An Expatriate During the Days of War
When an American is caught on the other side of an ocean during war, things can be sticky. Free speech is one of those things.
When I was a little, bitty baby,
There is something oddly surreal about hurtling through the Thai countryside listening to old country songs from the likes of The Highwaymen, George Jones, and Merle Haggard. My flight to Bangkoks Don Muang airport -- via Taiwan via Anchorage via JFK -- was an hour late, and my driver was doing his best to make up for lost time, else I be late for my meeting with the dean of the faculty, my new boss. Though the air-conditioning was on maximum, my chauffeur was sweating profusely. I tried to forget the Rough Guide warning of amphetamine abuse and erratic behavior among Thai bus drivers; because, after all, I wasnt traveling on a public bus but in a small Toyota van sent by the Rajabhat (Government college) to retrieve me from the airport. They obviously wouldnt send a drug-addled driver to bring me in. He then banked into a turn, laid on the horn, and swerving onto the shoulder passed a phalanx of teenagers on motorbikes. Turning his head, he flashed me a winning Thai smile. I laughed nervously. Ive been wrong before.