When Seph (guitar and vocals) won the Love Is Music competition back in 2010, he enlisted two friends to record a single, “Mai Wa Tee Dai,” under the name Spoonfulz. After those two members quit, he then recruited Art (drums), Tok (guitar) and Toon (bass) to beef up the band’s funk and blues-inspired pop-rock. The four members talk BK through the band’s short but eventful life as they prepare their debut album on Smallroom Records.

How did the band’s current line-up come together?
After my former bassist and drummer left the band, I got to know Toon from the Siam Bass website. I’d known of Art’s great drumming ability for a long time as I saw him playing at a blues bar in Chiang Mai. So, after Art was recognized as part of the Project Rock Dream Team by TPBS, he came to produce an album in Bangkok and I asked him to join Spoonfulz. I knew Tok from my time on the Love Is record label, so when I moved over to Smallroom Records I convinced him to climb aboard too.

Do you feel like you’ve been through a lot?
Things come easy to some bands, who find fame thanks to being well-off. We started with nothing. In the six years that I’ve been doing this, I’ve seen a lot of hardship. At times we didn’t have enough money to pay for a bus fare so we had to walk with our instruments.

How does it feel to be getting some proper recognition?
We’ve been serious musically for a long time, and it feels great to be getting more gigs—but that also means more stress. We’ve been spending more of our time in the Smallroom studio than at home lately Art: I feel like we’re getting a better sense of direction, so hopefully we’ll be able to fully realize our potential.
Tok: It’s a real eye-opener. We’re working hard and we’re always tired, but once we finish our album maybe things will return to normal.

What are your thoughts on the domestic music scene?
Music is like fashion, ever-changing. People may be into a style now because everyone else is, but we can’t predict the future. I feel like, compared to the 60s or 80s, nowadays is just one big mish-mash of styles. Everything seems so fleeting.
Tok: For example, ska was popular for a while but that’s now passed. Then people got into jazz or rock, really adopting the look as well as the sound. Right now, the ukulele is still totally in vogue, but who knows how long that will last.

Which artist, past or present, would you most like to perform with?
Jimi Hendrix. That man is genius beyond words. Yes, he may have got addicted to drugs or whatever but his music still stands out today long after his death.
Art: Led Zeppelin because I really admire their drummer, John Bonham. The man is a hero to many drummers worldwide.
Tok: I’d have to say Prai Patomporn (Lao rocker). As a kid, I idolized him. He inspired me to be a musical performer. As for English music, I love Blur.
Toon: For me, Tower of Power (an American R&B-based horn section and band).


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He seems to have been away from the silver screen for years, but now Sunny Suwanmethanon, 32, is back in two new films, Seven Something and Shambhala. He opens up about his family problems, explains why acting is his one great passion and puts forward his argument against marriage.

I never had a goal in life as a child. I just went to school in order to graduate to please my parents and fulfill my duties as their son.

I hate math. It just makes no sense to me. That’s basically why I chose to study communication arts—so I didn’t have to bother with math.

I couldn’t get a proper job after graduating. I got bored easily so I changed jobs a lot. But I was lucky to earn money from being a model and playing music at night with my friend’s band, Kingkong Project.

I even got bored playing music every night. Everything is the same. People are there to get drunk. It’s just not a thing that I love to do.

One day an agency contacted me about a movie role. I rejected it at first because I knew nothing about acting, but they kept calling so I decided to go along and prove that I wasn’t up to it. But they loved me and I landed my first role as Kai Yoi in Dear Daganda (2005).

Acting is the only thing I don’t get bored with. It puts a spark in my life. It’s always exciting planning how to bring a role to life.

I try to base my acting on human behavior. Donald Duck is my favorite cartoon character because I feel he is a realistic portrayal of humanity. He’s not a bad guy but he does have his bad sides. I have many things in common with him—I can be grumpy, bad-tempered and stubborn.

I’m interested in writing screenplays and directing short films. My seniors at GTH have given me the opportunity to explore these sorts of projects.

Thai films like Shambhala are rare. It looks at the great journey of life by tracing a journey to Shambhala [in Buddhist tradition, a mythical kingdom in Tibet]. Most Thai dramas just keep repeating stereotypical plots and characters.

Filming in Tibet was really brutal. I’ve never been so cold. It was like sitting in a freezer without a blanket. It didn’t matter how many coats or sweaters I put on.

The most important part of traveling is the journey, not the destination. Traveling has opened up my mind. I love exploring and experiencing the unexpected, especially abroad. I disagree with people who just aim to work hard, save money and then retire. Enjoy life while you can.

Certain songs have more resonance when you’re sad. I used to ask myself why I felt sad. Is it really worth feeling sorry for yourself? Once you
answer these questions, you can move on.

I’ve had many low points in my life, like when my parents went bankrupt or when I felt I was being ignored by them. We never had much communication in my family, and it pissed me off to be the one who had to solve the problems all the time because we didn’t talk openly. But I’m happy that we’re much closer now.

I’ll never think of myself as weak or a failure. I don’t use my family problems as an excuse to misbehave or become a drug addict. I think many people make trouble for themselves because they are weak-minded.

Being an atheist doesn’t mean I’m savage. I still strongly believe in goodness. I lost my faith after my family fell into crisis and there was not a single soul to help us. Self-reliance is best.

I look down on selfish and irresponsible people because they can only lead a silly life. To improve, society needs people with a solid sense of right and wrong.

When people take sides, they come up with all sorts of outrageous arguments to justify themselves. For this reason, it’s hard to solve our national conflict.

Marriage complicates our lives. Lovers should be able to be together without worrying about social norms or who owns whom. Then if they break up it’s better than divorcing. I guess I have different views and maybe that’s why I don’t have a girlfriend.

Some may say I’m quite individual but I know I’m perfectly normal. I still enjoy using the BTS, taking a cab or walking the streets to get where I want to go.

I can’t drive a car. I don’t see any reason. We’re complaining about an energy shortage, but we still have tons of cars on the road.

I love shopping at JJ market for the rare, secondhand stuff. You can get awesome T-shirts for only 40 baht. They’re not all dirty old things, some just didn’t pass QC.

Cats are the funniest animals. I don’t know why, but they always look nervous. Their poses are hilarious. I just like to watch them in action.

Life is to be enjoyed. But if you only have happiness, wouldn’t that be boring? Trouble is one of the flavors of life.

Special thanks to: Good Question Pub


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With the London 2012 Olympics just about to get under way, BK interviews some of Thailand’s top medal hopes.

Ratchanok Inthanon, 17

Sport: Badminton
Successes: THREE TIMES World Youth Champion

How did you start playing badminton?
I started when I was about 6. My parents worked at the Banthongyod dessert factory. Afraid that I and the other kids would bother the workers and hurt ourselves on the machines, Aunt Puk, Kamala Thongkorn, the owner of the factory and now the director of the Banthongyod badminton school, took us to play badminton at the court next door. At the age of about 7 I became more devoted to the sport and I first made the national team when I was 14. I felt a little uncomfortable living with the seniors at first, but they taught me a lot and really encouraged me to follow my dream.
Who is your idol?
My idol is the Chinese badminton player Wang Yihan, who is the world’s top-ranked women’s singles player right now. In addition to her great strength, she’s very hard working and has a never-say-die attitude.
What’s your life like as an athlete?
It’s tough. I practice six hours a day and play lots of matches. As I miss school quite a lot, I have to work really hard to keep up with my classmates. It’s exhausting sometimes. And I don’t have time to hang out with my friends, as other teenagers do. But I understand that it’s what I must do if I want to succeed as an athlete.
What do you hope to achieve at the Olympics?
I want to win at least a medal, any medal, in the women’s singles. The first thing I want to do if I win gold is thank all the people who’ve supported me—Aunt Puk, the Badminton Association of Thailand, SCG and all the seniors in the national team. As for the medal, I would give it to my parents for safekeeping.
What are your future plans?
I don’t think too much about my studies. I’m more focused on badminton right now. I want to play for as long as possible. Normally, badminton players compete until the age of 25-26. But you can go for longer if you stay fit. In the future, I want to be a coach of the national team.
What more could be done to help Thailand’s Badminton players?
We lack good physical therapists. When an athlete gets injured, it’s up to them and the coach to take care of getting better.

Pen-ake Karakate, 22

Sport: Taekwando
Successes: Gold medal at The World qualification Event for the 2012 London Olympics

How did you get started in taekwondo?
I took a taekwondo course at my school when I was 9. My performance was outstanding, so the teachers chose to give me exclusive lessons. I was selected for the national team when I was 15. I was the youngest national taekwondo player at the time.
Who do you think will be your most challenging rival at the upcoming Olympics?
Every competitor will be equally challenging. If I’m to win a gold medal, I have to beat them all, so there’s no point in thinking about who’s the most talented. The most difficult thing about being an athlete is that you never know the outcome. In addition to our own actions, success is also a matter of timing and chance.
What has changed in Thai taekwondo over the past few years?
Kids these days are not as passionate as people of my generation who’ve had to go through a lot before reaching this point. Nowadays distractions are everywhere, meaning young athletes are not as focused on their sport as they should be.
How long do you plan on turning out for the national team?
I’ll leave when there’s someone more talented and devoted to replace me. I want to motivate younger people and challenge them to surpass me, because that’s what got me here today. It’s what life is all about—fighting for what you want.
How can we improve the standard of Thai taekwondo?
We need to improve our sports science personnel to take better care of our athletes. In addition, the welfare for retired athletes is not enough. Most athletes don’t succeed and don’t have any other career to fall back on. What it comes down to is an improved budget for sport.
Who is your idol?
This may sound odd but my idol is Wijarn Polrit, the boxer. I saw how sweet victory can be when he won a gold medal at the Sydney Olympics in 2000. Since then, my greatest motivation has been to win an Olympic gold medal.

Sutiya Jiewchaloemmit, 26

Sport: Skeet Shooting
Successes: Ranked 3RD in the world in 2009

What made you want to become a shooter?
My aunt was a renowned shooter, Bang-orn, aka Supornpun Jiewchaloemmit. When I was 15, I visited the shooting range with her and she encouraged me to give it a try. I didn’t think much of it at the time. But when I saw people preparing to compete at the SEA Games in 2001, I realized I wanted to be a part of it. The next year I went to China to practice and I made the national team the year after. I won gold and set new records at the SEA Games in both 2005 and in 2007.
Did you ever dream of competing at the Olympics?
I’ve always wanted to be the best at the international level. When I met my German coach at the Skeet and Trap Shooting Association of Thailand (STSA), I told him that I wanted to go to the Olympics. He laughed at first, but he eventually gave me a chance, even though he knew that I had no financial support. He told me it wouldn’t be easy, but I said I would do whatever it takes.
What are the biggest obstacles you have had to face?
Thai shooters have no sponsors, no financial support, no gun supplies and no professional trainers like other countries. That means we have to work harder than others. In other countries, it’s like they give you a boat and you just have to follow the stream, but I feel like I have to swim across the ocean on my own. My parents paid a huge amount of money for me to train in Germany. I asked for support from the STSA but I was rejected. But after I secured a place at the 2008 Olympics, I was lucky that Singha [headed by Jamnong Bhirompakdi, a former shooter] heard about my story and supported all my expenses.
What are your hopes for the upcoming Olympics?
To be honest, I want a gold medal. Some people say I’m too confident but that’s how I am. It’s natural to expect the best. I’m not here just for the experience anymore. I’m 26 now and I’m in it to win. If I claim a gold medal, I would thank each and every person who has believed in me.
What has been the best moment of your sporting life?
It was when I got a quota place to go to the games. Everyone said that I’m nuts and I can’t do it because nobody in Thailand had ever done this before. It felt like a real breakthrough.
What are your plans for after the Olympics?
I haven’t really thought about the future. Right now, I just want to win and keep competing. Today I’m ranked 5th in the world. I’ve been in world’s top 10 for 4-5 years. I once got to number 3 in the world in 2009, but I’ve since had some back injuries. I still believe that I can become number one. I hope that if Thai people start showing more interest in skeet shooting, one day I can own a shooting range, and I’d like to coach youngsters when I’m older.

Napalai Tarnsai, 30

Sport: Windsurfing
Successes: silver medal at 2011 SEA games

How did you get started windsurfing?
My parents know Amara Wijithong, a former national windsurfer. So, they decided that my older brother and I should try the sport out, too. I was 15 then. At that stage, I didn’t like windsurfing at all, but I went along with what my parents said. After a while, I came to enjoy it more and more.
What are the main challenges of windsurfing?
It’s very physically demanding. Practice is tough. I exercise six days a week, mostly running and cycling. But what’s really exhausting is the nature of the sport itself. Windsurfing means being exposed to the scorching sun. The wind and the sea can also be dangerous. When windsurfers go abroad for competitions, we have to be there about a month in advance so that we can adjust ourselves and our techniques to the local conditions. The athletes from the host country have a real advantage in that regard. What makes one willing to wrestle with these difficulties is nothing but love for the sport.
Who is your idol?
Lee Lai Shan. She’s a former World Champion and Olympic gold medal-winning professional windsurfer from Hong Kong. What makes her special is that she beat the European windsurfers. It’s a great success because Western athletes usually look down on Asian athletes. She has shown the world how talented Asians are.
What are your goals for the London Olympics and beyond?
I’ll try my best to exceed my own record from the 2008 Olympics, where I finished 20th. After London, there are three major tournaments to prepare for: the SEA Games 2013, Asian Games 2014 and Beach Games 2014. I aim to keep improving with every event.
What support do Thai windsurfers need?
Windsurfing is a costly endeavor when you factor in all the equipment, coaching and practicing. If we were to get more financial support, then we could build a talented new generation of Thai windsurfers.

Wittaya Thamwong, 25

Sport: Archery
Successes: First Thai archer to reach the Olympics

What drew you to archery?
When I was in high school, I had no real idea of what to try. So, I followed my cousin who was studying archery, even though I knew nothing about it. I had no skills but passed the physical test so I got in. The National Archery Association of Thailand noticed my potential, trained me, and recruited me to the national team when I was 18, becoming the youngest on the team. This will be my first Olympic Games.
What characteristics are needed to succeed in archery?
It requires a stable state, both physically and mentally. You need total concentration when taking aim and shooting. Having competed in archery for a while now, it’s obvious how it’s helped me become calmer and have more self-control.
What are your goals for the 2012 Olympics?
Many Asian countries are good at archery, especially South Korea and Malaysia, while the Thai team is considered to be a bit behind. However, anything is possible in archery. There are times when unheralded teams defeat more illustrious opponents. So, by doing my very best, I hope to at least claim a medal.
If you won gold, what would you do with the prize?
I’d give the money to my mom. And I’d donate some of it to talented youngsters. Too many kids don’t have a proper chance of being an athlete because they lack financial support. I want to help them achieve their dreams and improve the state of sport in Thailand.
What are your plans after retiring from archery?
I’m already in the navy. After retiring at around 30 or so, I’ll continue my naval career. However, I won’t completely give up archery. I’ll still shoot with a compound bow which doesn’t require as much physical strength. Also, I’d like to be an archery coach. The sport is much more popular now than when I first started competing. Parents are seeing our archery athletes becoming more successful, so they are encouraging their children to try it.
Are you interested in any other sports?
I’ve always wanted to try shooting a gun. I think it would require similar skills as archery—concentration and accuracy.

Nanthana Kamwong, 31

Sport: Table Tennis
Successes: third olympic games

When did you start playing table tennis?
I’ve played table tennis since I was in grade 8 back in Lampang after a school competition inspired me to take up the sport. I used to push two school lunch tables together and use them like a real ping pong table.
How did you come to join the national team?
From small competitions, I worked my way up to the regional and national levels. I was either winning or finishing second, so the director of the Sport for Excellence Department asked my parents whether I was willing to relocate to Bangkok to practice as part of the national team. As first, my parents said I was too young, but they later allowed me to move when I was 15.
What has been the best moment of your sporting life?
When I realized that I will have participated at three separate Olympic Games. That means a lot to me because I get to meet many of the world’s greatest athletes. I once beat the world’s 12th-ranked table tennis player. That was a big highlight.
What do you hope to achieve at the upcoming Olympics?
I want to reach the final round. I didn’t expect to come this far, especially because I’m 31 now, which is pretty old for a table tennis player. This is likely my last Olympics, so I have to make the most of my opportunity. I’ll do my best and if I win a medal, I’ll give it to my parents and donate the prize money to charity.
What are your plans beyond the Olympics?
I’d like to be a coach because I want to help bring up the new generation of table tennis players. I’m currently teaching students at Chulalongkorn University.
Have you had to sacrifice much to get where you are?
As a teenager, I would get frustrated that I couldn’t hang out with my friends like others my age. But then I realized that table tennis is my life. Everything I’ve achieved I owe to table tennis. I have friends who understand my situation, so now I’m happy.
Who is your idol?
My idol is Jan-Ove Waldner, a top Swedish table tennis player. I like the way he can take control of the ball. He’s a genius.

Kaew Pongprayoon, 32

Sport: light flyweight boxeR
Successes: gold medal in 2011 AZBA World Boxing Championship

How did you start as a boxer?
I started out mainly doing Thai boxing. At a sports day during high school, I participated in the boxing competition, where I was introduced to the international-style sport. One of my teachers saw talent in me, and decided to send me to a higher level competition. After I won, I became my province’s, Kamphaeng Phet, main boxer, and got to compete in many more bouts until I became a national team member.
What’s your training routine like?
I work out almost every day to stay in shape and prepare to compete. Some days are harder than others. Sometimes I feel bored and lazy, but I tell myself those feelings are just in my head. I know what I’ve got to do, and I always do my best.
What are your goals for this Olympics?
This will be my first Olympics, and I am more than excited just to be there. It will be my last time, too, because I will be over the age limit by the time of the next Games.
What are some of the obstacles you’ve faced?
Right now, the Thai Boxing Association isn’t in too good a shape. There have been fewer events, and I haven’t faced a new competitor for about 7 months now, making it difficult for me to improve. In order to become a better boxer, I need to fight different boxers with different tactics. However, all I can do right now is hope for the best, no matter what happens. My goal is to be placed in the top three at the games.
What will you do after retiring from the national team?
I hope to become a boxing coach one day, but if that doesn’t work out I will go back to my day job as a soldier. Ultimately, I want to make enough money so that my family and I can lead comfortable lives.
Who is your favorite boxer?
Manny Pacquiao [from the Philippines] is my favorite. I think he’s a great boxer, who is not only strong but fights in an aggressive and exciting way.


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Our top picks from foodie haven Saphan Lueng, Bangkok

1.) Long Leng/Bae Siang Kung

Rama 4 Rd., Between Chula Soi 7 and 9, across from Sapanlueng Church, Bangkok, 02-611-6338. Open daily 11am-2pm, 5pm-11pm.
This place had been around for 70-80 years under the name of Be Siang Kung, but the second-generation owner has made it catchier, changing it to Long Leng (loud noises). Their fish balls (B3.50) are made with yellowtail fusilier, white fin wolf-herring, and mackerel—all homemade and with no flour added. The result is a fish ball that really tastes of fish with a bouncy texture; and the same goes for their shrimp balls (B3.50). Their fish wontons (B5) are just as exciting, with minced pork thrown in for richness. Fancy something crispy? Try fried swordfish skin (B20), or have it all with their yen ta fo (tofu noodles, B35-40), which is seasoned with ketchup instead of the normal pickled bean curd.

2.) Ros Dee Ded

Rama 4 Rd., Chula Soi 9., Bangkok, 02-611-9826. Open daily 10am-10pm.
After inheriting his father’s business on Rama 4, the son opened another branch at Chula Soi 9. It’s all about the meat here, with options ranging from rice to noodles and hotpot. The rice topped with pork tongue stew (B40) is simply delicious: the pork tongue is well-done and the sauce is delicate. The signature noodles (B40-60) are braised pork and braised beef, sweetened by meat bone soup. The meat is thinly sliced and so perfectly scalded that it practically melts in your mouth. If you want to cook it your own way, then hotpot it is. Get ready for all the premium meat cuts—sirloin, flank, shank, rib eye, chuck, etc. The tip from the owner is to adjust the pot’s temperature by slowly mixing in the soup with the meat in a separate bowl. This way you’ll experience a softer and sweeter meat. Do note that you have to call ahead an hour for the shop to prepare the premium meat.

3.) Kao Ka Moo Lert Ros

Rama 4 Rd., in front of Hong Chai Rice Ltd. Bangkok. Open daily 4pm-midnight.
The menu sounds simple enough—rice topped with stewed pork leg—but we all know how difficult it is to find the perfect kao ka moo. The pork skin is on the fatty side, but that’s why it’s so delicious. The pork is slowly simmered in a brown soy sauce for a sweet, rich taste, and the pickled Chinese cabbage and vinegar make for a perfect balance of sour, sweet, and salty. And if the rice dish (B35-50) isn’t enough, just order an extra plate of it (B70).

4.) Kao-tom-pla Sa-pan-leung

506/2-3, Soi Pranakares, Rama 4 Rd., Bangkok, 084-727-8899. Open daily 5pm-10pm.
Don’t get confused by the big ‘Viroon Ice-cream’ sign in front of the shophouse since there is no hint of ice-cream anywhere nearby. This place is known for its fish boiled rice (B150) that comes with a flavorful sauce on the side. It may seem a little pricey for a bowl of soup, some rice, and some fish, but they make each dish separately, and serve only the freshest fish. No need to worry about scales or bones: just let the fish melt in your mouth—just like eating ice-cream.

5.) Jae Sri

Soi Pra Nakares, Rama 4 Rd., Bangkok, 081-927-7017. Open daily 6pm-10pm.
Jae Sri has been in the business for 30 years, and her secret, she says, is using only the top part of the water mimosa, making her Yum Pak-Krachade (B80, B100) the talk of the town. Apart from her renowned dish, we also recommend the boiled cockles (B100, B150). As for her marketing strategy, you can even find her on Facebook!

6.) Sangkaya Bread by Chai

506/1, Soi Pranakares, Rama 4 Rd., Bangkok, 089-893-5393. Open daily 6pm-midnight.
Warm bread with sangkaya and a hot glass of milk is about as close to a grandmother’s hug as food gets. And that’s exactly who Chai got his recipe from, serving his grandmother’s not-too-sweet, yet very fragrant, sangkaya (B30). And if his specialty doesn’t warm you up, his genuine smile will.

7.) Seng Sim Ee

Rama 4 Rd., Soi Pra Nakares. Bangkok. Open daily 4pm-midnight.
What better way to end your day than seng sim ee (hot and cold Chinese dessert)? It’s sweet but healthy so don’t hesitate to have it at night. A must is ginger syrup served with grains (B35-40) gingko seed and lotus roots. If these sound too organic, try the bean curd, rice flour balls, and glass noodles. 


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Motorcycle taxi driver Dejchat Phuangket, 39, made international headlines earlier this year when he was first to post news via Twitter of a serious bombing in Bangkok. He now has more than 6,000 followers who keep an eye on his traffic updates and street-level tidbits of citizen journalism.

BK: Why did you become a motorcycle taxi driver?
After finishing sixth grade, I worked in my family’s rice field in Srisaket province for five years. But I realized there was little future in that, so I headed to Bangkok. I attended non-formal education and worked in a factory. But everything about the factory was so systematic that I didn’t get to see the world or socialize. So I quit and became a motorcycle taxi driver.

BK: What drew you to online social networking?
I’ve always been into technology. When there are no passengers, I go to an internet cafe. I started with a blog to promote my community in Srisaket. I wrote and posted photos and videos about the local lifestyle, farming and tourist attractions. Then I thought it would be good to advertise my messenger service on my blog. A few years later, I signed up for a Twitter account, just hoping to follow the news. But then I started using it to report traffic incidents and promote my business. And interest in my work has obviously increased.

BK: What does your service cover?
I mainly deliver documents, but I also deliver flowers on Valentine’s Day. Sometimes I even have to choose and buy them! And when I post photos of my favorite food, sometimes people pay for me to go buy it for them. Once a customer contacted me from Japan wanting me to buy things for his family in Bangkok. So, my service includes practically everything. I go to nearby provinces as long as it doesn’t take longer than a day. The furthest I’ve been is Rayong.

BK: What’s your income?
I earn B400-900 a day. Here in Bangkok, I live alone because my wife is in another province. We have no kids, so there aren’t too many expenses and we can build up some savings. Although I use gadgets to post online, I don’t really spend that much money on it. I only have a smart phone. I have to go to an internet café to use a computer.

BK: Got any social media tips?

Social networking has blurred the line between public and private. We have to be more conscientious when receiving and sharing news. We should always be on the lookout for accurate facts. I pride myself on only sharing factual information. I try not to state my opinion too much, especially regarding politics. It would only cause conflict and I just don’t want that. Interview by Benjamaporn Meekaeo

Follow Dejchat at twitter.com/motorcyrubjang and www.oknation.net/blog/motorcyrubjang.


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