Friday, June 21, 2013

Trailing Spouse in the Gutter

You meet a lot of super characters in Bangkok. It is a magnet for the unreformed and a hub of the damned. Fugitives. Traffickers. Bigamists. Racketeers. Fraudsters. Nonces, clockwork junkies and old-fashioned drunks. The male trailing spouse had the privilege of slumming with the very worst that the city had to offer. 

"Can you help a fellow sexpat down on his luck?"

One case from the annals was "Sir" Bob Wilde.  The pot-bellied, curly-haired, beaten-up pensioner claimed to be an aristocrat, and boasted that he had won the Desert Storm Medal (for teaching English to the Royal Navy of Oman in 1991). Sir Bob's benders were the stuff of local legend. High on a mind numbing combination of drink, drugs and anti-depressants, he once pulled out two switchblades and stalked the Sukhumvit area demanding kinky sex in fluent Thai with an English accent.  Another occasion, he locked himself in the toilet of Taffy's Hairy Pie Club after refusing to pay the bill. The cops were called. Shouting profanities for all the world to hear, (once again, in fluent Thai with a posh English accent,) the fake aristocrat was led out of the seedy establishment in handcuffs. 


horrendous pub and knocking shop

Upon release from custody, he was reduced to sleeping in the streets. I once saw him in a safe patch of gutter, dozing off a session, clutching his few possessions in an old brown leather suitcase. It was quite something to see. An elderly chap from the homeland, now the unimagined inhabitant of a lesser world. The owner of a local restaurant took pity on the old bum, and let him sleep at the back of his kitchen.  


Typical Greek Heiress

 One night, a middle-aged Greek heiress was dining alone in the restaurant. Sir Bob put on a clean shirt, ran Brylcreem over his charms and got talking.  The shameless bounder went on to swindle her out of £1500 (which he used on "boozing and whoring").   



Dodgy local brew. Sponsors Everton

High strength Chang beer was the tipple of Sir Bob. During one session (on the Greek lady's bail out) the aging drunk told me a story about getting beaten up in a fight by a local American expat known as "The General".

CCTV of "The General" in Action

“I am only drunk 5% of the time. And everyone I meet starts at 100% and then goes down. Well, I called the man a liar. He had told me that he lost his leg in Vietnam. For some reason or other, he took umbrage at my challenge, got up from his chair and gave me four punches in the face, 1-2, 1-2. Fucking good punches. Fucking hard punches.  He wants to beat me up again. But I am an Englishman, I have no fear."


Sir Bob was in the bar with another expat, Scottish John, his riff raff drinking buddy. John had been thrashed to within an inch of his life by the retired American soldier. 

John gets a whupping from The General!!

"I was crying like an animal," said John, "I was begging and pleading for The General to stop. He taunted me between strokes, 'How's that feel, bitch?' It was like something out of Iraq and his walking stick was all bent out of shape."  


When you live in the gutter, you can end up seeing stars. Sir Bob got his rematch with The General. After buttering his liver with several pints, he challenged the peg-legged American and got a severe drubbing.



"His punches were much harder than last time. I should have known better. But I drink far too much and sometimes my mouth gets the better of me."


Sir Bob went back to live with his long suffering family in England.  They had him sectioned under the Mental Health Act but he escaped from Bedlam and soon returned to Bangkok


"Why would I want to die in England," he drunkenly slurred. "An NHS hospital is a miserable place from which to depart life. I'd rather go out in Thailand as a monarch of the bars. At least they know me round here. And they know how to treat me". 


If Sir Bob should die in Thailand, think only this of him; that there's some corner of a Bangkok gutter that is forever England! 


(Ed. Note: For more tales of expat street fights read this post).