Visit To England, Part 2 – The Arrival
OWe said our farewells to the family, spreading a little "happiness" along the way – I had intended to pay off a bill her Dad had for a motorcycle he bought a while ago, but Dad said he wanted the money himself, and he would worry about the
bill later, so I gave Dad the 6,000 baht and told his daughter that if he called saying he had a problem with the bill, I would stuff it up his backside the next time I sore him. Mum had a little cash too, and then I got the family and several
aunts and uncles drunk on various occasions.
The family was taken care of, so my girl was next. We shopped for woolen pullovers, jackets, blouses and jeans, and packed our bags with everything else she could bring with her. I told her it would not be necessary to pack everything, as we had shops in England, but she wanted to bring everything, so everything went in the bags. Her whole life to date, bar a little furniture consisted of 2 hold all bags – about 40 kilos worth of stuff. I had a suit made for her, a jacket and a couple of tidy trousers. She will need to look smart when she goes out, and when she meets the family, so I prepared her.
An important thing to point out here. On several occasions I have chosen clothes for her, smart blazer jackets, even a hand made suit, and she would nod her agreement of my choices for her, I'd hand over the money, and she would wear it. None of it. So this time I left all the choices to her. I told her I wanted her to have a suit, and Jacket etc, and she chose the lot. Not necessarily without my final agreement, but she chose it – and immediately, she's wearing it, and obviously far more delighted with her choices than anything I could have picked for her, so that was it. We departed on Saturday 5th at lunchtime.
The Flight itself went smoothly, little to tell, other than a pal of mine joined us for the return trip, and spent the whole time teasing her about the cleaning and washing she'd be expected to do when she arrived. I joined in, until the two of us were crying with laughter. She wasn't sure how to take it, until my pal told her she'd have to get on a bus to his house and pick up his washing every Monday, and return it by bus on Wednesdays. She understood we were joking at this point, and reached over and grabbed his balls until he squealed – that was the last joke!
A friend of mine met us at Heathrow at 8pm. Immigration was speedy (I advise people to join their partners and go through the foreign passport section with their girls. The immigration people ask questions, and in my girl's case, she couldn't understand, so I broke it down into pigeon English to help her)
Her first comment was the time of day. It was 8.30pm and light outside. She insisted it was Sunday morning, and wouldn't accept it was Sat night. Not until around 9,45 when it started to get dark!
So now to fill you in with the little rules I've given her.
1. She wakes up with me everyday, except Sunday – Sunday she can
please herself, but every other day, she wakes up with me.
2. She goes to bed with me every night – no staying up with the TV.
If necessary, I will stay up with her, but we go to bed together.
3. She goes to school every day. Every day without exception.
Let me explain. I work during the day; I work very hard from 8.30 until sometimes 8pm. During the week I go to bed latest 11pm, and wake up at 7.30. I sometimes work Saturdays. I want her up and about with me so she has a similar routine. In Bangkok she will wake up anytime from 7am to 3pm, and go to bed 9pm too 11am – I cant live like that except when on holiday, so she wakes up and goes to bed with me. If she wants a snooze during the day, no problem, but if she's up, with any luck she'll keep herself busy. She can cook, she can watch TV. I don't care, but at 1pm I come home for lunch (Most days) and at 3pm she has to go to school for 1 and a half hours. Its English and its free (A teacher training school – my town (Cheltenham) has some of the best language schools in the country (We have the government spy center GCHQ here, so you can learn every language in the world), and the level of training the teachers get is high, so they need students to train with. The students get proper lessons, but the teachers are being trained, so usually theirs 3 teachers and around 10 pupils – like I said it's free, and the standards are high. Guess we're lucky here. Anyway, her afternoons are going to be busy.
I don't have any other rules for her. (Yet!)
So what's happened to date?
We went to the supermarket Sunday – that was an eye opener – a tiny shelf for rice, and massive shelving for prepared meals, ready for the microwave. But the one thing that stood out for her, was how fat everyone was – little more I can say.
She can't get used to the carpets in my apartment. She has tiled flooring at home, so she's dropped food, ash and drink everywhere – which normally she could wipe or mop up. She's found out it isn't so easy with carpet (I'm going to give her a month to get used to it, then get all the carpets cleaned.) When the spicy chicken wings with the tartrazine red colouring, went on the floor, I cringed, but kept calm – even when she rubbed it into the carpet more with the wet towel she used. I showed her the stain removing foam I had, and she now knows how to use that.
TV consists of cartoons, and the World Wrestling Foundation – I have 200 channels, and that's what she watches – no problem. Oh, one other programme she loved was Jackass – if you've not seen it, go and get Jackass the movie – if they sell it in Thailand – it's a scream.
She brought with her a load of puzzle books – brilliant – she's doing those all the time, and many are English puzzles – like, you look for a word amongst a load of letters – Though only a small thing, these go a long way to keep her busy.
She hogs the bed cover – no problem whilst its warm here (It's been 24-26 degree this week – wont last) but god help me later on.
We've been to one bar where she immediately spotted a girl that new me. I was grilled about her after she came over to say hello. It isn't a bad idea to let her know I have a few Girl friends I guess, and she was much calmer than she would have been in Thailand.
At the same bar a pal and his wife came over. Within 20 minutes the wife invited us both to a BBQ at their house, which delighted her.
She asked me where the Thai market was – I chuckled and said 6,000 miles away! She looked astonished, but has found food no problem so far. She's cooked rice, found plenty of different chilies. She's disappointed that theirs no fresh lemongrass and lime leaf, but I have found plenty of dried, and that's worked fine. We've had spicy chicken wings, lots of prawns, and she even found crab in my local fishmongers. (It's costing a fortune, but I'm patient. Hopefully we can compromise later)
One thing that's dawned on me is I am working on a blank page – she's never used a microwave, a vacuum cleaner, a freezer, halogen cooking, and a grill. Even my Iron she found weird.
"You put the water in now?" She said,
I said yes.
She started to press a blouse – I said woe woe. Stop. Plug it in honey!
– She plugged it in – "What's this for?"
"That's to increase the temperature"
"That make machine hot more"
"Take care with clothes. Something not like too hot"
The vacuum cleaner made her jump, She took pork out of the freezer and put it straight into the Wok – I told her she had to defrost in the microwave first.
Understand, she has seen these things before, but never used them. She has a fridge freezer at home, but the freezer stores ice, and the fridge stores moisturizing cream, water, and my processed cheese slices and creamer for my coffee! So it's all new to her, and whilst she's willing to try, were going to have some interesting times in the future (I hope she doesn't burn the apartment to the ground in the process)
So the big question is, is she happy?
She's said to me three times "Thank you to bring me here" without prompting from me. This morning as I went to work, she gave me a big hug, and a peck and that big Thai smile and said "have good day husband" – I was delirious.
I'll keep you posted.
Great stuff! This is gonna be a popular series.