Thailand: An Adventure Beyond Compare
I am a middle-age expat and have been working out of my country in various locales for ten years. Having been married a number of times; all the clichés bandied about on this site by disaffected western males apply to me as well, although I weathered
the storms and came away free of bitterness. Suffice to say; I know when I am attracted to a woman as I have an overwhelming urge to buy her a house.
I work in remote locations where I am usually restricted to a camp, have little or no contact with the local culture and work long hours seven days a week. I receive vacation three or four times a year which is what keeps me doing this, as I love to travel.
My first trip to Thailand was wonderful. I came as a tourist knowing virtually nothing about the country or culture. I was drawn by a vague attraction to a place I perceived as exotic and mysterious having seen “The King and I” as a child.
I booked a room at the Inter-continental on-line as I was familiar with the chain and arrived at BKK without a clue as to how to even get to my hotel. An older Thai man in a blazer greeted me and when I said I was trying to figure out transportation to my hotel, He jumped into action arranging for a vehicle and having someone load my luggage. He then asked if I was interested in a special tour. I noticed his identification as some kind of “official” tourist agent. I told him I was not much of a tour kind of guy and he responded that it was a private tour, only twenty dollars, regularly fifty. As he had been so helpful, I gave him the twenty with no intention of taking any tour and he escorted me to my vehicle smiling broadly. So the first Thai I met was positive, friendly and helpful. I thought, I was going to like this place.
The drive from the airport was exciting. Everything was different. I did not notice the smog, I paid no attention to the traffic other than being fascinated by the amazing variety of vehicles and I barely noticed the heat and humidity.
The hotel is beautiful, the room excellent and while I am unpacking the phone rings which I find odd. On the line is a young lady who says she is Kiva, my tour guide for tomorrow’s tour. She says she will pick me up in front of the hotel at eight in the morning. I say “sure, sure”, but as I am jet-lagged and tired, I am thinking there is little chance of me being up at eight. “Oh, well”.
I wake up to the phone ringing and realize it is six in the morning! “Hi, this is Kiva, I wanted to be sure you had time to shower and have breakfast before I pick you up at eight”. Okay, now I am awake and it looks like I am going on a tour.
Out front, I meet Kiva. She is a beautiful young lady and speaks excellent English. She leads me to a car with a driver and off we go on my first Thailand adventure. Kiva explained to me that the reason the tour was so inexpensive is that she was required to take me to four places to introduce me to commercial business enterprises. We visited a Copra plantation, a jewelry manufacturing facility, the garment district, went on a river boat and ate a wonderful Thai lunch. I was having the time of my life snapping photos and listening to Kiva lecture on Thai culture.
Late in the afternoon, She drops me at the hotel, says to relax, get cleaned up and she will pick me up at eight in the evening for dinner. I’m thinking, that seems odd, but readily agree as I certainly have no other plans. I am a bit apprehensive, as at the time I was still married, albeit in the rocky turmoil of the end game. Just the same, I had no interest whatsoever in complicating my life by involving myself with any female entanglements, foreign or otherwise. In fact, life without women, alone and celibate, was becoming a very attractive option.
While I was a bit nervous and uncertain, was this part of the tour or what? The novelty of having dinner in a skyscraper with a beautiful twenty-six year old in Thailand was very enjoyable. After dinner, she asked if I liked to dance and I said sure. We went to an expat hang out with live music, drank Guinness, danced and talked until two. She then dropped me in front of the hotel and said she would see me out front in the morning. With a sense of relief, both from avoiding any complications and not having acted on any mistaken assumptions, I went to my room with a grin realizing I had just experienced the most wonderful time in many years.
I did book another tour with Kiva the next day, but explained to her that I am not a city person and my intent was to book a car and driver to tour Northern Thailand. So my second day, I spent snapping more photos and learning more Thai history and culture.
Again, late in the afternoon, Kiva dropped me off at the hotel saying she would be back with a couple of her friends at eight so we could have dinner together. Now, I am comfortable and going with the flow.
She picks me up at eight and her two friends are gorgeous and friendly. They ask where I would like to go and since I know nothing about Bangkok, I say up to you! We go to Planet Hollywood, have a nice dinner and drink and dance until two! So there I
am taking turns dancing with three beautiful girls almost half my age to music I listened to when I was their age, thinking perhaps I had died and gone to heaven.
Kiva had arranged for a car and driver to pick me up at eight in the morning. She was there to introduce me to the driver, who asked would I mind if his friend came along as it was a long drive. I said no problem and as his friend spoke better English, it worked out great. Looking back, I suspect that had I asked one of Kiva’s friends who I had met the night before to accompany me on my two week excursion, the answer may have been yes. There were no hints and I may be wrong. I did not think too much about it at the time as I was still appreciating my uncomplicated time alone.
My three-week first trip to Thailand was an adventure of a lifetime. I visited shrines, temples, ancient cities, went into Myanmar and along the way saw some of the most beautiful countryside I have seen anywhere.
Kiva became a friend, arranging subsequent trips to Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. She arranged visits to the hospital for routine care, found me a great dentist and always arranged great dinners, shows and activities when I visited Bangkok. Booking
my travel and hotels through the tour agency she worked for saved me a good deal of money compared to what I found on-line.
Over the years of these visits, two things changed in my life. One, I started to seriously consider retiring outside of my country and Thailand certainly appeared to be a possibility. Two, while I had become completely comfortable living alone and appreciated the lack of tension in my life, the celibacy thing was wearing thin.
I started researching Thailand, found Stickman, Private Dancer, the nightlife forums, coolthaihouse and many other resources. I was amazed. Here was a whole different reality than I had experienced in six years of visiting Thailand. I was sure there were
areas of Thailand where the sex trade flourished, but I never saw it in my everyday travels. I will say that when in ‘Tourist Mode”, I was up very early and most times in bed by nine. While it may be due to Kiva watching over me,
I was never ripped off by a cabbie or anyone else, never put in a position where I felt uncomfortable and was always treated with respect and friendliness. Perhaps some of the accounts are a result of “familiarity breeds contempt”.
I certainly believe the stories I read on Stickman, I was just taken aback.
I have become fascinated with the nightlife culture and the farangs and bar girls living that life. So many of the men have had similar life experiences as me and are not shy about sharing. Many seemed to be finding something special in Thailand.
I never found much emotional satisfaction from sex with strangers. One night stands always left me feeling empty, used or guilty. The thought of paying for sex with a stranger had almost no appeal; however, after my lengthy dry spell, I wasn’t
so sure I wanted to split hairs…or maybe that’s exactly what I needed.
So, my last trip to Thailand. I told Kiva that on this trip, no sightseeing! I was going to splurge on expensive hotels, really relax and by God, I was going to get laid.
Kiva was worried I would get involved with a “bad girl”, so she showed my photo to a friend and arranged that we spend my vacation together if we met and liked each other.
While details were not discussed, it was clear this was a financial transaction. Kiva’s friend needed money for a project and I assured Kiva that I was a generous man. My rationale being that if I was to be able to continue working as an expat
in my remote location, with no women until I amassed enough cash to retire, I had better find someone to be with when I was on vacation. I imagined this girl helping me financially and for me to do the same appeared quite natural. All the same,
I was nervous, unsure if this was a good idea or not. I thought I must appear as a complete fool to my friend Kiva.
I make it to BKK, I am ensconced in a wonderfully comfortable hotel suite and Suay is to meet me there for dinner. I have not seen a photo of this girl and know absolutely nothing about her. The phone rings, she is in the lobby.
I find her and lordy mercy…she is the most beautiful woman I have ever seen! While I understand ‘beauty is in the eyes of the beholder”, by any standard this young lady is a “stunner”, a “10” and flat took my breath away.
Her command of English was excellent; she was articulate with an extensive vocabulary. She was charming with perfect manners and I was instantly entranced.
Later, seeing her lying naked on the bed, she rocked my world. She is twenty-four years old, beautiful hair half as long as she is tall with a perfect body; there is not a mark on her. No birthmarks, no tattoos, no piercings and surprise, surprise, no hair. As we were making love, I found myself talking to God. Did I…die and go to heaven, is this a thirsty man’s mirage, am I asleep and dreaming?
Sitting, watching Suay sleep, I remember Kiva telling me at lunch, “Don’t fall in love with her”. Readers submissions from Stickman’s site started flashing through my mind like I had lived them…or was about to.
We were together for two weeks and what amazes me most of all, even more than the sex, was the intimacy. From zero to acting like we had been close for years, in a day. It was that emotional “touch” that I needed. I think it was what is referred to as the GFE, “girl friend experience” which appears to be a uniquely Thai experience.
My expectations for this vacation experiment were limited. First of all, I felt her life was her business and none of mine, so I had no intention of questioning her. As nothing was ever discussed about money, I gave her money for shopping the first day, so she would be confident that I was indeed a generous man. I also encouraged her to go visit her family or take care of errands during the day. I did not need to be with her twenty-four hours a day and she always came back at the time she said she would. She talked a great deal on her cell phone and received many SMS messages, some at odd hours of the night. I really wasn’t curious about who she talked to and I assured her privacy if I sensed she needed it. Did she have a Thai boyfriend or husband or a farang sponsor she needed to meet? I have no idea and did not really care. We spent some time at a resort out of the city and I guess since I never asked, she became comfortable enough to talk about her life and family. She appeared to be a very happy person with a plan for her life and did not relate any tragic stories.
We enjoyed two weeks of lazy days, making love, eating wonderful meals, getting massages every day and sleeping late. I can not remember a time I was so happy.
When I looked at Suay, I knew many men must love this girl. If she had asked me to be her sponsor, I would have been pleased to be one of a dozen. Would I be willing to help her family, buy her a buffalo or whatever? In a heartbeat. To have Suay waiting to see me when I return to civilization after three or four months would warm my heart, lift my spirits and put a spring in my step. Completing a couple more years here would be a piece of cake. She didn’t ask. She never mentioned money.
She came with me to the airport and waited with me for my plane. I gave her a card wishing the best for her and enclosed money, enough I hoped, to make her smile and to help her accomplish her project. She must have opened it on the way home as she texted me her thanks and best wishes. We did not exchange e-mail addresses and I may never see her again. In her card I wrote that I hoped we would not meet again, that she would not have the need to. But I thank God for whatever forces, economic or otherwise that brought us together for two weeks.
Kiva asked me “Did you fall in love with her?” I answer “No”; but her picture is on my computer, I pray that she is protected, kept safe, healthy, happy and secure each night and I am thinking about her as I drift off to sleep.
I fell in love with Thailand. I have no burning desire to know or understand everything about this beautiful, strange and mysterious country. I have been coming here for six years. I have enjoyed the smiles of fortune, finding many moments of happiness. Thailand has been an adventure beyond compare.
Great stuff. One very good point you allude to is the potential damage that one can suffer in reading so much negativity – and a lot of the submissions do surround negative experiences in relationships.