Back in the 2000s when I lived in Chatujak area in Bangkok, I sometimes went bar-hopping with a friend of mine who was working at the local Police station. We normally took the taxi downtown to the lower Sukhumvit area.
We tried a couple of times to look at some of the girly bars in Soi Cowboy and Nana Plaza, since he was of course curious about those bars. He never went to them himself because he could not afford the prices. He never understood why someone wanted pay 150+ baht for a small bottle of beer.
Most of the bars denied his entry, purely because he was Thai. I didn't understand this, but I didn't argue in the doors as there were so many other bars anyway. I asked him why this was, and he told me because of two reasons. Firstly the girls inside would sometimes be very shy and embarrassed when local males showed up. And secondly some did a "runner" from the bills when drunk. So to avoid any of these issues they just denied all hetero Thai males. Interestingly enough he was never upset about this. I guess he kind of understood.
Anyhow, I noticed he was always wearing this Bum Bag (or Fanny Pack) when we were out. Never left his small studio apartment without it. This was not a problem for me, so I never really made any comments about it. I sometimes thought it was little strange that he had chosen a pink colored bag. Probably his wife's maybe.
Same as my friend's.
One other thing I started to notice was the fact nobody ever talked to us when we were out. Even when we went to places with mainly Thai customers, hardly anyone stopped by our table, or chatted with us. It started to become a bit boring. So I mentioned this to my friend. He just looked at me and calmly said... I know, and I also know why. Don't you? It is because most people think we are a gay couple. I don't care, he said.
But I care, I said. Doesn't matter what people are or like, but I myself like to be placed in the correct box or category. And, as you know, I also like to flirt a little innocently with the ladies. And so do you, I know that. So can you please get rid of that Pink bag you always bring with you? And he did, almost. Except that he got himself another one with a more neutral look. Fair enough.
He carried something like this instead.
And wont you believe it, how many looked at us changed, just for this small issue. It was a very different scenario the next times we went out bar hopping, one could feel it. Again, I feel comfortable when put in the correct box or category.
Moving on, many months later we went out again, and he still carried with him that silly (new colored) bag. So this time I just had to ask him, so I knew once and for all. What is it that you are always carrying with you? What can it be in that silly Fanny Pack you drag with you everywhere that is so important to you? Lipstick and mirrors? I joked.
He looked at me clearly surprised as he thought I already knew. He opened it and showed the contents of the bag to me. I always must carry this with me he calmly stated.
He always carried a weapon and clips.
I was speechless for a few seconds, thinking he had this with him every time we went on a piss and got seriously drunk.
You think you know your friends, and what they carry. Not always.