In this bit of Thailand writing, Chef Tummy performs a dramatic reading of excerpts from the Farang In Thailand book that gives snapshots in haiku form of the life of a farang who has willingly shipwrecked himself in Thailand. Please see the Youtube link below to hear the author read the Thai-Ku, in between drinks. Following the haiku form of Japanese hailu master Basho, these Thai-ku begin a new form of Thailand writing, in between drinks.
These 99 Thai-Ku poems are an attempt to explain the life of the farang in Thailand who learns to love fish sauce as a food flavoring and cologne alike.
Some of the chapters include:
- Poems Inspired By Hot And Sour Tom Tum Gung Soup
- Today’s Program Is Brought To You By Sang Som
- Cold Evening Beer Chang
- Crazy From The Heat
- Rainy Season Blues
- Love In The Tropics
- True Thailand Dating Tales
- Thai Culture
From the Introduction:
These poems are about the self-exiled, the purposely marooned, the expat abroad, stranger in a strange land, away from home and not sure where home is, really, but living in Thailand.
These Thai-Ku reflect a passion for a cuisine, a bemused fascination for a country and idle time spent writing lines of five and seven and five in the ancient haiku style while taking traditional Thai liquid medicine such as Sang Som and Chang.
Whether you are a Westerner living in Thailand or observant visitor, the complete contrast to life in the West becomes apparent immediately after arriving and leaving the plane.
Then, after living in Thailand for some time, that which is foreign and strange can become familiar.
This interplay between the bizarre and the familiar makes living in Thailand an exciting, odd journey. A long-stay foreigner can become a philosopher, especially as the ice rattles in the empty glass in the waning hours of Happy Hour. The deep questions abound: where is home? Who are these people smiling at me? Why is there always chilie in my food? Why is there not enough chilie in my food? Nong! Where are the chilies, please?
So I took a step back and prescribed myself some more medical Sang Som and wrote these observations about Thai culture from the perspective of that guy rattling the ice in the glass and wondering where the chilies are. Nong! Where are the chilies, please?
Some of these vignettes are from real experiences; some are from my imagination.