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I've been offered a year job in Asia but after a horrible experience there, I'm not sure if I should go back!

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Question - (2 January 2012) 11 Answers - (Newest, 5 January 2012)
A male United Kingdom age 30-35, anonymous writes:

Nearly a decade ago when I was still in my late teens, I was travelling in Thailand and I had an incident that has left me reeling ever since.

I had been drinking so no excuses there but a Thai girl approached and started talking to me. I can't remember why I followed her but we went walking and ended up in an alley where she proceeded to put me in a very compromising situation. It is all very blurry due to drink and what (from what I've been told after) may have been a spiked drink (although I don't know if thats me making excuses in hindsite). I really wasn't particularly aware of what was going on but I stopped her and tried walking away but suddenly couldn't stand and she stole my wallet with passport money and everything. It all happened so fast, I didn;t know what was happening and my wits were dwindling swiftly. I couldn't even crawl after her and she ran off.

I then came too and I was in the middle of nowhere by the side of the road and no idea how to get back from where I came from and a car of guys drove past me laughing as I tried to stop them for help. It took 4 hours to luckily find my place but it was the most horrifying experience ever. Some people the next day said they saw me semi-unconscious in the middle of town and I was rambling nonsense -I didn't remember a thing and I was without a passport or money. A taxi driver later also mentioned they drug people a lot and which is why I think it 'might' have happened, although once again that might just be me trying to make myself feel better and less stupid. Luckily some kind stranger lent me a floor to sleep on and money to get back to the embassy (which then took another 10 days of slumming it to get my emergency passport).

It has haunted me ever since. I told all my friends and family I was drugged and had it all stolen as I was too embarrassed to tell the truth. so now it is a sort of lie that has haunted me and I can't help but blame myself as I'm not the sort of person that would ever choose to get in a compromising situation with a random girl like that so I feel shame and guilt along with it (as well as having to keep it to myself and the lies that subsequently follow).

Also, now i've been offered a job for a year in Asia which I'm excite (and nervous) about and I'm going to take it but it is bringing all these thoughts and worries back and I'm worried it will mar my experience an leave me on edge. I'm a big worrier and find it hard to forget and get over anything especially when I feel it has had such a big impact in my life (and my travel experiences).

I know nothing can be done to change what has happened and I mucked up but any words of wisdom or advice would be greatly appreciated!

All the best and Happy New Year

View related questions: money, my ex

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A female reader, TELLULAH United Kingdom +, writes (5 January 2012):

TELLULAH agony auntAh right! Well this explains things a bit better. If you are a natural worrier there is not a lot you can do, it’s in your make-up! But you can learn to try and control your feelings, and not let them take over your life. There are a lot of self help books around, try on the internet and see what comes up. I really hope you enjoy your time abroad, what a fantastic opportunity for you.

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A male reader, Sageoldguy1465 United States +, writes (5 January 2012):

Sageoldguy1465 agony auntOP: Good luck in your new job and your new location.

I hope you have a great time in this portion of the world.... AND that you get to see plenty and enjoy yourself throughout the duration.....

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A reader, anonymous, writes (5 January 2012):

This is verified as being by the original poster of the question

Hi all, thanks for all your responses.

I just wanted to add that the title of this post wasn't chosen by myself and slightly misrepresents my situation. I have already taken the job and am looking forward to it but with concerns.

A lot of your posts were very helpful.

I guess however, my problem is more with not being able to stop worrying about things and letting things go instead of worrying about these events re-occurring.

Sageoldguy1465 , whilst very poetically and dramatically written, i'm not sure I totally agree with everything you say as, as explained above, it is not the situation I fear per se but wanting to be be able to let things go and stop regretting/worrying about what cannot be changed or is essentially unimportant. Worries genuinely seem to stay in my head and build as time goes on.

My days are spent constantly concerned with the past and petty worries and as much as I tell myself not to think about them and get frustrated by the futility of my worries I cannot seem to get shot of them. They seem to cycle from old worry to old worry.This is what mean when being concerned about taking my worries with me.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (2 January 2012):

"Nearly a decade ago when I was still in my late teens, I was travelling in Thailand and I had an incident that has left me reeling ever since.

I had been drinking so no excuses . . ."


Nothing would have happened in Thailand if you hadn't been drunk. The same experience could have happened anywhere because you were drunk.

Advice: Take the job in Asia, when you get there DON'T GET DRUNK.

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A female reader, TELLULAH United Kingdom +, writes (2 January 2012):

TELLULAH agony auntHi, Well you learnt a valuable lesson I think, and that is not to trust people you dont know, especially in bars and in a strange country. You could look on your experience as a warning to be more carefull, which I think you will do. Try not to go out drinking on your own, or at least go to a safe place. Enjoy the experience of your travels, its not something you may be able to do when your older! Take care, and have a good time. x

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A female reader, iloveblue Canada +, writes (2 January 2012):

iloveblue agony auntI feel for you. And coming from a country much like Thailand, I am aware that many people from such countries do take advantage of tourists and commit crimes. They don't care at all how losing a very important document can change your life or make it a horrible experience for you.

It's true, you cannot change the past. However, if you find yourself not totally over with this experience, maybe it would be wise to see a doctor to help you with this? Secondly, i will be honest with you that things are not better now in such countries...actually they are getting worse considering the economy everywhere. So therefore, should you decide to go back, prepare yourself the possibility that it might happen again. As you will be an expat working there, no one is sure you wont get into the same scenario again.

However, you can prevent it. Never ever go to places like that again or if you do, go with a group of friends. Also, never talk to strangers no matter how innocent they may seem. Believe me, even kids in places like these are likely to commit crime. Just take my advise, I have heard so many different stories and tactics of thieves or criminals just to get money. Expats even get killed because of this, they are really taken advantaged of. In Asian countries, many people think that Westerners have a lot of money.

Or.....if you think you cannot handle the same situation to happen to you again, then don't take the job offer. Do not travel there at all, that's the best thing to do. There is nothing better than to be in a place where you know you are safe. What good is a big salary as an expat if your safety is at risk?

Wish you the best.

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A female reader, thinkb4 Papua New Guinea +, writes (2 January 2012):

If this had happened in your own city would you have left? You would probably have learned from it and not let it happen again. It has affected you enough to make you more cautious. There is a chance of bad things happening anywhere if you end up in a state of not being in control. I say go for it and enjoy yourself moderately.

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A male reader, Sageoldguy1465 United States +, writes (2 January 2012):

Sageoldguy1465 agony auntLet my state what I think you have written: "About 10 years ago - whilest a teen - I acted like an a*s, in Thailand... and suffered what a*ses suffer when they indulge in liquor and/or drugs and get themselves in to the throes of a good hooker..... Now, I have a chance to take an attractive position someplace ELSE in "Asia".... which, incidentally, is a very large continent... and I'm drawing on this past incident to assuage my chicken-sh*t self and avoid taking this great position.... even torpedoing a great prospect in order to do so...."

How did I do in my re-statement???

Good luck....

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A reader, anonymous, writes (2 January 2012):

It's understandable that you will be apprehensive regarding this traumatic experience when you return to asia. Maybe you can go for a few sessions with a professional and discuss your feelings surrounding this before your trip. I think opening up to your family and close friends might help too.

I think it's time to forgive yourself, you made a mistake and you were taken advantage of, fortunately you weren't hurt physically at the time and you've certainly learned now not to trust random strangers so it's unlikely this will ever happen again. Good luck.

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A male reader, MajorDisplayerOfInternationalPlayerBehavior United States +, writes (2 January 2012):

MajorDisplayerOfInternationalPlayerBehavior agony auntHappy New Year to you too! I can relate to your story, because I have been to Thailand several times. Certain unscrupulous bar girls will drug you, so you must be very careful in the bars. Don't leave an open drink unattended in any bar, but particularly in places like Thailand.

I wouldn't hesitate to travel overseas if you have the time and opportunity. But, I would highly suggest to choose your woman a little more carefully. Do not drink too much, and beware of the bargirls.

There are good and bad people everywhere. This "random girl" that you met was a hustler and could have killed you. You did not lie about being drugged. You were drugged and robbed. So just chalk it up as a learning experience.

Have fun over there, I'm going to Phuket, Thailand next chance I get!

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A reader, anonymous, writes (2 January 2012):

I am also a huge worrier! That does sound like a horrible experience, but I think you should try and convince yourself that it was a one time thing, which you learned from, and it won't happen again. This job sounds like a great oportunity! I think it's important for people to experience new things and get out and see the world.

You can't live your life expecting bad things to happen. It's smart to be cautious, but sometime you have to have to take the risk and go for it! You now know what kind of things COULD happen, so just be careful and avoid situations like this one that happened before. Hope you're pleased with your decision, and Have fun!

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