Stickman Readers' Submissions February 15th, 2006

Doc Found A Good One

I have spent many happy hours reading the submissions on Stickman’s site over the last few years. I love it. Also, I have learned enough here to keep myself out of any significant cultural trouble during my visits to LOS. I have never bothered
to contribute my own perceptions to this glorious mix of viewpoints, and for this I feel a little guilty. Not very much, but a little. So, here goes.

I am a Texan, always will be. You may detect that I am immensely proud to be one, even though I have had the good fortune to experience many sophisticated cultures around the world, all of which assume a higher grade of civilization than
is typically attributed to my home state.

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I am not a punter in LOS, although I will admit to a certain amount of punting in my intemperate youth. I know you clowns, though, and I understand your values. In the aforementioned youth, my history of cultural exchange included the following:

1. Soldiered with Brits, Aussies, and Canadians (together we kicked ass!)
2. Played rugby against Brits (got ass kicked)
3. Played rugby against Welsh (got ass kicked worse)
4. Played rugby against Aussies (got ass seriously kicked)
5. Played rugby against Kiwis (rugby career over)
6. Played American football against French, German, Mexican teams (kicked ass! finally!)
7. Traveled around with South Africans and Irish (possible serious brain damage)
8. Ate food
in Scotland (lucky to survive)
9. Professional interests in Latin America and the Orient (achieved emotional maturity, at last).
10. Married typical farang female (got ass kicked)
11. Remained married long-term (received long-term,
relentless ass- kicking)
12. Divorced aforementioned female (revisited emotional maturity)
13. Fell in love with Thai female two years ago (ass currently located in Heaven)

Therefore, I feel like I have paid a lot of cultural dues, learned by a lot of dumb mistakes, and had a close look at a lot of the good, the bad, and the ugly on the planet. Hell, I even lived in New Jersey once, so I have seen human nature
at its absolute worst.

With my credentials thus established, I offer the humble opinion that, as a group, the Thai are among the most delightful human beings on Earth. This is not easy for me to say, being a Texan and all, but I believe it to be true. You just
have to look for it in them. Sometimes the Thai hide their humanity well, like other Asians, and most don’t feel obliged to serve as entertainment for tourists. If they seem boring to you, it is probably because they found you to be boring
first.

My professional experience in Thailand has put me in fairly close company with aristocrats, political figures, business persons at many levels, police, government employees, laborers, students, bar girls, bar girl students, hustlers, serious criminals,
and the occasional street wretch. Pretty much the whole range. Almost every Thai I’ve met so far has a gentle, compassionate side to their personality that is usually pretty easy to access, if you try. It is always there in women, although
sometimes meandering in the bizzaroland of female emotional baggage. Quite often, it is characterized by a deep, thoughtful sense of beauty and feeling that takes you by surprise. To me, this makes the Thai unique in the world. From the arrogant
hi-so to the oppressed Isaan farm girl, you can always find that lovely person if you just show some genuine interest and sincerity, and maybe a little patience.

Will they all lie to you? Sure they will, and you can depend on it in certain circumstances. Will they take an opportunity to acquire a few extra baht, possibly at your expense? Most will, and most can rationalize doing so quite easily, especially
if they don’t really regard you as a loyal friend. Will they stay away from you if you smell like a goat? Yes sir, they will. Will they think you deserve an ass-kicking if you ignore their customs, jeopardize their face, or generally behave
like a drunken, boorish rugby troll? You bet. Believe me, I know about that one.

On the other hand, will they open their hearts and lives to you if you are honest, perceptive, and appreciative? Most assuredly so, and surprisingly quickly. Will they let you see that complex inner beauty? Yes they will, although cautiously
at first. Will they wrap you up in the sweetest love you ever imagined? Mine does. Will she tell you an automatic lie two minutes later? Uh, yeah. But if you have learned the right buttons to push, you can snap her back to the good girl mode in
a flash. Absolutely delightful! I love it!

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My lovely Thai lady would be classified as hi-so on these pages. However, she has many of the same little quirks that the bar girls have. She lies all the time, especially if she thinks someone’s feelings might get hurt otherwise.
She has the occasional lapse in maturity and throws a fit if she doesn’t get her way. Gets over it quickly though, with no more than a laugh or a grin from me. She has no sense of moderation while shopping. She drives like a mad dog. She
will cut my balls off if she finds out I have compared her to a bar girl.

All of these things are meaningless (except the balls part) compared to the reward you receive when you discover the whole person and make her your own. You have to be willing to tiptoe your way past that layer of everyday Thai, and into
the finer places beyond. It will be there if you care to look. Do whatever it takes to get there, is my advice. Be a good human being first, a civilized and perceptive citizen of the world second, and leave the hometown farang on the plane. It
is worth it!

Find a feast, whenever you can!
Doc

Stickman's thoughts:

"Throws a fit if she doesn't get her way." "Lies two minutes later." "No sense of moderation." – What do we see in these girls!


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