Thursday, August 11, 2011

I've kept it a secret for quite a while, since...well, I'm not the luckiest guy in the world regarding relationships, even though I've been in hundreds of them...thousands?  Who knows....

Anyway, I met a Thai woman at work some months she initially approached me, wanting to "practice her English."  Thing is...her English is practically better than mine.  But, I humored her and now, months later, our initial theme of "English practice," has progressed into something a bit more romantic.  

Her nickname is 'Na,' the typical short nicknames Muslim women usually take. heard that right.  Na is Muslim.  A card-carrying Muslim woman...replete with the head-to-tow Muslim garb...the ḥijāb (full head covering scarf...although ḥijāb also refers to the typical modest style of Muslim dress in general)  حجاب

Very traditional...long-sleeved blouses, no bare arms...long skirts or leg showing...just that pretty face I've come so attached to.

We click...I feel extremely comfortable with her and we could talk for hours together.  She's sweet, kind, extremely intelligent and full of wonderment...I find myself wanting to become a better man for her...which for me, ain't easy folks. 
There are a lot of barriers to a relationship such as ours...I'm a card-carrying agnostic, she's Muslim.  I believe in Mexican food and beer...she believes in Islam and the Koran.  I eat pork, beef, chicken...hell, anything that moves practically...and I've even eaten dog and a few other disgusting things we won't get into here...

Na lives a "Halal" life naturally, and doesn't eat pork, doesn't have dogs as pets, cannot be seen in a facility that serves alcohol...Hey, it gets even better~

Anyway, the interesting thing...(this time) me.  I'm the one with the "problem."  I'm the one worried about the impact.  I'm the one who's the pessimist in this case...not Na.  She, quite simply, is the level headed one in this relationship.  She's very easy going and is quick to say, "Mai pen rai..."  or 'no big deal.'

Na lives in Hat Yai, in an apartment, with Sa, her colleague at work.  Both are from Narathiwat, one of the three war-torn provinces to the South of Thailand, where thousands have died in the fighting and unrest there.  She travels home every weekend and holiday to spend time with her family.  No doubt a solid, Muslim family who are about to meet a big, fat, Agnostic, foreigner...very soon.
I'm not crazy about the idea of traveling the hundred or so kilometers to area where people become targets, no matter what race, creed or religion...let alone a shining white face such as mine.  But, one thing I do believe in, is this:

If you're going to do something...If you want something bad either shit or get off the stinking pot!  So, (gulp) here we go....

Na is definitely worth it.  

I've weighed the pros and cons and although there are a LOT of cons, I feel if anyone could be "THE" woman in my life I've been looking for, for ages, it definitely could be Na.  

I brought Na a white rose this morning, and even though I'm fifty-freaking-six years old and have been through tons of relationships, I was so freaking nervous!  I was shaking like a freaking leaf!  But, she was so happy and so appreciative...and I felt so...on-top-of-the-world! - after giving her that rose and talking to her heart doing double-time..

I really, much...want to be with that woman of my dreams.  I've fooled myself so many times and said, "Oh, I don't need anybody!  I'm just cool all by myself..."  

Horse poo poo.  

No matter how hardened an individual is, everybody 'needs' somebody to be there for them and love them.  I'd be honored to have Na by my side...

Okay..let's shift gears into motorcycle gears!

The reason for my "theme" picture today...MOTORCYCLE not only due to my witnessing many, many motorcycle accidents here in Thailand...(some very, very graphic and gross...), but the two extraordinary things that happened to me today...

I was teaching my 3/3 Vocational College class and was giving the students their test scores.  I called out one woman's name and the students began to stir...and laugh.  They said something in Thai I didn't understand and finally one student in the front of the class with a dictionary, looked up and said, "Her in dead...motorcy accident (Thai's don't say motorcycle, they shorten the word to motor-cy) then the students all began to laugh.  

I was taken aback at the cruelty of the matter.  Here was one of their own in the hospital, dying or dead and they were laughing about it.  I've learned many things about Thai's and although I know they can be terribly cruel, this took the cake for me.  All I could do was just give them all a dirty look and cut the class short.  

Again, like many times in the past when one of my students died in accidents here, I couldn't picture her face.  The class is not that large, but there's a good twenty-four faces to put to a name and I just couldn't do it, which upset me.  I feel so bad for her.  

Then, in the afternoon I took a short jaunt into Ban Klong Ngae.  When I was done with my business I backtracked and drove to the intersection to cross and head back home, when I saw a young girl on a Vespa take a turn into the middle of the intersection too sharply and loose control, going down.  

I hardly thought about it...I just zipped into the middle of the intersection, hopped off my bike and helped her up.  Nobody...not one Thai soul...even made the slightest attempt to help her, they just sat there and gawked, one woman across the street actually laughing.  

The girl was maybe in her early twenties.  She was shook up a bit and had a nasty road burn on her right knee, but was otherwise okay, repeating "Mai pen rai, mai pen rai," obviously embarrassed and turning to the woman across the street who was laughing and looking at her incredulously.  Then she started her bike and was off...

I passed the woman who was laughing and gave her my best, "You're an asshole," looks, for all it was worth.  

Troubling day for me, finding such cold-hearted, uncaring people surrounding me.  




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