I was born in Bangkok and raised there until the age of 10, when I was sent to boarding school in Sydney. And although I’ve spent the majority of my years in Australia, my life really is a blend of the East and West. My mother is Catholic, my father is Buddhist. I eat Thai and Western food in equal measure, and I speak mostly Thai at home but English elsewhere. My Thai friends think I’m an Aussie, and my Aussie friends consider me Thai – and rather than be confused by all of this, I really enjoy the fluid access to both cultures.
Having spent my adult life in Australia, I’ve come to really admire the people of Thailand and their appreciation of life, irrespective of the circumstances. Thailand is a developing economy and there are some big wealth gaps there, but whether I’m chatting with a lady running her papaya salad stand, an experienced taxi driver or a young cafe owner catering to the new rich, they’re all my brothers and sisters, or aunties and uncles; the conversations flow effortlessly and sometimes endlessly! Above all, I think Thais are born addicted to two things: eating and talking!