Bangkok, August 16, 2017 — Day 2/365.
I am halfway through Sebastian Junger's latest book, Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging. Junger is also the author of the 1997 book The Perfect Storm, which three years later was made into a blockbuster movie Starring George Clooney and Matt Damon. Having worked on Alaskan fishing boats, I found George Clooney a stretch as the Captain of the Andrea Gale and Matt Damon's annoying Boston accent was too much to bear for two hours. I was not fond of the movie and have yet to read the book.
Despite disliking the movie, I like Sebastian Junger's work. What led me to purchase Tribe were his documentaries; Retrepo, Which Way to the Front Line, Korengal, and the Last Patrol. Restrepo is probably my favorite of the four, but they are all excellent and I highly recommend watching them if you get the chance. Once I finish with Tribe, I'll read another of his books, War.
Lately I have been asking myself why so many foreigners visit and live in Thailand. Despite increasingly jaded Thai attitudes, the ever-difficult visa system and the rising cost of living, there is a never ending stream of foreigners moving to Thailand or planning to do so in the future. So many foreigners want to live in Thailand — but why? It is easy to attribute this phenomenon to the feminine wiles of Thai women or simply because it costs less to live in the country, these are gross oversimplifications. Thailand is cheaper, not necessarily cheap, and Thai women are a lure.
While reading Tribe, it dawned on me that expats are similar to the white settlers who left their American and European societies to live among the American Indians. They traded their culture for another. What makes westerners want to live in Thailand? Not only live in Thailand, but vehemently oppose returning whence they came. People around the world dream of living in the United States; the land of opportunity, freedom and prosperity. What exactly is the allure of Thailand though? Better yet, what makes western culture so unappealing?
More on this tomorrow...
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