The Continuing Saga of Finding Friendly Farangs ...

On again, off again plans...the ever changing world I live in.  I thought about going to this ‘thing’.  Then there was talk of going orchid hunting in the forest.  Then there was talk of going shopping in town together, but skipping the ‘thing’.  Then at the last minute the forest outing was back on and I found myself alone driving to town, to do the shopping.
 Orchid Hunting In The Forest

Approaching town I notice the timing was perfect for attending the ‘thing’, but should I or shouldn’t I?  We have clearly established, I think, that I am not a group person.  Neither sheep nor shepherd shall I be, marching steadfastly to the beat of my own little drummer.  At the same time I am nosy and inquisitive, eager to form my opinions through firsthand experience, not through the biased pontifications of others.  Sometimes, to avoid getting set in ones ways, it is good to step out of ones comfort zone and do something one would normally avoid.

Still uncommitted I drove into the parking lot of a hotel that has seen better days.  Spotting a familiar couple, I lowered the window to say hello.  It was at that point I guess I committed, as I seemed to have no excuse not to.  Inside I was confronted with some of what I expected.  There were the usual suspects, in the form of Hashers.  One of them, being in exceptionally fine form, immediately began outing me as the Village Farang, to all within earshot.

Now I am in no way ashamed of my alter-ego, but my wife’s Thai sensibilities are not comfortable with some of the nastiness that inhabits the online world.  With respect for her wishes, I have established a policy of don’t ask don’t tell.  Anyway, seeking a quick escape from that group I spotted a likely retreat in the far back corner.  The sole occupant of that table was unknown to me which seemed a good thing and could be easily remedied, if I wished.

A little friendly banter ensued about ours being the misfits table and us sporting identical name-tags and things were off and running.  Noticing his car keys resting on the table I quipped that he must own that big ugly black thing parked next to my big ugly black thing.  Only afterward did we discover that I was indeed correct.  Same make and model but with slightly different modifications.  So as the vehicles found each other in the parking lot, the owners found each other at the corner table.

True to form the movers and shakers of this newly evolving group, were local businessmen.  Farangs with an appetite and avidity for microphones, as well as drumming up more business through organizational membership.  Nothing at all wrong with that, just an observation.  Of course being the contrarian that I sometimes am, I might be less inclined to frequent their establishments.  That is just me, though.

The day’s speaker was topical and of some interest to me.  After all he lords over my passport and my wife’s visa for my home country, at least in this region of Thailand.  I passed on the coffee, even though I had paid for it.  I wasn’t going to waste my caffeine quota on the nasty stuff.  Better to wait until I could get to one of my favorite cappuccinos.  When I mentioned the hotel venue to my wife there was an audible groan, but I can see the logic for a new organization, trying to get by with as little investment as possible.

So all considered it was a good morning and I had met someone new who I thoroughly enjoyed talking with.  Wasn’t even bored by the guest speaker.  However, having avoided any mention of the internet at all in our conversation, I was a little disheartened when my excessively exuberant friend found it necessary to come over at the end to out me, once again as Village Farang, complete with a warning that my new friend might find himself on the pages of my blog.  As if that would be a bad thing.  Not sure what motivates people to do things like that but I try to take it in stride.

I wait with bated breath to see if I will be making a repeat visit...