Yes, I am still sober.
It’s been a funny old 24 hours.
After I wrote yesterday’s blog I decided to take a trip down to Bang Chang and say hello to a few old friends and maybe meet some new ones.
On my way there, I stopped at a computer repair shop owned by a Thai friend I have known for years. I hadn’t seen him for three months and he took one look at me and opened his eyes wide in amazement.
“Mobi! What’s happened to you?”
“I’ll tell you frankly. The last time I saw you, you looked about 45 years old. Now you look 75.”
I gave him a very brief summary of what had been going on lately. He already knew about my wife and her antics, and that I had left her.
He said: “Mobi, you shouldn’t be behaving like this. You don’t know what having really bad problems feels like. You don’t even have 5% of the life problems that I have!”
I looked at his earnest, concerned face, and I knew he spoke the truth.
For my friend is paraplegic – no legs since birth. He was brought up in an orphanage and has tried to carve out a life for himself, his wife and kids. It is quite amazing how he can get around without legs. He has tried so hard, but lately he has had little customer support for his computer repair business – his main customers being ‘cheap Charlie’ farangs who complain more than they thank him and pay him very little for his work. Then he borrowed money from the bank to build a house as an investment, but the slump came and he is stuck with the house and has to pay interest to the bank.
Yet he is so cheerful and positive.
A few years ago I asked him to help me put in a PC network at a Street Kids home that I was helping at. He turned up at the crack of dawn every day, before he opened his shop and put in the entire network free of charge. He refused to accept any payment.
I felt humbled.
We all moan and complain about the way so many Thais seem to treat us and regard us, yet day after day I am reminded that there some wonderful people in this country – some working and living in the most unlikely places and certainly with many more problems in their lives that I could ever imagine.
As someone said in a blog ‘comment’ the other day; ‘God loves a drunk’. Maybe God keeps putting these people into my path to try and get a message across.
I know that many of my readers are not in the least bit spiritual, but I will tell you that I am praying every day, particularly the 3rd Step prayer of AA. I am so desperate, that I will try anything to keep off the booze and turn my life around.
I continued my journey to Bang Chang, suitably chastened, and during the drive, a revelation hit me. I suddenly realised that my face was red because I was sun-burnt! The white areas around my eyes which are covered by my glasses confirmed it. I was thinking back on my 24 hour binge and recalled that I was on the beach as dawn broke and was hanging around there all morning and into the afternoon, wandering along the beach, and staggering from bar to bar. I had clearly been in the sun for a long time.
I have a red patch at the top of my chest where my shirt was open, so this serves to confirm it. It doesn’t explain the red blotches on my shoulders and stomach which were covered, so maybe those are alcohol related, or maybe they are some kind of heat spots.
Today my face is not quite so red, and the blotches are ‘merging’ and fading, so I’m not going to worry about them too much.
I had a good time in Bang Chang and met some really lovely ladies – old and new. One particular lady was sexier, prettier and hornier, in a “Tan sort of fashion” but if Tan was an 8 out of 10, this one was a 10+ out of 10. Her body was truly incredible and I realised that I was crazy to yearn so much for Tan.
Most of the girls in Bang Chan are quite young, say 19 – 26, and very few of them have worked in Pattaya or indeed any other red light area before they came to Bang Chang. Most of them live together above their bars or in the nearby neighbourhood and they are all friends together.
Generally speaking the bar owners are very good to them and they operate as “happy families”. Most have either come straight from their villages, or from the suburbs of Bangkok where they were working in factories etc.
They are still whores – no question and many of them are extremely horny. But there is an air of innocence about them that you rarely find in Pattaya, and many of them are very pretty. They are basically looking for husbands, but it is not easy as most of their customers are already married.
If they persevere they usually get there in the end and few of them work in Bang Chang for more than a year or so.
Another thing they all have in common is their absolute refusal to have anything to do with Thai men. Some have had bad experiences and been dumped with babies, but others have never even had affairs, but still don’t want to know about Thais as partners.
However there was one girl who I met briefly a couple of weeks ago – very pretty young thing who had a baby living with relatives in Bangkok. She gave me her phone number and told me that she would be going to Bangkok for the weekend to see her baby and would be back the following Tuesday. (This conversation occurred after she had returned to the bar from a ‘short time’ room upstairs, with a customer.)
Then the following Saturday, at 2.30 in the morning, I received a call from a Thai man asking me in Thai why my phone number was in his wife’s mobile phone. I explained that I didn’t know she was married. He wanted to know where I had met her, but I didn’t want to get involved so I rung off. He called me back six times before giving up.
Like a fool I was curious whether the girl would indeed return to work in Bang Chang on the Tuesday as promised, so on Tuesday I sent her a brief sms. Her husband called me on her phone and screamed blue murder at me. I knew the sms was a bad idea but just couldn’t resist sending it. I hung up – he kept calling, but I wouldn’t answer. Finally, about ten minutes later I received an sms;
Oh well, I hope he can’t trace my number and I hope she is OK.
On this trip to Bang Chang I mentioned to the girl’s friends what had happened and they confirmed that she was married to a Thai man but that he treated her very badly and she preferred to ‘take care’ of farangs. She wanted to leave but couldn’t get her baby away from him .They said they thought she was returning on Thursday, so we will see.
I stuck to soda water, Diet Coke and orange juice. Very boring and all the ladies were so surprised. They tried and second guess what tipple I would order and couldn’t believe it when I adamantly refused any alcohol. Once they realised I was serious, they all congratulated me. They were very pleased for me as they all knew what a hopeless drunk I am.
So all in all, without turning this blog into an x rated piece of literature, I had a good time with some lovely ladies and returned to Pattaya around 7 p.m., just as the heavens were opening up.
Then I made a mistake.
I was hungry and decided to go and eat at the bar where Tan was back working. It was a crazy, perverse decision, but I reasoned that why should I have to avoid one of my favourite eating places, just because I was hung up on a whore who was working there? In any case I felt I was finally over her.
I used to do a similar thing when my wife Dang went on one of her disappearing tricks. I used to be convinced she was ‘holed up’ in Pattaya with some man and as I knew the hotels she often stayed at, I would prowl the car parks, waiting to catch a glimpse of her and be hurt out of my life.
It’s almost a ‘stalking’ mentality.
Anyway, thank God she wasn’t there, or she was hiding from me. Everyone behaved too nicely, and there seemed to be much whispering on mobile phones as soon as I arrived. It might have been my imagination, but I am sure something was going on and I found it all very unnerving. I put on my best ‘hail fellow well met’ act, ordered my food, forced it down and left as soon as I could.
But the experience had changed my mood completely.
Just being there brought back all the painful memories and I was terrified that at any moment Tan would arrive with a new boy friend.
I realised that I was far from over her and I was bloody crazy to go there.
It won’t happen again.
I continued my journey into Pattaya, stopping off at a few places where I had been chatting up girls – some were there, some weren’t.
My last port of call was the go-go bar in Jomtien where I had been chatting up a particularly pretty young 22 year old from Udon Thani. Her name is Mam and she speaks no English.
She had only been in Pattaya for 10 days and had previously been a singer at a Thai Night club in Bangkok. She hates her new job and refuses to take off her knickers when dancing so that the punters can fondle her.
A few days ago I offered to let her stay with me – mainly in jest. Last night she asked me if I was still serious about the offer. Of course I said yes.
This go-go bar is a crazy place. They can’t keep their women because they never have enough dancers and force the ones who are working to dance almost nonstop from 6 p.m to 3.30 and sometimes as late as 5 a.m. The girls get exhausted. They are not allowed to go out with customers until after 2 a.m. and even then the bar fine is 1000 Baht.
So the result is that most of the girls never stay more than a few weeks and they are always short staffed which perpetuates the problem. Most of them get so exhausted they don’t even hang around for their salary, which they know the owner will hold back for days after it is due.
I had taken Mam home with me once, ( I think l I blogged about it – at around 5 a.m., when I was pissed out of my mind). So last night I wasn’t about to stay until after 2 a.m. for the pleasure of paying another 1,000 Baht to the bastard owner.
We agreed that she would call me when she finished work at around 3 a.m. and I would go and pick her up from her room in Jomtien.
With that I went home, took a Xanax, put the phone next to my ear and crashed at midnight – sober.
I woke at 8 a.m. – somewhat disappointed that Mam wasn’t lying next to me. I checked my phone. No she hadn’t called. Ah well, not to worry, I’m not in love with her yet.
I was busy on my Computer when at noon she called. She told me that after work, she went to Walking Street with a friend and her phone battery was dead so she couldn’t call me. A likely story!
Anyway she wanted to meet me so I drove over to her room and picked her up and we did a bit of shopping, had a lovely lunch on the beach next to my condo. Right now she is fast asleep in my bed.
She says she will quit her job tonight and tomorrow she will come and stay with me.
I’m really not sure about this.
It’s a good idea because it will keep my mind off drinking and Tan.
Its a bad idea because she will probably turn out to be ‘less than perfect’ and I will have to get rid of her after forking out too much money which these days I really can’t afford to lose.
She will be going to work in an hour so I will have to make up my mind soon.