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Christopher G. Moore on Bangkok, Creativity & Storytelling [Season 3, Episode 43]

Greg interviews author and noted man-about-town Christopher G. Moore, who returns to the show after appearing in Episode 44 of Season 1. In a wide ranging and philosophical discussion, Greg and Christopher dive into all the bells, whistles, and otherwise that come up in the complicated, messy, and very rewarding journey to putting down a story on paper and making it relatable, exciting, and new. They discuss the creative process, the need for writers to create empathy in their characters,...


The Good, the Bad & the Embarrassing: Thai Maid Stories [Season 3, Episode 42]

In this episode, Greg and Ed discuss a very common issue among expats: how to find a good maid. While very common here, finding a maid is one of the most talked-about tasks when it comes to domestic logistics. The boys first frame the issue by pointing out that maids are much more common in Thailand than in the West and that many middle class people in Bangkok employ domestic help. Greg relates the awkwardness he felt while sitting around in his apartment while his maid cleaned because as a...


Yoga, Spirituality, and Meditation in Thailand with Marisa Cranfill [Season 3, Episode 41]

Ed welcomes back Marisa Cranfill, who was a guest on episode 61 of season 1, where she educated Greg and Tony with her deep knowledge on Thai spirit houses. This time Marisa - a long-time Bangkok resident and noted expert in various styles of yoga and meditation - tells her story of studying abroad in China for university and finding the traditional Chinese practice of ‘qigong’ or life energy mastery, which gave her a whole new perspective on life. Since then, she has spent her time between...


MAQE COO Drew Kamthong Talks Tech, Design & Management in Bangkok [Season 3, Episode 40]

This week Greg interviews Drew Kamthong of MAQE, a digital consultancy that started as a web design firm that has transformed into a full blown consulting agency for a myriad of digital solutions. Drew talks about some of the challenges companies face in Thailand, particularly when they implement modern management techniques such as Scrum and a workplace culture that rewards full transparency and merit-based promotions. Drew explains MAQE’s unique system of ‘guilds and crews’ to train and...


Merry Christmas from the 'Kok! [Season 3, Episode 39]

It’s the annual Bangkok Podcast Christmas Blowout, with free gifts to all of our listeners! Well, that’s a complete lie, actually. But it IS Christmas, which means the boys feel compelled to discuss what it’s like to spend Christmas in Bangkok. From newbies experiencing their first working yuletide, to the sticky weather when it should be a winter wonderland, to most Thais shrugging their shoulders at the whole thing, Greg and Ed discuss how their own Christmas habits have evolved over the...


The Expat Hassle of Keeping Old Friendships Alive [Season 3, Episode 38]

This week the guys address a common concern of long term expats: how best to keep in touch with family and friends back home. That is...if you want to. We’re lucky that modern technology such as Facebook and Skype make it technologically easy to keep in touch, but the simple fact of being 5,000 miles away makes it impossible to keep track of the minutiae (and sometimes even the broad strokes) of people’s lives. Both Greg and Ed admit that some triage is required; difficult choices must be...


Community, Philanthropy, and Condoms with Mechai Varivaidya - Part Two [Season 3, Episode 37]

In Thailand, there are plenty of household names, but not many of them bring a smile and a twinkle to the eye the way that “Mechai” does. If you’re unfamiliar with Mechai Varivaidya, you’re missing out. Known as Mr. Condom, Mechai’s career began in the 1970s when he became famous for traveling around the country giving out condoms - a truly unconventional (even controversial) thing to do at the time. His tireless promotion of condoms, family planning, and community health have made him a...


Community, Philanthropy, and Condoms with Mechai Varivaidya - Part One [Season 3, Episode 36]

In Thailand, there are plenty of household names, but not many of them bring a smile and a twinkle to the eye the way that “Mechai” does. If you’re unfamiliar with Mechai Varivaidya, you’re missing out. Known as Mr. Condom, Mechai’s career began in the 1970s when he became famous for traveling around the country giving out condoms - a truly unconventional (even controversial) thing to do at the time. His tireless promotion of condoms, family planning, and community health have made him a...


Bangkok History Highlight: The Blue Diamond Affair [Season 3, Episode 35]

Continuing our series on interesting episodes in Thai history, this episode focuses on the infamous Blue Diamond Affair, It all started when a Thai gardener named Kriangkrai Techamon, who was working in Saudi Arabia, decided to make off with $20 million worth of gems and jewelry belonging to a Saudi royal. Although the thief was caught shortly after his return to Thailand, he had already sold much of the loot, including the famed 50 karat ‘Blue Diamond.’ No problem - the gems were returned...


Insight Into Thailand's Burmese Refugees [Season 3, Episode 34]

Anyone familiar with Southeast Asia knows how complicated the issue of refugees is. Thailand, as the wealthiest country in the region, plays an important role in this. To gain some insight into things, Ed interviews Ploy Singthainiyom, an expert on refugees in Thailand. Ploy explains that she has worked in Bangkok, northern Thailand, and the United States on various refugee issues, focusing on Burmese refugees from the Karen minority who have fled into Thailand and live in camps near the...


Nov 16 Meetup

Hey guys, Greg here. I know this will only be of interest to some of you, but a few listeners pointed out that on the most recent show about our favorite farang food joints in Bangok, we said the upcoming meetup was on the 10th of November. Well, yes we did say that, but were VERY WRONG! The meetup is actually on Friday, 16th November at Smalls. You can find all the details on our Facebook page. Sorry about this short little podcastlet, but the next regular episode won't drop until after...


Our Favorite Farang Food Joints in Bangkok [Season 3, Episode 33]

This week is a special on-location show at a Pizza Company restaurant in a highly secret, undisclosed location (to ensure the BP hosts are not mobbed by adoring fans), where Greg and Ed kick things off by daring to try the new ‘durian pizza.’ Alas, as anyone who listened to last week’s bonus show might know, neither Ed nor Greg are huge durian fans, so - what’s the verdict? You’ll have to listen to find out. The hosts then discuss the best places (in their not-so-humble opinions) to eat...


A Look at Bangkok's Contemporary Art Scene [Season 3, Episode 32]

To get some insight into Bangkok’s art scene, Greg interviews Nim Niyomsin, an independent art curator. She gives her views on the ups and downs of being an artist in a culture that is widely known as extremely creative, but which lacks the support and infrastructure other countries take for granted. For those not in the know, getting insight into the creative culture of Bangkok might seem difficult, but Nim says it’s really just a matter of putting a bit of research into it, and hitting...


Neighborhood Focus: Victory Monument [Season 3, Episode 31]

The Victory Monument area of Bangkok is unique in that it combines the old - the monument itself is of a Thai victory against the French in WWII - and the new - the skytrain and multiple modern condo developments. Click here to see a great blog by Greg where you can compare old and new photos of the same area - including the Victory Monument, taken in 1946. Greg uses the compass to circle around Victory Monument, describing the various areas that surround the chaotic transport hub. One...


Expat Insights: Owning a Restaurant in Bangkok [Season 3, Episode 30]

A common dream for many expats in Thailand is to open their own bar or restaurant. Ed interviews Matthew Fischer, a local restaurateur and bar owner, who has successfully started two bars in Bangkok - Fatty’s on Rama IX, and the Fat Tap off of Ekkamai. Matthew recounts the trials and tribulations that took Fatty’s from a mere whisper of an idea to a six-year Bangkok institution. But it certainly ain’t for everyone - Matthew’s tale is a cautionary one. Long hours in the kitchen, the stress...


Thai Ghost Stories: Myth and Terror [Season 3, Episode 29]

This week’s subject is the fascinating mythology of Thai ghosts, which, as anyone who has spent any time here knows, are a pretty big deal in Thai culture. In the west, ghosts and the supernatural are met with skepticism by most, so it’s easy to be dismissive. But Ed puts things in perspective by saying that Thailand’s ghost stories work better if you think of them like the mythology of Greek gods - huge, varied, and very creative. As someone who teaches a critical thinking class, Ed...


Gay Rights in Thailand [Season 3, Episode 28]

Ed interviews Thanita ‘Ninar’ Wongprasert, a former UN employee and long time activist in the LGBTQI community in Thailand. Ninar talks about what it’s like to be gay in Thailand in general and points out that every individual’s experience is different. Ed and Ninar then discuss whether Thailand is liberal or conservative - and why such black & white classifications might be doing the pontificator and country a disservice. And speaking of disservice - given Thailand’s non-confrontational...


Bangkok History Highlight: Phlaek Phibunsongkram [Season 3, Episode 27]

Greg and Ed try something new with the first in a series of episodes that look at interesting events in Bangkok’s history. For this one, they delve into one of Thailand’s most interesting personalities - Phlaek Phibunsongkram. Phlaek, or simply Phibun, was a military man who gained prominence as a member of the group that organized the 1932 coup that ended absolute monarchy in Thailand. Phibun was enamored with the fascist leaders of Europe and crafted a cult of personality around himself...


Insight into Bangkok’s Mobile Street Vendors [Season 3, Episode 26]

Greg interviews Kisnaphol “Keng” Wattanawanyoo, an expert in the informal aspects of urban life, and in the case of Bangkok, the plethora of mobile street vendors. While Bangkok is in a rush to modernize and clean up its streets, the mobile vendor subculture is alive and well - but for how long? Greg and Keng discuss where these folks come from, where they buy their merch, and explains the informal network they use to keep each other up to date, train new recruits, and mark their territory....


Permanent Residency in Thailand: Worth It? [Season 3, Episode 25]

Greg and Ed jump into the tricky issue of whether it is worth it for expats to gain permanent residency status in Thailand, also known as PR. It’s a good topic, because while Greg is still a stateless savage, Ed actually does have PR. So what is PR? Essentially, it’s a permanent visa that obviates the need to do border runs or 90 day reporting. But significantly, Thai PR does not include the right to work or the right to own property; plus, it can be expensive, at 195,000 baht for the those...