My name is JoJo Smith and I have an obsession. The object of my obsession is Ryan Gosling. This is a fairly new obsession, one that began across the road from where I am now at the Siam Paragon Cineplex, Bangkok on Sunday 6 November 2011.
I was all shopped out and fancied sitting in air conditioned comfort for a couple of hours, so I went to the cinema. Amongst the dozens of screens there wasn’t too much I fancied seeing and only a couple that were in English, so I picked one that I’d heard a bit of a buzz about. It was a movie called Drive.
I sat there in the dark, munching on my cheese popcorn (not good, don’t get it) and over the course of the following 100 minutes I slowly but surely fell madly in love with this gorgeous creature on the screen. I have to admit the initial attraction was because he reminded me of a long lost ex, but then the lust became all Ryan’s.
I was in SE Asia doing gigs and travelling and in the following three weeks I stocked up on a selection of his movies on dubious quality DVDs in Bali, and saw The Ides of March in Singapore. By the time I got back to London at the end of November it was a full-fledged crush.
Now I am a post menopausal 50 year old woman, I don’t do crushes very often these days so this was something of a novelty for me. I embraced it whole heartedly. I bought everything from Murder by Numbers to The Notebook on DVD, I even bought the Dead Man’s Bones album that he sings on.
Now last Sunday night George Clooney quipped that Ryan Gosling was in Thailand and I joked to my pals that he was waiting for me as I was going back there at the end of the week. I followed with ‘it’s an enormous country, with millions of people and the chances of me seeing him are a gazillion to one’.
Cut to this morning and my trip to Chatuchak Market…
It’s an immense market - the size of Hull - and it’s reckoned it would take at least three full days to see all of it. I’ve been here countless times over the years and every time I find a new bit I’ve never seen before.
Around 11 am I was wandering in the covered bit of the market that sells all the old Levis 501’s, vintage t-shirts etc when I spot a blonde woman with a very professional looking camera filming in one of the stalls. Being a nosy old hag I look in and see this tall, blond-ish guy in nerd glasses looking at the t-shirts. He had a bunch of them in his hand.
As I stared at the tattoo, he turned around to face me (and the camera), it was him! It was Ryan Fucking Gosling!!!!!!!
My camera was in my hand because I was taking photos of the market for a little Sabotage Times piece, and this Thai woman said ‘no photos’. I started to explain and then I spotted that tattoo on the man’s upper arm (he was wearing a beige-y coloured vest). All of time slowed down. As I stared at the tattoo, he turned around to face me (and the camera), it was him! It was Ryan Fucking Gosling!!!!!!!
I spoke to the Thai girl who said he was here ‘doing a big production’ whatever that means, then the woman with the camera turned it off and stepped to one side. Now was my chance.
I walked up and without drawing breath said ‘Hi Ryan, I’m JoJo Smith, a comedian from London and I’d really love to get my photo taken with you’.
He smiled and said ‘Naw, I’m not doing pictures cos I’m on vacation’. Thinking about how nobody who’s listened to me blether on about him for the last 3 months would believe me without a photo, I gave it one last shot saying ‘it would really mean a lot to me’. But he didn’t weaken, saying ‘if I do one, then I’ll have to do more’. I said ‘fair enough’ and he said ‘thanks for understanding JoJo, good luck’ and stroked my arm!
The weird thing was, apart from his ‘people’, me and a couple of stall holders nobody else had spotted him, so the photo wouldn’t have really been a big deal but I guess he gets it all the time. Whenever anyone asks me for a photo I always say yes, cos why the hell not really. Now of course part of me wishes I’d just snapped one before anyone realised what I was doing, but I wanted to be in the picture with him, so there ya go.
I’m here till Monday morning...in case you’re reading this and wanna make it up to me, Ryan.
Here's a photo someone else took of him there - he's changed his t-shirt.