Bagwain’s Return To LOS
Well I can say that there are some sorry bastards in this world. After my first posting I received some quite negative emails and a couple of positive ones about my posting on Stick’s site. The great thing about the negative emails was the fact
that they made me more aware of what can happen. Thanks to the few that were positive. I personally take full responsibility in what ever happens in my life, good and bad. To date my experiences in LOS have been great. It does pay to have a sense
of humour in this beautiful country.
September/04, I was back in Australia after my first trip to LOS and I was offered a position with the old company that I used to work with. Talk about luck, they wanted someone to go to LOS and discuss potential distribution of the company's technology with some established businesses. I was to come back to LOS at the end of November for 2 months. Both myself and my Tilac in Pattaya where happy. I kept in regular contact with her for the 2 months before I got back. A mate came with me for the first ten days. We spent the first two nights in BKK, one week in Phuket and then 3 nights in Pattaya. It was his first trip and it blew him away. We had a ball in Phuket as it was high season and there were many people from all round the world on holidays. We mostly hung around Surin Beach as we made friends with a heap of guys at Divers Bar. After Pattaya my mate departed to Australia and I had to get back into work mode. I decided to move into my Tilac’s one bedroom room in Nakula to keep the costs down. What an experience that was. Hard bed, cold showers and noisy neighbours (Kitten Club). I shouldn’t complain, her sister slept on the tile floor. I felt a bit guilty so I bought her a mat to sleep on.
I needed to go back to Phuket, so I decided to take my Tilac with me. It was to be her first plane trip. She was a bit nervous until we were well under way. After a week in Phuket, her mother who looks after her 2 ½ year old daughter, became ill. So I sent my Tilac back early. This was about 5 days before Xmas. I wanted to stay in Phuket over the Xmas and New Year period, but my Tilac wanted me in Pattaya. I had to visit the “Sofitel Kolak” on the 22/Dec to inspect the swimming pool and on the 23rd I departed to Pattaya.
We all know what happened next. Fuckin' lucky bastard is one of the phrases used by some mates back in Australia. I never heard my phone ring so much as on the 26th/Dec. Family and friends back in Australia ringing to see where the hell I was. I
returned twice since the disaster to finish what business I could in Phuket. I was amazed at how well the people coped and how well they had cleaned up. The places affected looked like building sites. It is sad that the lack of tourists is what
is hurting them now.
Back to the madness of Pattaya as this was my base. Over the New Year break I met many people in business in Pattaya and I received quite a lot of encouragement from all of them. It became obvious that if we wanted our technology effectively marketed in LOS, I would have to do a lot of training here or I would have to do it myself. So I have decided to relocate to LOS and start a company Ltd. I am thankful to the expats who have encouraged me to do so. Many other opportunities have fallen into my lap and I am planning to start up sometime around April. However I have some experience of Thai time so I will keep flexible.
I have read a lot of stories, most quite funny, about guys going up country to meet family. Neil Hutchinson’s books – “Money still number one”, “A Fool in Paradise” and “The Fool is Back” are highly recommended. These books where my regular toilet reading and had me is stitches on many a morning. They would have to be the funniest books I have ever read. My story of meeting the family is worth writing about. They are from Isaan, however at present they are all in BKK except for one sister who lives with my Tilac.
We decided to spend 2 nights in BKK and one night was to meet up with, Ma, Sister number one, her hubby, their kid and my Tilac’s kid. We ordered a taxi and off we headed. I asked my Tilac how long and how much? About 40min and 100 baht was the reply. We ended up at some Big C out in the sticks. As we got out of the taxi I heard an elderly guy rounding up trolleys, say “Falang” in a sentence. I asked my Tilac what he said. Why you bring “Falang” here “Falang” no come here, was the reply.
Where was I? Inside this massive shopping centre, I was like a freak. Thousands of Thais staring at me. Lucky I had a few beers in me. I went to buy a box of Heineken, but my Tilac said, no buy Leo. I am sure this just made the Thais stare harder. I could
almost read their collective minds – Miserable Farang, only buy Leo. It was for her Bro-in-law, so who was I to argue. We then had to get one of them 4 wheel tuktuks to sister number one’s place. 20 minutes later we arrived. I was totally
lost and when we pull up I could not believe the size of this concrete building that they lived in. Up to the 4th floor I lugged the beer and then we met. Within 30 seconds of being there I was surrounded by kids wanting to check out the Farang
and practise what little English they knew. My tilac assured me that they had a fridge and that they would have some cold beer. Guess what, no cold beer so out came the ice. You would get your balls ripped off for drinking beer over ice in Australia.
Many laughs were had over the next hour as we tried to communicate. Then it was food time. Out came the first plate – deep fried bugs. I couldn’t bring myself to try, much to the amusement of my hosts. Thank god they had some chicken
When you drink quite a few bottles of beer, you need to let some of it go, to make room for more. So I went to the toilet. I was quite pissed at this stage and Ma was sitting on a bed next to the toilet door. On my way out I patted her on the head and asked her- How are you ma? Well all hell broke loose and I realised what I had done. It is a cultural thing that you don’t touch Thais on the head, especially the elderly. The rest of the family had a big laugh at it all, thank fuck.
Time to leave and a taxi was ordered. Sister’s hubby decided to buy me a bottle of Singha as a good bye present, which I accepted. Then off we headed. We were quoted 100 baht to get back to the Dynasty in BKK. Half way back, the taxi turned into a dark street, turned all the lights off, pointed to his watch and said – I knock off now. “Fuck” what the hell is going on was my response. My tilac said – “we still had to pay him” – as she gave him a blast. I normally would have told him were to go, however I had no idea were the hell we where. So we just got another taxi. What a night! I love this place and I will be back soon. Question – When in Pattaya I seem to have hell with my bowls, can’t get off the toilet in the morn, it doesn’t happen when in Phuket as much, could it be the cheap UV treated bottled water?