Encountering Bangkok for the first time was a culture shock. Being from Trang, Bangkok was like self-contained world that had never been affected by outside suffering. People just lived their lives regardless of the situation in rural areas.  
I was kind of a rebel at Chulalongkorn University when I studied medicine there. I had this ideal of studying to help society, and would always go to over Thammasat as they were much fairer in discussing social rights and politics. I stood up to fight for women’s and workers’ rights.
Thailand was in a chronic state of dictatorship. Students were sick of the fact dictators would create political parties and keep electing themselves into parliament. When there were protests, they would stage a coup d’état and use martial law to get rid of opposition, block freedom of expression and end the constitution. This triggered the student uprisings of 1973 and 1976.
I was naïve when I ran away into the jungle. We just had no neutral place to stand in society. It was only “yes” or “no” to the system. We were pretty young to be thinking about changing society, so we decided to join the Communist Party, as we believed this would make it possible to stand against the dictator.
Everyone is stronger than they think. Living in the jungle I learned that we could do everything. We grew rice, harvested it and pounded it to eat. I learned so much. I even gave birth to my first child in the jungle. 
I didn’t want to sell my country to the communists. I began to have real doubts about whether we were giving up the democracy we believed in. The government finally declared an amnesty bill for those who ran away and communism in Thailand collapsed. 
I had my second culture shock when I came back from the jungle to Bangkok. I was paranoid. I even ran to hide after hearing a loud bang from a tuk-tuk. I finally packed my bags to go study at Cornell. This time I chose political science and did a master’s in history before coming back to be a writer and translator in Thailand.
War photographers inspired me. They always gathered in Bangkok. Seeing them carry big camera bags everywhere was so cool. I wanted to be a photographer, but after all the chaos, I just did it as a hobby. 
I can’t adjust to digital photography. I used film before so it’s like putting down your sword and using a machine gun. 
I just don’t think that everything can be digital. With film, you need to be very accurate in your shooting, especially measuring the light. 
Foto+United is a community where I want to bring good photographers together and give back to society by shooting beautiful pictures to promote the provinces or communities that have a special character. Our gallery on Phra Sumen Road has just been renovated this month, too. 
Loving culture landed me a job at Museum Siam. We have lots of museums but so many are boring; simply things placed on shelves. A museum should be a friendly and lively place for people to come to learn about history and culture. That’s why we introduced the Muse Pass, which gets you into 20 museums in the Rattanakosin area for only B199. 
Thailand is a hyper-critical society. I partly blame social media as it creates this mass culture of everyone talking about the same topic on a huge scale. We’ve really changed from the old days where we hated to criticize people in public. 
Words are more powerful than you think. There’s been too much hate speech in politics for too long, and it promotes violence both emotional and physical. People hate each other so much that they can’t compromise. 
I’m dejected that there’s been another coup d’état. Prolonged nepotism is Thailand’s downfall. People only think of their own benefits instead of the country’s benefit.
A country is not a company. You can’t run it where people have to work to please the boss, and then the company makes a profit. If someone takes a stand against your policies then you fire them. That’s all wrong. Thai people aren’t the government’s employees. 
Disparaging kids’ intellect doesn’t help anything. I hate when adults think they are the center of the universe. I often go to lectures and meet instructors who underestimate their students. 
My family is very liberal. My kids are free to debate everything they have doubts about. Study your kids while you raise them: find out what they’re really good at and support them.
You can always find strength in yourself. Whenever a bad thing happens to me, I pull myself together. You can’t just run away all the time.   
Friends are important assets in life. Many people try to buy a second home on a nice mountain or at the beach. But if you have friends, you don’t have to buy anything. They’re always there for you.