Readers' Submissions

Out Of The Formicary (5) – Alone Again Or

  • Written by Markin
  • August 29th, 2014
  • 6 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.

Forget it, Darwin. Forget it, Crick and Watson. You all must have got it wrong. Forget genetics.

How could Auy possibly be Nang’s daughter? Perhaps there had been a mix up in the maternity ward. So theories of genetics may still be salvaged – the dullest, most uninteresting, unknowledgeable and ungrateful couple in Thailand (who are also invested with a certain low financial cunning), must be sought out and DNA tests undertaken – it may show that these are Auy’s true parents. Fingers crossed Mr. Darwin and Mr. Crick and Mr. Watson.

Ok, I’m being horribly unfair. Why should Auy be like her mother? I’m not like my father after all (and certainly not as nice and good as my mum. Ahhh).

But I feel that in two days I had got to know the ‘essential’ Auy.

Nang often, often said, “Shy for what? Scared for what?” She lived by this. Auy? Her maxims seem to be, ‘shy of everything, scared of everything, buy me everything’. I know that which I prefer.

Anyway, onwards.

Later after Auy’s abrupt (but merciful) departure I was off to ‘Koy’s’ bar. She was there. We talked, I purchased drinks. But somehow, and I really do not understand how or why, I got ‘palmed off’ with another waitress – Pa. Why Koy did this I do not know. OK I’m not the hansum man that I once was (ha ha)…but still! Ok 500 baht bar-fine and 2,000 agreed. It’s only money.

Back to the Mothership, bed and a desultory coupling. As sad and nasty as it is, I really only want Nang! But I’ve been in Thailand 4 days – at least I have now avoided the ultimate humiliation that awaits all men who fail to ‘make out’ on their trip to Thailand of having their passport stamped ‘Irretrievable Loser’ on exiting the Kingdom.

Over the next few days we did…very little. Often Pa would disappear back to the bar. Why? Surely I had paid for her NOT to work at the bar!

Pa and I did sometimes attempt conversation. She was Cambodian, 42, had a hair salon in Phnom Penh (Oh yeah, I believe you!) but her hair was nice – dark red highlights, she has two children and has a room in Ekamai 30.

Look, there were horrible similarities here. Na(ng) and I had our home – ‘Family Ekamai’ – in Ekamai 30! The best times of my life were centred on our life there. Perhaps it was this and other chance connections: the similarities of names (Pa/Na) and age, 42 (Na’s age when I met her), and that Pa had two children, a boy and girl (same as Nang) that lead me (when sitting by the pool) to offering to bar-fine Pa and take her to Cha Am… for a month!

It has to be said that, ungenerously, I actually didn’t care who I was with because it wasn’t Nang.

I had gone into suspended animation in the Mothership and needed a jolt to get me out of it. Pa could provide that. I don’t like to travel alone in the howling void that is the ever expanding universe. I need company. I need to share the experience. Pa would do as well as anyone I thought (certainly not a good thought). As an aside, if you were god and had created a universe why would you make it ever expanding? Do you want it to be more and more difficult for meetings between the beings that you have created in various spiral arms of various galaxies? Bad god, not generous! I feel that the god has had a go at this, at a micro-level, in the howling voids of many cities (and for all I know rural areas) in Farangland. Spiteful god! Naughty god. Go you your room and stay there till you say sorry.

# Traveller’s Tip Number Five

I recommend Michel Houellebecq’s “Platform” as ‘holiday reading in Thailand as it is partly based there. Once described as, “Europe’s greatest living author” (by a friend of mine) he is now described by many as that French nutter that lives in Ireland. Be that as it may, “Platform” is worth a read. “Atomised” is better but not set in Thailand. Both books have lots of (intellectual) sex.

I made it clear that there would be no 2,000 baht a day for Pa and that for her it would be an all-expenses paid holiday (only). This in fact was a good deal. How many customers could 42-year old Pa expect in a month? She has no special attributes, other than her hair, her main topics of conversation are her hair-salon in Cambodia (yep right, OK I believe you) and the fact that she was fat (she was not fat). Also, although it was high-season there were few potential customers.

Pa agreed to the deal.

The next morning was spent phaffing around booking a taxi for the trip to Cha Am. Interestingly Pa wanted me to accept the first offer made – 3200 Baht. Is this another aspect of the ridiculous and dreaded face ‘thing’? By declining the offer is the individual showing that they have a small wallet and so lose face? (I know that Ant has pressured me, once in a store, into buying domestic appliances – “…no can’t leave must buy…”). The concept of ‘shopping around’’ seems absent. Anyway Pa was getting tired of it all after visiting the third cab firm. Back in the ‘Mothership’ while I phoned a couple more firms; Pa began shrilling about it all and that I was smoking. Yep, I AM A SMOKER. I know that it’s wrong and I fully deserve to be hauled over hot coals by a large team of irate raccoons. (Don’t ask why they might be irate – some questions are best left unasked). But there it is.

Pa knew of my dedication to the glorious habit before she signed up.

The guy who had bought me from the airport agreed to 1,800 baht for the trip. I’d saved 1,400 baht of my money. But why should Pa care? It was only after all my money!

Pa needed some stuff for the trip so we arranged to meet in Ekamai 30 that evening.

Pip Pip.

That’s not all folks – (sorry there is more along shortly).