These thoughts have brought me to think about why we also feel we must classify ourselves as "gay" or "straight". If you find somebody attractive, what does it matter their sex? What if you find women attractive, and you fall in love with this gorgeous girl...only to find out she was once a man? You thought you were straight, HA! YOU'RE WRONG!!! Or are you still? Perhaps that was just an honest mistake...but you liked her PERSONALITY too!! I think it is okay NOT to classify who you are, and just be you!
On the sad side of things, physical attraction is the base for many of the women and ladyboys' income as prostitution in Thailand is huge. They work on their own, through go-go bars, at massage parlors, regular bars, and more places! You name the place and there are probably prostitutes! It is a crazy crazy difference in this part of the world, and as Thailand keeps on developing, hopefully we will see less and less of this type of work being done!!!
So what better a way to renew my Thailand visa than flying to Singapore for a few nights to visit my Cousin Evan who was there on business? I can assure you that being in a nice hotel with wifi accessible from the room itself, a nice hot shower, etc. is NOT how I have been traveling so what a nice way to mix it up!
What sets Singapore apart from the other countries in Southeast Asia? Several things: it is NOT 3rd World whatsoever. The population of Singapore is lets say generally a 75/25 split between Chinese and Indian ethnicity with other groups involved at minority levels. You will not meet anyone who does not have basic conversational English (ok i met one, and this was great practice for my Chinese!) but overall most people's English is at a VERY high level, as is the education level in this country. Business is booming and Singapore is seeing some serious economic growth! The government maintains order quite well, with the threat of being caned for some minor offenses, not many people want to test the waters...the Gurkas (not sure if i spelled that right) are a breed of people who train to use the bamboo rod as a weapon, used in giving those who commit crimes in this country a lashing. Generally, one gets 2-3 licks and there is a doctor on hand to determine whether or not the person can sustain all of them; it is not uncommon for the criminal to lose consciousness after the first lick. If the doctor determines that the person cannot endure anymore at that time, they are released from the barracks they are put into and must come back a month or so later for the rest of their punishment...can you imagine how emotionally traumatic this must be?? The cane is serious and strips off all layers of skin if used properly, exposing the muscle and is said to forever affect the way some people walk after the treatment. Such things as smoking in the hotel room, or even bringing a fruit called a Durian (I found this HILARIOUS) into the hotel room can cause you to get fined! The reason the fruit is not allowed is because it produces quite a pungent odor that can be very offensive to the nasal passages.
This ridiculously ordered and clean place does have a seedy side. You can certainly find some naughty activities if you want, and surprisingly prostitution is legal in a certain area called Geylang I am told.
So I am back in Bangkok and the finger is feeling okay, it is slowly regaining more and more motion! When I was in Singapore I got x-rays done and they were QUALITY! The doctor recommended that I see the orthopedic surgeon, claiming that from the looks of the finger I might need surgery. The orthopedic surgeon explained that the break had occurred close to the joint however, and they would have to go in and re-brake the bone, putting me back at square 1. I would have to let it recover for another bunch of weeks, but more importantly they would screw a plate into my bone to keep it straight, causing permanent stiffness if they were to hit the joint by accident, and a risk for infection on top of that. After hearing all of this and the doctor's surprise when I asked for his arm and grabbed it as hard as I could with my right hand (not surprised to be groped, but surprised at the amount of strength I had recovered in my finger and hand) we came to the ultimate conclusion that the continuation of the natural healing process would be the best way to go about this...especially because on a day-to-day basis, while the finger is a bit more swelled up than the other index finger, there is no pain (unless I manually flex it in directions which I do often for physiotherapy). I am not sure if it will ever gain full motion back, but I'm gaining that tiger claw grip back and refuse to give up! The use of my right hand once again will be critical as I continue moving again soon!
I have been spending a lot of time by myself these past couple of days, and although it has been nice I would like some company again! I foresee meeting some cool people in the near future on my way to and in the beauty that Thailand's Southern Islands have to offer! Koh Pha-Ngan looks to be first on the radar, more on that to come soon!