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Backwards Obama!    

By Ken Silver About Asia
4842 Views | 5 Comments | 7/29/2014 11:42:09 AM

The American Secret Service agent put his hand on my shoulder before I could open the Oval Office door.

“Ken, he doesn't want to be addressed as “President Obama” any more. Now its “Tnediserp Obama” he wants to be addressed as”.


“That's 'President Obama' spelled backwards”.

I thanked the Secret Service agent for his advice and knocked on the Oval Office door.

“Ni emoc”, Obamas' voice called out.

I entered and we exchanged the secret presidential handshake.

“Whats this about, sir? The talking backwards, I mean?”

Obama gave me a big, heartfelt, clearly progressive smile.

“I'm working on our southern border crisis, Ken. I'm confusing it! Yep, I've decided that confusing a crisis is the best way to deal with it.”

“Ah. I see, sir. But in time the crisis - be it Texas border, Afghanistan, or Iraq -will see through your good idea... then what?”

Obama laughed.  “Then we go anagram on those silly old crisis’s! Scramble the letters in “President” and you get “Inerdpest Barrack Obama!”

“Wow! Great thinking, Inerdpest Obama, sir!”

Well, I had wanted to brief the President - oh, excuse me, the Inerdpest in Chief - on the difference between the visa policies of the southeast Asian countries of Thailand and Cambodia. (Obama had wanted me to investigate if there were any more borders he could open, so that the best and brightest of the world could continue to ride the tops of old rusted freight trains into America.)

The  good news, is that Cambodia, like America, has an open border policy for poor tourists. The bad news is that Thailand is getting nastier and nastier towards low budget tourism.

Thailand is a feudal society whose serfs are starting to get restless. The same situation is happening in Cambodia of course, but at least  the Cambodian government still respects budget tourists. For example when quelling political demonstrations in hotel districts, the Cambodian Army has been ordered to use silencers on all weapons between 10pm and 8am.

Also, Cambodia culture and Cambodians themselves are “understandable” to Western “setting sun lounge lizards” like myself. Thailand is a land of mystery, as in why is Thai immigration  on the southern border no longer  automatically admitting overland entry tourists with valid tourist visas signed by the Thai Consulate Chief in Malaysia?

A bit dysfunctional, yes?

I mean, how can you have a tourist industry without tourists?

To be specific, the whole thing is about - once again - the poorer tourists. If you want to be welcome in Thailand these days, you need  to prove you are purely a tourist. Not an undercover retiree, and not a working man without the proper working papers. Basically you need to fly in. And perhaps have a week long hotel reservation printed out for professional inspection. Never mind that  the easiest thing to do when moving on back to Thailand is to just hop that five hour bus. You had better backtrack two hundred miles to Kuala Lumpur where you can buy an expensive air ticket and have your underpants scanned before you board - whoops, I almost said Malaysia Airlines - board a jet aircraft of your choosing.

Anyhow Thai politicians, who seem to be a nasty, spiteful, spiteful nasty, envious, jealous bunch, - as always with Asians, its  all about penis size - are taking it all out on us, the ordinary travelers.

Don't believe what Inerdpest Barack Obama says - human beings are tribal in nature, and when you are Thai everyone else is pond scum. You smile at pond scum like you smile at your boss... for the big paycheck.

Cambodia welcomes everybody. As long as a single American dollar bill literally makes a taxi drivers eyes light up with grateful joy, Cambodia will continue to officially  and genuinely welcome everyone. Cambodia doesn't care if your long term visa is corked inside a bottle of whiskey as long as you had to bribe a Cambodian bureaucrat in order to get it.

Cambodia is a true third world country. Thailand is just getting too country club exclusive.

Moreover, Thailand is cracking down on foreigners who don't have official papers to work there. Foreign teachers of English - who used to be offered the “fresh apple“ of a Thai college girl's breast in exchange for good grades – are now having to prove their own diplomas are real.

What? I lost you after the “fresh apple”?

I will admit that Thailand is actually enforcing its own regulations... you've just opened the Immigration office door of the Twilight Zone.

Is Thailand actually trying to enforce its' own rules? Isn't that like a tree falling in the forest with no one to hear it?

Maybe it is that Thailand is cracking down on everything foreign except foreign cash in small -but stuffed- white envelopes. Is this just about bigger bribes for the Thai bureaucracy?

Well, how to prove one is a genuine tourist at the Thai border?  Besides asking the immigration official  in a whisper if he could direct you to a Thai elephant that “likes to get naked”? Perhaps that old “I love Thailand” t-shirt ought to be part of your travel wardrobe. Or perhaps one should stumble off the plane in Bangkok dead drunk, grabbing ones' crotch.  Genuine Tourist!

And yes, it could actually be that the Thai generals who now rule the country - jealous because they did not first think of the “No loud weapons between 10 at night and  8 in the morning” guideline – are actually putting some teeth into the rules that have been flouted for years. If so, it would mean Thailand is taking its first steps towards becoming a well organized, ruled by impartial laws, incorruptible country.

And that would mean Thailand is no longer Thailand. In time of course, it would then become like the United States; so drowning in its' own legalities that it can no longer act in the real world, except to supply weapons.

Fortunately, there is always Cambodia.

Copyright owned jointly by Author and CyberCupid Co., Ltd. Breach of copyright will be prosecuted.
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#2014-07-29 11:49:52 by JohnAbbot @JohnAbbot

Ken manages to make a person laugh even while reading about something that is a little disconcerting. If Thailand is making it harder for the tourists who have little money, then it's becoming harder for the youth who are seeing the world by backpacking everywhere, and getting by on extremely limited funds. In my view those are the people who tend to keep the world from eventually going insane over material stuff and monetary gain at the expense of all else.

One thing I always loved about Thailand is that everyone was welcome; I'm incredibly sorry to hear that may have passed.

#2014-07-29 17:33:55 by Barry1 @Barry1

Ken raises an interesting point here. I think Thailand with all its internal troubles no longer is as fresh faced and innocent as it used to be.

One cannot have protesters killed, martial law declared and high ranking politicians arrested without some long term ramifications. Unfortunately, the tightening of immigration requirements may be one of these effects.

Let the lady boys run the country, I say - with Ken at their helm, leading the way! :D

#2014-07-29 20:39:59 by paulfox1 @paulfox1

I want a pint of whatever it is that Ken drinks !

Oh, NICE LEGS by the way !(rofl)

#2014-07-30 00:56:17 by anonymous11256 @anonymous11256

interesting read....laughed my ass off when I read "Anyhow Thai politicians, who seem to be a nasty, spiteful, spiteful nasty, envious, jealous bunch, - as always with Asians, its all about penis size - are taking it all out on us, the ordinary travelers." You have hit the nail on the head here.

I wonder who do you see is the most coveted tourist coming to Thailand? Maybe the never ending tour groups from their biggest neighbor flying in to Thailand in swarms with unlimited funds?

What tourist group has the most influence do you think, you are on the ground imbedded local correspondent. 8)

#2014-08-02 05:10:07 by twilightsmith @twilightsmith

Well, those bus load hordes buy little from street vendors, and I think the profit margin on such tours is pretty thin for the parent company. So I think the truly wealthy tourist is most coveted by the Thai tourism industry and government. They have said as much, "we are looking for the quality of tourist, not the quantity anymore."
The Global Wealthy, like the Saucer Visitors of ancient times...their Presence tends to upscale everything around them. Oh, not helpful to the human serfs, of course, but the architecture and restaurants and resorts and bank accounts of the High Priests definitely improve and look spectacular.

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