10 Months, 20 Days, still sober…..
Meanwhile, back at the lake, things are continuing in their peaceful, uneventful fashion.
Now that I have completely cut out my ‘short-time-bar-hopping’ activities, I am spending a vast majority of my time at home, and seem to have slipped into a regular daily routine. This consists of reading for an hour in bed while downing two steaming mugs of coffee provided by the dutiful Noo; then showering, having breakfast and adjourning to my computer, where I get stuck into all manner of activities, including writing this blog and my novel, downloading movies and TV programmes, sorting my photos, music, and dealing with my emails, messages and so on.
These computer activities are many and various and will take up most of my day. Sometimes, in the late afternoon, I will take a brief 20 minute dip in my pool. Cookie loves these occasions as, since she was a puppy, she has enjoyed a little ball game with me while I take my swim.
We have a long established routine. I will throw the ball into the garden from the shallow end of the pool where I am sitting semi-immersed, and Cookie will chase after it and retrieve it. In the meantime, I will swim down to the deep end and she will bring the ball to me at that end, dropping it into my waiting hands. Then I’ll throw the ball once more into the garden and swim back to the shallow end, whereupon Cookie will retrieve the ball once again, and bring it to me at the shallow end. And so it goes on – both of us getting some much needed exercise.
But lately it’s a question of who tires first – given that we are both in advanced middle age and both seriously over -weight. Yesterday, Cookie gave up first. After a couple of runs, up and down the garden, she brought the ball to me at the deep end, but refused to give it to me, sitting near the pool and putting the ball on the ground, just out of my reach. As I pulled myself up and tried to stretch over and grab the ball, Cookie gently pushed my hand away with her paw! Bloody dog! How dare she be so disobedient! I tried again to reach the ball, but once more she pushed my hand away, laughing at my efforts the whole time with her little, supercilious pants….
After the swim, Cookie, Noo and I go for our twilight stroll around the lake. A nice twenty minute plus walk that leaves Cookie and I exhausted but Noo, begging for more…
Most evenings are spent at home, watching TV and enjoying a home cooked meal. Occasionally I take Noo out for a meal, but for the most part, we stay at home.
Maybe two days a week I break this routine and Noo and I go into Pattaya, or even further afield and we do some shopping, run errands and have at least one, sometimes two meals out, before getting back home in the evening, in time to give the dogs their evening meals. We even occasionally go bowling, when the mood takes us.
It probably doesn’t sound too exciting, but I am quite content with my life at the moment, as I feel my mind and heart and body are all adequately nourished on a daily basis.
Of course, Noo is much more active than me. We have no maid, so she does all the housework, laundry and so on, as well as cooking most days for the two of us.
Then she is a mad keen gardener and there is hardly a day goes by when there isn’t something new growing, or more likely hanging in my garden. She has made all her own hanging baskets and the patio in front of my house is beginning to look like a tropical nursery.
She also does her own computer activities, including downloading her own Thai songs and burning music CD’s, ‘Skype-ing’ her friends and dealing with her emails.
She has recently got into aerobics, and carries her daily routine in front of an hour long DVD. She’s also a dab hand at the hoola hoop and looks absolutely ravishing as she wiggles her hips to keep the hoop twirling seductively around her slender waist.
She is one of these people who likes to be active and keep busy the whole the time and she rarely sits still and does nothing. Sometimes she might watch a good movie or documentary with me on the TV or she may go in the bedroom and watch the Thai news or a documentary with a Thai soundtrack; but she has absolutely no interest in Thai movies or soaps – thank God!
She is always popping out on her motorbike to buy fresh fruit, vegetables and meat from the local markets or driving somewhere further afield to pay a bill, or to buy some cooked Thai food for our lunch or maybe dinner and goodness only knows what else besides.
And then there are her English studies. She never seems to stop writing in her English exercise books and studying her English text books. She has folders jammed packed with her written lessons that she adds to daily. She even sits in bed, with a little writing table set on the bed in front of her, studying and scribbling away while I watch the late evening news.
Even when she is fully occupied, she never lets me lift a finger to help myself. The kitchen is strictly out of bounds and if I need so much as a glass of water or a cup of tea or coffee I must tell her and within a flash it will be in front of me.
She is never moody, never moans, never complains or argues with me. She is always full of laughter and smiles and jokes her way through every day while continually exhorting me to behave in a similar manner. Noo doesn’t ‘do’ drama or pathos and refuses to let anything bad or tragic enter our happy-go-lucky little world.
Where on earth did an old, alcoholic reprobate like Mobi find such an incredible dream girl? Sometimes I have to blink my eyes to make sure it isn’t, after all, just a dream….
The expression: “Living the life of Riley” suggests an ideal contented life, possibly living on someone else’s money, time or work. Rather than a negative free-loading or gold-digging aspect, it instead implies that someone is kept or advantaged. The expression was popular in the 1880s, a time when James Whitcomb Riley’s poems depicted the comforts of a prosperous home life…..
Dear departed ‘Dave’…
For those of you who have been reading my blog since its inception, back in July 2009, you may recall that from time to time I have written at some length about a lifelong English friend, (well, almost 40 years anyway), from Bangkok, who was a hopeless alcoholic and lurched from crisis to crisis, often to the point of death, only to brought back from the brink at the last moment, when all hope had gone.
In latter years, he became known as Lazarus, as he always seemed to be coming back from the ‘dead’.
Well his luck finally ran out and last Thursday morning ‘Dave’ passed away in a hospital in Trang in the south of Thailand, where he had moved with his ex-wife some 9 months or so ago.
If he hadn’t had such incredible genes, (both his parents lived into their mid-nineties), I am sure he would have succumbed long before this, as the punishment he inflicted on his body over so many years was quite extraordinary. Indeed we were all beginning to think that he was indestructible; but that was not to be, and at the relatively young age of 67, he has passed on – to a better place – I hope.
Dave was very much a ‘larger than life’ character and, as the song goes, he very much did it ‘his way’. I will say no more now as I do intend to write a short Mobi Vignette about one of my oldest and dearest friends over the next few days, which I will then publish in my blog.
In the meantime, RIP my friend.
A Lustful Gentleman
The novel is continuing to progress well, although I do confess that I am now concerned that the re-write is having the opposite effect to what I had intended.
I had thought that by changing my approach to the writing, I would be reducing the overall length of the text, but I now realise that the opposite seems to be the case. Chapter one has already reached over 13,000 words and it still has quite a way to go; yet the original chapter one, covering exactly the same events, was only 7,700 words in its entirety.
I’m afraid this is going to be a very long novel – but I am now resigned to this, even if it means that the chances of getting it published are greatly reduced – as I personally think the revised narrative is much better than my earlier effort. Maybe it can be a trilogy???
Anyway, here is section viii of Chapter one.
A Lustful Gentleman
The bright camera flashes were giving her a headache and making her feel nauseous. She had been sitting there for at least ten minutes and there seemed to be no end in sight to the insatiable appetite of the trigger happy press photographers. Suddenly, there was a commotion behind her and four uniformed police emerged from the back office, with an as yet, unidentified man. Within a few seconds pandemonium reigned. The reporters shouted and the photographers increased still further the speed and intensity of their overworked camera flash guns.
A second wooden chair was placed next to Na and a huge, obese farang was summarily dumped on it. He was held firmly from behind by two large policemen who had their hands firmly on his massive shoulders, they probabpy needn’t have bothered for what with his hands in handcuffs and his legs in leg irons, there wasn’t much chance of him going anywhere in a hurry. For all the world, he looked like a trapped, frightened bear.
Na instinctively tried to get up and move away from the repulsive, foul smelling man, but two cops gently pushed her back down again, assuring her that it was safe and that she had nothing to worry about.
She looked beyond the sea of cameras and saw that two television gantries were following the proceedings from the back of the crowded public waiting room of the Central Pattaya Police station. The journalists were screaming questions at Na and the ‘animal’ sitting next to her, but she was too bewildered and overwhelmed by all that had happened to even begin to comprehend what was being asked of her.
To her immense relief, a tall, smartly dressed, uniformed policeman emerged from the rear office and immediately took command.
Police Captain Chamlong was very pleased with himself. He hadn’t attracted so much public attention since the day he had arrested the man Piak in the soi Khopai slums, some seven years ago for the murder of the farang tourist. The world’s press had descended on Pattaya and for a few brief days he was the best known cop in Thailand –quite possibly the world. The shocking, brutal murder of the farang imn broad daylight on a beach in Pattaya’s had made headlines all over the world, and the good Captain had been determined to make the most out of a high profile arrest – which he succeeded in doing, barely a week after the crime had been committed. Never mind that the poor fool hadn’t done it. After he had been worked over by his specialist sergeant, the man had been happy enough to take the rap; especially after Chamlong had arranged for a few sweeteners to be handed over to his family.
It was the way things were done in Thailand. Find a likely suspect; extract a confession by a ‘leaning’ on him and dangling a few bungs towards his family; re-enact the crime for the press and media, and then throw him in jail for the rest of his life. Everyone was happy, even the fall guy’s family. Captain Chamlong had only been a mere Police Lieutenant in those days, but his high profile case-solving, in addition to the large backhanders he had been able to pass on to Colonel Aroon , had ensured rapid promotion.
And now he had another wonderful, high profile crime to tell the world about. He had rescued a thirteen year old innocent girl from the clutches of a wicked farang, who had been holding her in captivity as a sex slave for the past 12 months. Never mind the fact that he had only learned about the incident after a couple of patrol officers had called his station sergeant to report they had rescued a young girl a room in Naklua, the northern-most suburb of Pattaya city.
He happened to be standing next to his sergeant at the time, and instinctively realised the newsworthy nature of the incident. He had immediately phoned his press contacts and the word had spread like wildfire. Even Chamlong had been surprised by the level of interest and the number of press and TV journalists, some of whom had even rushed down from Bangkok especially for his press conference.
But of course, any sex crime was good copy for the down-market tabloid press, especially one that involved a poor, underage Thai girl and an evil foreigner. Any story involving a ‘sex slave’ and a farang was guaranteed to sell thousands of extra copies – especially if they could also publish some nice juicy photographs of the poor victim next to the wicked perpetrator.
‘Ladies, and Gentlemen,’ the Captain, began, ‘I am pleased to inform you that I have been successful in arresting a German National, a Mr Klaus Kessler, on charges of kidnapping, human trafficking, illegally holding someone against her will and raping an under age Thai national. The man is now sitting here before you and I am pleased to advise that he has confessed to all the charges.’
The cameras flashed like crazy as the assembled press core took yet more photographs of the massive, unshaven, dirty, pot-bellied German who sat expressionless, staring at the floor in front of him. To many of the xenophobes present in that room, he was indeed the very epitome of a repulsive farang barbarian who came to Sin City to commit unspeakable acts on their poor, delicate and helpless children.
‘Next to Mr Klaus, is the poor victim of these terrible crimes. Her name is Siriporn Sudacha; she is 13 years old and comes from Khon Khaen. Siriporn has been locked up in a room in Naklua for the past 12 months, and during that time, she was not allowed out and was kept by Mr Klaus as his sex slave to carry out whatever perversions he desired. As you can see, the poor girl is very thin and sickly and she has been driven half-crazy by the terrible, unspeakable acts she was made to perform by the monster who is now sitting before you.
‘Captain, how did you manage to find her?’ asked a reporter from the centre of the press pack.
‘I had suspected for some time that there were some Germans residents in Naklua were living with under-age Thai girls and maybe holding them against their will, so I formed a special undercover vice squad to infiltrate the area, with the successful result that you see before you today,’ he proudly told the assembled masses. ‘This arrest, I hope, will be the first of many.’
The Captain stared fiercely at his captive audience, almost daring them to question his version of events, which, he knew was a long way from the truth. Of course, he had no special undercover squad, and it was pure luck that the two officers had stumbled across the hapless girl.
The stupid, booze-addled German had been caught in a police raid on an illegal brothel, near his home and one of the Thai workers there, supposedly his friend, had told the police that he had a young girl locked up back in his room. Getting the address of his room from the Thai informer, the two cops had rushed over and without even attempting to obtain legal entrance, they had broken down the front door. Inside, they had found the emaciated Na crouching in the far corner of the room, terrified out of her mind, not knowing what was happening and what further horrors were about to be inflicted on her.
So the wily, ambitious police officer had put as much spin on the incident as he was able to in order to show himself in the best possible light, and nobody was about to contradict his version of events – if they knew what was good for them.
‘Captain’, another reporter shouted from the back of the room. Can we ask the girl – Siriporn – some questions?
The officer looked at the half starved, brutalised child sitting on the stool and for a brief moment, even this mean spirited, venal cop felt a smidgeon of compassion for the pathetic little thing, but the moment passed soon enough and business was still business. ‘Yes, you can talk to her,’ he said, ‘although I’m not sure she’s in much of a fit state to tell you very much.’
‘Siriporn!’ the reporter shouted, ‘How long did the German keep you as his prisoner?’
Na looked perplexed. She turned round to look at the Captain, as if asking for help.
‘It’s all right my child, you can speak to the reporters,’ he told her reassuringly.
She faced the crowd. ‘I – I don’t know … a long time… many months…’ It was the month of June when he first took me to his room. What month is it now?’
‘It’s June,’ the captain told her, ‘you were there for a year.’
Na absorbed this information which seemed to distress her even further. She closed her eyes and shook her head slowly.
‘Did he ever let you leave the room?’ someone shouted from the back of the crowd.
She opened her eyes and looked in the direction of the questioner. ‘Leave the room? No…never…’ Then she seemed to remember something: ‘Oh! Yes! Once, no, twice, I think…’
‘So he let you out two times’, continued the questioner, ‘Where did you go?’
‘I…went to a…a clinic…’ she mumbled.’
‘So you were sick and he took you to a doctor?’
‘I… was…I …was…with baby…’, she mumbled, dry eyed but looking utterly distraught.
There was a sharp intake of breath from the hard bitten press hacks.many in the room. The mere notion that this German ‘monster’ had impregnated this poor skinny little kid, made her pregnant, and – horror upon horror – had then taken her to an illegal, back street abortion clinic to get rid of the baby on at least two occasions was truly shocking.
‘Khun Siriporn, can you tell us what this farang, this Klaus, did to you?’ asked a female reporter from the front.
Na looked at the middle aged Thai reporter. ‘I, I, don’t understand…’
‘Can you tell us, what he did to you? You told us he made you pregnant – so what exactly did he do to you? Did he rape you? How did he rape you?’
Na stared at the woman, completely incapable of forming responses to the shockingly intrusive questions. Her mind was a total blank.
But before the poor girl was further exhorted to recount any more intimate details concerning her captivity, another member of the press core came to her rescue.
‘You can’t ask her personal questions like that! Look at the poor thing – she needs care attention and love. Can’t you see she that she is highly traumatised, and probably physically sick as well. She doesn’t deserve all this. She is only a child, for God’s sake.’
Another sympathetic reporter took up the cry and before long pandemonium broke loose between those who wanted their ‘pound of flesh’ from the girl – after all they had driven all the way from Bangkok for this interview – and those who were saying ‘enough was enough’.
This wasn’t quite the way the Captain had planned for the press conference to go. Sensing that he might be regarded in a bad light by some sectors of the media, especially the TV reporters, he quickly decided to take the side of the compassionate element and bring the proceedings to a close.
‘I’m sorry, ladies and gentlemen, but as you can see, the poor girl is in a very bad mental and physical state and I think it is better that we close the press conference and let her get the medical care that she obviously needs.’
With that, the assembled crowd started to disperse, Klaus was led away to a police cell and the Captain took Na by the hand and escorted her back into his private office.
‘Siriporn – Na,’ he said, using her nick name, ‘Na, I will have one of my men contact social services to come and take you away. But don’t disappear, because I will need you later – when we put that fucking farang on trial. He has confessed, but I will still require a written statement from you.
With that he went out of the office and left Na alone, still traumatised, still sick and, above all – very, very hungry. She had hardly eaten for over twenty four hours and was feeling quite weak. Since she had been rescued, nobody had taken proper care of her. She had been sent to sleep in a private cell overnight and nobody had thought fit to feed her a proper meal, just some foul smelling prison muck that she couldn’t keep down.
And today, she had had to endure this nightmare in front of the reporters. She felt very depressed and very weak. But, as on so many occasions during the past twelve months, she was really beyond caring what happened to her. She wished she could close her eyes, go to sleep and never wake up again. Then – maybe then – all the pain would go away.
Was it only a year ago that she had been so happy, living at the kids mission, with her new found friends and the kind farangs and taking part in school lessons that she had relished so much gusto? Her mother had ruined all that. She had only been back with Dow for a single night when the familiar, shiny Toyota had appeared with the two frightening Thai men – the young one with the scars and the big burly one who drove.
She realised what her mother was planning as soon as the young man got out of the car. Dow had walked towards the car to meet with him, and Na was scared stiff, but resigned to her fate. Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad at that. After all, the farangs at the kid’s mission had been very kind to her, so why shouldn’t every farang be the same?
But it wasn’t the same; not at all. The two Thai men had driven Na to a narrow soi, deep in Naklua suburbs, where there they parked up outside a dilapidated, three storey block of Thai style rooms. Na was taken up to the third floor where she was delivered to the biggest, ugliest looking man she had ever seen in her life. The man wore a torn pair of stained brown shorts and a dirty white vest which seemed to stick to his enormous belly. Klaus wasn’t only huge and fat, with great tree trunk shaped legs, but he was dripping with sweat and smelled as though he hadn’t washed in weeks.
His home consisted of a single large room, with a small outdoor balcony for cooking and a small wash room/toilet. The room was dominated by a king sized double bed with a small television on a cheap, plastic table in the corner. In the other corner was a refrigerator which was always crammed full of Chang Beer.
It would be many years before the nightmares of the acts Klaus forced Na to do during her year of enslavement started to fade from her nightly dream patterns. Almost as soon as the door had been closed and locked on her first day of arrival, Na was obliged to immediately perform sex acts on the vile smelling, frighteneing beast. Such was his appetite for sex, that on most days Klaus would force her to perform on at least three or four times – sometimes even more. Over the months she came to realise that his voracious sexual appetite was occasioned by his virtual non- stop chewing of cheap, Viagra-like Kamara pills, and also a a result of his weekly injections of testosterone.
When Klaus wasn’t drinking at home and taking his perverted pleasure with Na, he would be out at one of the nearby cheap local bars, getting drunk with his fellow Germans, and even a few drunken Thais. Then he would return home drunk and invariably abuse Na yet again before collapsing in a drunken sleep.
Provided he could have his way, he generally refrained from overt violence, but whenever Na tried to demur from satisfying him sexually on the grounds of being too sick or too tired, or if she didn’t cook his foul tasting German food to his satisfaction, he would erupt in a frenzy and slap her across the head so hard that she would literally fly across the room. The bruises so inflicted, would take days, sometimes weeks to disappear. She was terrified of him and soon gave up any hope of escape or relief from her wretched existence.
‘Na! Na! Wake up!’
The voices seemed to be coming from another world.
‘Na! Na! Wake up, it’s time to go. Come on now.’
She blinked her eyes and tried to remember where she was. The room was in semi-darkness; night was falling fast and no one had bothered to turn the lights on. She looked around and remembered where she was. She was still sitting in the Captain’s office in the police station, still tired and above all still hungry. She must have slept for several hours.
‘Na, wake up! We have to go!’
She looked bleary- eyed at two somewhat rotund female figures who were leaning over her, shaking her and trying to wake her. Recognition started to dawn. One, she realised with a shudder of fear was her mother, Dow. ‘Oh no, not again,’ she thought, ‘not yet, please God, not yet!’
But as she turned her attention to the second figure, she breathed a huge sigh of merciful relief. It was a farang – it was her beloved Kate from the kid’s mission. ‘Surely Kate will take care of me – at least for a while, until I feel a bit better,’ she told herself.
‘Miss Kate, what are you doing here?’ she asked in broken English.
‘Oh my darling, I saw you on local TV with those awful reporters. So I drove down to Soi Khopai to get your mother and then we came straight here to fetch you.’
So…so, where are you talking me? Back to my mama’s home?’ she asked, dreading what Kate’s reply may be.
‘No, my love. Your mother has agreed that you can come back and stay with me at the mission. We will feed you up and make you better. Oh my poor thing, you are so thin and you look so sick. Come on, up you get and we’ll be on our way.’
‘But…but what about the police?’ Na asked, still worried.
‘The police have already said you can leave. We just need to keep them informed of your whereabouts. After all, you haven’t done anything wrong. Come on my love, let’s get you out of here and get some food into that poor little tummy of yours.’
Na looked plaintively at her mother, but she said nothing and pointedly refused to meet Na’s eyes.
Dow finally looked at her daughter’s enquiring gaze. ‘It’s alright Na, you can go with Miss Kate. I agree.’
‘But for how long?’ Na wondered, as the three of them made their way outside to the police car park.
BUTT…BUTT…BUTT…BUTT…I don’t give a hoot!