Four (and a half!)-year-old Tim asked me curiously. He and younger brother Teddy were looking at me intently. I resisted the urge to glance down at my shirt to see if my stomach was pooching through.
“No,” I replied smiling.
“No,” I replied, with a weaker smile. (But I’ll never wear this shirt again.)
“Do you have any children?”
“Are you still a kid?”
I wanted very badly to answer affirmatively, but didn’t. Instead I turned the questions around on him (Journalism training ftw).
“Do you have any children?”
As it turns out, Tim had a 29-year-old son named Caleb and Teddy had a 22-year-old son named Penny (his mom’s name). Tim asked if Caleb was older than I and I assured him he was. I’m not at a point in my life where I feel the need to be set up with imaginary boyfriends. Especially when the father is so nosy about the state of my tummy.
Thailand was an absolutely marvelous experience. Koh Samet is the type of place you don’t want to brag too much about because you don’t want an influx of tourists jacking up prices and booking out hotel rooms. Still, it’s hard to refrain from mentioning a few things in Thailand/Koh Samet that I could have gotten used to:
1) CHEAP stuff. Not just knickknacks: restaurants, accommodation, grocery stores. My Thai main course at one of the beach restaurants was 80 Baht (less than $3.00). Our double room (spacious with bathroom) was $25 a night (per person).
2) FOOD everywhere. Everywhere. At one of the giant malls I went to, every floor had some form of food court (international food court, Thai food court, random food stalls, grocery stores etc.). There were at least eight floors.
3) Fresh fruit. Yummy, cheap, in all the stalls.
4) Roti. This is a thin Indian bread that can be found at outdoor stalls in Bangkok and Koh Samet. They cook it in front of you and top it with deliciousness. My favorite topping was sweetened condensed milk.
5) Sunshine. I imagine it can be unbearably hot during the summer, but Thai winter weather is perfect, especially if you’re visiting from the icy tundra (Sweden). 80 degree January? Yes please.
While I enjoyed all of these things about Bangkok, Koh Samet had its own particular charms. White, soft beaches with vividly blue water. Vendors wandering the beaches with henna tattoos, sarongs, souvenirs, fresh fruit, meats, etc. Nightlife that is extremely affordable and relaxed. Affordable: No entry fee, crazy deals on drinks (flip a coin to see if you pay or not). Relaxed: jean shorts and tank tops. People wandering in and off from the beach.
The one visual mar on the whole experience was the plethora of large European men in tiny speedos. Natalia and I discussed this eyesore at great length. Our conclusion: Neither of us has ever met a female who finds speedos attractive. Girls don’t work like that.
Dear Men Who Wear Speedos,
I am not sure who created the concept of using a tiny piece of stretchy material to cover your special area. I know that there are probably many reasons for wearing a speedo: better tan lines, faster swimming, etc. However, if you are wearing yours because you think women find it attractive to see such a barely hidden display of your bits, you are mistaken.
Women have varied physical tastes when it comes to men: some like hairy chests, some like bare. Some like tall, some like short. Some like skinny, some would prefer a little extra. BUT, I have never met a woman who finds speedos attractive. In fact, we generally find them repulsive. Perhaps, as a man, you think that because you prefer less to more, women feel the same way. We don’t. Even if you have Matthew McConaughey’s body, we don’t want to see your area bulging like badly packaged meat in saran wrap. Please stop assaulting our eyes.
P.S. Animal print is NEVER alright.
Men at grocery store in Koh Samet.