Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A Broad Abroad in Thailand: An Expat's Misadventures in the Land of Smiles

By Dodie Cross

Living abroad in Thailand is not always all it is said to be as author Dodie Cross quickly realized. The result of her near year-long adventure? A “laugh out loud must-read memoir” called A Broad Aboard in Thailand An Expat’s Misadventures in the Land of Smiles.

When newly widowed Dodie first met and became involved with Dick, she had no idea what lay in store for her. When Dick is offered an incredible job opportunity in Thailand, there is no question that Dodie wanted to go along. Pushed into a quick marriage, the two soon set off for lands unknown.

Their first experiences in Thailand were luxurious. If only the same could be said for the rest of her stay. Dick and Dodie are soon moved into a new company-owned home and begin to realize very quickly that this wonderful opportunity came with some serious strings attached.

Dodie is fortunate to find many allies and friends. Faithful Pon, Dodie’s live-in housekeeper and friend very quickly earned a place in Dodie’s heart, as did the “beautiful orphans” Dodie considered herself fortunate to work with at the Pattaya Orphanage. The ladies from the Pattaya International Ladies’ Club (PILC) also played a large part in comforting Dodie and helping her to keep her sanity but at the same time were part of an on-going problem Dodie had with the boss’ wife, Mrs. Anorexia or Mrs. A for short (named changed to protect the guilty).

While the area and the friends Dodie made would endear Thailand to her forever, problems followed her almost from the beginning of this fateful journey. The primary problem Dodie faced was Dick. Dick suffered from an addiction and had, at times some extreme issues. This would be a large part of their undoing. Competing with Dick for “problem of the trip” was the insufferable control freak Mrs. A. While not an employee of The Company, Mrs. A issued many rules regarding nearly every aspect of the lives - both public and private - of the employees and their wives. To cross Mrs. A or to break one of her and her husband’s rules was to earn an instant trip back to the States. Unfortunately for Dodie, she and Mrs. A were at cross purposes almost constantly. Medical problems, a near fatal accident and probably countless blunders in dealing with the Thai people all plague Dodie as well.

This memoir, though thick, is very difficult to put down. Dodie Cross has achieved a great accomplishment: her readers will feel an almost immediate connection to her. They will feel her anxiety, her stresses, her amusement and most certainly with groan along with her at the mere thought of Mrs. A.
Mrs. Cross is to be applauded.

This review was submitted by Kristin Pace. Kristin is a wife and mother and founder of The Book-Trotter.  She wrote her first review 20 years ago and has been reading and loving books ever since.

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