Tales From the Thai Village: The Mysterious Case of the Missing Passion Fruit
I took the extended family down to Pattaya for a weekend, Thankfully this time it didn’t include the mother or father in law. See my previous trip reports for details of that trip! We set off in the middle of the night and arrived on route 7 to
Pattaya at about 8 AM. In 2 pickups our party consisted of me, wife, my 2 children, 2 nieces, nephew, 2 brother in laws and one of their wives plus sister in law and her partner, plus a family friend and his wife plus an aunt and a female cousin
who I am funding through University.. In total 16 people. We got stopped on the motorway by the police: passengers in the back of an uncovered pickup on a motorway, 300 baht fine x 2 vehicles. My wife pays off the police and they get into the
cab, making it very cosy. About a mile further on we pass a second police car and we get flagged down again, despite being told, my brother in law had failed to put his passengers inside the cab, so another 300 baht fine paid for by the wife.
We get to Pattaya without further cost! Phew!!
We had rented a house for 2 nights in Jomtien Beach. That evening we went in Pattaya. It was the evening of the fireworks competition in Pattaya, so we all enjoyed the free fireworks display. Then it was a trip to the go-go bars. We went to Soi Post Office. What used to be one of the best gogo bars with excellent shows in Pattaya was a dump, half a dozen ugly girls, so no wonder it only had 1 customer inside apart from us. To the Thais in our party it was a big disappointment. Next day it was down the water park with the kids – me, my stepdaughter and niece and nephew (the one I kidnapped last year, see last year's submission on 12/10/09). My nephew was not feeling well and is still as thin as a rake so me and my niece the same age as my nephew took turns in carrying him piggy back fashion. I keep expecting to be arrested by the Police for being a paedophile as it does look very strange, a fat old white guy with 3 young Thai children, it looks very suspicious. I get stared at by all the Thais but I am used it by now. However I am the only person prepared to take the kids out to the water park. I asked if anyone wanted to come too but no volunteers. All the other Thais all hang out back at the house drinking and sleeping. Anyway the children and I have a great time in the water park followed by some rides on the amusements afterwards.
We get back in the dark and after a quick meal it’s back out to Pattaya. This time we were meeting my mate and he took us to some gogos just off Walking Street. This night I just had 1 brother in law, the sister in law's partner and the male friend. My mate chose the venues being a long time resident of Pattaya and first we went to Living Dolls 1. After a big struggle getting the door staff to let my 3 Thai companions in and after inspecting their IDs to discover they are yokels from the provinces we are allowed in. The girls are pretty but I was mesmerised by the shows, the best one was when 4 of the dancers were painted by this guy, wow, they were works of art. One was painted with flowers one was painted with fish, one with birds and one with animals. This Thai painter should do an exhibition – he is fantastic. Watching the girls writhe around and the paintings coming to life, I was transfixed. One girl caught my eye and came to talk to me. I took her to see my Thai companions as she spoke little English but any contact would be divorce proceedings for me. The Thais regaled everybody in the village with the antics going on. The Pattaya myth gets bigger and bigger. Afterwards we went to Happy a gogo, very busy and the girls were very friendly. Another girl attached herself to me there, again I had to fight them off because of my companions. I had given my sister in law's other half 5,000 baht as I didn’t have any pockets in my trousers. After having spent 4 x 1,000 baht notes I was told there was no money left, which explained where the money for the lady drinks paid for by them came from. You can’t trust any Thai with money, not even relatives.
We were eating the evening meal one day at my house and a discussion between my sister in law and my mother in law started to get rather interesting. They started shouting at each other. My baby was crying, the third brother in law came in to the house and was threatening the sister in law and she grabbed my child’s tricycle to defend herself. My father in law never said a word and just watched. At one point the sister in law had her left foot sole pointed straight at the mother in law. Even I know that is a gross insult. After the mother in law and the brother in law left to go back to the farm I asked the wife what had been going on.
Apparently my sister in law had told her mother that her brother was stealing her passion fruit. She refused to believe her daughter and always believes her son. Apparently he hides sacks of passion fruit and when his mother isn’t looking or is away from the farm for that day, he gets another villager to transport them out of the farm. Apparently 1 sack is worth about 400 baht and he started stealing 1 sack of fruit but has now started stealing 3 sacks. My mother in law had been complaining about low crop yields and that’s how the argument started. We didn’t see the mother in law for about a week after this incident. She just won’t hear anything bad said about her favourite son.
One day we go to a food mart in the top floor and two quite attractive women are friends of my sister in law. They see my wife decked out in gold and are soon asking her about how to find a farang husband. My wife just says you mustn’t be shy and tells them including the phone number of the go-go she used to work at. One lady had a child of about 8 years old, not sure of the status of the other one. The myth of Pattaya continues. I wanted to tell them the chances of finding a decent husband are pretty remote. My wife was one of the lucky ones. More ladies to be corrupted by the fleshpots of Pattaya!
I came back to my house slightly drunk after having had a few beers with another English guy in the village. I go to my room leaving my spectacles in the lounge in my drunken haze.. Next day I am complaining to the wife, “Have you seen my spectacles?” I must have asked about a dozen times with no response from the wife or anybody else. I ask a further time and the wife says oh my mother was using your glasses last night to play cards and she put them in her handbag. I told you before (a lie). When my mother – in – law appears my wife asks her and yes they are in her handbag and later on they are returned. If I hadn’t made such a fuss the mother – in – law would have kept them. Light fingered those Thais.
My brother in law involved in the passion fruit disappearance was convicted of possession of cannabis a couple of months ago. He had a large bag of cannabis when the police searched his house after a tip-off. He was fined 20,000 baht and also given a suspended prison sentence as it was his first offence. A very lucky man, I reckon. He had been in big trouble as he had been accused of cultivating cannabis as well. However his lawyer argued that the land it was grown on belonged to the King and he was not responsible for the growing of it. Somehow they believed him and he managed to get off that charge otherwise he would have been in big trouble. However he had been on bail for nearly a year and lawyers' fees and loans for the bail money cost the mother in law a lot of money. Last year he had actually sown cannabis on my land but it had been cut down when it was realised what was being grown. The perils of having a bad brother in law. He is courting a lady from Khon Kaen, but they can’t get married yet as her family want 100,000 baht and 1 baht of gold. Sin sot is still required in rural areas even for Thais!
Well that’s the anecdotes from this years trip to Thailand, you will all have to wait until next year for the next exciting episode!
What a charming family you have married into!