Trip Start Dec 28, 2004
272Trip End Ongoing
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So there is always this great debate about what takes the most getting used to while living in Thailand. many people (such as the parents) found it horribly odd that your food would come out one dish at a time when ordering at a restaurant and there could be as much as a 30-40 minute delay between the first and last dish. other people find the Thai half assed way of doing things very strange. i mean to be honest, the Thia's (and just about all Asians as far as i have encountered out here) cannot see past the immediate time frame. an example would be if you were to ask a taxi driver to drive you around for a few days but at a discounted rate, they would surely refuse and just want the full rate for one ride. they refuse to see how something can be beneficial if it is not immediate. i cannot even try and to imagine how difficult it is for foreign companies to do business out here. there is a true myriad of responses to this age old question but i think one of the strangest things is that in Thailand there really is 3 separate sexes. there is the male, the female and the katoay (cross dresser/transvestite). now you may be smiling and nodding and thinking of the few gay bars in the city that you have passed or the occasional rainbow flag you see here and there but nothing compares to the extent it occurs in Thailand. i have not been able to put my finger on why it is so prevalent (sp) here. I'm not sure if it is the Buddhist religion that has influence or if its just an accommodating nature but there are so many lady boys here it is crazy. take ninny's village as an example. it is not a big city and to be perfectly frank, its bfe. it's equivalent in America can be found somewhere in the backwaters of Nebraska. despite the rural nature and small size of the village (probably about 200-300 people) there are 7-8 lady boys who live here, one of whom is 14 years old.
i have a friend who teaches English to 7 and 8 year olds and he says that even at that age there are boys who are wearing nail polish and are totally effeminate and you just know that they are going to end up being lady boys. i wonder if the ratio of gay/trans to straight is the same as in the rest of the world but Thailand is just more open and accepting and therefore the people don't feel the need to "go into the closet". I'm not a homophobe in any form and the 3rd sex does not bother me other then the times that its 4am on khao san road and they are trying to give you a "massage". i just find it a very strange thing to adjust to after having been raised in the west with its twisted judeo christian ethics and homophobia.