Scott Shaw.com Be Positive

The Things You’re Not Supposed to Be

I’ve been spending time in Bangkok again. I guess it was the pandemic and life and all that but it had been a few years since I was there. Once upon a time, in the long ago and the far-far away, I was there all the time. I lived there. I even had an apartment there for a time. Like I say in the intro to my book, Bangkok and the Nights of Drunken Stupor, “To Manita S. and all her lies, Pichitra D. and her white powder truths, and mostly to the Goddess who has permeated my soul and left me with Siam vision.” Yeah, I’m always very happy there. Sadly, those people I reference in that intro are all gone now—as are most of my friends from the B’Kok of the ‘80s and the ‘90s. AIDS killed a lot, drugs the others, and some, (I guess), just old age and time to leave this place we call life. But, I was close to them. I really miss them. A few in particular.
 
Anyway, I had this weird flash of memory. I was staying at the legendary hotel, then known as, The Oriental. I was in my late twenties. I had been awarded my Ph.D. degree in 1987, when I was twenty-eight, and I was walking that path at that point in my life, so I used Doctor instead of Mister in my sign-ins. Now, I see all that as a bunch of unnecessary ego. But, back then… Anyway, the Thais have never been known for being subtle. I was having lunch at this one restaurant at the hotel one day and I could hear this one restaurant worker just going off on me, about me being a, “Doctor.” He was talking about how I was too young, (I’m told I look young for my age—especially back then), about how I had long hair, and how I couldn’t be a doctor and all that. The thing was, he was speaking in Thai so I’m sure he assumed I wouldn’t understand him. Wrong. When he came to my table with some water, all nicey-nice, I asked, “Why can’t I be a doctor? I have a Ph.D. degree.”  After that, and for the remainder of my stay, whenever I saw him, we were best buds. But, here’s the thing, people think they know the what’s-what about everything and everybody else. But, how can they? How can anybody truly know anything about anybody else, if you don’t truly know them? Even then, you may be wrong.
 
It's like I got deeply involved in the martial arts and yoga very young in my life. Especially in the yoga and eastern spiritual circles, my friends would make jokes about how I was still just a teenager. From this, I became an instructor very early on. Back then, and even much later in my life, people have thrown shade about my credibilities. Especially in the martial arts, that kind of BS goes on all the time, but in spirituality, it should not exist. Well, it shouldn’t exist in the martial arts either, but it has just become so common there, I guess it is somewhat expected. Not right, but predictable.
 
A funny story… I had my first studio when I was twenty-one. I thought people wouldn’t want to study from someone so young, so if they asked, I lied and told them I was twenty-seven. But now, I am way deep in my life. Yet, and still, people want to cast judgements about who should be what and why they should or shouldn’t be this or that. But, who are they that is casting that judgement? What all-powerful, all-knowing knowledge do they possess? It seems that all the one’s casting the judgement ever are is the one’s who have achieved the least. Like I always say, “If you are thinking and speaking about someone else, that means that you are the one who is not worthy of talking about.”     
 
Anyway, I’m bouncing back and forth between Bangkok again. It feels like such a blessing! Like Tokyo and Hong Kong, as the pandemic wains, (well I don’t know about HK, the Powers That Be of the PRC have really fucked that place up), but I hope I can re-get my fix. I have deeply miss my time in those places.
 
Side story here: Coming home to L.A., a week or so ago, I got stuck in the airport lounge in Manila for like fourteen hours. Super Typhoon Karding hit and was passing overhead. You could see the intensity of the wind and the rain through the windows. I don’t know why the airlines tried to fly that direction in the first place. But me, what do I know?  Anyway, I eventually flew home via an insanely bumpy fourteen hours flight.
 
But, back to the point… Who knows what and why? Why do you think you know whatever it is you think you know about someone else? And, most importantly, what if you’re wrong?