Part in a series of eight posts written back in April of 2012 during and after a trip to Thailand to teach advanced first aid. Parts one and two.
The conflict between the ethical reality of the instructor/student relationship and the tension of a mixed group of healthy young people is more than half imagined, I think. The women never had any illusions about their relationship to us, regardless of the amount of flirting they did. I did a lot of people-watching over the time I was there and I think that the American men were often laboring under a false impression of these women, and a falsely exaggerated sense of their own charm. The last night the students threw a party for us, and when we were going out to buy the beer two of the guys were talking about the female students in the van. One of them said, speaking about two of the girls, “I’m going to get both of those chicks naked tonight.”
The other guy said, “Oh I can pretty much guarantee that won’t happen.”
“Not going to happen. I guarantee it.”
In which he confirmed a theory of mine that I had been formulating (which I will explain in later posts). I don’t know whether he understood it the same way I did, but he came to the same conclusion, namely that no matter how much the girls giggled and batted their eyes and flirted and played coy, they had no intention of going any further than that. To think that they would was a serious error on the part of the American, an error to which all men, but sometimes it seems especially American men, are prone. We simply don’t listen.