Thailand, Forever New ...

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m not speaking for myself but for the multitudes who “discover” Thailand each year.  The evangelical converts who wax lyrical about all things Thai, be they cultural, culinary, carnal, curious, creepy, climatic, or conversational as in learning to speak Thai, which I highly recommend.

Some of these new explorers, upon discovering the wonders of Thailand, are eager to convert or instruct others on the ins and outs of every imaginable aspect of all things Thai.  Blogs are one way of getting the message out.  There are some 250 Thai related blogs to be found on but one list, inaccurately named Top 100 Thailand Blogs.

Here you will discover a wide variety of styles and subject matter.  I fall into the category of narcissistic personal bloggers who write only of their own experiences and stick to original material and opinion.  Some focus on politics, travel, food, religion or nightlife.  Others repackage the news they scavenge from more legitimate news sources while adding their own editorial twist.  Some of my favorites are the professed puritans who write pages of prose boasting of their lack of interest in all things carnal while using every imaginable and lurid keyword, catch phrase and search word in their somewhat hollow denial.  Whether this duplicitous approach is intentional to attract page views or simply a sign of naiveté and inexperience is anyones guess.

For those in need of guidance, there are guide books telling you where to go, when to go, how to go and even why and how much.  There are instruction manuals on how to do almost anything from finding food, accommodation, transportation and companionship to things like driver’s licenses, visas, marriage and anything else you can think of.  Everyone seems to think they have something new or better to offer from the hoards of others doing the same thing.

Whether in their twenties or seventies it is fun to watch the new arrivals reinventing the wheel and announcing their new discoveries.  Even with all the new sources of information that were not available back when I first reached these shores, people continue to make many of the same mistakes and if anything seem to be even more naive than the intrepid unprepared explorers of the past.  Sadly those who need advice the most are often the least likely to take it I have found.

Clearly there are those who are suited to life as an expat or involvement in a cross-cultural relationship but it is equally apparent many are not adapted to such a life.  If you are a screwup at home, chances are you will be an even bigger one over here.  If you don’t know much about Thailand and can’t speak the language then it is all down to luck of the draw in your search for a partner.  A quick look around will confirm the world is not full of lucky people.  Luck would seem to be the exception, not the norm.

For those of you who have only recently discovered Thailand may I wish you good luck and enjoy the ride.  My only word of advice would be to learn the language if you plan to do more than holiday here from time to time.