The Psychology Of A Delusional Monger
I set out to write a decent readable piece for this lovely website now based down under in the great island state of New Zeeland (congrats, NZ, on being crowned rugby world champions). Nonetheless, since I don't have the talent of some of the top dogs on this site I will just ramble on and try and put in my two cents for you all.
After all, 'true ease in writing comes from art not chance as those move easiest who have learnt to dance' (A. Pope). And those great Hemingway-like pieces I come up when I am in a semi baked state of mind seem to fleece into three garbled paragraphs as soon as I sober up or sit down in front of that beast of a desktop of mine.
Well, what is mongering to me? I have been indulging with this activity ever since I was issued with a driving license at age 17 and driving to the spot where you could roll up to a lady of the night or day and discuss the particularities of a short date, a very short one, that does not involve leaving the car. Since then, times have changed and my venue for fun has shifted to a local parlor or even going to Thailand and hopefully I will get to sample some of what Germany has to offer sometime in the near future.
Nevertheless, mongering is to the monger what an exceptional sale at the Clinique counter is for our average female counterpart shopper back home. We enjoy the hunt, the variety, the price, and the experience. Truthfully, none of us will spend in the upwards of 200 to 300 USD on cosmetics but we certainly appreciate some R & R with a beauty that is willing to devote some of her youthful energy to us and spend some quality time with us. Or in my case, I prefer mature.
What got me going on this whole infatuation with Thailand is my cousin and his buddies who got me all riled up way back in the '80s when they crashed at my parents' living room on their way to the Far East. None of them, I suspect, are mongers. And I was barely a teenager at the time but the stories and the hype got my imagination going. Even at the young age of 12 or 13 I realized that the girlfriend experience is something that I can purchase almost hassle-free in another part of the world and this correspondent corresponded quite well with my own no nonsense understanding of male female relations, even as an impressionable pre-teen.
Yes I did visit Thailand in the '90s. Perhaps with that backpacker / monger dichotomy ever present in my own inner workings, I continued with that foolish mentality in the early 2000s on a visit to the kingdom and even today I tell myself that there are cultural things to do, discover, and explore in this magnificent country.
But who am I kidding? I am not really a monger, nor am I a backpacker. And back here in Farangland I suspect that someone like me who knows the ropes can get a pretty good experience when it comes to pay for play. I pay for play back home, I enjoy it for the most part, and thankfully I am getting older so this activity represents less of my disposable income going in the direction of the industry.
But it’s a zero sum game, my friends, cause I am now a frequent flyer en route to LOS on a regular basis visiting that special Thai beauty that got my heart and imagination resuscitated from a catatonic zombie-like state.
So what am I saying? Players will be players, hardcore mongers will be mongers (and perhaps Bangkok is suitable for them), and your average disillusioned western horn dog male will come to Thailand, dabble in the nightlife, enjoy an ounce or two of mongering, treat himself to great dining experiences on which he would not do back home due to the prohibitive costs (and I do mean Thai street food and higher forms of culinary delight). One can also be guaranteed to experience decent shopping at reasonable prices if one wishes to participate in such activities.
Some will also be able to sense an appreciation of cultural variation (for those open minded enough to juxtapose, ponder and appreciate Thai beauty and uniqueness) and derive further beauty and enjoyment from their travels in the LOS. Personally, when I see the Thai holidays and the sense of community and cohesion and the agrarian underlying theme that is so present in them I look back at how this relates and compares to my own country and traditions as they were 40 or 50 years ago but have become rather meaningless and commercialized to the extreme nowadays.
Before I sign out, and this is a hypothetical question: if any of you can tell me that 25 million tourists a year are wrong and there is a better experience out there in our technocratic, big brother-like Orwellian existence that beats Thailand then please share.
After all, escapism is a massive industry and there is more to life than being a Hollywood fan boy and devouring all that western corporate culture has to offer us for some mind candy and a hollowed out cultural experience.
In summation, be nice to the ladies (or dudes that look like ladies) if that is what rocks your boat, and try and share some of your own wisdom with fellow readers.
Aside from Stickman's marvelous and delightful column that is an invaluable source for wisdom, Thai culture and much more, I suspect that most of us know, as I do, that the vast wasteland of internet prose, non-fiction, short stories, blogs and the lot, pale in comparison to the gems that are pinned on this very site for your perusal and appreciation.