Please save me from the choppy swirling seas of desire. Either that or throw me a life jacket so I can enjoy the ride. You see, I think I arrived in Thailand 30 years too early. Sure I like the food, the lovely people and the cute way they slip 10 green chillies into my green papaya salad just for a laugh. But I look around and feel inadequate. Where’s my barely legal wife? Where’s my previous marriage experience? Where are my offshore assets, my pension, my triple bypass? Am I a bit immature for all this?
I must confess… After a couple of badly needed light refreshments, I accidentally found myself a really good girlfriend. She is steadily dissolving every reason I have to do a runner (although I still have a few up my sleeve). I’m not completely afraid of commitment, it could be a wonderful thing. But if I give up on the Dream, how will I ever write the chapter of my life titled “The fork of tragedy comes with a spoon of hope”? I could spend my retirement writing books and lecturing farang newbies on the subtle differences between love and sex.
I can still ditch her, go home, work hard, get a big mortgage, a big car, and a bigger bald spot. And in 30 years time, if all goes well, the Dream will be mine. It will won’t it?
Dear Naïve Nick,
I am sorry I have taken all this time to reply to your heartfelt letter, but it got lost under unimportant papers on my desk. There are those of particularly churlish nature who would say all the papers on my desk are unimportant, but not so. One day, they will be worth real money! But enough of the excuses. Mathematics would indicate that you are in your mid-thirties, and have become bedazzled with your life here in sunny Thailand. You are wondering if the Dream could be a reality, and a reality ‘now’! This is the problem with you young bucks. Instant gratification is your goal, and that includes the dreams of the future. You should continue to write your life’s story, my Petal, but it needs you to experience it, with all the highs and lows, to give the opus any real depth. You need to “go home, work hard, get a big mortgage, a big car, and a bigger bald spot.” That is your destiny Nick. You need that so that in 30 years you can compare that life with your dream. And don’t despair if your dream changes over the three decades. Remember the Buddhist example which tells you that ‘All of life is change’ so you should not expect the Dream to be as it appears now. Let the girl down gently and hop on that plane, Nick. You can overcome that “fork of tragedy”!