I’m Going Back To America
I've just read Farang Dave's most recent submission and have to add my 2 cents. I currently work overseas and only spend a combined 25 – 35 days at home for the last 4 1/2 years. When not working or at home I spend my time in Dubai, Thailand,
Macao, Hong Kong or Amsterdam. In these places I come into contact with people all over the globe and have gestated what they say and how they act in the context of my own life's experiences and environment just as they have with me.
I have not been exposed to any first hand official corruption in the 37 days total days that I had vacationed in the LOS. I have only heard of this from Stick's website i.e. the police checkpoints and bar raids with on the spot drug testing which to an American is very off-putting. Prostitution in the LOS is for the most part a hell of a lot cleaner and decent than the kind you find in the USA or the parts of Europe (Germany, Holland & Belgium) I've been to. In all these western countries more times than not you will find women who are needle or crack cocaine drug addicted prostitutes that sell their services by the hour if not each service performed with volume of customers each day as the standard.
Being with a sex-worker like this is an obvious no go, not only for health reasons but aesthetic ones as well. In Thailand the GFE was called the courtesan experience back in the day. This may sound too elegiac for some of your readers but hey, with the plethora of choices in the LOS we all seem to find our level. Soi 6 and Boys Town in Pattaya actually have a parallel in my hometown and just like there you get what you pay for if that's all you want. I like conversation, massages, tour guiding, drinking and dining companionship while on vacation. You can get this in Thailand. In the west the prostitute will have her mind on hustling to the next customer or her pimp.
I'm happy our policemen can't be bribed as well as our city building inspectors etc. You by and large will not find a more tolerant and honest segment of American society than our police and our military. People that find their lives in danger or encounter real messes for regular periods time do seem to have a bullshit free perspective. As for politicians they are elected and when corrupt they are usually caught. Corruption should not be confused with networking and constituent as well as business based lobbying. How would they inform themselves of the issues if not directly? The corruption of politics and bureaucracy in the USA is more that of complacency, apathy, and fixed ideas that don't change with the times or change for the worse. This is happening with our medium to big sized businesses as well. Try getting customer support from any of these entities and have a nice day!
About political, economic, cultural, environmental (ad nauseum) and religious issues all I can observe is that globally there has been an unprecedented explosion of wealth creation in the past 2 decades. I have shared space in high end hotels, drinking and dining establishments with Europeans (not just the dreaded "Anglo-Saxon capitalists"), Chinese, Thais, Indians and Filipinos living large. Just as in America it has not just been Democrats or Republicans living to and then beyond their means but both and all. When the price of oil, then food and the unending river of personal and business credit did end everyone and sundry started pointing the finger at everyone else (see Anglo-Saxon and American capitalists especially).
I was accosted by a German one night that wanted me to feel guilty about my gasoline consumption when he found out I own a 1/2 truck with a 5.7 litre engine. I gently told him that as a Texan I live in a state that is about the size of France or Germany with a population of 25 million people that are spread out rather than condensed / compressed together in little cubby hole after cubby hole connected by a mass transit system since such a system is not feasible for the size of territory to population ratio.
It also is not feasible because most of us have our own vehicle by the age of 16 years and you could only take it away after you pry our cold dead fingers from our guns (good luck Jerry!). The next night (and I swear this is true) a professorial looking Englishman chides me about President Bush's reckless wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the $1 trillion it has cost. "Irresponsible, very irresponsible" he intoned. I replied "President Reagan had managed to spend $ 3 trillion in the '80's during peacetime on the military so President Bush's $1 trillion in the course of 7 years of war is a bargain." He then asked which candidate I supported (this was May 2008). I told him McCain. He asked who I wanted to win the Democrat nomination and I told him, "I just told you I support McCain so I ain't got a dog in that fight". He left me alone at that point with me wondering if he was the "dreaded Anglo-Saxon capitalist" or an old school Labourite forced to dirty himself with business in Dubai until the world comes to its senses and embraces the wise philosophy of Marxism.
This last anecdote illustrates a dichotomy I find at home. I grew up during the "Reagan Revolution". The refrain I heard from him, conservatives and the people at large was "the government should manage our money like businesses and households do". In between then, Bush I's Stay the Course" and Clinton's "Third Way" administrations (all with budgets that began in the House of Reps) Americans started managing their businesses and households like the government… on a seemingly never ending torrent of credit. This is where we are today and until the health care or "Obamacare" debate there were people calling themselves conservative yet advocating government responsibility for matters that have always just been private concerns and responsibilities.
I believe that the political solutions for health care as being proposed now are dead and for the best. The wolves were at the door and may be again in the near future and Americans may be risk takers but they are prudent risk takers. Obama's election was in part a result of our now mediocre to worse public school system. But Americans do learn by experience when cant and ideology fails them. The "magic of the marketplace" can eat you alive when there is "irrational exuberance". Now they are learning there is no such thing as free education or health care anymore than free groceries. You could get the government to buy your groceries but are they going to let you choose what you want to eat?
I have and will resolutely refuse to get involved with an American woman while working abroad. I have and in the future will find delight and give delight to a Thai GFE provider or courtesan. I doubt if I marry a national from anywhere in Asia since Thai and Filipinos tend to expect support for their entire families in return. I will start my small business venture in the USA for the same reason foreigners do. Safety of investment, quality of work, rule of law and a powerful (prosperous) market.
I will enjoy an unrivalled nightlife, outdoors / nature activities, cuisine and joyfulness that I've not encountered anywhere else I've been. When I encounter a liberal that spews can't and "can't", I will share my point of view if I can get a word in edge-wise or speak uninterrupted (wish me luck) or walk away as my compatriot did. When I encounter a 'conservative that wants less government but more government control or help for their pet peeve or need I'll recommend they join the Democrat party as they are mistaken in their philosophical identity. Eventually I'm going back to America.
Less about the US, please. This is not the site for it.