The Farang Boarder At My House
The guy that moved into the room upstairs is from Finland. He is about 34 years old, pale like the white of this text. He is about 5’11’’. Same as me. He has long blonde hair to his shoulders. He was nice when I met him but the smoke
stench that accompanied him was powerful and unwelcome. I ignored it. I was nice as he walked toward my bedroom at 7:30 am. He had taken the train from BKK to this small Isaan town and was picked up at the train station like so many others my
landlord finds there.
My landlord has a taxi service and he has learned quite a bit of English in the year I’ve been here and so he is able to talk farangs into “going with him” for a room upstairs in his house that I rent out. I rent the bottom out – with kitchen, living room, and my bedroom.
I pay 3,000 baht including electricity. It was 6,500 baht for a few months until I told the landlord I’d be finding a cheaper place. He voluntarily dropped to 3,000. Electricity alone here at the mansions has run me 1,000 – 3,000 baht so it’s a fair price I think. This place has some fringe benefits and a location that I like a lot. The house is completely furnished. Completely. Nice stainless steel tables and glass tops, massive solid wood couches and something that looks like a meter by 2 meter coffee table… new HUGE king size plus beds in all 4 bedrooms. Walk in closet / shower in my room. A restroom with hot shower off my
living room. The kitchen has propane stovetop, double basin sinks, a fan, 4 windows, a door the back of the property… There are new drapes here that cost 25,000 baht throughout the house. There are fans in every room. Of course tile lines the floors
and the house is just 1.5 yrs old. Yes, there is the occasional water or electric problem. Of course.
I’m American. I value my privacy quite a bit. I can be nice and a bastard, it just depends on how I’m rubbed. Stroke me the right way and sunshine exudes from my asshole. Rub me wrong and… you know?
So, after I see this guy leering at my girlfriend as she’s making me my daily Khao Tom Moo breakfast he comes nearly into my bedroom as I’m dressing for work. I’m overly friendly, as I usually am, and we chat a bit. One of my first questions is always – how long you been in Thailanf? He’s been here “a little while” and was impressed that I was here for over a year and so I guessed he’d been here a month or so.
He launched into ‘his story’. He had “seen the South” and traveled around a bit… he had recently been “up North” for a bit where he had started to build a store or restaurant – I can’t remember which already since I was in a hurry for work and not really focused. My not remembering whether store or restaurant is not as bad as him not being able to remember if the place he was living was in Chiang Mai or Chiang Rai. Quite impossible for me to accept as I didn’t know him and had only listened to him for 60 seconds at the time. He didn’t even remember what city he was going to live and build his business in?
It turns out that his Thai landlord in Chiang _____ that had agreed and had a “handshake” on this restaurant / business idea reneged to some degree and started to talk about raising his rent some. This guy is getting pissed off as he’s retelling me about how “a handshake is a contract” and that he couldn’t believe the Thai guy would ignore that. I held my tongue because usually someone will open up more if you just stay quiet and listen. I’m a good listener when I can sense that I’m going to love hearing the whole story.
He went on and on… Shortly after the disagreement with the landlord this guy headed out for a weekend trip somewhere. When he returned someone had “broken into the kitchen with a metal bar” and took some of his things. But, what apparently really pissed him off was that the culprits had spread drug use paraphernalia all over the kitchen. He told me of used syringes and other dirty things all over his kitchen. He confronted the landlord about it and the landlord seemed to be defending himself too much and reminded the guy that he can’t stay anyway if he doesn’t pay what the rent was going to be.
At this point the guy said he went into his house and came back to the landlord with an “axe”. He told the landlord a few things and then went about thrashing the interior of the house or business he was staying. He broke up everything that he “had built” for this business. Because he was so pissed off over everything. After that he walked outside to the staring neighbors and gave away all his tools that he had used to do his work on this business… The neighbors “loved it” and his landlord was “really angry”.
Now it was 7:55am. I had to be at work at 8. I wasn’t making it. The guy then said, “the landlord said you have a hot shower, do you think I could use it?” I said, sure, knowing that last night the thermometer had dipped pretty low. He thanked me and went upstairs – to get his things to shower I thought.
I rushed my girlfriend out of the house – she has nothing to do at that hour but I wasn’t going to let her stay around this guy who might not be “quite right”. Well, after I went in the bedroom to put the final touches on my shave I heard my girlfriend and the landlord out on the side of the house. I looked out the window and they appeared to be discussing this guy’s passport. My landlord is pretty good about getting first hand copies of the passports of folks that stay here since one time a visitor rented his new Honda motorsai and disappeared all over Isaan for 10 days before returning! It was to be a 2 day rental. So, later today after work my girlfriend confirmed – the landlord had asked her about this guy’s passport.
She asks me if it’s possible that a passport has a picture taken in profile – at a 90 degree angle to straight on. I’m thinking – yeah, if it’s a passport for jail. I’ve never seen one that was like that. Then she asked… could the picture be black and white? Then I really thought… hmmm. Is this thing valid? The landlord was wondering the same. He’s seen many, many passports in his day and this one wasn’t quite right.
Can someone write me and let me know if you have any first-hand knowledge of this passport stuff? The guys says he’s from Finland but born in Sweden – so he “regrets to have to call himself a Swede” whatever that means. I didn’t see the passport – but could be from either Sweden or Finland. I’m guessing Sweden.
I get home from work about 7:30. The guy is here. My girlfriend is here – probably forgetting that I told her not to be here at the house while this guy is staying. I didn’t know the guy.
I see her in the kitchen and she has that look… I know the look and the tone of voice… She says, did you see the guy upstairs? I said no. She said, he wants to know if he can use the TV and VCD player to watch his movie. I said.. uhhhhhh, no. She said, he already has some things in the refrigerator here and wants to know if he can use it. Uhhhhh, no. He also wants to use the shower… uhhhhh, no. <Maybe he wants to "use" your girlfriend – Stick>
The guy comes down about a minute later as I’m taking off my clothes in the bedroom again. He says right away… you think I can use the VCD to watch my movie… I said, uhhhhh no.
I said… this is where I live. I’m not here on holiday. I’m renting out the bottom of this place for 3,000 baht per month. I have the bathroom, the hot shower, the kitchen, the living room, and my bedroom. You have a room upstairs for 300 baht per night. You have a bathroom upstairs. You have a refrigerator in one of the bedrooms upstairs that you can use. I value my privacy. I know that it looks like a bed and breakfast here and that my landlord usually tells boarders as little as is possible about the arrangement. That’s between you and him.
I made it sound as nice as possible but really I’m a bit tired of going through this routine. I really don’t enjoy someone in my living room or on my toilet or having to pick pubic hairs out of the shower drain catch. I don’t want someone using my towels, soap, shampoo, and ass squirter. I need to give the speech about what’s what though because each visitor is a different person and has no idea what’s going on until I spill it. I’ve told my landlord numerous times that he needs to let the boarders know. My girlfriend interprets for me – and her English is astounding. He “gets it” but knows that more visitors will stay the less he says. So, he lets me say it and sometimes it’s not sweet as honey.
Well, this guy is pissed. He’s embarrassed. And he’s stammering and walking up the stairs to the room. I’m wondering does he have an axe still?
We’re eating at 8:30 and the guy comes down and says something too quiet for me to hear. I get up, take a couple steps toward him and ask him to say it again. “I’m going to
take a shower like you promised me this morning…” I said, oh yeah, ok, no problem. Apparently the guy hadn’t showered all day.
Anyway. It’s 10:30 pm and I sent my girlfriend back to her room to avoid having her witness any drama tonight. I’m sleepy and headed to bed.
So – many questions. Was the story completely made up? Why would he make it up? Were they really HIS drugs? Did he make up this crazy story as a way to bond with me? Hoping that I’d understand and take his side? Is it a valid passport? Anyone have good information on that? Can bogus passports still be bought at Khao Sarn Road? Diplomas, yes. But passports? Should I check on this guy with the Finnish or Swedish embassy? Or… is that not possible… or?
Anybody else MEET this guy?
I'm surprised you let him into your apartment in the first place!