Stickman Readers' Submissions November 13th, 2006

Virtual Insanity, Not Just Reality!

I came to Thailand originally six years ago for a two week holiday, I had heard all of the stories about Thailand through mainly Western Medias interpretation and also from a workmates perception who had briefly travelled around the country, and who eventually
ended up marrying a Thai lady. It sounded completely different from the culture I was raised in and the beach lifestyle was just what I was looking for. Well over the next six years I returned annually to Thailand always on my own having a great
time with the laid back people who have made my time spent here so much fun.. My initial impressions of Thailand were that it seemed too good to be true friendly people beautiful women the cheap cost of living the lovely beaches well the list
could go on. It certainly lived up to what I had been told so much so that on each visit I always regretted having to go home and would always save up all of my holiday entitlement from work so that I could stay just that bit longer. Thailand
today for me without doubt remains a truly magical place there are many things to see and do which simple aren’t possible at home, this is all based on my own personal experience as a tourist and presently living and working in Thailand.
I have read with horror some of the other reader’s submissions, but I can’t relate them to the Thailand I know or live in. I could give you a million reasons why I came to Thailand initially, and I guess they would be pretty similar
to most men’s motives in there 30s who are drawn here the chance of meeting a lady the chance of a different life something better than I had in England . Actually the first thing on my list was to find a girlfriend and believe me this
wasn’t difficult ‘in theory’ even for me I’m not particularly attractive but as soon as I walked down the road in Thailand I had become Brad Pitts brother the attention from both sexes was quite overwhelming my ego
inflated by the attention it was quite a reception for a split second I was The Man. This had never happened in England had I miraculously become unbelievably good looking on the flight over, doubt set in, I think not, my popularity was in hindsight
based not on me, my looks or personality but purely on my hosts perceived image of me, these people were masters of the ego massage they didn’t no me but on one level they liked me. So I decided to politely and diplomatically decline the
propositions open to me, reality had kicked the wind out of my ego very quickly. So avoiding the well choreographed act played out to every milky white tourist “you handsome man” you London big money” although I felt no harm
in entering into the spirit of the game and returning the compliments “you very pretty lady, to pretty for me” “me no money you take care of me”. Now I am no intellectual giant but I do live in the real world, and when
a total stranger pays me a compliment I am generally sceptical as to their motives, it’s never happened at home in England so why should it be any different here. Although I am a friendly bloke and have an interest in what’s going
on around me so I entertained conversations with many a pretty lady and avoided deluding myself that I was Brad Pitts brother and also avoided thinking with my nether regions instead applying logic to the situation and more importantly I listened
to there motives for talking to me. Again I behaved the same way as I would with a lady in England, well why change something that’s not broken this approach had always been successful in the past so why not here, and actually it turned
out to be good fun, and more importantly real. I now often wander into town past the various massage parlours full of westerners buying into there own theory of reality, and good luck to all concerned as long as there all consenting adults and
understand the rules of the game . I understand the appeal, its very hard not to enjoy being the centre of attention of a pretty woman who not only makes you feel physically better but also laughs at all your jokes. I nowadays rarely go in only
when my sciatica’s genuinely playing up, but I have always taken my reality in with me, never leave home with out it! I make polite small talk with the massage ladies, they have always been polite and friendly to me something I admire and
respect in them, it can’t be an easy job pummelling some sweaty body whilst maintaining a smiling face. As I have said I enjoy the Thai people, I generally will always eat at Thai places avoiding the Westernised fast food places or themed
pubs this is something I would recommend it allows me personally to understand Thai culture at a deeper level a bit like supporting your local pub at home and more importantly they make it enjoyable for me again always happy and smiling. I have
never knowingly been ripped off, in fact the opposite when I have mistakenly overpaid with a 500bht instead of a 100bht note I have been chased down the road with the correct change by the staff. If I walk down the road in the heavily touristy
area where I live I am often offered a lift by people I only know by face who have seen me briefly in passing this has never happened in England, I always offer to pay for there trouble but its never taken or desired. I could go on about my positive
interactions here in Thailand with the Thai people most of which I find unbelievable there kindness generosity there warmth and there acceptance of me. This I put down to the fact that I have always treated Thais the same as I would someone in
England. I come from a different country a different culture but I have always realized that I am simply an uninvited guest in there country and with that comes the responsibility of trying to avoid upsetting my hosts. I no that the best way to
achieve long term happiness here is not through trying to influence people opinion of me with money your simply deluding yourself if you could buy happiness Tescos would be selling it. A lot of the negative comments I have read or have heard about
Thailand from Westerners, are based fundamentally on them wanting to be in the country but not of it, choosing to find fault in petty differences between there home and here. Because I believe that I am willing to accept that I am simply an uninvited
guest in there country I have avoided many of the stresses associated with so many of other peoples experiences I have no expectations therefore no disappointments. I have few demands from the country or the people I simply like living and working
here the negatives are definitely overshadowed by the positives. I also don’t walk around with rose tinted glasses even paradise has its problems crime rip off merchants these negative aspects are universal problems. I also still don’t
believe I am the handsome man they tell me I am, call me pessimist I call it being a realist , but I know when the day comes when I start believing it, its time to have a word with myself and probably move on.

Stickman's thoughts:

He Clinic Bangkok


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