Since departing stateside last on December 31, 2003, the Siamerican Wanderer’s February, 2011 return to the fatherland marked some 85 months habituating the land of Thai straight through; having anticipated a long-due return to his birth country, the dual-national, Siamese-American hybrid had diligently been preparing himself mentally and physically for several months leading up to his most recent Asia-exodus flight, knowing all-to-well he would be at high risk of ‘culture shock’ when re-exposed to the multi-cultural tessellation commonly known as America.
If not merely thrown off by the alien and difficult-if-not-impossible-to-define status-quo defining the ever-evolving American lifestyle, perhaps even greater threat to a harmonious re-assimilation was/is the dire condition experienced by thousands if not millions of inter-country commuters known as ‘Thailand Fever.’ Anyone who has spent a reckonable and joyous period abroad in a country like Thailand, and suddenly returned home back in the west can attest to the difficulty and distractions of readapting to what becomes a blurring definition of ‘Normal Life,’ after having pampered themselves with the less-demanding and minimal-anxiety-culturing, ‘Sabai Sabai’ and/or ‘Sanook Sanan’ ways of life; throwing oneself back into the high demand, fast pace of a Politically Correct society can prove to be disastrous if one is not careful.
Perhaps the burning cognitive inquisition among curious minds is regarding ‘Life back on the home front?’ Following are a few observations for contemplation and consideration.
Weather: Coming straight from the tropical and sub-tropical biomes of Southeast Asia back into the heart of high-altitude winter of the Rocky Mountain region has been a trip. The chill of winter wind is a blunt reminder of the dominate, defining dynamic of our hominid and homo gene pool, separating the human company from other mammals and animals limited by narrow habitat requirements—the ability to emigrate from one environment extreme into the next is something that all should embrace if they expect to survive the emanate catastrophic circumstances which await.
Environmental Economics: Resentful to the plastic and foam siege of modern Thai consumerism—to the dismay of the predecessor status quo of indigenous Siamese, environmentally-friendly methods of food packing and transfer including banana leaf wraps (bai toei), bamboo shoot rice tubes and stainless steel lunch pails (pinto)—it was disappointing to come back to America to see that the initially instilled concepts of ‘Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle’ are hardly adhered to; coming into the second decade of the 21st century, Americans are quite keen on utilizing disposable one-time use cups, plates, and (foam) mobile food boxes on a daily, mass practice, just as Thais have come so accustomed—all for the sake of laziness, convenience and selfishness. It’s an unacceptable norm in both countries deserving rapid reform!