All the leaves are brown and the people are gray
I've been for a walk on such a brutal day
I'd be safe and warm if I was in Thailand today
Thailand dreamin' on such a winter's day
It is night time. Around 10 or 11 PM. I am in Pattaya walking along the famous Beach Road. I feel the cool breeze in the warm keeping me safe. The street vendors are out selling their goods. People are high in spirit. The atmosphere is buzzing in a way only a few places do. The ladies are on the side of the beach waiting for potential clients. I can look as long as I do not touch and as long as my Thai girlfriend does not catch me. I am sure looking when she is around does little to convince her I am not into the scene – or am I?
This is a far cry from the west, from my city London in England. It is a city where the cold smacks my face, which feels like being stabbed simultaneously by multiple knives. I do not mean to put down my own city. I know I can make it work here, but is that enough? When you go to the land of smiles for even a brief period and then go back to the west, the difference is striking and overwhelming. How does one adapt? Outside is absolutely freezing as I am writing this. It is 10 days until spring and there is snow. Let us get back to Thailand!
Along Beach Road I walk. There are lovely ladies dressed to impress, looking amazing, calling out to me like sirens. I see myself turning down girls left, right and centre. I would give anything to get even the least attractive of these girls in London. But we are not in London; we are in the land of smiles where anything is possible. I find myself having to fight off the girls. Just so that I can be polite I offer to take their telephone number. But when I see them at another time they appear genuinely disappointed I did not call.
When I think about this back in London I feel I was silly for turning down some of these angels. But that is only because I have the London mentality where finding girls like these is like finding needle in a haystack. In Thailand I am operating on a different wavelength. But it is not just the friendship that exists with the locals; it is the energy and the feeling of being alive. I am in a place where there is abundance, where scarcity seems like a distance memory and a very bad dream…
In London, I wake up in the morning, I go to work. The days blur together… everything seems repetitive like ground hog day. Nothing changes expect my age. ‘Where did all these years go? I was only 18 yesterday. I had youth. I wasn’t supposed to be like this! I’m creative’ I wonder why I dislike here so much. I am constantly reminded that I should be very grateful because ‘we have nothing to complain about’. We have food, warmth, shelter, health care to name a few. But there is something we lack. I am referring to the unity and connection amongst people that seems to be so absent in the west. Why do I dislike here so much? Maybe it is because my creativity is being drowned. As humans we are creative beings. It is what connects us to the ‘God-force’ (atheists, please go with me on this one) and makes us feel alive.
‘Massage, I give you good massage!’ Returning to Thailand after one year feels so surreal. I feel like I have never left. I feel at home as though I am where I belong. I remember after my first visit to the land of smiles it had such a profound impact on me that after coming back to London I could not believe such a place even existed! It was as though Thailand was some kind of fantasy my mind had conjured up which is a product of a creative mind living in the western matrix. That is why I had to go again. I had to go to see if this place was real! Here I was in Thailand on my second visit and the realization that this place actually existed was really dream like. Although I was only there for only a few weeks I felt at home.
‘Where’s your mind, get back to work!’
‘Sorry, boss’ I reply.
I continue with my work as my life force continues to be surrendered to sustain this ‘perfect’ western system. I acknowledge the system in Thailand is not perfect. I acknowledge that I have never lived or worked there, and I acknowledge that being on holiday is different to living there. But at least over there I will have the basic human need of being connected to the realm of creativity that is so absent in the west. I am not referring to famous musicians or artists. I am talking about the average Joe.
What is it like living in Thailand where I will have this? Maybe I should book a flight and find out. Maybe I should plan this first. I have no intention of moving there only to be fed to the wolves. Maybe I will move there sooner rather than later – back to the land of smiles, to the land of imperfections. Perhaps the problems many foreigners have in Thailand goes hand in hand with the creativity that exists over there. Maybe to create a ‘perfect’ and efficient system one sacrifices something priceless within. I will found out in time. But until then I will get back to my plans and dreams of being in the Land of Smiles.
Dreams come true when they are well planned…