I'd been to the land of smiles for me hols a couple of times before and I ab-so-lute-ly loved it!
It was such a refreshing contrast to Luton's daily drudge of work - the same old shops, pubs, bars and singles' clubs - to a thirty-something lady still in her prime.
The first time, I'd only stayed in Bangkok for a few days while I was couch-surfing my way around South East Asia. I visited and viewed the majestically mystically beautiful and fascinating Emerald Temple. Other than that, I disposed of my time in Big Bad Bangers, going on shopping sprees and gorging on great nosh - just as you're supposed to. There are a multitude of massive malls with first class department stores, not to mention mile upon mile of street market stalls infinite in their variety that a girl can just literally shop until she drops, exhausted and pacified.
You know the usual places, I browsed and bought everywhere from JJ Market (large outdoor market) to the Paragon (prestigious mall/department store). Thai cuisine is a wonderful neverendingly culinary delight. The street food is possibly the most delicious, and doubtlessly the most inexpensive.
Nevertheless, it just wasn't enough, the City of Angels is a such massive metropolis jungle with all its concrete and steel, hustle and bustle, varying tiers of society - I was so determined to come back someday and just immerse myself.
A couple of years later I'd stayed at a resort in Koh Samui for a calendar month - a beautiful island surrounded by a cyan sea in Southern Thailand. In Samui I just chilled, hung out with my newly acquired friends. If our gang managed to raise our heads early enough as in we didn't have any Thai talent in tow, we'd take a saunter to the local communal temple where we'd light joss sticks and pay our respects to the Lord Buddha. I couldn't describe the feeling of peace and wellbeing - we'd give food to the monks and be blessed by them. While we were there we'd pick up some of those multiple colored pieces of soft string and tie them around each other’s tanned wrists - it was just perfect.
On most sunny afternoons our gaggle of gals would crash on the sable soft sand soaking up the radiant rays, sampling the freshly caught cooked limitless supply of succulent seafood pushed by a continuous stream of vendors along the shore, just listening to the waves whispering, swathing and lisping against the beach. Sharing shit about girl stuff, slurping iced coconut juice through a straw from its shell, while getting perved at by ugly geriatric foreign sex tourists and being peered at by the attractive prime young local lads - pure paradise.
After dusk our troupe would head for a bar or a club, have a few refreshments, chat, groove, gel with the natives. Thai people are just so, so sociable. We couldn't go anywhere without being approached, not just by guys but also toms and oh yeah many of the Thais oscillate like a pendulum - so it's a real conundrum. Sometimes we'd all go skinny dipping in the sea after closing. I must say I did my fair share of experimentation that month. Well, I mean, some of the Thai girls have bodies to die for and I must say - all a girl's dreams can come true in tropical Thailand. I believe it’s just natural curiosity and having the opportunity to explore your own boundaries.
What about Thai guys? Yeah, what can I say - so dark with dazzlingly smiles tanned angular torsos and taught backsides. To be forthright I have to say they don't always measure up yet what they lack, they make up for in enthusiasm and they are completely comfortable with their sexuality - I came out in favor of men. All the same, I'm not a traditionalist - I definitely don't mingle to marry. Two lost and lonely people living together, all the same belonging apart, regretting that they'd ever met neither wanting nor needing the other - that won't be me!
So, on my return to the UK, having then worked hard plus saved even harder enough money from my salary - all in the last year. I was a manager for a Weatherspoon's pub, then quit with notice - I'm not that impulsive. I booked my flight besides a place on a TEFL course in Bangkok and here I am - cool for cats!
Doing my TEFL was glorious fun, I'll never forget it. (Teach English as a Foreign Language; a four-week course for would be teachers.) My fellow classmates were a great crowd who formed an aggregation of nationalities - one or two could hardly even speak English. We had so many laughs, rolling in late from the night before - somehow or other we all managed to pass. I'm still in touch with most of em through Line yet regrettably I'm the only one remaining in the capital. Which is a shame cause I could use the company, if only for a real night out.
Scribe and Speak, the TEFL personages got me a spot teaching at a secondary school in Hua Lampong, almost in the heart of the city. It's an all girls' school which is pleasant. I am not sure, if I'd be strict enough to teach boys. If the pooying (girls) are naughty, I'll offer them sweets as a bribe for them to behave. Red, orange, green, yellow - the peculiar thing is they always select the green ones.
I'm now in my fourth month and everything is going swimmingly. The students regularly tell me that they love me, “Miz. Leanne,” in deep rich broken English, “I luuv yoou!” Wears a bit thin after a while, in spite of that I'm sure they mean well as well as this the head of the English program Khun Kung a Thai teacher frequently tells me, 'You good teaching!' She's a well preserved fifty-something and has never been married. This seems to be commonplace here as if they were married to their careers.
I’ve been getting loads of attention from the male Thai teachers, shiploads more from the female ones. Probably insomuch as my hair which is naturally mousy - is peroxide blond at the moment. Moreover, my eyes that are normally a steely gray-blue, I have enhanced to vibrant sea blue with colored contacts. A veteran teacher gave me the heads up; the Thais just adore blue-eyed blonde-haired foreigners and he wasn't exaggerating. (I used to get my fair share of attention back home in the UK, in contrast to that farang (foreign) blokes don't even give me the time of day here.)
Haven't been going out as often as I'd have liked. 32,000 baht (about £750) a month doesn't roll very far. Yeah, street food is tasty and value for your baht, regardless of how you look at it - I would still kill for a tin of John West's kipper fillets. Alcohol is a genuine bargain, you can get well smashed for less than a fiver and traveling around is amazingly cheap - the buses are practically free.
The thing is with the expense of the visa runs (having to go to a bordering country every three months) and saving up for a flight home, while you've only got a nine-month contact. Whereas, the fact that your accommodation is only 6,000 baht per month as well as if you can get up early enough you can go on-foot-for-free to work - doesn't help much to hack it.
As a matter of fact, I have been seriously considering writing a novel based on my experiences in order to raise some real cash. I'm thinking of calling it, 'The Prime of Miss Leanne Brodie,' ha! Ha!
Nonetheless, managed to get out the other night, persuaded my miserable moo of a co-teacher to come out of hiding. Daisy, pale blue-eyes, a healthy complexion, light brown hair along with a nice trim body that's wasted on her. Formally of Fairfax Virginia, got wed when she was all of twenty-two to a fella she'd been seeing since high school. Lasted for just three years, the Virginian's got divorced and came straight out here.
Daisy usually lives via the internet; one those who reads and eagerly laps up the complete trash, the obscure theories. You know, the worlds actually square shaped; Prince Harry's wife Meghan Markle is a transgender great-grandchild of the late Duke and Duchess of Windsor and Quorn is made almost entirely of animal fats!
We took the MRT (subway) two stops to Silom Central department store, went directly to a Japanese chain restaurant - Yayoi. If you like to pay three times the usual amount for a basic chicken fillet, tasteless mushy boiled rice, a thankfully miniature bowl of watery pee soup and a half a handful of dry grated salad. All slightly moistened by a glass almost completely full of ice cubes with two tablespoons’ full of lemon tea - then this is the place for you!
Soon after, we returned to Hua Lampong via the underground, hailed a tuk-tuk (small three-wheeled Asian vehicle) to a cheesy Chinese bar, black lacquered panels, rouge red paper lanterns and golden tinged plastic dragons in China Town, a short distance from the school. Fairfax's finest has necked a mocktail, tossed a wet blanket over her shoulder and slouched off home alone - what a one knob wonder! By that time, I'd met this gorgeous Thai guy, Somchai, tall, dark and 27. A plainclothes police detective, never would've guessed - we've knocked back a bottle of Sang Som (Thai whiskey) between us, next he's taken me back to my flat on the rear of his huge jet-black chopper motorbike.
Alright, you've figured it but let me tell you no woman with a natural appetite could've resisted Somchai. Oh, my goodness! He rode me ragged - forwards - backwards, sideways, and believe you me he did measure up. Though like my auntie Suzy used to say, they always look bigger when they're coming at you. And ou! It sends shivers down my spine just thinking about what he didn't do - extremely attentive the Thai people - you have to luv em!
Unfortunately, Somchai is married, so he couldn't spend the whole night - brief but sweet!
Now, there's some kind of a problem at the school, can't think what. The Welsh gay guy Mark, the agent Scribe &Speaks coordinator is coming to have a chinwag with yours truly.
"Lee-anne," in an over pronounced Welsh accent.
Mark who's about forty, slim and average height, is looking immaculate as usual with his Truefitt and Hill trimmed silver gray barnet, silky pink long-sleeved open neck shirt, navy blue slacks, matching tobacco brown leather belt, loafers and watch strap. He has been waiting for me, while sitting central on the front edge of my desk in the back right-hand corner of our large old traditional style teachers' office, which is daily inhabited by sixteen teachers only two of whom are foreign.
"Hi, Mark." Standing in front of him, looking up, I'd just returned from teaching a lesson - now I felt like I was a student. "How's it going?" I asked in my charcoal gray sack dress, maroon Moroccan slippers with my hair up in a bun, having neglected to put on any underwear I also felt inadequate and underdressed.
"Could we go somewhere," pausing "outside the teachers' office," putting the fore finger of his left-hand to his philtrum for effect "the canteen perhaps?"
Mark was looking serious - 'Youu ser-i-ous!' The Thai people say - they don't like it and at this moment - neither did I. "Sure, the canteen sounds fine," pretending not to care.
Five minutes later, in the enormous outdoor eating area of the oblong shaped school canteen, with its eight small countered kitchens each sell their own specialty at the top far opposite end to the main access. It was empty now apart from the canteen staffs who were acting without any purpose or intention. Lazing, lying, littered around, snoozing, spread here and sprawled there, on benches, on the floor, on and under tables. It was the time between breakfast and dinner, we had sat down at the very first table we had come to which was vacant. Mark was sitting opposite me on the other side of a large nimbus patterned Formica surface with his back to the distant kitchens.
"So, Lee-anne. How do you like the school? "
"Yeah, triffic," just a formal visit as I thought "all the teachers are so friendly, and the kids love me," feeling relieved.
"Yesss, we've heard-you- sometimes-arrive-late."
He's probably just testing me.
"Well, no not really," on second thoughts "maybe just a little bit, swaying my head from side to side jovially "oc-cas-ion-ly."
"Mmm," scratching his head with the fingers of his left hand "we've heard you've been over 30 minutes late three times this month, not including today when-you-were at-least 45 minutes late."
Who the hell had told him that? Mark was looking at me now as if I were some sort of criminal.
"Also, you've managed to miss," raising his left eyebrow "four lessons," while looking at me and retaining the same expression.
So, what if I was and I did!
Explaining "I know, I fell asleep, I'd meant to wake up - there's such a long gap in between lessons." making an excuse in haste "Have you seen my schedule?"
"That isn't much of an excuse," Mark was looking unimpressed with an exaggerated down in the mouth expression.
I'll just agree and offer to apologize.
"Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha," laughing falsely and shaking my head like a nine-year-old girl, "I know - it won't happen again, I'll apologize to Khun Kung," compromising "she's my friend."
"Lee-anne, always remember that you're - never - in. When you're having lunch together in the canteen, you - aren't - in. When you're going for drinks together in the evening, you - aren't - in. Even when you're having sexual in-ter-course together in the toilets, you - still - aren't - in, because you - aren't - Thai - and when it hits the fan. They'll always back each other up to the hilt and back again - while taking the greatest of pleasure in giving you the cold shoulder. We've been asked," putting the bit between his teeth "to find-a re-plac-ment."
Mark had started out with dulcet tones and ended up speaking like a psychotic.
"What? I couldn't believe it "There must be some mistake, khun Kung, she told me again today." feeling physically sick 'You good teaching!' super optimistically "I'll talk to her, she's - my friend."
"We'd much rather you didn't," forcefully "there have been other complaints, if you must know." sadistically "Yes!" Metaphorically licking the tip of his pencil "Falling asleep at your desk and in the library, wearing tops that were to revealing - showing too much cleavage anddd visible tat-toos!" shaking his head in disbelief, "That will never do."
I was livid now, I just lost it.
"You must be fucking joking!" glaring "Those bastards all enjoyed having a good perv!" resentfully and ironically "Some of these bitches had never ever even seen a set of woman's tits before!"
"Chill-ax!" Mark's mouth agape - eyes agog "Leanne, that won't get you anywhere - we've had reports - of - your breath - smel-ling of al-co-hol," making the most of the moment.
My head was spinning, those two-faced lecherous lizards smiling in my face, while stabbing me in my back and just like none of them hadn't had the odd drink.
"Leanne," knowingly "you did have a certain reputation - when you did your TEFL - for your extracurricular activities," cryptically.
"I treat it like a holiday - I wasn't the only one - so what now? Breathlessly "I'm out of a job?" feeling sorry for myself.
"Not, ne-ces-sarily," tentatively "Khun Boom, (Scribe & Speaks CEO) she likes you," sincerely.
"Oh, yeah, I bet!" aggressively.
"No, Leanne," assuring "she's prepared to give you another chance, if you're prepared," optionally "to change your ways."
"What choice do I have?" sounding hard-done-by.
"That's our geneth," (Welsh for girl) patronizingly "we've a nice little school in mind, not far from here. . .