Milk.Blitz.Street.Bomb. was born on the slick ceramic floor of a one room apartment in Buriram, Thailand. The allure of the unknown, a distaste for the status quo and the burning realization that some tales are simply better off told all lent to its conception. The year was 2011 and I was already a veteran of the nomadic life. Two years prior I had arrived in Bangkok drunk on a love of Muay Thai, living a life of no fixed territorial boundaries, indefinitely.
The original intent of MBSB was to chronicle my path and sub-sequentially stimulate others to follow theirs. In time, other voices were added. The protocol of MBSB is to give light to the dark, to unabashedly and respectfully confront topics others avoid, and to lend voice to those who bring fire to all that they do. MBSB also serves as a guide and a community for travelers and nomads; and for those interested in training martial arts around the world with a focus on Muay Thai in Thailand. At the very least, it’s meant to offer some interesting anecdotes. And some pretty pictures.
In regards to comments, please feel free to express yourself. I believe we can all benefit from healthy discourse; this includes opposing opinions and at times, conflict. However, should you feel the need to satiate your ego at the cost of someone’s humanity; your comment will be deleted. We’re all equals here.
Thanks for stopping by.
-Laura Dal Farra
Founder of Milk.Blitz.Street.Bomb.
Check out the listing of Milk.Blitz.Street.Bomb’s contributors here.
Learn more about my personal story in Muay Thai in an interview on the Muay Thai Guy podcast here.
Laura’s Greatest Hits
“An integral part of Western consciousness as I know it is to ask questions, most profoundly, Why? For example, Why did he do this? Why do most Thais do this? Why does it keep happening? Why doesn’t anyone understand this might kill me one day? …… and what I’ve learned in Thailand is this: consistent answers to any of those questions probably don’t exist and if they do, the probability of me finding out what even one of them are, is slim. Bringing it up to him directly would cause a loss of face, most notably his and I have no idea what the repercussions may be, if any. He may not even have an answer.”
“Funny I choose this as the kinder form of racism I’m faced with in Thailand. And racism is something I’m faced with often. Often meaning, sometimes daily, sometimes multiple times daily. Sometimes not for days. ”
“For a number of reasons, white women are exalted and feared. White skin is the ideal here and white women have the reputation of being as easy as they come, as easy as I can’t even imagine fathomable. I’ve probably said it before here on MBSB and if not, prepare to hear it again, but the best way I know how to put it is that the stereotype of white women is akin to a prostitute you don’t have to pay for.”
“All Thai men have more than one woman. And Thai women only have one man. It’s the way it is in Thailand. Sometimes this is said to point out that Thai men are players (either to brag or to warn). Sometimes it’s brought forth in an effort to elevate Thai women in a way that a Foreign woman (like myself) can never reach (lending to the argument that Foreign women are promiscuous). Sometimes I think it’s just relaying what someone believes as a social truth.”
“Despite my feelings towards the man, at the time I would have thought it inconceivable the breaking of my hand to be an act of intent. That belief was shattered when a group of fighters informed me otherwise, one evening, near the 7-Eleven we often congregated at in the evenings. What was spoken to me that night remained silent within me. By this point in time, I was acutely aware of a gym’s hierarchy, which is reflective of Thai culture as a whole. A student or in my case, a boxer never confronts or questions their teacher (trainer) under any circumstance.”
“A kiss goodnight. Directions to the driver. The snap of the door closing. I opened my purse. H had insisted on paying for my ride to Pomprab. After some debate I had accepted but H had placed the bills in my purse without unfolding them. Now resting between my fingers, I realized H had not only given me funds for my ride home, he had covered the majority of my rent for the month. Had I just been paid?”
“Had I been poisoned? Had I been drugged? I had never felt anything to this degree before, I wasn’t simply high. When Pacita and staff followed me to my room, I could barely move or speak once I collapsed on the bed. I just stared at that white circle. Was I going to die?”
“And so began the dance I’ve become accustomed to in Thailand with certain men, of specific dispositions who hold positions of power. I had to politely play to his ego, never giving too much, to be deemed a whore and never giving too little, to insult him. In Thailand, the repercussions could be in any range, should he decide to issue any. It would be his decision, fueled by his power and not governed by any law, or rather, one that I have confidence would be enforced.”
“Everything in my personal experience in Thailand has taught me that acting as customary of most Western women may in such situations, meaning not addressing the officers demurely, may be construed as a problem with authority, a breach of a woman’s place when addressing a man of power, and depending on who I run into, may cause me grief. In a small community, if not at that moment, perhaps later. I’ve found Western men are allowed to act as Western men may, meaning closing the power gap between them and the police, but not a woman.”
“As I approached this man’s home, there he burned, against the gate, both feet planted and fully facing me. Through the bars I could see his exposed penis resting in his left hand. His eyes bore into mine. His body didn’t move. As I passed, I thought….Really? Is it really about me? For fuck’s sake, REALLY?!!! There was no one else on the street. I turned my head and peered over my shoulder. It was definitely all about me.”
“He requested money. I told him I wasn’t going to give him any. The specifics of the conversation currently evade me, however I do recall the blank stare which emerged moments before he placed his right hand above my left breast. My words are lost in the past as are my actions, I remember little between the flattening of his hand against my bone and his hand retreating. I distinctly remember the frown that followed.”
“Approximately three to four weeks following this event my hearing was momentarily lost in a small crowd at an evening festival with family. Mentally I felt fine, but something deep inside was screaming.”
“I’ve questioned whether or not to confront my post-Thailand rage on MBSB. It’s a topic that I’ve approached with trepidation amongst friends. Despite how dark and at time of writing, taboo the topic is, it’s part of my process and I feel it should be addressed. What do I hope will come of it? Perhaps the effort will effectively illustrate how discrimination, thus feelings of powerlessness, can profoundly change someone.”
“When there are little alternatives, aka distractions to the life you’re leading, the need for them eventually dissipates.”
“The Western bubbled side of my brain tries to dissuade me from thinking that I was perhaps called fat on average, every other day for the two and a half years I lived in Buriram. The Buriram side of my brain scoffs. It shouts, “You were called it more, if you count groups of people who made fun of you. And if you exclude the days you didn’t leave your room. Or the days you ran your errands as quickly as possible to avoid people. Or the days you waited until past 4:00 pm to go out in public because that’s when the people who lived in the country went home.” There was a definite decrease in public opinion at night. So how often did this happen in any form? Too often.”
The story of how, after being hit intentionally by a car while on foot, a failed marriage, and plagued with allergies, I healed beyond what I was told was possible by training Muay Thai.
The First Five Posts…
“This road hasn’t been easy and I don’t know where it’s headed, but that’s alright. Something in my blood wouldn’t let me sleep until I followed it.”
“The Thailand I live, may not be the Thailand you know. I haven’t been able to find a reference point for it in any literature I’ve found. I know few people who relate to it.”
“More often than not, when I tell Thai nationals who aren’t born of this region that I live in Buriram, my statement elicits a variety of mixed reactions – confusion, shock, and disdain generally being the top three. Adding that I train Muay Thai doesn’t work in my favour.”
“This is the only video I’ve been able to find of my trainer/kru. He comes in at 1.46 and at 1.54 gets KO’d. When I saw this, it wasn’t the KO that I took great note of, it was how hard he tried to get up.”
“Each gym has its own culture/way of doing things, but generally will adhere to the above outline. This works for some people, but not all. Oftentimes, for a variety of reasons that I won’t presently get into, training becomes more of a workout than a progression of skills. That’s one of the reasons why you’ll find people who have been living and training in Thailand for extended periods of time who still sort of suck. I didn’t want to be one of those people.”
Selected Works Not Found on MBSB
- What’s It Worth to You? Making It to Thailand to Train Part I
- What’s It Worth to You? Making It to Thailand to Train Part II – the Finances
- Fighting the Queen’s Cup, August 12, 2009, Sanam Luang, Bangkok
- On the Importance of Learning How to Speak Thai
- The Problem of Not Sleeping with Your Trainer
- In Search of a Kru
- Introducing: Khun Songchai Ratanasuban of OneSongchai Promotions