My Story Part 3
How can things progress? To be honest, that was the question going over in my head. I’ve had a nice few girls here in Blighty and the latest is a right filth bag (anything goes) so why do I feel the need to go to Thailand? Do I still feel I haven't seen real village life? Shut up baldy and get packing! Yes, you guessed it, I’m off again.
This time it's going to be different (yes, I can hear you laughing) but I was determined. Having been to Pattaya a few times now I see myself as a bit clued up when it comes to the ladies from the bars so I find my solace in a bar down soi 7, Beech Road end run by Charlie and Lek (no woman and good music). When you're tired out by Pattaya this is a great place to relax. I’m sure a few mongers know where I mean.
Red wine in hand and talking football (how sad) at last I really do feel relaxed.
15 minutes later Nang walks in with a suitor 30 years her senior. I don’t feel anything, no shame, no embarrassment but Nang was the opposite and hid away in the corner where hopefully she wouldn’t be seen. This man is giving your family the life of Riley that so many girls could only dream of and you want to hide him?!
I make my excuses and go. Nang's feeble attempts at trying to smile at me were embarrassing. I tell Lek and Charlie I will be back soon. I need a walk.
I walk up soi 7 and down soi 8 and I was seriously disillusioned. I can’t take anymore hansum man's and where you come from. I know it was my choice to come here, but only when you’re here do you realise how bad it really is. For me anyway. I don’t want to dissuade people from coming here.
I'm at wits' end, bored as fuck. I need someone to talk to, and not bar talk.
The second to last bar down soi 8 towards Beech Road and I need a drink. It doesn’t look too aggressive so I swerve in. At the time I’m lagered out so Vodka Cola, mak mak on the vodka. The staff consists of 4 very nice young girls, a katoey and a mediocre mamasan. It turns out she's not the mamasan but just filling in whilst the boss is away.
I sit at the bar and strike up a conservation with the mamasan / stand in cashier as it turns out. This will be pivotal in the next few years of my life.
We talk and talk and her English is great so I pay the barfine and we go on our merry way. This is not a sex story. She was very ordinary, in fact plain, but she could do more for me than a thousand bargirls.
Back in the hotel and we talk and talk all night. Her ex was a furniture exporter to Europe and normally stuffed with illegal substances. Again not my business.
So we're off again, this time to Khon Kaen and not by Hilux. This time we take the bus.
The village, read my village, I feel so at home here. 3 years I’ve been coming. I’m not called farang but Andy. My uncle calls out to me everyday when I’m passing, not farang but Andy. The local school kids all have time to speak with me. This isn’t false and this isn’t about money. This is children being children – they know I’m keeneow.
Not too long after I arrived back in England I get a call from a Thai number. Knowing that bar girls wouldn’t spend their hard earned cash calling a farang (plus I didn't give my number out) I answered. Hi Andy, you have a problem! Your girlfriend is in Khon Kaen hospital and she's not well.
Not being a worrier I telephoned her straight away without a phone card. This will be expensive. I would love to be a good writer to make you know how I felt. "I’ve got HIV and I’m no good."
What an answer!
Not knowing what to say I splutter some inane questions about her health. Fuck me, she’s just told you she’s got HIV! She's bad and I know this is not a game, so best foot forward and try and make a joke. I mention the time we were around the lake in Khon Kaen in a restaurant and eating pad Thai and I nearly choked on a peanut. She crocked a laugh and I knew this was serious. I told her I loved her and she meant everything to me. Please take care our daughter was her reply.
Fuck off. You're not dying. You want a bit of attention, that’s all.
I know life’s not meant to be easy but this was hard and to the next time where things will get easier.
So she really is HIV+ or she was playing a game? I guess she was playing a game but it's not really clear…