Thai Thoughts And Anecdotes Part 49.75
Thai Thoughts And Anecdotes 49.75
Women's Shampoo Commercials
Have you ever seen a cat seated in front of a TV set watching one of those cable shows that features fish in a tank or birds chirping and hopping about in a cage? The concentration on the cat's face would put to shame Einstein's visage when he was polishing up the Theory of Relativity. The cat is transfixed–riveted–its eyes unmoving laser beams of interest; it's body a stone of immovability whose only job is to support the eyes and the brain so that the images of the fish and the birds can be delivered to the cat's consciousness. That's me when the Thai commercials for women's shampoo come on. There is narrative in Thai which I don't understand and there is music of the soaring and inspirational variety that barely registers and then there is the hair. Hanging from the back of a fabulously feminine, gloriously beautiful, smashingly sexy young fertile innocent Thai woman is long deep dense black shining hair the likes of which I never saw until I came to Thailand and turned on the TV set in my hotel room. The girl smiles, the music soars, the excited narrator narrates and then it starts. She starts moving the hair around. The most beautiful shiny black hair in the world. If my ass was on fire I would not be able to leave the TV until the commercial ended. If I was senile and had lost control of my bladder I would not be able to leave the TV until the commercial had ended. I am like the cat in front of the cable show that is featuring birds or fish. Captured. Out of myself. Frozen in Time. Happy. I only get to Thailand every six months and in the meantime I always forget about these women's shampoo commercials. Then it's back to the Kingdom; and the beginning from check-in at the hotel until noon the next morning is full of the delightful repeat minutia that tells me I am back home. There is the long soak of the jet lagged body in the tub playing with the ‘foam' (Nana hotel bubble bath), and then the next morning I make the rounds of the gift shop and the camera store and Asia books and the tailor and the lady who sells brazed chicken breasts and the pharmacy. But it is usually that night when the final capstone of my ‘return to Thailand' is in place when one of these women's shampoo commercials comes on. I sit or lie or stand and stare transfixed at the TV and watch the incredibly beautiful and shiny long black hair move around as the young girl smiles. Now I am home. Now I am back in Thailand.
I've Got a Plan
I've never done this but I have often thought that it would be fun to get on elevators in high class Thai condos and in league with someone else have fake shocking conversations in perfect colloquial Thai. And you would time the conversation so that you got to the line before the punch line just as the elevator got to your floor and you would both exit leaving gossip junkie open mouthed Thais straining through the closing doors for the last line. The second to the last line would be something like– "And then my mother took the pair of pliers and put them inside his pants and. . . ." Exit elevator. With my luck in Thailand, however; the elevator would choose this exact time for its once a year malfunction and would get stuck and not open its doors. Myself and my colleague would be found out and spit on by an elevator full of enraged rich Thais. It is no wonder I can't sleep at night in the States. In my dreams bargirls are either chasing me with knives or rich Thais are spitting on me in elevators. It is much easier vacationing in Thailand because you don't sleep at all. Then when you get back to Boston you get a lingering illness that goes on and on for weeks and weeks and scares the living hell out of you. Then you mysteriously get better, forget that you got sick, book more airline tickets, and start the process all over again. But I digress. All I know is that if I ever did meet a nice stateside Caucasian woman there is a whole lot of shit I better not tell her. And the pile of crap I can't tell her is getting higher and higher and smellier. What it all comes down to is that I can't form a mature, adult, loving, committed relationship with a white woman until my lying skills are perfected. That's it; after I become the World's Most Accomplished Liar I'll start hunting around for a white woman to love. Well, I feel better now. At least I have a plan!
Faces in the Windows
You don't notice the big huge monster buses when they make the turn at North Pattaya road and then start hurtling down Beach road. It's only at the turn before Walking street when they call attention to themselves. Parked by the side of the road they are out of place and out of scale. It is dark out and hot and South Pattaya is crankin'. It's a bus full of Chinese tourists. Faces in the windows. Faces pressed against the glass. Impassive, uncomprehending, unsmiling. The bus looks for all the world like a Chinese spaceship that has landed from another planet and the occupants are peering at a new world for the first time. Trying to decide if it is safe to disembark. What did the tour guides and travel agencies tell them? What did they expect to see? What did they come for? Sometimes you see some brave ones who have left the safety of the mother ship and are wandering down Walking Street. Walking Street–a street of sexual promise and personal freedom and non-judgmental revelry. If Walking Street doesn't make you smile you're a dead man! Never once have I seen one of these Chinese tourists smile. Looking out of place and out of time they wander like human dust motes on the wind in their ill fitting clothes– looking childlike and sad. People who missed so much in their lives and now at the end can't comprehend the opportunity to smile and to laugh. Or is it that they are disappointed? What did the travel agents tell them? Did they expect to see the farangs and Thai girls copulating in the streets like drugged up orangutans? Did they expect to be assaulted by sex starved fifteen year olds and violated in public? Did they expect to see the big nosed immoral westerners waving their dicks at their wives? Are they actually disappointed by Walking Street? Maybe. Who knows! I have never seen these people in bars. I have never seen these people arm and arm with girls. I have never seen these people having fun. What do they come for? Beats me!
Ah, Rural Thailand–could anything be a more gentle caress on the psyche than the innocent bucolic romance of the natural beautiful rural life of Thailand. You watch the little fish jump for the insects as the lowering sun warms your shoulders. A butterfly lands on your girlfriend's nose as you are having a picnic. A gentle evening breeze kisses your cheek. The budding crops bring hope and renewal. The once again rising sun brings a joyful heart. The birds chirp and hop with the exuberance of a life perfectly lived in a paradise without flaw. Ah, rural Thailand–earthly Nirvana delivered without stress or worry.
OK, now that you are through with the butterfly on your girlfriend's nose and the hopping birds and the joyful heart and the cheeks evening caress; go get yourself an iron pipe about five feet long. Now go to one of those outhouses in the village that is done up in corrugated metal. The kind of outhouse that has been in the same spot for twenty years without repair. Located on high ground so that it never floods and in a coppice of trees so that it is always cool. A delightful rural place of rest and retreat. Inside are stacked tools like hoes and rakes and chains and post hole diggers and plant stakes. On the walls are shelves groaning under the weight of boxes of mystery junk. No one has been in the boxes in years. Outside the outhouse is surrounded with trash and garbage and bushes and mounds of dirt and broken bicycles and car parts and old tires. Now take the iron pipe and walk up to the outhouse and just start beating on the corrugated metal sides as hard as you can. Let your shoulders go loose and get full extension on your hands and your arms and on the pipe and just beat the shit out of the outhouse. Try to beat on all four sides at once by running around as fast as you can. And then reverse direction and beat the holy living crap out of the outhouse running in the opposite direction. Run and swing and beat as hard as you can for as long as you can. Then step back. AND WATCH THE SNAKES COME OUT.
Ah, Rural Thailand.
That story in the elevator was a bit weird….but I agree about hair being a Thai woman's best feature.