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  3. Hello Sunita,

    Welcome to Andrew Biggs Forum!

    Please feel free to browse around and get to know the others.

    Go here and ask Andrew some questions!
    Hint: Tell him he is handsome and you get a quicker answer!

    ถามมา-ตอบไป ว่องไวกับแอนดรูว์

    If you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask. Just go to our Live Chat:
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    Please check out your own profile page and fill in the info about yourself: View Member

    Kind regards,
    Andrew Biggs & Team
    Andrew Biggs Forum

  4. Last week
  5. Hello Koulajohn,

    Welcome to Andrew Biggs Forum!

    Please feel free to browse around and get to know the others.

    Go here and ask Andrew some questions!
    Hint: Tell him he is handsome and you get a quicker answer!

    ถามมา-ตอบไป ว่องไวกับแอนดรูว์

    If you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask. Just go to our Live Chat:
    https://lc.chat/now/10033960/

    Please check out your own profile page and fill in the info about yourself: View Member

    Kind regards,
    Andrew Biggs & Team
    Andrew Biggs Forum

  6. Hello Rudolfz,

    Welcome to Andrew Biggs Forum!

    Please feel free to browse around and get to know the others.

    Go here and ask Andrew some questions!
    Hint: Tell him he is handsome and you get a quicker answer!

    ถามมา-ตอบไป ว่องไวกับแอนดรูว์

    If you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask. Just go to our Live Chat:
    https://lc.chat/now/10033960/

    Please check out your own profile page and fill in the info about yourself: View Member

    Kind regards,
    Andrew Biggs & Team
    Andrew Biggs Forum

  7. Hello robert111me,

    Welcome to Andrew Biggs Forum!

    Please feel free to browse around and get to know the others.

    Go here and ask Andrew some questions!
    Hint: Tell him he is handsome and you get a quicker answer!

    ถามมา-ตอบไป ว่องไวกับแอนดรูว์

    If you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask. Just go to our Live Chat:
    https://lc.chat/now/10033960/

    Please check out your own profile page and fill in the info about yourself: View Member

    Kind regards,
    Andrew Biggs & Team
    Andrew Biggs Forum

  8. Hello Hattairat,

    Welcome to Andrew Biggs Forum!

    Please feel free to browse around and get to know the others.

    Go here and ask Andrew some questions!
    Hint: Tell him he is handsome and you get a quicker answer!

    ถามมา-ตอบไป ว่องไวกับแอนดรูว์

    If you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask. Just go to our Live Chat:
    https://lc.chat/now/10033960/

    Please check out your own profile page and fill in the info about yourself: View Member

    Kind regards,
    Andrew Biggs & Team
    Andrew Biggs Forum

  9. Hello Hattairat,

    Welcome to Andrew Biggs Forum!

    Please feel free to browse around and get to know the others.

    Go here and ask Andrew some questions!
    Hint: Tell him he is handsome and you get a quicker answer!

    ถามมา-ตอบไป ว่องไวกับแอนดรูว์

    If you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask. Just go to our Live Chat:
    https://lc.chat/now/10033960/

    Please check out your own profile page and fill in the info about yourself: View Member

    Kind regards,
    Andrew Biggs & Team
    Andrew Biggs Forum

  10. Jing-Ha

    Cultural Carousel

    I have experienced just such in my marriage to a Thai national. She always keeps me so well informed and up to date on everything, like, no she does not. Instead, I get some last minute notification, and depending on what it is, I may or may not be quite upset. Her daughter, my step-daughter, tends to be more straight forward about things and we seem to have a better understanding of each other. I almost compare it to the stock analyst attending a conference call who has watched a little too much sporting events and in trying to draw management into filling him on details of events even management is not sure of, asks, "in regards to this item could you give a little more color to that." It is same, but not exactly. Mostly she tries her best to keep me in dark as much as possible.
  11. Hello Golf_Thunyathep,

    Welcome to Andrew Biggs Forum!

    Please feel free to browse around and get to know the others.

    Go here and ask Andrew some questions!
    Hint: Tell him he is handsome and you get a quicker answer!

    ถามมา-ตอบไป ว่องไวกับแอนดรูว์

    If you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask. Just go to our Live Chat:
    https://lc.chat/now/10033960/

    Please check out your own profile page and fill in the info about yourself: View Member

    Kind regards,
    Andrew Biggs & Team
    Andrew Biggs Forum

  12. Hello Bounnaxay Viennasay,

    Welcome to Andrew Biggs Forum!

    Please feel free to browse around and get to know the others.

    Go here and ask Andrew some questions!
    Hint: Tell him he is handsome and you get a quicker answer!

    ถามมา-ตอบไป ว่องไวกับแอนดรูว์

    If you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask. Just go to our Live Chat:
    https://lc.chat/now/10033960/

    Please check out your own profile page and fill in the info about yourself: View Member

    Kind regards,
    Andrew Biggs & Team
    Andrew Biggs Forum

  13. ณ. ตอนนี้เหตุผลว่าทำไมไม่อยากพบกัน ไม่สามารถหลีกเลี่ยงผมอีกต่อไป = คุณจึงพบผม/ฉันน้อยลง elude me หลบหลีกผม/ฉัน/ fail เช่น Sucess still eludes me. ความสำเร็จหลบหลีกผม/ฉัน =ไม่พบความสำเร็จ
  14. Hello Jeta5499,

    Welcome to Andrew Biggs Forum!

    Please feel free to browse around and get to know the others.

    Go here and ask Andrew some questions!
    Hint: Tell him he is handsome and you get a quicker answer!

    ถามมา-ตอบไป ว่องไวกับแอนดรูว์

    If you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask. Just go to our Live Chat:
    https://lc.chat/now/10033960/

    Please check out your own profile page and fill in the info about yourself: View Member

    Kind regards,
    Andrew Biggs & Team
    Andrew Biggs Forum

  15. A: You rarely give me an opportunity to see you. B: The reason why no longer eludes me. คำพูดของ B แปลว่าอะไรหรอครับ
  16. Hello Opor,

    Welcome to Andrew Biggs Forum!

    Please feel free to browse around and get to know the others.

    Go here and ask Andrew some questions!
    Hint: Tell him he is handsome and you get a quicker answer!

    ถามมา-ตอบไป ว่องไวกับแอนดรูว์

    If you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask. Just go to our Live Chat:
    https://lc.chat/now/10033960/

    Please check out your own profile page and fill in the info about yourself: View Member

    Kind regards,
    Andrew Biggs & Team
    Andrew Biggs Forum

  17. CULTURAL CAROUSEL By Andrew Biggs The phone call came early Saturday evening. “Khun Andrew,” came the familiar voice of my accountant. “We need to have a meeting. An urgent meeting. With you, the general manager and me. We’d like to meet with you.” “What – right now?” I asked. This was Songkran Saturday night. Who holds business meetings on Songkran Saturday night? I was wandering down a dark Ekamai soi carrying four bags of ice and a vodka bottle to a dinner party. No need to be judgmental, dear reader – surely I’m allowed a drink or two one night of the year! “It sounds like you’re busy,” she said apologetically. Well of course I am! Even we hermit types get invited out on Songkran Saturday, though it appears accountants do not enjoy the same fate. “How about Monday?” she persisted. “Monday’s a holiday.” “I see. So you can’t make it Monday.” It wasn’t a matter of not being able to make it. This has been a busy year for me. I needed a break, especially from meetings. Everything I have written so far is the lead up to what transpires next. Pay careful attention to the dialogue that ensues, dear reader, because I will be asking questions about it later. “So … what’s the meeting about?” “The company.” “What exactly about the company?” “Lots of issues.” “For example?” “The company.” “Yes, I understand it’s the company. But what exactly?” “Lots of issues.” The bags of ice were getting colder, and wetter, against my sides. The vodka was getting heavier too. “Can you just tell me what … it … is … you … want … to … meet … about.” There was a silence. “Lots of issues,” came the reply. I love my accountant. She’s an amazing lady. She is ruthless with budgets and merciless with customers who don’t pay their bills. When she isn’t noting every single baht I spend during office hours, at home she tends to ten stray dogs. What an angel. How lucky I am to have her as my accountant, and how lucky I am not to be her neighbor when I require a good night’s sleep. In short – her relationship with money is precise and tight-fisted. If only the same could be said of her imparting information of a non-fiscal nature. Like meeting agendas. “Listen, it’s really not a good time for me to talk,” I finally said. “I’m carrying four bags of ice and a bottle of – er, orange juice and I’m about to go to a dinner party. Is it really necessary we meet?” “Well yes,” said my accountant. “It’s important.” What the heck. Throw it out again, Andrew. “What do you want to talk about?” “Lots of things.” This is truly a bizarre aspect of Thai custom and culture I have yet gain full access to. As a westerner, it is like downloading the Thai Culture app, only to find a smattering of shallow features. The free ones. To understand the rest, I have to invest time and patience. I am convinced my accountant’s behavior is an offshoot — or bastard child — of kreng jai, that elusive Thai feeling that permeates so much of Thai culture. Kreng jai is consideration for others … not wanting to upset or put someone out. Its interpretation extends beyond how one behaves. It also includes how one doesn’t behave, because part of the dark side of kreng jai is fear of taking a stand — the consequences of making a decision. Clearly my accountant has some kind of problem at work that requires my attention. It could very well be serious though I suspect not life-threatening. She doesn’t want to tell me over the phone. By telling me face to face, it is going to upset me, and she does not want to be the one to upset me right now, on a Saturday night of the Songkran water festival. Hence the merry-go-round of a conversation on the way to the dinner party. One of the most vivid examples of this aspect of Thai culture happened to me seven years ago. My beloved dog was killed outside my house. He ran out onto the road and somebody drove past, knocking him to the side of the road, killing him instantly. The driver didn’t stop. But my dog did let out a yelp loud enough to evoke a reaction from my artist, who was downstairs doing some work for me. I was upstairs in my bedroom. I heard nothing. Perhaps I had music on loudly. In the end there was a knock on my bedroom door. My artist stood at the door. “You need to come downstairs,” he said. “Why?” “You need to come downstairs.” he repeated as the carousel, once again, slowly lurched into gear and increased momentum, spinning around and around, just as my accountant had done last Saturday night. “Just tell me why,” I said. “Well, if you come downstairs you will see,” he said. “Give me a hint,” I said. “It’s your dog.” “What about my dog?” “Its tongue is hanging out of its mouth.” Normally I would have come back with a rejoinder to the tune of: “And what dog’s tongue doesn’t hang out of its mouth you idiot?” But I could see an element of shock on his face. Still I had no idea the dog was dead. Upon going downstairs, there was my beautiful little dog, lifeless on my lawn, bleeding from the mouth and yes, its tongue was hanging out, slowly turning blue. I think that incident explains so much of my business life in Thailand, and I’m not being facetious. It was just too heartbreaking for my artist to blurt out: “Your dog’s dead.” Even “Something’s happened to your dog” would evoke sudden feelings of anxiety and dread within me. He didn’t want to subject me to that. It was better he led me on the path to my ultimate misery downstairs by alluding to something as innocuous as a dangling tongue. In a similar vein, my accountant has something she needs to let me know about that will, no doubt, lead me on a path to ultimate misery. Temporary misery, I am guessing, for she assented to my request for a meeting on Wednesday, the day we all returned to work, so whatever emergency she was alluding to clearly could wait. I was very proud of myself in my reaction. I didn’t fly off the handle. I didn’t rant and rave like I may have done ten years ago, demanding she tell me outright what was happening or else. I went with the flow. I was like the Pho tree under which the Buddha meditated during a storm; I bent, but I did not break. All would be revealed to me on Wednesday. I do understand it can be so maddening to work in the same office as staff who won’t give you straight answers. But look on the bright side. It’s not all of them. Millennial Thais are getting far better at telling it to me straight. As for the ones who can’t — the carousel people like my accountant an artist — they may not be able to spit out the bad news like I want them too … but they are also diligent, reliable, trustworthy and loyal. That’s good enough for me. /Andrew
  18. admin

    Blood & Water

    BLOOD AND WATER By Andrew Biggs At my office, we are gearing up for a major new business venture starting May 20. It’s consumed all our time for the past six months. Luckily I have a core team that’s been diligent and dedicated. At last Monday’s meeting I made it clear — we were in the final stretch. This was the exciting part. Nobody could take any time off before May 20. Let’s start this project and get it up and running. Everybody nodded their heads, including my two key staff, Jasmine and San, and my artist, Song. Jasmine was the first to come in to my office. “Khun Andrew, I have to … I must … I think I have to go to Samut Sakhon with my family,” she said. “What for?” “My parents want me to help them run their business but my older brother says I can’t do it.” “That sentence made no sense to me,” I said. “I must go with my family to Samut Songkhram for a family meeting. You know, all the relatives.” “No I don’t know,” I said. Jasmine was not making herself clear. So she burst into tears. “My brother says I can’t run the business, and he is pressuring me. And my parents say I can run the business.” “What business are you talking about?” She looked up at me, dabbing her eyes with a tissue. “Fish sauce.” It’s been a busy day for me. If Jasmine needs to take the afternoon off to go down to Samut Songkhram with her family, then that’s fine. But can’t she just explain it to me in plain English? “My parents have a fish sauce factory in Samut Songkhram,” she said. Despite working so closely with Jasmine, this is news to me. I am not surprised —where else would a fish sauce factory be located? Have you ever driven down to Hua Hin, dear reader? You pass the seaside province of Samut Songkhram. It’s famous for two things – the birthplace of the famous Siamese twins Chang and Eng, and home to at least a hundred fish sauce factories lining the highway. You probably eat something made with Samut Songkhram fish sauce every day of your Thai experience. A pit stop in Samut Songkhram smells a bit like wandering through a cemetery of rotting fish. “And when do you intend making this trip?” I asked. “May 15,” she said. “Five days before our new project begins! And for how long?” “A week,” she said. This is a curveball out of nowhere that absolutely hits me for six and yes, that’s a baseball and cricket analogy in a single sentence. “Do you parents know that we’re launching this new project in May?” I asked, and she said yes, they did. “Are you aware I can’t have you away at anytime in the near future?” Another nod. “So what do you intend to do?” Jasmine didn’t answer. “Well you think about that,” I said, “And give me an answer tomorrow.” Jasmine left my office. Later that day I saw her deep in a conversation with Song the artist. The next day she came back to my office. At least this time she was lucid. “My parents want me to run the family business,” she said. You know what? As shocking as that information may be, at least she explained it in a simple sentence. I daresay that’s what she was trying to tell me yesterday in her own Thai way — that is, indecipherable. The timing couldn’t be any worse. She had to finish up by the end of May. “But … you’ve been doing this for so long. Your heart has been in this. How can you give it all up?” I asked. “Also, it would be great for your resume if you follow through on this. It’s a great career move.” As opposed to running your family’s fish sauce business, I wanted to add, but held my tongue. One hour later – no exaggeration – and it is San’s turn. “Khun Andrew, I have to go home for a while,” he said. Jasmine might be a central plains gal, but San is an Isan boy through and through. San’s home is Sri Sa Ket, a province famous for its pickled garlic. For a split second I wonder if San is about to tell me he has to go run the family picked garlic factory, but I remember his mother – married to a elderly Swede – runs a rice farm just out of the provincial town. “My step father needs an operation, and he must do it in Sweden,” explains San. “My mother must go with him.” That leaves his 93-year-old grandfather and 8-year-old kid brother alone on the farm. “My mother wants me to look after the farm while she’s gone.” “And how long must you be there for?” I imagined his mother leaving Friday night from Suvarnabhumi, spending the weekend in Stockholm then catching the red-eye back to Thailand Monday morning. Three days? Four? “Three months,” he said. “Three months!?” I screamed. Nobody needs to be Florence Nightingale for that long! What did she think she could do in Stockholm for three months? There are only so many times one can visit the Abba museum before Dancing Queen fatigue sets in. “What about your extended family?” I asked. I travelled to Si Sa Ket three years ago for San’s ordination. I swear, his whole village had his last name — God knows how they procreate while avoiding incest charges. The only non-relatives were the hired luk-thong singers on that rickety stage the night before he donned his saffron ones, and even they had suspiciously-similar cranial features. But seriously … wasn’t there some maiden aunt in the throes of middle age who could look after the farm for that long? Or a dead-beat distant uncle who sat on a mat all day drinking lao khao plotting the murder of his sister’s farang husband? Apparently not. “When is this operation taking place?” I asked sheepishly. “May 18,” he said. I clenched my fists under the table. I made a mental note to burn all my Abba vinyl. Did that Swede time the operation to coincide with our launch? “You can’t leave on that date.” “I have to.” “How can you leave five days before our launch?” “It’s my family.” Later that day I spotted San having lunch with Song the artist. They were speaking to each other earnestly. San and Jasmine are millennials, tech-savvy and in tune with the modern world. And yet all it takes is an order from Mum and Dad, and they must race home. I only hear the convoluted story, such as Jasmine’s cryptic tale of a family business and a pushy brother, or San’s sudden requirement to run a farm in Buriram. There could very well be something else going on. Did Jasmine lose face to another member of the core team? Has San fallen in love with the daughter of a local pickled garlic establishment? Having been here so long, I no longer jump up and down, demanding to know the exact reason behind abstract tales of fish sauce and overseas operations. I do know this: As a boss I can throw money at my staff. I can throw them nice-sounding positions to put on their name cards. I can throw them love and affection and justice and mediation. I can give them special privileges. I can shovel all these things onto them as a way of thanks for all their hard work … but it all gets trumped by family. This morning Song was lurking outside my office. “Don’t even think of it,” I said. /Andrew
  19. Hello Eak_pk,

    Welcome to Andrew Biggs Forum!

    Please feel free to browse around and get to know the others.

    Go here and ask Andrew some questions!
    Hint: Tell him he is handsome and you get a quicker answer!

    ถามมา-ตอบไป ว่องไวกับแอนดรูว์

    If you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask. Just go to our Live Chat:
    https://lc.chat/now/10033960/

    Please check out your own profile page and fill in the info about yourself: View Member

    Kind regards,
    Andrew Biggs & Team
    Andrew Biggs Forum

  20. Hello Viroj,

    Welcome to Andrew Biggs Forum!

    Please feel free to browse around and get to know the others.

    Go here and ask Andrew some questions!
    Hint: Tell him he is handsome and you get a quicker answer!

    ถามมา-ตอบไป ว่องไวกับแอนดรูว์

    If you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask. Just go to our Live Chat:
    https://lc.chat/now/10033960/

    Please check out your own profile page and fill in the info about yourself: View Member

    Kind regards,
    Andrew Biggs & Team
    Andrew Biggs Forum

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