Stickman Readers' Submissions May 12th, 2007


China Hotel Guide
• Kaibo Express Hotel
• Pine City Hotel Shanghai
• Regal International East Asia Hotel
• Regal Shanghai East Asia

This is a very personal report – true, not fiction. I wrote it a few months ago, but I have been afraid to post it here, because it does not paint me in a rosy light. But it happened to me, and I think that not many people are completely immune to love. Please take it as an example of what can happen to one's feeling of self esteem if you follow slapdash your heart beat.

During my adult life I have had love affairs with four women that crossed the threshold to "mental sickness." They lasted one or more years each, and they brought deep pain and immense happiness. Only one of these partners was an Asian woman, and with her I shared the most exiting and some of the most disgusting hours of my life. From her I learned how extreme the Asian type of jealousy can be.

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She came from Asia but she worked in cold Europe. She had a decent job with a work permit and was a recognized professional. Our hearts didn't burn and melt when we met the first time. In fact we met from time to time and talked animatedly without scenting danger. Then came the day when she invited herself to my place, to give me a lesson in Asian cooking, which I was happy to accept.

When you cook together you touch each other with the skin of your fingers, your arms, your hips. It happened, and it was like lightning. We both were scared and terribly afraid of what was going to come. But it was too late to stop fate. I loved her and she loved me. The world was full of yellow roses.

She was an entrancing woman. Charming but not intrusive, full of humour, highly intelligent and a dedicated artist. I wanted to share every minute of the day with her, not only hours of fulfilment.

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There was only one weak point in our relationship. She was married and had a teenage daughter. I assailed her to get a divorce immediately and marry me, but she thought it was unfair to leave her husband, because he had done nothing wrong. He also was a true gentleman, good looking, very tall for an Asian man, and he really had not deserved that his wife was in love with another man.

I am sure her daughter felt instinctively what had happened to her mother. But she never was hostile to me, she even asked me sometimes to help her with her homework.

This constellation made it difficult for the lovers to meet. Once a week was possible but never assured. The happier we were when we came together. I didn't want to live an adulterous love. I still hoped she would consider her divorce.

There was a second weak point in our relationship. My girlfriend – if I may call her so, as she was nearing 40 – was tremendously jealous. Without reason. As most of my readers have learned, this is typical for Asian women.

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One evening when she had planned to come to my flat, she just didn't appear. I was worried something might have happened to her. At midnight I was so ill at ease that I called her home – which I normally did not do. She answered the phone.

"Are you ok?" I asked her.

"I am ok."

"I remember we had an appointment."

"I just did not want to disturb you with your other girlfriend."

"I have no other girlfriend. I only love you."

"How can I know?"

She hung up.

Every minute we had together was precious to me, and she had wasted the evening to be in a bad temper, for which I found absolutely no explanation.

Desperately disappointed I threw the telephone at the wall and then trampled on it with both feet. The phone was made of plastic, my weight is 94 kilograms.

I emptied half a bottle of whisky in despair and fell on my empty bed. I awoke at six o'clock in the morning. My head felt like the inside of a Buddhist temple bell. I still felt so angry and hurt and insulted, that I could not bear to face another day. On the other side of my street there is a beverage shop which opens at six am. I put on a morning gown and bought two one-litre-bottles of Mosel wine. They contained at least 220 grams of pure alcohol. It took me thirty minutes to down them. I still managed to inform my secretary that I would be sick that day. Then the alcohol began its work.

About the same time my girlfriend awoke in the bed of her husband and felt remorse. She sneaked into the floor, where the telephone was, and dialled my number. But my phone had not survived last night's attack. She dialled again and again.

Her husband came out of their bedroom.

"Whom are you calling?"

"I cannot reach Felix," she answered.

"You never call this man at this time."

"I have a feeling. I have a feeling something terrible has happened to him."

At that moment – I assume – her husband became aware of her relationship with me. I feel sorry for him up to this day.

"I must go and see if something has happened to him," she continued. "Please give me your car keys."

"If you feel he needs help, I will go with you." She could not resist him joining her.

I heard them ring at my doorbell. I opened the door and then rushed into the bathroom where I peed all over the floor.

"Felix," asked my girlfriend, "what has happened to you? How can we help you?"

"Leave me alone," I answered, "all I need is a few hours sleep."

Her husband was extremely polite. He didn't hit me in the face. He just said quietly: "We cannot leave you alone in this state. Come, we will bring you to a doctor."

I was unable to protest and throw them out. He – and he alone – helped me to shower and to put on clothes. My doctor's surgery was just around the corner. Both, husband and wife had to support me.

The doctor looked at me and said: "This is nothing serious. Tomorrow he will be fine again, that is if he stops drinking."

"My wife and I cannot look after him any longer because we have to go to work. Can you recommend a hospital, where we can take him to?"

Now the strategy of the husband was clear to me. He wanted to convince his wife that I was a wretched drunkard, not worth her love.

The hospital was some distance to drive to. At the emergency ward they decided that I was not sick enough to be hospitalised.

The husband asked if the hospital could not keep me for withdrawal treatment. At a later date, was the answer. My girlfriend and her husband brought me back to my home. I slept and I felt like the dirt I was.

The strategy of the husband did not work as he had hoped because my girlfriend knew too well that I did not normally drink that much and that her caprices were responsible for my misfortunes.

A few days later an agitated and deranged Thai lady came to me and asked me for help. She was married to a doubtful German, who had thrown her out of his house and withdrawn her residence permit in order to get rid of her. By this action he had made his wife an illegal alien resident. At first I contacted a workmate of her husband to suggest the hubby should restore her residence permit. I learnt that the husband was disappointed by his wife because she refused to work in a red light bar. Instead she had worked in a fruit shop and handed him only part of her salary. Now the husband wanted her deported back to Thailand, so that he could marry another woman who could earn money for him. I asked a hacker to look for me into the police computer used at border controls and there she was already listed as an illegal alien.

Hers was not a singular case. A number of unsuspecting Thai girls marry dangerous criminals each year in Farangland, who only want to exploit them in the sex trade. A lawyer told me that there was no legal protection for these unhappy women. What to do? There was no way she could stay legally in Europe. I was on the verge of my yearly flight to Hong Kong, and I suggested that we both took the same flight to the East, so that I could assist her at the exit control.

We booked two seats on a Thai Airways flight, she in Economy, me in Business Class. As she did not know where to stay until departure and could not risk running into a police control, I rented a furnished room for her nearby under my name. She had money, but she could not allow that her name came up. I worked all day and some evenings she came over and cooked for me the most delicious "Dom Kha Gai". When my real girlfriend was with me, I didn't open the door for anyone ringing. Fearing the jealousy of my girlfriend, I had not dared to inform her about this Thai connection.

One day I went with my guest to the city centre where she wanted to buy something. At a crossing we met my girlfriend with her husband. He looked very pleased to see me with a Thai beauty. His wife opened her slanted eyes very wide but said nothing.

In one of the coming nights my girlfriend awoke in the bed of her husband and felt uneasy. Quietly she left the bedroom, dressed, took her husband's car keys and drove to my place.

That evening it had rained heavily, and I could not decide to accompany the Thai lady home after dinner, as I normally did in a gentlemanly mood. In my flat I had only one double bed but no guest couch. So I had invited my guest to share the double bed with me. She was not oversexed, still deeply hurt by the experience with her husband, and I still loved my girlfriend. We both slept peacefully side by side.

I awoke from the noise of a key in my door. It was my girlfriend who stormed into the room, turned on the light and shouted: "What is this? Get her out of your flat immediately!"

Then she picked up one of my shoes and tried to hit the Thai lady on her head.

I intervened and said to my girlfriend:

"I can explain everything."

"Get her out! Get her out. This moment."

I gripped her hands and told her: "Darling, you must know, in my home country we have an iron law of hospitality. We never send a guest out into the night, where the wolves are howling."

In our city existed no wolves, not even soi dogs, but in my home country in north eastern Europe one could indeed hear wolves howling under a yellow winter moon.

"If you love me," responded my girlfriend, "you get this thing out now, or you will never see me again."

"That is up to you, but I would not be worth your love, if I were able to push a guest onto the street in the middle of the night."

I had no reason to stand up for the Thai woman. My girlfriend was very close to my heart. But she had hit some point of resistance in me. I was not willing to take advice with whom to share my den from a person who had just come out of her husband's bed.

"This is your decision," cried the girlfriend and she left the room. The car of her husband was parked in a no parking zone. Her husband – she told me later – had slept deeply through her absence.

She kept true to her threat. No more adultery. And I didn't invite her back to our twosomeness. Did it hurt? Not much. I had wanted this woman all for myself. This proved impossible. She offered me the role of a male "mia noi." But for me this was not acceptable. We had no future for us without hurting other people.

A few days later I stood with my "alien" guest at the Business check-in counter of Thai Airways in Frankfurt. I asked the ground stewardess if she could give my companion her Economy check-in here, because I did not want to wait for her very slow check-in at the Economy counter. Now what happened was one of the nicest surprises I ever experienced. The Thai stewardess offered to give my guest an upgrade to Business Class free of charge.

The immigration control at that time was just a walk through, joined to the ticket inspection. When the man with the yellow shirt (in Frankfurt policemen wear yellow – not brown – shirts) opened the passport of my companion, he entered her name into his hand held terminal and then made a face as if he was calculating how many days she had overstayed and how to multiply this with the fine rate.

"Excuse me," I said to him, stretching out my hand for her passport, "we are on Business Class to Bangkok, and the plane is boarding. Can we pass?"

He reached me the passport without saying a word.

Sometimes it is useful to be a Business Class passenger, which I am for health reasons.

Up on the second floor of the jumbo jet a Thai hostess even helped us to adjoining seats. That was very practical, because every time I woke up during the night flight my companion convinced the stewardess to pour me one more Black Label with lots of water. The hostess was concerned I might be groggy at arrival, but my companion assured her that I was on a connecting flight to Hong Kong and would not disgrace myself in Thailand. In fact these were my first whiskies since that fatal night when the jealousy of my ex-girlfriend drove me out of my cool mind.

Stickman's thoughts:

Don't be so harsh on yourself, Felix. It seems to me that sleeping around these days is more normal than not. Doesn't make it right (or wrong), but it would seem to be the norm.

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