Stickman Readers' Submissions September 22nd, 2007

Thailand: The Good, The Bad And The Ugly Part 3

The Bad:

He Clinic Bangkok

How long has it been? Four hours, I have fallen back to sleep for another four hours. Dark outside, I can tell by the different light coming through the curtains from the window of my hotel room. I get up out of bed to make sure, as soon as I pull them open, I can see some of the people throwing water at each other. Some kind of water festival going on, something called Songkran. It looks fun but Phim doesn't really like people throwing powder and water on her. Phim? I look at the bed and she is still sleeping on her stomach. I throw back the covers to look at her naked body and she doesn't even flinch. I kiss her back and smell her sweet skin, no wonder I can not get enough of her. She opens one eye and smiles. Come back to bed darling, she says.

Lets go out and eat, I say. No call room service darling, no want go out. I think to myself room service again. I look around my hotel room seeing stacks of dirty dishes. Why is it so messy? But come to think of it, we have not had maid service for sometime, we have had are do not disturb sign on the door now for three days. I think it has been three or has it been five. Wait I have been in this hotel room with Phim for a least seven days straight. Phim rolls on her back and sits up, she throws her arms around me and sniffs my chick. She looks into my eyes and says, darling must go see brother tomorrow, need get clothes. Phim has told me she lives with her older brother and younger sister. The sister has a baby from a foreign man, who took her when she was only fifteen. She want to send money to family, was what Phim said. Her story was that the three of them came to Bangkok together, leaving her mother and father alone on the farm. Phim got a job sowing clothes and her brother took odd jobs. Her young sister was to stay home, clean and cook so Phim and her brother would not have to worry about such things. But the young girl got mixed up with the wrong crowd and tried to make fast money by selling her body. Phim had no choice but to work at the bar, being her brother could not keep a job and now they had an extra mouth to feed. Can I go with you? She looks at me for a minute, yes you go, tomorrow, now sleep. Seems like that is all I have been doing, holding her body close to me I soon fall back into a deep sleep.

The next day, there is still water on the ground from the festival, but Phim said it was now gone. We flag down a Tuk Tuk driver and jump in and off we go. I am very excited as we race down the street, this is my first time around the city. I have been here eight days and most of that time has been in my hotel room with Phim. I feel very light headed kind of dizzy, but this must still be from jet lag. I have never traveled, but this jet lag has had me very groggy and I think that is the reason I have been sleeping so much. After what seems to be half an hour, we come to a river with a very strange smell. In America we would just call this a river bed. We walk down a path from the street and in between small shacks made of wood and tin. Closer to the river we come to a wood house, but very small and put together with pieces of tin, plastic and old wood planks. Phim walks on in and starts to talk in Thai, to my right I see a man sitting on the floor, smoking and drinking whisky. There is no furniture in this shack just some old rugs and a few small pictures on the wall. The brother, well I think he is the brother because Phim never introduces me. The brother says something to Phim, sounds kind of mad. Phim gives him a few angry words back. Her younger sister enters from behind a curtain and smiles at me, I smile back and do the Sawasdee thing. Everyone is talking and I have no Idea what is being said, but beyond the curtain I see a child on the floor. The baby looked to be a least nine months old, maybe younger, seems about right because her sister only looked about sixteen years old.

CBD bangkok

I am in a daze to see such a poor house and it hurts me. I think how much help these people must need. I am deep into thought and when I snap out of it. I then realize that Phim and her brother seem to be having an argument. The brother then leaves the house very angry and slams the house door, with a few more angry words from Phim to follow out the door.

Sit darling, be little bit

Is everything all right?

Brother want money.

wonderland clinic

I look around for a chair, but the hard ground is all there is. I sit on the carpet and wait while Phim gathers her things. Her sister gives me a cup of water and I sit for what seems like at least an hour. Phim is no where in sight, and has left me just sitting there in the middle of the floor. I hear the baby start to cry and wonder why the mother has not picked her up. I stand up and walk to the curtain and peak behind it and notice that the mother is no where to be found, seems like I am the only person home. I pick the child up to try and keep it from crying, it seems to be helping and I sure hope someone comes home soon. The door opens and in walks the brother with two of his friends they look at me for a minute and sit down on the floor. Opening the bags they were carrying they soon start to take turns drinking from the whisky bottle. The shack feels up with smoke as all three men light cigarettes. There I am standing with the child, one of the men offer the bottle to me. I say no, they laugh and talk Thai all three start laughing, I just stand and smile.

Twenty minutes later Phim walks in with bags of food and more whisky bottles. Her sister gets plates and they set all of the food on the floor. Her sister takes the baby from me and Phim asks me to sit, eat. Picking at the food, it is very hard for me to eat on the floor and the food does not taste very good to me, but everyone else seems to eat and drink with ease. Soon quiet lunch talk turns into another argument between brother and sister, both seem to be mad at each other. Finally I see Phim grab her purse and take some of the money I have giving her. She takes it out of her purse and hands it to her brother. Even more words are said and by the tone of his voice I think he does not like the amount given to him.

jillber, have three thousand baht?

Yes, Phim I do.

Phim still can not say my name Gilbert very well. I take the cash from my pocket and give it to her. She then hands the cash to her brother, they talk again in a quiet voice and things seem better now between them. Looking at me her brother talks Thai and starts to laugh, his friends join in and everyone is smiling. At least I feel at ease now and everyone continues to eat and drink. I look at her brother from the corner of my eye. He is older then Phim, although I do not know how much older because I have never asked Phim her age. I think her brother to be at least forty one or forty two years old. I see some gray hair mixed in with his black curls and a face of scars with very black eyes. Phim jumps up and says "ok go now". We pick up some of her clothes in paper bags and walk towards the door. Her brother steps in front of us and again speaks to me in Thai.

Jillber, He want know, can give two thousand baht.

Chi Jillber, two thousand, you give

He asks for two thousand baht, but not in a kind tone more like a demand which really bothered me a lot. But I thought it best not to make this a problem and gave her brother the money. Who's name I did not even know or did I even care to know. I take Phim by the arm and we leave.

What was that all about? Why were you two fighting all the time?

Want money, for whisky

Why was he mad at you?

Tell him, want marry you, he no like, say farang have baby for sister, no good, farang no good.

Marry me?

Yes darling, we marry, love you too much, go tomorrow temple, happy Phim happy!

Thinking to myself, I wonder could I handle being married to Phim. Could we be happy together. But even I know we should take more time to think about this. We need to do things together, go places together. I need more time with her and I plan to do just that, maybe tonight we can go out around Nana. I have not seen a thing and I am very curious about what is around the Nana hotel.

Phim lets go out tonight, maybe to that circus area across the street. I have been wanting to take a look over there.

No good, no good to go.

Well how about we go dancing? Or some other night spot and have a good time tonight.

No want, need you only.

Come on Phim, we need some time together

Go hotel relax, room service, go out later darling, we go out later.

Stickman's thoughts:


nana plaza