Thank You for the Feedback...

Without getting into who said what, and repeating the good stuff while leaving out the bad, I just want to say thank you to all those who wrote in.  I not only learned of why you read these pages and what relationship you have with Thailand, if any, I also became more aware of my own motivations and biases.  I am particularly impressed with those who return often but do it in spite of what I sometimes say, and not because of what I write or how I write it.  An open mind is a precious thing and not to be taken lightly.

This online persona has come upon me quite by chance.  There was no conscious decision to be this or that, or to write in any particular style.  While some prefer a written word that more closely resembles the spoken word, I most obviously do not.  Not only am I generally unimpressed with peoples verbal skills, mine included, I don’t believe such language translates well to the page.  Without all the additional nuances of voice like tone, cadences and a bounty of nonverbal signals, the written word relies entirely upon itself.  Without extraneous visual aids, the words must paint a picture full of meaning, color, texture and mood.  I found myself lacking the ability to do that with the limited vocabulary and phraseology of daily conversation.  That is not to say it cannot be done by one more skilled than I.

My choice of words are not meant to lift me above my readers or intimidate those for whom this is not their native tongue.  Quite the contrary.  I seek to lift up those around me.  To transport visitors to a world of sensory experience and mental imagery, and to stimulate thought, reflection and perhaps a little soul searching.  Realizing that I have spent most of my life as a minority, surrounded by those who do not speak my native tongue, there need be no fear or shyness about expressing yourself in a language that is not your own.  At least not in this space. 

I was pleased to find that not all who return regularly to these pages are western men with Thai wives living overseas.  There are more women than I expected and more Thai women than I dreamed.  Not all respondents have visited Thailand, but among those who haven’t, there seems a strong desire to explore this distant land.  Clearly absent are those seeking a how-to guide to cheap airfare, cheap hotels, cheap beer and accommodating females.  That is as it should be, for I seek not to cater to prurient interests.  More blatant self promotion or pandering to these needs might garner more hits upon my page.  I, however, would not welcome a daily viewing of that person in the mirror.

My lack of helpfulness comes not from malice or arrogance but from concern for those so easily victimized and led astray.  Living in a foreign land is richly rewarding for some, like myself, but fraught with hazards for many.  That is why I think it should not be made too easy to put ones self in harms way.  There should be hurdles and difficulties that must be overcome along the way.  If someone does it for you then nothing is learned.  If one cannot navigate the simple logistical hurdles without someone holding your hand, that should be seen as a sign of things to come.  Fear should never hold one back in life but one needs understanding, self-reliance and competence to succeed.

Once again, thank you for the feed back.