Like most people, I tend to get rather uncomfortable when a stranger assesses my body composition and become downright flustered….yes, flustered….when they feel the need to compliment it. Compliments in general turn me into a very awkward, mumbly human being.
There are only two compliments I will not immediately attempt to deflect. One, I’m a world class singer (Prestige Worldwide) and two, I’m a skilled scooter-ist. Saying I am the best teacher doesn’t count as a compliment because it falls in the category of (soon to be) universally accepted fact.
After today, I’m willing to make an exception for any compliment delivered in broken english by an elderly asian woman.
I found myself in the touristy part of town yesterday and thought I better take the opportunity to stock up on chopstix and elephant mating ceremony postcards. With encouragement from a particularly fun spirited shop owner, I veered off that original game plan quite a bit and came out with a new nickname and a plausible explanation for some of the daily struggles I encounter.
As I said, I just wanted a postcard but this lady was looking for big money from white laaaydeee and was willing to work for it. She talked me into kimonos and silk children’s dresses with relative ease but when she rounded the corner to grab some shorts, I put the brakes on.
Shorts and pants on any continent are not meant for me. In Asia in particular they’re a physical impossibility. As you may recall from my encounter with The Madam, most Thai shop owners agree that I shouldn’t have shorts and yell “not for you” before kicking me out of their store. I’m not alone in this struggle, almost every western female I know has been turned away from a store.
It matters very little what size you actually are, all foreigners are fat. To quote the sage advice of a guest speaker at the all Thai English Have Fun Diversity Day, “You cannot call your foreign teachers fat, even though they fat.” I would spend more time being angry about it wasn’t such priceless entertainment value. Kayla has had clothing ripped from her hands by a man in Bangkok who explained his actions by shouting, “Not for you King Kong!”
Not this lady though. Bless her canned sardine loving heart, she was blind to my non asian physique and ready to sell me some shorts. I tried dropping their own line on them and said, “I need big size, not have big size.” She grabbed my love handles (as is standard operating procedure) and said “nooooo not need, small size ok try on”.
I got small size about 4 inches past my knees and the smile dropped off her face.
“Oh…..I was confused about The Body. I think The Body look small…..but now not small. Ok I get big size.”
I knocked her down and she got right back up with a pair of size 34 used jean shorts that were left in a taxi years ago by a fellow fat, freckled farang. At first glance they were not looking like a slam dunk but I was willing to give them a shot because I liked her attitude.
This time the shorts made it almost to my butt before the wave of disappointment came back over her face.
“Oh….I think….The Body is…..too sexy.”
I laughed so hard, I bought 2 “free size” dresses I didn’t want. She’s right, why didn’t it occur to me before, I’m too sexy for this country. It’s unclear as to wether it was meant as a compliment or not but she got her big money and I got a great story.
Legally speaking, I believe Heidi Klum has trademarked The Body but this is Thailand, and we are nothing if not fast and loose with the copyright laws. (“real cucu chanel we not copy” in lowercase sharpie on yellowed paper….sprung for the real cucu but cut some corners on the sign)
Here it is folks, The Body. It recently replaced “selfies while driving” as the leading cause of traffic accidents among Phuket taxi drivers.
Sidenote. For fundraising purposes I am going to become a person who wears headbands while exercising and you should too provided you buy that headband from Make Our Day. #jazzercise
……..Jazzercise has nothing to do with this post but not a day goes by where someone from a random country doesn’t click on my blog post tagged jazzercise. It that’s you Im sorry for the bait and switch and I do not know where the nearest jazzercise location is.