I just spent the morning steeped in the archives of Thailand Gal...and now my head is spinning!
Thailand Gal is a journey deep into the heart and mind of ThailandChani, a self-described Caucasian Thaiphile. Her love (and practice) of Thai culture - and her intention to relocate to Thailand once she can raise the funds - is the blog's most prominent recurring theme. But her reasons for this lifestyle choice take her posts far and wide...into nearly every conceivable area of her "unusual life."
Shucking brevity and bravado, Thailand Gal is a breathtakingly honest exploration into Western culture - the albatross around ThailandChani's neck, her "culture of birth (as opposed to culture of choice) which is dedicated to individual success at all costs, assertiveness that often comes across as rude or pushy, competition and focus almost exclusively on 'self-esteem'."
While many blogs attempt to address the ills of Western society, the majority of those do so by tearing down those who embody the opposing viewpoint, as though "winning the argument" might lead to a mass conversion of the wrong-headed. Others adhere strictly to faith-based perspectives.
ThailandChani, conversely, is that rare cultural dissident who dwells insistently on the horrific personal consequences of a broken culture. Many of her posts are heartbreakingly brave...and conscientiously stripped of self-righteousness. At the same time, she fiercely protects a firmly-held belief in the goodness of herself and of humanity - of each individual human.
Her posts rely on raw personal experiences as material for well-written and nuanced evaluations of cultural norms. The posts are under no illusion that changing our patterns of thought and behavior (ultimately destructive to ourselves and the community, she argues) will be easy. There are no villains and no heroes in the world of Thailand Gal...only truth-seekers and truth-obscurers.
For a good intro into what Thailand Gal is all about, read two of the first posts (here and here) from September, 2006. Happy reading!