Dec 072009
Thailand Train: Yay! Another Holiday: Uh Oh...

In “Some Like it Hot”, the 1959 comedy ranked the #1 funniest movie of the past 100 years, Marilyn Monroe and her fellow busty “girl band” members have a rollicking party in the top bunk of a sleeper train.

Minute by minute, more ladies squeeze into the minuscule space, each hauling with them another batch of bootleg hooch and maraschino cherries. Poor Jack Lemmon is not only stuck in drag, but [...Read More!]

Dec 062009
Never Use the Word Bye in This Century

“Bye, Miss!!!!! Bye, Mister!!!!” students always holler at the end of each school year, throwing themselves on us teachers with melodramatic bear hugs.

“Not ‘Goodbye’!” I always scream, grabbing each student by the shoulders and looking them in the eye. “You never, ever need to lose touch with people you care about nowadays. I’ll stalk you forever on Facebook if you want!”

And I do. From Thailand, to Japan, [...Read More!]

Dec 052009
You Can't Go Wrong With Butter and Sugar

There’s a heck of a lot of squid for sale on the streets of Chiang Mai. But never fear! Other delicacies abound as well.

Here’s one you can even make home.

Boil fresh corn on the cob, inhaling its summer fragrance. When the corn is cooked, hoist a dripping cob out of the water and balance it end-up on a cutting board. Lift a gleaming silver knife and slice off the bright [...Read More!]

Dec 042009
Thai Massage School Graduation! What Does it Mean?

We passed our Level Two final massage exams! This means that with 60 hours of training under our belts, we are now official graduates of Level One and Two Thai Massage school at ITM. Woooo hooo!!

“So what does this mean, practically?” you ask as visions of co-opting my friendship into long hours of forced massage labor dance through your head. Easy now, cowboy! Read on…

Here is what [...Read More!]

Dec 032009
Dental Tourism!

“Yaaaay!” I typed to Paul, “You’re gonna have the best root canal ever!!!!”

Several weeks ago, my friend Paul was informed by his Manhattan dentist that he needs three root canals, seven crowns, and “various other stuff”. Total projected cost: over TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS.

Although Paul is a semi-famous politician, like most of us he does not have ten thousand dollars to fling towards one square inch of artificial tooth polymers. [...Read More!]

Dec 022009
Ways to Make Buddies While Traveling

I received a lovely email from an American backpacker in Mexico recently, requesting tips on finding pals while traveling. This article is a response. Keep those emails zinging my way, readers! I like them.

(Note: the photos in this article are street scenes from Chiang Mai, Thailand. What a livable, enjoyable place! Look at how pretty the disco ball temple walls look in the glow of night traffic!)

Before [...Read More!]

Dec 012009
Nutso Level Two Thai Massage Positions

Today in Thai Massage class we learned to fix a broken heart. We also learned to twist each other like wet pretzels.

Sweat was shed, spines were cracked (in the good way), and everyone gasped to their partner when it was over: “Your legs are really heavy!”

The French fellow had a meltdown. “But it ees too fast! I am lost! I am lost!” The Canadian hysterically giggled [...Read More!]

Nov 302009
Eating Insects at the Sunday Market

Ben was only two days into his new life in Chiang Mai, and he was already eating bugs.

I met Ben and Mike in a restaurant the day after they’d left everything they’d known in Australia to move their internet marketing enterprise to Thailand.

They were joining their friend, Paul, who had come to Chaing Mai fourteen months ago and spread the word that the curry here is cheap, and the living good.

“Was [...Read More!]

Nov 292009
Why are Ants Eating my Toothpaste???

This is gross, but it’s been going on for far too long and I need answers: if you were an ant, WHY, in the name of all that is good and holy and pure, would you choose to eat my toothpaste??? It has no nutritional value! There is nothing in it for an ant-y digestive system! Leave the green goo alone and go find another hobby!

I was somewhere [...Read More!]

Nov 272009
The Results of the Level 1 Massage Exam...

When the director of your Thai massage school tells you that you have to walk two miles Friday morning to arrive in time for 8:30 am Tai Chi/Qi Gong in the far Southwestern park of Chiang Mai, you grumble profusely.

Once you’re stretching your arms high above your head in the fresh morning air, however, and once you hear the birds singing in the bright green palm trees, all is made clear.

And [...Read More!]