In my research towards Kuman Thong and Sak Yant tattoos, I came across Nam Man Phrai, a kind of magical oil. When I started looking into the Thai love and mind control spells, the oil was an essential ingredient once again. Obviously important in Thai black magic, I decided to take a deeper look. Its origin is even darker than I expected. Quite honestly, it sends shivers down my spine.
Is it just my perception or is the fake news phenomenon not slowing down at all? When Facebook announced that it would weed out false reporting I was hopeful it would come to an end. Instead, the frequency of misleading sponsored posts on my timeline has increased and the phenomenon is getting deeper ingrained into our journalistic and even scientific culture. Let me tell you how.
Beneath Thai Buddhist society, a strong undercurrent of superstition and black magic exists. Mysterious and taboo, these influences require research to be fully understood. Case in point is the phenomenon of Luk Thep. At face-value it comes across as adults infatuated with dolls, but deeper down it traces back to the dark history of child ghosts and occult ceremonies. Let’s dig into these subjects, shall we? Along the way we’ll discover the reason for the popularity of red Fanta in the vicinity of shrines.
Got another call from our friends over at the fake Microsoft office. Once again, my intention was to drag them along as I can, get them irritated and make them hang up themselves. I was a bit scattered and caught by surprise, but the result is still a good laugh. Always fun to hear the sincere contempt in their voice when they realize they’ve been had. Sadly, I did not get to speak to my mate Frankie from my most successful attempt yet. Next time, I will try a new approach.
In the weeks before Christmas, I flew to Shanghai with every intention to blog about my experiences, working from the Chinese metropolis. The People’s Republic of China, however, had different intentions. Here is the report of my time behind the Great Firewall. China turned out be different from what I expected and was told.
With the catch-up post about my adventures behind the Great Wall turning out to be more elaborate than I initially expected, here is a little sneak preview I would love to share ahead of time. These pictures the result of a nightly walk along the Bund and Nanjing Road in Puxi, the historical part of Shanghai, on the Western bank of the Huangpu River. Picture gallery available, just continue reading.
On this blue Sunday, I find myself in limbo at Bangkok International Airport. While I usually adore arriving at Suvarnabhumi, this particular visit feels surreal. Yes, I am on Thai soil and my AIS SIM-card connects to the mobile network, yet I am not able to leave the airport. Yes, I was out in the open air for a full 3 minutes, yet I am not able to meet my lovely wife. Yes, I am able to buy a sandwich at the very same Subway stand I always buy a snack before I leave, yet I have just arrived. Yes, it is 07:57 local time, but it’s only 01:57 in Belgium, and 08:57 in Shanghai where my next flight will land around 16:00. All a bit confusing, but that’s not all.
Over the past weeks, a few people asked if I had been cured of the writing bug. While I do appreciate the concern, that is not at all what happened. Recently, I was given an international assignment, for which preparations also required some travel. Some of you might have seen a few pictures taken in Prague on my Instagram feed. In fact, that was all I have been able to post, up to now. Waiting at the gate for my next flight, I will start to tell you about my new adventure and take you along with me on tour of duty. Before the Thai Airways bird leads you to the assumption of another Thai adventure … it’s not that simple. More info on my next layover. Now, time for coffee.
With my first attempt at keeping phone scammers on the telephone as long as possible only moderately successful, I decided to take a different approach. This time I went for stupid but inquisitive. Here is my conversation with Franky and Jordan from Manchester (but also India). Sadly, they weren’t interested in helping my friend, the Prince from Kenia. Any suggestions for the next conversation? 🙂