THAILAND DIARIES – VOLUME 3 – THAILAND IN PERSPECTIVE
Thailand in Perspective is the Third Volume of my Thailand Diaries and is now almost complete. But before I publish it as an e-book I have decided to post a selection of excerpts which I hope will encourage you to download and enjoy the whole book.
The second excerpt below is Part 2 of the short prologue which outlines the book and its content.
Excerpt 2 – PROLOGUE (Part 2)
Unfortunately there are too many publications and articles on Thailand proffering totally one-sided views, both ways I might add, and not enough that give a balanced view. Life is, after all, grey is it not? To emphasise my point, I am sure you will have read many gushing articles beginning thus;
‘Assault your senses with breath-taking beaches, soaring mountains, lush rain forests and stunning coastlines. The friendly and welcoming Thai people and their legendary hospitality are testament to the ‘land of smiles’ reputation. Combine this with unparalleled night-life, mouth-watering cuisine, relaxing and re-juvenating massage, an ancient intoxicating culture and it is easy to see how Thailand has become so irresistible as a holiday and retirement destination’.
The views expressed in my book are entirely my own, other than quoted sources, gained from personal observation, experiences, talking to others, living life in different parts of Thailand and spending time elsewhere. I recount true incidents, with a little poetic license, use interesting information both factual and opinionated from reliable sources to help the reader. I have attempted to show that Thailand, just like anywhere else in the world has many good and many bad features. I also list some recommended websites and reading which I consider may be helpful to anyone who is interested in the Country. However no amount of reading can fully prepare you for life in a different country with a different culture but it can provide an insight.
My Thailand experience started in 2005 and whilst I acquired some prior knowledge by reading, what I believed to be, informative books and articles, I now realise that nothing could have prepared me for the culture shock I was about to receive over the next few years. Unless you are extremely lucky or so ‘laid back’ that you are almost comatose you will have to pay your school fees with interest. If you survive, as many do, I suspect you will look back and reflect on my words and wish you could have spent some of your hard earned cash to buy some ‘hindsight’. Of course we all know it isn’t possible and, yes, it is a crazy statement but if I had known, in 2005, just a fraction of what I know now I would have done some things very differently and avoided a lot of heartache. It hasn’t been a bed of roses but It’s been a lot of fun.
Although I read everything with an open mind I could not, at the time, offer an opposing view to challenge the writers. So when I first read the ‘health warnings’ I didn’t pay too much attention; I was too focused on the positives, because generally there were mostly positives expressed to entice the reader. Reading some of the publications again, some years later, I could see clearly that many of the writers seemed to paint an unrealistic picture as if they were a part of the Government tourism conspiracy department. I also suspect, now, that many of the writers had had little exposure to the ‘grass roots’ communities in the Country and were therefore not writing from first-hand experience.
If you are looking for inspiration to motivate a new life in South East Asia I hope you may find, in Volume 3 of Thailand Diaries, some ways to help you beat the odds. If, on the other hand, you just want to be entertained with some light but stimulating reading then I hope you will enjoy the book as much as I enjoyed writing it. I hope my experiences and views may help those already living in, wishing to emigrate to, work or just holiday in Thailand to better understand the people, their culture and customs. Opinions will always be challenged and challengers should always be welcomed. Even if an opinion has a basis in fact it is still an opinion in the end. If you have experienced Thailand to any degree your views may well differ from mine. I would be delighted to hear them and you are most welcome to express them in comments.
Thailand in Perspective (excerpt 3) – To be posted next week.