Some pretty sketchy characters wash up on the beach here in Thailand.

Many of them are running from something ‘back home’, debts mostly of the credit card sort, something which you can only do once in life, on the way out. Many of the middle age ones are just slackers who couldn’t succeed at much and like the odds of finding a pretty young girlfriend here. There are some Trustafarians, but most of those tend to stay down at the beaches rather than up here in the Golden Triangle, which is a bit less glamorous than the hot spots, but not very ‘outback’ really. Up here it’s mostly Brits and Americans and French and Swedes with a smattering of other Europeans and Asians, but down south they get a lot of strange characters, Arabs and Russians and Nigerians and such, some pretty bad dudes as a lot, many of them up to no good. Of course this doesn’t count the Indians and Chinese who are permanent features of Thai history or the Pakistanis and Bangladeshis who come here to do honest work. Many of the Farangs teach English, which is not a lot of money, but good enough for Thailand with its low costs. Others open bars and restaurants if they’ve got money, but they’re competing with Thais there, so it’s hard. In Chiang Mai there’s even a sizeable export community. Thailand could be accused of too much freedom, and it’s debatable. Certainly there doesn’t seem to be much of a plan to things, and the foreign presence is large and growing. Future archaeologists will probably assume that 7-11 was a Thai phenomenon that got carried elsewhere.