Readers' Submissions

Later That Day




“1,000 baht if you shave your pussy,” I proffered. “Dat moi,” I added in Thai.

“1,500,” she countered, apparently understanding my English.

“Done.”

That little business of pre-business done, Wan adjourned to the bathroom to meet my little friend, Mr. Mach3. Fortuitously for her and, more importantly, her nether region, I had just changed the blade that morning; 50 baht for each of those suckers. Remind me to buy more JNJ (Johnson & Johnson) stock on dips (JNJ being the proud owners of Gilette).

Speaking of dips, Wan’s a keeper <Yep, Dana often talked of her and gave her the thumbs up tooStick>. 45 kg and she aims to please. She smokes too much, drinks a lot and is probably a yah bah head. But enough about her strong points. When she calls from a pay phone to give me a two minute warning, like an ominous tornado siren blaring under a darkened Kansas sky, I just make sure the fridge is stocked with Chang and the valuables are secured under lock and key. One can never be too young, too rich, too thin…or too careful.

Wan is a rarity, a Thai girl without a telephone. Like an honest man in Bangkok, you don’t see these very often. You’re more likely to encounter a Thai girl with multiple phones, or at least several SIM cards. Wan’s phone is no doubt down at Porn’s Pawn Shop and Noodleria. The girl can burn through 1,000 or so faster than som tom being consumed at the Nongkhai New Year’s festival. She reminds me of the girl who having just left my place with a grand or so, did the inevitable “call and hang up” from the lobby. Returning her hang up, I asked why she hadn’t waited for me to pick up. Her response, “I have no money.”

*****

“Son,” my mom would call me, “I need to tell you something. Never talk to strangers.” She uttered these words with such resolve I did a double take. Noticing my head action, she looked at me with an earnestness I’ve never forgotten and repeated, “Never.”

I’ve always tried to heed her advice. Sometimes, I’ll listen. I just won’t talk. I may be taken as a mute. Other times, I won’t even listen. Then, I’m a deaf mute. After a while, most people move on. Everyone may have a story. That doesn’t make it interesting.

My mom’s advice has come in irresolutely handy in Bangkok where on any given day you’re likely to be approached by given number of hawkers, vendors, shoe shiners, elephant handlers, beggars, streetwalkers, ladyboys, charlatans, tourist surveyors, real estate purveyors and, worst of all, down-on-their luck farang. And then there are the people who aren’t my friends.

It’s not that I don’t care; it’s just that I don’t care. Whatever you’re selling, I’m not buying. I’m fine thank you. I gave at the temple. Move along missy. See the padre, he’ll punch your ticket on the way out.

*****

I like to start my day with levity. Accordingly, as the evening approaches and I finally leave my room, one of the first things I do is visit the palatial lobby of my deteriorating condotel and grab a complimentary Bangkok Post to read the letters to the editor.

Normally, there’s a letter from Sean, now of Surin, originally from Sussex, bemoaning some new regulations governing businesses in Thailand. This letter inevitably ends with, “If only the Thais knew how much this is going to harm their economy.”

Similarly, Paul from Bristol by way of Banglamung, will gripe about the stepped-up enforcement of laws restricting foreign ownership of Thai real estate. I smile when Paul writes, “Maybe we should apply the same rules to Thais buying London real estate.” This letter invariably ends with, “If only the Thais knew how much this is going to harm their economy.”

Chester from Chonburi, bred in Colchester, will then share his dismay over having had to pay an extra five baht for his Pattaya Second Road songtaew ride. This is a deal killer for Chester. When word of such dual pricing trickles back to the UK, we are told, tourism to Thailand will cease and “the Thais will find out how much this is going to harm their economy.”

We are often informed by these contributors that there are, after all, many more vacation spots in the world than Thailand. This is of course true but for most of us these getaways might as well not even exist. And Angeles City is actually part of Pattaya anyway isn’t it?

In addition to humor, I like fiction too so I usually finish my reading with the Post’s business section.

****

Things I never want to see:

1. Me with a Thai girl behind me at an ATM.
2. Me with a Thai girl behind me at a currency exchange booth.
3. Me in a Thai police box.

Things I don’t mind seeing:

1. Me with a Thai girl behind me at the condo / KY section of that big drug store next to Bully’s.
2. Me, like Jaime Escalante, saying “Have a good day.”

Stickman's thoughts:

A nice collection of thoughts and anecdotes.

The author cannot be contacted.