Saturday, December 11, 2010

No, I am not a ladyboy

Phew! It's time to brush some dust off in here.

I've finally finished this semester, and now I'm eagerly waiting for the results on my Chinese exam and the term paper that I handed in for my China's politics and society class.

But now - Christmas holiday! And what am I doing? I'm going to Thailand!

As I wrote about in one of the very first posts in this blog (please read it!), I spent one year living alone in Bangkok studying Thai, when I was 18-19-years old. I had an amazing year, and gained many friends and priceless life experiences.

When I returned to Norway I knew that there would be at least a few years before I would be able to go back to Thailand, and that it would, most likely, only be for a short visit.

Now, almost three years and a completed bachelors degree later, I suddenly realised that now is the chance.

Going to Thailand in the winter time is, understandably, much more appealing than traveling in the summer time when you live in Norway. Do you have any idea how cold it is?

These past few weeks the temperature has on average been around minus 13 degrees celsius. It ain't nothing romantic about snow and cold, I tell ya.

Lick it, liiick it
Lick this trash can and your tongue will stick and you'll have to rip it off
A well-known hazard to curious
kids and stupid (drunk) adults

I'm spending four weeks in Thailand.

I'll be in Bangkok most of the time, but I'll probably be traveling a bit around too. Anette is joining me in January, and we'll, among other things, travel waaay North in the country to visit the little boy that she is sponsoring through the organization called Plan.

Bangkok is my favourite city in the World

Do you know how much easier it is to write
Japanese and Chinese
and make it look pretty,
compared to Thai?
After one year of studying Thai
my hand writing still
looked like it belonged to
a six-year-old,
tsk tsk

A little more about the title of this blog.

As you may or may not know, transvestites are very common in Thailand. Almost to the extent that it is almost considered as a third gender.

When I went to Thailand as an 18-year-old I had never imagined that my gender would ever be questioned.

Thais are very curious and warm people, and they also take the liberty of saying and asking anything that comes to mind - a frequent reason for culture shock, especially to Westerners.

If you're fat, they'll tell you you're fat. If they think you're ugly, they'll tell you you're ugly. Often in an good-humored way.

Still, it can often be a hard pill to swallow.

People who's never been to Thailand think I over exaggerate when I tell them that I got mistanken for a ladyboy all the time, when I lived in Thailand. But it's true, and actually not a big deal.

The first time I got confronted by someone who kept insisting that I was a ladyboy, I refused profoundly, and naturally got pretty upset. Out of all of the insecurities a 18-year-old is having, there's really no need to add ladyboy-accusations, right?

Luckily, being in possession of a great deal of self irony, I soon got used to the idea. I even used it to my advantage, sparing myself of being cheated for money, acting along like I was a ladyboy in situations where being a foreigner meant that I'd be charged a higher price. High five!

I totally get why people in Thailand often mistake me for a ladyboy. Hey, I'm more manly than most Thai men are, being almost 5'9 feet and having trained hard, doing TaeKwon-Do since the age of ten.

Poor Thai people, they get so confused.

They see this tall and bulky semi-caucasian creature, that refuses to speak in a soft and comfortable voice that is expected by gracious Thai women, but rather is pretty rowdy and laughs in an almost disturbingly loud and evil way - still she (he?) speaks fluent Thai, so maybe she's not a foreigner after all. Surely it must be a ladyboy.

Once again their world makes sense.

I vary my response depending on the situation.

When walking down the street overhearing some cheeky Thai teen boy saying to his friend "Hey, was that a man or a woman" as I passed by, I'd abruptly turn around and say "Yo momma is a ladyboy" in a very rude Thai way complete with ghetto hand gestures.

No, I wouldn't.

But this time around it wouldn't cost me two cents to give that response. Unless I suspect it'll get my ass kicked. Mostly I would just deepen my voice (even more) and say "Yes, I'm a ladyboy" and even throw in some appropriate ladyboyish phrases for good measure.

No wonder they think I'm a man

One of my teachers whom I befriended at school was this 24-year-old woman. She was so petite, weighing 38 kilos (she stepped on a scale in front of me once) - I was scared to touch her, fearing that I'd pull her arm off if I grabbed her too tight. I used to make jokes and put my arm around her and point from me to her and say "mother/daughter", to the amusement of the other teachers.

God, I've missed my teachers so much, and I can't wait to see them again!

18-year-old Kine together with an average Thai woman
in her mid thirties
(don't mind the slutty outfit)

I leave on Monday (the 13th of December), and I'll be arriving in Bangkok in the afternoon local time on Tuesday. I'm bringing my mac, camera gear and the whole shabang. Stay tuned!

Are you guys still with me, or what?


Dag said...

I´m still here Kine, eagerly anticipating the next blog post! Have a nice time in Thailand Kine! :-)

Kae said...

Riktig god tur, Kine! Håper du får en kjempemessig opplevelse denne gangen også, og ta godt vare på deg selv. Klem!

Miss_Cookai said...

เดินทางโดยปลอดภัย และเที่ยวให้สนุกนะจ้ะ

.;*Miina*;. said...

En venn av meg var på utveksling i Thailand, og han fikk visst litt sjokk av alt det stygge de sa til hverandre, ja! Jeg merker litt den samme tendensen hos koreanere, men langt ifra så mye som jeg har hørt at de i Thailand gjør det.

Håper du får det dritkult! Gleder meg til å se masse fine bilder! :D

Gee said...

Welcome back :D
Of course Thailand missed you too!

X. said...

Gleder meg maks til å komme ned til deg og din verden! :D


Unforgettable. ไม่ลืมได้... So this is how the other side of the other side feels.