The MRT in Bangkok just announced it is offering free service to passengers 60 years of age and older during this year’s Songkran festivities (April 13-15), as usual, and the BTS will soon undoubtedly announce the same. Some consider this type of promotion an example of the way Asians honor the elderly. I think it’s just a ruse to get the grumpy old farts out where they make for easier targets for dousing. But it is that time of the year, and while the masses get ready for the world’s largest water fight the old farts are preparing their annual list of all the reasons why they hate Songkran.
When your idea of a good party is a wake, the Thai version of a new year’s celebration is probably not for you. So plan accordingly. And that means realizing whether or not you qualify as an old fart. Yet. So here is a list to help you out, AKA: You Know You’re An Old Fart When . . .
Your Thai boyfriend’s nickname for you is Finit.
You refer to the 43-year-old doorman at your hotel as a boy.
Your aversion to eating grasshoppers is not that they’re gross but that their legs get stuck in your dentures.
You think you offed your boy du jour once before only to discover that was his father.
You realize that’s not your boy du jour touching your ass, it’s the carpet.
You know the plus in Songkran is that no one will notice you are incontinent.
The barkers at Dreamboys automatically help you up the stairs.
You refer to Viagra as your memory pills.
You complain the gogo bars aren’t open at 4pm.
You avoid the hassle of visiting Soi Twilight by picking your boy du jour from those having breakfast with their customer at your hotel.
Your biggest complaint about Thailand is that the Bangkok Post doesn’t print obituaries.
You don’t think of Rama VIII as a bridge but as a person.
You’re glad your Thai boyfriend only wants you for your money.
You get arrested on lese majeste charges for referring to the king as your contemporary.
You don’t think of Dick’s Cafe as a restaurant but rather as a handy place for a short, much needed rest.
You know where the elevators are located at every BTS station.
The little octogenarian lady selling tom yum soup on the street offers you a senior’s discount.
You know the Thai word for Depends.
You don’t need to know the Thai word for toilet thanks to your Depends.
Your arteries get harder than your dick does.
The abbot at your local wat wais to you.
You book your airline seat in business class ‘cuz the exit door is too far away from coach.
You don’t feel bad when you hear about the latest flying farang because you realize accidents do happen.
You avoid the Balcony Bar because accidents do happen.
You realize the gogo bar you’re headed to closed down twenty years ago.
Pattaya suddenly starts to make sense.
You define a happy ending as a nap.
The mamasan asks you if you want a drink of water instead of asking if you want a boy.
Tuk tuk drivers just smile at you as you walk by.
The money you used to send to your Thai boyfriend you now send to PBS.
You worry about getting your Motorola Razor wet during Songkran.
Bar boys don’t ask, “How long you stay Bangkok?” ‘cuz they know it may be shorter than you think.
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Today in Thailand is Makha Bucha Day, a Buddhist holy day that farang celebrate by whining about not be able to buy enough booze to get them through ’til tomorrow. Most Thais, however, ignore the sexpats crawling through the gutters and head for the closest wat to pay their respect to the Buddha. Those whose religious fever over cheap booze and even cheaper boys was instrumental in their deciding to call Thailand home on the other hand, often claim that if you’ve seen one wat you’ve seen them all, a convenient excuse to not spend time away from their favorite boy bar, and an excuse they seldom use to dispense with that same familiarity they have with a bottle of gin.
But as the more enlightened and sober folk know, every wat is unique unto itself. And every Buddha is different. Every Buddha is special, and every Buddha’s hands tell a story. Known as mudras, the position of the Buddha’s hands reference either an important occasion in his life, or one of the principle Buddhist virtues. And since virtues are one of the things lacking among the sexpat population, learning more about some of the better known mudras may help lead to enlightenment. Or at least temporary sobriety. Time spent at a local temple would be the obvious manner to gain this knowledge, but for the sexpat indulging in one of his favorite pastimes – offing a bar boy – can be equally educational as like the Buddha moneyboys often display these meaningful hand gestures too.
Occasionally referred to as throwing Buddhist gang signs, each traditional mudra has a specific meaning. And each imparts a message that, when properly understood, may help cause a sexpat to drop to his knees in reverent worship. Thusly, an explanation of the more common mudras your boy du jour may display seemed like an appropriate post for Makha Bucha Day:
The Dhyana, or Samadhi mudra, is the hand gesture that promotes energy and a cleansing of all impurities, in which the delusion of attachment becomes the wisdom of discernment with the extended finger representing the ‘solitary realizers’. When your boy du jour throws the Dhyana mudra he is reminding you that from past experience he has learned he can earn just as large of a tip by chuck-wowing you as by actually performing those sexual acts you had your heart set on.
The Vitarka mudra is the hand gesture that evokes the energy of intellectual discussion, or argument. Knowing sexpats as he does, your boy du jour realizes in your case that just means arguments. But like all Thais he will avoid confrontation at all costs. Regardless of what that ends up costing you. This mudra comes in handy for him as it allows for a transmission of a particular teaching with no words. Especially if he has just arrived in Pattaya and has not yet learned how to say iPhone. You can interpret it to mean: if you want this, you’ll buy me . . .
The Hridaya mudra may prove very helpful to release pent-up emotions and unburden your heart. It is symbolic of bringing together two aspects of enlightenment, wisdom and method – meaning your boy du jour is wise to your methods. It’s a promise that he will help you release your pent-up energy flow, provided you unburden his heart by demonstrating you are not a cheap bastard and will tip him what he’ll pretend he is worth.
The Varada mudra expresses the energy of compassion, liberation, and an offering of acceptance. This mudra is also called a boon-granting mudra, because it helps bestow a specific quality of energy one might be seeking from another. This mudra expresses further the rarefied and powerful energy emanating from an enlightened being through his or her hands. Or wallet. Initially it appears to be a natural gesture – probably used from prehistoric times as a sign of good intentions – that proposes friendship, or at least peace; since antiquity, it was also a gesture asserting power. As such it is your boy du jour’s reminder to you that it is in his power to make your dreams and wishes come true, provided there is taxi money involved on top of his tip.
Typically translated as the Mudra of Unshakable Self Confidence, this hand gesture evokes so much more. Or so much less depending on which side of the bedroom you’re standing in. It is the hand gesture that evokes greeting another being with the utmost respect and adoration for the Divine in all bar boys. It is also called warding off the evil and is one of the more popular mudras thrown by bar boys while a potential customer decides whether or not to off him. Easy to interpret in any language, it means you can look, but not touch. Unless you are willing to tip him first.
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