Design Your Own Life

Newsletter: Lashings Of Green Tea With Bide And Friends ( Issue 3)

Welcome to issue 3 of the newsletter from Engaging Thailand called ”Lashings Of Green Tea With Bide And Friends”

In the previous issue our main theme was all about ” the power of language’

Today the focus turns to ” life design choices”.

This week I am starting with a sourced article instead of ending with it as the quotation comes from this superb article below .

1) Quotation:  by Crime Novelist Christopher G. Moore

Sooner or later we all come down to the end of our lives. When you look out of the window for the last time, and run through the choices you’ve made about your life, before that curtain comes down, are you content to let go knowing you had the courage to live the life you chose?

Very powerful and thought-provoking. To be quite honest the article that I read this in (featured immediately below) I could easily have selected any quote from many.  This is one of my favourite articles / interviews  that was published  in 2011, but could have been published  yesterday as it is very much an evergreen product. Don’t miss this. As Jim Rohn would say make sure you get the information,don’t leave without it.

2) Recommended Article

Taken from an interview Christopher G. Moore did with Legal Nomads and the source of this week’s quotation.

For those who would like more information on the work of Christopher G. Moore

Christopher G. Moore pictured here holding a copy of an earlier novel called ” Waiting For The Lady” which I managed to get his signature on at a book signing event in Bangkok last year. Christopher currently has a new book out that was published at the beginning of 2012 called ” The Wisdom Of Beer”.

Please visit his website to learn more about ”The Wisdom Of Beer” and approximately 22 of his other published novels.

Official Website


3) Spending time with you: Deciding what your passions are

In order to make the right choices in life for ourselves we must first be clear on what we want. Can there be any greater time spent than time spent discovering our true passions in life.  The only real way to have the type of life we want is to design it.

It is true that most people can tell you what they don’t want, but very few can actually tell you what they do want. The only way to really find out your passions in order to make the right life choices for you is to invest time on the project.

Just as you give time in your diary to other appointments in your busy life make sure you map out time for an appointment to work on yourself. Block out a passage of time whether it be 30 minutes, 1 hour or whatever and book that appointment with yourself. The telephone can go on answer machine, visitors at this blocked out time are unwelcome and the computer turned off, there must be no distractions.

Start with a weekly appointment and then when you have got into the habit of doing this, then find time to make it a daily appointment. It’s that important.

For further work on this immensely important subject, the best way to keep all your thoughts and creative ideas are in your journal. How underrated is keeping a journal? The recording of thoughts and ideas in to something that at most will cost about £10-00 pounds or even a notebook for as little as £2-00 is of vital importance.

Leave home without your lunch, leave home without your wallet, but don’t leave home without your journal.

4)Looking West: Travel For A Sense Of Adventure

When I was 18 years old and already having been employed for a couple of years in the wholesale industry I decided that this 9-5 robot life existence was not for me, so myself and a friend decided to travel and  work our way around the world, a plan contrived down the pub one night.

The world trip had no real plan apart from a draft travel route and we certainly were not blessed with an over abundance of funds, but off we went none the less in the hope that we would be able to find work. If we had listened to everyone at home we would certainly not have gone . They said things like ” your going where” , ”you only have that much money”, ” you are giving up your jobs to do this”, ”you will be home next week or lying in the gutter somewhere”.

Travel then was not like now. There was no internet and no  mobile phones to keep in contact with folks back home, we mainly kept in contact with a hand-written  letter via the postal service (hoping it would get there) and the occasional long distance phone call when funds allowed it.

I could certainly put  myself in the category of  having the travel bug or wander lust and I was never able to really settle in the conventional 9-5 world back in England and that still stands true today.So in a way it was no surprise when my 22-year-old daughter told me a couple of weeks ago that she was packing in her nursing work to go traveling with a friend. She immediately began telling me that Europe  would be the starting point followed by Australia and a host of other places and how great it was going to be.


My first thought was to panic asking questions like how will you have enough money, you are two girls together what about your safety? How Will we know where you are? and these were just the start of the bombardment of questions she received from me. The replies were in the mode of  I am not stupid Dad and neither am I 10 years old as she began reading out all of her plans and safety measures to me. I did my best to highlight possible problem areas as a Dad would, but it was not long before I realised that she actually had far more money and a far more detailed plan than I did when I set off 28 years ago.

My daughter has obviously reached the stage in her life to explore and find out what else life has to offer and the fact she is not married and has no children makes it an even better reason to do it now. As a father my initial panic questions were normal and needed answering, but as someone who totally believes in self discovery, exploration , experimentation and designing your own life style then I strongly approve.

5) Looking East: Acting Instead Of Reacting

From an Eastern perspective the book Living In The Tao: Guide To Self Discovery by Mantak Chia and W.U. Wei in one of the chapters talks about how in the west we tend to react to things after collecting information instead of acting.

More to do with the busy mind concept and believing that perhaps we are achieving by agreeing to do this and that or otherwise known as unable to say no. We gain knowledge of things and activities and agree to doing them without ever asking the key questions. Reacting instead of acting to each request can be halted by asking yourself ” is this good for me”, ” is this what I want”, is this going to make me happy.

Asking yourself the powerful questions to each and every request including those from yourself will keep you on track to making the right life choices for you.

Recommended Product

Living In The Tao: The Effortless Path Of Self Discovery by William U. Wei and Mantak Chia

6)  Out And About: 

Ahh … the Varanus Salvator or in other words ” The Water Monitor”

If you visit the superb Lumpini Park in Bangkok you will find a good few of these reptiles down near the water’s edge. For the first time visitor it can be a bit startling coming face to face with the reptile, but I personally think they add even more character to the place.

Anyway last year a woman wanted them to be gathered up and removed from the park as one had fallen out of a tree landing on her head and she was slightly injured. Apparently she was very shocked and probably the Lizzard not that happy with the fall either.Anyway the picture shows him up and well after the fall and off to visit his two very best friends (only they don’t know it yet), who are laying down.

In Thailand the water monitor has not always been held in high regard and in fact the name which I won’t put here is often used as an insult. It comes apparently from the old days of 2 story houses. The top floor was for living in and the ground floor for keeping domestic animals like chickens, ducks and dogs etc. Some of the Lizzards can grow to rather large sizes and would wander in and eat / maim all the domestic animals. Hence the reason for the insult. Anyway his other name from that episode is ตัวกินไก่’ (Tua gin gai –  The chicken eater).

7) Thai Conversation

This weeks Thai conversation comes from the Thai Dating Language question post I carried out at the back-end of last year. Due to the popularity of this post I thought I would give Waan and Nick a rest this week, but they will be back in a fortnight’s time. Thanks for to those who wrote to say they liked this conversation. Anyway for those who have not seen it, please click on the link below.

8) Thai Travel Tips: Bangkok

Chatuchak Market

Chatuchak weekend market could quite possibly be re named as shop until you drop market as it’s a paradise for shoppers with over 8,000 market stalls and 200,000 visitors clocking in every weekend.Chatuchak market can be found on Kamphaengphet 2 road, Chatuchak,  five minutes walk from Mo Chit station and is open Saturday’s and Sunday’s between 9am – 6pm.

Wat Pho (Temple Of The Reclining Buddha)

The Incredible Reclining Buddha At Wat Pho Temple

Wat Pho or the temple of the Reclining Buddha is the largest temple in Bangkok and most famous for its beautiful 46 meter long and 15 meter high Reclining Buddha covered in gold leaf.

Aside from the incredible Reclining Buddha, Wat Pho is also very famous for the fine traditional art of Thai massage. Anyone who is anyone including the rich and famous come here to sample the wonders of the home of Thai massage.

Wat Pho is located on Maharat Road close to the river about a half a mile south of the Grand Palace and is open from 8am – 17-00 with massages carried out until 18-00.

Sunday is a good day for a visit as you can watch Thai dance and traditional Thai music taught to the students.

9) Guest Interview: Keown, The simple life

The North – East of Thailand is so often ignored on the tourist track, but to those who want to dig deeper and
discover a deeper sense of the culture and know a bit more about Thailand in general, we caught up with one of our
North – Eastern correspondents on a trip back home. Khun Keown gives us a brief insight in to North – Eastern life or
(Isaan life) as you will often hear the area called and to the simple life that she just loves.

10) Recommended Product

Popular Thai Culture:

There are some things that are very Thai  and knowing about them will greatly help your understanding of Thai ways and popular Thai culture. What is Hi-So? The love affair with red bull and energy drinks, ghost stories, amulet collectors and fortune tellers. Thai Massage, What is a sniff kiss? These are just a few of the things you will read about in the excellent 256 page book with fantastic photographs.

Very Thai: by Philip Cornwel-Smith and photographs by John Goss

Engaging Thailand Website

For more information, articles and stories about Thailand travel, food and all things Thai related, please visit the website


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