Wawee


retirecheaply

He was loathe to see himself as a foolish old man, but that’s exactly who he was. Dawn found him awakening from dreams full of regret. Opportunities squandered, promises broken. Other people had moved on, but not him. Not really. Sure, he moved across the globe to get a new start, but upon arriving he realized to his horror that he had brought himself along on the journey.

Sure, there were new people for him to meet, new women for him to snare, but what would be the point if it all ended up in the same mess he’d created many times before? He could claim that his intentions were good and always had been, but even he didn’t buy it. It was deception, pure and simple. No use continuing to fool himself.

The only way out of this would involve changing his behavior. He would have to learn to…

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Out and About


The hour is late. Later than I think, but what I think doesn’t really matter in the long run, for it is Fate that holds all the cards. My predictions rarely coincide with reality. Reality and I have never been close. We have always ignored each other as often as possible.

I just turned seventy and today I bought a minimal medical insurance policy that applies only here in Thailand, where medical costs are a fraction of what they are in the West, as well as minuscule term life insurance policy that they will not offer me next year, for by then I will be too old to be a satisfactory risk. My wife and I thought it would be the prudent thing to do, for watching my expatriate friends launch GoFundMe campaigns on social media to cover their medical bills seems, oh I don’t know…sad.

My Thai wife assures me that the six thousand dollar term life insurance benefit would cover a proper disposal for these tired bones. Nobody gets buried around here. It’s all about cremation. Your coffin need not be plush nor substantial, for it’s only going to be in use for a few hours.

When Asian people notice my long ear lobes they assure me I am due a long life. Like the Buddha, my ear lobes hang low enough to flap in the breeze. I will live well into my nineties. That could either be a blessing or a curse, depending on how things work out.

In fact, even though my wife is twenty years my junior, she may predecease me, for Thai people don’t tend to live as long as Westerners.

I’ve seen infirm and elderly foreigners leaning on the arms of much younger Thai women, and the attraction seems to the casual observer more centered on nursing than romance. Especially in Pattaya, the coastal city of a million people a two-hour drive from Bangkok, where poor Thai girls from the provinces go to find work, these pairings are common. If equal numbers of Thai elderly of both sexes exist, they are in hiding. They are not out and about in Pattaya, or Bangkok shopping malls.

There are no victims here, simply a mutually beneficial work situation. Forget about first world notions of romance and intimacy based on “equality” whatever that might be. Why call it “exploitation?” It’s a free market in action.

MUSICAL MUSEUM


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As museums go, it was a real sleeper. Somebody had walked off with all the portable instruments, and the piano and organ were covered with mold. But I enjoyed the setting, nestled deep in several vacant lots.

 

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The groundskeeper was neither talkative nor helpful, but he did cast a menacing air that might curb further vandalism.

 

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There was a lunchroom just  down the road where the food was as cheap as one could hope for in these uncertain times.

 

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Apparently, the museum’s director is a graduate of Moscow State University, but when he returned to his home country for “continuing education” he was never seen again.

 

GREECE. Mani. Pirgos Dirou. 1962. Woman at graveside. "A Greek Portfolio"

 

I’ve heard his wife took it pretty hard, and is now housed in a nearby rest home, at the end of the one of the vacant lots.

So Excited


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We were so excited by the three new bridges across our divided highway. So this was the Progress we had been promised ever since the War ended! Just think of the high standard of living we’ll enjoy thanks to Atomic Energy and Free-Market Capitalism!

Let’s face it, motels used to be so modest as to be dumpy by today’s standards. There’s a new energy that is seeping into everything, a new confidence in a better future. I guess you could call it a “Hope In A Better Tomorrow!”

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Of course, not every building can be exciting. Sometimes, if you can’t see the sign you can’t tell what a building has been designed for. Is this a real estate office or a vacuum cleaner repair shop? No, there’s the sign, it’s coffee shop, or cafe as they say in France! Here in the Midwest, severe conformity and lack of imagination have their way with almost everything you see. That’s just who they are and they’re proud to let their buildings let you know!

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But drive a thousand miles to the southwest, and things perk up! Vacationing families can tuck the station wagon behind a saw palmetto bush and enjoy themselves at the pool, relaxing later at the piano bar. Like exhausted families, you can bet that lonely sales representatives need a good night’s sleep after a hard day of cold calling, and this is just the kind of place they can find it!

The Glamorous Lives of Most Expatriates


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Thailand serves the same function for the world at large that California served for the United States.  It’s the place you wind up when you bomb out of every other place.  Many an alcoholic abandoned his family in St. Louis or Omaha and drank himself to death in Los Angeles or San Francisco.  He was not alone in this, for there were legions of men just like him in California’s coastal cities, using alcohol to dissolve the shackles that bound them back east.

 

In many third world countries these men arrive from all over the world: Finland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Great Britain, France, Germany, Canada, Australia, the United States. They’re not in search of anything; in fact they’re in full retreat. The reason the language barrier doesn’t slow them down is because they’re not interested in communicating with the women whose services they purchase. When it comes to these men, there’s literally no one home. If you look into their eyes, it’s like staring at a stroke victim. Error Message 404 Server Not Found.

 

Some of them can still take care of themselves. They shower and shave. Others, not so much. It doesn’t matter to the ladies who are waiting for them to die. The younger bar girls have many of these men “one the line,” and their major problem is keeping all these geezers straight. The men return to their home countries, clean out another bank or retirement account, and then return to their “new home.” Often it’s a small room in a high rise. Often the room has a balcony for drying clothes and where the air-conditioner vents.

 

If the room is on a sufficiently high floor, the balcony can also be used as a final exit to the ever-diminishing existence these men have chosen.

Hot Off the Kindle Press!


 

The family-friendly, feel-good book of the summer. A real page turner, even though no one falls in love or receives an unexpected windfall. Reading this book is guaranteed not to tax your brain, nor result in suicidal impulses! This tome contains the distilled essence of centuries of human experience, yet retails for less than a dollar! So you don’t forget, download today!

 

 

 

Discrimination is alive and well in Thailand


The Land of Smiles, they call themselves

 

Thailand is a signatory to a World Trade Organization agreement that forbids dual pricing for the same service based on nationality or race. Currently foreigners pay up to ten times as much to enter a national park as do Thai citizens.

I am currently unable to swim in my local swimming pool, for which I pay a yearly fee, because only Thai people are currently allowed to swim. The Covid-19 Pandemic is offered as the excuse for this discrimination.

Moving to a New Social Media Platform


mewee.com    This looks good.  Not creepy.  No censorship. Doesn’t turn you into a commodity for sale to advertisers.

 

Here’s my address on this new site. It costs $5 a month for full access, but considering the amount of time I spend online, that’s probably worth it if I can get my followers to move with me.

 

mewe.com/i/danielcoffey4