back to the Black Table

If you've ever wanted to be a B-List celebrity, in demand by the beautiful and unattainable, made powerful by the faintest whiff of success, flush with new money and ready to take on the world, get up off the couch and move to Thailand. Yes, Thailand.

Despite its location in a tough Southeast Asian neighborhood, surrounded by Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar, Thailand is the place to be for regular guys in need of a shot of self-importance. Come to Bankok and you'll know how Corey Feldman felt at Neverland Ranch. Move to Phuket and see what life was like for Kato Kaelin in O.J.'s poolhouse. Forget everything you've heard -- the mad-eyed terrorists may be here, but they're in the States, too. You'll only be a target of crime if you consider attention, adoration and sex criminal.

They don't call Thailand the Land of Smiles for nothing.

Thai women will think you're the greatest thing since Chris Penn in Footloose. At first glance, they look like Americans. You'll hear their heels tapping on the tile floors in shopping malls. You'll see their tight, Western-style, hip cut jeans with embroidery around the flared cuffs and white peasant tops. The only difference is that the Land of Smiles lives up to its moniker. Women may look down when they first see you, but they never look down on you, flirting in a friendly, shy way, raising their dark eyes, pressing a giggle against their poised, smiling lips. This is not a place where snark and sarcasm are part and parcel of the social landscape, so feeling emboldened, if even by a smile, you catch your breath and offer the Thai hello in your oh-so-cute American accent: "Sawadee krup."

Not only are Thai women unforgivably sexy, but they're also abundant. In Thailand, the odds are in your favor. Walk into any popular restaurant in Los Angeles or New York during a lunch rush and check out the women. How many do you have a shot at? How many would give you the time of day? Certainly, American women have equalities and powers Asian women do not always enjoy. And certainly, Thailand is a much different place for them.

Walk into any popular restaurant in Thailand during a lunch rush and you'll see more than half the women are gorgeous. Perhaps it's the magic of coconut cream curry and green papaya, but you will enter a room of innocent, friendly smiles; high cheekbones and soft skin. Make conversations and none will slam their fist on the table in protest or inquire what you do for a living or size you up socially. They're more likely to burst out laughing and hug their giggling friends -- especially because you are conducting the festivities. They call it sanook -- and it is as real as the leather knee-high boots and micro mini skirts. But ultimately it's all very innocent -- Thai culture frowns upon public displays of affection between men and women.

Once you've found your new girlfriend how will you ever afford to take her out? Will you even have the time to enjoy her company? After quitting your job in the States and flying seventeen hours to get to Thailand on a luxurious Asian operator, the last thing you want to be is unemployed. You're in luck. The days when you worked 50 or 60 hours a week for peanuts are in the past.


  Item Thailand United States  
  Dozen Roses 80 cents $25  
  Seafood Dinner Feast $6 $120  
  15 Gallons of Gas $4.87 $26.25  
  Bottle of Red Wine $1.25 $32  
  Long Day at a Theme Park $30 $225  
  TOTAL $42.92 $428.25  


All it takes is a few thousand bucks and you're already rich and getting a job isn't all that hard. Japanese, Chinese, French, German, Australian and American companies have been opening lavish offices in Bangkok, supporting factories that manufacture cars, stuffed animals, candy canes, coffee tables and everything you can possibly imagine. The glut of properly educated, highly motivated, Westernized executives means that you'll be in demand with more than just the ladies. Businesses are looking for top-shelf people and this kind of demand keeps you in control. Many Westerners here cash hefty paychecks, work less than 20 hours a week, and relish the liberties that come with real authority and autonomy. Simply put, with the government looking to expand the economy, ready to sign deals with anyone and a dearth of English speakers in Thailand, your cell-phone will be vibrating like Alex Winters after Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure blew up.