A Thailand Diary

A Thailand Diary is a lighter read than my flagship book, Thailand Take Two. It discusses Thai lifestyle and social culture. It is a more detailed work of 10 chapters and with 42,000 words. The diary, however, is a lighter read. With short entries for every day of the year, it still covers the important aspects of Thai lifestyle and social culture as Thailand Take Two.

Some readers have chosen to read both books in parallel. In reading the Diary, you can take a virtual look inside the everyday lives and experiences of the Thai people. It portrays a rich and sometimes humourous picture of Thai lifestyle and social culture.

All the entries are from real life and are true. Only the names have been changed to avoid any embarrassment. Inside its pages, the reader will meet bargirls and bankers Read about poor rice farmers and the rich élite. Observe the lives of entrepreneurs, government officers and members of the armed forces.

Who should read A Thailand Diary?

Who should read it? The traveller to Thailand, readers who want to learn about the Thais from the comfort of their armchairs, the expat who has made his home here, students studying on cross-cultural courses. How is it different? It “tells it as it is” and pulls no punches.

Thai society is explained through real life examples. A Thailand Diary reveals what really makes the Thai tick. With 365 entries, there is something for every reader. Sometimes humourous, sometimes more serious

Here are some snippets of the Diary Entries.

New Years Eve. “Countdown celebrations are taking place all over Thailand tonight. Crowds have gathered at the Centre World mall in Bangkok to begin the festivities. Lots of music and booze while the large clock counts down the minutes and seconds to midnight. Everyone is in a happy mood. “Earlier in the evening shoppers hunted for bargains in the stores. Sales and special discounted offers take place before the New Year in Thailand. Westerners abroad have to wait in line for the shops to open on the first day of January.

Banks and stores used to give out calendars or free gifts to loyal customers. Since the Covid lockdowns and the worsening economic situation in Thailand, stores rarely now do this. “My local hardware shop gave me a T-shirt every New Year’s Eve. It has the shop’s telephone number on the back but it’s great for wearing in the garden when weeding or planting.

“Gaw (Kaw) Pan gang traditionally hosts a full moon party on New Year’s Eve. We had a glimpse of the young enjoying themselves on this island on the southern tip of Thailand on my diary entry of 17 November. Tonight, it draws the largest crowds of the year. As you can see, the only Thais are those working in the bars and restaurants.

The Thai Language has few words.

“The English language is rich in vocabulary. Thai has fewer words. You understand the precise meaning from the context. Sawatdee kap, for example, can mean hello or goodbyeWhen you meet someone, it means hello; when you leave, it means goodbye.

“I wanted an electrical plug at the warehouse and was shown a socket. I did not know the Thai for “plug”. For the life of me, I could not explain what I wanted. Pushing three fingers into an imaginary hole to mimic a plug going into a socket was obviously amusing to the salesgirl. But, it didn’t get me very far. In another aisle, I saw what I wanted. I called her over. Seemed odd that plugs and sockets were not displayed in the same place. “This is what I want. I’ll take two.

What are they called in Thai?” “Plug.” We call them both “plug.” “There may be a specific word for socket. But, it is never used. Most Thais say plug. “I also needed some half-inch flexible hose to join some rigid tubes. I knew I was going to have trouble describing that to a sales assistant.

Gesturing with my hands again, I eventually got what I had visited the shop for. “What are they called in Thai?” “I don’t know. I don’t think there’s a special word for it.” “She came back with my change and said the owner had told her the word was tek. “An interesting afternoon.

It reminded me a little of the Ronnie Barker Four Candles sketch where there was amusing confusion in the shop with the words four candles being mistaken for fork handles.

Potholes in the Road.

“Surachai is fed up with the lack of action from the local authority in repairing the many potholes in the sois around his home. The roads are well used. The inconvenience is not just a personal one. Traffic gets slowed down. Care must constantly be taken when motorcyclists swerve out at the last minute to avoid a big hole in the road.

Rightly or wrongly, the rider would not be blamed. The motorist would pick up the tab for any damage or injury. In this country the person assumed to have more money than the poor motorcyclist pays.

“Directly and formally complaining wasn’t going to work; face must be maintained. After a night of heavy rainfall, Surachai sat on a chair next to one of the larger puddles and held his fishing rod over it. He was only there for one hour during which time he caused a lot of laughter and merriment from those passing along the soi.

Later that day a team of workers started filling in the potholes.

A Thai man "fishing" in a pothole.

You’ll notice Uniforms everywhere you go in Thailand. “Local and central government officers have uniforms. The formal dress uniform is white. Thais wear it on special occasions and at public events.  It is worn with decorations appropriate to your rank.

“A village headman (pooyaibaan), who everyone would know and recognise, would only wear his white outfit at important events. These dress uniforms with their epaulettes and rows of decoration ribbons look most impressive.

“They are worn of course to show rank, status and to impress. The pooyaibaan of this village promised to get me a white uniform. However, he added I had to be in Thailand for a further 100 years to qualify. Thai humour.

A Call to Action.

A facility to buy my books, directly from my website, is coming soon. 

Constructive and honest reviews help me to tailor my books to what the reader wants. If you make a review, after reading the book you buy, you will be able to buy a copy of any of my other titles at a whopping 70% discount. I hope you enjoy reading my titles and it would be great if you comment and leave a review. This enables me to tailor my books to what readers want.  

For a limited time, a section of A Thailand Diary will be available for you to download completely free. You may use Epub or pdf. You get the full content, but without the fancy cover. But hey, it’s free.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *