Reading Harry’s missives in a weekly column for a tourism website in Phuket, it’s clear he rather fancied himself as a Hunter S. Thompson-type, rattling around Thailand, indulging in all the bimbos and booze a few western dollars can buy. He thought he was being dangerous and edgy. In reality, it was all a bit sad.
I have met so many of these people. Not one gave me the impression that I would want to read a single word of what they've written. Fond as I am of some of Thompson's work (and mostly because I read it at a certain time and place in my life) it is disheartening to see some people take his schtick and try to live by it especially in that part of the world, which is so forgiving to any manner of outlandish behavior.
For one, it undermines the credibility of serious foreign journalists and writers in the region and adds to the already fairly lame ex-pat scene out there. I don't mean the foreigners who are out there to create lives for themselves, but rather the guys who proudly proclaim to be ex-pats, the kind that sit around all day drinking imported beer with other ex-pats with the most beautiful girlfriends, wives or mistresses money can buy.
Anyway, Nicolaides got his attention, but ultimately what came of it? In the vein of many of the Thompsonesques I've encountered: not much.