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End of the year review – 2013

It’s the end of the year as we know it – so time to look back on 2013. What happened, what stuck to ones mind, what impressed and what disappointed. Here’s my year 2013 month by month review with a final, personal and probably highly criticized opinion at the end.

January 2013

We kicked the year off with a short overview regarding individual Tours in Bangkok and I explained one of my favorite routes in this article. Still would love to know what you guys think about that tour and if you have other suggestions. Besides touring around the City of Angels I had the joy to interview Aj. Prinda. A colleague here at university but also a quite famous artist here in Thailand who happened to be part of a very exciting Art Exhibition (“Hear Here” at Bangkok Arts and Culture Center) in January 2013. On a funnier note in January Saturday Night Life, the famous US late nite show, published the following video: Saturday Night Life – Thai language Rosetta Stone – SNL and Youtube both had to face lots of criticism by official Thai authorities and even started to pull the video of the web. Glad to know we have lots of humor here in Thailand…having mind that making racist jokes is kind of normal here. As long as it’s about other countries.

February 2013

February 2013 saw my first ever visit to a German Restaurant outside of Germany. After 2.5 years I simply had to have some German food again and wasn’t to far off with my choice of ‘Bei Otto’ in the heart of Bangkok’s Sukhumvit area. Quite pricy but ok for a once a year visit or so. Furthermore some of my friends came to visit Bangkok and we checked out some of the best Rooftop Bars in Bangkok. That’s still one of my favorite ways of enjoying The Big Mango. Escaping all the hectic in the streets and looking down (yeah, sometimes I like to look down on people) while having a drink. Furthermore, and who would have thought that, anger and double standards in Thailand made me quite frustrated early in the year and caused some emotional and disappointed publications.

In terms of entertainment I saw the Concert in the Park at Lumphini Park. A free concert by the philharmonic orchestra. They played classical songs, pop songs, movie theme songs…all for free in a very relaxed and cool atmosphere. Hope to see that again in 2014. Moreover the US Embassy did the Harlem Shake. You remember this “funny” dance where random people or groups of people just went wild for 30 seconds or so? Yeah the US Embassy actually did an official video with that. Respect!

I also happened to visit Asiatique for the first time ever since coming to Thailand. Nice place, quite crowded, expensive but a little away from the Bangkok traffic and I like the free boat ride to the venue.

Totally boring but still feel like mentioning it. We went to Logos Hope – The worlds biggest floating book fair – and wasted a few hours there.

March 2013

Hi Mom, don’t read this! In March 2013 I actually decided it was about time to get a Tattoo. I thought about this for many years and finally decided to do it. Still no regrets. More coming soon. Maybe. If mom won’t kill me ;-)

Besides getting inked I also went back to Koh Tao. My first ever travel destination. This time we went there by Train since we decided to do it ‘real backpacker’ style. 3rd class. What an experience.

March also seemed to be kind of a ‘let’s take care of our environment’ month. It saw us celebrating Earth Hour and we witnessed that Shopping Malls closed early in order to save electricity due to power shortages coming from Myanmar.

We also had a closer look on Online Dating in Thailand. After all Thailand is the only country in the world where there are more girls than guys on online dating sites. So which sites are decent? What to consider when using them? All that and more in the above linked post.

National Thai Elephant Day also happened to be in March. Just felt like reminding you!

I also went back to my ‘home’ since I was invited to attend graduation in Udon Thani. Nice to see so many of my former students receiving their certificates. Good luck to all of you in the future. Proud of you :-)

Back in Bangkok there was the Bangkok Living Arts Festival which saw lots of art happening around the city. Colored BTS stations, skywalks, sculptures etc. Nice!

Also in March 2013. The Horror came to the Land of Smile when Furbies took over Thailand.

April 2013

April saw lots of holidays but also one of the best ‘documentaries’ ever. Breast & Face slapping is a real profession here and people actually pay lots of money to get slapped since it makes you, of course, more attractive. I’m think of offering a special discount for my-thai.org readers. I’ll give out 5 slaps for free to the first 5 people who share this article! ;-)

As mentioned we then saw Thailand’s biggest festival: Songkran Festival – The Thai new year. Lots of water, party and action. Every year same same, but different.

After all celebrations were done I then experienced some HTC Service Troubles that lastet quite a while.

May 2013

May started quite ‘good’ with a super racist TV advertising promoting skin whitening products. One asks himself how a company could actually give such advertising the ‘go’.

Later on Qatar Airways hit the home run with the biggest service disaster that I ever experienced – more or less ruining my trip back home to Germany.

A few of my friends then decided to spend their honeymoon in Thailand so I tried to figure out the best Honeymoon destinations in Thailand. According to them it worked ;-)

In public holidays it was Visakha Bucha Day – quite a big religious holiday.

Moreover Formula 1 decided it was time to come to Bangkok which made lots of people protest and left citizens angry. However this didn’t stop Bangkok from becoming number 1 travel destination in the world.

Finally I had to close May 2013 with a disappointing recap of my time back home.

June 2013

One of the ‘best’ plans ever was revealed in June 2013: Government reveals plan to make Thais taller – no kidding!

Furthermore Thai marketing agencies once more hit the jackpot with this Super Sexy Fertilizer Commercial. For all IT Nerds June was also a good month since Microsoft launched its Surface in Bangkok. After buying expensive IT gadgets we then started to prepare for the rainy season and enjoyed an awesome web finding: TinTin in Thailand.

July 2013

After having spent lots of time on the road it was finally time to compare Bus Tours in Thailand. I also discovered the Hollywood movie The Impossible – Tsunami Movie. Later on this month I then went to Koh Samui for the first time. See my impressions here: First Time Koh Samui – Review.

August 2013

After having received quite a few questions regarding Sin Sod – Thai Dowry I decided to take on this controversial topic. Furthermore we witnessed the launch of Bribespot Thailand – an application that tries to keep track of bribes. Moreover my little sister wrote the Thailand review by 1st time backpacker and concluded she’d be back for sure! At the end of the month it was finally music time. Sonic Bang Festival happened at Impact Arena and saw lots of superstars entertaining a huge crowd. Pitbull, Jason Mraz, Placebo (yeah!) and more. Great event! Last, but not least, the topic of Online Spying in Thailand hit the news with the Thai police trying to spy on LINE.

September 2013

And once more, a great commercial. This time neither sexy nor funny, simply great. Also great: The Google Days Bangkok at Bangkok University. Nerds and aficionados met at BU to share and exchange experiences and learn from professionals.

While thinking about what to do in order to make the world a better place we then came up with the idea of Suspended Coffee Bangkok and are still hoping to see it happen.  Finally a very interesting post (of course!). Buying Insect Killers in Thailand – yes, such things are also on my mind once in a while.

October 2013

Crap. Is it already that long? Unbelievable! 3 years in Thailand review. Besides reviewing my personal life I also had a loser look on Thai exams. Furthermore I went back to Udon Thani once more and filmed a great Girl on Fire cover by my former student student.

November 2013

During November I’ve been asked for some travel Tips for the North. We also started a Christmas Charity to donate clothes and toys here at our college and, of course, took an Inside look into Thai demonstrations that are still going strong and are about to see their peak in the close future.

Personal 5 cent:

I can’t get to much into detail of some of the things that upset me the most here this year since lots of the stuff is still going on. However this year kind of destroyed my faith in local work ethics, culture and everything related. In order to not get to emotional and keep the christmas spirit I won’t say anything else but man…disappointment!

What has been nice: Saw a few cool things (and am about to see some more). I’m about to have the chance to participate in an art exhibition (woohoo, scary) and 2014 can’t probably get worse. So hey yo ho! Bring on the new year!

Sascha Funk

Founder / Editor at My-Thai.org
Sascha is the publisher of my-thai.org and switched from an online marketing agency life in Europe to a teaching and education life in Thailand. He also writes about Teaching & Technology.

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