This adorable little Thai girl was helping out at her family’s Japanese restaurant near our house. Halfway through our meal, I read her shirt and burst out laughing. Getting a clear picture was complicated because I didn’t want to appear to be a creeper. My wife ended up getting the clearest one. Dull moments remain rare things on our fair island in the Andaman Sea.
I gave her a compliment on the shirt and said, “It says ‘whatever, bitch’ to which she smiled and walked away.’ She was pretty shy, and obviously had no idea what I was talking about.
I’d wear this shirt every day if I owned it. Nothing says big swagger like a pink shirt covered in unicorns with, “Whatever, bitch!” printed in a big, bubbly rainbow font.
This is from the menu of one of my favorite Thai restaurants in Phuket. As tempting as it sounds, I have yet to order the kind of ruminating stomach boiling. Usually with Engrish, you can almost understand what they’re trying to say. In this case, I’ve got no idea.
Oh, and unripe beef. Yummmm! Is there any way to eat beef other than when it’s unripe? No. No, I don’t believe that there is.
Here’s a nice spot of Engrish I came across today on the way to my obligatory tri-monthly visit to the Thai immigration department to have the 90 day conversation.
“Hello. Yes, I still live at the same address. OK?”
The officer gives me a distracted nod that’s followed by the thwack thwack of his stamp and the snap of his stapler in my passport.
After this brief little ceremony, I’m out the door and back into the sunshine and chaos of Thailand for another 90 days. Life is good!
I’ve been agonizing over what my first post here would be for about a month now, and I finally decided to just go ahead and make it an introduction to break the ice between you and I, my nonexistent readers. Once I realized that you don’t exist, there was suddenly no more pressure. I could write as if I were writing for myself because this domain name has zero reputation and zero traffic. I mean yeah, sure, someday, someone may read this, but for now, I can write as if it were just the words and I, all by our lonesome, here at muhlenfeld.com.
The closest that I’ve ever come to the act of writing a blog (God, I loathe that word) was probably the process of writing G-Files back in the late 1980s. G-Files were text-only files from the days before the internet that covered a range of topics as diverse as the smells of a Turkish spice bazar; everything from how make free phone calls (remember when it wasn’t free?) to making improvised bombs. I was mostly interested in phone phreaking and hacking. Not maliciously, but out of a deep curiosity and a strong desire to understand how technology worked. Computers were the ultimate puzzles, and I loved them from the first time I watched one boot up.
Later, still in the days of modems, I was very active on some local multi-line BBS’s, which were computers that had a bunch of modems in them and could facilitate simultaneous user connections. Users could interact in text chats, message forums, text based games, and so on. I suppose that’s a bad example. Posting on a forum on some lowly BBS has almost nothing to do with writing a blog.
I was the proprietor of a very short lived zine while I was in high school (please, to all that is good in the universe, don’t let there be any surviving copies out there), but that had a very low circulation and catered to a similarly nonexistent readership. I think I might have published one or two issues. I suppose that’s at least in the same ballpark, eh?
My intentions for this website are simple, and will likely evolve. For now, I hope to publish excerpts from my upcoming novels, and I hope to interact with you, whoever you may be. I’ll occasionally post about what it’s like living as an American expat in Thailand, my love of Engrish, and so on.
For now, I’m really happy that you stopped by for a visit, and I invite you to leave a comment or drop me a line. I’d be thrilled to hear from you, whoever you are. I’d also be amazed to learn that you exist at all!