Good Girls On The Net Part 3
This is just a simple story about finding a nice girl, falling in love and doing my best to understand her and the differences in our cultures.
Since my last report in September I have been back to see Kay twice since then, I was there for 2 weeks in October and then another 2 weeks over Christmas and New Year, that’s 4 trips in 9 months, crazy I know, but I seemed to be badly affected by those after holiday blues (many of you will know exactly what I mean by this) and the only cure is to see a brain surgeon or get down to the travel agents and book another flight. In October Kay and I stayed at her Mum's place, which is just a few miles outside of Loei and quite close to the Laos border. During our stay there, Kay and I became engaged, it was then that I decided I wanted to leave New Zealand and get married and together with Kay buy some land close to the village and build a house.
For the December visit Kay let me stay with her at her apartment, she said that she didn’t want me to waste “our” money on a hotel (she wasn’t joking). I was given strict instructions not to let her sisters know where I was staying and also to be careful not to let her work colleagues see me go in or out of the building. I arrived on 23 Dec and it was nearly midnight by the time I got to Kay’s. The only good thing about being apart from the one you love is the “getting back together” and all the passion and romance is just so incredible.
The next day Kay had to go to work, she left me to sleep, I woke in the late afternoon and decided to have a bit of a nosy around the place, looked at some photo albums, thumbed through a few of her University books, spotted a diary… jackpot!…. should I read it ? Dam right I should, (go on admit it you would do the same).
I started reading…. Kay was saying such lovely things about me, how she had met a great guy and had fallen in love, there were lots of little one liners, and some short little poems etc…. but then I spotted something…. “Had a great two weeks in Pattaya, Mark is so much fun”.
Who the f**K is Mark? This was just like that bloody David Gates song… “I found her diary underneath a tree and started reading about me”…. F**K I hate that song. I read some more, Kay’s been seeing this guy since 2001…. Damn!, Stick must be right when he said most Thai women aged 25 to 35 have bit on the side. I kept on reading, becoming more angry!!! I had enough…. How am I going to handle things when Kay gets back?, I threw the diary on the bed, I noticed a letter had fallen out and picked it up to read, it was from Mark, but wait a minute it is addressed to Nam, Kay’s younger sister…. So who’s diary is it, Kay’s or Nam’s ???
Just then I heard a key turn in the door, in bursts Kay, she throws her arms around me, hugging me tight and kissing me uncontrollably, she said “are you alright, I’m so sorry, please forgive me, I’m such a stupid girl, when I was leaving work I realized I had put the padlock on the door and locked you in all day, are you ok, what if there had been fire, what would you have done…. Ah… ah … oh, tie the bed sheets together and climb down! (I didn’t let on that I had no idea I was locked in… come on you have to milk these situations for all they are worth) Kay sat down on the bed and said, “I see you have been reading Nam’s diary”…..Yes, sorry, I had a bit of a nosy and looked at some of your books and found the diary. I’ll tell you something funny. At first I thought it was your diary and Mark was your lover. Kay laughed and said “serves you right for being a nosy guy”.
On Christmas Day we went with Kay’s 3 Sisters and Brother In-law (Lee) to visit her Mum. It felt funny driving all day instead of celebrating Christmas in the usual Kiwi way, but Kay and I did exchange gifts that morning and she really went to a lot of trouble and bought me some great clothes all beautifully boxed by the Robinson’s sales staff. Lee is Chinese Thai and owns a small construction company in Bangkok, he is a great driver, owns 3 cars, for this trip we all piled into his Ford Explorer, brand spanking new, I even got to have a drive, hmm! I want one… Lee is the nicest guy you could ever meet, speaks a little English, loves 70’s and 80’s music, plays the guitar and who is his favourite singer? Yes, David Gates…. he must have played that diary song 4 times on our trips, it made me laugh….. Lee is overly generous to the point of being embarrassing, often we would argue in a friendly way as to who was picking up the meal tab, but I made sure I paid for every second meal we had.
We spent 3 days at Mum's place, her home is quite nice, but no hot water. As it was winter time the temps went down as low as 13c at night and a cold shower is not much fun and if you say that you’ll take a shower in the morning they will look at you as if you were some bum that only washed once a year. Kay said, “that’s ok you can shower in the morning because no one is sleeping with you anyway”, I took the hint. The only furniture that Mum had in the living room was a bench seat out of some old car. I told Kay that I would buy some chairs as a gift for her Mum, of course my real reason was that I was sick of sitting on that hard floor. The next day we went to Loei and I bought a new 3 piece lounge suite and a coffee table for 3500 baht, ok so the suite was made out of that cheap vinyl crap but you can’t complain at that price. Later that evening Lee and I would be sitting in the chairs having a few Changs, watching DVD’s while the women brought us in plates of food, this went on for a few hours, Lee said, “damn good idea you buying this furniture, I should have thought of it years ago.”
The next day we drove up into the mountains and went to one of the National Parks, we had a guided tour of some limestone rocks and caves, we made our way through the towering rock pillars up onto a viewing platform, the views were fantastic. Later we visited a plant nursery on a mountain plateau and then went to a flower festival and market. There were about a dozen floats, all covered in roses, lilies and orchids. I have never before seen such vivid colours in the flowers, especially the orchids.
Over New Year's I decided to take Kay to Songkhla, which is in the south on the coast not far from the Malaysian border. I had liked the photos that I had seen on the net of all beaches and lakes etc… and it looked a nice peaceful place to stay for a week. We took a flight from Bangkok to Hat Yai, this was Kay’s first time in a airplane. We rented a car at Hat Yai and headed up to Songkhla, they have some great roads down there, a lot of 4 lane highways in many places. I noticed that the many of the cars were much older than in the north and there were a few old rust buckets and I even saw a couple of HQ Holdens, how would they have ended up in this country? In Songkhla we stayed at the Pavillon Hotel, we made this our base and each day we would head out to see the sites of the surrounding districts, we clocked up 1500 km on the rental car. On one day we went to Pattani, stopped there for lunch and then went down the coast to the Malaysian Border, it was odd seeing the high razor wire fencing snaking its way along the hills and the watch towers gave you such a spooky feeling and you felt like you were in a WW2 concentration camp. We passed through many Muslim towns, the first thing you notice is that there were no dogs but lots of goats, they were just as bad as the dogs lying all over the road, however I expect they would make a better road kill meal if you ever ran one over.
On another day we went to see the Nga Chang Waterfalls, the entry fee was 20 baht for Thais and 200 baht for foreigners, as we pulled up to the ticket office Kay told me to pull my baseball cap down and try and hide my arms, she smiled at the ticket guy and said “two 20 baht please” he looked at me and Kay said “oh my friend is Thai” he smiled back and waved us on. It was good to see he had a sense of humour and let me in for 20 baht. Later we went down to Satun, we passed through 4 police road blocks and they were checking every car, the cops looked pretty agitated, no smiles and hands on guns, we didn’t know what was going on and it wasn’t until the last day of our trip that we caught up with the news. The day after we were in Pattani, a cop was blown up by a bomb hidden in a motorcycle and also 4 soldiers were shot and guns stolen and on one night we were out driving late, 21 schools had classrooms burned down by these militant muslim groups. I also heard that a few weeks later 3 monks and a 13 year old novice were murdered. Yeah “shit happens” but I don’t want to be anywhere near it. And to think that we travelled all over the Yala, Narathiwat and Pattani Provinces while all of this was going down. We got such a scare when we later found out about this. If they can hack to death monks then an evil farang infidel with his prostitute (that’s what they would think), would make great sport and target practice. We sure were glad to leave the south and get back to Bangkok.
Kay still attends University part time, she has been trying to complete her degree while holding down a full time job, this is her 8th year of being a part time student, no she is not stupid, it’s just the long hours she has to put into her job and study do not mix. Kay showed me around her University, she had to sign up for her next course. We had dinner at the cafeteria, I was the only farang there, had about 500 pairs of eyes starring at us, but I’m getting use to that now. During dinner we talked about Kay's job, I have known for sometime she was unhappy there and the boss treated her like crap even though she almost single handedly ran the place. One of her main goals is to graduate and get a better job where she will be able to use her qualifications, but at her present rate of learning this was going to take another two years. I asked her why don’t you leave your job and study full time and I will be your sponsor and pay your expenses each month. Kay immediately refused the offer but I know that if I want her to do something I just plant the idea and leave it for a few days for her to sort out.
Sure enough a few days later Kay said to me “were you serious about being my sponsor?” so that set the ball rolling and we worked out all the details, Kay insisted that the money I give her is a loan, otherwise she would not accept my offer. We worked out a monthly budget and how long it would take her to graduate. Since writing this Kay has been at Uni for 6 weeks now, she started the semester a number of weeks behind the other students, she put in a lot of study and has just finished one lot of exams, she hopes her marks are good, she is so worried that she has to do well so that her “sponsor” will be pleased.
I am a very determined person and I want my relationship with Kay to be a success. We have become each others best and closest friend, and this is a good foundation to start a life together, we want the same things, love, friendship, a family, a home and if it all goes to plan a happy life together. I realized that Kay would not like living in New Zealand, just a bit too cold and so I decided to sell my business and move to Thailand, I’ll invest in a rental property here in Auckland and my websites (music related) are a good little earner so there is no problem with an income, plus I have a part time job lined up designing a website for a company. Also I will take a Thai language class. We plan to live in Bangkok for a year and then buy some land near Kay’s hometown. We plan to have nice house with a swimming pool and a big tropical garden. It will be a huge adjustment for me living in Thailand, but it’s a challenge that I am looking forward to. Thanks to the people that have written to me and offered me advice, I have made some good friends through these submissions.
In part 4 I want to tell you about Kay’s family, it’s an interesting story of how the six children have struggled through life but their fortunes changed when the older sister married Lee.
Another nice report.