My Story Part 1
I got the phone call on the Saturday. Jack has bailed out with family problems. Do you fancy coming to Thailand for 3 weeks?
Why not? My marriage had gone tits up and I was due a break. My other 3 mates were flying on the Monday but I couldn’t leave until the Tuesday. The arrangement was that they were going to meet me at Don Meuang 06.30 on the Wednesday.
Thinking back, what was the chances of them being there on time? First night in Bangkok, they're not going to surface until at least 09.00!
I hate flying and drank far too much to take away any anxieties I had. I arrived drunk and there was no welcoming committee so I was easy prey for a taxi tout. "Where you go sir?”
I’m waiting for friends but I cant find them and I must have had newbie written all over me. Within 15 minutes I’m in a taxi heading for Pattaya.
Half way through the journey I spot a 7 Eleven so water for the driver, 4 Leos for the newbie.
The kind taxi driver even booked me a hotel on the way, what a gent (f@#$ing newbies).
09.45 Soi 8 & Beech Road, check in, change money, shower, shit what about my mates in Bangkok? Not having a mobile with me, I started to panic but luckily I knew Mick's English number. Problem was, would he be daft enough to have it on? Luckily he did, but another newbie £750 bill when he got home! I finally get in contact and we meet up in Pattaya after a volley of abuse. They got to the airport just after 07.00.
Like most newbies, we did Pattaya for a few days then Phuket, Koh Samui and the other islands but to be truthful, I couldn’t wait to get back to Pattaya!
I won’t give you the gory details but a good time was had by all, so back to England and depression was an understatement!
Me and Mick would return to Pattaya every 6 months for the next 3 years but Pattaya had lost my interest. Lying in bed half way through my holiday my thoughts drifted and I realised I’m in a country full of history and stunning scenery and all I’ve seen is drunk farangs and a handful of bed partners. I want more!!
I woke the next day determined not to let this holiday be like the rest. I want to see the real Thailand.
So what do I do? Bugger breakfast go and have a beer, sitting in soi 7, mid-day having a coat hanger (Singha hard to swallow) and I get talking to a lady from a village near Manchakiri (Isaan). Her English was quite good and I told her that I was bored with Pattaya. From that moment Thailand had opened its door to me.
Nang was going home for a break and invited me to travel up north with her. I explained that she had only known me for an hour and she was inviting me to stay with her in the family home! You have a nice face and good eyes was the response.
Nang comes with me to the hotel where I pack, checkout and knock on Mick’s door to explain what was happening. I arranged to meet him in a few days.
So up to Soi Buakhao and stay the night in her room. Why couldn’t we stay in the hotel for 1 night? Too expensive was the answer!
After a few drinks in a bar close to her room we went back to her room and I asked about the barfine whilst she was away from the bar. She laughed and explained she was a freelancer. Happy days, no bar fine!
07.00 she's nudging me to get up and to my amazement I’m up and raring to go. Today I can get out of Pattaya!
Standing in the shower it dawned on me I’ve spent the night with Nang who is a very attractive 36-year old. I’m 42 at the time, not a bad looker and I’m in Pattaya and not a whiff of any sexual activity. How weird. So I’m packed and ready to go and she's packed everything except the bed. How the f$%^ can we get on a bus with all that!
We get outside onto the pavement and I’m ready for the slog up to the north east bus station on Sukhumvit and she stops, puts down her bags and pulls the cover off a brand new Toyota Hilux (farang peebar mak mak). Gob-smacked, we load up the truck and off we go.
After 20 minutes just leaving, head f%^& city she throws me the map and smiles. Manchakiri leow leow!
7 hours, 3 speeding fines, 8 Leos and pappaya pok pok and we arrive in Manchakiri. First impressions looks like a typical Thai market town. We park outside a hairdressers and she tells me we go and see Auntie. We walk in and I wai auntie and she seems to be very excited about seeing me. Then 2 young girls appear from the back of the shop giggling like mad.
We stay about an hour and after a few more Leos and references to me looking like Bruce Willis we're off again. Nang tells me we're about 20 km from her home so not too long (I need toilet badly and not of the watery kind).
We travel for about 30 minutes and now we are in the sticks pull up outside a house in the village and she explains this is 1 of her houses and she rents it to her brother and sister in law. Now I’m thinking this lady must have some serious sponsors. After meeting her brother and sister in law we make our way to Nang's house. All of a sudden we are out the village and in the middle of nowhere. Starting to panic a little we arrive at the house. Sorry, not a house, a mansion would be a better description! As we pull up, Nang's son and daughter are there to meet us. The daughter immediately gives me a beaming smile and asks Nang if I call him pappa? (In Thai translated to me later).
Part 2 to follow
Wow, looks like you met an interesting lady…