The “Home” page is my daily blog. The remaining tabs contain previously blogged, episodic ‘stories’, which are now re-published in chronological order.
I have now been sober for 8 days and feeling stronger, (in my struggles with alcohol), every day.
Yesterday I attended an AA meeting and I hope to attend another meeting today.
As I have previously blogged, I am not feeling particularly great, but neither am I feeling particularly down. I am sort of ‘neutral’ and I have a certain energy about me that has been absent for a very long time.
I am not jumping up at the crack of dawn and going for a 30 minute jog along the beach and then rushing home to get stuck into all manner of chores and tasks that have long been neglected.
No, the changes are not that dramatic, and as you will see below, some of my weaknesses are still present.
But I am staying sober and am keeping myself reasonably busy; tidying my condo, watering my parched pot plants, washing the dishes, shopping for sensible food, and actually doing some healthy, proper cooking. On top of this I have been catching up with family email correspondence; declining an invitation sent to me over a year ago to attend a nephew’s wedding in Cape town and confirming my attendance to my youngest daughter’s wedding in England next August.
I haven’t been in England since 2005 and that was the last time that I saw any of my family. It was the summer of 2005, when I went there for three weeks to visit with my family and for them to meet Dang, my wife. The visit was indelibly marred by my wife barely making it back to our then home in Bangkok in time to make the flight and my discovery as soon as we returned to Thailand that she had been having some kind of casual affair with a Belgium man named “Uni”. Dang behaved reasonably well while we were in England, although she gave me a very hard time in the bedroom – which I was later to assume was the result of her affair with Uni, who was no doubt much more capable of satisfying her than I was.
Since then, the quality of my life has slowly degenerated as my marriage collapsed and I descended into my ‘alcoholic hell’. I have been a virtual ‘zombie’ for five years and it is high time I got a grip on myself.
So the incentive to stay sober is huge. My target will be almost 0ne year’s sobriety that I can take with me to England so that it will be a sober, healthier, and enlightened father who gives his daughter away.
Yesterday, reverting back to my old ways, I visited one of my Gentlemen’s clubs in the afternoon, and although my heart wasn’t really in it, I agreed to pick up one of my lady friends after work and bring her home. I had already ‘blown her out’ previously on the flimsiest of pretexts, so this time I felt more or less obliged to make up for it.
Unfortunately, since I arrived back from Cambodia I have not been feeling that great and last night, just after I had made arrangements to pick her from her room, I realised I was burning with a high fever. But I felt I had no choice but to meet my obligations and she came home and stayed with me overnight. She slept like a log and I hardly slept at all as my fever refused to abate. I now have a serious chest infection with a hacking cough which is creating not a little discomfort.
Today I was scheduled to drive to Bangkok for an appointment with my psychotherapist, but I decided to cancel out as I am in no fit state to drive.
The lady was very nice, and helped me to clean up the condo this morning and I dropped her back at her room and then came straight back home as I am really not feeling at all well.
I was happy when she was gone. I am really getting used to being alone and am feeling more comfortable with this situation with every day that passes.
This is the first time for as long as I can remember that I have no hang ups over marriages, affairs or relationships that are either developing, or, more commonly, are going bad on me. I have absolutely no woman in my life and for the first time that I can remember, I am OK with the situation. I am not deliriously happy and I hope that one day, I may enter into a new, stable relationship, but I am in no hurry. For now, I am content. I feel that this, as much as anything, is the reason that this time around, my attempts to stay sober may well succeed.
After a long delay, I will now continue my story of Nid.
Parts 1 to 5 can be found in chronological order under the ‘Nid’ tab.
All the indignation should have been on my side.
Nid, my wife had taken a large wad of my money and had promptly disappeared for weeks after telling me she would be going to Pattaya for one night with her friends. To make matters worse, she was caught red-handed with a handsome, young Thai man, obviously her lover.
But she started yelling at me – demanding to know what I was doing in Pattaya, and why was I ‘following her’?
I was so taken aback by the vehemence of her anger that I didn’t know what to say, and just mumbled something to the effect that I had been worried about her.
She slightly softened her demeanour, asked me where I was staying and told me to go there and she would meet me later that morning.
I was so infatuated with her and so incapable of independent thought that I obeyed her like an automaton.
She was true to her word and came to my room an hour later and together we returned to Bangkok. When we returned to our room she berated me yet again, this time for the state of our room and spent the rest of the afternoon and evening tidying up and cleaning the room, which had admittedly been left in a pretty dire state.
Then came the body blow. She announced she would return to Pattaya that night and wouldn’t come back again until the following week. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing but felt powerless to stop her. She had made no reference to the money, or gave me any explanation as to what she was doing in Pattaya, except that she was enjoying herself with ‘friends’.
Before I realised what had happened, she had packed her bag with some fresh clothes and was gone in the night, leaving me sitting there, alone, the stupid cuckold husband; the idiot farang. For the first time since I had met Nid, I started to seriously question what on earth I had got myself into. For the first time I started to seriously consider the possibility of leaving her. As much as I was besotted with her, I was being treated with total callousness and this couldn’t be allowed to continue
In the event, Nid returned after a couple of days, with no explanation of what had curtailed her latest sojourn and she just settled back into life as though nothing had ever happened. Of course the money was never mentioned again.
Years later, looking back on that first serious problem with Nid, I could only surmise what had really happened. I was to learn much later of her penchant for Thai men and she was probably keeping that man in Pattaya, with my money. The young man had probably discarded Nid the minute that the money had run out.
So life rumbled along. I was continuing to burn the mid night oil, with concert promotions and entertaining all the myriad agents and other show business contacts that were increasingly turning up in Bangkok; with offers of procuring artists for concerts and demanding to be shown the delights that Bangkok had to offer. There was rarely a quiet moment.
One day Ittiput mentioned to me that when he was at the passport office applying for was new passport, had had seen my wife, Nid there. He had spoken to her and asked her why she wanted a passport and she had told him; “Just in case Mobi decides to take me with him to England.”
Nid hadn’t said anything to me about getting a passport, but I was so preoccupied with my work that I barely gave it a second thought.
Maybe three to four months after her last disappearing act, Nid suddenly announced one day that she had to go up country to her home in Lop Buri as her mother was very ill. It sounded plausible enough and when she told me she would be gone about a week I wished her “God speed’ and hoped that her mother would get better soon.
As before, one week turned to two and just as I was starting to fear the worst, I received a letter from her in the regular Thai post, addressed to me in English, but with the body of the letter in Thai. I took the letter to a Thai friend for translation. In effect, she told me that her mother was still very ill so she couldn’t return home for the time being.
I was considerably cheered by this missive and thought that this time she really was telling me the truth.
Another two weeks went by and I was starting to feel uneasy once again, when lo and behold, another letter arrived for me. It was very similar in content to the first letter and I was starting to feel slightly uneasy. In spite of these genuine letters, with genuine postmarks, I was beginning to smell a rat. I was now missing her like crazy, but recalled with a sinking feeling the previous episode in Pattaya, so I resolved to take both letters to the Derby King in Patpong and get another opinion on the contents of the letters and what was really going on.
I handed the letters to the elderly bar tender at the Derby King, who I had known since my arrival back in Thailand and who spoke very good English. I asked her for a fresh translation.
She looked at me, looked at the letters and smiled. I asked her why she was smiling but she said nothing, except to give me pretty much the same translation that I had already received from my Thai friend. Then she showed the letters to some of the other bar girls and they all had a good laugh and smiled at me.
I knew something was up. I knew that they knew something but they weren’t about to tell me. I looked at them, demanding to know what was going on, but their lips were sealed. I could tell they were sorry for me and wanted to tell me, wanted to say what Nid was up to but their ‘code of honour’ prevented them. I stared imploringly at one, particularly sympathetic girl, who I knew quite well. I watched her as she turned and looked towards some post cards that had been cello-taped to the bottom of the large mirror behind the bar.
I followed her gaze, looked at the postcards and could see that they were from some European destination. I could see buildings and gardens clearly on one of them. My suspicions were at fever pitch.
Before anyone realised what I was up to. I walked round the bar and pulled two of the post cards from their mountings. The pictures on both cards were scenes of was Amsterdam. The writing on the back was all in Thai. All that is, except for the tell tale signatures which jumped straight out at me. They were in English and they said: “NID”!!