EppsNet Archive: Thailand

Killer Elephants: Another Reason I Prefer to Just Stay Home

7 Feb 2016 /

It occurs to me that elephants are wild animals, not supposed to be ridden, and should just be left alone, although my wife, who is from Thailand, says that people have been riding elephants there since 1800-something and that the victim must have been doing something weird to wind up on the business end of a tusk.

Thai Elephant

Throwback Cousin Photos

14 Nov 2015 /

My wife found a photo this weekend of our son and his cousin Kao. Casey was 5 years old in this photo and Kao was 11. She lives in Thailand but was visiting us in La Verne.

I don’t remember this photo. I like it because I don’t remember the overall tenor of Kao’s visit being this pleasant.

Casey had never had to share his mom’s attention and he wasn’t happy about it, especially since she talked with Kao in a foreign language that he didn’t understand.


Here’s what they look like now (Kao on the left, another cousin, Tammy, on the right):


Homicidal Cab Drivers: Another Reason I Prefer to Just Stay Home

8 Jul 2013 /

Anatomy is Destiny

19 Jul 2009 /

My wife’s explaining to our boy how she managed to pass a driving test and get a license without ever taking a driving lesson:

“I drove in Thailand and when I came over here I just took the test. I’m pretty charming. People like happy, smiling people. And when I was young, I was cute. The examiner just said, ‘okayokayokay.’ I hate to say it, but when you’re good looking, you get the benefit.”

David Carradine, 1936–2009

5 Jun 2009 /
David Carradine

Alas, poor Carradine! I knew him, Horatio. A couple of years ago I was walking through the international terminal at LAX, picking up my family on a flight from Bangkok, when I heard a voice behind me: “This is David Carradine.”

I turned and it was Carradine, talking on a cell phone! A fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy!

The rest is silence . . .

I Went Deaf on Christmas Eve

24 Dec 2008 /

I. At home

I tell my son I’m going to the urgent care walk-in clinic.

“What for?” he asks.

“I want to find out why I’ve gone deaf in my left ear.”

“You’ve got an ear infection,” he says. “I had one when I came back from Thailand. I was also coughing 24/7 so I had to take this insane cough syrup and ear infection pills.”

“I’m not coughing 24/7. I’ve got a lot of congestion though.”

“You’ll just get the ear infection pills then.”

“When you took them, could you feel your ear canal cracking open? Man, that’s the best! It’s almost worth it to have a clogged passage just to feel it cracking open again.”

“Yeah, but it takes a couple of days.”

II. At the doctor’s office

The nurse takes my blood pressure. “100 over 60,” she says.


“Is that good?” I ask. (I already know it’s good . . . I just want to hear her acknowledge that, even though I’m much older than she is, I’m in excellent physical condition and could undoubtedly satisfy her sexually.)

“Yes. Now I’m going to take your pulse.” She takes it and writes it down on the chart.

“What was it?” I ask.


“Is that good?”

“Yes. The doctor will be right in.”

The doctor looks in my ear and tells me I have an ear infection. She gives me a prescription for antibiotics and recommends Sudafed — “the kind you have to ask for” — for the congestion.

III. At the Pharmacy

I pick up my prescription and I ask the pharmacist for Sudafed.

“What kind?” he asks.

“The kind you have to ask for.”

(A couple of years ago, the original Sudafed, and all other products containing pseudoephedrine (PSE), was moved “behind the counter” by federal legislation because PSE can be used to produce methamphetamine, also known as crystal meth. The over-the-counter version of Sudafed is now called Sudafed PE and contains phenylephrine instead of PSE.)

So the pharmacist brings the Sudafed, asks for a photo ID, and says, “You have to initial the form there to indicate that you’re not going to resell it.”

“Really? How much do you think I could get for it?”

“Kids resell them at clubs for 3 to 10 times market value.”

“Wow. That really highlights my lack of initiative. I’m just hoping it makes the inside of my head feel less like a toasted marshmallow.”

Family Reunion

10 Jul 2008 /

My family is back from Thailand . . .

At 6:30 this morning, I’m awakened by the dog pawing on my bedroom door. I get up to see what’s going on and find my son — who is never up at 6:30 in the morning but is still operating on Thailand time — playing a video game in the family room.

Encyclopedia Brown, Boy Detective

“Rise and shine, parental!” he says. “Shouldn’t you be getting ready for work?”

“I was up till 1 a.m. getting you home from the airport so I was planning to sleep until 7.”

Meanwhile, the dog is trying to get someone’s attention by jumping around next to his food bowl.

“Why is he jumping around like that?” I ask.

“I don’t know,” the boy says.

“Has he eaten?”


“Mystery solved, Encyclopedia Brown. I’m going back to bed.”


A few minutes later, the boy inexplicably shows up in my room.

“Mom,” he says, “when the clothes are done in the washer, do you just put them in the dryer?”

“Did I mention I wanted to sleep till 7?” I ask.

“Yes,” she says. “Don’t set it on High though. Set it on Normal.”

A minute later, he’s back.

“There is no Normal,” he says.

“You’re telling me,” I say.

My Father-In-Law Died Today

25 Jun 2008 /

My father-in-law died today. Or, maybe, tomorrow; I can’t be sure because of the time difference.

He’d been sick . . . my wife was planning to visit him one last time this summer, but it was always one more week, too much work to finish, and finally he couldn’t wait any more.

I cried a little when she told me, even though he lived in a far-off country and I never met him, because all of a sudden she seemed like a lost little girl, and I wished I could do something for her and I couldn’t, and for all the other things I’ve wished I could do for her and I couldn’t . . .

The Next Best Thing to Being There

11 Jan 2007 /

My wife is talking about the possibility of a Christmastime family trip to Thailand. She’s from Thailand, lived there through college, and still has relatives there.

I’ve never been to Thailand — I hate to travel, for one thing — but our son has been over there with her on a few occasions.

Here’s his reaction, punctuated with frantic screaming:

“AHHHHH! It’s people who can’t speak English in 170-degree heat!”

I don’t think this boy has a future as a travel agent.

“They haven’t seen you in a long time,” my wife tells him.

“Can’t we do a video conference?”

The Poster Boy for Self-Aggrandizement

28 Sep 2006 /
Tom Peters

Sweet Jesus, I followed a link to another Tom Peters e-paper this afternoon: The “PSF” is Everything (or: Making the Professional Service Firm a “Lovemark” in an Age of “Managed Asset Reflation”)

After reading the title alone, I’d already overdosed on the trademark Peters abbreviations, coinages, scare quotes and extraneous punctuation. BUT . . . I have to admit I was curious about Managed Asset Reflation. What is that?

Here’s how Peters introduces the term in his Tourette’s-inspired style:

Hence the story that I read on 4 March 2004: Thailand’s Prime Minister, a businessman, Thaksin Shinawatra, on the day before had just opened “Bangkok Fashion City.” It’s a monster facility that aims to help make Thailand “cool” … to create Thai … LEADERSHIP IN FASHION! (Fashion = Cool = Value Added.) Economists have a way of sterilizing everything. And they managed to sterilize this one, too. The PM’s new economic approach (dubbed
“Thaksinomics,” after “Reaganomics”) amounted to what the local economists dubbed … “MANAGED ASSET REFLATION.”

Peters’ take on managed asset reflation?

(SCS.) (Seriously Cool Shit.)

To give you an idea of how out of touch Peters is with his surroundings: Thaksin took political corruption to new levels even by Thai standards, and last week was ousted in a military coup, thus bringing to an end the Seriously Cool Shit of Thaksinomics.

What the paper is really about, though, is what all of Peters’ work is about: Tom Peters.

He uses the word “I” 386 times, “me” 93 times, “my” 120 times, the phrase “Tom Peters” 11 times, and the neologism “Tom-message” once.

The poster boy for self-aggrandizement.

Tsunamis: Another Reason I Just Stay Home

29 Dec 2004 /

From Reuters:

PHUKET, Thailand — William Robins vowed Monday to change his life forever after the professional golfer from California and his new bride, Amanda, narrowly escaped death in the grip of a tsunami.

The newlyweds were honeymooning on Phi Phi island — made famous by the film “The Beach” starring Leonardo DiCaprio — when a giant tsunami wave slammed into it Sunday.

Continue reading Tsunamis: Another Reason I Just Stay Home

Baby Talk

12 Sep 2002 /

One of my wife’s friends in Thailand has been trying for years to have a baby and finally did. Her typing and English are not so good, but her email I thought was quite affecting:

My girl, JOOK-KRU,is so young, so I want to spend most time for her. I had a little trouble in first 5 months pregnancy. Now I feel very good, I think big trouble in my life was gone. As you know We see docter for 8 years continuiously and spend a lot of money for the problom. We get her by IVF technique. She is healty , try to climb to upatairs, always make loud noise. I think she can call ‘ mae’ or ‘mama’ or ‘papa’ soon.

“Mae” means “Mom” in the Thai language. “Jook-Kru” means “little bird.”