Well, It Serves Them Right For Being My Friends



a meal goes slightly wrong

My Thai partner is having a field day today. She is not a bad person at all. Indeed, let me quickly say it is her goodness that has devastated the field, but she can’t help laughing, and today she is doing just that.

      All my friends are unable to leave their rooms – they’ve got diarrhea.

      She has explained how it happened. She got a Facebook recipe from her dear friend Nim in the Isaan. Ubon Ratchathani with Nim as the advertiser was sporting a new barbecue with grilled meats and colourful pieces of vegetables and because I had invited three friends to nosh, my partner decided to copy Nim’s Isaan success down here in Pattaya. And copy it she did, I suppose. We all sat down to bruschettas, then jacket potatoes with delicious spits of varied meats and those colourful vegetables, peppers they were, already mentioned. It seemed to go well and to go down well, and we all stuffed ourselves. Cheesecake followed, washed down by a spumante from bella italia, then espresso coffee.

      Now, let me tell you about my three friends. One is a sixty-five-year-old guy from the States, getting over an operation for stomach cancer and the formidable chemo- that followed. Another is a 68-year-old-white-haired Italian geezer by the name of Walter who has just about had his bellyful of Thai culture and that includes buffets and the rest. Then there was Costa at the meal, the hero of my novel “Collected Selected Words”, now newly minted and added to, sporting the hopefully more popular title “Sexy Thai Bar Girls And Me”.

Costa was sporting his geniality, and when he sports that, everyone is happy. It was my select committee of friends, and as I say we all ate heartily. (I should also mention Walter’s Thai partner Porn who couldn’t leave my Thai partner’s daughter’s little daughter alone but kept kissing the ten-month-old baby on the mouth. What ho!)

      About the middle of last night, that is 2 a.m., I came to understand that something was wrong. That “something” included stomach pains, a bit of indigestion, the angry coursing of winds where you don’t really want them, and two short, sharp visits. It is only in the last two hours (2 p.m. to 4 p.m.) that I have been utterly crestfallen in the loo. But there we are. Asian bacteria are formidable.

      As I write, my Thai partner laughs. She explains that barbecued meat is susceptible to problems, and she imagines my friends never wanting to put her through the preparation, cooking, serving, washing up and so on again. No one has phoned me so I can’t know if my feeling that we are all unable to leave our rooms is a correct feeling.

      I understand that diarrhea and other lavatorial matters are the staple diet of humour but I feel sensitive that my Thai lady laughs, tells me it serves me and my friends right, and generally celebrates our demise with a smile and chuckle and a “Hey, they won’t be coming round here again in a hurry!” smirk. All a bit too much I think you’ll agree. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to make it to the toilet. I shout, “There’s no paper left. Give me some paper! Please!” but she doesn’t seem able to hear me. I can’t for the life of me imagine why.

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