The surreal true story of how a Western teenager came of age in 1960s Bangkok, turned international drug smuggler and walked the prison yards of Thailand’s notorious “Bangkok Hilton”
It is 1967 Bangkok, the Summer of Love, and for teenager Jon Cole, son of a US Green Beret colonel serving in the Vietnam War, life as a young Westerner in the City of Angels is sweeter than mangoes on sticky rice with coconut milk … until he is introduced to the infamous House of Lek. Drawn to the underbelly of Bangkok, the International School Bangkok pupil soon discovers ganja, opium and the two-dollar bordellos.
What follows is a surreal but true story of one Westerner’s relationship with Thailand spanning four decades. A drug habit picked up at the House of Lek with schoolmates and GIs on R&R from Vietnam leads to a career as a drug smuggler, a nasty smack habit and, ultimately, a long stretch inside Bangkok’s notorious prison, the “Bangkok Hilton”.
At the heart of Jon’s account of his misspent youth in Thailand and his subsequent life inside Klong Prem prison is a Thai-style acceptance of the consequences of his own karma and a desire to expose the fallacy that Westerners are mistreated in Thai prisons.
About the author
Born in 1950 in Little Rock, Arkansas, as the eldest son of a US Army offi cer, the author was raised on three continents from Europe to Asia and over half a dozen American US military posts in between. An award-winning jewelry designer now retired and living in the the foothills of Arkansas’ Ozark Mountains, this is his fi rst publication, which was written specifi cally as an amendsmaking exercise and as a tribute to the people of Thailand.