Unbreakable Bangkok | How does Thailand life compare with living in the West?

Unbreakable Bangkok | How does Thailand life compare with living in the West?

The phrase “beyond the pale”, according to the Urban Dictionary, dates back to the 14th century, when the part of Ireland that was under English rule was delineated by a boundary made of such stakes or fences, and known as the English Pale. To travel outside of that boundary, beyond the pale, was to leave behind all the rules and institutions of English society, which the English modestly considered synonymous with civilization itself. It’s commonly held meaning is behaviour or a lifestyle that is unacceptable; outside agreed standards of decency. It’s a term often used about those who choose to live in the Orient in certain circles. The price we pay for a life of our own choosing may be criticism and one may often find oneself defending the choice to live in Thailand by citing the food, accommodation, cheap hotels and friendly people and if one is bold enough, the beautiful women as our reason, but is it true; are we truly living a dream worth defending? Sitting in the Dusit Thani hotel, Hua Hin, Thailand seems like the perfect place to reflect on some observations that Annie and I made about life in Thailand while on our travels in Great Britain last month. Ironic isn’t it? Perhaps one needs to be away from one’s home culture in order to observe it dispassionately and one needs another culture to compare alongside it. I imagine there are still people who would consider my relationship with a Thai ladyboy or simply the fact that I live in Thailand to be ‘beyond the pale’. I had very little idea how people...
Is it possible to have a relationship with a Thai ladyboy?

Is it possible to have a relationship with a Thai ladyboy?

About Us-A Trans-gender, Trans-cultural Relationship Facebook can be a curse or a wonderful aid to communication. Here in Bangkok it’s a terrific ladyboy dating tool and in the summer of 2011 Annie and I met for the first time. I had been living in Bangkok for a little more than a year when I met Annie and in that time I had spent time with lots of ladyboys, found out the hard way never to date prostitutes and quite literally, written a book about my experiences, called Bangkok Baby.Buy it here. This story is mine and Annie’s. We are very different but just as you and your girlfriend are different, you and I, we are the same in many ways. I came to Bangkok and was done with all love, that unreliable motive for living. I buried it, or more accurately slaughtered it and dumped the body, car and murder weapon, in a pool. Then I flew away. After screwing anyone I met, paying many of them for a few months to keep my distance I noticed bubbles rising from the dead-pool. Loneliness, or something like it popped on the surface. Loneliness is not an attractive state and so it rarely gets a mention in thrillers about private detectives traversing dark cities as it repels more than attracts the subject of its craving, like leprosy or a runny nose. But, a little lost, I listened to it’s baby voice, found a girl or something like it and guiltily ripped out most of the pages of the book called, Never Love A Whore. It’s recommended reading but I recommend that...
Thailand, the Comfort of Strangers and Friends

Thailand, the Comfort of Strangers and Friends

Yesterday morning at approximately 08.37 as I was sliding face down on the wet and treacherously smooth surface of Phya Thai road, I was thinking, ‘I’m alive’. That makes me an optimist. Approaching the traffic lights, sets of which there are many in Bangkok, I changed down through the gears and stepped gently on the back brake of my new Triumph Speed Triple and began to slow to about 40 kph. About 40 yards out the rear tire let go (of it’s grip on the road) and consequently the rear end of the bike began to slide in a sideways motion. In the moments before parting company with the bike I tried to keep upright but as the tire re-engaged with a dry patch of infamously perilous Thai road surface I was high-sided. As motorcycle falls go, a low-side is usually less damaging as the rider slides off the bike as it slides onto it’s side. A high-sider flips the rider over the front end of the bike. Standing up, I knew immediately that I had dislocated my right shoulder; I did not want to touch it because I knew what I would feel; the empty cup of the scapula and the missing humerus! It’s funny how after so many accidents and sports injuries over the years one has an instinct for such things! I have offered a lot of criticism in the past of Bangkok taxi drivers and Motorcycle taxi drivers but it was two of the very same, one each, who came to my aid in my time of trouble. Between them they picked up the bike...
An Alternative Night Out in Bangkok

An Alternative Night Out in Bangkok

If you have been to Thailand or even if you haven’t you have probably heard a lot about Thai Ladyboys; some good and some bad but probably all interesting. Some of the negative reports you may have read are no doubt true. Some are not or are only reporting the ‘truth’ from a singular point of view. In general the red light areas of Bangkok are not places where you are likely to meet a representative sample of Thai people. Cities like Pattaya, even less so. This is also the case as regards the Ladyboys you may see or even meet in those types of places. Despite superficial appearances Thailand is a very conservative country both in manners and appearances. The news media tends to report on cases of violence and theft far more than acts of kindness. Ladyboys suffer a bad reputation earned for them by a certain demographic but often the focus on bad deeds are rooted in homophobia and prejudice even in an ostensibly tolerant society like Thailand. To make a balanced judgment or even see the world as it is rather than we are often told it is we need to seek out the alternative experience.  If yours has largely been in the permanent midnight of the entertainment venues in Thailand or on Kho San road and in Silom you may not have seen Thailand in all it’s glory. You may have noticed Ladyboys around you in shops, banks and restaurants but that is coincidental. While seeking an alternative view of Bangkok and its Ladyboys may not sound like a fun night out, think again!...
Ignorance, Bliss & Thai Ladyboys

Ignorance, Bliss & Thai Ladyboys

Making the Right Choices In the previous article I published a list of points to be aware of when searching for or talking to a Thai ladyboy online. If you are serious in your pursuit of a ladyboy girlfriend you may have looked through lots of profiles by now. A pattern is probably emerging. But what do you do when faced with the profile of a beautiful ladyboy who clearly fails one of the criteria that seem a minimum requirement for girlfriend status? Maybe she has tattoos? Maybe she has pictures of foreign men on her profile? (Alarm bells) Maybe she is an ‘out and out’ hooker? Well, you will probably meet her anyway, wont you farang? Forgive me for talking to myself, you may be more sensible and cautious than me! Seriously, although I would urge caution, there are exceptions to every rule and by not meeting someone who seems likely to be a hooker you may pass over a truly wonderful person. In general terms it is foolish to pursue a relationship with a prostitute even if your relationship is not that of customer but one of boyfriend (whatever that means in the world of prostitution) because of the inherent problems such a relationship is likely to confront you with. It may seem hypocritical of me to advocate looking for a girlfriend who is not a hooker when in fact the two people with whom I have the most experience have been a full time hooker and an ex hooker. Annie was a hooker before I met her. This is no secret and was discussed in Ladyboys...