Preparing jackfruit and mangos
I’m sitting in my room in Bangkok, wishing I was at the farm, trying to come up with a blog post. It’s usually so easy for me to write a little tale of Thailand but—watch out, more excuses—with the heat and the fact that I’m writing a new manuscript that is consuming my thoughts; well, it’s not easy.
Many times my muse—I think of her as a beautiful maiden that demands attention—won’t release me to do other things. Oh, I get up and wander around for a few minutes but then it’s back to the keyboard. Will this be the break-through novel? I know I’m a good writer—I didn’t say great—but without the support of beta readers, editors and marketing skills I wonder.
Yes, I’m on my writer’s rollercoaster and I happened to be on the downhill slope of late. But then I think about my life in Thailand.
Double headed pineapple
In the past I would ride my motorcycle and try to get lost by taking whatever turn I come to. No matter where you go in Thailand you’re certain to end up in a small farming village. Some of the people have never been close to a white man—especially one who can talk to them a little.
I always look for a Sala- shaded platform- where the older women congregate, to announce myself. One thing I’ve learned is one never approaches the pretty young girls first. They are usually unmarried and it is impolite to converse with them without permission or chaperon.
When the older ladies and men who come around realize that I speak some form of ‘funny’ Thai, then the fun begins. Children come out of hiding and are allowed to test their skills on the crazy foreigner. The truth is in the big cities many Thais think of foreigners as walking banks with money that may fall from their pockets at any time. But in the country I’ve rarely been asked for anything. I often buy the kids a treat just to watch their faces light up.
I have to be careful not to admire thing too much because it will be offered to me—for free. Luckily I can’t carry much on my bike.
It is therapeutic for me to be the center of attention where people only want to learn more about me and my ways. Many of my family back in North Carolina were farmers and the Thai men and women enjoy hearing about farm life in the States. I’m not sure they believe me when I tell them the number of animals and land that my family farmed at one time. I’m sure they’re still talking about the impossibility of it. The people offer me food and drink— many times beer and Thai whiskey and I politely refuse because I’m on a motorcycle and my skills do not allow riding under the influence. I do eat with them. Perhaps another post of some of the things they eat, but it’s mostly fruits.
Once I am known as a good person the maidens are allowed to come near. I think there is a hope I might pick one for a wife—even though I have told the older people I am happily married. Two wives—more fodder for another post—is not unheard of. Thai women, even at a young age, exude an exotic charm that still makes my heart beat faster. And the way they glide along when they walk, oh my. I sure it has to do with the flip-flops they wear.
Now, I’m not a DOM—dirty old man, but I am a man. My wife says I am fresh bait to a school of fish—me fresh bait? That’s probably one of the big reasons I like it here. Even as an old man I’m kind of special. Back in the States I’m just another in the horde of old folks, lol. And foreign women are viewed as special too.
It really is an ego boost in the depressed life of a writer. I hope you enjoyed another short walk with a writer in Thailand.