Free The Animal

My 8 Weeks in Thailand #1

My office this morning on the island (Koh Chang), Banpu Resort. I get a new office every morning, even if in the same resort.

The primary reason that I always liked blogging and was so prolific over such a long time is that I like to quickly write about my new thoughts and experiences and put them out there right away. I get back the immediate feedback that motivates me to do it over and over again.

Now, after many years of so-called “paleo” blogging amidst other stuff in recent years, a 17-year marriage with several years of monogamy even before that, and a long gone business that employed 30 people, I’m in such a wild-ass entirely new life that all the new—much of which is recapturing the old of my 20s—is so rapid and fast paced that I’ve “too much” to write about and am thus overwhelmed to the point I can write nothing.

It has taken two months to finally start tapping on the keyboard consistently about this new life.

This just calls for organization and that’s probably best done in book-length form. So I begin. But I’m going to also satisfy my blogging urge. I’ll be leaving Thailand for 8 weeks in the Philippines in about a week and that’s where I principally intend to lay down this book while gathering stuff for the next one, 8 Weeks in the Philippines (once I move on to Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia for Another 8 Weeks). Then rinse, wash, and repeat for each place I go. I’ll be blogging highlights and story summaries, chapter by chapter—such that the finished work just might be an easy sell to finance my continuing travel-experience writing, without using savings and investments.

Good news for some, bad news for others, these written works will be quintessentially Free The Animal publications. If you don’t know what that means, just start hitting the search function here on your topics of interest. You’ll find something to really piss you off soon enough. Everyone does. What distinguishes my blogging from others is that you’re quite likely to find lots—even more—to love as well, and love and hate are merely two sides of the same coin of feeling and passion—indifference is the dead end. That’s what has kept for me a core base of non-sycophant fans for years.

In the broadest strokes and in no particular order, these books will be about:

Of course, all of the foregoing are merely frame and context in which to write about the latter; it being also what will titivate, delight, disgust, entertain, shock, awe, and generally interest the most. 50 Shades.

At the same time, I will be keeping rank vulgarity in check. So, you’ll have to use your imaginations quite a bit. I’ll tell a few stories to begin. Summaries and high points with far greater development and detail later.

Sunset Lookout, Koh Samet, Thailand

Her name is Warunee. I met her my second night in Chiang Mai, though during my 5 weeks there I played the rounds amongst bar girls, Chiang Mai University girls (“do you want to practice English?”), a barista, and a couple of salon hair & nails girls.

But “Yui” was always the frontrunner and stayed that way. She’s 27 years young, but rather mature, since she’s been a mother for over 10 years. Married early in her 16th year to a 33 year old Thai man, she had her first daughter a month before she turned 17. Her second daughter came just after she tuned 18. They’re aged 10 and 9 years, now. There are little to no provisions for spousal or child support in Thailand after a divorce. She supports her mother and two daughters on about $18,000 per year. What’s more is that she’s building a small house on her mother’s rural land. It’s about 70% complete (three bedrooms 2 baths, once done), all cash along the way—no mortgage. She’s impressive. She tells me she’s never been with a man less than 15 years her senior and that even that’s too young, now. I’m 32 years her senior.

So, after I left and spent a couple of nights in Bangkok and 4 nights in Pattaya, I texted her on Line (the text app most Thais use).

Hey, I’m headed to Koh Samet for 4 nights and then Koh Chang for 7. Wanna join me?” So she flies down to Utapao, the former US Air Force base in the Vietnam era, and took the ferry over to Samet for my final night and then we trekked to Chang by ferry, minivan, and more ferry the next day.

The new clean shaven look

While still back in Chiang Mai, she begged me for a shorter haircut and closer beard trim. Then, once on the islands, she pressed further for clean shaven (also some cologne, body wash, etc. LOL).

Here’s how I put it on Instagram (and the FTA FB page):

Warunee begged me for weeks. Haircut, clean shave. I resisted. Then I start to think about it. I’m lucky enough to enjoy the company, caring, attention, and bed of a sexy 27 yo Thai girl who’s mature beyond her years, being married off to a 33 yo Thai man at 16, having her first child a month before she turned 17 and her second right after she turned 18.

She supports a mother and those two daughters on about $18,000 per year. She’s even building a small house on her mother’s rural land. 70% done, all cash.

So one element is that if changes please her and are not a burden or inconvenience to me, why not oblige?

But what really sold me is that I kept seeing older dudes like me, even 60s and 70s with some of the most strikingly exotic Thai 20 and 30 somethings and I saw a pattern. Clean shaven, short hair—even bald—who carry themselves as though they are highly competent and effective. Serious people. It’s NOT just about the money.

Or look at it another way. If she’s going to offer him that look of a hot young woman on his arm, then she requires that people understand she has a good reason. He projects, even commands a certain presence and respect.

Warunee tells me she has never been with a man in her life less that 15 years her elder and even that’s young in her eyes, now.

But in the end, females are still females. Out of the 8 intended nights, she lasted three. I arose early the next morning and calmly booked her the first flight out of Trat back to Chiang Mai, along with the minivan and ferry to get to the airport.

“Aren’t we going to talk about it?”

Me: “There’s nothing to talk about. You’re here completely at my expense and you’re being lazy, negative, excessively critical of me, you have your face in your phone all the time, you engage in multiple video chats with friends and family daily, you want me to also pay for your personal things, not just what we do together, and you say ‘no’ to my every suggestion to get off our asses and engage in normal activities. Plus, after a few drinks in the evenings, you get emotional, shit test me, and then get angry when I don’t play along. You’re not meeting my needs by any stretch, so I require you gone.” An hour later she was on the minivan.

That simple. Now, back in Chiang Mai with the utter shock of what I did calmly, without a fight, objective, operational language, and lightening quick decisiveness with no equivocation, she’s sending me sorries and seflies daily. I’d already decided to return to Chiang Mai for my final 6 nights in Thailand and flight and lodging were already booked. In fact, we were to be on the same flight back.

Once I’m back and see her again in a few days, I’ll see if anything sunk in, which is: under no circumstances will I ever put up with chick entitlement bullshit.

Because…I don’t need to.

Her name is Somol. That night, after shipping Yui back in the morning I went to a place I heard about. The Rockbar. This isn’t a girly bar, it’s a live music place with a Filipino cover band. The Thai girls who go there typically come with friends, and do so to meet “farang” (western foreigners).

She is quite hilarious. Full of energy, almost never looks at her phone, even after three days together, now. She smiles, laughs, is effervescent, and jumps around all the time. She embraces me “too much.”

She’s 22 years old. It wasn’t until the next morning she learned that I’m 14 years older than her father. She giggled and covered her mouth in shock, in the cutest “oh my” sort of way. Then she suggested more sexual activity.

Ah, the Buddhist culture in a land where the economies are modest but almost nobody is priced out of them, either. That’s what it is. Mai pen rai, a sort of nevermind, whatever, it is what is, and it’s your life all rolled into one. These young girls face no outwardly projected judgment over this behavior so seemingly untoward from a Western, Christian, or Jewish perspective. It actually puts me off guard, at times. Wherever we go…man, woman, young, and old treat these young women with the same smile and respect as anyone, even though they’re with a dirty old farang bastard. And they treat me the same. I even had a short “say hi” to Yui’s mom on a video chat one morning when she was obviously in bed in my room. No worries.

…And so there you have a taste of the “worst of it,” depending upon your perspective. If your perspective is one of condemnation, disgust, foreboding, or otherwise judgmental, perhaps it’s best that you examine yourself deeply within. What are your premises? Have you checked them lately?

I’ll reiterate that these are just summary stories. Everything in the eventual books will have full development, detail, and lots more photos.

More to follow.

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