The Story Of a Girl and Her Girls — Interim Update

— Mostly Peaceful Good News…

Man Rule #1: Do. Not. Smile. #2: Do. Not. Tilt. Your. Head. These are inviolable and there are no exceptions or excuses, ever. Just don’t do it. She already has plenty of silly-giggly selfies with her girlfriends and gayfriends, and she doesn’t need another.

(Yes, she’s a mother of two daughters, aged 13 and 11.)

I’d hoped to have out Part 2 by now. Part 1 ended abruptly.

I found myself in a nice, loungy-like place with live music and I approached a young 20-something girl. Pretty hot. Vixen looking. Started talking and she was receptive, but communication was impossible. Almost no English. So I excused myself and walking back to my table…

“I speak English…”

I look over and down and without even thinking.

“One minute.”

[To be continued…]

We’re still on the road.

In Surin City, Surin Province. It’s a city I know well, having made the 90-minute drive from the homestead in Sisaket Province a hundred times if I drove it once. It’s big enough to have all the stores…especially home stores, and I’m talking places that Lowe’s has got nothing on…let alone Home Depot.

These are Super Centers in the true sense of the word…anything from a kitchen spatula to commercial-grade water pumps and air compressors.

Anyway, the last week is a blur. I headed out last Friday noon with a 30-minute ride to the Phuket bus terminal where I boarded a shared van for the 5-6 hr transport to Surat Thani City, the gateway to the popular islands of Koh Samui, Phangan, and Tao. But I was there to catch a flight to Bangkok the next morning.

Why not just take that 100-baht bus to Phuket airport and fly to BKK as I did about 4 times in 2022, and back again?

Because the prices are comparatively insane. One-way flights all year varied from 1400-1600 baht, 40-50 bucks. Now, with the influx of holiday tourists and tourism returning in general, it’s caught-pants-down time with available airplanes and routes in the aftermath of shut-everything-down Covidiocy.

Accordingly, nothing was going anywhere in Thailand from Phuket for under 6500 ($200, one way). Screw that noise and fuck you. I can work from anywhere…even in a van, bus, or airport terminal with my phone on hotspot (unlimited, reliable, and fast internet for 12 bucks per month).

I stayed the night in a popular 1-night-wait place called My Place. $6. No aircon—and the bathroom and shower are down the hall—but the ceiling fan was a high performance whop-whop and arguably, I slept even better than under an overly-dehumidifying A/C.

Caught a 45-minute bus ride to the airport for 3 dollars, for what was supposed to be a 1-hr flight leaving at 11.30 (am). After the 2-hr, $8 bus to Pattaya, I expected to be in the hotel by 15.00, maybe 16.00. Yui was scheduled to arrive coming from Buri Ram –> DMK –> Bus by about 20.00.

“This is the captain speaking,” in surprisingly clear English, “we have a minor mechanical problem and should be on our way in ten to fifteen minutes. Sorry for the inconvenience and thank you for choosing Vietjet Thailand.”

That came and went and in not much longer we got the word to deplane. It was only about noon by then, Yui wasn’t expected until 4-5 hours after me, so no worries.

Well…10 hours later they’d finally flown a tech down from Bangkok who had it fixed in very short order and we reboarded, got to BKK—too late for the busses—so it was a taxi. Knocked on the door of the hotel room at 01.30 for a nice reunion.

The thing is, though a 10-hr delay, it went by fast. In pretty short order I was chatting up some folks and hit it off great with one guy in particular, Rhun, a retired Dutch cop. Great conservative, fair-minded man around my age. A man who knows bullshit and lies when he hears them and has a sense of justice, what’s fucking right, and what’s all damn wrong.

The next day was devoted to the typical girl-obligations stuff that had me standing around like a damn cuckold…you know what I mean…but this seems unavoidable sometimes…where not a single clothing rack in a mall can forego a close examination.

I admit I’m very poor at this. I find it impossible to put on the happy face and tell the typical little lies. Sorta wish I could, because it’s no big deal in the overall give-&-take of stuff.

…Oh, wait…she needs “head speakers” for her phone, Thaiglish for ear buds…easy enough to figure out, in context. Requires a USB-C connection rather than the 3mm stereo plug.

On it, with enthusiasm. Sourced. $6. If I can deliver satisfaction for such a small price plus, find and shop an electronics store where I feel as though I’m amidst greatness, then that’s a mark in the plus column.

We were waiting for some things to fall into place before heading out. Originally, we were to be in Pattaya 2 nights. That turned into 4, in 3 separate hotels. Good thing I have a new packing method that makes it a 5-minute cinch.

60L for international, 30L for domestic

We have some business to settle in Surin. Nearest airport is Buri Ram, about an hour’s drive.

So, to get to Surin would be a bus to DMK from Pattaya, 1-hr flight to Buri Ram, another bus to Surin. So, why not just take 1 bus? And, it’s a nice bus, seats roughly equivalent to business class on an airplane.

It’s 400-sumthin’ km, but the bus stops at various company stations along the way to offload and onload. Departed Pattaya at 08.15, arrival Surin about 18.00. You could drive it direct in about 7-8 hours.

We’re in the very back of the bus and guess what?

There’s smoke in the coach.

Driver is alerted and stops. Checks stuff, apparently, then continues on.

More smoke.

Stops again; same drill.

He makes it down the grade from perhaps a few hundred meter range we’d traversed, so back on the flats.

Lots of smoke, and this time to the point where passengers got a bit panicky. Yea, the chick-unit too. We gathered our things and exited along with everyone else. Driver appears competent. Not unlikely a mechanic background. I look at the rear diesel engine compartment and the cause is obvious. A seal is broken, oil is leaking lightly, and it’s getting on hot shit like exhaust manifolds and piping.

The risk is that the seal breaks more in such a way, and the oil is pressurized in such a way, that it atomizes. Then you can have a fire and that’s not good, especially if it happens whilst moving.

So, we sit there, eventually getting word that they’re bringing an empty bus directly from Buri Ram. It’ll be 2 hours, we’re told.

OK, 3+ hours; check.

We’re stopped in front of a family’s home and mom is outside at the front sewing uniforms for the local school…bringing back memories. All public schools in Thailand are uniforms-required and there’s an old-fashioned distinct difference between girl’s uniforms and boy’s uniforms. It’s crazy! Dresses and trousers. Girls don’t get to pretend they’re boys and wear trousers; and boys don’t get to pretend they’re girls so they can take peeps in the toilet rooms.

I salute this traditional-values conservative Kingdom I now call home for preserving that which is sacred; and while there’s plenty of good old-fashioned sin and iniquity, those freedoms are properly relegated to the closet, where they belong.

Sewing lady clears off and wipes off the picnic table, bunches of us gather and mill around. Soon, locals show up from their cottage food-prep businesses and sell us food. I chose an excellent pad kra pao moo, a Thai comfort food most farang love. It’s spicy ground pork with chilis and Thai basil, served with steamed rice and typically, with a fried egg on top.

A lady senior citizen approaches to tell me that she had just returned from Indiana some days prior. She has family there and they have a Thai restaurant. She scanned through pics on her phone. Of course, food, food, and more food (including impressive king crab), all in a typical suburban house setting decorated to the hilt for Christmas. Yea, they’re Buddhists, but Thais generally love Christmas and more generally, they simply have and show deep respect for the sacred values held by others.

It’s like they’re everything great about conservatives, without the one-true-God bullshit that infests America and makes it stupid and stupider.

The bus shows up but because of the makeup of the passenger final destinations, the bus still must go the circuitous route and hit all the stations. We roll into Surin at 22.30, 4 1/2 hours late. A Tuk Tuk takes us to the hotel, waits while we check in and drop bags, then it’s off to a restaurant not far away.

Set me back $16 for everything, and that pot of sour soup was loaded with shrimp, squid, octopus, and whitefish.

Still a few things to arrange and then hopefully by tomorrow, we’ll be back to the homestead and I’ll get to see the girls for the first time in-person in too long.

And then I’ll finally have the time and attention to get Part 2 done.

Still to cover:

  • I Country Girl; Not Mean Stupid Girl
  • The Covid Disaster/Opportunity/Lemonade
  • The House Build
  • The Conflicts
  • The Move Away
  • Pattaya and Phuket
  • The Fund-Raising Debacle
  • The Team-Up With Sister, Nun
  • Alcohol Cessation and Its Effect
  • The Mess She Made and What I Did About It
  • The Things We Both Love
  • My Departure From Phuket…Tomorrow
  • Leaving America Behind

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