I don’t think epiphanies over vegetarian food can ever happen but! while I was in the mist of eating my veggie-mite lunch, I realized that expats don’t belong in their home country and that is why they are over here!
Now I know what you are going to say, “Not much of a balanced meal in vegetarian fare.” But all these skinny/overweight hippies in their Pirates of a Caribbean/MC Hammer pants can’t be wrong.
As a once inspired anthropologist I want to field report all over their saggy drawers. Why do you dress like this? What is the cultural significance of your uncombed hair? Do you believe comfort can take the place of pride? Where is your mother?
Think about it though. This is an entirely different gene pool of Western thinking haters.
Expat communities are like the New Australia. *Shudder.* Outcasts. Misfits. Possible criminals. If you’ve ever been to Chiang Mai then you know what I’m talking about. If you took the same people and beamed them back home, they’d look like freaks in need of a shave and a bath. But here they seem to fit the community yank that is Chiang Mai.
Are expats then the continuation of the 60s free love and free speech flag burning days? Whether it is “Wagons West” or in this case “Rickshaws East”, overseas communities are built around the promise of the individual going against the hairs on a buffalo’s back.
Expats are in search of something. Adventure, love, distractions. The expats who are here working for corporations or the military are an extension of their passport country’s incognito machine and that creates a different community and a different daytime attraction.
But the ones like me who claim some sort of moral or humble purpose probably share more in common with the vegetarian barefoot hippie than friends back home (you really don’t want to feel the earth honey, there’s a lot of dog shit around here).
Okay so maybe it wasn’t very much of an epiphany. But since I live in a community of society rejects I can’t help but notice the company I keep. And I know the hippies are only a slice of the durian pie.
*For further reading on the different types of expats, check out: Facepuncher’s Know Your Frarang. Thanks to Payap Blog for sending it to me.
9 replies on “Vegetarian expats (or MC Hammer wants his pants back)”
Hi Lani, when I'm in a wistful mood I think of expats as romantic types why just don't want to be Mr or Mrs Average in their home countries; as you say though, people come here for all types of reasons. The thing that scared me the most about living back in Europe was that I could see my path to the grave too clearly; job -marriage – retirement – death. Now that I’m living in Thailand I've no real idea about what the future has in store. One of the things that attracted me to consuming large quantities of alcohol on a daily basis was that it made life seem a bit less humdrum; living in Thailand is better for my sanity and for my liver 🙂 In recent years I’ve been learning to look at the world in a different way and so maybe I could now be happy back in the west – but I enjoy my life here now.
Lani, I like hippies, always have and I don't mind vegetarians unless they are pushy vegetarians but I absolutely can't abide vegans :)I agree whole heartedly with Paul…back home it was the same old viscous circle of work, bills and more work…the American Dream is a really wonderful tool of the slave masters.Likewise as my Thailand adventure unfurls I don't know what to expect and I kinda like that.Me, you and Snap….lunch soon 😉
Lani…I have a real vegemite if you're interested. 'a New Australia *Shudder*', why whatever do you mean? 😉 Give it 200 years or so, it might just turn out OK!
Ms Lani…there's your first problem…vegemite is wheel lube (I think) and eating it will only cause hallucinations.Personally, I think that living in Thailand would be extremely “comfortable,” especially for older people. Modern health care, great food, and housing/transportation readily available at modest cost.Sure, there are exotic adventures for the adventurous, but if you just want to putter around the garden, read, or do your daily marketing, these more mundane activities could easily fill your days.Facepuncher [wonder how he got that nickname?!] has an interesting taxonomy for foreigners in Thailand, but I'm sure (?) he meant it to be mostly humorous, and not all inclusive.And, who doesn't like those Thai fisherman pants? I have a couple pair, and I've never even gone fishing in Thailand [so I've never had the occasion to actually wear those pants…].Great post!
@Paul: I suppose you'd have to be in a wistful mood to feel romantic about some of the expats here. I mean I find it perfectly okay to say we're society rejects esp. if the society you left isn't something you want to be a part of.And I completely agree with your second paragraph. In States the future seemed more “certain” but overseas? “not so certain” and I like that. At least for now!
@Talen: It's not about liking or disliking hippies. It's about poking fun. And of course, if I can't do that to myself then that's a problem too.Yes! Lunch soon. Email us when you are in town!!@Snap: I'll pass on the Veggie Mite 😛 but not on the idea of the New Australia in 200 years 😛
@Harold: First of all, fisherman pants are not the same as MC Hammer/Pirates of the Caribbean pants. Although I don't know how anyone uses the toilet in them. In Thailand it seems like a logistical nightmare.I think there are those who find Thailand's lifestyle to be extremely comfortable and then there are those who seem to endlessly complain. Hmmm. Hallucinations eh? I think you might be on to something. Maybe that's why all those damn hippies like it so much 😛
I like to poke fun at the hippies, too. Of course, my extreme conservative friends and family consider me a hippie because I didn't eat meat for a few years and I'm extremely liberal. But NO MC HAMMER PANTS!
@Megan: OMG. Me too! My family is convinced I'm a hippie. My brother made some reference about me being a part of some drum circle!