‘Sup my dude, it’s me, Bangkok Seven. I’m currently trapped in Los Angeles due to the global travel shutdown. Which isn’t as bad as it sounds, since Bangkok has closed the gogo bars, so I couldn’t go-go even if I was there. Still, sitting around bored at home offers time for reflection, and these days I find myself reflecting on the differences between life in the West and life in the greatest country on Earth: Thailand. Last Sunday I outlined a typical night out in LA vs BKK. That caused a week-long contemplation of the greater pros and cons of life in these two very different locales. Allow me to make like Young MC and break it down for you fellas…
Here’s a comprehensive list of California Pros:
California has a gorgeous coastline. From the clean cliffs of San Diego to the beachside redwoods of Santa Rosa, the land where the Pacific meets the shore is breathtaking. Pacific Coast Highway is one of the most magical roads on the face of the Earth, and is a sensory overdose for anyone who enjoys a beautiful view.
Casa Vega, Fleming’s, Tam O’Shanter, The Old Place, Morton’s, Roscoe’s, Formosa, El Coyote, Miceli’s, Philippe’s, Barney’s, Canter’s, Geoffrey’s, Musso & Frank, The Dresden, Marmont, The Pig & Whistle, The Stinking Rose, The Pantry, The Apple Pan…the list is literally endless. Not to mention the melting-pot cornucopia (meltucopia for short, copyright BKK7) of different cultures, nationalities, and exotic locales. Thai Town, near Hollywood, has the largest population of Thais outside of Thailand, and as you’d expect the restaurants there are incredible, to say nothing of Chinatown and Little Italy. And that’s just L.A. It would take a lengthy separate blog just to touch on the food odyssey that San Francisco offers. In short, great food might be the most exciting aspect of life in the Golden State. It almost makes up for all the negatives—almost.
In the 1976s, A Napa Valley wine won the national French blind tasting, shocking the world. Since then, some of the best wine in the world has been produced there, and over the most recent couple of decades, the rest of California has taken pains to discover which grapes grow best in which parts of the state. Now, Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties along with most of the rest of the Central Coast make wines that are wholly unique and outstanding. Call me biased, but I prefer Edna Valley and Paso Robles wines above all others—even above Napa’s best (the one exception being Screaming Eagle or anything else made by Heidi Barrett). Possibly the only painful thing for me personally about living in Bangkok is the lack of access to Central Cali boutique wines.
My life can almost be summed up by the Gershwin brothers, with a slight alteration: “I got Cali wine, I got music, I got my gal who could ask for anything more?” Life in LA presented two out of three. Wine, no women, and song. The live music scene is as good as anywhere in the world—arguably better, since many of the best British bands have transplanted to live happily under the Southern California sun. When I lived there, I saw no less than 20 concerts per year. Bangkok is at the opposite end of that spectrum. Good concerts are few and far between.
And that’s the end of the pros list for life in California. It’s short. Now for the Cali Cons:
It’s massively overcrowded. Sure, Bangkok is crowded. But it’s largely due to the closely crammed points of interest combined with bad traffic controls. The populations are comparable—10.3 million in BKK, 10.1 million in LA—but the traffic, the lines, and the sense of being a sardine trapped in a hot tin box in the latter is the norm despite high-tech traffic control, wide streets, and wide-open spaces. This is because of the appeal of California life has drawn people from all over the world like moths to a flame. The weather, geography, abundant agriculture, and of course Hollywood formed a magnet for the masses for most of the last century. And then there’s the close proximity of the Mexican border, where hundreds of thousands from Central and South America come to live a life of comparative luxury in the US. Few venture beyond California, where work is abundant and leftist government policies provide free education and medical care.
It’s massively overcrowded with morons. I’m not being redundant. It’s bad enough to live shoulder to shoulder with hordes of other humans. It’s even worse when the majority of those humans are knuckle-dragging brain-dead retards. I blame Hollywood for the inordinate number of fuckwits in LA. The people of the world constantly churn out babies that grow up to believe they can be movie stars or rockstars or popstars, or at least might be able to meet a movie star/Rockstar/popstar. Thus, they squeeze themselves into their Spanx and hop a bus Westward and get dumped into the melting pot of Angels daily. They make even the most mundane activities like getting gas, grocery shopping, or standing in an elevator into tedious, skull-crushing torture. They increase your chances of dying in a car crash or a bar fight by a hundred-fold. In short, a high concentration of idiots is a menace to any society, and California has the largest concentration of idiots on the planet.
Exorbitant living costs. My Uncle is a community college professor in Michigan. On a teacher’s salary there, he can afford a 3-story, 5-bedroom house on six acres of land. For the same amount, he would barely afford a small studio apartment in a shitty part of Los Angeles. This is just one illustration of the obscenely expensive cost of living in California. It’s comparable to living in New York or London. Now, for those of you thinking “Well, Bangkok ain’t cheap.” You’re right, but not when compared to Los Angeles. Because of the laws of supply and demand, most things that would be quite affordable in Bangkok, many of which I’ll cover in the BKK Pros section.
It’s impossible for a teacher to make a living. Just to put a finer point on it, as a secondary teacher in LA for eight years before fleeing overseas, I was barely able to pay my bills while sharing a house with two other bachelors. That’s right, I rented a room in a house and still could only keep my head slightly above water. The obscene price of even the most mundane things, extortionate taxes, and the innumerable finable offenses by police who rarely if ever focused on crime in favor of picking the population’s pocket made it all but impossible to get by month-to-month, to say nothing of putting away some savings.
The double taxation. Speaking of extortionate taxes, The US government taxes their citizens twice. First, they tax income. Then, when you go to spend what’s left over, you pay sales tax on everything you buy. Not to mention the litany of other fees and taxes tacked on to everything from marriage to death. The American government is a nothing but a collection of vampires sucking its populace dry.
The oppressive Orwellian government. Speaking of those vampires, in addition to extorting as much as they can from people, they also seek to wield power over every aspect of their lives. It’s the classic lie of Socialism. Socialists are wannabe oligarchs disguised as altruists.
The cops will kill you. Over the course of the last century, the goal of public education in the US has not been to educate. Rather, that horrid machine has churned out two generations of stupid order-followers, which means that not only are the general public total idiots, but those entrusted to safeguard them are also idiots. Combine that stupidity with a gun, a badge, and a widespread training system called “Bullet-Proof Warrior,” which teaches these armed morons to teach citizens like insurgents, your chances of being gunned down by a cop are inordinately high in America.
The gangs will kill you. If the cops don’t get you, the gangs might. They’re not as prevalent or active as they were in the 80s and 90s—they’ve kind of gone out of fashion. But if you’re in an urban area, there’s always the chance of taking a bullet at a gas station or in a mall. Duck and cover, mofos.
The tap water will kill you. In addition to the additive of sodium fluoride (a chemical byproduct of nuclear waste and, in high doses, literal rat poison), it turns out much of the tap water in California is radioactive. It turns out that mining—be it for oil, uranium, gas, or what have you, causes naturally-occurring radiation to seep into the ground water. It’s more prevalent in some places. One of those places is the Golden State.
The food will kill you. From GMO to high fructose to Bisphenol A to propyls and bromides, not to mention aspartame and food dyes, virtually everything sold as ‘food’ in the United States is poisonous.
The air will kill you. In the 1980s there was a thing called ‘acid rain.’ It happened when heavy metals from pollution collected in the atmosphere, specifically in rain clouds, and accidentally pelted the planet and people on it with hazardous materials. Flash forward to now, and those same heavy metals are now deliberately sprayed in the sky all over the country (and the world) in the name of geoengineering. The claim is that climate change can be curbed with a copious collection of carcinogens. In point of fact, it’s merely another in a list of soft-kill operations in full swing in the West.
As you can see, the list of cons dwarfs the list of pros when it comes to life in California. Now let’s take a look at The Land of Smiles, beginning with the Thailand Cons:
The expats and tourists. If you’ve read my previous blogs, you already know how I feel about other foreigners. And no, I don’t consider myself an ‘honorary Thai.’ But I’m not an intolerable cunt. And in 10 years of living in Thailand, the vast majority of expats and tourists I’ve encountered have been unbelievable cunts. There are theories about why and how Thailand attracts such a large quantity of fucking retards. First, 90% of the overall world population are fucking retards. Second, loser douchebags who can’t get laid at home can come to Thailand and bang some naïve, golden-hearted country girl who doesn’t know any better, and third, the tropical beach locales attract hippie pussybitches by the truckload. The long and short of it is, there’s no escaping the tidal wave of foreign shitbirds that infest this country like cancer.
Thais tend to be slow, not forward-thinking, and terrible at economics. Two perks of living in the West that don’t exist in Thailand are punctuality and critical thinking skills. I say that with nothing but love in my heart for Thais. But I gotta keep it real. Blame it on Buddhist living-in-the-moment philosophy, or the constant heat, or low average of university graduates. Whatever. But the fact is, Thais by and large do not understand basic economics (“Oh no, there are less tourists! I will compensate by quadrupling my prices!”) and make knee-jerk reactions based on no logic whatsoever (“Ban all foreigners due to coronavirus because they’re dirty”). I have some theories about this condition and plan to lay them out in a future blog.
The smog. As a child living in Los Angeles in the 80s, I remember smog so bad that playing outside made kids black out. Then in the 90s, the government instituted strict laws on car emissions and petrol additives. Because of those hard choices, today pollution is nearly nil in L.A. Contrast that with Bangkok, which has an actual smog season (November to February). Ironically, it was the habitual mask-wearing as a result of smog that prepped Thailand for coronavirus. Go figure.
And that’s pretty much it for Thai cons. I’m sure you could think of a few more, but I bet they’d be comparatively small inconveniences. Now for the Thailand Pros: Everybody knows them. Let’s spell them out for the record.
The warm weather.
Some folks don’t like the heat. I get that. Some folks live in Alaska because they just looooove, the snow. Personally, I’d much prefer warm weather to cold. I hate the cold. The sweltering tropical climes of Thailand are right up my alley.
The gorgeous beaches.
Sure, I live in Bangkok and there’s no beach near Bangkok. But just a short bus/taxi/plane ride away are some of the best beaches in the whole world. If you’re a beach person, Thailand is a dream destination. And what could be better than living in that dream destination?
The great food.
Thai food is awesome. We all know it. And thankfully, Bangkok offers all manner of other delectable delights from all over the globe. Is the foodie scene as good in BKK as it is in LA? It’s a close call, but LA still barely wins out. Barely.
The low cost of living.
I’m constantly blown away by how much things cost in the West, in addition to the exorbitant taxes added on to the high cost of everything. One month of mobile phone coverage in LA is $66 (2,200 baht). One month of mobile service in Bangkok is 425 baht ($12.87). The difference in cost for most things is jaw-dropping.
The gorgeous women.
If you’re not into Asian chicks, you can always go to Bulgaria. But let’s face it, if you don’t like Asian chicks, you’re probably a psychopath. And Bangkok (and Thailand at large) is rammed with superhot Asian chicks. I’m always stunned when I visit America and see the abundance of fatties these days. When I was young, it was the opposite. 9 out of 10 girls in LA were trim, fit, gorgeous. Today you’d be hard pressed to see more than one a day. Contrast that with Bangkok where you can get a strained neck from trying to get an eyeful of the myriad smoking hot hotties that positively infest this magical place.
The low to no government oppression (of foreigners).
The recent coronavirus nonsensical hysteria aside, the Thai government and police are remarkably hands-off when it comes to farang. And once coronavirus is over, the tyranny meter should settle back to zero again.
The little to no political strife (for foreigners).
We don’t really have a dog in the fight, as long as whoever’s in charge leaves us alone. Which they tend to do, what with their entire economy bound to tourism, present conditions excepted. It’ll be interesting to see whether and how things change once the Covid-19 mayhem subsides.
There’s no social justice bullshit.
This is my 3rd favorite pro, after gorgeous women and warm weather. The entire Western world has been neutered by social justice. All fun, humor, entertainment, office banter, and day-to-day conversations have been reduced to joyless mundanity. Everything from a compliment to a raised eyebrow is akin to rape and/or racism. Everyone is a protected class of victims except straight white men, who are by definition of their orientation, race, and chromosome type the de facto victimizers of all those protected people. Not so in Thailand. In Thailand, men are allowed to be men and are celebrated for being men. Women are women, and ladyboys are ladyboys and that’s that. Nobody aims to silence, cancel, or oppress anyone. We all live in harmony, the way humans should live.
Life is basically a working vacation.
Your average farang tourists puts in 40 hour weeks for 11 months out of the year so he can take three weeks off to come to Thailand. During those 11 months, life is shit, and he lives purely for those three weeks of heaven when he leaves his home country and briefly relocates to Paradise. Expats have skipped the negative part of that scenario—namely the 11 months of hell in the West—to live in the place everyone else comes for a holiday. In 2012 I worked 50 yards from Bangtao Beach in Phuket. I could see the water from my desk. Today I live in Bangkok, but I can go to Pattay or Ko Chang every weekend if I feel like it. Call it Paradise-adjacent. It’s the real definition of ‘living the dream.’
Finally, the coronavirus seems to have a less-potent effect here. I have theories about that, which I’ll present in a future blog. As you can see, Thailand’s list of pros is a glorious litany of pleasures that poor sad sacks stuck in the West can only dream of. Cheers to those of us smart enough and lucky enough to’ve found this remarkable place. And cheers to anyone with the foresight to stock the fridge with booze as we hurl headlong into ever more extreme quarantine conditions. Keep your chins up, gents. This too shall pass.