Posts Tagged ‘blogger’

It’s not always about the destination, but how the story unfolds along the way. A year ago Trish and I left Thailand, exclaiming we’d never return. We’d had it with the complications of this unfathomable place. When asked why we were leaving this inscrutable country and I’d say…”It’s challenging”. There wasn’t one answer, there were hundreds. Thailand wasn’t the quaint little backwater we’d originally fallen in love with. The country seems to have lost it’s civility, people more grasping than ever before. Thai’s complain about each other having lost their sense of community. “Nice place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there….again”, I’d concluded. We wrote the place off.

Life in Thailand had pissed me off. Everything, under the simplest of conditions, was having to be wary of who and what we were dealing with far more often than I was comfortable with. I was tired of having some jerk off force me to negotiate for saop, ask me to pay more for toilet paper, a candy bar or a bus ticket…annoying.

A last negotiation with a property manager who’d taken over the building we’d called home for twenty years was enough to sour us . It wasn’t just these bitches trying to rip us off for our ‘security deposit’…complaints were piling up among ex pats that ripping off ‘farang’ was epidemic. Leo de Caprio floated an idea about an ideal place. ‘The ‘Beach’ movie  attracted so many farang flakes, freaky fuck ups and burned out losers that the ‘coolness’ of Thailand evaporated and became dangerously soaked with a flammable criminal element….and everyone was running around drunk with burning matches.

So we left..”Fuck ’em”, we said on the way out. “We’ve got better ways to spend our money”. It wasn’t a blood sport, by any stretch of the imagination, as in a lot of other third world shitholes, just annoying. At 62 and  43 years of third world shitholes under my belt I felt I’d had enough third world bullshit.

Hell…we’re Canadian, our dollars never worth shit, so as a people we’re forced into third world shitholes if we want to travel at all. Canadians simply can’t afford ‘nice’. We have to work harder, accept a lower standard of living and travel, lower our expectations and dig deeper for the deals. You’ll only find Canadians in shitholes and toilets, it’s all we can afford.

There I was sitting next to a warm fire in our tidy home in Canada, a place I’d bought my wife to underwrite her retirement…dreaming about our time in Texas, thinking we’d spent enough time ‘on the road’. It occurred to me that in the past dozen years we hadn’t spent more than a few weeks in our ‘home’. We’d come back from business trips and intermittent stops in Asia to check how the place was, who our kid had turned out to be, and file our taxes. We started thinking ‘renovation’.

We’d spent our lives traveling the world, on business and pleasure… and speaking for myself, I was getting old. The guy in my head and the image reflected back from glass windows weren’t in sync. I didn’t feel old…but I was looking my age…..pot belly , grey hair and all.  In the past dozen years we’d been to more countries than an average person would need to visit in a lifetime to call themselves ‘well traveled’. I was ready to retire. My wife wasn’t. She won.

Originally our lives had been designed around ‘Plan A’….a balance to work enough to save for the ‘fuck you’…more travel and to bugger off in a six month rotation. It was the perfect plan when we were younger, but younger minds designed the plan. Young people are blessed with never having to plan ahead…thirty years and more,  down the road for people who’ll be alive when you’re dead.

Nine months passed, and here we are, back again, a few kilometers from where we left, putting up with the same bullshit, camped out in an Air B&B Bangkok high rise, living day to day, with no intention of ever going back, it just isn’t in the cards. This lifestyle has it’s ‘challenges’, but I wouldn’t trade it for a set of golf clubs and a rocking chair. This ain’t tourism friends, this is ’till death do us part’.

don't tell me I can't travel till I die

don’t tell me I can’t travel till I die

I know why I left home early to travel the world, it was to escape my pain and find freedom among strangers. What I realized was that no one I’d left behind was interested in my pain, they envied me for my escape. They thought I was ‘getting one over on them’ and enjoying life more than I deserved. My closest relations envied me for where I’d been and hated me for the stories and scars I’d bring back. The squalid objects in my rucksack were items that disappeared if I let my guard down. I found it hard to believe at first that anyone would covet the talismans of my poverty.

In the earliest days of my traveling ways the people I knew all thought I was taking more than my share from life, because we’d come from the gutter, and as a child I was the lowest of all things, among a hierarchy of creatures, myself being less deserving than all, when in fact most days I was laying my head down tattered, torn and hungry. To many I’d become a  revenant, showing up unannounced and unwelcome at a crowded table… and then a despicable stranger when years of absence had gone by without contact, proof of life, or regard. The truth about travel is that it’s a life…lived day to day, on a budget, on a shoestring, often precarious and dangerously, not a lifestyle…something you share with no one as you’re always alone.

A young person I know on Face Book recently posted ” If travel was free you’d never see me again”. I laughed, knowing that travel has always been free if you let it control your life, give yourself freely, unabashedly, and leave everything and everyone you know behind to pursue the path. It’s the possessions and people you leave behind and conversely come home to that control the amount of time you spend ‘on the road’….not money or desire. You’re either a traveler or a tourist…you can’t be both. Being a ‘traveler’ isn’t a euphemism for ‘travel’…or for having fun while others work…being a true traveler is a calling, a thing, it’s who you are because you’re not ‘one of them’…a different person than the rest, a light in your heart that no one will ever see. Travel is a lonesome profession  you’ll rarely be paid for.

If you’re one of the lucky few who organizes their personal lives to become a traveler, and equips themselves with the will, the wherewithal and skills to ‘never come back’, and the instinctive knowledge of how to deal with abject loneliness by making friends with bar fly’s and street walkers, then you’re a rare bird indeed, and the people who knew you will hate you for it. They will respond to you with veiled contempt and palatable envy.

The distance grows day by day, the vibrations in the air between you and where you came from will have changed, the correspondence between you ‘and them’ is less frequent and shorter until it’s cut off into bit’s of necessity. The money you make while working away will find itself fueling another leg of your journey, never a return ticket. There’s never enough time to go home. I’ll tell you what it’s like to forget the street names of your home town and why it’s suddenly so strange to call a distant capital ‘home’. There’s someone living in your room.

Because of the social status and symbolism we decadent westerners put on the ability to travel to rare destinations , to work in foreign countries, change the world you once knew when others can’t….you will become the focus of peoples envy and contempt. You will become the despicable stranger. Ex-friends who’ve had a downturn of fortune and can no longer ‘keep up’ will avoid returning your emails.

What was once home will become alien ground, salted and lifeless. The tribe will have circled inward and abandoned the notion of kinship with an outsider. “If travel was free I’d never go back”, that’s both funny and sad. Always be careful what you wish for. Because once you’ve gone down that rabbit hole my friends there’s no going back. By the time you decide it might be possible to return you might find the world you left behind has changed so irrevocably that there’s nothing to go back to. To travel is to be taken by the wind.

Because traveling is not somewhere you’ve planned to go or somewhere you’ve been. It’s a state of mind, an act of being true to your inner voice. It’s a statement that describes a poem written in the flesh of your soul. It’s the essence of who you are. The traveler is by nature and practice a loner….like driftwood. Travelers are willing to addict themselves to the journey without looking back at the havoc and consequence. It’s not about how much it costs or much you have left in the bank. The clock is never ticking down for the traveler because time is irrelevant.

You seek to refine yourself. Your peers are people who own nothing and carry nothing other than the bare essentials. Travel is not about coming or going. It’s about where you’d like to be next. The journey begins to explain why you don’t fit in anywhere anymore…because you’re fragments of all the places you’ve been and not the mirror image of a place where people seek to emulate each other for security. Travel is that fragile state between life and longing to be somewhere else.

Petroglyphs of modern saloon culture

Petroglyphs of modern saloon culture

Maybe you thought that internet dating sites are for lonely farmers hoping to meet someone of similar interests and lifestyle or religious expectations or main street persons looking to hook up? There are garden variety hook up and dating sites like Lava Life or E Harmony. There are gender and sex preference specific sites like ‘Grinder’ for sex among the LGBT community or race/religion baiting sites like ‘Black People Meet’ and ‘Halal Muslim Dating’. These pale by comparison to the hundreds of dating sites that introduce older western males to poverty stricken women in the third world.

The internet has opened a cornucopia of opportunity for western perverts seeking sex with minors and desperate women in countries where laws are written to be ignored. Open any net page on the subject of ‘Meet Thai Girls for Love and Marriage’ and you soon see the dark side. A great many of the ‘girls’ look underage. Solicitations are from hardened pimps and prostitutes selling sex to sex tourists. That’s not to say that 100% of the ‘Asian Girl’ dating sites are geared towards perversion, they’re not. But the proliferation of sex ads for available underage children has exploded in recent years. These days the internet has created opportunities for ‘sex by appointment’.

I’m cynical I know, and perhaps a bit jaded…I admit to have stayed in Asia a little too long for my own good. But, I’m reminded of a lunatics parade when I see the men involved as passing images for my simple amusement, young to elderly, being directed through the streets, bars, supermarkets and jewellery shops by whores obviously as adept at hustling fools as a pickpocket working a crowd of drunks.

These western loons have all spent months and even years trolling the internet sites offering titillating come-on’s from Asian Women advertisements. The ‘girl’ they’ve picked have arranged to meet them at their hotel upon arrival and within minutes the fantasy begins. A guy who’s so socially incompetent that he’s never held a girls hand at home, is suddenly pelvis deep and taking pictures of a whore who’s had practice by the thousand.

As far back as the 1960’s knowing journalists like Bernard Trink, columnist for the Bangkok Post, was warning farang rubes not to fall for the skilled professional guile of  bar girls, but these fools never learn. Within 24 hours he’s in love, convinced ‘she’s the one’, ready to take her to the passport office for a visa visit home and calling his mother to tell her of his ‘luck’….while she’s emptying his bank account.

Those of us in the know sit back laughing, from the air conditioned confines of a sidewalk coffee bar and watch the ridiculous parade of sun burned yokels, fat, sloppy drunk, little white legs sticking out, newly in love. Down the sidewalk they go, hand in hand, he’s glowing, cock walking and suddenly handsome, hand in hand with a glowering jungle honey squeezed into a new pair of ‘Daisy Dukes’ ready to fight anyone who comes between her and his wallet. If you’ve looked into a hunting whores eyes …you’ll know what I mean. These girls have a stare that would frighten a stalking tiger.

What’s hilarious is the profane ignorance of the ‘love drunk punk’. He pretends not to see the whore roll her eyes when a local shouts and points out his pasty bloated belly, bald head and bandy legs sticking out of ‘board shorts’ the whore insisted made him look young. She’s counting the days until this buffoon is gone and she’s able to take his money back to her village to do the necessary repairs on the family shack before the coming monsoon.

Many have school fee’s due for their children and a new scooter to buy for their husband. In many cases the whore will leave enough with a brother to keep her father pleasantly drunk until she returns…ever the doting daughter. Next time I’ll write about the lives of many of the retired men from the west, who’ve come to Thailand to marry whores and ‘settle down’.

el viejo

el viejo

Once upon a time Canadian youth were one of the most visible backpacking travelers anywhere in the world, now they have all but vanished. In the days before the Euro was born Canadians made up a huge percentage of the youth represented among the travel crowds opening new markets like the UK, Spain, Greece, France and Morocco. When Asia was a fresh new destination for young people you would hear the distinctive Canadian accent over many others in a given crowd. These days you’ll be lucky to find a Canadian traveler of any age. We’ve been enslaved into isolation by our own governments policies of hammering our national currency , the Loon, down to below what it costs to travel abroad.

Canada’s ‘low dollar’ policy has killed off the once prolific Canadian traveler. The Canadian dollar now buys half a UK Pound…forty percent less than a Euro and it falls almost every day against the American dollar, now at a forty percent discount in just twelve months. Where I live, Bangkok Thailand, the Canadian dollar has depreciated thirty eight percent against the Thai Baht in twenty four months. Canadians are no longer able to afford to travel as they once did. Today I’m asking why? Is there a concerted effort by members of the Canadian elite bureaucracy to keep Canada’s youth at home, poor and ignorant of world affairs?

Is it a coincidence that unemployment rates for this generation, The Millenials’, is higher than any preceding generation? There are no jobs for well educated Canadian youth, and those who do find work are paid lower than in any other G8 country for the same work. Are poorer and less well traveled people easier to politically manipulate? There must be a reason. It certainly isn’t because the zero interest rate policy has made Canada poor. A recent study proved that a ZIRP policy was the main cause of a lower dollar in Canada and made no economic sense.

In fact today’s elite civil service is being paid more and compensated better than any cohort before it. Why isn’t the benefit of the ZIRP explosion in wages for the elite union members not trickling down to the youth generation? Why aren’t the #elite civil service members vacating their positions upon retiring and giving that employment to Canada’s youth? Why is it allowed that the sitting civil service member is allowed to take early retirement and collect a full pension while being allowed to contract back into their positions, accept full pay and benefits, while also receiving a second pension contribution while Canada’s young grads are suffering in poverty?

Not only are Canada’s youth living in relative poverty, but they are being disallowed the same opportunity to travel and experience the world that the senior generation had done before they blocked the way for the youth of today? These are some of the questions and queries I’ll be exploring as this article expands in scope.

Sucks to be young & Canadian

Sucks to be young & Canadian

Is the media silence on sex tourism the result of financial pressure put on them by advertisers? Is the current blanket dumbing down of the media really a de facto gag order enforced by foreign governments who don’t want the notoriety of the very ill kept secret of a sex industry in their countries made front page news? Are airlines and hotel booking giants applying pressure on the media to not blow the whistle on the sordid details and suffering of women with their power to withhold or conversely ramp up advertising dollars to a media which is suffering from an intense drought in the advertising dollar space?

Ad dollars are scarce today in a long standing recession that has been the cause of the job losses and bankruptcy of thousands of small and large names and journals around the world. Small country markets can withstand the pressure, their populations don’t contribute to tourism in a major way, but large developed markets in the USA and Canada, for example, where professional journalists rely on steady work and union pensions, can be easily corrupted by the withdrawal of support by advertisers if the media is not reading off the advertisers song sheet.

Popular Canadian journalist #Ezra Levant shed light on some of the more menacing ways that government can pervert journalism by sponsoring certain journalists and their parent organizations while withholding funds and accreditation from those it doesn’t like. If governments are actively perverting the truth for electoral reasons, is it not a possibility that the same tactic might be used in the fight for international tourist dollars?

Ezra Levant: The more menacing way that politicians control journalists

I think we have to understand that governments which derive a major portion of their GDP from tourism, like Mexico and Thailand might be willing to ‘ask’ journalists to print certain story lines and not others for the sake of public perception. In Mexico, for example, there is an extremely high murder rate and violent crime rate for foreign visitors, a fact that rarely leaks out unless the murders or violent acts have been so heinous that nothing can hold them secret.

During these instances however, it seems to me that advertising becomes more intensive and more sales are on offer to ‘popular destinations’. These so called popular destinations are usually hotels and resort areas owned by powerful political families…so is the increased advertising a panacea offered to the media in order to ‘forget’ the crimes that have just occurred and not focus on the problem at large? Can advertising dollars make the problem of murder and sex tourism go away? It certainly seems likely that prestidigitation is at work in markets where crimes like sex tourism and violence against visitors is common and pervasive.

being a tourist

being a tourist

If my life was a ship, and my ship had a flag, I would hang it upside down from the yardarm to signal a state of distress and consequently lower it to half mast further indicating a great loss has occurred. Recent inquiries to main stream media outlets about publishing stories relating to the sex exploitation of young and poor in desperate countries have all come back rejected. “We think it’s too controversial” said one editor, as if the morals of the editors at the heart of the industry have shriveled and died.

Hollywood producers, ‘Hangover’ and ‘Hangover 2’ have won the hearts and minds of media pundits everywhere. The word according to the media is that Asia is a place to run wild, fuck everything that walks…or crawls…and go home, hopefully without an incurable drug resistant STD. “What happens in Bangkok…Stays in Bangkok”. Who gives a damn what kind of mess you leave behind? As long as you’ve had a good time…and take lot’s of drunken selfies…right?

A particularily inane reporter from Barrie Ontario asked me to only contact him if I had the name and address of someone from his immediate area who was caught in a child rape or similar heinous holiday crime . None of the other things I ‘d mentioned regarding widespread sexual exploitation of desperate uneducated minors, ( like the horrible oppression my organized Russian gangs, starving children left behind in alleys with the pimps while Moms are blowing tourists or pulling razor blades out of her vagina in the bar) fodder for a massive wave of simultaneously retiring western baby boomers, held any interest to him.

This purposeful ignorance on the issue of sex exploitation by the global media is appalling. When the very famous journalist Bernard Trink was fired his long held position as columnist of twenty years to the Bangkok Post in the 1980’s for warning off people coming to Thailand for sex tourism, it was then a shocking move by the media in Thailand. Who would have ever thought a secretive cabal would want to silence a voice advocating for the betterment of women and how sex tourism is an embarrassment to the nation…not a pillar on which to build an economy. Ah well…what do I know? TIT Bernard always said, …This is Thailand.

its all around us

its all around us

Pensionado perverto, describes a gray wave of western pensioners breaking on the shores of third world communities like Conquistadors. The perverted generation is a generation driven by an unrequited lust as powerfully destructive as the Viking and Spanish. They bring a new destructive technology to the battlefield. The civil service pension and the ATM is no less lethal than the Damascus steel swords the Vikings brought to Britain or the ravaging brass cannon and blunderbuss of the Spanish Invaders to ‘The New World’. These perverted pensioners are harbingers of doom.

This can’t end well. A one sided war is being waged with impossible odds stacked against the victims. The paid monthly western taxpayer subsidized union guaranteed pension cheques and the ATM are the siege engines of the modern era. Genghis Khan might have thrown severed heads saturated with plague over the walls of besieged cities using trebuchet to cow populations into submission, but throwing buckets of money at desperately poor people has the same effect, an eventual capitulation to the invader and the death of any cultural or moral leadership that may have existed within the countries that are being overwhelmed.

The Pensionado Perverto is a demographic phenomenon, a sub-species of the Baby Boomer Generation. They are the lusty and repressed civil servants and aging professionals, aged 50 to 70 years old, fortunate enough to have been placed in employment positions allowing them to suckle off the teat of society, and through little effort of their own, and become entrenched in the global government pension schemes of bureaucratic heavy countries as far flung as the USA, Canada, Australia, Germany, Finland, Norway and the United Kingdom. Good fortune has come so easily to this generation, they have come to think of themselves as ‘The Entitled Generation’.

A large segment of this population considers itself ‘unfulfilled’. They seek to relive the youth and opportunity they perceive to have missed while amassing fortunes from the public purse jobs they held down. Entire multi-industry wide advertising campaigns exhort these people to invest in a future of glossy hedonism. The television spots show happy couples at the helm of sleek yachts or walking hand in hand down some sandy beach in paradise.

In my eye it’s pathetic to watch a bald and bandy legged sixty eight year old man cock strutting through whore bars crowing, as if he’s found his groove in the hands of a new crop of jungle whores who’ve been enticed out of starvation into the sex industry, and the lady pimps who keep their children and spare clothing for ransom. He’s thinking he’s finally popular…and attractive…. excuse me while I puke.

The reality is that a large proportion of these persons have lost their opportunity to couple normally because they were too busy working to have a relationship or family, they were too focused on themselves to share a life with anyone, but many are psychologically unfit to enter into a ‘normal’ relationship with a member of the opposite sex, even for pay, in the context of a western life. Normally, this would be nature’s way, through evolution, of weeding the bad genes out of the breeding pool. This is where it gets ugly.

Millions of men and women in western countries are retiring almost simultaneously. Millions will retire within a decade of one another. A large percentage of them are comfortably paired off, with grown children launching out of the basement suite, after a decade in university, expecting grandchildren, happy to redecorate a new home, enjoy weekend golfing, lease a new Cadillac every two years and retire with dignity.

A significant percentage of this demographic have no attachments to western norms such as described. These ‘outcasts’ seek the far-flung pleasures of the flesh, because they feel they’ve been slighted because of career commitments…. and the way ‘western women are not nice to them’. They’ll tell you they ‘deserve’ sex.

change your mind, change your life

change your mind, change your life