FARANGS: Have you ever seen such a disreputable collection of beer-bellied, slack-arsed, sartorially challenged, binge-drinking, obnoxious losers? Farang men are even worse.
THE SISTERHOOD: For many years I was puzzled as to why Thai girls had so many sisters. Even more confusing was that there often seemed no family resemblance – one sister would have delicate Chinese looks and the other was as black as an Isaan rice farmer. Perhaps they had different fathers, I thought. Then it was explained to me that “my sister” often means “my very good friend”. Thai logic at its most confusing.
NON-SWEATING THAIS: Within one minute of leaving the safety of air-con, I am sweating like Nelson Mandela in a Ku Klux Klan meeting. Yet all around me Thais in overcoats are huddling together to keep warm. This isn’t fair.
‘ME GO DANCE’: We have all been suckered by this one in go-go bars. After lengthy harassment by a Cola addict, your resistance crumbles and you agree to pay 120 baht for a lady-drink worth around 50 satang. The ying returns with her drink and chit confirming her cut of the transaction, plonks the Cola on the table and announces: “Me go dance.” The pain of this mugging never eases with time. The last time it happened to me, I complained to the girl that I expected her to sit with me in return for my generosity. “Me only sit with you if you pay bar,” she replied defiantly, thereby combining fraud with blackmail.
THE TERMINALLY ILL WATCH SELLER: You know the one I mean: the old guy with the lump on his face who gets thinner each time you see him. He prowls lower-Sukhumvit bars day and night. I have a grudging respect for his work ethic, even though I have been declining his special prices for some years. I am always polite but every now and then he gives me a load of abuse in which the word “buffalo” is liberally used. I asked a bargirl for the significance of this insult. She said it means I am big and stupid. OK, perhaps he has a point.
INDIAN TAILORS: No, I am not your friend and don’t want to shake your hand. No, I don’t want a cashmere suit in a city where I am too hot when I am naked. No, I don’t see the point of you standing outside your shop and harassing passers-by. Yes, I hope you go bust.
THE THAI ZOMBIE WALK: While I don’t expect the locals to rush around in the tropical heat, I would appreciate it if they could stop imitating those zombies you used to see in B-movies. The zombie blockers are the worst. When they see a farang rushing for the Skytrain, they form a V-shaped defensive formation that blocks the entire pavement. The only option then is to risk death by walking on the road and trying to avoid motorcyclists going the wrong way.
7-ELEVEN’S BILL-PAYING SERVICE: I love 7-Elevens. They are the ultimate convenience store – except when you are behind a Thai at the checkout carrying a sheaf of utility bills. The natives’ love of bureaucracy kicks in here as till receipts are stapled to each bill. Being Thai, the customer always queries the total he or she is asked to pay, meaning every transaction must be rechecked. Meanwhile, your iced coffee is getting warm. Set up some direct debits, you selfish pricks.
THE YELLOW PERIL: The Japanese have been rightly blamed for inflating the price of a shag. I have sat in Thermae and listened to a Jap offering 6,000 baht to a cutie for short time. Both parties seemed very happy with the deal – after all, the sum was a lot less than he would pay to be whipped by a dominatrix on his way home from work in Tokyo. Nobody can really fight market forces, so I have no issue here. But what does wind me up is that the fat-walleted Japs have made me invisible in Thermae to all but the most desperate, washed-up hags. One leather-clad abomination, who was more fourth-gender than third-gender, still gives me disturbing post-traumatic flashbacks.
THE AIRPORT: Sitting in the departure lounge waiting to leave the Land of Smiles is truly one of the most depressing experiences any mortal can suffer. Farangland, conformity, political correctness and celibacy await the traveller, not to mention bad weather, ugly women and bland food. After one day away, you will even be missing the Indian tailors.