Dispatch from Chiang Mai:

It’s becoming clear that this is less a geographical journey than it is a “journey to the heart” … my heart. What does America (the “United States”) do to us?

The first 24 hours in Chiang Mai were filled with exhilaration. This black man busted free and now was surrounded by sights and sounds very different than those of the past 40 years. I was reunited with that “transported era” of my youth when I was strong and open minded about almost everything. I was 19 and Thailand was exotic, erotic, and full of life.

But today was different. The Chiang Mai taxi-mafia beat up on me all day. The trick was not to personalize it. To them, I’m just another foreigner … a walking dollar sign to conquer. In this Buddhist country, the average Thai is not an highly evolved intelligent saint. Instead, he and she are desperate hustlers working hard to distance themselves from gut wrenching poverty. He and she are also products of generations of sexual activity that outpaces the average American 200, 000 to one. Some of all that sex has to be traumatizing for many… and therein lies much of the problem.

Corruption? Yes… it’s very real here…. but “the world is corrupt.”
Jealousy? Most definitely. What foreigners earn Vs. what Thais earn is hugely different. The average Thai earns $8 dollars U.S. per day. This can’t sit well with people who watch idiots from all over the world stumble into their country in search of fondling their friends, relatives, and even their own bodies. Resentment looms large.
Racism? I hesitate to call it that… but it’s more like those who are really unhappy will choose anything they can to hurt others rather than feel the hurt themselves.

Mainly, Thailand is showing me that I’m on a journey to find and unlock the door to my own heart. I’ll most likely head down to Patttaya rather than remain here in Chiangmai. (It’s spelled both ways.) There is still the Night Market to see, and temples to visit. I’ve yet to get a massage or “Fish Foot Therapy.” I haven’t been out to the university nor stopped by “The Writers Club.”

I sense I can discover heaven and hell here. Like I said… this is a journey to MY heart … not theirs.