No Photoshop, just Instagram

@chrispytine on Twitter and Instagram

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Lessons from Bangkok

6 months in Bangkok and i'm loving it. 
I wait a thousand years to cross the busy street with no traffic rules, it has taught me patience. 

My hairstylist is a Japanese female who came to Thailand to be a male. He taught me there is no shame in telling a stranger your secrets. 

A Thai's name is long and complicated. They have nicknames like Meta, Jedi and the most creative must go to Name. Remembering Thai names and their nicknames trains my memory. 

My favourite (illegal) street food stall is at the same spot everyday but one day. The Police works on Monday. 

The Thai straight men love taking selfies and checking themselves out in their reflective mobile case. It taught me not to stereotype gender. 

Taxi drivers who roll down their windows and ask where i'm going is most likely not to take me anywhere. It taught me perserverance. 

The many old farang ( Westerner) and young Thai couples don't disgust me but told me everyone's searching for love in ways they define it to be.  

I went for a massage and they asked if i minded a male masseuse. I hesitated until they added, "don't worry, not a real man." I learned to adapt and not mind to have things my way. 

I meet people all walks of life, most recently a conspiracy preacher who proved to be more interesting than an inflight movie. The French man has a bag filled with gold and silver, ready to run (to the mountains) the next economy crisis or nuclear war. I learned that to live, is to not fear. 

I saw a creepy voodoo spider doll hanging in a taxi, i learned to respect anothers' beliefs. 

The friendliest taxi driver i met was a ladyboy who wouldn't stop giggling and keeps an English dictionary in her glove compartment. She taught me happiness is from within. 

I walk the same route everyday and i see the same beggars everyday. I tell myself not to turn numb any day. 

I volunteer at a shelter for trafficked victims and it taught me i can make a change. 

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Cardinal Sins Couples Commit

They say love is blind, but surely we can fall out of love if love is taken for granted. 

Some friends tell me they end relationships because feelings were gone. What makes feelings last a lifetime and what is the recipe to long lasting marriages that takes little effort to maintain? 


1. Invading Bathroom Privacy
When you live together, it is inevitable that there'll be times you're in a rush or impatient to use the bathroom. In some way, you've achieved the highest level of comfortability in coupledom if you're able to take his/her shit. I had an ex who told me his then-girlfriend wouldn't stop talking even while he's on his golden throne. Lavatory time is sacred time, most people meditate in there. Or, check illicit messages from mistresses. Unless both of you are into the golden shower fetish where its actually a turn-on, i'll say stay out of each other's bowel-time. There'll be chances later on in life, in old age, where either of you have to help each other move bowels. Until then, if you must invade bathroom privacy, make sure its to surprise him/ her in a steamy hot shower. 

2. Criticism Overload
While you are your partner's greatest fan, you will also be his/ her biggest critic. I've seen couples who in their "harmless teasing" hide invisible knives that cut. A friend's husband is always teasing how unfit his wife is. I pointed out that while she isn't as fit as he is, he should be glad he found a partner who joins him in every outdoor activity with much gusto. A relationship still needs tact. 

3. Forgetting "Please" and "Thank You"
The more comfortable we are with someone, the less formal we become. The Japanese have a very sweet tradition where a couple greet each other when one or the other steps through the door with this phrase; "its been hard on you". Its a show of appreciation for the other, hard at work. It could be not entirely sincere because of habit but remember that successful people cultivate good habits. 

4. Disapproval in Public
In relation of #2, it is easy to lose your temper quicker with someone close. Especially when you know you're being loved unconditionally (assuming that's why you're both together). My parents are married for more than 25 years. I dislike the manner they frown, chide and demonstrate their disapproval of each other publicly. My longest relationship was 3 years, everytime there's a behaviour i disapprove, i consciously bite my tongue and keep a pokerface. My mistake though, is not revisiting and talking about it when we get home. It isn't healthy letting the unspoken or forgotten eat you up. 

5. Not Sharing Common Interests
In my opinion, common interests is a pre-requisite before committing to a relationship. However, i've seen couples who are total opposites who remain attached. I can't fathom a partner who doesn't love travelling, trying new things and doing sport like i do. My partners often have opposite thoughts and beliefs which offers friendly (sometimes challenging) debate, but we will always share common interests. Couples who share common interests have a better chance at growing old together. Don't lose the partner who can match your pace in said interest. My parents both like being outdoors but my dad is alot fitter and faster than my mum. This often leaves mum biting dad's dust, which then makes them both feel very alone. 

6. Forgetting Self
When we are comfortable with each other, we stop being vain. There's no need to put on nice lingerie when its more comfortable to hang lose. There's no need to put make-up on because he's seen me without. There's no need to put any clothes on because its coming off. Ok, maybe the last example isn't a bad thing. 

A woman ought to continue putting on matching (and sexy) lingerie. A man ought to continue keeping trim without a belly. When a woman becomes a mother, take time out to love herself. If a woman becomes a housewife, find activities that makes her interesting. Find friends to use the 10,000 word quota than offload it on the husband the moment he steps in. A woman tends to forget herself the moment she becomes a mother. Don't, because you'll grow old resentful as i watch my mother become. When children have grown out of their nest, when your husband will never be able to be as sacrificial as you are (its a different sort), you become resentful at old age. 

7. De-prioritizing Each Other
I'm guilty of lying on a partner's lap and texting while he's also texting above my head. We occassionally share text stories and joke about our friends. This is a special moment, as its only what couples do. 

We've passed the formality stage where a person on his/ her mobile all the time is a deal breaker. However, this couple activity is breeding the habit of seeing your partner less important. When the mobile phone becomes more interesting, when the children demands more attention, when your job/ deadline seemed more important. Today, we see ever more couples on their mobiles at dinner in a restaurant.

Since their children were born, my friend haven't been out with his wife alone since he-can't-remember. His daughter is 16 now, so i asked him what's stopping him from taking his wife out on a date? He gave excuses like, "Naaah. We're too old for that", "I'm not in the mood today." But he did take her out that night, and he messaged me a word of "thanks" after. 

Know that your partner IS human, and unconditional love is something only God or Mum can give. 
I'm not sure about you but I was taught to have only one boyfriend before marriage. It could be religion, or our culture but I definitely wasn't encouraged to go experience love. 
To the Chinese, if we have more than one boyfriend, its condemned as "she's loose/ easy/ slut". My Spanish girl-friend once enlightened me with a different perspective, "doesn't it make you a lot more interesting, having different experiences?" She is currently in a relationship of 8 yrs. 
If we were born as babies with zero knowledge and skill except to suckle or swim, how likely are we to know love and to love without experience? 
I've never used "i love you" frivolously in relationships because "best friends 4eva" written in graduation books were not true. 
When my first boyfriend at 19 said "i love you" within 3 months of relations, i wasn't sure how to react. He surely didn't know what he was saying, as love was meant to be accepting but he frowned at my dressing, speech and behaviour. 
My second boyfriend at 23 was abit more like me, we don't use the word love in vain. There were no "i love you" until we broke up. The first time he used the word love, it was with a marriage proposal. But surely he didn't know what he's saying, because of the inconsistencies in actions. If he loved, he wouldn't leave me behind when we were snorkelling. If he loved, he wouldn't mind my bag spoiling his style (by carrying it). 
For all the men who taught me what love is not, there was one who taught me what love is. Love is giving up pre-planned and paid trips to spend more time with you. Love is not minding how uncomfortable, ugly and tiring it makes him so you can be not. Love is asking you for your opinion on everything not because he can't decide but to make decisions with you. Love is making plans with you in it, love is wanting to know and understand everything of you. 
Have i then loved? I thought i haven't, but my friend who've observed me in my times with relations said i have. Love might be a universal language but the ways of expressing love is very different between cultures. The Chinese are alot more reserved in demonstrating love, "have you eaten?" is more commonly said than "i love you." The Chinese's demonstration of love is, protecting you at all costs, ensuring you're well-fed without lack and caring for the finest details of daily life. Love to the Chinese is not words of affirmation and touch. 
Love is not as simple as we wish it to be. There is parental love which is sacrificial, Godly love which is all-accepting and romantic love, filled with lust & more. Love fills this Earth and in this journey of finding love, i learned to love myself & i found i had passion within. 
Born a Gen Y Singaporean, I never had to fight to live. I was groomed to excel in academics, I was not nurtured to think out of the box. I never had a strong passion about a topic, subject or person. We were like carbon copies.  
In the last 6 months, preserverance brought me to Bangkok and passion gave me reason to fight for someone. 
Women wished their romantic life would be like the movies. Mine is like a drama that doesn't end and i'm relishing every twist of the plot. 
They say a son looks for a wife like his mother and a daughter looks for a husband like her father. 
I used to be attracted to chauvunistic men, a total opposite of my father. It turns out they are the worst lovers and i grew wiser. 
As i come of age, i recognise traits of my father in my boyfriends in later years. My father thinks my mum is still beautiful even when she doesn't shave. He massages her legs as they run thick with varicose veins. He calls her perfect when her belly hangs loose with skin after 3 children. 
She yell words of hate and shame, he loves her the same. He goes to work where there are other women, but nothing changed. 
Gen Y's love is nothing like before. We give up too easily when the tough gets going. So i'll wait. Wait Christine. Wait for that "him" who'll wait for me. Protect my heart as its the most valuable thing.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...