Looking Back on the Best Juicy Bits of 2009

As 2009 draws to a close I thought I’d take a look back at Beyond The Mango Juice’s year so far and pick my favourite post from each month. Regular readers will have read most of my picks but there may be one or two which have escaped your attention. For newer readers the older posts will be an opportunity to read some of the stories which have helped Beyond The Mango Juice skip along the road to 2010.

President Hotel, Udon ThaniEarly January saw my return from Thailand to England and start the business of getting my head down to working for four months before my return to the Land of Smiles. Ting Tong and Dong is the story of the dog trade which sees many of Thailand’s unwanted dogs in Isaan end up as a serving in Vietnamese restaurants. Not one for the squeamish animal lover.

My pick for February is one of my personal favourites for the entire year and one which has received high marks on my post star ratings widget. It’s a simple story from my early years in Thailand and is written between the wonderful song lyrics of a very famous Frank Sinatra song. Being Frank, Regrets I’ve Had A Few leaves no doubts to the song’s title.

The early days of March saw me sat in the halfway house of my return from Thailand and my next trip. My phones calls to Wonderful Wi during that period kept my spirits high although one such call did leave me a little confused. If I had to choose my all time favourite post that I have written on Beyond The Mango Juice then Crossed Wires is the one. It’s a post written in a short play format.

Erawan Waterfall, KanchanaburiApril was a time for me to reflect on the economic and social damage Thailand was suffering due to the country’s political in fighting. I put my own point of view over with Let”s Work Together aided by Canned Heat’s song lyrics.

May brought with it a welcome return to Thailand and a chance to relax in Pattaya before heading north to Udon Thani and Isaan. I had a real sweet holiday and then it was time to return home but not before penning Land of the Rising Yen, a post written with a rather sombre state of mind.

The Thai peoples fascination with ghosts is amazing, there seems a mention of at least one in conversation most days. In the rural parts of Thailand outdoor mobile cinemas are still a big attraction at special social events and The Ghosts of Kamchanod combines the big screen with the big scream in my pick for June.

July was spent in the UK wishing for warm weather and my visit to my hometown’s annual Asian arts and culture festival brought the sun out and the crowds with it. HD and the Mela captures a little piece of Asia in a homely Wiltshire town.

Beyond The Mango Juice reached its 1st Birthday in August and one day previous I had celebrated my 50th. A double celebration was called for and Two Cakes and One Schizophrenic was my celebratory post. If you need a little background to this blog then this one lays it out and a little bit more.

Floating MarketI returned to Thailand in September and a glance at my holiday photos showed a repeating theme, ladies in a similar pose. Many of you may have seen Thai ladies striking a two finger salute when posing for photographs and wondered exactly what it means. I believe The Thai Two Finger Salute solves the riddle. This one receives a fair amount of hits and is currently in my Top 10 all time Popular Posts, not bad for a September post. I believe it’s one of my better efforts to date.

October saw me once again packing my suitcase and heading back to England. I brought home some great memories of the places we’d visited in Thailand but there was one I was glad to escape from. Mama’s Kitchen – Warts and All is somewhere you don’t want to venture into. Find out why.

If you have ever wondered what a Thai squat toilet looked like then think no more. November’s pick Thai Toilets – Get Me Out Of Here is unable to lift the lid on the subject but is able to bolt the door and give you an insight into a place where most of us don’t want to go. If you do visit this one then please remember to leave the bathroom in the same condition you found it.

It hardly seems right to recommend a post from this month but I’d like to push and promote the place in Thailand where I spend a lot of my Thai time. If you ever feel the need to escape from the more commercial side of Thai life then Udon Thani – Shake It and Wake It may nudge you in the right direction.

I hope you enjoy one or two of the posts and I am currently in the Land of Smiles and will be putting a couple of posts out over the next week or so. Until then have a very merry Christmas and best wishes to you all.


I'm a sixty-year-old Englishman living in the town of Swindon in rural Wiltshire and I have a real deep desire to retire in Thailand one day. If you don't have a dream then you won't have a dream come true.

6 Responses

  1. Mike says:

    Martyn a good year for BTMJ, some excellent posts delivered with just the right mix of English humour/sarcasm.

    Long may you continue, enjoy your holiday with Wi playing on your Wii with the fur ball weeing everywhere.

    I think I can speak for most of your readers and say WE have enjoyed following your adventures real and fictional- whatever did happen to Taksin in Pattaya? 🙂
    .-= Mike´s last blog ..Win Charity Donation and Technorati Review on MTF Christmas Quiz =-.

  2. Catherine says:

    Martyn, I give you 5 stars for this post as it will catch me up on those I’ve missed (I’m always good for a nudge or two).

    Hope all is well with you this Christmas 🙂
    .-= Catherine´s last blog ..Interviewing Successful Thai Language Learners: Hardie Karges =-.

  3. Steve says:

    That was a very nice stroll down memory lane Martyn, thanks! I especially liked the story about Mama’s kitchen…brings back memories of my own mother-in-laws kitchen.

    Hope you have a wonderful holiday!
    .-= Steve´s last blog ..Giving Back To Thailand – The SET Foundation =-.

  4. Hoo Don says:

    Thanks for your comments and I will try to answer them all but I’m staying in the village now and my internet access is very limited .Thanks and a merry Christmas to everyone.

  5. John says:

    the last year of the blog was great it’s a shame the economy doesn’t mirror this blog on the up and up i mean well guys happy new year lets hope for better days
    regards john
    .-= John´s last blog ..money and new year expat udon thani issan =-.

  6. Hoo Don says:

    John a big thank you to you because I know you give BTMJ massive support from the sidelines. I will one day buy you one big drink in Udon or Ban Dung. Thanks.

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