A Broad Abroad In Thailand
Published By: Four Ways West/Cross Publications
Book Category: Non-Fiction, Biography & Autobiography
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Reviewed by Claire Vath
Subtitled: An Ex-Pat’s Misadventures in the Land of Smiles
In the early 1990s, middle-aged, twice-widowed Dodie Cross had a whirlwind romance with a pony-tailed golf instructor named Dick, and soon found herself married and living in Pattaya Beach, Thailand. Her fateful trip left her with many life lessons—and her new, marvelous memoir, A Broad Abroad in Thailand: An Ex-Pat’s Misadventures in the Land of Smiles.
The Thai job Dick was offered sounded too good to be true. Nevertheless, Dodi and Dick packed up their lives in the United States, had a quickie Vegas wedding and boarded a plane to “the land of smiles.”
While initially reeling over the culture shock and stomach cramps, Dodie quickly begins to acquaint herself with Thai traditions, the language, sights, smells . . . and what Dodie refers to as the “ubiquitous Eastern toilet”—essentially a hole in the floor.
The couple moves into an expansive company house, rife with luxury. But the too-good-to-be-true façade is just that. Dodie soon finds her husband’s sexuality overwhelming. Dick’s boss, “Mr. JB” (Jelly Belly) and his wife “Mrs. A” (Anorexia)—as Dodie refers to them—govern the company wives with an iron fist, restricting many activities, which Dodie finds absurd.
Instead, Dodie fills her days secretly socializing with ex-pats outside the company and volunteering her time to write a newsletter and work with Thai orphans.
But things come to a peak when Dodie has surgery to repair her bladder. Dick is frustrated by her inability for sex; Mrs. A reprimands Dodie for her “rebellious” behavior; and the doctor revirginizes Dodie while she’s under anesthesia—a fairly common practice, she’s told as she undergoes an episiotomy.
In the end, Dodie’s rebellion and Dick’s job misgivings lead to Dick’s career demise. Dodie realizes she doesn’t love him, his anger or his sexual addiction. However, the friendships she’s made, customs she’s learned and the culture she’s embraced make it difficult to leave Thailand.
Dodie Cross’ memoir is an unbelievably wild anecdotal ride. Her wit, wisdom and writing style belong to the Erma Bombeck school of humor. This broad will have you laughing until you cry—all the while wishing you were in Thailand with her.
Armchair Interview says: This author tells a good story–hers!
Author’s Web site: http://www.AbroadInThailand.com