Pongpet Mekloy is the Bangkok Post's travel editor and a mountain bike freak.
Considering its microscopic size, it's amazing how the novel coronavirus has easily kept us humans -- the species which rules the planet -- tamely at bay. Millions of people around the globe are now spending time confining themselves at home rather than venturing outside. As a result, various aspects of life, from finance to romance and so much in between, need to change. Some of these behavioural changes have already become or are predicted to become, the so-called new normal.
Imagine yourself shuffling out of your bedroom in the morning to find the girl next door sitting on your favourite sofa chatting on the phone. On the other side of the large living room, another neighbour is working on his laptop. At the dining table, a familiar couple are enjoying breakfast. In the kitchen, somebody's cooking a cheese omelette.
With the constant evolution of the internet and digital technology, the world has changed furiously fast. Many aspects of life are no longer the same. At the age of 51, I know full well if I want to survive another decade I've got to learn a new skill. So I took up aikido.
Apart from giving rise to keyboard warriors and other nuisances, the digital age also has a good side. One thing I love most about today's world is that it has given me easy access to tons of photographs from the distant past. And that, at least to me, is almost like time travel.
It's no secret that a large number of new-generation Thais have poor attitudes toward their homeland. Scornful posts and non-constructive comments are rampant on the internet. The causes of their resentment are numerous: politics, traffic, laws, the economy, culture, social values, cost of living -- you name it.
The other evening I had a meetup with friends. As some of us had never been to the izakaya where we planned to meet and thus had no idea where it is situated, the location of the Japanese pub/restaurant was then shared and everybody easily made their way to the meeting place. Yes, this is nothing new. Everybody does this nowadays. Exactly!
Almost three decades ago when I was a university student, I occasionally had to travel to Don Mueang airport for a part-time job. Back then, it was Bangkok's only airport, and, with the tollway not yet in existence, was considered very far from the city centre. There, my task was to ask departing tourists to fill in questionnaires for the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), which wanted to know what they liked or disliked, as well as their spending behaviour, during their visits.