I've been reading your website for a while and really do enjoy it. Someone – maybe it was you – called it a kind of locker room for guys with this Thai thing going, and that's exactly it.
I've been to Bangkok a bunch of times and wanted to say two things. One is that somehow I see the truth in everything your correspondents write, even when
what they say is completely inconsistent. The girls are liars and cheats and as dumb as oxen, and they are demure and funny and quite considerate too, and I've seen or had (knife threats aside) just about every experience people write about, as I suspect have many others. But it is odd – though very entertaining – to read things that I know are both completely accurate and at the same time aggressively at odds. I'm married to a born-in-America Chinese woman, and after a few years of it I've come to see her as a narcissistic pain in the neck (I expect she'd have a thing or two to say about me), so if one has problems being married to a Thai woman I'd be hard pressed to say that any alternative form of marriage offers a promise of paradise. Most men would probably agree that except for the children part – they redeem just about everything – marriage is a female scam with few redeeming features. Well, most men I know, at any rate.
The second thing I wanted to say was that I see Thailand like most people see the lottery. The way I see it, millions of people buy lottery tickets not necessarily to win – though that's why they may think they're buying the tickets – but rather to keep fantasy alive; telling the boss to go to hell, whatever. For me, knowing that Thailand is there – an airplane ride (and a barrel load of careful groundwork) away – allows me to believe that there is, in fact, some escape possible, even if only temporarily, from the humdrum, sexually charmless, life I have. It's sad I suppose, but then that's the way it is and one has to make the most of what one has. The earth's going to plunge into the sun eventually anyway, I don't believe in heaven and hell, I'm more than half way through my life and in some respects I don't like the way it looks, separate bedrooms and all, and so long as (a big so long as, I suppose) I can keep it all under wraps, who is harmed? I do have certain rules I follow, them being, in no particular order, strict hygiene, no alcohol (and of course no drugs, ever), careful maintenance of an exit strategy laid early in each encounter (e.g. "I have a business meeting early in the morning." One needn't, but it comes in handy), and, I know this won't be popular, a fair measure of financial generosity. For all the reasons you write about Thais have this odd relationship with money and for the most part I get treated very well when I don't make a fuss about it, even when I flit about in the same bar. I suppose my particular trade off would be that I have money and limited freedom. When I was younger it was the other way round. As I say, in my view the earth's going to plunge into the sun eventually and each of us has to make what we can out of where we find ourselves.
Does any of this make sense to you?
Yeah, it makes complete sense. I like the thoughts about keeping the fantasy alive. You're on to something there.