Trog, Quick Judgments
Recent times, Chiang Kai-Shek International Airport Taiwan.
Returning from a visit with my son I found myself with the dreaded 10 hour layover at this most boring airport. Coming out of Hawaii you leave earlier than the mainland flights, but for whatever reason the gods of scheduling for China Air have all the
days flights from the mainland funneling into Taiwan and then waiting for one of their two flights each day that connect into Bangkok, meaning the flights are about 12 hours apart. I should have flown a different airline but China Air upgraded
me for free to business class and they do have nice VIP lounges. So imagine my surprise when I get to the one stop on my route where the VIP lounge would really be appreciated because of the long length of the layover and discover the VIP lounge
is “closed for renovation!” No comfortable couches, no AC outlets for charging the laptop, no plasma televisions, no quiet comfortable room, no fully stocked kitchen with free food and drinks, no place to get away from the masses.
This is one big and boring airport. I wander the long halls for exercise and find a few food places open and pass about an hour eating noodles and reading a paper. Now what? I wander down to my gate area and as I look down into the holding area
from the top of the stairs I see it’s totally empty and dark. With a big sigh and a look at my watch letting me know I still have nine hours to wait I go down the steps and decide to find a place to lay down and maybe take a nap. Looking
around I notice they have those high sided individual bucket plastic seats joined with steel bars, no way to lay down.
The floor is bare tile and very dirty. Tables too small. By the big window I notice a ledge about waist high, 2 feet wide, with air conditioning ducts blowing cold air upwards. I find a way to wedge myself between the vents and lay down using my knapsack as a pillow. It gets cold quick, after all the system is blowing 40f air out at a pretty fast rate and even though I managed to avoid its direct blast I’m still inches from the steam. Soon it’s damn cold. I assume the fetal position for warmth, close my eyes, and will myself into a time eating trance. Six very restless hours later I wedge my frozen body off the hard ledge and spend 15 minutes working out the kinks and massaging my blue tinted skin until I can feel it again. Certainly I didn’t feel rested and there were still three hours to go! I wander up the stairs and down the passageway looking for a restroom that wasn’t locked and finding one I duck into it to wash my face and straighten myself up a bit. No matter how hard you try, 24 hours from your last shower and being crammed in tiny seats with lots of people breathing on you, leaves you in a state where any attempt at cleaning up isn’t very effective.
Somehow, by the time I get back to the gate area the lights have been turned on and it’s filled up with people! Being male, and the hunter of dangerous game that I am, I look around the gate area hoping to find an attractive specimen of the opposite sex sitting by herself hoping for some handsome and interesting world traveler to appear and help her pass a few hours. Am I the only guy who does this? I doubt it. Scanning the room I don’t see a qualified applicant in sight and I must say this is unusual. Even with my “good looking” meter in “auto” mode no potential candidates are revealed. This auto setting works a lot like the “Auto ISO” function on my camera. The worse the light the more it automatically hikes up the ISO values to ensure a proper exposure, the compromise of course being the quality of the print. With women the compromise is the quality of the print. Small world. Coming up empty the next best way to pass a few hours is to look for someone you might be able to discuss politics or religion with, and I did say I was a hunter of dangerous game..:) Over towards the window a target is identified, two nuns and their normally dressed associate who turns out to be a missionary from the bible belt. She was a rather.. chunky woman of colour who was an obvious protector of the nuns and gripped an extra thick bible in her chubby black hands.. Smiling inside with satisfaction I head through the seating area pretending to find a suitable seat. As luck would have it I found the perfect seat right next to my prey, and of course putting on my most polite face and big smile I asked “is anyone sitting here?” Her cold dark bloodshot eyes move up and down my body only momentarily stopping at my crotch before meeting my gaze and replying. As her mouth opened revealing yellow tinged teeth, widely spaced so a finger could be used in lieu of dental floss, a deep rumble in the form of speech came forth and I was given permission to sit. And sit I did. I was about to be compensated for the last 8 hours of boredom, freezing my ass off, and a closed VIP lounge.
As I sat I introduced myself and almost instantly attached the handle of “Trog” to this lady, and turning towards the two nuns I gave them my best smile and mentioned how nice and refreshed they looked for traveling such a long distance. They both blushed a bit and Trog glared. Arranging myself to a more comfortable position I kept an eye on Trog and noticed she was eyeing me pretty hard, this was going to be fun. I pretend to ignore her and soon she couldn’t help herself and I hear “are you going to Bangkok?” I reply that I am and she states in a sarcastic voice “I’m sure we know why you’re going there.” I slowly raise my eyes and ask her what she means, and instantly correcting herself she makes up some excuse about how I must be traveling to see the temples and other tourist sites. I correct her and tell her that I live in Bangkok and have lived there for years, and in Asia almost 20 years. She looks a bit surprised and remarks that I look too young to be retired and I slow the pitch and lower the volume of my voice, look her directly in the eye, and ask her “why would you assume I’m retired?” Now the two nuns and myself are both awaiting her answer as I feel the nuns just begin to come over to my side. She replies “why else would an American man want to live in Bangkok, we all know why you guys like Bangkok.” So I asked her “why is that?” With a look of triumph she reaches into her bag and produces a handful of paperback books with titles like “Noi’s World” and “Sexual Slavery In Asia” and other great works of literature and waves them around and goes off on how women the world over are being oppressed and sold into sexual slavery because “men like me” go there to pay for sex. Wow, I’d hooked a good one and I can feel the excitement starting to build and maintaining focus I compose myself and put on my most surprised face and ask her “why would you think that?” This starts a 30 minute lecture into the evils of prostitution and the plight of the Thai woman and ends with something about me needing to go to church.
I listen with feigned interest and without answering her question about why I choose to live in Bangkok ask her why she is going, saying I’ve heard many women now go to Bangkok for just the reasons she mentioned and directly asked her if she’s gay and going for girls or if she’ll be buying young boys.. The nuns can’t help themselves and chuckle a bit while smiling at me and Trog’s eyes go wide ad spittle turns into froth and her wide lips part and more noise comes forth. “I’m not gay!” And I reply, “Oh, I’m sorry, but you certainly fit the description of the stereotypical female sex tourist, I hope you can forgive me for making this assumption?” I didn’t think it was possible but her eyes get wider and more bloodshot and she starts to stutter and says “what description are you talking about?” And I ask her “are you sure I should go on, it’s not my intention to insult you or anyone else?” She tells me to go on. Looking over at the nuns who by now are all smiles towards me I ask “do you mind?” They tell me they want to know why Trog fits the description. So, prefacing my comments with “this is only a stereotype” I go into a short description of less than attractive women, often with weight problems, confused sexual identity due to a lack of interested males, and with extreme feminist views and all the time I’m carefully watching her face and on each point I “score” I can see the corner of her mouth twitch so I go more in depth on the offending points. My custom tailored response is moderated but accurate, reserved but hard hitting, presumptuous but apologetic, I was the perfect picture of the regretful messenger who was obviously troubled by the sad message I was tasked with delivering. The nuns ate it up and started agreeing with me about the attitudes of feminists and how they’re contributing to the deterioration of the traditional family unit. Trog sat there in shock as I finished with an apology for my message and lied through my teeth by telling her “but of course these personality traits couldn’t be yours (and finish with some truth because truth always makes lies all the more believable), I thought you were going for sex tourism based on your looks alone” and right on cue I put my hand over my mouth and apologized for my rudeness as her eyes bugged even further out and now both corners of her mouth were twitching. The nuns were very much enjoying themselves by now.
I pretended to look down at my hands but was really watching her simmer out of the corner of my eye. A few minutes later she had regained composure and told me she was a missionary and a “woman of God” and was coming to Bangkok to help the “native women.” Native women? She should have remained silent. I asked her if this was her first time to Bangkok and she said yes. I replied “no, I don’t mean as a missionary, how many times did you come before by yourself and learn so much about things? The nuns look interested and gaze right at her with questioning looks and Trog replies that she has NEVER been to Bangkok before and had gained all her “knowledge” on the world wide web. I pretend to look shocked and ask her “What would make a normal woman start looking up sex tourism on the internet?” And then following it up quickly I put on a horrified face, lowered my voice, leaned in close, and asked just loud enough for the nuns to hear “you must have found this stuff on porn sites, how many child pornography images did you run across in your surfing?” I’d swear she had turned white by now and the nuns were giving her hard questioning looks as she stuttered into some lame excuse about reading about the “problems’ in a newspaper and feeling “called” to follow it up on the net. I listen for a while and then ask her “what motivated you from browsing sexual tourism websites to actually making a trip to Bangkok to experience the industry first hand? Her anger had drained away by now and I was almost feeling sorry for her as she was obviously so distracted with her thoughts she could barely answer my questions.
So I ask again but loudly, why did you decide to come experience the sex industry in person? She panics and looks around to see if anyone had heard me and associated my question with her. A few had and were openly staring at her. By now the nuns were whispering to themselves and casting hard looks towards this missionary lady. She tells me I must have misunderstood her and that she was just trying to do “good works” and she really was concerned about the plight of Thai women. I give her a look of doubt and act like I’m having trouble believing her. She feels the need to exonerate herself and spends the next 15-20 minutes telling me about her education, qualifications, a few personal bad experiences with men, and finally she seems relieved when I appear to start buying her story. We then get into a discussion on the pitfalls of stereotyping and I can hardly contain myself as she apologises to me for making unwarranted assumptions when we first met. She admits to having preconceived notions about “certain types of men” and I think to myself “this sounds interesting.” So I say “what type of man, am I this type of man?” And she cautiously backpedals a bit and describes younger middle aged men (?) who are successful in their careers, dress nicely, look nice, yada yada yada. So I question her about her preconceived notions and she admits to wanting some guys like this to ask her out and tells me how they ignored her for years and then tells me a few personal stories that center around the theme of how these men are so full of themselves that they can’t recognize a “good woman” because they’re looking only on the outside, yada yada yada.. She left so many openings but I ignored them and moved on because an idea had just come to me.
“Are you with an organization?” She tells me she’s sponsored by a major Baptist group who is headquartered in Tallahassee, Florida and how they funded her to come to Thailand and investigate sexual tourism and oppressed women and whoever else fit the general category. She and the nuns were to gather information, draft a report, and make recommendations to proceed. She admitted to having no idea where to start past what she had read in her guide books about the naughty nightlife scene and how she thinks it wouldn’t be “proper” for her to go to these places. She looks a bit dejected and I’m starting to feel a bit bad for her and right then and there I decide to help her! WTF you say? Yep, I’m going to help Trog. I turn to her and say, “having lived here for many years I’ve seen a lot of what you’re talking about, mostly men who come here by themselves and then head for the bar areas but they seem like nice guys to me.” She looks at me and says “really?” I say yes, they also feel sorry for the young girls and don’t want them to fall into the clutches of the really mean Thai brothels and how they think they really help them out by employing them so they can earn money to send back home. I go on to tell her these guys treat the girls with a lot of respect and maybe more kindness than they’ve ever seen before and finish up telling her how many of these guys marry these poor girls and bring them back to live a good life in their own country. Unbelievable, I think I had her actually thinking sex tourists were good for the girls! And then I lower my voice and look around to make sure no one can hear but her and me and I whisper to her “what do you think about sex tours?” She looks shocked and says “you mean there are organized tours where men are brought over here just to have sex with the local natives?” I really wish she’d drop the term “native” but I digress..
I go on to tell her indeed there are people organizing sex tours and perhaps a person such as this would make an interesting subject for study? She seems really interested and asks how she would find such a person and how she would research them. I pull out my laptop and tell her if she’s serious I can show her a guy who brags about “bagging young virgins” and is involved with sex tours and that a lot of personal information has been posted on him on the web already, how it might make her job easy. She looks horrified and says “he’s targeting virgins, he admits this?” I tell her yes, he not only admits it but he boasts about it in detail and teaches his techniques to others on his website. She can’t believe it. By now I have the laptop booted and I take her to this guy's site and she reads the virgin material and is horrified. Both nuns and her are huddled around the screen as they write down the website address. I show her some other articles this guy wrote that show his participation in sex tours and how he describes and even brags about a threesome with another guy! She’s loving it. She asks, why would this guy put all this information on-line like that? I tell her because he wants people to read about his exploits and he encourages others to do the same. Now she’s worked up again and her eyes are getting wide.. and she’s hitting my keyboard something fierce and I start to worry if my touchpad is going to live through the next five minutes or so. She says “there’s no contact information but an email address, how can we verify who he is and get in touch with him?” I recommend she email and ask him, OR (and I take her to another website where this web author has been discussed quite a bit) you can get his address and phone number here.. By now it’s time to board and I collect my laptop and wish all of them well and the two nuns blessed me or something, I’m not Catholic but they waved some beads and said something, I hope it was good..
Until next time…
Oh my goodness!