My Decade in Thailand

I have been here since August of 2000 and I have spent the last 9 or 10 years here. I have not gone back to my country, not even once.

            In those 9 or 10 years, I have been raped, molested, abused (verbally and physically), beaten nearly to death twice, had sex with women as well as monsters (don’t ask), had a wife, lost the same wife, had a son, lost a son and been to the police station at least three times. I have lied as well as been lied to. I have stolen as well as been stolen from. I had a son, only to lose track of him as well as his mother. My own mother won’t even talk to me. My father and my brother barely tolerate my existence. They rarely talk to me by email and I am afraid that it is the same for me. I have been homeless twice and I feel like I have done more in ten years then in the first thirty years.

            My life in Thailand would not be celebrated by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT). Despite all that has happened, I would not trade those 9 or 10 years. For one thing, I did produce a son, something that I thought that I never would do in my home country of the United States. I am an English teacher and have tried my best to make Thais’ lives better by teaching them English. I did try to volunteer in the US for certain things, but that is different. My full-time job is to help people. I think that I can proud of that.

            Why have I not been back in the United States? As an adult, I found that the efficiency and the perfection really annoying. In the United States, everything runs on time. The phones always working. The banks always doing their job for you as they should. The electricity and water are always working. The trains and buses leave and arrive almost on time. Things are just so perfect. There is nothing to test you as a person. There is almost nothing to test your anger. There was nothing to my soul. My soul was not growing because there was nothing to test it. In Thailand, there is plenty to test your soul and to find out who you are. I would never have changed in the States while I have changed a lot in Thailand.

            Another thing that I did not like about the United States was that Americans complain too much. They complain about the schools, the government and each other endlessly. They have many outlets to do it such as radio talk shows, TV talk shows and the Internet. It became a cacophony and I just got really got tired.

            With all the complaining, you would think that the States is one of the worst places to live on the planet. The States is actually as perfect as a country can be on this planet and the Americans should appreciate more what they have.

            Thais are quite the opposite, even though they have good reasons. They have one of the most corrupt governments on the planet. The people in politics are also quite divided about the direction of the country. Their education system is indeed one of the worst on the planet and nobody seems to be doing anything about it.  Bangkok’s traffic would try the patience of saints and priests. Despite all this, Thais will sit back and smile. “No problem” is one of their favorite phrases.

            Another thing is that some Americans are just obsessed with conspiracy theories. They wonder who killed JFK and build shrines to their obsessions, They go to conventions who have the same obsession. Their whole life is devoted to their obsession and they have no room for the full life that they could have. Their obsession has become their life and I don’t like people who do not embrace the fullness of life. I came to Thailand to embrace life and it has made me a better person.

            Thais don’t believe in government conspiracies because they know that their government is out to get them. They know that people in power care more about maintaining their power then helping them. They only call the police if it is absolutely necessary since they are not sure what side the police are on. They could even be on the side of the criminals if the criminals give them enough money. A country’s people only believe in conspiracies if overall, their government is good.

            I am probably crazy to stay in a country that is as bad as Thailand. I guess that you would say that I am in love in Thailand and you would be right. I am crazy in love with Thailand and that is probably not going to change.

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3 Responses to “My Decade in Thailand”

  1. Sam Clark Says:

    Hi Tom,

    Just writing to wish you a happy holiday and new year. May you continue writing and enjoy teaching and helping others. Congratulations on surviving ten years and finding a fuller, more challenging life.
    Love,
    Sam

  2. Natural Says:

    You claim to be an English teacher…? Perhaps, over your next Singha, you should review your entire post – including the first sentence. I feel sorry for your Thai students.

    • tomtardis Says:

      I did get better if you read my other blogs. I at least had the courage to express my feelings to the world. That was also a personal blog. I should have made it private. What makes you so special anyway? To be so condescending and superior. Sorry for the late, late respense.

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