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.
MOBI’S STORY – (PART 36)
THE RETIREMENT YEARS (CONTINUED)
“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.
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?
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.
“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.
“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.
“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.
“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.
“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.
“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.
“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.
“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.
“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.
“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”