Saturday, June 09, 2007

Not So Fem' Farang

Just a week at home and already I'm longing to be elsewhere. I miss my evening walks along the cluttered, crowded Pattaya beachfront, where the usual saline whiff of the sea is dissolved by the stench of undiluted sewerage, acrid exhaust fumes, and sweet-sour, chili-laden street food, and all you can hear above the relentless sputter of thousands of scooters and hundreds of tinny, Japanese-built taxi trucks is the cockatoo-like squawk of bar-girls and club touts appealing to the passing trade. My short hair, six-foot-plus farang frame, and uncommon (for the tropics) black t-shirt and skirt made the street vendors look twice, especially at night. Once, while I was walking with the petite, tattooed Poy, I was asked, "Hey, you lady-boy?". I smiled. In a country where the transsexual katoey is thought of as being of both a separate sex and caste, it didn't bother me at all.

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