If Bangkok was a Colour…

3 Jul

Pink and yellow leopard's head with tuk-tuk, Bangkok[/caption[tweetmeme source=”@mummy_t” only_single=false]]If Bangkok had a colour, it would most definitely be pink. Hot pink.

Like a bar girl’s brassiere, or those gorgeous metallic fuchsia and violet taxis which ply the streets below the Skyrail and the concrete walkways.

A slightly shopsoiled pink. Sort of Bladerunner pink. But definitely bright. The swooshy, showy muted colourwash that floods the Siam Center shopping mall is just a little too, well tasteful.

Fittingly, it is here that the gender confusion which has plagued junior and me for the last couple of months has begun to fade.

Pink taxis at Victory Monument, Bangkok.

pink taxis at the roundabout, victory monument, bangkok

Siam, Siam, wherefore art thou Siam?


The trouble, essentially, started when he began growing his hair and I began chopping the bleach out of mine, in an effort to discover the base colour I’ve been disguising for almost 25 years.

On the plus side? It isn’t grey.

On the down side? I don’t like it. It’s just dull.

Anywise… So Z is now sporting very cute, slightly curly surfer hair, down to his shoulders. South-East Asian boys don’t grow their hair until they’re well into their teens, and sometimes not even then. And tend, generally, to be built more solidly than junior.

PLastic pink flamingoes intertwined at Dreamworld, Bangkok.

Pink flamingoes.

I now, I realise thanks to a photo sir took at yesterday’s theme park, have not only cropped dull brown hair — short hair on women is very rare in these parts — but biceps which actually strain at my T-shirt.

I’ve always had broad shoulders. Never had much by way of boobs. And, though not as much of a Gulliver in Lilliput as in Laos, or with the Hmong around Sapa, I’m also definitively on the chap side of the height scale in Thailand.

Anywise. Junior and I had, by mutual acquiescence, decided to write off the odd stray “Sir” to me, or “she” in reference to him, as, y’know, translation errors.

This depends, of course, on his mood. He has become attached to the notion of stereotypes of late. Height limit on a ride at the themepark? “Blooming stereotypes.”

Crazy old lady grabbing his nonexistent breasts and telling him they’ll never grow unless he finishes his pho? “Mum. People just don’t understand here that you can be a boy and still grow your hair. That is sooo stereotypical…”

Z in one of a pair of giant boots at Dreamworld, Bangkok

The hair showing at its best.

Anywise, one way or the other, we managed to duck the issue till Thailand. Oddly, in a country so full of ambivalent folk with Y chromosomes, there is no linguistic space for gender ambiguity.

Hello ends in -krop if you appear male, -ka if you seem female. So does thank you. So do acknowledgements thereof.

I mean, it cuts both ways, to a degree. I tend to address almost every Thai person wearing makeup as -ka. I kind of figure that even if the stubble’s showing it’s polite to assume they pass, even if I’m not sure that’s precisely the game they’re playing.

Some just leave me stranded, though. I guess I’m still as unused to slender, long-haired boys just being slender long-haired boys as they are to, Christ, strapping Western women with short hair and trucker’s forearms.

Day three of this stint in Bangkok, however, and so far only one person has used the -krop suffix. And he corrected himself straightaway.

I think, however, a dye-job is long overdue.

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2 Responses to “If Bangkok was a Colour…”

  1. nicole curry at 7:52 am #

    Love the opening picture and the post is great. Just cut off the hair of two long haired boys (gum and heat) so now I assume they wont be referred to as my two beautiful girls….

    • MummyT at 7:55 am #

      Did they consent to this?! He won’t even have a trim to lose the split ends. Prefers conditioner. How very metrosexual. Or something…

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