A Thailand Story 2006 Part 1
I have been a Stickman fan for sometime now finding the site in 2003 when there were but a few stories. Of course the best stories were yet to come and many of the stories made me wonder a lot about the land of smiles.
My interest in Thailand came from an old friend of mine Matt who had never travelled in his life and his first trip ever was to Thailand. It was all he talked about at work and it seemed to be his only thought each and every day.
Now I have travelled around Europe and the United States where I am from but I became interested in Asia because of a three week holiday trip I took to the Philippines in February 2002. It was the best vacation I have ever had seeing the islands of Boracay, Palawan, Luzon and staying a short time in the city of Manila. So off I went with my friend Matt on his second trip and my first in November 2003 to the wonderful land of smiles, Thailand. Only to wish I had booked one week there instead of two in this hot, humid, kind of smells a little like, city called Bangkok. I mean yes it had bar girls and a sky train and bar girls but after two days of this I gave notice to my good friend and off I went to the islands. Which by the way do not even come close to the Philippine islands but this of course is my opinion.
I came back from Thailand to my place of work well-rested and really did not have a lot to say about the country of Thailand and you know how it is if you have nothing good to say then don't say anything at all.
In March 2004 my friends Matt and Brad asked me to go again to Thailand but I declined the offer. This was Brad's first time and he wanted me to show him around the islands because Matt's favourite holiday spot seemed only to be the bars. But no I had other plans and thanks guys. have fun..thanks for asking.
On their return back to the United States. Matt said he fell in love with a bar girl and Brad was sure he had found the woman of his dreams – they both had a hand full of pictures. Most were pictures of bar girls but hey, they had fun and it was their vacation and they made me laugh with their good time stories.
Within one month after his return Matt gave notice to the company that he was leaving. He then sold his house and off he went to retire in Thailand with $200 thousand or so of American cash in his bank and at the ripe old age of 37 he was going to be married never to return. <That is cutting it really tight at that young age – Stick>
Right behind him went Brad who had to take his last week's vacation time just to see his Thai lady waiting for her beloved Brad to return. She was waiting for him at the bar and of course she was broke because she was not going with customers because of her proclaimed love for him. He told me I was crazy for not going back with him and off he went to paradise alone. Only to return a week later more depressed saying he was going to marry this lady of Thailand and take care of her two young children. He kept saying he just has to find a way to get back somehow for a longer time and very much talked about selling out like Matt had and making a go of it in Thailand. It was like his work did not matter or his life in America. It was to him very boring and at the old age of 35 years old he felt no excitement out of any place he went or in anything he did. It was just not the same fun as Thailand.
Sometimes we would go out for drinks and being he was a man who had no trouble meeting women in America he still did not even want to talk to the ladies and felt it was a waste of time to talk to such shallow women who to him could not compare to the lady who was waiting for him back in Bangkok
WOW! I thought to myself was I missing something here! Were there really woman that beautiful there? Should I have given it a little more time in Bangkok? I mean the island girls were all right but maybe it wasn't the best representation of the ladies
Well one day, it just so happened around May 2004, my company had plans to send three of our workers around the world to work for a short time at the other companies of business. The three places being Spain, Italy and Thailand. Well I and everyone in the company put in for it and where they wanted to go. I chose Italy only to find out they were giving it to someone else. Well Spain I asked, how about Spain? No, not Spain. My offer was Thailand. THAILAND? I asked well, for how long? Maybe three to six months was the answer. Wow, I thought. How lucky my friends were that got to go to Italy and Spain for three to six months. I thought to myself how lucky they were and here I am with the offer of Thailand. But let's face it, how bad can it be? Thailand for three to six months. I might as well take this job and get laid every night like my friends talked about everyday at work. I am a single man and nothing is holding me here, not even a girlfriend.
So I took the offer and made a contract that could be used from anywhere from three months to three years.. I said three years, are you kidding. The company said we want to see how much you can help and want to extend you staying there by using the same contract. So yes, it could be that long but it really should only be three months. Great, so I signed up.
Under protest Brad claimed it unfair that they send me and not him. He took it straight to the top and filed a complaint against me, saying I had no experience in Thailand and it could hurt the company and he should have been given a chance. Being that Brad had talked about Thailand so much at our company, two other employees filed complaints against me saying they should have at least been given an interview for the job in Bangkok. Funny, but no-one was upset about Italy or Spain and no-one in the company said a word about those countries and who was going there. Also I had to ask why they chose me and not Brad. He had been there two times all ready and was about to go again very soon and he had already put in for extra leave and was preparing for a October getaway. My company CEO said come on Bill, something about that place has already changed him. You have been there yet you do not talk about it like Brad does and how Matt used to talk about that place before he left. We need a good job done and we trust you. So go and report to us. Give us ideas on how to help and organize this new company we have started there.
So in July 2004 I get on the plane and take flight to Thailand and for the first time having no idea how my old life of 47 years of age is about to change.