Bangkok: Vanity unfair
Hello, everyone ok? Yes? Brilliant.
I’m still in Bangkok… It’s still brilliant and yes i’m still living the dream… I have however stopped drinking Black Cock whiskey, it turns out that cheap whisky isn’t very good for your internal organs especially if you drink it as much of the stuff that I was… So just the more expensive stuff for me from now on… In moderation of course.
I really should blog more often, I went from blogging every day to blogging once in a blue moon, it’s not really about people reading or commenting (vanity? Moi?) it’s more about me making a note of what i’m doing and where i’m doing it… Blogs are also a great way to vent, unload on issues that get on my nerves. I’ve been a very lucky man (obviously) when I lived in England my family can (and most probably will confirm) that I was a quiet (mostly) but actually quite an angry, moody, miserable man. Major issues made me angry, minor issues made me angry, LIFE made me angry, and sadly my nearest and dearest often had to deal with me either shouting or going into black moods on a weekly (sometimes daily) basis, but now i’m here, now I don’t work all hours in a factory job that I hate, now I don’t have the financial worries I had before… Now i’m pretty much anger and mood free... Which I have to admit is something I don’t think i’ve ever experienced before. I’ve always worried about money, I never had money but I always had money worries… I’ve suffered from mood swings pretty much all my life, as a kid i’d lock myself away in a fantasy world of comic books to shut out the real world (Superman saved me on more than one occasion), as a teenager I had friends but still the moods and doubts were there, even when girls came into my life I struggled, it’s a bit like going out for a night out with intention of enjoying yourself but some bright spark has invited the negative version of yourself along for the night and you just can’t get rid of him, as an adult (yes I finally became an adult.. I never grew up but I did become an adult) the moods and darkness got worse… Money worries worsened and my moods got worse, I must have been a nightmare to live with, so if you’ve ever lived with me I apologise. I’m sorry.
Shit this got a bit heavy didn’t it?
Where was I?
So yeah, my moods don’t swing any more... I’m actually happy… Content… At peace.
My son Nick came to visit and he noticed how “chilled” I was.. I’ve noticed it too... That nagging voice that kept me down for so long finally seems to have fucked off and left me alone. Good riddance.
I’d best get on with the blog… This is supposed to be light-hearted, not my chance to lay on a couch and delve into the corridors of my mind.
I went to Australia! (how's that for a change of pace)
Jo had to work for a week in Melbourne and I (being the dutiful husband) selflessly (yeah right) went along to give her support… Australia, I was in Australia! The weather was amazing, the people were friendly, Melbourne city centre is a short tram ride away from a beautiful beachside town called St Kilda, so we even got to visit the seaside… Where we saw penguins! I’ve never seen a penguin in “the wild” before and here they were.. Penguins!
While Jo was at work I was left to explore the city, walks along the river, a visit to the local comic book shops and one day alone at St Kilda beach were all amazing… A real experience. One day while Jo wasn’t at work we set off on a mission to find Ramsey Street (Anyone who never watched “Neighbours” will have no idea what i’m talking about) so we looked online, found the real name of Ramsey Street “Pin Oak Court” we found it was in Melbourne and that we could get there by tram.. So off we went to find Ramsey Street, an hour or so later we were there, it’s a lot smaller than i’d pictured it, Jo loved it “That’s where Scott met Charlene!” “That was Mrs Mangles house!” I was just thinking about the poor sods who live there, having to put up with this stuff all day… Still, it was cool to see it tho.
All to quickly our time in Australia came to an end and we headed back to Bangkok.
Did I mention we’ve started having Thai lessons? Two nights a week a teacher visits our home and we’re now learning to speak Thai, it’s going to be a slow process, some words/phrases seemed to stick in my head quite quickly, but others are a bit of a struggle but with Waan’s (our teachers) help we should be speaking like a native by maybe next millennium?
Thing is here in Thailand, the locals love it when you try to speak Thai... Shops, taxis etc you’ll get a whole different level of service/interaction if you try to speak a little Thai, they really do appreciate it… After years of British tourists coming here and shouting English at them, us two murdering their language must be quite refreshing.
The kids came over to visit us, it was great to see them and to show them around Bangkok... Drinks and a meal at a rooftop bar, drinks and some food at a night market and of course some trips to see the temples… Where we encountered Selfie hell.
Religion in Thailand is very important… The two main religions here are Buddhism and Islam, Buddhist temples are everywhere in Thailand and some of the most beautiful are here in Bangkok, I’m very lucky to live here and i’ve visited the temples a lot since I moved here, as the kids had visited we just had to take them to see the temples and the statue of the reclining Buddha.
As you enter the area where the temples are you are greeted with signs asking that womens shoulders are covered, no miniskirts, no Buddha tattoos... And that people are respectful.. Pretty simple right?
I get that people will take photographs ( I do it myself), I get that people will take a selfie (yuk).. However, here in this beautiful holy place, I was sickened by the levels of ignorance, vanity and insensitivity shown by some people.
For example, in front of one of the most beautiful temples in Thailand I saw one woman (picture this) her legs outstretched, her bag on her feet, her phone set to take a picture positioned on her bag, her hands pressed together in mock prayer and her eyes closed (to give the illusion of contemplation) all for one bloody Instagram picture. Everywhere we went we were met by these mindless social media sheep, all needing that one perfect picture… The beauty of the temple is forgotten it’s all “Sod the temple look at ME!”... Around this temple you will find Buddhists, actual followers of this faith trying to pray, trying to pay respects, yet all around them, these wannabe Instagram models sit around in mock religious poses just trying to gain some more likes for a worthless picture.. Answer me this.. How would these people feel if a Thai person were to visit their country and stand outside a church to have a photo taken while adopting the pose of Christ being crucified? They’d be appalled, it would be seen as offensive, yet here they are, adopting the pose of Buddha just to get a few social media “likes”. Sad vanity obsessed bastards.
We visited the dog cafe here in Bangkok… Before I start this bit of the blog i’ll pause to do something I don’t do very often… I will admit I was wrong about something.
I didn’t want to go to the dog cafe. I thought it was exploiting the animals, I felt the animals were being basically forced into situations which were out of their control... “You SHALL be petted by this person”.. I honestly just didn’t want to go there, I thought it would make me angry... However, Jo and the kids wanted to go so I HAD to go.
I was wrong.
The dogs at the dog cafe are all in excellent condition and (as far as I could see) health, they are not forced to interact, they wander around the cafe and they chose who they want to sit by and who pets them, during our visit there the dogs were all let out into the play area ( a nice sized grassy area) for food and to stretch their legs.. The staff at the cafe all seem to have their favourites and the dogs all seem to have certain members of the staff who they react to, the little corgi (who I named Gobshite) and his relationship with the female waitress there who would pretend to be cross with him so he’d hide under a table before going crawling back for a cuddle was particularly entertaining to watch… I loved the dog cafe and I loved how well the dogs here were treated… I did see way too many selfies tho. Grrrrrr.
I wonder if i’ll ever stop hating selfies…. Hmmmmmmm
Anyway.. Until next time…..