I am a keen and constant observer of the ex patriot community in whatever country I happen to travel to. Ex-pats, as they’re known, come in a great variety, from loathsome scum and those on the run from the law , garden variety foreign experts and specialists on a temporary work permit, longer term travelers and the retired foreigner who has decided to live where his pension will buy a slightly better lifestyle than in the high cost high tax country where he/she earned his/her retirement income. It is in the not so subtle differentiation between the groups that things ‘get interesting’. The ex pat community is like an English garden, a bit of an eclectic mish mash. you should learn to smell the flowers , avoid the poisonous weeds and know when to ‘walk away’. I have met everything from Swedish military service resisters to hard core Euro thugs, never mind the ones that are just plain crazy and admitted to burning their homes down for the insurance money. I’m sure there many others I didn’t meet and identify because of my built in avoidance system. After a few years in the third world you’ll develop a radar for out of place characters. By resisting the urge to converse with every Tom, Dick and Harry under the sun you will be doing yourself a great favor.
At the very bottom of the hierarchy, hiding in the weeds, are the sexual deviants and general perverts who are either hiding from the law in their own countries for past misdeeds or continue to look for opportunity among the weakest and most impoverished where they are . People who have read my past blogs know that I do not agree with or condone the sex trade or exploitation of anyone on any level, but I won’t rework that brutal ground today. Tourists who transition whores into girlfriends and then attempt to act out a bizarre state of normalcy for peer respect are just pathetic. C’mon guys..do you think we can’t tell? Do you think any normal woman from any decent society wants to hang out with a whore and her John? The endemic corruption of the third world allows this scum to perpetuate their misdeeds for an indeterminate period of time when local police officials continue to look the other way if bribed to do so. The idea that a loser can rent a woman for any period of time for whatever reason is still pathetic. There is a cross section of the ex pat community who decide to marry their favorite whore, this is fodder for another show folks.
The criminal element of the community uses the anonymity of distance to hide themselves from their past. But to be fair there are a great many international criminals who have chosen Canada as a place to hide or avoid prosecution. It is not only the third world that attracts bad guys. Here it is a question of finances, places like Thailand usually see’s the criminals who have not done very well and they need to live cheap. It is not unusual to see that some western scumbag has been identified by an Interpol sweep and arrested after pretending to live as an upstanding citizen among us. There are petty criminals , all the way to terrorists, murderers, pedophiles and rapists hiding in sunny vacation spots. There are a great many fraudsters, embezzlers and con artists who embed themselves into the community and pretend to be ‘retired businessmen’. If anyone offers you a ‘great deal’ on a penny stock, run for it!
A new resident looking for acquaintance and friendship should learn to choose such relationships with great care and aforethought. The local people have a built in radar for such characters after being exposed to them and their misdeeds time and time again long before you came. These people will try to gain your trust by association and take advantage of you if you allow them into your life. If the locals seem standoffish for the first few months, don’t despair, it’s not that they don’t like you. They are likely watching you carefully and comparing you to the ones who’ve come before. Unfortunately, in places like Thailand, there has been such a long history of visitation to the country by the low life of the west that a great many Thai have stereotyped westerners as drunks and bad characters. The worst of the expats know that you might be looking to establish some sort of social network and be seeking to use that apparent vulnerability against you. Don’t think they haven’t haven’t tried to con the locals. When a local person has been taken advantage of they tell the entire town, it’s like a jungle drum, the entire local community then becomes wary of foreigners for the misdeeds of a few.
There are always the few westerners who have been dropped from membership of their own societies because they either can’t or won’t learn to control their behavior and who is looking for a move to the third world in an attempt to reinvent themselves. Sorry, being a loser can’t be washed away with an airline ticket. In many cases, the loneliness they felt at home is intensified by the isolation they will experience in the new country and they fall prey to the lifestyle of a drunk and ‘beer bar personality’ to compensate. It seems to be a guilt free choice because you don’t have your peers to reckon with. If you were to become a perpetual drunk at home, or a pervert, someone might speak to you about it, here, no one cares and these people slip into darkness as easily as an ATM card slides into the bank machine.
This has been my experience worldwide. My advice is to travel with a friend, a spouse, or a good book and not look for undying friendship amongst the expats until such time as one or two has proven they can be trusted. Otherwise, get a hobby, take up an interest, wait to meet some real people. Among the expats look first for the obvious signs of an imbalance, drunkenness, a perpetual hunger for whores or other seedy past times. Their conversations may be continually fixated towards perversion or their particular deviancy. They always want you to join them. They may express a deep seated misogyny or dislike for other ‘races’. It’s strange behavior to find western racists choosing to live among the very people they express such a dislike for. I have heard men calling their live in girlfriends ‘monkey’s and express a dislike of local women generally.
This reminds me of other idiocy’s such as Mel Gibson’s rant against the Jews in Hollywood. C ‘mon Mel, Hollywood was built by Jews, get over it. Obvious these illness go much deeper. These kinds of people don’t need your company, they need to be locked up receiving mandated therapy. What I find abhorrent is that these men try to hide their sordid conversations regarding race relations ‘just between the two of you’ and become foul mouthed only behind closed doors as if you are party to some secret club where it’s ‘us and them’. I take great pleasure in telling anyone who starts talking stupid to shut up and leaving them without another word.
What is considered to be anti social behavior in the west is still anti social behavior in the third world. People in this part of the world are very moral and upstanding. These societies have been subverted by a history of poverty. As I have said in other blogs it is refreshing to see that so many millions of people have been lifted of of poverty in countries like Thailand. Think about it for a moment, would you take your wife for a night out in your own country to a watering hole or house party where the attendee’s were all drunkards, criminal and johns in the company of whores? Of course not, so why would you do it while you’re away. Trust me, these people are no more palatable here than they would be there.This is not the days of empire my friend, just because these people are your countrymen or share the same race and skin colour does not mandate that you associate with them. Be a smart traveler. Just because some people live in a separate reality does not mean that you have to when traveling away from home.