Today is my fifth day of sobriety.
Sometime, in the past couple of weeks, I have lost my Thai driving licence – God knows how or where but it is no longer in my wallet. Wan and I have searched everywhere, but no luck.
The last time I used it was on my way back from Roi Et a couple of weeks ago, when I was stopped by a fat, jolly cop on route 23 for allegedly speeding – almost exactly the same spot as I was stopped on my way to Roi Et.
It is certainly a dangerous way to earn tea money, as the estimable constable stands on the central reservation of a fast, almost empty, four lane highway and waves down any cars he sees speeding towards him in the outside lane.
On my way up I showed him my licence, before being asked for four hundred Baht, which I immediately bargained down to two hundred. On the way back, I took out my licence but he wasn’t interested; just wanted his two hundred Baht.
That is the last time either of us recall seeing my licence.
I am telling you this because last Tuesday morning I had planned to go with Wan to the Pattaya driving Licence centre to see what we could do about obtaining a replacement, as we were due to go back to Roi Et on Thursday, and I didn’t want to make the journey without a licence.
Anyway, as previously reported, Monday night was binge night and I was in no condition to go anywhere on Tuesday, and didn’t even get out of bed until the afternoon.
I felt guilty as I had promised the kids that after going to the driving licence centre I would take them all out for more sightseeing before they returned home on Thursday.
As it turned out, they spent most of the day on the beach, while I spent most of the day in bed.
Anyway there was no time to go and get licences on Wednesday, as there was a lot of shopping to do and things to sort out prior to our departure. I even managed to squeeze in a bit of sightseeing.
I had a long chat with Wan and asked her to help me to stop drinking. I told her that if I wanted to drink a beer, then she should try to dissuade me, and she said she would do her best.
Following the abusive and disturbing email from Mario, I had very little sleep on Wednesday night and arose before seven to get ready for the long drive.
We left at eight and arrived just before five p.m. It’s a distance of seven hundred kilometres and takes a good eight hours at the wheel.
At sixty three years old, not in the best of health and with inadequate sleep, (thanks to Mario), it was quite a strain, as even though the roads for the main part are not too bad, you have to be continually alert for idiots that may do anything, and it is much more stressful than making a similar journey in the West.
Next time, If i can’t get Wan to share the driving, (she says she can only drive cars with manual gear shifts!!), I will have to stop over night in Korat. It is just too many hours to drive in one day.
Anyway, we made it without incident, and Wan laughed at me when we hit route Twenty Three as I was constantly on the lookout for the fat jolly cop wanting his tea money, and determined to outwit him and make sure I was driving on the inside lane within the speed limit. I was concerned about my lack of driving licence. But of course he was nowhere to be seen on this occasion.
As we ventured further and further into Isaan territory, the temperature steadily rose, and it was soon hitting forty two degrees Celsius (that’s 108 degrees in ‘old money’). When we stopped for fuel and ‘relief’ we were almost burnt alive in the searing heat. It was unbelievably hot, and we quickly did our business and rushed back to the cool comfort of the Beamer’s icy air-conditioning.
Wan, thoughtful as ever, phoned ahead and asked her sister to open the windows of her house, turn on all the fans and the air conditioner in the bedroom.
At six o’clock the temperature was still over forty degrees, and even the local villagers were sweating and complaining. There was no relief; the fans were just blasting hot air around the room.
I retreated into the cooled bedroom and remained there.
The heat barely let up all night; I doubt if it went below the high thirties until early morning, when thankfully, it finally stated to relent a little.
I emerged from my iced cocoon at nine, and at least the fans were now cooling the air somewhat.
Wan suggested that we go to Roi Et and do our shopping as the town was going to be jam packed over the weekend when all the Isaan folk returned for the big holiday.
I wasn’t keen on the shopping, but I was very keen on any idea that kept me out of the expected mid forties heat for a few hours, so off we went.
Tesco Lotus, the only hyper store in Roi Et, was seething with customers, and it took us over thirty minutes to find a parking space – and this was before the main inrush of people from Bangkok and other provinces.
By this time it was so hot that even in Tesco, with the air conditioners going at full blast, it was still very warm and there was a lot of moaning about the heat.
We wanted a cheap toaster, but I guess Tesco had decided that it was hot enough without needing a machine to toast bread, and they didn’t sell any.
So we went down the road to Macro.
There, an amusing incident happened as I was waiting to park. I wanted to park in the shade and lined up behind a SUV who was half turned into the parking lane and was presumably waiting for someone to drive out. We waited, waited, and waited. I was fairly relaxed, but Wan was getting more and more agitated.
She finally jumped out of the car and went to investigate the cause of the hold up. She disappeared out of sight and then approached the driver of the SUV and stared shouting and gesticulating. Then she came over to me and told me to try and drive around the vehicle. There was insufficient room to pass, but as I edged towards it, it reversed slightly so that I could manoeuvre around it.
Wan was outraged. She told me that the driver was a woman and there was nothing in front of her; she had stopped, holding up all the traffic, (by this time, there was quite a queue of cars behind me), because she was sending a text on her mobile phone!!
I thought it was very amusing, so typical of many Thais who are so selfish and uncaring of others, but Wan was so upset that a fellow Thai should be so self-centred. A bit of role reversal, methinks.
The heat in Macro was far worse than in Tesco and I couldn’t wait to get out again – this in spite of the very visible air-conditioning.
We bought a toaster for around three hundred BIaht, and when I saw how cheap the microwaves were (large Samsung – 1700 Baht), I bought one of them as well. I need something to heat up my coffee.
We got back to the house around five thirty, so we effectively kept in the cool for most of the day, and thankfully the temperature had dropped down to the low thirties and was almost pleasant after the intense heat of the previous forty eight hours. The house was still like an oven, but outside it must have been at least five degrees cooler so I sat in the garden for an hour reading a book.
I suddenly craved a beer and I asked Wan to get me one, but she gently refused and reminded me of my promise. She brought some me iced water instead and the urge passed.
It’s still pretty hot today, but at least I can sit outside in the living room with the fan. The thermometer on the wall reads thirty eight degrees. The trick is to remain as still as possible. Any exertion inevitably produces a torrent of perspiration.
I’m not sure how long I will stay here. I’m thinking of going back next week, maybe Tuesday or Wednesday, but I’ll keep my options open.
I feel quite relaxed here and Wan tends to my every need. All her family are lovely, and her kid is very loving and as bright as a button.
I will reserve judgement on whether I can move here permanently. There is no hurry and I will be patient and see how things go.
I am very fond of Wan – she is a lovely lady, both in looks and in character and I doubt I will ever finder a kinder, more attentive lady than her if I look for the rest of my life
But I don’t love her.
I may do one day but right now I don’t. Is love important? Am I capable of loving someone again? I don’t know. Part of me says that maybe it’s good that I don’t love her. That way I can be strong and not succumb to unreasonable requests and behaviour on her part.
No doubt that is true, but in the short time that I have been with Wan, I just can’t imagine her ever trying to ‘put one over on me’ or behaving in a bad manner. It just isn’t her.
Now back to the incredible Mario and his hurtful comments.
He has written again today and you can read what he said in the comments section. It is pretty much the same crap as before, except to tell us he is six feet five and can walk over anyone. He really is a prick isn’t he?
As you can imagine I have been thinking much about this – not because he has said anything new; I have already pretty much blogged just about everything he has said about Dang.
OK I admit that he also heaped a lot of abuse on me, trying to make me feel bad about myself, belittling my sexual abilities, even indulging in rampant and cruel ageism.
But I am more upset that someone would deliberately set out to hurt and gloat over a fellow human being who he had never met and never done him any harm, than what he actually said.
Many of you cannot understand why I put my whole life out there on the line for all to see. I can’t answer that, but it does seem to be therapeutic and it does help me in many ways to understand myself better, and as a consequence, try to change myself.
I have already ‘spilled my guts’ so there’s not much left to spill.
I will never know if Mario is telling the truth, whether the whole thing is just a figment of his warped imagination, or whether there is a basis of truth, but has been highly exaggerated.
It could all be made up. There is nothing he has written that could not be discerned from my blogs or my posts through the years on Thai Visa. Everything he has seemingly ‘knowingly referred to’ is available on the net if you want to find it – including the location of my house and the location of Dang’s shop.
However, if he knows so much, it is strange that he hasn’t bragged about knowing Dang’s real name. I’m sure he would have done if he knew it.
Having said that, the basis of the story rings very true as she often went ‘AWL’ for the night when she had her shop, and would return the next morning, hung over.
If she didn’t do it with Mario, I am quite sure she did it with plenty of others, so it really doesn’t matter, one way or another.
As for my sexual prowess, well I am not going to demean myself by responding to that, except to say that since I left Dang I have enjoyed some of the best sex of my entire life, and that is yet another reason why I would never go back to her. For some reason, apart from the first few weeks we were together, it never seemed to work very well for us.