The Ideal Thai Wife
This is a true story, fair dinkum!
I was back in the City of Angels for a few days on a newspaper assignment and one night I decided to walk down Soi Nana on the way to Soi 6, to visit an old friend who lives in a condo there.
Now, most of you know that strolling down that soi requires a certain amount of aplomb as the ladies of the night are trying to entice you into their watering holes (and their bars too).
Being happily married and not interested in liaisons, the only way I can negotiate my way there is to keep my eyes firmly downcast and ignore the flattering pleasantries shouted by these sirens. I also carry with me a walking stick and effect a pronounced limp with a tortured look on my face every step of the way. Mostly this rouse works, but on this particular night some bloody stray dogs have set upon me, figuring I’d be good for their evening meal. A whole pack of them, at least 6 or 7, barking and snarling on the way to my wretched old body. In my panic, the flee and escape instincts kicked in, and throwing my stick away I took off like a shot, forgetting my supposed infirmities.
Well, you should have heard the screams of delight, roaring laughter and encouragement following me all the way down the Soi.
These ladies will never forget me and my run for cover, next time I’ll have to reach my destination via Soi 8, although that requires the use of a short cut which leads you past Lolita’s, another risky place for an old geezer like me. In that establishment they have a bird in a cage that shrieks periodically: "Nothing succeeds better than a parrot without teeth", which is meant to sound "sucks seeds", which will give you a clue about the activities there.
(How do I know this; I read it on Stickman, wink, wink, nudge, nudge).
So where was I? Ah, yes, about the ideal Thai wife.
So finally I arrive at my destination in Soi 6 and check in at reception. I tell the guard, no need to ring my friend’s flat, I want to surprise him.
I take a lift to the 10th floor and proceed down the hall, stopping in front of 106/13.
I ring the bell once. Then again. No answer, no sound. I’m thinking to myself, I should have made sure he’d be home. I try the bell once again.
Now I hear some movement inside, someone coughing, a shuffle of feet.
Presently the door opens, and there is my friend, Bill, wearing his pajamas looking like he just woke from the dead.
"Hey, Bill, it’s me your old mate from Oz coming back to see ya"
"Well, I’ll be buggered, if it is not you, Tom"!
"Are go gonna invite me in, you old bastard?"
"Sure, sure, come in, I’m sorry, I’m just a bit under the weather, mate."
"Yeah, what else is new?"
"Well, as a matter of fact, she is" and he points to a woman over on the couch watching TV. "She is my "battle and strife"….(that’s "wife" in our lingo)
The truth be told, I did not even notice her, perhaps because there was no sound from the TV, I guessed it was on "mute".
As far as I could tell she was not even aware of my arrival. "Are you going to introduce me?"
"Sure mate, come over and meet her" he said and as we neared her he tapped her on the shoulder. She looked back with a start and seeing us flashed a toothy, but lopsided smile. "This is Toy" Bill said.
"Pleased to meet ya", I replied, "I’m Tom, an old friend of your hubby". No reply, just another grin.
"Does not she speak English ?" I asked Bill…
"Not a bloody word, mate" he replied.
"So you finally learned some Thai, hey?"
"Not that either" he said.
By now I’m totally confused. "What’s going on here, mate?"
"She is dumb" he says, to which I reply with a chuckle, "You’re well matched then, right mate?"
"No, you don’t get it, she can’t talk at all"!
"Yeah mate, but furthermore, she can’t hear either, she is a deaf mute".
"Oh I see, that explains her watching the TV without sound, hey"…
"But why is there another TV right next to hers, side by side?"
"That’s the one I watch UBC on, with the sound full on, as I’m a bit hard of hearing due to travelling daily on the skytrain. So I got the perfect setup here, we can sit on the sofa side by side, me watching my programs with full blast, her watching Thai drama without any sound, lip reading as she goes. All the time we hold hands like young lovers, I get an occasional sniff on my cheeks Thai style, to which I let off a mighty fart to show my love for her."
"Beauty, mate; lucky bastard"! I say, "But why does she keep winking at me?"
"Oh, that’s on account of her glass eye".. says he.
Now I know the reason for that lopsided smile.
"So, when did you get married?", I ask
"About 6 months ago already, but we’re still in the honeymoon mode"
"That’s nice, I can see how that works, not a hint of argument between the two of you, right?"
"Too right, mate" he said with a big grin, "everyone should have a girl like this, but they’re as rare as hens teeth".
"And I did not pay a single satang of sin sot, either"!
"Oh yeah, how come?"
"That’s the clincher mate, she is an ORPHAN!!!"
In the old days there used to be a number of girls who were mute down at the Thermae – no idea if they can still be found down there.