Thai Thoughts And Anecdotes Part 35
Thai Thoughts And Anecdotes 35
CHICKENS AND LIMITS
They are killing chickens in Thailand. God, what a great opening line to a novel. The problem is, I don't have the novel to back up the opening line. But the killing continues anyway. Depending upon which side of the chicken ownership line that you are on, the killing is either discriminate or indiscriminate. Either way, there are a lot of chickens going up to the great big chicken shed in the sky. Now various military types are involved with the attendant military argot and weaponry and testosterone and faulty reasoning. The reasoning behind the killing is that infection can be eliminated through eradication. The logic is irrefutable. Dead chickens can't get sick and pass the infection on to live chickens. Ergo: if all live chickens are converted to dead chickens–the infection will stop spreading. The only teensy little problem is that the infection may not come from the chickens–but only manifest itself in them. Quick–everyone who knows the real source of Aids and Cancers and Mental Illness and Neurological Diseases and Plagues raise your hands. All game theory is open to faulty logic when you can't see all the cards. During the Middle Ages the Black Plague wiped out one third of Europe. Then it stopped. Two thirds of Europe got to live. If the 'kill all the species' theory of infection fighting had been used in the Middle Ages, all the people would have been killed. Two thirds of them would have been killed for no reason. I wonder how many chickens are dying pointless deaths as Thaksin slaloms his way through the resulting political minefield. And it is not just chickens. Chickens are assets ultimately reduced to balance sheets, and mortgages, and interest rates, etc. The jungle shack dwellers aren't going to be wiped out–they are diversified. And the big corporations have cross insurance policied themselves to squeak through a debacle. The people I feel sorry for are the 'ma and pa' businesses that were about to make it onto the bottom rung of the middle class ladder. One more mortgage for six 10,000 chicken sheds was all they needed. Now they are busted. You can only get up in the boxing ring so many times. Then you see the wisdom of just laying there. Life rolls over you. The reason the eradication program is so popular is because there is no Plan B. Nobody really knows what to do. Eradication has the appeal of action. But it is too bad that more is not known about the situation–then limits could be placed on the government’s behavior. Violence and action are often substitutes for knowledge. The Thai government just doesn't know enough, so innocent chickens are losing their lives and innocent people are losing their dreams. It is limits that mark a good plan and a mature mind. Whether government limits or self-imposed limits, it is limits that can yield the best life. But the problem is that limits as philosophy is boring. No sex appeal. No electability. No fancy stories. That is why this weak link in the chain of our lives is so often overlooked or passed over. Every farang resident in Thailand would benefit from placing limits on themselves. What kind of limits? Time. To wit:
To be a successful and happy resident farang in Thailand you must satisfy or possess or fulfill nine different criteria. Everyone agrees on the first eight criteria and virtually nobody mentions the ninth item. The first eight criteria are:
1. You must have a mature personality. Maturity is the best defense against all that is around you that can give offense.
2. You have to have an internal engine–you have to be internally motivated. You are a stranger in a strange land. You are outnumbered. Either you have a focus or you will be the object of someone else’s focus.
3. You have to be mentally stable. In a group of stressed equally able swimmers; someone always drowns. It is the person who can keep his head that has the best chance of seeing another sunrise.
4. You have to have an interest other than work. Thailand has too many temptations for the drifter.
5. You have to have a way to successfully deal with the fact that you are always going to be treated as a second-class citizen. Yoga, writing venom laced letters to the editor, screaming in dark closets, etc; it doesn't matter–just pick something.
6. You must have a life in your home to go back to. Something with a beating heart that you can talk to. Tropical fish, bird in a cage, ant farm, cute girl or cute guy. It doesn't matter. Loneliness leads to madness; unless you are mad already.
7. You must not drink to excess. Drinking to excess is a downward path.
There is no bottom. That is a hopeful chimera of the person who likes drinking.
8. And almost finally: You must not fraternize with prostitutes. Fraternize is the key word because it speaks of abundance. Negative excess only yields a negative result.
The above eight rules for happy farang resident life in Thailand are well known and universally agreed upon. But I do not think they tell the whole story. I believe there is a critical link in the chain missing. The concept of Time. Let me give you an example: You wouldn't consider going to Mars on a mission and never coming back to Earth. The idea would never occur to you. Mars is simply too strange, and too dangerous, and too unrelenting in its constant incoming load of negative data to be considered as an alternative to Earth. Well, for the western farang; Thailand is Mars. You can learn to read and write and speak the language, and you can successfully mate and breed with a local, and you can pile up little successes and happy times; but you will never be accepted and treated as an equal. You should place a limit on your time in Thailand. To wit: every resident farang in Thailand should sign an internal contract with themselves that they are only going to stay in the country either three, seven, eleven, or fifteen years. When they reach the end of the self-imposed contract–they leave. It is time to leave Mars and go back to Earth. It is time to go home. Can you return? Of course you can. But you have to start all over and apply another self-imposed time contract to yourself. So. . . .
9. You must apply a self-imposed time limit on how long you will be in the country. Either 3 or 7 or 11 or 15 years. Then you start packing. It's over. Time to go home.
Limits–boring to talk about and frightening to consider when we have to step up and take responsibility for our lives. It doesn't matter whether you are a chicken or a farang–someday the party is going to be over. Try to get out before you smell the gas.
When she walked into a room she instantly and irrevocably changed the social dynamic of the room. It was like sending Jupiter into a room full of moons. Her gravitational attraction was irresistible. Her influence was effortlessly dominant. It did not matter if it was a room full of women or a room full of men or a room full of men and women. Old people, couples; even children sensed that she was different. They would be pulled towards her. The children would wander from their mothers at public pools and beaches to ask her for help with their bathing suits or toys. Or just to stare and to wait. Please pay attention to me. Please let me connect with you. It was the reptilian core exerting itself. When she squatted down to help them her jet black hair would touch the ground. It hung dead straight. She was quite simply; the most fabulously feminine, gloriously beautiful, sexually provocative woman anyone had ever seen. She was the Alpha woman. She was Thai. She had the long legs and the very long fingers of the Thai woman. Her waist was so small it looked as if you could put your watch strap around it. Her stomach was so flat and so tight you could bounce quarters off of it. Her high breasts and golf-tee nipples stuck straight out. If one of her lovers pressed his hand against her breast clear fluid weeped out. She was ripe. She was ready to go. A walking fertility rite. Dark all over as if in perpetual tan, high cheekbones, almond shaped eyes, full lips, invisible nose. Her eyes were like her skin in color. Attractively brown but not dominating. But if you looked just at her eyes, you started to lose your will. They were so softly brown, so without guile, so feminine; that you would start to lean forward. Your internal gyroscope was shifting gears. Jupiter was taking over. You felt as if you might leave your shoes behind as you tumbled into her soft brown eyes and then down the well of her sexuality. If you were married; about then you would hear your wife calling you.
There was a neighborhood pool party. She went. She was bored. With the feline grace of a jacquar she was either standing erect, chatting and smiling; or touring the pool perimeter as if waiting for something. Then Dana walked in. Lots of people knew him. Everyone liked him. She registered him out of her peripheral vision. He was shorter than her. He was no longer young. He was small. He was at that age where if he was horizontal; he would probably fall asleep. He was no alpha male. He looked like a man, and he walked like a man, and he dressed like a man, and he talked and thought like a man. But he was unremarkable. Forgettable: unless he called attention to himself, or you got to know him. But he was also different in some way. In his early 50's he had finally pulled out of the social/sexual nosedive of his life. He had made a trip to Thailand. It was like opening a can of Paradise. The can and the can opener had been laying around all of his lonely, sexless adult years; but he had never put them together. Now he was a different man. In fact, he was different than most men. He had bought a dive shop in southern Thailand and made it pay. He had never married. Thailand had given him a second chance. He took it. He was able to throw bucket after bucket of hope and desire down his well of potential and bring it up full. He had been remade. Retooled. Sometimes he actually preferred the women that looked like future wives and mothers. There was always less attitude. But for a while he had made a game of barfining the alpha females. Even if later things did not go exactly his way in the hotel room, he was a player. If in a short period of time he couldn't retool her; that was not his fault. If her attitude and public posturing was more important to her than the sexual happiness that comes with being relaxed; well, at least he tried. He was a player. He was now without fear. Women's appeal for him was stronger now that it had been when he was 25, but now he dealt with a full hand. He was no longer a bumbler. He had seen her when he walked into the party. But with a difference. She had registered him, but he had calculated her! He knew her better than she knew herself. She hadn't heard the word "No" from another human being since she was 14 years old. So her social development should have been retarded. That was his experience. But watching her and listening to her at the party; he saw none of that. She seemed artlessly normal. When the lifeguards announced that the pool was closing, he started to walk towards her.
She saw him coming. She wasn't a woman of tremendous insight or wisdom, that would come later. But for a while she had had a vague feeling of unease. A disquieting orientation. She was fertile. She was ready. Who would it be? Like a sponge–she took him in. She tested the air and took in all the man information like a many antennaed insect. This man wasn't scared of her!! This man wasn't stammering like an idiot. This man didn't look like he couldn't breath. This man was not exhibiting the facial tics and body tremours of the unqualified. This man was confident and relaxed. He wasn't bidding or begging.
His lips were moving. He must be talking. She tipped her head and smiled. He was standing very close and looking directly into her eyes. She knew she had body parts. She didn't need to be reminded of them by having them stared at. This man was looking into her, not at her. Now he was touching her elbow. He was turning her. They were walking towards the exit. Inside her she could feel the sun coming up. Her face was flushing. Tears were forming. Between her legs her muscles were relaxing. Her man had come!
Six weeks later they were married. Nine months after that their first child was born, a daughter. Then there were two more pregnancies. Two more daughters. He lived in a house full of beautiful women who loved him. Sometimes during thunder and lightening storms; they would all sleep together in the bed. He was getting older and when he laid down he usually fell asleep. They didn't go 'boom-boom' every night. But it didn't matter. He was the man and she was the woman. He was the husband and she was the wife. He was the father and she was the mother. It is called mating. And they. . . . .
Oops, sorry guys. I guess I was dreaming. I'm leaving for Thailand tomorrow. I'll send you all a mental postcard. And I'll write you when I get back.
So is everyone in Thailand now on "Dana watch"?