Friday, December 4, 2009

Alone in Bangkok

I warn you, this is going to be another heavy post.

I have handed in my thesis today, so far so good. I have to defend it on December 18 and then hand i'll be nearly finished. Looking for jobs now...

Actually I am not happy in Bangkok anymore right now. And I am not happy with what I have done in Bangkok during the last nearly two years. I had always thought I am a social person. I usually get along with most people and am quite chatty and I suppose also relatively friendly.

But how can it be that after 2 years of living in Bangkok I am here at home despite really wanting to go out? How can it be that in the next 2 days, I will probably speak to no person except some sales girl at 7eleven?

Well, the two most important people of my time in Bangkok, my boyfriend and bff Kawadjan are currently outside of the country. Then, other friends are busy with their parents and family over the Father's Day weekend.

But these are excuses. I have simply not made many good friends over this time in Bangkok. Time to think back.

I have started here like everyone else does. Talk to a few people on the internet and meet them when arriving here. It was actually quite funny. I arrived in Bankgok at about 1am and was in the hotel by 2am. At that time there were quite some people who wanted to meet me RIGHT NOW. Strange, but I suppose I was fresh flesh.

Then, meeting the first few friends I had made online. Most of them went from fuckbuddy to friends and into oblivion in a few days. With some, I didnt even get to friends. To be honest, I craved sex and being close to someone. I was without it for quite some months before coming here.

Just a few weeks later came the phase of thinking about potential boyfriends. I think that happens with many arrivals here in Bangkok. Although I must say I didnt make the mistake of trying to find them at DJ or at Babylon (although there are certainly nice people in both places).

I like one guy but there was a lot of drama before we were even close to a relationship. That put me off. There was another guy. We had a great time but he was too feminine and that put me off being a top sexually for the next few months. Then there was another guy who lived right next to me. We got along very well too, he slept at my place a lot and went to work in the hotel next door in the morning. Later on there was also a guy who designed baby clothes. I think we liked each other too. But it was nothing serious either. I dont know why but suddenly we didnt meet anymore. Now I lost contact with all of them, which is ok.

By that time, I had already talked a lot to my exboyfriend (at the time, now my boyfriend) who was living in Sydney. He told me he is coming to Thailand to study for a year and basically from the moment he said it I swore myself not to fall in love with anyone until he is here. I wanted to give us another chance.

So I just met people for sex. Sometimes they were friends. I dont remember so well. Some I met at 3am spontaneously, others I went out with them on quite nice dates only to stupidly suggest to "go to my place". Arrived there, we would be bored....and have sex again.

I am not sure if sex destroys friendships but anyway, that's not the point I want to make. I dont even want to think badly about myself for having sex with many people. But, in fact, I just missed out on many other vital things like making friends!

It is actually not so easy. I had a lot of classes and hung out quite a bit with my classmates. We'd always go to Siam together after class and do what Thais love to do: shopping, eat and gossip. But that is not how you make great friends either...

I made good friends with two classmates. One, a girl, lives near me and we meet up quite frequently. I was really moved recently when she invited me to her birthday party as the only outsider (outside her family). It was really nice to be part of her family.

The other one is a gay guy. We were quite close but I dont know why we never became really, really close friends. He was always too shy to ask me if I was busy. And he also lived very far from the city, and then later had a job and I assumed he was busy.

The rest (all Thais) of my class, I was just not interested. They built their own cliques and I wasnt part of that. Apart from school was where I really missed an opportunity to make friends. Just this week I met a friend again whom I met at the beginning. We have similar interests and he studies politics at Chulalongkorn too. He's really involved in NGO work and I should have really gotten involved too.

Chasing boys is really not a good past time...

I had also never met foreigners in Bangkok. How could I? I didnt get involved in anything, I didnt connect with foreigners when I went out. Heck I was even proud of only knowing Thais in the city. But of course, I hardly shared anything with them, so we didnt stay friends.

I had two Thai gay friends. With one I used to play badminton. Then he got a German boyfriend and I wanted to warn him of rushing off to Germany after knowing him for 4 weeks. He was angry at me for that and we never talked again really. We lived near each other in Sathorn and used to just meet up and get a few beers at Family Mart, sit down and talk. It was great fun.

Later, another friend also joined us for badminton. We used to go eat out together too and just talk. that was quite nice....but then things flattened down and when he just kept calling me "fattie", I once threw a badminton shuttle at him and then he didnt speak to me anymore until today.

Then, the boyfriend arrived in Thailand. We spent a lot of time obviously as we became a couple again. I shut off all contact with friends/fuckbuddies because I just simply lost interest in them. since then I have slowly started to talk to people again that I used to get along with, but it's too late now to build new friendships.

In hindsight, the big mistake was to not get involved in anything. No club, no association no nothing. Back in Switzerland, clubs form the backbone of society. Everyone is in a club. Be it the shooting club, the volleyball club, the card came club, the nature and hiking club. Here in Thailand, society is built up differently: first comes family, then comes family, and then maybe old time friends, followed by potential boyfriends and maybe new friends. You dont need to be part in clubs, because you are by default in a "club" are in a hierarchical position, which defines a lot of your life anyway. Of course, some people are active in things like Thai dance and music (my classmate), but that's the minority.

And so, I walked through Siam today - alone. There were thousands of people out today. Everyone seemed to have a friend or a partner with them, seemed to enjoy themselves while looking great. For the first time in a few months I actually felt ugly.

I used to walk alone through Siam at the beginning hoping that I could just be with someone or take someone home. Today, it'd not all that different except that I cant take anyone home. So in fact I am even more alone than then.

A lot of lessons to be learned from that. I hope I will learn them for my next stop.


lance said...

actually you are quite handsome..also have a uniquely nice and caring personality. while reading your post i found so many positive things you have accomplished

BB said...

thanks lance....

that guy in the post below isnt me by the way;))

Thank you for all these compliments. I have to stop saying that readers dont know me, I think you guys know more about me than many of my friends...

I may have accomplished a lot but I have also missed many chances.

Anonymous said...

You'll find Aussies in Sydney quite friendly and the atmosphere, especially in summer, more relaxed. As for farang in Bangkok, too many of them are busy chasing Thai boys and unless you are doing the same, no real connection. - Ian

teacherbob2 said...

we all have these moments. we often have them when separated from loved ones. and we most often have them during some sort of holiday time. my years of mental health work showed me how many people feel they are missing or lacking something at holiday time and much comes from media like movies that tell how insanely happy we should be. truth is sometimes we are and sometimes we arent. you have accomplished much in the last year. and your reflections now are like a good summing up that can help you next year. and you teach me too. I too need more social outlets. I realized that a bit ago and am slowly working on it. I too get obsessed with work and its necessary and so most of my own social is around the bf. but I need more and you need more. good lesson yeah? so let it be transforming for you now. take care

BB said...

bob...your point goes back to my happiness-post I think. Perhaps I (and you too) was happy because I had a lot of social contacts, albeit just with few people. but it still made me happy.

thanks for your supporting words! I agree with you.

BB said...


I still think there's a bit of a cultural barrier here which makes it difficult to make friends (or a boyfriend) with a Thai person.

The farang? Yes well I used to write to farangs too online to make friends but none was interested. They are chasing Thai boys indeed.

The way to go would have been to make these friends via common interests, not common sexuality:)

Anonymous said...

Dear BB: Do not be too sad. Gays have an enormous burden no matter where or how they live. I had one bf/lover for 15 years who left me for a younger man. I am now 50 years old. A successful professional and a lonely one. I just feel no energy to start searching again. I will stay with my books and my dreams. Make the best of your situation and kindle your inner life and soul.
Best wishes, Fran

Christian said...

Hi BB, I would never expect to read something like this in your blog. This is similar to my situation, however mine is much worse. I’ve been living in the UK for two years and made only some superficial friendships (i.e. some people I chat more with at work than with others, friends I regularly meet at disco – and only at disco), but I spend most of my evenings and weekends alone (actually, situation in Germany was worse, but before my coming-out I focussed on work, only now I realize what a poor social life I have; the first year in the UK, I watched TV up to two hours a day). Worse insofar as weather in UK is horrible and eyecandy (yes, there is eyecandy in UK: Chinese students from China and Chinese born in the UK and a very handsome Singaporean and a very handsome Malaysian) is only for watching, but not for touching in hetero-disco (meaning: I don’t get laid in the UK). Maybe it’s my fault, I have no mobile phone in the UK (no-one calls me, so I need no phone), maybe I should get one; on the other hand, I’ve been asked twice for my number in two years (leads to the question: who asks whom for number when two people meet?). When I go food-shopping (the only shopping I do), I too check how many people are there in pairs or groups as I’m always alone. I’m highly surprised to read a similar story from you, that contradicts everything I thought about your live from reading your blog. Fortunately, I’m an optimist, so I can cheer myself up be telling me that I’m German (is this racism?), young (I’m 29, am I on the verge of middle-aged?), healthy, intelligent, good-looking, well-educated and wealthy. Hope this doesn’t sound arrogant, but it’s true! If I wasn’t optimistic, I would be suicidal. So if you still feel lonely, think about feeling lonely, living in a country with cold, wet, windy weather and watching eyecandy without getting laid. Feel better now?

BB said...

Fran. I dont feel I have a burden for being gay. On the contrary, I keep thinking we are lucky. I think men and men get along better than men and women.

Christian. Well how about being Swiss (is that good or bad), 26, well-educated, handsome and wealthy in a city full of hot men not getting laid? About the same, no?

I am not feeling bad about getting laid by the way, you must have misread the post...

Christian said...

I rather think being gay is a burden. But this depends on the individual situation. You have not been in the closet for 15 years! But with a bit of sarcasm, it's bearable: in a hetero-disco, there is a choice of 50% (because half is male and half is female) for heteros, whereas in a homo-disco there is 100% choice.

From the things I'm missing (social life, boyfriend - I never had one, getting laid), getting laid is the easiest to get (at least in Bkk), therefore my focussing on this one.

Now I finally have to address the "hot men". I can't say that I was disappointed when I was in Bkk in August, but in 3 Go-go-bars, there was no-one crying "off-me". I think I'm rather in the Chinese-looking type. The next holiday in Bkk will show. Wealthy is relative. I can afford to travel to Bkk 3 or 4 times a year. On the other hand, my life is poor because I have to go to Bkk to get someone to hug and cuddle (and maybe more).

This post reminds me of a joke (in German, untranslatable): "Einsamer sucht Einsame zum gemeinsamen Einsamen".

BB said...

I really dont understand why you measure "hot men" in bangkok on its gogo-boys. Treat bangkok like a normal city where you try to find a date because you like someone and someone likes you and will love it. I hope you are not under a misconception that just because you are German, you are free to chose whoever you wish here in Thailand.

Christian said...

Ah well, this could lead to a lengthy discussion which is off-topic.

I just wanted to express my surprise that you feel alone.

Something different: Articles seem to go missing. In July, saved parts of you blog, it says 59 entries for 2008. Now, there are only 53 entries for 2008. Especially your first article (July 14, 2008 about a moneyboy) is missing, I wanted to read this again and didn't find it!

BB said...

No, honestly I have a problem with people with this attitude (e.g. seeing Bangkok from a gogo-bar perspective) it totally misses the point of a city. You dont go to hamburg and try to meet a beautiful lady at the reeperbahn right?

Articles dont just go missing, they are taken off by my. I think they dont fit into the picture anymore, sorry.