Aug 302009
 
An Inspirational Refutation of an Uncomfortable Stereotype

“People try to insult me by saying my success is from a falang (foreigner),” said Nate, smiling as she steered us through the mo-ped-filled traffic, “but it’s just me.”

The story that emerged as Nate (in her taxi-service capacity) drove me from her restaurant to the Phuket bus stop was inspirational. But was also a desperately welcome antidote to the uncomfortable Older-Western-Man-funding-Younger-Thai-Woman situation thick on the island.

Nate grew up in a rural [...Read More!]

Aug 282009
 
Spread the Word: Share this Site!

Ok, let’s be honest: I would love to have as many people as possible reading this here stuff. Help out by spreading the word! If you have a friend who procrastinates at their computer for hours a day, suggest this site as a means of further procrastination! If you have a chum with journalism links, throw me their way so I may one day perhaps become increasing published [...Read More!]

Aug 282009
 
Older German men, younger Thai women: An Inside Investigation

“How old do you think zat man is?” Hans hissed at me, pointing to his equally white-haired, equally German chum. “Um, fifty?” I guessed politely. Hans threw his head back and cackled. “NO!” he hollered, “Fritz is seventy-five! And he is living viss a twenty-eight year old Thai girl!”

What else could I do, being the only young, female, American guest here at this party, but smile and [...Read More!]

Aug 272009
 
Three Interactive Methods! :)

My hope in writing this blog is to drag you around the world with me, thus forcibly entertaining you whenever you have a bored moment at work, school, or home. I love writing these entries, and it really helps me give YOU a more enjoyable experience when I get your feedback. THANKS for all the feedback you’ve given so far, and now there are over THREE ways (count them– [...Read More!]

Aug 272009
 
Thai Tidbits!

You are on the southern tip of Phuket, near Nai Han. Mopeds race, bzzz-ing, ’round the twisted hill roads, and light blue waves smash through the rain onto rocky beaches. This is not so much a tourist place as a place to set up a life after middle age with a Thai bride, or perhaps a place to punch others in the face via Muay Thai boxing, or perhaps a place [...Read More!]

Aug 262009
 
Who Wants to Publish the Crazy Story I'm Researching?

I am used to backpacker ghettos filled with $5 hammocks and loud European 20-somethings smoking and flirting and eating crackers to save money. This here is a different beast at this “Phuket Paradise Resort”.

This evening I emerged from my private $14-a-night mansion (from which all these amazing photos are taken! Kitchen not shown because I’m too lazy to cook) to swim swirls under the stars in the glowing lit pool. [...Read More!]

Aug 262009
 
Ohhh Thailand!

It is midnight in Phuket, Thailand, and I am in room 5 of my 5-room poolside, near-beach house… for which I am paying $14 tonight, due to a woven braid of human kindness and connections.

A week before my trip’s first flight, I donned a polka-dot dress for to visit my sweet mother’s place of employment. It was fun, and made me proud of my mother! It was also the first thread [...Read More!]

Aug 252009
 
Closing Reflections on Japan!

Yowza! It has been amazing to see two major cities of Japan for the past ten days! Despite the articles on Japan my cousin kindly handed me before coming, there were still endless elements of Japan that came as a surprise. Here are a few for your perusal.

1. Toilet extremes. The majority of toilets in Japan are squat toilets, where you crouch awkwardly over a porcelained hole in [...Read More!]

Aug 252009
 
Race in Japan

Chew on this: The United States population is comprised of something like 14% Latino folks, 13 % African Americans, 5% Asians, 66% Whites, and 2 % other. We’re a melting pot! A salad! A multicolored stew! In Japan, however, the “largest” minority is a paltry 1.5% (Chinese) of the total population!!! According to my friend Mike who I stayed with in Tokyo, there are just 8,000 Americans in Japan (about the [...Read More!]

Aug 222009
 
Bicycling around Osaka

Gordon is originally from Boston, but has lived in Japan for five years. For the first several years, he was teaching English through the JET Program (which my wonderful cousin also did and loved). Since then, Gordon has started working in the translation department of a patent company, and has burned up the Osaka Salsa dancing scene.He has really made a life for himself here in Japan, and his fluent Japanese [...Read More!]