mecca for many Thais. But it’s the giant mob of people -- tourists and Thais -- that sully the experience. If you don’t mind standing in the heat (without umbrellas) for a few hours with a few thousand of your closest friends, go on with your bad self. Third, Evo suggests skipping ping-pong shows. It’s arguably the worst of the publically available sexploitation offerings endemic to Bangkok. They aren’t sexy (like, at all). They aren’t fun for more than a handful of seconds. And they are a huge and expensive scam. And you will be poorer -- in pocketbook and in humanity -- after the experience. [shudder] Fourth, Bangkok is a hot-spot for networking events, especially among the expat community. And Greg hates them. The experience is always the same, which is less about meeting cool people and more paying to have people shove business cards in your hand for services you don’t want or need. Granted, some people excel at networking events. But Greg finds something extra distasteful about the ones he’s attended in Bangkok. We do make special allowances for cool events, like the Bangkok International Travel Group, Random Thainess, and Pecha Kucha Bangkok. Hrm. Maybe we should get the people who run those events on a future episode. <span style="text-decoration: underline;">Love, Loathe, or Leave?</span> Exiting Thailand is a chore. Especially at the BKK airport. Why, oh why, is it so hard to get out of this country? Listen to the show to find out how Greg and Evo feel about the process (if you haven’t guessed it already.) Want more? Drop us a line over at bangkokpodcast.com, or leave a review for us on iTunes or Google Play. You can even Tweet to the show @bangkok podcast or us personally at @bkkgreg or @evoterra. We’ll see you next week on The Bangkok Podcast!</p>
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Thailand Memories: Living Through a Coup (2.13)
<p>Happy New Year everyone! The turning over of the calendar is traditionally a time to look forward and hope that the next year will be better than the last one. 2017 will be a big year in Thailand - HM King Rama X will steer the country forward, the push to change elements of Thailand's important Buddhist sangha is gathering steam, and an election <em>might</em> happen.</p> <!-- START 2864 Download Link --> <p><a href= "http://traffic.libsyn.com/thaifaq/BSKS2E13-Thailand-memories-living-through-a-coup.mp3" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">(Direct download .mp3)</a></p> <!-- END 2864 Download Link --> <p>Why is that such a big deal? Well, because despite outward appearances and contrary to what a lot of people probably think, Thailand is a military dictatorship. Okay, <em>dictatorship</em> might be a strong word, but the fact of the matter is that the Land of Smiles and one of the world's busiest tourist destinations has been under military control since the most recent coup of 2014. So <em>if</em> an election happens this year, it will be a big deal. So, seeing as Thailand has had 19 attempted and successful coups in the last century or so, we thought we'd look back and discuss what it's like to actually live through one in the hopes that we won't have to live <em>another</em> one. From the first message on his phone warning that a military takeover is underway to the time he made a panicked phone call to a friend to ask them what's going on, Greg has seen 2 coups in his time in-country. He and Evo discuss what it's actually like to know that a big change is happening while at the same time hoping that no one starts shooting, and how an actual coup - at least the past 2 in Thailand - are much different than what you learn about in high school.</p>
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Is Dhammakaya a Cult, a Sect, or Just Another Temple? (2.12)
<p>We're super happy to welcome back a popular guest from season 1 of the Bangkok Podcast - our veritable friend Phra Pandit. As a long-time monk in Thailand and noted lecturer on dhamma, Buddhism, meditation, and deep thought, Pandit is a great source if insight and information.</p> <!-- START 2851 Download Link --> <p><a href= "http://traffic.libsyn.com/thaifaq/BKPS2E12-Is-Dhammakaya-a-Cult-a-Sect-or-Just-Another-Temple.mp3" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">(Direct download .mp3)</a></p> <!-- END 2851 Download Link --> <p>On this show we (well, Greg, as Evo is traveling) will talk with Pandit about what happens when a particular Buddhist temple becomes really big. So big, in fact, that the government wants to shut it down. In this case it's the Dhammakaya temple, which has millions of devotees all over Thailand and is led by a rather controversial monk. As of the date of this post, police have been camped outside the temple for several weeks as deadline after deadline for the surrender of the head monk have come and gone and nothing's happened. It's kind of like the world's most boring standoff...but something's got to give eventually. Pandit gets into some details on the political machinations behind the target on the temple's back, as well as why the stakes are so high for the temple's head abbot, the magic ingredient that lets a temple go from being popular to a nationwide social phenomenon - and just how many people does Dhammakaya's 'flying saucer' meditation area hold, anyway? (Hint: a <span style= "text-decoration: underline;"><strong>lot</strong></span>. Check out the picture of the saucer area below). <img class= "aligncenter size-large wp-image-2859" src= "http://www.bangkokpodcast.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Dhammakaya3-1024x680.jpg" alt="dhammakaya3" width="713" height="473" /> Don’t forget to leave a comment or tweet to us – <a href= "https://twitter.com/bkkgreg" target="_blank" rel= "noopener noreferrer">@BkkGreg</a> or <a href= "https://twitter.com/evoterra" target="_blank" rel= "noopener noreferrer">@EvoTerra</a>!</p>
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Merry Christmas From Bangkok! (2.11)
<p>It's that time of year again in Thailand - the holidays season! Did you notice the extra 's' there? It was intentional, because December is one of the most holiday-heavy months in the whole year. Not only do you have Father's Day and Constitution Day, but you also have Christmas - or at least the most intense commercial aspects of it. That rolls right into the (western) New Year, which rolls into the (Chinese) New Year, and a few weeks after that we roll right into (Thai) New Year.</p> <!-- START 2842 Download Link --> <p><a href= "http://traffic.libsyn.com/thaifaq/BKPS2E11-Merry-Christmas-from-Bangkok.mp3" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">(Direct download .mp3)</a></p> <!-- END 2842 Download Link --> <p>Evo and Greg discuss what it's like living in a Buddhist country that celebrates - with almost equal gusto - holidays imported from different countries, cultures, and religions, and what it's like spending time at the shopping malls, which heavily, heavily promote everyone's favorite part of Christmas - buying stuff. And that's all. Holidays on Christmas Day? You must be mad! It's a regular work day, son. And speaking of sons, Greg also ponders whether or not it's worth the trouble <del>lying to</del>introducing his son to the concept of Santa, his magical reindeer, and his circumnavigation of the globe in a single night - especially since Santa, as far as most Thais are concerned, is nothing more than a cheesy Ronald McDonald-like cartoon designed to sell toys. Well actually...they're not far off. We also discuss Bangkok's air quality. A recent <a href= "http://www.aljazeera.com/blogs/asia/2016/12/bangkok-cleans-act-161210153606363.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Al Jazeera</a> story said it was better that many major European cities...but Evo looked around (including on the <a href="http://aqicn.org/city/bangkok/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">World Air Quality Index</a>) and thinks there's something fishy about the claim. Don't forget to leave a comment or tweet to us - @BkkGreg or @EvoTerra!    </p>
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Magic, Mysticism & Mana: Superstition in Thailand (2.10)
<h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">At the risk of offending some 70 million Thais, we’re looking at the religious, spiritual, and magical thinking endemic to Thailand. At least from the point of view of a couple of skeptical, non-religious Westerners.</span></h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Buddhism isn’t the official religion of Thailand. But the overwhelming majority of people are Buddhist. Still, what you think of as Buddhism may not match up to the reality of the world. This is Theravada Buddhism that draws heavily on Hinduism and has more than a dash of animism mixed in. That makes things rather interesting.</span></p> <!-- START 2829 Download Link --> <p><a href= "http://traffic.libsyn.com/thaifaq/BKPS2E10-Magic-Mysticism-Mana-Superstition-in-Thailand.mp3" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">(Direct download .mp3)</a></p> <!-- END 2829 Download Link --> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">One thing Westerners often comment on is all the shrine-like dollhouses at every condo, office building, and house around the city. Those are called “spirit houses” and they are meant to be a home for… well, spirits. If you want the full details, check out</span> <a href= "http://www.bangkokpodcast.com/thai-spirit-houses/"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">our interview with Marisa Cranfill, an expert on the topic of spirit houses in Thailand</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400;">.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">Have you noticed the (mostly) guys all blinged out with heavy necklaces sporting a variety of “charms”. Those are amulets, and they are believed to either attract good tidings (e.g. wealth) or offer protection from oddly specific maladies. It’s like taking the lucky rabbit’s foot and Ash Wednesday and cranking them up to eleven.</span><span style="font-weight: 400;">And if not on their person, a lot of Thais let protections/powers like that get under their skin. Literally. Thailand is famous for the magical sak yant tattoo, and the annual highlight for sak yant aficionados is the</span> <a href= "https://www.theopportunistictravelers.com/blog/2016/6/16/thailands-crazy-sak-yant-tattoo-festival"> <span style="font-weight: 400;">Sak Yant Tattoo Festival in Wat Bang Phra</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">, just north of Bangkok. No, it’s not your typical tattoo festival. Picture thousands of Pentecostals in the throws of speaking in tongues, but ambulatory and hell-bent on rushing toward the stage, regardless if you’re directly in their path or not. It’s the most intense, odd thing Evo’s experience during his time in Thailand.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">But we draw the line at the recent craze of Luuk Thep dolls. Clearly,</span> <a href= "https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=95fNouFMMiM"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">these people haven’t seen Child’s Play</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. Chucky needs a date, I think.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">We wrap the show with another installation of Love, Loathe, or Leave. Today’s topics: saluting security guards and sharing the sidewalk with motorcycles. If you're a fellow Bangkokian, you likely have intimate experience with these two items. Drop us a line and tell us what you think. Or if you’ve an opinion or observation on local superstitions, tell us about it. Go to</span> <a href= "http://bangkokpodcast.com"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">bangkokpodcast.com</span></a> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">and leave a comment. Or you can Tweet to us at</span> <a href="https://twitter.com/bkkgreg"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">@bkkgreg</span></a> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">or</span> <a href= "https://twitter.com/evoterra"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">@evoterra</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400;">. See you next week on The Bangkok Podcast!</span></p>
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Foreign Fool: A Conversation with Author Alan Platt
<p>When it comes to characters, Bangkok has them in droves - people who have been places, eaten things, talked to people, and lived adventures that would make your mother put her hand to her mouth and proclaim, "Oh my" with a frightened little squeak. On this episode of the Bangkok Podcast we're happy to have one of these epic characters on the show with us - Mr Alan Platt, who, as it happens, has just released a book about his adventures entitled <em>Foreign Fool</em>.</p> <!-- START 2812 Download Link --> <p><a href= "http://traffic.libsyn.com/thaifaq/BKPS2E9-Foreign-Fool-an-Interview-With-Author-Alan-Platt.mp3" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">(Direct download .mp3)</a></p> <!-- END 2812 Download Link --> <p>Now I know what you're thinking, and it's the same thing we think when we hear <em>self-published book by a farang in Bangkok</em>, and that is, "Oh, yes, another one for the dusty back section of Asia Books, along with all the stories about hard-boiled detectives, heart-of-gold prostitutes, and love gone bad." But no - that's not what this book is about at all. In fact, take it from me (Greg), who has read the book - this is one hell of a fun read, and is actually - get this - <em>really well written</em>. From Saigon to Bangkok to Panama to London to Honolulu, <em>Foreign Fool</em> tells of, as Alan puts it, the bumbling misadventures of a doofus. I'll just let the first two paragraphs of the first chapter say it themselves:</p> <blockquote>In Saigon, many years after the war was over, long after the city was declared safe for tourists and when even the hookers were becoming almost discreet, I was kidnapped. That does sound a bit dramatic, I admit. Technically, it was more an abduction. But however one puts it, any mention of that sort of thing floods the mind with images of some poor guy being jumped by thugs, bundled into the trunk of a car and splattered across the tabloids with a screech of tires and the burning of rubber. None of that happened to me. I was kidnapped on a bicycle.</blockquote> <p>Alan discusses how he went from sunning his broke ass on a Los Angeles beach to the top of the New York ad world, how the book took shape, and a few of the stories - both in the book and not - that keep him looking ahead to the next trip. Visit the book's website at <a href="https://www.foreignfool.com/" target= "_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">ForeignFool.com</a> Buy <a href= "https://www.amazon.com/Foreign-Fool-Embarrassing-Disasters-Author/dp/616394416X" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Foreign Fool on Amazon</a>.</p>
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Drugs in Thailand: Too Much, Too Little, or Not Enough? (2.8)
<h2>Sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll. Two of those are legal in Bangkok. Sort of. Legal drugs have a dark side, like people dying from overuse. But illegal drugs -- some pretty serious ones -- might soon be legal in Thailand. What's the deal with all this back and forth?</h2> <!-- START 2801 Download Link --> <p><a href= "http://traffic.libsyn.com/thaifaq/BKPS2E8-Drugs-In-Thailand-Too-Much-Too-Little-or-Not-Enough.mp3" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">(Direct download .mp3)</a></p> <!-- END 2801 Download Link --> <p><a href= "http://traffic.libsyn.com/thaifaq/BKPS2E8-Drugs-In-Thailand-Too-Much-Too-Little-or-Not-Enough.mp3" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">(Direct download .mp3)</a> <span style="font-weight: 400;">Here’s the reality of living in Thailand: Whenever we -- Westerners or Thais  -- get sick, our first stop is the hospital or the pharmacy. Chances are, either the doctor or the pharmacist will have a remedy in pill form ready for you. And quite often, they’re unnecessary. Got a cough? Take these antibiotics. Can’t sleep? Try this anti-anxiety medication. They’re cheap, so why not?</span> <a href= "http://www.bangkokpost.com/learning/learning-news/779433/overuse-of-antibiotics-killing-thais-at-high-rate"> <span style="font-weight: 400;">Because they are literally killing us</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">, that’s why.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">But on the flip side, it’s great for asthmatics to pick up a rescue inhaler without a prescription. Just don’t expect to pick up any Sudafed. Or as they call it in Thailand: the precursor to methamphetamines. Speaking of that…</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">Thailand has a rich history of illicit drugs. But just because there’s a strain of marijuana named for the country, the authorities aren’t too keen on smokers of the herb. And this is Thailand, probably not the place you want to cool it in a cell for a while contemplating your poor choices in life.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">Yet there are discussions at the highest level of government to consider decriminalizing marijuana. And, as strange and unfathomable as it sounds, meth (yaba, as it’s locally known) might also enjoy recreational status in the future. Go figure.</span> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">We’re keeping the <strong>Love, Loathe, or Leave</strong> segment rolling, this time with a discussion about climate change inside the skytrain, and the bane of all who walk on the sidewalk, being brick-flicked. If you're a fellow Bangkokian, you likely have intimate experience with these two items. Drop us a line and tell us what you think. Or if you’ve an opinion on the issues of drugs -- legal or other -- tell us about it in the comments below, or tweet</span><span style= "font-weight: 400;"> to us at</span> <a href= "https://twitter.com/bkkgreg"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">@bkkgreg</span></a> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">or</span> <a href= "https://twitter.com/evoterra"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">@evoterra</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400;">.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">See you next week on The Bangkok Podcast!</span></p>
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Bangkok's Disappearing Street Food (2.7)
<p><a href= "http://traffic.libsyn.com/thaifaq/BKPS2E7-Bangkoks-Disappearing-Street-Food.mp3" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">(Direct download .mp3)</a></p> <!-- END 2783 Download Link --> <h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">If you’re visiting Bangkok for the ubiquitous street food culture, you might want to get here quickly. There’s seemingly a war on street food vendors in the city. And that’s no jok.</span></h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Bear with us this week.</span> <a href= "https://www.theopportunistictravelers.com/blog/2016/11/15/tall-tales-made-the-man"> <span style="font-weight: 400;">Evo’s dealing with a great loss in his family</span></a> <span style="font-weight: 400;">and a broken microphone, and Greg’s a little sleepy from being the dad of a childhood actor. But that’s not what we want to talk about today...</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">This episode is all about Bangkok’s disappearing street food stalls, one of the city’s most famous elements, the lifeblood of many, and part of the city’s undefinable charm. It’s also a perfect time to introduce a new segment on this episode, one we call</span> <em><span style= "font-weight: 400;">Love, Loathe, or Leave</span></em><span style= "font-weight: 400;">.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">That is: how do we feel about sharing sidewalks with street food cards and other vendors cramping our walking style? Are they and the convenience and culinary variety they offer part of why we</span> <strong>love</strong> <span style="font-weight: 400;">living in Bangkok? Do we kind of</span> <strong>loathe</strong> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">sharing our space but can tolerate the nuisance? Or do we see them as such a danger to life and limb that we’re ready to</span> <strong>leave</strong> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">the country over it?</span> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">Best line of the show:</span> <em><span style= "font-weight: 400;">“It’s called a side-</span></em><strong><em>walk</em></strong><em><span style= "font-weight: 400;">, not a side-</span></em><strong><em>wok</em></strong><em><span style= "font-weight: 400;">, after all.”</span></em> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">But there’s a human cost to consider: What happens to all the people -- tens of thousands -- who’ve made their living vending on the streets, fully sanctioned and licensed by the government? We’re told the vendors will be provided a new place to ply their wares. But will they have the same level of business? And most importantly, what will Greg do for breakfast since he can’t find his favorite</span> <em><span style= "font-weight: 400;">jok</span></em> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">dealer?</span> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">To us, this sure seems an issue of ongoing gentrification. Suan Lum night market shut down years ago ostensibly to make way for a development project… that never happened. And then there’s Asiatique, a bright, crowded, new-but-made-to-look-old destination on the banks of the Chao Phraya river. Giant eyesore? Fun destination? Or an example of what the city government wants most of our city to look like when they mark</span> <a href="http://bangkok250.org/"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">250th anniversary of Bangkok</span></a> <span style="font-weight: 400;">in just a few years?</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">While</span> <a href= "http://www.gregtodiffer.com/bangkoks-malls-lack-slogans-so-i-made-some-2/"> <span style="font-weight: 400;">Greg’s snarky love affair with Bangkok’s shopping malls is on record,</span></a> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">neither of us are street food experts. But</span> <a href="https://migrationology.com/"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">Mark Weins from Migrationology</span></a> <span style="font-weight: 400;">and</span> <a href= "https://www.eatingthaifood.com/"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">EatingThaiFood.com</span> <strong>is</strong> <span style="font-weight: 400;">an expert on Bangkok street food</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">, so we called him up to get his take.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">If you're a fellow Bangkokian, tell us what you think about this War On Street Food. Or if you've experienced a similar change in your city, tell us about it. Go to</span> <a href= "http://bangkokpodcast.com"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">bangkokpodcast.com</span></a> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">and leave a comment. Or you can Tweet to us at</span> <a href="https://twitter.com/bkkgreg"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">@bkkgreg</span></a> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">or</span> <a href= "https://twitter.com/evoterra"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">@evoterra</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400;">. See you next week on The Bangkok Podcast!</span></p>
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Are You Sure You Wanna Say That? Self-Censorship in Thailand (2.6)
<h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">The shockwaves of the President-Elect of America have shockwaved all the way over here to Bangkok, Thailand. However, that’s not what we’re talking about today, though we could talk about if we want to. And that’s what we want to talk about. Confused? Yeah…</span></h2> <!--more--> <p> </p> <!-- START 2768 Download Link --> <p><a href= "http://traffic.libsyn.com/thaifaq/BKPS2E6-Are-You-Sure-You-Wanna-Say-That-Self-Censorship-in-Thailand.mp3" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">(Direct download .mp3)</a></p> <!-- END 2768 Download Link --> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">On October 13, the Kingdom of Thailand suffered a great loss with the death of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej. Because we’re a show ostensibly about Bangkok and the country of Thailand overall, we recorded an episode of our podcast with that topic in mind.</span> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">And then we thought better of it.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">Not because we were in any way critical, satirical, or otherwise potentially running up against Thailand’s lese majeste laws. Indeed, the show was respectful to a fault, and talked about how much Rama IX meant to the Thai people. But we thought that maybe, in this particular situation, it’s not all that important for us, two foreigners living in the Kingdom, to have an opinion.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">Those of you reading this from “the free world” (though we each feel relatively free over here) are probably looking at that last statement with disdain. But if you listen to this week’s show -- the episode about the episode you’ll never hear -- you’ll find it’s not all that uncommon to self-censor. In fact, we do it all the time. And maybe, in a world where the friction between thought and something for public consumption is all too easy, we should do it more often.</span></p>
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Travel Blogging: A Realistic Job or a Bunch of Hot Air? (2.5)
<h2>Ask enough people in Bangkok what they do for a living, and one will eventually say “travel blogging”. On this episode of the podcast, we break down some of the myths and mystique surrounding that title.</h2> <!-- START 2718 Download Link --> <p><a href= "http://traffic.libsyn.com/thaifaq/BKPS2E5-Travel-Blogging-A-Realistic-Job-or-a-Bunch-of-Hot-Air.mp3" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">(Direct download .mp3)</a></p> <!-- END 2718 Download Link --> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Evo recently traveled to Manila in the Philippines to deliver the opening keynote at <a href= "http://tbexcon.com/2016-asia/">TBEX Asia Pacific 2016.</a> It’s a travel blogging conference, catering to, well… travel bloggers. Which are legion. Coupled with the service providers, tourism councils, and hospitality companies; and there’s sizeable market.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">Travel blogging means different things: Some make a full time living traveling from place to place writing content for their blogs. Some are local experts writing content on their blog for people traveling to their city. And some don’t even have a blog at all, doing all of their posting on social media or publishing content on third-party sites.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">For all their diversity, travel bloggers aren’t universally loved. Cynics say that DMOs (destination marketing organizations) shower these people with gifts, swag, free food, and more simply to gain overly-positive views that lack real substance. Is that a valid concern? Are the benefits provided by these so-called influencers just self promotional crap? Or are the two parties -- the blogger and the client -- reaping real benefits of the partnership?</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">There’s a third element: the audience. It’s the smart travel blogger who provides his/her audience with the content their audience wants to read. They aren’t, by and large, journalists, guides, or critics. Still, travel bloggers have the freedom to choose what to blog about, some of which can be a little harsh. Have you read the internet?</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">So should you quit your job, start a travel blog, and start attending travel blogging conferences like TBEX? Well… you’ll have to listen to find out our thoughts on that.</span></p>
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Bangkok's Shaky Infrastructure That Won't Quit (2.2)
<h2>Hey, you’re still here! How awesome is that? Welcome to the 2nd episode. Today, we’re talking infrastructure. No, wait! Before you decide to skip the episode, this isn’t an episode filled with mechanical engineering terms. Have you met us?</h2> <!-- START 2636 Download Link --> <p><a href= "http://traffic.libsyn.com/thaifaq/BKPS2E2-Bangkoks-Shaky-Infrastructure-That-Wont-Quit-1.mp3" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">(Direct download .mp3)</a></p> <!-- END 2636 Download Link --> <p>  <span style="font-weight: 400;">The Big Mango is… big. Big city with huge skyscrapers and sprawling concrete to help accommodate the millions of people that live in and visit Bangkok. This is the City of Angels, the second largest city in SE Asia. We’re sorry if that damaged your idyllic notion of rice paddies and floating markets. Thailand has them. Bangkok metro? Not so much.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">Here we have the</span> <a href= "https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MahaNakhon"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">Mahanakon Tower</span></a> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">- some call it the Jenga or Tetris Building -- the fourth tallest building in SE Asia. We’re looking forward to the grand opening, because that rooftop bar is going to rather swank.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">But Bangkok isn’t stopping there. There are loads of new buildings, both</span> <a href= "https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rama_IX_Super_Tower"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">giant</span></a> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">and</span> <a href= "http://www.grandcanalland.com/en/commercial_GTower.php"><span style="font-weight: 400;"> strange</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">, that will continue to give Bangkok it’s own special character. Just one more reason we both love living in this crazy town. We have world class shopping centers, with more on the way.</span> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">Traffic sucks. Just plan on that when you visit. The good news is the BTS or MRT work pretty good. And if all else fails, jump on a mototaxi. They flow through bad traffic like water. But we’re getting new lines.</span> <a href= "http://www.gregtodiffer.com/finally-a-mostly-real-map-of-bangkoks-transit-future/"> <span style="font-weight: 400;">Greg made a nifty map</span></a> <span style="font-weight: 400;">to show where some of them will be. Will they all connect? If history is any judge, probably not. Ah, Bangkok.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">Of course, all that new development has to happen somewhere, and often that means old structures -- sometimes interesting and historic -- are knocked out of the way. Progress? Or a loss of culture? We’ll offer our opinions on the topic of how the changing landscape impacts these two expats. And we’d love to hear what you think!</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">Also,</span> <a href= "http://amzn.to/2ekH22b"><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Windup Girl is a good future-of-Thailand book</span></a><span style= "font-weight: 400;">. Will Bangkok look just like that in 200 years? Eh, probably not. But scifi really doesn’t predict the future as much as it portrays the present. So if you want a fantastical look at what we’re talking about, download the book.</span></p>
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Bangkok - Digital Nomad Heaven Or Hell? (2.3)
<h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">Bangkok has become a hub for digital nomads, bringing in a wave of talent and fresh ideas into the city. Those nomads in turn attract other nomads. But is that a good thing? Or even a real thing? Let’s find out.</span></h2> <!-- START 2664 Download Link --> <p><a href= "http://traffic.libsyn.com/thaifaq/BKPS2E3-Bangkok-Digital-Nomad-Heaven-Or-Hell.mp3" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">(Direct download .mp3)</a></p> <!-- END 2664 Download Link --> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Thailand -- Bangkok & Chiang Mai specifically -- is a hotbed of digital nomadship. But before we get to that, we should probably define the term:  </span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">Defining - people who can work anywhere thanks to the internet. They take many format but they share two things in common: They aren’t doing the type of job that requires them to be at a specific location at specific time. And that freedom allows them to travel, either a little or a lot, without interrupting their income stream.</span> <a href= "http://www.legalnomads.com/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Jodi Ettenberg of LegalNomads</span></a> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">is a good example. And</span> <a href= "http://evoterra.com"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Evo tried his hand at it</span></a> <span style="font-weight: 400;">all of 2015.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">So what makes Bangkok so attractive to digital nomads? Some of is has to do with cost of living, though Bangkok isn’t nearly as cheap as it used to be. Having many Western conveniences coupled with the “charm” of Asian living doesn’t hurt. Reliable access to cheap mobile data (especially compared to the US, Canada, and Australia) is big pull.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">But watch out, would-be internet entrepreneurs. Just because Thailand makes it easy for you to visit -- no visa required for a lot of Western countries -- it doesn’t mean you have the legal right to earn income while you are here. In fact, it’s just the opposite of that. So before you decide to set up shop in a co-working space (that wave has hit The Big Mango as well), you’ll want to have a solid understanding of the work permit as not to run up afoul of immigration rules. The work you want to do maybe reserved for Thai-nationals only. And those are just some of the  legal, semi-legit, social, and economic considerations/temptations/realities foreigners face when doing business in Thailand.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">Should you move to Bangkok and become a digital nomad? Well… maybe. And if you listen to the episode, you’ll find out what we think about it. After all, we want to be good role models.Tell us what you think in the comments!</span></p>
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Bangkok Podcast Has Us Now (2.1)
<h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">Three years ago, life changes forced the original hosts of the Bangkok Podcast to focus on other things, and it was ultimately decided to end the show. But we’re back, baby - and with an all new co-host that random chance brought to the show - Evo Terra!</span></h2> <!-- START 2611 Download Link --> <p><a href= "http://traffic.libsyn.com/thaifaq/BKPS2E1-Bangkok-Podcast-Has-Us-Now.mp3" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">(Direct download .mp3)</a></p> <!-- END 2611 Download Link --> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">So, who’s this Evo guy? Here’s the short story: During a year-long sabbatical he and his wife took in 2015, they wound up in a little Thailand town called Ranong, house-sitting for the owners of</span> <a href= "http://www.thesmilingseahorse.com/"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">The Smiling Seahorse, a live-aboard dive company</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">.  No, you’ve probably never heard of Ranong. But if diving the archipelago of Myanmar sounds fun, Ranong is your jumping off point. During those three rainy months, the Kingdom of Thailand sort of grew on them, so they decided to move to the city and make the Big Mango their new home base. His wife (Sheila) is a teacher and he’s a stay at home husband. If you want to read more on him, check out</span> <a href="http://evoterra.com"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">his personal website</span></a> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">or follow along on the infrequently published</span> <a href="http://shevo.wtf"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">travel/comedy blog, The Opportunistic Travelers</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">And for those who missed the story when the show first started in 2010, you’ll learn a little about how Greg came to Thailand some some 16 years ago. Like so many Western travelers, he wound up visiting Thailand… and never left. But unlike shiftless Evo, Greg is actually gainfully employed, has a Thai wife and a toddler at home, and yet still somehow finds time to produce episodes of our show each week.</span> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">So here it is… home. In Bangkok. And that means friends of ours in the Western world have lots of questions. Those questions are what we aim to answer on the re-imagining of The Bangkok Podcast. We’re not a news show. We’re a lifestyle show. Expect conversations, special guests, observations, and pontifications on how two “farangs” -- one Canadian and one American -- find their way living in the capital of The Kingdom of Thailand.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">And because two podcasting nerds got together, we had to have the obligatory “so how do you listen to podcast?” conversation. Evo’s suggestion:</span> <strong>Otto Radio</strong><span style= "font-weight: 400;">. Give it a shot if you want a new and improved way to listen to and discover podcasts. Greg is a hardcore user of</span> <strong>Overcast</strong><span style= "font-weight: 400;">, probably the most popular not-iTunes podcasting app.</span></p>
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Bangkok 2.0 Meets 1.0 - Anthony Joh Gives Us An Update (2.4)
<h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">Bangkok tried to kill Evo this week, so Greg sat down for a conversation with Anthony Joh, the original co-host of the Bangkok Podcast.</span></h2> <!-- START 2689 Download Link --> <p><a href= "http://traffic.libsyn.com/thaifaq/BKPS2E4-Bangkok-2.0-Meets1.0-Tony-Joh-Gives-Us-An-Update.mp3" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">(Direct download .mp3)</a></p> <!-- END 2689 Download Link --> <p><a href="https://www.facebook.com/anthony.joh"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">Anthony Joh</span></a> <span style= "font-weight: 400;">was one half of the original lineup on the Bangkok Podcast. He’s spent the last five years in Japan and caught up with Greg when he was back in the Big Mango. As you might imagine, Tony has noticed a lot of changes to his once home in those years.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">The burning question? Which country is better? We don’t want to give it away, but expect to hear commentary on:</span></p> <ul> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">population growth vs contraction</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">relative international-ness</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">tourism focus</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style= "font-weight: 400;">controlled chaos vs ordered structure</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">… and much more</span></li> </ul> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">If you’re craving sushi and wagyu beef after the episode, our apologies.</span></p>
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Bangkok Podcast 77: The End
<p>Well folks, after much discussion and late night Skype dates, Greg and Tony have unfortunately decided that Bangkok Podcast has reached the end. As you've no doubt heard us talk about before, putting a podcast together takes a lot of time and effort, and time is something that both Greg and Tony have very little of these days. So, it's time to hang up the ol' mics.</p> <p>But with one last show left, we talk a bit about Greg's recent trip to Macau, Tony's upcoming trip to Bangkok, and a great new e-book by a local blogger called 101 Things to Do In Thailand that can help fill the void left by the podcast closing up shop.</p> <p>But we'll both still be around on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and various other online haunts - just because the podcast is over doesn't mean the journey is done! (cue some righteous 80's hair metal ballad).</p> <p>A very sincere thanks to all of our past guests, listeners, supporters and fans who have helped make the show such an enjoyable thing to do since our very first show on May 3, 2010. We hope to see you all again - if not in real life, then definitely online.</p>
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Bangkok Podcast 76: Freedom to Walk
<p class="p1">This episode of Bangkok Podcast comes a bit late due mostly to the fact that both Tony and Greg have new jobs and are working like crazy men. Crazy men! But thankfully this nutty city still gives us enough to talk about. On this episode we're joined by Ali Weiner, who is organizing an amazing event for a very good cause. In an effort to raise awareness of the dangers and realities of human trafficking and to meet their goal of raising $100,000 dollars for various charities, her, her friend, and as many others as want to join, are going to walk from Bangkok to Three Pagoda's pass on the Thai Burmese border. That's right - walk the whole way. Ali tells us how the idea came about, describes the route she'll take, and lets us know how we can help. In fact - if you want to join her on her walk, feel free!</p> <p class="p2"></p> <p class="p1">Greg and Tony also talk about three news stories that have been burning up the news lately - the incredible amount of rain Bangkok is has been getting of late (which hopefully won't be enough to cause more floods this year); a reduction in the price of the poorly-conceived airport rail link to help boost ridership (the reduction is only good for a few hours during the middle of the day); and the newest beauty product to hit the market, vagina whitening cream (note to girls everywhere: No. No. No).</p> <p class="p2"></p> <p class="p1">And don't forget to check out our sponsor, the Bangkok Tree House, which goes above and beyond when it comes to serving amazing meals using locally-grown ingredients.</p>
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Bangkok Podcast 75: Muay Thai Fighter
<p>On this show Greg and Tony welcome back past guest Paul Garrigan who joins us to talk about his new adventure as a muay thai fighter. While always harbouring the dream of stepping into the ring Paul was reluctant to start training as a fighter believing he was too old. However he learned that once he got into the ring and overcame a series of injuries, boxing became a form of meditation for him. </p>
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Bangkok Podcast 74: Cost of Living in Bangkok
<p>If you’ve been following the Thai news over the past few months, you might have heard about the big constitutional court crises a few weeks ago. As with many things in Thailand lately, it was a very he said/she said kind of debate with very high stakes. People were predicting doom! Riots! Chaos! Cats and dogs living together! Thankfully, in a very Thai outcome, the court came down squarely in the middle so that neither side won and neither side lost.</p> <p>It might come as a shock, but neither Tony nor Greg are scholars of Thai politics or law, but they know someone who is! For the first part of the show we welcome our friend Saksith Saiyasombut, a blogger, journalist and all-around nice guy who has reported extensively on the uh, entertaining Thai political scene over the past few years. He joins us on Skype from Germany (excuse the fuzzy call quality) and fills us in on what exactly the hubbub was about, what the decision means, and what happens next. </p> <p>The other topic we wanted to get into for this show is something that we get asked a lot – just how expensive is it to live in Bangkok? Dreams of $5 hotels rooms and $1 feasts still somehow fill the brains of the never-ending stream of visitors, but unfortunately, price-wise, Bangkok ain’t what it was 20 years ago. Today, it’s a major Asian metropolis, a global transport hub, and home to big industry and big money. Tony and Greg go over what it takes to live in Bangkok from month-to-month with a comfortable western lifestyle. From groceries to entertainment to rent to maids, there’s a lot to take into account.</p> <p>www.bangkokpodcast.com</p>
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Bangkok Podcast 73: The Return
<p>Welcome back! Ten months after our last regular show, Tony and Greg are back with a new format but the same focus - Bangkok in all its wonderful, weird, awesome, odd glory. With Tony in Japan (but still heavily involved in Thailand) and Greg now married and busy with a variety of projects, a weekly hour-long show just isn't possible anymore. However, with the magic of Skype and a few new high-quality microphones, we decided that a monthly show focussing on the Big Mango's top stories would be a nice way to ease back into the podcast bath (uhh...so to speak).</p> <p>On our first show back, we talk about two of the top stories that have been burning up social media and coffee houses this month. First is the Thailand's Got Talent show in which a nice young lady came on stage and proceeded to strip off her shirt and bra, dump paint all over her chest, and rub her boobies on a big canvas! Art or trash? Well, watch the clip on Youtube and decide for yourself. Whatever it was, the powers that be certainly weren't pleased - and it got even stranger when it came out that the TV show had paid the girl to do it!</p> <p>Next we talk about a CNNGo article titled How to be a Bangkok Local: Ten Tips on Faking It, a humorous, tongue-in-cheek jab at some of Bangkok's stereotypes and eccentricities. But apparently, subtle humour and sly satire don't translate too well into Thai and the story was soon the talk of the town, with people accusing the (Thai) author of being a traitor, of insulting the country, and being just a very rude person. Of course, there were those who 'got it' and thought the story was funny, but that didn't do anything to quell the back-and-forth on the comment section.</p> <p>We are also happy to mention our partnership with Coconuts Bangkok, the city's newest news and reviews website, which we browse to see what people are talking about. Head on over and see the most up to date information on everything Bangkok.</p> <p>We also wanted to send a big thanks to our sponsor, the Bangkok Treehouse, an environmentally friendly retreat in the heart of Phrapradaeng, a lush expanse of jungle just across the river from Bangkok. It's a beautiful and peaceful place to escape the city, with awesome food and some pretty badass surroundings. As they say on their website, it's a view with a room, a very apt description.</p> <p>And don't forget our random plug of the month - PechaKucha, a fun and cool presentation event taking place in Bangkok on July 9. Check it out online (https://www.facebook.com/PechaKuchaBangkok) and if you feel like seeing Greg make a fool of himself, come down to check it out - he'll be one of the presenters!</p>
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Bangkok Podcast 72: Greg & Aom's Wedding
<p>On this special INTER-CONTINENTAL episode of Bangkok Podcast, Greg and Tony connect via Skype to talk about Greg's recent wedding. </p> <p>Getting married in Thailand is a very ceremonial process that involves two ceremonies, 9 monks, and hundreds/thousands/millions of baht in dowry (prices vary greatly). Greg talks about what he went through with his wedding, from his first day of planning as an ultra-naive n00b to a happily married man. There's lots to consider - should you get a wedding planner or not? How many people will you invite? Will it be the oh-so-romantic beach wedding or a more traditional hotel ballroom event? What do you do about gifts? It all worked out wonderfully for Greg and Aom, but it was a lot of work and toil.</p> <p>Greg and Tony also discuss the latest topics in Thailand from what the Thai government is doing to assure Japanese investors that their factories won't be flooded out again, to how it's possible to lose and recover 13 million baht in gold in a taxi. Greg also gives us an update on his latest project - Bangkok Scientifique.</p>
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Bangkok Podcast 71: Encore
<p class="p1">Welcome back to Bangkok Podcast!</p> <p class="p1">Since Tony had to come through the 'Kok again, we thought we'd dust off the old equipment and record a quick reunion show! On this episode, we're joined by past guest Hamish Chalmers, who tells us his amazing story about escaping the recent floods that devastated central Thailand. Hamish went to bed one night, and woke up the next morning in the middle of a lake. He tells us about his flight to dry land, and how not fun it was wading through waist-high pitch-black water in his pitch-black neighborhood with his wife, baby daughter, and dog in tow. It was anything but safe - and that's before you factor in the crocodiles and snakes that were floating around.</p> <p class="p1">We are also joined by Michael Biedassek from Bangkok Vanguards, a community of like-minded young guys who want to create a real community around Bangkok that involves charity, exploration, and making friends around the world. Michael tells of their recent program 'Wipe the Tide' which saw over 2 million baht raised for flood relief.</p>
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Bangkok Podcast 70: The Finale
<p>Well, the time has come. With Tony moving to Japan and Greg's wedding quickly approaching, geography and limitations on free time have conspired to take Bangkok Podcast off the air - for now.</p> <p>On this episode, Tony and Greg discuss the <a href="http://www.bangkokpodcast.com/farewell-dinner/" title="Bangkok Podcast Farewell Dinner">Bangkok Podcast Farewell Dinner</a>, go over some of their favorite shows from the past, get into a few details on what it took to put a show together, and thank a few very important people who worked with us behind the scenes to make sure the podcast grew. </p> <p>We also want to say a special thanks to each of our guests, who came on the show in their free time and gave people a glimpse into the cool personalities that help make Bangkok such a great city.</p> <p>Thanks again everyone - keep your Bangkok Podcast iTunes, Facebook and Twitter links active - we might be back sooner than you think.</p>
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Bangkok Podcast 69: Do You Believe What You Believe?
<p>On our last episode our <a href="http://www.bangkokpodcast.com/tag/buddhist/" title="Bangkok Podcast Buddhism Series">Buddhism series</a> with Venerable Pandit Bhikku, we switch things up a bit and let Pandit interview us for a change. As someone who has always been curious about what regular layfolk like ourselves think about eastern religion, he quizzes us on our thoughts on monastic life and the orange-robed monks that we see everyday but often don't take much time to understand.</p> <p>Phra Pandit asks us if we believe in God and if we, in fact, believe what we believe, which is one of the key introspective aspects of Buddhism. Needless to say, it gets a bit deep as Tony, Greg and Pandit debate the meaning of belief and the freedom to choose if you even want to believe in anything.</p> <p>Phra Pandit also asks us some less esoteric questions such as - can monks wear jeans? How about ride a bicycle? Smoke? Go computer shopping? You might be surprised to find that even monks can't agree on the answers.</p> <p>And don't forget to join us at for the <a href="https://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=136440403115509" title="Bangkok Podcast Farewell Dinner">Bangkok Podcast Farewell Dinner</a> on Saturday, September 10, at Basilico restaurant on Sukhumvit soi 33 to say goodbye to Greg and Tony and meet some of the guests of the show.</p>
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Bangkok Podcast 68: Korn Chatikavanij
<p>On this episode of Bangkok Podcast, we are very happy to be joined by Mr. Korn Chaitikavanij, Thailand's ex-finance minister. Although his Democrat party lost Thailand's most recent election, he is still an MP and is a high profile member of the Thai political landscape.</p> <p>Khun Korn talks to us about what it was like running in the election, which was one of the most fiercely contested in Thai history, and what his thoughts are now that his party is the opposition. Tony and Greg also ask his opinions of the current situation in the US financial markets, and get his views on what constitutes an acceptable protest. </p> <p>We also discuss how expats who are moving to Thailand can best protect their assets and maximize investments, and where he recommends people go to find Bangkok's best street food.</p> <p>Come join us on September 10, 2011 to say goodbye to Bangkok Podcast. We are going off the air and we’re inviting our audience to join us for dinner at Basilico Pizzeria on Sukhumvit Soi 33 at 7:00 pm. Please RSVP on our Facebook page.</p>
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Bangkok Podcast 67: Peter Tuinstra
<p>In our continuing <a href="http://www.bangkokpodcast.com/tag/thailanguage/" title="Bangkok Podcast Thai Language Series" target="_blank">Thai language series</a>, we are pleased to welcome film and television actor, translator, and all-around nice guy Peter Tuinstra. Peter's path to learning Thai was a bit different than most students as he studied under the watchful eye of the U.S. Air Force at the elite Defense Language Institute; 8 hours a day, 5 days a week for 1 year. </p> <p>Peter tells us what methods were used by a US government program with 60 years of proven success teaching languages. He goes into detail about how different styles of learning affected different people in his class, what worked and what didn't work for him, and how his brain handled the intense 40-hours per week.</p> <p>Peter also talks about what methods he would recommend a newbie try out, why he thinks it will be a verrrrrrrry long time until computers become as good at translating as humans are, and the difficulties of acting in Thai when you have to use the words that someone else wrote for you, without taking any of your own creative shortcuts.</p> <p>Also, don't forget to check out our sponsor, A Village In The City, and remember to come and down and say goodbye to the podcast on September 10th at Basilico on Sukhumvit 33.</p>
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Bangkok Podcast 66: Bhikkuni Suvijjana
<p>In our continuing Buddhism series, we are joined by a special guest, Bhikkuni Suvijjana, a female monk who is visiting Thailand from the US. Female monks are rare, but the tide is slowly turning, and Bhikkuni Suvijjana gives us an interesting look into how she sees Buddhism on a daily basis.</p> <p>From differences in how female monks must act in public, to the efforts to promote all-female monasteries to eschewing virtual communities like Facebook and Twitter to focus on building real communities, she shares some of the challenges she faces. But it's not all hardship - she tells us of the great relationship she has with her son, now a grown musician, laughs at the time some Christian missionaries tried to convert her, and ponders the differences between how British and Thai immigration treat female monks.</p> <p>We're also joined by Kathleen Speake, Executive Director of ECPAT International, an organization dedicated to eliminating child prostitution and the underage sex trade. She tells us about the projects they have going right now, and how easy it is for you, me, and everyone, to visit a Body Shop store and help contribute to a very important initiative that will affect positive change in the lives of a great number of abused children.</p> <p>And don't forget to check out our sponsor <a href="http://villageinthecity.com/" title="Village in the City">Village in the City</a>, a great new company that takes old, run-down Thai houses and fixes them up into trendy lofts and condos with style. If you're looking for a funky, well-built place to live close to downtown, check them out.</p>
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Bangkok Podcast 65: Raising Kids in Bangkok
<p><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Helvetica; font-size: 13px;">We get a lot of questions from expat parents and parents-to-be about what it's like raising a family in Bangkok. Since Tony and Greg are little more than man-children themselves, we brought Jack Prinya on the show to talk about just this thing. Radio host, MC, actor, and father to three little boys (triplets at that!), Jack has an intimate knowledge of the challenges that raising a family here brings.<br /><br />Many of us were raised in towns or cities where we'd leave in the morning on our bikes and come home for dinner, but Bangkok's not like that. Jack tells us where he takes his kids for some R&R, the challenges of letting them run around in one of Bangkok's few parks, and a few suggestions on where to take them if you want a day out of the city. He also tells us about how he pushes back against the 'over-coddling' that is so common in Thai culture, and tells us just how different triplets can really be.<br /><br />We are also happy to introduce <a href="http://villageinthecity.com/" title="Village in the City" target="_blank">Village in the City</a> as our new sponsor, a great new company that takes old, run-down Thai houses and fixes them up into badass lofts and condos with style. If you're looking for a funky, well-built place to live close to downtown, check them out. </span></p>
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Bangkok Podcast 64: Travelfish
<p>Today we're joined by Stuart McDonald, President, Founder, CEO and all around big boss at Travelfish.org, one of the most respected independent travel websites. Stu gives us a fascinating look into building of a travel site from nothing, and shares with us a few inside tips on the travel industry, like how to remain anonymous when reviewing hotels, how the guidebook industry is evolving, and what 'travel' means for different people. He also talks with us about what he does when he realizes another website is ripping off his content, how Thailand may be in danger of losing its crown as Asia's top travel spot, and what part Travelfish and sites like it play in the over-touristing of a chosen site.</p> <p>We're also joined by Ryan White, a filmmaker who is working on a film called Mondo Banana. It sounds weird to our limited western way of thinking, but bananas actually have some pretty serious cultural and religious significance in Asia, and you'll be surprised just how far his journey has taken him into a world most of us know nothing about.</p>
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Bangkok Podcast 63: Bangkok Free Ambulance
<p>Every Westerner knows that when you're hurt back home, you call the emergency number and get taken to the hospital, but things in Bangkok work a little differently. Today we talk with Marko Cunningham from Bangkok Free Ambulance, a service that he has run for many years - at his own expense, no less - that provides free ambulance services for those who need it, Thais, tourists and expats alike.</p> <p>In between his regular day job and finding time to enjoy Bangkok, Marko and his team respond to emergency calls, dealing with everything from lost snakes to mangled corpses. Marko gives us the inside scoop on how Thai emergency services work, what happens when an ambulance is stuck in traffic, the scary truth about how much training EMT's in Bangkok have, and why he's usually the first person on his team to touch a dead body.</p> <p>We are also joined by Wendy Edney from SCAD (Soi Cats and Dogs) who tells us about her efforts to rescue, save, clean, and support the thousands of cats and dogs that run around Bangkok. SCAD arranges everything from spaying and neutering to overseas adoptions, and is a great service to our furry friends that are often overlooked in the Big Mango.</p>
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Bangkok Podcast 62: Learn Thai With Mod
<p>On today's show, we're happy to be joined by Mod, who is a Thai language instructor. We wanted to see what it's like for a Thai person to teach Thai to foreigners, and she gives us some interesting insights into what problems we all have, how we sound to Thai ears, and how our native accents affect our speaking ability.</p> <p>We also talk about how what you *expect* to hear can sometimes have a bit of influence on what you *do* hear, why it's okay to shun Greg for his use of old-fashioned Thai that instantly reveals him as an old geezer, and the difficulties of pronouncing the Swahili word 'mxosa'. </p> <p>There is also a VERY IMPORTANT announcement regarding the future of Bangkok Podcast, which you may even be able to play a part in.</p>
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Bangkok Podcast 61: Thai Spirit Houses
<p>Have you ever walked down the street and wondered what's up with those dollhouses on pillars that seem to be outside every building? Many have, and this is why we're happy to have Marisa Cranfill on this episode, who is one of Thailand's foremost (non-Thai) experts on Thai spirit houses. Despite Tony's mysterious mic problems, we talk to Marisa about what exactly these houses mean and where they come from. She also gives us the lowdown on exactly what's inside the little structures, why you'll most commonly see red Fanta soda sitting on the mini 'porch', and what happens to all that food that people leave as offerings? It's a complicated part of Thai culture that has deep roots in Brahmin, Hindu and Buddhist religions, and plays an important part in how Thais see the luck and success - or lack thereof - of their households.</p> <p>We are also joined by J.J. Grill, one of two reviewers at a website called What We Went Through that aims to give an honest and impartial review of restaurants in Bangkok. No frills, no bias, just honest reporting about the level of service, food and value from a customer's point of view.</p>
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Bangkok Podcast 60: Religion & Science
<p>We're very happy to welcome back Phra Pandit, the British-born monk who joins us to talk about everything from Buddhist canon to nuclear power. Today, Phra Pandit talks with us about how Buddhism views science. Is it as hostile as some other religions often see it, or is it more of a peaceful co-existence? Are there areas which conflict with The Buddha's teachings, or does Buddhism take every new discovery in stride?</p> <p>Phra Pandit also educates us on why writing might not be the most reliable method to pass information down through generations, what Buddhism believes heaven and hell to be, whether or not we have a soul, and even a few theories on neuro-plasticity and something called the God Helmet.</p>
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Bangkok Podcast 59: Transgender Lifestyles
<p>The image of a beautiful Thai women is one that is known throughout the world; however, only slightly less well known is the image of a beautiful Thai women who was born a man. Call them what you willl - transexual, transgender, ladyboy, katoey - their place in Thai culture goes back thousands of years, but despite the history, and despite Thailand being very accepting of them, it's not always an easy life.</p> <p>On this episode we're joined by Ms. Prem, a transgender lady who was born a man but now lives as a woman. We have a fascinating chat with Prem about her life and the difficulties she faces everyday, not least of which is the perception that all transgenders are only capable of prostitution, beauty pagents, or hair salons. Prem - who has a very good job with a high-level international agency - has fought against this stereotype and has seen progress, although it's slow going.</p> <p>She also talks openly about how she grew up knowing she was different than other boys, how the media's perception of what is beautiful creates stereotypes, what it's like dating men who may or may not know her past, her experience fighting a military draft that labels all transgenders as mentally unstable, and what she thinks about *that scene* in the Hangover 2.</p>
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Bangkok Podcast 58: Learn Thai From A White Guy
<p>On today's episode we're joined by Brett Whiteside, one of the few foreigners in Thailand who teach Thai. Brett's road from wide-eyed tourist to competent speaker, translator, consultant and tutor is unique in that the only person he had help him was himself. Brett tells us the methods he learned to drill the new language into his head, from returning to the same restaurant over and over again, to refusing to learn transliteration, to watching Thai soap operas.</p> <p>Brett also explains why he doesn't think there's any such thing as 'bad Thai', and how a mnemonic story he created about a boy, a chicken, a turtle and a fish have helped all of his students become competent Thai speakers much faster than they expected.</p> <p>Tony and Greg also talk a bit about food delivery in Thailand, and why Pizza Company - despite protests from some - has the system nailed.</p> <div></div>
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Bangkok Podcast 57: Voranai Vanijaka II
<p>On this episode of Bangkok Podcast, we are very happy to welcome back Voranai Vanijaka, a columnist for the Bangkok Post whose articles focus on many of the most important issues facing Thai society today - politics, class struggle, stereotypes, corruption, and more. His writing is read by many who appreciate his no-nonsense style of facing problems head on and exploring some ugly truths; coincidentally, the same reason some are not fans of his articles.</p> <p>With the Thai election just around the corner, Voranai gives his view on the current landscape of Thai politics, what he thinks will happen after the election, why the election is about more than just one person, and how we all play a part in making sure Thailand moves forward instead of backward.</p> <p>We are also joined by Benjamin Lord, owner and head baker at Urban Pantry, Bangkok's best option for fans of bread - real bread. Ben started selling loaves to friends but word spread so quickly that he's now moving his kitchen-based business into its own shophouse. He brings some of his wares into the studio for Greg and Tony to try, who nearly forget about the podcast because they're so busy eating.</p>
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Bangkok Podcast 56: American Ambassador Kristie Kenney
<p>On this week's episode of Bangkok Podcast, we are very happy to be joined by Ms. Kristie Kenney, the American Ambassador to Thailand. Formerly Ambassador to both Ecuadaor and the Philippines, she is a career diplomat with a deep understanding of geopolitics, history, and diplomacy, and is also the first female ambassador to the Land of Smiles.</p> <p>Kristie talks to Tony and Greg about a variety of topics: her very active Twitter account, American foreign policy, how outsourcing is affecting American competitiveness, and her advice to young Americans who might be a bit hesitant about leaving the comfort of home. We also touch on some more serious topics - America's voice in rights abuses in Thailand; the embarrasment of Wikileaks; and the rather broad methods that the US is using to deal with online piracy. </p> <p>Also on the show is Berthe from ChickyNet, the first social network for women in Thailand, who tells us about how her frustration at the dearth of active women's networks in Thailand led her to create her own.</p>
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Bangkok Podcast 55: Chris Lowenstein
<p>Thailand is a country that offers foreign film productions everything they need - amazing locations, skillful crew, talented actors and more. With foreign film productions come big money and jobs, so it's no wonder that the Thai government is pushing the country as a movie industry hub, but if you want to film here - who do you call? You call Chris Lowenstein, this week's guest.</p> <p>As one of the owners of Living Films, Chris is the main man when it comes to bringing in film productions - anything from small commercials to long-running television series to full-scale Hollywood blockbusters. His latest project is the mega Hollywood blockbuster "The Hangover Part 2", and Chris's roles as the film's line producer means he's in charge of everything that happens here: catering, work visas, film permits, transportation, hiring local crew. working with the cast and director to make sure everything's going smoothly, and more.</p> <p>Chris talks to us about the film industry in Thailand - what they're doing right, what they could improve, and what it's like working within a system that's notoriously fickle when it comes to censorship. He also tells us a few stories from The Hangover Part 2 such as how hard it was to shut down parts of Chinatown, and how a boat they hired in California ended up getting lost on a Chinese river.</p> <p>Greg also tells us about a baby shower that he attended where he was equal parts amused and horrified to find a piñata in the shape of a pregnant mermaid.</p>
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Bangkok Podcast 54: Daniel Fraser
<p>In our continuing series on learning Thai, we're joined by Dan Fraser - co-founder of Smiling Albino adventure travel company, film actor, television host, and of course, speaker of Thai. Dan gives us a very funny and insightful overview of the Thai language - how he learned it, how it's helped him, and the nuances and cultural queues that it takes its structure from. Dan tells us a few of his interesting stories about how Thai has both confounded and blessed him - from talking about unique architectural history, to muddling through 2 years of Thai with a fellow who (as it turns out) knew English, and talking about the monarchy on camera for his television show Long Krung using the nuanced and very sensitive dialect reserved for the royal family.</p> <p>Greg and Tony also go off on a tangent about good western movies, and recap the great time they had at their one-year anniversary party at Q Bar.</p>
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Bangkok Podcast 53: Robin Moore
<p>In our continuing Buddhist series, we sit down with Robin Moore, who spent over a decade as a monk in both the UK and Thailand, but eventually left the monkhood and rejoined lay-life. He tells us about his interesting journey, from being drawn to Buddhism as a teenager, to going on alms rounds in the UK (and trying to make it not look like begging), to why his mother cried when he joined the monkhood - and cried again when he left.</p> <p>We also cover the difficulties in fitting back in to a life that is generally at odds with a monastic one - everything from dating to driving a car to playing sports. Robin gives us a personal and fascinating look into his life pre-, during, and post-monkhood.</p>
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Bangkok Podcast 52: DJ Octo
<p>If you've found yourself out at a club at any time during the last 5 or 6 years in Bangkok, chances are you're familiar with DJ Octo. As one of the best known and most popular DJ's in town, he spins at hot venues like Q Bar and Bed Supperclub, and collaborates with a wide network of musicians, videographers, performers and artists to keep Bangkok's party crowds going late into the night.</p> <p>But just like many others who move to Bangkok, Octo came to Bangkok with a much different plan ten years ago. From retreating to forest monasteries, to scuba diving on Ko Tao, to sweating away in the 9-5 grind, he tells us what it's like entertaining crowds of thousands, how technology has completely revolutionized the industry, and what song you should ask him to play if you want to get punched in the face.</p> <p>Greg and Tony also talk about the many holidays in the month of May, and Greg ponders if he inadvertently contributed to the brutal death of a poor pigeon in Lumpini Park.</p>
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Bangkok Podcast 51: Joe Cummings
<p>In today's digital world, the requirements for being a travel writer are pretty minimal: do you have a computer? Have you travelled? Bam! Travel writer. But a few decades ago, being a travel writer was something rare; an exotic, sometimes dangerous job that took you into the dark, unexplored corners of the world on adventures of all kinds.</p> <p>On this episode of Bangkok Podcast, we welcome Joe Cummings, legendary travel writer, best-selling author, badass musician, and all-around cool dude. Back when the tallest building in Thailand was the Dusit Thani Hotel, Joe pitched the idea of a guidebook to Thailand to a little company called Lonely Planet, and ended up being in charge of the company's best-selling guide for 25 years. He's also written guidebooks on Burma, Laos, and Mexico, as well as one-off volumes on various aspects of Asian art and architecture. His new book, Sacred Tattoos of Thailand, will be released in June. Joe also tells us how he ended up stranded on a boat for three days in the middle of the ocean with three Indonesian fishermen, how advanced technology has changed the art of travel writing, and what he thinks will happen with Thailand's ongoing political troubles.</p> <p>Also, don't forget to join the <a href="http://www.bangkokpodcast.com/1-year-anniversary-party/" target="_self">BANGKOK PODCAST 1-YEAR ANNIVERSARY PARTY </a>on May 15th at the swanky Q-Up lounge. Good people, good drinks, good times!</p>
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Bangkok Podcast 50: Our 50th show!
<p>ZOOM! That was the sound of a whole year going by! </p> <p>It was in May 2010 that Tony and Greg put up the first episode of the Bangkok Podcast, and it's been a fun, interesting (and sometimes frustrating) year. This episode marks the 50th weekly show for the Bangkok Podcast, and to celebrate we thought'd we take a look back at the topics we've covered in the past 50 weeks by updating you on what our past interview guests have been up to; where the important issues we discuss have ended up; and how some of the interesting developments that have taken place in Thailand have affected Tony, Greg, and the people they know.</p> <p>From Scientology to bird crap, beaches to heart attacks, and boobies to weddings, we give you the lowdown on what the past year has shown us.</p> <p>Also don't forget to join us on MAY 15 to celebrate our birthday at Q BAR. Thanks to their generous support, a 500 baht cover gets you free flow drinks from 8-10pm. Spend the night at Bangkok's hippest night club (in the swanky, upstairs lounge, natch) with all who have made Bangkok Podcast such a success over the past year!</p>
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Bangkok Podcast 49: Is Learning Thai Hard?
<p>We've done a fair number of shows so far about learning Thai, but one of the most fundamental questions has yet to be discussed - is learning Thai actually hard, or do we foreigners just make it seem that way? </p> <p>We're joined once again by our Thai language Jedi Rikker Dockum as he talks about the particulars of the Thai language, how the human brain processes it, and some of the roadblocks that we encounter (or make) as we attempt to learn it. He also tells us how he keeps his Thai skills sharp, how age plays a role in learning language, and the value of making mistakes.</p> <p>We are also joined by the crew from BangkokFoodTours.com, who will be leading our upcoming walking food tour. They tell us a bit about their company, how it began, and what we can expect on our outing.</p>
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Bangkok Podcast 48: Moving Away From Thailand
<p>In most western cultures, moving out of your parent's place and into your own life is considered a rite of adulthood and one which many are eager to do as soon as possible, but in Thailand things work differently. It's very common for people to live at home until they are married - often into their 30's - live with their spouse, and then have their parents move in with them when they reach retirement. Family plays a very big role in Thai society.</p> <p>So what's it like for a Thai to move to a strange country and be forced to live on their own without the emotional or financial support of their family? We are happy to be joined by Ms. Orapa, a young woman who recently returned from living in London for four years. It's a very interesting look at some of thing things that we, as expats in Thailand, must deal with but through the eyes of a Thai. What happens when the novelty of a new city wears off? How do you make friends when everyone is constantly moving away? What are your options if you miss Thai food? Orapa gives us some great insights into what she loved, what she missed, and how she coped on her own in her time overseas.</p> <p>Greg and Tony also discuss details of their upcoming ONE YEAR ANNIVERSAY PARTY at Q-BAR, which is sure to be an epic event; and talk a bit about Songkran, and how they're looking forward to not taking part in it.</p> <p>We also take a look at three events from BK Magazine this week - a night of metal; a night of multiple DJ's; and a T-shirt festival with a ton of music.</p>
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Bangkok Podcast 47: Q-Bar Andrew
<p>On this episode of Bangkok Podcast, we sit down with Andrew Clark, co-owner and co-founder of QBar, Bangkok's hippest, coolest night club. Besides being a superb and friendly chap, Andrew talks to us about the humble beginnings of QBar, and what it takes to stay at the front of the line in an indusrty that's notorious for big openings and quick closures. He also gives us the lowdown on playing by the rules when the rules are constantly changing, the difficulties in keeping working girls (and guys!) out of the club, and the dirty tricks that other bars resort to when they're jealous of the industry leader.</p> <p>Greg and Tony also discuss Tony's upcoming trip to Ko Chang, the annoyance of sitting on a bus for more than a few hours, and the secret to how they both stay so pasty-white (hint: we never leave Bangkok).</p> <p>We also continue our partnerships with BK Magazine, Bangkok's best source for what's going on, and give a few quick details on a cheesy concert that the girls will love, a sobering photography exhibit, and a SUPER GIANT FUN TIME!</p>
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Bangkok Podcast 46: Untranslatables
<p>Joined once again by the Thai language Jedi Rikker, he schools Greg and Tony on a few Thai phrases that have no direct translation into English. What exactly does 'Mai Pen Rai' mean, and why is more than just a phrase? How do you tell someone 'Greng Jai' without leading to a Marx Brothers-style contest on who wants to disturb the other person the least? We also go off on a few tangents that include where 'Krap' and 'Ka' come from, and how Chaucer's original English has mutated into the 's we use today.</p> <p>This is also the first show where we talk about our partnership with BK Magazine. Starting today, at the beginning of each show we'll highlight a few random selections from Bangkok's best English weekly to give you a few ideas for what to do over the coming week. This week: beer, bodies, and a certain skinny fat boy. </p> <p>Greg also gives us the lowdown on his first bicycle accident and how even the act of getting thrown over your handlebars in Thailand can turn into a unique example of Thai hospitality.</p>
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Bangkok Podcast 45: Phra Pandit II
<p>In the wake of the terrible tragedy in Japan, we are extremely pleased to have with us on this show Phra Pandit, the British-born monk who first came on our show in episode 30. On this show, Greg and Tony ask Phra Pandit to give his views on how such a tragedy can affect people, and how religion - and Buddhism in particular - can either become the one things that helps people get through such a hard time, or ceases to mean anything to them at all. What did the Buddha say about grief? How does psychology fit into religious counseling? And how can people use Buddhism to give them inner strength in dire situations?</p> <p>We also get off on a tangent, and Phra Pandit will blow your mind with his in-depth knowledge of nuclear and solar power, the latest developments in the technology driving them both, and how he sometimes eats an entire pizza, but doesn't sweat the small stuff.</p> <p>Greg and Tony also recap their awesome Phrapradaeng jungle ride last week with some friends of the show.</p>
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Bangkok Podcast 44: Christopher G. Moore
<p>The amount of foreigners who try to write a book about their craaaazy adventures in Thailand is only slightly larger than the amount who try to write hard-boiled fiction based in Bangkok, but among this group Christopher G. Moore stands out. Not only has his career as a writer thrived, but his 12-title Vincent Calvino series will soon be getting the big-time Hollywood treatment.</p> <p>Greg and Tony talk to Christopher about how Bangkok has changed in the 20-plus years that he's lived here, how the city's rich tapestry inspires his story lines and the structure of his books, what he does to make his characters believable, and what it's like getting shot at while doing research on a police ride-along. He also tells us what effect rapidly evolving technology is having on the publishing industry, and if he thinks we'll still be reading books in 10 years.</p> <p>Tony and Greg also talk about the tragic earthquake in Japan, and discuss an interesting and emotional new film made in Thailand about HIV-positive children who are making great strides despite their condition.</p>
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Bangkok Podcast 43: Bangkok Reality Smackdown
<p>When you first come to Bangkok, everything is new and strange. Nothing makes sense, and even a trip to the corner store can be an adventure. But after a while, these things fade, and pretty soon, the things that made your eyes bug out when you first arrived become old hat and - dare I say - boring. That's why we wanted to talk to Megan Kobzej, a new transplant to Bangkok with a very entertaining blog that makes us think back to the halcyon days of our first arrival; when Bangkok was stil an unexplored realm and the possibilities were endless. Or, to put it a more cynical way, before the city made us jaded, bitter, grumpy expats.</p> <p>Anyway, Megan tells us what impresses her, what scares her, and why she's obsessed with chips (or crisps, if you're a Brit). She also gives us her opinion on Bangkok's nightlife, what it's like to face a cockraoch in your shower, and what her friends and family back home think of her life in Asia.</p> <p>We are also joined briefly by Patricia Weismantel from Spice Roads, the company that will be leading our bicycle tour of Prapadaeng on March 13, to explain the ride, and Tony gives Greg a special gift.</p>
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Bangkok Podcast 42: Matchmaking
<p>On this episode, we talk with Khun Bee, owner of Bangkok Matching, Bangkok's #1 premium marriage matchmaking service. It's a very different ball of wax from a simple dating site, and in a very interesting conversation, Khun Bee tells us how she got the idea for her business, some of the (often unrealistic) expectations her clients have, and a few of the surprising problems she encounters on a day-to-day basis. We also get an inside track into the sometimes brutal task of finding love - what happens when you want someone out of your league? How do you tell someone that no one's interested in them? And what happens if a date is a disaster?</p> <p>And to top it all of - Tony gives us his experiences as a client of Khun Bee's, and tells us what it was like going on 11 dates over a period of a few weeks, and why he now has the nickname "9-11".</p> <p>Greg also talks about his Restaurants of Bangkok Running Dinner experience, and we remind everyone about our upcoming Bangkok bicycle trip on March 13 - head to our Facebook page to sign up!</p>
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Bangkok Podcast 41: Online Dating
<p>Continuing with our month of loooooove, this episode of Bangkok Podcast deals with the risks and rewards of online dating. Only ten years ago, meeting someone online was considered a bit of a nerdy way to find a mate, but today, it's almost considered strange to meet people in real life. Add to that the stereotypes and gossip of finding love in Thailand, and it can quickly become a bit complicated.</p> <p>To see what all the fuss about, Tony went and signed up for a few dating services to find out what kind of attention his profile would get. He talks about which sites he chose, how each one works, what types of response he got and, more importantly, from what types of women. Greg... well, if you listen to the show on a regular basis, you'll know that due to his upcoming nuptials, Greg had to sit this one out and live vicariously through Tony.</p> <p>Tony also tells us about his recent visa run to Vientiane, how he miscalcuated the expiry date of his visa, and had lunch with one of our listeners!</p>
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Bangkok Podcast 40: Kaewmala
<p>Argh! Yet another wacky cable problem has made Greg and Tony's voices sound weird and echoey, but never fear! Our esteemed guest's voice came through loud and clear.</p> <p>On this episode - the second of four in our Valentine's-themed month of February - we are joied by Kaewmala, author of the fun, sexy, and educational book 'Thai Sex Talk'. She is also a noted commentator on social issues, prolific blogger, talented translator and all-around cool woman. She educates Greg and Tony on all the nuances of sexuality, flirting, dating and love in Thai culture, and helps us understand some of the more complex facets of the area, such as why so many beautiful, smart, funny, middle-class women in Thailand remain single, and some of the hangups and problems that foreign men find when they approach them.</p> <p>Greg and Tony also announce the next Bangkok Podcast get-together - a guided bike ride to one of Bangkok's hidden gems, the lush and peaceful semi-island of Prapradaeng.</p>
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Bangkok Podcast 39: Thai Wedding Ceremony
<p>To start off our month of luuuve, Bangkok Podcast will be talking about the who, why, how and how much of Thai weddings. Despite some strange microphone issues in this episode, we are joined by Jason and Nim, two friends of Greg's who got married last year. They join us to discuss what their wedding was like, which ceremonial and traditional aspects it included, how it differes from western weddings, and how Jason dealt with the well known phrase 'When you marry a Thai woman, you also marry her family.'</p> <p>Greg and Tony also discuss the latest political developments in Egypt, what it means for the region, and how online tools and social media are once again showing the power they have in disrupting long-established ways of oppressing the masses, as well as rising up against that very same oppression.</p>
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Bangkok Podcast 38: Canadian Ambassador Ron Hoffmann
<p>It's a strata of expat life that few of us have to deal with on anything more than an administrative level, but the particulars of how two countries interract and overlap is a complicated Venn diagram that needs to be carefully controlled. On this episode, Tony and Greg are honoured to be joined by Ron Hoffmann, Canadian Ambassador to Thailand. We talk about a whole range of subjects - what his day-to-day roles are, how Thailand compares to his previous posting in Afghanistan, what he thinks of the whole Wikileaks debate, and how no one knows just how deep and complex the relationship between Thailand and Canada is.</p> <p>We are also joined by Willem Deenik, Managing Director of Restaurants of Bangkok, the best place to find online information, reviews and great deals at restaurants throughout the city. He lets us know how users can benefit from his website, as well as some of the interesting dining-centered events coming up.</p>
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Adam Bradshaw: Thai Language Series 9 on the Bangkok Podcast (1.37)
<p><a href= "http://traffic.libsyn.com/thaifaq/Adam_Bradshaw_Final.mp3" target= "_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">(Direct download .mp3)</a> We are lucky to be joined by another farang Thai speaker for our <a href= "http://www.bangkokpodcast.com/category/thai-language/">Thai language series</a>, <strong>Adam Bradshaw</strong>. Adam has a large online following who enjoy watching his energetic and easy to understand YouTube videos where he explains the more commonly heard English phrases to his Thai audience. Things like "What's up?" and the difference between "Up the street" and "Down the street" can be very confusing for non-native speakers, but Adam makes it easy. He talks about how Thai students learn English, the methods he used for learning Thai, how his Thai YouTube audience thought his voice was dubbed by a Thai speaker, and tells us about how he interviewed the Prime Minister of Thailand in Thai. He also helps us translate a phrase that we all use on a daily basis: 2 Legit 2 Quit. Greg also tells us abou this swanky new glasses, and he and Tony talk about how Thailand is a great place to get some routine personal maintenance done if you have the chance - things like seeing the dentist, getting your eyes checked or going for a physical.</p> <h3>Show Links:</h3> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.youtube.com/user/jadambrad">Adam Bradshaw YouTube</a></li> <li><a href="http://mobileinjapan.com/">Mobile in Japan</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.thantakit.com/">Thantakit Dental</a></li> </ul> <p><img src= "http://www.bangkokpodcast.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/line-break.gif" alt="" /></p> <!-- END 820 Download Link -->
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Bangkok Podcast 36: Finding a job in Bangkok
<p>On this episode, Tony and Greg discuss the ins and outs of finding a job in Thailand. A lot of people - after a vacation full of fun and frivolity - think that moving to Thailand will be a sure way to leave the rat race and live a life of blissful utopia. However, while working in Thailand is still (in our opinion) an infinitely better and more interesting experience than working at home, the truth of the matter that working here is not the endless party many want it to be. </p> <p>Office politics, rush hour, overdue bills and looming deadlines are inescapable truths to any job, and Thailand is no different. On top of that, there are things such as work permits and the lack of social safety nets to consider. Tony and Greg talk a bit about this, as well as the best places and methods to find jobs here, including a discussion on the most popular route into the Thai workforce - teaching English.</p> <p>Tony also tells us about his recent illness, and Greg recounts the horrifying day in High School he had to be sent home because of chicken pox.</p>
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Bangkok Podcast 35: Woody Milintachinda Pt 2
<p>On the second part of our interview with talk show host and all around cool dude Woody Malintachinda, we learn a bit more about Woody's job and some of the crazy stories that come from being on TV. From being told he's "nobody" by American celebrity handlers to dealing with self-censorship to what he thinks of Twitter and his fans (even when they criticize him), it's a fascinting peek into one of the most well-known (and certainly most energetic) Thai TV personalities around.</p> <p>Greg also talks about a book that he's reading that takes place in Bangkok 300 years in the future, and how its plot is taken from some of problems that we have to deal with in Bangkok today.</p>
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Bangkok Podcast 34: Woody Milintachinda Pt 1
<p>On the first part of a special two-part episode, we are very pleased to welcome one of Thailand's top talk show personalities, Woody Milintachinda. As host and producer of 'Woody Kerd Ma Kui' (Born to Talk), Woody is well known to Thais all over the country for his unique style of interviewing everyone from supermodels to fortune tellers to politicians. Sometimes controversial but always interesting, Woody joins Bangkok Podcast to talk about his childhood in the US and Switzerland, the positive and negative aspects of being a high-profile TV star, and how he hides his mid-afternoon naps from his staff.</p> <p>In addition, Greg talks about his New Year's Eve party, and Tony goes into detail about his recent trip to Japan, explaining just how different Tokyo is to Bangkok, and how Tokyo would likely simply stop working if a bit of Bangkok's chaotic nature were introduced into the mix.</p>
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Bangkok Podcast 33: Five Questions
<p>For the last show of 2010, Tony and Greg decided to learn a little about more about how each of them views their adopted city. To that end, each of them came up with five questions about life in Bangkok without telling the other what they were; improvisational podcasting at its finest! What did Greg ask Tony? What did Tony ask Greg? The answers are all in episode #33 of Bangkok Podcast.</p> <p>They also talk about Tony's upcoming trip to Japan, and how Christmas is celebrated in Bangkok... or rather, how it's not celebrated.</p> <p>Happy New Year and thanks for making our first year a huge success! </p>
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Bangkok Podcast 32: Hamish Chalmers
<p>While our regular Thai language Jedi Rikker takes a well-deserved break, we're joined today by Hamish Chalmers, another noted Thai speaker, blogger, Tweeter and all-around nice guy.</p> <p>As a teacher at a well-regarded international school, Hamish has some unique insights into how students of languages (Thai or otherwise) learn, what methodologies work best, and how teachers can shape their lessons to suit each students' particular needs. Hamish also tells us how he learned Thai through pure stubbornness, how he hopes people use his website, and how much he loves Japanese pears.</p> <p>In addition, Tony and Greg talk about last night's Bangkok Podcast Christmas party, and want to give a BIG thanks to Dani and Martin for helping us with registration, as well as a wonderful, awesome gift that they gave us that makes all this podcasting rigmarole worth it.</p>
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Bangkok Podcast 31: Visa Runs
<p>On this episode we disucss the much-hated, much-maligned visa run, the process of renewing your visa by traveling outside of the country that you live in. Most anyone who lives in Thailand has experienced this process, and Tony and Greg go over the who, what, why, and how of the whole process, drawing on personal experience to try and answer a few questions: is it better to do on your own or use a service? Can you send your passport with an agency and stay at home? How do you deal with border bribery, and which border crossing is the best?</p> <p>Also, Tony - in the name of research - has used three of the most popular visa run services and gives us a rundown of the pros and cons of each one. Who has the best lunch? Who has the friendliest staff? And most importantly, which ones use a big bus, and which ones use tiny vans?</p> <p>Greg also tells us about his recent trip to Siem Reap, Cambodia, and we discuss how Twitter came to the aid of our friend, adventure-seeker @Vaitor, when he found himself in a Thai hospital and needed the help of a translator.</p>
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Bangkok Podcast 30: Phra Pandit
<p>Ask anyone in the world what they see when they think of Thailand, and chances are that one of those things will be monks. They are a part of life here - wandering the streets early in the morning, shopping at markets, riding the skytrain - but for most foreigners, they remain somewhat mysterious and at a distance. To change those perceptions, Bangkok Podcast is very happy to welcome Phra Pandit, a Brit who was ordained as a monk in 1996 and is now a very visible part of Bangkok's Buddhist community.</p> <p>We ask Phra Pandit all the nitty gritty about being a monk: why are the robes orange? What time do you wake up? What does your family think? And what's the deal with meditation? He gives us a very unique and interesting insight into a side of life that most of us will never see, including details on his blog and Facebook group. Look for Phra Pandit on future shows, as he will return to further school us in the many interesting aspects of Buddhism.</p> <p>Tony and Greg also take a cue from some listener mail and discuss the best places to go for a jog in Bangkok, and also continue with information on the BANGKOK PODCAST CHRISTMAS PARTY!</p>
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Bangkok Podcast 29: Thai Language Series 7
<p>On this show we're again joined by Thai language Jedi Rikker Dockum who goes through the calendar with us looking at the Thai holidays. It can be confusing sometimes keeping them all straight, because while many western holidays have made it to Bangkok - Christmas, Halloween, Valentine's Day, etc - there are also the Thai holidays to keep track of - Songkran, Macha Bucha, and Father's, Mother's and Children's day, among others. So how are the western ones celebrated, what is a Macha Bucha, and what exactly does Songkran have to do with the moon? </p> <p>We also give some more details on the BANGKOK PODCAST CHRISTMAS PARTY! As it is the season of giving, we are asking everyone who attends to donate any unused items they may have lying around the house - from cups to clothes to toiletries. Bangkok Podcast will collect them at the Christmas party and donate them to the Second Chance Foundation, a charity that ensures that used items get distributed to the residents of Bangkok's sprawling Khlong Toey slum. We are joined today by Jodie, founder of the Second Chance Foundation, who explains why she started the project and how it helps those in need.</p>
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Bangkok Podcast 28: Expats and Technology
<p>Living overseas can often caust a bit of separation anxiety. You miss your family, you miss your friends, and pretty soon work, social life and time zones get in your way. As little as 5 or 6 years ago you were pretty limited to email, but over the past half-decade, the tools and technology available to expats for staying in touch with your peeps back home has exploded.</p> <p>In this episode, Tony and Greg chew the fat on which methods they use to stay in touch with their families around the world, and how these various methods can serve not only as a powerful took to keep you from getting lonely, but also a powerful tool to keep you close to your culture, as well as help you integrate further into your adopted society.</p> <p>From videoclips of newborns sent from cellphone to cellphone to funerals that are live-streamed around the world, current technology is something that can be used to make your life overseas richer and more rewarding than ever before.</p>
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Bangkok Podcast 27: Jerry Hopkins Pt 2
<p>On this week's show, continue our interview with Mr. Jerry Hopkins. You may not know his name right away but Jerry is a legend in the music and publishing industries. Before he retired to Thailand, Jerry was a journalist - and not just any journalist - a Rock n' Roll Journalist! As a former editor of Rolling Stone Magazine (when it was just a wee start-up trying to sell ads), Jerry got to know some of the biggest up-and-coming names in rock n' roll, from Jimi Hendrix to The Doors to Elvis Presley.</p> <p>It was through these friendships that Jerry was able to write several of the most influential rock biographies in history, most notably the seminal work on The Doors 'No One Here Gets Out Alive', which was TWICE a New York Times best seller, and was used extensively by Oliver Stone when he made The Doors.</p> <p>In the second part of our interview, Jerry talks about his adventures with everyone from Yoko Ono to Raquel Welch, the future of journalism, why he chose Thailand to retire in, and gives some advice to any budding writers out there.</p> <p>Tony also tells us about a football (aka soccer) game that he went to recently where the fans were very well behaved... until the game finished, that is!</p>
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Bangkok Podcast 26: Jerry Hopkins Pt1
<p> </p> <p>If you like real music then you are in for a treat with this weeks guest as we're very lucky to interview Mr. Jerry Hopkins. You may not know his name right away but Jerry is a legend in the music and publishing industries. Before he retired to Thailand, Jerry was a journalist - and not just any journalist - a Rock n' Roll Journalist! As a former editor of Rolling Stone Magazine (when it was just a wee start-up trying to sell ads), Jerry got to know some of the biggest names in rock n' roll, from Jimi Hendrix to The Doors to Elvis Presley.</p> <p>It was through these friendships that Jerry was able to write several of the most influential rock biographies in history, most notably his seminal work on The Doors 'No One Here Gets Out Alive', which was TWICE a New York Times best seller, and was used extensively by Oliver Stone on his movie about The Doors.</p> <p>In the first part of our interview, Jerry talks about his days following bands around, how music culture now is different from music culture then, and shares a few choice stories about hanging out with some of the biggest names in music history.</p> <p>Greg and Tony also complain about the weather and how it's given them colds and allergies, respectively, and why Bangkok just won't let them get better.</p> <p> </p>
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Bangkok Podcast 25: Halloween Special!
<p>For the final show of October, we invited some friends of Bangkok Podcast down to the Bangkok Podcast Intergallactic HQ to join us in a creepy crawly Halloween-themed episode - eating bugs! Insects have long been a part of the Thai diet, especially in the northern Isaan region, and while a good number of Thais in Bangkok don't indulge, many still do and you can often see bug vendors plying their wares in various locations around the city.</p> <p>We assembled 9 big bags full of creepy-crawlies: red ants, giant grasshoppers, pregnant crickets, swolen grubs, deep-fried frogs and stir-fried bamboo worms, all delicacies in their own way. Tony and Greg were the first to indulge, but we soon had our intrepid group of friends digging in with us and crunching loudly away. </p> <p>We go over what each type of bug looks like, tastes like, and talk about how the same horrified looks that we were giving these things are also applied by many Thais at some of the snacks that we foreigners consider quite delicious.</p>
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Bangkok Podcast 24: Thai Language Series 6
<p>In our continuing series on the mysteries of the Thai language, linguistic lion tamer Rikker Dockum talks about the complexities of the vowels. With around 33 (depending on who you ask) vowel sounds, which can come before, after, above, below, or around the consonant that they modify, it's no wonder that Tony and Greg (and many others) are left scratching their heads.</p> <p>We also announce a special episode of Bangkok Podcast on October 30 - the last one for our Halloween month - where you - yes, you! - can come down the BP Intergalactic HQ to see us record an episode, and take part in a creepy crawly event that's part of Thai culture, but something that often causes many foreigners to break out in a sweat.</p>
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Bangkok Podcast 23: Tourist Scams
<p>Bangkok is a big and fast-paced city, and you need a significant amount of street smarts to avoid the many pitfalls that are present. One thing that many people find - despite the well-publicized 'Land of Smiles' image - is that Thailand has jerks and scam artists just like any other city around the world. Often these hosers weave incredibly intricate and cunning schemes to get some money out of unwitting tourists; the variety is incredible and people often lose anywhere from hundreds of baht to thousands of dollars.</p> <p>In this episode, Greg and Tony talk about some of the more common scams they've heard of and/or experienced, and share a few inside tips on what to look for, how to react, what to avoid, and - most importantly - what to do if you somehow find yourself a victim.</p> <p>Greg and Tony also wax lyrical about the delightfully cool weather this week; talk about a great giveaway from one of our former guests; and Tony gives everyone a pro tip on avoiding the rain.</p>
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Bangkok Podcast 22: Paul Garrigan
<p>Bangkok is a city of many vices and more than a few temptations. If you're not careful, it can be frighteningly easy to let these things go from a sometime-hobby to a full-blown addiction, and the end result is usually not pretty. But every once in a while you hear a story about someone who sank to the bottom and then, against all odds, pulled themsevles back up.</p> <p>Continuing our Halloween theme in the guise of discussing inner demons, our guest today is author Paul Garrigan. His book 'Dead Drunk' recounts his harrowing tale of alcoholism that saw him travel the world trying to escape a problem that was part of who he was. It was only in Thailand, near the end of his rope, that Paul ended up at Wat Thamkrabok, whose well known detox program showed him the way out of the darkness. Paul gives a very personal, open book account of the challenges he faced, and what it was like when he finally emerged clean and sober on the other side.</p> <p>Greg and Tony also welcome guest Scotty "Hockey" Murray, one of the organizers of the upcoming 2010 Land Of Smiles Ice Hockey Classic. Ice hockey in Thailand? That's right, and the tournamet will be pretty badass. Make sure to check it out!</p>
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Bangkok Podcast 21: Fortune Tellers
<p>For many westerners, fortune tellers - more often referred to as psychics - are generally seen as dwelling in the fringes of legitimacy. However, 'mor doo' ('seeing doctors') in Thailand play a much larger role. From Prime Ministers to street sweepers, seeing a fortune teller is something that many Thais do regularly and with quite a bit of conviction, and as any long-term expat can tell you, making fun of their craft or trying to disprove a session with a cold dose of reality will only earn you scorn.</p> <p>In the first Halloween themed episode, Tony and Greg take a visit to a fortune teller to see what it's all about. Greg consults a tarot card deck, while Tony gets his palms read, and both are subjected to the power of the crystal pendulum. What did the fortune teller say? Is the future so bright they need to wear shades?</p> <p>Greg and Tony also get off on a tangent discussing scams of the heart, armed thugs taking over a part of the airport (again!), and how to know you've been in Thailand too long.</p>
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Bangkok Podcast 20: Thai Language Series 5
<p>Joined once again by Bangkok Podcasts's Thai language guru Rikker, we get into the very unique way that Thais tell time. For instance, in Thai the day is divided into four sections: morning, afternoon, evening, and then after midnight. At the change to each section, the time is 'reset', so for instance, 8pm wouldn't be 8pm, but rather 2 o'clock, or 2 hours after 6pm. It's a system that has confused many a foreigner who is told to meet someone at a time that makes no sense - "Meet me for dinner at 2 o'clock!"</p> <p>Rikker breaks these zones down for us, and explains a bit of the linguistic gymnastics that go along with assiging names to the times of day.</p> <p>Tony also tells us how is mobile phone bills have (hopefully) been sorted out after the phone company somehow calculated that he was spending 8 hours a day, every day, online with his phone.</p>
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Bangkok Podcast 19: Thai Education System
<p>It's no secret that the Thai education system is in need of an overhaul. Everyone from government ministers to concerned parents regularly voice their opinions in the press, and there is a real concern that the Thailand's education system is being passed by its regional neighbours.</p> <p>One way a concerned parent can ensure your child has an international-level education in Thailand is to enroll them in an international school. However, many parents find that the cost of tuition is often outrageously high - many thousands of dollars per child per year, or more. So what are the options? Is there any way around this? And what does it mean for a parent living here who may not have the necessary resources?</p> <p>Greg also talks about his recent trip to Europe and a big development for him there, which leads to a discussion about European history vs Thai history, the nuances of driving in Europe, and the trust you must have in your GPS system while navigating unfamiliar roads.</p> <p>We also thank loyal listener Jamie Milkovich for his awesome addition to our Facebook page, and we tease a few details of some pretty cool shows we have coming up in October.</p>
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Bangkok Podcast 18: Kaila Krayewski
<p>With the legendary beauty of Thai women and Bangkok’s shadowy red light districts, Thailand is a well-known destination for men who like to act like they wished they could when they were teenagers, but what about the foreign women that live in the Land of Smiles?</p> <p>The reality is that there are many farang ladies in Thailand who are smart, successful, and beautiful, but who are totally ignored by the male population. It may sounds like a silly little problem but not having access to a successful relationship can lead to a bigger problem that is common in Thailand and that is loneliness.</p> <p>We talk with Kaila Krayewski, a writer, blogger and traveler, about her travel experiences in S.E. Asia and her impressions of being a foreign woman in Thailand’s dating scene, and the effect that the relative dearth of options can have on a person’s enjoyment of living here.</p> <p>Greg and Tony also take a moment to thank the guys who gave Bangkok Podcast it’s look and sound – Marc Griesinger, who created our logo, and Alec Harrison, who composed our theme song.</p>
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Bangkok Podcast 17: Finding an apartment in Bangkok
<p>Landing in Bangkok,  finding a job and fitting into a new life isn't easy, but finding the right apartment is often the most challenging thing to do. With a city as big as Bangkok, it can be a confusing, frustrating and tiring experience. On this episode, Tony and Greg talk about the nuances of finding the right apartment and the shortcuts they've taken in the past to explore the housing market and what it offers. They also give a few tips on what to look for on your search, as many of the 'little details' of renting here are not the same as they are in your home country.</p> <p>Tony also talks about his continuing lucky streak with taxi drivers and the money they keep returning to him, while Greg remembers a particular ride when a taxi driver thought a tip that was 110% of the fare seemed appropriate.</p>
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Bangkok Podcast 16: Thai Language Series 4
<p>In this episode Rikker elightens us on what it's like to raise a child in a bilingual country and household. Seeing that Tony and Greg have exactly 0 children each, Rikker - as a father of two - is much more qualified to tell us about what teaching methods work best, how a child percieves language, and the fears that any parent has when trying to teach their child the skills that will help them in life.</p> <p>Greg also vents about an injustice toward a Thai garbage collector, and Tony talks about his video project with Prae 'Fluke' Sunantaraks (who you may remember as our first guest), which may see them chosen to attend the prestigious Sundance Film Festival.</p>
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Bangkok Podcast 15: Is Bangkok Safe?
<p>Bangkok is a sprawling, steamy city of roughly 8 million that can give any other metropolis a run for its money. Naturally, crime and violence are a reality of everyday life, although not on the same scale as other notorious places like Rio de Janeiro, New York or Johannesburg. Despite this, one of the most common questions we get is: is Bangkok safe? </p> <p>The short answer to this question is: yes, Bangkok overall is a very safe city. However, living here does require a certain amount of street smarts and a bit of knowledge about how things in Thailand work if you're to navigate successfully around the odd pitfall. On this episode, Tony and Greg talk about their experiences trying to avoid crime and violence, give a few sage tips on what to do if something does go awry, and share a few of their personal encounters with the ugly side of living in a huge city.</p> <p>Tony also vents about Google's dominance over online advertising, and Greg talks about his trip on the new Suvarnabhumi Airport Rail Link (SARL) and ponders whether people will choose to avoid the taxis for the new electric rail system.</p>
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Bangkok Podcast 14: Voranai Vanijaka
<p>As an editor at the Bangkok Post, one of the Kingdom's English-language daily newspapers, Voranai Vanijaka is afforded an opportunity to have his voice heard, discussed and argued about that few of use ever have. As a journalist, his job is to look at the world through a long lens and comment on what he sees. However, in a country like Thailand - where long-held perceptions are hard to change and powerful personalities enjoy the stability of the status quo, turning that lens inward can often cause a bit of... uneasiness.</p> <p>Khun Voranai joins us to talk about the somewhat controversial nature of his writing, and especially about a recent article he wrote, 'Amart and Prai', which challenged the long-established class structure that governs Thai societal interactions. </p> <p>Tony also talks about why his trip to Japan was postponed, and Greg rattles on about another one of his bike rides, this time to the village of Baan Bat, where the locals work to preserve their unique art of beautiful, hand-made copper bowls.</p>
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Bangkok Podcast 13: Thais Love Whitey
<p>Ahh, summer time. When everyone heads down to the beach to get that wonderful golden tan that makes you look like a Hollywood star. Except in Asia, where perceptions of skin tone often run counter to what they do in the west. Over here, pasty, white skin is much more desirable and has come to denote affluence, wealth and success. </p> <p>In This episode of Bangkok Podcast, Anthony and Greg discuss how Thais shun dark skin and yearn for white skin, how beauty products and advertising try to promote the message that you'll only find love and success if you're pasty, and what effect it has on the psyche of someone growing up with a dark complexion.</p> <p>Anthony also gives us the lowdown on his visit to a part of Bangkok that most western expats never see - the cloistered Japanese nightclub scene.</p>
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Bangkok Podcast 12: Thai Language Series 3
<p>In this episode we ask Rikker to walk us through the different ways to address people in Thai, from the polite, to the familiar, to the not recommended. Not all of the terms are direct nouns, and many can be quite creative – for instance, the word to refer to yourself in front of a judge is to essentially insult yourself, thereby elevating the judge to a higher position! Greg also recounts the time he referred to an older person by the right word but with the wrong tone, with unhappy results.</p>
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Bangkok Podcast 11: Patrick Winn
<p>Being a journalist in the 21st century isn't easy. The industry that has essentially functioned the same since it started centuries ago is undergoing massive changes. In fact, in another ten years, journalists and the journalism industry as we know it might not even exist. But thankfully there are still plenty of good journo's out there, and one of them is the Global Post's Patrick Winn, who has written about everything from ghost festivals to redshirt riots to eating dog.</p> <p>On this podcast, we chat with Patrick about what challenges he faces as his industry changes around him, and what dangers come with being a journalist in Thailand - someone whose job it is to write about topics that some people would prefer to keep quiet.</p>
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Bangkok Podcast 10: Launch Party!
<p>Thanks to all who came to the Bangkok Podcast launch party at Bistro 33! It was a great success and we truly enjoyed seeing old and new faces and making new friends. On this episode of the podcast, Tony and Greg talk about the party and how it's the first step into building a community based on none of the boring ol' cliches that Bangkok is known for - girls, bars, and booze.</p> <p>We also talk about how important it is to have these little outlets - parties, networking events, meetings, and such - because no matter how a foreigner fits into Thai culture, you always need the psychological pick-me-up of having a connection to your own culture. Be it a Seinfeld joke or finding a kindred spirit in deciphering the mysteries of Thailand, having a network of like-minded folks - Thai and foreigner alike - can really make you feel like part of a team.</p> <p>We would also like to thank all of you who brought donations of unused clothing to the party, and Smiling Albino for making sure it gets to the people who can use it most.</p>
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Bangkok Podcast 9: Smiling Albino
<p>Traveling is never as easy as they make it look on television travel shows. What many people forget is that an entire production team has been hard at work for weeks before the host ever shows up. As they say, the devil's in the details, and no one knows more about the details of travel than Smiling Albino.</p> <p>For the past ten years, Smiling Albino, founded by Canadians Scott Coates and Daniel Fraser, has been offering unique, custom-built adventures throughout Thailand for anyone who likes to avoid the package feel of package tours. Over the past few years, their success has seen their trips expand into Nepal, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam, with more destinations on the horizon. In this episode, Tony and Greg talk with Scott about the nuances of travel, the work that goes into planning a trip, and the difference between Japanese and Thai taxi drivers.</p>
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Bangkok Podcast 8: Thai Language Series 2
<p>In the second of our ongoing Thai language series, we continue talking to 'Thai Language Jedi' Rikker Dockum about the complexities of the Thai language. In this episode, we jump onto the much-discussed tone system of Thai, and why foreigners have such a hard time wrapping their head around it while our Thai friends are wondering what the big deal is. Greg and Tony also each share a story or two about how the tones and Romanization aspect of Thai have gotten them into hot water a few times.</p>
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Bangkok Podcast 7: Transportation
<p>When people hear 'Bangkok' they usually think of either red light districts or traffic jams. Well, because they are such good boys, Tony and Greg don't have much experience with the former, but plenty of experience with the latter, and that's what they'll be talking about today. From haggling with tuk-tuk drivers, paying traffic fines for motorcycle taxis or trying to avoid eye infections on the Klong Saen Saeb canal boat, we'll discuss all the modes of transport in this sprawling city, how they fit together, and how to get the most of out of using them.</p>
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Bangkok Podcast 6: Jodi Ettenberg
<p>For our second interview, we are very happy to be joined by Jodi Ettenberg - lawyer, world traveler, riot survivor, political commentator, and fan of all things related to chowing down. Those of you in Bangkok have probably met Jodi, and if not you've likely read her tweets on Twitter, viewed her pictures on travel blogs and news sites, seen her speak about Bangkok's recent political troubles on various television stations, or read her Legal Nomads blog, where she chronicles her adventures over the past 2 years as she's traveled the world. We sit down with Jodi to hear about her trip, what it's like being a solo female traveler in the wide world, and why she left a lucrative career in New York to take third-world buses with chickens, visit refugees in prison, and get crapped on by birds the world over.</p>
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Bangkok Podcast 5: Thai Television
<p>In this episode of the Bangkok Podcast, we discuss something that many foreigners living here have a hard time wrapping their heads around - Thai television shows. From dramatically-enhanced soap operas to variety shows with singing, dancing Nazis, to the brilliance of funny television commercials, the range of options for the average viewer are pretty broad.</p> <p>But what can we learn about Thai society from watching these little diversions? Will sitting through a cat-fight between a rich bitch socialate and a put-upon Cinderella give you an insight into why they have to slap and scream so much? And more importantly - do you care?</p>
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Bangkok Podcast 4: Thai Language Series 1
<p>One of the problems with living in Thailand is that it’s so easy to get by without being very skilled in the Thai language, a mistake that many expats make. To provide some inspiration, we are very happy to be talking to Rikker Dockum, a researcher and Thai language scholar, who will be joining us every month on the Bangkok Podcast. Rather than standard ‘word of the day’ type lessons, Rikker will be chatting with us about the mysteries of the Thai language, tips for learning it, secrets to using it, and his experiences navigating a culture where fluency by a foreigner in the local language will likely be met with wide-eyed stares of anyone you meet.</p> <p>On this first episode, Rikker tells us what methods helped him most as he learned Thai, how it's helped him adapt, and a few funny stories about the reactions he's received. </p>
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Bangkok Podcast 3: Your First Time In Bangkok
<p>Rarely does someone move to Bangkok with a full support network of friends ready to help them out; more often than not, the first few weeks or months are a bit of a struggle as you figure out how the city works. For this episode of Bangkok Podcast, Anthony and Greg dish out some advice for anyone thinking of moving here, or even for people that have lived here for a while but haven't yet settled fully into their groove. From joining the right networking events to knowing where in the city to live to avoiding the red light districts, they go over a few things that they wish they had known, but instead had to learn through cold, hard experience, with many a night spent wondering if we made the right decision to come here. </p>
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Bangkok Podcast 2: Prae Sunantaraks
<p>After a tumultuous week that saw many deaths and widespread arson and rioting in Bangkok, we discuss the fallout from the army’s breakup of the redshirt protest site and what it means to Bangkok and the rest of Thailand. We also talk about how most of Bangkok continues as normal, even as a temporary curfew puts a major dent in Bangkok’s nightlife.</p> <p>In addition, we are very happy to be joined by Prae Sunantaraks – nicknamed Fluke – who was born with retinitis pigmentosa, a degenerative retinal disease that is slowly robbing her of her sight. She shares with us the details of The Little Light Project – a charity she started for blind children – and helps us understand how she remains so positive and upbeat even as her world becomes darker and darker – an outlook that many in Bangkok can appreciate these days. She also lets us in on the biggest mystery of all – how a visually-impaired person navigates the treacherous Bangkok sidewalks!</p>
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Bangkok Podcast 1: Best Source of Thai News
<p>In the first edition of our weekly podcast, we discuss the major issue at the moment – the ongoing redshirt protests and the continuing efforts by the military to end them. We also touch on the causes of the conflict, and then discuss what we think are some great resources for keeping on top of new developments in one of the biggest crises to hit Thailand in a very long time.</p> <p> </p>
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