November 2005 Archives

Cool Weather

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2005_11_22.gifIt has been amazingly cool the last few days, relatively speaking, that is. In fact, I'd almost call my motorcycle ride to work this morning as "icy".

Famous Student

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As Update #2 to yesterday's post about the article from the NY Times entittled To Be Young and Hip in Bangkok, I should point out one quote in particular:

"A year ago, it was nothing but wedding shops, but now it's grown into a fashion extravaganza," says Joshua Phillips, a 23-year-old American with wild blond hair who runs the comprehensive shopping-and-night-life Web site BangkokRecorder.com. "Will it be a success? Yes. Because condos are ridiculously expensive, so Hi-So types" - high-society, that is - "are moving into the area. And where will they spend money?"

I meant to mention it yesterday, but only remembered today when I saw Mr. "Wild Blonde Hair" Phillips in my Math class this morning. He was very psyched that there was a link to his Bangkok Recorder website.

Pretty cool to be quoted in the NY Times. I wish they would quote me!

Bangkok's Creative Culture

I'm still super-busy these days with lots of extra work and lots of extra friends visiting Bangkok. Last night I had a few of them over for dinner at the restaurant downstairs and then a little party in my condo upstairs. Then we headed out to a few clubs near Chutuchak Market. A fun evening all in all, so no complaints here.

Since I don't have time to write much today, I just wanted to share an interesting article about Bangkok that I just read online. It starts off talking about my favorite breakfast place that I have written about before -- Au Bon Pain in Thong Lo's J Avenue.

To the untrained eye, the Au Bon Pain at J Avenue, a strip mall on Soi Thonglor in Bangkok, doesn't look like much. On a recent evening, a group of university students in jeans and studded belts were "studying" their textbooks and showing off their new cellphones. At another table, four office types were examining floor plans. A mother brought her children in for snacks. A young woman quietly smoked a cigarette.

It could have been any Au Bon Pain in any mini-mall in any city on the planet. But this was not just another fast-food franchise. This was, according to Krissanaphong Kiattisak, the epicenter of creativity in Bangkok.

The rest of the article, called Bangkok's revolution in creativity is an interesting read about the new youth culture that is appearing in Bangkok.

Update 4:15 PM: I think that the article I mentioned above was actually written for the NY Times. On the Times website, the article is called To Be Young and Hip in Bangkok and even includes a few pictures.

Government Censorship in Thailand

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My life the last few days has been hectic and tiring, but fun. I've had a great time hanging out with Larry last week and Barry this week. I'll try to write up something later to give the run down on what we've been doing, including taking part in the Loy Kratong Festival last night.

But the main reason for this post is to share some breaking news here in Thailand. 2Bangkok.com is reporting that the website of one of the Thai-language newspapers, The Manager, will be shut down by the Thai government tomorrow.

Now, this is the same Manager paper that supposedly openly criticizes the government from time to time (imagine an editorial staff with the freedom to print what they want!), and was part of a take-over bid by a good friend of the Prime Minster a month or so ago. Luckily though, the public rallied behind the newspaper and the take-over was thwarted.

And this is also Thailand, a place where over 30,000 websites are already banned. Most of these websites are related to porn or gambling, so perhaps the censorship is justified. But, as I have always said, it's a slippery road when one starts censoring things. Who's to say that the government might one day start censoring ligitamate media outlets?

Today in Thailand, it looks like that day might be tomorrow.

List of Visitors

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On Monday it was 35, Tuesday 34, then 33... 32... 31... now 30 more days left in my crazy overloaded end-of-the-semester workfest. I have a feeling I won't be able to make many posts here this month. There are not many interesting things going on in my life these days.

Then again, I just got an email from one friend from SF who is here in BKK on vacation. Another old acquaintance from my grad school days arrives on the 10th. Then three friends from San Francisco arrives in rapid order: Barry on the 15th, Manop on the 16th, and Francois on the 21st.

Whew! If any of these guys can drag me out of the house and away from my work, there might be some interesting stories to tell after all.

Photos from Laos

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I have posted about 30 pictures from my last trip to Laos. There are a few pictures from another Mekong sunset dinner in Vientiane, pictures from the small village of Muang Ngoi Neua on the Ou River, and pictures from the Loy Kratong festival in Luang Prabang.

As usual, they can be viewed in the following:

Pictures of Luang Prabang Photo Album

Pictures of Vientiane Photo Album.

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This page is an archive of entries from November 2005 listed from newest to oldest.

October 2005 is the previous archive.

December 2005 is the next archive.

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