The Crazy Girl
My goal was to travel through Isaan, visiting the hometowns or at least the home provinces of several Isaan ladies I knew from the guesthouse where I'd been living in Phuket. The ladies weren't bargirls, but maids, cooks, and waitresses. Though they spoke Lao, they usually spoke Bangkok Thai with me when they could. We'd danced all night that New Year's, peeled garlic when they were working, and talked together for many hours. They'd shown me the sweetness, kindness, and friendliness of Isaan people who aren't involved in the bar scene. I needed a new visa soon, and figured a slow trip through Isaan and up into Laos was just the ticket.
By the time I hit Udon Thani, I'd been through Bangkok, Nakhon Ratchasima, Phimai, and Khon Kaen. It had been a fun trip. Flashpacking, I think they call it. I was traveling at a slightly higher level than backpackers and avoiding their hangouts. I'm too old, have too much money, and see no need to hit the backpacker trail. Nongkhai and then Laos and I'd be finished.
I don't remember the layout of Udon Thani that well. I remember that I passed a small bar area on the way to an ATM and that I was introduced to kanaa mu grop <stir fried kale with pork neck – Stick> when walking back from the ATM.
After lunch I took a long walk. I left the guesthouse, turned right, and walked to the outskirts of town and then headed back. The total distance out and back must have been ten kilometers or so.
As I neared my hotel, I was exhausted and dehydrated and stopped in a cafe to get some water. That's where I met her. God, she was gorgeous.
Slim, young to me, about 30, long black hair, huge eyes. The real deal. And she was friendly. Not Bangkok bargirl friendly, Isaan girl in her hometown friendly. Nice. Polite. She didn't touch me. She asked tons of questions because she said didn't meet many farang. We spoke Thai.
I stayed there for hours, until well after dark. I asked questions, too. She said her mother was from Udon Thani and her father was Lao. He'd been in the Royal Lao Army and escaped to Thailand. Her parents had been unable to conceive, so they'd gone to 'Pha That Luang' and she'd been conceived when they returned to Thailand. I mentioned that I was going to Laos. She wanted to go. I laughed and said that was unlikely. She asked why, and it was a good question. She claimed she'd never been to Laos and wanted to see the temple where her parents prayed to have her.
I was enchanted. Why not take a much younger, very beautiful woman to Laos with me? Her virtue was obviously negotiable or she would never have proposed going to Laos with a man she'd just met. I said let's go to dinner and talk about it and see how we get along. She could go to Laos if she wanted and we were happy together. I would pay for everything, but I would not pay her for her time. She agreed.
We went to a lovely lakeside restaurant and I learned that she liked shrimp. Loved shrimp. In the time we were together, she barely ate anything else. When it came time for me to go back to my guesthouse, she went with me.
The sex was spectacular. Not because of secrets of the orient, special skills or anything. She was like a woman released from prison. I was in very good shape, but she did her best to exhaust me. The compatibility issue was settled. We were going to Laos. While sex is a skill that can be learned, enthusiasm and passion go a long way. She had both.
The next morning we went to Nongkhai. She was a great companion. Sweet, kind, attentive. She taught me the trick of walking ahead of her and looking at an object in the market, and if I wanted it, picking it up and asking the price. I'd put it down and she would come along in a couple of minutes and buy it for fifty percent of the price I was quoted. Everything was perfect. I was falling in love.
Then we entered Laos. We went to Vientiane, and as a Thai with no passport, she was limited to a three day stay in Vientiane. Thank God! The girl who would do anything, walk anywhere, was sweet as could be, became a bitch. She wanted to see mountains. Now. She was angry at me that Vientiane had no mountains. She walked around with her jacket over her head to keep out the sun – she looked ridiculous and I was embarrassed. She was angry at my wandering around Vientiane. The lovely woman I'd met had become a crazy pain in the ass.
We were staying in an old, very famous hotel there, but nothing was good enough for her.
I could't understand. I was furious. This wonderful woman I'd met had gone bad as soon as we crossed the border. On her last full day in Vientiane we found a tuktuk to take us to That Luang and she was happy for a while. I took many pictures of her there. She loved it.
That evening was the final straw. We took the card from my camera to a photo shop to get her pictures printed and suddenly she could not distinguish between "They'll be ready at ten tomorrow morning' and 'They'll be ready at ten tomorrow night'. She was angry because she had to leave about noon the next day. I behaved well, but was losing it inside. How could a person who spoke Lao all their life not understand Lao? I took over negotiations with the girl at the photo shop and everything was okay. WTF? An American taking over negotiations in Lao from an Isaan person? Absolutely unheard of. The girl at the photo shop was shocked, but very polite. My Thai's not that good, my Lao even worse, but all we had to discuss was when and at what cost.
The next morning we got the photos and I put her on the bus to Udon Thani, but not before she'd managed to get in an argument with a vendor at the bus station over some imagined slight. After telling her how much I'd miss her, I got her away and breathed a huge sigh of relief. I spent the rest of the day touring Vientiane and that evening had a nice steak and a lovely bottle of Cotes du Rhone at a French restaurant near my hotel.
When I entered the hotel bar before returning to my room, the waiter who'd taken care of us on previous nights there asked where 'Madame' was. I assured him 'Madame' was not my wife, and he quickly fixed me up with an even younger (21) and even more beautiful Lao girl – she was stunning but boring. Being alone here is a matter of choice. The next morning I headed for Luang Phrabang. ALONE. It was my choice.
What happened with the crazy girl? I don't know. Perhaps it was some form of culture shock – she spoke Lao perfectly but couldn't read it so maybe that threw her. A couple of weeks after I returned to Thailand I got a message from her – it was meant for a German guy she was seeing. I laughed and deleted it.
Is there a moral? Yeah, maybe. Dump a girl whose behavior is erratic. I was lucky. She had to leave when she did, so I could act sad even though I was relieved. She knew I stayed somewhere in Phuket, but had no idea what beach. I could have fallen in love with this girl. In Thailand, she seemed to be everything I wanted. I was lucky because the stress of being in Laos showed the real person.
Maybe the other moral – even in Laos, there's always another one. I met a nice girl in Luang Phrabang…
A woman you have just met and who suggests you visit another country the very next day should be viewed with a degree of skepticism, surely? Of course the fantastic sex blinded you as it would have me.
While I'll be the first to admit it is never easy to cut loose a lady who is outstanding in bed, as soon as a woman goes crazy on me she gets her marching orders. Peace and tranquility is way more important to me than a good shag!