Part Three: Son- Fondled, Slept- In a Bar, Living- Literally On Shit: It’s A Good Week, No?
So, you may have read part one in which we contemplate why we put ourselves through hell for this dingy little island, and part two in which we talk about a tropical island growth so fast that it let us eating dust, and sleeping with our kids in a bar. Eh-hem. We’ve also aware how vulnerable we’re making our parenting darker moments to the world, while the rest of you close the windows so the neighbors won’t hear how normal you are. We’re OK with that.
This time we talk about how and why Asians keep feeling up our son and how we’re not sure exactly how to handle it. Well, we know to stop it NOW but also know that it’s a bit more complicated than that. You’ll see…
In Which Orazi Gets Fondled Twice In One Day
[Note: I’ve asked Orazi if I can share this. He was totally cool with it AND it has a great empowering conclusion about a week later, which we’ll get to, of course!]
Orazi has been fondled before in our South East Asian adventure. First time, we took the kids to a message in Thailand and thought maybe he misinterpreted the upper-thigh message for something else. We were furious at ourselves later when we realized we were in the room when she touched him. Was it just an accidental touch or intentional? We don’t know. And then again in Cambodia, a super-friendly staff member felt him, and he spent a long hour-hiding behind the door before he could tell me what happened. We talked about it for a long time, with him and just us adults. Poor super-friendly staff member. Kobi almost smashed his face in. And now, today, twice, two different men. Are South East Asian men sick-o and Cambodian men in specific?
Well, we’ve seen some things I’d never watch in a movie by choice, and I’ll write about those sick things one day when I’m ready, but not today, and no, this is different. In these cases it’s really a kind of pastel plaid and neon bright polka dotted cultural mismatch. They hit their kids out of affection. A bear-hug type of I’m-going-to-eat-you-right-now tough love slap and jab. Like that Uncle who always pinched you too hard sort of love. And they do that to my kids too, out of pure love, I’m sure. And the men, they grab little boys by the penis in that same sort of gesture of affection. They say, “You a boy?” and grab. It is not a feel you up sort of thing at all, but more like a jovial one-two sly sort of say and pinch motion.
In South East Asia, it doesn’t help that he has long, blonde Shirley Temple ringlets. The bright blue eyes don’t help either. Neither does the Kobi-matching pirate loop in his left ear. Oh, and having such a pretty would-make-such-a–beautiful-delicate-girl-face really doesn’t help. So, they call him “lady boy” jokingly, and, well, they check. People often assume we have three girls, so I understand the unreal attention our son gets all over the world, and I more so understand how he can fall through the cracks of cultural feely-ness. The Cambodians love to laugh, to touch, to be close, and they LOVE kids.
So, here we are somewhere between letting our kids roam the island for hours and trying to protect them from the over-friendliness of the men. We have decided to talk to them about staying together when they venture off to play so that if there are any sick-o’s on the island, they can protect each other. No one would be a fool enough to try and mess with my three trained-to-scream-their-asses-off-if-anyone-tries-to-touch-them kids. The fondling, we’ll have to keep working on it. We don’t want Orazi to get shy, unconfident, or scared of locals; we don’t want Kobi having to put a heavy arm on every Khmer man’s shoulder telling him “Never touch my son again!”; and we don’t want him fondled all day. Sweet rock, hard place, testicle situation, no?
So where are the kids now? In the Koh Rong Dive Center watching their first PADI Open-Water Course Certification Videos. And after that? They’ll finish their lessons with us and roam the island for a few hours, safe and sound as we think they can be in this big, hairy, scary world. Would we rather shuffle them onto the school bus and then to pre-planned, sanctioned activities under the allusion of controlled safety? No, we’d rather not. For better or for worse, having my kids roam the world and start conversations with locals and fellow vagabonds, child or adult, seems more right to us.
Have any thoughts about our son’s repeated mishap? Think there are other great preventative things we can do to keep him safer? Please, share with us your ideas, experiences, and knowledge. We’d appreciate that dearly.
Laughing with Yiannis about that drunk guy in Thailand who literally dove into a puddle of muddy rain water, and swaggered away, happy for the adventure. And, the breeze has abated, just in case you were wondering since last time in part one of the series or in part two of the series.
This has become a nice little instant playback series on what we went through. This series relays our adventure through exhaustion, homelessness, and sexual assault to salvation.
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