Sub-editor for Guru magazine
Adam Kohut is the sub-editor for Guru magazine of the Bangkok Post.
I love food, and I live in Bangkok, and I am young and hip. And my daddy is rich. So I'm going to open a hip restaurant in Bangkok for young people with my rich daddy's money. Now, you must possess passion. Luckily, passion I have in droves! If I were a plant, my friends tell me, I'd be a passion fruit tree. Imagine that! That's how much I love food! I might even venture as far as to call myself a highfalutin gourmandiser.
Tragedy is a strange, contradictory thing. It breaks and it binds. It destroys and it builds. It opens and it closes. When an earthquake, or a storm, or a man's gun, or a bomb takes human lives, there is first anger, sadness, confusion. There is fear. There is grief. There is great pain. But this is followed by a period of mourning, and then of consolation, of comfort, of determination and of strength.
On the second night of my trip home, my family celebrated my father's birthday at a large seafood restaurant, one link in a chain of locations scattered across the southern United States. My younger brother, Gatlin, who is 11, ordered something called the "Mixed Seafood Grill". What arrived, half-an-hour later, carried in by a waiter lurching under its horrific weight, can only be described as nautical holocaust. Heaped on a platter the size of a manhole cover were enormous chunks of fish, scallops you could use as hockey pucks, shrimp that could be worn as bracelets.
Live abroad for long enough and you start to lose touch. The things you took for granted back home - your friends, your family, your Shih Tzu - start to become relics of a faded reality. You are absent for birthdays, anniversaries, Christmases. Your loved ones wrinkle and shrink as they are dragged behind time's insectile scuttle.
In my high school history class, when we couldn't avoid paying attention any longer, we would half-heartedly thumb through battered textbooks with broken spines, turning pages so stained with oil from generations of hands that they had become translucent as fast-food burger wrappers.
My boss, an Irishman named Chris, is fond of telling me that I come from "the land of gleaming white teeth and expressing yourself". He's not far off. My father is a dentist and my sister Amanda, a cheerleader throughout high school, is now a social emotional counsellor who works with children.