Thai Thoughts And Anecdotes Part 237
LET'S MEET IN PATTAYA–BANGKOK–BOSTON
When I first started making regular contributions on the net about my personal Thai experiences I started to get invitations from readers:
"Next time you are in Pattaya–let's get together. I'll buy you a beer."
"Call me when you land in Bangers–I'll be staying at the Nana Hotel."
"Call me when you are about to arrive in Bangkok–I'll pick you up at the airport."
"I'll be in Boston on business in November. Let's get together."
"If I am not home it is no problem. You can talk to my girlfriend."
Well, what could go wrong? Nice people saying nice things to me and hey, the beer is going to be free. It's a party. Question: when I called up and the guy wasn't home do you think his girlfriend could speak Thai? Question: do you think the guy ever showed up at the airport? Anyway, I started to say Yes and meet people. Today, except for the exceptions; I don't do this anymore. Too many disappointments. Examples:
1. I met one gentleman at a downtown hotel in Boston. He wanted to talk about his personal relationship and woman problems both here in the States and in Thailand. I am not a psychiatrist or a counselor. I also don't care about your personal problems. Why would I? Why should I? We were both disappointed. Can't remember his name and never heard from him again. Time wasted.
2. I met another man several times and then stopped answering his invitations. Why? Well, for something I can not prove and am probably 100% wrong about. I have never mentioned this connected to his name publically and I never will; but when I think of him, I can't get the word pedophelia out of my mind. Ok . . . forget the word pedophilia. Just saying the word makes me nervous. No, I mean it. Just forget that word. But there is something about this guy that makes me very very nervous. I just stay away. Being with this guy just makes me squirmy so I stay away. I am probably incorrect about this gentleman but sometimes you have to listen to the hairs on the back of your neck.
3. I promised to meet a guy at a certain place at a certain time. He doesn't show. Finally, I got fed up and left. Leaving, I looked over my shoulder and I could now see him arriving. Too late. I just kept going. Time wasted.
4. I met a guy, who was a frequent Thai visitor, for dinner at the Mothership. Another broken man toy who wanted to call western women names and tell me his tale of woe. Boring. I can't remember his name and I never heard from him again.
5. A gentleman on another dinner date called me names and was rude to me to no purpose. Excuse me–did I miss a memo on this? I thought we were supposed to be having fun.
6. I met a very nice man (one of my personal heroes) at Swenson's Ice Cream in Pattaya. I picked the place. It was so noisy we could not hear each other talk. Another disappointment and my fault. I'm not good at picking places because I don't drink coffee and apparently the coffee drinkers have access to special information on picking places. Lesson learned. Oh well, next time.
7. I met a man and his wife (she wanted to know about the Land of Smiles) in Cambridge (near Boston). Before the main course was served she was being rude in an ignorant feminist way. I just kept smiling. Did you know that all single men that go to Thailand are pigs? I did not know that. I gotta tell ya. Life for me is just one learning moment after another.
8. I met a nice expat writer but made the mistake of making a negative observation about his writing. I thought the conversation was open to mature adult critical observational remarks about the craft of writing. I admit that at my age I should have known better and this was incredibly unbelievably stupid. Even saying something nice to an author about their writing can get you in trouble. Kind of the same category as saying something nice about someone's wife or someone's children. You just do not go there. He now treats me like a bucket of dirt. I never should have agreed to meet him. We'll call this one my fault but the result is the same. Disappointment.
9. One expat would always offer to meet me in Bangkok and then there would be a cancellation. A coconut fell in Puerto Rico, an igloo melted in Greenland, a drop of rain fell in Hat Yai, there is a special on ten day old durians behind Big Mike's in Pattaya, etc. All good excuses. I don't call him anymore.
10. I met a guy at the Hopf Brew restaurant in Pattaya.
"Dana, it's on me. Order anything you like–it's a privilege to meet you."
At the end of the meal he had no money. I paid for everything–and just kept smiling. Can't remember his name and never heard from him again.
11. "Dana, when you get to Bangkok call this number. My girlfriend will answer if I am not home. You can leave a message with her. She speaks English." Tried three times over a year and a half. Girlfriend does not speak one word of English. How was this supposed to work?
12. Met two English guys who wanted to talk dirty and do dirty things with dirty girls. We would all do this together. Fun huh? I have never written sexually graphic or disrespectful material about Thai women. I love Thai women. Made me wonder if they had read anything I had written. I didn't block these guys soon enough. They managed to send me dirty pictures.
13. Sitting next to an experienced expat in a restaurant I made some interesting comments about something we could speculate about in a conversational way and I was interested in his input. He shut up like a clam. Ok, lesson learned: all expats live in fear. Gee, what a great place to live.
14. I met an expat and his wife again in a restaurant. The husband could not have been more interesting and the wife was a Thai angel. Things were going great and I was really happy to make their acquaintance. Then suddenly, about two thirds of the way through the experience, somebody threw some kind of switch. Don't ask me what happened. No idea. All of a sudden the air went out of the experience. Never heard from either of them again. Sometimes I wonder if there is something in the air, or the food, or the water in this country that . . . oh well, I'll never know–and I'm not taking all of the blame. Another mystery and another disappointment and more wasted time. I tell ya, experiences like this can really spook you.
15. And lastly, I used to visit a couple once or twice a year in Thailand. Foreigner man and Thai woman. They had been together for years. Bright fun people. Worth knowing. I usually had to carry most of the conversational weight but I am used to that. Some people are pro-active and some people are reactive. Not a deal breaker. Then the gentleman made a negative comment about me and about our relationship on the Internet. What? Just no idea. Not a clue what brought this on. Ok . . . next.
Many disappointments. So now I am not so quick to get together with guys for that 'free beer'. Too bad. It could be a lot more fun. I have met some wonderful men in Thailand and a number of them are personal heroes of mine; but it is like throwing craps. Usually you lose. Ya know folks, I gotta tell you. Sometimes I wonder if I'm just not hip enough to live. Maybe I missed some important memos. When I agree to meet someone for dinner, or for lunch, or for a beer I do not have a single agenda except to have fun. I'm on vacation. Meeting someone isn't going to help me earn a commission, or get a promotion, or win a contest. The only way I can possibly profit is by smiling and laughing and making a friend. I'm not selling anything and I'm not buying anything. You would think that would be enough. Well, at least that's what I thought.
So, do I still make appointments to meet new friends? Well, not like I used to; but yes, I still do make appointments to meet new friends. I'm an incurable (stupid) optimist and pretty social. So give me a call and we'll make an appointment to get together in Bangkok or Boston or Pattaya. But be forewarned. If you see me coming towards you with facial tics, spastic body movements, slurred speech, and shaking hands–well, I've had some previous experiences.
I can relate to this more than you can imagine. Over the years I have met many, many people from this site from readers of the site to submission writers, like your good self, to people working in the industry etc. I used to enjoy it but these days I am very reluctant to meet anyone because unfortunately I have had some bad experiences. The worst are those where guys just want to talk about their exploits, or tell me their problems. I used to listen but these days I am not shy to tell people what I think of such stuff and change the subject. If they try to draw the subject back to that nonsense I make my excuses and leave. Yeah, I have met a lot of wonderful people, but I am much more reluctant these days to meet people I don't already know.