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Stickman Readers' Submissions September 21st, 2007

The Thailand I Miss

I keep thinking there must be more to read about Thailand on Stickman than about bar girls or women in general. There is so much more to Thailand. What about the food, culture, islands and beaches, jungle, people, or the sea. I have had a Thai girlfriend before however we have since went our separate ways. When we were together on my visits we would go around Thailand to many places. That part was one of the best parts of the experience.

He Clinic Bangkok

The Thai food is one of my favorites. I still can imagine the taste of the spicy curry, pineapple fried rice, basil spiced fish, papaya salad… I remember stopping off at the small family restaurants at the various small villages along the way somewhere. It seemed as if we were always eating and there was so much to choose to eat. I also remember the sweet fruit that was everywhere. The best part is I was eating all the time, drinking almost everyday and losing weight probably due to the hot weather and all the activity along the way (intense passion takes a lot of energy too)..:-).

I also remember enjoying nice drinks by the beach late at night and cheering chok dee kup many times throughout the night. People so friendly. Even other foreigners became drinking friends on their way through as they travel Thailand.

Thailand was a freeing experience where the only rule was the right to seek happiness. I even learned to drive in the Thai style and eventually found it to make more sense than the American way of ridged lines and rules. After that when I get stopped in America by the police I just want to complain that they are too anal about rules that don't matter. I want to tell them I have driven in places that were a lot more dangerous and we had three lanes where there would only be one here and we were all going as fast as we could. No one had an accident. But I guess that would not make any sense to an American policeman anyway (they never travel anywhere outside the US). In Thailand, once you realize that the road is for everyone who can fit in any open space at any one time and that everyone is watching out for everyone else (good thing for Thai patience with my driving), then there is a lot of freedom and some safety which is mainly up to your own quick thinking. Americans have a false perception of driving safety and lack driving skill due to not being tested by difficult driving conditions. I would trust a Thai driver who gets challenged daily over an American driver.

I enjoyed swimming in the warm ocean water which we do not have where I am. Snorkeling was great fun watching the colorful tropical fish. I remember being treated like a king by the three Thai waiters on the tour boat for snorkeling. They served coffee and refreshments at every chance. A few breaks for fruit. Then a full several course lunch with everything I liked. Followed by more fruit and coffee.

Thailand has so many beautiful beaches and many islands to explore. I wish on future trips I have the chance to spend more time there to see more in depth and go to less popular places.

The first night on one of my trips I arrived in Phuket I remember a Thai man was very friendly. He ran a motorbike taxi service as well as making suits across the street from my hotel. Very industrious person. He asked me if I would like to go somewhere by taxi. I was surprised since it was almost midnight. But I was happy since I had not eaten in many hours. So I told him I would like Thai food and off we went. He became my personal driver for the evening. I offered him dinner however a drink was all he wanted. After he took me to a bar even though I was not interested and wanted to get some sleep. We ended up having a few drinks and chatting with some nice women. I know the bar probably gave him some money for bringing people to the bar. Anyway had to make a dozen women sad by leaving empty handed. They all looked sleepy anyway as it was 3 AM after all. I had other plans for the next day so I did not want make any mistakes at the time.

I fondly remember the first time I rode a motor bike which I rented. I had to practice a while to get use to the motorbike and dealing with the challenging traffic. But it was not long before I could trail a native Thai on their motorbike. I did get stopped by a policeman once for going too fast. He did not speak English and I did not know what he was saying. I was afraid I would have to pay a fine, but it was my lucky day I guess because he just let me go with some hand language.

I also remember being whistled at for the first time in my life as I walked down one of the main streets in Koh Samui. Of course that was by bar girls. I smiled back to them in appreciation, but had decided they were not what I desired. There is just something special about a woman that is only yours and has not traded her body and life for money. I guess I had reached a turning point because I did not give it a second thought.

I do have to say Thai women are very tempting and beautiful. Smiles that will melt a person. Skin as soft as a baby. Their mannerism very inviting. A beauty and personality that will make you forget everything else that may have been important before. A traditional Thai woman is definitely very special in many ways.

The great thing about Thailand is almost anything can happen. There are few limitations. There is an open mindedness about it. People are friendly and kind, patient with us farangs even when we can be annoying. There is a vast natural beauty. I would never miss American food there that is for sure. Thailand taught me how to not worry about tomorrow and become more open about my thinking. Life is about enjoying not things. The only thing I wish that would be different is that it was more organized and clean, and farangs would not be so focused on the bar girls. I know it comes from many years of not enough attention back home. Anyway try to leave it better than you found it as the old saying goes.

For all of Thailand’s imperfections I do miss it. There is something about it that can only be Thailand. There is no other place like it. It has everything to offer and it is up to you to choose your adventure appropriately.

Stickman's thoughts:

It's hard to comment on any one part of this submission, so I'll choose just one. I too never thought I would grow bored of Thai food, but I did! I now much prefer Western food in Thailand, although in reality it means I eat one Thai meal a day and one Western.