7 Years Of Madness
This is my story of the past 7 years. A lot of what happened is of a personal nature, but I share it with you and I hope you enjoy my story and you can laugh and cry with me as I did.
The start of my story is the background as to how I came to go to Thailand in the first place…
SPAIN…2 AM Xmas morning.
'I'm leaving you…I don't want you…the house …or any money '
That thunderbolt from my wife of 20 years was devastating. I was beside myself with grief.
So off she went…to live with Superman.
Anyway, after 3 weeks she came back, what did she want? You guessed it dear Stick reader – money!
We had money available after 10 successful years in Spain and before in the U.K. I said, 'Look! I will take care of Mike, our son then 13, our 2 girls being older and independent.
She said 'Fine! Give me 5k and you can have him.'
I replied that I didn't care about the money, I just wanted the best for Mike and not have some stranger (even if it was Superman) looking after my son.
OK she said, 'Make it 10 k and he's yours'.
'You ain't listening ..it's not about Money, It's about Mike.' I protested.
'F**k you' she screamed 'Then give me 20k'
So, I did, I gave her 20k in cash. I had bought my own son!
So, with the money she bought Superman a nice shiny new Ducati motorbike, matching helmet of course, oh and leathers…more about the bike later. So much for my hard earned 20k.
This incident rationalised my thinking despite being genuinely gutted at her leaving me.
So with the aid of a 'receptive' lawyer (6k in cash did the trick), I sold the house and pocketed the proceeds. I was so nervous at this time I didn't go out or see anyone for fear of letting slip what I was doing. I told no one. I did the dead on a Friday and the following Tuesday the ex went to our house and was she shocked to be greeted by the new owners. Only a bit!!! She was not happy – not happy at all – try furious, livid, murderous even! I got word that the ex, Superman and other large men were looking for me! Time to go Paul go. Run, Paul, run!
So I ran, but not to Thailand…not just yet.
Back in the UK I was found, but not by the ex or large men with hatchets…but by the Police. The Fraud squad. Somehow I had accidently forged my ex's signature on some withdrawal slips and taken all the money from her and our UK accounts.
Now it's time to run to Thailand. I figured that staying in Thailand was better than time inside a room with striped sunlight. And so began my Thai adventure.
Arriving at Don Muang at 4 PM with Mike on a Sunday afternoon was scary. Not knowing what to do and where to go. But, a few days later see us in Pattaya. Me, Mike and enough money to last a long time, or so I thought. I hadn't yet discovered the quaint ways that Thailand would lighten my wallet.
So, 2 months of happy days followed, me and Mike having fun – him scuba diving and me doing another kind of diving. Despite Mike having a great time he was missing his Spanish life, the life that he'd known since he was 3 years old. So I arranged for him to return to Spain with an open ticket so he could return if things didn't work out for him. I of course couldn't. No, I admit wouldn't go back. I was in paradise and no one was going to ruin that!
And then I met her. Apple. Having a quiet drink with Mark one Saturday afternoon she appeared at my side 'can I take care you'? she offered.
'Sure' I replied, picking my tongue up off the floor.
'How old are you'? I asked.
'23' she replied.
After 2 hours and a trip upstairs to view the mirror on the ceiling in room 1, I was in LOVE. Big time. We were together after that meeting for 11 months, just the 2 of us (or so I thought).
For the record, I had a great 11 months of my life with her – just when I needed it and I bear her no malice to this day.
A month or so after meeting the most stunning girl on the planet (honestly, men and women would stop and stare at us..ok ok at her). Anyway she announced that it was her birthday and she'd like a party. 'Sure' I replied, '24th birthday party, will be great'
'Actually Paul' she said. 'I will be 18!'
'She's how old'?? screamed Mark. 'What have you done'? 'Keep your mouth well and truly SHUT'.
A nervous few weeks passed and we had a party in the bar where she worked when I found her. Memories of those mirrors…Ahhh! So we settled down to life together, me and my newly legal girlfriend. Just the 2 of us (?). Only a 27 year age gap. What could go wrong?
Actually I was 9 years older than her mum. But still, happy days…happy mornings…happy afternoons and of course happy nights. I LOVE you, Apple.
3 or 4 months later, I bought a condo on Jomtien beach. Front line, great views, great condo. Really was lovely. I chose it on my own and only told Apple about it after I'd bought it. So I proudly announce…'baby, we're moving, I've bought a lovely condo for the 2 of us. I opened the door bursting with pride and showed her inside our magnificent new home.
'I want a house', she said.
And this from a girl who was living in a shit hole when I met her. In fact if she wanted to sit, the only seat was on the toilet and in her room the toilet walls didn't even reach the ceiling. Thai version of open plan I suppose.
Well, we moved in and life was pretty good. Well it would be, wouldn't it? Great place to live, living with Miss Thailand and nothing to do. All day…everyday…swim, tennis, squash, drink etc.
Sometimes Apple would go AWOL, not that often and not really for very long, and she always answered my calls.
'Where are you baby'? I asked.
'Paul. I'm with Ning, we go see old lady about future, see you soon, I'll bring food' she replied innocently.
One day we were in bed and Ning called Apple. Lots of screaming and excitement. Turned out that Apple had won the lottery. 50,000 baht. She'd chosen the numbers on the number plate of the motorbike we had rented, 6, 4 and 5. And she'd won.
'Great' she said 'Now I can go back to Udon for Songkran with big money.'
Songkran was only a couple of weeks away and I really thought this was going to happen, however a new Nokia, clothes, a tap-up from mum and there it was…gone.
So the day she's going back to Udon she asks me for 30,000 baht. I declined the offer, but gave her 5,000 and put her on the bus.
See you in 2 weeks, take care, have a good time..blah blah blah.
I later discovered that she's gone back to the bar I'd rescued her from, made some money, and went to Udon for the last couple of days of the two weeks.
One day after going with Ning to see about the future she returned with a really nice new watch for me. She said that she's saved the money for it from what I was giving her. I've still got it now, a nice memory of her. Of course the money didn't come from savings. I never thought it did, but what the hell.
After about 8 months of this paradise I was getting a bit restless and to be honest after buying the condo, a long time with no income my finances had taken a big hit. So I decided to get a job.
I enrolled on a TEFL course with my friend Mark. Nervously we attended the course but on the first day all doubts were swept aside when we learnt that our instructor was not even a native English speaker…but Dutch! When he asked us a question and asked us if we were understanding able, we knew we were home dry. After passing the course and the obligatory celebration we arranged a trip to Vientiane to get the right visa for our new careers. The Thai embassy was having a hate farang day and refused us, despite us having all the papers, so NO meant NO.
We returned to Thailand with only a tourist visa.
I combined the trip to Apple's village. I saw for myself how poor her family were, and the whole village for that matter. We dined on snake and rice, lubricated with Beer Chang. Must have been 25-30 people all gathered to look at Apple's Farang. Apple translated that one of the red toothed old women said that when we marry I will be expected to look after everyone there.
Early next morning with those words ringing in my ears…we left. How they had managed to produce such a jewel like Apple from such a shithole I'll never know. I bet they couldn't wait till she was 18 start sending money back. Ahhhh as we know, they couldn't and didn't!!!
Back in Pattaya it was job hunting time. Despite no visa. Mark and I informed Rung, who kindly took our money for the TEFL course, that we had no degree from our home country…or from anywhere.
'No ploblem' she replied, and she gave a telephone number.
So 3 days later, a German guy called Max presented us with our degrees outside 7/11 on Jomtien Beach. We presented him with 1,500 baht each.
Mark and I congratulated each other and decided a drink was in order to celebrate this occasion. I call Apple to tell her..'I'm with Ning we go…' yeah yeah, I know.
I had an interview at a well known international school and was offered a job, starting on September 1, which was 2 weeks away. Another celebration and another trip for Apple to presumably by now learn about the finer details of the future.
BRRR BRRR …BRR BRR..
I answered the phone to a hysterical No 2 daughter. 'Dad, Dad…Mike's been involved in a terrible accident, really serious'.
Details were sketchy, I had to do something. 'I'll go to Spain' I told Apple. She said 'Why go if he not dead?'
I told her I was going and she could stay here and sort her own f***ing future out.
I went to the travel agent and said I needed to get to Europe quickly.
'Solly Mister, all full' said the guy.
'But I haven't told you where I'm going yet ' I replied.
What a retard.
Finally I found a flight to Rome in 2 days time. I also sent my ex 2k by way of practical help, all I could think of at this time.
Next day I rang my daughter at the hospital in Spain…'Dad, Mike's come round he wants to talk to you'.
'Hi Mike, how you doing mate' I asked.
'Dad' he said 'Dad, I broke my leg in 3 places.
'Don't go them places' I offered by way of a feeble joke.
Well he was alive, talking, still with serious injuries…but ALIVE.
Well, I flew to Rome, then I bought a ticket to Madrid, then another flight to Alicante, then a mate took me the last leg.
The 30 odd hours I'd been travelling had seen a big improvement in Mike, so when I finally went to the hospital he was in good spirits.
So I did a few night stints at the hospital helping him, drink, scratch and pee.
It turned out that Mike had asked Superman for a pillion on the Ducati, (bought with my money, remember the 20k?). They had hit a van. So, my money that I'd given my ex in return for 'buying' my own son, had nearly killed him. Took me a while to get my head around that. Oh…How about Superman? I hear you ask.
Not much more I can do in Spain now, just a question of time for Mike to mend. So, I fly to the UK, a quick hello to mum and back to Thailand with the correct visa for teaching, thanks to the guy in the Thai Consulate in Birmingham.
So, on to my next adventure which was to be my teaching career.
To be continued…
Very nicely told. Am looking forward to reading the next part!