17 Things I’ve Learned About Bangkok From Behind A Microphone

17 Things I’ve Learned About Bangkok From Behind A Microphone


(Sorry for the bad audio. I’ll subtitle it for you!) (Yes, it does have to do with the Bangkok Podcast, Simon!) So as mentioned briefly, my name is Evo… and I’m going to be talking about the 5 — no, that’s not right… 17 most fascinating things I’ve learned behind the microphone on the Bangkok Podcast. My introduction to Thailand came as my wife and I (that’s Sheila, right there) We stayed for three months in a shophouse, In Ranong, Thailand as our first introduction to your country. In May. Which is the beginning of the rainy season. In the rainiest province of Thailand. Did I mention three months that we stayed there? We did. But we must have loved it because in January of 2016 we moved here full time and became Bangkokians like the rest of you, and that’s really where this story begins. Because it’s where I met this guy a large Canadian expat named Greg Jorgensen through mutual friends we got together and decided we should relaunch something called the Bangkok Podcast. Which is what I’ll be talking with you guys about… today! 33 episodes later… (gosh, it’s been half a year that Greg and I have been doing this show) and I’m learning more about this adopted city of mine from behind the microphone. We share expat experiences that are not rooftop bars, temples, & massage parlors. We have enough coverage of that as it is right now. So we talk about other sorts of things in Bangkok and as I said I’m learning a lot from behind the microphone. Now, my partner, Greg, has been here since… 2001? So he’s lived through a lot of the political turmoil and unrest that many of you have as well. Me? I’m an American. I showed up in the country and had no idea something like military coups and juntas actually existed so, I’m learning a lot as I go. Recently on the program I’ve learned something you may or may not know about Bangkok: It’s legal to own firearms in Thailand. It’s legal to defend yourself with a firearm in Thailand. However, if you wind up killing the person with that firearm, even if he was likely to kill you or your family, you will be tried, or you will be arrested and tried for murder. And you’ll have to prove you didn’t intentionally kill the guy. (Even if you did!) Which, for an American, is kinda strange. Staying on the idea of death and destruction, I have learned recently that I live in the 2nd most deadly country in the world for traffic fatalities. We’re only outflanked by everyone’s top tourist destination: Libya. And I actually own (rent) a motorbike now, which is kinda nuts. But if I don’t die from somebody slamming into me with a pickup truck on my motorbike, It’s likely asphyxiation will take me and the rest of you (and you may not know this) I’ve learned recently on one of our shows, that Prapadaeng, Bangkok’s green lungs, is under serious threat from development. So air quality is about to get… worse. Go there and see it now if you haven’t seen it. On the topic of bad news, I now understand why the beer I like to drink, quality craft beer, costs so stinking much money in this country. And what a huge hurdle that the Thai beer aficionados have trying to change the law so quality craft beer prices go down just a smidge. I’ve also learned that while I stand up here and I look pretty white; apparently my armpits aren’t white enough. Because there are products like these they keep trying to sell me. One of the more amazing things I’ve learned recently is about a gentleman who is from Alaska who owns a coffee plantation in Hawaii, he taught a guy from Indiana how to grow coffee in Thailand. And now that guy is training farmers in Thailand how to grow some of the best coffee in the entire world. Fascinating stuff I’ve learned from the program. I’ve learned about Bangkok’s complicated and love hate, if you will, relationship with streetfood. And the plight of people like office workers who depend on it for an inexpensive source of food and also the vendors themselves who rely on it for their own livelihood. It’s part of Bangkok’s eventual march toward something called Bangkok 250, which is Bangkok’s 250th birthday as the capitol of Thailand. (There’s a) big civic push happening right now, which I’ve learned from the program is something that’s not necessarily universally loved, or even being uniformly spread out through the city. But there is at least one group of people, perhaps some of our most deserved, or most needy out there; The disabled. They actually welcome these changes with open arms because they’ve been working very hard to make the city government (and state government) actually follow through on some accessibility programs so Transportation 4 All is kind of excited about Bangkok 250. And good for them! You likely already know how great medical care is in Thailand. It’s a huge medial tourism hotspot that we live in here in Bangkok. But what you may not know and I learned recently, like on last week’s program, that the Thai medical staff is so good, homegrown Thai talent is now leaving Thailand to go teach advanced medical skills to students back in the West. That is how amazing the medical care we have here in Bangkok apparently is. Fantastic. Although those doctors will probably still overprescribe medication to you. You’ll get your bag of pills, although there probably won’t be nasal decongestants, because you might want to cook Meth with it. I’ve learned also recently how fantastically central 7-11 is to Bangkok and Bangkokians like ourselves, because where else can we pay our electric bill and get coffee that’s not terribly oversweetened? I’ve learned to embrace the mall culture. Not because I’m suddenly Hi-So & super fashionable, but because it really is the best place to escape the never ending, relentless heat of Bangkok. And I’ve also learned how to say, “Mai yak dai, na krap” to the lovely little old lady who who offers to have me help her feed the birds in Lumpini Park. I say no to her so that her two “sons” don’t come out of the bushes and demand I pay her ฿500 for the privilege. Scammers are everywhere in this town. And I’m learning more about mysticism in Thailand like we have these tattoos called Sak Yant that when you put them on taxi, it’s good luck but if you put them on your body, they can temporarily possess your body, at least for one weekend a year up at Wat Bang Phra. It’s amazing. And that ghosts and spirits have an affinity for red, sugary drinks (though I’m really not sure why.) But the biggest thing I’ve learned from the Bangkok Podcast is that I really love learning more about this new town that I’ve lived in for a little more than a year and a half. And the great connections and friends I have made throughout the process. This, by the way is in Bangkok. It’s a Mexican restaurant called Charley Browns. It’s wonderful. Little things like that that I’ve learned. So thanks for listening to me and… hopefully I can convince you guys all to listen to the Bangkok Podcast. Cheers. (Ready to listen: Just go to BangkokPodcast.com) (Or search for “Bangkok Podcast” on your podcast app.) (Yeah… like that.)

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