Extracts From the Journal of a Bangkok Girl
• Lee Garden Apartments
• Lu Song Yuan Hotel Beijing
• Neimenggu Hotel
• New Dragon Hostel
I am Rung the only and lonely child from a broken family, father died since long time ago, mother remarried and living abroad. Once upon a time, yes, just like all fairy tale begins, once upon a time we had a very small loving family, just three of us; I, and my parents living somewhere in a small town in south of Thailand. The moss green mountains, the deep turquoise green sea and white sand beaches like a serene smile were all part of our life and living. The rubber and fruit plantation were abundant speckled with occasional patches of green grassland under the shades of coconut grove. When hungry, you can pluck a handful of rambuttan from the firm. Love was the very fiber of our family. Mother was a happy house wife while father used to work offshore as an electrical engineer. During his break from work, he used to tell stories of his life on sea, mystical, from a very different world only I dreamed. I never wrote them down but at my leisure they all came carrying a voice, still fresh in my being. But you see, never ever you can take things for granted in life, our own little world made of people we love, relationships we depend on are so fragile.
During one such break, I met my father in late afternoon. The bright orange fire ball was ready to dive into the sea at horizon. I was about to go out with my friends after school while he was coming back home from the sea. It was just a short greeting between us. He smiled and gently kissed my forehead. He looked very happy to see me again. And during the kiss when his face was close to me, I saw my shadow in his eyes, a very happy face as well.
My mother asked me “Why do you have to go out now? Your father just returned; he wants to spend time with you.”
“I will come back soon Pa, tonight you have to tell me stories.” I waved at him. He laughed nodding his head. The smile of joy was glistening on his face in the glow of setting sun.
On the next day, he told us many stories while he was away; he also said one of his Burmese colleagues asked him not to come home. But my father said “mai dai, p' lak kit thueng luuk saao.” means “No, I have to come home. I miss my daughter so much.”. And I am the only child, you know.
He was so fond of a girl wearing a sarong, and he wanted to see me wearing that, too. But I never did that before and it was likely I would never do as he requested. So he hired me for 500 baht to wear it on the next day.
I was enticed “Cool, I’ll do it tomorrow, don't forget to give me 500 baht na.”.
That evening he went out drinking with friends. Later that night, two policemen brought him home but he no longer breathed. His eyes were still open looking at me directly but they were not the same eyes full of affection, love and life which I was familiar with.
I was scared, suddenly felt very lonely. I screamed “Ma, what happened to Pa?” but only to hear my question echoed back in her voice “What happened to your Pa?”
I had no more chance to show him how pretty I would look in a sarong in the next morning. He could not see me in the look he wanted to. The memory of that night still haunts me, reminds me that don’t wait for tomorrow when death is just a breath away.
From morning grey thick clouds were swarming in, indication of another cloudy gloomy Saturday. I didn’t know why I was missing everything that had made my heart warm. You all know that I moved to a new apartment near my new office recently. I had to throw so many things; among them were my sweet soft pillows. They were my bedtime friends for quite a long time. I was missing my pillows, old room and the glimpse of sky I used to enjoy through the window. I still couldn’t put my favorite posters around my room. The bare white walls were making me more depressed and lonely. I had mountain of work to do but just could not motivate myself to do anything, although it was a day to watch TV with chips and coke, I decided to call grandma, thought it would be interesting to discuss my Hanoi trip.
I told “Grandma, I just came back from Hanoi in one piece.”
“Hanoi? How far is it from Bangkok?.”
“It is in Vietnam, another country.”
“Did you go alone?.”
“Yes, I still don’t have a boyfriend grandma. But everyone took care of me because they thought I was a little girl. It was very exciting; I met so many new people.”
“But you are a lady, how could you travel so far alone?”
I sighed “By plane.”
Please don’t be ashamed as my grandma is from another century, despite of being Thai both of us have a vastly different value system. You may be wondering, how do we get along? She is just like a young coconut, if you can break the dry outer shell then you get to taste the sweet water at the core. So all her century old ramblings enter through one ear and exit through the other. Then rest of it is pure love and affection which still gives me a feeling of a family. As a side note, traveling alone was really fun, thrill was unforgettable. I was a pure observer in an unknown country among unknown people, nobody was there to judge me or even if they did their opinion didn’t bother me since we probably would never see each other again. So I could flow the way I wanted to, totally unconstrained. I didn’t have the burden of always watching myself I could easily melt into the crowd. I am not interested in culture much; I like to see new things that I don’t have here. And also I enjoy meeting new people, when you are not in your country and not with a tour group you can’t avoid communicating with locals and that’s really fun.
So as the conversation with grandma didn’t go too well I thought it was time to watch HBO with chips and coke hugging one of my newly purchased hard pillows. Most of the time either I have coke or chips but this time when I found both of them I was really thrilled. It was like dream come true. I jumped onto the bed, hugged the pillow and switched on the TV. At first there was a screeching sound, jumbled up pixels, then came a blue screen with an announcement “No signal detected.”
I threw the pillow up and yelled “What the hell.”
Yesterday late afternoon I went out with a guy for coffee at Starbucks near Siam-Square. I knew him from a website that you had to pay if you wanted to send an email, but I didn't pay for it though because I only wanted to know how it was working. In the pictures there, he looked ok. I didn't like his emails much because it gave me a feeling that he was a butterfly and slippery. But still I gave him my number when he said he was already in Thailand and coming to Bangkok from Pattaya. Just coffee, seat and casual talk would be alright and I was going to see the movie Venus for the second time around Siam anyway.
He was a Swiss guy and his English accent was great, I loved it! Hard to believe he looked a lot better than the photos he uploaded on his page. He reminded me of Simon Baker in The Devil Wears Prada. He was friendly, talkative, and we had something in common because he was also in the tourism business, he wanted to go to Myanmar and take the balloon over Bagan, so did I.
His style was kind and polite which could melt my heart; white shirt with long sleeves folded, black trousers and he also wore glasses, designer style. His cologne was ocean spray which I could tell from the smell. Don't blame me if I will be curious how his look and smell will be like after shower because for me a man's fresh smell after shower is bloody tempting.
Anyway, a man on the internet cannot be trusted and of course this theory is from my direct experience with that old man who I believed with 75% of my heart and I realized that I was also “kuan teen” to him. I was surely not the only one who Simon Baker contacted with or sent an email to. But I didn't care since I was not going to sleep with him. But hey as he was so tempting, should I have an experience with him? Just joking jaa!
I shot him a question if he asked any girl out in any destinations he stopped by. He smiled, chuckled and asked me back “What do you think?” Aha, that was smart!
I said “Well it's ok to be out to have someone to talk to when you are on a trip, better than sitting alone in your hotel room” and told to myself at the same time it would be a bonus if he could get a girl in.
I thought that time he was like thinking about something and nodded. At least that’s what I felt from his gesture. I didn't dare look into his eyes sometimes for his neat looking and I was a bit shy.
After coffee, I went to my movie at 7.15 pm and he went to his dinner. He was waiting for his brother driving down to Bangkok with family. And he said on the next day if he had time he would call me for dinner. If he called, I would meet him for sure. But he didn't call. Never mind, I know I’m a kind that can scare a man away very easily. And one more thing, if a man says he will call you, it's possibly that he won't.
How you feel about me is up to you but I will be me myself with anyone I am out with and the one who wants to be my partner should be able to accept the way I am. The wild world is still wonderful full of colors and my lonely life is always happy the way it is. Even though being aggressive is a part of my soul, there is a tenderness buried deep under the layers of hard crust. Knowing me only at the surface does not assure you I am a good person unless you spend sometimes with me. And if you know me well, you will find out when I love I do love na.
But it was nice meeting him yesterday. At least I learned that going out with a young man is enjoyable and better than being with the old one. And of course I’ve got more friends. Just between us, can be one more kik if he would agree.
However, I’m not a butterfly, I’m just single and don't have a boyfriend. And one more thing, people in our age, I think from now on, being in a relationship with someone should be a serious one, not that you only want to be with someone only when you feel lonely, chai mai? Being alone and enjoy our lives seem to be better that way rather than having someone who never thinks about settling down or is not family oriented. It is possibly not different to be alone in the end anyway with someone who just floats and drifts away without a deep connection with soul.
I think you have captured the mindset of Thai females very, very well with this one. Many of the thoughts are what I would expect from a typical – if there is such a thing – Thai lady.