August 29, 2014: For the past 30 years I have been, to a very great extent, a traveller, mostly related to my work, first as an architect and then as a business guy. I started travelling to Asia in the early 1980’s on architectural assignments and, while in Bangkok on one of those trips in 1985, I met a Thai family running a small hospital out of an apartment building in a pretty tough slum in that city. In a sense, I have never left and was, in a way, adopted by that family as one of the managers of their business. During the 1990’s, I started an international healthcare management business which, for almost 10 years, took me around the world numerous times, to some pretty exotic and sometimes difficult places to do my work.
During these trips, in order to keep in touch with my family and because phone calls were often difficult, I would send faxes whenever possible, like reporters’ dispatches from far off places. Later I discovered email, which I started to use when I could get modems and connections that worked. (Remember those weird noises that came out the little modem boxes.) But I always kept going back to Bangkok to work with my Thai colleagues on the hospital which became, over time, a totally integrated and very large health care system, with hospitals, geriatric facilities, nursing and retirement homes, clinics spread across the city, a large nurse aid school, mobile clinics and many other components that have allowed us to become one of the most significant players in the health and health education fields in Southeast Asia.
In 2006, I caught up with the age of the Internet and starting producing a blog – The Bangkok Blog – to recount the many interesting and sometimes humorous encounters during my trips. I first starting using a program from Apple called iWeb, with which simple blog posts could be entered. I used that program until 2011 when Apple discontinued it and started using another computer program to construct the blog. Then, in 2012, after discovering that lots of people read stuff on their phones and tablets, I created a Tumblr based blog that mirrored my main computer screen version so that people could see condensed versions of the entries while sitting on the bus.
And now, I have entered into the latest era of blogging where one does not need two systems to keep in touch. I have now switched to this simpler and easier to construct format that can be read equally well on any device – big or small. Now I only have to enter stuff once. So the Tumblr blog is now defunct and The Bangkok Blog lives on in a much simpler format, with easier to manage photos and movies. But the old ones are still there for historical reasons, in their original formats. (Just click on the buttons to the right of the history button and you will be transported backwards in time.) The Bangkok Blog story is actually sort of interesting insofar as it follows computing trends through the last number years in the way it has been formatted.
So welcome again to The Bangkok Blog. I don’t think the writing is any better, but time marches on and I enjoy the few minutes a day, during my trips, to recount some of the activities of my daily life in Bangkok. As I have said in the front pages of each edition of this blog….”The Blog entries won’t take long to read, because they didn’t take long to write. (After all, the job comes first.)”
January 2019: WordPress, the platform on which I produce the Bangkok Blog, has totally changed the way entries are entered and edited. While my posts will likely not look different, the way they are produced has changed pretty drastically. While this change is not as dramatic as past ones, from a viewer’s perspective, it’s a new learning curve for me nonetheless. I’m sure they’ll be more of these changes to come in the future, as software and platforms are modified to meet the latest and greatest trends and standards.