I have been a Stickman reader for the past 8 months and thought I should finally submit something to give back to the community of writers as well as readers of this forum. After reading so many submissions about life in Thailand, marrying a Thai woman,
experiencing the nightlife or living as an expat I thought I should pass on some words of wisdom on all these topics.
My first Thailand trip was over 17 years ago and as many of you have found from your very first journey, I knew I was destined to live in Thailand. I felt more comfortable and free here than at any time in my life. The old Don Muang airport
had that exotic feel and smell that made you aware that you were in a foreign land. At that time in my life, I was the owner of an import export company as well as a financier for a factory in Mexico. I was asked by my agent to come to Thailand
to look at some factories. Prior to this trip all of my business was in Hong Kong and China so it was not unusual for me to travel to faraway places and to see something new. Perhaps for another submission I will tell some stories about travelling
to China when everyone was wearing Mao Tse Tung outfits and about one of my first meals in Northern China consisting of dried scorpions.
After arriving in Thailand with my Hong Kong agent, I was picked up at the airport by an affiliate of the HK agent who would become my lifelong friend. We were taken to a restaurant by the name of “NO HANDS” which I’m
not really sure if it exists today. As anyone who had experienced a meal in this establishment knows, you never use your hands for eating dinner. Even though I have experienced the nightlife of Hong Kong and have been a frequent visitor to Big
Boss club in Tsim Sha Sui, this was a unique experience. Bangkok at that time had traffic jams that were fabled around the world and it took hours to go from one appointment to another. Overall it was a lot more difficult to do business here than
in Hong Kong but I immediately fell in love with the place. I made sure to buy products from Thailand just so I could make an excuse to return as frequently as possible.
During that period of my life I was married with two kids but found it hard to buy into the American dream of acquiring more and more wealth, buying the bigger and better house, sending the kids to the most expensive sleep away camps, eating
at the most popular restaurants but living a very shallow life. It was keeping up with the Jones on steroids. Over 20 years ago and maybe even today most of the people in the United States did not have passports and they never thought of expanding
their horizons. After travelling for business for some years it started to open my eyes to another world. I would try to tell about my exploits around the globe over dinner but it fell on deaf ears. The topics of conversation were so mundane and
were always centered around spending money either on the latest BMW or what they bought for their house or where they ate dinner last night. As most of you felt after your trips to Asia, it became where my life in the States was intolerable and
all I could think about was my next business trip.
Luckily I had business in Mexico which necessitated me being in Mexico City at least a week a month and my four trips to Asia a year which lasted for about a month at a time. I was extremely wealthy or thought I was with all the material
trappings like a million dollar home, a ski house, a sailboat but it was never enough. Most of it was bought on credit and it put an incredible burden on my life. Now I can understand how an ox feels with a yoke around his neck. So instead of
enjoying the lifestyle all I wanted to do was run away. In Mexico I was turned on to the nightlife where we would go to clubs, see the most beautiful women dancing, drinks lots of Tequila and there was always a stunning lady to keep me company
in bed. In Asia it was even crazier because of the large quantities I bought for my company the factories reciprocated by taking me out to lavish meals and the exotic women I bedded at night was just icing on the cake.
It got to the point where I felt like I was living a double life. There was one life in the States where I felt trapped and was living a lie. The other one was full of experiences that opened me up to the world. While I was travelling abroad
I started to smell the roses instead of just going to visit factories. I needed to experience different cultures and adventures and took advantage by trekking in the Himalayas or being stopped at an Indonesian checkpoint and bribing my way through.
Now every trip for business had a side adventure or just lots of fun with the guys. I remember going to Koh Samui when Chaweng Beach was a dirt road or visiting Angkor Wat before the tourists invaded. Because I was so unhappy in my marriage I
started to look for love in all the wrong places. I started tiring of bedding 30 different women during a business trip to Asia and yearned for a meaningful relationship. As written countless times on the Stickman site, Thai bar woman know how
to create the boyfriend experience which was very different than found in China at that time.
It finally got to a point where it had to end and I could no longer live this lifestyle. I guess it was fated that I had to crash and burn. I will leave the story here which was about ten years ago and my next submission will start to bring
you up to date with my current life.
I wonder what is stronger and plays a bigger part in one's decision to relocate. Is it the urge to leave the West, or more the desire to move to Asia?