Lately I’ve been catching glimpses of myself in the mirror and thinking, What’s up Armando? You’re looking pretty worn out. Translation: I see my father with dark circled peepers, a bad wig and clothes that look like they’ve been pulled in opposing directions staring blankly at me. Or, as stated by a female who, when sitting at my laptop lurking portraits of prior Thailand me, turned her head in my direction and said, “Wow, you really have given up a lot to come out here.”
So my recent manifesto is to bring the stereotyped feminine back into my life. Dresses, hair treatments, perfumed sheets, clothes that weren’t made for boys, and today, straightened, freshly blonde highlighted hair and red lipstick.
Didn’t matter that all I had to do was get some food, pick up some tailoring (that’s right), and hit the local market, I wore my hair down and put on my fifties glam mouth for the hour and a half I was out of my room. Yeah.
If I had a tiara, I’d be wearing it as I’m writing this now.
So, I’m standing on the street talking to a woman I know, when a female I’m not sure if I know pulls up on a blue motorbike.
She yells out at me, “I want to talk to you!”
Now I have a bit of a problem here in Buriram. Buriram is one of those cities where there isn’t a whole lot for me to distinguish people apart. There seems to be approximately three haircuts or variations of for the majority of the female population and it’s all based on age. Young girls have one. Marrying aged girls have another. And old women another. And they all seem to be of relatively similar heights and statures. There also doesn’t seem to be a lot of clothing choices for any of them. Or maybe that’s just my girl-who-is-used-to-being-around-a-lot-of-different-looking-people’s impression. In short, I get confused.
Months can go by without me seeing another white female, and what I seem to encounter is a good number of locals who know me and some of my story, and I have no idea who they are.
People can meet me for ten minutes a year ago and remember me (It’s the white girl). Me? I do exactly what I did today. Smile and think, Who is this? And assume I’ll be able to figure it out.
So I walk over to the the late twenties, mid thirties-ish looking woman with long hair and think…she has glasses.
This threw me off.
And she’s speaking to me in English….maybe she’s someone who has been calling me (which happens. Someone gets my number from someone else, they call me, invite me out, and I have absolutely no idea who the hell it is).
“What country are you from?”
Okay. We’ve never met.
“Oh, Canada. Will you be friends with me?” (This is normal.)
“Will you come with me now to my home?”
“Sorry, no, I don’t have time today.”
“Will you have time tomorrow?”
“I don’t know yet.”
“Can I be your boyfriend?” (This, I’m not accustomed to).
She pauses and her face resembles one who is trying to choose the right words in a language they were not born into.
“Can I be your boyfriend?”
I repeat what she said, in Thai. Asking if I understood it right.
Confirmation received. My brain did not deceive me.
She looked at the pained expression on my face.
“Okay, you are very, very cute. Good-bye.”
Not exactly how I expected to bring the feminine into my life, but okay.
Monday, July 4, 2011