Like most people who read the submissions, I've been enthralled by Thailand in some way or another. I've visited the place and now am resigned to getting my daily Thailand fix through the readers subs of this site. It's funny to actually come out and say that. Or write it even. A daily dose of Thailand through the bizarre and entertaining articles sent in by the many Stickman readers. Almost every single day for the last 4 years I have visited this website. Isn't that something? I even went to the trouble of making this anonymous email account so that I could send in subs anonymously. Kind of like a guilty pleasure.
I was glad to see Phet finally send in a sub the other day. He's one of the writers who I can genuinely say that when I see his name on the readers' subs when checking this site on my iPhone – I crack open the laptop and boil the kettle because I know I will be in for a treat. I was a little bit disappointed at what I perceived to be a slightly misogynistic tone in his latest sub. But I don't think that's a rarity in the Stickman subs to be fair.
From my own point of view I think of Thailand as a fantasy. The availability of sexual pleasures and good food and all that attention that a short time visitor gets when visiting the land of the smiles is great fun. If you offered me the chance of a position in an international firm in Thailand in 2010 I would have jumped at the chance. Through my continued reading of the subs on this site + Stickman's own column, I'm not so sure now. I can honestly say that this site has done me a great service. I will never ever consider retirement in Thailand. Not for one second. Maybe I'm giving this site too much credit. I probably would have come to the same conclusion if I did in fact move there and experience it for myself. But if any discerning reader looks in between the lines of the subs and the weekly column it doesn't take too long to see many cracks.
Living here in Australia gives me another interesting perspective on Thailand through the many Thai/Farang relationships that exist over here (including my own). I have gotten to know some lovely people in Thai/Farang relationships but for every "normal" relationship (at least from my own cursory observations) there's at least three that are not so normal. By that I mean a much older man, usually with weight issues, marrying a younger South-East Asian woman and bringing her to Oz. I have a close friend who is the manager of a fast food franchise that employs a high number of such ladies. A fair few of them married jealous guys who don't want their partners to socialise with their friends. A fair few of the men don't even work (that one always amazes me, I firmly blame the women in this case). Some women aren't allowed to do extra shifts because the husband wants them at home with them. It's interesting because who are the guys who send in subs to stick? Who are the "bargirl done me wrong" guys? Those poor men who were taken advantage of by scheming Thai women. It certainly isn't the overweight men walking around Australia with singlets on who can barely read & write. If that sounds judgmental then so be it. I'm only repeating what I see with my own eyes. Anyways, why worry about something that absolutely doesn't effect me. Each to their own.
From my own personal perspective I find that the longing for a trip to Thailand is indicative of something else going on. A dissatisfaction with my own personal circumstances. Wanting to be someone else, somewhere else. Thailand fits that need perfectly. All of a sudden I'm not a guy who gets no notice from the opposite sex anymore, or lives a boring mundane existence. I can have as much sex with as many partners as my pocket allows. Eventually the trip ends and it's back to my real life to "face the music". How sad. What's even more sad would be if I actually decided to uproot and sell everything and move to Thailand full time. When that mirage finally shatters (and it inevitably does), what then? I'll be left with the cold reality that my life sucks big time. It would be like a child finding out that the fat bearded dude who gives him yearly gifts is actually a huge lie. Only I'm not a child. At least not physically. Living out fantasies in your head about another far off place is an incredibly child-like thing to do however. There's no denying it. From what a lot of the long term expats say about Thailand on the Stickman site, it really isn't a place for me to live. Or anyone with western sensibilities or morals/values. Maybe focusing on my own life here in Farangland instead of concocting some ridiculous fantasy about far off places would be more beneficial.
I wonder how many people who come to move to Thailand have their heads up their asses? I know that given the right circumstances and the right time that I could be one of those sad sac's. When I read some of the stories on this site I cringe. I really do. When you're down life kicks you. I've been there and understand the dynamic. I think that can explain a lot of the sad stories that come out of Thailand. When someone's been through a divorce / bereavement / job loss or whatever they are in a vulnerable state. Ripe pickings for scam artists. Maybe instead of visiting Pattaya or Bangla Road, a trip to a monastery would be more beneficial. I certainly found that to be the case. Helped me no end.
So it looks like Stickman is finally going to pull the plug. It's funny because a reader noted that the weekly blogs have become a bit depressing. I've noticed that myself, although that certainly doesn't make them any less compelling. Personally, the Sunday Stickman blog for me notes the end of another week. Or more specifically, the end of the weekend. I don't hate my job but it takes a lot out of me, that's all. The weekend comes and I'm not that interested to read the readers subs on a Saturday as I am during the week. I guess that reflects my mental state as I'm not looking for a trip down fantasy land. Then Sunday comes and when I've finished all my normal Sunday chores I put the feet up and read the weekly. This ritual has become less and less of a thing for me in the past while. Maybe because I'm moving on. Maybe something else. I don't know. All I know is that when the site finally comes to an end then I'd say that a small part of me will breathe a sigh of relief. A bit dramatic maybe but that's how it is for me.
I'd certainly be interested to see where Stickman finds himself after Bangkok. I'm sure I'm not alone there. Maybe you would like to have your life back to yourself after being under a spotlight for so long. Become a journalist maybe?
Anyways, whatever it is I'm sure it will all work out fine.
You're cutting a bit close to the bone for some here with comments that many Thai / Farang relationships are doomed to fail (I agree), many of the guys in these relationships are in a bad state (I agree), many go to Thailand because they are escaping a crappy existence in Farangland (I agree)…