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Asia Funhouse

  • Written by Casmeri
  • July 25th, 2005
  • 31 min read

I have never been one to look back. My inclination is to focus on the here and now, while planning for the future. The last few years have me experiencing an intense attraction to Thailand. I want to understand why and I sense the answer lies in my past.

Thirty-five years ago, a time of social upheaval for my country and a time of youthful intensity for me; I fell into a rabbit hole to surface in Koza.

The Atmosphere

Okinawa’s atmosphere was supercharged with racial tension and violence as fifty thousand young Marines existed ten thousand miles from home, family and community. Many acted in ways and did things that would never have been considered back home.

It was interesting that as these young men struggled for personal and racial identity, separating themselves with unique mannerisms, slang, clothing and dances, even separating themselves in the mess hall; the blacks sitting in one corner,
the Chicanos in another corner and the whites in yet another. There was open animosity, taunting, racial slurs and many incidents of violence, yet all were united as fellow Marines, which seemed to be an unspoken understanding that was quietly

butterflies bangkok

The young black men found themselves most often in the majority as a disproportionate number were called to duty in the draft. This was disconcerting for some of the young white men. One friend from Montana had seen very few blacks in his
life and the majority of those were college students. Now, outnumbered by proud, aggressive, young black men, my friend began to understand Black Power.

The Bush

This brings me to “The Bush”. As it was explained to me; at one time blacks were excluded from service in the Marine Corp. When that policy changed, Black Marines served in segregated Brigades and on Okinawa, for almost thirty years pulled
liberty in a part of Koza called the Bush. An Asian/African American subculture developed with clubs, music, restaurants and stores reflecting the preferences and culture of Black Americans. Even the Okinawa women dressed, wore their make up and
styled their hair to reflect this culture.
The overall governance at this time was an Okinawa council overseen by a military commander. There was an almost anything goes environment. The Bush was ruled by “The Bushmasters”,
basically black gangsters from some of America’s most notorious cities. White individuals were not welcome.

One memorable experience was when me and a buddy, three sheets to the wind and hitchhiking from the beach, were picked up by a couple of military dependent, teenaged girls who thought it was funny to drop us off in the middle of the Bush.
We of course, did not have a clue as to where we were. We went into a restaurant, sat down and the Okinawans just stared at us. They did not acknowledge us and would not even approach the table. We left and after similar experiences in a couple
more restaurants, a man came over and asked if we knew where we were. We said we are just looking for a meal. He told us we were in the Bush and nobody would serve us, adding that if we valued life and limb, getting the hell out of town was our
best bet. It was an interesting lesson for two white boys, one from Seattle and one from New Jersey.

red dragon

BC Street and Gate Two Street

Then there was BC Street and Gate Two Street. Gate Two Street named as such because it ended at gate two of Kadeena Air Force Base. In this one square mile area were at least a thousand bars…maybe more. At one time, this was an area where only white
Marines pulled liberty, the black Marines pulling liberty only in the Bush. BC Street and Gate Two Street was now open to all, but times had not progressed so much that when my black friends and I were together in town, it did not preclude repercussions
and conflicts from strangers of both groups.

There was every kind of bar imaginable. I would venture to say; that if you designed a bar in your mind, to suit your individual preferences, it was there. They ranged from a hole in the wall with a seating capacity of four to huge nightclubs packing
in a couple of thousand people and two bands playing at the same time. There were country western bars, elegant bars like the Velvet Hammer furnished in red velvet with bunny costumes for the beautiful servers. One establishment was a “beatnik
coffee shop” with real art on the walls, poetry readings and the most extensive twenty-year collection of reel to reel jazz I have ever seen before or since. There were rock and roll bars and even a nightclub in an immense natural cavern.
One third of the bars featured live music. Bands from the Philippines were so talented when you closed your eyes, you’d swear you were listening to the original. Often, music would put you in a time warp, the juke box records in some bars
hadn’t been changed in twenty years.

As there was a curfew, many bars were hidden. One, to get to it, you went through a guarded alley, up two stories on a fire escape, through a window into an empty dark room. When you opened that door, you found yourself in a huge night club with alternating
live bands and six hundred people dancing. There was a circle of Christmas lights on the ceiling and if the MPs came around, the alley guard hit a switch and the ceiling lights flashed. The music stopped, the lights went out and everyone quietly
breathed in the dark until the all-clear was flashed and the raucous party continued.

Another after-hours bar was accessed by pulling up what appeared to be a cellar door in a destroyed building site. You went down some stairs into a sophisticatedly furnished bar that looked like an expensive men’s club.

These were not “junky” bars. The furnishings, décor and sound systems were top of the line. The service was excellent. Servers were professional; your glass was always full and the ashtrays kept empty and clean.

The Girls

Interspersed among the bars were brothels that were as varied as the bar venues. A short time was five dollars. Some brothels were elegant and intimate, some sleazy, some like sexual Disney lands, some were alleys where literally, seventy/eighty year
old women gathered to sell oral sex. Prostitution here was strictly business; no kissing, no intimacy, no girlfriend experience and no young men were falling in love with these girls, thinking about taking them home to mom.

The girls who worked in the night clubs and most bars did not sell sex, but were available to date and party with. They did want love, marriage and a new life in America.

The girls were classic Asian beauties. Tiny and slim with delicate features and long black hair. Many of the young Marines fell in love with these girls, promising they would return to marry them; a few even did.

Add Drugs
Just about every kind of drug was readily available. There was marijuana soaked in opium, heroin sold on street corners, pharmaceutical speed sold in drug stores, LSD and downers, but the most popular of course,
was alcohol.

Our standard adventure was to drink one drink in each bar we had never been to. Despite many drunken excursions, in a year of trying, many bars went unexplored.

Random Gratuitous Violence

To thousands of young aggressive Marines fresh from being trained to kill, add drugs and alcohol and a certain amount of misbehavior can be expected. Odd things happened; one pay day night a stranger walked up behind a buddy of mine on a crowded street
and broke a full liquor bottle over his head knocking him unconscious. This was not a robbery, the perpetrator walked off laughing. There was no discernible reason for his act.

One night coming from town, feeling no pain, crossing a field, I hear “Hey muthafucka, yea you, muthafucka, we’re gonna kick your ass!” I see two guys heading my way, continuing to yell a ration of shit in my direction. Being nineteen
and full of myself, I’m thinking, “We’ll see who kicks whose ass!” As we get closer to each other, I hear, “Aw shit, it’s Ski.” “Good thing it’s you Ski, we were gonna kick your ass.”
It’s a couple of buddies of mine from my section looking to knock around any white boy they come across.

Another friend was slammed in the head with an English Leather cologne bottle while writing a letter home. He ended up with a metal plate in his head and an investigation could find no perceptible reason for the attack. His attacker appeared mystified
as to why he had done it.

Every one of us in our section met with bizarre, random acts of violence in our year together.

I Thrive

I am married. To a girl who lived next door to my folks. It is an extremely short liaison resulting in pregnancy. I am the father of a beautiful daughter, who later, turns out to be a beautiful niece. I am thrilled none the less. It costs me twelve dollars
for my daughter to be born, my wife receives an allotment check, we have medical coverage and life insurance. I feel like a responsible adult. The fact that my wife never writes me, bothers me only slightly. Lots of gossip back home.

So here I am in this very odd place, but I am happy and I thrive. I have a great job that I love. I am making rank. I run six miles a day. I am proud to be a Marine.

I have made friends with a wonderful group of individuals. We have plenty of time off to play poker, explore the countryside, go boating on the ocean and like a badge of honor, never miss a night in town. It is like I was made for this place, only realizing
much later, in hindsight, what a surreal, bizarre, otherworld I was dropped into.

My Bar

So with a thousand bars to choose from; I make Manora Snack my home. It is small. You enter, slip off your shoes and put them into the rack by the door. In front of you is a three meter by four meter plush carpeted area where you sit on the floor, your
drinks on black square cubes. Completely covering the wall to the right is a mural that glows in the black light. To the left is the bar. It is low and there are twelve comfortable bar stools that swivel and have nice back supports. Each spot
has a fabric fringed lamp that provides a soft glow. Beyond these two areas is a separated booth comfortable for five or six people. That’s it; except there is a walk up window at the end of the bar where people outside can buy soft-serve
ice cream cones, hot dogs and ramein.

The sound system is the best available. Regulars bring albums of their favorite music to leave at the bar. The albums are meticulously cared for; cleaned before and after being played. I heard Cat Stevens played here for the first time.

This is a pretty laid back establishment, seldom crowded and then for not very long. Usually only Mamasan and one or two girls work the place, sometimes only Mamasan. She owns another bar, larger, that also caters to the young Americans and an Okinawa
bar. The Okinawa men do not patronize the bars where Americans go.

I become pretty tight with Mamasan, as I usually sit until closing, and then escort her to pick up the deposit from her other bar and get the receipts to the bank.

She invites me to visit her Okinawa bar, which is an honor for me as usually Americans are not welcome. In typical, Koza Wonderland fashion, I walk down an alley, there is no front door, no sign of a business or even civilization, and I see a steel door
as was described to me. I knock and like in a movie, a piece of metal slides open revealing a peep hole. Inside, as I take off my shoes and look around, I am astounded. The bar is elegantly and expensively furnished in green colors and natural
wood with many live plants like something you would see in Architectural Digest. Quiet music is playing and you can hear water flowing from pools throughout the bar. The men smile, giving me a nod as they sit drinking, a beautiful young girl sitting
with them pouring their beer. I sit at the bar and I am brought little dishes of food. I only recognize one, which is okra. There is a carved holder with cigarettes at each seat; a nice touch I am thinking. A lovely young lady brings me a huge
bottle of beer, pours some into a small glass and stays. I realize as I look around, that she will stand there, keeping me company and pouring my beer as long as I stay. She does not speak any English and my Japanese is limited to phrases inappropriate
for this situation, but her smile and demeanor enthrall me. Another nice touch.


One of the girls who work with Mamasan is named Kyoko. She is beautiful and she is nice. Her hair is amazing; it actually touches the back of her knees it is so long. Each night at Manora Snack, I sit at the end of the bar and talk to Kyoko. I show her
family photos, she teaches me some Japanese, we laugh, we joke, generally enjoying each others company until her shift is finished. I then sit and continue to sip absinthe until Mamasan closes up. This is a routine repeated almost every night
for quite awhile.

One night Kyoko comes back in the bar, walks up to me with an irate look on her face, stares at me and says nothing. I say “What!”… She tells me, every night she finishes work and waits for me outside and I never come. This shows how swift
on the uptake I am with women. So I say, “lets go;” outside I ask if she would like to get something to eat. She says, “I want to go to a hotel.” I say, “Okay!”

As we walk in the warm night holding hands, I see her in a new light. It had never occurred to me to ask her out and any sexual thoughts were light and fleeting. Now I see her beauty and sensuality.

I am nineteen. I have had limited sexual experience. When I read about or hear people talk about women having orgasms, I do not really know what they are talking about.

In the hotel room we are moving slow. She seems so happy; it makes me grin from ear to ear as I undress her. She is so tiny, her body perfect. Her areolas are chocolate brown and her nipples are hard. I lift her onto the bed, looking at her
in awe. I am captivated by her beauty and overwhelmed by the need to please her, to make her happy. I kiss her everywhere. Her pubic hair is light and straight, so different. I kiss her there and return to sucking her nipples. She is groaning
now, murmuring, sighing and becoming excited. I hold her tightly, and then enter her, she screams out a sound that is half word, half gasp. It scares me for a second, but I am thrusting into her and my mind is out of my body. In moments, I am
groaning, my body shuddering as I collapse onto her, still holding her tight. I want to stay inside her. After awhile, I pull away from her and see tear drops sliding down her cheeks although she is smiling at me.

I lie on my back and feel the effects of the absinthe fuse with the afterglow of sex. I am satisfied, amazed and happy. Kyoko is just getting started…

She straddles my stomach, kisses me and kisses me. She runs her tongue behind my ears, along my neck and around my nipples. She sits on my thighs and says “Now my turn”, I am not even hard; she touches herself with my soft penis,
moaning and moving and shaking. “Holy Shit”, I’m thinking, this is something new. My body responds and I am inside her as hard as a tent pole. I am still on my back, Kyoko is sitting on me, her back is arched and she is thrusting
like a machine, as hard and fast as she can.

I come, but she doesn’t stop. She is crying and moaning, moving with an intensity that both amazes and scares me. She is hurting me. She is sucking my nipples so hard, I cry out for her to stop. It is like she is possessed; I throw her off of me
onto the floor. It is the first of many times I will do this. Kyoko dives back onto me and our lovemaking becomes frenzied and crazy. I am exhilarated and afraid, on an emotional tsunami. I do not know if this is the best thing that has ever happened
to me or a night that I will not survive. I am crossing lines I did not know existed.

The sun has been up for awhile when I return to the barracks. I am physically and mentally numb as I go down the hall to shower. One of my buddies sticks his head out of the curtain door of his wall locker enclosed room. He gets the strangest
look on his face when he sees me and yells “Jesus Fucking Christ!” “Someone Fucked up Ski”. I don’t know what the hell he’s talking about. The rest of the guys gather around saying things like; “Holy
Shit”, “What the fuck happened?” one guy says “My god, those are bite marks!” I reach the full length mirror at the end of the hall, look at myself and I am stunned. My body from my neck to my groin is solid
black and purple; visible teeth impressions everywhere. It takes three months to completely heal.

Standing in the shower, my head pressed to the wall, I think…I need to find us an apartment.

More Kyoko

I work one day on, one day off with every other weekend off. I lay in my bunk wide awake thinking about Kyoko. I can’t sleep. I hurt and can’t roll over. I am anxious to see her again.

Our conversation the next night is strained, lots of sly glances and bursts of laughter and giggles. When she finishes her shift, she wants to go to her place. I think “Fuckin’ A!”
We grab a cab and Kyoko gives directions
while I hold her. I am nervous and excited. My nervousness increases when I start recognizing landmarks and realize we are driving into the Bush. There is rapid Japanese going back and forth between Kyoko and the driver. Whatever is being said,
he seems to think is quite funny. We’re out of the taxi at the end of an alley and enter a tiny stand-alone house, its walls touching the walls of the buildings on either side. It is immediately obvious that Kyoko does not live here alone.
Men’s clothes, military gear and a number of photos with Kyoko and some black dude are clues enough. I am not asking any questions. I sense this is some kind of test to see if I care whether or not she is living with a black man. I of course,
am only thinking about getting in her pants, although I am wondering where this boyfriend is right now. Kyoko is volunteering nothing.

We don’t get undressed. I lay her on the bed, put a pillow under her head, lift her skirt and remove her panties. I want no part of a repeat of our escapades from the other night, but still feel an overwhelming desire to make this girl happy. I
go down on her and take my time. I explore her in slow motion. When her excitement mounts and she tries to sit up, I hold her down. She goes crazy. She is screaming things in Japanese or talking in tongues. I don’t care, I don’t
stop. I speed up using my tongue as a penis, and then slow down using my tongue as a feather. She has stopped trying to lift me off of her with her hips. She is laying still, her breathing strange and loud. I lift my head to look at her and her
face is wet with sweat and tears. Kyoko thinks I am finished…I am just getting started.

We settle down

I finally find a taxi that will stop for me, after being chased for blocks and spending twenty minutes hiding under a car. I have got to find us an apartment.

My buddy, JJ, laughs his ass off hearing my story. Besides sharing the “Bush restaurant experience” with me, JJ is in love with the tiniest, most beautiful girl I have ever seen and she lives with her Mother in the Bush. Many times I have
dropped him off from a cab or picked him up in the early dawn on the way back to camp. He is no stranger to being chased around the Bush.

JJ helps me find a place. It’s a one bedroom right between BC Street and Gate Two Street. The building is new; there is access to the roof, a steel door and bars on the windows; for sixty dollars a month. I am thrilled. The bathroom is cool; it
is completely tiled, including the ceiling. There is no separate shower stall, the shower hose mounted right on the wall, so you can just hose down the place to clean it.

What a nice love nest it turns out to be. Our initial intensity has mellowed; Kyoko continues to teach me things; but it is the love of tenderness, fun and familiarity.
I wake up one morning to a quiet knock. It is the Mamasan from a neighborhood
restaurant with our breakfast on a tray. Kyoko has given her my schedule, so that each morning that I don’t have to go back to camp, she is there. Kyoko washes the dishes and returns them later. I find this wonderful. I am finding my life

Some Foolishness

Hart, JJ and I form the core of our group committed to being in town every night. Curfew is midnight and our encounters with the MPs become frequent. They know us by sight, but will not be able to put a name to our faces without getting us in custody.
We know BC Street and Gate Two Street well now. We know where the after hour clubs are and where cabbies we can trust hang out. The MPs chase us, but we always get away. A certain amount of taunting is involved; especially by Hart, who manages
to display a second moon one night. We think it’s a game.

Sometimes they are waiting in a van, in the alley across from Manora Snack having seen me leave with Mamasan. We have our timing down pat; our regular cabbie pulls up to the door, Mamasan locks it and we hop in; the cabby shooting down the road and into
alleys. The MPs do not have a chance of catching us.

Then one night, drunk and complacent, I turn a corner and bump right into an MP. It is two hours past curfew and I find myself locked in the back of a van with a drunk and disheartened lieutenant. We end up parked in front of some MP offices and I guess
that the two MPs are getting instructions about what to do with the officer. I notice my ID is sitting on the engine console, just on the other side of the chain link fence barrier and there is a metal framed opening to service the engine. It
doesn’t have a padlock, only an iron “paperclip” sort of thing keeping it locked. It takes me about twenty seconds to get the engine gate open, my ID into my pocket and start squeezing my shoulders through the opening. Then,
fuck me, the shit head lieutenant starts grabbing my legs telling me I can’t go. I waste five seconds explaining that if they don’t have our ID and we can get out of the van, we are scot-free. Five seconds are up, I catch this character
in the chops with my foot and I’m gone.

Enemies out of the woodwork

One evening, relaxing at home alone, there is a pounding on my door. This is an “I’m glad the door is steel pounding” and it sure as hell isn’t the restaurant Mamasan. I peek through the peep hole and see six Okinawa guys a
bit older than me. I duck down behind the door and listen to their agitated babble, thinking who the fuck are these guys. They go around and try to see into the windows and I am glad about the bars. I wait almost four hours before going out to
be sure they are gone.

Kyoko’s explanation is a little fuzzy, but I get the impression that it was her brother and his friends. Apparently her family is not happy that Kyoko isn’t living at home and doesn’t approve of her relationship with the American
they keep hearing about.

Mamasan pulls me aside and says that four black guys (actually she said four BIG black guys) were in asking if she had seen Kyoko with anyone. I assume the boyfriend is back. I get from Mamasan that they don’t know what I look like,
but know I am white.

The MP van is waiting every night now at Manora Snack. Kyoko closes up with Mamasan and they take the taxi to the next block to pick me up. Viewed through my absinthe buzz, I think this is all very funny.

Home intrudes

I have not received a letter from my wife in months. It is Christmas time. I receive a Christmas card from her with a photo of her and her family gathered around a snow man in the backyard. My brother is in the photo with his arm around my wife.

My Father writes me a letter. He has never written me a letter. He is divorcing my Mother.

I am not sure what to think about all of this.

Kyoko and I

My year here is almost finished. I will be getting an early out, as my tour of duty is almost over as well and I will be going home.

I love Kyoko. I have never known anyone like her and can’t imagine her not being in my life. I have never said anything about a future together. So many have promised their lovers that they would come back for them or send for them,
that broken hearts are like an epidemic here. I made sure I never made that promise. As though that would some how protect Kyoko or assuage any guilt on my part. “See honey, read the fine print here. I never said I would come back for you.”

In my heart, I realize that I don’t know what the fuck I’m doing.

A Bad Night

So, Hart, JJ and I are out on the town, again. We’re leaning against a building shooting the shit. I am drunk. A bottle shatters on the wall next to my head followed by a local taking a swing at me. Five years of Karate have taught me something,
so I get away from the wall out in the open. I don’t remember the lesson about being able to see clearly when wasted. I take a couple of blows to the head and even with one eye closed; I am not sure how many of these little fuckers there
are. I hear Hart and JJ laughing and shouting encouragement; only later am I pissed they weren’t helping. I start acting like a crazy man, throwing punches and kicks in every direction. Some are connecting and the bastards can’t
get close enough to land any of their own. When they see Hart, who is one big mother, moving to get in on the action, they take off. JJ and Hart, laughing, want to know who these guys are. I say “how the fuck should I know”, but
I have seen at least one of them before; pounding on my apartment door.

We split up; JJ home to his fiancé, Hart off to find his latest “lady love” and me off to Manora Snack to see Kyoko and share my bonding experience with her brother. Hart and I are going to link up later at the after hours

Kyoko is suitably sympathetic and promises to nurse my exaggerated wounds.

Mamasan drops us near the club, but inside, no sign of Hart and nobody has seen him. Kyoko and I go out looking. As usual, at this time of night the streets are quiet, only a few taxis up and down the streets. I don’t see any MP vans
at all, which is strange.

We find Hart and he is all fucked up, curled in a ball against a building. His face and chest is all bloody and he winces wherever I touch him. Kyoko gets a taxi so we can get him to the hospital. The MPs won’t let me stay and end
up driving me back to camp.

The commander gives our whole section a two week liberty restriction. It is two days before we find out that it was the MPs who beat Hart. They even stole his watch. They broke his nose and one of his arms using a night stick. The rest of
him was pretty much a big bruise.

We all toned down after that. It took Hart quite awhile to heal up, although he was cheered to hear the two MPs that beat him were sent to the brig in Japan for detention.

My Last Night

It was ill advised. I argued against it. I wanted to spend my last night quietly with Kyoko. The guys in my section organized a going away party…at Manora Snack. We did not party all together, ever; hell, some of the guys in my section hated each others
guts. Some of these guys had never even been to town.

They all came, even Sarge. What a group, blacks, whites, a couple of Chicanos, Lyle, our resident Asian American, all my friends, all together and in my favorite place. We were getting drunk, I was getting real drunk. The music was loud and
wonderful, Mamasan was smiling. Kyoko was not there, but I knew I would see her soon.

In a year, I had never seen even a tenth as many people in Manora Snack. This was a stocking feet, quiet, reflecting sort of bar. Something from “Tea for the Tiller man” is playing and like an explosion the door bursts open
and four BIG black guys are standing there wide-eyed looking at everyone. One of them points to me and yells “that’s him”. Then all hell breaks loose, I see pushing and shoving, Mamasan is yelling in Japanese and the last
thing I remember is seeing two of those big mothers go down onto the floor as Sarge threw me over his shoulder and headed for the back door.

Leaving on a Jet Plane

In the morning Sarge gets me up and into uniform. He drives me to Kadeena, offering some Fatherly advice along the way. I feel bad about some of the shit I have flipped him over the last year, but I feel pretty crappy all the way around. I can’t
believe I didn’t make it home to Kyoko for our last night. I can’t believe I will not see her again. I am hung over and know how it feels to be a real asshole.

She is there. She is waiting in an area of empty seats in the corner. We hold each other, squeezing tight. Kyoko doesn’t say anything. I don’t say anything. How could this day have snuck up on me? I do not have anything to say because I
do not have a plan. I have never had a plan. I don’t know what the fuck I am doing.

Out of One Rabbit Hole into Another

Coming “Home” is a joke. There is a whole lot of pretending going on. It is pretty obvious not everyone is glad to see me. Coming back with an attitude only made matters worse. Sensing that my mind is still in Asia, my father takes time
out from moving his shit into an apartment to give me a speech about this being where I belong. I don’t know about belonging in Asia, but I am certainly going to make myself scarce around here.

So here I am…an asshole who doesn’t know what the fuck he is doing. I start formulating a plan. Kyoko is the centerpiece of my plan.

The mutually desired divorce is rolling. I am enrolled in school and have a good job. I am working my plan. Only one piece is missing…my centerpiece.

Too Slow Joe

Kyoko and I have exchanged letters. They are warm, loving, nice letters. I have not shared my misadventures, professed undying love or talked about our future in these letters. Now that I am ready; I call.

It is late at night when I reach Kyoko. I am so excited, so happy. I tell her I want her to be my wife. I want her to come to America and make a life with me. I want us to have children together. I tell her how very much I love her.

I hear the sadness in her voice as she explains to me that I had my chance; that I could have promised to come back for her; if I really loved her. If I really loved her, I would not have gone home to see if there was a chance with my wife.

Kyoko will not change her mind. This was another test. I failed.

Another example of how swift on the uptake I am with women. Another example that I do not know what the fuck I am doing.


I remember coming home from the service and a number of old coots told me that those were the best days of their lives. I remember thinking “If the last four years turn out to be the best days of my life…then I am fucked!”

Those days were thirty-five years ago. I refuse to accept them as the best days of my life, however, the days between then and now, have not been gratifying. I find myself surrounded by pretentious, hypocritical, self-serving and deceitful
individuals selling me a slice of the American dream which turns out to be mostly hype and propaganda. Why, in the land of the freedom, do I feel less free each day? What a surreal, bizarre, otherworld I was dropped back into.

There has always been something missing. It is not an obsession with Kyoko; I came to grips long ago that she could do better than me. My only physical link to her is a two inch long good fortune token of red fabric with gold embroidery.
Kyoko gave it to me for protection. I have carried it in my wallet for thirty-five years, pulling it out every so often and remembering with a smile, hoping she found happiness.

It is not an obsession with lost youth. Some say “If I only knew then, what I know now.” Well, I do know now and I have resources to go anywhere and do just about anything. So what has been missing in my life that I can find
in Thailand? Perhaps it is not what’s missing, maybe I need less. Less pretension, less hypocrisy and less bullshit or maybe what I need is some fun, some uncensured fun. Could the answer be as simple as…Fun?

I believe they have fun in the Land of Smiles; they call it…Sanuk!

Stickman's thoughts:

Not really Thailand related…but interesting nonetheless!