Tropical Tales from Thailand
I’ve written it before: there are those moments you just need to escape Chengdu, or, as in this case, China. It just becomes too much. And that’s how we ended up in northern Thailand. But we weren’t alone. There isn’t a place in Thailand further removed from the ocean and its beaches than this, yet hordes of Europeans were roasting in the gentle subtropical sun, like slabs of overdone barbecued meat, complete with lines imprinted on their backs from days of laying on beach chairs. You could just smell them burning, like the Dutchman in front of me. His oily, chocolate-colored skin -even on his bald head- only exaggerated his past-retirement age and was such a mismatch that it hurt my eyes. But all that doesn’t matter, you see, because after weeks on the pool side and a few organized day trips venturing out of the city, he will return home when it becomes too hot here. He will tell the tales of an explorer, while sitting in his little back garden or golf club or bingo center, sipping spirits with his pale looking pals, whom are all listening because they have nothing else to do. Tales of how he masterly controlled a massive elephant between his legs while plowing through a wild untamed river; how he explored the jungle and suddenly hit upon an undiscovered tribe where the women were only half dressed and the chief offered him his daughter for the night; how the shaman branded him with a tattoo (and here he will pull up his shirt) just before he was able to escape. He will whisper (but this only after he has sent his wife to fetch refills of whatever they were drinking) about the erotic sensations of Thai masseuses who were all hungering for a real man. And that’s what matters, really.
But, alas, alas, my tale of Thailand isn’t quite like this. It’s less burned (although, after a week of staring at the Dutchman in front of me, my own appearance must have startled other visitors, who all couldn’t resist gawking at me as if I were a Giant Panda at loss and out of its natural Chengdu habitat) and surely much less heroic. My story is, well, just that: my story of Thailand, my Thailand; a Thailand you surely want to get to know. Which you can, in the coming 5 posts.