Even A Stopped Clock Is Right Twice A Day?
I enjoyed my holiday in Thailand in December. I hadn’t realised how much I needed a break with one thing and another. I met some great, well-grounded guys as well as the usual oddballs. Not surprisingly all the well balanced fellows I met were from the Stickman community. I saw some old friends and made some new ones. It surprised me how many fellows wanted to meet me as if I was some kind of celebrity which was quite bemusing. I was meeting more blokes than birds which could have been disturbing.
However, I did manage a Thai girlfriend experience with Gem in Bangkok and a truncated version with Jade in Pattaya, both delightful little chatterboxes. I also got a glimpse of the Issan visiting Udon Thani and Nong Khai and enjoyed a few days with my capricious ex-wife.
I previously mentioned I also met up with Stick himself on his way to bible class. I feared it would be a big hole in many people’s lives if the blessed Stick had stopped his Sunday column. It would have been the end of an era like when the old Schoochers forum finished. Nature abhors a vacuum and whilst it may have been interesting to see what filled that vacuum I welcome the news that a deal of some description has been done to ensure continuation of the site.
I arrived back in the UK the day before Christmas Eve having missed the dreaded run up to Christmas and all it entails. I had Christmas dinner with my aged mother, went out with my two sons on Boxing Day and Christmas was over…. enjoyed, done and dusted with no harm done.
The New Year loomed with no prospect of feminine comfort on the horizon. I can probably live with the celibacy as there is always the internet and my left handed mouse. I am not short of educated female conversation as I have a group of attractive, cultured and intelligent ladies I am close friends with. Unfortunately they are unavailable and the relationships are purely platonic but never a month goes by without at least one of them taking me for a drink or coming out for dinner with me. However, what I really miss are the simple intimacies, the touch of a hand or a gentle show of affection. What is sad is that I cannot ever see this happening with an English woman. I admit I have serious issues of self esteem and low expectation with that finicky species known as unattached English womanhood.
Even more disturbing, for ten years now Thailand has been my only source of feminine comfort. As I do not live in the kingdom my hope for the future has laid with finding a Thai woman domiciled in England. I must confess my track record in this quest also leaves much to be desired but live in hope. I do acknowledge this is an acute example of optimism over experience but a little delusion probably never hurt anyone.
On the subject of Thai ladies in the UK, I feel compelled to relate a recent episode. I apologise for it not being a particularly gripping tale or earth shattering in its consequence but it did perturb me for a few days.
A few days in to the New Year I popped my head in at my local Thai restaurant for my weekly fix of lemongrass and chillies. I have been friends with Anne the proprietor for a few years now principally because I introduced many of her regular customers to the establishment. She seemed pleased to see me and told me she had some news that her friend Nee would be back in the area the following week. She explained she had come to look after her cousin’s house whilst they were away on holiday. My interest was piqued. Nee is a Thai widow who has lived in the UK for 20 years. Although in her 50s, she is petite, slim and has taken care of her looks. She lived in the north of England until the demise of her British husband a few years ago then she moved to the Midlands at the behest of her cousin Su.
Su and her English husband were regular customers at Anne’s restaurant and they introduced me to Nee about four years ago. We became friends and I would take her out every week, sometimes to choir concerts, occasionally to karaoke but mainly for dinner. This continued for a month or so and she seemed to enjoy my company but I could not fail to notice she avoided all of my advances. She evaded my attempts at intimacy like holding her hand and refused the goodnight kiss when I dropped her off. By the second month I accepted she just did not fancy me and became reconciled that I had entered the dreaded friend zone.
Although a little disappointed I was not unduly concerned. I enjoyed being with her, she had a lively sense of fun, still cut a fine figure and was a pleasure to be with. In the absence of any alternative female companionship we continued our weekly assignations although I stopped pressing my attention. This continued for a few months until I went away to work in China. When I returned three months later her cousin informed me she had met a guy from Wolverhampton but was now living in Grimsby. From the delight Su took in telling me how much Nee fancied the chap from Wolverhampton compared to me I suspected Su did not care much for me. I filed the episode away in my ever expanding cabinet of unsuccessful experiences.
When Anne told me of Nee’s imminent arrival I quickly stated that it was clear Nee did not fancy me, explaining she would not even let me kiss her. I have found that Thai females have a completely different perspective on affairs of the heart. It may be unfair to employ the sobriquet mercenary but certainly pragmatic is applicable. In the past Anne told me she had always been reluctant to introduce Thai ladies of her acquaintance to me. She considered me a friend and stated she would not wish some of these predatory females on me.
Anne however always had a different outlook about Nee and explained, “I always thought you looked good together, Nee asked about you so why not see her again if only as friends?”
I decided to suspend my reticence about engaging in a fruitless exercise as it was only for two weeks and contacted Nee. She seemed pleased to hear from me and informed me she would be down within the next day or so. We made arrangements to meet the following Wednesday.
I collected her from her cousin’s house and we took dinner at Anne’s restaurant. We had a most agreeable evening catching up on our lives in the past three years. I told her of my time in China and my new career in teaching foundry technology and she filled me in of her own comings and goings. The guy from Wolverhampton turned out to be a waste of time and an offer of a job at a hotel in Grimsby gave her an excuse to escape. She told me she enjoyed her job and living in Grimsby and had a new boyfriend named Arthur. However she did not appear particularly enamoured of said Arthur. I joked that she was getting as fussy as an English woman. She laughed about the English women in the TV soap operas who invited men in for a “cup of tea” which had become a euphemism for sex. When I dropped her home my advances were once again rejected.
The next week I invited her to dinner with a group of my friends and their partners. It was a lively evening and Nee enjoyed herself joining in the spirited conversations. When I dropped her off I asked out of curiosity why she never asked me in for a “cup of tea” and why it was she had no amorous interest in me. Her reply “it is your own fault” left me completely bewildered especially as she refused to elaborate. I drove away adding her to the list of things I would never understand as long as I retained a hole in my annular orifice.
A couple of days later Nee phoned me informing me her cousin was returning from holiday the next day and on the following evening I had been invited to the 21st birthday of her cousins daughter. Although I was not particularly friendly with her cousin Su, the daughter was a delightful young Thai lady, hard working and sensible and we had enjoyed several intelligent conversations. I accepted the invitation without hesitation.
The party was held at a Polish restaurant which seemed an unusual choice for a group of mainly Thais until it was explained two of the party were of Polish descent. I had never eaten Polish cuisine before but was most impressed with the simple yet imaginative nature of the fare presented. The two waitresses were exceedingly pleasing to the eye with that severe Slavic beauty that conjures up images of espionage and erotic assignations in cold war Europe.
I was sat between Su and Nee but it was not until the coffee was served that Su deigned fit to speak to me and then it was some veiled rebuke about my treatment of Nee. I took issue with her “I have never been anything less than a gentleman, always polite and attentive. It is Nee who never showed any affection to me or gave me any indication she was interested in me”. “You play hard to get “Su countered“ to which Nee added “You always protect yourself too much”. For a moment I was speechless.
I have been rejected by British women for not being tall enough, being too old or just not being their type. I have been rejected by Thai ladies for not having enough money or for not wanting to support a small Issan province. A few years ago I could be accused of being too eager and sometimes giving off signs of desperation which is always unattractive to women. Being accused of playing hard to get was a new experience and I had no idea what it was I had done or hadn’t done. It was quite disturbing. I took a slug of the very palatable Polish beer and returned to mentally undressing the Slavic waitresses until it was time to depart.
The next day Nee returned to Grimsby, I phoned her and wished her well. I saw a couple of my English female friends later that week but they could not cast any light on attitudes of my Thai lady friends when I described the episode.
The following week I saw my Thai friend Anne and asked for her take on the matter. In true Thai fashion she would not give an opinion but did forward a complaint from Nee made some time ago that I hadn’t taken her to meet my mother or invited her to see my flat. I was no wiser but began to understand a little. My mother suffers with Alzheimer’s so I rarely introduce new people to her. I recall some time ago I had told my mother I wanted to introduce my friend Nee to her but caught her in an irrational mood and she exclaimed she didn’t want any foreign woman in her house. I was therefore reluctant to subject Nee to my mother in her difficult condition.
In the years since my Thai wife had left me I am ashamed to admit I had failed to maintain the pristine condition of my flat as she had kept it. I have been somewhat embarrassed to invite anyone to my flat. Although it may seem illogical to a western culture I suddenly realised a possible explanation why my unconscious actions had alienated Nee from committing her affection to me. After ten years of association with Thailand and Thai womanhood I accept I probably understand less about them now than I did when I started my journey.
A few weeks later there was a party at Anne’s restaurant. I could not attend as I was participating in the singing completion at the Old Mill in Wednesbury (otherwise known as “Wednesbury’s’ Got no talent”) and was making progress. By all account it was a good party with Thai women wall to wall which my pals took great pleasure in reporting.
On my next visit to Anne’s she showed me some photos of her party and amongst the several Thai women I told Anne I had identified two ladies I had dated in the past. There was Ao who fell out with me because I wouldn’t lend her the £1000 she wanted to buy a car. There was Netty who considered my income and status was not sufficient for her standing and my vehicle not good enough for her to be seen in. What was interesting was Anne stated that neither of these girls had found a partner and were still looking. She laughed and commented that I seemed to understand all about Thai ladies. I laughed and remarked how I wish that were true…..my God how I wish it were true.
I am certain I will now receive the customary (well intentioned) admonishment from my pal Cassanundra. He maintains I am completely wrong in my assertion that Thai women quickly adopt the worst attitudes of western women once they have been in the UK for a time. He cites several Thai women in his community who have adopted the western work ethic but have retained their Asian feminine charm. I certainly believe him but we inhabit different worlds. He is a handsome professional fellow (with a resemblance to Pierce Brosnan), has a charming family, a highly rewarding career and lives in one of the most beautiful and civilised areas of the country.
I am more Albert Steptoe than Pierce Brosnan and barely scrape a living in the rust belt of England known as the Black Country. Here the inhabitants are so taciturn and miserable they make the infamously dour denizens of south Yorkshire seem light hearted and frivolous. The area’s motto should be “Abandon hope all ye who enter here”. It is no wonder the Thai ladies who end up living here become equally disappointed and cranky.
However if I was slightly bemused by my dealings with Thai women my encounters with English women leave me totally mystified. In my next submission I will cover the bewildering subject of unattached English women and dating sites.
Watch this space.