Mobi-Babble – 29th May 2016

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Someone stole my tree!

Back in 2009, after I left my last wife, Dang, I went to stay in a luxury condo for a year or so – my little hideaway. The condo had a glorious view of the Gulf of Thailand, but I didn’t really appreciate the views, as for much of that year I was either drunk or badly hung over.

One way or another, it was one of the worst years of my life. I was still crazy about Dang, but I knew  I could never be happy with her. It was a time when I reached my personal ‘rock bottom’ and I came very, very close to calling it a day. You can read all about those terrible months on the archive pages from my blog; which are still available to read online.  

(Go to the sidebar and select the months from the drop-down menu – October 2009 – October 2010 more or less covers it. Go to the month of October 2009 and scroll down to the 24th Oct. The narrative is in the green text. Of course, you can go back even further if you want to read about the build up to my departure.)

During that period, a maid came in 3 times a week to do a bit of  cleaning and washing-up, but it was many months before it finally permeated my alcohol riddled brain that she was robbing me blind. All manner of things started to disappear, including money from my wallet, and infuriatingly, even the remote control for my TV.

Eventually, I had enough proof to report her thefts to the condo management, but she denied it and nothing was done. I was in too bad a shape to take it further and I just shrugged my shoulders and gave up.

A year so before this, a very expensive watch had disappeared from my office in the house in Pong. The battery had died and the watch lay on my desk, next to my computer for several weeks, awaiting the day when I would get around to taking it to a watch repairer to get the battery changed. One day, I realised it was gone. I searched everywhere but it was gone for good. I think it cost around £500.

At the time, my erstwhile, cheating wife was away from home on one of her drunken, adultery binges, and when she returned, I told her my watch had disappeared. She immediately flew into a rage and accused me of leaving it in some woman’s room, and there was no way I could persuade her otherwise. To this day, I think she still believes I left it in some woman’s bedroom, but the truth is that one of our many maids must have half-inched it.

1464405354410 - CopyBut since those days, my home and possessions have been blissfully free of crime. Free, that is until a few days ago when Lek came running to me and tearfully announced:

“Mobi, someone’s stolen my tree!”

“A tree? What are you talking about?”

“Yes, a beautiful Ma Yom tree – I’ve been growing it for nine months and it was over six feet tall!”

Star gooseberry on tree, There are many types of lucky tree in Thailand and Thai people believe that a Mayom tree planted in front of the house will bring fame and success for owner, Phyllanthus acidus.

Ma Yom is a fruit tree – which has small greenish-yellow fruit, something like a gooseberry, and is a much-loved Thai delicacy.

“But how could somebody steal  a six-foot tree?”

“It was there this morning, and now it’s gone. Someone must have dug it up and taken it away.”

She led me the grass verge, outside the house on the left side where she had been growing flowers, vegetables and – it seems – a fruit tree. There was just a hole where the tree had been.


1464405322015 - Copy“Bastards! Fancy stealing a tree,” I commiserated.

“Now I’ve only got one,” she said, showing me the second Ma Yom, in a different spot, which the considerate burglar had left behind 0r maybe he could only carry one at a time.

The problem is, how do you make a tree burglar-proof? Any ideas?


Kids! – who’d have’em?

IMG_3476The problem with kids is they drive you crazy when they lay around the home during the holidays and get up to mischief, but as soon as they go back to school, you start to miss them.

After the long summer holidays, Neung and Song finally returned to school last week; Neung to a new school – a technical college – and Song back to her junior school.

IMG_3474At the age of sixteen, at long last Neung’s uniform no longer consists of short trousers. Now he looks very much the adult in his white shirt and long black trousers. Like his sister, Song, he is quite a character and seems to be full of pent up energy and good humour. I guess his hormones are raging…

Anyway, he seems to love his new school and I can see a big smile on his face when he returns home – sometimes quite late – and he settles down to do his homework. Those endless weeks when he was laying around at home, playing games on his phone are finally over and I can see there is a new vitality in his demeanour. I told Lek that next year we must find something to occupy him during the long summer break.

Just before the two kids went back to school we had an interesting little ‘domestic’. In Thai tradition, everyone has to respect their elders  and as far as families are concerned the younger siblings must obey the bequests of their older siblings. This means that that Neung has total control over Song. This is the cause of much friction between them, especially when Song thinks her brother is not being fair to her.

Each child has their allotted duties, such as washing up, sweeping the floor, collecting dirty dishes, feeding the dogs, emptying the waste bins etc. Neung has his chores and he makes sure that Song does hers – usually with harsh words between them.

One evening, Lek decided there were too many dishes, pots and pans etc for poor little Song to wash properly and she told Neung to do it. Neung objected – claiming it was Song’s job. Mum got angry and shouted at Neung to go and do it.

He stubbornly remained seated, watching the TV. Lek raised her renowned decibels even louder and eventually Neung reluctantly got to his feet and ambled into the kitchen. Lek followed him and told him that he should be more considerate to his little sister. He got mad and threw the dishcloth across the kitchen.

Lek was enraged and ordered him to his room. For the next two days mother and son didn’t speak to each other. Neung did his duties but not a word was uttered between them.

“What’s going on, Lek?”

“I’m not speaking to him until he apologises for his rude and insulting behaviour.”

Fair enough… I suppose…

On the third day, Lek was sitting near me in an armchair when Neung came to over to her. To my surprise, he prostrated himself before her on the floor and begged her forgiveness for his bad behaviour. She looked down at him, smiled and spoke to him. He got up and cuddled his mother and kissed her on the cheek. All was good, and normal relations resumed.

Can you imagine a western kid prostrating himself on the floor in front of his parents?




Mobi-Babble follow-ups

To those who may be wondering, how things have been going, weather-wise, since my blog of 1st May, entitled, “It’s hotter than a whorehouse on nickel night!”

I’m relieved to report that the temperatures have dropped a few degrees, and we have been ‘enjoying’ some fairly regular thunderstorms, (as evidenced by my fried internet), although in the last few days, they seem to have vanished and the mercury is once more climbing – but not quite as high as before. I suppose we should be thankful for small mercies.

A follow up from article in my last blog entitled: “Woe is Work”

I reported that I had come to an impasse in coding a client’s website theme. Well, I am pleased to report that after a break, due to the lightning frying my internet connection, I came back with fresh eyes and succeeded in solving all the problems. By the end of the week, I had completed the entire website project and the client signed off and paid me.

The timing was perfect, as over the weekend I was contacted by an Englishman who needs a lot of help in writing the content for his tourist-orientated website. After a tryout, I am now working on probably the biggest contract job I have ever had – money wise. He is paying me by the hour, and as far as I can see there are at least 3-4 weeks of full-time work, which will put some much-needed funds into the depleted Mobi-coffers.

Unfortunately,  this means that my current novel has had to take a back seat, but I am hopeful that I will be able to sneak in a few hours every now and then. Earning money must take precedence.

Here’s Lek and Song at home, and some pics of Lek on a boozy night out with friends….


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