Chinese Whispers

Anything and everything about Thailand
PeterUK
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#1 Chinese Whispers

Postby PeterUK » Mon Aug 28, 2017 5:10 pm

Early in 1997 I arrived in Thailand just as the financial meltdown was hitting the headlines. Suddenly, after years of getting 36 baht to the pound regular as clockwork, I was the delighted recipient of 60, 70, 80, even briefly 90 baht. Heady stuff! And the good fortune (as it seemed) didn't end there. I went into My Way in Bangkok and beheld a gorgeous 19-year-old sensually performing the pole-dancing for which that bar was famous. Goggle-eyed, I called him over for a chat. He was new to the scene and a bit reluctant to be offed, but the no-nonsense manager, Charlie, quickly put a stop to that. Back at my hotel I gave full play to my lust as I explored every inch of that beautifully defined body and soon he was coming over to see me nearly every eagerly anticipated afternoon.

By the end of that trip I was madly in love (appropriate phrase). For the next three years or so I spent long painful hours pining for him when back in England and much of my time feverishly involved with him when in Thailand. It was a rocky relationship to put it mildly. He was unusually hot-tempered for a Thai and the reluctance I had observed on our first meeting never really disappeared. I tried to overcome it – oh, how I tried! – but to no avail. There were falling-outs and falling-ins, outbursts, misunderstandings, sulks on both sides, all the crafty mind-games you might imagine when sex and money are the primary weapons of manoeuvre. He was so good-looking that he was of serious interest to a lot of other punters besides me, a fact which was certainly not lost on him. Jealousy was my constant companion in those years, that and a bottomless capacity for self-inflicted wounds. Nothing was too humiliating in my desperate determination to hang on to him.

A recurring fantasy was of a period, say ten years hence, when he was no longer quite so good-looking. The arrogance of youth would be gone and he would finally appreciate me for the fine fellow I was. We would embrace in a tearful reunion and live happily ever after. That was the benign version of the fantasy anyway. In my more vindictive moments, I imagined him returning to me after the said ten years begging for forgiveness. With a dismissive wave of my hand I would tell him that he was too late and now it was his turn to suffer what he had once put me through. Begone! (To be accompanied by cackles of evil laughter).

The reality was, of course, a lot more mundane. Once my love/lust had run its frenzied course I saw him from time to time over the years that followed, often on Jomtien beach with assorted farangs. I may have felt the odd twinge of jealousy for old times' sake, nothing more. I had moved on to other fixations, other complications. One day, when he must have been in his early 30s and I was now living full-time in Pattaya, I saw him sitting alone on the beach and we had a chat. He was a bit fleshier than of old, a few creases had appeared in that silky skin, there were two or three black wart-like spots on one hand. But he was still quite presentable, all things considered. I couldn't help noticing that he was much friendlier than he'd ever been in the years when I fancied him. Obviously available. We ended up back at my condo, both somewhat self-conscious. The bed event was not a great success, despite the fact that he was now only too willing to kiss (his previous reluctance to do so had always been a big bugbear of mine). I simply couldn't summon the required minimum of desire. I received a few phone calls after that. I made excuses not to see him, then stopped answering altogether. There was no sense of triumph on my part, no malicious glee. A little sadness perhaps. But chiefly indifference.

So why has all this sorry stuff come back to me now? Because I was reminded of it the other day when reading a brutally honest little poem translated from the Chinese:


I craved the years would quickly pass
That you might lose
The brightness of your eyes, the peach-blossom of your skin,

And all the cruel splendour of your youth.
Then I alone would love you
And you at last would care.

The envious years have passed full soon
And you have lost
The brightness of your eyes, the peach-blossom of your skin,

And all the charming splendour of your youth.
Alas, I do not love you
And I care not if you care.

bobsaigon3
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#2 Re: Chinese Whispers

Postby bobsaigon3 » Mon Aug 28, 2017 6:29 pm

Thanks for the memories, both your memories and the memories of my own that presented themselves after reading your post. I guess all of us who have been in/around Thailand for any length of time have traversed the same peaks and valleys. The poem perfectly sums it up.

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Undaunted
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#3 Re: Chinese Whispers

Postby Undaunted » Mon Aug 28, 2017 6:43 pm

Beautifully written brings back a special memory of a boy name M.
"In the land of the blind the one eyed man is king"

fountainhall
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#4 Re: Chinese Whispers

Postby fountainhall » Mon Aug 28, 2017 6:47 pm

A lovely post, beautifully written and so well encapsulated by that harrowing poem.

I am sure many will have fallen into the same "trap" over the years - despite the little voice in the brain that constantly niggles, reminding us of what we only too late realise we should have abandoned. Mark Twain was sadly on the mark when he said "distance lends enchantment" for I suspect that without those thousands of miles of separation you would have parted with your My Way boy much, much earlier.

In Bangkok I certainly fell into the trap several times. But being based much closer to Bangkok I was in the fortunate position of being able to return much more frequently and let the pangs of unrequited love and affection take their course, only to die away naturally and relatively quickly. For there was always another who melted my heart - and another - and so the cycle continued.

A few, a happy few, broke the mould and are now settled with the boy they fell for so many years ago. I am glad for them.

Joachim

#5 Re: Chinese Whispers

Postby Joachim » Mon Aug 28, 2017 10:17 pm

fountainhall wrote:A lovely post, beautifully written and so well encapsulated by that harrowing poem.


A few, a happy few, broke the mould and are now settled with the boy they fell for so many years ago. I am glad for them.

People with whom we are settled are compatible with us in more than one sense. Not young prostitutes with whom we are "madly in love".

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bao-bao
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#6 Re: Chinese Whispers

Postby bao-bao » Tue Aug 29, 2017 8:40 am

Thank you for sharing that, PeterUK - yet another thoughtful post. The poem is beautiful

fountainhall
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#7 Re: Chinese Whispers

Postby fountainhall » Tue Aug 29, 2017 9:55 am

Joachim wrote:People with whom we are settled are compatible with us in more than one sense. Not young prostitutes with whom we are "madly in love".

Some posters never cease to amaze! Making an assumption that is never actually stated. Whenever did I say in my post that the Thais some farang settled down with had been bar boys? I didn't! Even if I had done so, the assumption that money boys are somehow tainted for life is downright nauseous! The only reference to a bar boy was to the one Oliver specifically mentioned.

Best to take one's own advice as earlier stated in another thread -

Joachim wrote:Just mind your business. At least, do not try to shame others who are not willing to follow your own . . . actions


Making much more major assumptions on the basis of zero or minimal experience is equally wasteful, for it casts doubt on future declarations made with the same lack of factual experience. Talking of which, posters are still waiting for a response to the question twice posed on the Korea thread -

fountainhall wrote:I note you have still not answered my question and so I ask again.

fountainhall wrote:You came to a rather radical conclusion based it seems on a plane change at incheon Airport. Perhaps I was wrong. Even so, can you now kindly inform readers how many times you have visited Seoul over the years and how many nights you have spent in the city in order to come to your judgement?

You'll recall your point was this -

Joachim wrote:I just flew through Seoul. There are absolutely no signs of "imminent war". Stop bullshitting!

I look forward to a factual response in the Korea thread.

PeterUK
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#8 Re: Chinese Whispers

Postby PeterUK » Tue Aug 29, 2017 4:21 pm

Thanks for the responses, I'm glad that people enjoyed the post. One curious point - I started the post by saying that it happened 'early in 1997' and I was quite sure that was the case (January or February), but a Google search reveals that the financial crisis didn't start until July of that year, so that must have been when I was there. Obviously that My Way boy befuddles me still!

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Smiles
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#9 Re: Chinese Whispers

Postby Smiles » Thu Aug 31, 2017 3:19 pm

Alas, I do not love you
And I care not if you care.

I take it that a quick dirty fuck is out of the question?

'Tis only a wounded and heavy heart,
Which sobs in quiet,
And only a nespresso machine,
Or cheating at pool,
Can wash away old tears.
Cheers ... ( and just one more reason why I love living in Thailand )

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