Jomtien, 29th January, 2010

Today I have been….. well, see below…

“A Night in the life of Mobi”

I have decided to write about what transpired last night, not because I believe you will be particularly interested in the events per se, which are utterly commonplace and typify the lifestyle of farangs and their involvement with bars girls; but because I believe it serves to illustrate the extent of my second addiction – women, which often provokes relapses in my first addiction – alcohol. The two addictions are indelibly and irrevocably linked.

The ‘night’ started in the morning.

Out of the blue, I received a telephone call from Nong; a young lady I hadn’t seen in several days. She was a pretty, very sexy young twenty three year old who worked as a Go-Go dancer in a Jomtien establishment.

I had been frequenting the place on a regular basis since moving to Jomtien. Believe it or not, the main reason for my visits there was to enjoy the excellent rock ‘n roll videos that were played on large screens and through an impressive and very loud sound system.

I have not previously mentioned that one of my hobbies is collating music video clips by ‘ripping’ them from music video CD’s and also downloading from the internet. I have a collection of almost three thousand music videos; ranging from old classics like Elvis and Frank Sinatra, right through the rock ’n’ roll era, and up to the present day.

I am forever adding to my collection, which is stored on a huge external hard disk. I can play whatever clips that may take my fancy on my TV screens via a bespoke media player which is loaded onto my lap top, where I collate my own play lists.

My system, which I have developed myself, can send the video signal to multiple screens and is similar to that found in a few bars in Pattaya. I have even helped a friend put a similar system into his own bar (copying my own video clip collection for him), which has proved very successful in attracting and retaining customers.

I have seen more of this type of thing in Bangkok, but again not too often, but in the Philippines it is common place, with almost every bar having such music video systems.

I mention all this because I was fascinated by the system used in the Jomtien Go Go bar. Unusually, they didn’t use a computer, but original video discs. A resident DJ chooses the video tracks and then lines up the tracks  in the same way that regular DJ’s do for standard CD’s or vinyl.

To some of my more ‘switched-on’, technically minded readers, what I am writing about is probably old hat, but for me, being strictly an amateur in such matters, I find it absorbing.

Music is one of my passions, and I have a wide ranging musical taste: choral, classical, pop, rock, stage musicals and even country and folk music. I also have an unhealthy passion for requiem music, which is something I should dwell upon.

For me, watching the artists perform their music as well as listen to it through good sound systems simply enhances the pleasure and the overall music experience.

Hence my frequent visits to this slightly seedy, Jomtien establishment where for the most part, the girls who work there there are pretty much ‘rubbish’.

However, early this year a new group commenced work and  one of their number was a very ‘tasty’ lady indeed.

I started to chat to her and bought her drinks regularly. Of course I was interested in more than just having a chat with her, but soon after I met her she told me that she had a medical problem and could not go out.( A very typical story by girls who do not fancy sleeping with a particular customer).

However, she strung me along by assuring me that in a week’s time her medical complaint would have cleared up and she would be able to escort me home. I didn’t really believe her, but played along, as I didn’t really care; I was there for the music and if I had a beautiful, sexy girl sitting with me, then that too enhanced the musical experience.

As expected, when the due date came for her to be ‘available’, there were further inventive excuses; her mother was coming to visit; she had to get up early to go somewhere on personal business, and so on, so I finally became tired of the game put the whole idea out of my mind. This was one that was never going to succumb to the undoubted ATM charms of ageing Mobi. A fact of life that I am reluctantly having to come to terms with.

I haven’t been to the Go- Go bar for several days, and as stated above, out of the blue, this morning I received a call from Nong. I didn’t even remember giving her my phone number, and I certainly didn’t expect her to still have it. The following conversation is a rough translation from Thai.

“Why haven’t you been to see me?”

“I’ve been busy.”

“I miss you; can you come and see me tonight?”

“What’s the point? You always play games and lie to me.”

“No I never lie – you don’t understand me. Tonight you come to see me at about 1 a.m. and I will go home with you.”

“I don’t believe you.”

“It’s true. I want to go with you. Please come at one o’clock.”

(What did I have to lose?)

“OK – I’ll see you at one.”

I thought she would hardly bother to call me if she wasn’t serious this time. She even paid for the call which is unusual for these ladies. (They usually call you and ask you to call them back, so that they preserve their prepaid phone credit) Anyway, what the heck! It was worth a try – she was, after all, a very lovely young lady.

As the day went on I started to become quite excited about this encounter scheduled for one in the morning.

By eight o’clock I was getting very hungry, so I decided to go to my regular pub for a meal. Many of my recent adventures with ladies have originated in this pub, and it is always quite an adventure to sit at the corner of the bar, sip my Diet Coke, munch away on my evening meal, and watch the ‘goings on’ with the girls who work there, some of whom I know very intimately.

The first unusual thing I noticed as I walked in from the rear entrance and passed by the toilet area was that one of my ladies of a few weeks ago was busy puking her guts out in the wash basin. It was Lek, the young, very pretty bar tender.

You may recall in my blog of 8th January where I wrote of my ’brief and disastrous ‘affair’ with Lek, the premature conclusion of which had been the catalyst for me to pick up a drink after 127 days of sobriety.

She had stood me up and played the usual games with me. Apart from anything else I had realised very quickly that she was an alcoholic, and would get drunk on a regular basis. Every night she has bottles of beer secreted under the bar counter which she sips on steadily throughout her work shift.

However, I was recently to experience a complete shock,which served to put her drunken and difficult behaviour into more perspective. It was her startling revelation one evening, when she was pretty far gone, that she was a lesbian, and did not like men at all. She was trying to kiss and fondle other girls and was being quite outrageous in her behaviour.

The objects of her affection were embarrassed and tried to extricate themselves from her clutches, but she kept insisting that she only liked women. There was one particular girl who she would not let go and kept saying over and over again how much she loved her.  She told her (in Thai, of course) that she was always turning down men who wanted to take her home because she had no interest in them – and she only wanted to sleep with this particular lady.

Although she was drunk, I think she was telling the truth and as far as I was concerned, it explained her earlier difficult behaviour when she had been with me.

Following this incident, I noticed time and time again how she would accept drinks from male admirers at the bar, but never  agreed to be ‘’bar fined’. Now I knew the reason why.

So a few days ago I was surprised to see her strike up an close friendship with a young man who had been patronising the bar of late. At first she just accepted drinks and stayed her side of the bar. But the next day she was actually sitting with him and making all the usual romantic gestures, as she had done with me some weeks ago.

I was interested to see where this business was going. She certainly appeared to be smitten with him. Maybe she was bisexual, and in my case, simply didn’t fancy the idea of a man more than twice her age.

Nothing much happened that night, but the following night, I saw them both getting drunk together and playing pool. He must have ‘bar fined’ her or she wouldn’t have been able to spend so much time away from her duties. That was the day before yesterday.

So last night, there she was puking her guts out, and out at the bar was her erstwhile boyfriend, looking very distressed and trying to ‘drown his sorrows’. I have no idea what had actually transpired, but she didn’t reappear, and after about an hour the guy paid his bill and left, looking as though the world had caved in. Much later that evening, the hapless Lek finally reappeared, but she was still very drunk and staggered out of the bar and went home.

As I sat watching this little ‘drama of the bars I was amused to listen to the chat of two or three of the regulars there. They all had farang benefactors who worked in places such as Iraq and Afghanistan, and came to Pattaya for their R & R. The girls were comparing stories:  how much money the men sent; when their next visit was due; what they were going to do when their men arrived to maximise their earnings; and so on. It was all fascinating stuff and in the meantime, of course, they were ‘available’ to all comers.

In a way it was a very cynical approach to their lives as bar girls, but in another way it was so revealing. They clearly saw nothing amiss with their approach to life. Why should they indeed? They had to live and feed their families, and there were no guarantees that their men would continue return, or if they did, whether they may change them out for a younger, model.

Then there was another lady, Gina. Gina wasn’t a very nice lady. For the past two nights a very portly, elderly Englishman, who was now sitting  along the bar from me, had been entertaining Gina with copious lady drinks. The gentleman in question had bar fined’ Gina on the previous day and also last night. But as soon as he had ‘bought her out’, she had disappeared, not to return, and the poor old bugger sat there for hours in vain awaiting the return of his date.

The girls told me in confidence that Gina had a young Thai boyfriend and she would regularly con some old ‘fart’ into paying her bar fine ,at which point she would shoot off for an assignation with her lover. There were rarely, if ever any comebacks from the ‘old farts’. They were too embarrassed and upset to make a fuss and demand their money back.

I had seen such attitudes and incidents on countless occasions since I had lived in Thailand. In fact I have seen much worse, but this is just a ‘snapshot’ of a few of the things that were going on in one bar on one night in Pattaya.

I decided that I wasn’t going to wait until one o’clock to see if Nong was really going to go home with me. A surprise reconnoitre was in order. Maybe she had planned an early assignation, returning in time to meet me at one a.m. for a second bite of the cherry.

I arrived there at around ten thirty, and there she was, as cute as anything, dancing up a storm behind the bar. She seemed delighted to see me and came over and was all hugs and smiles. We chatted, and she confirmed that she would really go home with me later. I had one drink and bought her a drink and she implored me over and over again to promise to come back at one to take her home.

I left around eleven, and returned at the appointed hour to finally consummate the relationship. She was dancing again when I arrived, but immediately knelt down and told me that she would be free quite soon and I could pay the bar and we would be off.

She said she just had to finish her drink with a customer who she had been sitting with.

No problem – I could wait a few minutes.

A few minutes became ten minutes, and ten minutes became twenty. She was dancing again. I asked her if she was ready to go. She looked at me and said she couldn’t go now because there were only a few ladies remaining to entertain the customers and the manger wanted her to stay until closing time, which was four a.m.

I was enraged, paid my bill and stormed out. Once outside I started to ponder her behaviour, which I knew was all bullshit. Why had she gone out her way to drag me down there, and told me over and over again that she would go with me, only to cancel out at the last moment?

I had a shrewd suspicion that she had changed her mind because she had a better offer from the guy she had been sitting with. I decided to have a drink, (not alcoholic), at an open beer bar on the other side of the road, directly opposite the Go -Go bar. From there, I could see who came and went very clearly.

I ordered a Diet Coke and sat down to wait.

A few people came and went and the clock was moving ever closer to two a.m. and I was just starting to think that maybe after all she had told me the truth, when the door opened and out she came.

I was one hundred percent correct – she was with the customer I had seen her sitting with earlier and the two of them squeezed onto the back of a motorcycle taxi and disappeared into the night!

Of course you know how I felt.

I was totally shattered. I knew it but I didn’t want to see it. I secretly harboured the notion that all my misgivings were somehow mistaken and that she had really told me the truth after all.

These were the same twisted mind games I had been playing with myself for the past six years with regards to my wife’s outrageous behaviour.

I decided that this short, sharp shock was good for my well being. I should go home and get some sleep and forget about this wretched girl who I hardly knew.

But I could not do that yet. The first thing I did was send her an sms telling her that I saw her leaving with the man and what I thought of her and her hurtful games.

Once I had sent the message, I paid my bill and walked to my car.

Then suddenly, I had an overwhelming desire to have a drink.

If this bloody girl hadn’t called me, I would have been fine. Why did she do that, and then screw me around? I was furious.

I had a knot in my stomach that I wanted to get rid of, and I knew I could never sleep in my present mental state.

I decided that just a few beers would settle my stomach and make me feel sleepy. Then I could go home, albeit slightly tipsy, but at least I would  have a good night’s sleep.

I told myself that I could keep this little drinking session a secret from everyone and that I would not even mention it in my blog.

They were all crazy thoughts.

By now it was well past two o’clock and as I drove around Jomtien looking for a suitable bar to start my drinking session, I found to my dismay that nearly all of them were either closed or about to close.

Then I thought about the crime of drunk- driving which I had sworn never to do again. I toyed with the notion of parking the car at home and then walking back to Jomtien to find an open bar. But that seemed all too hard.

So in the end I decided to drive to Pattaya. I could park in the Wat on Pattaya Tai near Walking Street, and leave the car there after I had been drinking and pick up the car the next day. It would be safe there.

I drove to Pattaya, parked in the Wat and took off on foot for the short journey to Walking Street.

This all took some time, and as I walked towards my first bar it was past three a.m. I became aware that my urge to drink was receding. I was still very upset, but was slowing calming down and as I became calmer, the need to drink also receded. I sent an  sms to the kind AA friend who had rescued me last week.

(I am so sorry to disturb you in the middle of the night but I am in danger of picking up a drink and don’t know what to do.)

He didn’t call me or acknowledge my message, and I went into a bar full of naked ladies.

I ordered a Diet Coke. The craving had left me – I was OK.

I spent the next hour in several bars, chatting to lovely ladies – most of whom were pissed out of their minds, before deciding to call it a night and drove home, still sober at four o’clock.

I still couldn’t sleep, but eventually dozed after five, but woke up two hours later and haven’t slept again since.

At eight thirty this morning Nong called me. She said she was home and had been alone last night. I told her that I had seen her leave with a customer. She still tried to claim I was mistaken.

She asked me what she was wearing, and when I told her she was wearing a purple dress, she said it couldn’t have been her because she had worn jeans. I told her she was a liar, that I was at the bar opposite ad saw her very clearly. She still tried to lie and convince me that I was mistaken.

In the end I shouted:


There was a very long silence. Finally, she said:

“I am sorry, Mobi,  I am very sorry. I made a bad mistake. Please forgive me. I am so sorry”

“It’s too late to be sorry, Nong. I can never trust you again.”

She hung up.

I went to the morning AA meeting and felt much better.

Today I have been sober for nine days.

Jomtien, 28th January, 2010.- Still sober.

Today I have been sober for 7 days. (One week now completed).

Yesterday I spent the day at home, after dropping off my ‘lady of the night’.

I was planning to go to an AA meeting yesterday evening, but in the late afternoon I lay down for a rest and when I awoke, unfortunately it was too late to go.

I went out for a meal, and then met up with an old friend of mine in Jomtien who was on a bar crawl, ostensibly to check out the area as he wanted to buy a bar there. The guy and his wife have been very good to me over the years and although he is an alcoholic he is a good friend. I met him at 10.30 and we went to couple of bars and got up to date with news on mutual acquaintances, before his wife turned up from her bar in Walking Street and the three of us continued our chats.

I told him about my recent relapse and how I had drunk for two days straight. He said that although he drinks heavily every day and sometimes has blackouts’-  i.e. doesn’t remember driving home, and so on, he has never drunk for two days straight. He said he didn’t think he would ever do something like that.

I said that I didn’t think would also, and my recent binge was the first time I had even done such a thing. It was only a couple of years ago that I started to have blackouts, and now I get them every time I drink. I warned him that he too would end up doing what I experienced. All alcoholics do – eventually. If they survive they invariably realise it is time to ask for help.

But many never survive. They kill themselves in their cars; they choke to death on their own vomit; they get beaten up and killed; they get run over; and so on.

I advised him to get his drinking under control before he ends up as a statistic.

He is not ready to do that yet, but at least I have planted the thought in his brain.

I went home quite late – after 1.a.m. and as a consequence, missed the morning meeting. I will make every effort to go tonight.

By the way – I slept alone.


This is the first of many true tales of events in my life which serve to expand on events already related in MOBI’S STORY.

These “VIGNETTES” are not necessary being written in the chronologic sequence that they occurred, but I will endeavour to pinpoint the period in my life during which they occurred.

So here we go with VIGNETTE NO.1.


‘Azzy’ is short for Azima, a beautiful, Nigerian woman who became my first wife.

I have related in MOBI’S STORY, (Part 1 ‘The early years’), how in 1969, I had just started a new life in Montreal, Canada, after being given the ‘heave-ho’ by my New York girl friend, when I received a call from my ex-employer, offering me a new job in Nigeria.

I actually did a ‘moonlight flit’ from my newly leased apartment in downtown Montreal and fled to the airport, and thence a flight back over the ‘pond’ to my parent’s home in east London.

Upon reporting back to my employers offices at Berkeley Square in the West End of  London I soon discovered why they had called me all the way back from Canada to fill the position.

The late sixties were a time of relative boom in England and unemployment was low. The ‘swinging sixties’ were in full swing, and the world came to London.

Foreign holidays and working overseas were virtually unheard of in those days as everyone was quite content to stay at home and enjoy life in the UK. We had finally become sexually liberated, we were leading the world in music and fashion and life was fun, after the long, drab, cash- strapped post war years.

I well remember to this day a young colleague coming into the London office every day and recounting his experiences on his morning underground journey, where he would ogle all the countless women in their micro mini- skirts and mini dresses, most of which left nothing to the imagination. He used to claim he had an orgasm just looking at them.

So who in their right minds would want to leave all this behind to go and work in steamy, disease ridden, far off  West Africa, in a third world country that was struggling to come to terms with the post colonial area and crucially, in the midst of a bloody civil war?

Mobi, of course. Who else?

Once  I had signed the contract for a two year spell, I had to go through the ‘processing’ procedures, (visa, vaccinations, anti malarial medication and so on), which would take several weeks and in the meantime I was assigned to work back in the London office.

It was during this time that I was shown photographs that had just been received from the company’s General Manager in Lagos, which showed details of the damage that had been inflicted on the company’s property and equipment in Port Harcourt, east Nigeria.

Port Harcourt was in the heart of secessionist territory and been subject to some bloody fighting at the outbreak of the civil war, before the government troops were obliged to retreat. So now all the property in the eastern region was in the hands of the rebels.

As well as the photographs, the report from Lagos had provided details of  he company’s Nigerian employees who had been killed or severely wounded in the fighting, and there even some gruesome photos of dead and mutilated  bodies as supporting evidence – taken by an employee who was a member of the rebel, Ibo tribe and then smuggled out of Port Harcourt.

I started to realise what I was letting myself in for.

But I didn’t really care. It just sounded a whole lot more exciting than staying in London, for despite the fun and enjoyment going on around me, I still felt very lonely and shy in that huge city.

In the event, my departure  was held up for a couple of months or so as the management in Lagos were unsure if the capital city would remain safe from attacks, so in the meantime I was sent on a temporary assignment to Abu Dhabi, of which, more will be written in a separate vignette.

Following completion of this assignment, I returned to London in August 1969, the flight was duly booked and on 12 August, I boarded a British Caledonian VC10 for the nonstop flight to Lagos.

Although I had already had a rude awakening when I had flown into Abu Dhabi airport a couple of months earlier, (a tin shack in the middle of the desert with temperatures hovering at forty degrees centigrade and the humidity so high that the minute you walked down the steps from the plane your whole body was drenched in sweat), nothing could have prepared me for the mad, filthy, stinking chaos that was Lagos International airport in those far off days.

The ramshackle, non air conditioned airport building was full of a mad sprawling mass of humanity. I was brought up in a predominantly white community in east London and had never seen so many black faces in one place in my entire life.

The place was full of Nigerians shouting at each other in unintelligible, ‘pidgin’ English, or in one the myriad tribal dialects, and the place was swarming with heavily armed, Nigerian military.

I looked around in vain for a representative of my company who should have been around somewhere to meet me, but then realised that I would have to go through immigration and baggage check before emerging into a public area where someone would undoubtedly be waiting.

It was like ‘running the gauntlet’. Along with my fellow passengers, I was pushed and hustled from desk to desk and at each place I was interrogated in barely intelligible English, was required to show my passport and other papers that I carried with me, before being ordered to move along to the next officer.

At length my passport was stamped and I went to the baggage collection area. I had a lot of baggage with me as I had planned for a two year stay. My numerous and motley collection of bags finally emerged. Then came the customs inspection, which if anything, was worse than the immigration process.

I was required to open every single bag and package and all were examined and turned over with a fine tooth comb. Quite what they were looking for I had no idea –but the country was at war (with itself) and maybe they were looking for enemy agents carrying secret weapons into the country.

It would have taken a massive stretch of the imagination to believe that a skinny, pimply faced, very white skinned, bespectacled, shy twenty three year old English man could be an agent for the brutal Ibo rebels.

The searching finally came to an end, the bags were repacked and my passport was stamped to show I had been through customs inspection and at long last I was in the public area, which once again was a mass of humanity, all shouting and screaming at each other.

I looked desperately for anyone who may be my company representative.

I looked and I waited, but no one came to greet me out of the crowd.  An hour went by and still no sign of my ‘welcomer’ to Nigeria. I didn’t know what to do – I was stranded. Foolishly, I didn’t even have a contact phone number, or the address of the office.

I had total trust in the company’s standing for efficiency and their good reputation for looking after their staff. Everything had proceeded without a hitch when I had flown into Abu Dhabi a few months ago, where I was met and taken care of in fine style.

Just when I was starting to feel quite desperate a young Nigerian man approached me and asked me in pretty good English, where I was going. He seemed very friendly, so I told him I waiting to be picked up but that my greeters hadn’t arrived yet.

He said he could help me get a taxi and wanted to know where I wanted to go. I told him I didn’t have the address but told the name of my employer. He went over to where a number of men were standing and asked if anyone had heard of my company. One guy said he knew where my offices were located, and after some deliberation, it was agreed that he would drive me downtown to my company’s offices.

At this time I didn’t have any Nigerian currency and worried whether they would require some payment up front, but they didn’t even quote a price as they loaded all my stuff into the boot and on the back seat of a very ancient automobile. It didn’t occur to me for one moment that these guys may be criminals and that they may take me down the road, rob and even kill me. In those far of days I was still very naïve.

We set off and we hadn’t driven more than half a mile down a potholed, single track road, when we came to a military road block. The car was immediately surrounded by screaming soldiers carrying rifles who demanded that I get out.

They proceeded to body search me, took my passport, and instructed the driver to unload all my bags which were then opened up and the contents emptied all over the road.

I tried to tell them that my bags had already been searched thoroughly at the airport and I had the stamp in my passport to prove it, but they ignored my pleas, one of them escorting me to an area just off the road, where I was ordered to stand, with my back to the road.

Oh my God! Was this to be the shortest overseas assignment in the history of expatriate service?

Jomtien, 27th January, 2010.

Today is Day 6 of my sobriety.

First and foremost, I want to advise all my readers that “Mobi’s Story” has now been published in its entirety (31 parts), in chronological order, on a separate page. Simply click the tab at the top of this blog to bring the page onto your screen.

I have taken the opportunity to clean up the text a bit, and to correct spelling and grammatical errors that were there in the original. No material changes have been made.

At some future point there is no doubt that I will repeat this exercise, for every time I read my work I find errors and text that needs tidying up. It is an ongoing exercise.

So now that is all done and dusted I can get back to my main blog.

Tomorrow I will start on “MOBI VIGNETTES” – stories of events in my life which I feel maybe of interest to my readers, and which serve to expand and elaborate on the narrative of “MOBI’S STORY”.

In the meantime, I can report that I am still sober and feeling pretty good, all things considered.

I am still suffering from my second addiction – women. I am still falling in love at night, and promising the chosen lady “the earth”, but thankfully, on the following morning, I immediately realise how ridiculous my promises were, and  quickly dispatch the lady in question, after suitably rewarding her for her night’s ‘work’.

This habit is not doing my bank account a lot of good as I always over-pay to avoid any recriminations when I withdraw my extravagant promises.

The other day I took pity on a cute little thing who was so poor that she met me in what I can only describe as moth-eaten carpet slippers. She was holding the oldest, most battered mobile phone I have ever seen, which she shared with her mother. So naturally I bought her a few pairs of shoes and a shiny new mobile phone. At the time I really believed she was going to be my new live-in, but within twenty four hours I just wanted her gone and to have my ‘space’ back.

It was the same thing last night. I had been chatting up a very pretty thirty four year old who managed a bar / restaurant in the Jomtien suburbs. She is supremely fit (runs for two hours every morning), has a lovely figure, well educated, no children, speaks pretty good English. Up to recently she was a  full time dress designer (she wears all her own designed clothes), and has only been in Pattaya in  her present position for a month. To my knowledge she has never been out with a customer, except to have a meal.

I turned on the ‘soft soap’, swore amongst other things that he wanted her forever as his permanent girl friend, and last night she came home with me.

She was a very nice lady and I can honestly say that I had some of the most incredible sex I have ever experienced. She was something else again, and we really connected – physically and mentally. It must have lasted for well over two hours – I didn’t think I had it in me, and all this without Viagra, which gives me a headache. In the end we collapsed exhausted in each other’s arms and I slept like a baby for eight hours.

Yet this morning, when I woke late, although I still felt affection for her, I really wanted her gone, like all the others. I was no longer ‘in love’ and I didn’t want her as my live-in girl friend.

I feared that she may want to ‘hang around’, but fortunately, she wanted to go home to wash her clothes.

Just to make sure there were no ‘comebacks’, I slipped some money into her handbag before I dropped her off. I didn’t want the moral responsibility of sleeping with someone for love, rather than money.

Now that I am really starting to deal with my alcohol addiction, I must also turn my mind seriously to this nonsense with women.

At least I seem to have lost the urge to move them in, so maybe it is the first step and in due course maybe my fleeting, irrational infatuations with women will slowly dissipate.

Jomtien, 26th January, 2010 – still sober!

This is Day 5 of my sobriety.

I am still behaving myself. I went to an excellent evening meeting last night, and this morning, in spite of only about four hours seep, I made the morning meeting.

From the advice I have received, along with my own previous experience, I know that immersion in AA meetings for a while will help to keep my mind away from taking that first drink.

Certainly, I am hearing enough “horror stories” in the ‘shares’ over the last day or so to convince me never to go back to alcohol, and that I am truly powerless to drink like a normal person.

Everyone, one way or another, has been down the road I have just been down. Nearly all alcoholics have relapsed at some stage in the sober lives, some several times, and each time it is worse, and each time they are lucky to come out of it with their lives intact.

There are even more who have relapsed and have never come back. These are the dead alcoholics – the ones we read about every day.

The AA “Big Book” says that ‘Alcohol is cunning, baffling and powerful”, and I now have no hesitation in accepting that this is 100% true. All of us have achieved periods of sobriety – some a few months (like me) and others five, ten and even twenty years, but at some point, they started to doubt that this was indeed the case. They started to think that they felt pretty good; so maybe, after all, it is possible to drink in moderation. Certainly that’s what I started to believe, and I have heard so many similar accounts in AA meetings, it is uncanny.

We think we have it cracked. We think we can take a few drinks, have a bit of a buzz,  fool around and ‘shoot the shit’ in a few bars and then call it a night and go home and sleep it off.

That’s exactly what I did for a week or so – each time managing to get home in one piece and even having a fairly decent night’s sleep. Sure I woke in the morning feeling a bit rough, but nothing I couldn’t handle, and by early afternoon I was feeling on top of the world once again. There were a couple of occasions when I did overdo it a bit, like the night I went to Walking Street and drank until dawn and finally made it home at around 8 a.m. – but that was just a minor glitch. It wouldn’t happen again, I had it under control.

Then last Wednesday, for an absolutely ridiculous reason, which had everything to do with my illness and nothing to do with my stated explanation, I started drinking in the afternoon, and was ‘rescued’ some thirty hours later, after drinking nonstop and having little recollection of the last twelve hours of my binge.

Of all the crazy things I have done when I have been drunk, I have never, ever drunk thirty hours straight, and never been utterly incapable and broken down and cried in the way I did when my friend showed up to take me in hand last Thursday night.

So, as I said recently in my blog – I have finally reached my ‘rock bottom’ and I now know I can never drink like normal people. So I will stop – forever, and hopefully this blog will help me and other alcoholics out there to follow the same course.

Here is a telling extract from the Big Book which, for me, now rings so true:

“Whatever our protestations, are not most of us concerned with ourselves, our resentments, or our self-pity?

Selfishness – self-centeredness! That, we think, is the root of our troubles. Driven by a hundred forms of fear, self-delusion, self-seeking, and self-pity, we step on the toes of our fellows and they retaliate. Sometimes they hurt us, seemingly without provocation, but we invariably find that at some time in the past we have made decisions based on self which later placed us in a position to be hurt.

So our troubles, we think, are basically of our own making. They arise out of ourselves and the alcoholic is an extreme example of self-will run riot, though he usually doesn’t think so. Above everything, we alcoholics must be rid of this selfishness. We must, or it kills us!”

Followers of my blog will know that all my troubles have been of my own making, and so often, I manipulate or create situations which will engender resentment, anger, sorrow and hurt within me so that I have an excuse to turn to the bottle for solace.

For me, the main culprit since I returned to Thailand eight years ago is women.

But I am coming to believe that if I remove women from the equation – by staying celibate or simply not becoming involved in any new relationships, it won’t, in itself, solve all my problems. If I do not get to the core of my problem, I will simply replace women with some other ‘tool’ with which to manipulate my emotions.

The core of the problem is an ego run riot and my personal character defects. I have to be ‘rigorously honest’ about these things if I am to remain sober and sustain my recovery.

So for now, it is all hands to the AA pump and start, once again, to work the programme.

Jomtien, 25th January, 2010 – still sober!

Today I  am on Day 4 of my sobriety.

Today I attended the morning AA meeting and haven’t been anywhere near a pub or a bar.

This evening I have been busy collating “Mobi’s Story” from start to finish, some 70,000 words, for publication on a separate page that I have set up.

It will certainly help me, and hopefully my readers, to be able to read “Mobi’s Story” through in chronological order, without having to search for all the various parts nestled in between  my other blogging activities.

So I just thought I’d better write this small piece to reassure all my readers that I am sticking to my solemn pledge.

No drinking and no drunk driving – ever again.

I know it’s early days, but I’m very, very confident.

I may posts more later today but it is now past midnight and  time for a shower and some ‘shut-eye”.