A Reflection, 3 Years On From My First Visit To Thailand
It's now been nearly 3 years since I first visited LOS. Crazy to think that, because it really has had such a profound effect on my life that I couldn't imagine what direction my life would be heading in if I had never visited and had continued my life in Australia, ignorant to the rest of the world, like most of my fellow countrymen. Maybe I would be better off without the Bangkok addiction, because I could focus on my career and future, rather than having to intersperse every year with 3 months downtime in Thailand. I imagine most Stick readers would have similar sentiment, if they imagined their lives with and without Thailand in it.
Coming up to this 3-year anniversary, as with most anniversaries I've started getting sentimental and reflective. I've also considered the profound effect that Thailand has had on my life in terms of relationships and how I view women. Without my first trip to Thailand as an 18-year old, I imagine I would be a much more eligible bachelor. Instead, that first trip, has more or less rendered me unable to date, and I can no longer program my brain to be monogamous. Maybe I haven't met 'the one', but regardless, every time I date a girl here in Australia, as soon as some weeks elapse, I am bored and cheat or cut relations. I honestly think it was the trip to Thailand that killed this monogamy in me, because prior to my travels I was very monogamous when it came to dating. One benefit perhaps is I have become a hell of a lot more worldly and open-minded. This is a particularly valuable skill at the moment given Australia's ass kissing infatuation with Asia; i.e. my competent language skills and understanding of Asian culture will be a serious benefit for me when I graduate and start looking for jobs.
Another thing that is interesting to note since my first trip is how the various girls I interacted with on my first trip have changed over the same period. I had intimate relations with 3 girls in Chiang Mai and Phuket respectively who had serious long term foreign boyfriends at the time. One of these would routinely talk on Skype to one of these men whilst I lay naked next to her out of the view of the webcam. Another one of these girls asked me to draft emails to her boyfriend asking for money. And another explained to me at length how she viewed dating purely as a business, and it angered her when she heard of other Thai girls sleeping with farang for free just because they were handsome, because she thought there should always be a price for sex. It has amused and saddened me to see on Facebook that all of these girls have, this year become engaged to these same guys. I wonder if these men are blissfully ignorant or if they have some awareness of what their girls do behind their backs but choose to ignore it. It really does astound me that some men, somewhere out there are so blatantly unobservant and naive that they think that each of these girls are marriage material. Are they just extreme social outcasts in Farangland who have no prospect of genuine relationships, or do they actually feel they are onto a winner with these girls? It took me only one interaction with a Thai girl in Thailand to promise myself to not get emotionally involved with a Thai girl; and I don't know how all farangs haven't had a similar experience that would at the very least make them very, very cautious when it comes to entering into serious relationships. I'm not trying to get on a high horse about dating Thai girls, I just really want to know what is going through these men's heads when they are dating such poor women relationship wise. At any rate, I wish them all the best, and hope I can discretely meet them again when their husbands are not around.
In the 3 years since I first visited, my thoughts in relation to whether I could live in Thailand have also substantially changed. I remember a few months into living in the Kingdom, I felt as though moving to Thailand permanently was literally the only option I had if I wanted to be happy. After the return of this trip, I fell into severe post Thailand depression and forever longed to return to Thailand whilst I was in Australia. Over time this opinion has slowly changed, and perhaps I've matured, to the point where I see Australia as an incredibly liveable country with many qualities which I have taken for granted in the past. I now view Australia as probably overall being preferable for full time/long term living, probably because of all the issues that have been highlighted in Stick submissions in the West vs. East debate, namely the discrimination a foreigner suffers in Thailand and their inability to ever really become accepted in Thailand. Perhaps this will change again as I make subsequent trips back to the Kingdom, however at this stage I really feel as though my future will not involve living in Thailand permanently, which is a considerable change in opinion from my first trip.
Very nice, clear thinking. I think one area where Thailand excels is that it offers something special to the man who is coming to the end of the road. In the case of a bright, focused, young man like yourself, I think it has the potential to send you off track and potentially could stymie your future, both personally and professionally. Certainly Australia would seem to be a better option at this point in your life.