Jomtien 23 January, 2010 – Still sober

Today I have been sober for two days.

I spent the whole day at home and just went out briefly last night for a bite to eat, returning before 10 p.m. I took some meds which helped me to sleep and crashed around midnight. I slept well and woke at 7.30 this morning.

I am still feeling very fragile, and my head is spinning, but I’m coming out of it OK and in one piece. I will try to go to a AA meeting today.

I have have received many comments since yesterday’s blog, many of them contain strong words of condemnation and advice – particularly on the drink driving (which I have written about below), and also urging me to move out of Pattaya. I may eventually move, but not yet. Many of you think I am wrong about this, and you may be correct, but my mind is made up. I will stay here and try to stay sober with the help and support of the excellent AA groups that abound in Pattaya.

The Jomtien group is within walking distance of where I live and the other meeting venues are only ten minutes drive away. I know I have to stay away from the bars and pubs, and I will make a big effort to find alternative things to do with my life. Please understand that wherever I live, if I want to drink, I will find somewhere to drink, and if all else fails I will drink at home. Yes, there is huge temptation here, but unless I move to a “dry” country, there is temptation everywhere. Indeed, a few years ago when I spent several months in England taking care of my daughter I was probably as drunk there as I have been here in recent years – most of the time drinking at home, but I still had plenty of sessions in nearby pubs.

AA advise recovering alcoholics to never make any life changing decisions in the first year of sobriety as it takes that long before an alcoholic can think clearly. I believe they are right, but that won’t stop me exploring other possibilities, and when the time is right I will decide.

In the meantime I’m staying put, and I’m sorry if many of you do not agree with my decision, but for me I am convinced it is the right one for now.

I want to write about drunk driving in Thailand, as it seems to have provoked so much anger amongst some of my readers.

I am not writing the following to any way defend my behavior. I have already stated – over and over – how wrong I am, how disgusted I am with myself, and how lucky I am not to have killed or maimed anyone.

Driving when drunk is wrong – period. There is no possible excuse.

Now let’s look at the reality of life in Thailand.

I have no way of really knowing, but I suspect that many of you who have come down so hard on me for drunk driving, live in Bangkok. The reason? Well there is absolutely no need to ever get behind the wheels of an car in that city because public transport – buses, taxis, tuk tuks abound. Also those of you with high paying jobs may well have chauffeurs to drive you around.

Indeed I lived in Bangkok for over two years myself, and although there was the odd occasion when I drove drunk from Soi 33 to my home in Soi 31, a distance of not more 1 kilometer, for a vast majority of the time, I never drove drunk. I didn’t have to. I could use taxis and I also had a driver. The driver would take me everywhere, and wait for me while I got sloshed. Occasionally I would send him, and the car home, and I would follow later in a cab.

So it is very easy to take the high moral ground if you live and work in Bangkok – not so easy when you live any where else in Thailand and have to rely so much on your own transport to get around.

Now to chauffeurs. I had a number of them in Bangkok, and took the last one to Pattaya with me. All my chauffeurs would drink when off duty, and one in particular would turn up stinking of booze when reporting for duty. I had to fire them over and over again for this reason. One old guy used to take my wife and I to her home village in Sa Kaeo for an overnight or maybe a two to three night stay. He didn’t drink on the journey there, nor on the journey back home, but while he was staying in the village, he was never sober. My last chauffeur, a young guy with a wife and baby came with us to Pattaya and stayed in the annex. He was also a drinker when off duty. Then one afternoon he took my car to send some workers home, and came back 6 hours later, drunk as a skunk. I fired him on the spot, and haven’t had a driver since.

The extent of the drinking culture in this country is truly incredible – there must be alcoholics in almost every Thai family in the country, and in some, maybe every member of the family is either a heavy drinker or an alcoholic. On any day of the week, in any part of Thailand, I would guess that more than 50% of the Thai drivers on the road would be over the limit. Here in Pattaya we see Thais killing themselves every day in horrendous accidents, and always – without exception – drink is involved. Ironically, it is significant to note how often a member of our esteemed Thai police force– often a high ranking officer – is involved in fatal accidents due to drink driving. If you were to lock up all the Thais who drive when over the limit, you would have to build jails extending from Bangkok to Phuket to accommodate them all.

My own wife, and all her friends who own cars, drive when drunk every time they go out for a night on the town..

Now to farangs.

As mentioned above, most of the farangs I knew in Bangkok either didn’t drive at all, had drivers, or only drove when traveling up country.

For most of the time I have been in Pattaya, I lived in an area East of Sukhumvit, out near a large reservoir which has become a desirable area for literally thousands of farangs to buy houses and settle down. Many farang communities have sprung up, both within “gated” villages, and also in ‘one off’ houses and villas. The area is vast and spreads way past Jomtien in the South , right up to the motorway/Pattaya intersection in the North, and all the way east to the Rayong highway. I doubt if anyone knows exactly how many farangs live in this area, but it is certainly a great number.

I can say with absolute confidence, that with the exception of the teetotalers (and there are a few), just about every farang who lives in this area will have on on occasion driven when drunk, many on a daily basis. There is no convenient public transport and without a motor vehicle, you are literally grounded. Yet their social life revolves around the bars, pubs, and restaurants in the area, partying at friends’ homes, and of course having nights out in Pattaya city itself.

Outside every bar and every restaurant in East Pattaya, you will find many vehicles. There will usually be one vehicle for each person patronizing the bar. Everyone of them is drinking and every one of them will drive away over the limit.

I have quite a large circle of friends and acquaintances living in this area and every single one of them drives when over the limit on a daily basis.

In 2008 I manged to stay sober for many months, and achieved something similar last year. When I was sober I was so proud that I could drive safely, but I never took a ‘holier than thou’ attitude towards friends who drive drunk. I knew that they were wrong, hoped they would stay safe and not hurt anyone; but I had been there myself, and I couldn’t in all conscience, condemn them out of hand.

I wonder just how many readers of my blog can put their hand on their heart and say that they have never driven when over the limit in Thailand, whereas they would never dream of doing such a thing in their home country.

The forgoing is not an excuse but simply the way it is in Thailand. It is a very sad state of affairs; so many lives are needlessly lost due to drunk driving – on motorcycles even more than in cars. I personally know of many Thais, and farangs who have been killed in such a manner. It’s as though we are living in a sort of Mad Max horror town.

I will do my very best not to become one of these statistics. I will never drink and drive again.

Believe me, and forgive me, please.



“It’s time for wife number 5”

Yes, the wedding day was not a particularly auspicious start to our married life.

As I have written earlier, at the time we were married in March, 2005, I was in the process of building my “Mobi Mansion”, a splendid, luxurious retirement home, nestled behind a lovely Thai village, just twenty kilometers from Pattaya City.

This was intended to be my final residence, where I would wend away the remainder of my life with my lovely wife. In October 2005, we duly moved in, and a few months later Dang brought her son, Add, who was then seven years old, down from Sa kaeo, to come and live with us.

We had two maids, three dogs, and we settled Add into a decent school in Pattaya and all was fine with Mobi, his family and the world.

If only….

For starters, Dang never stopped her binge drinking. She could stay sober for days, and sometimes weeks, and then go on a bender that could last for days.

When we were living in Bangkok, Dang was keen to to improve herself’ and I had her enrolled in English and computer schools. She was already a qualified hair dresser, and I was persuaded to set up a beauty salon for her in the Sri Nakarin area of Bangkok. She dropped out of the schools long before her prepaid lessons were utilized, and the salon lasted about six months before she gave up, sold it on and kept the proceeds. All her failures were due to her binge drinking and frequent night-outs with God knows who. Of course she was continually hung over and was incapable of keeping to a proper routine.

Later that year she persuaded me that she had turned over a new leaf, and once again she enrolled in an English school and also decided to go to fitness sessions at California Wow on Soi 23.

Then in August, 2005 I took her to England with me to introduce her to my family and to have a holiday with my brother, daughters and in laws. We were due to catch an early morning flight, but the previous night Dang hadn’t arrived home until around 2.a.m, pissed as a newt. I had been calling her for hours and hours but she refused to answer her phone. She hadn’t packed and arrived home in a terrible state. I have no idea how we managed to get her packed and make that flight, and of course half her stuff was left behind, including some books on England , written in Thai that I had gone to great lengths to track down and buy for her

By Dang’s standards, she actually behaved pretty well in England. We were in the UK for 3 weeks and traveled extensively throughout England and Scotland. During our time there, we stayed with my brother and both my daughters, and I took my daughter and her boy friend with us when we toured Scotland. She never embarrassed me in public, or with my family, and they all thought she was a lovely, kind person. However I do recall that she had a few tantrums, at night, when we were alone, but if that was all I had to put up with, I was happy enough.

The first really painful incident occurred soon after we returned to Bangkok, and I then realised what she had been up to that night before we flew to England. It also explained her daily trips to The fitness center, for hours at a time , with all manner of bullshit reasons why she had been gone for so many hours which had little to do with keeping fit.

She had gone out but forgotten to take her telephone. Suddenly I heard the ‘beep’ of an sms arriving. I picked her phone up and read it out of curiosity, as I wasn’t really suspicious. It was in English and from a man called Uni. It was “love talk”, and asking when he could see her again, and that he enjoyed last night and so on…. I was totally shattered. Up to that point I had allowed myself to believe that although she was a drunk and liked to hit the high spots, that she was faithful.

Now I knew different. I went crazy, grabbed the phone and went out to drown my sorrows. When I reached a bar, I scrolled back through all the messages between her and Uni, which had been going on for weeks, well before we left for England. It didn’t take me long to figure that she had probably met him at California Wow, as he kept referring to it in his messages.

She called me from the house phone. I told her I had found all the messages. She didn’t say much but asked me to go home and she would explain.

I phoned the number, and a man answered. I asked who was speaking and he said “Uni”. I was devastated but I wrung off. I was terrified of what he might tell me if I asked him about Dang.

I don’t really need to tell you what ultimately transpired. I was hurt – very jealous and very drunk. When I finally made it home I allowed myself to be convinced by Dang that the man meant nothing, that she had never slept with him, that he was just a friend and they were just joking with each other. I wanted to believe it because otherwise the hurt would be too great – so I did

Not long after that, in one of her occasional and surprisingly frank moments, Dang told me that when she knew that I had found her phone with those messages in it, she had thought it was all over between us.

Our life continued to run the ‘helter skelter’ of drunken fights, unexplained absences interspersed with periods of relative calm when Dang was so hung over that she stayed at home, watched television, cooked and was almost a normal, loving housewife.

But it was always the case, that just when I thought she had really changed for good, the trouble would start all over.

When we moved to Pattaya, I bought Dang a new Honda Jazz, and after a few weeks of bangs and scrapes, she developed into a half way competent driver. She gradually got to know her way around the downtown areas and enrolled in yet another English school. Then she informed me that she wanted to improve her hair dressing skills , so she also enrolled in a hair dressing school near South Pattaya.

Later, she was once again to open a hair dressing salon, funded of course by Mobi; this time in a good spot in Pattaya Klang. But the end was the same. Half the itime she would never turn up to open, and although she was supposed to close at around 10 p.m., many was the occasion when she would tell me she was still open a t 2 or even 3 in the morning. I would even drive into Pattaya to check if she was telling truth, but of course she wasn’t – the place had long been closed and was in darkness. But I used to often find her car still parked near the salon. She was out on the tiles. Sometimes she came home in the early morning, sometimes not at all. I almost gave a sigh of relief when the place was fianlly clsoed and she gave up. But it barely stopped her in her tracks.

Once more the familiar pattern of drunken nights out and long absences in between periods of relative domestic bliss. She reverted to her previous habit of missing lessons when hung over, but after a few days would return to them.

One aspect of Dang’s behaviour that I can never come to terms with is what she would get up to, every time I took her with me to Bangkok when I had hospital appointments. She would always insist on going with me to “take care of me” and would always promise me faithfully that she wouldn’t go out and get drunk when were there, but always did – without exception. I Had to get up at the crack of dawn to be at the hospital for fasting blood tests, and frequently I had no sleep because my wife hadn’t come home from a night out. On several occasions she disappeared completely and I had to return to Pattaya without her, and there were even many times when I never made it to the hospital at all as I was so upset by her selfish behaviour. I too ended up getting drunk and missed my own appointments.

Then there were the occasions I was ill in hospital in Pattaya. On one particular occasion I was very ill with Dengue fever and even in danger of dying. Dang came with me ostensibly to take care of me, but woud just stay for a while and then diessappear for hours. I was wired up to blood drips and intravenous fluids but she left me alone with no nurse to take care (because the hospital thought tmy wife was there)  at the point of death, to “go and eat” returning many hours later, drunk.  When I mentioned this beahvior once to her friend, Dang told her friend that she was bored just sitting in the hopital  with nothing to do and I was being unreasonable if I expected her to stay there all the time.

On another occasion during another illness, she left me in hospital to go and check on her salon, which was close by,  and never returned at all!

But enough of all this. I could go on and on and on about my traumatic life with Dang  until I finally left her for good last October. (which I have previously written about in this blog).

For the record, I think I left Dang on four separate occasions, before the final one. The first time, in 2007 was only  for five days, and I forget how long the second one was. The fourth one was a ‘biggy’, and I almost made it. I think I was away from my home for over two months and discussions were in an advanced stage on agreeing a divorce settlement, when it all suddenly fell though when Dang decided to change the ground rules.

Eventually Dang somehow made contact with me and persuaded me to go back home and try one more time. She swore on all that was holy that this time she really would change and be a good and faithful wife. But it wasn’t to be – if anything her behaviour  was more blatant and outrageous than ever; taking off to Bangkok every week for several days at a time.

In 2007 I actually achieved sobriety for nine months, and it was during this long period that I came to realise that it wasn’t my drunken behavior that was causing the problems in our marriage, as I made a super human effort to be the best possible husband and stepfather. Remember, I now had a boy living with me, and I think I spent more time with him than my wife did. Dang would think nothing about disappearing on the day or time when she had promised to take him out somewhere or to attend a school function with him.

Then last year I had three long sober spells. One early in the year, which was during the penultimate time that I left Dang. I left her when I was sober and stayed sober for quite a while, only succumbing when I was in Angeles City, Philippines – not a smart place for an alcoholic to ‘hole up’ from his wife.

I started going to AA seriously in June last year and was sober for 90 days, and more recently for 120 days.

I truly believe that in spite of my alcoholism which undoubtedly contributed to the disastrous relationship, given where we were, I did everything possible and went to extraordinary lengths to try and hold the marriage together. I loved Dang so much, and just wanted to make her happy – that was all I ever wanted.

To give you a flavour of the ‘material’ lengths I went to, here is an extract of a letter I wrote to a lawyer on an earlier occasion when I tried to arrange a divorce with Dang.

“I have been extremely generous to my wife since I first met her some 4 years ago, and this includes a monthly allowance of 35,000 Baht, unlimited use of an Amex Gold Card, free telephone, and generous shopping allowance (a rolling 20,000 Baht ATM access account which is topped up as it becomes depleted), a new house in her village in Sa Kaeo costing in excess of 1.5 million Baht, a new, fully expense Honda Jazz car, regular purchases of clothing and other luxuries, payment of English and computer school fees, various assistance to members of her family amounting to several hundred thousand Baht, purchase of land in Sa Kaeo for a rubber plantation, purchase of trees and all materials for the plantation, a salary for her brother, and second hand pick up for working the plantation, all expenses paid to accompany me on various trips abroad to the UK, Australia, and luxury cruises.

“All in all I believe I have expended several million Baht over the past two years, in addition to her monthly allowances.

“I have also taken her son, now aged 10, into my home and am paying for his education. I have not adopted him.

“In October 2005 we moved into a large home I had built on a piece of land 12 kilometres East of Pattaya. The house, including all furniture and fittings cost in the region of 14 million Baht, and in a stable, open market would be worth at least 20 million. I originally bought this house through a Thai company, but have since had the company closed and the house transferred to my wife’s name, but I have a ‘usufruct’ registered at the land office and on the chanod, giving me life time use and possession of the property. In previous discussions, my wife has intimated that she would return the house to me if we divorced, but I have no way to know if she will keep this promise.

“We are presently still living together in the house, and my wife does not know that I am planning a divorce, although the situation between us at the moment is not good.

“I would very much like to retain possession of the house and spend the rest of my life there, but I realise that this may not be possible.”

Finally, to give you just a flavour of what I have had endure I will publish some notes that I wrote, starting in 2007 on some of the shit, that occurred between Mobi and Dang. It is almost too painful for me to read even now, but I must get it out, and away – for good and forever.


“Since we first met in 2003, my relationship with Dang has been very stormy. Nearly every time we went out she would get drunk and start to verbally and physically abuse me.  I broke off the relationship several times, but we always came back together again.

“There are so many unpleasant incidences during our first 3 years together, but here is the key one from October 2005:

“In 2005, we lived in Bangkok, and Dang used top go to English lessons and attend a fitness center on most days in Soi 23, Sukhumvit Road.

“One day, a week or so after we returned from a 3 week trip to England, she was out and had left her phone at home. A message alert sounded, and I checked it. It was from a Westerner, named Uni. I scrolled her phone and found the following messages:

12/10   “Would you like to keep in touch nakrap”

2/10     “If not up to you If not im sad but maipenrai. Bye”

2/10     “Hi do u want to go to cinema at 2 pm (mbk)and watch a movie ja”

25/9     “Hope you don’t work too hard today Miss u Ja Goodnight.”

24/9     “Im going to hard rock, only if you come? Miss u na”

24/9     “Narak today Ja”

24/9     “Where in soi 22?”

24/9     “Come to my apartment. We’ll get together. Cocktails Ok?”

23/9     “Sanook crap, but maybe better ifif u ll be there. Wanna  come?

Miss u”

23/9     “Call me when u finish Im asok Ja”

23/9     “Hope u enjoy aerobic na krap Miss u”

23/9     “In meetings at bank. Sanook yesterday. miss u too ja. Take care. Hope see you later.”

“I called the number and it was definitely a farang called Uni, but I didn’t pursue the conversation any further. I couldn’t bear to hear what he might tell me…

“Now some extracts of diary notes/ jottings that I have made from just this year.

“Please note that not all incidents that have occurred this year are recorded below. In fact I would say the following only represents a small percentage.   Problems with Dang are almost on a daily basis.

January 07

“On Christmas Day, (2006), my sister and her husband were visiting from South Africa, and we went out to the Bang Sarae club and had a very pleasant Christmas lunch. One of Dang’s sisters came with us, and we all came back home around 6 p.m. At 8 p.m. Dang saiid she wanted to drop her sister back home in Pattaya as she had to work early the next morning. I smelt a rat, and offered to drive her, but Dang was insistent that she would come straight back home, with remarks like “Don’t you trust me?”Well we all know what happened don’t we? At 3 a.m. I drove to Pattaya and found my wife’s car parked in the Wat on Pattaya Tai. I went to Walking Street, but couldn’t locate her. .She called me around 4.30 .a.m. when she arrived home and discovered I had gone out. Sometime during the night my brother in law called me and wondered where we had got to. My sister was very worried about us, and what was going on. Not surprising.
“Next day, everything was back to normal – I made some stupid excuse and nothing more was saiid to my visitors.“The rest of the family (6 of them) arrived after Christmas, and I’ve been doing the tour guide role ever since.

“Yesterday, 2nd January, Dang cooked us a meal, and the plan was to sleep early as we all had a 6 am start today to go to Kanchanaburi . Dang announced she wanted to visit our ex maid and promised she would be home by 10.30 p.m. I warned her we had an early start.Well of course she turned up at 3 .a.m. – drunk out of her mind; vomited everywhere, and started throwing things around and breaking them. I finally managed to carry her to bed, and we both slept at around 4 a.m.
“This morning, at 6 a.m., I told my family that I was ill (which I was) and we couldn’t go with them – I had hired a tour bus with guide – so they went alone.“Today I have been very ill. Very high blood sugars, high fevers, and tired and dizzy. I don’t know if it’s just the result of too much alcohol and diabetes, or something more serious. Anyway my wife apologized for her behaviour (She said ‘well just one day – never mind!!’) and keeps asking me why I am so sad.“Yet she knows she has hurt me so much, she knows I have let my family down, and she knows my health can’t stand all these traumas. Yet she still does it. Is she so selfish? Or can’t she stop herself?

“When is it all going to end?

18 March 2007

“I’m back after a brief trip to Bangkok.I had a major  row with Dang on Monday, and to avoid having to face a drunken and probably violent wife, I packed a large bag and left last Monday evening to go away for a while I had plenty of time, as I knew she wouldn’t return much before dawn – if at all. So I slept the night at a small hotel, down the road, and then drove to Bangkok at the crack of dawn. I had to go to Bangkok anyway as I had a dental appointment, but had originally planned to return the same day.“I have come to the conclusion that my wife has made me very unhappy over a long period of time, and it is extremely unlikely that she will ever change. My walking out for 5 days was the final toss of the coin, but I’m not so stupid as to believe it will change her behaviour. Of course, she is extremely contrite at the moment, and is visibly disturbed and traumatized by my action. She probably never believed I would do something like this, so it will give her something to think about.

24 March 2007

“Dang has been on her best behaviour since I returned from Bangkok a month ago. I am now 2 months sober. We have been out to eat with friends, gone shopping in the day time and other social activities, but last night was the first night that we decided to go out for meal in Pattaya. We tried Henry J Beans and we both enjoyed the food, and the band wasn’t too bad. At least we could talk. Around 10 p.m., after 1 glass of red wine, she suggested going down to Hard Rock Café for one more drink and then go home. 3 large glasses of red wine later, around 12.30 a.m. she was very drunk and had started to misbehave, so at 12 .45, I insisted we went home. She gave me a lot of hassles but finally agreed to go home. As soon as we got into the car the tantrums started; she smashed a few things in the car but in spite of this I tried my best to stay silent and keep driving. By the time we got home she was provoking me in any way she could think of to make me fight with her. I tried to walk away in the garden, and be alone, but she insisted on following me around the garden and putting herself ‘in my face’, accusing me of sleeping around and sayying the most hurtful, unkind things she could think of. I finally lost control and answered her back, but didn’t touch her. Then she started ripping up the plants and flower beds. – breaking and tearing the flowering plants and saplings out of the ground, up turning plant pots and throwing things in the pool. She finally passed out on the couch in the lounge.Today she apologized for everything. I said ‘yes, OK,’ but little else. She had to go to Sa Kaeo this morning – thank God – and she won’t be back till tomorrow evening. So I have some piece and quiet and time to think. She knows I’m very upset, but we’re being civil to each other.

“I don’t think she understands how unhappy and miserable she makes me. (Or maybe she just doesn’t care).I feel like I’ve had all the stuffing knocked out of me. I will go away for few days.

March 30th, 2007.

“On Saturday, 30th March, we were going to a BBQ at a neighbor’s house with Add, (Dang’s son),when Dang asked if she could go and meet her friend in Pattaya later, that evening, after the BBQ had finished. I told her that if she couldn’t make it home by 2.00 a.m, sober, then not to come home, as I didn’t want any drunken rows and it was dangerous to drive all that way when drinking. We went to the BBQ, came home at 9 pm and off she went. She came home the next morning at 6.30 a.m., drunk out of her mind and slept till the afternoon.

April 2007

“A few days ago, I had another fight with Dang.Since I took off to Bangkok for five days, there has been lingering suspicion in her mind as to what I got up to. Well, she went away overnight to her friend’s birthday party – returned the next afternoon, very hung over although she denied it. This was her first lapse for a while so I let it pass as she behaved OK.“Then, that evening, she accused me of sleeping with a girl when I went to Bangkok, as she claimed she had some proof – which is nonsense. So another huge fight over nothing. I don’t know where this marriage is going – maybe on its last knockings – or maybe she’s going to learn that her old behaviour will not work any more if she wants to stay married to me.

May 2007

“We didn’t get to sleep until approaching 3 a.m. this morning, but tonight she surprised me with a ‘request’ to go out. She said her friend, who lives near to us, was returning from Sa Kaeo this evening with a girl from the village who was looking for work, and asked my wife if she would go with her to Pattaya to help her find a job in the bars. I was rather angry (but controlled) about it. I said that her friend should take care of her own job sorting, and that I didn’t like my wife traipsing round bars at night trying to find work for a potential prostitute. I also suspected that she would start drinking – and told her so. She was furious and became violent. She tried to trash things around the house, but I grabbed hold of her and stopped her –which she didn’t like at all. We had a huge fight that went on and on and totally exhausted me – mentally and physically. Eventually she said that I hadn’t let her finish her ‘request to go out’ and that she wasn’t going to traipse around bars but just go to one bar that her friend used to work at. I knew she was lying and was trying to make out that my behaviour was unreasonable, but I had given up trying to stop her by now, and off she went.About 9 pm. I couldn’t find my keys and thought she might have taken them with her. I called – no reply. I called her friend – she answered. She was in my wife’s car while my wife was ostensibly in a bar with this girl. Her friend told me that she personally could never go into the bars and that’s why she had asked Dang to do it for her. She explained that my wife couldn’t answer her phone because it was too noisy in the bars. She told me they had tried several bars. So Dang was lying anyway.
“Should I be letting my wife, a married woman with a son and husband at home, financially secure for the rest of her life, go out at night with her friends and traipse around the bars of Pattaya, trying to find work for a prostitute.

“Dang has her own car – she can go out from early morning to evening without any restrictions – she can even go out at night with her friends if she gives me decent notice, doesn’t get too drunk and comes back at a sensible hour. She can also go to Sa Kaeo, Bangkok or anywhere else, by herself, any time she chooses – I never stop her. I am financially very generous to her, I take care of her son and his schooling, her younger brother’s college fees, a lot of family expenses and I even bankrolled another brother’s 45k motorcycle. I do loads for her family – and even her friends. I think I am fair enough.

May 2007

“Dang has been in Bangkok since Monday morning. She was due back this morning, but called and said she needed to stay another day and will be returning tomorrow.

June 2007

“Last Wednesday she went out shopping at lunchtime and came home the next morning at 5.30 am – very drunk.Then yesterday, she asked if she could go out with her friend and her friend’s boy friend who were visiting Pattaya. It was no point saying no, but I told her if she was drunk, to drive home in the morning.“By mid day today no news and her phone was off. Finally at 2.30 p.m. she answered her phone and saiid she was coming home. No sign of her by 5 p.m. so I called again and she said she was in Bangkok!!“She said she took her friend back to BKK and will come back home tomorrow. I asked her why she did something like that, and she said because she ‘felt like it’.“Obviously my last departure from home had not sent the right message. I just can’t take any more of this.

Later that week

“I have spoken to her – she is still in Bangkok and says she has been getting drunk with her sisters. The discussion wasn’t ideal, but of course she said all the right things, and admitted she was completely wrong, and that I have been very good and fair to her.

“We have agreed to give it one more try, and she said she will try very hard to change. She said if we ultimately can’t work it out, then she would be very reasonable about a divorce, and that I could keep the house. I think she means it, which is another reason why it would be foolish not to go back and see what I can salvage.

Even later…

“I returned home yesterday afternoon.Cookie, my golden, was waiting for me – straggly hair everywhere, (nobody had brushed her), looking a bit thin, but otherwise healthy enough. She wouldn’t leave me alone. The maid cried again from happiness to see me and told me that Cookie would sit by the front gate every night looking to see if I was coming home. She then told me that Dang had been very upset when she came home last week and found I had taken all my clothes.“Dang returned home about an hour later.“We had a very long chat, and she has promised faithfully that she will never hurt me again. She has admitted that she was completely in the wrong and was very sorry for all the distress she had caused me. She said she didn’t want to break up with me, and had received a very Add shock when she arrived home last week and found that I had cleared out all of my clothes. I told her that she was not only causing me pain but that her son was also so upset when she mis-behaved. I told her about one time she didn’t come home, and I was waiting at home, and he was so upset that he went to the “Buddha table” in the bedroom and prayed for about an hour for her to come home. I had never told her about this before. She cried a lot.“Later, I took Cookie for a walk, and when I got back, I sat down for a rest. Normally I would go for a swim after my evening walk, but I wasn’t in the mood. After a few minutes, I looked for Cookie – couldn’t find her anywhere. Then finally I found her – lying on the top step of the pool, legs in the water, waiting for me to have my swim and throw the ball for her. I called Dang, the maid and my step son to come out and look at her. Normally, Cookie would never go near the pool if I was not swimming. Everyone laughed, and we hugged each other. Cookie had brought us all back together again.

“So I went in the pool after all, had swim and threw the ball.

July 2007

“We were in Sa Kaeo and she got very drunk and started a huge fight with me as we were driving back to the hotel late one night. She became violent and insisted that I stop the car – whereupon she jumped out in the middle of nowhere at 2 in the morning. I stopped the car, drove around but couldn’t find her and then her phone battery went dead. Eventually I had to go back to her village and dig some people out of bed and we re-traced ours steps and set off in search parties in separate vehicles. To cut a long story short she was eventually found and put to bed in the hotel.

August 2007

“Things have not been too bad  since I last took a ‘leave of absence’ in Bangkok, but I guess in many ways I have just been putting my head in the sand; not wishing to face the terrible reality. There have been a number of instances – both here and in Australia when Dang gave me a hard time for no reason, (except that she had been drinking) but she also makes trouble when she is not drinking, so I tend to believe that alcohol simply fuels the problem rather than being the root cause of her bad behaviour and her general behaviour has been somewhat suspect – by that I mean unexplained absences – day time and over- nights, and failures to answer the phone on many occasions when she has been out and about in Pattya etc….

“Anyway, upon our return from Australia, she took off to Bangkok ostensibly for medical appointments, and upon her return (although I didn’t see her return) I too had 3 days of appointments in Bangkok.

“I returned yesterday afternoon. She called me in the morning and asked when I would be home –she told me she was shopping in Pattaya – which was odd as it was very early in the morning, but I didn’t think too much about it. I returned in the afternoon and she was home – asleep. I asked her son why his mum hadn’t taken him to English lessons – which she was supposed to do every Saturday (although I have been taking him for several weeks when she has been away somewhere) – and he told me his Mum hadn’t come home last night to take him. She heard him talking to me and called him away and told him not to say anything more.  I asked her why she had lied about not coming home last night and she went berserk, and said that she did come home and that the teacher was away for 2 weeks so her son didn’t have to go to school. I called the school, and they told me the teacher was there every day and was waiting for the boy to come for his lessons. I told Dang this and she went even more crazy and started smashing up things in the house. I kept my cool and she eventually calmed down and admitted that in fact she hadn’t come home, and that she had lied to me. Then she apologized.

“An uneasy truce followed.

“So last night I couldn’t sleep well and this morning rose at 7.30 and went downstairs to my office. She was fast asleep. At 7.45 a.m., I received an SMS from her:

“me too teeruk I miss you so much you take my…..”

“I quickly realised this sms wasn’t intended for me and rushed back to the bedroom and found her in the bathroom, sitting on the toilet, still trying to send the message.

“I lost my temper and grabbed the phone, and she went mental. She attacked me and wouldn’t stop until I agreed to give the phone back – no doubt it was full of mesages. I sat down and talked to her calmly, and she more or less admitted she had been doing something bad – well she didn’t admit it, but didn’t deny it and she couldn’t provide any explanation for her behaviour. I finally returned the phone as I was exhausted – physically and mentally – and she then tried to claim that she hadn’t sent the message. But of course she had. She knows it, and she knows I know it.

October 2007.

“My daughter and her boyfriend are visiting from England and a couple of weeks ago, we all went to Koh Larn, an island off the coast of Pattaya – Myself, Samantha, her boyfriend, Dang, her sister, and another friend of her sister. Half way through the day, Dang suddenly threw a fit, and started drinking beer. By the time we reached to mainland she was screaming and shouting at me and went off with her sister. She called me later and said she wouldn’t come home for 3 months. Samantha thought it was hilarious. Any way the next day she called me, still drunk and asked me to come and get her – which I did in the afternoon – and she came home, very drunk and slept it off.

Then she went down sick with a bad kidney infection and it cost me 30K for 2 nights in “hospital.

“When she came out of hospital she announced she would do the 10 day vegetarian/no alcohol  religious thing. No meat, fish or alcohol  for ten days – this was fine by me. After 4 days she said she would eat some fish but would carry on with everything else.

“On Samantha’s departure day (day 5 of Dang’s abstinence), Dang went to see a friend in Pattaya and said she would be home around 4 pm. We had to leave for the Airport at 6 p.m. After numerous calls she finally arrived home at 7 p.m… – Drunk!!!

“The next day she told me that one of her Bangkok friends was in town and asked if she could go out with her that evening. This was, the day after Julie left, so she didn’t waste much time and so much for her ‘no alcohol or meat resolution’. I wasn’t keen, but – as ever she insisted – and promised she would only have a couple of drinks and be home no later than 1 a.m. On the following morning she was due to take Add, her son, to stay with a friend for a few days during the school break, and she was going to stay with him. So this was another good reason for her to come back early from her evening in town.

“She finally came home at 8 a.m. on Wednesday morning – drunk. But she showered and changed and drove off with her son.

“I suspect that she was out with a man on Sunday (the day Julie went home) and then went back to him on Monday night. For all I know she was with him when she went off with her son. I’ll never know for sure – and I don’t want to know. Every time I think about it, it turns my stomach over. Even if she is completely innocent of any affair (which I seriously doubt) her behaviour is still totally unacceptable after 4 years together.

“For that past 3 months she has been continually assuring me that she has changed and that she doesn’t want to hurt me any more. I even started to believe her.

“I just don’t know what to do. I can’t face any confrontation with her. I’m too emotionally exhausted.

“I have not touched a drop of alcohol for nine months, but today I had my first drink and I know it won’t be the last.

November 2007

“Yesterday was a real helter skelter. In the morning, Dang took off to Pattaya and indicated she might be back late-ish. I had to go to hospital for an injection, but decided to stop by a friend’s house on the way, as he is being a bit of stalwart and adviser in these dark days.

“She called me and asked where I was – I told her and she went ballistic. Apparently I’m no longer allowed to go anywhere without telling her first!!! Well, everything developed very quickly into an unbelievable full scale row over the phone, with her screaming and shouting and demanding an instant divorce, and me staying very calm and cutting her off when she became too hysterical. My friend couldn’t believe what he was witnessing, and is convinced she is schizophrenic. Every time I cut her off, she called back and started at me again, and demanded that I go home and settle things with her. Finally, she called back, and said she was sorry, and if I went home now, she would talk nicely to me.

“So I went home straight away, as she requested, at about 4 p.m. and no surprise, she eventually turned up 2 hours later. She was full of contrition and remorse, and sad she was very sorry for being angry and said: “Never mind – I am allowed to lose my temper sometimes; it doesn’t really matter does it?”

“She asked me if I wanted to go out to dinner with her and her friend in Pattaya and rather than start another fight by sayng I didn’t want to go, I agreed. So we went out, had sea food meal with her friends down town, and she couldn’t have been nicer and more solicitous.

“Then she and her friend wanted to go to a club. I declined, but said she could go if she wanted and I would pick her up when she was through. To my surprise she agreed to this, and I eventually collected her at 3 a.m., very drunk, but she didn’t make any trouble. On the way home, she just kept on telling me that I was such a good man, and that I was the only one who loved her… and all that sort of thing. But at least there were no drunken rages.

“She has just returned from 4 days in Bangkok where I am pretty certain she has been ‘playing around’. I found some ticket stubs in her handbag for front row, ringside tickets for boxing matches, and she has never shown any interest before in Boxing. In any event she told me she was with her friends the entire time at Thai restaurants and clubs – no mention of boxing stadiums. She was obviously with a man who likes this sport.

“Further, I have discovered that she has been phoning and sending messages to westerner (Scandinavian I think) who is based in Bangladesh. I have her mobile phone bill for October that shows all the details. My friend called the number and established it definitely an English speaking westerner.

“So she was either concerned that I was suspicious about her behaviour (when she is cornered she always attacks), or that the man had just dumped her – or both – who knows? Who cares any more?

“I’m just so hurt in every way, and I want out. In the meantime I am playing the cuckolded, compliant, loving husband, and trying to keep her own suspicions of my true feelings under control – because she does know something is up with me.”

And with the publication of these notes that I wrote a while back, I now end “Mobi’s Story – The Retirement Years.”

Much is still to be written about my past life, as in the the various published “Mobi’s Stories” I have barely scratched the surface of all the crazy , amusing, sad, wonderful and even scary events that have occurred during my somewhat turbulent life.

So starting soon there will be a new section entitled : “MOBI VIGNETTES”

Jomtien 22nd January, 2010 – I think I have finally reached my “Rock Bottom”

Today I am recovering from a 2 day binge. This is the last time I will ever drink.

I think I am lucky to be alive, or at the very least lucky to not have been  badly injured, beaten up and / or robbed.

What happened?

It was Wednesday and I had at long last succeeded in going for twenty four hours without having a drink.

The previous evening, one of the female bar tenders at my local pub had told me that Wednesday was her day off and she asked me if I would like to meet her at the pub at 7.p.m and take her to a birthday party at another pub down the road. I quite liked the girl and her invitation seemed like a good idea idea at the time. However as Wednesday afternoon drew on, I was busy at home on my computer and didn’t really feel like “partying”, especially as I was now determined to stay sober. I almost didn’t go, but finally decided it would be pretty shittty of me to stand her up, and what was the harm? I could always leave her at the party if I decided to have an early night.

So I arrived at the pub just before seven, ordered a coffee and waited for the girl to show. I was hoping that she might not turn up as I really didn’t feel like going. Seven fifteen came and went and there was no sign of her, so I decided to have another coffee, and that if she hadn’t shown by the time I had drunk the second coffee I would go back home.

I went to the toilet, which was situated at the back end of the pub, just in front of the kitchen which had a small, rarely used restaurant area. As I came out of the toilet, I happened to look over into the restaurant area, and there she was – dressed up in her best bib and tucker, being wined and dined by another farang. She was obviously trying to hide from me, as no-one ever eats in that area, they always eat in the pub proper. She saw me, and somewhat shyly called out to me, but I don’t know what she said, and I walked quickly back to my stool at the bar.

This story will amply demonstrate how perverse and twisted I am. The very second I saw her there with another farang, after I had made a special effort to make our date despite misgivings, I became extremely angry and upset. I had thought she was a nice girl, yet here she was, playing games with me at the first opportunity. “Is there anybody in this country who won’t try and put one over on me if they have the chance?”

I didn’t take a drink – not then, but I paid my bill and left and went to another pub down the road to get something to eat. I was still upset. I ordered some food and one of the girls I knew there sat with me and I bought her a drink. She asked me why I was in a bad mood, and why didn’t I smile?

As soon as I had eaten I decided to go to the pub where the party was being held and see if my ‘date’ was there with her ‘other farang’.

The party was in full progress but there was no sign of her. She obviously had other plans for the evening. I sat down and ordered a Coke. Then another girl who I knew sat next to me and I bought her a drink. Then the manager, whose birthday was being celebrated, greeted me, and she too was rewarded with a drink. I was trying to cheer myself up, and I bought two more drinks for two more girls within the space of minutes.

They all told me that I looked tired and unhappy. They were right – I was unhappy. Why was I unhappy? My broken ‘date’ meant nothing to me, yet I was still unhappy. Then it suddenly occurred to me that I was the only sober person at this party. No wonder I was unhappy.

I ordered a beer, and so started probably the worst drinking binge I have ever experienced.

My memories of the next forty eight hours are sketchy at best, although I do recall the first part of Wednesday evening reasonably well.

I stayed at the party for about half an hour, ordering a few more beers before setting out on a mini “pub crawl” in the immediate area. I ended up back at the pub where the girl had stood me up and stayed there until quite late, drinking heavily and chatting to girls. At around midnight I drove to Jomtien and went to yet another one of my regular drinking places, where I probably stayed until it closed.

Then I did a strange thing, and I have no recollection of the reason but I actually drove home – alone. If I had stayed home, then all would have been well. But as I parked up, in my allocated parking slot, I did the unthinkable – scratched the side of my car against a concrete post. I got out to take a look and when I saw the white scratch marks, I was furious with myself. I had just paid out twelve thousand Baht to have all the previous scratches and bumps repaired, and here I was, at it again!!

I was so upset that I got back into the car and drove to Pattaya and that’s where things start to get fairly sketchy.

I remember going to Walking Street and having some drinks there. Then, for God knows what reason, I walked to the beach and started to walk along by the sea shore. I know that by this time I was very drunk. At length I sat down on a bench next to two girls and started to talk to them. After a while two young Thai men came along and spoke to the girls and I interrupted speaking to them in Thai. I have no recollection of what I said, but remember thathey became very upset, and started shouting at me. By this time I was so drunk that I wasn’t scared, but the girls dragged me away.

We moved down the beach a few yards, but the two men followed and started to smile a sort of menacing – maybe drug induced – smile at me and started to threaten me. In my drunken daze I realised I was about to be mugged, and I looked around for something to defend myself with. I found a large stone under the bench and picked it up. The two men laughed and came closer and made menacing gestures. Then the girls dragged me to my feet and pulled me away, pushing me along the road, back towards Walking Street. Mercifully, this time my would-be muggers didn’t follow.

We sat down again, quite close to Walking Street. There were a lot of drunk or maybe drug crazed young Thai men milling around us, arguing and shouting. All of a sudden one group left, and the girls told me to get out of there immediately, as the group that left would be back soon with weapons. There was going to be a big fight. Of course all the police – including our beloved farang volunteers – had long since packed up their truncheons and gone home for the night.

I half ran and was half dragged away from this new, potential conflict, in the direction of central Pattaya.

Then I became thirsty. I asked the girls to get me some booze and gave them some money. After about ten minutes, it occurred to me that they wouldn’t be back, but incredibly they did return with some beer from a Seven Eleven. We drank it together, but I wasn’t satisfied. I asked the girls to take me to a drfinking place that was still open. The next thing I knew, the three of us, plus the driver all squeezed up onto one motorcycle taxi and we drove way out of Pattaya. I wondered where the Hell I was being taken but was too drunk to do anything about it.

We eventually arrived at what can only be described as a “karaoke on water”. We were by a large lake, and there were little platforms on stilts scattered throughout the water, each with it’s own tables and chairs, and a large karaoke machine. I had never seen anything like it before. We sat down at one such table, the Thai whisky was served, and the girls started singing. They asked me to sing but I was too drunk to do anything except sit and drink. I have no idea what the time was, but would guess it must have been the middle of the night – maybe 4 or 5 a.m.

After awhile, I gathered my thoughts sufficiently to wonder WTF I was doing there!! I told the girls I wanted to go back to Pattaya. So I guess the bill must have been paid, and once again all three of us clambered onto one motorcycle and we were driven back into Pattaya.

I could have easily been mugged or robbed by the girls, and I could have easily been mugged at this karaoke place which was in the middle of nowhere and seething with drunken Thais. Or the girls could have colluded with one of the moto-taxis and taken me somewhere to mug me. But they didn’t. In spite of everything, someone out there is still looking out for me.

My memories of the remaining hours of my binge are extremely vague.

I vaguely recall being back in Pattaya, but have no idea what happened to the girls or indeed if I paid them anything.

My next memory is being in a bar on Thursday afternoon, at the corner of a Soi and Beach Road. I was still drinking, and very, very, very drunk. It is amazing that I hadn’t passed out – or maybe I had, and then woken up again. Who knows?

I was in a very bad state and could hardly sit, let alone stand, but I was still drinking.

I looked in my pocket and found my mobile phone. Then I called my wife. I don’t know why I called her, but I did. I remember crying in the phone to her and telling her how sorry I was. I think she must have rung off because I can see from my phone call log that I called her several times. She must have called her friend in Pattaya because after a while her friend’s husband, a farang, called me and told me that Dang (my wife) was worried about me and she wanted him to come and find me. He asked me where I was, but I said I didn’t know. I rung off, then he called again, but I told him I was OK and rung off again.

Some time later I realised that I was far from ‘OK’. I was totally incapable. I called one of my friends from AA, but he didn’t answer – or if he did, I was too drunk to hear him. Then I phoned my AA sponsor. I spoke to him, but rung off before he could ask me where I was. I wasn’t sure what to do but I knew I needed help – urgently. I looked in my wallet, which incredibly, was still in my back pocket, and found my little Pattaya AA card with phone numbers on it. I phoned one person on the list but he didn’t answer. Then I phoned a second person and this time someone answered. It was Frank, one of the senior members of the Pattaya evening AA group. I knew him but hadn’t seen him for months as I no longer attended the evening meetings. He remembered me, and at long last I managed to speak to someone without hanging up.

Somehow I worked out where I was – on the corner of Beach and Soi 8. How long I had been there, I had no idea, and how I got there I had no idea. It was now late Thursday afternoon and I had been drinking for almost twenty four hours straight – no food and no sleep.

Frank arrived sometime later and found me half awake, but still drinking. When I saw him I burst into tears and he held me and comforted me. I told him that I was scared to stop drinking because I would be so ill if I sobered up. Frank asked me to give him my wallet, credit cards and car keys and asked me where my car was. I had no idea but assumed it was parked at the Wat on Pattaya Tai, near Walking Street where I usually parked.

Frank drives a motorcycle and I have no recollection of how we got to the Wat, but we did. (He told me this morning that on our way to the Wat, he had to rescue me from several potentially vi8loent situations as I kept having run ins with other drunks) Frank found me somewhere to sit down and scoured the entire parking area, but couldn’t find any car that fitted the description I had given him. We gave up, and he said he would take me home. I told him that the condo keys were in my car and I couldn’t get in without them. So we gave up going home, and he walked me to the nearby Day Night hotel where I was checked in. I only know this because early this morning I woke up on top of the bed in the hotel, still fully clothed, found my phone and called Frank before the battery gave out. He told me that he had checked me in the previous night, and we arranged to meet downstairs in half an hour to have some breakfast.

I felt terrible – I could hardly walk, and I was shaking like a leaf.  I hadn’t taken any insulin or heart medication for three days and my heart was racing at over 100 beats per minute. God knows what my blood sugar levels were running at.

We met in the lobby and I managed to get some food and coffee into my stomach. Then we went back to the Wat, with me hanging precariously on the back of Frank’s motorbike. We searched the area together,and there was no sign of the car.

I could not think where it could possibly be, but suggested we check second road at the back of Walking street, and if it wasn’t there, then the only other place I could think of was Pattaya Klang, near Tops supermarket, as I used to park there many months ago when I went drinking in Sois 7 and 8. But if the car was there, that would mean that I must have driven it there in the middle of the night when I was totally innebraiated, as I was sure that I had parked at the Wat when I first went to Pattaya on Wednesday night. The idea that even I – Mobi – had driven when that drunk was unthinkable.

I couldn’t think of any other idea. So we drove along second Road, from the back of Walking Street towards Pattaya Klang. I was hoping I might see the car parked on Second Road which would mean that I hadn’t moved it since driving to Pattaya, and that I was wrong about parking it at the Wat. There was still no sign of it, and I was starting to realise that it was going be be a major problem for us to locate it.

We eventually reached the Central Pattaya junction and took a left turn down towards Tops. I had given up hope that I would find it, but there, on Pattaya Klang, a little way down from Tops on the other side of the road ,was my car, well parked, just outside a bar which led down a little alley into Soi seven. I looked at the scratches which had started me on this terrible binge. Ninety percent of them just rubbed off, and there is only one small mark remaining – no where near as bad as I thought in my drunken state back on Wednesday. In ertrospect such a small price to pay for my reckless and criminal stupidity.

I am totally disgusted with myself for my drunk driving and no amount of angry comments is going to make me feel any smaller than I do right now.

I think I am very lucky to be alive, and also very lucky that I didn’t kill or maim someone when driving. How much longer can this kind of luck hold? If I don’t stop drinking I am a gonner.

I thought that I could go back to drinking in reasonable moderation, and enjoy myself. But I can’t. I am worse than ever. I have never been on a binge like this in my life before, and the blackouts are becoming very scary. It is only a matter of time.

So my dear readers, this is no ‘turning on the road to Damascus‘, nor have I been struck by a ‘heavenly bolt of white light‘, but I have finally reached my rock bottom, and I swear on my dear departed mother’s grave that I will never knowingly touch another drop of alcohol for the remainder of my life.

Please God help me to keep this promise.

Jomtien, 20th January, 2010 – I finally made it!

I took my last drink at 2.00 am on Tuesday 19th January, so I have now achieved over one day of sobriety.

I sincerely hope this will be the start of a long – maybe lifetime – run of sobriety.

Yes, maybe the turning point was indeed the ‘turn’ I made back to my Condo in the early hours of Tuesday morning, rather than drive into Pattaya to continue my drinking spree.

I spent most of yesterday at home, but still went out in the evening, for a bite to eat and yes….. to a few bars to say hello to a few ‘acquaintances’.

At one place I ordered a Diet Coke, and a young lady who I have known for a while wandered over, so I bought her a drink. It turned out to be a beer, and she looked at my Coke in surprise and tried to persuade me to swap my coke for her beer. This was another test – I almost agreed, but held firm.

At my last port of call, I ordered a cup of tea, and one of the young ladies there who knows me well, joined me at my table. She is an extremely pretty young thing and I was sorely tempted to take her home with me. But the more I thought about it, the more I realised how ridiculous I was being. The lady in question was friendly, but I knew she didn’t really care about me.

After all these years in Thailand, I can sense the ones who really like me for myself, and those who are just going through the motions to earn a crust to feed their families. This particular lady was undoubtedly in the second category, but such is my egotistical, emotional hang up, that with such women, I believe that if I try hard enough, I can bring bring them around and make them have feelings for me. It is an allusion – I know that now.

I know that as I get older, the number of women in the second category will become larger and larger.

This is the dilemma of the alcoholic who is also addicted to whores. (As so many are).On the one hand they think that inside every prostitute is a good woman waiting to be saved and will fall in love with him. Then on the other hand he has a woman who will make love to him for money; it is a commercial transaction, which means there is no obligation continue the relationship, and no emotional entanglements or obligations.

Personally, I always insist on paying for my women, even if on the odd occasion they may offer their services for free, as it doesn’t feel right if I don’t pay for it. So for more than forty years I have been paying for it, yet at the same time, at some a different level of my consciousness, I have perversely believed that I can indeed ‘buy’ their love and affection.

These and other such thoughts were running through my sober mind as I looked upon this lovely young ‘thing of the night’. She was twenty one, had a two year old son back home in Udon, and her face was exquisitely chiseled in that classic ‘Thai symmetry’ – almost masculine. She had ample breasts and gorgeous, sensuous legs that seemed to go on forever, the thighs disappearing into a pair of white, micro shorts that left little to the imagination.

The temptation was enormous, but as I had found the strength to reject alcohol, I somehow found the strength to look at myself and reject this beautiful person sitting next to me. For tonight, and hopefully many nights to come I will try to stay sober and alone, and try to get my life back together.

I know that I will always go back to women – and in my humble opinion that is no great sin – but for now it was time to try and live alone for a while.

So I paid for my drink, gave the lady a generous tip, ( I had earlier intimated than I would take her with me, so she would now suffer a loss of income), and made my way home. Once home, I took my nightly meds and was asleep by 1.30.

I would like to deal with the vexed question of why I live in Pattaya, as many of my readers have commented that it is not the best of places for an alcoholic to stop drinking and remain sober.

Ron Baltimore wrote: “an alcoholic in Pattaya is like a kid in a candy shop. You haven’t actually acknowledge this in either case where this was pointed out to you. I’m not judging your past life as I am a fairly heavy drinker but I do think you are going to have to consider moving to a more conducive environment if you are truly to ever stop drinking.”

I would not deny that this is an indisputable fact, and can only offer up my own reasons for being here – not as an excuse or justification, but simply the reason why I am here, be it right or wrong.

First and foremost, I am in Thailand because I love Thailand. For all it’s faults – and there are many – I prefer it to my own home country – England.

I would be lying if I didn’t say that the beautiful Thai women are not near the top of my reasons for wanting to live here. I love looking at, and interacting with beautiful women. Unfortunately back home, there are so few of them.

Here in Pattaya, even in my deepest depressions, I can take a walk, or a drive in my car, and within a few minutes I will see literally dozens of gorgeous ladies with lovely, slim bodies, (most of whom the average western male would give their back teeth for). My depression would lift a notch or two and I would smile again.

Then, of course there’s the climate. Probably too hot for most of the time to be absolutely ideal, but oh so much better than the climate back home.

Then I enjoy living with the Thai people. I have been as critical as anyone on many of the bad things that go on here, but I am not convinced that the Thais are any better or any worse than any other race of people. There is good and bad everywhere and I just happen to resonate with so many of them; I always have done.

Along with this is my knowledge of Thai which is still continuing to improve. It makes such a huge difference to living here when you can speak to the locals in their own language, and even understand some of what they saying to each other. In particular, any farang who speaks reasonable Thai would confirm my experience – that most Thais interact with you and regard you quite differently once they realise you can speak with them in their own language.

We, Thai speaking farangs, are so few and far between, that we seem to become an object of respect and even affection wherever we go. It’s kinda nice.

Not too long ago I was seriously considering moving to Cambodia, and a good friend of mine, who lives in that country was visiting with me in Pattaya. I took him out to some night spots and he sat next to me while I chatted to the ladies in Thai. When we left, he said: “Mobi, you should never choose Cambodia over Thailand as a place to live. I watched the interaction you had with those girls back there and I was so impressed. I could see that they regarded you as a ‘soul mate’ and appeared so happy to chat and laugh with you. Your gift of Thai is so precious, and if you move to Cambodia you would no longer be able to use it.” I believe my friend was correct. I can’t conceive living in a country where I don’t have some knowledge of the local language.

I also love traveling in Thailand. I have driven nearly 40,000 kilometers in the past eighteen months alone. Some parts of Thailand are truly awe-inspiring – many of them off the beaten track of most tourists – such as the hills and mountains of Petchabun.

And of course I can still live here very cheaply compared to the UK and enjoy a much higher standard of living than I would be able to do back home.

I don’t hate England, it is still a good place to visit, but I simply have no desire to live there. But I do love Thailand.

So why Pattaya?

In the first instance I stumbled into Pattaya almost by accident.

When I first returned to Thailand, after my divorce with Noi, I set up home in Bangkok, and you will know if you have read my blog, that I had planned to live in a house that I bought, just outside the Bangkok metropolitan area in a large “moobaan” (village) called Thana City. When that fell through I rented a series of apartments in the Sukhumvit area of Bangkok – an area I had known for over 30 years, and an area where all my friends lived and where I could eat, drink and ‘play around’ with great ease.

After I married Dang we made several trips to Pattaya for weekends by the sea and during one of these trips, Dang happened to mention that Pattaya City had developed into a mini-Bangkok, and she wouldn’t mind living there. I was surprised by this, as I had always thought Dang to be a dedicated lover of Bangkok, with all that it had to offer, and that she would never wish to move from her capital city.

She made this remark at a time when I was seriously considering burying a condo in Bangkok, so when we returned home, I did a bit of surfing to see what homes might be available for sale in the Pattaya area. I was absolutely amazed at the volume of websites with pages and pages of properties . I had no idea that it was such a huge and growing city, with new housing and condo projects springing up all over the place.

To cut a very long story extremely short, I hooked up with a UK builder and bought a rai of land some 20 kilometers east of Pattaya, near Mabprachan lake, and situated in Pong village; within easy walking distance of the local market and Wat Pong – the center of village life.

It seemed to be – and was – the ideal compromise. Life in a genuine rural Thai community (where virtually no one spoke any English), farang style restaurants and bars situated at the nearby lake, and yet only a twenty minute drive into Central Pattaya where we could do our shopping and enjoy the delights of what Pattaya had to offer.

We moved in to the newly built ‘mansion’ in October, 2005 and I have been living in Pattaya and its environs ever since.

I should add at this stage, that despite the fact that I have lived in countless cities throughout the world, I have always struggled to settle into a new place – simply because I have the most horrendous sense of direction and memory for streets and places, and it takes at least a year before I can go more than a mile or so from home without getting hopelessly lost. I well remember how long it took me to find my way around places like Lagos, Jakarta, Rotterdam, Bangkok and even the city of London, where I worked off and on for over twenty years, but even today I could get lost within half a mile of the Bank of England.

Typically I would be much happier in small towns, such as Abu Dhabi, Port Harcourt, and of course Pattaya as it was easier and quicker to get to know my way around. In point of fact, ‘Greater Pattaya” is a much larger place than I first imagined, and the area that most people know – from Beach Road up to Sukhumvit and from Na Klua in the north to Jomtien in the south is but a small part of the town. There is a huge area, quite possibly larger than Pattaya city itself, to the east of Sukhumvit Road, and of course it sprawls out out way past Jomtien.

No one knows what the real population of Pattaya and its environs really is, as a majority of residents have migrated to Pattaya from rural areas where their details are still registered on the village tabian Bahns, (home papers); but there does seem to be a consensus that Pattaya may well be the second largest population center, after Bangkok, in Thailand, which should give you some idea of it’s real size.

However, as I didn’t even live in Pattaya ‘proper’, it has taken me quite a while to get to know my way around, but since I have moved to Jomtien, and I am daily driving out and about, my knowledge of the place has increased in leaps and bounds. I now know virtually every ‘rat run’ and short cut in the city, and even most of the roads, sois and sub sois, east of the railway lines, as I lived in Pong for four and a half years. So I am comfortable on the ‘navigation front’.

But it still isn’t a good place to live because the place is full of bars and drunks.

Well my account of my wedding to Dang alone should convince you that it isn’t only Pattaya that is full of drunks but virtually every village and town in the whole country is similarly blighted. I could never live in a village. At my time of life I value my home comforts too much: Cable TV, reliable internet connection, nearby availability of decent shopping, and so on.

Even though I can speak Thai and am able to converse with the local Thais, I am not able to have anything approaching a meaningful conversation on any subject of mutual interest. The majority have had very rudimentary schooling which is of extremely low quality; they know little of the outside world, except what the government chooses to tell them and I regret to say, they are often ‘brain washed’ by the local politicians and government propaganda. Their lives revolve around ways and means to feed their bellies, and then to get drunk as often and as quickly as possible. Hardly an ideal environment for an alcoholic farang.

However I do accept and agree that Pattaya is unique in as much as it’s very raison d’etre is bars, booze and carousing farangs.

But at least most of us from the western world accept that alcoholism is indeed a disease, that should be treated as such. A majority of Thais do not even understand, let alone accept this concept.

It would probably surprise my many readers to learn just how many sober alcoholics there are living in Pattaya. Why this is, I cannot say, but my guess is that it is because so many alcoholics are attracted to the bar style of life, even when sober, and also by the availability of women. Booze and women seems to go together for so many of us.

There are three AA meetings per day in different parts of Pattaya, and all of them are well attended: by sober alcoholic residents, and by sober alcoholics on holiday or just passing through. When I first started to attend meetings here, I was astonished by the number of attendees who live in Pattaya and had many years of sobriety under their belts. I was even more surprised by the number of visitors who told me that the Pattaya meetings were amongst the best they had ever been to, and they even chose Pattaya as a holiday destination as they valued our meetings so highly.

Many residents, who are long term recovering alcoholics have also said the same thing; declaring that they live in Pattaya as they value the high quality of the meeings here which help to keep them sober.

So if an alcoholic wants to get sober in Pattaya, there is no shortage of meetings or help at hand.

All of the forgoing doesn’t in any way justify my decision to live here. I am simply telling you why I am here – rightly or wrongly. Since I have moved to Jomtien I have learned to love this city.

It is a wild, crazy, zany, melting pot of humanity and nationalities. You would have to go a long way in this world to meet such a diverse bunch of people as those who can be found in this town. We have what could probably described as the biggest whorehouse in the world, sitting side by side with 5 star hotels, up-market shopping centers and gourmet food at a price most can afford. Activities ranging from absailing, Bungy Jumping, go-karting, parasailing, windsurfing, motor racing, horse riding, boating and so on abound.

The nearby motorway makes it a perfect jump off point for the airport, Bangkok, Ayudhaya, the north and north east, with the Bangkok expressways whizzing you across Bangkok in literally minutes to continue journeys to Hua hin and the south.

And I haven’t even mentioned the sea, the shore line and the nearby tropical islands. I know the beaches in Pattaya are a disgrace, and I would never swim in the water, but if you travel a little way in either direction out of Pattaya you will find much cleaner, nicer beaches where the sea is much cleaner. Bang Sarae is idyllic, and the sea food there is outstanding.

My condo faces out onto Dongtan beach, which sort of runs from the north end of Jomtien right through to the headland leading into Pattaya proper. The beach is kept spotless by the locals; has a daytime motor free zone with a tastefully tiled walk way and even the ubiquitous umbrellas are much less prevalent here than on other beaches in the region. Dongtan has a reputation for attracting gays, ( and so what, says I), but since I have lived here, I doubt I have seen more than half a dozen gays,and the beach is a largely occupied by farang couples and families. From my condo which has a brilliant, unobstructed sea view, I can walk down to the beach and take a nightly stroll along the flood-lit beach without being hassled by ‘ladies of the night’ plying their trade.

I have no idea how long I will stay here, but right now, there is no other place I wish to be. I love my home and I love this city – “21st Century “Deadwood”. It appeals to my adventurous streak. Here, I have some good, sober friends who I can call on for help and support, and female comfort is never far away, in any nearby bar. I may end up becoming bored, but until I do, I will be here.

As Frank Sinatra once sang in the song ‘New York New York’, “If you can make it there you can make it anywhere…”

That’s how I feel about my alcoholism and Pattaya.

Yesterday, I took a look back at my very first blog which I wrote back on July 7th 2009. I wanted to re-review what I wrote as the purpose of this blog, and to see if the purpose that I had enumerated last July, still stands today; or had I digressed from my original intent during the ensuing months?

I was surprised and pleased to see that what I wrote then still remains valid today, and for the benefit of those who haven’t bothered to go back to the start of my blog I now will re-publish what I said in my July7th preamble:

Mobi wrote, on July 7th, 2010:

“The subject of this blog is alcoholism, and in particular, my alcoholism, and what I am doing in my life to combat this sickness.

The purpose of this blog is twofold: First and foremost – and I make no apologies for this, even if it does seem to go against AA principles – is that I find it cathartic to write about my problems, and further, that there may be folk out there who may read my blog, maybe offer encouragement, and by so doing, give me the strength and determination to continue along my chosen course.

Secondly – and this is certainly in keeping with AA principles, there may be many alcoholics out there who will be encouraged, inspired (dare I hope for such a thing?), and even learn (Oh my God I’m getting too cocky by half!), from my ramblings.

I sincerely hope – whether I succeed or fail miserably – that you, dear readers, may derive some benefit from reading about my life and exploits, as it pertains to my ongoing attempts to stop drinking.

There is one point I wish to make clear at the very outset. The very nature of my story necessitates that I have to be extremely discrete when writing about the people I encounter and interact with in my quest for sobriety. This means that you must take it as ‘read’ that all names and any information that could lead to discovery of those to whom I refer, will be fictionalized, in order to protect their anonymity.

So please, no speculation on anyone who is mentioned, as I can assure you that in all likelihood you will be way off the mark, as I am quite inventive.

But for me, Mobi, I will be an open book, and I accept that as the price I must pay for writing this blog.”

Jomtien, 19th January 2010

Surprise, surprise; I still haven’t managed to achieve 24 hours of sobriety.

Once again, I made it to 10 p.m. and then ‘picked up’. It is becoming a familiar pattern. I stayed at home all day yesterday. In the morning, my nympho girlfriend called and said she wanted to come and see me, so she duly arrived and we spent a pleasant couple of hours together.

Then she went off to work and I spent the rest of the day clearing up my condo and working on my computer.

By 9 p.m. I was getting pretty hungry, and being too lazy to cook anything, I went off to the local pub for a bite to eat. By this time my body was completely free of alcohol, and I felt pretty good, but when I arrived at the pub and was asked what I wanted to drink, for some unaccountable reason I ordered a beer rather than the cup of tea I had planned to order. Why did I do this? Because I am weak and stupid?

Yes, both of the forgoing. I am also sick – my mind is sick. Sometimes it seems that my mind is under the control of an alien influence. Alcohol is more than just an addictive substance; it is something that takes over one’s very mind and soul.

So one beer followed another, and then one Sangsom followed another, and before I knew it, it was 2 a.m. and I was in my third bar. I decided to drive around to Jomtien beach and go to another one of my locals that was usually open until at least 3 or 4 a.m., but to my dismay they had closed early. I curb-crawled the length and breadth of Jomtien but failed to find an open bar. There were a few late openers around the area of the Hanuman Statue, but they didn’t look very inviting, so I decided to drive to Walking Street where I knew I could find bars open 24/7.

But as I drove out of Jomtien and  was about the pass the entrance  to my Condo entrance, I made a momentous decision. It may not seem much, but to me it was significant. I said to myself:

WTF are you driving to Walking Street  for at 2.30 in the morning. What good will it do you? You’re already half pissed, and if you go there you will drink all night, spend a lot of money and feel like shit again.”

Good question. I had no rational answer, so I turned into the condo entrance and drove home.

I took two anti histamine tablets and an extra anti depressant to help me sleep, and crashed about 3 a.m. After eight full hours of deep sleep, I awoke, feeling sleepy, but refreshed, and with only a slight  hangover.

So today I will try again. Maybe I can make it this time.

Here’s a comment that I received yesterday that I will publish in my main blog, together with my response.

Dude, on January 19th, 2010 at 10:29 am Said: Edit Comment

Man, you are completely nuts. Why on earth would you want to marry an alcoholic hooker who you don’t trust and is clearly only with you because you pay her to be? Because she looks “classy” in her figure hugging bar clothes?

I have a few friends who have had successful relationships with ex-bar girls. The only way it can be done is if you remove money from the equation. If not, you’ll never trust her and treat her as a whore; and she’ll never trust you and see you only as a customer.

And sod the AA. That’s not what you need. You need to see a proper therapist who can deal with all your issues. The booze seems the least of your worries. You have money left, so spend it wisely on a good shrink.

mobi, on January 19th, 2010 at 1:26 pm Said: Edit Comment

Yes, I am completely nuts and have said as much on many occasions in my blog.

But with respect, you seem to have missed the point of my blog.

I am writing a true account of what has happened in my life, and in fact the story of my wedding to Dang in yesterday’s blog occurred five years ago.

I am also writing about my daily struggles with life in ‘paradise’, and my fight against alcoholism, so for you to tell me I am nuts and should avoid avaricious bar girls is pointless and unhelpful. I have never attempted to deny my irrational and extremely ludicrous behaviour.

The debate about whether a farang can ever have a long, happy and successful relationship with an ex bar girl has been raging, back and forth for as long as farangs have been indulging in such activities.

Many farangs try to deny the origins of their relationship; others pretend all is well, when the reality is that very often, the marriage is a miserable disaster. Of course there are always exceptions, but in my 37 years experience of Thailand, I would assert that the truly successful ones are few and far between.

But that doesn’t stop me, and countless thousands of other farangs, forever trying to prove that it can work, even though we know in our heart that it can never be so.

Again, with respect, how can you possibly know that booze isn’t at the root of my problems? OK, you could argue that problems in life can turn you to booze, and I have already blogged that I was abused by a domineering father from a very young age, (a very common issue with many alcoholics), and at some point turned to booze for solace and relief.

But it doesn’t matter what turns a person to alcohol in the first place, the fact remains that once they are alcoholics, it then becomes the main problem, and all behaviour from then on is predicated by an increasingly alcohol-befuddled brain. It is only by stopping drinking, and then trying to sort their lives out that alcoholics can stay sober and find happiness.

I have had some therapy, which I will write about later, and even though I now have less faith in AA than I did a few months ago, I still accept that AA is probably the only way forward for people like me, and my best chance of reaching sobriety.

And now the conclusion to the account of Mobi’s unforgettable wedding day:



“It’s time for wife number 5”

The area was strewn with empty bottles, half eaten food and other litter, and a few drunken groups were still defying gravity and sipping beer or whisky from half empty glasses.

Dang was sitting at a table with her friends from Bangkok, and I joined them. To my relief, she declared that she was tired and told me she was going to bed. As she staggered towards the house, one of her friends called out from the table. I cannot recall exactly what was said, but I do remember that it was something inoffensive – just a joke, but in her alcohol fueled brain, Dang took umbrage. She turned back to the table and started shouting and screaming at her friend. The friend screamed back, before you knew what was happening a full scale brawl was in progress.

Friends and family eventually separated the two fighting women, who continued to shout abuse at each other, but before you knew it, everyone started to take sides and joined in the arguing and shouting. The whole affair looked in imminent danger of getting out of control, and quite possibly dangerous.

I was disgusted. What a brilliant conclusion to our wedding night – a drunken brawl. Of course I was also drunk, and as I watched Dang continuing her never ending tirade against her life long friend, I became infuriated with her and went over to her and told her so. I asked her why she had to spoil everything and why did she had to pick fights with friends who had traveled all the way from Bangkok to help her celebrate her wedding.

It was the worse thing I could have done.

Dang immediately turned on me and changed the direction of the fight form one between friends to one between newly married husband and wife. She accused me of being disloyal, of not supporting her, and preferring to take herb friend’s side, and all kinds of other nonsense. She went on and on, but her extremely inebriated state was starting take hold of her. She could barely stand or speak rationally and looked in danger of passing out. So a few of her family grabbed hold of her and half dragged, half carried her upstairs to the bedroom, where she passed out.

I didn’t follow. I was too worried that she might wake up and continue the fight – something she had done on a number of previous occasions. So I sat back down at the table with her friends and family and had a few more drinks while all those present offered there sympathies to me that the night had turned into such a catastrophe. After a while I decide to creep upstairs and see if I could quietly creep in next to Dang and get some long needed sleep. But Dang must have woken up at some point, because I found the bedroom door locked and I couldn’t get in.

So I slept on the floor downstairs, and upon awakening a few hours later, I climbed into my car and drove back to Bangkok – alone.

A wonderful start to our married life together.

Jomtien, 18th January, 2010

I’m still trying to complete 24 hours of sobriety.

Yesterday I made it to 10.p.m.

I spent much the of the afternoon with friends at my old haunt, out by the lake, east of Pattaya. They were all getting drunk and I stayed sober. but eventually I drove back into Pattaya, hit a few pubs and suddenly decided to drink again. I drank until 2a.m. and went home very drunk. The morning was a write off, but I am feeling much better now.

I will try again today. I now know that I can never drink in moderation. I am sick. I have to find a way back to sobriety, or I will surely get very ill, have an accident or harm myself, probably fatally in some other way.



“It’s time for wife number 5”

The Wedding was fascinating and exhausting, but ultimately it was a traumatic disaster.

I was already a regular visitor to Dang’s village in Sa Keo, and everyone in the village and the surrounding area knew me quite well. After all, I had built one of the village’s most ostentatious houses, and I had also been the main benefactor of many drunken parties, where folk came from miles around to eat drink and make merry at my expense.

We arrived a couple of days before the date of the wedding, and the arrangements commenced in earnest.

The whole area surrounding Dang’s house was cordoned off and the road blocked off to traffic to accommodate the stage and dining area for the forthcoming wedding. Caterers were coming all the way from Chonburi, and one of the biggest entertainment groups for miles around were coming to set up stage and provide the live music and entertainment.

In the meantime the monks from the local Wat turned up on a tractor and set up a huge sound system outside the house to provide music for the ‘pre-wedding’ festivities that would run for the 2 days preceding the wedding itself. So the loud music, eating, drinking and merrymaking commenced, and the whole village downed tools for the duration.

Dang and I had already had western wedding outfits made at the Bangkok wedding shop: Dang in a beautiful, floor length, white figure hugging wedding dress, and me in traditional evening dress. But on arrival in Sa Keao, we both went into town to be fitted up with Thai style wedding clothes, which would also be worn on the day.

Then there were the photographers, the wedding video makers, the cake suppliers, the floral designers and flower suppliers, and “Uncle Tom Cobley” an’ all.

I made many, many trips to the ATM during those 2 days.

Things started to turn a bit sour when Dang disappeared for longer and longer periods – leaving me alone at the house, surrounded by a bunch of drunken Thai men. Of course I was also drinking, and the more I drunk the more upset I became at Dang’s long, unexplained absences. It finally came to a head on the eve of the wedding when Dang had been absent virtually all afternoon and evening. I was getting drunker and ever angrier. I kept calling her, and she kept telling me she was with friends, or having her hair done and would be back shortly; but of course “shortly” never came.

(I should add that even by this relatively early stage in our relationship, I had realised that Dang was a compulsive and accomplished liar, and that she was always up to no good, so every time she was out of sight, I would become paranoid about where she might be and what she might be doing. As the years wore on, I slowly realized that all my worst fears were more than justified.

It was getting very late, and still no sign of Dang, and I got so angry and drunk, that I stormed out of the house and staggered through the village, before passing out at the side of the road, a mile or so from Dang’s house.

I was found by some locals who were sent out to track me down and escort me back home. I found that Dang had finally deigned to return. No doubt someone told her what had happened.

She was beside herself with rage. How dare I shame her in front of her family!!! She had not done anything wrong and I had behaved in such a shameful and disgusting way. The wedding was off, and I should leave now and go back to Bangkok!

Dang would always defend herself against any problem that I had with her by attacking me. She would always come out with all guns blazing, even though I had caught her out in an outrageous lie or unacceptable behavior. On this particular occasion, she had promised me faithfully all day long that she would return in the afternoon, and then in half and hour and so on and so on, and of course it was nearly midnight when she finally arrived. But it was all my fault for getting drunk and shaming her. And if I hadn’t kept calling her she would have come home hours ago.

So in a pattern of behaviour that was to be repeated time and time again over the years, I offered my abject apologies, and begged her to forgive me, and apologized to her mother and family. She finally relented and agreed that the wedding would proceed after all.

I slept very little that night, and the wedding day was one of the most exhausting days I have ever lived through.

Dang disappeared at around 4.30 a.m. to go in to town and have her hair done and be made up and dressed in traditional Thai garb for the morning ceremonies. By the time Dang left, there were already dozens of villagers and family milling around the house preparing food and setting up stuff in perpetration for the Thai ceremony.

The photographers, video team, and floral people turned up and commenced their own preparations.

Dang finally arrived back around 8.30 looking like a Thai Princess. I had to admit she looked absolutely stunning.

Then at nine about a dozen monks arrived on a tractor and went into the house, and Mobi – dressed as a traditional Thai Puyai (nobleman) was taken out of the village to await start of the ceremony. I was accompanied by a large crowd of villagers , and a pickup truck which had a sound system on the back together with a group of Thai musicians, sporting various western and Thai musical instruments.

At the stroke of nine the music started up, and I had to walk slowly back to the village, accompanied by mor lam,(northeastern folk music); the already drunken revelers dancing madly around me. The women seemed even drunker than the men and they kept covering me with flowers as we slowly made our way back to the house.

Upon arrival at the front door, I was bidden to remove my shoes and socks, and a local girl washed my feet, and I was told to pay her. In fact I recall that during my march  back to the house I was forever paying various amounts of money to all kinds of people for God knows what reason – ostensibly Thai traditions. Maybe they made it up as they went along.

Once inside the house, I found the monks seated along one side of the large downstairs room, and all the family and visitors kneeling and facing them.

The sound system was alive and well, and the wedding activities in the house were broadcast at umpteen decibels to the surrounding countryside to those who were not invited indoors.

The village elders took charge of the ceremony – which of course was all in Thai – and went on forever and ever. There was much chanting and praying, with Dang and I being the focal point in the center of the room.

We had to kneel with our hands in the prayer position for ages, and after a few minutes I could no longer manage to maintain the required position – I was in agony. A kind soul brought me a cushion which he put under my elbow to provide  support. I looked ridiculous – but what the h…..

After what seemed like an eternity, Dang and I were blessed by the monks and then the food was brought out, which we had to present to them, one at a time. Then there was some other stuff, and finally the part of the ceremony involving the monks was over and at long last I could get up off the floor.

But the remainder of the proceedings still had a long way to go. We were re-seated in a specially prepared area, surrounded by a large wedding banner and floral decorations, and had to greet every member of family, and every villager, one at a time, to receive their individual blessing.

Every blessing had to be photographed for prosperity, and it seemed never ending. When at last everyone, including the village cat had blessed us, the group photographs started. I had had little sleep, no food, was terribly hung over and sore from my kneeling on the hard wooden floor, but had to endure another hour of photographing: large groups, small groups, family groups, friend groups, in-law groups, and so on ‘ad infinitum.’

Then I had to pay over the Sin sod, (wedding dowry). The agreed amount of gold and cash was produced, counted and duly handed over to Dang’s mum – all with a running commentary to everyone, near and far. She then wrapped up her new found wealth in a large cloth and and took it upstairs with the loot over her shoulder.

For the  last item on the morning agenda, Dang and I were accompanied upstairs by family and friends into the marital bedroom, where the bed had been prepared, covered with rose petals. I was required to pick up my wife and put her on the bed and lay down with her and everyone covered us with the petals. (It goes without saying that all this was photographed for posterity.)To this day I’m not too sure what it was all supposed to mean, but if it was intended to ensure that we enjoyed long and happy sexual relations, then it failed miserably.

The day was only half over and I was exhausted.

The evening part was yet to start, and as I made my way downstairs to get some food in my belly, and cure my hangover with a ‘hair of the dog”  I noticed with an inward  groan that the catering company had arrived, and were immediately followed into the area by the “entertainers”, in two very large trucks, jammed full of staging and other equipment.

The stage that they erected over the next few hours would had done justice to Wembley stadium. It was massive, and came complete with yet another, even bigger sound system, and a full range of overhead stage lighting. The stage was so high that the crew, musicians and dancers were able to set up house underneath, and cordon off little rooms with curtains so that they could get ready and change in relative privacy.

The caterers did their thing and about 60 tables were set up in front of the stage and the entrance to the site was prepared. By the time dusk had descended, the whole area had been transformed into an impressive, outdoor wedding venue.

Five of Dang’s lovely girl friends had arrived from Bangkok, and they were dressed to kill. Together they formed the ‘welcome committee’ at the venue entrance and as the guests arrived, they handed over their envelopes containing money, and in return were given little wedding mementos by the ladies, before being escorted to where Dang and I were standing – this time dressed in our ‘western’ wedding clothes, for yet another session of photographs. We had to be photographed with every guest who arrived, and once again it seemed to go on forever.

In the meantime the food was served, the music had started, the singers were doing their stuff, and the dancing girls were dancing up a sexy storm on the huge wedding stage.

At length the late arrivals reduced to a trickle so we then made our way to each table in turn, for yet more group photos with the guests. By this time I was running on adrenalin and alcohol. I must have done more waiying on that wedding day that I have done before or since in my entire life.

Before I had managed to get a single spoonful of food in my mouth, the speeches started. We had an MC, and if any of my dear readers have ever been to any official Thai ‘do’, you will know that Thais love to speak on stage to a captive audience. I was looking forward to some personal time to get something to eat, but that idea was soon shattered when to my shock and embarrassment I was called to go up on stage, along with Dang , her mother and other local dignitaries.

We formed a line alongside the MC, and interviews were conducted, one at a time. I was dreading my turn, as although I spoke reasonable Thai, this was all too much for a humble farang. At length he asked me if I had anything say, and I mumbled shyly back – in very bad Thai, thanking everyone for coming. I don’t think many of the Issan speaking guests understood one word that I said, but the MC kindly translated for me into ‘real’ Thai.

Then each guest was invited to sing! I put my foot down here, and even though they assured me I could choose a farang song, I stubbornly refused, so in the end they gave up on me and moved down the line.

The speeches and singing were finally at an end, and I left the stage, managing to get something to eat and to get drunker than ever.

Dang was also doing pretty well, and was getting uproariously drunk. I was hoping to God that she behaved herself and didn’t start any trouble with me. Please God, let this be one occasion when we could get drunk, enjoy ourselves and stay happy with each other.

The cake was cut, the champagne opened and the party became ever drunker, wilder and louder. The band were paid extra to keep the music going past the agreed finish time and it was around 4 a.m. when it was finally all over.

Dang, her friends, Mobi and all the family and neighbours were pissed out of their gourds.

Then the trouble started.

Jomtien, 15th January, 2010

Today is my first day of sobriety.

Yes, I did pick up again last night.

For some reason, I feel in a better state of mind today, and I think I might make it.

I will stay at home all day and this evening I may pop out briefly to eat and do a bit of shopping.

Then I will come back home, put on  a movie and try to sweat it out in my condo. If I succeed then tomorrow it should be a bit easier.

I certainly hope so.



“It’s time for wife number 5”

There were two people who were very happy at the departure of Dang.

The first was Jai, my maid, (although I didn’t realise it at the time), and the second was my ‘good’ Thai friend – Chat. He who was ripping me off in connection with the Mei house ‘recovery affair and he who had been introduced to me by my Englsih friend Dave, as a Thai I could trust with my money and my life.

It was at this very time – when I was having trouble with Dang and was obliged to move home – that Chat was busy getting his claws into me. He had recently persuaded me to set up and invest in the project for the building of expat retirement homes in Ayudhaya.

Chat was happy because he didn’t like Dang, and in his opinion she was a bad influence on me. Certainly from his point of view, he wanted no outside influences interfering with his various schemes to relieve me of large amounts of my money.

As for Jai, well she had known Dang for a number of years, and was Dang’s maid in an earlier life,  so I assumed she would take Dang’s side on the trouble that had occurred between us. Maybe she wouldn’t even want to work for me any more.

Nothing could have been further from the truth. Jai went out of her way to assure me of her sympathy and sorrow for all the trouble and hurt I had suffered from Dang, and I started to detect a slight but discernible change in her attitude. She became much more friendly, smiled at me frequently, and even started to dress more ‘tidily’. She was quite a pretty thing, of around 30 years of age, but although the idea was tempting, I kept away from it. Jai had two young children and a wife-beating husband. I wanted no part of that mess – I had enough of my own.

Before Dang and I had our major bust up, we had been talking about marriage. We had even been to one of these “wedding Shops”, and had visited a Wat where an monk gave us a list of propitious dates on which to hold our wedding festivities.

A date had been provisionally chosen for mid January and Dang’s family had been informed. But after I threw Dang out, all these plans were canceled, and the wedding called off.

Dang must have been gone a couple of weeks or so when I decided to pay a visit to the Office Bar to see if she had started work yet. She wasn’t there, and possibly never would be. Maybe I was really rid of her for good.

With the help of Chat, I moved into a house in a nearby sub-soi, and set up my home and office there. Plans were also in an advanced stage for Chat to move into the second, vacant bedroom.

Then one day, I went to the Office Bar, and there she was. She had just started work again. I had almost forgotten how beautiful she was, especially when she ‘tarted herself up’ with make up and classy, figure -hugging clothes. She was sitting with a customer who had his arms around her. I felt a massive stab of jealousy.

I ordered a drink and tried to ignore her, but could not. The customer was in no hurry to go, and as the evening wore on he bought her more and more drinks. Dang had seen me, sitting along the bar, but made no effort to even acknowledge my existence. and I proceeded to get very drunk, in a hapless, gut wrenching fit of jealousy.

It was closing time, and the guy was still there, and I had this feeling of foreboding that he would take her home with him. I finally managed to talk to Dang when the guy went to take a leak, and asked her if she was going with him. She asked me why I wanted to know. I didn’t answer directly, but told her that I didn’t want her to go with him. She was non committal, and in a fit of utter desperation, I told her that I wanted her to go home with me. She smiled at me and said she would think about it.

The guy came back, and took Dang into a quite corner and spoke to her for what seemed like an age – presumably trying to persuade her to go with him. I feared the worst, and was feeling utterly miserable, when at long last, the guy kissed her goodbye and left the bar by himself.

Dang then disappeared into the staff area, and I waited and waited and waited to find out if she would come with me. I knew I was being stupid, but I couldn’t help myself. I was totally consumed with infatuation and jealousy.

Of course you know what happened. She eventually appeared in her ‘street clothes” and took my arm and led me out of the bar, into my car, and back into my life.

She didn’t move back in that night. In fact it was a while before she came back ‘full time’ as it were, and I had to pay through my teeth. I agreed to pay the rent on the apartment she had leased,(incluidng the forfeited security deposit for breaking the lease),  along with a fridge, stereo and other stuff she had bought to fit it out. Then I had to pay a large sum to the Office bar, which she had previously paid over to get her job back. In the event, she continued to work for a few more days, and had me in paroxysms of jealousy every time I went to see her and take her home as she was invariably entwined with customers, plying them for drinks.

She was the living proof that the best looking hostesses can more than survive on drinks and tips and have no need to sleep with customers to get a decent income. At the end of each evening she would a mountain of drink chits, but that paled into insignificance compared to the large sums she picked up in tips. Remember the customers were high rollers, and they all succumbed to Dangs beauty and charms. Tips of more two thousand Baht per customer, were not at all unusual. More than I would usually pay for an “all nighter”.

Jai and Chat were not at all impressed by the return of the prodigal. The look on Chat’s face was one of devastation when he saw Dang come downstairs one morning just after he had arrived at my office. They barely spoke to each other, and it goes without staying Chat immediately canceled his plans to move in with me.

Then a few days later Dang informed me that something was the matter with our maid. She told me that Jai was always so miserable and that she hardly spoke to her. On top of that, her work was getting slip shod.

Dang eventually discovered from overhearing some idle chit chat imparted by Jai to a friend, that Jai had set her hat at me and was convinced I would respond favorably and take her as my live-in lover. Her dreams were shattered when Dang returned, but of course this despair had little to do with love, but everything to do with money and security.

In those early weeks back together, life was pretty good and we both resolved to turn over a new leaf, cut back on our drinking and see if we couldn’t really make a go of our relationship. Things seemed to be going so well, that it wasn’t long before a new date was announced for our wedding, a couple of months hence, in mid March.

But in reality, it was the “calm before the storm”.

Jomtien, 14th January, 2010. Still drunk!!

Today is my first day of sobriety – yet again…. and again…and again….and again…

Yes, I am still drinking, in spite of daily attempts to stop.

The binges are getting progressively worse and follow a familiar pattern. I wake up feeling pretty shitty, but as the day progresses, my head starts to clear and then I have a shower, get some cereal and fruit inside me and feel a lot better. On a couple of occasions, I have even made the noon AA meeting down the road, and on another day the 5 p.m. meeting in Pattaya.

I usually start drinking quite late – maybe 7 or 8 p.m. Up the the point I pick up the first beer, I am resolved not to drink, but then something happens in my twisted, alcoholic brain – a little ‘monkey’ inside me says something like: “I know you want to stop, and I know you will stop eventually, but now you’ve started, you might as well postpone your abstinence for one more day.”

I think about this for a while, and the more I think the more I like the idea. “Well one more day won’t make much difference will it?”

So I start all over again.

For two nights in a row I passed out without taking my nightly medication and insulin shots. On the second occasion, I remembered bringing the glass of water to my bedside table, and when I woke up in the morning the glass was upright, but empty. I checked my pills and found that I hadn’t taken them. Then I picked up a full box of tissues that I kept on the bedside table, and discovered that the box and it’s contents were sodden. In my drunken state I must have emptied the glass of water into the the tissue box!!

Then on another night I passed out in bar in Jomtien. I was eventually woken up and told to pay a food bill to a “som tum” vendor. Apparently, before I passed out I had agreed to buy som tum, (very hot papaya salad containing tiny little foul smelling crabs), for the entire bar staff . They could have been lying, but I doubt it, as they know me quite well, and it’s the sort of thing I do when I’m drunk. At least it was cheaper than ringing the bell.

Of course on each occasion I have been driving – fortunately not very far, but it’s still pretty disgusting, and I’m not proud of it.

The black outs have been coming thick and fast. I never used to get them at all, but they started a couple of years ago, and now happen virtually every time I drink.

So today I will try yet again to stop for good.

Wish me luck folks, I’m going to need it.



“It’s time for wife number 5”

It was September 2003, when I first took Dang home with me from the Office Bar. I hadn’t been mistaken – she was indeed a very lovely lady of 26 years of age. Almost immediately I became smitten with her, and my six and a half years of misery was up and running. Dang spoke virtually no English, and my spoken Thai, which by this time wasn’t half  bad, improved further in leaps and bounds.

I was still living at my luxury apartment in Soi 15, and within a couple of days of Dang staying with me, I should have seen the warning signs and thrown her out. But being a perverse drunk who always dreams he can change a woman’s nature and make her love him, I became ever more emotionally entrapped by this fascinating, beautiful woman.

I recall very clearly one of our early conversations when Dang agreed to stay with me but said that sometimes she would need her own time to go out with her friends. I have never wanted to control any woman who has lived with me, and was more than happy to give her whatever freedom she needed to be happy and content. After all, we had only just met, and marriage wasn’t even being contemplated.

The “sometimes” became virtually every day. She would take off in the afternoons, assuring me that she would be back home at the latest by 11 p.m. I would lucky if I would see her before 2 or 3 a.m, and sometimes not at all. She would invariably arrive home drunk, and would sleep the mornings away, only to rouse herself in the afternoons and head off once again. Occasionally she would be so hungover that she would stay in bed for 24 hours, never going anywhere.

It was on just such an occasion when I decided to move my home from Soi 15 to another large apartment in Soi 31. Dang was so hungover, that she didn’t lift a finger to help me, when I spent the day packing up and moving all my stuff.

There were so many occasions in those early months when I should have just bitten the bullet and finished with her, but I was becoming ever more besotted and still clung to the fantasy that one day she would change.

After a while I met some of her friends, and I will never forget the occasion when I met her very best friend (who remains so to this day). She was Jay, an exceptionally pretty, very light skinned Issan lady who worked as a hostess in an exclusive Japanese club, off Sukhumvit Road. We went to her club one day to meet her, and Dang asked me if I could “bar fine” Jay so that she could go out to eat with us. I had no problem with this request, expecting the fine to be around five hundred Baht. The bill was delivered to me on a silver tray by a uniformed waiter – two thousand four hundred baht!

I said nothing and paid the bill, but inside I was starting to fume. By the time we drove to the restaurant, I was beside myself with anger for being conned into paying such an outrageous amount of money just so that a friend could go with us to eat. (Remember this was 7 years ago, when things in general were quite a bit cheaper than they are in 2010). I stopped the car outside the restaurant, and when we got out, I told the two of them that I was very angry at what had happened the two of them in the road, and told to go and eat by themselves. I then drove off in a furious rage. I decided that someone was taking the piss – and it wasn’t me.

Of course, I eventually calmed down, and Dang came back to me the next day, and forced me to make an abject apology for my outrageous behaviour. But for about two years after that I always referred to Jay as “Song Pun See”,(Two thousand four hundred), as I could never forget the most expensive ‘friend’ I had ever had the pleasure of meeting.

On occasion Dang would drag me along with her when she went out to clubs and discos with her friends, presumably so that she could get the bills paid. She frequented the most expensive places in town, and I ended up having to pay for everyone. I didn’t even get to enjoy myself. In a pattern that was to be repeated throughout the years that I was with Dang, every time she went out with me, she would get drunk, and for a while all would be fun and laughter. Then the alcohol would get hold of her and she would suddenly turn on me and start a fight, for absolutely no reason. These fights could be pretty terrible, and would continue when we arrived home. She would shout even louder at me and then start throwing things around, and slamming doors. She would sometimes rage for hours, before finally falling into a drunken sleep.

So quite early on in my relationship, I tended to avoid going out with her too often, and we both slipped into the habit of going out separately – me with my friends, Dang with her friends. Occasionally I would still go out with Dang and her friends, to celebrate a birthday, or some other special occasion, but without exception, every time we did, she would get drunk and end up picking a fight with me.

For the first few months I had tried to be the perfect ‘boy friend’. I had cut down on my drinking, and avoided ‘girlie’ bars. I was completely faithful. But once the drunken fights obliged us to go our separate  ways for entertainment, I once more went back to my old haunts, although I still remained faithful. In spite of everything, Dang was still the only woman in my life and the only one I wanted to make love to.

Then we started to row over the phone. Dang would demand to know where I was, and would accuse me of having a new girl friend. I, in turn, would get angry with her, because she would never come home at a reasonable hour, despite all her promises. I would always go home when the bars closed – usually midnight or 1 a.m. but Dang would turn up, later and later – 3, 4 or even 5 a.m.

On one occasion Dang called me around midnight and demanded to know where I was. I told her I was on my way home (which I was), and when I arrived, I found a drunken Dang waiting for me. She stared screaming at me that I had been ‘sleeping around’ and when I tried to deny it, she punched me on the face – very hard. I was stunned – she had never been violent before. Then she punched me again and again, and gave me a bad black eye, and drew blood. I didn’t know what to do. I had never had a violent woman before, and I had never used violence on a woman. So I just grabbed hold of her wrists and did my best to restrain her, and eventually she stopped.

Thinking back, this was probably a warning sign that I should have heeded. If I had been Thai, I would probably have hit her back and hurt her, and as a result she probably would never had tried to hit me again. As it was, I let her hit me, and once she knew she could get away with it she would repeat this violent behaviour throughout the rest of our time together.

I don’t deny that it takes two to have a fight, and my ever increasing drunkenness exacerbated the volatile situation. But Dang would invariably start the ball rolling, and because I was drunk, I would shout back. But I have always been what is known as a “happy drunk” and as long as people don’t try to make trouble with me, I will never start a fight.

Nevertheless, she would always blame me for starting them and blame my excessive drinking on all the trouble between us. I actually believed her for a long time, and tried desperately to control my drinking, with little success. But when I eventually did succeed in staying dry for long periods – once for almost nine months – I finally realized that it wasn’t me after all. She still got drunk and still picked fights, and I would be completely sober. The ‘penny had finally dropped’ that Dang was also an alcoholic and had a greater problem with alcohol than even poor old Mobi.

We had received a number of warnings from the landlord of my apartment that my neighbors had complained about the noise we made when fighting late at night. The warnings were not heeded, and when the six month lease came up for renewal, I was given a final warning and also as a penalty, they increased my rent.

One day, soon after the rent had been increased, we had another very violent encounter late at night. She hadn’t only been hitting me with anything she could find to hand , but had also been breaking things up in the apartment. I finally saw ‘red’ and grabbed hold of her and threw her out. She banged on the door for ages but I refused to open it, and eventually she went away.

I was concerned that she may return with friends to create more mayhem, so I called my Thai ‘friend’ Chat – yes the very one who I was later to discover was ripping me off – and asked him if he could help me get some protection. He immediately called his friend, the military Colonel, and within an hour there were two military cops stationed outside my apartment door.

They provided a twenty four hour protection for me and after a few days Dang contacted me and told me that she wanted to collect her things as she had moved to a new apartment, and would go back to work at Office Bar. I refused to let her in the place, but told the maid to pack up all her stuff, and the military guards then delivered her bags to her new home.

Of course I had to pay an exorbitant fee for all these ‘services’ provided by the complements of the Thai Military.

Then the  landlord gave me one month’s notice to move out. He had had enough of Mobi and his noisy, violent girl friend. This was the first, and I hope the last occasion, I had been asked to vacate a home due to unsatisfactory behaviour. And remember, this is Thailand, where almost anything goes – especially noise at all hours – so it must have been pretty bad.

It was December 2004, and Dang was gone – the affair was all over – finished, and I was to start a new single life in a new home.

Yet within three months I was married.

What happened?

Jomtien, 10th January, 2010. Still drunk.

Today is my first day of sobriety – yet again…. and again…

Yesterday, I made it to around 7 p.m. and felt pretty good.

It was pretty stupid really.

I had been playing around with the appearance of my blog header, and then decided it was time to change my avatar on Thai Visa, and also to set up a “blog picture” with the same theme. My beloved golden retriever, Cookie, has been my avatar for a couple of years or so now, and it was time for a change. I never see her any more, and miss her like crazy, and every time I see my avatar it reminds me of her.

Nearby there was an unopened bottle of Sangsom Thai whisky, (rum actually), and I thought that a bottle of Thai booze in the foreground, and an AA ‘Big Book’ in the background might make an appropriate avatar to represent my life at present. A sort of ‘coat of arms’ – I wonder if any expert could come up with some suitable heraldic inscription?

So out with my camera and I spent the next hour getting my new avatar set up in Thai Visa and onto my blog.

But you know what AA say about alcohol – cunning, baffling and powerful. Handling that bottle, taking photos of it and posting onto the internet was playing with fire. The bottle shouldn’t have even been in my room. But by 7.30 I was feeling very good and was bewitched into believing that a couple of glasses would do me no harm. Two hours later it was almost empty, and I decided to have a shower and go out.

I went down to my regular pub and met the girl who had blown me out a,few days earlier and been the main trigger for my relapse. She was very friendly so I bought her and I some drinks and I carried on where I had left off at home. The place closed at midnight, and somehow or other I ended up with her, and four of her friends in a large Thai Night club on Third Road. There was live music, and we ordered up the 100 Pipers and danced for the next 3 hours. My lady was getting very drunk. They were playing a version of “scissors, stone and paper” with their hands, and the loser had to ‘chug-a-lug’ a glass of whisky. I declined to play, but my lady had an uncanny knack of losing and was getting really sloshed.

I realised that as young as she was, she showed all the alcoholic tendencies. Her friends were no where near as drunk as she was and they were sipping their drinks slowly, whereas she was knocking them back at the rate of knots, whether or not she lost the game.

In the wee hours the whisky was finished, the bill paid, and she slumped into my car for the drive home. She started shouting very loud directions at me as I drove along and I knew this woman was going to be trouble. Once home, she immediately jumped on my computer and started to email her friends in Khon Kaen.

After a while I sat down behind her, put my arms around her and tried to give her a little ‘fondle’. After all I was drunk and feeling very amorous. She pulled my hands away roughly, and when I tried once again to cuddle her, she leaped up from the chair, grabbed her bag and took off out of the apartment. By the time I realised she had really gone, she had disappeared into the lift and I gave up trying to chase her and bring her back. She had already had her ‘money’ as she needed some earlier so I had paid in advance for the night’s ‘services’, for which I had received nothing in return. This was the third time this had happened, so I knew it was time to give up.

My other girl friend of the moment – the nymphomaniac – had been calling me all evening, and as I was still feeling aroused and not a little frustrated, I decided to call her. By the time she arrived it was already morning – 8 a.m. She stayed until 10.30 as she had to go to Bangkok at 11.a.m., and I finally crashed into a drunken stupor.

I woke up this afternoon feeling like shit, but now feel a little better after gallons of coffee and some delicious English style sausage sandwiches – cooked by the hungover Mobi.

The tenth of January has a nice, memorable ring to it, so maybe I can start my new sobriety from today. I still feel like shit, but at least I am vertical, and functioning. I may go to an AA meeting this evening. I will decide soon.

Please note the two  comments on yesterday’s blog, to which I have made some lengthy responses.

Jomtien, 9th January, 2010.

Today is my first day of sobriety – again!!

Yes, I drank yesterday, but not to excess – about six bottles of beer as far as I can recall.

Today I feel fine – no hangover, and had a pretty good night’s sleep. So today is probably the best opportunity I will have to to stop drinking again as I do not need any ‘hairs of the dog’ to make me feel better.

If I do decide to continue my drinking today, I know from experience that I will gradually drink more and more as my alcohol tolerance returns to ‘pre-sobriety” levels.

One of the reasons I have been sleeping so well is because I have been sleeping with a real, multi-orgasmic nymphomaniac for the past two days who has also helped to keep my mind off the subject of drinking. But at my age I can’t keep it up, (no pun intended), and I will probably have to pass on her tonight. I’m bloody exhausted!

So I’ll just have to see how I get on.



“It’s time for wife number 5”

The memories and pain of my bad experiences with Mei was slowly extinguished by copious volumes of alcohol  and a never ending parade of bar girls through my bedroom at my impressive apartment, just off Soi 15, in Sukhumvit Road.

After a while, I rotated about half a dozen ‘favourites, and as my drinking became more and more excessive, the occasions when I would go home alone, became ever more frequent, and  if I did have a girl accompany me, I would be totally incapable of doing anything. They became ‘sleeping companions’, rather than lovers.

I suppose you could say I was pretty lucky to have survived that period without suffering any injuries to myself, or indeed getting mugged in the early hours, as I staggered down the road searching for a taxi, or occasionally, searching for my rented car. I lived quite close to the ‘action’ but had enough sense on most days to leave my car at home; but there were days when I started drinking earlier than planned, and thus had my car with me, and then had to drive home in the early hours when disgustingly intoxicated. Not a great idea.

I recall one particular occasion when I lurched along the road in search of  my car which was parked on Soi 33, only to find that it wouldn’t move when I clambered in and cranked up the engine. Upon closer and undoubtedly drunken inspection, I discovered that I had been clamped!  Then found a police ticket on the windscreen, and staggered down the road clutching it in my hand, hoping to find some cop who would agree to un-clamp me.

As luck would have it I came across a bunch of them, seated at a table outside one of the bars, (It was way past closing time – of course), getting stuck into bottles of Thai whiskey. I wandered over to them, manically waving my ticket. They obligingly took a look at it and informed me that they could do nothing and that I had to go to Thonglor police station. It was around 3.a.m. and I was completely sloshed, but in my drunken stupor, I saw nothing amiss or foolish about hailing a taxi, and getting him to take me to the cop shop at Thong Lor. I staggered into  the police station, waved my ticket at anyone who might take an interest and the desk sergeant, being unusually indulgent with a drunken farang, indicated that I should take it upstairs.

I was finally led into the office of a high ranking officer who had his sergeant take a copy of the copy of my passport, which I fortunately always carried with me. He didn’t ask to see my driving licence, but he did tell me to pay a fine of five hundred baht. I was clearly very drunk, but no one seemed to care – they just wanted their five hundred baht. After I was handed a receipt for my fine, I had the temerity to ask the officer if my car would now be un-clamped so that I could drive it home. He asked me where it was located, and then made a call on his mobile, and told me that by the time I got back to my car, the clamps would have been removed.

It probably should have occurred to me that the police might be awaiting the arrival of a drunk driver and pounce on him, but my luck held, and when the taxi dropped me next to my car I scrambled into the seat and drove home.

The next day, when I sobered up, I realised that I had been very foolish and was lucky not to be in jail, or dead.

As the days and weeks passed, I started to gravitate to a bar just off Soi 33, called the Office Bar. Some of you who live in Bangkok may know of it. In those days it was in its infancy, not having been open long, but the volume and quality of the ladies it attracted made it an overnight success. It was a cut above most of the bars in that area, as were the ladies who flocked to work there:  sometimes dressed very provocatively in micro minis or in skirts with splits to the upper thighs, and on other occasions looking very elegant in  figure hugging evening dresses.

One thing soon became very clear. The most beautiful ladies in this joint never lasted very long. They were soon snapped up as ‘live-ins’, or even future wives by the better off farangs who had more money than sense – just like Mobi.

I took a few home and at length I became quite keen on one slightly more mature lady; her name was Jum; she was quite sophisticated and was in her early thirties. Jum spoke good English and  I soon struck up a good, very friendly relationship with her. In retrospect, she would have probably made a very good long term partner. But it wasn’t to be.

One night I went to meet her, but was told she was off that day (“off” usually being a euphemism for ‘otherwise engaged’), so in my usual ‘Mobi huff’, I looked around the bar for an alternative. It was quite early and as was the custom, there was a long row of lovely ladies standing and sitting behind the bar awaiting customers to invite them for drinks.

At the end of the line I spotted a very pretty girl who I had not seen before. She must have been new. I smiled at her and she returned my smile with a shy grin. I beckoned for her to come and sit down with me, and saw that she was indeed very beautiful. She was Dang, a lovely girl from Sa kaeo. Dang spoke no English and told me that this was her third day at work and that she had never worked in a bar before. (I found out much later that this was one of the few occasions when she actually told me  the truth.).

It didn’t take long to ask her to go home with me, and so it was that my new, fateful, traumatic relationship, which was lead to my fifth disastrous marriage and to last almost seven years, was to begin.

Much later I was to briefly see Jum again back at the Office Bar, and she came over to say hello, and she told me that she had made a huge mistake by not being there the night that I met Dang. She said that she was very sad that she had let me get away, and assured me that she would have made a very good and loyal wife.

Whether or not that was true, I will never know. The fickle finger of fate had already dealt the latest hand of cards to a luckless, alcoholic Mobi.

Jomtien, 8th January, 2009

Today is my first day of sobriety.

I think I have stopped. I hope I have.

Why did I drink? I am not sure, but I will try to analyze my motives.

I had been sober for 127 days, and prior to that I managed 90 odd days before I went on a five day drunk in Chiang Mai. On that occasion I blew up at an AA meeting and went out and started drinking, but thinking back on it, I am sure that I was just using the so-called upset as an excuse. Deep down I had already decided that I was going to drink.

This time it is not so easy to figure it out. I just been through one of the worst depressions in my life, over Christmas and the New Year, but I hadn’t picked up a drink. But I had started to miss a lot of meetings and I had already been warned that this would lead to me drinking. Maybe once the idea that I might pick up a drink was started to germinate in my mind, it was only a matter of time before the idea became a reality.

But what actually triggered it?

Something pretty crazy, which only confirms to me how sick I am and that I still have a long way to go along the road to mental stability.

I think most of my readers will understand by now that I have a severe hang up with relationships. All my life I have sought out women who I must have realised, in some way, would become abusive or destructive in the relationship, as it developed.

I am now starting to realise that I have some kind of “addiction:” to ‘bad’ women and bad relationships, and that I seek them, because in some kind of twisted way, I seem to ‘get off’ on the emotional pain that is produced by them.

Maybe my addiction is akin to a gambler’s addiction, as I understand that a gambler doesn’t really care if he wins or loses, (and many are happy to lose), as it is the “high” they get from the thrill of the chase, the risk and excitement they enjoy as they follow the fortunes of their wager.

So my return to the bottle involved a woman – it had to, didn’t it?

I had seen this girl in  a pub I started to patronize in the afternoons and evenings. It was a large drinking and eating establishment in the Jomtien suburbs, and was patronized mainly by expat residents, but also by a reasonable number of male tourists, many of whom had been to Pattaya many times before. The place was cheap, friendly, and had good food, and I felt comfortable there. I had seen the girl in question for several evenings in a row, leading up to the new year, always sitting at the bar, buying her own beer and drinking slowly, while chatting away to the female bar tenders. She wasn’t working there – she was a customer – and she is very pretty. Her name is Lek.

Then when I went to the pub on New Year’s day and I was surprised to find Lek behind the bar, busy working. I asked her why she was now working, and she showed me her empty pockets – no money.

So over the next couple of days I chatted her up, bought her some drinks, and eventually she agreed to go home with me. We had a lovely evening in my condo, and by now I knew her background. She was 21, came from Khon Kaen, had a six month old baby from a Thai man who had dumped her – the usual story. She had been obliged to leave college and find a job to pay for her baby’s upkeep. As soon as she came to my room she immediately jumped on my computer and started emailing and chatting to all her college mates in KonKaen, and it became apparent that she had considerable PC skills, and was no fool.

Although I had only just met her, I took an immediate fancy to her. We had no sexual relations that night, and in the morning, I took her out for breakfast and then drove her back to her room. She had agreed she would stay with me again that night, but wanted to go to work as she enjoyed working with her friends, and she told me that I could come and pick her up when she finished work around 12 midnight.

That was fine by me, and later I went to have lunch at the pub and to confirm that she would still come home with me that evening. She said yes, but to come a bit later, about 1 a.m. as she thought they would be very busy. I noticed she had changed from a fairly modest dress into revealing shorts and spaghetti top, but thought nothing of it.

So I spent the rest of the afternoon, and evening at home and around 12.30 that night I called Lek to see if she was ready to be collected. She said the pub was still busy, and she would call me when to come and collect her from her room, which was nearby.

I waited and waited, not suspecting a thing. But by 1.30 I started to wonder what was going on. I called her many times; no answer. I knew that pub never stayed open that late at night, so by this time I was getting myself into a state. I decided to go down to the pub and see what was going on. Five minutes later, I saw what I suspected would be the case; the pub closed, shuttered and in total darkness. It had obviously closed some time ago, because it takes them an hour to clear up and close down everything up after the last customer has gone.

My feelings were totally ridiculous. Here was a pretty girl, younger than  my youngest daughter, who had I known for a few days and who I could not possibly have any feelings for, yet I felt as distressed and hurt as if I had just discovered my wife of five years in bed with another man. My feelings were totally over the top, and I knew it.

Yes, she had taken me for a sucker, but so what? What did I expect? And why was I so upset. We hardly knew each other. The more I thought about it the more I realised that I truly was one “f.cked up dude” (as dear Stephanie told me), who had the emotional maturity of a twelve year old.

So in the end, I am not sure what I was more upset about: the fact that this lady had lied to me, and was no doubt out with some other man at that moment, or the fact that it was hurting me so much, and that these feelings were completely ridiculous and illogical.

when I was younger, I can recall being quite able  to take in my stride the ‘cut and thrust’ of Thai bar girls coming and going and lying to me, and I learned to give as good as I got. So for some reason my mental state was obviously deteriorating.  Maybe all the relationship shit that I have been through has left me indelibly scarred and quite incapable of forming a normal relationship and being able to handle all these devious ladies.

It was 2.a.m; I drove to Walking Street, parked up, walked into a bar and ordered a beer. One beer followed another, and one bar followed another, and by 7.a.m. I was drunk, drove home alone and crashed.

I woke at noon, still pissed, and went out to continue my binge. I ended up in the early morning in Jomtien in one of the all night beer bars, and latched onto another young thing, who eventually came home with me, when I finally decided that I had drunk enough whisky, which had inevitably followed my consumption of umpteen bottles of beer.

Yesterday I felt pretty bad, although I had had a decent enough sleep. In the afternoon I went back to my local pub, saw the recalcitrant Lek at work behind the bar, greeted her, bought her a drink and behaved as though nothing had happened. She was still nursing a hangover from her exploits the night she had lied to me, and had apparently gone out with friends and ended up paralytic. (A guilt trip maybe?).

I was still feeling pretty bad, so I ordered a few beers to make the pain go away, and after a while, when I was tipsy, I decided to take a different girl from the pub home with me.

I didn’t do it particularly to piss off Lek – for I doubt that would be possible, in fact she was probably relieved that I wasn’t going to hassle her any more.

I had another good night’s sleep – yes I always sleep better when not alone – and today I will try hard to stop drinking.

We shall see.

I am not sure if and when I will go back to AA. I will think about it for a day or so.

I re-print below a comment on this subject, and my reply:

friend, on January 6th, 2010 at 3:47 am Said:

The day count of being sober is one of the problems I have with the AA.

You drank for a day so you have to start from zero again. It’s a way of conning you into believing you have failed. Will always fail and always need them and their god.

You haven’t.

Being sober for 123 days has been great for your health.

Drinking on day 124 doesn’t mean you have to keep drinking.

You just need a break from the world for a while.

Tomorrow, prove to yourself, that you can stop again.

Good luck, mate.

mobi, on January 8th, 2010 at 7:42 am Said: Edit Comment

I tend to agree with you about the ‘day count’. The first time I slipped, I had no problem going back and starting the day count for a second time. This time though, I fell less ambivalent about it. I will feel that I have failed, and even if I am not judged as such, I will be regarded as someone who failed because I didn’t follow the programme properly – and I didn’t.

There will also be a lot of patronizing – I will be treated as a ‘child’ and given sage advice from those who have had many years of sobriety under their belts. I am not sure I am ready for this, and the anticipation of such treatment may keep me away and even keep me drinking.

I don’t think they have ever claimed that it is “their” God and I think you are being a bit unfair here. I completely accept the notion that probably the only way for a true alcoholic to ultimately remain sober is to find some kind of spirituality – whatever that may be. As always, I am almost jealous of those who have found God or their “Higher Power”, as it surely works for them, and I can see it in their daily lives. For me, I am still looking.

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