Pattaya, Thailand, Travelling – I’m Confused!
Travel, Travel, Travel
The great thing about travel, they tell me, is that you get new experiences, gain insights, forge ahead with your life whilst making fruity comparisons born out of changes of scene, that’s new geography, different life-styles, fresh people, tasty, foreign cuisineries. You’re on your toes, getting to speak a new language, getting to manoeuvre travel-systems, making good choices of where to put your weary head, how much to pay your friendly hostel-host. You’re to be seen on a beach strawing a fresh coconut, snapping a blue photo, avoiding the washed-up jellies. That sort of thing. That sort of depiction
SO, picture me riding back on the back of a mate’s motor and him telling me about a hostess bar out in Bang Saray where a girl he liked kept telling him she wasn’t a prostitute. He won’t go with easy ladies, but my point was she was probably not adverse to teaming up with a foreigner for financial gain. I got off that motor and started my car which I drove back to the dark side of Pattaya and when I turned it off, I heard the engine-water boiling. It’s now with my local mechanic.
Anything familiar about any of this? Is this the real McCoy and essence of travelling? Enlightening experiences? Or, merely, an expat writing about normal life, even normal confusion, independent of location, exotic or otherwise?
SO, I hit the town with another mate and we’re attacking leopards, it’s the courageous thing to do here in Pattaya. Attack leopards : Leo beers. Aforementioned mate has a long and troubled friendship with a Thai bargirl and he’s just returned from her family home near Chanthaburi where her Thai man still lives. My mate is telling me about the durian trees he bought her, how they bore fruit last year but her Thai man sold the lot
and gambled the money away. He tells me, too, he slept on her Thai man’s bed while the Thai guy was on the floor. Are you getting confused? Is travelling going to sort out these experiences or are we just in the dark middle of the human condition?
SO, I listen agog as he reminds me that Denmark is arriving in three weeks’ time and he doesn’t mind because the guy from Denmark gives her money and he tells me, indeed, the family home was built from the money Denmark donated.
“How long will Denmark be staying?”
“A few weeks.”
I am, of course, trying to get my head round all this. My mate shares his Thai woman with a Danish traveller who donates to build a house in rural Thailand where my mate’s lady has a live-in Thai lover, ex or otherwise, who nicks durian and sleeps on the floor while my English friend, down for a short visit, sleeps on the marital bed under the trusty mosquito-net?!
It’s all unusual, and tricky. There is light, though, at the end of the tunnel. Said mate is going there early summer next year to grab the durian before the Thai guy does.
I scratch my head. I’m lost. And you? So, despite the mind-boggling joys of travel, you can sometimes end up in as great a mess here as there. You can articulate your mess in wonky English while they articulate theirs in wonky Thai. No one will be any the wiser.
And that’s why attacking leopards is not a bad idea!