Readers' Submissions

Touring



Several months back, I decided 5 years away from the USA was long enough. So, I scheduled a one month trip, using accumulated credit card miles. I set up San Francisco for 3 days, then clear over to the far northeast and Maine where I have been a week and have another week to go before the next stop. My last trip was during the week Thaksin was removed and I had been unable to stay away from the Thai girl I was addicted to at the time and cut short my nine day trip to five.

Now, as a more senior (65-year old) citizen, I am not playing that game and running back any sooner than my schedule. Just enjoying this reframe. I still have 20 days left and many old friends and great places to see.

I have to say there are some nice things. TV is so crystal clear it looks as if one is really there from the great detail in the images. Up in the very civilized North-East, people are very pleasant and friendly. Fresh vegetables seem three times as large and ten times as clean. And pretty much everyone speaks English. The internet is dazzlingly prompt and, therefore, more fun. If one knows some ladies in South-East Asia (how is it possible to not know several?), then you can chat as much as you like as long as you are aware of the time differences. I note mainland America has four time zones, and I wonder why the even larger China has only one? America in many ways functions. Yesterday I went with a friend to return several items he had found unsatisfactory and easily got refunds or exchanges. Try that in Thailand!

So each day I ride a bicycle 3 miles to a beautiful, clean gym and work out in plenty of space and quiet, then ride back along the lake. I'm told many celebrities live in this area and can believe why they would choose this as it seems you can ride a bike safely and endlessly especial when it is 17 degrees. I see no fans trying to cool hot rooms down.


However, on my bike ride this am, I saw a 180 kilo woman smiling at me. Doesn't she know 40 kilos is my upper limit? So, that part of the trip needs to compartmentalized and gratification delayed!

In another week I will fly to St. Louis where I will spend three days with my father's surviving twin brother which should be great as he is healthy. Maybe I can get some insight into what 86 might feel like, providing I get there.

Then it is off to Las Vegas, Nevada where some other old friends live. 4 days there prior to visiting my hometown of Santa Fe, New Mexico before my last trip back to LOS.

It is a pleasant experience and not expensive as my friends have room for me in every stop, so no hotels.

We all need a little change from time to time. And it really helps to not allow some young Thai lady, one half my age or less, to pull my strings. Freedom, at this part of life is my choice, and we all have a choice.

The hardest part for me is adapting to the lack of constant noise. Guess that is my main beef with Pattaya – there is always noise. Here it is almost constant silence.

Today is my tenth day. I think it will all be fine.


For so many years I more or less condemned the homeland, I guess because of the joys of Thailand – the sex, food, and the thrift one can gain. I went to Pattaya at 56 in 2002 and was overwhelmed with different sensations. I saw old guys a hell of a lot worse off than me and sexy, even some sensual women gave me eye contact and were available for rent or whatever one felt they could afford. My first visit there was a bit too shocking, so I chose Patong Beach in Phuket as a place worthy of my tastes. For a few years I went back and forth between Phuket and Bangkok and enjoyed them both a lot. We come from celibate societies (at least for older boys), and have a lot to do at first in Thailand. It took me a lot of frustration and some pain to learn that everything was different in Asia. I've seen myself very tempted to be an old fool, somehow make up for some misadventures earlier in life and pulled myself out every time as I recognized money escalation and requests / demands as the warning sign. Don't the detectives say in all crimes, follow the money?

Every individual has to find their own balance I believe, and the increased social interactions available in Pattaya certainly begs a new perspective and one I think many of us have benefited from in the greater knowledge of oneself and what we want.

Yeah, I like this “reframe" for my thinking. And why would I worry about Pattaya girls while here?

I recall some early advice from old hands around Thailand, “You don't lose your girl, just your turn."


Stickman's thoughts:

Every country has its positives and I don't doubt that the US has MANY. Sure, Thailand might have a few advantages but when I see these photos, and read of such things as succulent produce, clean air and honest, efficient service, they're all reminders of what those of us in Thailand are missing out on.