Cold Winds Of Change Hit Hot Emotions
There seems to be increasing dissatisfaction being voiced by sub contributors on the Stickman Readers' Submissions, focused on the changes that most of us are seeing in a place that was always regarded by many of us as our new-found Paradise. The excellent sub by Mega (Twenty Years On – 28/04/14) covers all of the aspects that we notice and many of his own personal observations that are, very likely, things we have in common on the personal level. Mega and Pattaya Gary are 2 writers who see things for what they really are – no nonsense allowed to enter into the equation – and everything taken from a pragmatic viewpoint. It would be nice if we could go back to the times when things were a little more "gentle" in our dealings with Thai girls – and Thais in general – but the truth is that everyone has moved on and life has a much sharper edge to it than back then.
Even Tuesday, the sub by Anonymous (Leaving Thailand – 29/04/14) reveals the change in attitude from a long-term expat who has had a successful life in Thailand with his Thai family – but his dissatisfaction with the way things are done in LOS, has finally gained momentum to the point where he no longer seems to regard life in The Kingdom to be the place for long-term security. I can see why. Even Stick – whom many of us see as the "rock" on whom we have placed our trust for guidance for so long – has been making noises about leaving The Kingdom for over a year. It probably will come some time in the not-too-distant future – and it seems that it is all rooted in a growing disenchantment and loss of belief in things that we once held as true, dependable and reliable.
Do you remember when the Teen Massage shops (1, 2 and 3) were available and each had their own website where you could ogle over the girls and choose which lady you would go and visit? A website was reliable for up-to-date information on the Thai, Soapy and Testicle Massage scenes but something happened around 2003/4 (I think) and it felt as if it had been "hacked" into and no longer had that safe feeling as before. Some of the sites are so lazy with upgrading information also – have a look at the Ogoto Japanese website (Sala Daeng). They are still advertising girls that have not been there since 2004 (depends on which website comes up on the search). Go onto 005_RED and there you will find all of the girls from around 2003-2004 – but only one of them is there now. My favourite was Um – long since gone. I would have crawled naked over broken glass for her. The only one of the original ladies there now is Ben.
Back in those days, my favourite hang-outs were Geisha Massage Club and Thonglor Massage (at Prom Phong) – who had, and still do have, the cleanest and most modern facilities of any place in town. Prices were always reasonable and the girls truly amazing and friendly. Angel Massage on Soi 26 was close by to Thonglor Massage and also a good place to visit. Angels BKK Escorts disappeared sometime around 2011 – but there was one lady there for whom I lusted, something fiercely. Her name was, rather appropriately, Sin – and wow, what a stunner. I have tried to track her down since then but she seems to have completely disappeared – just like the agency – swallowed up in the takeovers that changed everything forever (for the worse). Hopefully, she has found a good life with somebody who will look after her very well.
My favourite "soapie" was Chaophya 2, up on Sri Ayutthaya, where 2 or 3 hours with a couple of lovelies and drinks for all (delivered to the room) would cost no more than 5000 Baht for everything. I often would wonder what the building had originally been used for as it reminded me of a former hotel – it was such a large place and seemed to be "overkill" for a massage/knocking shop – but always a pleasant place to visit, where the Papasan was always helpful. <I don't know the history but that place has been around a long time and I guess it always was a massage parlour, the clue being that it has no windows – Stick>
But, enough of reminiscing over what was – most of that is all gone. Of course Chaophya 2 is still there but Thonglor has fewer than half of the girls that were once there but it is still a good place to be. Everywhere in Bangkok has changed so much that I hardly remember how it was, sometimes.
The crux of the issue is changing attitudes and how technology is changing the way Thais behave. As Mega pointed out, The Internet has a lot to answer for in how these changes have been introduced. My first cell-phone (mobile in those days, thank you) was a first-generation Nokia that weighed almost half a kilogram (well that's what it felt like) – and I was one of the stars of the show in arrivals at Don Meuang, being one of the few who had a phone clipped to my belt. Today, I hate the rotten things – I call them all "toys" and only use them under sufferance. I totally refuse to use a cell-phone on line for Internet communication. What a bloody rip-off that is – and about as secure as a piece of mosquito netting. I refuse to use wi-fi in any shape or form. If ADSL2+ ceases to be available, that will be the day I go offline. If I can't have powerful desktops on a landline, then I don't want anything less. Obviously, I do not compromise easily where principles are involved.
Today was a day of changes for me – I got rid of Yahoo webmail and switched over to Gmail and installed Google Chrome as my second browser, giving me access again to YouTube for download saving. This has been good for me because I found some Thai karaoke clips by (Beau) Sunita Leetikul that I had not heard or seen before. They must be recent, as I have every single karaoke disc or DVD of hers (studio and concert) – I just love her work. It came at a time when I was angry and unsure of where my feelings lay with respect to Thailand and Thais – and that is a place where I do not like to be – to be angry about something that I truly do love.
Mega says he does not understand how Farangs and other foreigners in Thailand can become embroiled in the political issues unfolding at the present time. Well, for me, it feels as if something has been stolen from me, to see what I regard as my Bangkok streets being taken over by unwanted riff-raff (who don't belong there) intent on causing trouble for everyone. Then, to see that lovely Lumphini Park being turned into a "camping ground" for shiftless, grubby types who have no right to be there, just makes my blood boil. These unwanted "guests" probably see this as a holiday, paid for from some "slush" funds being supplied from areas that should be closed down. I would be surprised if the sods have ever worked a full day in their life and probably wouldn't even function as normal if they were put on life support or would even work in an iron lung.
I wrote to Stick last week, expressing my thoughts of never going back to Thailand again (even though the next stay has all been paid for including air-fare) – I was so angry to see what has been done to beautiful Bangkok and to so many people (Thais included) who have been sorely inconvenienced for absolutely no good reason other than "they" can get away with it. Then, I sat listening to Beau and just let the words flow over me – and I started to think "Why should I let these bums destroy the way I see all the things I value in Thailand?"
The karaoke clip on which Beau is singing is called "If Tomorrow Never Comes" – and the song was written by Ronan Keating. Beau sings it in English which is quite different to the other material I have from her previous work – all of that being in Thai.
Beau is, of course, singing about her little Daughter – the reason that she curtailed her very successful recording career in Thailand. However, although I always miss her new discs coming out regularly, as they once did on GMM, I really do respect this person for her beliefs and sacrifices that she makes for someone else. It is things like this that return my belief in the goodness of Thais and starts to make me feel ashamed that I have, unintentionally, included people like Beau in wide generalizations of Thais as part of the reason why I feel angry. Not all Thais are responsible for the way many of us feel – and we should try to see changes as the inevitable part of the evolution of a society and lifestyle.
My second wife always would say that change can be seen as a threat or as a challenge – but, being a Psyche, she was into motivational-speak. I remember her quoting a line from one of the motivational books she had at the time – I believe it is a quote from Dale Carnegie:
"Two men stared out from prison bars – one saw mud while the other saw stars".
Doesn't it always come down to this? How one looks at things makes all the difference.