It’s All In The Attitude
Well, it’s been quite a while since my last submission and to tell the truth for a while I thought that it might be my last. There are several good reasons for this. First of all I just really hate writing and I try to avoid it if at all possible. Of course I probably wouldn’t hate it so much if it came a little easier for me but it seems 95% of the time I have what can only be described as permanent writer's block. I just have trouble converting all those thoughts flying around my head into written words. In fact I can sit with my hands poised over the keyboard for hours or even days on end and not be able to get a single word down. Then on those rare occasions that the words do finally start to flow I can’t seem to turn the tap off again until the piece is finished. At these times I turn into a total wreck from lack of sleep. Even if I manage to stop writing long enough to go to bed I won’t be able to sleep. I’ll just lay there in bed thinking about how this word or that sentence should be changed or moved here or there. It’s really quite maddening.
The other reason for my long absence is that I just really hate being second-guessed and one of Stick’s comment on my last piece (June 20th 2005) got me thinking that some readers may be doing just that (Yeah I know, if you cant stand the heat…….blah, blah, blah.). I guess that’s to be expected though. After all these people don’t know me personally and they don’t know that I always check my facts before writing a story. For instance, if I say a particular girl is an office worker it does not simply mean that she told me so, it means that I have confirmed this to be the case. If I’m not able to confirm something to 100% certainty then I’ll use words like “I think….” or “ she said…..” etc.
But enough about me and my inability to handle even the slightest criticism. Today I’m here to criticize others, well not really, but I do want to talk about some of the prevailing attitudes I’ve observed on this site. It seems to me that most of the readers here fall into one of two distinct categories. On the one side we have the hopeless romantics and on the other side we have the battle hardened cynics. When I wrote my first submission (Love and Money – July 8th 2005) it seemed to be well received by the romantics but I got the feeling that the cynics looked upon it with a certain amount of disdain. After all, how dare I write something which might bring a glimmer of hope to these poor pathetic sods looking for love in Thailand. It's just adding fuel to the fire, breeding more victims for the evil bar girls to take advantage of.
Of course if this is true then I suppose the reverse must also be true. One could then argue that all these negative stories about bargirls just encourages people to mistreat Thai women or at least to view them in a negative light. Like the guy who wrote in a while back describing how he would steal money out of a bargirl's wallet and then use it later to pay her for her services, or how he would ditch them without paying altogether. I’m sure this guy has somehow convinced himself that he’s doing nothing wrong. Maybe he thinks he’s some sort of modern day Robin Hood teaching a lesson to all those evil bargirls who have duped so many poor farangs. No matter how he may rationalize it though and no matter how proud he may be of himself and his “ingenuity”, the truth is he is nothing more than a common thief. He might as well be stealing purses from little old ladies on a street corner in New York. In fact I think I’d have more respect for a bank robber than this guy. After all, if you’re going to be a criminal at least have the balls to pull off a big job and to admit to yourself that you’re a criminal. In my estimation, a guy who takes money from the wallet of a girl he’s sleeping with is lower than pond scum. This guy should probably go watch the Clint Eastwood movie “Unforgiven” in which some prostitutes hire a hit man to kill two cowboys who hurt one of the girls. Then he should remember that in some ways Thailand is not all that different from that fictional American wild west frontier town in the movie. If he’s not careful he could end up floating face down in the bay with a bullet hole in the back of his skull and I doubt anyone will mourn his passing.
Back to the subject at hand though, it seems to me an awful lot of people on here seem to have confused cynicism for wisdom. Gaining experience in a certain area is supposed to make us more knowledgeable, NOT more cynical. Yet to these people a man is naïve to the degree that he is not cynical. Nothing could be further from the truth though. <Could it be possible that knowledge itself breeds cynicism? – Stick>
Some people on here are so unbelievably cynical that even after they have seemingly found happiness with their own Thai partners they will still make it their mission in life to discourage anyone else from even attempting to find the same for themselves -“well sure it worked for ME but I’ve been living here half my life and I understand the intricate complexities of the Thai mind, you on the other hand don’t have a snowballs chance in Hell and you shouldn’t even consider trying you silly person”- Gimme a break!! I hate to burst anyone’s bubble but living in Thailand half your life and speaking the language does not necessarily make you any more or less capable than anyone else of choosing the right partner there. I think one of the problems with a lot of the ex-pats in Thailand today is that they have become so focused on our differences that they become blinded to the ways in which we are all the same.
Sure, in general Thais are very different from westerners and these differences make successful long-term matches between the two highly unlikely. But here’s the deal folks and there’s really no getting around this – PEOPLE ARE ALL IDIVIDUALS! We are all born as very unique individuals with a unique personality which by the way has little or nothing to do with our genetic make up. Unfortunately as we grow up most of us (not all) are brainwashed by society into believing that we are our culture or our race or our country, etc. and we eventually forget who we really are. We then become nothing more than the sum total of our environmental influences and in Asia this condition is much more pronounced than in the west. But it does not have to be that way and even in the most conformist of societies there are still literally millions of exceptions to the rule.
I sometimes get into debates with women here in the states who tell me they won’t date men from certain groups (race, age, profession, etc). When I ask why they will tell me about the specific personality traits they don’t like which are supposedly common to this group. So I say to them “why don’t you just see if the individual in question has these traits or not regardless of what group he’s from”. After all if I don’t like short girls I don’t say to myself I’m not going to date anyone from a particular race because 99% of them are short. I just look the person standing in front of me at the moment and see if they are indeed short or not. Of course I realize that personality traits aren’t always as obvious to all of us as someone’s height. So I guess if you are a person who can’t trust your own instincts about people it might not be totally unreasonable to adopt this sort of shotgun approach to dating. This is after all the way many people shop for cars. Often people who don’t know much about cars will simply choose to always buy cars from one particular manufacturer whom they know to have a good reputation for reliability and performance. In fact often when someone ask me what car they should buy and I don’t really have time to get into a long discussion with them about it I’ll just say “buy a Honda and you can't go wrong”. Interestingly enough though I have never owned a Honda and I currently drive a Nissan and a Mazda. This is because being a car guy I can look at each individual model on it own merits regardless of the manufacturer’s reputation. Well it’s also because I only buy cars with rear wheel drive and an independent rear suspension and prior to the S2000, Honda didn’t make any rear wheel drive cars (the Acura NSX was way too expensive). I think you see the point I’m trying to make though. If you know cars, you don’t have to limit yourself to a certain manufacturer and if you know people you don’t have to limit you search for a wife to a particular race or nationality (nor exclude any). I suppose if you are in politics or advertising or insurance then knowing the overall mindset of a particular group is important but in dating or marriage or friendship you only need be concerned with the individual characteristics of the person you happen to be dealing with at the moment. All I’m saying here is you should evaluate each individual you meet in your life on a case by case basis.
Just so we’re clear though I am not saying that you should come to Thailand for the express purpose of finding a wife. This would be a foolhardy proposition at best. I mean why would you want to specifically target the group least likely to contain any suitable candidates? It just doesn’t make any sense.
But then again who am I to say what’s foolhardy and what’s not. After all, here in The States something like half of all marriages fail within the first two years so how much worse could any of us really do than that? Hell, we could all just draw names out of a hat and do better than that. Lets face it marriage is a craps shoot anyway you look at it. When you think about it like that you really have to wonder WHY certain people feel the need to embark on this never ending crusade to “save us” from ourselves by convincing us that under no circumstances should we ever even consider having any kind of serious relationship with anyone born and raised within the borders or Thailand? Are they genuinely concerned for our well being and just trying to help? Are they bitter over their own failed relationships with Thai women? Are they just trying show off their intimate knowledge of Thai culture? Is it that same tired ole “I was here first” mentality that I get from many ex-pats in every country I’ve ever visited? Personally I’d like to think that most of them are just trying to be helpful, if not somewhat wrongheaded in their attempts.
Incidentally, I recently read the submission entitled “Why I never married a Thai” and I have to say I found it to be an insightful well written sociological dissertation on Thai culture, attitudes, and interpersonal relationships. Also I have to say the author seems to be a very intelligent and likable fellow. I do not however think we should let these kinds of articles influence how we view our own relationships with individual Thais, as much as this may be at odds with the not so hidden agenda of some people. I personally cannot even count the number Thais I know who are exceptions to the stereotypes laid out in these articles.
I’m sure the cynics reading this right now are rolling their eyes back in there heads and saying to themselves “this guy just hasn’t spent enough time here to really know the score”. Perhaps they think I’m not qualified to even have an opinion. Well if so they would not be the first to make that mistake. I remember a similar situation many years ago. I was in a dance club frequented by University students and I got in to this debate with a cute Poli-Sci major. We were talking about Communism in China and the Soviet Union and it was her opinion that the people would rise up soon and overthrow the government and usher in an age of democracy. I disagreed and I told her that in those countries it’s much more likely that there will be a slow gradual change from within until the whole system just collapses in on itself. Well within 5 years of making that statement the Soviet Union collapsed and the Berlin Wall came crashing down. So how did I know this never having studied Political Science and never having read anything on the subject and never even having attended a day of college in my life? It’s simple. I understand people. If you understand the individual human mind you can also understand and predict the behavior of a particular group of people.
By the way I have a good friend here in the states who is married to a Thai lady. They have been together for 15 years and married for the past 8. This means they have been together longer than other couple I’ve ever know in my life. Actually we both met his wife at the same time and both wanted to ask her out because she was drop dead gorgeous but that bastard beat me to it. At the time she had recently divorced her first husband who brought her here from Thailand. He was a nice older gentleman but he really smothered her. He didn’t want her to work or drive or have friends or any kind of life apart from him. She just sat home alone all day. He was way too insecure and personally I think she put up with him much longer than she should have. Anyway my friend and this woman have 2 kids now and although they have the usual problems of most married couples none of their problems have anything to do with her being Thai. She does not place anyone else above her relationship with her husband and she has never sent money to anyone in Thailand. Actually I don’t think she has even spoken or written to anyone there in over ten years. In fact, according to my ex-girlfriend she can hardly even speak Thai now. So there you have it. Go suck on THAT naysayers!!
Well I think that’s enough cynic bashing for one day. What about the other group in our little discussion – the hopeless romantic. First of all I’d like to say that you don’t have to be hopeless to be a romantic and you certainly don’t have to be deaf, dumb, blind, and stupid. We’ve all read submission from these poor hapless dupes who have allowed themselves to be conned by bar girls time and time again. Some of these stories can actually make us cringe in disbelief as we yell out loud at the screen “ YOU IDIOT, GET A CLUE!”. It’s like watching someone slam their finger in a car door over and over and over again. These people need to realize that you can only be a victim if you allow yourself to be one. If you step on a rake and the handle flies up and hits you in the face then it’s your own damn fault, it’s not the rakes fault or even the fault of the person who left it laying there in your path. And if you are one of those people who chooses to keep stepping on the same rake over and over again somehow expecting a different result each time then you are so monumentally stupid that you should probably just put a bullet through your brain right now and get it over with. At the very least you should have a vasectomy so your genes can’t be passed on to future generations.
Also I’d say if you are a very lonely person trying to fill some emotional void in your life you should probably not come to Thailand. It might seem like a great idea at the time, just as drinking saltwater might seem like a great idea when you’ve been floating in a life raft in the middle of the ocean for several days without any fresh water to drink. Take that drink though and you’ll quickly find out just how much worse things can get. At first it will seem great having cute young girls seemingly show interest in you and then later having sex with them but as you come to realize that you are just a job to them and they don’t really care about you at all you will feel ten times lonelier than you did before. That’s when the bottom can really drop out for some people. Perhaps this is why it seems like every time I read Pattaya Mail I hear about another Farang taking a dive off his hotel balcony on the 20th floor. Thailand can be a very lonely place for these kinds of people.
On the other hand, if you are just looking to enjoy the beaches and the sex and the nightlife it can be great. Don’t come looking for love but don’t be closed off to the possibility either. You might find it when you least expect it. Basically if you go in with a good attitude and keep your wits about you you’ll have a great time. I know there are a lot of stories on here about people getting into trouble but in all my visits to Thailand over the years I’ve never been ripped off or taken advantage of once. Well actually I take that back. There was this one time fairly recently when I sort of got ripped off but that’s a story for another time. Oh what the hell, I guess I might as well share the story while I’m here.
I had been in Pattaya for a couple of day and had yet to see any girls that interested me so I decided to go into Classroom to see what they had to offer. As usual though none of the girls on the stage interested me in the least. I was just looking around the room as I usually do at these places to see I could find a gem hiding in a corner somewhere. That’s when I saw her. She definitely had the best body I had seen in a while and a very sexy exotic look about her. From the moment she sat down and started talking to me though I could tell she was trouble. My instincts told me I should just get up and walk away from this one. The problem was I REALLY wanted that body. When I asked her about price I was really surprised that she was only asking the standard going rate for beer bar girls, 500ST or 1000LT. I would normally expect to pay twice that for one of the top girls in a go-go bar. The low price also made me a little suspicious though. I knew she didn’t care about me but she didn’t seem to care about money either. Something just didn’t add up. All she seemed to care about was getting of there as soon as possible.
Anyway we went back to my place and we both got undressed and were lying in bed about to get down to business when she said she was hungry. I told her we could eat afterward but she insisted and said she really needed to eat right now. Normally I would have never agreed to this but I tend to be sympathetic to people who say they have to eat right away because of my own condition. If I go too long between meals I sometimes get a horrible headache and get extremely irritable. I’ll even get the shakes sometimes. I feel like a heroin addict going through withdrawal.
So anyway we got dressed and went out to eat. We sat down at one of those sidewalk food stands and she proceeded to order 5 or 6 different dishes which she barely touched. This really ticked my off for several reasons. First of all I just hate seeing food wasted and secondly I knew she could not have been as hungry as she claimed to have been. Finally we started to head back to the room but on the way she pulled me into another go-go bar to have a drink. This seemed strange I thought because she couldn’t wait to get out of her own bar earlier but now she wanted to go to another one. Why would she want to watch other girls and why the hell would I want to pay for overpriced drinks in a go-go bar when I’ve already got a girl for the night. I told her we could have one drink but then we had to go. After about ten minutes she told me she had to go outside to the payphone to make a phone call and that she would be right back. She was out the door before I could really say anything. I figured there was only about a 10 percent chance that she would actually come back but I gave her the benefit of the doubt and waited there almost 30 minutes. After that I walked around Walking Street for another 30 minutes and then I went back to the bar to ask the other girls if my “date” had returned. I did this just to cover myself so I could catch her in a lie if she later tried to tell me that she came back but I was not there. Next I went back to her bar and ask if she was there. Someone brought the mamasan over and I told her what happened. I could tell from her reaction that this was not the first time she’s had trouble with this particular girl. At that point I knew I had gotten her in big trouble but I didn’t care after the way she ditched me. Between the bar fine and everything else I had forked out at least 1700B and I didn’t even get to have sex. I thought about asking for my bar fine back but I decided to just let it go.
The next night I went back to her bar to confront her. When she saw me she first avoided looking at me and then finally she came over to talk. That’s when I realized just what a psycho this girl was. One moment she would be apologetic, then the
next she would be angry, then a moment later she would be sobbing like a baby and begging me to take her out. I suppose she could have been on drugs but it seemed more like a serious mental disorder to me. Of course I’ve seen many bargirls
with quick tempers and mood swings but this was different. Basically the girl was looney toones. I tried to calm her down but the more we talked the more hysterical she became. I’m sure if I took her out again I could have guilt tripped
her into having sex with me for free because of all the money I’d spent on her the previous night but she was just acting way to psychotic. Besides I thought if the other girls saw me leave with her knowing what she had done to me the previous
night I might be branded as a pushover or an easy mark. That is definitely not the kind of reputation one wants to have in Pattaya. You might as well pour blood in the water while swimming with a bunch of sharks.
A few days later I was having a conversation with an American guy who manages that go-go bar under Marine Disco and I told him about my experience with this girl. He turned to me and said “is her name ###”? To my surprise he knew exactly who I was talking about. Apparently this girl has got something of a reputation in Pattaya. He proceeded to tell me some of the other horror stories he heard involving this particular girl. It’s always amazed me how quickly stuff like that gets around in Pattaya. Everybody knows what’s going on with everybody else. And if you’ve ever had a bargirl as a serious girlfriend in Pattaya you know that if you come to town without calling her first she will know you are there anyway. Every bargirl seems to have a network of covert operatives that rivals that of even the CIA. Unless you are a master of disguises you’re not going to get two feet without being spotted by one of her spies. Anyway as far as the psycho girl goes I have never seen her on subsequent trips to Pattaya. I imagine by now she’s probably been blacklisted from every reputable bar there. Either that or some poor slob was actually stupid enough to marry her. If so he’s probably sucking on an exhaust pipe by now.
So there you have it, my one time being ripped off in Thailand. I can’t really think of myself as a victim though. After all I knew what I was getting into with this girl and decided to roll the dice anyway. It was my decision. I played with fire and I got burned. Of course only loosing 1700B in all those trips to Thailand is not really bad at all, especially considering that I knew absolutely zero about Thailand or bargirls in general the first time I went there. By the time I discovered Stick’s site a few years ago it was just telling me what I already knew.
Anyway before I go I’d like to talk a little about attitude which lets face it is supposed to be the point of this whole piece. First of all there is no such thing as luck in this world. Everything that happens to us bad or good happens because we make it happen. We are like big magnets drawing people and situations into our paths. Only many of us only attract the bad stuff and push away the good. And what controls the magnet? You guessed it, its attitude. If you are a very cynical person you are going to only encounter those situations and people in life which validate your already distorted viewpoint. This in turn will just reinforce those viewpoints even more. If you have the attitude of a victim on the other hand then you will always be some woman’s doormat whether it be in Thailand or in your own country.
Let me give you an example of this. When I was living in Japan I would often hear other Gaijin (Farangs) bellyache about how they felt discriminated against by Japanese society. Many people even insisted that the word “Gaijin” is derogatory, which is absurd by the way. It just goes to show how insecure people become when they are they are suddenly part of a minority. Anyway once I was at a party full of Gaijin and some people were complaining about these kinds of imaginary issues and a few people mentioned how they
hated people staring at them on the subway trains. I thought about this for a moment and then remembered how I used to feel the same way the first few weeks I was in Japan. But for the past few years I hadn’t seen a single soul notice me ever despite passing by tens of thousands of people a day in subways and on the streets, and believe me I would have noticed. So what changed? Did the ten million or so inhabitants of Tokyo suddenly change or did my attitude change? You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure that one out. We all see what we expect to see. This is why the more we worry about something bad happening the more likely it will actually happen.
Anyway that’s enough from me for now. I have to get ready to leave for Thailand in a few days. I’ll be spending the winter in Pattaya. Perhaps I’ll see some of you there. You can’t miss me. I’ll be the tall thin blonde American guy with the positive attitude and the big grin on his face?
Hmmmm…..what is your point?!