Friday, October 16, 2009

Over-vexed and over there

I am back in Britain; you don't want me to bore you with I did on my holidays stories, do you? So I will not tell you about the bizarre roadside encounter with a Bangkok lady boy in what appeared a simple case of sexual battery turned out to be a an attempted robbery (luckily I was able to convince the little bugger to return my wallet forthwith); nor will I relate how, owing to a misplaced sense of politeness, I became complicit in the ongoing corruption of Cambodia's state institutions and saw a graphic illustration of the shambolic state of that country's military.

But permit me one observation that I think has immense geopolitical implications: as American power and influence wanes, the Chinese appear to effortlessly taken on the role as chief provider of coachloads full of overweight, overbearing, loud, badly dressed and unsympathetic tourists.*

* I am aware that other countries provide badly behaved tourists; luckily for me Britain's lager louts steer clear of the sort of places I was visiting.

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