Readers' Submissions

The Journey North To Meet The Family

  • Written by Papa John
  • December 22nd, 2003
  • 6 min read




OK I’m an old fool. I always tell myself not to do the girlfriend thing this time, but I fell for it again. I can’t help it. I just get no satisfaction from a different BG every night. It seems so sordid, whereas the GF thing feels OK to me. (OK, OK I know don’t tell me – well you can if you like, I don’t mind getting emails)

Anyway this lady comes on to me at my favourite restaurant, and I’m hooked. Not in love this time, but definitely attracted, and more to the point she was much more attentive to me than any of the others I’ve associated with.

But what is it about me that they want to get married within 24 hours?

Actually, I’ve just read the submission by “Not a Jackass”, and I think he’s got a good point, about the older or divorced ladies being more genuine. So maybe it’s not really my scintillating personality, but the fact that these women are really looking for a long term partner. And the type “Not a Jackass” mentions are the type I always go for. I never go with young ladies, I’m a bit long in the tooth myself, so I cannot think of going with a lady under 30. It would be ridiculous.

She wants me to go and meet the family, a six hour bus ride to the north. My mates have gone on a tour of Laos, Vietnam, and Cambodia, but I love Thailand, and BKK more so, and I stayed put. I also love to experience the culture, and meet new people. So I’m quite easily persuaded.

I know this can be a very serious thing for some Thai ladies, but I have promised this girl nothing. Although she has mentioned marriage, I have no intention, but being the craven bastard that I am, I just said that I would have to know her a long time before thinking about that. So she knows where I stand, (well not exactly) and she should be bright enough not to say or do anything with her family that would cause her to lose face later when I disappear into the sunset.

So we set off for the bus station at 7 AM. Sky train to Mo Chit, and taxi to the bus station. We get to the bus station, and she doesn’t seem to know exactly where to go. She asks, and we are directed up some stairs. The bags were heavy, and it was very hot, and I am pumping sweat. We get to the top of the stairs, and are then directed back down another flight. F**k me, this can only be Thailand. We get the tickets about 25 metres from where she asked in the first place. When she’s buying the tickets there seems to be a great deal of mirth about the farang going north. Goodness knows why.

I won’t bore you with the dreary bus journey except to tell you about a stop we made on the way up. After about four hours we stopped at a roadside shop. We had just passed a vineyard, which I had never seen in Thailand before, so I took some interest, and then we pulled in.

Well, I’m wandering round the shop minding my own business and this Thai guy comes up to me with a wine glass in one hand and a half empty red wine bottle in the other. I start to tell him no thanks I don’t want to buy a glass, but then realise he wants to give me a sample. OK, he filled the small glass (which was pretty f**king far from clean – and I’m thinking I’m going to get the galloping shits here – but you have to be sociable) and I take a sip. I must tell you, this stuff is very close to vinegar, and although I’m trying my best to keep a straight face I don’t quite succeed. All the Thais are looking at this big farang taking a swig, and are very interested in what his sophisticated taste buds are going to tell him, so when they see my face change they all howl with laughter. I couldn’t help it – you try drinking some vinegar and not show any sign of your extreme discomfort. Impossible. So I tell him apologetically that I would prefer white wine thanks. That made them laugh some more. Well I’m happy. It’s nice to see people enjoying themselves. In retrospect, I wonder if the cunning little bastard did it for a laugh.

Another few hours, and we are there. Roi Et at last. Doesn’t Roi Et mean one hundred and one or have I missed something in the pronunciation? I didn’t think of it before. Anyway we are there. The bus dropped us on this wide road, with a few houses on each side. There are a couple of shops, but such a wide road! I can’t believe they would build such a road for a one horse town like this. It must be 15 metres wide! They must have been expecting a railroad to come through when they built it. But now the first 2 metres on each side are mostly used for litter! What a place! And where’s the hotel? I get a bad feeling. I start to envisage “squat and shit” toilets, and bucket over the head showers. I start to tell her this and she tells me that we are not in Roi Et, but a village called Amphur! <Amphur means districtStick> Where’s Roi Et? Oh we are not going there, first we are going to meet the family, and the brother in law is picking us up soon!!!!!

So I’m sitting on the kerb in the sweltering heat with two big bags pumping liquid from every pore. A few minutes before I was looking forward to a nice shower and a bit of relaxation (wink wink) after a long boring journey, but that anticipated pleasure was snatched away. This girl knows how to torture a guy.

Maybe I’m too soft with women, but I realise she is eager to see her kids and her mother. So OK, I can wait a bit longer.

It was not too long, when along comes this beat up pick up truck with the brother in law, and her 7 year old son. We did the introductions, jumped in, went twenty yards and stopped. Of course we are outside a shop. Time for the farang to start spending some money. OK, it wasn’t too bad. A goodly supply of beer (for me and him I suppose), some sweets for the little boy and some other nick nacks. Cost me only about 400 baht, and we had a shit load of beer. So I crack open a large bottle of Chang, and off we go.

Another observation about this neck of the woods is the state of the roads. They look well surfaced, and not many potholes, but you could in no way say they were smooth. We were sailing along about 80 k.p.h. and suddenly the road takes a switch back, and there don’t seem to be any shock absorbers on this vehicle. Bottles in the teeth are very uncomfortable, so I was more careful after that.

An hour later we arrived at Baan Fang, the home village, which was almost deserted because everybody was still out working in the rice fields. Next I have to meet the family, which will have to be in another instalment. Journey completed.


Stickman says:

Touring around Thailand is always fun and like most things here, never boring!