TJ And The Magic Carpet
Talk about deja-vu. I could not believe I was hearing this. I tried to talk him out of it. I tried to tell him he was making a mistake but in the end there was nothing I could do to save him from himself.
My mate TJ was a bit of a lad in his younger days. He used to be a ‘minder’ for a London gangster until he had to leave the U.K. in rather dodgy circumstances back in the seventies because either his life or his liberty but probably both were in jeopardy. Following this, he lived in Spain for a while on the ‘costa del crime’ but when I met him in Australia about ten years ago his hooligan days were well behind him and he had a respectable job, a very nice suburban house and lovely wife.
TJ and I had legitimate business interests in common. We worked on deals together in Australia, Indonesia and Kuwait and gradually we became friends. TJ would tell me some fascinating stories of his exploits in London from some thirty years ago and if half of it was true, he had had a very colourful career indeed.
The last few years in our particular industry have been very busy times and anyone with a bit of drive has been able to make a comfortable living. Sometimes however the job locations have been a bit of a drawback. Places like Iraq and Afghanistan come immediately to mind as being undesirable postings but so too is Saudi Arabia and it was there that TJ had been working most recently.
For those unfamiliar with Saudi Arabia, I can attest to the notion that it is a shite of a place. There is no fun to be had in Saudi. For fun, the nearest available is Dubai or Bahrain and it was in a hotel in Bahrain that it really all started.
TJ called me and said something to the effect of “For Pete’s sake give me a good talking too. I need the benefit of your advice.” I just knew it had to have something to do with a woman.
Well, fuck my ol’ boots if TJ hadn’t met and fallen arse-over-tits in love with a Thai girl whom he had met while she was working in a Bahrain hotel.
When he told me, I let out a long sigh and told him to pull his stupid self together and whilst I didn’t see any harm in enjoying himself while he was there, I could see no good in getting too deeply involved. “When the job finishes, pack up and go home to your wife in Australia” was basically my view of the situation and I still consider that it was sound advice.
I began to realise that this fling was getting serious when TJ called me more and more. All he talked about was his new girlfriend and how he was going to divorce his wife and marry his new Siamese sweetheart and they’d live happily ever after in the Land of Smiles. TJ had only been to Thailand twice and both times had been a stop-over on the way back to Australia from somewhere or other. He really knew naff all about life in Thailand except what his new girlfriend had been telling him.
Things went quiet for a few days and the next thing I knew TJ was back in Australia and I thought he had heeded my advice, come to his senses and returned to life as normal.
Not exactly. He explained to me that he had had to leave Saudi or rather Bahrain in a bit of a hurry. Apparently, employers in Bahrain have a habit of taking their employees passports ‘for safe keeping’ thereby making it difficult for anyone in their employ to leave the country without their approval. TJ had arranged for his girlfriend to go back to Thailand to see her family but the manager of the hotel where she worked refused to give up her passport. TJ intervened and explained to this Arab that if the passport did not appear forthwith he would rip his head off, set fire to his hotel and cut the hearts out of all of his relatives. The passport was returned immediately but before they had left the building the local gendarmerie had also been alerted and a slight fracas had ensued. When the damaged was cleaned up TJ’s company had flown him out ‘tout suite’ while his girlfriend made it safely to Thailand.
So, back in Australia TJ was now making plans to ditch his wife of some fifteen years, sell up, pack up and scarper to Thailand to be with his new love, whose name is Siriwan by the way.
I really tried hard to get him to just stop and consider his whole position but it was useless. He was like a runaway train and there was just no reasoning with him. You would think that at fifty five years of age he would be ready for a quieter life but I suppose once a hooligan, always a hooligan.
Siriwan, now safely back in Thailand was supposedly preparing for TJ’s impending arrival. She was already receiving financial support from TJ and was setting herself up in a condo in Jomtien. TJ had put the hard word on his wife in Australia. His marriage was over and he was making plans to join his new love in their Jomtien love nest when word got out that Sirawan was actually working in a bar in Pattaya. A former workmate from the middle east had spotted her one evening in her ‘overalls’ slaving away in Living Dolls and had tipped TJ the nod.
Well, he went off like a Roman Candle and jumped on the very next plane to Thailand to confront the little minx.
Here’s where it all gets familiar. Siriwan was of course already married to a Thai guy and her pimp husband was comfortably ensconced in the condo in Jomtien. The place was of course in her name and paid for by TJ.
Well not being the shy and retiring type TJ took offensive action resulting in no small amount of collateral damage.
Arriving at ‘his’ condo he kicked the door off it’s hinges and gave the hubby inside a right good hiding before threatening to throw him out of the window (12th floor) then waited for his beloved to finish her shift at Living Dolls. When Siriwan got home she finds TJ in a very bad mood in the condo with a very badly hurt Mr Siriwan lying unconscious on the living room floor.
Needless to say there was one huge ruckus, the authorities were called and TJ was carted off to the local nick. Right now, he is remanded in custody and is expecting to receive a stretch in the ‘Bangkok Hilton’ for the Thai equivalent of GBH or grievous bodily harm.
So, if you think you’re Thai girlfriend is ‘different’ the message is, keep your bloody wits about you and check things thoroughly before you make any rash decisions.
It looks like TJ will have plenty of time to reflect on his somewhat impulsive actions.
Another great Union Hill story!