Stickman Readers' Submissions June 3rd, 2004

Thai Party Part 5

We left much the same as we arrived. Lek's face is expressionless as we leave the tuk-tuk, walk down he short alley, past the nightclub and into the front door of the hotel. I fully expected her to just drop me off and take the tuk-tuk back home but she follows me into the room and transforms before my eyes into the fun girl I had that evening. The change is dramatic and has a puzzling effect on me at the time.

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She turns to me and with a twinkle in her eye says, "We have shower!"

Sounds great to me! She giggles as we race to see who will enter the shower first. Actually it is a tub and shower combination. It has been a while since I have been able to have a nice soak in the a tub and somehow I doubt that Lek has ever been in a tub from the way she acted. In years of married life I never shared a tub with my ex, but after squirming around in this undersized basin Lek and I find a comfortable position and enjoy each other as though we had been doing this for years.

An hour or so later we lie side by side on the bed, resting from bedroom gymnastics. She has her head on my shoulder, nestled into my arm with a leg draped over my thigh, arm across my chest. We stay like this, quiet for a while, each in our own thoughts.

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"So your business is providing introductions to farang over the internet, not selling property?"

She stiffens a little and doesn't answer.

"It's ok, Lek…I just am making a comment…"

"When I married, I sell buildings. when I divorce, I lose customer. My husband is rich man.find young better than me. I leave him.I divorce him."

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"But you have a settlement from him, yes? You got money from the divorce??"

She lifted her head and with sad eyes says, "No, he give nothing me. I want nothing…he is bad man me…all Thai man bad!"

Well, having seen how Lek lived, I could see that once upon a time she did have a relatively good life. I certainly saw that in the one piece of good furniture that she held onto and also in some of the photos I looked at while she made me lunch. So I did believe her story as such. Her mood was sad now, something I didn't want so I decided to break her out of it.

I wasn't really attracted to any of the women that came to Lek's home, though there was one that was quite pretty. Her name was Num. She was interested in me to the point of slipping me a small photo with her mobile number on it. Her English was very limited though saying only "No tell Lek!". Ahhhh…I see, you don't want to pay her for meeting me, eh! But pretty as she was, we could not communicate much and that is a real turn off for me. I actually enjoyed Toon's company much more.

"So…you do make money helping these women with the internet, yes?"

"I need money to live…"

"I saw one woman who was very pretty."

"Who you like?"

"Num…she is very pretty. Would you ask her if she wanted to spend the night with me?"

"Last night I say yes. But now I no want share you…" she said cautiously.

I smile at her and say, "I didn't mean it Lek.I was just joking with you. This farang wants only to make love to his Thai lady, Lek…"

"and Lek want make love her first farang…her only farang", as she shifts herself on top of me laughing….

It is early evening by the time we shower and dress. The night is cool so we walk several blocks to the moat/old wall of the central area of the city. This is an interesting part of Khorat for me. I like history. Seeing the size of the moat and parts of the city wall allows me to imagine what life would be like in olden times. The lights, the activity that blossoms in the night air is infectious.

We stop to watch a small street performance. Then she takes me to Thao Suranari Memorial and tells me a little about the woman who rallied the townspeople to fight off an invader while her husband was absent. Beautiful statue surrounded by lights with many Thai people offering prayer. Lek buys some incense and while I watch from a distance she spends a few minutes of worship. I am not a believer in organized religion, but I do believe in the spirit…that essence that defines me as a person but cannot be quantified in atoms and molecules. If there is a creator…then in my mind there is only one and no one person or culture has the creator's ear. Organized religion of any form disgusts me…too much evil has been committed in the world throughout history…"in his name sake". Though I don't practise it, meditation makes a lot of sense to me. The mystery of the spirit will be revealed to me in good time…I am not in any great hurry.

We walk along the street and chose a restaurant at random. Passing through a narrow hall leading to a courtyard…great atmosphere, great food. She is becoming more comfortable in public with me. She smiles more often now. We talk about her kids who are in their late teens and going to university. Her ex-husband at least looks after that aspect of family responsibility.

We next stroll through the night market which in Khorat is huge and full of life. Lots of people, music, lights and every conceivable merchandise for sale. I could spend hours just looking at the beautiful orchids, wondering how I could ever take any home with me. I know some people who would love these additions to their greenhouses. We come onto one of many stalls selling women's clothing. Iam not normally one to "go shopping" but I enjoyed watching her model first one then another blouse for me. Together we cannot decide between two that look great on her. She gives me a rare public squeeze on the fingers as I motion to the sales girl that I'll take both.

We walk back to the hotel now. She seems to be less distant while walking. We are about twelve inches apart walking side-by-side…not holding hands though. It has been a nice evening but the mood is shattered at a street corner. A motorcycle with a young male passenger zooms across our path. He shouts at us over the engine noise and laughs as they speed away. The smile has left Lek's face.

"What did he say, Lek?"

"He call me prostitute…I not prostitute!" She

"No…you are not a prostitute…you are my friend."

I want to hold her and let her feel comfort in my arms; but that is impossible in the street. It is only a few blocks to the hotel…I'll have to wait till then…

(To be continued….)

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