Sunday, May 06, 2007


Foreign Influence Upon Thailand

It shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone that Thailand has become highly Americanized. In virtually all Asian countries we can now see American products like McDonalds, Coke and Pepsi spelled in the local country's language.

What did surprise me was how influential Korea has become in other Asian countries. Posters for its art, such as music and movies, can be found throughout Thailand. The K-Pop singer Rain, pictured here, is especially prominent in ads for his own albums and pitching for other products, much to Catherine's delight.

Another surprising thing is that Thailand has a few things from America that I have been missing since I came to Korea.

For example, it's much easier to buy deoderant and a long pair of socks, unlike what you find in Korea, where white socks ne'er climb past the ankles and start disintegrating after about one year's use.

However, it was perhaps my greatest and most unexpected joy to find root beer in Bangkok. Not just any root beer, either; but A&W, the king of canned carbonation. It had Thai writing on its can, and as is the custom in those parts, they insisted on giving me a straw with it. Since it is nowhere to be found in Korea, I struggled to explain the taste of root beer to Catherine, so I simply allowed her a taste.

She recoiled after one sip and said, "It tastes like the sugar!"

Out of the mouths of ESL students.

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