Iris Bulbs and a Metrosexual Man

For the past few days I’ve been tying up the loose ends concerning my travel plans for my visit to Thailand next week. I’ve been stood in a bank queue waiting to order travellers cheques and also in a regimented orderly line at my local council office patiently waiting to pay my monthly council tax and quarterly building maintenance charge. Other bills have had to be paid as well. Then of course there was my orders from Wonderful Wi.

” Hus…band. I want you buy me some Ilis flowers from your country.”

” Ilis flowers. What the bloody hell are they.”

” Ilis flowers, I show you my book before, you forget awnleady (already). I want blue, lellow (yellow) and led (red) flowers for our garden.”

I had visions of the bemused look I might get from the garden centre sales person when I asked for lead free Iris bulbs (photo by BS Thurner Hof). Luckily a kind lady at my bank branch directed me to a store just a few shops away.

I must of looked every inch the perfect metrosexual man stood in my local Wilkinson’s store holding four packets containing 100 Iris bulbs. It had taken me ages to find them because I kept walking past them thinking they were onions. Metrosexual….where the hell did that word come from. Even my dashboard spellchecker has put a red line query under it. It must be time to get Sticky Wiki out of her box.

Here’s an extract from Sticky Wiki on the metrosexual man:

“The typical metrosexual is a young man with money to spend, living in or within easy reach of a metropolis – because that’s where all the best shops, clubs, gyms and hairdressers are. He might be officially gay, straight or bisexual, but this is utterly immaterial because he has clearly taken himself as his own love object and pleasure as his sexual preference. Particular professions, such as modeling, waiting tables, media, pop music and nowadays, sport, seem to attract them, but truth be told, like male vanity products and herpes, they’re pretty much everywhere”.

There’s no mention of Iris bulbs but I’m sure that was an error on the author’s part.

On Wednesday I land at Suvarnabhumi for my second of three annual trips to Thailand. Unfortunately this is the shortest holiday of the trio. A two week vacation awaits me with a longer 20 day stay to come at Christmas. I guess 30 plus days in Thailand out of the next 120 isn’t too bad, although I’d truly love to swing that ratio around.

This holiday is going to be solely based in Udon Thani. My plan is to stay about eight days at our village home with the remaining time spent relaxing in the city. The best of both worlds. The rustic charm of village life and the energetic beating pulse of a provincial city hell-bent on enjoying its free time. That’s a picture postcard combination. I’m also relishing the thought of my conversations with young Wilai.

” Hus…band. What you want do wannee (today) ”

” Up to you “…….It’s a great feeling saying those three words to a Thai lady.

” I want you choose. I want hus….band enjoy hollowday (holiday) ”

” I want to go to the Napalais Hotel, have a few beers and go for a swim ”

” You not want go talart (market) Nong Khai ”

” Not today ”

” Up to hus…band ”

My towel didn’t get wet that day and my stomach flattened out a bit. It didn’t reach a six pack but it went from Easter to Cadbury’s cream egg. I also spent a fair few baht at the market. I miss those conversations when I’m here in England.

Roll on Tuesday.


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.

18 Responses

  1. Paul says:

    Hi Martyn, I’m feeling excited just reading your post. Not at the idea of you being a metrosexual but more the fact that you remind me how good it is to get away. I know that you are looking forward to moving to Thailand for good, but you will then miss out on the exciting build-up to trips. All the planes pass over my home on the way to Suwannaphum; it sometimes fills me with wanderlust. I hope you have plenty of updates to your website during your visit.

  2. Hoo Don says:

    Paul – I am looking forward to this trip but it is a bit too short for my liking. Plus the baht is also way too strong, how I long for the days of 70 to the pound.

    I will be putting out a few posts whilst in Thailand. I tend to publish two or three every time I visit. I get a lot of satisfaction from sitting alone at a bar or on my own after midnight at our village home writing a post in a notebook. The good old fashioned way of story writing.

    Best wishes.

  3. Snap says:

    Metrosexual!!!! Just wait until you get into Manscaping…lol. I am sure the Ilises bring out the ? in your eyes.

    Seriously, I can always read an underlying yearning for Thailand in your posts and I hope you have a wonderful time with the wonderful Wi on your next visit.

    I look forward to reading your posts during your return. Only 26 days to go for Stray and I. I am SO looking forward to it.

  4. Hoo Don says:

    Snap I’m sure those 26 days are going to fly by, you’ll soon be in Chiang Mai.

    I think the underlying is sometimes overpowering but I do try to suppress it a bit. I’ll be putting a couple of posts out from Thailand, that’s something I love doing when I’m over there.

    I’ll leave the manscaping to the athletes and swimmers of this world. I nearly forgot to mention ladyboys.

  5. Mike says:

    Martyn, great post, your conversations with WW always make me smile, probably because I have similar ones.

    Be careful with your lilies or the nice man at swampy might arrange alternative accommodation for you.

    And whatever you do don’t put your occupation down as

    a metrosexual man 🙂

    Safe journey, great holiday and give me a ring when you get time.

  6. Catherine says:

    Martyn, do you own a pink shirt? I’m thinking not, but I could be on for a surprise.

    Here is my personal tip for bulb smuggling: Do not stuff so many bulbs into the pocket of your leather jacket that you split the seams. Sure, there are rumours going around that sniffer dogs can find plant matter in suitcases, but go ahead and take your chances. It might just come out cheaper.

  7. Hoo Don says:

    Mike my occupation is a pharmaceutical worker but I leave that off my visa form because of its obvious association with a five letter word.

    I’ll phone you early into the month, by then I will be settled nicely into village life and well chilled out. I’ve got a seven hour wait at Abu Dhabi this time but I’m going to enjoy every minute of it. Lots of JD’s and coke sat in the smoking room of the guest lounge.

  8. Hoo Don says:

    Catherine your comment has reminded me of something I must take to Thailand.

    Two years ago Wilai picked out a lovely black waxed jacket for me. I paid about 1,500 baht for it. Unfortunately after two years of leaning on bars drinking and against brick walls smoking, the left elbow has worn thin. I must take it with me this time and get a couple of elbow patches stitched on. The needle work will be high quality and the price pretty damn cheap. Thanks for that.

    No pink shirt.

  9. Talen says:

    Martyn, unless you were carrying your seeds in a man bag while playing with your hair, looking in the mirror and wearing your pink oxford shirt ( rose colored to the metrosexual man ) then I think you get to keep your man card.

  10. Talen says:

    By the way have a safe trip and enjoy yourself!

  11. Hoo Don says:

    Talen there’s no pink in my wardrobe, although I believe it is more of a fashionable colour nowadays. Luckily I’m out of fashion.

    Thanks for your best wishes for my trip and have fun in Pattaya. Ying Yang.

  12. Catherine says:

    Martyn, you’ve just bought flower bulbs so I do believe your moving into the pink areas of your life. And there’s sure to be a man bag to match that black waxed jacket of yours. Happy shopping.

    Please let me know how getting your patchwork in Thailand goes. I still haven’t gotten the pocket of my black leather jacket fixed and it’s been years.

    I don’t want a botched job, nor do I want to pay out big bucks in the UK (and be out of warm weather gear while in the UK drizzles). It’s a tear, not a large rip, but when you know it’s there you know it’s there.

  13. Talen says:

    Martyn, they don’t call it pink anymore its “rose” 🙂

    Besides I think I have you topped and I have definitely turned in my man card. I drove to Bangkok yesterday and if driving to Bangkok wasn’t stressful enough I did it behind the wheel of a Hello Kitty themed Honda Accord…lots of pink and white with whiskers everywhere, not to mention a hello kitty bobble head on the dash.

  14. Camille says:

    Hi Martyn,

    Enjoy your trip! Sounds like a nice mix of getting the best of two Thai worlds.

    Maybe a bulb or two can be carried over in your underpants, similar to Spinal Tap. That will definitely have you keep your man card!

  15. Hoo Don says:

    Catherine – I’ll keep you informed on the progress of the metrosexual man’s black wax jacket. That’s provided I can get it in my suitcase, it’s starting to get a bit full. Like you I don’t want to pay out for some expensive UK stitches.

  16. Hoo Don says:

    Talen I’d be happy to drive anywhere in Thailand in a bright pink car wearing a florescent pink suit if it meant I was living there. You’re one lucky man. Enjoy.

  17. Hoo Don says:

    Camille thanks for your advice but I’ll give it a miss if you don’t mind. I intend enjoying this trip and I’m going to make the most of those two great worlds. Chalk and cheese but I can handle both of their very different lifestyles.


  18. Siam.Rick says:

    All the best in your escape to LOS, Martyn. Hope you enjoy Udon as always and may Wi take care of “hus . .. band” Not sure I’ll make it up to Udon and have a drink or three with you, but will catch you next round.

    Only about 36 hours for me to lift off for Bangkok. It’s been a long 8+ months waiting to return. Just try that without a mental breakdown!

    BTW, happy to hear “pink” cannot be found in your wardrobe. Talen, on the other hand, . . . .

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