No Going Back
Here we are again. Another day, another cold, dark, frost covered day. Half gritted roads, icy windscreens and 20 m/h drivers to look forward to when I step out for another week.
As I'm writing this it's the build up to Christmas. Presents are bought, plans have been made, just have to go through those last few shifts at work until some much needed freedom. I like my job, but work is work. We are all just there to pay the bills.
The weekend has now come to an end, and it was quite fun, lots of good times. Friday night was local. Out early evening, having drinks, catching up with friends and playing some pool. Then on to the late night club for some more drinks, music and the usual attempts at trying to pull off some moves on the dance floor. This would normally be followed by chatting up some of the young attractive ladies out. And there were, somewhat unusually, quite a few in the club this week. But as I am currently seeing a lady, and staying with her after, it would just stay as a friendly night out with the boys.
My new girl. She's lovely. Young, pretty, sexy, funny. Has her own place, own car, own money. And I have fun with her. It's been casual for about two months. Can I see myself staying with her long-term? Can I see this relationship becoming serious? No. Why? I will get to that later.
Saturday had a bit more class. I found myself out in the town hitting a few nice spots. I live in a fun city, but it is largely dominated by men. Quite the contrast to a night out in LOS. Tonight I was out mostly with people I travel to Thailand with. Most of which work for the police force. Out of all the things that happen in our hectic lives, the conversation always seems to drift to talks of Thailand regularly. Talk of the good times had and plans for a return.
Most of my friends have very decent lives. But most are quite sick of this place. I will give you one example of how it can be here. 7 PM we arrived in the city centre. Within five minutes of being at our first bar, the punches have already started. Mass brawling, shortly followed by several police cars turning up and shutting the place down. Nice start!! It isn't always so extreme, but there is trouble quite frequently. Sure there is trouble everywhere, but it isn't like the friendly places I find myself at in Thailand. People don't smile here anymore. Negativity is too widespread. Can't we all just get along?
Anyway, it turned into a fun night regardless.
Sunday. The day I was most looking forward to. Unfortunately was ruined by recent snowfall. I'm a big football fan and all the fixtures were off. Chelsea v Man Utd it was. Shame, but can't be helped. Instead I spent the day at home nursing a hangover and a session at the gym in the afternoon.
Why am I telling you this, I hear you ask. Well, ever since I made the twelve hour journey overseas to that magical country four years ago, I haven't truly enjoyed these nights out. Or anything else for that matter. The edge has been taken off. It's all, quite frankly irrelevant how much fun I have. To me now, there is somewhere more exciting. A place I'd rather be. Where I can do all this and more. For half the expense. In a nice climate. Surrounded by people, men and women, that do smile from time to time, that are more upbeat and positive. A place that offers everything.
To sum up myself at this moment in time. I have my own house. My beloved 350z in the driveway. A good income. A great girl. Lots of friends and a decent social life. Sounds great, but none of it matters because my whole outlook on life has changed. When I took that first trip to Thailand, it changed everything. That place, Thailand, it has changed me. For the better or worse? Personally I don't know. Do I wish I hadn't gone in the first place? No. Would my life be better if I hadn't have set foot in Suvarnabhumi Airport? I can't answer that.
I'd like to share with you a few words on Thailand I received in feedback from my last submission 'The place is stuck in my brain….can't even hold down relationships with western women anymore cos I always end up wanting to go back.'
For me, and at least this one gentleman, life back home pales in comparison now after experiences had in Thailand. I would venture a guess as to saying it will be the same with a lot of others too. There isn't a day that go's by that Thailand isn't on my mind. I love reading about other people's experiences. I drive some of my friends crazy talking about the place. That would be the ones that have never been. The ones that have, we could chat for hours. I'm always thinking of my next trip, looking at flights. My next two holidays are already booked up. It is addictive. Fascinating. That is why I cannot commit to this lovely girl in my life. It's not fair, and it just wouldn't work. There will always be an element of me that wants out and a desire to return to my favourite destination.
One fact is, I will return to Thailand, and life will never be the same again.
Thanks for reading.
Thailand is a great place for a holiday and can be a great place to live too. However, the gloss does come off eventually and I think we're seeing more evidence of that. Bangkok Barry's succinct writings talk of the frustrations and some of the plain silly situations we face here. And hell, I have already declared that come September 2011 I will be leaving, and probably for good.
Sometimes I think the guys who holiday in Thailand regularly are the happiest – many never bore of it. Most people who move to Thailand get sick / bored / fed up with things eventually.