Readers' Submissions

Out Of The Formicary (3) – Koy? Don’t Carp

  • Written by Markin
  • August 11th, 2014
  • 4 min read




This is essentially another ‘what I did on my holiday’ submission. My intention had been to submit once a week from Thailand. That did not happen. Each ‘episode’ was either fully written in the time period it is related to or written up from notes made in that period. To make full or any sense of the ‘episodes’ it is (I’m afraid) probably necessary to first read this.

On the 5th February I woke up. I always think this is a good thing.

Usual stuff – breakfast (which I consider to be good at the Nana, but then you’d expect that of the world’s premier hotel), then the pool. (My leg hurt – I think I’ve mentioned that before).

But then a SMS from Auy, “You have new lady.TELL ME.” What the f%*k!! Where did that come from? My reply was lengthy but essentially said, “F*$k off”.

Many SMS were exchanged. The last from Auy read, “See you tomorrow.”

Perhaps it is unfair but I see this exchange of SMS as quintessentially Thai. What runs through Thai woman’s head? Is it really as simple as: ‘family’, ‘baht’ and ‘jealousy’? (Not necessarily in that order). OK, I’d have to add suspicion, supervision and surveillance if the woman is married. Maybe this is horribly unfair but the SMS exchange had angered me.

Here I feel a summary of the year since Nang’s transition to that altered state is necessary.

The submission “Nanathana is Dead” (I say with shame that I’ve only just noticed that I mis-spelt her name. It is Nanthana!) is written as though I was there. This was lazy of me. In fact I had been in Thailand until shortly before Nanthana went into hospital. However, it felt as though I was there via daily SMS and ‘phone calls.

Towards ‘the end’ the pressure of trying to find £100 a week for dialysis was beginning to tell. I felt guilty – I could have re-mortgaged my flat but I didn’t. Instead I got drunk for a month and then felt guilty that the money I’d spent on whisky could have kept Nang alive for one more week. But the outcome was going to be inevitable almost no matter what I did.

The end came. Auy SMS, “Mum go today. I too sad.”

Later Auy sent an SMS to me, “Mum say you only have one mum but you always have Martin.”

I took this seriously (admittedly partly to assuage my feelings of guilt). I funded Esso’s, Nang’s son’s, education and provided financial and what can one say, emotional support for Auy. Many times she would SMS, “You same vather to me.” (OK I excuse her spelling).

Esso had a serious motor bike accident, with fears of brain damage. I funded his stay in hospital and mercifully he made a full recovery.

I felt Auy and I had grown close. A daughter? A girlfriend? A wife? It was confusing. But one of the reasons for my journey across most of the face of the globe had been simply to give her and Esso a holiday and she knew this. So where did the SMS, “You have new lady.TELL ME” come from. It truly angered me.

A thought ran through my head – ‘F%*k it I’m off for a f%*king drink’. Look, Londoners of certain class origin cannot help but to use the word f*%k. When together with my good, good friend Manny we form the ‘All England Swearing Team’. It’s OUR culture – get over it.

It was early afternoon and I left the comforting womb of the Mothership got to the Soi and turned right and walked. I walked past the bar where I had met Anna in 2008, I thought of her (that is another story that I may have time to tell) but my leg was hurting so I had to stop. Maybe the bar was called Henry’s I can’t remember – might have been called Alfonse’s for I know.

OK. A Singha and of course a lady – a waitress. Her name was Koy. She was easy company. In her early forties, very smart, good English, a good sense of humour and sadness and something that I found particularly attractive – the suspicion that she could at times be totally off her head, clinically, certifiably insane and probably violent. I truly wish that I could stop finding crazy women attractive but I just do.

But I had sensibly bought little money with me. So having said that I would for sure see Koy again I went back to the ‘safety’ (ha ha) of the Mothership.

I had the same non-poisonous meal as the night before. I really do not like Thai food (more of that later for sure). I turned on the TV and began to settle down for the night. But then I thought… “F%*k it. Why?”

I got up and returned to ‘the bar’ – now on a quest.

But Koy had gone her shift having finished. I could have become friends with Ploy, Soy or Moy but I didn’t want to.

I was not tempted to go to Nana Plaza or to ‘phone down to the bell-boy for a hooker or ‘something stronger.’ So, the TV and bed alone – just like London. But this is Bangkok so something will happen tomorrow.