Village Visit with Gang
I had met Gangs parents before at the wedding but had never been to her house she had always used some excuse or other of why we could not visit, I found this rather strange, did she have a Thai husband or boyfriend ? this had certainly crossed my mind and I was determined to get to the bottom of it, as I have read so many stories of Thai girls fleecing unsuspecting foreigners. I knew one of her acquaintances who had met a Dutch guy, (Cloggy for the sake of this story) she was working in a bar at the time of meeting, they struck up a relationship and when it was time for the Cloggy to return home he promised her he would send her 20,000 baht (320 uk) a month so she could go home and wait for his return a few months later, this happens with many of the bar girls, they can have two or three guys sending them money on the promise they will go back to their village and await their return while continuing to work the bar, you can usually tell the ones when their phone rings they go dashing out the bar so their ’boyfriend’ doesn’t hear the music. This particular girl was so good at manipulating men she deserved a medal, she had convinced Cloggy that her ambition in life was to own a pig farm but she would never have that sort of money, when he spoke to her he was remarkably surprised in how much she did know about rearing pigs, she told him as it had always been her ambition she had studied and read all she could on the subject which impressed Cloggy no end. By the time his holiday was over and it was time to leave, he promised he would return in a few months and she could fly back down to Pattaya and they would be re-united.
True to his word, old clogs returned. In the meantime I had often seen this girl at the bank of a Monday morning depositing her weeks takings from going out with many more foreigners, or ’two week millionaires’ as they are known.
Whilst cloggy had been away he had spoken to her many times on the phone her always arranging the time of his calls as she would have to travel to the nearest town to get a reception (need I explain!!!!) during their conversations she had invariably brought up the topic of the pigs, old clogs thought he was on a winner here and came up with the bright idea of building a farm, he had come out with 2 million Baht (roughly £30,000) and they could buy some land and build one, she was over the moon “our own farm” she then said to him lets enjoy our two weeks together in Pattaya the when you have gone back, and I have gone ’home’ I will look for some land to build on.
After Clogs two weeks was up she waved him off at the airport and, he handed her a ticket for later on that day back to her village, her flight was a few hours later than his, so there she was waiting at the airport for the plane, not the one to her village but one arriving from Germany with another of her boyfriends, we will call him Herman for the stories sake, who was there for his annual three weeks and to see the girl of his dreams.
Once Herman had left she would have to start looking in earnest for some land to build the farm.
Now the reason for her knowledge of pigs is that her parents had owned a pig farm for many years (you know where this story is going now).
She phoned clogs and told him she had done better than he could ever have imagined, she had found a farm that was for sale, the price 2 million Baht he was over the moon their own little farm!! He wired the 2 million to her account, she would purchase the farm in her name as he trusted her 100% she went and supposedly did just that, but informed him that it was rather large and she could not manage it alone, would it be possible for her parents to stay with her and help out, what a wonderful idea thought Clogs, obviously her parents were aware of what she was up to and they played along with it.
She had arranged this without stepping one foot out of Pattaya.
Clogs now returns twice a year and stays on ’their’ pig farm even building a new property so he could be alone with his girl, she now spends 6 weeks a year at the farm with him the rest of the time she is back in the bar and £30,000 better off which I can assure you is an awful lot of money in Thailand. I’ve often wondered if this girl has shares in Manchester City!!
Anyway I digress; Gang and I booked tickets for Udon Thani and arrived there to be met by Lek (her brother) in a rented car. He took us to Gangs house and it was then I realised why she had not wanted me to see it, it was no more than breeze blocks with a tin roof no water supply and one solitary light bulb, the toilet being basically a hole in the ground. Inside the house was my old plastic garden furniture which I was about to throw out but Lek had it taken to Udon. Before this they had just sat on mats on the floor. I got the usual greeting hugs and kisses from her mum and Gran, which is unusual as Thais do not usually show their affection in public, I was then ushered in and sat on the garden furniture, I couldn’t get over how hot and humid it was, Gang had obviously been too embarrassed to show me where she lived.
I asked Lek to go and get a bottle and some mixers and ice also an electric fan.
I had a good look around the place it was shabby to say the least but was clean or as clean as you could get it. I noticed the three beds I had bought them, before that they had all slept on the floor and Gran was 92 and almost bent double from a lifetime of picking rice. The kitchen was outside and consisted of corrugated sheets with what I can only describe as a BBQ arrangement and a stack of wood next to it.
Lek arrived with this supplies and I poured myself a stiff one and started to assemble the fan. Job completed it was plugged in to the only socket and was soon roaring away, Gran was over the moon with this and perched herself right in front of it.
I sat back in my garden chair and took a long swig. All of a sudden I had this strange surreal feeling come over me, there I was in the middle of nowhere sitting on my garden chair, in a hut, surrounded by people who could not speak a word of English (except Gang) I thought to myself I wonder how many of the kids from the Grange County Comprehensive have experienced this!!!!.
The feeling quickly passed as the Johnny walker done its job.
I then decided to have a walk around the village. It was dark by now but still quite early. Mum grabbed my hand and we set off, we first came across a group of children playing, upon seeing me they shouted “Ferrang
Ferrang’’ this being Thai for Caucasian (or white man) some of the smaller ones hid behind trees, the older more inquisitive ones approached me laughing and smiling, one by one the smaller ones joined them. Even though these kids have nothing they never stop smiling or laughing, I took their photos there were howls of delight when I showed them the pictures on the camera we walked further into the village followed by the kids. We then came across a group of their parents , they were surprised to say the least at this Ferrang hand in hand with Gangs mum, I have managed to pick up a little Thai (no pun intended) so I introduced myself and said I was happy to meet them, they understood me, much to my surprise (I was more comfortable ordering drinks in Thai) they greeted me with a mixture of ’wai’s (traditional Thai greeting) and hand shakes, most of them had little or no English, one guy wearing the uniform of a security guard spoke a little, I presumed his job was security at some Farrang village and he had picked it up there.
After our little tour was over it was back to the house, only stopping to play with two small puppies in someone’s garden, they were very wary of me at first but soon came around and then they were all over me.
Back at the house the party was in full swing with Mum, Dad, Lek and Gung and his wife all getting stuck in, then some sticky rice appeared of which I was glad of, as it was a few hours since we had eaten. By about eleven we had finished and Lek drove us to the hotel where we eventually had the wedding reception for a good nights sleep.
I was glad I had gone to the village, it was quite an experience. I’m afraid I couldn’t have stayed over; it was just too hot to even contemplate.
I took a few photos of the house when I was there but putting them on the site would I think embarrass Gang, so I’ve chosen to leave them off.
My mind was more at ease now that there appeared to be no boyfriend, or husband, not that Gang has ever given me an impression there ever was..
I left Lek with enough money so he could buy Gran a reclining chair so she could at least get off the floor (if she ever moved from that fan) some money for him to take his girlfriend out, as all the money he earns goes to the family, and some money for mum and dad probably totaling £50, which is not a lot to us but that little can make their standard of living so much better.
Since we have been together Gang has never asked me for one thing, I promised myself when we got back to Pattaya I would send enough money to have their kitchen rebuilt and a ceiling put in the house with strip lights fitted which has now been done and cost me basically small change.
You hear so many stories of Ferrangs being ripped off by Thai girls, I suppose a lot of them ask for it, or are too stupid to look beyond the end of their noses, I’m sure there are a lot of bad Thai girls out there, and there are also a lot of good ones. If you are lucky enough to get one of these I can assure that you will be treated like a king.
With all this temptation around let’s hope I don’t turn into Henry the Eighth.