Social · Uncategorized

One Night in Bangkok

I spent a weekend in Bangkok a few weekends ago. Bangkok to me before this trip was a place I would transit through on my way to someplace else. Never really a holiday spot and I honestly didn’t really look forward to it. If there isn’t much in the history, culture or beach space, it isn’t my idea of a holiday. But if the company is great, hey! I have been known to make exceptions.

So I was with a bunch of people, all guys I might add. Whats cool about holidaying with a bunch of guys is its just way more chilled out an atmosphere. Personal opinion speaking.

What does one do when they visit Bangkok with six guys ? Well, you most probably would end up at a go-go bar. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, a go-go bar is a nightclub that comes in many shapes and sizes but typical elements include a bar, a central stage with several poles and seats facing the stage. Girls dance on stage and in between dancing, these girls will mingle with the crowd, and are happy to have a chat in return for a free drink. This is the most innocent version.

When I walked in, I found myself judging these women. Hey, they spent their days and earned their living dancing (basically the same moves all night) and chatting up men for a free drink. I was definitely in a position to feel sorry for them right ? Wrong.

As I watched closely, these women took their jobs very seriously. It was as much of a job to them as would working in an office, driving a taxi, housekeeping and the likes. It was a way to earn a living and they took it seriously. These women had a smile for every person who walked in and kept the room abuzz with their laughter and their chatter even when I’m sure some of them didn’t really feel like. I am sure they wanted to be anywhere else at midnight rather than on a stage, skimpily dressed and dancing on stage in front of a bunch of strangers. But they did it anyway.

What I found more intriguing was these women who did this, did so with joy. It didn’t seem like anyone forced them to be there, although it could have been the case. There was one dancer who took a liking towards my friend and basically made it her night’s mission to get his attention, make him buy her a drink, dance with him all evening, pass loud jokes and basically make sure she had a good time doing something she would most likely have avoided if she could.

These women were free. They chose their lifestyle and they wore their skimpy outfits with pride, They had a smile for the most morbid looking man and they kept their spirits up at an hour of night when the whole world is most drained of their energies. When they said farewell, they would actually conduct themselves in the most traditional manner with arms folded and thank you for the money you gave them.

Demeaned by people who know less, ridiculed by society that doesn’t understand, standing tall with freedoms they chose. You go go-go girl.

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Social · Uncategorized

To block or not to block

 

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We live in a world where connections go beyond face to face meetings, conversations in the evenings, phone conversations. Today with social media, we can see someone but not be seen, watch someone live their lives without them knowing about it and know our lives. Real friendships which took time to develop over time has lost its meaning because people are not making time to connect anymore.

While superficial friendships based on social media are one thing, people do not seem to understand that behind the veils of our Facebook walls and Instagram accounts we do not realize there are real people with real feelings out there. We stalk and follow people we normally would not speak to regularly, we check out the pictures of weddings and holidays we haven’t been invited to and we spend hours watching the lives of people we would not ordinarily call close friends. We know more about more people today than ever in history.

What I am coming to primarily is the concept of “unfriending” and “blocking” people which real world you cannot do. It would not even be socially acceptable. Its almost cruel but on social media we seem to do it effortlessly. This is not relevant to the stalkers and the people who we do not know. This is relevant to the people we know socially, probably as good friends whom the minute there is a problem with we block off and make sure they are strangers.

We need to be a little more cautious. A little more aware. There are emotions below the surface and we as human beings have lost the age old art of just communicating. There are far more people willing to avoid having an uncomfortable conversation vs. going off the radar completely and blocking people off. We gave forgotten we are human, situations and circumstances happen and we do not need to cut all ties (social media included) just because we can.

Have we forgotten the days of old when communities of people would gather together and talk about their lives? When there was no electronic communication so all relationships were built entirely on direct face to face interaction ? Let’s be more aware of the fact that with more options to connect we have more options to build relationships and break them. Lets act carefully.