Thai Thoughts And Anecdotes 29
GOODBYE FASHION CAKEWALK, HELLO BATAAN DEATHMARCH
Well, it is April in Bangkok and it is so flipping hot that the soi dogs are too tired to lick their own balls. I hope I never get that tired. It is so hot that when you leave the airconditioned lobby of the Nana hotel and go outside you can feel your forearms burning. It is pizza oven hot. It has also been hot lately in my personal life. My heart throb Songkla has been showing dismaying signs of wilfulness and personal needs and wants. This all culminated in her leaving last night and not coming back. So I need a personal tonic of some kind. Something to uplift me emotionally and make me feel good about myself. I can't let personal issues and suffocating heat stop me. Someone has to take a stand and show the indigenous heathens what class and strength in the midst of adversity and despair is all about. What I need to do is to get dressed up and to take a walk down Sukhumvit Road on the Landmark Hotel side all the way to Asoke station, and then walk back to soi four on the other side. I'll make myself feel good and feel better by feeling superior and by putting on a fashion parade for the locals.
So I put on an outfit that I used to adopt when I was hiding out from the paparazzi of Paris Match magazine. The leper in front of the Landmark Hotel looks up to see a South-of-France tanned, camera bedecked, urbane gentleman in a white linen suit wearing Paloma Picasso jewelry, bleached white alligator shoes and matching tie and breast pocket handkerchief, custom tailored yellow silk shirt with sterling silver belt and matching cigarillo holder. That's me! If my arms were long enough I would stick the camera out in front of me and take pictures of myself. I have just cruised by the Landmark and I am feeling pretty frisky when it hits me like a thunderclap that the Paloma Picasso jewelry I am wearing is not mine, it is Songklas; and if she spots me out here wearing her baubles she will be on my like a dog on a bone. Songkla is bigger than me and starting to get that future mamasan body. It is great being smaller when the women are pretending you are an ice cream cone and licking you all over, but it is not so great to be smaller when they are angry with you. An angry Songkla could tear a piece of steel rebar out of old construction debris and beat me silly with it. I hate when that happens. So I do a 180 and high-tail it back to the Nana. An hour later the Landmark leper looks up again and does a double take with his one good fly infested eye. Now I am wearing a blue goatskin suit with matching blue goatskin tie, canary yellow silk shirt and canary yellow breast pocket handkerchief, and canary yellow alligator shoes. Normally, blue and yellow are not complimentary colors but believe me when I tell you I am attention getting. I am not wearing socks or underpants because inside this leather suit it is about 700 degrees on this April-in-Bangkok day and my body needs a place to breath. But it doesn't matter because I look fabulous. I am incredible. And the locals are noticing. That is the whole point of course. To show these people what class and style and breeding and education and superior genes and well earned snobbery looks like. I am having a great time. Recent unpleasant bumps in the road with Songla are forgotten. It is all about me. I'll walk up to Asoke station–do the crossover–and then come back. In the hotel I will of course collapse into a heap of heat exhausted barely functioning tourist; but no one will see that. I am coming down the far side near soi 11 when I see him! Up to now it has been all me. No one from my shoes to the horizon has been able to compete with my personal fashion parade. It has been me to the fashion finish line in a cakewalk. THEN I SEE HIM. There is a huge, moving mountain of a man coming towards me. He is 6'5" tall and weighs about 400 pounds. He is a farang who should be at home lying prostrate in front of his air conditioner while his out of shape body fights for life. But he isn't. The humidity level is about 150% and the temperature is like the center of the sun; and he is striding up Sukhumvit like an Olympic athlete headed for the showers. He is wearing custom made dark green silk pants and a custom dark green and black checked shirt. His black stingray belt and black stingray shoes go with the black checks in his shirt. He looks magnificent. And he is moving. He isn't one of those ponderous and slow and wheezing fat men. This guy has the strength of ten big men and could probably jitterbug on his size 14DDD feet! As he gets close to me he makes eye contact. He appraises me. I feel like a pilot fish under a shark's gaze. As he goes by he gives me a thumbs up. I meet his standards. But it is not enough. I now feel diminished. The fun is over. I have been bested by someone who was not even wearing a tie. The rest of the trip back to the Nana hotel is a hot slog. Goodbye fashion cakewalk, hello Bataan deathmarch. When I get into my room; I strip off, sit by the phone, and practise what I am going to say. Then I call Songkla to apologise.
SOLID GOLD IDEA
The lady tailor who has been plugged into the light pole on the corner of Sukhumvit and the petrol station near soi 4 has passed on and I have successfully bid on and now own the space. I need some advice. I have two business ideas. The first business idea is to sell HONK IF YOU LOVE TRANSVESTITES bumper stickers. I figure if just one in every hundred cars buys a bumper sticker, I'll make enough money to finance a big statue of myself in the Nana hotel carpark. Imagine it. You finally crawl from the back of the taxi at 12:45am after 26 hours of travel from New York, and the first thing you will see is a huge statue of me. Fabulous. I'll be wearing sandals, shorts, and a T-shirt. My eyes will be hooded and tired, my body slightly slumped, my hair in disarray; but I'll be smiling. Some of my old carpark honeys will be gathered at the statue base trying to look up my shorts.
The second business idea is . . . . I forgot. Well, I'm just going with the bumper stickers for now. Wish me luck. I'm in business now, consorting with the REAL Thailand. Wow, this is going to be great. I'll be sweating like a pig in the noon-day sun, getting hassled by kids and Germans, dealing with police, breathing in fumes and dog urine. Don't envy me. I'm just one of the lucky ones, I guess. The rich Thais with three or more cars will of course want discounts on three or more of these HONK IF YOU LOVE TRANSVESTITES bumper stickers. They won't get them. Sorry Khuns and Khunesses, it's business! Hey, look at me; I'm almost speaking Thai.
I figure after I have franchised this solid gold idea nationally and I have about 10,000 of these little vendor tables selling HONK IF YOU LOVE TRANSVESTITES bumper stickers for cars, trucks, tuk-tuks, ferries, pedicabs, motorbikes, water buffalos, and Sukhumvit highway elephants set up; I will have made enough baht (another Thai word–hey, I'm almost a native) to run for PM (that means President of Thailand for you newbies–jeepers man, I know almost everything about this country). Of course in the election there will be nasty rumours about how I amassed my farang fortune. These rumours will be quashed with counter lies, obfuscation, bribes, and violence. I'll call it the Khun Tak Dana Mark party (I think that means something good). Just put KTDM on your party support checks.
As part of the highly structured run-up to the start of my new life and my new business I am going to take a 4 credit course at the Business school at Thammasat University entitled: Small Business Basics–How to Light the Entrepreneurial Fire Within! I know if you are like me, when you saw that course title you almost jack-knifed out of your chair with excitement. But wait, it gets better. Here are the inter-course subheadings:
1. How to Cheat Wholesalers and Printers.
2. Police Relations (wink-wink).
3. How to Stiff Employees.
4. Banking Principles (There is no bank, stupid).
5. How to Marry a Thai so You can Employ and Screw Relatives.
6. Pretending You are Mute for Pity Profits.
7. Thai and Farang Pricing Differences.
8. The Calculator–Prop of Confusion.
9. Capturing Electricity from Public Utilities.
10. Bogus Discounts, Bullshit Stories, and Tearful Faces.
Pretty exciting stuff, heh. I can't wait. I'm totally wired dude. Thailand business here I come. This is going to be easy. I've got the right product at the right time and in the right place. We are in 'slam-dunk' land. The only problem will be what to do with all the cash that will be rolling in. I may have to branch out into petrochemicals, movie production, modeling agencies, Middle Eastern arms shipments, and tapioca field leasing. Oh well, If I have to I have to!
Hey, and if you are a highly educated western farang with an instinct for great forward thinking business ideas you have already thought of business offshoots to this idea. Way ahead of you, buddy. HONK IF YOU LOVE TRANSVESTITES socks and T-shirts, belts and hats, underpants and scarfs. Luggage and carrying cases, gun stocks and knife sheaths, sidewalls on military vehicle wheels, and of course on the fuselages of airplanes. That's right. Once this business puppy gets going and becomes an international goliath of commerce I will be forced by macro-business principles to purchase my own airline. HONK IF YOU LOVE TRANSVESTITES right on the side of the plane. Wait 'till you get a look at the pilots! Their deep throated purrs over the intercom will make you feel safe flying BSA (Bumper Sticker Airlines). The baggage handlers will use their man hands and stiletto heels to load your baggage and the stewardesses won't have to worry about a water landing. Their silicone implants will keep than afloat. I imagine that in the beginning their will be a spotty safety record of spinouts and crashes on take-offs and landings due to the pilots responding to the siren call of make-up and nail care. I pledge to work on that. In our defence, I expect us to have the best flying safety record of any pre or post-op alternative lifestyle airline. Of course the first class hostesses will wear duct tape and dog collars. You knew that! The in-flight movie will be 90 minutes of tranny stewardesses demonstrating how to blow up a personal flotation device in the event of a water landing. Men will be flipping around in their seats like stranded fish.
Jesus God in Heaven, am I a lucky guy or what!? Blessed from birth with looks and brains and now this money faucet is just waiting for me to turn it on. But heh, it's Karma. It was meant to be. My whole life has just been spent plucking one oyster after another oyster out of their shells. Everything for me has been easy. It is fate. I can't complain but I don't have to explain. I guess that is why I am so well liked. And of course I have charm up the Ying-Yang!
I haven't figured out a corporate name for the company yet. I mean I have the ground breaking product and all–but I haven't got the all encompassing, known from continent-to-continent name recognition moniker yet. I am leaning towards Farang Fun Inc., or Dana's Delights Ltd., or Obsession Bar Conglomerates, or Boys Just Want to Have Surgery Corp., or . . . I need some help here. Hey, I've just come up with a great idea. The first person to come up with a catchy name for the company will get to have their picture taken with me, and will receive a free HONK IF YOU LOVE TRANSVESTITES bumper sticker, and will receive a 2000 baht gift certificate to the Obsession Bar. Please, only one company name entrant idea per person. I'd like to be able to offer more for the company name idea. You know, something '80's' like worthless stock options, or a company car that will be taken away in a month, or a medical plan you have to pay for, or a no-security no-salary position in the company, or a worthless title, or free transvestite surgery; but this is Thailand. Sorry brother, it's all about me. Shove off. I mean–Sa Wa Dii Sucker.
Come on guys, help me out. This is my Thai chance to be somebody. To be somebody so rich and so famous and so powerful that I get to date one of those tall, white-face Chinese girls. You know, the ones you see in magazine pictures but that you never see on the Skytrain, or at the Weekend Market, or on the streets. That's my goal. I mean after the philanthropy and helping kids and stuff. I want to be seen at Thai ribbon cutting ceremonies with one of those 'my shit doesn't stink' Chinese girls on my arm smiling that imperious, mysterious, model smile. And I'll be smiling a mysterious, knowing smile also; because I will know that under her Chinese print, Nepalese silk, Bangkok-designed dress she is wearing HONK IF YOU LOVE TRANSVESTITES underpants!
I'm still not sure if you forgot to take your medication, or you took too much.