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Primer for those who haven't been; resonant for those who have...
on 12 March 2013
Never been to Thailand but interested? Visited or lived in Thailand beyond a 2-week holiday? This book is for you!
'This Is Thailand' opens with Marek recalling the disillusioned wind-down of his well-paid yet soul-destroying life as a corporate drone in Ireland. Like many office workers - myself included - he dreamed of a hedonistic and care-free life in South East Asia. You know - sun, sand, sex, where everything is cheaper. Of course, for most of us, we know either nobody or a distantly-connected person who has actually gone before and remains in this elusive lifestyle without some form of disenchantment on the subsequent realisation that the grass isn't always greener.
Without spoiling the book, the travelogue that charts Marek's travel, adventures and encounters throughout the Land Of Smiles (what does each smile mean?)
The observations and commentary peppered throughout the book found some resonance with this reviewer after spending some extended time in Thailand. The pace is consistent and the story - whilst not unusual, especially in some circles of travelers or expats - is well-told and entertaining.
Marek has helpfully included a practical guide at the end of the book for those interested in making `the leap'.
Some may find a couple of encounters to be erring towards the graphic, but '50 Shades of Gray' this isn't.
I enjoyed reading this book and recommend it to others.