On April 24th 2017, I was interviewed by CBS News Travel Editor and Emmy-award-winning producer, writer and broadcaster, Peter Greenberg.
The interview was broadcast live on the PeterGreenberg Worldwide Radio Show, a syndicated travel-based news program in the US, which highlights a different location around the world every week. For the Bangkok edition, I was invited to talk about my life in the city, share a few stories and recommend some places that tourists ‘aren’t likely to find in the guidebooks’.
The interview took place at Hotel Muse, a stunning boutique hotel in the city center. When I arrived, I was directed to a boardroom. In the waiting area there, I bumped into an American man who was dressed in a t-shirt and cargo shorts, looking rather out of place. I’d turned up in a blazer, so wondered if I was a little overdressed in comparison. When I struck up a conversation, I was a little surprised to find that despite the fact that he looked like he’d just stepped out of MBK, he was also a guest on the show.
He was Scott Mallon, author of ‘They Call Me Farang’. He’s been in Thailand since 1995, and was originally a Muay Thai fighter. Now, he provides advice for other expats on his website, An American in Bangkok. He also has a YouTube channel, on which he mostly responds to questions about dating and rants about feminists or anything else that irks him. While we were both expats with roots in Muay Thai, we had very different perspectives and audiences.
After Scott’s segment was done, it was my turn. Peter was a pleasure to talk to, and was every bit as interesting as you’d expect an award-winning journalist to be. He asked about Muay Thai, my family’s reaction to my life in Bangkok, and what I loved about living here. He also asked where I’d recommend for a great Thai dining experience, and I mentioned Issaya Siamese Club, one of my favourite restaurants in the city. When we were done, I was left wishing we’d had more time to chat.
When the interviews were over, Scott and I walked out of the hotel together, making small talk along the way. As we parted ways, I politely told him I’d give his book a read. He responded with a look of shock. He became wide-eyed and silent for a moment, and that’s when I realised – this book wasn’t written for people like me. A quick Google read of the reviews when I got home confirmed that. Some of them complained that his writing was ‘misogynistic’, ‘chauvinistic’ and ‘inarticulate’. I inevitably decided to give it a miss.
While we were the only two guests being interviewed during that slot, we weren’t the only ones on the show. Here’s the full list of guests for the episode:
Here’s the full episode. My segment starts at 37 minutes. They played me out to The Beatles’ Magical Mystery Tour, which is pretty awesome.