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Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Oh how I laughed

Yesterday I found myself sniggering at what would normally be quite upsetting.

Yet again, oh yes, yet again, I was asked by a Thai colleague if I had "ever thought about having children". It was phrased as if I was almost too old, too past it, too tired to have children now.

Fortunately I was facing away at the time, focussing on making the photocopier work, I say fortunate because it might've been very hard to explain, and stifle, the strange smirk that came over my face. After a moment of brief reflection the usual ache briefly came over me, with the usual tear in my eye, but instead I laughed, laughed out loud, because to be quite frank I am at the end of my tether with ill conceived and tactless dialogues about my apparent inability to bear my husband a child.

I laughed out loud because it was a nervous, but satisfying, reaction. It quickly blew away the tears in my eyes and enabled me to quickly turn to face my attacker. Who looked startled by my reaction. She asked why I was laughing, and I was honest. I told her I was laughing because I had been asked that by Thai people many times. She quickly seemed able to judge that my reaction was not necessarily meant to be warming, and she apologised. I laughed again and told her no need to apologise. I did her the honour of telling her that my husband and I had not had luck so far, so that she could successfully report back to her friends and colleagues with a suitable amount of gossip about the farang.

She bid me the usual Thai niceties, telling me that it will happen when the time is right, and that it has not happened because the time must have been wrong. Yeah, yeah, any woman or man that has suffered a miscarriage has heard that many times. Instead why don't Thai people try to empathise with other peoples feelings, other peoples cultures, listen and learn from other peoples experiences. They carry on blindly believing that their cultural sensitivities are the most pronounced and therefore most rewarding and deserving, and the be quite frank....its laughable.

So from now on I am going to laugh every time a Thai stranger asks why I do not have children.

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