Fear and Loathing in Pattaya
Fear and Loathing in Pattaya
By Mark Jones
Recent reports in a number of western newspapers – Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and Canada – suggest that Thailand is one of the most dangerous countries in the world, for the aforementioned countries’ nationals, to either be living in or visiting. Based on recent statistics the newspapers reported that, in terms of serious injury or death, their citizens are more at risk in Thailand than almost anywhere else in the world apart from declared war zones. To add balance to the argument the reports also clearly stated that the majority of the injuries, and fatalities were the result of misadventure or road accidents. In instances where murder or serious assault was involved the Thai authorities were praised for their professionalism in apprehending the perpetrators.
All too often though, it is found that the perpetrators were either a jealous business competitor trying to eliminate the competition, or a greedy wife or girlfriend hoping to cash in on the death of her husband or boyfriend. These deeper level facts are something that is often not made clear in the report of the death or serious assault. It may be touched upon but we are often left to draw our own conclusions regarding the machinations behind the event.
For many expats living in Thailand, these types of occurrences are an all too familiar theme with greed, more often than not, being the primary motivator. Sadly it is also quietly acknowledged that many of the victims – foreign husbands, boyfriends, or business competitors – put themselves in a position to be a victim in the first instance. That they weren’t street smart or savvy enough and often, through their own actions or naivety, help create the circumstances leading to their injury or demise. Even though the local English language newspapers do a reasonable job reporting the eventual apprehension of the greedy wife, girlfriend, or jealous business competitor, nothing much is ever mentioned of the behind the scenes story. The rivalries, jealousies, motivations and emotions that are the fabric of a human tragedy go unreported.
This book seeks to rectify that and it also seeks to show balance; that as much as the blame can be pointed at the motivations of a jealous business competitor, greedy wife, or girlfriend, it can also be apportioned to the poor life decisions made by the victim. For many of us who continue to live in Thailand, or those who are considering moving here, there is a lesson in that. That one must take responsibility for one’s own actions at all times and never put yourself in a position to be a victim. As a foreigner in Thailand you are, in most instances, on your own. You are, whether you like it or not, very much the director of your own destiny.
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