March 25, 2015

If I say the word “massage,” what comes to mind?

Photo courtesy of Connie Ma via Flickr.

Relaxation or therapy, luxury or necessity?

In North America, massages have generally been associated with shady evening activities. A double entendre exists with parlors often being associated with the likes of escort services. Fast forward a few decades to September 2013, when USA Today reported that the demand for massage therapists would increase by 160%. They reported it was the fifth fastest growing job in the US. Today, franchises such as Massage Envy, Hand and Stones and N8 Touch struggle to find qualified staff. Massages have become commonplace.

Now if I mention massages in Thailand, those old preconceived notions of massage flare up. People Read More »


February 11, 2015

Street Dogs, Temple Dogs, and Pampered Dogs.

Photograph by Goy Bravo.

Our social media abounds with photos of adorable dogs. They are “man’s best friend,” indeed. Many people bestow more love, time and conversation on their pawed friends than on their families.

But in Thailand, street dogs roam in packs and are flea-infested and starved. Abandoned in staggering numbers and breeding uncontrollably, these stray animals overwhelm the streets and the system. According to Thai Press Reports in October 2007 – the most recent data I could locate – in Bangkok alone, over 120,000 dogs were homeless. Imagine the number today. Every town and city in this country faces this problem. Read More »