I looked blankly at a person, smiling and waving at me from some distance. “Heyyyyy!!! Long time, how are you?” he chimed in.

Recognition hit me like a wave as I reciprocated the friendly wave and replied him. Later as I caught up with him, I told him he looked like he underwent a total change of appearance. He seemed leaner, taller with a beard on and more manly than I remember him to be.

“What happened to you?”, I asked inquisitively. Knowingly, he grinned massively that split his face into two.

“I was in Singapore for two weeks!!! Took a break!” he announced somewhat happily.

That explained.

Coincidentally or not, I find the youngsters here, heading eastward every once in a while. One man I know waited with great excitement for his trip to Thailand and only sobered after his return and described his trip as fun and exotic. Another man keeps going there for atleast twice a year and he would announce it to any willing ear about three months prior to his journey, almost like chanting a mantra. As he was doing his routine announcement to some of us one day, a man shouted in the background, “he’s going there to meet his favourite lady boy” and that pretty much shut up the man for several days. But old habits die hard and as expected, he resumed his normal routine of torturing us with his announcement.

And of course, there of hoards of them visiting Bali over the weekends or any time of the year that it almost seems like a tradition for any Aussie to visit Bali atleast once a year.

My inner goddess as E.L James put it keeps nagging that all these regular visits to the east has something to do with women, booze and strip bars etc. all of which are more than affordable when dollars are converted. And what becomes the topping cherry are those women’s more than willing attitude to oblige these men. Old blonde men and blossoming young girls going hand in hand are a common and pitiful sight in places like Bangkok, Manilla and Singapore. Very very few people from across the oceans come together and marry for love and respect. Yet, it is unfair to berate these women by assuming a morally high stance without knowing and understanding their plight. And it is equally unfair to blame half of these men who travel eastward in search for something they could not find in their own land – companionship. Eastern women are generally more submissive and therefore, more likely to tolerate intolerable men than their western counterparts.

A remark by a young man who was assigned to me pick me up at the Delhi Airport in 2010 keeps ringing in my head. He seemed excited that he was finally travelling to Thailand and that his friends highly recommended him the trip. His friends had said that the girls in Thailand were really “nice”. Of course, the faces of Bhutanese men are not without manifolds. Their stories of taking advantage of these helpless women are so common that sometimes it seems like the advancement in times might have turned us human beings into lesser feeling persons than our folks of older generation. Whatever happened to compassion?

Fortunately, visits to Bhutan are of an entirely different theme. Some people come for adventure, some out of curiosity, and others for peace and tranquillity. And despite the fact that we are still a third world, I never fail to feel a certain sense of pride when I tell new people I meet that I am from Bhutan and put in an effort to describe it at some length. And when they tell me that they have never heard of it, I always say “Oh, that’s a shame!”.

Coming to the first man, I had asked him what he liked most about Singapore. “Tattoos!” he said.

Yeah right, you bozo!!! My inner goddess said as her eyeballs did a backflip.

“And what do you like most about Australia?” he shot back.

Images of my friend pouring me shots after shots of tequila kept flashing through my mind and those moments had seen me transform into an oasis of calm and filled me with a certain sense of undefinable happiness. I then became the perfect wife and the perfect mother. But believe me, I am here totally for my studies. If your inner god and goddesses are beginning to chime, gag them.

“Well...hmmm...I have to think”, I replied and sped past him.
5 Responses

  1. Langa Tenzin Says:

    Your writings are absolutely wonderful! Kinga, do you have some books or novels published out in the market? I am suspecting that because the level of your writings is nothing less than any good, published writer. Tell me about the books if you have. I would be glad to read them. Keep posting!

  2. Kinga Choden Says:

    THanks Madam Tandin :)

    Langa, I am not yet good enough to publish my writings and even if I were, I think, given the way it is in BHutan, I would have become an attic writer and would've starved and eventually withered away. LOL..But thanks man, I am floored!!! :)=

  3. ...looks like I have become an attic writer lol.

  4. Kinga Choden Says:

    There must be only one reason that you climbed upto the attic to write - the heat in P/ling..THere's a difference between that and an attic writer :P

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