Stickman Readers' Submissions April 29th, 2013

The Buriram Crew

Apparently from what I hear, Thailand is not as cheap as it used to be to get someone whacked – the local motorbike taxi riders inform me that even a low level Buriram ‘Meu-beun’ would not even look up from his Mekong-coke for less than THB 30K.

Think more in line with THB 15K before, THB 15K after (total THB 30K), plus transport into town and back to the village, hotel accommodation and a ‘job-well done’ piss-up & whores for the crew. So overall USD 1-2K. Plus ‘of course’ the hirer, would want to be out of the country on some very important business task at the time.

He Clinic Bangkok

Choose your associations carefully in the land of smirks. A person with detracting character traits that is consistent and never changes is always preferable of the ‘two-faced’ type.

The famous phrase ‘I’d rather have a German division in front of me than a French one behind’. Since a good enemy that fights in accordance with the rules of law, with vigor, bravery and discipline, can eventually be respected for being exactly that a good enemy – but a bad friend / Thai girlfriend can never be trusted and will be forever loathed no matter what occasional good deeds they perform.

I have studied Sun Tzu and the great Prussian soldier and military theorist Clausewitz. It is axiomatic in military science that in battle you only fight effective maneuvers–you never try to stop your enemy from engaging in ineffective maneuvers. Directing rather than confronting the other guys energy.

CBD bangkok

”In war, the moral is to the physical as three is to one.” Napoleon

"You cannot contain the offensive unless your forces operate under an ordered morality." Clausewitz

I have taken up the cudgel as directed by Epictetus. Control over my moral purpose has become my true business. The greatest thing in each man is right moral purpose.

"From this moment on, vow to stop disappointing yourself. Separate yourself from the mob. Decide to be extraordinary and do what you need to do–now." Epictetus

wonderland clinic

Always choose the tart with the heart, instead of a rich bitch." For years– I was a prolific Lothario. I would pink slip a heartthrob after a few weeks. I never involved myself above the waist. And it was effortless.

And then I was celibate for several years. And paradoxically, they were very good years. And I passed on countless "slam dunks." I took the power…by walking away.

When I traveled to Thailand, I allowed myself to be emotionally available, and physically at risk. At least for awhile.

As Donald Rumsfeld likes to say,"It is what it is." And I was clever enough to figure out the underlying in Thailand. Even though I was a neophyte on many Thai characteristics.

Lust is a desire that can never be satisfied. How many times are you going to compromise yourself? And when it is too late, you can think about it a thousand times, but it won't change anything…because you are shipwrecked.

In Thailand, speak softly, be polite, and stay low profile.

The Ancient Masters

1. Watchful (like men crossing a winter stream)

2. Alert (like men of danger)

3. Courteous (like visiting guests)

Still Center

Respond rather than react. When you respond you are in control. When you react, the event controls you. How you choose to perceive a situation will often determine its outcome.

Each of us has aggravation. Problems. Frustrations. Each of our lives is made up of peaks and valleys, twists and turns. What makes us different from each other is how we walk the valleys, how we maneuver the turns. How we carry the load. You can’t always control the conflict, but with a still center you can always control your reaction to it.

In Thailand, I always maintained a still center. My Thai girlfriend was a chameleon like most sociopaths. She could be endearing and charming, yet I have seen her malignant disposition…the side of her that she hides from those that think she is an angel. Extremely charming when it suits her purposes. (Might seem seem counterintuitive.)

A contributor said, "No, I do not profess to suggest that it is any demographic group as in my experience a bar girl with 12 years experience under her belt can never be as vicious as an educated hi-so lady. The rational is simple; Hi–so’s don’t expect to get knocked back. This leads to serious loss of face, simmering anger, then the problem. Bar girls learn to roll with the flow unless of course the guy has been an absolute fiend. Then it’s get her “My brother me”, time. Your hospital bill – not mine."

I know what is like to be threatened by a hi-so Thai lady. Maybe it was bluster and her desire to keep me off balance and on the defensive. Duplicity and guile that I have never experienced in the west. But you really never know, do you? Maybe I was persisting in my delusion. In a lawless land of corruption, power, money, and family connections…it can go against you in a microsecond. And having balls like a Charolais bull is not mitigating when the Buriram crew gets into town.

In the land of a thousand smirks, the unknown is always greater than the known. And the penalty for rudeness can be death. I challenged my hi-so Thai lady…and at times I felt like I was staring into the abyss.

In the legal system civil cases can take years to churn through the courts. With such obvious lack of satisfaction for the aggrieved, ‘other options’ at well affordable prices deliver appropriate and immediate justice in a manner decided by the services purchaser.

The violence and corruption were here before we arrived, and it will be here after we have left.

Anyone who knows Thailand will confirm that it is not unknown for Thais to murder each other over serious un-resolvable business problem or loss of face, then pay off whoever to brush it under the table, plus some other golden rules…

The Thai will steal from each other at every opportunity, especially if:

– They think they can get away from it.

– The loss will be not noticed.

– The thief is so powerful that the victim can do nothing about it.

Like I said, stay off the radar of powerful people in Thailand.

Some will do anything for a sufficient amount of money.

– Kill or be killed (hired assassins, hired political thugs & lemmings, hired lethal money collector enforcers, etc).

– Prostitution, male or female. (Obviously female, but, one should not be surprised of how many male gay prostitutes are not gay ‘it's just a job’).

– Borrow money with their children as security ‘sell their own children into debt’

– Gamble until they have nothing left, can borrow no more, plus promise your land and property if married to them. The evil money lender enforcers will come to collect from you…

Business: One should expect all you do business with to attempt to rip you off in accordance with the rules highlighted above.

Relationships personal, e.g. marriage: A form of business relationship. See all above rules.

Now it should be stated that there are notable exceptions – that is taken for granted. However, before one takes too much notice of the exceptions to the rule, there is one more outrageous character flaw shared by some…

Shameless duplicity…the word is almost redefined.

The chameleon like ability to switch between the following personality traits is shocking to observe…

– Vestal Virgins or>>> shameless gutter whores

– Accounting to the last baht or>>>stealing your last baht

– Monks and nuns or>>>drug addicts on every class ‘A’ you can think of washed down with Mekong

– Politeness to>>>Lethal violence

Be concerned of the Thai – but be even more concerned and distrusting of long term Farang involved successfully in business out here for more than a generation since their survival indicates that they are fully aware of, and play by the same rules…

Oh gosh – that includes a few close friends. He he he. Never mind.

Thailand is a Lawless Land

Lies and deception, inexorably eating away at your pride. Even outside of the bar environment (and I do not participate), the lack of a true emotional connection, and the deceit, eat at your integrity and pride. Because you cannot rationalize it. It's just part of the Thai condition. It's part of Thai DNA. You can call it "smoke and mirrors" or "the land of make believe" or "it's all a lie"– but I think it creates cognitive dissonance for a guy trying to navigate it all. There are certainly exceptions…but trust is a sine qua non in any relationship with a woman, and I don't think that is possible in Thailand. Maybe it is not possible in the west either, but in the west, you have a reference point.

"Over the past year or so there has been what I think is fair to describe as a dramatic increase in reports in the mainstream media and on expat websites of violent attacks on foreigners in Thailand. Whether it is simply that such incidents are being reported more or whether there really has been an increase in such attacks – as I strongly suspect there has – is unknown. Of course most expats know that foreigners meeting a grisly end in Thailand is nothing new. Domestic disputes between partners from very different backgrounds often escalate into violence and sometimes a local spouse may involve others – family members or perhaps even hired help to assist in the elimination of a problem. Business disputes seem to go bad with alarming frequency and can result in violence which is hardly unusual in a country where conflict resolution skills are so poor. But my real concern is the number of reports of unprovoked attacks on foreigners where the victim did not know the perpetrator. Robbery, rape, serious assault and murder are all making the headlines all too often these days. Factor in that I also feel that over the past 2 or 3 years there has been an increase in nationalism causing locals in a dispute with a foreigner, no matter who is right or wrong and irrespective of how far it goes, that there is a real feeling of impunity – and their fellow Thais will side with them. More than ever, it pays to be careful who you do business with, who you share your bed with and to always be aware of your surroundings." Kiwi Expat

"The problem with living in Thailand is that the longer one stays here the more one becomes aware that many of the character traits of the locals are, to put it bluntly, quite disturbing. Shallowness, subterfuge, connivance, and image (face) over intellectual substance being amongst many of their weaknesses."

“Bad as the readiness to cheat maybe, it is but one of four Thai characteristics that have been labelled detrimental to development, according to a former prime minister who echoed opinions expressed by some foreigners who know Thais well. The others are laziness, ostentatiousness and jealousy.”

"The eternal problem for many farang males living here is that we recognize that they are, increasingly, a people that we don’t really want to have a great deal of interaction with." Stick Contributor


Before I traveled to Thailand, I mentioned the Kama Sutra to my so-called girlfriend. Her response: "What does an Indian know about love?" And the standard Thai joke: "If you are walking down the street, and you encounter an Indian and a cobra–step on the Indian." My response: "Wasn't Siddhārtha Gautama Buddha from the Indian subcontinent?"

I have read Vatsyayana's Kama Sutra.

Kama Sutra (written sometime between 30 and 400 CE)…literally meaning “aphorisms on love” or “treatise on pleasure,” the Kama Sutra is an ancient Indian text most famous for containing 64—sixty-four!—“arts.”

But the Kama Sutra is not some guide to a Bacchanalian lifestyle. Vatsyayana believed that frivolous sex was sinful. Further, he believed in the importance of treating people well.

The Kama Sutra is most famous for the second of its five sections, “On Sexual Union.” It’s in this section that the reader is introduced to the 40 kinds of kissing, varieties of orgasm, and 64 sexual positions.

Sexual union? I prefer sexual congress!

The Kama Sutra was helping Indians have fuller sex lives for at least a millennium before the British explorer, swordsman, raconteur, and all-around dreamboat Sir Richard Burton decided to translate the text.

Richard Burton (the one who lived from 1821–1890, not the one who twice wed Elizabeth Taylor) spoke dozens of languages, traveled the globe in search of adventure, was considered the greatest swordsman of his century, and managed to translate both the Kama Sutra and The Arabian Nights.

One of the most pervasive rumors about Vatsyayana is that he spent a great deal of time with prostitutes in order to research his Sutra.

I enjoyed Ovid's treatise on love too. He was Rome's most famous classical poet…that is, until Augustus banished him to the Black Sea. I have read The Art of Love a few times.

When I traveled to Thailand, I did not bother to pack my modern illustration of the Kama Sutra–Secrets of Exotic Pleasure!


Stickman's thoughts:

Very hard to comment on this submission as there are a lot of different points, some I strongly agree with and some I personally don't agree with at all.

Certainly one does have to be aware of not pissing in the rice bowl of influential folks here. To do so is asking for big trouble. When you say, "In Thailand, speak softly, be polite, and stay low profile", I reckon you're right on the money.

I do think we have to be careful not to generalise too much and especially try not to project the negative impressions we get from experiences with "farang-friendly women" on to the rest of the population. Simply by nature that these women wish to spend a lot of time with and get close to foreign men immediately labels them as not typical at all, and not conforming to what would be considered local norms.

nana plaza