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read below the latest addition:
Georg and Wasawat (Oct-2003)
"I don't want to be rich, but if I did, I'd want to be really, really rich so I could employ lots and lots of people and share my wealth."
So says Georg. He's used to being around a lot of rich people, because he's an entertainer. A silver statue to be exact. He once received about Bt10,000 to perform at Christina Onassis' birthday bash several years back in Ibiza. While he worked, he counted 45 staff, entertainers and security guards taking care of Ms Onassis and her three party guests.
Georg now resides with his partner, Wasawat, in a beautiful old teakwood house near the temple in Maenam. They met in San Francisco a few years back, both watching the sun set into the Pacific Ocean from a hilltop perch in Buona Vista Park. Georg was performing his statue act. Wasawat was painting houses (his favourite was a pink and purple "rock" house he designed for a gay rights leader).
San Francisco was an OK place for the pair, but both were reaching the fed-up-with-the-city stage. Wasawat says that he first went to the States because of President Clinton's support for civil rights. He is the first-born son of Bangkok parents and was expected to help out in the family's factory business, but Wasawat wanted to see the world. Lucky for him, his parents were more than understanding and gave him their blessings to travel. After seven years adjusting to the culture, Wasawat became disillusioned with western ideals. In his view, if people were being arrested for voicing their thoughts, there really was not any freedom of speech at all and he started to lose faith in the "freedom"system.
Georg was getting bored with the American lifestyle, too, although he says that the people taught him how to respect others rather than judge them: "In Europe, people always assess their neighbours by their range of possessions and job status."
Georg and Wasawat decided to try out Hawaii. Georg performed his silver statue, Wasawat did a "golden princess". They achieved a modicum of success, but the living costs exceeded their income. Wasawat reckons the place is expensive, because the government pays so much to keep the environment clean: "There are many people there, but the water is so clear you can see the fish swimming around from the top of any pier. You don't even need to go snorkelling to see them."
After a few months, they decided to return to Wasawat's homeland. Bangkok was not their scene, so they gathered their paints and costumes and headed for Samui. After mulling over options, Wasawat decided to open a caf? the Rain Drop. The ground floor of their new home provides the comfy ambience, with mellow jazz and a view of village life as the backdrop.
Georg loves the locals. "They don't stare or harass me here, they're just beautiful people." True. During our chat, a neighbour cycling past stopped to offer a few slips of an ivy plant, a man wheeling his son about in a pram smiled and shouted hello, and two village friends stopped by for a quick yack. Know thy neighbours, respect thy neighbours and be kind to thy neighbours. That's Maenam.
Wasawat and Georg also did the makeup artistry for the Phu Khao Thong School's group of 15 angels that joined the Samui Carnival parade in July 2003. After only a few months, they're already contributing to the neighbourhood.
Note: Georg and Wasawat have just moved to another location in Thailand.
written by Mary Ruth Olsen, excerpt from The Samui Sun, August 2003 Edition.
(C) WordsmithAsia 2003