T.I.T. Podcast Episode 58: A Siamese Summer!

  • Welcome to episode 58
  • A summer in Siam
  • From Siam to Thailand…a brief history
  • On enjoying the summer
  • Being in Bangkok feels like a vacation
  • Movies and more movies
  • Back to the gym!
  • Tom’s holiday insomnia
  • Have always been more nocturnal anyway
  • River cruises and costumes
  • Getting to old to greet the dawn
  • A 10 year reunion
  • The same faces with a few more lines
  • Fond memories and food
  • Thais and Japanese food
  • A culture of eating out and why?
  • Thai restaurants in the States and abroad
  • There are 2 Thai restaurants in my hometown
  • Waiting tables at the Thai House
  • Tom got a condo in Pattaya from Craiglist.com
  • Good deal for a balcony with a sea view
  • Facebook woes and thoughts
  • Sarah Palin is just a loon!
  • She’s like a squeaking dog toy or dripping faucet
  • Why she bothers Tom so very much?
  • Arrogant ignorance with a sprinkle of narcissism
  • On claiming to speak for everyone when we hate you!
  • On a brighter note…Tom finally got a new voice mail
  • A voicemail from Jens in Munich
  • Germany is on my list of must visits
  • Email from our long lost Forrest of the Lonely Ice Floe.com
  • Tom is excited that Forrest and Jay are coming to Thailand!
  • Comments from LM and Andrea
  • Mark suggests a Radish cake?  J
  • Huge shout out to Dylan…a new listener!
  • Lurve to all my listeners!
  • Tom begs for more comments
  • The usual rambling closing remarks

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T.I.T. Podcast Episode 53: The Red Storm in a Tea Cup…

Goooooood morning, afternoon, evening and night depending on where and when in the world you happen to stop by and read this.  Firstly, I realize that it has been ages and ages since I did a T.I.T. cast and I’m really sorry to have kept you guys waiting for so long.  Secondly, I decided to sit down today and try my best to rattle off a podcast without any show notes, so if this episode ends up sucking then big sorrys again.  I catch myself rambling on a bit, a few times as i went through the episode but i was trying to cover so much information in a very limited time frame.  Anyways, hope you guys enjoy and will try to be more organized with notes and such next week!  IN the meantime, i wanna send out much MUCH love from the “Big Mango!”  Enjoy!!!!  P.S. Ignore the episode number in the artwork….it was a bit of a mistake! :-)

Email me at tominthai@gmail.com, please go Comment on my page or call my voice line at 1-206-426-2152 and leave me a voice comment for the show!

Download Tom in Thailand: Click Here The Freak NetworkThe RainbowPodSquad

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T.I.T. Podcast Episode 49: A Christmas Vidcast

Ho, Ho, Ho!  I thought I’d record a special vidcast for Christmas this year, instead of a podcast episode.  My partner agreed to sit down with me for a quick Merry Christmas to everyone out there, so please sit down and have a look and meet my partner for Christmas this year.  Lots of love and a very, very Merry Christmas to all of you out there!  (WARNING:  for some reason it seems to have been recorded quite loud!)

Email me at tominthai@gmail.com, please go Comment on my page or call my voice line at 1-206-426-2152 and leave me a voice comment for the show!

Download Tom in Thailand: Click Here The Freak NetworkThe RainbowPodSquad

Subscribe to Tom in Thailand in Itunes: Click here

T.I.T. Podcast Episode 31: Fully Dressed in the Sauna!

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•    Welcome to episode 31
•    Sorry about my absence
•    Bangkok Summer has arrived
•    Fully clothed in a sauna
•    Thai kids on summer break
•    LOTS of comments and emails
•    Tom feels so loved
•    The results of Tom’s poll
•    An update on the “move” issue
•    Are some people just to famous to be laughed at?
•    Donna Karen’s non-comical yet funny AbFab moment
•    Speaking of crazy
•    British Man sentenced to 2 years in Prison for being rude
•    Thais and “saving face”
•    Face and “Greng Jai”
•    Closing remarks and love to my listeners!

Email me at tomnthai@gmail.com, please go Comment on my page or call my voice line and leave me a voice comment for the show!

Download Tom in Thailand: Right Click Here | The Freak Network | The RainbowPodSquad

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T.I.T Episode 7: Fast Food and Creepy Foreigners

• Welcome to episode 7
• Comments, emails, messages…
Rebecca Nay, Paul Sprite, and Bang
• Tom discovered Stickam today
With a couple of cuties and the Cracked Cub, Power Gay, Spanking Bea Arthur
• Have you complimented someone today?
• My impending trip doctor and fear of needles
• Tom looks like he has he measles
• Thai music and videos
• No, I don’t eat Thai food every day
• My weekly fast food fix
• How do you eat a hamburger
• Annoying Thai sales associate habits
• Creepy looking foreigners
• Why Thailand attracts the dregs of society?
• Everyone here has a story….some good, some bad
• Our ongoing encounter with a Thai used car salesman
• Closing remarks and love
• Email me at tomnthai@gmail.com or comment on my blog please!

Also, don’t forget to go over and check out the other podcasts at the Rainbowpodsquad, cause Aj has invited me to come aboard. So I wanted to send out a some extra special loves and kisses to him for adding me…I hope I can do ya proud!

For Direct Download: Right Click Here | The Freak Network | The RainbowPodSquad

Subscribe to Tom in Thailand in Itunes: Click here

T.I.T Episode 4: Bush in Bangkok

• The T.I.T. Intro
• Welcome to episode 4
• Comments…one from my “Nee Nee”
• Shout out to Craig and Leslie at The Royal Pains
• Work would be better if…
• Another Step towards a goal
• Procrastination and stressing myself out
• Touch football in Thailand
• Bush in Bangkok
• I’d hate to work at the Embassy today!
• American Thai relations for 175 years?
• Abraham Lincoln and Elephants
• Restoration of democracy? Really?
• The old ball and cup magic trick..
• What are your thoughts on free trade?
• The first lady shipped off to the border of Burma
• Military governments
• A little more American/Thai history
• My first “free” weekend
• Consistency in podcasting
• My new email, so please comment and email!!!

Always please feel free to question or comment and let me know how I’m doing. Any and all emails and/or comments will be addressed cause I care what you think!

For Direct Download: Right Click Here | The Freak Network

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The Stereotype of the Sexpat…

Good morning, afternoon, evening or night where or when ever this finds you in the world. It is just before 10 AM on a lazy overcast Sunday morning here in the Big Mango, and I thought I’d sit down and bang out another entry for your reading pleasure…or not as your tastes may be. Last night my partner and I departed from our usual routine and went out for a nice Saturday evening dinner. We visited a nice Thai restaurant called the River Bar for a nice meal. We drove across the impressive Rama 8 bridge/monument and had dinner on the Thonburi side of river. It was a very nice romantic dinner of baked fish, spring rolls, and sweet&sour pork. We don’t get to do those very often, unfortunately, due to my partner’s work schedule so it was a really nice thing for us to do together.

Anyways, I want to get to the topic in my head before it floats away into nothingness as things often do when they cross my mind. There is a ugly brush that is used to paint most foreigners living in Thailand that I’d like to address today with you. You see, there are a few assumptions or myths perpetuated by many if not most people ,both Thai and foreign, about us western men living here in Thailand:
1. The main motivation or factor for Western guys to move here to Thailand is sex and we only come here for the easy access to sex.
2. Western gay men are unable to be faithful and commit to monogamous caring relationships with only 1 partner.
3. Western gay men over certain age are only attracted to young dark skinned guys or girls.
4. Single western men have sex many times a week with random different partners for the purpose of one-night stands.
5. The sex industry in Thailand is caused by and used exclusively men from western countries.

So, firstly I for one did not move to Thailand for sexual reasons. I met my former Thai partner in the US while we were in school. We were together in the US for 7 years and I decided to give moving here a chance when the time came for him to move home. Also, I have another very close friend that moved here for a previously established relationship as well, and we have both agreed many times how these sort of racial stereotyping annoys us. To be perfectly honest, I really couldn’t even find Thailand on a map when i first met my partner, much less know about the sordid international reputation. Secondly, I know gay couples that have been together for decades and are just as happy being monogamous as some heterosexuals. The desire to step outside a relationship for sexual fulfillment is not limited to sexual orientation or race.

Thirdly, this idea in Thailand that all western men are attracted to very young dark skinned boys and girls is the biggest bunch of krap I think I’ve heard here. Everyone has different tastes in the world or else Baskin Robbins wouldn’t bother with 31 flavors. You don’t get to decide what your eyes find appealing so it is not fair to assume everyone of a certain age and race has the same tastes. Fourthly, I did not and have not ever engaged in a constant stream of one night stands on a weekly basis. This would apply here, home, or anywhere else in the world as my sex drive just isn’t high enough and perhaps I’m to picky. The randomness of meaningless one night stands has never appealed to me but I certainly wouldn’t throw stones when it comes to this point. To each his own, but my point is that it is just not me or my western friends.

Finally, I have heard many times over the years that the sex industry here in Thailand is perpetuated by the western male. This silly myth is easily dismissed by the presence of the massive structures used as “massage” parlors here in Bangkok around the ratchada area that cater almost exclusively to Thai clients. There is also a street called soi Thanaya here in Bangkok filled with “karaoke” bars that cater exclusively to Japanese clients seeking female short term companionship. However, I think westerners are more open when the frequent these type of establishments as it is not uncommon to see a westerner sitting in an open air bar with a “friend” on their arm for the evening. I think many Asian cultures are more private about such things, and thus the myth has been perpetuated that only westerners partake in such carnal activities.

I don’t know why I felt I needed to get that off my chest, but it is a conversation I’ve had with close friends very often. I wonder why it seems to be human nature to stereotype our fellow man? We are so quick to label one another as we pass in this world, but the world is a much more colorful place than we give it credit. There is a lot more depth of character out there passing you by, so next time you make an immediate assumption about someone I hope you pause to consider your thoughts again. Obviously, there are going to be those that fit your stereotype but not everyone wears the same size clothes, right? Anyways, I hope you enjoy your Sunday and will speak to you again very very soon. I’m thinking the next entry will be a video blog so make sure you stop by again soon!

The Little Things…

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It’s amazing to me, sometimes, the things you miss the most when you live abroad so far away from home. It always ends up being the little things that you take for granted in your day-to-day life. The little conveniences that make life easier and more comfortable are much more noticeable when you have to do without them for months and years. Things like the latest sitcom series on TV, or a pack of underwear from Target that actually fits are just simply not there anymore. I miss good indigestion causing Mexican food, amazing college football games on holidays, and the knowledge that your loved ones are just a quick call or drive away. It is these sorts of things that really stick out in your mind when you have the time to sit and reflect gazing up at the stars under the palms.

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One funny thing though, I really miss the most is food. Food plays such an important part of our lives, and I bet most people never think twice when they are having that pop-tart in the morning or that slice of savory pizza with a cold beer. I sit here after a big Saturday night out with my friend, and what do you suppose I would have as a snack before I carry myself off to bed? After all, I do live in the far east and how popular is Thai food back home? So you might think i’d be looking at a steaming bowl of spicy noodles, or some other hot dish Thailand is famous for. No….In reality I sit here and eat a yummy Peanut butter and Jelly sandwich with an ice cold glass of milk to comfort me off to sleep. Don’t get me wrong, though! I do enjoy Thai food and I did have a bit of larb gai, somtum, and sticky rice for dinner. However, it is nice to slip into a bit of nostalgia once and a while by enjoying certain comfort foods from home. So the next time you enjoy your pop tart, or your ice cold beer I hope you might give a thought to those that do without.  It is a bit late here, so I’m not going to keep this post a long one.  I just want to wish everyone much love from Bangkok and hope you are having a relaxing weekend where ever this finds you!

Surprise Holidays and Copy Cats…

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Happy Thursday folks!  I’m going to go ahead and warn you now that this is going to be one of those random though/self analysis sort of posts so who knows where this will go.  Firstly, I ended up with a surprise week off since we had a minor drama unfold at work first thing Monday morning.  We were having our annoyingly boring little administrative morning meeting and we got a phone call that 2 of our students had come down with hand, foot, and mouth.  Now, don’t jump to conclusions…this is nothing like mad cow disease or anything and apparently it is common amongst schools with large numbers of young children.  You get these flu like symptoms and spots like you have measles on your hands and feet.  Also, you get ulcer like blisters in your mouth, and the last time it swept through the school i got it as well.  It is HIGHLY contagious sooooo, after learning we had more than 5 cases we quickly moved to close the school for a week.  It can be dangerous for young kids, so better to shut down and let it pass.  Therefore, Tom got a surprise week off work!

Sooooo, I had meant to sit down this week and pound out a final copy of my research proposal for Grad schoo.  However, I’ve been to busy being as lazy as possible to accomplish anything productive.  I did at least manage the gym every day, so at least the week hasn’t been a complete loss thus far.  Which reminds me of something I wanted to talk about with you today.  I noticed a commercial on the train coming home for a new Thai movie coming to theaters soon.   I made a mental note to mention it today in my blog because it is something that slightly irks me.  It is a Thai movie about eccentric, comical pirates and I noticed some various low budget scenes from the movie trailer with giant squid and crabs.  The set, scenery, and costumes were blatantly copied from another blockbuster pirate trilogy which recently sailed through the box office earning millions.

Thais have to be the world’s best copy cats.  Let me give you another example that comes to mind.  I remember going to a Thai theater production a while back that was supposed to be an “amazing” and creative in dealing with gay life and culture.  There were big billboards around town for it, and some very famous Thai celebrities were even cast in leading roles for it.  So, I went with my ex to see it and all they had done was make a Thai theater version of the movie Love! Valour! and Compassion! which was written and released in the States in 1997.  There were some very slight changes, but they kept the same plot, characters, and I even recognized familiar scenes from the script.

I guess I blame the education system here for this phenomenon as Thai students are not taught to think creatively.  Children are not encouraged to think outside the box in traditional schooling, and most learning here occurs much the same way a mother bird feeds a baby bird.  It is considered rude here to question anyone older or an authority figure so Thai students will sit in class looking at you like they are following along able to understand, but not.  They are quite, and respectful, but rarely ask questions to extend their grasp of the subject being learned at hand.  You can see it here in all aspects of society.  Healthy debate is discouraged and ridiculed, and thus creativity is often stamped out at an early age.  Now, I say all this in general of course as there are of course exceptions.  I know some very creative Thai people, and thus there are those that do well in spite of the system, as opposed to growing because of the system.  Well, I think that is more than enough rambling for today, so i’m going to head off and try to get some school work done.  Love to everyone and will write again over the weekend!

Red Tape Part 2….

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Well, I finally made it to Saturday evening here in one piece after a mentally exhausting week down at the office. I know that i have hinted a few times in my previous entries that things are not all rosey at work, and I’ve tried to keep work complaints out of my blog despite the stress it causes me from time to time. Today that ends!!!! How does that old saying go about life imitating art? I can’t exactly remember, and not that I’d call my ramblings on here art anways. Something happened yesterday day that relates so closely to my previous post on red tape and visa work that I felt it a relevant topic to share with you my family, friends, and the occasional curious stranger.

I was checking emails early yesterday morning while sipping my coffee from my superman mug, and the office clerk was busily shuffling and re-shuffling her papers sprawled across her desk. I casually turned and inquired as to the current status of my work permit, as it is still being held hostage somewhere behind mountains of red tape. I was given a brusk “In process” and as my current visa runs out in 2 weeks I pushed a little further for more information. She mumbled in Thai the usual complaints about being so busy, and why do foreigners always want to know everything, but I wasn’t backing down this time. So i asked what the problem was, and she starts to explain to me bits and pieces of the drama that would unfold. I am informed over my coffee, that my nearly completed Masters Degree in “Education” is not adequate anymore to obtain a teacher’s license, which is needed to obtain a work permit…which is needed to extend my visa. She went on to explain that the shifting sands of Thai law have changed again and that the “powers that be” have decided that if one doesn’t possess a bachelor’s degree in Education, then a Masters in Education isn’t adequate enough to qualify one as a teacher. (Insane and totally illogical I know) So basically….she tells me that my 2 and a half years and nearly 9,000 dollars spent where all for not…money and time wasted down the toilet. Further, in the same breathe she starts talking over my head to the office manager in Thai “about” me and what I might have to do if the process can’t be finished in 2 weeks. She says to the office manager that i might have to pay an additional 50 dollars to extend 10 more days and then if that isn’t enough time then I might have to exit the country for a 3rd time to apply for a new working Visa abroad. Now imagine that all the while i’m sitting there…literally sitting between this conversation about me going on over my head, and so try to imagine my face slowly going red and with steam starting to seep from my ears.

My patience snapped and I shouted that I would NOT be paying anymore money because of her inability to get my paperwork sorted out in time. Nor would I be coming out of pocket for yet another visa run, because of the inept ability of some rude office clerk or because of the inefficiency of the various Thai ministry’s bureaucrats in processing little bits of paper at the rate of a sickly army of snails. I was furious!!!! So, by this time the bell had rung and it was past time for me to head off to the kiddies, and as luck would have it we were due to practice a “Pep” rally for our students. So I needed to suddenly put on a happy face and get ready to cheer our team’s chants! Ahhh, the frustrations of life here sometimes.

So, I waited till later in the day when the owner of the school arrived and she cleared up the whole mess a bit better. Apparently, despite what the moronic clerk had told me, I have been issue a temporary teacher’s license based on my qualifications….which ARE still considered an adequate teaching credential. However, at some point I will have to take some 4 day Thai cultural course and exam for some reason and my boss assured me over and over that there was nothing to worry about. She said that we had 2 years and that the government was bound to shift between now and then, thereby changing all the rules yet again. Therefore, the inept office clerk just had not one clue what she was talking about and ran her mouth off trying to save face (Which is another extremely annoying aspect of Thai culture i’m not going to go into today). Therefore, keep your fingers, toes, and whatever appendage you’d like crossed that the dust will settle soon. I hope everyone finds some way to make their weekend special and talk to you next time! Hopefully with a more cheerful topic. ;-)