I returned to Bangkok today after 2 weeks in elephant hell aka Chiang Mai (thank you, clients that keep me busy). With only 3 more days until I leave for Vietnam, I have come around the psychological side of why Thailand and I don't get on.
That's not what I mean by being a loser. I mean people who have not achieved a whole lot in their lives out of their own power to motivate themselves, study, or just work their butts off. I can understand a lot of people who are very different from me, but I don't get this kind of boring person (or maybe I am jealous because they never HAD TO work for anything and still are considered more 'normal' than me). Sadly, they seem to love me, and in Thailand, they find the (Dutch?) courage to approach me.
So, I learned that I am ambitious and yeah, I don't understand the first thing about people who aren't. I'll probably never be happy with a 9-5 job, garden, house and partner. At least not in the peaceful middle-class way that seems to be an ideal in the western world. Or at least, not for a loooooong time to come. Sarah Von published a wonderful article about this some time ago, and it only hit me properly in the last week or so.
Anyhow, some places seem to attract losers more than others. Because in some places, even losers can feel like they have achieved the world - mostly because:
1) Their minimum wage job back home is still at least double of the local average income.
2) Alcohol is cheap and plentiful. And as everyone knows, the more you drink, the more attractive and smart EVERYTHING and ANYONE gets. In your mind.
3) Local people are desperate and will do anything for money. But mostly, women. 'Nuff said.
4) Local people have been desperate for a long time, and have made going there easy for the average loser (no language skills or adaption needed). The local culture does not have any rules or conventions that put the average western loser off (the 'weirdness' of Japan for example is just an example of a culture that works substantially different from what we are used to, or Muslim countries that come with many taboos that will affect any visitor in some way).
5) Lastly, warm weather. This is a big draw because average losers tend to come from countries where it get cold, at least in winter.
The worst thing I learned: this average loser is attracted to me. Because I'm a person who is, 95% of the time, in control of what I'm doing, and when I'm not, I still look like I am. Whereas in many other countries, this wards off unpleasant people, it's like a big fat sign to the average loser saying 'I can be your mum, only in a fertile and attractive mid-20s kind of way!'.
I'm not pointing at Thailand only here, and please, I am not saying that everybody who moves to or travels in Thailand is a loser.
The lesson I've learned: I've never been an easy girl, what was I thinking going to an 'easy' place?
Lastly, a Thai 'mockumentary' about foreign tourists - no worries, no Thai skills needed, although helpful ;)