THE PAVILIONS PHUKET BRITISH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, PHUKET Kata Rocks
Login | Create Account Poll Currency Weather Facebook Youtube Search

Book: Becoming a Geek in Thailand, book released by former lifestyle editor of The Phuket News

Former lifestyle editor of The Phuket News, Jody Houton, has released a new book about the inexplicable intricacies of the Kingdom.

Saturday 19 December 2015, 03:00PM


Kanin Srimaneekulroj

As anyone who has spent any significant measure of time in Thailand can testify, the country has a mishmash of seemingly conflicting values and cultures that, somehow, come together to form a unique, complex and – more often than not – baffling way of life that is simultaneously confusing and ruthlessly charming.

Foreigners the world over have had to deal with the Land of Smiles’ swindling taxidrivers, double pricing, police corruption and debilitating traffic conditions, and yet, they still yearn to come back and experience everything the Kingdom has to offer. Surely it can’t just be the beautiful beaches, can it?

To get to the bottom of the country’s contrasting allure, A Geek In Thailand– written by long-time expatriate Jody Houton – dives into the nitty-gritty of Thailand’s various facets, from its history and cultural heritage to its pop music and film culture to provide readers with a refreshingly objective look at the various quirks and intricacies that run between Thailand’s sois and mega malls.

Filled with incredibly insightful commentary from the writer himself, as well as numerous interviews with locals from many walks of life, A Geek In Thailandshould be considered required reading for anyone looking to understand the various eccentricities that make Thailand the special destination it is.

Whether it be discussing Thai people’s obsession with unorthodox whitening practices (and body-parts) or the melodramatic lakornthat populate the Thai TV wavelengths, A Geek In Thailanddoes so in a refreshingly honest view that neither judges nor belittles the arguably questionable practices that are the norm in Thai culture.

Laguna Golf Phuket

Instead, Houton deftly draws the underlying meanings and reasons for all of these outwardly strange behaviours to paint a very understanding picture of Thailand. Ever wondered why we can keep smiling anytime anywhere, no matter how tense the situation? I’ll give you a hint: it’s not because we’re especially happy or that we don’t know what you’re saying. Sometimes, the Thai smile can hold a much, much less benign meaning than you think.

Alas, the meagre word limit for this review can’t possibly cover all the many dimensions of Thailand’s culture, art, history and general way of life that is covered in this book. According to our young Canadian intern, “this book should be given out at airports for foreigners visiting Thailand”.

As a Thai man who has had to explain my own country’s many, many cultural oddities to my foreign friends, I can’t help but be inclined to agree. Whether you’re just a tourist visiting the Kingdom on a holiday, or a potential expatriate looking to make a living in the Land of Smiles, be sure to pick up A Geek In Thailand. It’s not only one of the most in-depth guidebooks you’ll find on the country, but also an incredibly insightful glimpse into the cogs that run this modern-yet-traditional, progressive-yetconservative nation.

A Geek in Thailand By Jody Houton ISBN: 978-0-8048-4448-2 

Available at Asia Books, Kinokuniya: B625

For more information visit the books section of bangkokpost.com/lifestyle/

 

 

Comment on this story

* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.

Comments Here:
Comments Left:
# Characters
Username:
Password:
E-mail:
Security:

Be the first to comment.

Have a news tip-off? Click here

 

Phuket community
New Zealand mosque attack suspect charged with murder

3) Yes, we all know that Bryant was convicted. Facts ? It is still early days & a lot more inves...(Read More)


New Zealand mosque attack suspect charged with murder

1) Mental Condition as per Section 32 of the Mental Health Act "cognitive impairment"--an...(Read More)


Woman killed by sleeping pickup driver

So many crashes, injuries and deaths for such a tiny island, it's like russian roulette out ther...(Read More)


New Zealand mosque attack suspect charged with murder

Ok, ok, ok, no facts that the gun man had a 'mental' condition??? So, normal to kill 50 peo...(Read More)


Polish hotel owner charged after threatening staff with gun

A polish man with a tourist visa, stays in another hotel, married with thai lady, owns a hotel? Thre...(Read More)


New Zealand mosque attack suspect charged with murder

The posts don't make any sense. There are no facts which suggest the gunman had a "mental c...(Read More)


Power outage to leave Cherng Talay, Kamala, Srisoonthorn without water

Inventive! Using many power outage to block people having water supply during hot days. Covering th...(Read More)


Tourism Authority of Thailand expects 2.3mn visitors for Songkran

Idea! TAT should internationally inform tourists to bring their own water for Songkran celebration,...(Read More)


Woman, 26, crushed by water truck on Kata Hill

Police shows incompetence. How hard is it to find out which hotels in that area order a watertanker...(Read More)


Premchai jailed for 16 months, not guilty of black leopard charge

Every thai has the right to appeal. Right. Has every thai the financial means to appeal with a goo...(Read More)