Wednesday, 19 September 2007

A strange, strange land...

The author of Farang, Dr Iain Corness, chats to Thailand's PM TV about a reincarnated squid, his date with a fortune teller and one of the few countries where you can still get run over by a shop!

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Monday, 3 September 2007

Confessions of a maverick

"Do engineering," said my school careers officer – so I enrolled for Medicine. I was 17 years old and that young man was already showing signs of being a maverick.

In my third year we were given ID cards stamped with "to be carried at all times on University property," so I tore mine up. When questioned by the Dean I replied simply "I know who I am, so I don't need one." Being a maverick earned me a severe reprimand, but I didn't carry an ID card for the rest of the course.

Returning from the UK to Australia with my shiny new medical degree I immediately went motor racing. "Son, doctors don't go motor racing," said my father. "Sorry, Dad, but this one does."

My refusal to fit into the accepted mold has seen me open a photography studio and score a contract to do the Australian equivalent of the famed Pirelli calendar. That maverick nature had me open up the first Thai fast food restaurant in Brisbane, and import a Tuk-Tuk from Bangkok as a promo item. Of course I also drove it to my medical practice as well. The patients loved it. The police did not. If it were a car, where were the seat belts? "Attached to the canvas roof? Come on, officer." If it were a motorcycle, where was my helmet? "At home."

A maverick never conforms.

So it was not by accident that I tentatively sent my outline for a book to publishers called Maverick House. One maverick can recognize another. In fact a house full of mavericks.
So for all the mavericks out there, do whatever you want to be doing. And resist all attempts at classifying you. Me? I'm just an ordinary doctor who races cars, photographs ladies and oversees a damn fine Tom Yum Goong!

- Dr Ian Corness, auhor of Farang: Thailand through the eyes of an ex-pat