The Year of Living Stupidly by James Eckardt
Boom, Bust and Cambodia
A Journo's Meandering, Schizophrenic, Rollercoaster Journal ...
"There we were in Pattaya - sunburned, stuffed with seafood, reeking of beer - a busload of journalists cruising like lords down a neon strip of bars pulsating with hookers. A police escort led our bus, provided by the transvestite "Tiffany Show". Above the driver, a TV was blaring a video of bare-breasted drag queens."
In the good old days of Bangkok's boom, it was all freebies, junkets, and jaunts with the gliterati. Nice work if you could get it! And as associate editor of Manager magazine, James Eckardt could.
Then suddenly it's the Crash of ྜྷ and you're just another bum on the street ...""I went to the bank to withdraw the last of my money. Ahead of me, the company's computer wonk was stacking up bricks of 1,000 Baht notes. 'To be converted to dollars in Hong Kong,' he confided. 'The Thai Baht is due for a fall.' 'Really?' I peered down into my bank book. 'What should I do with my 4,500 Baht?' ""
After a stint at the Phuket Gazette, James ventures east - to the Phnom Penh Post to cover the Cambodian election of ྞ ...""An army truck pulled up and disgorged two squads of military police. The cops squatted down behind their shields as the rock barrage grew fiercer. Crouched behind them, the commander cocked an ear into his walkie-talkie. He lifted a bullhorn and shouted, 'Charge!' ""
Follow the rise, fall, and rise of James Eckardt in this year (and a bit more) of living stupidly. A high-wire act that sees him through high times, low times, crazy times, and a lot of tears and laughter in between.
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