M.R. Usnisa Sukhsvasti is Bangkok Post’s features editor, a teacher at Chulalongkorn University and a social worker.
Have you ever wondered why people say "I can't hear myself think"? It seems a juxtaposition of terms. Thinking, after all, is a silent personal action and would not make a noise you could hear, unless you're thinking with your mouth. Last week I discovered the meaning behind the phrase.
I've been asking the wrong question all my life. From the moment you embark on a professional career, you ask: "How high is my salary going to be?". My starting salary upon graduating was a mere pittance -- a couple of thousand baht for a bachelor's degree entrance level job in government service. That was more than a few years ago, mind you.
I find it quite amusing and amazing how Thai people live their lives like planets orbiting around various stars. The stars I'm talking about are not the celestial kind, but stars in the entertainment industry. I'm not sure how many people could name any members of the current cabinet apart from the prime minister. But ask them about their favourite actors and actresses, they would come up with an immediate list, and tell you which television series they were in.
Everyone is talking about a philosophical gem shared by The Voice Thailand judge Singto Numchok. This first-time judge, who is recognised by his fedora and ukulele, remarked to two contestants in the battle round, knowing that one of them would be sent home that day. "Someone asked me: 'If I hadn't been successful in music, what would I have done with my life?' I asked them back: 'What is your definition of success in music? Is it fame? Is it a hit song? Is that success, and is that the only way to achieve happiness?'
There's been a lot of effort on the part of the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) to "regulate" streetside vendors. Silom Road was a prime target area, followed by Saphan Lek and various other locations in the city. In some areas, not only were vendors using up pavement space to sell their wares, they had also erected semi-permanent structures with steel reinforcements.