Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Living with a Thai Boy

O. survived a move with me, but 3 months after my ultimatum (this would be May of last year) he still showed no sign of getting a real job. He would hem and haw and mentioned that he was "taking care of his professor's dog," which really didn't sit up there on the top shelf of "Lame Excuses I Have Believed."

I was away for awhile on business. When I returned, O. was still the same. No money, but living expensively- how was he doing it?

In a taxi one afternoon I looked through his wallet out of curiosity, only to be surprised by the photo of another farang man- a bit older and larger than I am. O. blustered, then got defensive, then got angry. I refused to see him for a few days.

One day we went to check email together at an Internet cafe. I demanded to see his email suddenly. He seemed a bit apprehensive, for good reason: in his inbox was an email dated during my business trip:

"Dear O., I just wanted to thank you for a wonderful evening. I hope your hangover was not too bad. If you want to contact me after (date), please use (email address). Signed, (European Farang).

This also did not help. My suspicions were heightened to the point where I was looking for any way to get true information about O., so that I could make a well-justified decision about whether to stay with him or not. I knew that things were fishy as Heck, but I didn't like the thought of leaving him for the sake of suspicion only. And boy, did I get my chance.

It bears mentioning that all during this dodgy period, O. had been hinting that he would like me to help him financially (I had not been doing so) because if he ran out of money he might have to go back to Isaan. I kept asking when he was going to get a job.

Near the beginning of the new school year, O. claimed to have less than 5000B left to his name. It also happened that O. contracted a throat infection- a very, very bad throat infection. I nursed him for a day or two, and the infection got worse. I realized he really needed to see a doctor, but being a stubborn country lad he refused to go. Finally, after about 5 days of fevers and grouchiness, he admitted he was really sick. Just going to the road to catch a taxi for the hospital he threw up from the pain. I was exhausted from staying up looking after him and frightened about how sick he was, but glad to see him on the way to real medical care.

At that time, I had just gone through a very expensive month- I had moved and paid a big deposit on a new apartment, along with some other expenses- and my cash was low (actually, I probably only had 5-6000B in the bank, which I needed to last 8-9 days until the next payday). It occurred to me I would have to pay for O.'s hospital bills, and that I might even have to borrow money if he needed to stay for very long.

The hospital checked him in efficiently and quickly, and I was off to work. I called O.'s mobile a few times during the day but he didn't answer; probably he was asleep or heavily drugged.

When I returned home, I noticed the familiar bulge of O.'s wallet lying on his last pair of jeans on the floor- he hadn't used it or needed it since I had been taking care of him in his illness. Driven by some devil or angel, I opened it and found:

1. Pictures of 3 foreign men, including the one which I had previously seen.
2. Debit card receipts from the previous week in bars and restaurants totalling over 5000B in food and drink.
3. Records of appointments at a very expensive skincare spa
4. Phone numbers in other men's handwriting, including brief messages like "back on 3/5/05"
5. An ATM receipt from his bank account showing an outstanding balance of over 70,000B