Daily Archives: November 27, 2005

Getting a life….

I’ve been having the writer’s block for a few weeks now. So many things to blog about, no idea where to start…. so now I’ve decided to plunge in, still no idea where this blog is going to end up…. but hey, that’s exciting! This November was exactly about that: plunging in, having no idea where I would end up.
So, here I am, having moved countries with merely a backpacker’s backpack and a laptop. Let alone countries…. continents. Seasons. Cultures. Personalities. It’s like a reincarnation within the same life, having the chance to take my diploma, my financial background and my experience. Nothing more I could ever ask for…. or…? We’ll see.
I flew in four weeks ago. Spent a few days with a friend in Bangkok learning to laugh and go places again. Visited Richard’s school for a couple of hours. Went off to Ko Chang to chill out for a few days, and got a marriage proposal there out of the blue 🙂 (and the usual sunburn). Then packed up and came to Chiang Mai two days before Loy Krathong. Within three days I landed my dream job in a kindergarten, I’m gradually learning to deal with the unusual things (and the low salary), and getting the feel of what is expected of me at this extremely laid-back place. I bumped into my ex in the street and we are still on speaking (and dining together) terms. I met SiamJai and I enjoyed his company a lot (wish I could see more of him!) Loy Krathong was magnificent, I felt like I can continue my life exactly where it got cut off two years ago, when I left on the third night of the celebrations. Sometimes it feels sooo perfect I start worrying I’ll have to wake up. Sure, I still have the butterflies all over (not just my stomach) because of my visa situation, and I still have no place to settle down. No culture shock, and I don’t expect a serious one in the near future, but loneliness keeps haunting me every now and then, we are in for a few fierce battles it seems. There are so many faces of loneliness – but at least one is delivered a blow here in Chiang Mai: you will never be alone. Whether it’s just a surprise backrub from the internet cafe girl, or my boss comforting me when I’m crying, or a vendor smiling at me and giving a few extra donuts, people DO care, and it makes a mountain of a difference. An entire mountain range of a difference. I’m learning to be happy again, to live, to see the simple beauty of everyday things, to relate to people, to teach kids again….
Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Wouldn’t have had the guts without the inspiration from these blogs and the forums, and the people behind the words. I would like to thank you all again for helping me get myself together and fulfill a dream.

The Million Baht Project

Paknam Web Office

Some of you may know already, that these blogs are produced by the Paknam Web Network. It is a company here in Thailand that I set up with a group of my ex-students. The picture above shows our office and some of the students hard at work. We not only produce the thai-blogs.com web site, but also more than 30 others which include: thailandlife.com, learningthai.com, thailandguidebook.com, ethaimusic.com, thailandQA.com, thaichatbox.com and enjoythaifood.com. These web sites are among the most popular in Thailand as we get more than 50,000 visitors every day. The blogs themselves are now averaging about 5,000 visitors a day with a one-day record of 8,000 visitors the other day.

This popularity may all sound very good, but it is starting to prove to be very expensive for us. Although the blogs don’t have as many visitors as some of our other sites, it is actually our second most expensive web site to run.  In the beginning, the web sites were supported with profits from our online book store. But now the server and other expenses are costing us thousands of dollars every year. We recently did a major upgrade which cost us a lot of money. However, it didn’t help for long. Some of you may have noticed periods of time when the blogs are opening very slowly. This is happening between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. Thai time. This is peak time for our major web sites and the server is having a hard time coping with so many people connecting at the same time. We now have to do another upgrade.

We were planning on continuing to pay for these upgrades ourselves. But someone came up with the idea of the Million Baht Project. This is basically how much we would need to keep these web sites running for about three years. We have recently had people come up to us offering to donate money to help keep the web sites running. This is basically what the Million Baht Project is about. If you make a donation you will become part of the history of the making of Paknam Web Network. You can also have some fun as everyone who donates has a chance of winning a portable DVD player!

If you would like to make a donation, then please visit www.millionbahtproject.com