Monday, April 20, 2009

introducing thailand and a nearby country personified...

thai is a young, handsome, slightly effeminate male frequently seen sauntering down a busy side street, cell phone and plastic bag in hand. In the bag is some sort of cooked meet on a stick covered in a slightly sweet, slightly spicy, sauce. His ring tone is set to a popular Thai pop song. On his head is a perfectly styled, perfectly hip, modern rock bandesque head of hair. His pants are slightly snug but it looks good on him because he is exceptionally thin and his shirt is simple yet slightly ironic in a witty playboy sexual innuendo kind of way.

Thai is a good kid who works hard but his job is in the tourist industry (just like the majority of his friends) and he finds it slightly infuriating. When he is feeling bold and willing to challenge his parents ingrained conservative view of work and life, he questions the point of focusing so much on a job that is meant to please others, but this thought is quickly pushed away by his hope to make his parents happy and desire to make money. He dreams of finding a good partner, girl or boy he is not quite sure, but either way he hopes they have work ethics that are similar to his own, conflicted thou they are.

The unspeakable place
This country is embodied as a couple. Personified, it is a young relaxed couple walking down the street, comfortably in love. The young man is slim and dressed in a tradition longyi and lose shirt. The young lady is beautiful in a youthful curveless sort of way with gold circles of sunscreen on her cheeks. While they clearly express this love outwardly and in public as he can frequently be seen gingerly placing his arm around her shoulder while she leans into him, no one would suggest they were publicly displaying inappropriate levels of affection. They are simply in love and can’t handle not touching each other. They are both quick to smile in a very genuine sort of way but this smile hides much pain. During the day they are exquisitely well behaved and act in ways that are deemed appropriate by their powerful ever-watchful government. Late at night they can be found attending secret rallies that speak of change, revolution and uprising, if only in whispers.

1 comment:

Carrie said...

You're wiser than most who see that country. As I sat here and read you words, I find myself being taken back there and can see and feel all you describe. When I was sitting in my classroom at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, CA, I would look out the window and have a beautiful view of the bay there. I'd zoned back to the lessons being taught by my native Thai teacher, repeating back the tonal sounds over and over. Later in the year, as our vocabulary increased, we would talk about the culture and the politics of the land of smiles. I found it hard to believe such a beautiful place with so many "smiles" could hide so many secrets. But once there, roaming the streets of Bangkok, I would later understand... Keep 'em coming Gwen. Love your words and insight...

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