Labor Day in Thailand

This is another three-day weekend in Thailand with today being Labor Day.  The Thai government informed the civil servants that they would not be getting today off work as they are not laborers.  That was either intended as a compliment in a very class status-conscious society, or as an exacting commentary on the efficiency of the Kingdom’s bureaucracy.

Somehow I’ve found the time to go to yoga twice this weekend.  This is a good thing and since I have two weeks off school beginning on the 5th I’ll make use of the 30-day unlimited pass I purchased from the yoga studio.  Lots of yoga makes for good exercise. 

Plus, I’m very pleased to publicly announce, this exercise combined with sensible (Thai style) eating continues to deliver some nice results.  Saturday morning I stepped on the bathroom scale and it reported that I’m at 205 pounds (93 kg).  When I moved here at the end of October 2005 I was at about 220 pounds (100 kg) and as recently as two years ago I was around 240 pounds (109 kg).  Over the same period my cholesterol count has dropped from twice normal risk to half normal risk and my blood pressure has returned from borderline to normal.

So among the weekend’s errands was a trip to the alterations shop at Central department store.  Three pairs of khakis and three pairs of dress slacks were taken in, both at the waist as well as a general tapering of the legs.  Buying relaxed fit was useful when my weight was higher, but looks downright clownish in a city where nearly skin-tight pants on skinny people is the norm.

I also walked to ProBike, the largest local bicycle and accessories shop, to see what it would take to get back on the road.  About US$ 500 for a good bike, replacement tubes, car bicycle rack, etc.  But I also need to find some local people to ride with.  The one brochure the store had for Thailand Cycling Club is all in Thai but has one cryptic line in English: “For English call Bob” with a local number.  So one of these days soon I’ll call Bob.


One of the wonders of the internet, besides its ability to help people stay in touch over thousands of miles, is its ability to connect people with others who share their opinions, tastes, or experiences.

Case in point: I’ve received yet another unsolicited email through my writings on  This one is from Ken, a United employee from Chicago who is planning on moving to Thailand to live with his Thai partner of three years.  He writes to ask some questions and request some advice about moving to Thailand as an expat.

So I’m sitting down this morning with a blank sheet of paper and will try to capture the most critical information.  The timing is quite good: today is actually my six-month anniversary of living in Thailand.  Then there were the two weeks back for the holidays and another month for the film festival, but those don’t count against my time here, do they?


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