(Update)The Ausralian author was sentenced today;link supplied [last post].)I think at least some of you know I’m an American expat living in S.E. Asia. I’ve written 2 books, one of which is at the printers, here. A preface to my story has been requested. Okay, no problem; but there is a problem; the problem is one word; patronage, here-to-fore referred to as “the word”. In trying to give a brief explanation of the culture in which I live I needed to identify the two major influences on said culture, “The word” and patriarchy; patriarchy is not a problem, but “the word” definitely is. My wonderful wife adamantly said I can’t use it even though I don’t use any qualifiers either positive or negative.
Perhaps it would help to know some context. There is an idiom here describing a good marriage as like an Elephant: The front legs are the husband and the rear legs are the wife. I, in my waggish way, saw a degree of absurdity in a herd of Elephants when the legs decided to rebel their respective positions. Thus the importance of a cultural context.
It seems a high government official used “The word” to describe his government; he is now on trial for lese’ majeste’(sp)a very serious charge here. 15 years in prison.
I’m buggered (screwed) if I do and buggered if I don’t. It’s definitely a blindsided smack. I don’t mind saying; I’m really pissed about this, but the choice for me is unfortunately clear; I will acquiesce for my wife’s and my sake. “They” would just kick me out and then what would my wife do?
I’m not looking for advice on this; but I thought this would be illuminating on some level if I communicated this conundrum of being an Expat publishing a book in an Asian country. We in the west would never give this a second thought. We should never take our freedoms for granted; now I know first hand.