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Friday, January 14th, 2011

stray dogs in ThailandThais are predominantly Buddhist. There are tiny minorities of Christians and Muslims and 3 or 4 Jews. Buddhism is part of the Thai culture.

So naturally Thais do not kill as much as people in most parts of the world. Sure, killing animals to eat happens as much here as anywhere. But unnecessary killing is unusual. This sounds great, but leads to problems that perplex Westerners.

Stray dogs is the issue that comes immediately to mind. Step out of a car on some streets and you’ll see a few stray dogs eyeing you right away, Thais have become accustomed to this, but it’s just plain scary for farang. Obviously an aggressive effort to significantly reduce the populations of stray dogs and cats is culturally unappealing, even if they become a blatant hazard.

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To tear the nation apart?

Friday, April 23rd, 2010

I’m reminded of an ancient Jewish story. Two women came before the wise King Solomon both claiming a disputed baby as their own. Solomon finally announced his verdict – he would cut the baby in half and award one half to each alleged mother.

One woman cried out, “No you cannot do this! Give the baby to her!” The other woman said nothing. King Solomon promptly gave the infant to the woman who was so distraught, and scolded the other. “No mother could tolerate allowing her offspring to be cut in half.”

The parallel is clear, na? Thaksin, you cannot love Thailand and be willing to let the power struggle continue. No leader that cared more for their country than they cared about gaining power would allow their country to be torn in half.

Thai traveling

Thursday, September 11th, 2008

Traveling in Bangkok is great. Not if you’re driving a big vehicle of course, but if you need to get around the city you have a world-class infrastructure to take advantage of. The tickets for BTS (elevated “skytrain”) and MRT (subway system) are relatively cheap, and the service is reliable and convenient. The upcoming new lines represent the city’s ongoing commitment to providing mass transit to the population, and shows a deep understanding of the importance of choosing and executing great public works projects.

Traveling to Thailand from the United States is another matter altogether. Tickets are currently ranging from about $1500 – $2000 US. And there are less choices available for flights, as airlines cut back on every possible flight that’s not sufficiently oversold. The direct flight from New York to Bangkok that I was looking forward to taking has been discontinued too. It’s not a situation conducive to tourism.

ready for the next thing

Friday, August 29th, 2008

Let’s hope the current political unrest in BKK ends soon. Not taking sides, but let’s face it – planning, strategy, vision never happen when short-term flareups demand maximum attention.

There’s a lot of work to do to make the Thai technology policy framework what it should be to foster tech job growth and a stable communications infrastructure that the business community needs.

First post – welcome!

Friday, August 15th, 2008

Welcome to ฝรั่ง.com (farang)

I’m going to offer my perspective on all things Thai on this blog. I am an American who visits Thailand frequently and has interests in Thailand. But my perspective is that of a foreigner, so it may not match the view of native Thai people.

In particular I’m interested in issues around technologies, especially computer technologies. Technology policy in Thailand is at a critical point in my opinion, as issues have been festering, times are changing, neighboring countries are getting increasingly competitive, etc.  So this is the goal I have for this blog. But in the past I’ve started blogs and they turn into something different! We’ll see what happens here….