Stickman Readers' Submissions April 18th, 2014

A Possibly Atypical Bangkok Bargirl – Part 7 – Takeaway?

That conversation with Thomas got me thinking. He says Nat is ripe to be taken away from the boyfriend if I want to go there. I have lunch a day later with my traveling buddy Jerry; Jerry has already heard all about Nat and he says hey
the boyfriend won’t be back for a few months, she’s looking for company and I could at least take her to a hotel. Who says I have to commit to her, she’ll still have the boyfriend. I am not that comfortable with this. It’s
clear the boyfriend has a lot invested in Nat. As I said before, he looked alright in the photos, not one of those dodgy characters in tank tops, tattoos and flip flops who give farangs such a bad name. Further, he went to the trouble of flying
Nat to his home which indicates his ability to get her a visitor visa. Not the easiest thing to do in many farang countries. I think I would like this fellow if I met him so I don’t really want to step on that. Especially when there are
so many other available girls.

One night I meet Thomas’ co-worker and friend George. George is also married. But it turns out he has a gik as well. A Thai version of close girlfriend with benefits for those not up on the Thai slang. Thomas managed another
getaway from Nong so he, George and I meet the gik and her friend at Q Bar. I don’t remember their names, but the gik’s friend takes a shine to me. A little while later I look over to find George and his gik making
out with each other. I am somewhat attracted to the gik’s friend, but I spend most of my time talking to Thomas. I don’t mind talking in front of the gik’s friend as it is clear she doesn’t understand
much English. On top of which, it’s quite loud in there. Thomas says if he wanted to cheat, he would have more opportunities than he knew what to do with. (Back story about that gik’s friend: that weekend she met another
fellow Thomas knew and promptly got him locked in to marriage. An avaricious one, as it happens. Good thing I didn’t pay her much attention. Better him than me. But I digress.)

Thomas has a son with Nong and he decided long ago that as long as he was getting some from her, he would not jeopardize his access to the boy. But he is okay with such conduct among other expats. Says if George gets caught, it’s
his business, I’ll cover him as much as I can then it’s up to him. An interesting look at cheating in Thailand. A few Tiger Woods jokes thrown in for good measure. No wonder Thomas says he prefers Hong Kong, Singapore and a few other
Asian cities to Bangkok as he feels it is generally easier to make expat friends in those cities and indeed his best expat friends are in those cities, not in Thailand. Another digression if I want to write about that…

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After many moments thinking about that photo, yes, you know … that photo I mentioned in the last part, I decide that Nat’s place is with him, not with me. She is much further along with him, she has been to his home and visited
his family. She liked his mother and got along well with her. I tell Thomas all that and more. Yet he thinks she will ditch it all for me. He has never met her yet his experience, my descriptions and the recent photos of the two of us in my
camera tell him this. But remember I was laid off months before and I am living off my savings. I could stay in Thailand, but I’d have to manufacture income somehow. Teaching English does not excite me at all, a very structured environment
at a point in my life when I am simply not into structured environments. Maybe I could get by as a private tutor, I am very strong on math as well as English, but it’s an uncertain living not to mention an uncertain visa status. In any
case, I must return to Farangland when this trip is done, no two ways about that. I am not exactly keen on trying for a fiancee visa. That would require a lot more time with her than I have available. With no job, this isn’t attractive.
At all.

In the meantime, it is the holiday season in Bangkok. Time for sanuk! Thomas, Nong, their son and I view the New Year’s Eve fireworks on the Chao Phraya after dinner at a very nice restaurant. It isn’t Hong Kong’s
Victoria Harbour on Chinese New Year’s Eve, but it isn’t bad. Then we go to Hua Hin for a few days of relaxation with quiet afternoons on the beach and great Thai dinners after dark with Beer Lao to chase them down. I have never
been to Hua Hin before, it is nice there so I make a note to return some day.

Nat and I are texting each other now and then. The phrases “I miss you” and “when you come back?” begin creeping into her messages. Thomas says what did I tell you. I have nothing to say but I feel drawn to Nat like
a moth to a flame. That thousand watt smile. So I text her back.

Fast forward a few days, we are back in Bangkok, we are in the throes of January. Thomas has gone back to work; he has some long hours and a business trip out of town so Nong has taken their son to visit her aunt and uncle outside of
Bangkok and will stay there a few days. Jerry has long since moved on. Maybe someday I will persuade him to tell his stories. George has taken his gik somewhere for a few days of non-stop bonking. So what does that mean, dear reader?
It means I’m on my own! Cool!

I’ve already scheduled my trip to Chiang Mai, I will fly in a few days and stay 10 days there. Jerry really liked this city a lot and has contemplated retirement there so I say let’s check it out. Maybe I will want to retire
there too. Maybe I will write about that side trip some day.

Two nights left in Bangkok. The first night was dinner with another friend of Thomas whom I had met at the expat Christmas party. Unfortunately, Rick is not very memorable, I am bored as he just wants to drone on about his job. Rick wants
to go bar hopping at Nana and Soi Cowboy. I pretend to have an upset stomach and take my leave. That night I call Nat and ask if I can visit her the next day. She says yes. Not just yes either, she wants me to stay for dinner which she will
cook for me. Nice!

This time she begins my visit with another close hug as soon as I step inside her apartment. I can’t help looking over her shoulder at the pictures on the wall. Yet I’m a little startled when I realize just how close she is
holding me. This is not a platonic shoulder-to-shoulder hug, this is closer to a full body hug. I am feeling the bulge in my boxers and I know she knows it.

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She makes me sit down at her computer and talks about some problem she is having with it. I am invited to have at it while she is making dinner so I do. What she wants is to get the sound card working again so she can play some songs
for me. Okay a geek like me should be able to get around the Windows Thai interface and get that sorted. Moments later, the card is working again and she starts playing her favorite songs. They sound like Thai pop to me but what do I know?
Isaan mor-lam? I have no idea. Dinner is minced pork with a fried egg over rice with som tam on the side, the spice having been toned down for my sake, oh thank goodness. And yes that famous Isaan hot fish sauce on the table. Homemade, of
course. Mmm, delicious! She can cook! I could get used to this. As I am a fair cook, I reckon I could teach her how to cook my kind of food.

Pipe down, Arthur, I tell myself, those are relationship thoughts…

To be continued …

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