My motivations for leaving life in America were numerous and complex. A more primal part of me yearned for attention and relished the more insidious offerings of this fair Kingdom. Simultaneously, I was attracted to an exotic culture where fun was a staple of life and things moved at a seemingly slower and less serious pace. I craved an alternative existence and an escape from the mundane.
At the young of of 24, I set out on my adventure into the unknown, leaving behind a concerned family and friends who revered me for my bravery. I had no fear, the only constant in my existence was the firm knowledge that the right path would always unveil itself and things, no matter dire, would be laced with reason and sensibility, if I perceived them in the proper manner. I clung to the notion that an advantage could be found in any circumstance.
Arriving in the stifling heat of Bangkok is enough to destroy the aforemetioned idealistic notions on contact. The smells, the sights and the foreign atmosphere overload the senses and bring fourth the terrible stench of self doubt. What was I to do in this unrelenting metropolis? I had saved a bit of money for survival, which would have been adequate to sustain me for a lifetime, if only the world were to end in six months time. I had no meaningful experience as I was freshly graduated. What was I to do, other than hope for the best of possible circumstances?
I succeeded in securing a temporary residence from a mutual friend who had lived in Bangkok for six years. My first strike of sheer luck. During my initial tenure here, I, the moral idealist fell into a self-loathing state of debauchery. The more I partook in the menial pleasures Bangkok has to offer, the more I began to hate myself. I was focused on total self-destruction. I wanted to totally and foolishly undo my existence until nothing remained but a shell of a young man. Then one night I met my first Thai friend. He was an acquaintance of the provider of my residence and I met him quite randomly as he was checking in a comrade. He was very personable and well educated. He had attended law school in America and found success in Bangkok. His connections were immense and his aura exuded the glimmer of altruism. My second strike of sheer luck. I had met my spiritual guide.
To be continued…