I got back on Sunday from a lovely few days away on the island, Samet. It was raining when we got there which was a bit disappointing but we didn’t let it stop us. We kept on our routine of swimming, eating, napping, and drinking and the sun finally returned. On my third night there I got in my first ever argument with D. I was surprised at first and then quite disappointed in myself for upsetting someone I care so much about. Sometimes I don’t realize my sense of humor could be a bit hurtful to some. I knew I was in the wrong, apologized, and just hoped it would blow over.
We went out as usual that night, met up with some other friends on the island, and made some new friends as the night went on. I was introduced to a friend’s brother, an attractive, fit, and tattooed Thai guy. We got the initial questions out of the way, “What’s your name, where are you from,” when he asked me if I’m a swimmer. I said that I am actually and he said he could tell from my arms. In Thailand, when someone comments on how fit you are it generally means they’re pointing out that you’re much larger than typical Thai girls, who are naturally thin and don’t usually work out. I know this and I’m used to it but it still leaves me feeling like a pig in a dress.
At the end of the night, D and I were hungry and went for late night noodle soup. The bartender from the bar we were at recognized us from earlier and told us to pull up a seat next to him. I said hello and he looked at me and said, “Oh wow, you’re a girl. I saw you at the bar and thought you were a lady boy,” which is a common name in Thailand for cross-dressers and trannies. I looked at him and then D, not sure if he was joking and quite stunned. He felt the need to explain, “It’s just that we all (the bartenders) were looking at you earlier and we thought you were very attractive and had a great body but you’re very muscular so we thought you probably were a lady boy.” I still just stared at him, shocked, mouth hanging open. He continued, “We just figured that girls usually have boobs and you didn’t, so that’s why we thought that.” Kicking me in my alleged balls while I’m already down! I laughed, at first, at how ridiculous this all sounded. I’m well aware that I’m uncommonly toned for an Asian girl and am less endowed than common for women. I was going to laugh it off as such a silly observation but he kept digging himself into a deeper hole while trying to make what he said come out as the compliment he had intended. I know he didn’t mean to insult me but as I sat there, running his words over in my head, and the alcohol catching up to me, I started to cry. I was embarrassed that I was crying but the more he tried to explain, the more I cried. I couldn’t believe that during the entire night while I was at the bar dancing and laughing with my friends that people from afar had mistaken me for a man. I was so embarrassed that I felt nauseous, barely touching the noodles I had ordered. The bartender apologized profusely and picked up our tab. My mood was absolutely shot so I got up and left.
I laid in bed the next morning, hungover and running the night over in my head. I thought about each time somebody looked at me, if that was what they were wondering. I know it’s just ridiculous and I’m usually very confident in myself but whenever I’m back in Thailand I become so self-conscious. And I really can’t believe that my boobs are even small by Asian standards!
We went back to the same bar that night and I was so embarrassed, both for being mistaken for a lady boy and for letting it get to me. As soon as the bartender saw me he got very flustered and continued to apologize and got us drinks on him. I knew he didn’t mean to be hurtful and I saw how sorry he was and I was finally able to shake it off. I guess it worked in my favor that I didn’t even have to flirt with anyone to get a free meal and drink. That’s more than my flat chest has ever gotten me in the states.