Thai Thoughts And Anecdotes 19
Thai Thoughts And Anecdotes Part 19
Thai Foster Children
When Thailand first started to become an important part of my life, I did all the things that everyone else does. I bought lots of guidebooks. I scoured and devoured the internet sites. I participated in chat rooms. I read every library book I could find on Thailand (Siam) going all the way back to the middle of the 19th century. I live in a city with many colleges and schools and universities and library systems. That's a lot of books. Through the Boston Library Interloan System I had books brought in from all over the United States. I looked for local Thai clubs to join. I tried to sleep at night with Learn-to-Speak Thai tapes playing. I hung out in Thai restaurants. I brushed off my 30 year old text books from college on Buddhism and Asian art. I made Thai friends or tried to. I bought souvenirs in Thailand and displayed them in my office. I rented all three versions of The King and I at the local video store. I watched every movie I could find that had Thai themes or landscaping. I bought obscure Thai music CD's including one of elephants playing music. I wore my custom made shirts and shoes and ties to the office every day. I cut pictures of Thailand out of my books and decorated letters that I sent to friends. I tried to get the Thai embassy in New York to interview me for a job. I tried to get large international firms in Thailand to interview me for a job. But still, something was missing from the farang-Thai experience. It all seemed like skipping a stone across the surface of water. Trivial.
Then I adopted two Thai foster daughters. It was what I had been looking for. Something that would add humanity to the experience. I adopted one girl who was 5 through the Christian Children's Fund, and I adopted one girl who was 6 through Childreach International. I got a list of all the Thai holidays. There are a lot of Thai holidays. Plus there are the children's birthdays. I send donations or letters or gifts to both children on all the holidays and of course on their birthdays. I try to time the letters so that they get there at the right time. It is difficult to do. I have pledged to them in writing that I will never let them down and I won't. I love my connection with these two human beings. With their sponsor organizations help they write back to me. It doesn't amount to much but it is the thought that counts. I have visited one of the girls and her family and village twice and I have visited my other foster daughter and her family in their village once. Their living conditions are horrific. There are refugee camps with more dignity and hygiene and pride and order. But the experience always brings tears to my eyes. Both girls have saved every letter and gift that I have sent to them and both girls have my picture on the wall where they sleep. Their relationship with me gives them 'face' and makes them feel special. And, they don't know it yet; but this man in their life will never abuse them. A Bangkok office translator accompanies me on these visits so that it is possible to talk to these girls and their families. I am treated with respect. I have never been dunned for money.
So if you are looking for a way to add a human element to your connection to Thailand, you might consider donating some of your time and your energy and your good intentions in a charitable way through a foster child program. The organizations allow you to choose ages, genders, and levels of participation. The two organizations that I have been associating with set the standard for ethical, loving, and charitable behavior. And without them, I would not have been able to add to my life by adding these two Thai people to my life.
Here in the United States there are a lot of people with black skin that are very unhappy. The reason they are unhappy is because for the last couple of hundred years either themselves or their ancestors have been en-slaved, or abused, or disrespected by White people. And their thought is that the time has come for a society wide apology from White people. And the best way to assuage their psychic hurt and the best way for White people to tender this apology to Black people is with money. Yup, it is time for a settling up. The bill has to be paid. Either through payroll deductions or through seizure of assets, the current White people will be taxed and this 'apology' will be given to the Black people. It is called Reparations. Hell, I didn't even know I was an ex-slavemaster until this started. Of course if you are on the receiving end of this money the logic is compelling. Well, if you like that logic; then you are going to love this:
Since the 60's when farangs started to go to Thailand in great numbers, bar-girls have been saying one thing in the bar and then not delivering on the promise in the hotel room. But they wanted the money. And they often got it. The contract for services was made in the bar. Not providing those services but taking the money is theft. Just because a bar-girl has a nickname for her cell-phone and a nickname for the family buffalo does not obviate the fact that this is business. Sexual services were advertised and offered, the price was negotiated, and sexual services were purchased. If sexual services as per contract are not delivered that is stealing. The farang has had his money stolen. I figure that since the 60's, farangs are probably owed about TEN BILLION dollars by bar-girls. Well, it is time for a settlement!! It is time for Reparations. I propose that the modern, forward-thinking, globally integrating Thai government meet each visiting farang at the airport from now on and present him with a Reparations check. I am sure that the government will see the social logic of this and want to do everything they can to make matters right with the citizens of the world. When I think of the present Thai government I right away think of class and style and breeding and education and high intelligence. And I know that everyone involved in that government could extemporaneously lecture on the meaning and the value of contracts in business. Something as simple as a verbal contract between two alert and consenting parties should be child's play for them! When I next go to Thailand, I plan to go to Government House with this Reparations Idea. I expect to be knighted by a grateful Asian government. I can see myself now, kneeling before a Thai official as he touches each of my shoulders with a golden flyswatter. Knighting me will notify the world that this Thai government is anxious to right the wrongs of all their thieving little whores. Think of it guys, the next time you get off the plane at Don Muang International Airport; there will be a check (and a smile) waiting for you. . . !
Originality Dana, I'll give you that!