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THIS BLOG HAS MOVED TO www.thethaifword.com
I’d like to devote a special, albeit short than my usual rant post, on this subject because I think that, at this point, referring to Thailand as “The Land of Smiles” is no longer constructive. My point is not that Thai people are mean or gloomy or anything, but the fact is that they are not as smily as other surrounding countries and this misnomer should be done away with as a thing of the past which no longer is. Off the bat I want to point out that smilyness for me is not a positive characteristic, I did not grow up with a mentality that smiling at people you don’t know, for no apparent reason, is something to strive for. In fact, when I am the target for such pointless smiling, I get suspicious and lift up my guard. That said, there are countries out there in which people are just extremely friendly to other humans which includes foreigners. These countries tend to be the same as the ones in which close bodily proximity is a matter of course, and in fact, it takes place constantly even among strangers.
But… Thailand is not one of those smily countries. Perhaps in the past it used to be. Probably during those long-past-good-old-days when foreigners were not omnipresent like now. But in 2015, nobody would dare argue that Thai people are not sick of foreigners, I get a reminder of that every time I happen to lock eyes with a random Thai person – I see the light go out of them as soon as they register that I am a foreigner. All this is not because I believe that Thai people are evil or anything, it is just my observation of rules of engagement with foreigners. Thai people are just like those in any other place, so please stop accusing them of being “friendly.” I personally have no reason to suspect them of being guilty of any such infirmity. In fact, I regularly get the below-the-belt-hand-wave which I generally interpret as “go about your business, foreigner, I have nothing to offer you.”
Frankly, I don’t blame Thai people for their “oh, you again” attitude toward foreigners. Just imagine that it was your home country which is being invaded by equal parts of sex deviants and bum-misfits, loosely sprinkled with self-important business people. I wouldn’t want them crawling about in my country either and I get sick of this imaginary flock just thinking about it. So, how about calling off this “Land of Smiles” bullshit, shall we???
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There is one breed of a foreigner in Thailand which I find in equal parts oximoronic and tasteless – the foreigner who is in Thailand to supposedly escape the materialist western world and embrace the simplicity and mindfulness of this one. Only, anybody who’s spent more than an hour in Thailand would notice that the society here is just as attuned to material pleasures and technology as the societies in the so-called developed countries. Granted, Thailand sports an ongoing theoretic narrative regarding the benefits of the inwardly looking existence, but in practice the modern Thai people are basically interchangeable in mentality with their western counterparts. Thank you globalization!
In any case, there are temples, there are monks, there is talk of spirituality all throughout Thailand, available to anyone who would care to take it on. And don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against this and I have experienced the psychological alignment which can result from meditation. Placing a spotlight on your thoughts, rather than just use them as a running commentary of whatever your eyes are communicating to your brain can be extremely enlightening. I have no quarrel with spirituality or the practice of it. I get it and I appreciate it. What I find a bit off color are foreigners who use meditation and Buddhist/Hindu concepts as tools to adorn themselves as a “real-deal spiritualist” which somehow entitles them to exhibit superiority over the “unenlightened” rest of us. Eye-rollingly, it is exactly this kind of attitude I have observed among the “spiritual” foreigners in Thailand.
Not to place myself in a column of foreigners who are the “right type” of spiritual. I do not delude myself to that extent. In fact, I realize that, as far as spirituality goes, I am probably on the non-spiritual spectrum because I tend to be skeptical of it. I would try almost anything, lest I should miss out on something, but spiritual practices I take with a large grain of pepper (which makes me sneeze and I giggle a lot). The first time I meditated, I happened to mentally solve a couple of dilemmas I had at the time which sold me on meditation off the bat – I am a sucker of instant gratification and for tangible result. I don’t walk away with solutions to my problems after every meditation, but like a desperate junkie on an endless quest for that first high, I keep trying and sometimes my brain does outperform itself during meditation. Now, if you are one of those spiritual snobs to whom I am devoting this post, you will say that I am doing meditation wrongly or for the wrong purposes. Even so, if it helps me achieve something I value, why do you feel the need to pass judgment on my style of spirituality. More importantly, what kind of a spiritualist is so interested in qualifying other people’s spirituality? Doesn’t that suggest you are the opposite of spiritual?
And I would define the opposite of “spiritual” not as “materialist”, but rather for me it would be closer to an insufferable extrovert. A person whose environment occupies all of his waking time and there is no time or opportunity to explore what lays within. Some people do it out of habit and smart phone addiction, others choose to do so out of fear of what darkness may reveal itself if they should look too closely at themselves. In either case though, I find that people who define themselves through spirituality in a religious manner and have made vanity out of it are not truly spiritual. For me a spiritual person can take in their environment in a graceful and tolerant fashion, preserving their composure and cool at all times and finding within themselves the nobility to accept variations. Instead, many a “spiritual” foreigner in Thailand is squandering their time either highlighting how proficient they are in meditation and Buddhism/Hinduism or how misled or clueless their peers are. Classic vanity and social climbing behavior. I’d file that under “lame.”
I want to make one side point here. Is a side effect of spiritual enlightenment that your sense of humor gets flushed together with the endarkened aspects of your character? I ask because the most intense of those spiritualists take themselves so seriously that they make me laugh. It is quite comical for me that they managed to shed one self-important shell only to immediately replace it with another. I laugh full-heartedly at that and confess that I am guilty of doing so during meditation sessions. I even had one of them loop laughs where you try so hard to hold it in that it intensifies the longer you do. I had to take out my phone, which was off, and stare at it as if it caused me to laugh to simulate a plausible alternative explanation to my behavior. All that effort made me cry a bit and my face turned ripe tomato color; altogether high quality entertainment value.
Ironically, I thought this whole post up during a recent meditation session. This is exactly what I want from my spirituality – either help me make poignant, yet offensive, observations of my surroundings or, why not shoot for the stars, solve my real-life problems.
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I never did any meaningful drugs so the highest ecstasy known to me is being in love. If you’ve experienced it too little or too much you may get addicted to it fiercely. I am not sure which of the two categories I fall under, but I think I have slid into a love addition which I am not sure how to cure other than to feed it more romance. Most of my adult life so far I had spent with one person but ever since that came to an end, I’ve had to get back to hacking my way into the labyrinth of romance. It has been a bloodbath so far, maybe because I had the misfortune of being raised on traditional only to have them debunked and destroyed by the new liberated global society. But it is not that which has proved to be the biggest obstacle to rebuilding my love life. It’s that I don’t know who I want and I am not able to state with confidence to myself what I feel.
When did I become so complicated as to not even be able to understand my own feelings? If you asked me now whether I am currently in love, I will not be able to answer unequivocally or sincerely. It probably means I am not in love because the feeling of being in love is so overpowering that there is no way to not know it, right? Am I then stuck in some limbo between love and indifference? Or did my long-term relationship flatten out or trivialize the wild and uncontrollable feeling of love I used to experience before it? That would be the saddest thing ever, but I suspect it is not what is happending to me. The problem is probably that nobody I’ve met has rang my bell loud enough to create the reverberations within me which I remember as being in love.
What I am after is what every career druggie is after – the highest high I have experienced while in love. Unlike the drug addicts though, the love high is usually not your very first hit. Indeed, if you really machete at are patient with it, it will probably come after a few mediocre tries. When it does though, it comes down hard! Your soul gets all mushy and the world around you is soft and inviting and then you feel invincible like a naughty child and all the ugly things in life evaporate. You wonder how you ever could have been sad or cried in a world that can offer a pleasure like this. And not an inward looking pleasure, one that another human being’s presence, smile, hands, touch, grace emanates on you. How not get addicted to this? To me it is the embodiment of paradise on earth and if a place of unimaginable pleasure and serenity does exist for our soul to linger in, then I would hope it is half as magic as the feeling of being in love. If you have never been, then get up now and get yourself in love. No amount of money or fame will deliver you more glorious moments than falling in love.
To be clear, I am not talking about loving someone because anyone who has been in a long-term relationship will tell you that being in love and loving are two very different feelings. I explain those to myself as this – our biology, chemistry and whatever else in engaged in the coupling process that is a part of us is responsible for luring us into falling in love with someone. It is something inexplicable and subconscious which our subconscious arranges without bothering to consult us. When the fumes and thunder of all of that is gone and the dispensing of the fog de-paralyzes our brains, then we rub our eyes energetically and take a really good close look of the object of our infatuation and rationally decide to greenlight the process of loving or breaking up. In other words, for me it is as simple as rational versus irrational behavior and being slave to our biological programming versus making sensible household decisions for ourselves.
Actually, my first brush up with love after my long-term relationship was the weirdest thing that ever happened to me and got me thinking about love and what I can to take control over my own feelings. Sadly, nothing I have realized so far suggests that the foregoing is possible. As all things of art and beauty, love is not to be quantified, rationalized and forced. If you manage to do it then it is not love. When the right ingredients exist, and they only do when there are equal helpings of chemistry and self-delusion, it happens and there is nothing you can do to stop or to accelerate it. It makes its own inertia and takes a life of its own which no amount of self-control or erudition will save you from. And the more you fight it, the deeper you get in, much like being in quicksand storm – best course of action is to submit to it and hope that reason will settle before you are destroyed.
When I first realized I was emotionally available and gave myself permission to look at other boys, I made a very peculiar choice of a guy to focus my attentions on. Not peculiar from the perspective of standard criteria for choosing a partner, but peculiar by my own subjective standards. Prior to realizing or admitting to myself that I was attracted to this guy, I had spent an unhealthy amount of time thinking to myself how repulsive he is. That’s right, repulsive. I actually used that word mentally to refer to many arts of his body and his behavior which should ideally disqualify him from eligibility not only objectively but also subjectively. However, I found myself doing and saying the weirdest things around him. I was using my sweetest voice, being extremely attentive, entertaining his ridiculous adolescent and beyond the pale behavior. It was like I was having an out of body experience, where my human interaction body parts would play a trick on my consciousness and brain by acting exactly the opposite of what my mental parts tell them to do. At first I wasn’t worries because I thought it is merely curiosity about the guy – how can he be that horrid?! I even thought that he is so grotesque that I maybe want to make him my friend. It is difficult to divine the actions of other people, but it is a tragedy when we cannot divine or are mistaken about our own behavior. Especially since nothing quite like this has ever happened to me before and I do not remember anyone relaying such a story to me. Maybe I was experiencing temporary insanity.
Till today I am clueless as to why this took place and have to idea how to to stop it from repeating. To briefly recount how that situation unfolded – my utter infatuation somehow dragged this guy into his own infatuation with me, only by the time he was going through his, I had already come to my senses and managed to put a timely to this madness. Unfortunately that did break his heart of which I am not proud and I have tried many times to go over this in a way that I would empower myself to prevent it from happening again. What basically happened was that when the wake up state followed that of initial animal infatuation, my head, just like it had all along, rejected the guy as someone who can make me happy. In fact, he is the diagonal opposite of what I admire in men, with some minor exceptions, so I snapped out of it rather suddenly. And I am grateful for that for as much as it is sad that he had to have his heart broken, it would be even sadder if we had to live in the limbo we would create for each other in togetherness.
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After you have endured all of my ceaseless complaints about the low quality of foreigners in Thailand, I give you The Perfect Gentleman! Of all places I have lived in and visited, it had to be in Thailand that I meet a creature like that. And I say creature not because I want to put him down or to brush aside the value of being, as I describe him, a gentleman. On the contrary, it is because I want to emphasize how unique and outstanding his character is. Pity that us women are engineered to sneer at the gentlemen and go off with the brutes to be reviled, insulted and brutalized. I have often pondered upon this predisposition of the female nature. That is not to say that there aren’t plenty of women out there who are rationally choosing decent, proper, and mild-mannered partners… In fact I know of a few who think and act in this sensible way. But I would say that the bulk of us are going for the bad boys. Who knows, maybe nature itself does not want to dilute its high quality genes by mixing them with up the sub-standard ones and this is why it makes the lesser women be attracted to the lesser men. I realize that by saying this, I pin myself up in the column of the lesser women. If that explains this frailness of mine to always senselessly go after the wrong men, then so be it. This gives me satisfaction of arriving at a plausible explanation, even when it paint me an idiot.
At any rate, let me get back to describing The Perfect Gentleman here. Off the bat, I will level with you and have you know that in the mind of the Perfect Gentleman, I am probably his girlfriend. That probability exists, despite the fact that we have never had any physicality, including, now that I think of it, unwilling touching of our hands. How is that for a platonic relationship? Or did I, at one point, shake his hand?! Not sure. But the point is that, in this day in age, unless you’re having sex and have had the exclusivity conversation, you are not in a romantic relationship of any kind or consequence. Well, my friends, this creature does not live in this day in age, and in fact, like a fossil preserved by being deeply seeded in an iceberg for hundreds of years, unscathed by whatever cataclysms were taking place out in the open, he too is completely unaffected and almost oblivious to modern rules of engagement.
This I find quite perplexing and somewhat charming and I have to admit that I have persevered this, imaginary for me, and possibly real for him “relationship” thus far mostly because I am endlessly curious to find out what makes him tick and what unusual circumstances in his life have rendered him to be this way. I know that it is a bit selfish on my part to carry on like this, knowing full well that I have no romantic feelings or aspirations towards him and to passively acquiesce to whatever such feelings he is harboring. However, when I ran the cost-benefit analysis on this, I arrived at the conclusion that it is symbiotic and we’d both come out of it victors, so it is in advantageous to prolong this to its logical dead-end. Here is how I see my cost-benefit of this squares. First, if he is to fake-date someone, and he would be doing that inevitably in this dating battle-zone that Bangkok is, it would better be me. Let me unpack this before you burn me at the stake for being insufferably conceited. I am many things, but I am not pressed for money, I am not desperate to meet men, and I try very hard to be a decent person when it comes to my dealings with others. Now, who do you think is he most likely to fall prey to in his state of total pop-livion? My best guess – the Thai version of Spider Woman who’ll inject him with her charm venom, placing him in the center of her universe and disintegrating his insides and savings in the process, and when that’s all done, sucking all contents out when they are nice and liquid. I believe this outcome is far worse than realizing sometime down the line that I am no romantic prospect for him.
So I think that while he is delusional about dating me, he will be safe from such an unfortunate development. Now on my end, as I said, I am curious of people’s peculiarities. The temple variety of a foreigner here I have already met and conversed with ad nauseam. I get sleepy just thinking about the default foreigner in Bangkok – they are either here to spend less money on women and their survival, or to chase after some misguided desire for spirituality, or sent over here for work and therefore existing in the exact same manner they would if they were living wherever they came from. Therefore, when I meet someone who strays from the norm, I ring high alert and mope up whatever information I can about this specimen. Dub me a modern day Darwinian of human deviations. So when I met this guy, I was trying to figure out how to position myself to both avoid being a douche bag and get to know this very curious character. Then I realized that I could be “dating” him for years before it would become appropriate for him to dare touch me, so voila!
I won’t lie to you, being treated like a royalty, but without the alienation, is amazing. I hope every woman experiences this, one way or another in her life. It is completely unattractive sex-wise but it feels fantastic on a human level. So, this is also a perk on this experiment I am conducting. Receiving flowers, getting the chair tucked in when at a restaurant, alleviating any physical labor which I might be called upon to endure, such as opening a door or carrying a bag… It is glorious! And before the feminists profess their disgust with such conduct that sets women apart from men in such a condescending manner, I will point out that in no other way does this man display misogyny toward me. He happens to be from the old continent, where women’s emancipation has achieved its farthest strides, so most men hardly even remember a time when the woman was the house servant and a punch bag, while the guy was dubbed the most valuable member of the family. Long gone are those days, which is part of the reason European men would be the sensible choice for me and, apropos, it would be a great advantage to be one for those interested in dating me 😉 What I am trying to say this whole paragraph is that, while the mannerisms are old school and aristocratic, the conversation is not by any means. In other words, the 18th century manifests itself in him at exactly the right spots.
After all this, probably many ladies would want to have this guy’s address and Line ID, and I would not blame you. I too would have liked nothing more than to be an advanced enough creature myself for this kind of gallantry to get my juices flowing. Alas, it does not, and I am cursed into throwing myself in the gutter where I would be reviled and denigrated by a lesser specimen. Of course, a human being does not begin or end with the airs that he puts on, nor with the mannerisms he displays. There are many phony gentlemen out there whose table behavior is impeccable, but when it comes to the morning after, their gentility would take you only as far as getting a paid-for cab ride home. I am not reminiscing here after this kind of a gentlemen, where mannerisms serve only as a facade to pray on a the silly girls’ fondness of fairy tale romances and then dispose of them like the pumpkins they turn into for the guy on the next morning. I am just saying that a sincere and somewhat innate gallantry is very welcome and usually lacking, so I will do my best to do right by this guy because we cannot afford to lose more members of this endangered species.
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In my previous post, I laid my bear soul out to describe to you the predicament I am in at the moment – directing all of my sexual energy thousands of miles away while snubbing every local male prospect that comes my way. Which brings me to my first person of disinterest whom I have brushed aside in Thailand: Mr. Charming But American.
Met this Mr. Charming But American in Chatuchak market and, before you sound the “pickup scene” horns about JJ market I’ll point out that I go there a lot – an awful lot in fact. It is by far my favorite way to squander a Sunday and there is also lots of wearable rags there which cannot be found elsewhere and you can also get the pleasurable benefit of rubbing shoulders, knees, and if you’re not careful – some more sensitive parts of your body – with half the tourist contingent of Bangkok. If that doesn’t sell you on the place then you can go on thinking it’s a pickup scene. So on one of those wonderful Sundays when I once again found myself, creatively going back to register presence on the market, I met the guy in question – Mr. Charming, But American. I was there with a friend of mine and we decided to go to the only bar in the place, which also happens to be a greasy paella place and also dubs as a some sort of a DJ joint. In other words, this place is shamelessly catering to farang and it’s a catch-all for tourists.
Just like many other places which try to spread themselves thin and offer many lowest-common-denominator tourist attractions – this one promises the stars but delivers those sticker glow-in-the-dark that you had before you were old enough to know about kitsch. So yeah, this place promisingly looks like a music and drinks joint, but in the end amounts to a boring repetitive beat which any well functioning mind will block out within the first minute or so, and a very crowded seating area with not a single chair with 4 good legs. What perplexes me more than the indubitable popularity of the place is that it is truly the only bar in the whole market. It’s mind-bending that you can see like 10 vendors pushing the same shirts across from each other but there is only one bar which is about to burst at the seams despite its obvious shortcomings… If anybody with some uncommitted loose pocket change is reading this – for the love of booze! give those thirst-quenched farang another flippin’ bar at that market!!!
Ok, the scene has been exhaustively set for the entrance of Mr. Charming, But American. Actually I have to admit that the way we met was kind of cool. So, my friend and I had spotted a high stakes vacant table in the jungle of bodies that was this sardine-sweatshop of a bar. Naturally we swiftly moved right toward that “blue moon” before another misguided farang beats us to it. However, our timing was slightly off because, unbeknownst to us, we had a challenger who was going around the long way to the table. He materialized at the table right as we were slowing down our pace thinking our conquest of that table was in the bag. He claimed the place first, so according to civilized social norms, to which I stubbornly subscribe, he had was the victor of that seat. This may have turned ugly, if there wasn’t a hardly visible tiny table with two chairs, which was standing vacant with quiet intensity in close proximity to the newly conquered one. That pretty much resolved the stand-off and did away with a potentially awkward moment. Although, to be honest, and at at the risk of deflating the tense literary moment I just built up, in a social setting I’ll go far out of my way to appear benevolent, gracious and noble. So, in all frankness, I would have charitably and without putting forward any hostility, I would have relinquished the table. seeing that this guy was plagued by the same need to present himself as a gracious man, he immediately started offering the table he had just claimed, through his excellent strategic cunning and timing, to us.
We, however, equally determined to raise the benevolence stakes on him, insisted on taking the smaller table even though it offered less opportunity to gawk at the passers by. And so we settled on our respective tables. Now, having been in Thailand for half a year at the time, I already knew the drill. Whether it is male farang who lives in Thailand or one who’s there temporarily, I don’t register in their radar. I’m a random fruit on a vegetable market, a comb in a boldness clinic, a bicycle in Hells Angels bar… in other words, invisible and altogether irrelevant to the Thai dating scene. As a result, it is very rare that anyone, not just farang males but anyone – foreigner or not, male or not, would acknowledge my presence, let alone hit on me. And I’m already primed for that and do not expect it, do not seek it, and get shocked anytime this expectation is is not met. On this occasion, this guy decided to firmly stray from the norm and not only chatted me up aggressively but flirted with me. Nice treat for a cast-out farang woman like me. So yeah, me and him hit it off right away. Tragically, this guy’s physicality did not speak to mine at all. Indeed, while our brains connected, I felt zilch physical attraction to him.
That didn’t stop me from flirting fiendishly with him, thus clearly and unnecessarily sending the wrong messages. But who cares, I was like a strict Muslim at dusk on the first day of Ramadan. No prospect of social or human impropriety was going to stand in the way of my gulping down that male attention, so critical to maintaining my ego nice and inflated. So I carried on with that overt flirtation for a couple of hours shoving a thick dose of my unfiltered charm down that guy’s throat every time he turned to me to say anything. Naturally, and as I skillfully primed him up for, he made a point to see each other again later that night as we were getting up to leave that bar, which by by that would make a bee hive seem like a temple, I said, and meant it, that we would try and meet up with them later. There were a bunch of guys in Mr. Charming, But American’s group, some of whom, I would scandalize you by saying, were kind of fuckable. So actually I was setting my ambitions more in the direction of those unsuspecting sheep rather than the nice guy who showered me with attention. This is how ungrateful and dumb I am.
And I am inclined to venture a guess that I am not unique in this incongruous behavior. Somehow, women are programmed to snub the nice guy who adores them and eats up their nonsense like it is fleshly backed bread, and go instead for misfits and dimwits who ignore them and treat them like a toothless person would treat bread crust. So yeah, instead of counting my blessings that someone is actually super excited to meet and get to know me in Thailand, I go off and start lusting after the guy’s friends which is brutal and wrong on some many levels. And that my friends is not lost on me. But matters of the heart, like matters of the digestive system, cannot be wished away. So my plan was for us to meet with them later in the night, harboring the plan that someone in the group, whom I found attractive, would hit on me after throwing back a few drinks. Since I just had to admit to a deeply personal mental calculation of mine, I will tell you something else about me which I hope will bring be a notch back up in your esteem.
While I did quickly lay out a plan to go for someone in that group, other than the obvious guy I had just connected with, there is one line I don’t cross and that is more of a subconscious choice, almost a knee jerk for me. That line is unavailable men. The math of the subject matter that gets calculated when I run into a guy who is in any kind of a romantic relationship comes out always at 0 for me, no matter how the cards fall. Those unavailable men who are strongly willed enough (or let’s be honest, who don’t find me attractive and thus do not hit on me) to be totally sterile in their dealings with me, I respect immensely, regardless of the reason of their behavior towards me, I have respect for that kind of restraint. As to those men who pursue me despite the fact that they are spoken for, those guys I despise and have no spare good feeling for. I can confidently say so as I have had a couple of opportunities to become the side dish to a marriage or relationship, one of which was recently.
Both times, I am happy to proudly report, I disposed of the people in the most expedient and decisive manner. While I’d like to say that my behavior was attributable to an irreproachable character, it was more the physical repulsion I started experiencing after those people made a move toward me. And in both cases I had been kind of attracted to the person, in fact I think I was a bit infatuated with one of them prior to the move in question. I don’t know if it is my intrinsic moral norms that cause the inversion of feelings or some other weirdness about me, but this is where I consistently stand when it comes to weak willed “lovers”. What’s most likely is that they get exposed in my mind as infidels, people who are ready to betray their partners in pursuit of some fleeting pleasure. Weak willed losers. I have no time or emotion to spare on that lot. Let them exhibit their low quality characters on someone else’s time, mine is too precious and I’d rather waste it walking around aimlessly gawking at the same $3 t-Shirt stands in JJ market, than waste it on those shitbirds.
In this respect, I must have had some sudden and rare burst of good sense that night, because I decided against meeting up with that group again. I remember doing some thinking on it which I have to admit I seldomly resort to – I thought through the possible outcomes of that evening and all of them came back short. One was that I’d get drunk enough to hook up with the Charming, But American guy. This clearly was his plan, but as it was definitely not mine, it behooved me to take steps to avoid that development. Another one was to hook up with one of other mopes, whom I do find attractive. That too was sub-optimal because it would be a master dick move on both my part on on the part of that guy. One because I strung along the Charming, But American guy to infiltrate the group and poach a different game from that herd. The other, because the friend would have screwed his buddy, which I know is one of the worst offenses in the “guy friendship” system. In other words, there was no favorable outcome of me meeting up with that group. So, having taken the time to reason all that shit out, it was clear it would be a fool’s errand to continue with the original plan. I made my excuses later in the night when Mr. Charming, But American contacted me to devise a plan of action and indeed did not meet him again.
By now you are probably thinking “why is that rambling idiot including Mr. Charming, But American in the line-up of guys she’s had the misguided idea to carry on relations with in Thailand?! After all, she saw the guy one time in her life and nothing happened.” And my friends you’d be right in this very isolated and infrequent circumstance. But… the twist of that story is that I kept in touch with Mr. Charming, But American even after he went back to his respective country of residence. You’d say it’s a totally futile exercise to have done this and a sheer waste of time, effort and precious phone data. Here lightning would have to strike twice because again you are probably right. But if you would be so good as to revert your attention to the state of dating desperation I find myself in, you’d understand a little better my choices. I’m not saying they are sensible or a good idea or address my predicament in any way, I’m just saying they are somewhat explicable. And in my defense, I have been very clear that I am not going to be romantically involved with him, as my heart beats for the Sexy Kid only.
As a last note, I will go over why I decided to refer to this romantic prospect as the Charming, But American guy. I have nothing against American men actually, but I just don’t mix well with them. Might be a mentality thing or something else, I have no idea. I just know that if I have to choose, I’d choose another nationality. That is not to say that I am categorically excluding a whole nation from the dating Rolodex. Not one bit! Let just say that it is not an advantage in my book to be American but it is an obstacle that can be overcome by making up for this shortcoming with an engaging character and banging looks.
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This is the fourth and final installment of the Status Quo section, although of course I will add updates to the status quo in the future, I will try to do so within the framework of these four posts. If you have read the previous posts – and if you have any sense, you would do so before you read this one – you will know that at the moment I am clinging to an admittedly flimsy long-distance relationship which I have described in broad strokes in my other posts and would like to now describe in detail here. As I have said before, the object of my interest is a very eccentric character who, while very physically attractive, has the tendency to get obsessed with gadgets and various hobbies.
Enter The Sexy Kid.
Ok, I know what all of you ladies out there are thinking – a sexy kid would be an almost perfect combo of the innocent guy, who will perhaps be too busy exploring the wonders of the world around him to be exploring the shamelessly available females in Thailand, and the human embodiment of the statue of David (with updated private parts to represent what is deemed above average today). I do agree with that to a point, which is partially why I have chosen to elongate this relationship past its logical end. And the sexy part of the guy is not to be scuffed at either because – as any single lady in her thirties will confirm – most men appear to give up on maintaining looks when they hit 29, so a fit, well-groomed one is quite the gem. Indeed, if you happen to meet one, the first thing you should do is to immediately start figuring out what’s wrong with him because they just don’t organically occur in nature these days… And who would actually blame grown men for giving up on their own looks… if a good looking chick is readily obtainable by any man, including those sporting a hardened red skin and a hanging belly with stretch marks, then you’d be running a fool’s errand expending any effort on looks as a mature guy. You can confirm this unfortunate and unfair state of affairs any day in any part of the world. It is standard to see couples where the guy can, at best, be cast as Romeo for the radio adaptation of the play, while the girl is a total knockout. This human mating paradox is exacerbated in Thailand to the max – there is no limit to the amplitude in looks between the guy and girl in a couple. Or to the age difference for that matter. Hell – bring on the nachos and free-flowing beer!
Now, for the down side of the Sexy Kid. Kids are fun (on rare occasions and in controlled environments) but they like toys. Unfortunately, gadgets are what grown up kids are into as well (apropos, I have no problem being this guy’s “toy”! That’s right ladies, I have tested him and he’s no kid in the sack and neither does he bring toy-size instrumentality. But I am in the complaints paragraph here, so let me focus). Like any self-respecting kid, this one loves his toys and at any given moment juggles a number of them to occupy his free time. You know what the difference between a young kid and a grown up one turns out to be? The young kid generally and eventually gets tired of each toy that is tossed his way. Well, a grown up kid gets obsessed with a few toys and holds on to them like a pit bull’s jaw would hold on to a sucker’s neck. Right, so this is the issue, you see, my guy is obsessed with quite a few toys and his obsession is incurable, runs deep, and has carried over through every relationship he has had. I will not describe the obsessions because they are so eclectic that his identity may be revealed which is not my goal by any means. Sorry to disappoint those of you who went as far as here thinking this is would be passive reading… you’ll need to use your imagination at times to fill in some gaps. In either case, I believe that at this point even the dim-witted of you have surmised the down side of carrying on with the Sexy Kid. And that, mind you, is the top dog of my suitor pack, so prepare, as it’s all downhill from here…
Maybe you are thinking at this point “Why is that fool carrying on with this guy who is obsessed with so many things, neither of which is her.” Good and valid point. But you haven’t seen this guy’s body (and I am not usually one to get too hung up on superficial stuff like that, but what the hell!!!). Yeah, all of these hobby obsessions are doing wonders. I’m weird in that, if a guy blasts the gym all day to get a tight bod, I’d snub him like a monk snubs a farang at the temple. But a naturally occurring “whip” of a body is something else… this is graceful and delicious. I would liken this elusive differentiation to the difference between a surgery-beauty and a natural beauty. But it’s not even so much about “natural vs. artificial” for me, it’s more like “deliberate vs. effortless.” Of course, there is an effort involved in the shaping of the Sexy Kid’s body but not for the purposes of being attractive or shapely – it’s so that he gets better at those obsessions of his. There is something utterly irresistible in that… simply yummy! So there, it is lust after all that marks my downfall. And for the vain men out there. Before you count your blessings, because it is so much easier to pack some muscle than to live up to female beauty standards, I have a downer for you. There is nothing sexier than a man who, while not vain, is handsome anyway, and nothing more repulsive than a vain man, who ends up muscled but red faced with the same unsightly bulging veins running through his face as through his biceps. Think on that will you?! And since men are thoroughly clueless about what gets women’s juices flowing, more often than not, the fools floating around the gyms with self-righteous expressions, like they’re weaving the holy grail in there, to be of the second type, while the first type is as rare as a farang girl / Thai guy couple.
Back to our regularly scheduled programming. So the effortlessness of his looks, his gadget addictions and his utter innocence, completes his persona as a grown kid. I did not smart-up to the nature of his character at a first glance. Indeed it took me awhile to figure that out because I’m ingenuously perceptive as to inconsequential minutia which has nothing to do with me, but when it comes to things which have a direct impact on my life, I am a well-rounded imbecile. At the beginning I was completely blind to the kid aspect of his character because I adjudged his looks to signal a stereotypical playboy. But, while I might not be the best at assessing the merits of a parson’s character quickly, I am good at picking out peculiarity in people. And, in fact, I am so attracted to people’s eccentricities, that I would liken my reaction to them to a vulture gunning full speed down toward a corpse. So, I spread my wings as soon as I picked up on the innocence aspect of this guy, because it completely threw me off the garden variety playboy scent I had picked up before. In my defense, I had this initial confusion because innocence fit quite incongruously with his very manly features and deep voice (so divine he is!).
So when I wised up to his charming oxymoron of a personality - innocence coupled with a manly physicality – I naturally had to devise a plan on how to “work him” to get me some of that delightful combo. I have to tell you people, if there were awards given out for the worst actor/actress, I’d be quite the fierce contender for the title. I have achieved self-knowledge enough to know and to state this with confidence – I’m bad at acting and bad at lying. Period. However, somehow that dimension of my persona inverts when it comes to manipulation. And devising evasive maneuvers is at the heart of this art, so it is of utmost importance to be able to mask what you’re thinking and act out the best teatro you can, in order to elicit the desired impression or reaction from the subject of your manipulation. That talent of mine might be entirely attributable to my gender because, as I said, my genes are not conducive to evasive maneuvering. But thats beside the point. The point is I get ingenuously clever at manipulation when I decide to “charm” someone. The magic spells start flowing towards suffocating the target into submission. And so that was my goal the very first time I spoke with “ma main man” here.
The plan was to act innocent myself as I can tell that showing off my sarcastic and very much cynical nature would send the guy packing immediately. I reasoned therefore that a “subdued sparring partner” of a dynamic would be the smarter move, at least until I get comfortable with the unsuspecting subject. During our first conversation I thought he kind of likes me but he was a bit hard to read. Soon that initial impression of mine was clouded when a rude bitch came in on my game and started talking to him. I was a bit thrown off because I thought I had already sedated him with my charms, but out of cluelessness, or who the hell knows what, he seemed to redirect his full attention to that nosy biatch. I attribute this development to the fact that this guy is a bit single-minded and addresses matters in life as they come, failing to assess the full picture of the situation and prioritize instead. You see, unlike the deliberate cunning cunt that I am, this guy had no agenda whatsoever. Which once again blows my mind because, as it turns out, he was attracted to me as well. But what he managed to communicate to me during this first interaction was that I had misread him and he’s actually not interested, or that he’s interested in every girl that walks his way and he likes to spread his attentions around machine-gun style. And I will have you know that the share price of a woman in Thailand is so low that most men, farang or not, never limit themselves with just one, but treat the female population like a prix fixe breakfast buffet. Arriving at that conclusion, and falsely adjudging him for a player, I automatically disqualified him as a prospect and I walked off the conversation altogether and didn’t give it a second thought.
Some other stuff happened than night, which I will quickly go over so you have the backdrop of how we ended up together. Before and after my conversation with the Sexy Kid, I was working on fending off a suitor, this one was of the “thick-red-skin and hanging-belly” variety. I refuse to be as desperate as to go for this kind of a man even in Thailand. To be perfectly honest with you, I entertained the idea of giving that guy a chance for an alcohol-induced second. Thankfully, I snapped out of it within that second, having suffered just a few lip-pecking kisses from that guy. For some reason, a lot of men, usually those which fall outside the biological perfection for which evolution has primed females to strive, have a really hard time with rejections. Despite regularly being subjected to rejections they somehow never learn to take it gracefully.
And let me tell you something about me, which you may not have picked up by now, possibly due to what a bitch I sound like. I’m nice. In fact I’m too nice. So despite the fact that I have to deliver those rejections on a regular basis, I too am very uncomfortable with them and actually quite bad at it. In fact, romantic rejections are best accomplished with a sharpened knife and a swift, precise, and unflinching movement, while what I end up doing is a back and forth motion with a butter knife which results in a bloody, unnecessarily prolonged and painful mess. That was the way I was handling this rejection as well. Instead of telling the miserable mope that “See here, I’m not attracted to you and despite of your swiftly-delivered lip pecks, I’m not sold on this whole ‘red face’ thing.” But instead of this brutal but clear message, I engaged in some crazy tirade about long distance relationships and how I am philosophically opposed to them. This complex theory I had to think up on the spot and then explain for hours, eventually convincing even myself of its veracity and unwavering logic, despite of which, the guy was not getting the subliminal message that I actually am repulsed by him. To my dismay, his reaction in response to what I said was to hold my hand. I am nice as I said, but the path to this guy’s hell was swiftly being paved by my good intentions. Once again, I reasoned that maybe he needs some time for the rejection to sink in. My silly behavior was a weird blend of misguided niceness and conceit that knows no boundaries. Un-fucking-believable how conceited I can be. So, this poor mope followed me around all night bringing the subject back up and trying to argue with me about why this relationship could work despite my carefully thought through and long-winded reservations. In retrospect, he was probably so shocked by the far-fetched reasons I presented to him and surprised that he didn’t get the usual ”you make me sick” style rejection, that he thought he might talk his way into turning this one around. Actually behavior was much more logical than mine…
There, another guy fell prey to my niceness and after that episode I swore I’m never again going to allow niceness to get in the way of a clean rejection. So after this charade, instead of calling it a night, I went on to interact with another drunken character. Of course I laid out the events of the night before her just like I am doing so now before you. And while she was being incredibly insightful despite of or maybe because of her drunken state, she was leaning onto me engulfing my face with a steady stream of a warm and sterilizing alcohol breath and smacking my knee mercilessly which was brutally followed by a slap on the same spot which she skillfully kept finding and re-redding each time she said something insightful. I assume she was trying to get my attention with those violent strokes but I could not figure out how convince her I am already as attentive as I can be, short of swallowing her in her entirety. In any case, I figured I deserved the punishment I was subjected to, having made a mess of that rejection in the least optimal manner.
Between the echoing slaps, I heard her asking me if there was anyone around I fancied. Both of us being grown up women (her being a bit more grown than me), I thought the question silly and infantile but considering the situation, and that I was being corporeally punished already, like a naughty child would be, I gave her question some thought. Then I turned around and pointed at the Sexy Kid as a desired companion. As it was really loud where we stood and with the desire to position myself safely away from my companion’s uncompromising palm, I suggested that we move elsewhere. We started wandering around and we did so for awhile. Until all of a sudden, and this has to go down as one of the most magical and wonderful moments in my life, all of a sudden, we were ambushed by shadows, one grabbing her for a dance, the other, me. When my surprise wore off, I was immeasurably delighted to see that my dancing companion was the Sexy Kid. Very rarely, if ever, have I ended up with the guy I want, in any kind of situation. So, as soon as I become conscious of being attracted mostly to one person out of a group of people, I naturally conclude that faith shall keep us apart by virtue of my having selecting him consciously. I ascribe this pattern to my inability to know what is best for me and how destiny or faith, or whatever, knows better what I need and sends me the people who would be good for me rather than those I pick out for myself. So, you can imagine my dismay when I saw this guy running over to me and grabbing me for a tight embrace. This delivered a thick and instantaneous dose of dopamine straight to my brain.
We danced the night away, and though I warmly wish I could say we danced harmoniously, sliding gracefully at the soft suggestion of the rhythm, in fact it must have looked as if we were fervently fighting against it instead. My body’s natural tendency to follow the beat, as I happen to love music, did rebel a bit at the beginning but, by the crushing insistence of my libido, eventually succumbed to following along. I try to keep my priorities in check, even when drunk and irrational, and I happened to be both that night. It was already way past my wildest wishes to get seduced by the object of my own romantic ambitions. We ended up eventually sleeping in a tight embrace under the stars. Few can recount a more romantic moment and I cherish and recall this one as much as it is humanly possible, considering the fact that my memory of it is obscured, and possibly dramatized and adopted for television, by the thick fog of drunkenness. In either case, it was magical and glorious. Of course, I failed to fall asleep the whole night as my system was still being disrupted by the slow realization that I was with a gorgeous stranger who was tenderly caressing me (almost) all night. Here emerged another proof of the Sexy Kid’s innocence. There he was in a physical proximity to a girl which can only be trumped by actual intercourse, and did he try to initiate any kind of a routine designed to lead to intercourse? No!!! He did not even attempt that.
What we did, while not sexual by the modern definitions of sexuality which almost invariably culminates in sex, probably is, and if not should be, described in the kama sutra, it was just divinely sensual. In either case, this was the perfect way to spend the first few hours of knowing a potential partner. We cut through the chase of awkward conversation and disingenuous posturing to go straight to the point of two people who are a bit lonely and can understand each other without the need of uttering a single word. And I have to give it up for alcohol too. You can say anything about alcohol but it is the most effective matchmaker in the world and even an Indian grandmother can’t boast credit for a larger number of marriages. Ultimately I think alcohol was the culprit for our coupling and it is a wonderful thing for it. And what happened to me that night was worth the heroic death of a whole army of my brain cells that had to fall victim of sleeplessness and booze that night. I never fail to conduct a cost/benefit analysis of my actions and this was one occasion when I acted exactly according to the balances of it. Here might be a good time for me to point out that both me and the Sexy Kid were not just drunk, we were deadly drunk – he more so than me as I had been partially sobered by the corporal punishment I had been subjected to minutes before.
In the morning, I did something for which I have profusely congratulated myself - I retreated before the dawn of the day swept the magic away from the prior night with its bright and cold delivery of sunlight and sobriety. In my self-effacing estimation, whether it was based on a Thailand-crushed ego or disheartening experiences, the Sexy Kid had merely been looking for a warm body to spend the night pressed against, rather than some sort of a relationship which could last through the vacation, or god forbid, longer. Based on that calculation, I decided it best to retreat before he was called upon to do or say something with which to communicate to me that he has no plans for me that would survive dusk. To spare him from having to devise such a communication and to spare myself from having to endure it, suffering another romantic blow in Thailand, I thought it best to preventively retreat. So I unglued myself from him and I paced away with a surprising energy and without looking back. Heroically done and by the book!
The following day circumstances unfolded in such a manner that we did not see each other. We had no way of contacting each other at the time so it was a perfect opportunity for him to press “reset” on whatever happened between us on that drunken night and move on to potentially romancing some other girl, or nobody – I gave him full reign to do whatever, without having to actively sever any ties with me. Frankly, while I was on the lookout for a romance during this vacation, I was not up for starting something that would make my vacation awkward. The guy lives on the other side of the globe and might be an a-hole anyway, so all I wanted was some flirtation and good memories. All that rationalization aside, I really wanted to see him again. If only to find out how he would act towards me. My best guess was that he would be flirtatious but perhaps would not try to take our relation to any further level. I was also a bit apprehensive about seeing him because there was a slight chance that he might be in a tight embrace, but this time with another girl. I had to prepare myself mentally for that possibility because I happen to be severely sensitive and such experience could thorn-crown my whole vacation. To avoid that, I sedated myself with some alcohol prior to seeing him, which always tends to soften any blow and sometimes even makes them comical if they are so grotesquely harsh that they have become absurd.
Here is the setup within which I was going to meet him. He, and quite a few others, had been sitting in a restaurant for over an hour when we arrived. We were somewhat dramatically delayed which had built up a healthy anticipation of our appearance and everyone was kind of interested to find out about our feat. When we arrived, our people were laid out on a ridiculously long table and it took me a couple of shifty eye movements before I spotted my Sexy Kid. He was sitting square in the middle at the far side of the table, such that he was in an ideal position to see me immediately as I materialized within his eyesight. As I was walking past the various table people, many of whom wanted to know details of what had happened to us, I caught a glimpse of my guy and actually our eyes locked for a second. Like a monk who’s just been eye-caught unfashionably staring at a farang, he immediately withdrew his eyes without a smile or anything. My quick and self-deprecating assessment of that reaction was that he had been looking at me and perhaps recognized me as the girl he had spent the other night hugging and caressing, and while he did want to take a good sober look at that girl, he did not want to persevere any continued relations with her. I assumed all that was true and also that when I would pass by him, he would skillfully pretend that he hadn’t seen me. Oh, was I ever wrong! As I was passing by, he turned slightly toward me and with a swift scooping motion swept me onto his chest tightly.
I was showing all my teeth by then and I have no idea what I was saying as a substantial part of my brain was still busy processing this unexpected development – I only remember I was jabbering some nonsense and had my mouth stretched like a lizard and eyes as bright as if they were about to launch a rocket into space. If I had to pick one moment of my acquaintance with the Sexy Kid as the most intensely brilliant, that would be the moment. Eventually, I went off to the “chair of shame” which is always vacant and reserved for those who arrive unfashionably late to a party - the one at the very end of the table which usually casts you in social exile. But, as that night the stars were lining up in my favor, I continued to have a great time even though I was seated very far my Sexy Kid. But fear not, next to and across from me were sitting men, both of whom found it necessary to try and flirt with me. They were at various stages of inebriation, which, in the grand scheme of things, which I am sure contributed to their flirtation skills, so no complaints. After I gulped a couple of cocktails I somehow found myself seated next to the Sexy Kid. This one was due to my own “swift scoop” as the guy sitting next to him had graciously vacated his seat, to my cunning benefit.
This is how we left the restaurant: hugged at all joints and slouched under a tiny umbrella – a whole universe in its own right had been created under this tiny shelter. We separated from the others at some point and ended up in a random bar. We walked over to order a drink and as he asked me what I would like, I turned to him, facing him to silently communicate “I have no idea, and frankly I am in such as blissful state that it does not matter.” At that moment he pulled me closer to him and kissed me with the fury and urgency that only someone, who has just seen a water well after crawling through the desert for days, would know how to. We kissed like this for what felt like 20 minutes and it was so amazing, the harmonious dancing of our lips and tongues was sending thunder jolts through every cell of my body, I was completely oblivious to anyone else around, including the bartenders, who I am sure by that time were quite annoyed with the delay of our ordering a drink. By the time we finished this monumental kiss, this bar had played out its relevance, so we decided against ordering anything at all and just left. There was no end to the pleasure of spending time with the Sexy Kid those few days. I don’t know if it was him or me or the combination of the two of us, but by that moment, I had packed a lifetime’s worth of romance. So much so, that I could hardly believe it was actually happening and didn’t want to make any sharp movements, lest it should wake me up from that coveted dream.
Where was I before I sunk into this deep romance-trance? Unfortunately for me, now I have to snap out of what was when we were together and bring myself back to the current sorry state of affairs where we have been separated for months. I just went scrolling back up to skim through what I has written before I fell victim to lyricism and I realized that I had been harping endlessly on the subject of the innocence of the Sexy Kid, which he has plenty of to the point of oblivion and cluelessness. At some point since we have been separated, he sent me a message which read: “I would like to… with you now immediately” from which I assume I was meant to extrapolate sexual content as suggested by the triple dots. Or maybe he wanted to beat me at chess, who the hell knows, but that is one of the more risqué messages he has sent me and there are very very few of them. You get my drift by now that the guy is abnormally innocent and can’t handle much harsh or straight talk, which I, on the other hand, am quite capable of and shove up daily in people’s cavities. But not his. With him I’m just as pure and infantile as what I believe takes to get into his pants. So my play is to match his innocence to stay in the game for as long as I can. I truly believe that if I display my true sarcastic and abrasive nature, he’ll be stupefied and run for cover. Which I suspect has happened to many-a-lady who’ve tried to hit that “sweet ass” before.
Sometimes I wonder if I will ever be able to date normally again after being in Thailand for now almost a year… Probably not. At least my misery here compels me to write these pathos-packed lines and I do hope that if not compassion-eliciting text or a good cautionary tale, it would prove entertaining to those of you who are sick enough to find this kind of shit entertaining. Just kidding, I am trying to appeal here to the lowest common denominator of human character which we all share – gore-loving and rubber-necking pleasure in another’s misfortune. Besides, who am I kidding, this whole thing is self-inflicted. I could be sporting a highly functioning handsome-ish boyfriend somewhere in the real world. Instead, I stuck myself in wicked Asia. Serves me right and what I know today about Thailand I knew within, like, two weeks of arriving. So, what I’m doing here is trying to comfort myself for the time being before I invariably resolve to moving to a normal dating country. Believe it or not, even a slow-to-catch-on blockhead like me will eventually succumb to the futility of dating in Asia and sail into the night defeated. Until then I’ll do my best to put stretch marks around your mouths with my dating misfortunes.
To follow: The runner ups. It was very hard to hierarchically order those guys because I cannot seem to chose which of their shortcomings is worse. So the following post(s) will describe the men I have considered dating and some who I have briefly dated in Thailand.