What If Never Ever?
This submission presents a dystopian future for farang tourism to Thailand.
At first, it might look discouraging for this website, stickmanbangkok.com.
But it doesn’t need to be that way.
At the end of this post, I’ll offer one idea to help this site thrive for some years ahead.
I hope that will encourage other positive ideas from other readers.
Here we go … hang on:
What if you could never, ever, get to Thailand again?
What would life be like without any Thailand visits to look forward to?
The lockdown, mask-wearing, social-distancing hysteria is, obviously now, a massive hoax.
It won’t end, not in the lifetime of anyone reading this.
It is a monster than can not be stopped.
And that means most who are reading this are never, ever, going to Thailand again.
There are two sides to this situation: outbound from your own country and incoming to Thailand.
Your own country will make it nearly impossible for you to leave, especially leave for a non-essential vacation to a non-essential place like Thailand.
If you are reading this you probably think that going to Thailand is essential to you life.
But the people who sign your medical clearance probably do not.
No medical clearance, no travel.
Even if you get medical clearance, it’s not really about your health anyway.
It is about your government restricting you from leaving its boundaries.
Even if you have the money and you have the time, all the little people like nurses, doctors, and passport apparachniks don’t want to allow you out of their gulag.
Every little “nit” they will “pick” to make it impossible for you to leave – just doing their job.
But you’ve earned a month’s vacation.
Four weeks of freedom, PAID freedom.
So – some way or other — let’s go!
Not so fast, my friend.
How are you going to get to Thailand?
Now, after half a year of hysteria, airlines are starting to go broke, starting to sell airplanes, and scrapping older planes that they can’t sell.
And airports are shutting down around their margins.
That trend is only going to get worse.
Even if your government suddenly has a change of course, and allows outbound travel, it will take years, probably several decades, for the air travel network to recover anything resembling its former capacity.
During that time, you are not flying.
Every other traveler has priority over your vacation in Thailand, white man!
And even if you somehow find a flight, once you land at an airport in Thailand, can you get in to the country?
Okay, somehow you got all your paperwork in order, somehow got a visa and a flight, and you’ve landed at an airport in Thailand.
Ah, now the fun begins, right?
A platoon of security guards is waiting outside the airplane door.
Wearing Hazmat suits, breathing masks, rubber gloves and boots.
They surround you and escort you to the medical inspection station.
Temperature taken, oral cavity swabs taken, a blood test.
Then you wait for test results.
What are the chances that everything turns out 100% okay?
Let’s assume YOU are 100% okay, but consider those tests.
Temperature-taking equipment: made in China.
Oral cavity test supplies: made in China.
Blood test equipment: made in China.
And the medical technicians who do all that testing: educated in Thai schools.
But everybody has some days where they get really lucky.
And this is your lucky day!
So, next you are escorted to baggage inspection.
For the past 22 hours, your suitcase/backpack has been traveling – separately from you – on baggage conveyers and ramp wagons in several countries and in the holds of several airplanes which have previously been flying all over the world.
What kind of nasty “bugs” did your baggage pick up along the way?
Spray disinfectant, you say?
No spray disinfectant can stop ALL viruses.
Some, sure, but not all.
And the job of the security guard and medical technicians is to stop ALL of it.
What are the chances your luggage will pass that inspection?
Well, this is your lucky day.
Your luggage is released and you go on to customs.
Let’s assume no problems there.
Ah, you’re free!!! In Thailand !!!
Not so fast.
Next comes quarantine.
As of now (November, 2020) quarantine is 14 days locked down in a single hotel room.
All meals delivered on a tray by an unseen worker who leaves the food on a little table in front of your room door, knocks, and then quickly scampers away down the hall.
Your only company is a flat screen TV and your computer.
And you’re paying for this.
Your only human contact is a medical technician who comes in every third day to take your temperature and do more throat swabs.
Wearing a full-body Hazmat suit, breathing mask, gloves, boots.
You don’t even know if it is a man or a woman inside.
After 14 days of that you’re ready for a real vacation.
Assuming you pass all the temperature checks and throat swabs.
But you’re a lucky man: you pass!
So, now, let’s celebrate with a cold beer, or two, or three.
At an open bar, right next to the beach, under the palm trees, with the sea breeze blowing through.
Ahhhh, yessss, worth fighting for.
Well the beach is there and the palm trees are there.
But the bars are gone, all gone.
Government demolished them – violation of rules for social distancing.
Gotta think: What is the next best thing?
Go to 7-Eleven, buy a few cold ones, and then go sit on the beach leaning back against one of those palm trees.
Except the 7-Eleven is closed, dark, boarded up with plywood over the windows.
Since the hysteria was proclaimed by governments all over the world, no customers go in to that 7-Eleven except a few remaining local people.
No business, not even mighty 7-Eleven, will keep a store open if no customers.
But you are a resourceful man.
You get another idea of how to celebrate.
You can go sit by the pool at your hotel, in a comfortable lounge chair, and have a few cold beers right there.
So let’s go.
But the glass doors from the hotel lobby to the pool area are locked with a heavy chain.
The sign says, “Pool Closed. Sorry, Ka.”
Looking past the sign, thru the glass doors, there’s no water in the pool.
Scattered around the pool deck all you see are dry palm leaves and a few empty plastic bags.
The lounge chairs are all stacked in a pile at the back.
Is anything left to enjoy around here?
Surely there must be a lady bar somewhere.
Go find it, bring a lady back to the hotel, and enjoy man’s most elemental pleasure.
Out the front door of the hotel, into the hot and humid air of a Thailand evening (don’t you love it?).
Walk along the main road, looking into each soi you pass, for any signs of life.
(Meaning; any signs of a bar.)
Ah, finally, a neon sign – a small one, but it is a real neon sign and it is turned on.
And there is some music.
Not high volume, but some.
And are those Thai ladies sitting out front of the bar???
Ah, yes, indeed.
Short skirts, bikini tops, long black hair.
(Let’s assume they are real, natural females.)
And as you walk closer you hear the call, “Weh-come Kaaaaa. Come-in-jus-one-drink.”
A cold Singha appears on the bar as you pull the bar stool closer.
A lady moves in on either side and lady drinks appear in front of each of them.
Ahhh, what more does a man need?
Life is good for an hour or so and a few more beers and a few more lady drinks.
Hell no, life is GREAT for that hour.
And then you remember your essential reason for coming here.
So you select one of the ladies and say “I pay bar you”.
She looks surprised and she looks confused.
“Where we go, Ka?” she asks.
“My hotel, the Dreamland Hotel on the beach,” you answer.
Errr,” she says, “I not think so, Ka.”
And she motions to an older Thai woman who has been seated in the back of the room.
Even before reaching your position at the bar, the Mama-san starts explaining,
“You no can take lady to hotel, Ka. Hotel not allow.”
Your reaction is very practical, “So where do we go, huh? Maybe her room?”
“Not allow, Ka. Security man not allow foreigner go in.”
“How about short time hotel?”
“Not can do, Ka. All short time hotel all close now. Gub-ber-mint say all must close.”
So, dear reader, are you enjoying your vacation yet?
But enough of this misery and torture;
I’ll hurry to wrap up this submission; on a positive note, actually.
Onward! But onward to where?
For those who have a history of contact with Thailand, this website has a special place in our memories, and (dare I say it?) in our hearts.
For a year before I ever set foot in Thailand, I read Stickman’s reports every week.
And spent many late nights reading his past reports and scanning thru thousands of readers’ submissions.
So even if the farang tourist business dies (as I expect it already has), I don’t want this web site to stop.
Is there anything that can be done about that?
Fortunately, I see a positive answer.
An easy and simple solution.
We, the loyal readers here, we can write more submissions to help our fellow farang to continue enjoying this site.
Tourists among us who visited Thailand in the past can write about the good old days – warm memories to share with fellow farang far away in cold countries.
They can write about experiences with the local women – and the problems that they solved or maybe couldn’t solve – as a way to recall other days, more fun days, in the past.
They can write about a memorable meal in that little town at the foot of Doi Inthanon mountain.
Or about their favourite hotel in Jomtien, or Hua-Hin, or Nakorn-Somewhere.
And then other tourists who may never, ever, come here again can read and remember and dream of days gone by.
(Maybe with a hint of tears in their eyes.)
Expats among us who are now living in Thailand can write about life here today.
What it’s like in the “new normal” Thailand?
What new problems do we face and how might we solve them?
What pleasures, if any, are still available and where do we find them?
A ton of submissions is waiting to be written — and waiting to be read — by men like us all over the world.
It doesn’t matter what you write about.
What matters is to write a submission to post here.
In recent months, as I saw this scenario developing, I’ve tried to encourage others to write submissions here – those readers who sent emails to me in reply to my own submissions.
“That would make a good submission,” I’d write. “Why not send it in to Stick?”
That resulted in three submissions that otherwise might not have appeared here.
But two of those were from one man, my brother Michael in Amphur Meuang.
He’d call me up complaining about this or that and wanting a sympathetic ear, and I’d tell him, “Write a submission. Send it to Stick. And you’ll get lots of sympathetic ears by email.”
So he did.
A small offer of help
Finally, I’ll make this offer: (If Mr. Stick thinks I am too bold, he can delete this final segment.)
If any reader has a story to tell but is not confident about writing, send an email to me.
Tell me what you have in mind.
Maybe I can offer a helping hand to make your story into a readable submission.
I won’t write it for you — must be your own words – but I’ll try to offer guidance and encouragement.