The Thailand Question

Many Thai people ask me why I chose to come to Thailand. Fair question. And when they do, they generally ask me with this kind of bemused look on their face. As if deep down they’re wondering,

‘Why on earth would you swap Buckingham Palace for Thailand?’

Well, from my first day ‘till today, it remains my favourite question, because over the years I have found myself modifying my answer.

And I’ve modified it, not because I was handing out white lies, or just telling people what they wanted to hear.

No, my answer has changed, because I have always found new reasons for staying.

Life’s extras, I call them.

Yes, there are the things that repeat day to day, but then there are the things which test, puzzle and excite.

Life’s extras. And in Thailand, I continue to either stumble across them, or get hit square in the face by them. Either way, it’s really as simple as that. Afterall, as much as I love somtam, I ain’t going to bet my whole life on it.

However, my story about Thailand doesn’t begin with Thailand.

In fact, it was never about Thailand.

It was always about England.

Well, England and I, and then wanting to get the hell out. Fast.

In the end, you could have dropped me off on Pluto for all I knew, or cared, and I’d have been happy. Simply, anywhere that was not England was a winner.

And just for the record, I don’t hate England.

It’s just that our relationship was over. And if we had stayed together we’d have ended up hating each other, and I didn’t want that.

So, in the end, it was best for both of us to go our own separate ways, and with that we could still be friends. Facebook friends.

I knew absolutely nothing about the place. Zero

Now, the great thing about coming to Thailand was that I knew absolutely nothing about the place. Zero.

I knew nothing about the language, the food, the temples, the smiles, the floods, the Sangsom buckets, the ladyboys, the full moon parties, the tuk tuks, the soi dogs, the 7/11’s, the Thai massage, the islands, the monkeys, the ghosts in the toilet, the yellow fever, the traffic jams, and the ting tong farang.

james and some random blue dude

And to be honest, I was very happy about that. In fact, that’s exactly how I wanted it to be. I wasn’t interested in what Google, some book, or some no-name-Jeff on some blog had to say.

I wanted to see it, experience it, learn it and judge it with my own eyes and ears.

Fast Forward 10 Years

And so, fast forward ten years, and today when Thai people ask me why I chose to come to Thailand, I generally take a moment to think back and remind myself that, yes, initially it was all just about me getting the dodge out of England.

But now,

looking back and seeing the journey that little bit more clearly, I feel I owe it all to the law of attraction.

Yes, I feel that in some cheesy, cliché, hippy-happy way that by the power of the Universe,

Thailand and I were jut drawn to one another; for better or worse, richer or poorer, but not for a Thai wife. Ha.