Boris: The First Of The New Firsts

How do you describe a man from Lugano who unknowingly made you pick up your paint brush again?


That he is beautiful. That he let Italian roll out of his tongue whenever you asked him to do so, never mind if you didn’t understand a word he said. That he is almost as brilliant but in a melancholic kind of way. That his kisses were like red velvet cupcakes. That he loved football but was side-tracked when he started chasing after skirts, and muay thai, and coffee.

Before summer in Thailand ended this year, I decided to visit my friend in Chiangmai to get that much-needed break from my life in Bangkok; and because Chiangmai was not able to offer the peace that I was searching for, we ended up going to Pai where I met Boris on our third hour there.

First Day

Doi and I were famished so we decided to stop at this food stall where a European guy happened to have been also buying his fruit shake. I was busy taking photos when I caught him staring, so I smiled. He shot back with the lamest line, “You have a beautiful camera,” that led to the usual introduction, a decent conversation and an invitation to dinner. Honestly, although we exchanged numbers, I have thought that I would never hear from him again. So just imagine my surprise when he reminded me about dinner at a time when Doi was procrastinating about Coffee In Love café’s location. It was perfect. My friend and I needed a quick respite from hours of biking that led us nowhere. And that was how it started.

Boris 1

I owe my muay thai addiction to Boris. He was training then when I met him and since he was my personal driver during my stay in Pai, he took me to the gym where he trained in. There, he watched me make a fool of myself by huffing about and getting my ass kicked by those dreaded inanimate training pads. Although he indignantly said he was not laughing at me, I still do not believe him.

Boris is my favorite laugh trip buddy. Whenever I am around him, I just laugh and laugh and laugh. Yes, I guess it is safe to say that he is my happy popper. Probably because his company offers nothing but comfort and a laid-back kind of disposition. He is not the type who takes himself too seriously and worries too much about tomorrow’s plans. His principles are to laugh when it’s funny, relax when you have the opportunity, and have fun when you feel like it. Other than that, he is also my favorite debate partner. We argue and out-argue each other when we’re together. Well, the trend is, I initiate the argument and he tries to finish it. I remembered that he asked me once why I always argued and disagreed with him and my only response was “I like arguing with you.”

Boris 2

It was easy to feel at ease with Boris. He just makes people feel that way. That’s just how he is and this is why he has many friends. You can spend hours and hours of being stuck with him in one place without having the urge to leave; in most times, we would just sit in silence – I, contemplating about my volunteering plans; while he, smoked and thought about God knows what.


What I like best about Boris is his initiative to give you space – space when you need silence, space when you don’t want to do things that other people are doing, space when you want to be missed. He respects this space and will not insist like other men do. He would ask for your reasons but will not go beyond that – a gentleman in a rogue’s clothing. This was why I never sensed fear when I am around him even during ungodly hours. I knew that I was safe with him.

Although he was not too happy with my volunteering in Africa plans, he was very supportive in all other things and was quite eager to share tips which I might find handy someday. I was one of the few people, I think, who he allowed to bombard him with all kinds of questions. He was always willing to share what he knew about certain topics (which can only be discussed in private).

Well, that’s Boris – the unintended stumble that turned into a cartwheel without my trying.

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