Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Unbelievable Things People Have Actually Said to Me

I apologize in advance. I'm about to get a little bit bitchy.

Yesterday I was talking to an acquaintance in Melbourne via MSN. I owe him the last four months of my life because he was the one who convinced me to book my trip to Bangkok one Saturday night in Melbourne last June. He'd recently returned from two weeks in Singapore, and he had a two-month trek to Bangkok in the works. By the time you finish reading this post, you'll understand why I saw him only once while he was here.

He'd been back in Melbourne for three days, and he said he was just about to get his certification to teach English.

"Where will you teach?" I asked.

"I don't know yet. Maybe Tiewen," he wrote.

Seriously. If you are considering living and teaching there, maybe you should learn how to spell it, I thought to myself. But I put my bitchy impulse to correct him aside and changed the subject to places I've never been but really want to visit. Taiwan isn't one of them. At the top of my list: Seoul.

"Where's Seoul?"

Seriously.


Thankfully, he's teaching English, not geography. Though I'd give him a C-minus if I were grading his grasp of his native tongue, and I'm pretty sure that he doesn't realize "your" is not the same as "you're," so, well, those poor students. I know I shouldn't speak ill of the dead or the ignorant, but really. How can you be planning on moving to Asia to teach English and not even know where Seoul is?

I'm pretty sure Karsten knows where Seoul is, but he's got more pressing issues to deal with. He's German, and he's been living in Bangkok for 10 years. He teaches, though neither English nor German. He works at a university here in Bangkok, and he did once tell me what he teaches, but it was a subject I'd never heard of, so it pretty much went in one ear and out the other.

One night, a few weeks after we met, I saw him at DJ Station, and he totally ignored me. I wasn't sure why, but I was having such a good time that it didn't even register until the next day when he sent me an email.

"Sorry I couldn't talk to you last night. I was with my boyfriend, and he gets very jealous. My last boyfriend was black, and I recently went to visit him in the U.S. If my current boyfriend saw me talking to a black guy, we'd probably get into a big fight."

I really don't want to play the racism card here, but it reminds me of the time I was harassed by a guy in Buenos Aires because he had once been mistreated by a black ex-boyfriend. I wasn't sure who was more ridiculous: Karsten or his boyfriend? Probably the boyfriend -- who, by the way, is Thai -- for flirting so dangerously close to racism, but Karsten is the bigger idiot for letting him get away with it. I hope the sex is good because the relationship sounds like it's not. Just hearing Karsten detail their jealousy and ownership issues made me glad I'm single.

Of course, being single means having to receive messages like the one that popped up in my MSN window from Steve in Adelaide last week. (I have to remember to stayed logged out.) The last time we talked, he told me about a "naughty dream" he'd had with me as his costar, but he didn't share all the graphic details. This time, he threw caution -- and good taste -- to the wind. I won't share here what he shared in this message, but let's just say it involved genitalia, body fluids and no condom.

I've said it before (in this post), and I'll say it again: Some things are better left unsaid.
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