24 Hours In Bangkok
I was hanging out with Tig, a bargirl I'd met in Chiang Mai a couple of weeks earlier. It started as a bargirl thing and then morphed into just hanging out at bars and me sleeping over at her place, or her at mine.
When the time came for me to leave Chiang mai and head for Cambodia, Tig suggested going to her home town in Surin where we could spend a couple of days and then I'd head on to Siam Riep, end up in Bangkok and then back home.
I thought great, sounds like a plan, meet the family see a bit of Thailand, so we got on an overnight bus, 15 hours to Surin.
Now, I knew she had been married, and I'd had my suspicions that maybe she still was, but she'd told me about her 'abusive, gambling ex-husband' (amazing how they all have one of those) who was tucked away in Bangkok somewhere, so nothing to worry about…she hadn't seen him for ages.
At 7 AM we roll into the bus station in Surin and still half-asleep get off the bus, walk around the side to get our bags when a tall Thai man in a camouflage jacket with tattoos on his cheeks cames up to me and starts going off in Thai. Me still half asleep was like, who are you? and then I saw Tig and husband, who I'd seen in a picture arguing. She's shouting at him. He's shouting at her and kicking her. I’m thinking shit….not good, so the husband comes up to me shouting, "we have baby, we have baby” and shoving her mobile in my face with a picture of their baby on the screen. Husband has a truly mental look in his eyes.
Knowing only a few words of Thai, I say 'puen' (friend) "me and her just puen", he screams "puen, puen" and scrolls through the pictures on her phone, me and Tig together at the temple, me and Yig at the bar, in bed, naked, erm….shit!
So I’m between 2 buses about 5 feet apart, a crazed husband and his psycho looking mate, a woman who I’m thinking has set me up to make her husband jealous or just what I'm not sure. All this and it's only 7 AM! I've literally been awake for 10 minutes, thinking how does this wanker know we were here? He's supposed to be in Bangkok! They're supposed to be divorced.
So I pick up my backpack best I could between 2 buses and the husband smacks me a one two in the head. I drop my bag and he starts Thai boxing. Being of the best English council estate stock, and being inducted into the great English tradition of football hooligans at an early age, I put what I knew about fighting into action, not exactly Thai boxing, but good enough.
He kicks me in the ribs, I grab his leg, push him backwards and down he goes, tries to kick with his other leg while on his back and I just grabbed it and held them together and he couldn't move, so I say 'no more' and let go, he bounces up and goes for my neck, so I did my favourite judo drop, deck him and put a choke on his neck, his eyes roll and this time he's had enough…
By now, there’s a crowd around us, Tig and husband are ducking it out, tattooed guy no-where to be seen, and then the cops showed up! Ooops…me no speak Thai, they don’t speak a lot of English and we're off to the cop shop.
Down the cop shop they fine the husband 100 baht (less than 2 quid) as the bus driver saw him start the fighting. The cop says if you shake hands you can all go. I’m just thinking let me get out of here ASAP but before I go I ask the cop to ask the husband how did he know we were on the bus? Husband replies, "she told him."
Are they still married? "Yes, but he will go and get the divorce tomorrow."
So I tell Tig, thanks a lot dah-ling, and walk away to leave her and husband to take care of business.
A cop came up to me on his motorbike and in what I think was a bit of an act of sympathy asks if I want a ride anywhere, so I pack on to his bike, backpack and all to the train station. There’s a train to Bangkok in 10 minutes and I left Surin at 8:10 AM thinking, shit, that was different…all in an hour!
6 hours on the train to Bangkok, and I was back on Khao San Road thinking ah well, could be worse, I'd got a good room, there were lots going on, no point in sulking I'll go out for a pint.
So I hooked up with a few musicians jamming on the street and I became the tambourine player for the night. A real pretty Thai Chinese women called Ying asked me to play a song for her on the guitar. We chatted for a bit and she headed for the bar….fast forward to closing time and I’m walking back to the hotel, when Ying jumps on my back and wraps her arms around me, "Englishman, it's me Ying, me drunk now", and laughs, "me lonely, let's sleep together, go 7/11 buy condoms, I like strawberry flavour, big box I like sex a lot"….
Hahaha, well you can guess the rest, but that was my 24 hours in Thailand. In the end I had to leave, but I went for a 4 to 6 week holiday and stayed for almost 3 months before I finally pressed the ejector button.
I've since talked to Tig who claims "mama must have told husband we were coming" (Yeah, right).
It was an adventure, and I know I’m glad to have got out of it with just a few scrapes and not a knife wound or ended up in jail. Still it makes a good story for the grandkids. Well maybe not the grandkids, but you know what I mean!
Your final paragraph sums it up beautifully. And it was damned wise to get the train out of Surin right away as there was every chance that hubby may have got on the phone to a whole bunch of his mates. And their welcome to Surin would not have been fun….