Was It A Good Idea To Wear My Country’s National Rugby Jersey In Sukhumvit, Tiirak?
As this is a first-time submission to the site – brief background:
I am a middle-aged, not bald and not too-fat reader. I enjoyed many and disliked many of the thousand+ submissions that I’ve read on this site to-date and now feel obliged to make my own submission in turn, for better or for worse.
I grew up in what was a quaint, simple Western country (let’s call it “Sanctuary”). I got a good education, good job and nearly got married (thank God I didn’t as it would have been a very painful, costly mistake in that instance). I emigrated to the United States, climbed the corporate ladder for nine years and had a good social life before returning ‘home’ (single, no kids) with a not inconsiderable amount of money. God bless America. But oh, how things have changed in Sanctuary! It is not the country that I had left a decade earlier.
Shortly after moving home I went on my first holiday to LOS and became so captivated with the place that I returned two months later to secure a holiday pad. I’ve been back on visits close to twenty times in the nine years since then. I’ve had three very eventful TGFs/GFEs, each lasting several years, and fell in love with each of these girls in turn. The first two would yield enough true-life stories to cover several submissions in their own right including some really serious, near-fatal stuff… in fact we would have all the essentials for a modern best-seller (beautiful women, intrigue, romance, deception, money, female violence, hearth-ache…) but this current one (GFE) appears to remain blissful as we approach the three-year mark and it would be great if it were to last forever!
OK, OK get on with the story
Watching the World Cup last week brought my mind back to an evening I had spent in Sukhumvit last March when I was wearing my Sanctuary international rugby shirt. This shirt had the name “Sanctuary” printed across the back and the national crest over the heart in the front. Now I would rarely wear this shirt walking down the street of my hometown but on holiday in LOS it seemed like a good idea. It led to some interesting social interaction.
I came out of the Old German Beerhouse stuffed to the seams with hearty food, and, as I proceeded along Soi 11, hand-in-hand with my beautiful, sexy Tirak, I pretended not to notice the glances that my jersey was attracting from passers-by. Hey, I’m proud of my country. As underdogs we can always punch above our weight (pity we do not respond so well when we are favourites though).
Most farangs obviously recognised my nationality straight-away through my jersey and some gave a friendly nod or greeting. I immediately recognised a couple of southern hemisphere and European accents that greeted me and a friendly American told me that I had a cool soccer shirt. Many of the local ladies smiled at me while taking in by my pale but tanning skin / worldly physique / bulging pocket (ahem wallet).
Then I heard it “Sanctuary… hey Sanctuary”.
It was the unmistakably lilting voice of a drunken man who hailed from a small country not far from Sanctuary (let’s call it Little Bret). I pretended not to notice at first but the shouting only got louder. At this stage my Tirak, suspecting trouble, tried to quickly steer me along but I really had no option but to let go of her hand and turn to acknowledge my new friend.
“Sorry we beat you in the rugby, two weeks ago, Sanctuary, but you then really showed those Brats when you beat them last week” he beamed. (Let’s use “Brats” as the name for another neighbouring country – an extremely unpopular country due to their history and in more recent years to their yob tourist culture).
“Yes, we sure did” I replied, proud of the fact that Sanctuary had recently beaten our mutual enemy while the rest of the world applauded.
“We’ll show them tonight” he said. I did not understand.
My new friend insisted on shaking hands with me – he had already rubbed his other hand all over the back of my jersey from shoulder to shoulder. I am always uncomfortable with men touching me but I know that he didn’t mean any harm. I just hope he had washed his hands! I smiled again and made my escape pleading that I had to go and catch up with my Tirak.
I caught up with my Tirak who at this stage was limping because her shoes were cutting into her heels. I offered to buy her some plasters (band-aid) to put on her heels but she did not appear to understand. She needed new shoes from a shoe-vendor’s stall on the corner. I figured that it would be cheaper to let her negotiate the price directly with the Thai vendor rather than me (Farang) paying, so I gave her 1,000 baht and said to hold on to any change to cover the car-parking cost later.
So there I was, apparently on my own, standing on the corner of Sukhumvit wearing my Sanctuary jersey. Was it my handsome good looks, my attractive body odour or my tight-fitting jersey that was attracting further unsolicited attention?
A couple of fairly rough-looking ladies, both wearing t-shirts and shorts propositioned me but I politely declined. Had I even been drunk I’m sure I would have avoided those two.
Then I was propositioned by a taller lady, wearing a sexy dress whose voice had an unusual pitch. She told me that she loved Sanctuary and Sanctuary boys… I’m glad I was not drunk as I would not have been so polite this time in telling it that I was definitely not interested and to please go away.
I sauntered along aimlessly and see three Brats (two of them wearing their national soccer-team jerseys) approaching. Immediately I am on the alert. They quickly scan my jersey and one of them and I both scowl at each other simultaneously as we pass. I brush forcefully past the last one who was purposely not getting out of my way. I probably would have come out second best had a skirmish with these three young yobs arisen, but thankfully they only gave me dirty looks as I looked back haughtily.
Then a nice Thai guy came over and although he did not show any interest in my jersey he started showing me some brochures of “sexy-lady show”. I told him that I did not need to see one of those cabaret shows even though he kindly offered to take me there at no cost.
Tirak was just completing her purchase as I was ignoring a lewd gesture made to me by another lady. Purchase completed, Tirak put her new four-inch+, high-heel shoes on and put the old ones into the plastic carrier bag. She took my hand and gave me a smile worth dying for as we set off up Sukhumvit. Yep, she sure is such a sweetheart.
A Frenchman says something incomprehensible to me as he passes by while pointing to the logo and crest on my jersey. I gather that he likes rugby too.
Then we pass another soccer supporter with arms covered in tattoos wearing a Glasgow Celtic jersey. He also says something incomprehensible to me as he stares at my jersey and gives me a wide grin. He is obviously in a happy place even though I observe that he is missing his top front teeth. He also beams and shakes my hand before Tirak yanks me away by the other one.
We turn the corner into Soi 7 so as to avoid the crowd and we are immediately drawn to find recluse in a cool bar that has a fantastic music beet. Well the music might actually be just a trifle too loud for my likening but the staff are very pleasing on the eye. Initially I did not realise that the white letters of the name Sanctuary that were printed on my jersey glowed so vibrantly in the laser lighting but I soon realised. We were being led to our table when again I hear those words.
“Sanctuary, Sanctuary… haalooo Sanctuary” is being shouted over the music in my direction.
I try to ignore the highly-intoxicated, little old German who is sitting on a stool but he doesn’t give up. He grabs my hand and shakes roughly as his TGF smiles apologetically at me. People roundabout look on in amusement. They probably think that he is a Sanctuary native. He insists on speaking to me in very-broken English. I reply in my own native language which he would not understand even if he could hear. I smile, shake his hand equally firmly and go on to my table.
I take in all around me as my Tirak goes to the ladies room. A girl with a pretty face, sitting with a bunch of friends at the next table, admires my jersey and after a little flirting asks me if she can borrow it for a while. I tell her that we could not swap tops as everybody would then see that my chest was bigger than hers! She explains this to her friends and all laugh. Tirak returns and my new friends all go quiet, almost as if the head-mistress had walked back into a classroom of noisy kids.
I could have stayed longer as I was beginning to get a buzz but Tirak wasn’t drinking and wanted to leave. So out we went and turned into the hustle and bustle of Sukhumvit once again. Tirak took me by the hand to make sure that I did not get lost. A couple of Africans tried to make some small talk, one pointing to my jersey, but we were not interested and just kept going.
We turned into the next soi and although Tirak was getting very hungry (almost two hours since we left Beerhouse) and my feet were getting tired we avoided the street vendors and massage-greeters. We avoided bar-greeters too and turned right into a large tavern.
Wow. I was immediately confronted by a legion of nicely-dressed young ladies who were seated along the bar, presumably waiting for their boyfriends to arrive. They all seemed to be checking me out. What is it about this jersey? They also stared at the plastic-bag that Tirak was holding and appeared to be taking in its contents. I felt a little uncomfortable and yet desirable at the same time. Now I know how made-up girls must feel when they walk through the front door of my local pub back home!
Tirak, thoughtful as ever, steered me to the relative safety of a table area to the left and out of view of the bar. As the waitress hands us our menus, I notice that there is a television set on the wall behind me. I hear the unmistakable roar of sports supporters. I turn and look up at the TV and what do I see? Oh no, it is an international soccer match. And guess who is playing? Brats V Little Bret! Things were beginning to make sense.
That was a very pleasant evening wandering around Sukhumvit, due in no small part to the wearing of my international rugby jersey. It attracted some fun introductions and led to a lot of small-talk and banter but I guess I could have ended up in some trouble too simply by wearing it. Hey, it’s probably a good thing that I had not worn my international soccer shirt.
I can relate! Wear the right rugby jersey and you sure are a hansum man!