It’s not uncommon to run into ten lonely men a day around here, eating alone in restaurants, watching traffic whiz by as they nurse a beer and talk to no one. Younger people are all absorbed in their cell phones, but the older guys are simply on their own. They might have Thai wives or girlfriends, but if they do they probably can’t talk to them, as neither really speaks the others language, and besides, the men probably don’t have much to say.

Living in Thailand is pretty easy if you have a pension from a first-world country.  The old guys from Northern Europe can buy big estates and large vehicles, as well as take their wives and girlfriends on expensive vacations. In my experience, they’re a little bit happier than the guys who are just scraping by, but not much.  They still lack a real connection to a community, and they still face each day without much to do.

I’ve noticed that a lot of older guys have hearing loss, but they don’t care to do anything about it, as there isn’t much purpose in being able to hear if you aren’t able to communicate in the first place.  One of my ideas for making money involves filling a suitcase with cheap hearing aids on my next trip back to the states.  Everything imported is a little bit more expensive here than on Amazon, and there aren’t many hearing aid outlets here.

Why are there so many lonely older guys here?  The foreign women I see are in groups, laughing, talking up a storm and still engaged, at least with each other.  I don’t see nearly as many older ex-pat women here as men, for obvious reasons.  The Thai women I observe are at least out and about, but the Thai men appearing in public are outnumbered by their sisters, daughters and wives ten to one.  Maybe they’re home taking care of the kids, but I doubt it.

Is this lonely guy thing the product of bottle feeding or is it merely an expat thing?


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