The first time was at the security check at Bangkok’s busy Don Mueang aerodrome yesterday. But we have to back up a little to the earlier baggage check-in facility, a new security initiative whereby checked-in luggage gets a thorough electronic probing before being shunted onto a random flight. You have to wait “about a couple of minutes” to see if your name is called. It wasn’t, so I had a peek in the window of the security nerve centre and saw the operative fast asleep in front of the screen as the luggage (bulky thermonuclear devices and cartoon-style big round black bombs with fizzing fuses) trundled past the checkpoint. Duly reassured, I proceeded to the electronic doorway thingie, where a very nice and happy young lady complimented me on my shirt (actually pretty cool – S. Korean, dark green check with a button-in grey hood – you’d love it), pointing it out to her appreciative co-workers, before giving me a very attentive … really very attentive … pat-down and a big Thai smile. I’ve had one or two of these pat-down things before, usually a quick pass with the Derek Smalls beeper (always good for a private joke), but this girl took her job to new levels of security consciousness.
The second time was at a School Day today. It’s a national thing. Students dress up as is their wont and parade about as the Skool Orkestra parps and crashes through rousing yet approximate versions of (presumably) Thai hits. I was taking in the spectacle when I felt what can only be described as a hand on my arse. It was a lady teacher at the school, casually talking to me about the passing show – these were her students – while giving me a supplementary security pat-down at the same time.
Now, I’m not equating my experience with the traumatising historical abuse suffered by so many women recently, but I did consider – briefly, fleetingly – outing my aggressors and seeing them publicly shamed and relieved of their positions. Then I thought, hey – my arse has long been my best feature (to the extent that I frequently talk through it) and these ladies are responding to the healthy natural urges it evokes. And, you know … wahey. You should be so lucky.