Stickman Readers' Submissions March 31st, 2016

Thailand Tragic

If I had read your weeklies before my first trip to Thailand I would have been better prepared (maybe).

I have gained some insight since discovering your website and it has helped me deal with the emotional breakdown after the most recent trip to Phuket. It was really the last straw after a long run of mishaps, bad decisions and general frivolity.

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I had lost my job and escaped to Cambodia with the intention of teaching English. I had two weeks in Phnom Penh and 2 weeks in Siem Reap and really enjoyed it. Met a Kiwi guy, early to mid-twenties teaching English in Phnom Penh (without a work permit). He described how easy it was and that I only had to walk around the area, present at the schools and ask for work. He said that if they liked the look of you, you could land a job easily. I was hung-over most days, spending my time at the riverside enjoying 50 cent Angkor, drowning my sorrows and decided I didn't have the courage and booked a minibus to Siem Reap.

Siem Reap helped me to relax and Angkor Wat was what I needed. I had spent most of my holidays in Bali up until then and it was great to see something really amazing, a genuine world wonder.

I returned home and had travel on my mind so went to visit a friend in London. I had returned from a month in London and a few days in Amsterdam still unemployed, depressed and not interested in working. I was financially f….. by then so I accessed the last of my savings and decided to blow it in Phuket.

I’ve read about the Thailand tragics in your weeklies. I was attempting to make an improvement in my shitty life, but as you say, Stick, if you have problems in your own country why will Thailand be any different? I won’t go in to the details of what was wrong at home but in the essence of honesty – it’s not good, bad enough to leave it out anyway. This submission will indicate the general theme/disorder. I thought it may be therapeutic to write about some of it.

Phuket Trip 1

I fell for the girl before I fell for Phuket. I only had eyes for her and it didn't bother me that we didn't see much of the island together on my first trip. I spent the entire 4 weeks walking from the soi to Bangla Road, about 300m, with the occasional dip in Patong Bay. We met in a bit of a hole in the wall bar, owned by a Frenchman. After some discussion about how much and how long, her tongue in my mouth and my knees going weak we staggered back to the hotel.

We were both a little worse for wear – she was struggling to pay rent and look after herself, was at the end of a break-up with the Thai boyfriend, who she was engaged to for a short time and she tattooed over the name of the farang boyfriend on her arm. Surviving on lady drinks and the occasional boom boom, it was low season and as is mentioned on your site, the glory days for the working girl are over. Alcoholism, a broken heart and what I’m assuming was a UTI made her a bit vulnerable and she stayed with me for a little over 3 weeks.

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She was an Isaan girl and hadn't gone to high school but had enough people skills to realise I wasn't the knight in shining armour. She was on a different wavelength to me to say the least, she knew that she was just experiencing a rough patch in her life and things would improve and I was an easy-going guy she could use for a few weeks to take a break. Endearing as I tried to be, I got the cold shoulder and my concerns were dismissed. She knew I was a rookie to Thailand and probably figured I wasn't much better off than her when I mentioned I was out of work.

I should mention my bright idea to dabble in some steroids since they were readily available – they made me anxious and didn’t have what I thought was an anabolic effect. I just felt sick. The anxiety made me whine about the state of my life and she told me I was like a ting tong katoey. That didn’t help obviously.

So we spent most of our time in the hotel and I found her on Facebook and Badoo after becoming a little frustrated with her being on her phone so much. Her Badoo profile said she liked guys that do Muay Thai and have a tattoo. At a bit over 5 feet, pretty, sweet, butter wouldn't melt, she knew what she liked and she did just that – what she liked. I later found out that the Thai boyfriend’s family owned a minimart and that she could’ve had a job with them but she said she hated the kup koon ka, sawadee ka all day long. Preferred a good rumpy pumpy and a quick buck instead. I sincerely hope she finds the right direction/man, whatever.

We both drank too much and I’m not a tidy drunk. I noticed her friend hold up 8 fingers early in the night so it wasn't counting drinks and realised I had 8 days left in Thailand, possibly a coincidence but I will never know. She was playing hostess but I think it was due to the lack of a better trick. I gave her about 12,000 baht over the 3 weeks but I felt that she was always distracted and thinking about well hung tattooed Muay Thai fighters. She had bought a fruit plate as an offering at the bar she frequents and held up a small banana and asked if I wanted it while she and her friends had a giggle at my expense, no doubt.

The last week I was there I gave her 5,000 baht. She told me she loved me and that's when things went downhill for me. I was happy with the situation, I wasn't necessarily on the radar for her, I wasn't a battleship she could sink put it that way, but that didn't bother me. The bit that bothered me was I was head over heels, completely smitten, but this was conveniently mitigated by her lack of serious regard for me. This changed with the I love you. At first I said please don't say that, but during the last few days she was much more affectionate and genuine, or so I thought.

We stayed in touch and I found myself constantly on Facebook feeling ill when men twice her age commented on a photo, "beautiful", "see you soon", etc. She liked a photo on Facebook which subsequently appeared on my news feed of a group of people, one which looked like her getting cosy with a fit, tattooed Frenchman in a bar. I asked her about it as I had told her I would only send her money if she stopped working (555 as the Thais do). It’s not easy for me to admit but I messaged this guy in the photo and asked him if he slept with her (Facebook can be an evil investigative tool). Yes, it was the beginning of the end for something that really never began (55). It definitely was the beginning of some self-reflection anyway.

Phuket Trip 2

I returned in 2 months. Her cousin owned a guesthouse and she got us a room with everything for 10,000 baht for the month, a cheap bike and great location. We swam in Karon Beach and a secluded bay accessed by a walking track north of Patong, travelled to big Buddha and hit the bar most days a little after midday. Everything was peachy but this was not her routine and we soon fell out of sync. I was going to the gym, something I haven't done in years, swimming and drinking in the afternoon and found myself having early nights. I would wake up to find her wide awake and on her phone, often looking pleased with herself. She had obviously got some interest on the dating site and was sharing her 22 private photos she had on her profile with tattooed Muay Thai fighters or the like.

She was unhappy after we had seen the sights and did the tourist thing. She was up all night and sleeping all day. I began to get frustrated with this and said to her that if she was unhappy then she should go. She was really shocked that I had said this and obviously thought I was oblivious about how she felt and what she was doing. She disregarded what I had said but was not impressed to say the least. She visited her cousin in the downstairs room and I’m sure was explaining my lack of manners. I went downstairs to find her and received a frosty reception from her with warm greetings from the cousin and his two friends. As she was talking to her cousin I discerned one word from their conversation that I understood, 'chuck wow' or choke the chicken in English. I am assuming that they were discussing what I was going to do after she had left. I have learnt through Stick’s weekly that Thais are easily slighted and that they often seek revenge, something I didn’t know back then. The reference to chuck wowing myself was surely related to the fact that I wouldn't be having any women in the room, except for her, for the duration of my stay.

She stayed but things didn't improve and the tables were well and truly turned. It was now me that was seen as unhappy and her being the one concerned. In hindsight she was right to turn it around and I should have gone along with the arrangement, even with the I love you's and 'you my boyfriend now’; it was still an arrangement with money involved.

With despondency in the air especially after confronting her about the dating site, I stopped going to the gym and took up bar hopping, alone. At one of the bars off the soi where I stayed the previous trip, I started browsing on YouTube without interrupting the song playing but had confused a fellow punter who obviously thought I was going to interrupt his jam. He was about six feet and the average fit Phuket naughty boy and was about two inches from my face not saying a word. I was unprepared and simply asked him what’s up? He didn't say anything but I could tell he was angry and I said you’re not happy with a bit of a quiver in my voice. He didn't say anything and I thought, well first in first served. I put him back in his seat, it wasn’t exactly a sucker punch with him being so intimidating but he didn’t see it coming. I was lucky that we were separated after that. I needed a drink and went back to Bangla Road after leaving the soi. One of the bargirls at the regular watering hole stuck out her tongue which I’m sure was an invite for a kiss, which we did. The Thai lady that ran the till, a friend of my sleeping beauty, gave a curt word to the dancing girl and she hopped back up on the bar. I made my way back to the room. How I operate a scooter so inebriated I am not sure but I do so at a slow speed if that helps anyone annoyed by drunken scootering.

My sleeping beauty had obviously received a report by the next day and promptly told me that I am like a dog when I’m drunk. I told her again that I knew she was unhappy staying with me and that she can go back to her room if she wanted to. She disregarded it again but told me she wanted to 'work!' She did some washing so I thought that was what she meant but I’m sure she was also referring to her mainstay. After constant phone buzzing I tapped the home button and the dating site had a few notifications on it. I was more jealous than I should have been; she was with me after all and wasn't going out. I told her she can go and meet these guys on her phone if that’s what she really wanted. She did go this time.

In hindsight this was where I realised I had a problem that I had no idea how to resolve. I was crushed when she left but the conundrum was that I knew she wasn't happy. There’s always new naughty boys arriving in Patong and my boom boom repertoire is not top class and she was always left a little uninspired.

I went to her regular bar that night and told her friend that she had left the guesthouse. She said that she would speak to her and we all met later that night at a club. I was drunk and untidy and wanted to leave so the three of us were walking to the bike when she decided I was too drunk and she wanted to stay, I asked her to come with me but she said no and that she was scared of me. She said, ‘You not see me for 2 days’, I said ok whatever and went back to the room. I downed a few Valium, thinking to myself, let her do what she wants and just go to sleep.

I was consumed with jealousy trying not to think about what she was up to. The Valium did not have the desired effect and I was on the bike and heading for the club. Playing it cool was completely overridden by 20mg of really good Valium and a gut full of beer, gin and whiskey. The club was closed so I went to her room and called out from downstairs because there is a security door with a code. There was no reply, so feeling a little crazy but more sad than anything, hating myself and really stoned I raced through Nanai and came off at speed, hitting a brick wall and coming to on my back in the middle of the road. I was dazed but picked up the bike which luckily bounced rather than crunched and it came off pretty well. I went to the room to get my phone, showered and changed and inspected my wounds. The scars still visible today. I messaged her without reply and included a chep or jep – Thai for ouch, I came off bike. I went to her room again and called out and her two roommates popped their heads over the balcony. She was there and came down and parked the bike for me and took me upstairs. The three girls cleaned my cuts with some sort of alcohol and fussed over me for a while. After I had a shot of Tequila and a cigarette I curled up with sleeping beauty on her sleeping mat which was really comfortable and what she had been sleeping on since leaving the Thai boyfriend's room. The other 2 girls were on the bed. I later found out that the break-up was due to her bringing a man back to the room when the Thai boyfriend was away. I felt for him, I really did. We were amicable for the rest of the time I was there and she came back to the guesthouse but I was still fully aware that I was not her number 1 and coming off the bike didn’t improve things. I mentioned that I wanted to stay another month and the response that I got was, ‘Oh I want to die!’ It was kick in the balls but the message was received.

All the travelling, drinking and emotions of the last 12 months caught up to me and I cried like a little girl while on the phone to my mom. I had moved back home after leaving my job, all of which she knew and am sure is a big turn-off for any woman. The relationship was a wreck and so was my life. The last night I was there we drank at her regular and I shouted the owner and the girls drinks. A bill of 5,000 baht which wasn’t appreciated by my sleeping beauty who wanted a new phone. We both drank too much and she was throwing up in the bin at the bar. Her friend told me to take her back to the guesthouse but I can be a fickle drunk and screwed up my nose. The owner’s husband took her back to her room where she recovered enough to message her friend who told me she was going to the guesthouse and wanted me to meet her there. She was worried that I would go with one of the other bar girls.

The next day it was an awkward lunch and a beer at the regular where she threw up in the bin again. It was an awkward goodbye but my feelings for her were still there 100% but so was the issue of knowing it wasn’t a relationship that I could afford to maintain. I couldn’t help her, I couldn’t help myself which made me intensely miserable.

I returned home and the realisation of a New Year and Christmas at home dawned on me and I couldn’t believe I wasn’t in Phuket. The guesthouse was empty and her cousin would have been pleased for me to pay another month. I messaged sleeping beauty who told me high season is too expensive and that I always have problems when I’m in Phuket and should stay home. I told her that I wanted to get away for new year and that if she didn’t want to see me I would go to Pattaya or Bali. She didn’t make up her mind for about a week when she said ok, come to Phuket. I had already bought the ticket to Bali and told her I couldn’t cancel it. I sent some money and said I would see her next year. She wasn’t happy when she realised I could find another girl in Bali and called me every morning at 5 AM after getting home drunk saying, ‘You stay with lady!’

I regrettably didn’t answer most of these calls and did meet a girl in Bali. She didn’t drink and was very family orientated. It was all very professional and she wasn’t looking for a relationship of any kind.

I really enjoyed the Thai girls company, which isn’t apparent in what I’ve written, but I was seriously in love and appreciated her wild personality and the fact that she gave me so much of her time. She was very attractive and I was kidding myself to think that I could have her all to myself. I questioned her about a new friend she had added on Facebook, a French guy with a profile photo of him outside a Muay Thai gym. She told me he was just a friend. I realised that it was only a matter of time before she found herself a serious, cashed up Phuket farang or Muay Thai sex machine. I got drunk one night and sent her a photo of the girl I met in Bali. It was a nasty thing to do and I can’t understand why I did it. The phone went relatively silent after that.

She went home for New Year to see the family and at first said she didn’t know when she would be back. I had told her that I bought a ticket to Phuket for the 7th, that I missed her and wasn’t interested in the Bali girl. She said don’t bother and that she wouldn’t be there. I bought a ticket to fly home and she messaged me and said that she would be back in Patong on the 7th, the same day I was supposed to arrive. The flight home wasn’t refundable.

She had spent all her baht on New Year celebrations and asked me for money which I didn’t have. She messaged me one night and sent me a photo of her at the bar. I asked what she was doing and she told me she was working. I chatted with her up until she said, ‘I go boom boom now’. I deserved that.

Phuket Trip 3

The lack of money, lack of discernible future, depression, too much drinking and an angry Thai girl was a recipe for disaster that came to fruition on my next trip to Phuket. I got a tax return and bought a ticket for the 20th. She had said that she didn’t want to see me and that her cousin had sold the guesthouse. I believed her because it was up for sale but had a drink with him when I got to Phuket and he told me he hadn’t sold it and wasn’t happy that she said that.

I asked her if we could just meet for a drink which she agreed. I got a hotel and messaged her when I got there and asked if she could help me find a cheap bike to rent, but she didn’t reply. I went to the watering hole and she turned up about an hour later, no doubt informed of my arrival. She refused to speak to me and played with the owner’s son. I tried to pay for her bill which she snatched away from me. I left in a huff but returned about 20 minutes later, there was a good looking Thai girl at the front of the bar who was really keen and grabbed my arm. She was attractive and I should have sat with her rather than go desperado pursuing someone that wasn’t interested. I kept walking and sat down. She was preparing to leave with a friend and I asked if she was going to talk to me or not. She was reluctant but said mani mani – c’mon in English. We went to a movie, played some pool waiting for it to start. I asked her to come back to the hotel and she said what for? I told her I missed her and she said you go back to the hotel and sleep. I was dosing off during the movie. She said that they were going to eat and as we walked out of Jungceylon shopping centre I was feeling unwelcome, waved goodbye and went back to bar. I was feeling lonely and gave it another go, messaged her and said come for a drink. She replied no and asked me to delete her. I told her friend who worked at the bar and she said that she would talk to her. I got a good night message that night when I was back at the hotel and being very drunk I replied with, ‘f..k I deleted you already’ (F..k is never a useful word in Thailand).

Woke up full of regret and went to the bar early that night. A burly, tattooed Aussie turned up at the bar and said to one of the girls that he was looking for his friend. (This is the part where my balls were removed and handed to me unceremoniously). She turned up and hugged the Aussie who looked like the 'roids were working for him, and didn’t speak to me. I was numb and like a stone on the bar stool. I watched as they moved to the front of the bar, 3 Thai girls and the tattooed Aussie. They drank, got merry and laughed. Why was I still there? A masochistic side to my personality was just beginning to really become apparent to me.

She sat next to him, tried on his hat and sunglasses, like she was trying to hide and hugged and kissed him. He kissed all the girls at the table so I didn’t know what to think. Yes, I was still there drinking alone. I asked her friend working at the bar if they were together and she said no. I approached the table and asked one of her friends if I could sit with them. She said ‘no better you sit over there’. As this was not a nice thing to do it would have been in my best interest to leave at that point. Thais believe in good manners and this was a real slap in the face. I returned to my seat, stayed at the bar but even more numb at this point. I couldn’t think, I couldn’t process what was happening and how fast it had happened. After a few more drinks I had an out of body experience and remember watching myself approach the table and ask the Aussie guy if he was interested in what was now my Thai ex-girlfriend from at least 24 hours ago. He said no, and I didn’t have time to say anything else. What I would have said I don’t know, the ex grabbed me by the shirt and pulled me away and the Aussie guy stood up and squared his shoulders. Her friend that worked at the bar got in between us and told me to go, which I did.

I walked down Bangla felling empty, shamed and untidy. Stopped at a bar and sat with three girls who were at first surprised, I must have more or less stormed in, in whatever state it was in and sat down. I got a whiskey and that’s all I can remember. I don’t remember going back to the hotel, I don’t remember how the three girls got there, the only bit I can remember was showering with these three girls in my hotel room. How did they get in? 1 guest policy for most hotels. I don’t know. I had 15,000 baht in my wallet to pay for the hotel because the reception said that it would be cheaper for me to pay with cash. I was intending to pay that night but things hadn’t gone to plan. I remember putting my wallet and pants in my bag and zipping it up, so at least it wasn’t easily accessible and I would surely notice the unzipping of my bag. I remember laying on the bed with two naked Thai girls and one other sitting in the chair by the vanity. But that’s it, I must have passed out. I woke to one fully dressed girl kneeling on the bed and she said to me, ‘now check your wallet’. It had 1,000 baht in it. She left before it fully sunk in and I was still out of it. The rest of the night is as bit of a blur but I do remember going back to Bangla. I can’t remember how I got there but I do remember going to the regular that was closed and walking back down Bangla. A Thai lady appeared out of a dark alley and said, I go with you, I said I don’t have any money to which she replied that’s ok you just buy me food tomorrow. I can’t remember what this Thai lady looked like only that she was a little round in the mid-section. We went back to hotel, how, I can’t recall. I’m sure nothing happed and I simply passed out again. I must not have been out long because I woke up in the same state and it was still dark.

I can’t really describe how I felt other than it feeling like I was dreaming. At no point was I lucid enough to consider that my drink may have been spiked. I found myself exiting the room leaving whoever it was in my bed and going downstairs. I remember sitting on the bike and standing it up. My discoordination somehow caused me to put my right foot on the foot rest while I used my left foot to kick up the stand. Obviously while stationary this meant that myself and the bike went over sideways. I was appalled and couldn’t reconcile how this had occurred, lying sideways in the parking area with the bike half on top of me, I remember someone saying, ‘Can I help’? I must have mumbled something, helped myself up and scootered off into the night. I found myself heading for her room and parked the bike outside. I went around the back of the building and realised that I could access the balcony. I braced myself before climbing up and distinctly remember asking myself if I was actually going to do this. The little devil that has been perched on my shoulder for most of my life had said, ‘yeh, f..k it, do it’. I obliged. I climbed up and over the balcony and knocked on the door. The light was switched on and her friend that worked at the bar was the only one there. I didn’t say much, was pissed at myself for doing something so stupid and apologised and left. Still dazed I went to the club she likes and it was closed.

I was a sad, lost and emotional ting tong or maniac, depends on your perspective and just wanted to see her and make everything alright. I went back to the room, committed a serious crime for the second time and climbed up and on to the balcony. She had left the door open and I asked if I could stay with her. We had spent some considerable time together on my last two trips and she wasn’t as frightened as you think she would have been. I’m not the most menacing of people and was obviously a mess that couldn’t help himself. I lay down and passed out.

I woke up with the ex sitting on the end of the bed. I looked around me, at first not knowing where I was and said, ‘oh f..k’. My eyes focused on her expression, which was unfortunately a combination of pity and anger, I would have preferred just anger. I said where did you go and she said, ‘I go boom boom’. I asked if it was with the Aussie guy from the bar and she said no and that he has a girlfriend. I took a piss and came out of the bathroom to see her holding the door open. I left without saying anything and went downstairs.

I’m sure anyone reading this can understand I was feeling just plain psychotic at this stage and in hindsight I really hope my drink was spiked and that I wasn’t 100% to blame for my actions. The three girls were working in a team and got me back to hotel quick, so the odds are it was spiked.

I went back to the hotel to find the Thai lady gone and my 1,000 baht. I got changed and the fog began to lift a little bit. After shooting off a few texts she blocked me from the chat apps we used.

I had 12 days left in Patong, I spent those remaining days crying, drinking and shagging anyone and everyone, sometimes not paying when I ran out of money. I saw her friend again at the bar and she said that the ex had left. She posted photos on her Facebook which looked like south Phuket or Phi Phi, I will never know.

I was lucky that family sent me money and I met a Thai girl that stayed with me for nothing. She did my laundry and bought some painkillers, coffee, fried chicken and sticky rice and iced tea when I couldn’t leave the hotel due to being generally deranged and full of shame and regret.

One site she didn’t block me from was the dating site and her profile pictures now include her in bed hugging the French Muay Thai guy from her Facebook.

Believe it or not, there is a lot that I left out.

I am medicated now and trying to recover. I’m not sure of what I can learn from this experience and after finishing this I realise that it’s something that happened in Thailand and I should leave it in Thailand, and not go over it again.

The end.

nana plaza