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Pattaya Daily News

01 February 2008 :: 20:02:53 pm 6954

Two Thai Women: A Drama, Act 3

The wooden house shook at the banging of the door. Battered but relieved, Salee rose to her feet. Her face had a glint of a cynical beguiling smile. No more play-acting was required. Thus the sordid episode of her Bangkok life came to an end.
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Pattaya became her home. Once more the two women lived together. One possessed a keen instinct for survival; low cunning and a calculating ability while the other had desirable features and an enticing body. The latter had also learned how to fabricate her tales to arouse sympathy to milk more money from her clients. To some customers she had two children to keep in school, an ailing mother for whom she fended. Her folk often became ill, and there was an undying ambition to open a beauty parlour of her own.

To Horst, Salee wanted to run a restaurant in which he should invest. Her dramatic life and longing took on more vibrant colours and lurid details with Nipa’s dexterity and the progress Salee herself made in English. Each tale seemed real and fitted her like custom-made clothes. All she had to do was to adopt certain expressions to appear on her woeful face to suit the stories selected.

Meanwhile the mysteries surrounding foreigners became less, intriguing, and their physiognomy, which inspired anxiety at the beginning, had now been made familiar though very close contact. She was fasinated by the farangs’ rite of sunbathing. So she became involved in it ,rubbing sun-lotion on her temporary hosts, sensing also how such a simple act could increase intimacy.

As time went by, she could walk into first-class hotels in Pattaya, north, middle and south, to flaunt her shapely, bikini-clad body by the swimming pool of the hotel in which her man stayed.

It was all very well for the hotel staff members to pretend that they did not see her as long as the hotel guest paid an extra 500 baht a night to keep her in the hotel room. She should be proud to be a part of the attractions of which Pattaya could boast. Yes, she and thousands of women like her, were marvellously responsible for bringing in hundreds of thousands of tourists a year. And she was now enjoying a fair share of them.

For instance, Klaus kept her for several days and once took her with him to the coral islands on which he and she made a lurid performance for a friend of Klaus to make video recording and photography for which she was paid handsomely. Not only the amount of cash received, but Salee remembered well also the pleasurable boat ride, the lunch that the hotel provided in boxes, that Klaus’ face and body turned lobster red after only half a day in the sun, and she had rubbed so much sun-lotion into it.

Emil walked the length of Jomtian Beach with her. At one point he wanted to pull her into the water and make love to her in the sea. “For once, I want to do it in the Gulf of Siam,” said he. But she would not go into the water. “I’m not stupid,” she told him. “Only tourist who don’t know how polluted Pattaya Sea is, swim in it. All the untreated sewage from hotels and shop-houses goes into the sea, my dear. I won’t even dip my feet in it.” But then she yielded, hoping that the tip would be an extra large one. As a result he and s suffered badly from skin rash, and had to see a doctor at a hospital While there, they had to have their blood checked as well.

Derek stood out in her memories. Dilek, which she uttered if it was a Thai name (correctly pronounced ‘Direk’) would not demand a favour from her, not even once. He’s a ‘pudee ungit’ ( English gentleman), she recalled. All he wanted was to talk with her, asking her all sorts of questions, taking her photograph (which later appeared in a widely circulated British daily). “We talk, talk, talk, No do what men usually do. Talk cheap. Yes?” She had taunted him and wanted him to abuse her so as to earn her keep. There was a little money in talking. At best a meal in a side street eatery might be thrown in. Her Dilek was an unrequited desire, not so much for his body, mind you, but for his pale delicately clear skin and rosy cheeks, the doing of the peculiarity of the English climate. If only I had Dilek’s complexion!

Salee remembered well another longing of hers.

Nils was more or less like Horst but more gentle, and not much hair on the body, but what a body! The sheer size of his made her moan and groan, but Nils believed that she simulated to urge him on. Nevertheless, with him she had enjoyed good food and wines which she had begun to take delight at posh hotels and in pricey restaurants in and outside Pattaya.

Jonas was a queer fish, but she yielded all the same to his outlandish ways. For such weird performances, she made a killing according to her simple, rustic calculation.

And then Horst returned the following year. Salee was happy to be his woman for three weeks! During that time, no other’ could attract him, taking him away from her, no matter how cunning and good at languages they were.

No, Salee did not mind the contemptuous looks of the hotel guests and others. Fortunately she neither suffered from AIDS nor any contagious disease. She believed that she was quite clean for a woman of her class. But it was a sense of permanence that she dreaded. After twenty-one days with the same man who said he wanted to marry her and take her to Germany, she feared that certainty was threatening her. She could not laugh off the prospect.

Before leaving for Germany, Horst gave her considerable sum of money. Nipa demanded a fifty per cent cut and suggested that her niece should go over to the hotel and demand commission from the extra 500 baht a night Horst had paid for three weeks to have Salee up in the room.

“But that’s the commission the hotel made from us. It’s like pimping, you know. You can’t take commission from pimps,” young Salee tried to educate her avaricious, aging aunt. She also intended to stop walking the streets while waiting for Horst to come back and marry her.

Nipa had to laugh: “Just because you spent some weeks in a luxurious hotel, now you want to behave like a madam for the rest of your life!”

It bothered Salee to ascertain that Horst would actually take her to his country called‘Yeramun’, so far away from Nong Bua Village where she was born. It was transience with which she could cope. In her professional life, men came and went, and she moved on, work- 19 for the next meal, the next man, attaching no importance or value or sentiment to encounters. But then why did this big cuddly bear caIled Herr Horst want to marry her? Could it be love or just a fashion in Germany to have an oriental wife?

L-O-V-E, Salee saw the word being spelt out in her trouble mind.

But she felt something towards Horst. This something worried her. It could hardly be the money he gave her, could it? Was it then he way he gentlemanly treated her, behave decently towards her, love her even? She could dare the contemptuous glare from those who considered themselves more decent than she, when he was at her side.“This is a first class family hotel. You can’t allow this type among our children,” some wives complained to the hotel manager or they did not know that the hotel had already pocketed the extra 500 baht a night.

When Nipa’s fifty per cent share ran out, she pestered Salee more, and pressed her to return to the streets of Pattaya rather than waiting for Horst who might not return.

“He will,” Salee sounded confident. “Damn it!” Aunt Ni shouted. “Don’t talk to me about love an loyalty. We’re a free people. Thai means free. Free! Free! Free! You hear? Why should you be faithful and loyal to a farang. It is never one of us!”

Whenever Nipa wanted more money for gambling she staked household items. Salee tried to end this practice. As a result the two women argued heatedly. Their argument fumed into a fight eventually.

It was only then that Nipa discovered Salee’s strength and determination. Retreating to the far end of the corridor of the mean block of the high-rise hovel, Nipa screamed to air her pain: “I picked her up from the gutter, looked after her and cared for her like she was my own niece. How ungrateful can she be! Hear me well! She is an animal. She is vile and low and stupid at that. She is stupid enough to believe that a German wants to marry her just because he fed her for a few weeks. I tell you, it won’t come back to marry her. We’ll see who’ll be starving.”

Salee continued to wait for Horst. Her loyalty and faithfulness to him was measured by the length of time his money lasted. After it was all spent, she considered that she was free again.
Yes, Thai means free!!!

Reporter : Methawee   Photo : Internet   Category : Stories

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