Around the end of April, perhaps early May, in 1998, I was staying with my wife at her mother’s house in Khon Kaen Province, while we were planning the building of our own house. I was awakened one morning to the news that there was another farang in the village, and he would come to visit me that afternoon. This meant that he would be coming to “talk English” with me. That’s how I met Olaaf. And this is his tale.
Olaaf is a Norwegian, but he is not enamoured with his country’s proximity to the polar regions. To put it simply, he hated the cold. Thus, on the recommendation of some of his friends, he had found his way to Pattaya.
Olaaf had a problem. He had been involved in an industrial accident, had suffered some brain damage, and came across as being simple. He spoke English as his second language from before the accident, but because of the brain damage, was unable to learn even the smallest phrase in Thai, except for one (later). Not a good situation for him! He was in receipt of a generous pension, so he did not have any difficulty financially.
Olaaf met one of the many ladies in Pattaya in a bar (he told me this himself) and decided that she was the one for him, so he moved her in with him. Right from the early days of the relationship, there were problems. Pet, Olaaf’s lady was an alcoholic, and the only Thai expression that he knew was “kii mou”, literally Shit-drunk.
She covered it well in the early days of the relationship, but as time passed, she started drinking whisky with breakfast, and was getting shit-faced twice a day. Olaaf persisted with the relationship, bless him. If I had been in his position, she would have been out the door on the street as soon as that started happening. Olaaf decided that it was time to do something about Pet’s drinking. He wanted to take her to Norway, and have an implant placed under her skin, an implant which would cause her body to react badly if she ingested any alcohol. I had heard of this sort of thing, but did not know whether it really existed, or if it did exist, whether it worked.
But Olaaf needed to get Pet a visa for Norway, so she needed a passport. To get the passport, she needed her ID card. This vital little item had been lost by Pet during one of her binges. And to get a new one, she needed to travel to her home Amphur and wait a few days. That is what brought me into contact with Olaaf and Pet.
And this is the point at which I commence the part of this story that I saw myself.
As an aside, I was the first farang who ever visited this village. I was invited to spend some time in the company of perhaps 30 or 40 of the villagers in one of the larger houses there – something like a low-key party, Thai-style. That was OK, everything appeared reasonable inside. I had been perched on a sort of a balcony which was also visible from the door. At one point, I noticed a number of juvenile faces in the doorway, and when I casually glanced out the front (over the balcony) there must have been 50 children looking at me. Talk about the “in the zoo” syndrome. But now, I am regarded as just another body, and another farang is no big deal.
When news of the arrival of Olaaf and Pet on the overnight bus spread through the village, my wife woke me to tell me of the new farang in town. Pet, one of the many cousins my wife has, soon arrived to check out the “other farang” (me).
First impressions count a bit, and the first impression that I had of Pet was not good. She was already intoxicated and obnoxious as well. The 12 YO girl (called “Tuck”) from the next house was standing near her. Tuck is a sweet child, and was at that time going through the early stages of puberty, including the growth of her breasts. I have little doubt that she was at least a little shy about this change to her body, but Pet was totally insensitive to this. As soon as Tuck made a comment, Pet tried to grab her goose-bump breasts. This did not amuse Tuck at all and she beat a hasty retreat with a frown on her face.
Pet talked further with my wife for perhaps as long as another 10 minutes then went to sleep on the floor. She did so in a most indecorous position, revealing that she had neither underwear nor pubic hair. My wife threw a towel over her and we left her there.
As for other details about her, Pet was about 35 YOA, had 2 children, and while her figure was reasonable, she was definitely showing signs of wear all over. I genuinely wondered what this new farang saw in her; there were plenty of better lookers in Pattaya whenever I was there.
Olaaf arrived a little after noon, and between us, we carried Pet off to her parent’s house so that she could sleep the whisky off, then we returned to my mother-in-law’s house to talk and share an icy-cold Beer Chang without Pet’s family expecting a share. He told me what I have keyed above, and a few other things. One thing that stuck out was that he had taken enough of Pet’s drunkenness, and if it did not stop soon, he would terminate the relationship.
Olaaf was perhaps 30 YOA, fair complexion and hair, stocky but not fat, and quite a presentable person. He was also very well spoken (did not swear). I rate him well.
Pet woke about 3 PM and came looking for Olaaf. She asked him for 200 Baht, but he refused, saying that she would only go and buy whisky. She then disappeared.
Olaaf and I talked some more then he returned to Pet’s family’s house.
The following morning, I saw Pet being taken along the road in the direction of the local temple. My wife filled me in on the events of the previous night, news which had found its way to the village grapevine.
It seems that Pet went around the village trying to get the money to buy a bottle of whisky, but was unable to get enough. She got an offer from some of the local pisspots who had their bottles and she joined them. At about 10 or 11 PM, she was deposited by 2 of these men at the foot of the stairs to her family home. While there was no proof, and nobody is telling, the belief is that when she passed out, these guys all had a bit of action with her.
Pet was so ill the next morning that her family decided to take her to the temple for the monk to get her to swear off the demon drink. She did not touch another drop for the rest of her stay in the village. Olaaf and I had another few days to talk, and then Pet’s new ID card was issued, and they were off to Pattaya again.
I heard a rumour a few months later that Pet had fallen off the wagon and gone on a serious binge, Olaaf decided to call it quits with her because she was always too drunk for enjoyable sex. I saw her once, again, a few months later, but only briefly. She was back in the village “to collect a few things”. It was mid-morning, and she was sober, so I have to wonder at the truth of the rumour. Olaaf was not with her because “he did not like the dust in the village very much”, but for that, I would read that he did not like Pet’s family persistently expecting him to provide them with luxuries. I never saw Olaaf again.
As I re-read the above, it started me thinking that there is no real “meat” to the story, nor is there any certainty about the outcome. I wish I knew what eventually happened to that couple. Perhaps I will never know.
I suppose that I could have spiced it up with a few fictions, never let the truth get in the way of a good story? But that’s not my style.
Is there a moral to the tale? You may read any moral conclusion you like into it.