Still Got One…

 |  March 30, 2010

The ‘Pulse’ issue…what’s new? What’s trendy? What’s Hot? What’s Not? My teenage daughter assures me that I do not fit into the first three, though am apparently quite suited to the last. I would argue that I am often in the ‘what’s hot?’ category but only in the slightly moist on a warm day kind of way.

As far as a pulse is concerned, I am approaching the age where I am quite relieved to find that I still have one when I wake up in the morning. One should never underestimate such things. And walking up the stairs can certainly get it pulsing a bit faster than it used to. But as one who wears elasticated shorts because they are comfortable rather than as a fashion statement, I have to accept that my days of being ‘trendy’ are long gone.

The advantage of a certain number of years under one’s belt means that you do not have to conform. I actually feel quite sorry for some of the younger generation now as everything moves and changes so quickly. The pressures that children, teenagers and young adults are exposed to are phenomenal. Almost 40 years ago, Andy Warhol said that everyone would have his or her 15 minutes of fame; with the Internet for example, that is now a reality. I have trouble remembering where I put my car keys so keeping up with the latest and greatest is way beyond me at the speed it changes these days.

Not all change is bad of course. Indeed I believe that we must all continue to make changes in our lives to keep growing. The moment we sit back and start accepting our lot is the moment that we become complacent. Mrs. D draws the line at changing ladies (I couldn’t afford the alimony anyway) but I have found that change is, in general, extremely positive.

We are quite lucky in Chiang Mai from that point of view. Today’s city bears no resemblance to the place I first visited over 15 years ago. For example, I do like my electronic toys; when we moved here from Singapore at the start of the decade I felt that we had taken a step backwards in time. Today I have faster Internet speed than some of my friends in the USA and UK and it is possible to get anything that I fancy (…”careful” says Mrs. D…) almost as soon as it is released.

I mentioned in a previous rambling that I made a career change to start a new business. With not much money left, toys are off the agenda for now and we are on an incredibly tight budget. But that does not mean that the change was a bad one. Far from it; we are enjoying a much better quality of life now than before, particularly in terms of family time. There are probably few places in the world where I would have been able to do this at my advanced years. In this case, Chiang Mai was the perfect place to make a radical change.

I haven’t been to a nightclub in more years than I would care to remember. (Picking up daughter number one at two in the morning doesn’t count.) But for those of us who have discovered the benefits of the infinitely adjustable belt buckle there are always new restaurants and activities to try. There appears to be a huge appetite here for new things and that is great.

The downside is that they often don’t last for long. Many a time Mrs. D and I have tried to find that perfect bistro we went to three months ago only to find it had closed. Not a problem with Mrs. D as she has no expectations of me but not so good with customers from my previous life. You just end up looking like a complete knob and further confirming my ‘not’ status.

Sometimes I do look with a fleeting envy at the bright young things in and around Chiang Mai. Fleeting because those things are just less important in my dotage. Good food, good company and a good conversation seem to be far more important. And, come to that, comfort around the stomach area.

For now, I will just have to find other things that I can do to get my pulse racing.

“Darling? I thought you said that you weren’t going to wear anything that made it look that big again?”