Stickman Readers' Submissions April 1st, 2006

Thai Thoughts And Anecdotes Part 127


Are you like me? Do you dream of finally figuring this whole Buddhism thing out so that you can be reincarnated as a dog? A dog that belongs to a young fertile hormone filled Hi-So Thai woman with a white pancake face and a perfumed pussy
that lives in a huge fancy apartment in the Emporium. And every month there is a whole week where the basket under her make-up table has used bloody tampons. Mmmmm. . . . good eating.

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Of course you are like me. I can't be the only normal one. Anyway, enough about me. Let's talk about you. If you are on the ground in the Kingdom right now and you don't know what I am about to tell you than you are in trouble.
Times are changing and dark forces are afoot. In other words, there are women amongst us. Thai women. Women with agendas. Women with strategies. Women with hearts of obsidian and the needle sharp intentions of baby ferret teeth. Monsters. And
one of the things they do is 'play possum'. And they do it with you farang breath. Not with anyone else. Just you. It's a specialty skill born of special circumstances combined with a complete lack of morals or conscience. That
is what I am going to talk about. So take heed and take notes and take cover.


There is a small mammal here in the United States (hey probably in other places too–I'm no animalologist) called the opossum. It is a small furry mammal that comes out mostly at night and forages around. It comes out mostly at
night because it has no defensive abilities. No scaled skin or saber toothed fangs or horned head or long razor claws. So when it is being predated on it pretends to be dead. It just lays down and pretends to be dead. Many times this works and
the predator just wanders off. No sport in predating on something that won't fight for it's life I guess. Anyway, this behavior of pretending to be one thing (dead) when you are actually another thing (alive) is called ‘playing
possum'. People play ‘possum' all the time. They pretend to be one thing when they are actually another thing. Bargirls and other nighttime venue girls in Thailand play possum all the time in Thailand.

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How so? They pretend that they don't speak English when their English language skills and English language comprehension is much higher than you would ever imagine. Some examples:

1. I pick up an old friend on the boardwalk in Pattaya and over we go to the AA Hotel. She knows from past experience that it almost always takes me a long time to cum and we are in for a protracted bout of sexual athletics. She likes this.
Only this morning she says,

"Cum Dana cum. Cum Dana cum."

Well, if I didn't know her and like her and respect her I would probably just have ignored her. But I listened and I ended up faking it. Later in the shower examining my equipment she said,

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"You didn't cum did you?"
"No honey, I didn't"

Out of the shower and dressing in front of the mirror with her I decided to have some fun. When it came time to give her ‘taxi' money I only gave her 20 baht instead of 500 baht. I had the other 500 baht in the other pocket, I
just wanted to have some fun. When she saw the 20 baht she said,

"What is the meaning of this? What do you think you are doing? Where is the rest of my money?"

Then I smiled and said,

"No cum–no 500 baht. Only 20 baht."

Then I quickly pulled the other 500 baht note out of my pocket and gave it to her. We had a laugh.

So what is the point? The point is what she said:

"What is the meaning of this? What do you think you are doing? Where is the rest of my money?"

Three questions in the English language and all absolutely perfect. No native English speaker could have spoken better. I have known this woman for years and had no idea that she spoke English. She has been playing possum with me for years.
Pretending that she did not speak or understand English when she does speak and understand English. Kinda makes you think about the past I tell you.

2. Another example: I am in a small pokey bar in Chiang Mai full of really provincial girls. Girls who think Chiang Mai is urban excitement and collecting pirated CD's is building an estate. It is hard to respect them. I am standing
at the bar chatting with them. One of them says,

"How many times have you come to Thailand?"

I name a big number because I have been coming twice a year for many many years. The woman standing next to me pipes up and says,

"Gee, you don't speak Thai very well for someone who has been coming to Thailand so long and who has visited here so many times!"

You could have knocked me over with a feather.

In the previous twenty minutes she had not given one clue that she could speak or understand English and then she comes out with this sentence in perfect English. She had

been standing next to me playing possum. Calculating. Measuring. Making decisions. And not giving anything away to the enemy. Playing possum.

3. Another example: I pick up another old friend on the boardwalk that I have not seen in 11 months but that I have known for years. Undressing I notice that her breasts are bigger. She is not pregnant. I point to them and say–

". . . breasts maak maak."

or something equally dumb; and she says–

"Yes, I am taking medicine and it is having the side effect of making my breasts big and full of milk. If you squeeze them you can make the milk come out. When I am riding you on top and my breasts are hanging down you can suck on the
them and the milk will come out."

Well, you could have knocked me over with a feather. Perfect English. A paragraph of perfect English. Three ideas and three sentences of perfect English. I have known this woman for years and I never had any idea she had this level of English
speaking and English comprehension ability. She had been playing possum with me. For years. Pretending to be the poor ignorant boardwalk whore and then probably making fun of me behind my back. No, let's correct that. Pretending to be the
poor ignorant boardwalk whore and then for sure making fun of me behind my back. It's ok. Part of the program. But not something to be ignored. The enemy can read our dispatches gentlemen.

Oh by the way–so much milk shot down my throat I nearly choked to death. It's tough to be me. I hate when that happens.

4. Years ago I am checking into the Nana hotel and on the way to the elevator I pick up an Isaan wonder in a neck to ankles black lycra body suit. Beautiful sexy face and heels and smile. Sex machine (Sweet Jesus what a package). Every single
bit and particle of evidence is that she is a poor working girl from the land of drought and rice fields. We start out in the bath tub with her riding me like a demented monkey and all of the water in the tub leaving the tub. Wish I had pics of
that I can tell you.

Anyway, later in the night her cell phone rings. Conversation. Then she hangs up and starts to get ready to leave. I pantomime "Where are you going?" And she says,

"My girlfriend is downstairs at the Angels Disco and she has had too much to drink. She needs me to go down and help her. So I am going to help her get home and then I'll be back."

Perfect English. And no, these sentences are not in any Thai-English phrases book. So much for the idea that she was some poor ‘just-off-the-bus' girl from daddie's rice fields. If the phone had not rung I would never have
known and she would never have told me. Playing possum with the farang on English comprehension.

Oh, and by the way; you know that bathtub thing–don't do it. You will strain your back and it will take two weeks to heel. Again, it's tough to be me. The next time a naked Thai sex machine wants to ride my dick like a demented
monkey high on ya ba I am going to say "No". Well, ok–I probably won't say "No". I'm an idiot. My name is Dana.

5. One more: I am in a tailor shop getting some shirts made for my boss. I am negotiating with the Indian tailor and she says,

"Sir, we will have to either talk in Indian or in Thai–I don't speak English."

We do the deal in Thai. It is a little uncomfortable for me because I only speak limited 'bargirl–farang sex tourist' Thai but I guess it will be ok. She's pretty.

Of course if you have done any traveling you know immediately what is wrong with this. All Indians the world over speak English. An Indian tailor in a tourist section of a city in Thailand who doesn't speak English? What's next
in Thailand? A bargirl who doesn't speak Thai? Birds that don't chirp? Monkeys that don't screech? Absurd. All Indians that do commerce with English speaking farangs speak English and often better than the native English speakers.
The Indians of Thailand speak more languages and more fluently and are more traveled and more educated and more worldly than anyone else in the Kingdom but I get the one Indian tailor working in a farang tourist section of Bangkok who does not
speak English. I don't say anything. Thailand.

Later on when I go back to pick up the shirts she is busy helping another customer so I have to wait. While I am waiting I hear her talking to the customer in faultless fluent British accented English. She couldn't speak English with
me but she is suddenly Miss Winston Churchill with this other guy. She was playing possum with me. Pretending to not speak English when she really could. Probably thought it gave her an advantage in the negotiating process.

Some people love Thailand and love Bangkok on their first visit. Other first time visitors hate the whole Thai experience viscerally from the first. I am sympathetic to the Thai experience and Bangkok experience haters. This tailor routine
is bullshit. Listen–I hate to go off like a rocket over this tailor experience but this is just vintage Thailand. Leave it to the Indian-Thais (there's a combo) to make simple commerce as abstractly weird and predatory and potentially uncomfortable
as possible.

If I was in a tailor shop in Nigeria or PagoPagoland or Eskimoville or some crater on the moon the proprietors and the sales people would conduct business in a way to win return business. Not in the Kingdom. In the Kingdom they must have
graduate business school courses in how to lose business and irritate the customers. I'm at the point now in the Land of Smiles where I do not expect to have a positive experience ever in doing business with any business in Thailand. EVER.
If by some statistical anomaly I do have a positive or just neutral (I'll take anything) experience in doing business in Thailand it is of such exception that it almost does not count. In fact it can be disconcerting and a little disturbing.

You leave the business waiting for the other shoe to fall. Maybe something will fall off the roof on you on the way out. Or maybe the parking valet will suddenly attack you for no reason. Or maybe company sponsored birds will fly over and
shit on your head. Maybe the canned food items in the bag will explode on the way home. Maybe a crazed elephant with the companies logo painted on it's side will T-bone you at the first intersection. You just don't believe anymore. You
don't believe in your experiences and you don't believe in the future. Thailand.

Once in Pattaya I had a pair of pants made by the tailor on the second floor of the Royal Garden Plaza. The pants were perfect and the experience was a good one. I ate lunch with the family. Six months later I went back to get a second pair
of pants made. The tailor didn't recognise me and didn't recognise the pants he had made and didn't seem swayed by a receipt he had written out and didn't seem inclined to be interested in making a second pair of pants and
was rude. Thailand.

6. Ok, just one more example. A woman motions me over to an open air bar in Pattaya. Over I go and it is like hitting the lottery. A sweeter gentler more demure and innocent newbie to the town you could not imagine. From Roi Et. Absolutely
no English. Just dropped off the back of the tapioca truck and rolled into the bar. I only speak some phrase and simple word Thai. The mamasan brings up the subject of a ‘short time' with this new girl. Unfortunately, I have no money
for the barfine. I pull out my wallet and hold it upside down and say,

"Mai Mee"

or something like that. Anyway, even when not pronounced 100% correctly it means "There isn't any (money)" and they understand it. And then my innocent ignorant country bumpkin linguistically limited new love says,

"Oh, that's no problem. I know where there is an ATM machine just down the street. I can take you there right now. Then you'll have the money for the barfine. We'll come back here and give the barfine, only 300 baht, to
the mamasan; and then you and I can go to the AA Hotel on Soi 13 for 'short time'"

Perfect English without a pause and with no incomprehensible accent. Rolled off of her tongue like she just got off the plane from New York or London or a penthouse in Singapore. And of course when I got broadsided like this with my own mother
tongue it made me wonder about some of my suppositions. Innocent? Country Bumpkin? Not bloody likely mate. More like a shark in a dress and flip flops.

She was playing possum all along. Pretending to be something she was not because experience had taught her that it would benefit her if the customer thought he was playing with a Thai rural instead of Thai shark.


So in conclusion–be careful guys. The girl who you have spent the last four days with and who looks wide eyed with wonder when you show her English words in the phrase book may already speak English. She is just playing possum. Pretending
that she can not speak or understand English when she can speak and understand English. Why would she do this? Well, ask yourself this question. Have the last four days with this woman been the most unbelievable and fabulous days of your life?
Ok, she knows what she is doing. It's the Possum for Profit game. Hey, it ain't no big thing.

Or is it?

Played skillfully and profitably the Possum for Profit game can lead to the farang making a marriage proposal and the Thai temptress accepting the marriage proposal. Love birds are cooing in the Thai trees. Just don't be too surprised
when later in her lawyer's office you hear your future non-English speaking wife and mother to your children say in perfect English:

"Ok farang (oops, I mean Jeffrey); now, as it is laid down in section C of paragraph seventeen of Codicil Four of this Dowry, Will, and Pre-Nuptial agreement you will be making a dowry payment of 750,000 baht to be deposited in my father's bank
three weeks before the wedding. Since my father does not have a bank account; as an addenda, you will be wiring the money directly to me and, acting as my father's agent; I will see that he receives it. Since I am going to lose a little money
in currency slippage when I convert the baht to bars of gold you will be required to wire an additional 75,000 baht to cover conversion costs and other unitemized expenses. You will wire this money from New York because you will not be allowed
in the country or near my person until the day of the wedding and Arrivals Immigration at every one of the Kingdoms Arrivals entry points has been apprised of this and provided with pictures, fingerprints, and voiceprints. Violations of this agreement
will triple your financial obligations, automatically cancel the wedding, reserve a cell for you at Bang Kwang Monkey House (I mean prison), and make you an enemy of Thailand–the only country to have never been colonized by foreigners (Death
To All White Devils). I love you with all of my heart.

Sign here:

Stickman's thoughts:

A good take on an issue that will forever be written about on these pages.

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