For Christmas 2019, I gave my mother and brother a special gift—my presence. After 5 straight great Christmases in Bangkok, guilt finally got the best of me and so I deigned to spend 10 days with the fam back in Los Angeles. It was like taking a vacation to Hell, and I realized as I suffered through this shitty sabbatical that I could put my finger on exactly why life here is so bad. Here’s the analysis:
The terrible weather
I revile the cold, which I suppose is why I thrive in Thailand. Southern California is typically warm year-round except for a month or so of chilly days and frozen nights. It happened that there was a cold snap for last week of December and even some rain. I was, to put it mildly, miserable. Cali homes don’t typically have good insulation, and I spent the entire time wrapped in blankets, sweatshirts, and coats with feet and ears that were constantly ice cold despite wearing a hood at all times, even indoors. Two days before heading back, I visited an old high school buddy. We smoked a couple cigars on his balcony and chatted long into the evening. The next day I woke up with a cough, runny nose and swollen glands. Thanks, winter.
The dearth of good women
For the last half-decade whenever I’ve visited the US I have gone out of my way to not speak to women except when it’s absolutely unavoidable. With each passing year, I’ve found their ideas, opinions, assertions, and random thoughts to be increasingly stupid, factually inaccurate, and as unnecessary as their seeming faith in their importance. It seems like the majority of women in LA are self-absorbed, entitled, greedy, cold-hearted morons, and the more one can avoid them, the happier he will be. The one woman I couldn’t avoid was my mom, and while she’s cut from a different ilk being from The Greatest Generation and is thus blessedly devoid of most of the worst traits that are characteristic of females, she can’t help but possess a handful of those common to all women. For example, everything must be done according to her schedule. “Can you clean the gutters?” Yes, give me 10 minutes, I have to finish this paperwork for my job. Five minutes later she’s climbing the ladder to, in her impatience, do it herself. Also, she never stops talking. As a solitary bachelor, I value silence. I find it maddening that she can’t let two minutes pass without saying something irrelevant or asking me something inane. Lastly, she has an overwhelming urge to help, and yet is completely devoid of any skills one would need to help. “What’s wrong?” I have a nasal infection. “What will fix it?” Antibiotics. I’ll get some when I get back to Bangkok. “Wait, I Google it, you need to put Vicks vapo-rub on your face and a towel over your head.” No, I’m not going to do that. “OK well what about some soup?” I’m not hungry. “I could fix you a sandwich.” Again, not hungry. “What if we pour warm water in your nostril?” I’m not going to do that. “Well I’m out of ideas, then.” Thank. Christ.
The overabundance of food
My family eats three meals per day with religious fervor. Plates must have a minimum of four items, three of which are carbs. They eat meat at every meal. This is all counterintuitive to my diet. From the moment the plane hit the tarmac, my stomach has been a bubbling, gurgling cauldron of horrific contents. I’ve been bloated, gassy, and uncomfortable. Regarding all food-related questions, neither my brother nor my mother wanted to accept “no” for an answer. “What do you want for lunch?” I don’t want lunch—I’m not hungry.
“What about this chicken sandwich place? It’s super healthy.” I don’t eat when I’m not hungry, and I’m not hungry. “Want me to make you something?” I’M NOT HUNGRY. “I’ll make it and you can eat it later.” FUUUUUUCK! I put on 9 pounds in 10 days. Just thinking about food now makes me want to to puke. Although I’d be lying if I said some it wasn’t downright delicious. And I got to partake of one of my guilty pleasures: In-n-Out Burger.
The lack of privacy/solitude
As I said, I value my alone time. When in Bangkok, I live alone and spend most of my free time alone. The exceptions are when I have one of my harem over or when I hit the red-light district. It’s unnerving to have someone barging in on me every time I walk into a room alone. It’s annoying to have someone knocking on the door every time I go to the toilet. It’s exhausting to field constant questions while trying to write a blog or read an email. I couldn’t even hear my own thoughts through the constant din of comments and questions from family members. It paints a pretty clear picture of why I live alone 8,000+ miles from them.
Thankfully, my family loves wine as much as I do, and mum spoiled me with some of my faves: Segura Viudas, Opolo Zin and Pinot Noir, Two Hands, Prisoner, Aurthur Earl, Justin, and Hitching Post, plus some choice craft and Belgian beers. So it wasn’t a total loss.
Don’t get me wrong. I love my family. But their constant assault of their lives on mine is something I’ve never enjoyed. I can take it in short spurts, which is why I came out for Christmas knowing it’d be 10 days that would fly by, and as I now type these words at 7:53 on the 31st in the Taipei airport, 20 minutes from boarding my flight back to BKK with the prospect of being in Patpong by 1:00 am, the horror of those long, bloated, bloviated days in LA are already fading from memory. Mew has insisted on putting her naked body against mine tomorrow, with Kae coming Thursday and Oil on Friday, things will be back to normal. And by normal I mean ridiculously awesome. So here’s to obligatory but short visits home, and safe return to the big breasted bosom of Bangkok. Cheers!