Stickman Readers' Submissions June 1st, 2004

Thai Party Part 4

Light streams through the edges of the curtained window. Sounds of the city pierce my conscious mind. I feel soooo good…soooo relaxed…spooned against this woman in my bed. She arrived at my door about thirty minutes after leaving my room. I was half asleep by that time but she hammered on my door calling my name so that I knew she was Lek.

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My hand traces a line on the cool coffee hip rising from a firm tight waist. What a night! Making love to her was different than anything I had experienced before. It felt so atural, as though we were lovers for all our lives instead of strangers who really met for the first time hours earlier. No hesitation, no shyness, no suggestion that what was being done was taboo, no begging the other to try something new.

I glance at a clock radio and it shows 9:30am. I smile, well at least I've had five hours of sleep. I open my hand and glide my palm around the curve of her thigh, across the forest between her legs, along the plain of her flat stomach, stopping at the foothills of her soft breasts. She stirs awake and stretches luxuriously, pushing her bottom into my groin…hmmmmm. Turning within my arms she kisses me.

"You want make love to Lek?" she purrs.

"Silly question, darling ! Yes, this farang wants to make love with you again!"

"You my first farang! I not make love any other farang"

I'd like to believe that dear but given the conversation last night I am not so sure. But then again this is Khorat, not Bangkok there are not that many farang who visit here and those that do don't stay very long as there is not a lot of tourist activity to hold them. In the 70's, it certainly was an American airforce base with many of the personnel staying on and retiring here but those are few by comparison. So maybe I am her first farang, who knows?

An hour later we shower and are ready for the day. As we leave the room she turns to me and says

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"You no tell anyone you sleep with me, ok!"

"Yeah, sure…no problem.", I respond. I roll this over in my mind. Hey! I'm a gentleman! I don't have to brag to others about my prowess.

"Good, now we go market and buy food for lunch. I cook you good meal at my home" she smiles. But as soon as I close the room door the smile disappears. It is like we are magnets of the same polarity. She keeps her distance of at least two feet as we walk out of the hotel and flag a tuk-tuk to the market nearby. This puzzles me at first then I review her last comments over in my head.

The market is huge, unlike any I have seen in Bangkok. Think of Chatuchek at half its size, but under one roof and open air. There is a section for durable goods against one wall, cauldrons of Thai curries line another with women doling out "Thai takeout" in plastic bags or in bowls to be eaten at tables behind them, meats / fish of all kinds are displayed in one section and vegetables / fruits laid out in another. Confections, condiments, everything has its place. The street edges of the market are crowded with motorcycles, saam-law and tuk-tuks vying for a customer.

Lek weaves through the crowded aisles easily with me in tow a few feet behind. I am the only farang in this place and at six feet four inches, I must look like a tall masted schooner in a harbor of rowboats. I draw more attention then I really like. She stops before a meat counter.

"You like moo?" she asks.

"Yes, I do." I reply. A brief word and about a five pound piece of pork is wrapped up and I pay for it.

Then we pass the chicken area "You like kai?"

"Well…yes…" and two dozen chicken wings go into a plastic bag. Then it is eggs, vegetables, fruit and I suddenly realize I am not buying lunch makings. I am stocking the larder for the coming week. Soon she and I are laden with as much as we can carry. I smile to myself, as we struggle to the edge of the market "not a bad lot of food for about 600 baht". Lek leaves me to guard the bags while she phones for a ride to pick us up. Every tuk-tuk for yards around tries to get my business but soon give up when I wave them off. I keep myself occupied observing the local color. Lek returns just as Fa drives by on a motorcycle. She looks at me, then at Lek showing a sly smile. Well, there goes your little secret Lek, I thought.

A car pulls up and we pile in for the drive to her house. Her home is a small townhouse with a tiny backyard with a few plants, a main floor with the kitchen, toilet and living room. The bedrooms are upstairs. She is definitely less well off than my Udon friend. The quality of the furniture is poor and the kitchen is frankly a mess. Considering that she lives here with her mother and sister, I would have thought the place would be spotless…no…she isn't in real estate, not now anyway.

There is one couch, a low table that serves as a seating area when needed, a huge teak dining table (evidence of former wealth?), display cabinet and computer desk. Lek puts away the food and starts making us lunch on the single gas burner. I amuse myself looking at pictures and a small library which contains some picture books and a few ESL texts (professional curiosity). There is no air-conditioning, but a fan and the concrete walls keep the bulk of the heat out.

In fifteen minutes Lek emerges with a lunch that is really delicious (the woman sure can cook!) and she informs me that she must spend some time with her "clients"…do I mind? As if on cue, the moment the dishes are removed to the kitchen the place starts filling up. I am introduced to her mother who is all toothless smiles and floats around the room. Lek starts up her computer and a fairly well-off woman with her teenaged daughter huddle over the desk, every now and then giving me shy smiles. All of a sudden I hear the telltale "cuckoo" of ICQ chat and I almost burst out laughing. Ahhh my lady…that is why you want our secret…I am advertising at the least…someone for your clients at the best!

Another woman comes in with a nephew and niece in tow. Her name is Toon and she is looking after these kids to give her sister a break. Toon looks very Chinese. She is tall and thin with a long neck but very old features, almost like a grandmother but her voice is young. If I had to guess I'd say she was in her forties but unlike most Thai women who look young for their age, she looked twenty years older. She has never married either. Where I come from we would describe her as "a carpenter's dream"…flat as a board and never been nailed!

However, having said that, she was quite charming in her own way and spoke perfect English. I commented on this to her and she blushed saying "Oh, you are just trying to butter me up!" … not a bad idiom for an Issan girl, I thought. Apparently she is from a well-off family and looks after (rather is a slave to) her mother. She got her education at a local Catholic school which explained the quality of her English. Opening up her handbag, she handed me a photograph.

"Do you like this picture?" She asks sweetly .

"Yes, she is gorgeous!" I reply, looking at a head and shoulders Thai woman in fancy native Thai dress. "Who is it? Your sister?"

"It is me! I had it done professionally." Toon replies crestfallen.

"Yes…yes…I see it now.sorry, You are all made up and in different dress…", I try to recover quickly. "It is a very beautiful picture". Wow! the guy must have pulled out all the stops working Adobe PrintShop on this photo.

"I want to marry a doctor. Can you help me find a doctor?"

"I don't think so Toon. I don't know any doctors…here or in my own country. Your English is so good, perhaps you should get a job or volunteer as a tourist guide. Who knows, you may meet your doctor this way."

"No, I could never do that! My mother would never allow it. This is a doctor that I am sending my picture to. Do you think I have a chance with him."

With that she hands me an announcement from some American physician who is divorced, likes yachting and
is looking for a Thai wife to spend his retirement with. He wants to sail the oceans, go to fine restaurants and the theatre…woman with a child may be considered if she is right for him. He is on a speaking tour of Bangkok next month and wishes to line up interviews with suitable women.

I look up from this paper at Toon. "Do you like sailing?", I ask.

"I can learn!…I do like the theatre and fine dining!", she says defensively.

I cannot hurt her feelings but this guy wants a trophy wife on his arm. I doubt he bargains for a mother-in-law and living in land-locked Khorat forever. Hahaha.

"I am sure that your photo will catch his eye and you will get an interview date", to which she brightens up considerably. Actually, I found out weeks later that I was right. She did get the interview. Though Lek never did tell me the end of that story.

At that moment, mother walks by and runs her finger tips along my forearm as she passes. The women roar with laughter as she speaks to them.

"What did she say, Toon?"

"She wants to know when it will be her turn to be with you", she giggled.

Hahahaha…well maybe 40 years ago darling and I smile as she leaves the room.

After thirty minutes or so I am really getting bored. Lek is conducting her business and I know that I have to respect that. Across the room the niece and nephew are just as bored as I am. I like kids. I love my students. I have one hundred and seventy students and I swear that I would have most of them for a son or daughter. Often, in order to lighten up the mood after a test or dull lecture I would pull out a deck of cards and perform one of my limited number of card tricks…they loved them.

So motioning to the kids I drew out the deck of cards from my pouch. I performed a trick with Toon translating for me. The boy looked up from his comic book but soon was bored and returned to reading. The young girl, though, was fascinated and wanted the trick done over and over again. I am pretty good at sleight-of-hand and when she would almost figure it out, I would add a wrinkle to fool her again. A couple of times she would take the deck and try out her version of a trick. we went on like this for thirty minutes of fun. She impressed me very much, especially the laughing twinkle of her eyes.

Turning to Toon, I say "This is a very bright child!"

"No, she is very lazy!", replied Toon.

"I am sorry Toon! I teach for a living and I know a bright child when I see one."

"No, she is lazy and she will never go to university since she is ONLY second in her class"

Only second in her class…only second. Being a child of a single parent there was not enough money to buy her way into a university…sad really.

At this point in time I start to get tired. I came to Khorat to visit her and the city. While I didn't want to interfere with her business, I did want to see some of the city. So I eventually walked over to Lek and announced that I was a little tired and I was going back to the hotel to have a short nap. Lek immediately agreed that this was a good idea and announced to the crowd that I was tired and she was going to take me back to the hotel so I would not get lost.

She phoned for a tuk-tuk and we left at once…

(to be continued.)

Stickman's thoughts:

Oh come on….when do we get to the good bit? The tuktuk smashing into the family buffalo or her pulling a knife on you, or something equally gruesome?

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