The Good One Part 4
Well, I suspect that this will be the last part of the’ Good One’ submissions. Remember that song by Savage Garden where the chorus went, “I’ll fly to the moon and back if you’ll be my baby”. Good melody and a
nice song. Sometimes people think like that, it’s called love. Or, we like to think so. What is love? I would love to know.
Today was hot – hot for Oxford anyway ; Sunday morning go to the local shop and buy the newspapers. Make a bacon sarnie, get into the garden with the papers, sarnie and a beer.
The birds were as always strutting around having no apparent fear of people, Mr and Mrs. squirrel were doing their thing running along tree branches, although Mr squirrel in the two years that I have lived here seems to have an affection for gravity: i.e., he frequently misses the branch that he is aiming for and falls to the ground with a soft, ‘thump’, then looks around with a vaguely confused sort of grimace.
I would assume that he gets a trifle embarrassed as Mrs. squirrel never misses, and the giggles raised by the various nationalities in the back garden must induce a red face – it must be murder being a squirrel with no co-ordination. Lucky for
him it’s grass and not concrete. Bet his wife gives him hell though.
Now, the back garden here is great. When I arrived to make a home for the ‘Good One’, it was like a jungle. Knee high grass, the trees needed pruning, the house was a mess. I was renting but working 17 – 18 hours a day. I wanted her to be here. I thought that she would like a nice garden and believe me, I am no gardener.
Well, with time any person can learn any subject if they want to and so it came to pass that I got the lease on the house, tidied it up, got the garden done, got the visa thing done and Pla travelled with me here. She seemed delighted.
The garden is lovely in summer- secluded, quiet and a natural wind break formed by the trees.
I would look to the sky as a Spitfire from Duxford flew over, once there was a Mustang. Often we get Hunters from private collectors or the Meteors from Martin Baker at Chalgrove.
Then there’s the chaps who own the Yaks who do a formation thing ; The sound of those radial engines just does it for me, much like the sound of the Harvard that occasionally crosses the sky as I squint jealously skywards. I remember when I used
to do that stuff. Then I fell in love with a Thai lady. A Good One.
Today is Sunday : I had my bacon sarnie, I read the papers, I drank my beer. I listened to the engine noises above. I enjoyed the heat. It was nice.
Jiin arrived, (A Korean lady renting a room here at the moment), and sat for a chat.
She asked what I was thinking. I found it easier to put on Fleetwood Mac’s Greatest Hits and play, ‘Go your own way’.
She said. “Forget her”.
I said. “I have, but not the money”.
She said. “Forget it”.
I said. “Easy for you, but, what do I do – she’s more or less bankrupt me”.
Jiin said, “Can you teach me some Thai?”. Aren’t Koreans tactful? (She works part time with a Thai girl). Got some more beer out of the fridge, poured each of us a glass and asked what did she want to know? It was a highly entertaining
twenty minutes. A Thai would never do that. Learning is not a Thai habit unless in the pursuit of money or marriage, probably both.
It got hotter, Jiin produced rice and kimchi, we ate and drank some more beer. At least she makes kimchi which is spicy but not sour ; Gosh, I’m sour enough. She wanted to see the photographs of the dinner parties in the garden and house. So many.
I felt a bit sad as we went through them. Pla with Brit folks here, Pla with Viet folks here, Pla with Chinese folks here, Pla with Korean folks here, Pla with Thai folks here. And always all together, a S.E. Asian multi culture house in England. I know how difficult it is for a ‘foreigner’ to stay in the Far East so from my particular aspect it is a fact of life that I will help foreigners. Especially ones from the Far East when they come to the U.K.
And of course when the weather was cooler the dinners were always held inside. Jiin asked a question: “Why,” she said, “Do the Thais always look like they are suspicious of something?”
Valid point really – they were all working illegally. But maintained that it was o.k. to do so to my constant irritation and insisted on calling people here, ‘farang’. Drives me nuts that does.
Here is a point: I have visited people in IDC in Bangkok. I have visited people in Khlong Phrem prison. I have even visited a Thai youth in the Juvenile Correction Centre in Bang Na.
Once my Mother went with me and was quite impressed with the treatment of the youths in Bang Na. (He was the son of a lady I knew and he’d stolen a wallet on a bus.)
Why do Thai people think that we have to obey their laws but in another country they feel that no law applies to them because they don’t know the law? Tell that to the Thai police.
Righty- ho, monkey house for you……….. It infuriates me that a Thai female in U.K. will smile sweetly at a cop, give her tale, and the cop being a sex starved uniformed power freak will naturally see the sweet smile and lowered eyes.
I have never met a cop who was either an engineer or a pilot. It takes twelve weeks to train a cop. It takes five years to train an Aircraft Engineer. But I do have photos from 1994 of a Brit cop smoking ganja with three tarts in Nana Condo! Perchance
a blackmail opportunity here? It’s annoying.
Jiin and I discussed life. Mieow, (Very intelligent and pretty Chinese lady), came around, Lon pitched up with some beer – he is Viet, Dii-Dii arrived having made some som tam. Dii- Dii being a Thai woman. Lon never having met her thought that her name was hilarious. Dii – Dii in Viet means ‘quickly’.
Then dii- dii mau ; ‘Go quickly’. (Get your arse out of here). Naturally, I had to do a sort of reverse translation in Thai, ‘Dii- Dii mau’, ‘Good good drunk’. We had a smutty laugh over that one, the girls tried
to look suitably put out, but remember, I used to live in the Far East. For many years. So, no insult to any person, just a funny learning thing. And learning should be fun and not expensive, it should be free.
It was hot, we talked, we laughed. We learned bits of each other’s languages. The girls were fascinated by the birds walking around the garden. I knew they were not from Isaan, they did not try to catch them for the barbie.
Brilliant – Thai, Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese find a common language. This is my garden where we relax in the sun. With trees, a lawn, birds, and squirrels. And an estranged Thai wife. Then I showed them the letter that arrived yesterday from my Lawyer. She is female and Asian.
I got pissed off at their hilarity on reading the letter. To me it’s serious stuff, to them it’s a joke. They say, “Forget it”.
I say, “If you were my wife and I was your husband and I had worked myself into ill health to get you here, what would be your reply?" Another chorus of laughter: “I got the money!”
This was not improving my temper at all, so I went indoors and found the original complaint made by the ‘Good One’ to the police, her further statements to the prosecution, returned to the garden, then suggested that they compare all three
stories. Whilst they read, I watched Mr. Squirrel looking uncertainly at the branch he was going to jump to, no doubt thinking that if he didn’t keep up with his wife, then, she’d be off to points unknown. Perhaps a parallel there
Dii-Dii piped up. “Every story is different.” “Well done”, I replied. Dii-Dii said, “This lady is confused if she cannot remember her story. Does she take drugs?”
No Dii-Dii, she does not take drugs that I know of. She’s hi-so remember? Mieow and Jiin got involved.
“Surely”, said Mieow you can go to the police and show them that three different legal statements that do not agree with each other? “Sorry my girl, I don’t have a pretty face and big brown eyes”.
More hilarity. (Probably deserved!)
Jiin said, “Sue her”. “How Jiin? That’s a civil action, she got all the money already; how do I pay for that? One sniff of this and she’ll be gone on the first flight out”.
Lon opened some more beers, poured for the ladies then ourselves. “What you need is a Vietnamese girlfriend”, he said.
“Lon”, I replied, “I had one in 1992 when I was on contract there, and yup she was lovely”. He laughed. Now there’s a story. She was gorgeous and funny.
“Anyway”, I continued, “The only Viet girl I know here is not the most clever monkey on the planet.” (Lon was awarded a PHD scholarship to a University here as he works in a refuge for some kind of monkey in S. Vietnam and is doing some highly scientific study of them – I always tell him that if the locals stop eating them, then problem solved! This always results in great hilarity with him reminding me of the Viet, ‘Moi’. A highly derogatory term and how Vietnamese people use it to describe those who think are of lower evolutionary status. It’s also very insulting – but hey, if your friends can’t insult you, who can?)
He laughed again. We both know this girl – she’s had her problems and we’ve both helped her out. She is just a bit daft really and, her parents should never have sent her to study in a foreign country, poor girl.
Example: After her mandatory one year in Uni halls of residence she finds herself a ‘home stay’.
Every single evening she is fed a jacket potato. Every single evening. She has to eat it in her room, she is not allowed to cook any rice or Viet food and she is not allowed to watch the telly in the living room.
Asian ladies like to dry their underwear in private. Her home stay owners would not let her have a lock on her room and would frequently check it when she was at Uni. They went mad when they discovered that she was washing her personal items privately and drying them in her room.
It took her six months to mention this to someone, Wenbo, (Chinese), told me, so Wenbo and I went round one evening to remove her. The home stay owners were not happy – but got told to piss off – the girl was paying a hundred pounds a week for this shit – 7,000+ baht.
She had to be out of the house by 8.30 every morning and not back until 1800. Even in winter and even if it was not term time. Even weekends…..thieving bastards. She dossed here for a few weeks until she got sorted out. It’s not only Thailand
where ‘farangs’ get ripped off you know.
The girls were going through the newspapers and asking if there were liable to be any bombs in Oxford. I suggested that this was unlikely as probably 50% of businesses in Oxford are owned by Muslims, and bloody hell we’ve got a whole bunch of Halal restaurants here. Anything like that then the takings would be seriously down…….
They carried on as it got hotter and hotter. Jiin went to the shed to get the big umbrella thing to keep the sun off the ladies. I took my tee shirt off. Dii-Dii said, “Phom”. (Skinny).
“Dii-Dii, why do Thai people always state the obvious?”, I asked. She smiled.
Lon went to lay on the grass to have a snooze whilst I continued looking at the sky, a bead of sweat running down to my (skinny), navel. Then I thought of another instance of a Far Easterner getting ripped off in Oxford. Qi. (Chee).
This 26 year old woman turned up at the door one Saturday afternoon. She wanted to rent a room. Pla answered the door as I was in the kitchen reading and to be honest, having my post lunch time glass of red wine. Sounds good that eh? Wish I could do it every day.
Now, we had not advertised a room – although one was available; The time on the previous weeks had been arranging the ‘Good One’s’, return to Thailand for a three week holiday.
A Uni graduate and ex 4 star hotel employee incapable of arranging a plane ticket, travellers cheques, or currency transactions.
Qi, didn’t even want to look at the room ; She saw the kitchen, the shower and the toilet. Noted the telly then asked if we liked the Simpsons. I do.
She was back, literally in one hour in a taxi with a multitude of suitcases. She seemed a bit anxious, but moving home is a stressful situation, however I helped her up the stairs with the baggage then let her get on with it.
After all, on the Monday I was off to the airport with the ‘Good One’.
Monday morning arrived so at 6 am we were off to Gatwick. It’s a long bus ride from Oxford.
Airports: I learned to hate airports. I have spent all of my working life in the aviation / defence industry. I, have been in airports everywhere and a lot of them frequently. Now they just bore me. When you see someone you love go to get on an aircraft to go very far away makes me sad.
Off she went having had a refresher course on the digi camera, I went back home hoping that she would have a good time, but missing her already.
I arrived back about 5 – Qi was in the kitchen cooking up a storm and did it smell good. (Great fan of Chinese food I am). We ate, we talked, she told me her story. Wow!
She’d moved into a shared house not far from here, the rent was agreed although the deposit was high. But it was convenient for Uni. After she’d handed the cheque over, she was told that if she wanted to use the living room then it was 10% extra on the rent price and she could not cook her own food, and, no the landlord would not provide food! Presumably she was to eat the carpet?
She promptly cancelled the cheque then for some peculiar reason arrived here. How did she know that we had a room free? Strange. Said landlord took some of her belongings and swiped her passport whilst she was out. Naughty.
Well, I rang my mate, a good tall, strong Cumbrian lad who is an honest and decent person then told him this tale and that perhaps we should intervene on Qi’s behalf. After all, without a passport with some of her belongings missing, things could
get difficult for her. Fifteen minutes later he was round – we had a beer so worked out a plan ; I would do the talking, he would stand behind me silently but just stare at this toe rag who swipes little Chinese ladies passports.
Half an hour later we were back with her missing belongings and passport. No problem.
The next day she arrived back at the house staggering under the weight of a case of beer and said, “Thanks”. I said, “Thanks”, my mate said, “Thanks”.
However as ‘The Good One’ was on holiday and I like to sit in the kitchen reading into the night, Qi would often join me to talk. Highly articulate, very determined, and pretty with it. She told me some of the stories that she had personally witnessed concerning female foreign students and some as related by her friends. I was / am appalled. It’s not only farangs that get treated badly in Thailand you know…..It happens in Farangland too. So, I nicknamed her, “The Wee One” – it seemed to fit and she didn’t mind. 4 foot 11 of Chinese pit bull terrier in a wonderful frame! I’d wander downstairs to think about the evening meal and find Qi doing aerobics to a Cindy Crawford video. She would be dressed in a skimpy pair of shorts with an even skimpier top, working up a sweat. Hmmm…….what a sight.
She’d look at me, I’d look at her, I would go into the kitchen and think thoughts. Of food. OK?
Well, Pla arrived back, but seemed to have changed somehow – for a start she’d dyed her hair that horrible gingery / orangey colour so beloved by Thai women. Why do they do that? It’s horrible. <Often it is done to attract the Japanese gents – Stick>
We were sitting in the kitchen having a celebratory bottle of wine when Qi arrived dressed in her aerobics outfit ; Qi poured herself a glass then made some comment with a big pussy cat smile about having to wear earplugs that night as I hadn’t seen my wife for three weeks.
As she was standing – I gave her a slap on the backside. It was taken in good humour.
Then the “Look”, the famous Thai female, “Look”. Ooerr…….’That Look’. I knew immediately what was going to happen, and, what would continue to happen. She would try to drive Qi out of the house. A threat you see. (I know my subject on Thai female logic. Almost finished the PhD now and should receive the Doctorate as soon as I can get someone to forge one for me.)
Now Qi and I got on great – but no hanky panky – she had her Fiancé in China and I loved my wife. But what is love? Seems to depend on the individual.
Well, the Chinese contingent wasn’t going any place at all, she liked the garden, she could do her own thing and I’d run her a telephone line to her room and she could use my dial up connection on her computer.
The only constant in the three reports is that some Chinese woman told ‘The Good One’, that she had declared her love for me and that I should have married her instead. Ridiculous theory.
As it began to cool I asked Mieow, “Hey Mieow, you’re Chinese, would you marry me?”.
I had to laugh when she replied, “No, you don’t have any money any more!” Then we began a debate about collectivism, Communism and equality. After all, she is Chinese. My opinion being that I stay home and the wimin’ get out to work down coal mines and in shipyards.
Well, it was nice Sunday with nice female company. And an estranged Thai wife. The end.
One of my best mates married a Japanese girl and took her back to New Zealand. Nightmare, and they were divorced within 6 months. He then went through a few Koreans and is now living with a Thai. On of hi Kiwi female friends said, "why do you always end up with Asian women – they're nothing but trouble!"