‘Siamese Anglophile’ – An innocent’s journey from London to Bangkok, via 12 schools, 5 countries and dozens of jobs
What was life like for a Thai boy growing up in England in the middle of the last century? Beginning with his early days at an English boarding school, Siamese Anglophile (Talisman Publishing, 2022) is the story of a Siamese born in London and nicknamed ‘Teddy’ by his English nanny, told through a variety of jobs from sorting the mail in London Post Offices to fruit-picking in an Essex farm to performing as an extra in James Bond films in Pinewood, he describes a way of life that has gone forever. It also describes a voyage of discovery in search for his roots. The problem of continually being uprooted and having to adjust to schools (twelve) in different countries (five) and having to learn different languages and cultures, is told with empathy and good humour. The story moves from London of the Swinging 60s through to his arrival in Thailand totally unsure about what to do for the rest of his life. He recounts his initial attempts to become a career diplomat, and eventually landing in the advertising business for the next 24 years, he finally ends up teaching the subject in an American university. Teddy’s plain language and simple descriptions of life at the time, combined with the colourful variety of his travels and entertaining experiences in a variety of jobs, bring to the reader the immediacy of the past, peppered with anecdotal wit and historical vignettes.
About the speaker
Mr Teddy Spha Palasthira was called to the English Bar at Middle Temple in 1969 and is a published author, following successful careers in diplomacy, advertising and academia. His published work includes Addresses (2010), The Last Siamese (2013) and The Siamese Trail of Ho Chi Minh (2015). After a short stint at the Thai Foreign Office, he switched to an advertising career, and ran Ogilvy & Mather and Dentsu Young & Rubicam in Bangkok, won a Clio creative award from New York, was a visiting professor at Missouri School of Journalism in the mid-1990s, and was appointed Media Adviser to The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Thailand in 2007. He is a former President of the Thai-Italian Chamber of Commerce and the Dante Alighieri Cultural Association, and a former Council Member of the Siam Society and the Franco-Thai Chamber of Commerce. He is a Grand Officer (First Class) of the Italian Republic (2004).
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