Thai Thoughts And Anecdotes Part 98
A SQUARE EGG
Hello Dana and Noi fans:
Well, if you are a fan of the absurd and of the improbable you are going to love this–WE ARE ALIVE. That's right. We are alive. I am alive. Noi is alive. We are both alive man. Last time you checked in on us we were ploughing towards the east coast of the Philippines in a sick plane. Noi was clutching the cockpit Buddha and the teddy bear and me. I was clutching the yoke and my heart. To the layman the plane would have looked good booking at 400 miles-per-hour and 3000 feet but 400 miles-per-hour is a long ways down from 6000 miles-per-hour in this delta winged rocket; and is either takeoff or landing or 'something is seriously wrong' speed. The notion that this great limping beast would be flying low and slow was so out of context regarding it's past performance history that it was almost as if I was having a Rod Serling Twilight Zone moment.
The speed was dropping and the altitude was dropping and our hopes were dropping. The cockpit was a heart attack of flashing lights and Klaxon alarms and two hearts on the cusp of fibrillation. Booming over coastal Philippino fishermen I am sure we looked like we were flying level but I knew we were dropping faster than a French border crossing gate. Like your wife's breasts–you know gravity is winning. Day to day you can't see any changes but you know those puppies are dropping. Well the plane was losing altitude and the green of terra-too-firma was filling up the windshield. We didn't boom and screech over the beach so much as drag and dawdle and amble. From the time I spotted the green of the Philippines until we knocked nuts from the beach palms I felt as if I could have knitted Noi a pink holder for her cell phone. Then we entered the patchwork quilt green world of the Philippines. Commitment made and no turning back. No hard or watery landing spots between the Philippine beach at 13 degrees north latitude and Pattaya Bay, Thailand. We were either going to make it or there was going to be flying monkey shit in some slumbering jungle.
Up ahead and in my mind I was reviewing the 13 degrees north latitude visuals on the way to the beach contact point in South Pattaya at Soi 13. I had the names and profiles and VFA's demarcated in Thai so that Noi could shout them out to me as we dragged over. As soon as we cleared the palms of Tabaco I threw the old Latitude-Visual-Waypoints (LVW) three dimensional, bi-lingual, four color resolution, holographic, talking glow screen up on the windshield and Noi took over.
The list was:
South Logonoy Gulf, Tabaco, Mayon Volcano, and Halcon Mountain–Mindoro.
Ninh Ma and Khanh Duong.
Sambor, Kompong Thom, Tonle Sap Lake, and Pailin.
But it was no go. Either the plane was dropping or the ground was coming up but the result was going to be the same. Then I remembered my father. When I was receiving instruction on how to be a man in the basement of our house my dad taught me many things. He taught me how to make wooden Bowie knives with a coping saw and a piece of one inch pine board. He taught me how to sort nuts and bolts and washers and screws. He taught me how to put hinged backs on birdhouses for easy cleaning. And he taught me that if a machine or a power tool is not working well than you either clean it; or you quickly turn it off, count to ten, and then turn it on again. These two things: cleaning or switch flipping often work. No one knows why. Least of all me. I'm not a monkey wrench junkie. In fact, I had to drop out of the University of Michigan Engineering School because I couldn't operate a mechanical pencil.
Dad–I'm a man and you're not so listen to me son. When machines and power tools don't work well you have two options.
Dad–Never mind, just listen. Your mother is going to call us to lunch soon and she is on the warpath.
Me–Why is mom on the warpath?
Dad–Well, last night I was relaxing on the couch watching one of those Tata Young specials when I heard your mother start yelling in the bedroom in Thai. Then I heard the sound of a whip cracking. Then in English she shouted "Get up on the bed Bigboy–Mama needs some Boom-Boom". Well I was a little slow in the Boom-Boom department so now your mom has a thistle in her panties.
Dad–Never mind. That's for later. It's on a need-to-know basis.
Me–Dad, I heard mom talking to her sister Poom on the cellphone last night and she said you have a Teenie Weenie.
Dad–What else did she say?
Me–Never mind. That's for later. It's on a need-to-know basis.
Dad–Alright you little smart mouth now listen to me and I'll give you a life lesson about machines and power tools that may save your life one day.
Dad–Basically, when machines and tools don't work properly you do two things. One is shut them off and clean them and then restart them. This often works.
Dad–No one knows. It's sort of like why does our dog eat it's own shit. No one knows.
Me–Maybe it's on a need-to-eat-shit basis.
Dad–The second thing you can do is just shut the machine off, count to ten, and then turn the machine back on. This frequently works.
Me–Dad, not for nothing; but this is lamer than Space Summer Camp for Retards.
Mom–Kuhnies, it's lunch time.
Dad–OK, son let's scramble and don't mention the Boom-Boom thing to your mother.
Me–How about the Teenie Weenie thing?
Anyway, I thought of my father and all that he had taught me. Having Noi pilot the plane while I crawled outside to clean it did not seem that practical. We were only going about 400 miles-per-hour but I figured it would be hard to keep my nails dug into the tile gaps. I'm smart that way. But I figured I could flip a switch. So that is what I did. I flipped the switch, shut the fusion reactor down and counted to ten. Then I flipped the switch of the fusion reactor on again. There was a heart stopping pregnant pause and then the ass end of the plane exploded and barked and squealed like an elephant sized chicken giving birth to a square egg. The rear of the plane swerved and rocked and dropped and then we were hit with massive G loads crushing us into our seats. Noi's lips peeled back from her teeth until she looked like a soi dog defending a chicken bone. Even the teddy bear's black shiny plastic lips were stretched back as he crushed into Noi's breasts. 400 miles-per-hour to 6,000 miles-per-hour in seconds. And altitude? Going for altitude baby. Show me the stars. No more flashing lights and warning alarms–the cockpit suddenly as quiet as the inside of your teeruks brain. Flaps, ailerons, and control surface shape shifters happy to take part. Me whooping and Noi gasping for breath and laughing. God bless Dad for teaching his nine year old son a life lesson in the basement. Kinda regret lying to him about the whole Teenie Weenie thing.
Don't you know we went for max altitude. Going for the stars man–leaving terra-too-firma and mortality behind. Ripping skyward like a 20mm cannon shell. Maybe we won't stop: Noi and Teddy and I–just go to the Pleades and beyond. Mixing with the Seven Sisters and eventually spreading Pattaya vibes into cosmic dust from here to eternity. Maybe . . .
Never did see any of the Vietnamese or Cambodian visuals. Just blue sky and Venus in the windshield. Once we entered Chonburi airspace I shut the reactor off and we did long lazy figure eights as we glided down towards Pattaya Bay. Noi lost her composure and tried to call people on her cell phone and I let my tear ducts burst. We lifted the visor on the teddy bear's helmet and held him up to the window. News of our travel travails had preceded us and the beach was lined with bargirls holding up teddy bears wearing orange flight suits and helmets and oxygen masks (now sold all over Thailand–DanaIndustries.com). As I brought the plane in for a skipping stone approach (TT&A Part 93–MIFPSSLA); I held on a little too long before splashdown so our final skip before the beach was a little too close and the sand splat scattered Japanese tourists like hot grease scatters roaches with cameras. No matter. We were home. There's no place like home.
So there will probably be more reports from the flying front involving Noi and I. More love shared between two people that have mated for life and more adventures. But right now the first adventure for both of us is to get our heart rates down. But that is not really what I want to talk about today. What I want to talk about today is an experience I had several years ago that started in the hardware section of the Emporium department store in Bangkok. The story is entitled:
THEY KNOW–THEY JUST KNOW
"If God created something more beautiful than women he kept it to himself." Simone de Beauvoir
A while ago someone I had met via the Internet gave me a tour of the Washington Square part of Bangkok. He was a nice intelligent person and a knowledgMable resident of the area and we both had a common interest in sharing our lives with Thai women so he gave me a little tour of places that I might find engaging. The friendship experience and the tour was fun but my instincts were that the place was just too downmarket for me. Small pokey dark dirty bars full of women wearing three day old underwear and white guys who wanted to tell tired old ‘Nam' stories or even more tired ‘Femi-Nazi' stories. Maybe it's just me but if you are in Bangkok surrounded by the worlds most fabulously feminine, gloriously beautiful, and sexually provocative women and you are still telling ‘She Done Me Wrong' stories about some western women from your home country you are an idiot. Just let it go! Remember: as with everything else in life; when you are complaining, the other side is winning. Just let it go. And don't waste my energy. I have not as much time left as I'd like and I can't waste it on losers. Just not my scene.
Anyway, an end of the tour trip to the Bourbon Street restaurant looked promising until the bar waitress decided to cop an attitude instead of just being friendly. Forgetting that she was in the hospitality industry she decided to place pride before money and be rude. Boy-oh-boy it must be hard having tourists coming to town and overpaying for goods and services. I guess things were really better for Thais in the old days when one strip of cloth was the whole wardrobe, selling fish paste to each other was called industry, and there was no health care system. Makes me feel like dirt to be part of a system that brings more money into the economy. Apparently all of the poor people in Thailand are so well set up that they can just blow off customers. Another disappointment. As we got up to leave I let my friend go ahead so that I could smile at the waitress–an attempt at a little social regrouping. She wasn't having it–'Fuck off and die farang'. Ok, no problem–I get it; every human being is more hip than me. I'm lucky people let me live.
So for a number of reasons the Washington Square part of Bangkok is not really a place that I have a high comfort level with but it is nevertheless in my personal rolodex of things to do and every now and then I go up to just give it one more try. But it is invariably another trip down the disappointing and dispiriting ‘same-same' road. Because I am an idiot, hope springs eternal; and I find that I have wasted my time again on boring provincials and even more boring expats who think they are superior to me because I live in a nice place in the States and they live in a shitbox in Bangkok. So plan B to save the day is always to exit Washington Square and take a walk up to the Emporium. The Emporium is a monument to excess that is always fun and you can imagine that you are doing something with your day. On the way you pass by Benjasiri Park on the right. It's pleasant little diversion and then you are into the Emporium for mindless wandering.
On this day I am in the hardware section trying to make a demanding nuts and bolts decision when one aisle over I spot HER. As if a spaceship from the planet Estrogen has beamed in their Alpha Queen, there is a Thai astonishment one aisle over that just nearly shuts me down. I have to take my right hand and push up against the bottom of my jaw to get my mouth to close and I have to reach out with my left hand to balance against the metal shelves. At my age I should be taking an aspirin to thin my blood because I can feel the ascending aorta in my chest shutting down and my dilated nostrils are not getting enough oxygen.
She doesn't see me. I'm having my own little theatrical. So I can just go on looking. Ink black hair to the backs of her knees, dark dark Malay skin, high high cheekbones, wide wide lips, legs that look like they go directly from the floor to her face and her breasts are so high they are hitting her under the chin. About 70 pounds and arms as thin as spaghetti. She is wearing about $20,000 worth of clothes and jewelry. Jacked up strappy black stiletto heels, neck to ankles black lycra body suit, black satin neck choker, gold chain around the left ankle (stick a fork in me–I'm done), black nails, black lipstick, black long lashes, and little spangly gold bits on her face and in her hair. Strictly uptown and with a vengeance. You better have a ten inch dick and a twenty inch wallet to even think about it. And you better love to hear the word ‘NO' because you are going to hear it a lot. The rest of the ensemble for a quiet day at the Emporium cruising the hardware section is jewelry from the planet BIG. Big rings and big bracelets and big necklaces and big and big and big. Forget subtle and maybe ten inches isn't big enough.
As she moved off like a bored salmon that has reached the quiet pool at the head of the stream you know what I did. What I had to do. What I couldn't stop myself from doing. What I was required to do. What I was hardwired to do. What I needed to do. What I wanted to do more than anything else in the world. What I wanted to do more than I had ever wanted to do anything in the rest of my life. I FOLLOWED HER.
Of course! What else? Don't give me that shit about Eve seducing Adam with the apple. He was stalking that bitch from the first day. He couldn't help himself. Well, just like Adam I take no responsibility because I had no choice! Other forces had taken over. . . but there was no problem because she had never seen me looking at her. I was safe. And I am no fool. By age 54 you have spent some time following women and learned that there are two kinds of ‘following'. The kind of following where you are intending to make contact; and the kind of following where you know in advance and with certitude that the worshiping from a distance is the only pleasure. But worshiping can be enough.
So I am following her but I am being careful because my instincts are that under no circumstances is this a situation where there is one chance in ten billion chances that contact with this planet Estrogen being is going to benefit me. I am not worthy! It ain't going to happen. So I stay well back and make sure to never even be in her peripheral vision. I'm no fool and I know what I am doing. I've done this before.
Eventually she exists the Emporium and starts down the same sidewalk I have just come up. She makes the same detour in and out of the park and I am behind her. But way behind her. People on the Skytrain up above or pedestrians waiting for a bus across the street would never assume that we are connected in any way. I know what I am doing.
Then she is on the sidewalk with all of the retail stores. On this day because of some combination of sun and cloud the retail windows are like mirrors. You can see yourself in them. So naturally if I were following close behind her she would see me. But I am not doing that. I take care to always be at least one store window behind her. No way can she spot me in the windows!! I know what I am doing! If she walks all the way to the Marriott I'll never be spotted. Before we get up to Washington Square she pauses, turns, and advances on a store door. She puts her right hand out and pulls the door open. Then she turns her head and NAILS me! Just DRILLS me. Her wide wide spooky wide eyes lock onto my eyes like heat seeking missiles. Not in a contemptible way or in a ‘gotcha' way but just in a factual way. Eyes like laser beams out of a timeless mask of sexual dominance and limitless confidence. Like a bumbling private investigator that has been made by the ‘perp' I am immobile. Frozen. And so so guilty!! You can read it on my face. She KNEW. She knew all along. She knew from the hardware section at the Emporium that another pathetic unwanted trout had risen to the fly. And now she is bored. Now it has to stop.
THEY KNOW–THEY JUST KNOW.
Dana does it again.