Firstly, a few brief words about my drinking and celebrating Songkran in Roi Et with Wan and family.
The temperature was hovering in the mid forties Celsius every day and Wan’s house was like an oven, so I suggested on Songkran Day that we all go out for lunch. Anything was better than staying in that intolerable heat.
I had stayed completely free from alcohol for eight days when Wan agreed that we should go out with her family for a Songkran lunch.
This was an interesting day for as we drove through a few scattered villages, not far from Wan’s own village,, we passed endless groups of locals playing Songkran.
Unlike in Pattaya, the girls were all modestly dressed and there wasn’t a trace of flesh in sight, but suddenly, in the distance I noticed a group of scantily clad females.
I mentioned this to Wan who immediately told me they were not girls – they were Lady boys! My God, even in this remote spot, some eight hundred kilometers from Pattaya we still can’t get away from them!
The tale gets even more bizarre.
As we approached the group, Wan let out a squeal and disappeared under the dashboard.
She had just spotted the lady boy who owned the Jomtien bar from which I had ‘rescued’ her.
Word had got out, thanks to Wan’s “blabber mouth” aunt, that Wan was with Mobi, and the bar owner was looking a seven thousand Baht payment for ‘stealing’ one of his ladies.
The flesh trade is alive and well in Thailand.
We made our escape without being spotted.
We had lunch in a traditional straw covered wooden hut, one of dozens that had been built on stilts, way out on a huge lake. The rickety, one plank walk ways that led out to the huts looked as though they had seen better days and many of the hand rails werer missing.
I wouldn’t fancy making my way back to ‘terra firma’ along them when drunk.
It would have been quite a picturesque setting except for one problem. The lake had almost dried up. There was just acres of mud.
We went to one of the farthest huts where there was some semblance of water still washing around the stumps of the stilts, some two meters below us, and it was there that I had my first beer in eight days.
The Issan food was delicious and we all spent a happy couple of hours there, looking over the mud flats, which in less arid times had been a flowing lake, full of wild life.
The next day Mobi, Wan, her mother, sister and her new born baby all went out again; this time to another restaurant where the main fair was prawn. You could have any dish you liked, provide it contained prawns – so not a great place for anyone allergic to them.
I had a few more beers, and late in the afternoon we were joined by Wan’s aunt and her daughter, even though they had not been initially invited. (More of this little episode is recounted below).
In case you were wondering, on both these days, although I was not particularly drunk, I insisted that Wan drive home.
Since then I have been having a few beers on most days, but not to excess.
I know – I am as weak as shit. But there you go.
I am quite sure that a great heap of condemnation will be leveled at me from all sides when I report what I have been up to as far as Wan is concerned and what I have decided.
To recap; I was staying with Wan at her little village about nine kilometers from Selaphum, which in turn is nearly an hour’s drive from Roi Et city and Yasuthon City.
I previously wrote about having three choices.
Choice number one was to move up to Roi Et.
Choice number two was to rent a house and move Wan and her son to Pattaya.
Choice number three was to move back into my house with Dang, but we would lead separate lives.
I have received suggestions from my readers and my close friends who, between them, have endorsed all the above options and more; all with convincing arguments as to why I should opt for their recommended course of action.
I am very grateful for all this advice, but at the end of the day it left me more confused and undecided than ever. Each argument has its good and bad points.
So here’s what has happened – so far….
Wan was absolutely determined to persuade me to uproot and move up to her village to stay with her and her son.
Even though I never agreed to this, and insisted that I wanted to ‘suck it and see”, she seemed to conveniently forget what I had told her, and she continually made remarks like: “When you move here for good….”; “I have decided that I can put your book case against this wall…; ”I will rebuild the driveway so that we can accommodate two cars without having one behind the other…” and so on and so forth.
She never stopped dropping hints and speaking as if it was a done deal, which as far as I was concerned just served to irritate me, and set me more and more against the whole idea.
Then there was the subject of money. I know many of you will jump on what I am about to say and say: “See, I told you, she is just a whore, after your money!”
Well maybe you’re right and maybe you’re wrong. We could argue about it all night and never really come to agreement.
Ok, let’s just say there are whores, and there are whores.
There are whores that work in places such as massage parlours, short time bars, ‘red light’ areas like Soi Cowboy and Walking Street and who for the main part are there for the money. The better looking ones make a great deal of money, and wouldn’t change their lives if you begged them to and offered them a good well paying job in the ‘normal’ world.
At the other end of the scale are the desperate village girls who have babies and possibly parents to feed, have been deserted by their men, have little education and come to the bright lights of Pattaya and Bangkok in desperate search of a farang who will rescue them and take them away from the sordid bars and take care of them forever.
Then there are many in between these two extremes: some having got used to the money and the life style find it difficult to go back to being a ‘normal’ person; some hating it but are under the control and obligation to the families who have also got used to an increased standard of living. I could go on forever: for every girl who sells her body, you will find a slightly different variation on the same theme.
Some love being whores, some hate being whores, some are reluctant whores who tolerate it to maintain a decent lifestyle for themselves and their families.
So inasmuch as Wan went to Pattaya with her Aunt to seek a new boyfriend/husband who would take care of her and her son, then I agree she was a whore, and since she has been with me has been my whore.
I doubt that there are too many Thai girls who are married to farangs who didn’t fit into one of the above “whore” categories, at some point in their lives. (Though most farangs will deny it with pompous outrage till their dying days.)
Back to Wan and money. Well, before the end of last month I sat down with her and asked her what her monthly expenses were: house, schooling, and food, mortgage repayments and so on. She had it all worked out and told me the figure which I considered to be reasonable and within my budget, so I told her I would be happy to pay that every month.
On 1st April, I duly transferred the agreed sum to her account.
The first time I went with her to Roi Et I paid out some cash to fix some air conditioning and of course paid all the food bills.
Back in Pattaya I also paid the food bills and bought her a fair amount of clothes and so on.’
Then when we went back to Roi Et I had along talk and explained to her that I didn’t have endless pots of money. She said she understood.
Then every time we passed the local government bank, where she had a forty thousand baht mortgae, she reminded me that she wanted to get her Chanod back for her house as it worried her having to leave it there.
Then she told me that she owed her aunt five thousand baht. I gave here the money to pay her Aunt back.
Then she told me that she had borrowed twenty thousand baht on her farm land from the village co-operative.
Then she told me that the water pump needs replacing, which was why we often had no water in the bathroom.
Then she told me that she had to rebuild the back of the house because the rain and sun came in too much.
Then she told me about the structural problem with her house.During the recent hot spell, her house was like an oven. It had been badly designed and needed some major structural alterations to make it cooler. She talked frequently about this.
The crowning moment happened the last day I was there. We were planning to go out to lunch with her mother and sister, but Wan said we should wait until her aunt and niece left as she didn’t want to take them to lunch with us. I asked why, and the reply was that it would cost too much and she wanted me to have some money left to give to her when I left!
I asked her about the monthly allowance I had given her and all the odd thousand baht notes I had also been giving her which she never seemed to spend. She actually admitted that she wanted to save all of it and just spend my money!
I told her that I gave her money to spend – not to save, and she agreed, but said she had very miserly habits with her own money.
Of course with so many debts, I could well understand her desire to hang on to as much money as possible, but this was ridiculous. As ever, I was simply the ‘walking ATM’, who was being withdrawn to his ‘limit’, whenever the occasion demanded.
She was extremely sweet about it, and I could have refused, and often did, but it grated – a little too much for comfort. If I wasn’t careful I would be drawn into a net of never ending debt repayments, house re-building and God knows what else.
Now to Jasper. He is a lovely little six year old – very sharp and very endearing. But he clearly has a few psychological problems. He talks in his sleep every night and sometimes shouts so loud that it quite alarming. This is a nightly event, and what is more he sleeps on the floor at the bottom of our bed, as he cannot sleep alone.
He is fairly well behaved with everyone, (even me), except with his mother. I have no idea why it is but Wan has a lot of difficulty controlling him and he rarely does anything that she tells him
The result is that she resorts to shouting and screaming at him which rarely has any more effect than just talking, and it briefly puts the lovely, gentle Wan into very bad moods.
I have tried to advise her on some parenting skills but I fear the problems are deep and it will take a long time before she can turn the mother/son relationship around. They clearly love each other but there is a problem.
To be honest, I am not sure that at my time of life I am ready to take on a problem child, and to have to put up with a screaming, stressed mother on a daily basis.
Now to the location. I have described it already. I doubt if I could even live in Roi Et city, let alone an isolated village, one hour’s drive away. I am too used to my home comforts, cable TV, fast internet, shopping malls, Starbucks, pubs, bars and last but not least, a few good friends.
I couldn’t live there, and I wouldn’t e3ven attempt to bring Wan to Pattaya. She doesn’t want to come and she would never be happy here.
And on top of that, I don’t love her and doubt I ever will. I first took her home out of pity, and then I realized she was quite a pretty young lady with a nice personality, and quite intelligent.
But there was never a ‘’spark”. Some have it for me and some don’t. Unfortunately Wan doesn’t and the best we could ever be is good friends.
So I regretfully made the decision to leave – in fact I doubt I could have stood it for more than another a day or so. It was really starting to get me down.
So Mobi, the sniveling coward, made an excuse and left last Thursday morning, early.
I hate lying, but I have been in this country long enough to know that telling the truth is not always the best way of breaking bad news.
I will ‘’drip feed’’ it over the next week or so and in that way she can slowly adjust the reality that she will not see me again. I may give her some more money to tide her over for a while. I am still considering this.
Wan may need money fairly desperately but she is not destitute. She has a house, a farm, land and a decent car. Her family are not impoverished,. Her mother and her aunt both have substantial houses near to Wan’s, and there is another large, empty house on a huge block of land that used to belong to Wan’s Grandmother who died a few years back.
During the time I have known Wan I have gleaned much information from her about her previous marriage and her time in the UK. In particular, I have learned much about her relationship with her ex mother-in-law who is crazy about Jasper.
After Wan returned to Thailand, her ‘then’ mother-in-law paid for her and Jasper to fly back to England to visit her, which they duly did. Wan has also mentioned that Pete’s mother has often threatened to cut Pete out of her will if he didn’t be more generous towards Wan after he kicked her out.
From all this I surmise that there is a pretty good chance that when the old lady finally passes on, that she leaves Wan and/or her son a substantial sum in her will.
Finally there’s the business of feelings- emotions – love. I have already stated that I do not love Wan, and quite frankly I doubt if I ever would. She is a lovely looking lady with a nice figure, a gentle endearing manner and is a very kind and attentive person.
But she just doesn’t turn me on. There is no chemistry as far as I am concerned. You may recall that I took her home initially out of pity – she didn’t attract me in any way, but I did feel for a while that given time, I would become fond of her; but now I know different. (I know, I previously wrote that at long last I had met the ‘girl of my dreams’, ‘my soul mate’, and so on. Well I genuinely believed that she would turn out like that at the time – all part of my paranoia, I’m afraid.)
To be honest, she is so attentive, she smothers me. She won’t let me do a thing for myself, and even a lazy, procrastinating alcoholic like Mobi feels she takes it too far.
I am not allowed to make a cup of coffee; she wants me to teach her how to give me insulin injections, and so on. It was all too much.
So that is that, and is why I will not go back to Wan, nor will I suggest that she moves to Pattaya. It is sad, but I think it is the best for both of us in the long term.
Now to Nakhon Sawan.
In my blog of 20Th February, I mentioned a young lady named Tan who worked in a beer bar out by the lake. I was quite keen on her and have known her for a year, but back in February, when I went to meet her on a pre-arranged appointment, she wasn’t there, and I was sure she was out with a customer.
To cut a long story short, although I resolved to give up on Tan after that incident, we have continued to keep in touch over the past six weeks, and I even had another abortive liaison with her in Bangkok which ended in disappointment when yet again she failed to show.
Every time I tried to forget about Tan, she would contact me again, and by the time I came back to Pattaya with Wan, we were exchanging almost daily emails.
Well one thing led to another and when I decided to leave Roi Et, I decided to detour to Nakhon Sawan and go and see Tan, who by then was back living with her family, just outside Nakhon Sawan city.
It was worth the detour for the journey alone. It was an interesting and scenic drive over the mountains on route 225. If any of you happen to be in that vicinity, I thoroughly recommend the drive. Some of the views are quite stunning.
I was stopped several times by police during this journey as I drove through villages with road blocks right across the road where the locals were celebrating Songkran.
You may recall that I have lost my driving licence, so I was quite apprehensive, but in the event, I told the policeman in my best and most polite Thai that I was driving from Roi Et to Nakhon Sawan, and they just waved me on without asking me to produce the missing document.
After six hours on the road, I made it Nakhon Sawan town, called Tan and she agreed to meet me in Big C.
Nakhon Sawan was every bit as hot as Roi Et, some 42 degrees, and after queuing up forever to get into the car park, I finally joined the holiday throng in the ice cool atmosphere of Big C.
I was hungry and thirsty, and while waiting for Tan I devoured some KFC chicken and French fries – literally the first I have had in years. Then in the large, teeming food court I spotted a couple of lovely, very young, uniformed ladies in miniskirts and made my way over to order a glass of draft Singha.
It took a bit of ‘to and fro’, but eventually I understood that they were telling me that they were not allowed to sell beer after 2.p.m (it was around 2.15) but if I wanted to buy a jug, I could join the groups at tables who were already half way through their jugs of grog; which of course I did.
Half an hour later she turned up – with bandages covering her right leg form the upper reaches of her thigh, down to her ankle.
She had had a motor cycle accident three days earlier, trying to avoid a dog. Her sister, who was riding pillion, limped along behind her, but Tan was by far the worst for wear.
Tan doesn’t drink so I believed her account.
She had been driven in by a cousin and after exchanging the usual greetings, everyone took off and left Tan and me alone.
We hadn’t seen each other for about six weeks and there a few awkward moments. Although I had known Tan for a year and had been out with her a few times, I had never slept with her and we weren’t particularly intimate with each other.
I asked her what she wanted to do, and she asked me if I would like to meet her family, to which I replied I would be delighted.
Our first stop was a large Wat where there was an afternoon Songkran rave up in progress. It must have been around 45 degrees, but amazingly there were hundreds of young Thais dancing up a storm to an incredibly loud band playing and singing mor lam like there was no tomorrow.
It wasn’t quite the romantic encounter I had anticipated after a tiring six hour drive from Roi Et, but WTF?
I was greeted by all and sundry, including the aforementioned sister, cousin and some other relatives, and on the basis that if I can’t beat it, join it, I ordered some beer and tried to get in to the spirit of the occasion.
It was now late afternoon, and with a sense of foreboding, I fully expected the festivities to go on until late into the night. So I was pleasantly surprised, when at around six p.m. the band stopped and everyone started packing up and making their way home.
We drove to Tan’s house, in the outskirts of the city and on the way there, I we passed fertile paddy fields. There was lush, verdant green terrain, and the paddies were full of green shoots semi submerged in water – a far cry from the arid, scorched land I had seen in Isan.
Tan pointed to some fields as we passed and told me they belonged to her mother.
I thought that Wan’s family was very ‘middle class’, but they didn’t have anything on Tan’s clan. There were number of large, well furnished houses belonging to Tan’s parents and relatives, with cars and modern pickups parked in every nook and cranny.
There was a celebration going on in her brother’s house and we all joined him to enjoy barbequed seafood, beer and Regency brandy.
Tan had two sisters, one was her twin and the other was home on vacation from university in Bangkok. They were clearly a pretty ‘well to do’ group.
Following the jug of beer at Big C then the beers at the Wat followed by the beers at Tan’s brother’s house, the accumulation of alcohol was starting to take its toll and by around nine p.m. I was fading fast.
Tan suggested that she take me back to the city and check in a hotel, to which I readily agreed.
At the hotel she asked me if I wanted her to stay with me or to go home and come and see me again in the morning, to which I replied if it was OK with her, I would like her to stay with me for the night.
We registered at the hotel and she then asked me whether I wanted two single beds or one double bed?
I’ll leave you to guess my response.
I slept pretty well, but poor Tan had a very restive night due to her leg injury which was playing up somewhat.
The plan had been for me to stay there until Saturday, and on Friday Tan was going to show me the sights, but when we woke up on Friday morning, Tan suggested that we drove back to Pattaya that day, clearly intimating that she would come with me.
I had no objections to the change in plan, and Tan’s sister drove in to pick her up from the hotel and she told me she would be back before noon.
I had a pretty terrible breakfast – kow tom – but not as we know it – followed by toast with sickly, sweet condensed milk spread over it. Anyway, it filed a hole and I had a relaxed morning waiting for Tan to return.
At around eleven thirty, she called to say she would not be back until three p.m., so I told her that I was not prepared to leave that late for the four to five hour hard drive to Pattaya, and in any case I had to check out at noon, so what the Hell was I supposed to do for three hours??
She said she would be there in half an hour, but I quietly resolved that if she did not turn up by one p.m. I would leave without her.
After all it wouldn’t be the first time she had failed to show.
In the event she duly arrived at twelve thirty with a large bag, and off we went to Pattaya, arriving very late as we were nearly back home when out of the blue the police descended and shut down the whole of route seven to allow passage of some police-escorted royalty.
We were shunted into a side road along with dozens of trucks and it took more than an hour to get back onto the main highway and complete our journey.
During the journey I had the opportunity to take another look at Tan’s injured leg and didn’t like what I saw. She told me she had not been to hospital and her mother had been dressing her wounds.
I could see an exposed portion of flesh wound at the top of her thigh and it looked decidedly dodgy. Furthermore I noticed blood had seeped through the bandages in places – and this was four days after the accident.
So before driving to my condo I took Tan straight to a hospital where they were a bit alarmed at the state of her wounds. If I hadn’t taken her injuries in hand I am sure she would have been in danger of losing her leg.
They had to clean up the wounds, bit by bit, taking off the bad pieces of scar and sort of stripping the wounds back down to open flesh. They looked pretty bad but at least they were now clean, and they were gently re-dressed. The whole operation took well over two hours, so by the time we got home, exhaustion was setting in.
So now I am shacked up with another young lady – a pretty and very sexy young lady – and I have to say that I feel happier than I was with Wan, but who knows how long this will last.
I feel I have nothing to lose, if it doesn’t work out, we can both go our respective ways.