Thai Thoughts And Anecdotes Part 131
DANA EXPAT PARTY TRAIN
An Open Letter and an Announcement and a Proposal
The Dana Expat Party Train (DEPT) will be leaving Chiang Mai next month and we are already 71% booked with expats who are leaving the country. We currently have 174 confirmed reservations so there is room for another seventy-two guys. In response to Thai Thoughts and Anecdotes Part 130–Like A Casino Lush: I have recieved hundreds and hundreds of emails from expats who say that based on the submission's content that they are now pulling up their tired ass farang stakes and getting out of the Kingdom. I received emails like:
1. "Thanks for opening my eyes bro–I'm getting out next week."–Farley Dompat; Jomtien–going back to Bahrain.
2. "Dana it was like you read my mind. My passport is in hand and it is back to the land of dingos and bank managers who will not steal my money."– Aussie Dave; Pathiu–going back to Melbourne.
3. "God bless you scribbler–I quess I needed to be embarrassed. Living in a hotel now waiting for the plane. The wife and kids will miss me for about two days and then the whole mistake will just rumble on without me. I'll be back for fun but no more wasted good intentions on the ‘face' people."–Leonard Rumple; Phang Khon–going back to New Zealand.
4. "Jesus Mary and Joseph; I wouldn't want to cross you. You write with a scalpel but thanks for the surgery. Bailing out in three weeks. Thanks."–Farndik Meops; Pattaya–going back to Crete.
5. "Thanks Dana for Thai Thoughts and Anecdotes Part 130–Like A Casino Lush. I took all of my teeruk-fiancé visa paperwork and threw it down the shitter hole. Goodbye to her and her friends and her ‘family'. At least I thought that the people I met were her family. Who knows? Who knows anything in this place? Time to saddle up and ride baby ride. Heading back to America and I'll kiss the ground when I get there. Thanks again."–Pattaya Kelley; Flipper Lodge, Soi 6, Fun City–going back to New Orleans.
6. "Thanks Dana for the last submission. Been here nine years and all I've got is a damaged larynx from too many chilies, unidentifiable warts on my member, and a trail of Thai teeruks that do not remember my name. Going home. I'll be back for some Viagra vacations but no more will I hope or believe or try or make attempts at social intercourse in this smoke-and-mirrors place. I gave it my best shot. I got nothing in return. Time to lay the cards down, get up, and leave the table. I can't win here."–Tristan Hillary; Pattaya/Jomtien/Bangkok–going back to Tasmania.
7. "I'm gone Danaman and thanks for the final push in Thai Thoughts and Anecdotes Part 130–Like A Casino Lush. This will also be my last email to you and I will not be reading any more Stickman. The whole Thai thing is being thrown in the crapper and I am lowering the lid. Goodbye Siam–it wasn't that great."–Heinz Plotnik; Bangkok/Lop Buri/Pattaya–going back to Austria.
8. "Putting the kids and the wife for sale up on eBay Dana and I do not even feel guilty about it. They don't care so why should I? Going to use the money to rent a chainsaw in Poland and I am going to spend a week just chainsawing trees and screaming. Thanks for showing me the way Dana. Thanks to you I am getting out of Thailand after eleven years. The only thing I have to show for it is bruises and lacerations and wounds and concusssion from banging my head against the wall in this country. Jesus what a waste."–Apoloniusz Wojciechowski; Nana Hotel–going back to Czestochowa on the Warta river.
'My ancestral Poland–
Where the green grass grow.
I miss you so.
I wish I had never seen
The tarmac at Don Muang.
All I want now is to glean
My homeland–gone so long.
My ancestral Poland–
Where the green grass grow.
I'm crying Poland–
I miss you so.
9. "Cripes Kuhn Dana: if Emily Dickinson the American poetess was made merry with by Dostoyevsky and Melville and Milton and Dylan and Joyce and Coleridge the resulting child would still not be able to write as well and as presciently as you. My Thai wife who is English language literate read Thai Thoughts and Anecdotes Part 130 entitled Like A Casino Lush and said–
'Honey, if the guy who wrote this is a farang and you are a farang then you probably agree with this so why don't you just get out!'
I tell you man it was like your mother giving you permission to wank off in public. I opened the dresser drawer, and grabbed my passport, and documents envelope, and wallet, and stepped through the window and ran and ran and ran and ran. Thanks maak maak dude."–Crankley Purdett; Ayutthaya–going back to Vancouver, B.C. Canada.
10. "Jumpin' rabbits dude–that submission about Martians not bein' able to tell the difference between bargirls and farangs was totally stoked and awesome to the max man. I'm going to score some heavy mojo action and then I'm going to . . . well, actually I forgot what I'm going to do . . . but anyway man–I'm kissin' this wat infested, snake crawlin', watered down drink country goodbye. I mean man we shouldn't even have to pay the bitches–you dig? Anyway, thanks for the push Dana. I'm going to marry my fat pig girlfriend from the old country. You ought to see this tatooed monster swinging a chain in German stadiums man–it's a hoot. Anyway, I know I'll be better off with her than mixing with the lying brownies in Frankenstein boots. We'll name our first child Dana–whichever way it comes out."–Todd Soccerfan; Pattaya 2nd road–going back to Manchester (United).
So–we still have places left on the final ‘getting out of the Kingdom' Dana expat party train if you want to get on board. There won't be any Thai music or teeruks or Thai vendors coming aboard at every stop and the train crew is all Caucasian. It is a special train set up by me. A final goodbye. We will start in northern Thailand and make one final tour of the country from north to south and into the northwest. It will be a nine day trip. A final hurrah. A final goodbye. No Thai wives and no Thai children allowed. This train is only for guys who have finally made the big decision. The train will be the Oriental Express that I have leased and the engines will be steam engines brought in from India. Not a single part or particle or decorative device or hanging picture or piece of stationary or food item or anything else on or about or in or out of the train will bespeak Thailand. Thailand is history. Two flags with my picture on them will fly from either side of the steam engine on fifteen foot poles, and the windows will have special drop down sashes so that we can moon select examples of the Kingdom as we thunder by. And I mean thunder by. Special carriage wheels will be fitted so that we can proceed at breakneck speed regardless of the state of the Thai track. We will not be stopping for gaggles of geese, or Thai officials, or three-legged water buffalos. Look out–hundreds of farangs and thousands of tons of farang train coming.
I'm paying the freight on this whole thing but it is not a freebie. You have to earn the right to the train trip by submitting documents that show you are leaving Siam for good and going back home for good. Everyone will be interviewed and truth serum tested and documents will be checked. This train trip is only for players and the game is GET OUT OF THAILAND. There will of course be hundreds and hundreds more applicants than the seventy-two spaces that we have left so it will be a competitive situation. Emphasis will be given to time served in country, and time served with a woman, and time served with children, and number of times a visa run had to be made, and number of times you had a mystery illness, and number of times you had to pay a bribe, and finally your age. All things being equal I will be disposed to getting the older fellows and the more beat up specimans out first. It isn't just a train trip–I am trying to save humanity. If this trip is a success I may get involved in taking over the Oriental Express leases for the carriages and buying the steam engines from India. Dana Expat Party Trains run every three months may become a fixture of the future. Time will tell. Stick with me guys. I'll take care of you.
I may even get involved in laying extra dedicated track to supplement the Thai track. Starting from Chiang Mai and running up to the border near Mae Hong Son and then hugging the Laotian and Cambodian borders down to Aranyaparathet would be wonderful (Pai, Mae Sai, Chiang Saen, Wang Pha, Nan, Loei, Nong Khai, Bung Kan, Nakhon Phanom, Mukdahan, Ubon Ratchathani, Aranyaprathat). Then over to Pattaya (opinions differ on the wisdom of this) and then back up to Khorat and Khon Kaen. West to Phitsanulok. Then it would be Phitsanulok–Nakhon Sawan–Sangkla Buri–Ayutthaya–and Ratchaburi. The trip down the peninsula would follow all the way to Trang; and then back up to Hua Lamphong station in BKK. This project is just getting off the ground so I am a long way from putting down special Dana Expat Party Train Dedicated Track (DEPTDT). If you have any routing suggestions send them in.
There will be dining cars (no Thai food), saloon cars for conversation, sleeping compartment cars, and cars with card tables and pingpong tables and pool tables. No Thais and no women and no children on this train. You are leaving that behind. It is go time, and it is you time, and it is decision time. A time of quiet martinis (no more stupid whiskey), and coma like sleep in the private apartments, and quiet reflection. A time to regroup and rethink before getting on the plane and going back to responsible people and dependable services and emotions you can bank on. Civilization. Talking of Thai matters and personal Thai matters will be discouraged. The train trip will not only be a last hurrah before leaving the Kingdom but also a way to start the transition back to civilization. Try something you might not have done in years.
Talk of art, and philosophy, and engineering, and history, and science, and manufacturing, and theories of economics, and architecture, and religion, and modern medicine, and astronomy, and materials research, and physics, and anthropology, and archeology, and human development, and psychology, and classic literature and writing and medieval studies, and enviornmental science, and the ozone layer, and literature, and the industrial revolution, and arts & crafts, and political science, and linguistic studies, and the history of weaponry, and the cathederals of Europe, and typography & fonts, and great artists and all the rest that goes into a modern man's intellectual repertoire in a modern society.
No these interesting subjects did not go away while you were in Thailand–you went away. It is ok. You do not have to pretend anymore. The teeruk is gone. You can open a book without incurring her jealousy, or eye rolling, or nonsense about how you will 'hurt your head'. Go ahead. Be the person you are. Be the person you want to be. Be the person you missed while you were in the Kingdom. Be interesting and modern and curious and interested. Try it–you'll like it. Welcome back. Welcome back to you.
There won't be any activities directors on the train. Just 246 interesting guys who have decided to go forward with their lives. You can spend your time hiding in your sleeping compartment decompressing from years of unearned abuse, or you can spend your time sitting in the saloon with your third dry martini of the day contemplating the Thai landscape through the window, or you can meet other expats and exchange experiences, or you can spend nine days playing cards or pool or pingpong; or you can moon every Thai thing in sight through the special drop down sash windows. No judgements will be made. It is the end. The last hurrah. A page turning moment in your life that everyone will respect. As the train dawdles or creeps or rumbles or thunders through the Thai countryside and through the cities and villages you will feel the tension of the years wash away. Some of you may cry. Others will sit in dining salon cars as if in shock. The shock of recognition that the horror is finally over. No more Learn To Speak Thai classes, no more fear of policemen, no more checking the girlfriends purse for ya ba, no more getting shafted by landlords and vendors and retailers and officialdom, no more trips to other stupid dangerous unsympathetic places on visa runs, no more incompetant doctors and mystery pills for what was another bout of bronchitus, no more pussy footing around the edges of klongs and rice paddies looking for wiggly death snakes, no more checking the girlfriends computer and phone contacts, no more lying to friends about how great paradise is, no more surreptitiously reading copies of the New York Times to find out what is happening in civilization, no more dropping the friendships of expats that turn out to just be boring, no more . . . it is over. Finished. It is smiling time. But first will come disorientation as you board, then shock, then tears, then sleeping, then smiles. Everyone will finally detrain smiling.
But they will not be smiling because they just arrived in Thailand, they will be smiling because they are leaving Thailand. And they are leaving alone. They came to this strange planet alone and they are leaving alone. There will not be any Thai wives or Thai children or Thai friends (?) or expat friends from the former life on the train and there will not be any of these suspects at the airport to see them off. It is time to bootstrap yourself up and throw off the baggage and to start on your new life. You are not taking any souvenirs home and you are already commanding your brain synapses to start wiping out the Thai language at breakneck speed and if questioned you can't remember your Thai wife's name or where you lived or indeed why you came to the country in the first place. It is over. Finished. The final page has turned.
–Expat having some private thoughts in the saloon car on the way to Trang–twenty minutes past midnight–train going 90 miles per hour through a slashing rainstorm–(other expats goggle-eyed with fear or stupified with alcohol hanging on for dear life and grinning like monkeys in a banana factory)–3rd martini . . .
"You made a horrible horrible mistake by coming to the Kingdom. You know that now. Years were wasted and emotions were wasted and heartbeats can never be retrieved. But you are stilll alive, and still ambulatory, and still interested in seeing sunrises and sunsets. Just not in Thailand. There is no power like the power of knowledge and better late than never. You have the knowledge and the power now and your step is lighter than it has been in years. Documents are in order and tickets are in hand and your old country will honor your passport and honor your name. Saints be praised you are going to get another chance at life. You feel as if by leaving the Kingdom that you are being reborn. You kind of sort of wish that you could get the left behinds; the expats still in the Kingdom clinging to false hopes and dashed dreams and fraudulent emotions to see what you can see. It would be great to get everyone out. It would be great (3rd martini talking) to go down in history as the pied piper that led hundreds of thousands of farangs over the border. A mass exodus. The blind and the lame and the sick and the infirm and the aged and the heartbroken and the confused and the broke being helped by the younger stronger ones. An army of love directed from farang to farang as it moves en mass to the border and then sweeps over the border with an exultant shouting that carries for miles. The primal scream of the unloved and the dispossessed and the underappreciated and the abused fighting through a scream and a shout for dignity and respect and love and inclusion . . . Ah well, maybe later. History is a series of baby steps. And the first step is for me to get my tired ass out. Who knows–maybe in the future I'll hook up with this Dana cat and help get farangs out from the outside–handle paperwork or something. Who knows . . .
I'll have another martini."
So that's the deal Lads–If you want to be a part of the Final Dana Expat Party train Hurrah you will have to hurry because there are only seventy-two spaces left. Guys like Swanny Himmler, Fondork Marcel, Brailsworth Hayden, Muhammed Muhammed IV, Ishmael Feeber, Booger Entrailmont, Freberg Phipps, Icelandia Beowulf and one hundred sixty-six others are already on board. Just email your requests for tickets and information care of this website and care of Stickman: DANA EXPAT PARTY TRAIN (DEPT). Make sure you show up with all of your luggage and documents and passport and monies. The final stop will be Bangkok and then limos will take you directly to the airport. I'm fronting the expenses on this puppy gentlemen so don't let me down. Don't get on the train unless you know what you are doing. You are stepping off a private cliff in your life. You are leaving Siam and with extreme prejudice. It is over. This will be a turning of the last page and the book will be closed. It is time to tie the bedsheets together gentlemen. It is time to go over the wall. Who's with us?