Readers' Submissions

Changes In Bangkok Part 3

  • Written by Jurgen
  • October 11th, 2004
  • 4 min read


Well the time arrived to leave Nannie and continue on to Europe. The trip was very interesting but should not be described in a Thai forum. I returned to Australia, changed my plane for a two engine version etc. In early 1970 I lost an engine during take off, with the gear and flaps down I had no chance and went into a controlled crash. Nothing happened to me but the kite was a complete write off. The insurance paid within a week and I went to LA to buy a new plane.

At Los Angeles airport I did meet a former Qantas captain. He asked me how many hours in command I have, (2642) and then he told me; come and work for us, interesting planes, a very nice country and plenty of money. At that time I was pretty unhappy with my engineering work in Oz and I accepted. Two weeks later I was at Little Rock AFB getting jet training. Three month later I was at the Royal Thai AFB Korat.

I cannot say, even today, which planes I was flying. And for which three letter agency I worked. Let’s put it this way we were flying mighty high and very fast indeed. I usually did two trips a week from Korat to Bodo in Norway. If I left at 8 AM, I always was back at 6 PM Thai time. Enough said. The rest of the time was for me.

I sampled the then rather primitive entertainment area in Korat but did not like it very much. The girls were ok but already started to have predatory looks in their eyes. The bars were completely overpriced compared to BKK and the accommodation in town also left a lot to be desired and so on. I contacted Nannie in Bangkok and just caught her before she left for Europe. She had to go for special surveillance training to the BND in Germany.

As I had three free days I went to our dispatch officer and asked for a plane. No problems at all. He assigned a checked out Phantom to me and off I went to Bkk. Parked the plane, phoned Nannie and enjoyed the next two days until her departure. Brought her to the airport, put her on the Lufthansa plane and collected the F4 to fly back to Korat.

I am very glad that I did this; it was the last time that I could see her. She studied for two years in Germany, fell in love with a major of the GSG9 and married him. As we stayed in contact, I know that she has two children with the guy and is very happy indeed. It could not have happened to a nicer lady. I am very happy for her. Even so it is a very sweet memory of my more innocent days.

Quite often I booked a plane out and went on a shopping trip to Singapore, I did it once to Hong Kong but the British did not like it to much that a fully armed military US plane went there. Well they probably wanted to avoid friction with China. I flew a few times to Bangkok but did not like the city anymore. The Grace hotel was full with German tourists (Neckerman Tours), the GI’s also did not like the place and the prices had changed from 5 to $US 10 a night. The bargirls also changed and were far more aggressive. It is amazing what changes can happen in one short year. Let us be honest; I missed Nannie and the place reminded me to much of her. I was very friendly with a young waitress at the Grace coffee shop, nothing ever happened but she was good to talk to. Now 32 years later, she still works there, remembers me and sometimes if I am in BKK I say hallo and we have a good talk.

I am not the barfly type and was bored with Korat. I then remembered Chiang Rai and the unspoiled rural and beautiful city. In 1972 I grabbed a plane and went up there. It was practically unchanged, no farangs, no hustling, very civilized bars. I decided to lease some land, on a 30 year lease and build a three bed room house there. Nothing special, but enough for me and a possible girl friend, including all the paperwork, materials etc. It cost me the princely sum of 20,000 baht. This included a western type bathroom.

Whenever I wanted some rest I just went up there and completely relaxed. Enjoyed parties with the neighbors, gave some parties myself and never had to sleep alone. There always was a nice unspoiled lady around to look after me. Not bargirls, they really did not exist here at that time. As I came back here in 1996 I could not recognize the city. I did not even find the place where my house used to be, well this is life.

Will be continued.

Stickman's thoughts:

Time to go shopping. I think I'll take an F16 today.