Readers' Submissions

Consider Wisely – Regrets May Follow Part 6


Tuesday 07 June – arrived from Australia at Don Muang at 5.35 a.m. in spite of the late departure and I made the transit to TG 102 and was soon back with my Darling Wan – such a lovely feeling to be able to hold her close and to know that we are once more together.


We have our Room 322 and the staff welcomed us as always. Khun Kot is always there to help us with our baggage – he is a really nice man whose home is in Nan. After some breakfast in the hotel dining room we showered and went to bed and slept until late afternoon. Drinks at lady-boy bar Loi Kroh and then up to Bier Stubbe for dinner then back to the hotel by 9.30. Before bed we placed new lotus flowers on each side of the bed-head and prayed together for a long time. Making love with Wan is just the best there is – I never get tired of that. Wan, you are my Mee-a – my Waanjai.


Next morning Wan wanted to go to the Beauty Salon to have her hair washed and dried and then we went to Central Department Store, Kad Suan Kaew, to try to find the face cream that she normally uses. I looked around for replacement frames for my sunnies and found a place that was able to do the job while we looked around some of the other shops.


I set up an e-mail address for Kamonchanok (Nat's eldest luksao) and wrote a short letter to her with the password she could use and I told her how she could change the password and put in a new one so nobody else would be able to access her account. I posted the letter off to her. We went to an amulet stall outside Wat Saen Fang on Thapae Road and the man repaired my Buddha amulet from Wat Arun that I have worn since Nat and I first lived in Krungthep. That evening Wan and I had dinner at Bier Stubbe at Thapae Gate.


Today is Sunday – Beauty Salon for Wan, Internet for me and then the usual trip out to the family for dinner. Perhaps I'm becoming paranoid but I am convinced that Wan's ex-Sarmee is still hanging around and I have spoken with her several times about it yet she denies it every time. I have never met him but there have been several occasions when the same unidentified man has attended gatherings where we have been. She told me when we first met that she had been married to a Thai policeman who treated her roughly – but that was a long time ago and they are now divorced. I still feel suspicious about this and I am not convinced she is telling me the truth. But it is issues such as this that can undermine a relationship so easily and that is the last thing I wish to happen for something that is so very special to me and, I hope, to Wan.


This last week, just gone, has been a haze of down periods and poor sleep. As a result of my sleep problems I have once again started to rely on Valium and Codeine (Mersyndol Forte). On Monday we had breakfast at Traveller Inn but it is getting more expensive there and the service not so good as before – that is probably the last time we shall go there. In the evening we shopped for food for the evening meal at the markets in Thanon Moon Muang and it is a nice change from going to the same restaurants. We buy, sticky rice, nam-prik, Chiang Mai sausage and chicken and bring the food back to the hotel room and watch TV while we eat and I have a couple of Bia Singha. After eating Wan sometimes likes to walk up to the rotee stall near the 7-11, then we return to put on a DVD or a Thai music VCD and Wan likes that.


Thursday morning I posted a letter off to Brisbane to Khun Rick after a fairly good sleep but it was overcast again and we breakfasted at Thapae Place. For dinner we bought Chiang Mai food again and ate in the room. This uneasy feeling just will not go away and I am worried about Nat and the future as time slips away.


Today I woke after a rare good sleep but with a pain in my right hip. Breakfast again at Thapae Place and checked e-mails at Loi Kroh Road. I cashed $AU500 for 15,500 Thai baht and we had dinner at Bier Stubbe. Today was fine but overcast all day. I had words with Wan over incoming calls to her on her cell-phone and I accused her of encouraging old boyfriends to stay in touch. How unreasonable is this of me considering the fact that I am still calling Nat whenever I feel like it? Of course, Wan must be wondering about her future and, deep down, I understand how she must be thinking. I don't really blame her because I know she must survive if the time comes when I may no longer be here – and given the fact that I am back and forth so much to and from Australia I don't think that she is being unreasonable at all to suppose that I will eventually go back and stay there. I don't want to do that – I never have wanted that – but the brutal truth is that I have a finance problem that will get worse as time goes by. This week I have found a steady under-the-counter supply of Xanax at one of the pharmacies in Chinatown. That's mai-dee.


This week, so far, has been very difficult with decreased libido due to the pills I am taking (Pharnax/Xanax/Alprazolam – all the same agent but different names depending on the marketing). I have resorted to taking Viagra on an almost daily basis in the evening before bed – but the thing that worries me is that I am thinking constantly about Nat and what it will be like in Brisbane when I get there. Khun Loong has been pressing me to stay in Thailand and forget Nat after the letter I sent to him – but how do you forget a wife you love so much that you would die for her? Looking at the current circumstances it is obvious that I am on a path of self-destruction if things are not resolved very soon. The last thing I want is to drag Wan down with me – none of this is her fault.


The last four days have just been repeats of the things we usually do. On Saturday 02 July we went to Thai Airways and I confirmed a booking for 21 July. This was precipitated by a call I received from my bank in Australia saying I must make suitable arrangements with them or they will initiate action. I notified them that I will be back in Australia on July 22 and that I will have discussions with them when I arrive. They seem satisfied with that arrangement.


Monday was nothing to write about except we found a nice handbag for Wan at Wororot markets. I had woken after a poor sleep and we visited a couple of wats to ask advice from the monks. One monk told us that 21 was not a good number for travel – that really cheered me up – but I have confirmed with Thai Airways and with Nat and the bank so I really don't have much choice. I know within my heart also that it is not good to be leaving here at the beginning of Khao Pansa – a time of special significance to Buddhists and the beginning of the rains retreat. I should be close by the one I love during this period.


I want to stay with Wan until September and don't care if I die here – as long as I am with her. I have this feeling that I may not be able to come back to her again so I am trying to squeeze every minute out of the time I have left with her. In the afternoon we walked along the path beside the moat on Moon Muang and I remember all the times we have walked along here, holding hands, as we wander along under the lovely shade trees with the beautiful flowers on the branches. But as beautiful as those flowers are they cannot approach the beauty that I see in my Darling Pirawan.


As much as I want to stay with Wan I don't know what to do about Nat expecting me back on Friday. What waits for me there? I must phone her tomorrow but that might seal my fate here. Either way I see death for me as the possible outcome – so it should be with the one that I love most. I don't know if Nat still loves me but I know that Wan loves me – and I surely do love her. At the most, Thailand will give me six more weeks.


***


Today I feel like I had a good sleep. I was up at 9 a.m. and have decided to leave my ticket as it stands for tomorrow. After breakfast we caught a taxi to Central Kad Suan Kaew to draw money for Wan for her needs while I am away. I am talking as though I am coming back but I don't know if that will be the case. Don't know if I can go tomorrow – I want to stay here as long as I possibly can. I don't know much, do I?


For dinner we walked down to Charoenprathet and took our usual table at Antique House I. At other times we have eaten here I had found the traditional Thai music ensemble playing through dinner a little intrusive and repetitive – but tonight I am thinking how much I will miss hearing that and how much I will miss not being able to come here with my Love. I feel deeply sad. Wan packed her things until 11 p.m. – long after I had finished packing mine – but we didn't speak a lot because I know that both of us were feeling quite choked up with emotion. We prayed together before bed and tried to sleep about midnight.


Up at 8 a.m. – still as confused as ever – so I went back to bed with Wan until 10 a.m. We had breakfast at Thapae Place but I was still undecided about what to do. However, we finished getting our things together after breakfast and lay in each other's arms for a while, shedding a few tears, before the time came to check out. Phibun took us to the airport and Wan came in to see me off at the upstairs Security point. Saying goodbye to Wan is the most difficult thing I have ever done. In Krungthep I phoned her from Don Muang but I hardly knew what to say except that I love her and I will do all that I can to come back to her quickly. I feel awful. I left my gear at "Left Luggage" and went up to the brewery bar on the top level to try and drown my sorrows.


***


I have retrieved my gear from “Left Luggage” and checked in and have gone through Immigration and now I am in a quiet spot on the departures side and sitting down to try and write down some of my thoughts. I guess I really feel this is the last time I will see Thailand. I miss Chiang Mai already and I think maybe I should have stayed there and finished off that which I feel I came back to do. The truth is I just didn't wish to hurt Wan too badly – she is such a sweet lady. I remember the many times I have sat in this area previously and I wish I were coming and not going. But I cannot give Wan the things she needs so it is probably better not to prolong her anxiety for another six weeks.


The more I see of things happening around me every day the more I believe I just don't wish to be part of this crazy world. Nothing matters to anybody any more. I wish I were rich enough to let everybody be able to have what it is that they want – yet I know, deep down, that material things and money are unimportant. Love and feelings are what count – and this is where I differ from much of Society. I just want love and peace.


Back in Australia, TG 983 landed at 11.50 a.m. and Customs put me through the hoops – searching my suitcase and even questioning me about the contents of some CD material I had brought back from Chiang Mai. These were photographic images of Wan and me that I had burned in Thapae Road. By the nature of their questions I got the impression they were looking for prohibited pornographic material. They were satisfied that I was OK and they cleared me quickly.


After trolleying my gear outside to arrivals I called Nat and told her I was just about to catch a taxi and would be there shortly. She said she would see me soon. When I arrived, Danny was there. He is a friend of Nat's – and they quite often socialise with the same crowd – and Danny seems to be a fairly decent guy. He works hard with long hours. We sat and had a few drinks and something to eat while we chatted and they went out about 7.30 p.m.


Nat told me to sleep in the main bedroom but she came home around 11 p.m. and she slept on the settee in the living room. I felt uneasy taking her bed but it reminded me, in some ways, of the times she had slept out there so many times when we were together and she was angry with me. I know that's not the case now – she is trying to be nice to me and I really appreciate her consideration. I have always said to anybody who has criticised Nat that she has a heart of gold and nobody will ever convince me otherwise – I just won't tolerate anyone bad-mouthing her.


Saturday morning Nat went to Parn's house until around 2 p.m. and I slept most of the time in the downstairs room and sorted through my things. Ben came over in the afternoon and we talked about their plans for the future. I like this guy – I always thought he was a good guy and I really hope Nat gives this relationship a fair chance to survive. She will be lucky to find someone as generous and caring as he is.


After dinner Ben, Nat and I sat and had a few beers and we talked about what is happening in each of our lives. It's funny but I have never been able to talk with Nat like this before. I guess I felt quite sad after showering and going down to bed. I phoned Wan before I settled down to try and sleep. The next day I saw a Social Worker at 11 a.m. and we discussed the emotional issues that I am trying to deal with. Not sure how productive it was but did get a few addresses and phone numbers to contact for support. Later in the afternoon I helped Kamonchanok with a project she is required to complete at school. I really feel sorry for this girl because she is having trouble with English – not so much spoken English but reading and writing. It has been very hard for her since we first brought her to Australia.


Today Ben and Nat left for Gladstone. They had asked me if I would look after the kids for them while they go up there so that Nat can see if she likes the city. This is the least I can do for Nat – she has been so good to me by allowing me to stay here even though I know there was probably this trip agenda underlying her recent offer. Still, all things involve a trade-off. Nat phoned me at 11 a.m. to see how things were going. I bought Red Rooster and we had that for dinner with rice. The kids have been no trouble and it is good to have the use of the car while Nat is away. I phoned her back at 6.30 to let her know that everything here is fine. Before bed I phoned Wan about 9 p.m.


Tuesday Nat phoned and spoke with the kids. Later I phoned my cousin, Barry, and had a long talk with him about everything. He said that I should be back in Thailand. I also phoned Dell and she told me the same as Barry. Dell has always been a good friend and she understands how I feel about Thailand in general and about Wan in particular. Khun Loong keeps saying the same thing to me so they can't all be wrong.


Today I went over to The Thai Consulate and took Kamonchanok for a ride in the car. I applied for a new Non-Immigrant Type “O” Visa and they gave it to me within an hour. At least now, if I can get back to Thailand, I will have a year to stay there. I took Kamonchanok back home and then I went down and sent an e-mail to Wan and there was one from her as well.


Friday I had a 9 a.m. appointment with my doctor and he said: "Go back to Thailand!" Why am I so bloody stupid when everyone else can so easily see what it is I should do? Nat phoned me and said she would be home on Saturday flying Jet-Star and I told her I would bring the kids down and we would pick her up. That's OK – I had a talk with Dell for a while and then I phoned Wan before I went to bed and told her I would probably be just one more week here.


Sunday came and I was up at 7 a.m., had breakfast and caught the train to Chinatown Markets. Walking around there brought back a whole flood of memories of times I had shared there with Nat when we started her business. Stopped to talk with Nick at his stall for a while and then I caught the train to up town and walked up to look at the old "Lodge" where Nat and I stayed back when I first brought her to Australia. In some ways I wished we were back in those times again. After soaking up some of those memories I walked over to South Bank to the places that had figured so prominently in those times before I first went to Thailand. I stood for a while looking at the apartments where I stayed that night when Monica was first with me – my first Thai love – and then I sat for a while watching the river flow past like the life that I felt was slipping out of me. I e-mailed Wan and then went back to Nat's and we had a few beers and talked before I went down to bed.


On Monday morning I was up at 6 a.m. after a bad sleep. I feel reasonably good apart from being tired from the poor sleep but I feel sad. Ben came home after his drive back from Gladstone about 8.30 p.m. and I phoned Wan at 9.15 p.m. before bed. Next morning I phoned the custom jeweller who crafted my Golden Heart in 18 carat and we negotiated a price agreeable to us – it had been insured for $AU3400. We talked for a while about Thailand and music and he told me about some of the guitars he had. I showed him a photo of Wan and he looked at it for a while.


"She really is special – I can understand why you want to go back to her."


He pulled out his wallet and we did the deal. We shook hands, I thanked him and he wished me good luck. I'm going to need it.


I have arranged to sell one of my Martin guitars to a musician friend and he has decided that he will buy it from me on the understanding that I may buy it back some time in the future if I should want it again. That is very generous and considerate of him but, of course, a deal is a deal – the guitar will always be his. He called around just after 11 a.m. and paid me the money and we went to a restaurant and had lunch together. He then dropped me home and said he would pick me up this evening and we would go and “shred” some guitar with the guys.


I had a really bad sleep last night – awake practically all night – and this is the worst I have felt in a long time. It was that hung-over feeling that seems to sap the last ounce of energy from your body – not only from lack of sleep but from the unrelenting stress levels that seem to be going through the roof. I phoned Thai Airways to see of they had a vacancy out of Brisbane to Krungthep tomorrow and they had space available so I made the booking one-way to Chiang Mai and told them I would pick up the ticket this afternoon. I went straight down to the bus and caught it to the city and paid for the ticket at their office in cash. Then I e-mailed Wan to tell her I would be in Chiang Mai on Saturday morning on TG 102. While waiting for the train back home I phoned Thapae Place Hotel and booked Room 322 for 1 month and then I phoned Wan to tell her. On the way to the city in the bus I had called Nat on her cell-phone and told her what I was doing and the reason. I said that I needed to get out of Australia and to be with the person I love. I said I would explain to her when she came home later.


Nat was not at all happy and she was quite nasty in the evening. She said she would drop me at the railway station on her way to work so that I could catch The Air Train to The International Terminal in the morning. I went down to sort out my gear and pack the things I was taking with me.


Continued in earlier submission “Balanced on the Precipice – Then surviving”.



Stickman's
thoughts:

While Thai women may have that ability to make a man feel like he is on top of the world, so the opposite can be true and they can turn his world upside down.