Kicking a Can Loudly

Kick the can and kicking a can loudly may sound similar but there’s a huge difference to their meanings. Their explanations both contain an element of youthfulness but only one also has those age old words : wrinkles, fat and cash.

Kick the Can is an outdoor kids game played in an area with some open space and plenty of good hiding spots around it. Trees, bushes, buildings etc. One child places one foot on a tin can and with their eyes shut tight they slowly count to 100 to give the others a chance to hide. After reaching their count they have to then find the other kids whilst protecting the can. It’s a kind of tag game and anyone tagged is sent to jail. The object of the game is to get past the searcher and kick the can without being tagged. Simple.

Kicking a can loudly takes a little more explanation.

The one and only time I have come across the Thai expression ‘to kick a can loudly’ was on Catherine Wentworth’s Thai language site Women Learning Thai…and some men too, the post was Thai Sex Talk for St Valentine’s Day. Here’s how Catherine explains it.

To kick a can loudly: Kicking tin cans in Thailand is all about the sexual virility of old(er) men. I equate can kicking with youth, so I have questions. Hopefully Kaewmala will clear up the mystery.

Kaewmala is the author of Thai Sex Talk which is a book that looks at Thai expressions and sayings used in personal relationships. To kick a can loudly is one of those analysed within the book. Kaemala did in fact answer Catherine’s query. Here’s what Kaemala responded with.

Regarding the tin can-kicking เตะปี๊บดัง expression, it is used with elderly men in Thai because younger men’s virility is taken for granted, but not so for older men. A Thai may say: “Wow, your grandpa’s got a new kik! And she’s only 22! He certainly can still เตะปี๊บดัง (kick a tin can loudly), eh? [wink, wink].”

I best get some new shoes because I’ve been kicking a can loudly for a long time now. The expression is also one that can easily be placed under one foot of the majority of Thailand’s male tourists and ex pats. So are we all just dirty old men.

Not really, in most cases quite the opposite.

The majority of the western world perceives the typical Thai tourist and ex pat as a failure in his own backyard when it comes to personal relationships, right or wrong, it’s a stock ‘behind the back’ remark. I know its been said about me because I’ve heard it said of others, although I’m mainly talking about male snipers. The West’s average self opinionated narcissistic male. Most couldn’t spell Pattaya backwards but to listen to them talk is for many an audience with the man. The irony of it is if they could get their heads out of their own asses and travel to Thailand themselves, they’d most probably enjoy it. Parts of Pattaya was made for them.

Nowadays the West has an acceptance that a hooked nose and pointed chin can be put right with cosmetic surgery, it’s almost become fashionable to do so. Admittedly more so with the ladies. The Western male acceptance levels has grown to rewarding the bedding of women on internet dates with a ‘Jack the Lad’ badge. On the other hand marrying your virtual nanny is viewed as sad. To me it’s all a pitiable game played on computers by self-loving smug mugs. A little bit like Pattaya but without the suntan.

Date a lady similar to the one on the left and you’re one of the boys, marry the lass on the right and you’re liable to be filed under failure.

For most men the major fallouts of growing older are hair loss,wrinkles and a spreading waistband. Better cash flow is one of the positive things we hopefully acquire as we age. Wisdom, compassion and mai phen rai (whatever will be) are others. The latter ones are the basis of a well practised formula for success when it comes to relationships with younger partners.

Travellers to Thailand seek many things. A damn good holiday is one. Thailand’s culture another. Sun, sea and sex is undoubtedly the number one draw for most single men and of those a large percentage are in their advancing years of life. Sex with a woman half your age is the stuff dreams are made of but I believe in most Thai/Western ‘age gap’ relationships that becomes a secondary thing.

The thrill of being with any Thai lady irrespective of her age is heightened by the massive difference in both your cultures and the challenges that a different country lay before you. A younger lady is perhaps another of those challenges.

A younger Thai partner is generally a package complete with bundles of energy, vitality and exuberance whose qualities have possibly been lacking in the Western man’s own life for a number of years. That’s a great way to lift a few of those wrinkles assuming she’s a good egg with a disliking to being poached. A younger Thai partner puts a spring into the step of most men.

Without wishing to sound superior (which I’m not) to my Thai partner Wilai, then one of the challenges before me is to shape and mould her into an even better person and also give her the kind of lifestyle she had only previously dreamed of. In many ways I believe the falang views his lady in a similar way to how he tries to map out a daughter’s life ahead of them. Protect, encourage, advise and enjoy the blooming of a young woman into a confident but respectful person.

In the West most young women shape their own lives, equality laws and easy credit terms have allowed them quite rightly to do that. Thailand’s world is still one mainly dominated by the male, it is also a country where respecting your elders is the principal rule of life.

Forget dirty old men, I think the answer lies in the above. I guess many of us Thailand boys are a little singular and a touch narrow minded on how we view life, with a massive dislike of being bound by the chains of female domination. Thailand and a younger woman allows us to be ourselves.

In the UK an elderly man with a young wife is someone who is looked upon as wealthy. I reckon the ex pat in Thailand and to some degree the tourist should be viewed as someone who is developing a healthier state of mind and well being aided by a wonderful culture. A mindset that would get the hell kicked out of it by the West’s king of the jungle rules.


I'm a sixty-year-old Englishman living in the town of Swindon in rural Wiltshire and I have a real deep desire to retire in Thailand one day. If you don't have a dream then you won't have a dream come true.

12 Responses

  1. Mike says:

    Martyn a great post which I really enjoyed reading(twice). Really I don’t have a lot to add since you have covered most of the bases.

    Lets just say that living with a woman half my age (incidentally I have always had younger partners)does concern me on occasions. Or perhaps I should say, I do wonder what tourists and other expats might be thinking. Maybe its my age now or just the way I have been conditioned with western thinking.

    I suppose I am more fortunate than some of my fellow expat specimens since I am not bald or terribly overweight although I could lose a few pounds through all that Thai food. Nor do I need a zimmer frame or any other aids for that matter.

    One thing for sure I don’t wear socks with my sandals yet!
    .-= Mike´s last blog ..Bangkok at Night Photo/Image =-.

  2. Hoo Don says:

    Mike your comment is a great compliment, here’s why and I quote:

    ‘Really I don’t have a lot to add since you have covered most of the bases.’

    You then proceeded to add some wonderful thoughts about your own life in Thailand.

    Thailand is a place where you can really let yourself go or reap the benefits and obviously you’re keeping yourself well fit. I know when I return from my holidays I look and feel ten times better and I can’t wait to one day make that a full time thing.

    Wonderful Wi is 17 years my junior and she often tells me how old she is getting, which makes me wonder what she thinks of me. However I think that’s not such a big problem in Thailand because it’s more of a common thing. That brings us back to the rich old man with the young babe.

    Thanks for your comment.

  3. Talen says:

    Speactacular read Martyn…you really did hit the nail on the head with this one.

    “I guess many of us Thailand boys are a little singular and a touch narrow minded on how we view life”

    This couldn’t be more true….from jobs to women and everything in between.

    At a large gathering after my fathers funeral My Uncle was telling everyone that I was heading to Thailand long term in the next few months …half the men wanted to be me and the other half couldn’t understand why I would want to travel half way around the world. The second half had their significant others next to them or within earshot though.

    Like Mike I have never been bothered by age differences either here or abroad and don’t care what others think. Luckily I still have all my hair and teeth although I do need to drop a few pounds I have always been told pompui man is very sexy.
    .-= Talen´s last blog ..Thailand in the News Week Ending 04/17/10 =-.

  4. Hoo Don says:

    Talen thanks for the thumbs up and I know how difficult it must be to mention your father in your comment.

    I have never been bothered about what people think about the 17 years age difference between Wilai and myself because in Thailand it’s a common sight where foreigners are concerned. I do see a few big age gappers here in the UK (mainly UK/Thai) and I just think you lucky so and so, fair play.

    The pompui man is very sexy in Thailand because they still associate the extra pounds with wealth although I’m sure in your case you are a good looking fella. There can’t be many places in the world like Pattaya where fit women chase you down the road shouting ‘come back sexy man.’ Magic.

  5. Talen says:

    Martyn, the last time I was chased down the road in Pattaya it was by a lady boy yelling “come back sexy man”
    .-= Talen´s last blog ..Thailand in the News Week Ending 04/17/10 =-.

  6. Hoo Don says:

    Talen – Sorry it’s taken so long to reply but I haven’t really been on the net much at all these past few days.

    If a lady boy chased me then I think I’d find a turn of foot last seen in my younger days. I must admit the constant hassle down Soi 7 & 8 does irk me a bit sometimes but generally I find it amusing.

  7. Siam.Rick says:

    Martyn, insightful piece, indeed, as everyone has noted. But this comment — “A younger Thai partner is generally a package complete with bundles of energy, vitality and exuberance . . . ” — nails it for me. This trinity has a habit of rubbing off on a fella. Before you know it, you’re running on high octane, your skin and eyes looks younger and you approach every errand or chance meeting with a zest for life.
    The trinity is made all the more appealing with that punctuation called the “smile.” It can still melt my heart and, frankly, make it sing. What I wouldn’t give to see one of those smiles here in my toothless city. Just once a day. That’s all I ask.

    Why leave all this to dreams? You can have it all right there in LOS.
    .-= Siam.Rick´s last blog ..Korean temptress wins my heart =-.

  8. Catherine says:

    Great post Martyn. It had the potential to go… well… you know… but you pulled it off with class.

    I’ve been drawn to older men for what feels like forever. Even now.

    A lot of western women are.

    For starters, it’s one way for a women to stay young.

    And forget about the possibilities of dating/marrying someone with a better cash flow, the intellectual benefits (if choosing right) are a big part of the draw.

    Older men take the time to explain the world around them, while younger men just want to show off how much they know (which often cannot compare).
    .-= Catherine´s last blog ..Thai Language Thai Culture: Old Snake Heads and Butterflies of the Night =-.

  9. Hoo Don says:

    Rick, Wi’s energy rubs off on me and her high spirits always put me on a similar plane. Unfortunately that soon fades when I return to England. My home town certainly shows a mouthful of gums most of the time. Thai smiles are something else.

    Sorry for replying to your comment a little late but this past week I seem to have lost a little zest for blogging and the internet. I’m hoping that will pick up when I hit Thailand next week.

    Great comment Rick.

  10. Hoo Don says:


    ‘…I’ve been drawn to older men for what feels like forever. Even now…’

    I have visions of your other half slowly moving around your apartment on a zimmer frame. I do however know better than that but why a lot of western women prefer older men is one I can only guess at.

    Wisdom is something everyone gains as they get older but it’s putting it into practice that many find hard to do. If people acquired their intellect at a much younger age then I’m sure divorce lawyer earnings would drop by half. Wisdom and keeping your pants on are not on many young peoples CV’s.

  11. Jon says:

    Great post – I recently got labelled a trouble maker for daring to argue with a Canadian women in Bangkok spouting a number of cliched comments about Thai women and foreign men over Twitter.

    Should’ve directed her here instead, as Cat says I love how you’ve made a tricky topic very warm and open.

    My other half is actually 2 years my senior, so I’m not such I fit with the discussion but, as the age gap in relationships is common with friends here and other bloggers, I always take an interest in reading more.
    .-= Jon´s last blog ..Here comes number two =-.

  12. Hoo Don says:

    Jon I didn’t realize you were a toy boy, you must be one of very few amongst the ex pat community.

    Unfortunately a number of people do have set views about Thai / farang relationships, views which are not their own because they have never set foot in the country. That’s annoying.

    Back to the toy boy thing, do you ever have to wai to your wife. Wi doesn’t to me, when I jokingly ask her to she sticks her thumb on the end of her nose and wiggles her fingers.

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