My first trip to The Land of Smiles (Part One)
I have an old friend who retired to Thailand about 6 years ago. His kids were all grown and flown, and he was always encouraging me to go and see for myself just how good it was.
The opportunity came up when I was getting over my divorce, and I thought what better way to clear my head, and enjoy the advantages of being newly single.
I did a little research and planned a one month holiday, taking in some of the sights up north, followed by a few weeks on the beach at my mates place in Koh Samui.
To help out with my cultural expedition in the north, I used an online contact who had agreed to act as an unofficial guide and interpreter. (I realised later that she was a working girl trying her luck with a scam.) I was careful to make it clear that I was happy for her to accompany me as a friend, and in return, I would meet her expenses during the trip, but I would not pay her for sexual favours. At fifty four years old, I may make a few mistakes, but this was not going to be one of them. Anyway she met me at BKK airport and we stayed at the airport Novotel in a twin room I had already reserved for the first night. Nat (name changed to protect the guilty) was twenty eight years old, a petite, and pretty and charming girl from Isaan. She was business-like and professional at first, but as soon as she saw the room, she came over all soft focus and pliable. I explained that my interest was in her skills as my travel companion and not the pleasures of the flesh. From what little I knew about these girls, if she thought I was a soft touch financially she would try and use the sex or guilt method of parting me from my cash and so it came to pass.
After dinner and a few drinks we headed for bed. She was coy at first, but once we had both showered, she sat on my bed and smiled at me, asking if I thought she was pretty and would I like it if she shared my bed?
I am 54, no sex in I don’t know how long, and a dark skinned 28 year old beauty has just propositioned me. I am only human so I suggest a compromise. ‘We will share a bed for sleeping only’ and she happily agreed. Now I am no saint, and it felt good to be this close to the soft skinned, slim and pretty interpreter, but the effects of the journey and after dinner drinks took their toll, and I crashed into a deep and meaningful sleep.
Next morning I return from the obligatory bathroom trip, and a naked Nat is stretched across my bed fast asleep. What a sight.
I order breakfast from room service and offer Nat bottled water. She has the usual spicy Thai chicken soup that I will soon become familiar with and I go for fresh fruit and yoghurt. We chat about the trip and let her know how much I enjoyed her company, and she tells me she is surprised that I fell asleep.
She takes a call on her mobile, ‘Her sister,’ she tells me. This happens regularly during our trip and her best friend from uni, and her ladyboy friend with the deep voice make a few calls too. (It is only with hindsight that I realise these are business calls and I am the business she is discussing so animatedly.)
I book us a flight to Ubon here we hire a car for the week and set off up country. We spend a night in a local hotel and for the first time she asks me if I can help her with expenses. ‘What expenses?’ I ask. I have paid for all our meals flights, taxis, hire car and drinks. She gets a strop on and tells me how much it costs her to get through uni, and how she helps her poor peasant family. As I became more streetwise and realised what this subtle and clever little minx was up to, I decided to confront her. I remind her of our agreement, but also open the door and tell her she is free to leave anytime she likes. She goes quiet, sits on the bed and starts crying. I learn later that that Thais do not do confrontation and I have caused her to lose face. <She is just being manipulative and trying to make you feel guilty – Stick> Two big mistakes on my part.
I think I may have been Thai in a previous life because I hate confrontation too, so I comfort her, and suggest that we visit her family so I can get a better idea of the Thai culture first hand. She calms down and nods in agreement.
Next day we head north and I stop en route to buy a hamper as a gift for her mother. Nat buys her favourite bag of spicy papaya, boy she eats so much of that stuff for such a small frame. She is happy and on the long drive, she constantly asks me if I am ok and massages the back of my neck in a very loving way.
I am surprised at how dirt poor the family is. Subsistence farming in this part of Thailand is like stepping back to the dark ages. She shows me the chickens, the water buffalo, the flower garden and the small field of chilli peppers. We sit on a bamboo shelter next to the house on stilts and I am offered lunch. It's far too hot for me but my western charm will not allow to leave it unfinished, so I drink plenty of water. An aunt and uncles and a younger sister join us. One of the uncles asks me through Nat, ‘If we get married will I buy her a car?’ I smile and reply, ‘No I will buy us both a bicycle.’ Nat translates and the whole family roar with laughter. We head back after lunch and I continue to be amazed by the sights and sounds of this contradictory country, and the increasingly affectionate attention my neck and shoulders are receiving.
Back at the hotel after dinner, Nat asks me why I don’t try to have sex with her? ‘Am I ugly, do I smell?’ None of the above, I reassure her. I have a thing about this. I have entered into an agreement with her, ad this is a business deal. She is very pretty and very tempting, but for me it would have to be more.
‘I don’t want sex with you, but I do want to make love. The problem is Nat, you just want to use me for sex, and I am not that kind of guy’
I am still not sure how I kept a straight face, and Nat just looked at me in stunned silence. Then she said. ‘I understand,’ and went for a shower.
We eventually returned to BKK after some charming adventures and an increasingly baffled Nat starts to have mood swings, I suspect, because she is not getting her own way. I offer to take her to Samui with me but only if she has real feelings for me. I mention her moods and the fact that she does not seem pleased to be in my company any longer. She tells me she is heading back home for a few weeks before returning to uni. Could I help with her expenses? To be fair to the girl, she has saved me money every time I made a purchase, from the roadside food stalls to the car hire and hotels. I open my wallet and give her a 2000 baht tip. She looks disconsolate as if she was expecting more, but folds the notes and puts them in her purse. She looks at me, puts her arms around my neck and gives me a warm open mouthed kiss. She turned and left the hotel by taxi and I never saw her again.
Some very good lessons learned here for me. Find out how I made progress on the next part of my trip in part 2.
It is good to see a bloke who was straight from the outset and stuck to his guns. It is of course a difficult situation as she really was there for the money, irrespective of what was agreed at the start!