The Most Important Thing

— It doesn’t matter to them how long it took; what matters is what I do now and going forward

I risk getting a big fat Duh! from any parents out there, but I’m saying it anyway…

I’ve stumbled into the best and most exciting time of my life, in a life already brimming with excitement and adventure since the first day I set foot in a new home in Japan, 1984. That would encompass five years of exoticism, primarily in Southeast Asia, then a couple of years in France following that. I’d return to the US; but not content with getting a job, settling down, yada, I built a company and employed dozens of people instead.

I did get married at 40 and that lasted until almost 60. But, being a marriage amongst older folk to begin with, doing the 20-sumthin’ start-a-family thing just didn’t materialize. Nobody’s fault. No regrets. A few dogs filled the nurturing imperative. When we did go our separate ways, it was on generally good terms, and that persists to this day.

I was fully intending to recapture the time of my 20s with young Asian women.

And why not? I could, and I still could…less than half my age…as much as I want. I don’t give a rat’s ass what anyone thinks about that, and what anyone thinks of me about it…is none of my business.

It’s simply a fact that the nature of man, woman, and their sexual-intimate relations are in a finer tune with those natures, in masculine, patriarchal, culturally-conservative societies with feminine and appropriately submissive women—as you ubiquitously find in Asia—than in the vaunted (and permissive; and degraded; and decaying; and hedonistic; and immoral; and ugly; and fat; and culturally self-destructive, et al.) Western world.

It’s the difference between a manicured garden of flowers and cherry blossoms…and a putrid sewer littered with graffiti.

I’m not fucking exaggerating.

And go right ahead and tell me about all the down-low stuff that goes on in Asia. It’s true, but it has always been there, nobody pretends it doesn’t exist, there are laws, there are workarounds, and plenty of ignoring them; but most importantly, they are cultural, and confined to districts and otherwise “in the closet.” Closeted social behavior is respected as such…with no imperative whatsoever to take it out of the closet and have fucking holidays and parades about it, (dumbshits).

For, that would be shameful; and have you no shame?

Asians seem to better acknowledge the human path and condition…the balance, the Yin and Yang, and there’s neither expectation that you become the impossible (perfect); nor shame, condemnation, or being lost by your very human nature over whom and what you are.

And so, it is perfectly acceptable—encouraged, even—that there are two inexorable parts to you, both of them you. One is for public consumption, and the other?

Everyone has their own closet; that’s your business, and just keep it there, please.

Why? Because every closest is different. Harmony is impossible amongst closets.

And if you still aren’t convinced, just take a look around. It’s not so easy to see. I’ve lived here for 8 years of my adult life so far and am just beginning to get fully clued in. And part of the clue comes with the understanding that of, in spite of many frustrations and being impatient a million times, I’ve been drawn to the place since my Midshipman cruise that began in Pusan, Korea in 1982 and was completely instrumental in my assignment to Japan once commissioned as an officer in the US Navy.

And here I am. In the video I did two nights ago while walking to and back from dinner with fellow American expat friends, there was a wow moment at 22.36.

That’s at the point where while walking, and just a couple of kilometers from home at that point, I note that Pattaya Water Park is right there and how that we used to go during the day sometimes back in the 80s when I visited. Like 35 years ago. It’s rather surreal, realizing that actually ending up living here wasn’t even a wild-ass thought in the back of my mind way back then.

And yet here I am.

And it’s because of Covidiocy. But for that, I almost certainly would not be here. I was in line to check into my flight to Ho Chi Min (Saigon) mid-March when it was cancelled. There were few options, and they were shutting down and closing off quickly as the dominoes began to fall. I was able to work visa stuff to provide breathing room and in that space of time the world locked down and the word from Thai immigration was don’t sweat it, everyone is under general amnesty, don’t even bother to come to the station.

Don’t call us, we’ll call you.

Had the timing been just a little different, I’d have made the flight to Vietnam and then been stuck there, and that would have been hell. I heard plenty from folks I knew who did get stuck there, and they were serious. Former commies. Go figure.

Thailand is big on laws, formalities, appearances, and theater. Then everyone mostly just does what the fuck they want, usually without hassle. They didn’t have lockdowns here. They had a curfew for a couple of weeks…a ridiculous 22.00 to 04.00…when 90% of people are at home anyway, most of them in bed. They banned alcohol sales for a while, the theory being that alcohol engenders crowds and crowds spread the deadly virus. Wanna buy alcohol? Easy, and I’d been here only a couple of months. If I had those connections, whaddya think any Thai in the country has?

Whanna drink alcohol and do so in a bar (that are forbidden to be open)? Just drive down a street or walk down a sidewalk where the bars are. Look for one with the ubiquitous rolling metal doors not locked down but rolled up a foot, light, faint voices, and quiet music coming from inside.

You’re invited!

You think the enforcers, the cops, don’t know about these? Think back to prohibition in the US. Think the cops didn’t know about every single speakeasy? …And why did they call them speakeasies? Because you speak softly.

Why?

It’s only partially about spiffing the cops to keep off your ass. Paying them off is more for your own assurance that they’ll hold up their end. But no bribe is enough for them to endure embarrassment. So, you don’t flaunt your violation of the law.

Violating the law is no problem, have at it, enjoy. Just don’t embarrass us. Don’t flaunt it.

… Vaping is illegal throughout Thailand for silly reasons beyond the scope of this article. In south Phuket where I’ve just lived for two years, where’s the vape shop with all the goods behind glass cabinets and counters?

It’s 30 meters down the sidewalk from the main Chalong police station. No signage, and the windows are frosted glass. Do the cops know about it? Of course. Can you go in and buy all the vaping stuff you could want? Also, of course…just don’t go walking out blowing vape as you walk past the cops.

Keep it all in the closet. And your closet isn’t necessarily congruent or in harmony with anyone else’s so best everyone keeps their personal peccadilloes, indulgences, idiosyncrasies, and weirdness in their own closets.

So, I’m livin’ it like the Western world used to do, when there was some sanity prevalent. Now, the whole rotten mess has turned into a faux moralistic society that’s likely to make more than a few Shiite Muslims blush. The name of the game is to condemn and shame anyone and anything not towing an orthodox line, with ceaseless calls for making more and more things offenses—and I’ll reuse the quote from C.S. Lewis I used in yesterday’s post.

And yes, of course, there’s The Girl and Her Girls. And an update. And a recent visit back to the home front.

And at this point—my original objective being to completely recapture my 20-sumthin’ youth in these parts…I even have a whole series about that—It’s finally dawned on me that I already have it better than it’s ever been, and the task(s) before me is clear. I’m where I’m supposed to be, doing what I’m supposed to be doing.

I don’t want to be too dramatic about it for fear of it being too easy and commonplace to say…but if you want to hear it anyway, 23.50 in that video, above.

I mean it.

And my mindset is different; it’s all come together.

Now comes the fun part. I’ll offer a couple of things I find funny, concerning the girl herself. This is kind of a juxtaposition.

Last week or so, she informed me that a cousin whom I’d met before when she was back in the village from Bangkok, had moved back, rented a roadside house and property, and set up a food stand for basic Isan staples like grilled chicken and green papaya salad (som tum pla ra).

Yui was helping the little operation.

It was going well. There’s a lot of traffic and the way this stuff works…all over Thailand…is you just pull over, order some food, and you take it away in a plethora of specialized plastic bags.

… The amount of plastic these people use on a daily basis is enough to make those who dump toxic waste blush (and yes, I’m aware that I’ve used that ‘make blush’ device twice in a single post). It’s truly ungodly, and that’s a reference I never use.

Anyway, I was saying how it’s great she’s helping, doing business, maybe something can come of it.

She replies.

Cracks me up.

“I’m too good to sell chicken.” Ha!

So you might think that’s not a good sign. I’ve got a mess on my hands. It’s complicated. She had sent a pic a few days back of a washing machine with clothes in the bucket, filling with water. No caption or explanation. She does that. Just a picture.

So I did laundry yesterday, sent a picture of it, and captioned it.

And it’s true. Men don’t lift fingers around the house, nor are they expected to.

Their job is to get the money, because as they say, “no money, no honey.” And yea, it’s an English idiom well known in Thailand.

I don’t think women, at least Asian women—and I’ve quite the level of experience—”love” men either the way men love women or men think women love them. On any given day, I could say that I don’t believe women really love men at all.

… And then there’s the serious responsibility, and when it comes right down to it, the reason I’m here, still with the same one since day two in this country over three years ago. I doubt I’d bother with just having a girlfriend—no kids, to both infuriate and deliver heaps of joy. It would be senseless. I can get a hot 20-sumthin’ girl any time of day or night I want, keep her around as long or as little as I want, and send her off whenever I’ve had enough. It’s ridiculously easy.

I have an American buddy who’s lived here for 20 years. He’s 65, doesn’t drink, has the energy of a race horse, and goes out nearly every damn late, late night and brings a different girl home, ages between 20 and 40. He’s been doing this for two decades and hasn’t run out of steam (or girls) yet.

I don’t know how he does it.

And don’t think he’s just telling me fish stories. I’ve been in the hotel room next door a number of times. I also get a constant supply of pictures.

I could do this too. I have, a few times, super-late-night, out of curiosity. But it’s not for me. I’ll dispense with all the slogans and oaths and virtue signals.

It’s what I want that matters and that’s to see those two girls I built a house for exceed their wildest dreams for a good life.

And to make that happen, I must command their respect so that they listen to what the fuck I’m going to be telling and instructing them to do. And I don’t want resistance, lip, or bullshit. Of any kind. At any time.

Y’know, I think a big part of the reason there are so many little assholes as kids in the Western world is because parents are just crap. They’re unserious. Or whatever.

It’s like they can’t read the room, or something; by which I mean, it’s easy to tell instantly whether the kids respect you, or not. I’m not even a parent and I can discern their respect in an instant.

If you’re a parent and your kids don’t respect you, then you better find out how to get their respect right quick, because them not having parents they naturally respect is tantamount to not having parents at all. Just minimal caretakers.

The immediate and important things for that just 13 year-old and 12 year-old in a week is their learning, English, computer literacy, money literacy, and business literacy, and I’ll be damned if they’re not going to get it.

It’s my commitment to them, to their mother, and above all, really, to myself.

A final two pics. Just a few days ago. Chili, finishing her first year in the equivalent of junior high, Wasabi completing her paperwork for transfer over to that same school at commencement.

I wrote up a “tweet thread” about them and the unique school I have them placed in. It has a long history of using native-speaking foreigners to provide excellent English instruction. The thread even includes a video in English, done by the Thai students.

There are 14 tweets in all, so you have to read it on Twitter. Or, you can check it out on the thread-reader app all nicely formatted into a post.

The bottom line is that I’m paying tuition for both of the girls for recommencement in a couple of months, and it’s 15,000 baht. That’s about $430.

The good news is, that’s for both of them.

But wait! There’s more!

It’s for the entire next school year, not just a month.


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Since Covid killed my Cabo San Lucas vacation-rental business in 2021, this is my day job. I can't do it without you. Memberships are $10 monthly, $20 quarterly, or $65 annually. Two premium coffees per month. Every membership helps finance this work I do, and if you like what I do, please chip in. No grandiose pitches.

5 Comments

  1. Scott Israel on March 15, 2023 at 11:49

    Show me a country where there are no whorehouses and I will show you a country where every house is a whorehouse.

    • Richard Nikoley on March 15, 2023 at 11:55

      You know my favorite, Scott?

      The guys who say, “I never pay or it,” yet they have a job they hate and can’t quit because they have an overmortgage in a mcmansion far too big, filled with tens of thousands worth of crap they don’t need, two luxury car/SV payments, school and extra-ceric tuition, dancing lessons and ballet for the kids who berate you, and a wife who nags constantly and bitches about making you a sandwich all wilst everyone has their faces in the very latest iPhones and/or iPads.

      No buddy, you don’t pay for it.

  2. Ron Padot Jr on March 16, 2023 at 23:23

    Does Yui only mask when “required?”

    • Richard Nikoley on March 17, 2023 at 07:58

      Yes, of course, mostly. Thais, especially females, are very averse to bucking any social/cultural trends or norms (usually good, so I don’t complain). So, she’ll put one on in circumstances where lots of other people have them on, even if they don’t have to.

      She doesn’t give me grief over resisting, even when I’d often not wear one either when required or requested (like in a big-box store).

      Give you an example. Yesterday, she sent photos of Wasabi’s class at school. About 40 students, half boys, half girls. They were having photos taken.

      Of the 20 boys, only 2 had masks on. Of the 20 girls, only 2 did NOT have masks on.

      Interesting?

      • Ron Padot Jr on March 17, 2023 at 21:24

        I appreciate the detail. Pleasantly surprised and pleased to hear about the school dynamic! Put up with is a bit too strong, but I figured she must be cool about not wearing it most on the time, and the naturally submissive nature is why it didn’t bother you when she did. Side note: Nice re-do on your Intro. Eat the elephant caught my eye, and while I’m well-versed in Richard, ended up reading the whole damn thing.



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