A Girl Called
This is eleven years ago; But we have moved on!
We were sitting in a pub we didn’t like, which you may think a strange thing to do, but we had our reasons.
The owner of this particular joint couldn’t stand us and it was always a source of glee to watch the conflict on his face as he debated whether to throw us out and thus lose the profit to be made or to put up with the United Nations reprobate community and take the loot.
Our conversations and laughter were apt to sully the calm modulated tones of the cricket scores that wafted from the radio, cricket scores that it may be said that were of no interest to us whatsoever.
What did we care? The beer was cool and when empty the place was reasonably comfortable as twenty was a crowd there, four was really a much better number.
The girls behind the bar all spoke reasonable English and the menu was English; whatever that is.
The place had a more than English feel to it, Germans not being made welcome and who were pointed in the direction of the German restaurant down the street.
This arrogance was never reciprocated by the German place which is probably why it had remained there as a profitable business for 20 years. (The food was much better as well.).
Alain was as usual teasing the girls, Pete holding court about ‘bitchin’ poms’, and their inability to wipe their own backsides without a committee telling them how to do it.
Rob and I listened patiently as the owner sat sullenly behind the bar looking at a magazine full of houses that he would never afford.
More beers arrived as Pete shifted tack and moved onto the type of music that was playing softly in the background, ”Pink bleedin’ Floyd I ask you. Feckin poofters music with all that whining crap.
About as much fun as a triple bollocked dog in a cactus patch?
I watched the manager’s face tighten as he eavesdropped but did not rise to the bait offered.
He knew the plan and we knew that he knew that we would try to wind him up enough to have him throw us out and thus avoid paying the bill.
Pete continued, ”It’s them public schools you see: Once the lights go out it’s, ’Jenkin’s lets play workmen. Today it’s plumbers- you be the drainhole and I’ll be the plunger, O.K., ya??
Rob and I spluttered in mid gulp as Pete turned his attentions to Alain.
“Hey you… you French git.?
“Oui?”, Alain responded whilst stroking Lek’s palm and looking deep into her eyes, ”What do you want meester Australian??
Pete drank, belched then continued, ”You lot and the English, now you’re always hated each other. Are you bigger poofters than them or are you just jealous of their ability as cheek grippers??
Alain laughed then said, ”Non, non- It is because when the Englishman sees a beautiful woman he has to run from her and becomes like a dog with your leg with the first man he sees.?
Disengaging his hand from Lek’s he proceeded to demonstrate the action…. “Hang on a moment’, I’m English,”, interjected Robert.
“Naw mate- yer a Bangkok feckin’ expat that’s what you are- a feckin’ mongrel.”, spluttered Pete.
The door swung open and we turned to see who had entered, hoping that it was David as we could all gang up on him being as he was, American , and did have a sense of humour. (Sometimes).
Standing just inside the doorway squinting in the gloom stood a young woman, perhaps about 16 or 17 years old who on seeing us had arrived at the conclusion that we were probably the owners.
Who else would sit in an apparently deserted pub at 2pm on a Saturday afternoon?
The actual manager’s head was below her view as he was sitting behind the bar with headphones now on listening to his beloved Pink Floyd in peace.
She walked directly to me, stood defiantly then asked in well practised English, ”You have a job??
Actually, I did have a job, but assumed that she was inquiring if there was a job to be had as judging by her age, dress and demenour that was why she was there. She was very pretty as well.
Replying in Thai that it would be best if she spoke to the head girl, I gave Lek a shout and as she was cute, I was unattached, I asked for her name.
Just to make polite conversation you understand.
“Chan chuu Fak.? She replied. (My name is Fak).
This couldn’t be true I thought and doing my best to keep a straight face I asked her to confirm if this was not actually,”Fak tawng?? (Pumpkin).
Nope- it was ‘Fak’, pure and simple. (Fak = to leave something in the care of another.).
The three heads to my left swivelled as one in her direction and I had the horrible feeling that disaster was imminent. A thousand different word plays crossed my mind as I tried to retain control of my facial muscles hoping fervently that Lek would reappear from the kitchen most soon.
Can never find a waitress when you want one can you?
Fak stood demurely in front of me, her eyes on mine-open and honest, a nice young lady dressed for an interview then I thought of the potential abuse she would suffer at the hands of pin head tourists. She was just too sweet for that scenario.
I suggested that we sit down by the window so as she made her way there I turned to the boys and said, ”C’mon, she’s only young……a mere bintette…..give her a break boys.?
Stifled sniggers were my answer and Robert suggested that if she ,?…..Is only a bintette then she should be called ‘Fakette…….?
Pete leaned over the bar counter and removed an earphone from the manager’s head before saying, ”Oi, one for you matey. A newbie to interview. She’ll be safe with you anyway.? He then let the headphone spring back against the ear
which caused me at least to wince.
Alain suggested that as he was French and she was a rather charming young lady, that he conduct the interview, it was best he felt, then shouted across, ”Excuse me Miss. What do you like to do…..Fak??
“Way-ress”, she beamed back.
“Alain you should be ashamed,”, I said, ”And here’s me thinking that you are a gentleman.?
Pete roared with laughter at this his reply being lost in the depths of his beer mug. “Well chaps, I think that a name change is in order first,”, I suggested to which Robert replied that perhaps that was the most sensible piece of information that he’d heard all year. I lifted my beer then went across to where she was sitting then sat and began chatting to her. Her English seemed O.K. for someone with a basic High School education, so I got down to the nitty gritty:- Did she know the English for Fak Tawng? She did.
I asked her if she knew of the English word that sounded a bit like ‘Fak’.
Yup- she’d heard it in lots of movies.
Did she know the meaning?
No, she’d just assumed that it was something that foreigners said when they were surprised. To a degree we could agree about that.
Grasping the bull by the horn, so as to speak, I explained it to her then watched as a look of horror slowly descended over her face as the implications sunk home.
However it was best she was told then rather than a drunken idiot beginning to take the piss later.
Pete stood and shouted across, ”Hey Jock git, we’ve unanim…..unaminus……we’ve all decided on a new name for her. We’re gonna call her Timmy?
Timmy kind of suited her I thought and wondered which of the three had come up with the name.
Fak, now Timmy, agreed that it was a much nicer name and that she would adopt that nickname from thenceforth.
“Good,”, laughed Alain, ”More beer?
I resumed my seat at the bar, as I did so, Lek arrived through from the kitchen, and beckoned Timmy towards the bar. She took her details and ‘yes’, there was a job available if she wanted it.
This caused Timmy to beam a sparkling smile in our direction but when Lek asked for her nick name, (Chuu len), she said, ”Timmy?
Lek looked a bit put out mentioning that they already had a ‘Timmy’, working there then and as Timmy’s face fell Pete butted in and suggested calling her, ”Timmy2?
Well, that was it, everybody was in agreement that Timmy2 was a good enough name and with that finalised, Timmy2 traipsed happily away into the afternoon heat ready to begin work that evening.
We drank for a bit longer content that we had actually managed to do a good deed and how to keep it out of the press and thus the ruination of our reputations when the manager reappeared.
As he resumed his seat Pete began once more, this time with a diatrabe about polo players, Prince Charles and that in his expert opinion, Camilla Parker Bowles was a Katoey.
(This was long before Di and Doddy re-arranged a Merc in Paris).
Actually, Rob and I hadn’t actually considered the question from this perspective but when you thought about it…..Well, it’s a funny old world.
The manager still refused to bite and as Alain was wanting to go down to Chatuchak market we cobbled together enough loot to pay the bill then made to go.
Rob and Pete were heading home to Soi Nowhere, myself to wander down in a Pratunam direction so we left the place then began to walk down the middle of the Soi.
“Ere?”, said Pete stopping in midstride,”What’s that bint’s name again?? He paused, ”Timmy yea?
He chuckled an evil chuckle then said, ”Guess what? I’m going to send her a valentine addressed to Timmy 2Fak?
We cracked up laughing as we made our way slowly down the Soi in the afternoon heat when Rob just had to say, ”Where you go Paleface?…..Timmy2Fak?
We continued in this vein as we walked, ”Hey Redskin what’s your wife called?….Timmy2Fak?
As we passed abeam the Som Tam / Gai Yang stall, the lady there and her customers looked that strange look when something is incomprehensible to Thais and for sure we must have looked vaguely deranged as we walked spluttering with tears running down our
We reached the end of the Soi and had turned to go our separate ways when Robert shouted to Alain across the crowds milling around the Nana intersection, ”Alain, what are you doing tonight?”
Alain stood for a moment, smiled then shouted back, ”Oh, Timmy2Fak!”, then was lost in the hordes as he turned.
Actually, Timmy2 was a very lovely young lady ; She didn’t stay long in that joint and got herself a better job. I met her last year in MBK. She hadn’t changed at all. Ten years on she still had great enthusiasm for life, also two kids in tow. Married an English guy with a good position in Bangkok and seemed at peace with the world.
We had lunch together in that Suki place in the World Trade Centre and I told her the above story.
Yea, she’d worked it out long ago………Then laughed a most charming laugh. We bid each other well, the kids ‘Waied’ me, then it was, “See you again in another 10 years?
And, it wouldn’t surprise me if we did.
You and your mates sound interesting…