The Adventures Of Sir John The Generous
The Adventures Of Sir John The Gernerous
I never thought it would happen to me!
Actually it didn’t happen to me, but as a close third party it made interesting viewing. It started around June 2003 when a 53 year old male friend who was recently separated from a long term relationship with a self abusing alcoholic was coerced into making a trip with us to Bangkok. My business partner and I thought it might be good therapy for him to enjoy some Bangkok socializing. A decision we began to regret fairly rapidly.
Our work schedule in Bangkok is usually fairly hectic, requiring attention to detail and care as with any dealings in this culture. We made time to take John out on the second night (after our late arrival on the previous evening). A night of eye candy and Singha at Nana Plaza’s upper levels was the plan of attack. Pad Thai near Soi 5 Foodland supermarket to begin, just can’t eat those live shrimp salads!
John had been fully briefed as to what to expect with regard to “lady drinks” and “bar fines”, we had provided him with “Stickman’s Reference Guide” web address. He was a regular reader and often commented on the trials and tribulations of bargirl relationships. John, at some point without telling us, must have taken his brain out and placed it in the in room safe for security reasons.
At this point we put our Roller Coasters’ Seat belt on and began an interesting ride. In the blink of an eye he was approached by an attractive “hostess” who, in the absence of his brain, was able to push all of the right buttons and achieve her end goal of “Bar Fined”!
Ok, no problem with that, even a brain carrying male can, by desire or lack of will, have that happen. But the unthinkable set in. His desire to be a knight in shinning armour became an unstoppable focus. He spent the rest of his two week sojourn in the company of the very attractive 22 year old Ear.
In this time, life long plans were made and arrangements for her departure from the bar were set. Placement in “Hairdressing School” was arranged, new cell phone purchased, cash provided and pledges of undying love made. Phone numbers for the school were obtained from Ear to facilitate checks on her progress. Contact details exchanged, John departed the LOS vowing to return in the near future.
As we can all guess, requests for funds were made and fulfilled. And as you have probably also guessed the buffalo became ill and required funds. Sir John (one of the lesser known Knights of the Sukhumvit Square table) was happy to help. Phone calls to the school confirmed her attendance; marital bliss with the reformed bargirl looked inevitable.
Upon return to Bangkok, around eight weeks later, all seemed ok. A trip to Chiang Mai was undertaken with John and Ear and another couple. Much to the horror of the more traditional couple (married 32 years), Ear’s behavior was more that of a young teenage girl. A story retold to me went something like this:-
Sir John, Ear, Khun Leung and Misalin departed the hotel (first time in the Chiang Mai area) and decided to just have a walk around and get their bearings. Within 10 paces of the hotel Ear asks “Why we walking?” She was told because they were not sure where they were going. “Why not take tackasi?” Because “we don’t know where we are going”. Bargirl tantrum follows and this sets the general tone for the next few days.
After 3 or 4 days Ear becomes genuinely ill, a problem with an appendix inflammation and is flown back to Bangkok to recover. While in Bangkok, she decides to move to a new apartment, to be closer to her “hairdressing school”. This will require a new round of financial help from Sir John! Now drained of resources he borrows from friends and pays the love of his life all he can. He returns to his country of origin and maintains an intense SMS, phone and email relationship. Ear’s emails are competently written in English, obviously by a third party.
The weeks draw on and probably not realizing that appendicitis is not contagious, there is an urgent call for financial help. Dad has caught the dreaded disease and is in hospital requiring money for his cure. Despite the increasingly vocal nature of our protests as to his gullibility, he was still fulfilling his duty as the mobile farang ATM. A helpful friend, Ravi (capable tailor), resident in Bangkok would assist in providing cash to Ear on John’s instruction. Her visits however became more frequent and were at the point of demanding cash from Ravi without authorization from John.
My partner and I returned to Bangkok in October and were given for delivery: cash and presents. The phone calls directly to us from Ear became a daily occurrence. John would contact and ask that we help her in her requests for money. He will pay us back on return.
Ear comes to meet us and collect at the bar in Soi 11. Her cell phone never stops ringing, bearing all the hallmarks of a “Stickman sescribed” active bargirl. She spends the entire time telling us how honest she is and that John “worry too mut” she “lurv him velly mut” while downing copious quantities of soda black on our bar tab. Takes the money and runs or as you would appreciate, catches a cab…… “Why we walking?”
5 AM Bangkok time, well it is 9 AM in other parts of the world isn’t it? The urgent call goes out. Ear’s mother’s blood pressure has caused her to be hospitalized and requires at least 15,000 baht for medicines and treatment. We inform Sir John the Generous that Thai citizens hold a “30 Baht (I think!) Gold Card” and shouldn’t require help financially for health related issues. A small payment will cover the card holder for the costs of treatment in a public hospital. How wrong could we be? Ear has checked her mother into a private hospital, so she says (the name of which escapes me), but upon checking we find that there is nine of them and are therefore unable to cross check the validity of her claim to any particular place. Despite our protestations Sir John insists on helping out with this serious issue.
Enough was enough. Sir John’s little head clearly had control and he was not in a position to make important decisions. We tried to convince him that a few thousand baht spent on an investigator would provide him with the definitive answers he would need in relation to this situation. An email was sent to Stick and Sir John’s email address forwarded with the suggestion that Stick contact him and offer his investigative services. Alas the determination of the small head prevailed and Sir John neglected to take up Stick’s offer.
With no other option and SJ on an obvious path of emotional and financial destruction alternative plans were made. A capable female Thai police officer who helped us out with great competence on some business related matters was asked if she would like a challenging task of investigation without SJ’s knowledge and we would pay on his behalf. She reluctantly accepted the offer and was provided with all relevant information we had at hand. We explained that Sir John the Generous was to return to Bangkok at the beginning of December and we needed a final report to present to him before his departure.
We returned home and maintained contact via SMS and email with our operative and started receiving information within a week. It was as we has suspected, Ear was living a lie. She was not only shacked up with her Thai boyfriend, but had provided his mother’s phone number as the “Hairdressing Schools” point of contact. Ear’s attendance and participation reports were guaranteed. Her parents were both well and had not needed medical attention at any stage (nor had they even been to Bangkok) in the last six months. She had returned to work in a limited fashion (she hardly needed to with her offshore investment income!) and spent a lot of time partying and paying for friends.
Luckily the final report had arrived 3 days before SJ’s departure to the LOS and we were able to present to him a full understanding of where he really stood. So there you may think it would end. How wrong you are (and how wrong I was!). Such was the pulling power of a 22 year old pooying. He was devastated and still had dreams of “accepting her faults”. He contacted her where upon she offered all manner of excuses and even suggested a friend had put her up to it and it was not her decision. ….That guy was her brother……
Hook, line and sinker he bought it and was on his way to “fix it up” and continue. We convinced him that he was in danger of being physically hurt by the boyfriend and potentially others if he was to cause any loss of face in his actions. We have achieved our goal of protecting a friend from disaster. With 36 hours to spare we met with SJ and explained that not all Thais are like Ear and he should continue with his travel plans, only this time (with the benefit of experience) he should “lighten up” and enjoy himself without taking it all so seriously. He agreed that he would go and not contact Ear. Problem was Ear was to meet with him at Don Mueang, Terminal 2. A plan was hatched to avoid confrontation. So he headed off for another trip to Bangkok.……
More to come (you can lead a horse to water……..)!
Please don’t tell us that he continues to see her….please!