Dave Meets Ladyboy


I was thirsty. We’d been on one of those never-ending walks that occupy so much of a traveler’s day. In Bangkok those walks also involve breathing in a lot of exhaust, stepping in puddles only to find out it’s urine, and dodging motorcycles racing over both road and sidewalk. The end of a long day, and I was ready for a beverage.

Like Starbucks is to the states, 7-Eleven is to this part of the world- they are everywhere. Sometimes they’re practically next door to each other. You can leave one 7-Eleven only to see another across the street. We are never far from a tasty cold drink.

It was dusk. The neighborhood shift change from business to dodgy nightlife was in full effect. About two blocks from our hotel, we jumped into one of our many local convenience outlets. A tall woman in a sequin dress stepped in front of us in line. She was a perfect size 0, with eyelashes and breasts only typically seen in well airbrushed magazines. She set two bombers of beer down on the counter. The clerk grabbed the bottle opener (attached to the register with a string) and proceeded to pop the bottles open. She passed a curious glance over in Dave’s direction and then gave him a long, thorough look.


A man’s voice– deep and raspy– came out of nowhere: “Lady Boy First”, she chimed with a laugh. Waiting for an appropriate reaction from the american at her side.

Now, Dave is perhaps the least homophobic man I’ve ever met. There is not a bone in his body that feels at all uncomfortable around other people, no matter what their preference or background. Furthermore, he doesn’t ever seem to understand why others are threatened- or what the big deal is all about. Dave is entirely comfortable in his skin. If anything, he is charmed when paid attention to. Simply put, the Ladyboy didn’t get the reaction she was hoping for. Quite the opposite. Dave offered a big smile-and decided there was an opportunity to turn on the charm.

‘Okay’ he laughed, ‘but that means we’re second, right?’

She rolled her eyes and stepped out into the night. The clerk laughed at the quick response with a hint of double meaning. Dave promptly paid for our drinks, happy to have made some new acquaintances. I laughed at him. He looked at me with a hint of fascination:

‘what?’ he asked.

‘Nothing… Just you..’

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