The sun is out today, but thank goodness, it seems to be little cooler than it has been of late, and fingers crossed, no storms and no power outages today.
It has been quite a week for weather. Over last weekend and earlier this week, it was very – very – hot and on a couple of occasions it was so unbearable that I even put the air conditioner on in my large living room- diner ; the first time I have done this since I moved here in 2010. I guess the temperatures must have been hovering on 40 degrees and the humidity was right up there as well.
Then, on Tuesday evening, all hell broke loose. Firstly, in the fast gathering dusk, the power went off, and we could see the probable cause from the black storm clouds in the distance. Then it hit us – one of the most spectacular lightning storms I have ever seen. The wind must have been nigh on gale force, the rain was unremitting in its intensity and the thunderclaps and lightning was virtually non-stop for a period of well over 2 hours. We hardly needed any alternative illumination as the nonstop lightning provided us with all the light we needed.
Our three dogs were terrified and sat shivering in fear; Cookie, the golden, between my legs and the two shih tzus in our arms. After about two hours, the storm started to abate and we inspected the damage, which to be fair, considering the number of home- made sun/rain shelters that Noo had erected outside the main building, was quite minimal. Only one small part of one of her ‘lean-to’ constructions had collapsed, which was more due to the overhanging branches of an adjacent mango tree that had been blown onto it, than to shoddy workmanship. A bit of judicious mango tree pruning by the little lady the following day, has hopefully prevented a re-occurrence.
I later learned that the storm had covered a wide area of Pattaya and beyond, some areas having it worse than others, but a lot of structural damage was suffered and all the local schools in Mabparachan postponed the start of the new school term to clear up the mess and repair damaged buildings.
We had little respite from the heat on the night of the storm and sweated in the dark until the obscene hour of 4 in the morning when the power was finally restored. Needless to say, not much sleep was had that night. Of course, nights like that are all part of the ‘trade off’ for living in a tropical paradise, and I would much to prefer to be without power in 40 degree heat, that without power in the UK, with sub-zero temperatures.
Since Tuesday, the weather has been much more tolerable, with overcast skies, short periods of sunshine and occasional rain storms being the order of the day, and for the past two evenings we have managed to take a short walk with our dogs along the road by the lake. I haven’t taken a great deal of exercise of late, as I am definitely finding the walks more and more taxing on my heart. I feel fine physically, but within five minutes of relatively slow walking, I start to feel the pains and tightness in my chest, and after about 20 minutes of exercise, I am really all in.
I am also sleeping for ridiculous lengths of time – sometimes more than 9 hours in a night – and I can only put this down to the poor state of my heart. Next week will be a full month since I had my final round of tests and I am keeping my fingers crossed that I might get a date for the operation sooner rather than later. I was warned it might be anything from 1 – 3 months, so who knows? It’s not very pleasant just waiting for something that is going to be extremely unpleasant and painful, and in which I stand a 1 in 20 chance of not coming out of alive. It doesn’t do much for my mood swings, and I do feel quite low for long periods of time, but I do my best to snap out of it and try to stay happy well adjusted. But sometimes, it’s not easy.
The other day, quite by chance, I happened to come across the alarming fact that a large chunk of my text was missing from the Mobi-Vignette entitled ‘Azzy’. (Originally entitled ‘Azzy- my Love’, but subsequently shortened).
Upon investigation, I soon realised that the absent text had been omitted when I copied it from the main body of my blog to the ‘AZZY’ Tab. This was was due to the fact that when I originally published it in ‘sections’ in the main body of my blog, I had inadvertently designated two consecutive sections as ‘Part Three’. So, as I was either in an inebriated or in a hung over state when I did the copying and pasting, I had simply ensured that the section numbers were sequential, without bothering to check that the text made sense.
Anyway, at this very belated point in time , I apologise for omitting a key piece of text, which has now been reinserted, as it must have caused some confusion to many trying to make sense of the story.
For those who may be interested, the start of the missing piece of text has been ‘emboldened’ for your easy reference, as has the final line of the previously missing piece.
It starts with: “That morning, when Bisi calmly informed me that she was my General Manager’s regular girl friend, a chill went down my spine….”
and finishes with: “But who and where would I find such a person?”
Sorry for the mess up, folks, I’ll try not to let it happen again.
Mobi’s Lakeside Gossip
Last Friday, I did a few hours’ work on my novel, and then in the early afternoon, I decided to catch up with a few of my drinking buddies and find out all the latest gossip. In particular, I wanted to find out the latest news on my friend Simon who, the last I had heard , was planning to make a trip back to the family home to retrieve a few personal possessions, following a breakup with his wife.
First off was Rick, the guy who I fell out with a few months back but have since resumed normal relations. We met for a spot of lunch at one of the many new bar/restaurants that are forever springing up around and near the lake.
For those of you who live out this way, I will give this place a plug, as I have now had two meals there and they serve very palatable, freshly cooked, English fayre; ranging from snacks and sandwiches to fully fledged meals; roasts and the like. Owned and managed by an Englishman with a charming Thai wife, It is called ‘Dao’, and is located on the road that runs from the major Soi Siam crossroads at 7/11, (just past the lake going south – often known as ‘chicken’ cross roads), through to the Chayapornvithee junction, near to the turning that leads to the Crocodile Farm. Sorry, its difficult to explain – but easy to find. Like most places in Thailand , you really need a little direction map.
There was no real gossip worth passing on to my readers from Rick, so I moved on to pastures new where I met up with one of my old drinking mates who gave me a rambling, and yet to be verified account of the latest state of play with the unfortunate Simon. (See ‘The Wife from Hell’ in my blog of 12th May). My drunken friend told me that Simon had indeed made the trip back home on the appointed day, but he was unable tell me if he had gone alone or had been accompanied by ‘protectors’, as he had intended.
Surprise, surprise, his wife Porn, had indeed been waiting for him, despite promising to be out for the day. As far as I was able to discern from the drunken account, Simon was successful in getting hold of his house title deeds and other personal papers and managed to get out of the house in one piece. I will need to get this news verified from a more reliable source, as it sounds a little unlikely to me – but who knows for sure? Anyway, it seems that Porn was not successful in enticing or in some way persuading Simon to return to the marital abode and he is now back at his work in distant oilfields. So if Porn has any devious plans afoot to do something nasty to her errant husband, it is unlikely that her tentacles can reach as far as an offshore oil rig – at least I assume that is so.
More on this in due course.
The bar where I was getting this information was awash with a gang of mainly pot-bellied, beer swilling Brits who getting very drunk in the afternoon sunshine; and the level of discussion was becoming ever louder and increasingly asinine. Then, when two of the participants – an elderly, very inebriated Brit, and his repulsive, equally drunk Thai wife, started hurling drunken insults at each other, I decided it was time for Mobi to down his Coke zero and move on to pastures new.
Next stop was at a bar that was located in a small soi near to Pong market; it was run by a husband and wife team (Dutch husband/Thai wife), Dick and Toy, who I had known for many years, and I decided on a whim drop by to see how everyone was doing these days.
To my surprise and dismay, the bar had vanished, but my disappointment was short-lived as when I drove further into the soi to find a place to turn around, I saw a sign on the right advertising a new ‘rooms for rent /bar’ complex bearing the name of Toy. I slowed down to see if this was indeed owned by the couple and sure enough, a young lady waved to me from inside the compound, gesturing me to park up. The girl looked vaguely familiar, but she certainly wasn’t Toy, so I wound down the driver’s window to get a closer look, and the girl screamed in excitement and came running to my vehicle, virtually dragging me out of my ‘Mobi-Beast.’
‘Mobi! Mobi! How wonderful to see you. I haven’t seen you for years! You look so good!’
Feeling more than a little flattered, I retuned her proffered embrace as it slowly came back to me where I had seen her before. She used to work at a little bar I patronised, which was located in the garden of Dick, my friend. He called it the ‘Best kept Secret’ and tucked away as it was, in a soi a couple of kilometres east of the Lake, it was impossible to find if you weren’t shown its location, as outside the house, there was no sign to indicate what was going on inside.
And just what was going on? Well it was a beautifully designed open air bar, set in a large garden, full of towering plants, trees and flowers and had piped music, cable TV, plenty of booze and – most important of all- plenty of women. It was intended to be an afternoon stop off for predominantly married or ‘cohabitating’ men, and for while it became my home away from home during the final, tortuous months of my life with Dang.
I had some rip roaring, wonderful times there with Dick, his wife and the ladies. Dick was a big drinker – like me, with a wonderful sense of humour, and almost from the first time I met him we hit it off. I guess we had the same mischievous, cynical sense of humour and we spent many – many – hours getting drunk out of our minds at his wonderful little bar.
But like most heavy drinkers, the booze started to get the better of him and he was prone to bad moods and temper-tantrums during which he would scream at the girls and have endless fights with Toy. The end result was that the girls walked out, the bar was closed, and Dick and Toy separated. Toy moved to Pattaya and opened her own bar, and Dick just carried on drinking and resorted to bringing an seemingly inexhaustible supply of young ladies to share his bed in what used to be the marital home.
I saw them occasionally during this period of their life – Toy in Waking Street, Dick getting drunk in one bar or another, and then a few months ago I discovered that they had got back together again and were running a small bar in Pong, where I subsequently went to see them and catch up on old times.
And now here was Boo, one of Dick’s long departed bar girls from ‘Best kept Secret’, as large as life, apparently working in his latest complex. Surprise, surprise, Boo was quite tipsy.
‘She go see Dick.’
‘Dick in hospital – he very sick!’
‘Oh dear what’s the trouble.’
‘Dick – his liver no good. He drink too much.’
‘So how long has he been in hospital?’
‘Three days. He not want to go to doctor, so Toy, she bring doctor to see him at home and he tell Dick he die if he no go hospital. His liver very bad. Dick, he drink too much every day, he never eat – just drink. He very bad.’
I don’t mind telling you how distressed I was to hear this news. Sure I knew he was an alcoholic, but he always seemed to more or less hold his life together, and the last time I saw him he was full of enthusiasm for the future. He was telling me about a new bar complex he was planning to build with Toy, and seemed full of life and hope.
In the past few years, I have known many friends and acquaintances die of alcohol related causes, but somehow I always thought Dick was one of those who would go on forever. He is a big man and – I thought- a very strong, sickening robust man, who always seemed to be in rude good health, regardless of his depraved and damaging lifestyle. Worst of all, he has only just turned 50. The others who had passed on were much older, like my lifelong friend, Robert Newton, who died a couple of months back.
Anyway, he’s not dead yet and I plan to go and see him as soon as possible and see precisely how bad he is. If there is any way he can recover from this, I will do my very best to try and steer him away from alcohol, but I realise it will be an uphill and probably impossible task. But I have to try.
If I needed any reminding of the destructive nature of alcohol and how sensible had been my decision to forsake it forever, then this is it. Somehow, the death of Robert Newton in November last year did not register in that way, as I had been expecting his demise for years, but Dick’s current state of parlous health is a timely reminder to me never to consider turning away from my chosen road of abstention.
Promising Boo that I would come by the next day, I took my leave, and decided to pop into a bar that I haven’t been to for many a month. Some of you may recall the place in my earlier blogs – it was the Frogger – and as ever, it was empty. I took my place at the bar and immediately noticed that most of the previous ‘ladies in residence’ were gone and that only one of the old gang still remained. It was a young lady by the name of Kat, who has a beautiful body, but unfortunately has a face which could definitely be improved with some judicious plastic surgery. However, There was a new, very slim, quite pretty, very young looking girl, sitting shyly behind the bar, called Lilly.When I enquired as to her age, there was an embarrassed pause before she eventually managed to choke out, ‘20’.
Now I know that many of these young ladies are genuinely older than they look to us farangs, but I have been around long enough to sniff out a bit of ‘jail bait’ when I see one, and if Lilly was 20, then I’m an Chinaman. If she had said 18, I might have believed her, but 20 – no way. Anyway I decided to do the decent thing and buy the two of them a drink, and we settled down to talk about the girls who used to work there.
The first girl I enquired about was a young lady by the name of Pen, who for a short while, I was quite taken with, even though by that time I already had Noo set up in the Mobi-home for several months.
Here’s what I wrote about Pen back on 26th May, 2011, almost a year ago.
‘I have been particularly taken with one lovely 21 year old, who has a stunning face, slim figure and legs that most girls would die for. She is all sweetness and light – ‘butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth’. She is such a contrast from most of the brassy, forward girls I encounter around the Lake that she is a refreshing change . My sex addiction is always on the lookout for something new and different and this little lady, Pen by name, may fit Mobi’s bill. Will I bed her? I honestly don’t know. Probably not – I still wish to keep faithful to Noo’.
Kat informed me that Pen had long since returned to Phetchabun and was no longer working in the bar trade, which was good to hear; but when my enquiries turned to another young lady for whom I had also developed quite a soft spot , Kat clammed up and was very reluctant to talk about her.
The girl was Noo – the namesake of my Noo at home – and here’s what I wrote about her in June last year.
‘….We rounded off our little adventure with a stop-off at my latest watering hole where they have the most delightful collection of young ladies from Phetchabun that I have encountered on many a carousing, whore-monger’s foray. On my first few visits there, I started to chat up a lovely little 21 year old, but as she has had to gone home for a few days, and as she really is a bit in the young side for this youthful pensioner, I have now transferred my affections to a slightly older little lady, by the name of Noo. (Yes…. same-same as Mobi’s Noo..)
Noo No.2 is 28, slim, pretty and childless and I am grooming her as a ’standby’ for Noo No.1. I know I am being a bit of an underhanded bastard, but after a life of disappointments and heart breaks from Thai members of the sexy sex I am not about to let anything like that happen again. I am not sleeping with Noo 2; I am just getting to know her and make sure that she will be a suitable replacement, should the need ever arise.
Why would I think the need may arise?
Nothing really, but who knows? I’m afraid I just don’t trust anybody any more. Sad, ain’t it?..’
When I continued to insist on some information on Noo’s current whearbouts, Kat just commented briefly that she was long gone and was now ‘working in Soi Bua Khao’ but wouldn’t volunteer any further details as to why she had left or where she was working. Her disinclination to discuss the matter made me even more curious and eventually, the cashier, who had been listening to us nearby, decided to spill the beans.
‘Noo, she stay in Cook!’ she informed me.
‘Cook! Prison? Why? What happened? What did she do?’
‘She steal 100,000 Baht from farang, and the police catch her and put her in prison.’
‘My God! How long will she stay there?’
‘Don’t know – a very long time – many years.’
This was sobering news indeed, and although I had been a long way from dumping Noo No. 1 for Noo no. 2, there was little doubt that if for any reason Noo. No.1 hadn’t worked out, Noo No. 2 would have been high up on my list of replacements.
Lucky escape? Probably.
Maybe there is a God out there after all…
BUTT…BUTT…BUTT… I don’t give a hoot.