Read more: http://world.time.com/2013/09/13/hangover-from-hell-hundreds-of-westerners-living-on-the-streets-of-thailand/#ixzz2gNbcPUZ5
A Thai charity has revealed that a growing number of Westerners — around 200 at present — are sleeping rough on the streets of the Southeast Asian nation, in areas from Chiang Mai to Phuket, many doing so as a result of alcoholism, drug use or having spent all their money on local women.
“We are starting to see more and more homeless foreigners, many of whom have separated from their Thai wives and now have no money,” said Natee Saravari, secretary-general of the Issarachon Foundation. “They walk or sit in shopping malls during the daytime and scavenge through garbage for food at night.”
The disclosure has to be put in the context of homelessness in Thailand in general. An estimated 30,000 homeless Thai nationals share the same streets, as well as an indeterminate number of Lao, Burmese and Cambodians. However, the conspicuousness of homeless Westerners — an extraordinary sight to Thais who generally presume that Western residents are relatively affluent — makes them an eye-catching subject for local media.
One man who is unsurprised by these developments is Paul Garrigan. The 44-year-old Irishman spent five years “drinking himself to death” in Thailand before quitting in 2006 and has since written a book about his experiences. “Some people come to Thailand and they already have a drink or drug problem but they have it under control in their own country,” he tells TIME, “but then the restrictions have gone and that addiction can blossom.
Read more: http://world.time.com/2013/09/13/hangover-from-hell-hundreds-of-westerners-living-on-the-streets-of-thailand/#ixzz2gNbVhunt