Lately almost everything is making me want to write poetry. It is almost as if everything I do is inspiring me to be more spiritual, more poetic, less 1 dimensional, more awake. I’m not sure exactly why this is but I assume its because of the traveling and seeing life in a new way. I guess at this point since I’ve been here for about 6 months I can’t really call this traveling anymore however it is living a completely different life.
Moving to Thailand I had a number of expectations for myself most of which I’m still waiting to fulfill.
It’s funny because before I moved to Thailand I read every blog, article, and rumor that I could about this country so that I would have some idea of what it would be like to live here. I have to say that the blogs etc just don’t give you the right idea. I had this crazy idea that everyone wore really conservative long clothes all the time and that the people were very innocent and kind. People are generally kind here and I guess that land of smiles is a semi appropriate nick name but there is side of Thailand that I feel like isn’t highly represented in these TEFL teachers blogs. Thai people LOVE money. I guess most people everywhere do but I’ve realized here everything is about money. It’s not love that keeps a relationship together, its money. It’s not whether you did something right or wrong that determines if you go to jail, its how much money you have. Its not about who is the nicer person to date, its about who has more money. It’s not your blonde hair and blue eyes that they want, its the chance that if they marry you they can go to country to earn more money. Money, money, money, money. The most romantically hopeless people in the world suddenly seem to become Fabio when they get to Thailand because they are human ATM machines. I won’t keep this rant going that long but I just feel a little sad and discouraged when I see this all the time because it almost seems like true love doesn’t exist here. And if does, you can almost 100% guarantee that it’s not monogamous true love by any means. OHHH the ways of Eastern world cease to amaze me….
I myself am a cynical romantic. I had this grand vision of some romantic life that will eventually happen to me but I am so cynical and convinced that it will forever remain just that: a vision. Being in a place like Thailand is making me slightly more cynical when it comes to this. As I said before, its not about love its all about money. For me personally I don’t really have very much money so I’m finding that when people like me it’s more about looking different. I can be called beautiful 5 times day (thank you thank you’re far too kind) but no one will go beyond that. It’s more like being a novelty than being an actual potential of a partner. Honestly one of my Thai friends actually said this exact phrase, “I’ve never had a nigger before.” As horrifying as this statement may sound I’ve finally gotten over that this actually came out of his mouth. Again this is just an shining example of the way that people think over here. Most of the Thai people i’ve met see “Farangs” and look at us like an ATM or a trophy. I just imagine them thinking “HEY EVERYBODY LOOK WHAT I GOT” I wish life wasn’t so much about showing off what we have. I know that not everyone is like that but sometimes its so hard to find the good people. As Jack Johnson said where’d all the good people?
This pessimistic cynical attitude does not apply to everthing though just to be clear. As usual most other things in life are exceptional and wonderfully surprising. Koh Samui produces over 1 million coconuts per month and has been lovingly given the nickname Coconut Island obviously for good reason. It is not unusual to see multiple trucks filled with coconuts driving around each time you leave the house. Lately though I have been seeing this really big truck with a monkey riding on top of it. There aren’t very many monkeys on the island because they don’t live in the jungles naturally (I believe, do not quote me) so seeing a monkey is usually a pleasant surprise. This particular monkey though looked like an employee of the coconut truck which I thought was a little odd and probably impossible so I asked a friends of mine about it. He explained to me very casually that yes, the monkey works as a I guess you would call him a coconut farmer? He is “emplyed” by this group of people to go up into trees and pick the coconuts. He has special monkey senses that even allow him to know exactly which coconuts are ready to be picked and which are not. No this not a joke or an exaggeration, this monkey works hard for his bananas (and coconuts I presume).
Now this story shouldn’t really be hilarious because in all honestly I doubt this monkey went out looking for a job so he’s obviously a slave of some sort. Beyond the whole monkey slavery thing though I found this to be one of the funniest things i’d ever heard. A monkey that works as a coconut picker….OK never thought i’d hear that one.
Onto a change of subject…I hope that there are some “farangs” who live or have lived in Thailand that are reading this and can answer a question for me. Why is it that when people move here to South East Asia they develop a kind of “my shit don’t stink” “im so awesome” “boundaries/laws do not apply to me” type of attitude. Or they always have some sort of pissing contest regarding who has lived in Asia longer. Please please tell me why this happens. I get the whole adjusting to a different culture changes you thing because it has changed me a bit, but this “im the best” type of attitude does not seem to come from the South East Asian people. Any philosophical insight on this would be great….
Thanks for reading.