For a young expat writer, strange days at a Thai newspaper:
Some background is in order. I was 25 at the time, and several months before my arrival in Thailand, I wouldn’t have been able to identify its elephantine outline on a map. But I wanted to move to Thailand to soak up some of the fellow-feeling and goodwill I had experienced on an earlier holiday visit. The country had a strengthening democracy and an economy that was gradually righting itself after being upended in the 1997 Asian financial crisis. It felt to me like my own silliness and incompetence wouldn’t be punished because everything was going to be all right. I was going to fit right in. And I was going to try something I had never done before: work in the newspaper business.