The Strategic Retreat


Scams in Thailand

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My previous posting was on Red Fanta at Thai shrines, in which I mentioned asking many people about the why of the red soda. The reason I frequently asked people this question was because people tried to trick, cheat, con, manipulate and exploit me so often in Thailand that I learned to enjoy messing with the people who messed with me. Thailand is the land of smiles, smiles which often disguise a second set of sharpened beat colored fangs. I’m sure many Thais are fantastic people, but… Read the rest

Red Fanta at Thai Shrines

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red fanta hat yai

The most common question I asked in Thailand was, “What’s with the Red Fanta?” Which probably seems like a weird question so I’ll explain myself.

There are a lot of shrines in Thailand, with the most common being Spirit Houses. When land is cleared and buildings are put up, Spirit Houses are erected to house the displaced earth spirit, called Chao Thi(Land lord). Although Thailand is 95% Buddhist these are not shrines to Buddha or Buddhist shrines at all. The concept of a Spirit House is rooted in… Read the rest

From Krabi to Kuala Lumpur, the short version

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rotted ship and motorboat in krabi

I’ve been sick recently and haven’t been posting. In doing so I lost much of the momentum I had gained over the last few weeks, both in terms of writing on a consistent schedule and in keeping new readers from recent popular articles. No big deal but once I get back to normality I’m going to write up a few articles to tuck away so I won’t have posting gaps in the future.

This is the closest thing I have to a tucked away article; an e-mail I sent to my friend Chris after traveling from Krabi, Thailand to… Read the rest

Crossing the road in Ho Chi Minh

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man clipping toe nails on bike

Ho Chi Minh has been on my mind lately. During this last week of local travel I did a lot of driving whilst my mind turned to the self contemplation that naturally parallels such rote chores. This led me to realize that the Bay Area is not for me and I need to develop an exit strategy. For now, that exit strategy is looking like it may be Vietnam.

I was able to spend a small amount of time in HCMC last year and am currently leaning towards moving there for a year or two. My plan is… Read the rest