Readers' Submissions

Trick Cyclists And Cyberspace

  • Written by Union Hill
  • October 17th, 2005
  • 6 min read


Christ, I must be getting old. I noticed recently quite a few submissions on this site containing phrases like “….we chatted on MSN everyday….” or “ …..we met on the internet….” And recently one guy referred to his having to have therapy, presumably from a psychiatrist because of his “addiction” to Thailand.

Speaking as a man proficient in the ancient art of re-filling a fountain pen, you can understand my difficulty with these expressions. If I have ever felt lost or in need of a chat, I would call a mate and thrash out whatever was bugging me over a beer or two. As for ‘chatting on the internet’, this is modern day letter writing but with a twist. Call me old fashioned but no-one ever hacked into my Parker that I can recall.

So, let’s try this.

Hands up all those who think corresponding on MSN is the same as having a real life, face-to-face conversation?

OK. Good.

Now, suppose you’re feeling a bit pissed off with life in Farangland at the moment and to cheer you up, you are given a choice between a course of therapy or a holiday in Thailand.

Hands up all those who would choose the therapy.

Good.

Now, if you’re one of the people who put his hand up, piss off and do something thoughtful around the house or go and send someone an email because what I’ve got to say is not for people who live in cyberspace or who need therapy.

I used to live by a three simple rules.
A) Never trust a man who doesn’t drink alcohol.
B) Never drink anything green or that has an umbrella in it.
C) Never turn down the advances of a pretty woman (ever).

Adhering to these simple rules has served me well.

Recently I’ve had to add to the list.
D) Don’t trust anyone who has ‘conversations’ on the internet. And,
E) Don’t trust anyone who sees a psychiatrist.

Everything else in life is open to negotiation. That’s my other rule.

Now, where was I?……Oh yes, Thailand.

I made a permanent move to Thailand a few years ago and things have worked out fine for me. I know others just like me.

I know plenty of people who have given it a shot and then had to go home when they couldn’t make it work for one reason or another.

I also know a few people who have really struggled to make a life here but stay they have and continue to struggle.

Of course there are millions of people who visit frequently and are happy to go home and save up for the next trip.

I have no criticism of any of these people.

And then, there are the gazzilions of people who come to visit and just wish they could stay. These are the same people who tell their friends that they are making plans to move here but don’t really do anything about it apart from just visit again. These are the people who in spite of what they say, really prefer the security of their home country and would never take any real risks in their lives. These people will never know the peaks of true happiness or the dark depths of despair. They are boring people.

This last group are also the same people who have internet ‘conversations’ and need psychotherapy. These are the same people who stand and watch while others make things happen. Then they wonder what happened and why their life is so god damned miserable and uninspired.

Let me say folks, if you want fulfillment in life, get off the internet, pack in the therapy and get out and meet real people in the real world. Settling down in Thailand is for real people who can look life in the eye and deal with it.

I live a modest but adequate life really but without a glimmer of doubt, living in Thailand beats living in any part of Farangland, hands down.

The single most important thing to keep in mind is that this is a foreign country. It is not the USA or the UK or Australia and it never wants to be. Thailand marches to its own beat.

My working life here is much the same as it would be in any Western country with one or two minor variances. Such as, dealing with ‘face’ and of course dealing with corruption. Interestingly enough, the Thai language does not have a word for corruption. That, in itself speaks volumes to me. Working in a commercial environment in Thailand, like the food, can best be described as ‘spicy’.

My home life is far superior to any kind of home life you could reasonably expect in the West. My wife’s cooking is absolutely top notch and she takes pride in presenting me with the most magnificent meals. These are on the table when I get home from the office.

On the days that we choose to eat out, our choice of restaurant is not restricted by the cost. Although my wife disagrees on principle with paying over-the-top restaurant prices, we go pretty much wherever we fancy. Last night it was the Paulaner. The misses also enjoys German beer. How bad!!

Last Sunday evening we had a trawl around the Suan Lum Night Bazaar. I bought a mock Japanese Samurai Sword for three thousand baht, that’ll look nice in the dining room.

Either Saturday or Sunday is spent on the golf course. I play in a regular four-ball made up of myself, another farang expat and two local Thai businessmen. Anyone who has played golf in Thailand knows that this is also a uniquely Thai experience with the lady caddies pandering to your every whim.

On the way home, the four of us usually stop at some place where there are girls singing for garlands. They’ll usually join us when they are not on stage singing, flirt with us and help us eat our dinner.

“So what do you do for fun?” I hear you ask.

Well, I am no stranger to Soi 4, Soi Cowboy or Soi 33. The Safari Bar and Crown Royal in Patpong are also regular haunts of mine.

“And the girls?”

All I can say is, please refer to my previous submissions, particularly “And Then There Were Three” (Submissions 6, 3/2/2005) “The Slippery Slope” (Submissions 7, 6/6/2005) and “A Day In A Life” (Submissions 8, 27/7/2005). These explain pretty much what I get up to whenever I need a bit of excitement in the Big Mango.

So, if there was ever a point to this rant, I think it is this.

Chat rooms ARE… NOT…REAL…ROOMS.
It is not possible to ‘meet’ anybody on the internet.
Therapy is for whimps.
And Thailand will do for me.

(By the way – Trick Cyclist is Cockney slang for Psychiatrist)

Union Hill

Stickman's thoughts:

Good stuff.