Having lived in Thailand for a long, long time I have developed an advanced state of paranoia that reached its peak, perhaps, when I took apart the air-conditioner in my apartment after I became convinced that the service people had planted heroin in it! Unfortunately, I didn’t have the tools to remove the compressor so had to do a fast exit. I’d pissed off one of the receptionists by turning her down and she had insisted that the air-conditioner had to be cleaned out after a complaint about its noise from a neighbour (it wasn’t in use when she said it was).
That fast exit took me to a small town in Petchabun province, a spur of the moment thing to move there with the girlfriend rather than stay in the apartment where I would surely have been done for many 100’s of thousands of baht by the police. There was only survival money on the table as my last stab at sanity was continued ownership of my house in the UK, which provided a much needed monthly stipend in rental income. The average wage in the village seemed to be about a 100 baht a day so my declared income of 20,000 baht a month was more than enough to survive (half what it actually was but you have to keep some dosh in reserve, right?).
The girlfriend was a curious case, 35-ish with three sons ranging in age from six to fifteen, each with a different farang father, none of whom were in evidence. And, yes, she could open bottles of beer and grind ice with her teeth as well as cut a field of rice in a day. The eldest son was a real headcase with a penchant for dressing up in girl’s clothes and skipping school in favour of falling off motorcycles. I immediately had visions of being set up as a pedophile and being lynched by the locals for child abuse; bear in mind, that in upcountry Thailand until recently kids were supposed to take it an honour to be sodomized by their teachers!
The village seemed to have emerged out of the surrounding swampland with lots of local male youths who looked like that were having trouble shaking off the primal ooze and who would turn up demanding that bottles of whisky Lao were procured for their edification. I stuck to the beer and concealed the inner mirth as the louts disintegrated before me on the back of excessive consumption of the paint-stripper like whisky at 50 baht a pop for a large bottle. I have never, ever, seen a town so densely packed with beautiful young ladies, though… I mentioned that one teenager had taken a fancy to me in the market and the next thing I knew there was a rumour flying around the village that I could only get it up for kids – something to do with me keeping a rigid check on what the woman was spending her money, determined that none of the local men would get their hands on it!
I was still up to sex twice a day, making sure the woman has no reason to stray, throwing in some really hardcore sex to keep her in line. But what was this, come some religious rite mid year she was all abuzz with the return of her boyfriend (I deliberately speak a lot less Thai than I understand), who turns out to be a local youth with a silly moustache… I claimed sudden fiscal embarrassment and stuck to her like a fly to honey – the Thai Johnny had neither cash nor sex coming his way!
One night, her whole family turned up at the house whilst she did a sudden disappearing act; the only hint to me was the look of consternation on one her niece’s face who had always beamed a wild smile in my direction (too young unless you like a long prison sentence or to be left penniless by barbarian police – not paranoia good old common sense). I braved the pack of wolf-like dogs, the clouds of vicious mosquitoes and the odd extra large snake, made it to the shack at the perimeter of her land to find naked boyo about to do the deed – the poor guy had no more than an inch of fully erect member!
Didn’t mitigate the rage, any, but I stormed off into the night – not the most sensible thing to do when you live in the middle of nowhere but five minutes into my long march to Bangkok (three hours by car!) the last bus of the night trundles down the road and on I hop, sudden big grin at the prospect of getting back to a tiny bit of civilization (Saraburi). The cheeky bitch turned up at the hotel a week or so later, wondering what the problem was, why I had done a sudden runner. She seemed a bit shocked when I told her to f..k off and kicked her out of the room.
Rage doesn’t come into this, I don’t really know if I should burst every blood vessel in my body or burst into tears – talk about farang having no face! Farang only tolerated if there is plenty of dosh on the table – to be fair to the lady, she was probably under incredible peer pressure to get some serious money out of me – most of the women with farang managed to get them to pay two to five times the going rate for building a house, for instance, and absolutely no-one would work for 100-200 baht a day on her house if I was around despite widespread unemployment.
This put me right off Thai women for a while, but when you look at where else you can live well on a thousand dollars a month there are not many places that are as generally as civilized as Thailand (a strange paradox if ever there was one given their well hidden but deeply felt hatred of farang). I was so desperate I even tried doing the pen pal thing with a couple of Filipinos… nice sounding ladies but, Christ, I almost spewed my guts out when they finally sent photos.
About a year later I end up getting serious about a Pattaya lady, a go-go blow-job artist no less. Yes, yes, a true sign of senility but when you are fifty where the hell else are you going to get serious with a twenty year-old nubile with eyes to die for (the body goes without saying, right). I tell her a tale about getting a decent pension in a few years time if she can hang in there on a rather more modest income… she goes for it (I have both the pension and rental income plus some money from an internet business I started after the Petchabun debacle but it would be like cutting your own throat to mention such richness up front).
I have been here a long time and I know Thai ladies… I know where all the money is going, not a santang to family or boyfriend (if one exists) in the past six months and she has barely been out of sight in that time. In any sane view, that would make her a good ‘un but getting back to where we started, in this advanced case of paranoia I am half convinced that the occasional visits to her cousin’s beauty parlour on the other side of town are a front for meeting up with her Thai arsehole, as every time she has done a disappearing act for ten to twenty minutes on the excuse of getting her hair shampooed in the back room or playing with her niece upstairs – and she always tries to avoid sex on the morning of her visit (I have taken to three-holing her just in case!)… aaarghhh – the wonders of being too long in country!
The only thing keeping me vaguely sane are the couple of months I spend in the UK every year or so – I have even managed to get a tourist visa for a couple of Thai ladies from those nice chaps at the British embassy who only have their countrymen’s best interests at heart, so take a piece of Thailand with me to keep going. God knows what will happen yet as I am of an age that demands instant contempt in the young girls but still looking for the love of my life!
And yet, I can think of no viable alternative to life in Thailand…
Interesting what you say about the deeply felt but hidden hatred of farangs. Thailand is nice, but like everywhere it too has its faults. You are so right though – if one finally has had enough of Thailand or fails to keep it all together here, where else is there? Going back to the West each year for a period of time would definitely help one's sanity, but it doesn't help one's bank account or vocational prospects.