Readers' Submissions

Thai Thoughts And Anecdotes 21

  • Written by Dana
  • November 17th, 2003
  • 4 min read




ESCAPING

Have you ever been in a hotel lobby around 1 or 2 in the morning and seen some guy checking out of the hotel? Where is he going? The planes don't start leaving Don Muang until 6 in the morning. The earliest you need to check out is 3 or 3:30. So what is the deal with the guy who is checking out at 1 or 2 in the morning? There aren't any buses or trains running. No planes. I'll tell you what he is doing because I have done it. He is ESCAPING. Something has gone wrong with him and his honey bunny and her soft, liquid pools of brown-eyed love have become flinty chips of HATE. In a billionth of an instant. What is known in Physics as a nanosecond. No man on the planet can emotionally move that fast. What have you done to earn this life-threatening hate? You don't know! How could you? You are just an ignorant, insensitive, Christian-Western biased, ex-slave master with fond memories of Colonialism and Imperialism. Whereas she is just a little itty-bitty honey bunny with a stuffed-animal backpack. And you can't depend on other farangs for help. Because everyone of them that is one day younger than you or one pound lighter than you– has nothing but contempt for you. Hell, you are lucky the other white guys allow you to live.

So you better learn to pack fast. Because who knows–your heart throb who loved you and only you may now be looking for the police or a gun, or an ex or current boyfriend with a gun. Or a knife. Knives are very popular in Thailand. Learn to pack in 10 minutes. And leave a coded note on the desk or top of the TV reminding you of where in the room you hid money. 'Cause you ain't going back! Good Luck. Remember, it was only vacation to you. To everyone else involved it was about 'face' and money. The two incendiaries of Thai society. Start packing. Stuff the shit in your bag, do a once over of the room, collect your hidden money, and get your ass down to the front desk. And don't just move across the street. They'll find you. You have to get a taxi and tell him to just drive for 15 minutes. Then get out and find a place. Now MOVE. . . !

Otherwise, the two of you could end up standing in front of the boys in brown. You know; the worldly, well-educated legal elite with highly attuned investigatory skills. Her little brown shoulders will be shaking and great big tears will be rolling down her cheeks. You will have your Imperialist-Colonialist thumb up your ass. The first thing you will learn to write in Thai is:

Please help me. I am being held in a Thai prison. I am innocent.

You will write it in blood on little pieces of toilet paper that you will drop out the prison windows. And there isn't even any toilet paper!!

So if you see a farang checking out of his hotel in the early morning; Don't get in his way. He's got to MOVE. NOW!

THE WEIS ARE MISSING

Have you ever noticed how you get your best ideas or revelations at night when you least expect them? You will be lying in bed in the 'sort of asleep–sort of awake' mode and then EUREKA–your body will jack-knife upwards as you have a great notion! Well, that happened to me the other night–I jack-knifed up in the sitting position probably well known to others like Newton and Einstein and (dare I say it) Dana–and I shouted WEIS!! The weis are missing! Starting about a year and a half ago I started to notice that when I check into a hotel and I give the room porter his tip–I do not get a wei back from him. He can't be bothered anymore. He's got his money and besides; Thai culture blows, he wants a McDonald's franchise. When he was 10 he wanted to be a monk. And now that I think of it, I don't get weis in other traditional ways that I used to get them either. From the time I land in the LOS to the time I leave I am hammered by everyone with a heartbeat about the importance of respecting Thai culture–but the Thais are forgetting faster than I can. The first hotel that I checked into in Thailand was the Vientai hotel. I was very tired and I was very sick. When I gave the porter a tip, he stood still in the hall, and gave me a wei. I was charmed for life. I bought Thailand. Suddenly, I felt enervated and hopeful. I didn't feel quite so sick and quite so tired. But now that social interaction is going. It's too bad. It was charming, innocent, and culturally meaningful. You knew you were in Thailand. A place with different rules that would provide different experiences. Now it is all becoming a part of the past. Now it's just GIVE ME THE MONEY. Well, I for one, think it is sad and I think it is a loss and I think it is probably part of a trip down a road that you can't make a U-turn on. If the weis are going away in 2003, what will be left of Thai culture by 2053? or 3003? No more Thailand. Sad.

Stickman says:

Two good articles.