Growing up on Windy Hill Road in Smyrna/Marietta we had the joy of having a 7-11 just seven houses down from us at the Sandtown Rd intersection. We would pass it as we walked to Labelle Elementary School and then we would ransack it on the way home. I never really knew how lucky I was to live so close to a 7-11. We could play pac-man, asteroids, and galaga, drink big-gulps and eat candy. If it was a good day, we would then leave and go home through the woods, acting like Luke Skywalker as we were amped on sugar.

Well, there are few 7-11s in Thailand…actually there are 4,402 7-Elevens in Thailand, 1,500 of which are in Bangkok, really, I am not making this up. FYI, if you come to Thailand, just ask for a 7 (sa-win). They don’t say the 11 part.

Today, 7-11 has provided for me another memory to add to the list.

Anyways, we have one right outside of our neighborhood that shares land with a gas-station. Today while I was out, Sherry called me and told me she needed a Coke to help her stay on her game during Thai language school. So I stopped to get her one. I walked back to the back corner to look at all the “cokes”, you southern people know what I mean. While I was looking, an old man, looking very nice I must say, walked up to me and yelled out “Lie-chew-a-mong laaw”, which means “It’s been many hours already”, then he hit me in the arm close to my chest. Now, it didn’t hurt, but I had to assess the situation really fast.

1. WHAT!!!
2. Who is this guy? Is he a friend? No. You know, friends hit like that and it is good. But if a stranger does it, this is not good.
a. how old is he–maybe 68
b. is he crazy? I really think so
c. can I take him? Yes, I could sweep his legs, and then do a leg drop across his chest. (We Americans have watched too much kung-fu movies and think all old white hair asian men know magic and can crush you with a single flick of the pinkie, then disappear leaving behind only a cloud of smoke.)
3. Should I act on situation survey 2.c.? No
4. Is anyone seeing this? Yes. A lady taking inventory is right there.
a. is she doing anything about it? no, just wide-eyed
b. should I ask her to help? no, what’s left of my man card would be revoked on the spot by the dude selling squid from his motorcycle right outside the door.

Choice 1
Get the coke fast and walk on.

Survey 2
Where is he now? He is behind me–I had my eyes on him–
What is he doing? looking pretty mad with a strange grin that comes and goes.

Choice 2
Move on quickly to the front counter maintaining composure but add a little strut or something, anything to look somewhat tough, confident, and OK about walking away from a fight with a 68 year old dude. But don’t look too tough, cause you will look really stupid. Just don’t do anything, just walk normally. Man, how can I walk normally now, I already started to try and look together and tough. Just go. Stop squeezing the plastic coke bottle, relax, walk normal and check out. Slow down. Your starting to run. Chill. Go ahead and get your wallet out. No, wait, don’t, he may hit me with a Slurpee or something and take it. OK, keep it in my pocket. OK, fool, take it out now, you are at the counter…where is he? I don’t see him. Are people seeing me not seeing him? Are they on my side? Will they let me know if he is up to something. Man, where did he go? Oh, my change. Say thanks and go home. AHHHHH I tried to get in the left side of the car again, we drive from the right…did they see me do that? Should I just put the coke in the passenger seat and play it off? No, who does that, who places a single coke in the passenger seat and then walks around and gets in the vehicle? I mean I am from Georgia and all, but I don’t love Coke that much. It’s not like a date or something. Just walk around and get in…OK…done…go home.

When it is all said and done, I think this crazy man walks out looking sane compared to me.

a man hit me with his fist today
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19 thoughts on “a man hit me with his fist today

  • June 3, 2009 at 4:38 pm

    This is too funny and brings back many memories of life in Thailand.
    I love the thought process. I must say I have had very similar experiences, from the encounter with a crazy old many to getting in the car on the wrong side…AGAIN.

  • June 4, 2009 at 8:38 am

    this is sad, Marc – i'm actually crying

  • June 4, 2009 at 11:39 am

    Good stuff Mark. We had a similar instance when we were there. It wasn't full out assault 🙂 but we did notice a little "prejudice" if you'd call it that. Katie was waiting in line at the "7" once and a few people just jumped right in front of her…like she was too slow or maybe it was just b/c she is white? 🙂

    We also noticed once that my cousin complained about a driver in town and under her breath she said "fa-rung". Like how we in the states sometimes stereotype old people as drivers.

    Sounds like you may have just run into a "buhbababaaw" old man! 🙂

    We love you posts, we'll be praying for you guys!

  • June 4, 2009 at 12:18 pm

    Haaaa haaaa! Thanx for the giggle this morning. That is hilarious! Also liked the walk down memory lane. We had it pretty good in elementary, Remember Gus would wait on us to leave the 7-11 so he could cross us safely back across the street!!

  • June 4, 2009 at 12:34 pm

    hahaha! Oh my gosh dude! That is tough dude. I do not know what I would have done. I think I would have done what you said but I would have kicked him in the chest which would have elevated him approximately 5 feet off the ground. From there I would have jumped up had done a side punch to the head then a round house to the chest causing him to be shattered into the isle of drinks. Then I would have woke up from a strange dream. Hopefully no more Kung Fu masters will take swings at you.

    Funny story though!

  • June 4, 2009 at 1:22 pm

    man that was hilarious. Love the play by play by the guy in your brain.

    but dude, you shoulda buckled the coke up. Would have been easy to play off. . .i'm from Atlanta, the birthplace of Coke, and we have a really strict law that says a Coke or Cokes either have to sit in the lap of a passenger in the car or, if there is no passenger, must be buckled up as if said Coke(s) were the passenger. . . .and apparently that old man in there knew that law. He told me he hit me because last time i bought a Coke here i didn't buckle it up. What? I don't know how he knew, but he knew. I mean he's a white haired Asian dude. . he's magic and stuff, right? You might have saved some serious face with that story.

  • June 4, 2009 at 1:25 pm

    Hey Marc…this is too funny, but I am sure it was not at the moment. A visitor in another country at times just does not know how to react.

    ps. I grew up on Windy Hill (actually I think it was called back then Smyrna-Roswell Rd.)too.

  • June 4, 2009 at 1:47 pm

    Marc,Marc, you're losing your edge bra..Do not enter the perimeter until you know the lay of the land. Draw a map, mark all exits..focus focus. These Asian men of the golden age are tricky tricky, I heard they know all the Ancient Chinese Secrets. Let me know if come over there and watch your back.

  • June 4, 2009 at 1:52 pm

    Hey Marc! Tony Stokes here. Love the picture of Galaga. I used to love playing that game at the "Food Basket" restaurant near my home in Alabama.

    LOL on the sweep the legs and leg drop! You're too funny!

    Great story. What a weird old man?!? You handled it great, I thought… except for the getting in the wrong side of the car…totally understandable though. You may have lost your "get in the car in a cool way" card, but at least you didn't loose your man card. 🙂


  • June 4, 2009 at 2:05 pm

    Classic …like the "coke"…

  • June 4, 2009 at 10:25 pm

    Oh, my! Sorry that happened to you, Marc. Hope Sherry enjoyed the Coke!!! We really enjoy your sense of humor, even from so far away. : )
    ~Terry and Beth

  • June 4, 2009 at 10:59 pm

    VERY funny! We miss your stories….thanks for the laugh. Kim Chapman

  • June 4, 2009 at 11:25 pm

    OK. Yo mama here. Why didn't I know about all these wild going on at the 7-11. I probably gave ya'll a dime and said you could get an icee, but where were the eyes in the back of my head.

    I knew about the coming home thru the woods. Thank goodness Elizabeth remembers that Gus stayed to help ya'll across the street. That relieves my mind. I think Gus retired when ya'll were in about 3rd grade.

    Now to this other stuff –just keep walking away and don't forget to smile. I'm sure you didn't forget. Now do I tell your father????

  • June 5, 2009 at 1:43 am

    I love the play by play. YOU ARE THE MAN facing danger to bringing your woman home the Coke she desired. Next time you need to give him the crazy eye look with a spaghetti leg walk. Maddie says this wards off all the crazies in middle school.

    anyway you were Sherry's hero that is all that counts

    Praying for you The McCormack's

  • June 5, 2009 at 2:26 am

    In a country that has about as many 7-11's as Christians… we are glad you are here! Thanks for the laugh. Is it OK to laugh outloud by yourself at your computer?

  • June 5, 2009 at 2:39 am

    Love it! awww, Gus. He was the sweetest old man. I just remember standing in that HUGE candy isle trying to pick "one" thing!
    Sure do wonder what that man was thinking! Maybe he thought you had the key to the squaty-potty and that you were taking too long to return it. hehe
    Love you & miss you! give your girls a kiss from me!

  • June 5, 2009 at 5:46 am

    Im glad im not the only one that makes mental lists of pros and cons of a situation at the exact moment of the situation! and most importantly you brought the precious cargo back to princess Laya!

  • June 6, 2009 at 12:09 am

    Love you Marc, lol the things we put up with, I've never had any confrontations going to a store and I imagine it would most likely happen being a foreigner. You did the right thing and just trying to play it safe. My imagination tells me he must have thought you were someone else, or has a low tolerance of people coming into the country. He's old and has fought his wars, so he makes up new battles with whom he sees. Hope your doing well I am.

  • June 6, 2009 at 12:04 pm

    oh my goodness. that is hilarious. i'm glad i just now read this so that i could read all the comments too. i did lol in front of my computer- several times- love it. i really would've liked to be a fly on the wall at the 7- or maybe a fly on your shoulder 🙂 maybe i could've been involved w/the discussion you were having w/yourself- "just get the coke home marc, just hold on to the coke, you must arrive safely w/coke in hand", "say to old man, ahh, you are very wise, thank you , have a nice day gradfatha 🙂

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