Readers' Submissions

Thai Thoughts and Anecdotes Part 315

  • Written by Dana
  • February 18th, 2012
  • 5 min read


Introduction:

Ok Dana fans and ceiling fans (I have had one scorpion bowl drink with Nong, one huge glass of some kind of beer with some kind of Aussie, two mystery drinks with Chiang Mai Kelly, and that ceiling fan joke just cracks me up):

Anyway a little research will show that the basic number of one of the South American tribes in their math system was the number nine. The most important number to them was the number nine. Remind you of anything or remind you of anyone? You got it. Emma. Emma of Pattaya. Tranny Emma and her nine inches of fun. Who says drinking is bad for you? My mind could not be clearer. And, to share with you a personal moment of mine from last week; a little more research by me found that one of the jungle tribes under the Aztec nation was the Emmaites. Coincidence? I think not.

"Nong?"
"Yes, Donna?"
"It's Dana–for the 400th time, it's Dana. Anyway, can you order another scorpion bowl for us?"
"Yes Donna–I do for you. I luf you."

Well, there you have it Dana fans and ceiling fans. I'm not sure what you have but I'm in Thailand. Where are you?

But that is not really what I want to talk about today. What I really want to talk about today is a part of my past in a public letter titled:

IN MEMORIAM

I miss my Polaroid Land Camera. Rest in peace old friend. I hope you are happy in camera heaven and if anyone makes fun of you for being big and noisy and heavy and clunky–just smash them in the face. You were a CAMERA.
Sure, I know there were and there are other cameras. People can't shut up about them. I even owned some: Brownie, 35mm, Instamatic, Disposable Cameras, etc. Some day I may even buy one of these new digital things:

"It fits in your pocket." "You can transfer the pics to your computer." "The quality is fantastic."

Like I said, people can't shut up about these cameras and I believe everything they say. But the Polaroid Land Camera was a CAMERA. Why? Because when I took a picture I got a picture. Instantly. I could hold it in my hand. I could give it as a gift. I could put it in a scrapbook. I could frame it and hang it on the wall.

When I order a cheeseburger in a restaurant, I don't want an image of a cheeseburger, and transferring the image of the cheeseburger to my home computer does nothing for the hungry moment. I want the cheeseburger delivered to my table and I want the cheeseburger delivered to my table now. I want to hold the cheeseburger in my hand. The Polaroid Land Camera delivered the picture NOW. Think about it. What word in the English language carries more weight than the word NOW? I wanted a picture to augment the moment in my life and I wanted the picture now. The Polaroid Land Camera gave it to me. It was magic. When I hear people going on and on with the new cameras about how they can transfer the images to their home computer, and they can crop, and they can send, and they can file, and they can . . . I just sort of drift off. I know it is all exciting and better in a lot of ways but sometimes I just want to yell at them:

"Where is the picture? Don't you even know why you are doing all of this? Where is the picture?"

The Polaroid Land Camera was an instant fun maker and an instant friend maker. Google up countries and you will see that there are approximately 188 countries. I wouldn't be surprised if there was not a single country where this camera did not make friends and make smiles–a social guarantee and a gift from heaven for the shy male. God bless Mr. Land: he gave many men the gift of life. Take a picture of a nice lady and give her the picture. You got a smile. A smile from a woman? Priceless. A smile from a Thai lady? Beyond priceless.

And kids? They laughed and screeched and fought to hold the picture in their hand. Taking pictures of kids in Thailand and then showing them the pics NOW was social bonding not normally available. They could hold the pictures in their hands and pass them around and take them home as gifts. The Polaroid Land Camera did more than change photography. It changed lives.

Jesus, I will never stop missing the magic moments you gave me on the boardwalk in Pattaya and in every other place I visited in Thailand. The film was not cheap but the moments were priceless. I used to go to the Kingdom with a bag full of film packs and take picture after picture of ladies and children in Thailand and give the pictures away. People would invite me into their houses, or call their friends over, or want to take a picture themselves. Pretty girls would lean against me to look at the picture develop. Lean against me. Sometimes I would get dizzy. If the film was still available easily I would still be using the camera. Rest in peace old friend. All you ever wanted from me was film and a press on the button. A wonderful relationship. Rest in peace up there in camera heaven where I bet a bunch of old 35mm cameras envy you because you could give a picture NOW.

All I had to do was press a button. That's all I have ever wanted to do with a camera: just press a button. I am not and I will never be a technical person. This camera was made for me. But now the camera store that would order my film packs doesn't even want to hear from me. It's over. Except for the memories. God bless my Polaroid Land Camera, and god bless the happy times it gave. Rest in peace old friend.