Readers' Submissions

Thai Thoughts And Anecdotes

  • Written by Dana
  • July 30th, 2003
  • 7 min read




1. Once around 2 AM at the Nana Plaza I just hadn't found anyone special. I'm a little picky and not all women find me attractive. I'm not a rapist–I really want to fall in love. So I was headed home empty handed. That's all right. Maybe a little less tension would be good. Maybe just collapsing and getting a full nights sleep would be good. So I'm OK with it. I'm happy. And I love the atmosphere between the Nana and the hotel. What others call seedy; I call exciting, fun, and home. I'm just about to reach the sidewalk vendors on the curb when I look up and see something I'll probably never see again. There before me, holding hands, and heading for the hotel; is a six foot tall transvestite and a midget. Because of their height disparities the tranny's arm and hand is reaching straight down and the midgets arm and hand is reaching straight up. They were holding hands. I started to imagine what the hotel room scene was going to look like and then I stopped. What difference did it make. Good luck to them both. I love this place.

2. Once I was in the mountains of Chiang Mai on an elephant trip through the jungle. Part of the tour went through a depressing, desperately poor village. Except for the cooking woks there wasn't even any metal in the village. These people were still in the Stone age or the Bamboo age; they hadn't even made it to the Bronze age. The women were in treestands trying to sell stuff to you that you had already bought in town at the Night Market and the incredibly dirty kids were chasing people down and begging. A peak inside the houses showed that they hadn't even stumbled across the technology of hooks. Everything was just thrown in a heap on the floor. And the dry season pounded down dirt was going to turn to a quagmire in the rainy season. So I'm up in my elephant basket thinking about how this is not really an attractive lifestyle when I happen to notice a commotion on the ground. Two cats are going at it. The female is screeching but she isn't leaving and the male is pounding her like a tent peg. A little bit later on I hear squealing and my grinning mahout points to a pig corral. They are going at it like an A-bomb has just been released at 20,000 feet and there is only 20 seconds left to live. And lastly, I see rooster and hen fucking like there is no tomorrow. What the hell. Maybe this wouldn't be such a bad place to live!

3. I like to get up early. I used to make fun of my father for doing this and now I'm doing it. Some things are morning things. You've got to be up to see them. One morning I got up early in a small village near the Sangkhlaburi Reservoir. I strolled down to the main road. Not much to see. Dirt road. Mangy dog. Morning mists in the mountains. Refuse and garbage and trash along both sides of the road. Then I hear the far away sound of a motorbike. There is no other traffic. Just me and whoever is coming. She was a Thai girl on a motorbike. Sitting side saddle. Wearing a lemon yellow dress pressed against her legs and pink flip flops. Her long black hair was streaming behind. As she passed she gave me a 40 megawatt smile. I now she was a father's daughter but holy jesus god she was a beautiful woman. And that's why sometimes it's good to get up early in the morning.

4. Here in Boston there is a local Thai who collects tribute from Thai restaurants. He makes the rounds once a week. He gets a free meal and then someone gives him a paper bag full of money. He came here years ago as a student and told everyone he had a connection to the royal family. He married a local woman so that he could get his citizenship papers. Then he divorced her. He never went back to Thailand and he never got a job. I think it stinks and I think he stinks and I think the Thai restaurant owners who buy into this nonsense are fools. And they all think they are better than me because they are Thai and I am a Farang.
What a world. . . !

5. Sometimes it is just too easy–I check into the Parkway Hotel on Sukhumvit and 5 minutes later the phone rings. I figure it is the front desk so I answer the phone. It isn't the front desk, it is some Thai woman who just starts talking a blue streak. Finally I figure out that she thinks I am her boyfriend. Obviously. he has checked out without telling her. Now I am thinking fast. I tell her that I am a friend of his and that he had to go but he left a gift for her. If she comes over I'll give her the gift. I have a green silk bathrobe in the closet that I bought to give Noi at the Nana later that night. But Noi has just become plan B. Well, the blue streak comes over: I give her the robe, and we spend the afternoon bonking.

6. My girlfriend and I are watching an elephant show outside of Chiang Mai. It's pretty interesting. The elephants have done this a lot and like doing it and even the baby elephants are underfoot imitating their parents. The elephants are beating drums, and dancing, blowing on kazoos, etc. The show is well rehearsed and well presented; what could be more interesting. Just then my attention is drawn to a group of Thais and mahouts who are laughing so hard it looks like they might break ribs. Off to the side is an old retired elephant who isn't a part of the show. He's moving slow and has saggy wrinkled skin and his show days are over. And he is taking a giant dump. It looks like he hasn't taken a dump in a week. So much green stuff is coming out of his back end that it is forming into a little mountain. And it is still coming. And surrounding this mountain of shit are a bunch of German and Japanese photographers taking pictures. Nobody is taking pictures of the elephant show, but there is about $50,000 of equipment being used to memorialize this mountain of elephant crap. No wonder the Thais think we are all crazy. . !

7. When I was in college my girlfriend's father died and she inherited parking lots and liquor stores in Manhattan. Suddenly she was rich. So she had a travel agent book her on a tour of Europe according to all the 4 star restaurants. Each to his own. If it was me I would travel the world buying hats and shoes. I love hats. So when I see the neat mahout hats that are offered in markets I want them. But Thais have small heads and the hats are tiny. More like for the children of westerners. Why can't the Thais figure this out. If they would just make the hats bigger they could double their sales. Oh well.

8. I'm starting to get my $100 bills exchanged at hotel lobby desks now instead of the currency booths. The exchange rate is not as favorable but the hassle factor is a lot less . The exchange booths (especially in Pattaya) are just getting stupid and ridiculous. If the bill has any defect of any kind including just being worn and tired looking because it has been in circulation they won't accept it. They only want the bills that are crisp and perfect and new looking. Aren't those the exact same characteristics that forgeries would have? I tried to explain their illogic to them once but it was hopeless. I'm intelligent, well educated, and well traveled. What contribution could I possibly make!? So if you have forgeries, go to a Thailand currency booth. They won't take my money–but they'll love yours.

9. The average Thai bargirl is a picture junkie. She loves to have her picture taken. And you like being a part of this also; so you will happily go through rolls of film taking her picture. And then you get the pictures developed, and then you get to look at them in the hotel room. So what you say! Well, when your little honey bunny is in the bathroom; have you ever gone through her purse? Do you know what you will not find? There are no pictures of her family (family is SO important in Thailand) and there are no pictures of her BABY. It's all about her.

Stickman says:

More wisdom from Dana…