From Being A Fat Westerner In Thailand To Why We Have A Right To Rant About Bangkok

Hey there, Bangkok! A very happy Sunday to you.

This week, we’ve been hit with the frankly very unsurprising news that there are now over 10,000 7-Eleven stores in the Land of Smiles. Who’d have thought it?!

Other stories tickling the pickle of many a Thailand expat is the news of two new visas: a 10-year retirement visa for those over 50 with 3 million baht in the bank, and a 4-year ‘professional’ visa for highly skilled workers. The latter requires no work permit nor 90 day reports… get in line!

Here’s what else has been entertaining and enraging Bangkok this week…

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Mother films herself threatening to hang baby after husband ignores phone calls

Some pretty harrowing images here from a video filmed by 28-year old Naruemon Jampasert, who filmed a video of herself threatening to hang her one-year old son after her husband ignored her phone calls. She sent the video to her husband, who was apparently covering a friend’s work shift, who then sent it to his mother, who then posted it on Facebook.

Apparently, Naruemon had called her husband at least 40 times as he was meant to come home from work to take her shopping. In a press conference after the incident, she said that she didn’t intend to hurt her baby and was thinking about killing herself in that moment. No charges were filed and the incident was dismissed as a family matter.

Revealed: Brit deaths in Thailand by age & circumstance

An interesting round-up here of the deaths of British citizens in Thailand between 2014 and 2016, categorized by age and circumstances. The data was released under a Freedom of Information Act request. One thing that does stand out is the stupendous number of ‘unknown’ circumstances of death.

New law rewards people who report public misdeeds with half the fine

A new law passed this week will see the authorities reward members of the public who provide them with clear images of people committing misdeeds that violate the Cleanliness and Order Regulations of 2017. The maximum fine for such incidents is 5,000 baht and those eligible must apply for rewards between 60 days of reporting the incident.


Missing special occasions: the joy of being an expat

An on-the-nose post here on the Ajarn blog about one of the sure things to make us homesick: missing special occasions back ‘home’. The special occasion, in this case, is an impressive 85th birthday, but it could be anything really — weddings, funerals, Christmas… And while technology definitely makes keeping in touch easier, it’s never quite the same as being there.

The Vogue guide to Isaan

When we think of fashion bible Vogue, we don’t often think of Thailand’s Isaan region at the same time. And yet, here we are, the Vogue guide to Isaan, which they describe as ‘rural Thailand at its best: farmland meets sleepy villages’. We assume they skipped out on the cities there. Too urban. Nevertheless, this a good, stylish guide to the region that will serve as a great entry point for curious tourists.

Forum Threads

What to expect as a fat person in Thailand

A good Reddit thread here on what would-be Thailand expats should be prepared for if they’re looking to settle as a fat person here. And we’re not just talking moderately overweight; according to the OP, he’s more in the ‘circus fat’ territory. Lots of useful and interesting responses, with many people noting that although the poster should prepare himself for lots of joking and addressing of his fatness, it’s very unlikely that there will ever be any malice behind the jokes.

Why we have a right to rant about Thailand

A curious Thaivisa thread where the poster is — get this — complaining that other people don’t like it when he complains about Thailand. He claims that it’s not Thailand bashing to complain about certain aspects of life in the Land of Smiles, especially if you are fair, informed and have a valid point.

And, yes, he’s probably right. There’s nothing wrong with thinking critically about the country you’re living in, and even critical discussion can have its place in certain circumstances. But the problem is, many expats who complain about Thailand aren’t fair, informed or have a valid point. They sound off about anything and everything that occurs to them on their bar stool and complain to others similar to them in a bit to validate their arguments.

While the original poster says that he couldn’t care less if someone complained about his home country, most Brits would probably be skeptical of an immigrant to their shores who spent their life complaining about everything to do with the UK, despite choosing to move and stay there. Why would it be any different for Thailand and the Thais?




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And that’s been The Week On Sukhumvit — see you next time!


Featured image is by Mike Behnken (CC BY-ND 2.0 licence)



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