My name is Chris. I’m an American citizen who was born in 1970 and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. Since October 2005 I have been a resident of Bangkok, Thailand (which I sometimes refer to using its Thai name, Krungthep) where I live with my husband Tawn.
I started blogging a few months before moving here. Its initial (and continued) purpose was to provide my family and friends an easy way to keep tabs on what I’m up to and the experiences I have as an expatriate. A lot of what I write is about that experience.
I’ve written about my thoughts about possibly moving back. I’ve written about what it’s like to live in Thailand. I studied Thai during the first six years after moving here and now read, write, speak and even sometimes understand the language to some degree of proficiency. Living abroad has a lot of challenges. For example, learning to cross the street without getting killed! Other challenges have included making friends in a strange land and dealing with fellow countrymen whose views on being an American rubbed me the wrong way.
Living here has provided so many wonderful adventures. I’ve done a lot of bicycling to explore the city and surrounding areas, resulting in some interesting and unexpected misadventures. For more than a year, I volunteered as an English teacher once a week at a tiny country schoolhouse ninety minutes outside Krungthep. I discovered the schoolhouse on one of my bike rides, had a great time teaching there, and concluded the assignment when the director of the school retired. They even included me in their Teachers’ Day ceremonies, which was a great honor.
My students at Bangkhonthiinai School in Samut Songkhram province.
Along the way, we celebrated the 60th anniversary of His Majesty the King’s reign (the longest reigning current monarch in the world, by the way!). We had a coup in 2006. And then we had another coup in 2014. And more protests than I care to remember.
My parents and some other family members came to visit in 2006. My sister and brother-in-law visited in 2012. And then the entire family came to celebrate my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary in 2014. Tawn and I bought and remodeled a condo. We then bought the adjacent unit. And we hosted a lovely poolside Thanksgiving dinner.
Of all the writing I’ve done about Thailand, though, the one that has received the most views was one I wrote about the debate over teenage castration, a practice common in young Thai men who feel that they are transsexuals. For some reason, there are a lot of people who Google “teenage castration” and it seems my entry is pretty high up in the results.
As I mentioned, I live with my husband Tawn. We were married in August 2009 in the United States although we’ve been together since early 2000. The story about how we met is a sweet one, deserving of a movie screenplay. After we first met, Tawn lived and studied for his master’s degree in San Francisco. Now that I’ve been here in Thailand for since late 2005, I’ve spent much more time living here than Tawn spent living in the US!
When I first started this blog in 2005, being openly gay was still a bit of a fuss. Nowadays, it seems that my being gay is a matter of fact and not much more. For example, when we wanted to get married in California but couldn’t because 52% of the voters thought we shouldn’t have that legal right. Thanks to rulings in mid-2013 by the United States Supreme Court, that issue is somewhat moot although Thailand still does not recognize same-sex unions.
But this blog isn’t all about love and marriage and Thailand and politics. The real undercurrent of this blog is food. I’m a foodie. Not only do I enjoy eating, I love to cook. I particularly enjoy trying foods I’ve never made before, just to see if I can. Bagels, French macarons, pasta, baking bread – I’ll try cooking or baking anything just to see if I can.
In addition to food, I love travel and enjoy meeting new people. I’ve had the chance to meet several other bloggers both in their hometowns and here in Thailand. Tawn and I have been fortunate (not having children makes it easier…) to be able to travel a lot. We had a fun trip to Japan to see the cherry blossoms in 2009, a trip to Saigon in 2006 with a dear school friend, a trip to Seoul the winter I arrived in Krungthep, a honeymoon in New York City, an anniversary trip to Hong Kong, and a trip to Greece with my parents and niece, just to name a few destinations.
So that’s me in a nutshell. There’s so much more I could write and so much more I’ve already written. But I’m glad we’ve had a chance to meet and I hope you’ll enjoy reading my blog.
Based on a post that originally appeared here.