Readers' Submissions

Cracks in Paradise

  • Written by Ralph
  • June 28th, 2017
  • 5 min read


About 8 years since I found gold in the rubble.

Our relationship suffers from the time of course (7th year of marriage), some bad financial decisions and the inevitable clash of cultures (she is leu leu, I am sha sha).

But so far it’s still going good and my 2 little babies help us to be occupied.

Last month came the paper that would allow my lady to become German citizen. She has to give up her Laos passport.

The perfect reason to finally travel to her family and show the kids around. Pretty fast, too, because Emirates has very low fares now in the rain season and my baby boy will be 2 years in August, having to pay full price.

Traveling to Laos was on the night train, starting 8 PM in Bangkok. It used to be very convenient 8 years ago, but times change. They got shiny new wagons now with AC and a very nice shining light that for some odd reason cannot be switched off in the night.

So if you want to sleep, be sure to book the lower bed.

Visiting the family was nice but I really need to learn Thai at some point. I could not talk to anyone, except a cousin of my wife who is trying for a visa right now to meet her boyfriend in Spain.

She played all day with her selfie stick. I thought that kind of showing off was only hearsay. She even infected my wife; first thing she bought in Bangkok was that thing. Some more stuff to gather dust in the cellar.

The inevitable temple tour brought me to the great temple in Vientiane city.

If you visited a few Buddhist ceremonies you know they got rituals for good luck and such.

This temple had them all. In fact it was something of a circus. All the time it reminded me of Jesus visit to the great temple, where he cast out all shops and said: ‘My house will be called a house of prayer.’ But you are making it ‘a den of robbers.'”

Well, cannot do that with the family. And pointless in English anyway. Just smile along.

After Laos we went to Patong, to visit her mother in Phuket.

We got shelter in the Tiger Hotel, one of the best hotels I have been to in Patong – no idea why it only got 3 stars. Even got a Jacuzzi bathtub, which is less fun than it sounds like, if you got 2 sleeping kids in the next room that you don’t want to wake with noise. First time I tried it was amazing, because it was only half full and spurted jets of water all over the place.

Hint: Room 408 and the floor window beside got a pretty good free view on Tiger Muay Thai box ring in the next building. Drawback is the noise till 11 PM

Also nice: No-one tells you at 5 AM that he has the bigger god.

Speaking of it, on Saturday evening I saw a strange procession, 3 trucks driving along the beach, each carrying Muslim people. First 2 filled with men, the 3rd was full of women.

The men’s trucks were the common open ones you see everywhere, the lady’s truck looked more like a truck for cattle, the kind where you close the door from outside. I saw no locks, but it still looked weird. Maybe that’s just me.

With a suspicious wife and 2 kids it’s not easy to hit the bar scene, but I still had time to explore a little.

The prices here changed in the last 8 years. Sure, it does not help that the Euro is not 43, but just 38 baht now.

I went to Christine’s soapy (mostly because it’s famous and I have never been there) to learn that the service now costs 3,300 baht, is reduced to 1 hour 20 minutes and the ladies still appreciate tips. Pretty ladies from what I saw, but my visit was brief.

Went on to a massage parlor near Bangla Road and tried out an aloe vera massage on my sunburn. While massaging I overheard a discussion in the next room, the seducing masseuse offered body to body massage for just 1000 baht. The customer, who left his wife in Bangkok, offered 200 baht. I think it interesting, because the lady did not lower the offer at all, even though it went on for several minutes. They parted without anything happening. We talk about low season and low customers, mind you.

Shortly after my lady offered me special massage even though I thought I made it clear that I had no such need. She was honest enough to say it was about the money and even though she was not happy she still finished the massage. Later I asked what the prices are now and she said 1,000 for happy ending and 2,000 baht for blowjob.

I somewhat recall those prices for short time and longtime.

There is no point risking my marriage just to ask a bargirl about going rates now, but I assume they went up, too.

Actually all prices seem to be higher, except massage, which is unchanged.

I always thought I might buy some house near the beach, but then I always was here in the wintertime. Now in the Rain season it is unpretty hot and humid, even at the sea. I felt like in an egg-boiler all of the time. I am not a fan of air conditioners, but it’s virtually impossible to live without here. That all of the mosquitos waited for me to feast upon did not really help.

On the way to the airport we saw the new houses built for ridiculous prices, but in the middle of nowhere.

There are cracks in Paradise.

The dream has a new price tag and I don’t like the numbers on it.

Those numbers can be found at home. No point in flying around the world anymore.

The author cannot be contacted.