Stickman Readers' Submissions October 8th, 2007

The Story of Nok

One of the pleasures I enjoy most during my frequent stays in Thailand is my daily pool exercise on the fine tournament-sized tables in a quiet air-conditioned hall away from the troubles of the bar areas. As anywhere in Thailand where there is service staff around there is no lack of cute waitresses.

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As I went to play there every day I was eventually chatted up by Nok who works at the tables for 3 months. She told me that she had stayed in Pattaya for 3 years though, working at a laundry before. She is not young at 30 but that is just fine with me and she emanated a calm and peace that fascinated me, a nice contrast to the often hyperactive and nervous bargirls. She looked just as fine without make up and her skin was flawless. Also, originating from Chiang Rai she looked welcomingly different from her Isaan sisters at the bars.

I decided that it was worth giving it a try when we finally exchanged numbers. She was to have her day off the following day when we had our first date so we could stay out late.

She offered me a tour around Pattaya on her bike. We went to Jomtien which is really very quiet at night and sat there, had a can of beer, looked at the waves strolling in and had a really nice time. She then took me to Pattaya hill to savour the romantic night-time view over Pattaya bay. After we had something to eat down at the pier we were nicely drunk and ready for some Walking Street action.

She told me I should feel free to take her where I wanted to go and so I took her to Windmill a gogo as my inhibition level is generally really low in Pattaya. She seemed curious but really didn't look as if she was a frequent visitor of such places.

After another beer we hit Lucifer’s where we had our first kiss. It was quite romantic as I really looked forward to that moment with her. We decided earlier in the evening we would make a trip to the crocodile farm on her day off so we went back to my room not too late and I was surprised she wanted to stay with me. But as she was sleeping with her clothes on nothing much happened.

Anyway getting sex is really no big deal in Pattaya so one night without it is not going to kill me, especially because I respected her very much and I was drunk as hell.

The following morning we went to Carrefour for breakfast for which she insisted on paying and then took the long and dangerous drive on her bike to the crocodile farm. The longer I was with her, the more mysterious she seemed to me. I just decided to enjoy the day with her and make her feel as comfortable as possible. She enjoyed feeding the fish while I quite liked the show of the two guys putting their heads and arms in wide open crocodile gorges. It was a nice diversion from the beach and the bars and Pattaya in general to spend the day with this calm and fascinating lady.

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In the evening she came to my room again and this time we slept together but I found it annoying that she was acting so overly shy. After all, she is no teenager any more and has a very slim and presentable body. Either do it properly or not at all! I would have preferred the latter in this case. It was really not enjoyable for either of us.

The next day she worked again so we could only meet in the evening. Again we went to some bars to have a few drinks. I decided that I did not want to restrict my holiday nights by staying with her. If she wanted to have some fun, get some dinner and a nice pair of shoes, OK. If not she would have to go. I am not on a marriage tour. I was already worried when she mentioned she wanted me to see her sister who worked at a travel agency in Walking Street. But as we headed there anyway I agreed simply out of curiosity.

Of course her sister immediately asked me to buy her some beer which I nicely declined. They don't do anything the whole day anyway and I am not going to spoil the work attitude even more by providing free alcohol during shifts. Anyway, after visiting some more gogo bars her sister finished work and was picked up by her boyfriend and we briefly met. Funnily enough he is Swiss too and about my age so I felt at ease a bit. He explained to me that he lived half here, half in China. When asked what he did he told me: Investing in some Chinese companies. That's my sort of lifestyle! OK, so we parted ways and me and Nok headed home as I really wanted her to get some sleep before her work. We slept together once again, she was a bit more drunk and more relaxed but it was still not much better than with the worst bargirl I ever had.

Then the strange part started. Whenever we were together she never used the cellphone, never got calls. I already had bad feelings when just at the time we were about to get things going she took the phone. She told me her sister had a bike accident and was taken to hospital by her boyfriend and that she would go to see her now. That was it for me! Another stupid made up story to say goodbye without losing face. Or not?

When she went out of the hotel it was raining heavily and she was suddenly reluctant if she really wanted to drive to the hospital (or where ever). I was upset and frankly told her she can tell this BS to somebody else and that I don't believe one word she says. If she didn't want to sleep at my place she could have said so before. In her always quiet manner it was difficult to read any feelings at all. Then – as proof – she called her sister’s boyfriend with whom I could chat in my own language which made the situation even more strange. He told me she got touched by a car in the oncoming traffic and that it was just one of the thousands of bike accidents which happened in Thailand every day. Nothing seemed broken but she was to sleep in the hospital that night.

I was really confused now. Was Nok telling the truth? Or was the Swiss guy lying to me? Why should he? Was this all a set up? Was it part of some strange test? I could have driven with Nok to the hospital to find out. It’s like in a poker game when asked to call a huge bet by somebody you are almost sure he is bluffing. You are a fool if you fold but a bigger fool if you call and he tells the truth (for once). In the end she decided to stay with me but I was just too tired from of all this.

Why can I not once have just a little affair with a nice Thai girl without sick and dying mothers, injured sisters or police charges pending (that was another girl). What are the odds that this accident happened exactly within a couple of hours after I first met her sister? Whatever happened, it was none of my business. I was sorry if I did Nok injustice but she did too little to show me what she really wanted from me to dampen my suspicions.

As a lesson from all this I see that it is not all just fun with the “good” girls. There will be many hurdles in the way as soon as family things come into play and I am simply not ready for such things yet. It just shows that while it might be emotionally more rewarding at first to date that nice cosmetician at the mall or the cute waitress in the restaurant there are also huge disadvantages. With the freelancers you just give them some baht once you are bored, you get rid of them and both are happy. Fair enough. But for a relationship to overcome the huge cultural differences as well as the language barrier I am not sure I would want to cope with that in the first place. I would have loved to find if what she said out about the accident was true. Simply to get an idea if anybody can be honest in this place at all!

The morning after this event she left early, saying she was going to visit her sister at the hospital before going to work. During this she forgot her cell phone in my apartment. When it rang I took it as I thought it might be her, asking if the phone was with me. It was a Thai voice asking for Nok. If I am honest I think it was her husband. The phone kept ringing like mad but of course I did not answer it anymore. At least I got a chance to look through her messages. There were a few in English but dated 2 to 6 months ago. Nothing to worry about. After all I meet a plethora of girls too. And one from the Swiss guy telling her that the leg of her sister is OK. She didn't show me that one before.

When she came back and found out that I answered the phone she was devastated. She seemed desperate. I was really sorry. She said something like now her mother will think she goes with farangs. She hurried away without saying goodbye or anything. I thought I wouldn't see her anymore. I wanted to forget her and did not see her that day.

The next day I just wanted to know if everything was OK as she was so out of her mind when I last saw her and I didn't feel happy about it. I called her and couldn't resist when she asked me to have dinner with her again. When we met, everything seemed as if nothing had happened. This typical Asian treat to hide what's going on! Of course I was still suspicious but at the same time she fascinated me and it was definitely more interesting to spend some more time with her than with the even more untrustworthy bargirls.

I ended up spending two more nights with Nok. We got used to each other more and more and it became really nice in the end. I still did not believe her though. I might have been insensitive but that's what reading all those Stickman stories does to you. Better safe than sorry. All in all another “only in Thailand” experience which makes visiting this country so exciting each and every time!

Stickman's thoughts:

Of course a relationship with a Thai bargirl is difficult but the hard part is less that she was bargirl, more that she was Thai. And so with regular Thai girls it is difficult too as the cultural barriers are so great.

Yep, isn’t it funny that no matter what happens, Thai women are often able to pretend that whatever happened and get on with things – if it suits them of course. If the shoe was on the other foot then they will give you a hell for some time!

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