Me And My Shadow
“Hello, I’m Dave from Liverpool.”
Why on earth Dave thought I would have any interest in either his name or where he was from, mystified me. Strangers don’t normally gravitate towards me, especially when I’m not in a particularly good mood. People have told me that I give off a ‘just leave me alone’ kind of aura on occasions. Dave obviously thought I might be a nice guy however and either ignored or couldn’t read my ‘keep your distance’ body language.
He looked like a complete dork to me. He was short, fat and bald with daft little round glasses. Sandals with black socks, baggy shorts and a baggy brightly coloured shirt. Dave obviously didn’t get out much judging by his dress sense and I remembered thinking he looked more like a Brian than a Dave.
I was sitting in an outside bar beer in Nana Plaza nursing a beer and a slight hangover. I was not looking for company and I especially did not want to get involved in some asinine conversation with a Scouser tourist called Dave. Dave, however was not reading my demeanour and persisted.
“Are you on holiday?” he enquired.
“Jesus Christ on a rope. Do I look like I’m on holiday, freak show?” was what I was thinking but I am a gentleman in essence and even though Dave looked like a complete pillock, I couldn’t bring myself to be rude to him. And to be fair, apart from his fashion sense he hadn’t done anything to offend me.
“No, I live here.” I grunted hoping that someone slightly more aesthetic and preferably of the female persuasion might put in a timely interjection and save me from having to talk to Scouser Dave. Nana Plaza, early evening and not a hoe to be seen when you need one. Bollocks, it looked like I was going to have to talk to Dave…. at least until I finished my beer.
Dave, of course was on holiday and had just arrived earlier that day. He had visited Thailand a few times before. He was last here about four months ago. Dave was a cabinet maker, that’s a carpenter to the rest of us. He loved Thailand and when he was back home in the UK all he could think about was when he would be coming back to Thailand again. He had no friends and didn’t go out much. He liked to save as much money as possible so that he could come to Thailand often. On his last trip he had met and fallen in love with some strumpet that he had met at this very bar. Her name was Lek and Jesus…..he was boring me senseless.
“I was hoping she might still be wherekin’ ‘ere, like” he said wistfully. “Don’t suppose you know her, do ya?”
I didn’t have the heart to tell the poor sod that the girls move from bar to bar with alacrity and whilst she might have called herself Lek four months ago, that was no reason to suppose that she still called herself Lek and anyway there were loads of girls in NEP called Lek and furthermore, did it really matter?
With that, Scouse Dave’s face lit up and he jumped off his stool shouting “Lek, Lek daarlin’. It’s me, Dave. Lek, Lek. It’s great to see yuh-r-again”.
This ordinary looking bargirl turned to see who was making all the fuss. She looked straight through Dave without a glimmer of recognition on her face. I felt embarrassed for Dave but he continued calling to this girl Lek and telling her how pleased he was to have found her again so quickly. One of life’s minor miracles, to be sure.
After the briefest of moments she got with the programme and pretended to be equally pleased to see Scouse Dave. She had no idea who this pilchard was but Dave didn’t notice or just didn’t care. She sat next to him, opened her lady drinks account and got down to another shift at the office.
Ah well. Another happy ending in the land of smiles, I thought to myself. At least now Dave would leave me alone to finish my beer in peace now that he had found ‘his’ girl. And that, should have been the end of that as far a I was concerned. Then again..
A few days later, I was sitting outside the Tilac Bar on Soi Cowboy. It wasn’t quite dark yet and the girls were just preparing for the night’s work. I like this time of day there. You can sit with a beer and watch the girls come and go in their various uniforms. There are the Egyptians from Shebas, the China Dolls from Suzie Wong, The Apache girls, the Bacarra girls and my personal favourites The Long Gun girls. And by the way, where do you go for a beer after a hard day at the office?
Anyway, that’s not the point. There I was, sitting there minding my own business and who should walk up the road but yep…Scouse Dave. His fashion sense showed no signs of improvement and I pretended not to see him. That was just far too subtle for Dave. He greeted me like a long lost pal and sat down next to me. I suspected that Dave probably had a PHD in being boring but I must own up to being just slightly curious about how things had gone on between him and Lek.
I did not have to wait long before Dave brought up the subject of Lek. It was clear that she was his raison d’etre. The fact that she just didn’t know him from a hole in the ground when he had renewed their acquaintance a few days ago in NEP was of no importance to Dave. She was probably the only woman who had ever spoken politely to the poor bugger let alone played bedroom games with him. He was having a great holiday and had paid Lek’s bar fine for the duration of his stay in Thailand. Ten thousand baht, he proudly informed me.
I was in a much more benevolent frame of mind than when I had met Dave a few days earlier in NEP and so I told him I was pleased that he was enjoying his holiday. Of course, I also suggested that bar fining Lek for the whole holiday might have been a bit impulsive. I suggested that he might have seriously limited his options by doing such a thing, at the same time signaling to the assorted fillies parading up and down Cowboy at that very moment.
Dave would have none of it and made his apologies for not being able to stay and chat some more because he had to go to meet Lek. Tomorrow, they were going to Pattaya together.
“But Dave”, I joked “They have girls in Pattaya too. You don’t have to bring your own”. Dave had found a woman who would sleep with him and pretend to be his girlfriend for two weeks and he was not taking any chances.
So Dave said his good-byes and disappeared into the Soi Cowboy street life. I did not expect to see him again.
The following Monday I had a routine meeting with a client in Maptaphut. Got that cleared up by about two o’clock and with nothing better to do that day decided to scoot over to Pattaya for a few hours. A friend of mine owns a small bar on Soi 7 so I thought I’d drop by for a soda and a game of pool with Mike.
When I got there, who should be propping up the bar at Mike’s place but Scouse Dave. This was getting ridiculous.
Dave was as surprised to see me as I was to see him again and he greeted me in his own inimitable way. Anyone would have thought he had known me for years. Mike, gave me a sideways look and asked who my friend was. What? There was someone in Thailand who didn’t know Scouse Dave?
The first thing I noticed was that Scouse Dave was alone. Where was Lek, I wondered. Surely he hadn’t mis-laid his ten thousand baht princess?
The truth would soon be out.
Dave was desperate to tell someone about his relationship problems with Lek and his best mate in all of Asia had just turned up. Me!!
Poor ol’ Dave had really not got a grip on how this GFE thing works. He had become disillusioned with Lek over the last few days because she had started behaving more like a tart than a girlfriend. Turns out that the cheeky li’l hoe had been demanding expensive meals, clothes, money and drinks and didn’t even offer once to pay for a single thing. Shock, horror!!
Things had really taken a turn for the worse a couple of days earlier when she had cut off Dave’s supply of sex because of an outstanding fiscal matter. Dave had found himself arguing with Lek at three o’clock in the morning about money and love. The poor sod must have thought he was still in Liverpool.
Me and Mike listened to Dave’s tale of lost love and betrayal by the only woman he had ever loved. That gold digging, go-go queen from NEP. I could see Mike biting his lip in an effort to keep from howling with laughter while I tried to comfort Dave by pointing out the scantily dressed, consolation prizes that were on display everywhere you looked.
No good. Dave was now a very miserable little Scouser and was looking forward to going home as soon as possible. After a couple of hours, the dejected and miserable Dave sloped off with a heavy heart. I never saw him again.
Hilarious….if only he had discovered this site.