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The Secret Life of Models

I’d like to share a revelation that I’ve had during my time here. It came to me when I tried to classify your species. I realized that you’re not actually mammals…The only way you can survive is to spread to another area. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. A virus.

-Agent Smith, The Matrix

Perhaps you have spotted those exotic-looking creatures around Thailand, walking down the streets of Bangkok in broad daylight. Some them them seem otherworldly, with impossibly long limbs and features chiseled from alabaster. The males typically sport black tank tops, while the females wear as little as possible.

I’m talking about the ubiquitous foxius carouseslots, more commonly known as the Foreign Model.

Sorry, I'm with Jack Jumblies.

Oh really? You like my necklace?

Today, I will share with you a Steve Irwin-inspired peek into the lives and habits of these amazing creatures. Don’t worry, they don’t bite…hard.

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The Motorcycle (Taxi) Diaries

One time, as we were driving to Pattaya one evening, my friend hit a dog. The impact was surprisingly loud, but the dog got up and ran away. We wondered if it was hurt, and I couldn’t help but imagine that once it ran far enough into the woods, the pain of injury would catch up with it, and it would be left with a pathetic limp…or maybe it would just lie down and never get up again.


Living in Thailand for the past few years, I’ve encountered my fair share of minor mishaps. From getting stabbed in the knee by a bamboo meatball skewer to slipping on the rocks drunkenly trying to pee into the ocean on Samet island to the sharp edges and man-eaters at Mystique (RIP). Luckily, nothing serious every happened, leading me to suspect I am Unbreakable like Bruce Willis.

Anyone who has lived in muggy Bangkok knows that walking outside more than 100 meters involves sweating, exposure to pollution, twisted ankles on the uneven sidewalks, dodging stray doggy doo, and more sweating. For extended journeys, nothing beats the heat like the MRT subway and BTS Skytrain with their glorious meat-locker frigidity. But when you absolutely, positively gotta get somewhere fast, there is the ubiquitous motorcycle taxis, or the “Bangkok helicopter.”

I had to take a harrowing 45 minute journey from the rush-hour congestion of Lad Phrao road to the gridlock of Sukhumvit. After the Red Hot Chili Peppers concert at Impact Arena, there were no available taxis back to civilization, but my friend the “taxi mo’cy'” was there for me. I’ve lost track how many hundreds of times I have ridden one, and I’ve gotten used to it to the point where I blithely send text messages en route. Sometimes my biggest concern riding pillion is how to prevent the wind (and those bothersome helmets) from ruining my coiffure. I know, I know…I sound like such a careless dandy.

Now, from my office to my apartment is a 2 kilometer, 6 minute, 30 baht ride. There was nothing out of the ordinary about yesterday when I flagged one down for a ride back home. The driver was a little unfamiliar with the route, so I had to tell him where to turn. As we approached one intersection, I told him he needed to make a right. He slowed, put on his turn signal and…

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Just Shoot Me

Do I know what product I’m selling? No.
Do I know what I’m doing today? No.
But I’m here and I’m gonna give it my best shot.


Last month, I was at this uber-private “share” party (which was a blogworthy event on its own, remind me to tell you about it if I ever run short of ideas). My friend K introduced me to one of the big dogs there, owner of FHM (Thailand). He looks at me and says, yeah we can use you for something, give us your number and we’ll have someone call you on Monday. I guess I should have asked him which Monday, because it was actually last Tuesday when they finally called to offer me a fashion advertorial for the September issue, shooting on Friday. Cool.

I lobbied hard for my friend Kari with E&L Modelling, a willowy 5’11 ex-volleyball player from Colorado to be my counterpart on the shoot. We were both hopeful for the chance to work together, but she was doubtful because she “wasn’t an FHM-type girl.” I asked what she meant, because girl is hot. She smirked and she pointed to her less-than-ample bosom.

After a false alarm (“Yeah, Kari is booked with you. Uh…no, actually it isn’t her.”) it turns out that I would actually be working with Maggie, a different girl from E&L. Seeing how they both have two syllables and some vowel similarities, I can see how you could confuse the names…if they were uttered underwater.

I called Kari to tell her the bad news and mentioned I would be working with some girl named Maggie. She relayed the information to her roommate Sophie, and I heard a burst of laughter over the phone. I asked what’s the deal. Still giggling, she said that I would find out and tell her all about it when I was done. Hmmm…

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Fire Walk With Me


For most people reading the forthcoming entries, it may seem like walking halfway into a movie and not knowing what is going on. Maybe it will seem more interesting, as the back story is gradually revealed while the chaos unfolds in real time, like an unintentional homage to David Lynch’s Twin Peaks.

See, I used to write yarn-spinning scatagorical emails to my friends back in the States, describing my experiences, first as an American boy coming to Thailand to understand his roots, falling ass backwards into the hurly burly of the Thai entertainment industry, experiencing glorious highs and sobering lows, with chimerical flights of fancy to the Golden Triangle and the never-ending afterparty. In between dispelling rumors of a career in porn (“That’s adult entertainment to you, pal.”) and impending extradition for involvement in the Gold Club scandal, I travelled, learned how to read and speak Thai, auditioned for acting jobs and fending off the advances of Bangkok nightlife sirens, satyrs and transsexuals 4-5 nights a week.

At one point I ventured into the wonderfully seedy world of hip-hop nightclub ownership in Rachada Soi 4, an exciting, yet ultimately bittersweet experience that will one day be chronicled in print (either as a pamphlet or interactive filmstrip) in “Tales from Da Crib”.

Eventually, financial pressures and Mom’s furrowed brow dragged me by the thumbs kicking and screaming for a red-pill enema and I was made part of the Realworld System, where cruel Agent Realjob stood waiting, rubbing his grimy hands, cackling, “You thought you could avoid me forever, didja? Pathetic human! I dub thee…radio news producer!”

Now I had less time and energy to audition for acting jobs I wasn’t getting anyways. And having to write dozens of pages of work-related plagiarisms every month for Radio Thailand News polluted my creative mojo. I procrastinated on writing my anecdotal emails; ideas quickly backlogged in my head and eventually withered away. Document1 (in all its cruel blankness) mocked me as I aborted several attempts to kickstart my writing shwerve.

But not hope was not quite lost for the criminally underemployed actor, as famine lead to…well not quite a feast, more like a nice sized plate of ribs with a side of cole slaw. Within the span of a month, I booked and shot three television commercials (Knorr soup boullions, Pao detergent, and Westin hotel) along with two music videos (Thai pop rockers Kala and evergreen songstress Amp-Sawaluk). I’m back, Jerry! And from here on, I want to write it all down so I won’t forget. And in the meantime maybe I can also metaphorically lend my shoes to old and new readers alike.

So, am I the late-blooming chrysalis, ready to soon crush his doubters and hear the lamentations of their women? Or the marginally talented never-has-been whose list of near-accomplishments dwarf his embarrassingly meager C.V.? The space-fetus at the end of 2001: A Space Oddyssey or the inevitable donor of stem cells?

Right now your guess is as good as mine; as I knock the rust off my digital quill, I expect this gonzo-blog to appear implausibly slapdash. But viewed from a distance, it might reveal some universal truths. Or maybe just a 3-D picture of a sailboat, helmed by a hot female body with the head of Abraham Lincoln.

In the meantime, as long as we’re hunkered down in the same boxcar, here’s to enjoying the ride.


P.S. Thanks to my brother Charti for giving me the necessary kick in the Aesop to finally blog my monkey.