Monthly Archives: January 2013

The Encounter

The Encounter

“The Encounter” is a work of fiction!

Lek lay on the hot sand under a thatched beach sunshade, his brown eyes half closed against the glare of the afternoon sun, and slightly propped up by his arms which he had folded under his head. He occasionally opened his eyes a little wider to look around the almost deserted beach, his glances unseen through his sunglasses.

After some time dozing quietly, Lek noticed a figure walking slowly along the water’s edge and could see immediately that it was a Farang, his hair still damp from a recent swim. Lek watched idly as the foreigner walked slowly towards the beach shades where he lay. The stranger dropped onto a towel a few meters to Lek’s left and pulled off his white T-shirt, revealing a lightly matted, firm chest and a loose pair of blue shorts. The man must have been about 35 and quite ordinary looking, but he seemed to be in good shape.

After a few minutes, Lek lost interest and slipped back into the half doze he’d been in before the farang had arrived. He drifted away, until he felt the heat of the sun lessen and a breeze from the gently rolling ocean told him it was almost time to go. He opened his eyes just in time to see the farang look quickly away. The man had been watching him while he’d been sleeping! He sat up and stretched leisurely, letting the breeze caress his slim figure. He glanced again and saw that the farang was still looking at him, but this time he did not avert his gaze. Lek smiled at the man, as he smiled at everyone, and his smile was returned.

Lek stood up and began to put his few things into his bag, and adjusted his swim suit, which had allowed sand to irritate slightly around his thigh. He pulled on his shirt and as he did so the farang got up and came across to him. “Hello, do you speak English?”
“Yes,” replied Lek, glancing into the man’s eyes and being taken aback by their brilliant blue colour.
“Can you give me a light, please?” asked the man, holding cigarette to his lips.
Lek rummaged in his bag and produced a lighter.
“Thanks, what’s your name?”
“Lek,” Lek replied, looking him over discretely. He’d never met a farang before and had heard conflicting stories about them, but this one seemed to be polite and was reasonable looking.
“Hi, my name’s Mike, I’m from England. Do you live here?”
“Hello Mike. No, I’m here on vacation, like you I think.”
“Yes, that’s right. Look, can I get you a drink or something? It’s quite hot.”
“Thank you, but I’m just going back to my aunt’s house, my family expect me now for a meal.”

“Oh.” Mike looked quite disappointed. He hesitated for a moment and then said, “Well, could I meet you tomorrow? Maybe you can show me around.”
Lek considered quickly; he had no plans and it might be interesting to find out more about this foreigner. He looked up into those sharp, blue eyes.
“Yes, that is nice. Do you stay in a hotel?”
Mike smiled, “Yes, I’m at the Ocean, do you know it?” Lek nodded.
“Why don’t we meet there at 10 o’clock tomorrow morning?”
“That would be nice,” said Lek. “But now I have to go. Goodbye.” And with that he threw his bag over his shoulder and walked off up the sandy track. He wanted to look back but he was sure that the farang would be watching him. He walked to the end of the track to the parking lot and climbed into his car, thinking about the blue eyed stranger.

The next morning, Lek arrived at the Ocean Hotel dressed in a blue silk shirt and dark pants, and took a seat in the foyer. The hotel was a typical tourist hotel catering mainly to westerners. Within a few minutes Mike appeared. Lek smiled broadly at him, showing his brilliant white teeth.
“Good morning,” Mike said, “I’m glad you came.”
Lek smiled again, “Where would you like to go?”
“I don’t know how much time you have, but I’ve heard about a place called Nation’s Park – have you been there?”
“No,” replied Lek, “but I know where it is. It is about one hour by car.”
“OK, I’ll get a taxi,” said Mike, getting up to go to the reception desk. Lek jumped up a touched him lightly on the arm, saying “No, please I have a car, we can go in that.” Mike seemed surprised for a moment, then smiled cheerfully.
“Oh, well, fine. Are you sure you don’t mind?”
Lek just smiled again and lead Mike out of the hotel to where his car stood waiting. As Lek opened the door he said, “And it has air conditioning, so you won’t be too hot.”
They got in, and drove out into the heat and surging traffic.

They exchanged small talk as they made their way slowly through the busy streets towards the outskirts of the town, finally coming to a straight but dusty road running alongside a palm lined canal. Mike commented how about how peaceful and pretty it all was after the hustle of the town, and Lek nodded in agreement. He felt pleased that that they seemed to be getting along easily, and the Englishman made him feel relaxed. As they drove, he tried to explain to Mike about some of the things they passed on the side of the road, and a little about his country’s history. Mike listened, and asked a few questions. Lek noticed that most of them were about him, but he didn’t mind too much.

Eventually they arrived at their destination, Nation’s Park, which spread over several square kilometers of jungle and contained reproductions of some of the country’s finest temples and historical monuments. When they arrived, the park was deserted as the road leading to it was of poor quality, and on a weekday few people made the effort to get to it.

Lek drove slowly along the rough road into the park. “Take some photographs if you want to, he told Mike. “We can stop any place.” A short way inside the park, they came to a re-created traditional village. They parked and Lek led the way into the main street which, although perfectly reproduced, was totally deserted. Mike look along the street and said, “It’s the most beautiful place, and so peaceful; why don’t you stand there in front of that house and I’ll take some pictures.” Lek obliged him and dutifully posed where Mike asked, and it seemed that the man was taking more pictures of him than of the scenery. They walked slowly around the village for a while until Lek said, “Mike, we should go on, there is so much more to look at, even in one day.”

They drove further on, stopping to look at ancient houses and temples that appeared through the undergrowth at every corner. They made small talk, commenting about some of the sights, until they came upon a huge temple ruin, approached by a long flight of stone steps leading up through the jungle to the remains of a fabulous building high above the trees. At the foot of the ruin was a small refreshment stand selling cold drinks. They sat down facing each other, and ordered a cold lemon drink each. Lek realized that Mike was looking directly at him with those blue eyes again. Mike smiled broadly as he took a swig from his drink without taking his eyes off Lek’s. The meaning seemed quite plain; Lek took a drink too but looked away. He found Mike quite attractive but did not know how to react to this open behaviour. They finished their drinks and began to slowly climb the steps. Lek felt quite warm but he could see that Mike was beginning to sweat; the farang was not used to the heat.

Lek slowly undid his shirt, and then decided to take it off in the hope of catching some of the breeze filtering through the trees as they climbed. He noticed that Mike was looking at his body and smiled inwardly. He knew that he had a good physique and was happy to show it off. Mike kept shooting glances at him, running his eyes over his smooth, youthful chest. Halfway up the stone stairway, they came to a small side temple and stopped to admire the carvings, and to take a short rest. They sat together for a while in silence, listening to the jungle noises.

“Aren’t you afraid of getting bitten?’ Mike’s question bought Lek back to the present.
“The mosquitos usually come out in the evening, and I’ve never been bitten much anyway.”
Mike wiped the perspiration off his face, and asked, “You have a good body, how do you keep it like that?”
Lek smiled and quipped, “Climbing temples!” and they both laughed.

They stood up and continued their slow ascent up the long stairway until at last they arrived at the main temple building at the top of the hill. It was above the trees and a viewing platform gave a breath taking view across the countryside for many kilometers, with the town just visible away in the far distance. They explored the ruins for a while, then sat down on the wooden platform and admired the view. Lek was gazing into the distance when he suddenly realized that Mike had just kissed him on the lips. He looked around in surprise.

“I’m sorry, I hope you don’t mind.”
Lek looked at him for a moment, weighing him up; then he smiled and said softly,”I don’t mind, Mike, it was just unexpected.”
The man looked relieved and said, “Well, what if it’s not so unexpected?” and moved closer to him. Lek leaned against him and their lips brushed once again. Lek felt Mike’s arm on his back as they kissed more firmly. Lek liked the smell and taste of the man and relaxed, putting his arms around Mike’s neck. He felt the soft touch of hands exploring his back as they embraced.

Lek gently disentangled himself and smiled at Mike so as not to offend him, but it was after all a public place. Mike looked at him and said, “You know, I find you very attractive. I’d like to spend more time with you after today.”
Lek shaded his eyes to look up at Mike. “I’d like that. I’m on holiday for a short time.”
He felt happy to know that this pleasant farang was interested in him, and he was now certainly interested in Mike too. The rest of the day passed delightfully, with Lek receiving many a gentle kiss on neck and lips as they continued their tour of the park, eventually driving back to Mike’s hotel in the early evening. Lek politely refused an offer of dinner, saying, truthfully, that his family were expecting him to eat with them, but he agreed to meet Mike later and show him some of the night life.

At the appointed time, Lek arrived at the hotel foyer to find Mike already waiting for him. They walked together, chatting about their respective meals, and as they walked Mike asked Lek where they were going.
“The clubs are all near here, only a few minutes to walk. What kind of place do you want to go to?”
“I don’t know, we hear a lot in Europe about what goes on, but I don’t know where any of the places are.”
Lek smiled; he knew exactly what kind of place Mike want to see. They walked for a few minutes until they turned off the main road into a narrow street crowded with people, and suddenly there were dozens of neon lit frontages offering all kinds of exotic thrills, with pretty young girls, or handsome young men, standing outside each one attempting to lure the passers-by inside.

“Come on, Mike, we go in here.” He led Mike into a dark doorway, up a narrow flight of stairs and through a door at the top. They entered a large, dimly lit room with a small stage at the far end, to the right a small bar had a cluster of young men in shorts sitting around it, and a large crowd was seated facing the stage. Loud pop music played while colored lights flashed across the stage, and young waiters dressed only in g-strings and bow ties served drinks to the waiting audience. Lek watched Mike’s face with amusement – he couldn’t believe what he was seeing, and was pretending not to look at the very cute, and near naked, waiters.

Lek led the way to the last remaining seats facing the stage and they sat down.
“Mike, relax. You can look at everything, that’s why we are here!”
Mike smiled sheepishly, but relaxed and began to look around properly. Lek touched his arm.
“There’s more to come.”
“Like what?”
Lek laughed, “Just wait!”
After a short wait, the MC came on stage to a fanfare of music and made a witty announcement, which Lek translated as best he could. Then a bevy of dancing girls appeared and began a very passable show routine. Lek grinned at Mike’s bemused expression, then said, “You know that these girls are really boys, don’t you?”
Mike shook his head, and looked back at the stage with added interest. “They don’t look like it,” he said.
Lek squeezed his arm, “You’ll see.”
As the dance routine progressed, one of the ‘girls’ came to the front of the stage and, still singing, began to strip very slowly and erotically. Lek watched Mike’s face as the last piece of clothing fell away and the performer’s true sex was revealed amid ribald laughter from the audience.

Lek watched Mike during the performances; he could see clearly that the evening had proved to be an eye-opener. As the shows ended, Lek asked Mike wanted he would like to do next. He had deliberately asked to see what Mike would say.
“I think I’m quite tired now,” Mike said. “Perhaps we should go back.”
Lek led the way out, and even though it was after 1am it was still very warm, the streets were filled with vendors busy selling food, clothes, souvenirs, and all kinds of things. They strolled slowly through the crowds looking at the various offerings, and Lek bought a small snack but Mike declined when Lek offered him some.

As they arrived back at the hotel, Mike asked Lek if he would like to have some coffee with him. Lek took a chance, “Why don’t you show me your room and we can have our coffee there.”  Mike seemed quite happy with this suggestion as he collected his key. They stood in silence as the lift took them up. Lek had already decided how he wanted the evening to end, but was still not sure if Mike wanted things the same way. As they entered Mike’s room, Lek could see that the man was very tidy as nothing was out of place. As Mike rang for room service, Lek on the table light and turned off the overhead light. “It’s too bright, late at night,” he explained, as Mike smiled at him. They talked a little about Mike’s trip and his work in England until the coffee arrived.

Once the waiter had left and a few minutes had passed, Lek plucked up his courage and put his arms around Mike.
“This is for being a nice guy.” He kissed Mike full and hard. Mike responded eagerly and ran his hands over Lek’s back. Lek felt the man getting hard, which in turn made him do the same. Within a few minutes they were naked, locked in a passionate embrace on the king-size bed. Lek began to explore every inch of Mike’s body. He was turned on even more now that he could see the hair on the firm chest and well muscled arms. His mouth and tongue found every part of the pale body until Mike could no longer control himself. He pushed Lek down onto the bed and he, in turn, explored the young man’s smooth brown body.

Lek awoke to feel Mike’s arm across his chest, the white hairy arm contrasting vividly with his own dark and smooth skin. He lay quietly watching the early morning sun creep slowly across the hotel bedroom, highlighting the clothes that had been hastily scattered as their night lust had mounted. Lek savoured the memory of the sex they had enjoyed; Mike was the first farang he had been with and it had been a good experience, so far.

He carefully slid from Mike’s embrace and gathered up his clothes. After a long shower, he scribbled a few lines of hotel notepaper, worrying that his English wouldn’t be good enough. He wrote to tell Mike that he had to go back to his job in the capital today, and left his office phone number in the hope that he might get a call. He let himself out quietly and went downstairs to the reception desk where he ordered breakfast and flowers for Mike.

As he drove away from the hotel back to where his family would be waiting, he couldn’t help thinking about his brief time with Mike, but he knew the chances were small of seeing him again, and he knew nothing of the man’s plans.  For a few kilometers he drove in a mild daze, until he reached his aunt’s house. The family were all at breakfast and as he joined them his mother gently scolded him for not letting them know where he was.

After breakfast, he helped to load his and his father’s car with the vacation bags, and eventually moved off for the two hour drive to the capital. Lek went alone as he had to go direct to his office by 8.30am, and he didn’t like being late. He drove effortlessly, but at speed, along the three land highway, musing about the prospects of seeing his farang again.

He arrived in the city without incident and weaved his way through the dense traffic to his office. He worked for a tour company based in one of the big luxury hotels, where he welcomed foreign visitors, arranged sightseeing tours, airline tickets, pills for upset stomachs, and generally catered to their every whim, or almost. While he was always polite, he found most of these foreigners to be boring and generally ignorant, but occasionally someone came along who was more interesting, and he had even managed to become a penpal for a couple of these former customers. He was fascinated by western culture and longed to have the chance to visit a western country.

The next few days were routine and uneventful, as the usual mixture of tourists’ complaints and staff problems kept him busy, and his thoughts of Mike gradually receded, until on the Friday afternoon he was talking on the phone to a tour bus driver up-country who had broken down. The office door opened and a farang came in, Lek waved him to a seat without really looking at him.

After a moment, he looked up, intending to indicate that he would not be long; his heart jumped as he saw Mike sitting there looking straight into his eyes, just as he had done on that first day. They exchanged smiles, and Lek waited impatiently as the bus driver laboriously explained his problems in fine detail. Lek made a few notes as he listened, smiling at Mike as he did so. Eventually, the unfortunate bus driver ran out of words and Lek was able to hang up.
“Mike! How are you? It’s so nice to see you.”
“HI Lek. I’m fine, and you?”
“Oh, Mike, I’m very well. What are you doing here? It’s such a surprise.”
“I’m staying here in the hotel. I’s part of my vacation booking. I have a week here before I go home. I was looking around the hotel and I was in the shop next to your office when I saw you through the window. I rang your number a few times but couldn’t get through. Now I’ve found you I feel much happier.”
“Mike, I’m very happy to see you. Can I see you tonight? I have a lot of work to do, and I have to see my sister in the evening, but I’d like to meet you after that.”
“I’d love to. What time?’
“About nine thirty. I’ll meet you at reception.”
As Mike left, Lek felt elated; he was really beginning to like the farang a lot, but was disappointed that they would only have a week more together. He tried not to think about that, only to anticipate the few coming days and the time they would spend together.

As the day wore on, he became absorbed in his work, with no time to think of other things, until eventually he was able to lock up the office for the day. As he made his way to the hotel parking lot, he began to anticipate the evenings events. As he drove across the city he allowed the surging traffic to to carry him along to the city hospital where his sister worked. He drove into the compound and managed to find a place to park between two ambulance, one of which seemed to have hastily abandoned, it’s rear doors hanging open. He made his way up to the third floor where his sister, a charge nurse, worked. He spent a few minutes talking to her and took a bag of food from her for their mother. He said ‘goodbye’ and left.

He arrived home about 40 minutes later, pulling into the front drive of the house where he lived with his father, mother and two sisters. The dogs ran barking a welcome as he let himself in. No-one was home, so he left the food in the kitchen, then went upstairs to his room and ran the shower in the bathroom. He stripped off his sticky clothes, stepped under the spray and began to lather himself with perfumed soap. He stood and stretched himself in enjoyment as he washed. He soaped his firm chest, then his slim, flat stomach, and between his legs. He thought about Mike and began to get hard; he played with himself gently for a while, lost in thought. Then he briskly showered off the soap and stepped out, looking for the towel hanging behind the door. He felt excited now, wanting to bed Mike as soon as he saw him, but he knew he would have to wait if Mike wanted to go out somewhere. He tried to think about something else as he dried himself and got dressed. He scribbled a note to his mother to let her know he would be out very late.

As he came down the stairs from the hotel parking lot, he could see Mike sitting in the reception lounge waiting for him. Although the hotel was busy with people milling around, he walked silently up behind Mike and covered the man’s eyes with his hands. Mike jumped slightly, then pulled the hands away and looked around. He broke into a wide smile and said softly, “Hello sexy.”
Lek smiled back. “Do you really think so?”
“On yes, certainly,” Mike confirmed. “Where would you like to go? Have you had dinner yet?”
“No, I didn’t have time. And you?”
“No. I was hoping we could eat together somewhere nice. Can you suggest something?”
“You want to eat inside or outside?”
“Let’s try outside. Do you know a good place?”
“Yes. Come on, I know a place you will like.”
As they entered the parking lot, Lek saw Mike looking quickly around, and then felt himself being grabbed as Mike kissed him hard and passionately. He eagerly responded, enjoying the feel of the foreigner’s body. A car squealing up the ramp caused them to jump apart suddenly, and they both burst out laughing, the sound echoing around the concrete walls. As they got into the car, Lek turned up the air conditioning, remembering that Mike found the heat uncomfortable.

Lek listened to Mike as he chattered, trying to make sure he understood every word as Mike asked him the kind of questions westerners always asked. After a drive of about an hour, through the nose-to-tail evening traffic, they emerged into the city’s outskirts along a broad boulevard lined with restaurants and houses, so generously spaced out that they looked as if they were relaxing under the night skies. Lek turned into a parking lot at the edge of the road and stopped. Several car jockeys vied for the right to park the car, and he handed his keys to the best looking boy he could see, and then they were escorted by another young guy to the side of a small lake, where a boat was waiting. They climbed in and Lek sat closely beside Mike, feeling the heat of his body against him. When the boat was full, the oarsman at the back began to weave towards an island about 200 meters away, where traditional houses had been linked together, with seats inside and out, to create a restaurant. Music drifted across the water as the boat rocked gently towards the island, and Lek felt himself being carried away in a mood of romanticism as he pressed against Mike in the dark.

They arrived at a small jetty and clambered off the boat; the restaurant seemed to be very busy but there were still a few tables free, so Lek led Mike to one in a quieter spot away from the main crowds. Mike was just about the only westerner there and he attracted a few glances from curious diners, unaccustomed to a white face in such an out-of-the-way place. They settled themselves at the table as attentive waiters lit the candles and presented the menu; they picked a selection of dishes, with Lek trying to find dishes that would not be too spicy, as the chef here made no concessions to western tastes.

They ate slowly with just a little conversation as the air of romance and relaxation overcame them both. Lek moved his chair closer to Mike and their knees rubbed; Lek had no awareness of anything other than Mike and his strong blue eyes. He hardly noticed what he was eating and could only see those eyes. He was ecstatic and wished for the moment to last forever. They talked softly and held hands under the discrete veil of the tablecloth, while waiters sensed their mood and left them alone in the dreamy world inhabited only by themselves.

All too soon, the meal ended and they had to leave, softening the deep mood, but still Lek felt dreamy hearted as the boat slowly moved back towards the jetty where the car jockeys waited. As they reached the jetty and stood to disembark, Lek pretended to stumble and fell against Mike, holding onto him as long as he dared. They stepped off the boat and found the car waiting with the engine running. Mike handed the attractive boy a generous tip and they pulled out into the night. Lek felt Mike’s hand on his thigh as he asked, “What would you like to do now?”
“Bed,” came the answer, “with you.”

The mood persisted as they headed back to the hotel, and once they were safely in the room, Lek could not hold back any longer. He threw his arms around Mike and they kissed passionately as Lek began to pull off the man’s clothes as fast as he could, his tongue finding each inch of flesh as it was exposed. He hardly noticed tearing off his own clothes but very soon they were both naked, with Mike flat on his back as Lek lay across him, tickling his nipples with the end of his darting tongue. For hours, they caressed and kissed each other, and as they did so Lek knew his passion was mixed with love for his gentle farang. He felt as if he was flying above the clouds with Mike, away from the world. Eventually they made love; with passionate violence, and with gentle compassion. It went on seemingly endlessly until finally, as the dawn began to show across the city, they exploded together in an orgasm the like of which Lek had never experienced. His mind was a whirl of rushing colors and noises, that swept across his whole body, and left him suddenly sweaty and exhausted. He could feel himself shaking as they lay together and waited, unspeaking, for sleep to claim them. Lek drifted away, holding onto his man.

He entered a new realm where became a kind of angel walking across soft multi-colored fields. There were other people about, but they seemed to be only undefined shapes that he caught glimpses of out of the corner of his eye. He was walking towards a glorious golden temple; the movement seemed effortless, as if he was on the Moon, but although the temple came nearer as he progressed, it never seemed to get as close as it should. He speeded up, he had to reach the temple because inside he knew he would find what he had been looking for, the one thing that he needed to go on living. He didn’t know exactly what he was looking for but would know when it saw it. He began to run now, the ground just a blur under his feet as he sped along, the initial euphoria replaced by a slight anxiety as the temple still did not get any closer. He could feel his chest ache as he increased his speed and then, suddenly, he was there, the brilliant golden doors glistening in the sunlight and stretching high into the sky above him. He pushed at one of the doors, which slowly, but very slowly, opened inwards, the weight pushing back at him as if reluctant to let him enter. He forced an opening wide enough to squeeze through and came into a golden room, the ceiling so high it was lost in the wispy clouds. Across the room rose a high curtain of shimmering colors, behind which Lek knew he would find what he had been searching for. The feeling of euphoria began to rise again as he approached the heavy material, that moved as if alive in the still room. He reached out to touch it and, as he did so, felt a shock of energy that found his very bones. The curtain vanished; before him stood a mighty god, clothed in gold and silk. As he watched in awe, he saw the hazy face gradually take form. It was Mike’s face, but with an indefinable difference. His heart lifted, “Mike!” he cried, reaching out, but as he did so the god-Mike looked down at him and a thunderbolt shot from his eyes driving itself deep into Lek’s body.

He awoke with a jerk, feeling fluid on his abdomen. He saw the real Mike lying close, watching him with a smile, and realized that the man had bought him to an orgasm whilst he had been asleep. The dream disturbed him a little, but he shrugged it off as he thought with pleasure how he had been woken. He kissed Mike gently on the lips and got up to take a shower.

When he came out of the shower he realized that it was midday already,  and that he should have been at work. He called his office, telling them he’d been feeling unwell but would be in soon. Mike was still dozing in bed as he dressed. Lek shook him gently, saying, “Mike, I have to go to work now. Please wait for me at seven when I finish.”
Mike smiled at him, “OK, I’ll see you in the coffee shop later.”
They kissed, and Lek slipped out, trying to avoid any of the hotel staff who knew him, and he managed to get to his office without being spotted. The day passed in a haze, and his colleagues took the strange mood as a sign of his feigned illness and said nothing.

When seven o’clock came, he waited for the other staff to leave, then locked up and made his way to the coffee shop where Mike was waiting. Each time he saw him now, his heart soared as if given fresh life. As he sat down, Mike took his hand and squeezed it. “Lek, I’ve been thinking a lot about us; we’ve got to know each other well, and I think we feel the same way about each other.” Lek smiled into his eyes and wondered what was coming next.
“You know that I have to go back to England quite soon, but I don’t want us to forget things when I go.”
Lek looked down, not wanting to think about the future, even though it was very close. “I won’t forget you Mike.”
“I know. But we can do better than that; how would you like to come and live with me in London?”
Lek could hardly believe his ears, he began to say something, stammering in surprise, not really knowing what to say. Mike stopped him.
“Don’t think about it now. It’s a big step to take to go to a foreign country. I want you to think about it for a while and let me know how you feel.”
Lek was stunned. Much as he felt he loved Mike, he had not expected an invitation to live with him in his country. His head was spinning with so many thoughts about what to do, or how it could be done. He sat silently sipping at his coffee.
“Are you all right?” Mike asked.
Lek nodded, confused. He smiled and said, “Mike, you are kind to me. I have to think about what you have said, about what my family will say, so many things…..”
Mike touched his arm gently. “Don’t be upset. Just take some to think about it. I’d like you to see my home and my country, and I hope we can share our lives together. I know it would be a big thing for you, so think about it carefully. If you say ‘no’, I’ll understand.” They drank their coffee in silence as they both considered what had been said. Finally, Mike touched Lek on the arm and said, “Let’s have dinner.”
“I know a nice place,” remarked Lek.
“Come on then, sexy, lead the way.”

They walked slowly up to the parking lot which was busy with people coming and going; they climbed into the car and once again  drove slowly down the ramp into the hot evening air. The traffic, as usual, was snarled into an almost continuous line of seething metal, crawling along at a snail’s pace, with small vehicles suddenly darting out of small side turnings, and trucks groaning under the enormous loads they carried. Despite the fumes and the noise, everyone was used to it, and competition for each inch of space was fairly good natured. Lek was lost in thought as he drove and hardly noticed what was going on around him. He couldn’t stop thinking about what Mike had said to him, and how he could arrange to go to England, what his parent’s would say, what Mike’s home would be like, what England would be like; he felt dizzy thinking about it and was glad when they got to their destination and he could relax again.

They went into a small, intimate restaurant on the second floor of a shopping mall and found a quiet table in the corner. Lek’s evening passed before it knew it, being so lost in thought. He suddenly realized that they had finished their meal and he had hardly spoken to Mike.
“Oh Mike, I’m so sorry, I’m thinking about everything. I didn’t mean to ignore you.”
“I know, don’t worry. I’ve filled you head with all this, I understand.”
They drove back to the hotel; this time Lek made an effort to chat with Mike and it brought him back to earth a little. When they arrived, Mike asked Lek if he would like a coffee.
“Mike, I don’t want coffee, I want to make love with you.”
“I think that’s what I meant,” said Mike. “Let’s go up.”
They went up to the room and were quickly in bed. They made love urgently but gently in the darkness with only the rustling of the sheets and their heavy breathing betraying their presence. Afterwards, as they lay in each others arms, Lek felt that he had found someone to take care of him and to protect him. He had made his decision and it only remained to sort out the logistics of how to achieve it.

Over the next few days, Lek spent as much time as he could with Mike, knowing that once Mike left, it would be a long time before they would see each other again. As the fateful day approached, Lek felt his heart aching at the thought of being parted from his lover, who had been so strong, and so kind to him. Inevitably, the day dawned; Lek had spent their last night with Mike in the hotel, and helped him to pack his bags in the morning. He checked the room thoroughly to make sure Mike did not leave anything behind.

They went down to the coffee shop to have a last breakfast together, and chatted about inconsequential matters, neither of them really knowing what to say. Lek took a note of Mike’s email address and phone numbers and had memorized them almost as soon as he had read them. They sent a bell boy up to the room to get Mike’s bags while Lek collected his car and drove it around to the front of the hotel, where the bags were loaded into the trunk.

Mike appeared with a huge bunch of red roses and presented them to Lek, who was embarrassed but delighted, discretely kissing his cheek. They set off from the hotel towards the airport, trying to keep the conversation cheerful. As they approached the airport entrance, Lek could feel his spirits slipping fast and made a real effort to hold back the tears. He parked the car while Mike found a baggage trolley; after unloading Mike’s bags they entered the terminal building which, although busy, was uncrowded and spacious.

Lek waited as Mike checked his bags in at the airline desk and double checked his flight departure time; he smiled at Lek and said, “We’ve got time for a coffee, would you like one?”
Lek nodded. He didn’t know what to say; he couldn’t stand it now and almost wished they’d never met, only to be parted by such a vast distance. They found a seat with a view of the runway, Lek struggled not to cry as he watched the aircraft taking off outside, knowing that very shortly another one would take off carrying his Love, bound for a strange country on the other side of the world. The tears began to come now, he wiped them away hoping Mike wouldn’t see. He turned away just as Mike’s flight was called, and was thankful that his Love had been distracted before he saw Lek’s tears.

The next few minutes were a blur. A brisk walk to the departure area, a quick hug while being jostled by departing passengers, and Mike was gone. Lek was devastated, felt empty and alone, and helpless. Tears streaming down his cheeks he ran out to his car, angry at the world for taking his man away. He struggled with the key and started the engine, wiping his eyes as he made his way towards the highway outside the airport. He was briefly blinded by his salty tears and as he turned onto the busy highway, he did not saw the fully loaded gas tanker as it ploughed in the side of his car. Lek was thrown violently through the front windscreen, the glass shredding his face and body, then landed with a sickening thud on the concrete road, cars and trucks screeching to avoid him and the wreckage of his car.

As his life slipped away, Lek looked up into the heavens and saw a British Airways jumbo jet pass overhead in a halo of sunlight.

Confessions Of A Moneyboy

Confessions Of A Moneyboy

We met a guy who works the bars and discos around Bangkok’s Silom and Suriwong Roads, and he agreed to anonymously talk about his lifestyle as a male prostitute. We’ll call him Art (not his real name).

When I Smile And Show Some Flesh, They Do Things My Way

Where are you from, and how old are you?
ART: I’m 23 and come from Korat in [tooltip title="" content="Isaan = North East Thailand" type="classic" ]Isaan[/tooltip].
How long have you been in Bangkok?
ART: About four years.
Have you been selling yourself all that time?
ART: Yes, a friend told me it was a good way to make some easy money.
Were you a virgin when you first started out?
ART: No, but I didn’t have much experience, and I’d never met a[tooltip title="" content="Farang = Caucasian." type="classic" ] farang[/tooltip].
When you first started, what did you think?
ART: I wasn’t sure about going with foreigners, but I quickly found out that most of them were easy to control.
What do you mean?
ART: When I smile and show them some flesh, they do things my way.

I Have It All Going For Me

Do you work in a bar, or are you a freelancer?
ART: I’m a freelancer, I like to please myself.
Do you enjoy what you do?
ART: I’m used to it, I don’t mind, and I can work when I want to.
Do you think you are successful?
ART: You mean do I make good money, or do I make my tricks happy?
Do you make good money?
ART: Yes, pretty good, but some months are not so good. Better than working in a bar or office.
Some moneyboys don’t do so well, why do you do well?
ART: I have a big personality, and I know that farangs think I’m cute, so I have it all going for me.
How do you find your customers?
ART: I have some regular guys that call me up, and I work the bars around Silom at night.

I’m Not Sure I’m Gay

Do you have a regular boyfriend?
ART: No!
Why not?
ART: I’m not sure that I’m gay.
So do you have a girlfriend?
ART: No, but sometimes I play with a girl if I’m in the mood.
How many guys do you have sex with in a week?
ART: That’s difficult to answer, sometimes six or seven, sometimes more, sometimes less.
Do you go with anyone who asks you?
ART: I did when I first started out, but not now unless I’m short of money, and that’s not very often.
Do you ever have problems with your customers?
ART: When I first started out, I had a couple of difficult guys, one would not pay even after we agree how much. But now. I don’t pick up guys that are drunk of seem weird in some way.
Do you make your customers happy?
ART: I think so, I try to judge what the guy likes, and keep him happy, and not rush too much like some of my friends do.
So what kind of guy will you go with?
ART: He has to be clean and neat, and if he looks like he has plenty money, that’s great.

I Don’t Think It’s Right Or Wrong

Why does it matter as long as he pays you?
ART: I don’t like smelly or untidy guys.
I mean, about money.
ART: Oh, if he has some money, maybe he would see me again, buy me some gold, take me to a nice place for eating, things like that.
Sounds like you want a boyfriend.
ART: Not at all. Like I said, I’m not sure that I am gay. I just want some nice things and a nice lifestyle.
Do you get gifts from your customers? What kind of things?
ART: Mobile phone, gold jewelry, a trip upcountry, a TV. Guys have given me all these things before.
Do any of these guys consider you as their boyfriend?
ART: Yes a few do, and I’m happy to play them along while I can earn something from them.
Do you think that is right?
ART: I don’t think it is right or wrong. They are happy and I’m happy.

Have You Ever Had An AIDS Test?

Have you ever felt that one of your customers was something special, something different?
ART: Hmm, yes, there’s a couple of guys who are like that, almost like an uncle. They understand what I’m doing and don’t judge me for it.
When you have sex with a customer, will you do anything he asks you to do?
ART: Most of the time it’s just f**king and sucking, I’m fine with that. Sometimes a guy might want something a bit weird, if it’s something I’m comfortable with I might do that for extra money.
Do you prefer to be a king or queen (top or bottom)?
ART: At first I was only a king (top) but now I can accept being f**ked I do both, whatever makes my trick happy.
And do you practice safe sex with your customers?
ART: If I’m going to f**k him, always, but if he wants to f**k me, then it’s up to him. I will tell him to use a condom but if he doesn’t I don’t say anything.
Why not?
ART: I don’t want to upset my trick, I don’t want to lose my money.
Have you ever had an AIDS test?
ART: Yes, a couple of years ago.
What was the result?
ART: I was clear.
And what about now?
ART: What do you mean?
Don’t you think you should get tested more often?
ART: What for? I’ve been tested.

Are You Ever Asked To Do Strange Things?

Do guys ask you to do strange things?
ART: Sometimes, like three or four guys together, or ask me to slap them.
Slap them?
ART: Yes, you know, on the ass. Some guys like that.
What else?
ART: I had some guy ask to piss on me, and one guy want to tie the rope around me.
And did you let them?
ART: I’m not saying.
When you are in a bar looking for a customer, do the bar managers know what you are doing?
ART: I think most do, but they don’t bother me if I behave well, and don’t hassle their customers.
So you just sit and wait for someone to talk to you?
ART: Usually. Someone will smile, or come up to me. I will smile at any likely trick, but if he doesn’t show interest I don’t push it. I don’t want any problems with the places I’m working in.
What do you do with the money you earn?
ART: Well I have to eat and pay my rent, but I send money to my family every month too.
Do they know what you do for a job?
ART: No, I told them I’m a tour guide.

I Hear That You Are Buying A Condo

I heard that you are buying a condominium.
ART: Yes, I just put the deposit on it last week. It will be finished in about a year, then I will have my own place.
That must be expensive, how can you do that?
ART: I saved quite a lot of money that guys sent to me; I want to have a comfortable life. My home was in a small wooden house in the ricefields. It’s not very nice way to live, and now I can do better..
Do you know many other money boys who can buy a condo or house?
ART: No; most of my friends just spend the money when they get it. I want a nice place to live, so I saved my money.
What do you do in your free time?
ART: I love to karaoke, or play bowling and watch a movie with my friends.
Who is the most important person in your life?
ART: My mother. She means everything to me.

Secret Wedding

Secret Wedding

The risks transgenders run in Indonesia for love.

It was anything but a normal wedding. The identity cards were forged, the groom’s parents refused to attend, and only a handful of friends were invited. The event was so taboo it could have ended with the bride and groom in jail.

“That day I felt like a freedom fighter, like liberty itself,” says 28-year-old Noah of his Indonesian wedding, with the photograph album of last year’s ceremony spread open across his knees. “But the truth is, we have no choice but to keep it a secret.”

“It” is the fact that Noah, a small-boned man with teenage acne, a gelled-back crew cut and wispy moustache, is not yet – in the eyes of his government – a man.

One of a growing number of Indonesia’s transgender people, Noah – who was born female, but is now pre-op female to male – is defying considerable sociocultural taboos in the world’s most populous Muslim country to become who he feels he is: “A man who just wants to be with the person I love.”

“There’s no shortcut for this,” he says, quietly, of his transgender life. “You have to plan everything – how to fit into society, how to act like a man, how to behave ‘normally’. If you don’t, you face discrimination – and physical, sexual and verbal abuse.”

Dorce Gamalama

There are no official figures for the number of transgender people currently living in Indonesia. “She-males” – or waria – are some of the most socially visible, with the most famous among them, talkshow host Dorce Gamalama, considered the Indonesian Oprah.

But the transgender life is not easy in Indonesia. While legally allowed to marry, they can do so only after successfully completing realignment surgery, a prohibitively expensive process which costs 200m rupiah ($10,000). They must also wait for a government-issued identity card declaring their new gender.

In a nation where the average annual income is 20m rupiah, ($1,000) many transgenders and their partners are forced instead to lead what are, technically, same-sex relationships.

“This is a grey area in Indonesian law,” says Yuli Rustinawati of the Jakarta-based lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) charity Arus Pelangi (Rainbow Stream). “The national government recognises sex but not gender, or – in other words – the result of realignment surgery, but not the process.”

While neither LGBT persons nor same-sex relations are prohibited by the Indonesian state of 240 million, 80% of whom are Muslim, local governments vary in how they handle it.

Many states, such as south Sumatra, use anti-prostitution laws to restrict the rights of LGBT people, where “prostitution” is widely defined to include homosexual sex and lesbianism, as well as pornography and sexual abuse. In the sharia state of Aceh, gay sex is punishable by jail, while [tooltip title="Info" content="Waria = Indonesian word for ladyboy, transgender" type="info" ]waria[/tooltip], once nationally deemed cacat, or mentally ill, are now categorised along with the homeless as a “social welfare problem”.

According to Sardjono Sigit, of Gaya Nusantara, an LGBT rights group based in Surabaya, east Java, such laws simply prove that “LGBT people in Indonesia are still regarded as freaks who are part of some ‘special community’.”

“As an ‘entertainer’, an LGBT person can be free to express their sexuality as part of their ‘performance’,” he says. “But in daily life, they’re still expected to behave as heterosexuals.”

LGBT rights have recently gained exposure thanks to the Indonesian human rights commission and a new, official network of HIV/Aids programmes. However – and possibly as a response to the nation’s exacting cultural mores – reports of unusual marriages such as Noah’s have surged in the past few months, from small villages in Aceh to the capital city of Jakarta.

Mainly involving seemingly heterosexual couples who are later found to contain a transgender partner, the stories have flummoxed locals and officials alike. The latest report, of two women who married as a heterosexual couple but were later exposed by neighbours to be lesbians, created a stir when the local religious police threatened to behead the women and set them alight as punishment for their “embarrassing and forbidden” behaviour.

While local rights groups concede that the Indonesian LGBT movement has gained considerable ground in the last five years, so too has the fundamental Islamic movement, says Rustinawati.

“Many communities now send LGBT people to pasantran (Islamic boarding schools) for ‘sexual re-education’,” she explains. “LGBT conferences have been cancelled and the Q! (queer) film festival was attacked by the Islamic Defenders Front — but the police don’t protect us, because they don’t want to get involved with the Islamicists.” Last year’s attack on the festival — when masked people threatened to burn down participating cinemas — was supported by the Indonesian Ulema Council, the country’s highest religious body.

For Noah, who faced abuse at school, was beaten with brooms and stones by his family, and twice tried to kill himself, the only way to live as a self-declared devout Muslim and transgender in Indonesia is to “have a strategy.

“You have to be careful with everything you do. I’ve moved house and changed jobs since starting the testosterone, and I have almost no friends. ” In the bedsit she shares with her husband, Noah’s wife Dian, 28, confides that she, too, fears for her own life. “I must follow every tradition of being ‘normal’,” she says, “because if my parents knew I was living like this, they would kill me.”

“And if they didn’t,” adds Noah, “then the neighbours would.”The couple, who hope to one day adopt children, have contemplated moving to Thailand — where realignment surgery is cheaper and life as a transgender couple arguably easier — but their hope for a safer future in Indonesia surpasses their current fear.

“I believe in God and I surrender to him – he will protect me on this path,” explains Noah.

“I prayed every day that I would one day wake up a man. And I am getting there, step by step.”

Conversations

Conversations

GAY life in Thailand is much like gay life in many other countries, with many of the same problems and rewards. One significant aspect is the problem of finding a sincere and reliable partner, due to the nature of the gay scene.

Dragoncastle (AsiaOut’s previous name) ventured out into the busy streets of Bangkok to find out what the “gay in the street” thinks about his gay lifestyle.

Ched

Ched is a 30 year old restaurant supervisor from Nonthaburi province (just north of Bangkok). He is a guy who takes both his responsibilities and his life seriously, but also knows how to really enjoy himself when he’s relaxing with his friends.

When asked what he thought about gay life he commented: “Its a very free lifestyle with no hassles, but I only think about today and tomorrow. I have a feeling that my future is a bit dark; I’ll be a lonely guy. When you work in a gay place, people don’t trust you; they think everyone must be a money boy.”

This is a problem for the ordinary gay guy who works in a gay area like Silom. When there are so many guys on the make that it is easy to assume that everyone is. That makes life difficult for those honest, decent guys just trying to make a living.

Is Ched happy being gay? The answer seems to show that perhaps he’s not. “I might be happier if I was straight with a family to take care of. But I’m not.”

“There’s nothing special about being gay,” he replied, when asked what he thought was the best thing about being gay.

The worst aspect of gay life was the problem of relationships, he said. “It is too easy for guys to split up; the temptations are too great and its too easy for some guys to play around. That means you can’t trust each other. I’d like to have a really serious, monogamous relationship with a guy who really loves me and who I can really love.”

Ched, despite his cynicism about gay life, does like to go to gay bars and discos sometimes. “Because I’m still young and like to have a good time with my friends.”

Many young Thais aspire to live abroad, but when the idea was put to Ched it revealed that his commitments are more important to him. “I have to think about my family and friends first; I wouldn’t leave them. But, I would like to take a holiday in a place like Canada, which sounds like a clean, cool and beautiful country.”

Ched feels that gay life is not ideal; but he is still gay. So the question arose, what kind of men does Ched like? “I know what I like to look at, but what’s in a guy’s head and heart are more important. I don’t like guys who are rich or throw their money around. And handsome guys are not always the nicest of guys. One of the best people I’ve ever met was a German guy who had very little money and wasn’t that good looking, but I think about him a lot.”

Daeng

Daeng is a 39 year old company director, originally from Chomphun province in southern Thailand. He has been in Bangkok for more than 20 years and is outwardly very happy, but a tragic loss has affected him deeply.

What is Daeng’s opinion of gay life? “Fun! Good fun, when you don’t need love,” he said. “But when you need a boyfriend life can be hard.”

And is he happy being gay? “Of course!” he quipped with a wicked smile. “The best thing about gay life is the freedom, having an open mind. And you don’t have to keep it a secret as people accept gays. It was much more difficult when I was younger, especially with my father who couldn’t accept it at all.”

Every gay man encounters problems during their life and Daeng thinks one of the the worst aspects is being alone. “When I have a problem, I don’t know who I can talk to. It can be quite hard.”

Daeng is one of many migrants to the big city. He came to Bangkok from his southern home about 20 years ago to study fashion and to find work. “Something I couldn’t have done in my home town,” he noted.

“A good head and a good heart.” Daeng said of what he is looking for in a man. “Not ugly but he doesn’t have to be so handsome. I like older farangs, but not fat guys. Someone who doesn’t lie to me and is well behaved.”

Although Daeng often has a quick drink in a gay pub, he prefers the company of his friends for a fun night out, wherever it might be. “I don’t stay out so late. Eating with my friends or shopping is fun. Sex is so easy sometimes it can be boring – except with a special guy!”

Eak

Ek is an 18 year old language student born in Bangkok. He currently lives with his parents but lives a very open gay life which he says he enjoys very much, although he admits to prefer being a bit of a loner.

“I think gay life is exciting and interesting” Ek commented. “Being gay means I’m not 100% a man and not the same as straight men. Its a good lifestyle. Women tend to understand us better than straight men, and ordinary people are quite accepting of gays now, not like before.”

If he enjoying his life as a gay man? “Yes, I enjoy my life very much, although gay people aren’t perfect. We want love just like other people but we can’t love just any man, as he has to be gay too.”

For Ek, the best part of gay life is that it is more interesting than other lifestyles. “And gays are talented in many ways that other people aren’t,” he added.

“Gay men have many problems with their love lives,” he said of the drawbacks to being gay. “Sometimes they get bored with each other and it is so easy to play around with other guys. And Katoeys have the biggest problems of all, especially once they’ve had the operation. Life can be very hard and lonely for them.”

While gay life is often very sociable, not everyone wants to spend their time on the scene or even with friends. Many gays seek solitude and Ek numbers himself amongst them.

“I prefer to go shopping or see a movie on my own. When I’m alone I’m free to do what I want, when I want. If I had a real boyfriend that I really loved, then I would enjoy spending some time with him. But, what satisfies me most is going to the temple to make merit. I hope this will help me to have a better life next time.”

Despite being a loner, Ek, like any gay man, has his preferences when it comes to men. “I like someone older than me because he knows more than me and can teach me things and take care of me. Of course he has to be gay so we understand each other. He doesn’t have to be rich or good looking, as long as he’s presentable and has a good heart and a good mind. But I’m shy, and would like the other guy to talk to me first.”

Touy

Touy is a 23 year old from Nong Khai province, in the north-east of Thailand, who recently started work as a cashier in a gay pub. He’s a quiet guy who enjoys nature and the countryside more than the bars and clubs of Bangkok.

Touy says that he is generally satisfied with his life: “Sometimes I’m very happy, but sometimes I’m not when I have some problem with a guy,” he added. “I think I’m happy being gay as I have a lot of friends I can have fun with, but sometimes there are drawbacks…”

And for Touy what’s the best part of gay life? “Having fun with my friends. chatting and letting our hair down, that’s the best thing, more than sex. Sex is important but mutual understanding is more important,” he said.

What about the negative aspects? “Being lonely, having no friends or boyfriend; being alone. That can be awful.”

Although gay, Touy is not into the gay scene very much; “I like to see my friends, go to a movie, or go to the beach or countryside more than go to bars or discos, although I do go once in a while.”

Many people from Thailand’s provinces move to Bangkok in search of a better life and Touy came from his home town about two years ago. “The pay in Nong Khai is not very good in any job. Bangkok has more opportunities, whether you’re gay or not. You can get a better job with more money, and sometimes you can get a better education here too,” he explained.

As for living abroad, Touy doesn’t see it as that important. “I’d like to live in Germany maybe, but if I had a boyfriend I think it doesn’t matter where we live, Thailand or Germany, as long as we can take care of each other.”

He describes himself as a shy guy and prefers the other guy to make the first move. He would feel uncomfortable speaking first, but if a guy smiles at him, Touy would smile back and hope that the guy would talk to him. “I like a guy over 30, a farang, clean, polite and smart. But I have to get to know a guy before anything can happen,” he pointed out.

And…

It seems that these four men, and many millions like them, are all in the same boat; seeking love from an honest, dependable, reliable and loving man.

Finding Mr Right is going to be a long and painful process, but we wish them happiness, and success in their quest for real love.

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