Stickman Readers' Submissions December 18th, 2003

A Phuket Perspective

By B

Neighbours ­ Western ones

He Clinic Bangkok

Coming from one of the least friendly cities on earth – London, my area was actually described as a spiritual wasteland in a Sunday supplement. I didn't know what to expect when one moves into a new neighbourhood. Neighbours we all have them and what's more, we're destined to have them. You can't choose them, so how do you make the best out of them?

Now you'd think having travelled all these thousands of miles to get here it would be nice to have some expats that you can communicate with and share a beer, unfortunately for whatever reasons that doesn't seem to be the case.

Rightly or wrongly I thought I'd pace all this introduction business at a leisurely speed, as to whenever the natural circumstances arose one could strike up a conversation. Not forced or gushing, rather let nature take its course.

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Well, obviously one can't help but observing when new neighbours more in, and with it one can soon pick up all the body language and vibes that go with it. It's not long before psychological bridges are being constructed, but they come in two varieties.

The hand of friendship, or unfortunately the alternative that comes with an additional moot that for all intensive purposes is a drawbridge really. Is it me, it could well be, too much to expect that we'd have something in common, but rather just a laugh and a joke wouldn't go amiss.

Rented Wives

The first time I heard that expressions it seemed a contradiction in terms. Sure women could be bought, but the idea of renting one in lieu had just never occurred to me. A bit like the vicar pronouncing, "Do you take this woman to be your short or long time wife?"

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The reason I'm writing this piece is because I have just spent the last low season being surrounded by women of this disposition, and from their perspective I would like to pass on some thoughts as to those who in the future might consider making such an arrangement.

Before I go any further these comments are addressed to any future spouses, as I'm sure that all the current sponsors will be quoting MGIDS – my girl is different syndrome. Nine out of ten these girls don't have the required work papers – school certificates, are out of their environment with no social group bondings to act as an introduction / referee, have either lost or never acquired a work ethic, in their mind are in an alien environment as far as the locals are concerned, and finally have got used to a standard of living that they don't want to give up.

Sure reading through all of these negatives one could easily assume that they are just a list of excuses, but I'm sorry from where these girls are coming from the reality of trying to go legit is a non starter. So denied the opportunities of getting out of the rut and way of life they have found themselves to be in, what does the future hold for them?

The lucky chosen few can progress to a good waitress / cashier / shop assistant position in the nightlife industry, which in their eyes at least pays them a salary they can accept. Outside of these exceptions, will these sponsors really seriously consider what all these girls are going to do for the next six months, until their tilac flies back to service them?

My First Steps

Memories came flooding back the other day, as to when I first arrived on these shores with the view of settling.

Can best be summed up by an overwhelming sense of insecurity and vulnerability. All I had to go on was the contact of a paid relationship, which I knew in my heart had little or no value.

I didn't know a soul, the few friends I had made previously were only here in the high season. Having eventually located my girl friend in a location in Patong that was nearly impossible to find, I was only to be greeted with a lukewarm reception, something had dramatically changed from that passionate tearful departure four months previously. Accommodation had to be found, as there was no chance of moving into her abode with another three girls already sharing her room.

I was offered a whole house just across the way, but for a minimum period of rent. With all the jet lag and lack of co-ordination following such a long flight I said I'd take it.

The fridge on inspection should have been condemned, so it was through my exasperation in cleaning it that my first thoughts of checking out of this mosquito ridden environment came to mind.

These thoughts were only to be compounded, with the news that even though it was my first night back that my girlfriend was still going to go to work as usual at her bar.

I made the excuse of not joining her through tiredness.

The writing was on the wall, and it was now being made clear in no uncertain terms that this lady didn't want to know, I was on my own, my only life line had turned out to be an illusion.

Thankfully no rent for this property had been handed over, but I still had to extradite myself from this compromising tricky situation in the morning. By midday there were the first signs of life, when eventually what seemed like rabbits started appearing from all the neighbouring borrows around me. The news had to be broken, that not only was I not
Going to take this property to rent but also my relationship with this girl of the night had to be declared null and void.

Welcome to Thailand, being completely alone didn't nearly feel so bad after all.

"Riddle me this Batman, when is a party not a party"? "Holly dampeners Riddler, you've got me this time". "When it's held in Phuket of course".

After a period of ten years this was the first I had attended, just alone over each festive season there were six that I boycotted, so had I missed anything. Well of course it all depends on your perspective, if you're into men – by that I mean straight men, yes I would have missed a lot, but my priorities and incentive are somewhat different. I enjoy mixing and talking to women. Sorry but here in Phuket that's a definite no no, in fact it would be really quite a fopar to take on such an action.

Let me explain, for all intensive purposes these events can best be summed up as vicars and tarts parties.

The tarts to give them their due are genuine enough, but the vicars hmm, well I could say in their defence that at least they are trying to save them, but here lies the crux, for themselves that is.

The idea that some other man maybe sliding up to one of their women just basically never happens, so you have all the men in one area and all the women in another area, which makes for some of the most boring parties that I've ever attended.

Parties held in bar's for Noi's weekly birthday again should be avoided at all costs, funeral wakes have a better atmosphere.

Stickman says:

A nice collection of thoughts.

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