The Younger Man Part 2
Can’t Think About Kangaroos
My flight to Perth was fairly uneventful. Singapore Airlines was amazing and the Singapore Airport was immaculate. My only gripe was that the 7-11 there did not have Slurpees — In a Seinfeld voice: “What’s the deal with that!?”
My mind was clouded with thoughts of Nui but I tried my best to occupy myself. My stay in Australia would consist of helping a friend out in setting up a bed and breakfast, a quick tour of the southwestern reaches of the country, and spending a lot of time thinking about things.
Throughout the 2 months that I was there I kept in touch with Nui over the phone and through MSN. Communication was sporadic but we both declared that we would remain faithful. This was for the best anyways, as I spent most of my time in a “shire” of around 500 people. Not much selection when it came to finding a member of the fairer sex.
Time passed quickly and I was nearing my return to Canada. As I flew into Bangkok, my return flight was already booked from there. I would have a week layover between the time I flew in from Perth and the time I would leave to the great white north.
Pride and Promises
As soon as I got into Bangkok I met up with Nui who had flown down from Chiang Mai. We spent the time going out, partying most nights at RCA. I can tell you if you are a young farang that place is a gold mine for promiscuity. Beautiful university-aged Thai girls pack the standing room only clubs. I found it seriously hard to keep my blinders on at those places, and my antics got me a few sharp jabs from Nui during the night. She did, however, tell me she only felt pride when the girls would set their phasers on stun and point in my general direction. I don’t know if anyone else has had this experience, but as I am half Japanese/Caucasian I seemed to get preferential treatment from 99% of the girls. They would try their damndest to get me to look in their direction. I would learn later that they thought I was luk kreung (which would explain a lot of their admiration).
Anyways we spent our last days just enjoying ourselves. Eating a lot and wandering around Bangkok. Nui never really asked me to buy her anything and I think I probably only spent a total of 5000 baht for everything including accommodations, food, and a few small gifts for her. Well within my budget.
When it came time for me to leave we discussed the situation. She wanted to remain my girlfriend, and after much contemplation, I agreed. Tears were shed at the airport and I wasn’t really sure if or when I would be back to the Kingdom. I gave her a simple St. Christopher necklace as a memento and she gave me a pretty fat gold ring with a diamond in it. It seemed suspiciously like a wedding ring but she assured me she bought it for herself because it was on sale. Either way it was worth a lot more than the necklace I gave her. We said our goodbyes and went our own ways.
Upon arrival in Canada I quickly got back to my home town only to find the job market had dried up severely. The days dragged on in the cold northern climate and pangs of loneliness constantly stabbed at my subconscious. Contact with Nui started off heavy at first but petered out quickly. Our conversations were tight and trite with not much passing through the language/long distance barrier except for “I miss you’s” and “when are you coming back?” It didn’t help that the phone card I had provided a very poor connection to Thailand. The love was still there but I could tell from the get-go that this long distance thing would be a horrible way to have a meaningful relationship. There has to be 100% trust in relationships like mine, 99% or less would just not do. As I had only been with Nui for a short period of time, that trust was sorely lacking. My mind would conjure images of Nui with other farangs and I would just have to grit my teeth and bare it. It killed me.
So I quickly planned my return. I still had some savings left from my previous trip so I gave myself 3 months to make it back to the LOS. Back to the warmth and utopia of my relationship with Nui.
Little did I know the future would bring waves of surprise, jealousy, drugs, momma and money.
So I gathered enough scratch to come back to Mango for 3 months. As Nui would be working the whole time I decided I would go up to Pai and live there for the majority of the time.
The reunion with Nui was great. I took an NCA bus up to Chiang Mai after a restful night in Bangers (I highly recommend Nakornchai Air buses). A direct transfer to a mini bus to Pai and I was well on my way. Arrived in one piece and immediately snuck into her kitchen to surprise her with my presence. A smile half a mile wide and a bone crushing hug was her response. Back to Utopia for me.
It was decided that I would stay in a brand new guest house directly across the street from Nui’s restaurant for at least the first part of my stay. Nui was highly concerned about face in the town as word got around quickly with only 1000 or so locals. She had already got enough flak about the success of her business, as others were jealous and wanted a piece of the farang revenue pie. I was happy to oblige but definitely made it my goal to move in with her at a later date.
The Simple Life
We quickly settled into a comfortable routine. I would wake up early to help her clean and prepare her restaurant for business. She would make me a breakfast of my choice (hooray for bacon sandwiches), then we would have a couple hours together before the first customers would roll in for brunch/lunch. During the afternoon I would explore while she worked or just laze around her garden. When nightfall broke and the majority of the customers would come in I would man the bar and take orders. This was tricky as I was obviously working illegally and there had been numerous stories of farangs getting busted in Pai. Nui warned me of that daily, causing me to duck under the bar or act as a customer when I saw the boys in brown roll around. I was more worried about her having to pay fines then me getting busted.
It was a cool gig as I got to talk to a lot of travelers from pretty much all reaches of the globe. Of course some patrons had chips on their shoulders, and insisted on ragging on everything and sundry. No service was good enough for them and no price was cheap enough for them.
Every night a movie would be played and the place would fill up to capacity. Nui had a great system of letting customers suggest movies and if she had them she would gladly play them on a future date. That idea alone kept people coming back for more night after night. When the movie would finish around 12pm or so we would encourage the last stragglers out so we could have some time alone. A quick clean up and I would sneak up to her room. Most nights I would jump ship when we were done but as time passed I would end up staying longer and longer, sometimes having to sneak out in the wee hours of the morning.
Communication was getting better between us as we constantly used various arm waves, gestures and facial expressions to get our point across. I learned more about Nui and her family. Her father was Chinese, her mother was Thai. Mom still worked as a farmer in Korat and an older brother worked as a truck driver. Times were generally tough for the family so Nui would send what little surplus money she had to Mom and even to her brother. The restaurant was busy most nights but I learned quickly that Nui was not really pulling in too much cash as her expenses often outweighed her revenue. I had a soft heart so I knew I would end up giving her some money sooner or later. Especially since she would feed me and water me every day for free. It would only be fair to return the favour.
One day as we were relaxing out in her garden, Nui was furling her brow deep in thought. I asked her what was the matter and she only shook her head. After multiple attempts and prodding she finally revealed that her mom needed money for car insurance but she wouldn’t have enough money to cover it. Very shyly she asked me if I could help. It would cost around 25,000 baht for the year, and that would allow momma to continue using her truck to ship her farmed produce to Bangkok every day to sell at a large market. I told her I would think about it, already having made my decision to help.
The next day I got the money out of the only ATM in town and brought it to Nui. She was like a little girl on Christmas morning, beaming brighter than the noonday sun. Her smile alone was well worth the money. She told me she would wire the money to mum right away and grabbed the phone immediately to share the news. I shrugged my shoulders and walked away from the hyperspeed Thai yapping only to be summoned seconds later. “Momma wants to say hi to you!” Ummm ok how is this going to work? I grabbed the phone not knowing what to expect. Armed with my few canned Thai lines I opened up with the “Sawatdi khrap” and closed with the universal “Bye bye.” Total talk time: 10 seconds. But just that act of speaking with Nui’s mom seemed to make both of them happy. Shoulder shrug again. Mai bpen rai as they say.
After ages talking on the phone Nui came to join me out in the garden. Surprise number two: “Momma is coming to stay with me.” I feigned a quick smile and in the back of my mind I thought great, this is gonna make our time together even more limited. I ponder out loud, “Does your mom even know that we are dating?” She grins and says matter-of-factly, “Of course not.” Greaaaat.
Even More Sneaking
So the day comes and we close up shop early to head to Chiang Mai and meet momma. She apparently drove all the way up from Korat and is pretty tired. Of course Nui wants to do a bit of shopping so we leave her mom in the truck to wait for us as we took a look around Carrefour (I felt really bad as we took pretty long).
Shopping done, all three of us cram into the compact pick-up truck, me straddling the shifter, Nui driving, and mom on the passenger side. The drive to Pai is around 3 hours through the winding hills but since the rains have started early this year it took us 4 to navigate the water-laden roads. Awkward situation would be an understatement as I could only smile and nod to mom and talk about inappropriate things with Nui in English at the same time.
Life with Mom is interesting. She seems to enjoy just relaxing and hanging out in the garden most days, sometimes heading to the salon or getting a massage when the stars were properly aligned. Since she wasn’t paying too much attention to us Nui and I managed to sneak a few kisses and flirtatious interactions in on a regular basis. Of course the sleeping arrangement was a whole different matter. Most nights Nui would sneak out and come visit me in my guesthouse while other nights I would tip toe like the ninja that I am and sneak into her room, which was right across from mom. Thank god momma is a heavy sleeper. A little strategic pillow-muffling sure helped matters as well.
So life carried on. Mom really started to love me and gave me the nickname “farang noi” because I was one of the younger farangs around those parts and had a smaller stature because of my Asian heritage (around 5’9” tall). One night she cooked up some beef green curry and I helped gather ingredients. It was aroy mak mak so she was delighted when she saw the orgasmic look that passed over me when I had the first bite. I think that was the icing on her cake of farang noi admiration. She probably still asks about me to this day.
Like Sands Through The Hourglass
Our days came and went like the ticks of a clock. Momma didn’t stay for too long, letting Nui and I get into more adventures while my departure date loomed.