The Impetuousness Of Youth
It was an interesting article that was recently posted under the title of “Falangs in Thailand – let’s get real” and on many points I found myself not only sighing and nodding and agreeing with a lot of what he wrote, I also
found myself shaking my head too in absolute disagreement, or rather more to the point, disagreeing with the biased slant that his submission finally took. Perhaps he deliberately set out to be controversial in this way; perhaps he knew that he
was rattling a stick in what could conceivably be a Farang hornet’s nest, and to be honest it was fun and interesting to see the cheeky lad taking a somewhat argumentative perspective whilst also defending his half Thai corner –
and between you and I, I too would love to see some submissions from ‘balanced’ Thai females who are currently experiencing or who have experienced the break up of a Farang relationship… I did ask my wife a few months ago if she
would write one (in Thai) and send it to ‘sticky man’ (as she calls him) without my knowledge so that she could write anything she wanted about a Thai perspective on being married to a Farang for Stickman to translate (warts and
all if they exist) but so far she has not taken me up on the offer because to be honest I don’t think it’s the sort of thing a good Thai lady would feel comfortable doing. Anyway, back to article…
For me, and I don’t know about the rest of the readership out there, but I couldn’t help thinking that the arguments presented were extremely biased and although he was spot on with some of his observations pertaining to the pay for sex scene, what he failed to consider were the mitigating factors behind some of the tales. We all have a story to tell, and for me, it would have simply been better had he maybe taken the time to understand the ‘whys’ first before tearing a strip off a whole boat load of people? I am not attacking the youth, nor am I going to go on and attack him for the things he said because that would simply be contradicting myself, because he ‘must’ have a reason for writing what he did… doesn’t he? But it’s only fair that we present to the snappy youngster that as one gets older, as one experiences more of the downs and ups of having been there, done that, worn the T-shirt and every other catch phrase and slogan out there, that he should try and approach life with maybe a slightly more balanced perspective because… and let the drums roll on this one please… ‘He too will get old one day too’… brrrrummm ding!
Personally, I think in reality that this guy is probably a decent guy. I do think though that despite all his bragging and self perceived experience in life that he is probably still slightly wet behind the ears, but then again weren’t we all at one time in our lives? But as I don’t know him personally, I can but only make an observation on how he came across in his submission. One minute he is ranting away and attacking the poor “old Falang guys” for whining and whinging their way through Thailand, and then he seems to go on and wade his way through everyone who is a Farang and happens to live, visit or even has a remote interest in Thailand, into the same ‘why are any Farangs in Thailand at all’ bucket… because that’s how it comes across after wading through all the ranting and raging he made, and it just simply came across as someone being youthful, arrogant, bigoted and two faced… mind you, now I come to think of it, that’s probably what people have said in the past about me too, so maybe I am just the pot calling the kettle black on this one.
But somehow and this is the thing that doesn’t add up, is that he managed to seamlessly and unconsciously slip from his half-American Farang influenced brain to the other half-Thai non-Farang side in his writing and subconsciously went on to run the DNA generated Thai program called ‘if the Farang shoe fits then…’ routine. Unfortunately all this did was to have the effect of making the submission lose what otherwise would have been a balanced, fair and interesting debate. Also, and dare I say it, didn’t he display by doing so one of the traits that many Farangs here encounter and for which we commonly complain, whinge and whine about… that of racism, ageism, nationalism, and nepotism – uh oh! I’ve done it now… and before I move on from this, didn’t he also betray his half Farang influenced side of the brain by doing so too… he must be… he must be… oh no he is, he is a mud blood! – Eeek! Run for the hills Malfoy, I think you have just made a whinging whining complaint about a Thai person, and a Yankee Doodle Dandy influenced one at that!
But I guess that the faux par of putting one’s foot in one's mouth hasn’t been missed by many of the readers and I am pretty sure that he has by now received a lot of what I can best describe as ‘constructive’ feedback to his submission, but his article did get me thinking and before you all continue to wade in with a kicking for the young buck, let’s all just stop for a second, let’s all be honest with ourselves first, and then ask ourselves these questions about the youthfulness with which he displayed;
So, come on then, who out there can remember when they were a young up and coming lad? Who can remember what it was like to be full of beans, to have notions and ideals that were high spirited, to believe that we were always right and that the old duffs just didn’t have a clue? Who can remember hearing our then ‘old’ parents saying turn that loud ‘crap’ music off only to now find ourselves saying it too when we hear the latest version of loud ‘crap’ being played? Who remembers thinking that the old ones just couldn’t keep up with the pace of change, and that they should step aside and let the ‘young’ know it all ‘us’ run the company or the country or the world instead, because ‘hey’ we believed we were better than all those who had gone before us’… so come on you lot out there, who remembers thinking like this, who remembers looking at the age of 30, thinking it was some huge milestone to overcome? Now come on you lot at the back, don’t be shy now, there ya go, I can see at least 50 hands from my chair just sitting here in the corner and I am sure I could see more if I stood up on my chair and peeked over the many hands that are waving away back there…
And now, just close your eyes for a moment, take a deep breath and remember how it felt… Wasn’t it great? Wasn’t it wonderful to have this blind optimism, to venture forth into the blue yonder, to take risks ‘knowing’ that you will bounce back if you fail because you had nothing to lose, and now open your eyes, and ask yourself these questions… Where did this youthful vigour go? Where did this desire to succeed and take risks and to scream at the top of our lungs ‘sod em all’ to the winds disappear to?
In fact, take a closer look inside at yourself right now and ask yourself this one; did it ever disappear from within you? Did that feeling of adventure ever leave the hearts of you old ones? You know, I am pretty sure that if we were all honest with ourselves and answered this, we would all say out loud that inside of us all, no matter how young or how old we are, that there is still that inner child wanting to go forth and play. In fact, wasn’t it this youthful spirit, this drive for adventure, this desire to go forth and experiment, the one thing that brought us all out east and ultimately to Thailand in the first place? Even if you are in the tender years of being 18 years old and you find yourself reading this, I can bet even you are still able to ask this question about yourself… because I am sure most of you even at such a young age would occasionally wonder where that youthful boyish imagination you had as a child disappeared to, and there is absolutely nothing wrong in that because it is called growing up, it is called maturity, it is what becoming a responsible adult or father or husband is all about, and it is also the cycle of life. We cannot escape it and although many people; particularly those either in the spurting years of their adulthood or those going through their mid life crisis; will simply not see it or deny it, it is just something that we all have to accept and deal with in our own little way.
Now how we deal with all of this is of course a different matter and this is the one key thing that his article failed to even remotely consider. It’s great to have all your ducks in a row, it’s wonderful to have a girlfriend or a wife or a partner who walks by your side as the ‘attractive Asian couple’ and isn’t it great and dandy that she will not rip you off, escape with your earnings and that she won’t simply take you to the cleaners and run off with your future children… and you know that’s just one example of life’s merry hiccups that could happen. No one knows what tomorrow is going to bring and every one of us has a tale to tell of things that can happen tomorrow that we weren’t expecting, just ask those in the mountains of Pakistan when the earth quake hit what their plans were for tomorrow, or perhaps those in the twin towers above where the plane hit, does anyone want to venture what their plans for tomorrow were?
I can even bet that a lot of the older people out there that were targeted and slagged off in his article probably by and large were successful at some point in their lives too and ended up in the position of being in Thailand because they simply had no choice or perhaps they decided to choose Thailand because it was the one fun place to come and live and to escape the reality the unfolded for them elsewhere. But to say that ‘their own country doesn’t even want them either’ was very sad, very low and way out of line because let’s face it, we don’t actually know their story.
But how grand life in your shoes must be ‘right now’, and as Dana keeps saying, “it’s good to be me” and I am pretty sure this is his daily mantra in front of the mirror each day too, but you know, as one gets older and experiences more, little things start adding to the mix, and you will just get a curve ball once in a while too. Sometimes you can bat them away, sometimes you cannot. Let me ask something, did John Lennon, or the Kennedys or Elvis or any number of famously rich examples we can all come up with ‘think’ they had it so good, in their smug merry and happy lives… of course they did, in fact for many of us, they had all that the majority of the world would love to have, but what happened to all of these happy few examples… yup that’s right, their luck changed and they are by and large very much dead (although there are still doubts about Elvis who was last seen making love to the Loch ness Monster with Hitler singing Allez Gut on top of Ben Nevis) but I bet none of them in their skippy go lucky lives ever saw it coming…
So when you talk to some of these older folks in Thailand, it’s easy on your first encounter with some of them to put them into the sex tourist come some sort of fiend bracket, especially when they have a 20 year old Isaan girl hanging off their arm, but you know, when I think about it, I think so what, good on them, they aren’t doing anyone any harm and it’s nice of the girl to help her grand sugar daddy across the road or to carry his shopping home from Big C. But just because they have the balls and Viagra to recognise that their sand is flowing through their time dial a little quicker these days, it doesn’t mean that they should roll over and die with it too. Ok I will concede that ‘some’ of these guys do deserve the honorary title of sex fiend, but when you actually ‘talk’ to the majority of these guys, 90% of them have great stories to tell. In fact all of the ones who I meet in my professional circles are academic professors with more letters after their names than I have in my full name alone and they all have a story to tell and in many cases a young 20 year old Isaan girl on their arm too. Just because some of them have the gumption to still believe in love at 60, doesn’t mean they should become an obvious target for the anti ageists out there or the money grabbing wenches either.
So what if they do complain, it’s a fact of life that everyone I know makes a complaint about something or other, and we are talking both young and old! One of the things said in his submission was that we do nothing but complain about the traffic, the population, the infrastructure, the government’s corruption, and the people’s attitude and so forth when in Thailand… Bugger me! I complain of that shit no matter where I am in the world and especially more so when I am back at home in England. So does he seriously expect us to believe that he doesn’t complain about life in America, especially when that 40% to 52% tax bill comes in, or when he gets caught up in the turf wars in the ghettos that exist between gang factions in the inner cities or the gun crime or some of the other unscrupulous things that go on over there or does he simply walk around with his eyes and mind shut in America deciding only to defend the Thai half of his consciousness when it suits him?
You know there is absolutely nothing wrong with letting off steam and if someone has genuinely creamed another out of their money when they were doing their level best to be sincere then that for me allows someone to gripe loudly! Don’t forget, many people who end up on the shores of Thailand once had it all, and they only lost it because some western woman decided to run off with the kids, the milkman, half the house, half their earnings and their pension too… so forgive me if its somehow seems that the anti western woman phenomena puzzles him but it suggests there is a huge part of his life that has not had that wonderful experience yet… actually it has never happened to me either, but I certainly know the perils and hassles of splitting a house two ways with an ex western bint and I wasn’t even married, and the stories my friends could tell will make you clamp your bank balance to an offshore account in an unidentifiable fault in an instant… and the funny thing is, in 99% of all the cases I personally know, it was always ‘the woman’, usually on the run up to their 30’s who did the dirty on the man with another bloke, and before someone comes and jumps all over me for saying it was probably the men that told these stories, then I would also suggest that errrr! You are likely to be wrong in that assumption too, but as things are in the west, it’s always the man who ends up paying the price for his western partners betrayal… so please do me a favour and wake up to the reality of western life on this particular score. Why do you think there is a big society of men jumping off Tower Bridge or climbing Big Ben and invading the Houses of parliament in spider man and super man suits in London… it’s not because they are crazy duffers, it’s because they are demanding ‘equal’ rights for men when it comes to divorce cases or to being allowed to see their own children which, their deranged bitter wives have refused access to.
So it’s natural and right for a man to want to moan and groan about his lot. I mean look at us Brits, we are not known for being the ‘Whinging’ Brits by those prison thugs the Ozzies for nothing and get two of us together and you can bet we will have a gripe about the weather if nothing else… it’s part of our culture god dammit!
So when you see an old man in Thailand, just ask what may have brought him here and you know you may find that it was some huge risk he took in his business that lost his fortune, or that he simply didn’t win the corporate management war because some young buck came along and usurped him. There are those who just simply leave their wives and kids and go running off into the sunset in search of themselves, others see their wives and kids leave them and go running off into the sunset too in search of liberal feminism. Some will have gone out and got themselves a buxom blonde mistress half their age, while others will have gone out and burnt their savings on a big red Ferrari, or both! Some will have hit the hard stuff and decided to live the rest of their days peering through the end of a bottle and to drink their way through the rest of the voyage while many simply walk through it all without an inch of excitement in their lives behaving like sensible adults and taking no risks and just being the steady eddy that they are… good for them, but you know I personally would hate to have to look back on my life whilst lying on my deathbed and thinking “if only I had done that then things would have been different… ugh! Gurgle!”
Blip, Bli, Bl, B, Beeeeeeeeeeep… too late!
I did find some of his comments and theories hilarious though, what was it he said, oh yes, “If they cannot afford to live anywhere else, then they certainly cannot get laid anywhere else.” What a hoot! Well I am sure this isn’t always going to be exactly true, in fact some of the old geezers here are handsome devils and active and fit with it too and would be a catch for a sprightly 60 year old widow, but the question is not about getting laid back home because that part is very easy, the problem is more about finding quality merchandise with whom they would want to get jiggy with in the first place. I don’t know if he has looked at many western women back home in the 30, 40 and upwards range, but coming with lots of baggage is putting it ever so lightly… so coming to Asia and finding what is an obvious beauty as an alternative is a no brainer because it’s like asking if you to want to kiss the goddess or the Gorilla, make your choices errrrrr! Pukker up hairy one, I don’t think so!
What else did he say, oh ya, “Farangs in Thailand don’t want someone as their equal so we choose a Thai girl… We want someone subservient…” now you are talking!
Actually the last time I heard this comment was from some large butt wielding feminist in the UK as she overheard that I was quitting my highly paid job, selling my big house and sports car, cashing in all my wonger into an offshore account to try adventures new in Asia… funny how I never mentioned a woman in my plans for Asia at the time but the assumption from her was there was going to be one none the less, and a subservient one at that. But let me just ask the bigot a very simple question. What nationality was the girl on his arm again? Erm um ah yes, let me see now, um, it was a nice Thai lady wasn’t it… so is she ‘subservient’ enough for him or would he like to put in a postal mail order in for another one?
Anyway, the point is, not all of us are uneducated, blithering baboons that no one wants and some of us actually came with our pockets bulging with cash, our minds full of knowledge in search of a race that was not quite so rat but more racey.
Personally, I would love to meet him and all who are like him in say oooh I dunno, what do you reckon, 20 or 30 years from now (although I do recognise that some of the older duffs will be floating elsewhere in another paradise by then) and to simply ask him as he reflects back on his life, what it was he actually learnt. I hope he can honestly reflect back and say in a more humble manner than what he displayed in his submission that his views today were slightly wrong and that now he too is an old git (rather than an arrogant young git), that maybe he was actually being a little harsh towards people he did not know. It’s one thing to be knowledgeably opinionated about something you are assured of and know, but to make assumptions about people you don’t know, well that’s just simple immaturity but hey! Don’t listen to me on this one; I was young, and arrogant and immature once myself too you know…
Hopefully all will have been well for him, and that he will have had the lucky breaks in life and that he didn’t have to make hard decisions because his health was deteriorating or because his wife ran off with all his assets or because his business folded or whatever.
Sometimes though, I really do wish people would live and let live and behave in a more humble, generous and less selfish manner.
As for me, I am now at the age of 39 and I guess with the average lifespan of a modern man, then I guess I am now on the brink of becoming middle aged myself, so in my desire to find myself and to go back to my childhood, will I go out and get that Ferrari, or perhaps seek out that buxom blonde, or who knows, perhaps I will run off and live in Thailand, awww! Shit! I have already done that one, how silly of me to forget that… sssssh don’t tell the missus, but I guess it will have to be the shiny new sports car, vroom!
Sometimes it isn't easy to live and let live…