A Philosopher In Pattaya!? The Devil You Know…
I go to sleep on the bed I’ve made for myself and I pretend it’s nice and comfy. I never dream of grumbling to my friends because that would mean some sharp and well-meaning comments coming my way. Have I learnt not to lose face like the Thais?
Only this morning I was assaulted by colonies of ants in the kitchen and when I turned the tap on, I realised my partner’s daughter had left a half-eaten meal in the sink. That’s calculated to get my goat. I fretted, chucked and mopped, then when the kitchen seemed less abnormal, I made myself a cup of tea, reflecting that my partner’s extreme cleanliness has been reacted to by her daughter’s extreme uncleanliness…but why has destiny given me this bed to lie on and why do I put up with it?
Years That Bring The Philosophic Mind
Wordsworth wrote about the years that bring the philosophic mind. Well, I’m not sure about that but one thing I know is that I don’t want to live lonely, and I’m not lonely with colonies of ants, half-eaten meals that get on my nerves, and a twenty-year-old single mum who doesn’t give a sod about a sod. What’s more, if I don’t want to live alone, I bloody well have to put up with it because the devil you know is better than the one you don’t. English proverbs have always saved the day but if you want it from the horse’s mouth – here it is.
Where would an old codger like me be without Alice, my partner’s granddaughter, who only yesterday was making me eat a stone I use to grind down my foot-corns, who only yesterday was trying to kiss me tenderly while floating in her inflatable ring in the off-colour waves of Ban Amphur, who only yesterday was charging after stray dogs with the intention of getting on their backs? Where indeed would I be without her?
Yes, the writer of “Collected Selected Words” which became “Sexy Thai Bar Girls And Me : Sex Adventures In Asia” which in turn became “Great Tits I’ve Known (And Other Species)”, the pretender-rake who throned it in the Pattaya bars, who surrounded himself with sensationally naked and semi-naked female beauties and called himself Reilly, hungered for genuine affection and real relationship. Can such a thing be and overcome me like a summer cloud without my special wonder*?
Nothing is realer than a colony of ants all over your bare feet at six a.m. Nothing is realer than half-chucked food. And nothing is realer than a single-mum and her two-year-old delight.
Ah, Pattaya! Pattaya! when will you stop surprising this ancient mariner?
*acknowledgements to Shakespeare