Stickman Readers' Submissions December 21st, 2007

A Thailand Ramble

As I sit in my hotel room I feel partly like a tool for being alone on a Saturday night in Bangkok. It is my last weekend in this burg before making the long trek back to my shady corner and I picked election weekend…what an idiot. There will be no drinking the whores of BKK beautiful tonight. Anticipating an evening spent full of cynicism and self loathing as I try to compete with men 40 years my senior for the affections of up-country vixens who found themselves born into the harsh realities of rural Isaan, I choose to instead recount 3 anecdotes about my trip through LOS.

He Clinic Bangkok

Barfining Without Sex

The jury is still out on if this was a good plan or a bad plan. I decided to do this so I could have someone to party with at night as I am dating a good girl and she is in bed by 10 PM every night at her parent’s house.

Day 1 – Found a good candidate and talked her up, call her Jane. Proposed my plan to make her my party partner without sex and offered her an N73 in lieu of the money she would normally make by going long time with random dudes. First night we danced until 4 AM and parted company with a friendly hug.

CBD bangkok

Day 2 – I am greeted like an old friend at her gogo. She is barfined immediately and it is off to dancing for a second night. She is thanking me all night for the new N73 I got her and telling me I have a good heart and my girlfriend is very lucky.

Day 3 – Jane introduces me to her “younger sister” (call her Narak) who hails from the same small village in Isaan. Jane recruited her into the ass shaking business and Narak just moved down from the rice patties last week. They are roomies. Narak is an 11 out of 10, she was probably the hottest thing I had ever seen in Thailand. Jane tells me Narak has a thing for me too (damn). Ok barfined two tonight and off to the hip hop club. We proceed to get much too drunk followed by Jane professing her love for me along with Narak. I wind up taking Narak home for some bedroom Olympics. Jane is not happy and continually drunk dials me throughout the affair.

Day 4 – I wake up and have a moment of clarity having realized I just cheated on my girlfriend. Plus this girl speaks no English and I have to make her leave politely before 10 AM when my girlfriend is scheduled to arrive. Narak might be into me for real because she emphatically refuses my 2,000 baht and almost looks offended (oh, great). Narak gets a call (probably from the real boyfriend or another farang…who knows) and has to go so I am saved.

Day 5 – I meet Jane in MBK for some lunch and she spills it. She wants me to leave my girlfriend and be with her. She said it is okay if I sleep around on her as long as she works in the gogo, but she is adamant that she wants me to “rescue her” back to Korat and be her sugar daddy up there. She even dyed her hair back from blonde to black because I told her I don’t like Asian girls with blonde hair. She makes me talk to her dad on the phone and wants me on the next bus back to Isaan with her for presentation to the family. Oh crap.

wonderland clinic

Day 6 – I am off to the islands with my girlfriend for a weekend of bliss. I forget all about the Jane and Narak drama and just turn my phone off for the weekend.

Day 9 – I turn my phone back on and I am hit with about 8 text messages, each a little more psychotic than the last. Thank God I am changing hotels. I write those two off, and that night I am at the gogo scene looking for a new Jane. I find a candidate and she turns out to be a major dud. In a moment of 2 AM drunken loneliness I decided to text Jane who arrives at the hip hop club with Narak and two others in tow after just over an hour. Things are awkward at first then fun then really awkward as we all get drunker. All of a sudden I have four Thai girls telling me how much of a shithead I am and I beat a hasty retreat to the nearest tax. Goodbye Jane…in another life I would have taken that bus to Korat with you down the rabbit hole.

Miss Isaan

On this trip my girlfriend took me out a few times to the local scenes. I did the outdoor markets in BKK where the Farang don’t go and ate at the food stalls where you eat like a king for a dollar. I rode around on the cheap public transport (buses and river boat ferries) and even took a trip to Saraburi to see the sunflowers and eat bugs (yes, I am serious).

Today I had a moment of clarity as I was privately fuming over yet another stint of bad service in a supposed first class Thai restaurant. For the brief moments I previously spent huddled around the local yokels in their natural habitats I tried to absorb myself into their mind frame. To me this is an interesting little distraction from reality, but for them it is reality.

The moral of the rant is this. I realized even if I were to marry Miss Isaan I would never truly be happy. The first 20 – 30 years of her life were spent squatting in the rice patties, working the food stalls, begging for change, and Lord knows what else. My first 20 – 30 were spent riding in private cars, attending first class American schools, working classic after-school jobs, and having the typical American life. For me Central World and Siam Paragon are pretty decent malls. They are monuments to a world which is completely foreign to her. She feels just as out of place walking into the VIP Theater as I do squatting my 6’2 200 pound ass onto a 2 foot high stool at some food stall on Soi Whoknowswhat. It is a nice novelty, but not a reality I wish to have in my life for the long term.

You can take anyone to bed for one night. Poontang is poontang, but to marry someone and have her as the mother of your kids? Do you really want to have a wife who doesn’t understand that carrying her infant on the back of a motorbike is insane, who has never had more than 300 dollars in the bank at one time (if she has ever even had a bank account), or someone who would lose their mind if they got $1,000 to do with as they pleased? Forget how hot she is in a mini-skirt for a moment because we all get ugly someday. Would you want her to raise your kids?

A wise man once told me the following word of advice. “When I was your age I had it all figured out. I would save for 10 years then retire in Mexico with a hot little seniorita. Once I got married I realized I wanted a better life for my kids than I had had. Did I really want to have kids whose peers will be the same kids selling gum at the opposite side of the border?”

A Trip through Thai Culture

During my excursion to Saraburi I learned some funny things about Thai people. I was in full Kon Dee mode on this trip and went with the girlfriend and mom to see the sunflowers (their idea). At 6:30 AM we boarded the train headed north. This was my largest culture shock to date. I was the only Farang on board and this was a planned day trip north to a field of sunflowers.

After like 2 – 3 hours the train stopped and we piled out into this sunflower field with a few makeshift knick knack stands. It is about 15 minutes of turbo photo taking then back onto the train we went. I asked my girlfriend, “So we just came to take pictures?” With a look like “Duh” she said with a chuckle, “Yes, of course!” Ok no problem! <That they can tell everyone that they went to the sunflower fields is much more important than the time spent thereStick>

After another hour we rumble to a stop again on this bridge over a river. Again we pile out and it is the same story minus the knick knacks (if they could fit some souvenir stands on the narrow bridge walkway I am sure they would). Click click click more pictures and after 15 minutes back onto the train!

After about 30 minutes we get out for food! We hit this long time of food stands and pile down onto the standard metal table for our feast. After the meal it is off for…guess what? MORE PICTURES!

This is where I have my experience with bugs. Old mom makes a crack about the Farang man unable to eat bugs. Well I ate military rations for 6 months straight in Iraq so I can scarf some boiled larvae and wasps. They are almost like soy sauce flavored pork rinds that leave a horrible aftertaste and beg to be thrown back up all the way down. Everyone was in disbelief that I was eating them and several people were trying to take the bag back from me. I made the “I am about to throw up” face a few times just for the novelty of it, but really I just found them to be gross, not vomit worthy.

After this the ladies pointed to a museum which had a lot of exhibits about the region. I was stoked because I always find museums fascinating. We walk in and first stop to the toilet! I was waiting for them outside and when they emerged they walked straight for the exit. Of course they are not here for the exhibits just to use the hong nam (silly me)! I make a gesture towards the stairs that lead to the exhibits and they eagerly follow me up the stairs. I am thinking sweet they want to see the museum too! Nope! They just found another photo opportunity. As I continued to lead them through the museum they were taking pictures in front of every potted plant and broken bowl on display. For a moment I stopped to read a tablet on the wall and study some of the local handicrafts. After about a minute I hear some laughing and my name being called with a look like “What are you doing silly Farang?”

I said, “Sorry, just want to read about this region.” Being polite Thais they encouraged me to take my time, and then stood five feet away and stared daggers into my head beaming “Hurry up” psychically into my mind until finally I snapped and said, “Ok finished!”

Looking relieved they found the nearest exit and made for it like the building was on fire, stopping only to take pictures of each other and me. Giving them the benefit of the doubt I stated, “This must be a little boring for you too. I am sure you have been to this museum at least 100 times.”

Not surprisingly at all they shoot back, “No first time.” Who said Thai schools don’t encourage lifelong learning? Hogwash I say! Haha.

Nothing else eventful we trekked back to BKK via train then off to dinner (my treat of course). What did I learn that day? There are sunflowers and rivers north of Bangkok and bugs taste just as bad as I suspected they would.

Stickman's thoughts:

I really enjoyed this trip report. Lots of interesting observations…

nana plaza