Readers' Submissions

Leopards Changing Spots?



I met Jay while I was having lunch in Don’s Restaurant. He was American, about fifty years old and seemed to be a number one nice guy. He introduced me to his ‘wife’ and two children; a Thai boy and girl about eight and nine years old. He told me he was having a house built down the street. He was a happy camper.

His lady friend looked like she had just stepped off the stage in Patpong. She was covered in gold, had long red nails and lots of makeup. She spoke good English and seemed to be a sharp cookie.

You could tell. Some Thai girls are just not interested in what was going on or could care less, just sitting there passing the time of day, kind of sleepy looking but not this one- she was alert and you could see it.

I ran into Jay a few times at Don’s after that and we became friends. He confided that he had not been in Thailand very long and had just met his lady friend in Bangkok but considered her his wife and he felt like a father to her two children. He had enrolled her two kids in Dulwich School. This is serious money we’re talking here.

His house was costing eight million baht and of course it would be in her name. If anything happened to him he wanted her to be provided for. I figured he had some good money stashed away. He had his own accounting business and had sold it with an agreement that he would leave his clients with the business.

I wasn’t worried about Jay. He seemed to have it all together. The house was built and they moved in.

I ran into Jay a few months later at Don’s. He was slumped in his seat, his head in his hands. I sat down across from him. We often ate together. He stared at me or rather through me. He looked as if he hadn’t slept in days.

‘Jay. What is it?’ I touched his arm.

‘My wife wants to leave me. She’s bored. She wants to back to Bangkok. I don’t know what to do.’

I knew better than to ask what she was going to do in Bangkok.

‘Christ is that all? I was afraid someone had died or something.

Consider yourself lucky. Help her pack and count your blessings.’

Hey, I can give advice to my friends at the drop of a hat.

However not all of it is appreciated or even noticed.

Jay agreed to meet me the next day. I wanted to help him through this transition. And indeed the next day he looked great.

‘Hi Jay. What’s up?’ I was happy to see him looking so well.

‘Nothing to worry about. I’ve got everything straightened out.

I’m going back to work in America and I will leave the house to my wife and she’s going to rent it out for thirty-five thousand a month. That will take care of everything. When I get some money saved I’ll come back and she’s going to wait for me.’

‘Christ Jay. I thought you were solvent.’ (This guy’s an accountant? I thought)

‘I spent more than I intended to. I need to build up some cash.’

I shook his hand and wished him the all the best.

A few weeks later I was in the line at Siam Commercial Bank and who was right in front of me but Jay's ‘wife’. She didn’t look so anxious to talk to me. Okay, no matter. I noticed she was holding a fat stack of silver notes in her hand. She passed them and a bank book over to the teller. I just couldn’t help myself. I had to kind of stand on my toes when the teller placed all those thousand baht bills in a counting machine. The green light lit up-70. That was seventy thousand baht. I pondered this for a day or two until I ran into a mutual friend.

‘Hey, Jay’s wife struck it rich. She moved in with some German. He bought her a brand new pick up truck and he’s giving her seventy thousand a month. Can you believe it?’
I could believe it as I just saw her the other day making a deposit. That and the house rental money would be a nice income for her.

Jay came back a year later and she contrived to move into a little dumpy shack with her sister. I ran into them and Jay was happy and still in love. The girl gave me a look- like go ahead, I dare you to say something. She didn’t have to worry about me. I have to live here and live is the operative word.

She convinced Jay to take her to Bangkok for the month that he was here so as not to run into her new ‘husband.’

My question is- how good do you have to treat these girls to make them happy? Is it even possible?

A few years ago a Frenchman bought two rai of land down the street from me and built a small house and an outdoor bar. It was large, round and had a thatched roof. He planned to have a kitchen and serve food. He had a row of rooms constructed along one side of the property- about ten of them so he could have girls do massages.

Why? Because he had a bargirl in Patong that just had his baby and he was going to start a new life for them. We stopped in for drinks a few times and it was a pleasant place, away from the traffic and noise and no thumpty-thump music. Very nice.

We never did get to eat there though. His girlfriend got bored out of her mind and left him and the baby. Just disappeared into the night or should I say nightlife. The Frenchman sold the place and moved back to France with his new baby.

There was a nice looking man, about thirty-five years old; four years back- bought a beautiful outdoor restaurant on Wiset Road in Rawai for his girlfriend. The restaurant claimed to have French food. It had lounge chairs and plush brightly colored sofas. Very pretty and would not have looked out of place in the middle of Bangkok.

The most breathtaking sight in the entire place was his girlfriend. She was a knockout. She was sophisticated and smart looking. I mean smart in a fashion sense. I used to have a drink there just to see the girl, not that she would be bothered with me. She was drop dead gorgeous. She also looked like she would be more comfortable with a chrome pole to hold on to but heck if she asked me I would have bought her a bar, a house and a car- anything that she wanted but she had the look of a traveler and a traveler she was.

The problem is that Rawai is a sleepy little town. Not much going on here. The action starts in Patong and runs down hill to Karon and then Kata. By the time it gets to Chalong and Rawai –there’s nothing happening. You can shoot off a cannon in the streets later at night and not hit anything. The girl after being the hostess in a restaurant with no business for two or three months was bored silly and one day did a runner.

Now her boyfriend, as I said, was a very nice looking guy.

He could have recovered nicely. I doubt very much if he ever had trouble getting girls. What did he do? He hung himself from a large tree in front of his house.

But enough of this. It’s too depressing.

What does one have to do here to feel secure, to make your girlfriend stay, to make her happy? You give her everything you possibly can-your love, your heart, your time, your money and it still doesn’t work.

The moral of these stories?

Leopards do not change their spots. They eat you alive.

Stickman's thoughts:

Absolutely spot on. This submission IS compulsory reading.