The Bank Of Farang

atmscreen.jpg A few weeks ago, a young lady of my acquaintance was banging on my apartment door here at Bad Boy Towers as if there were no tomorrow, having sent me a garbled message that she desperately needed money to pay the bills of a dead relative. Whatever.

I don’t mind helping the girls out from time to time, but I’m also mindful that if I always say yes, I’ll never get rid of them. I’d helped this particular young lady out a couple of times already in previous weeks, so I decided that this time she could find it elsewhere. She’s hardly short of options in this city, and I didn’t want her to think of me as the “soft touch”.

The Withdrawal

As she banged away on my apartment door, I merrily pretended to be out. An hour later though, a glimpse through the peephole confirmed that she was still camped outside the door. This was becoming a problem.

After a hushed exchanges of text messages with a kindly neighbour, he valiantly came to my rescue and “just happened to be passing” when he tripped over her in the hallway and informed her that I was definitely not in, and wouldn’t be back anytime soon.

Unfortunately, he’s a little softer than I am, and after listening to her tale of woe (and her insistence that she was quite happy to sit there for ten hours waiting for me to return), tossed her a couple of thousand baht in pity. She promised through tearfully grateful eyes that she’d definitely return it tomorrow. Or possibly the day after. Weeks passed…

The Refund

Said valiant neighbour was by this time over in Old Europe, the poor sod, but our damsel in distress got back in touch nonetheless. Desperate to repay his generosity, she asked whether she could come over and give me the two thousand baht, so that I could pass it (and her eternal gratitude) onto him. Naturally, I agreed.

An hour or so later, she pitched up on the mat and told me just how grateful she was to my pal. Turned out her grandmother had died, and she’d been stuck for money to pay to take the body out of the hospital. But in a karmic twist of fate (aren’t they all?), it turns out that dead granny had left my petite shag-monkey three hundred thousand baht in the will. Result.

It had been a long journey from outer Bangkok in heavy traffic, so delightful nouveau-riche girly wanted to crash out for a bit with a drink and a cigarette before she popped down to the ATM to get the money with which to refund my pal. I poured her a coke and chucked her a packet of cigarettes. No problem.

Then she decided she was kind of hungry too. But she’d go to the ATM soon. No problem – one bowl of MSG-addled noodle-shaped matter coming up.

She greedily slurped away the last of the meal, and theatrically moaned in gratitude. Now she was horny, she said. Could we just have sex, and then she’d go to the ATM?

Sure.

One damp patch later, she was just about ready to return the loan. In fact, she said that since she’d drunk all the Coke, eaten the last of the noodles and smoked most of my cigarettes, she’d pick up replacements at the 7-11 when she went to the ATM.

But before she went, could she possibly borrow some small change to make a quick phone call?

Sure.

So off she went, a bottle of coke and a bowl of noodles heavier, a shag more satisfied and a packet of cigarettes more cancerous. And about twenty baht richer.

She’d return in ten minutes, she promised – with the two thousand baht, a packet of cigarettes, a bottle of Coke and a bag of noodles.

That was last Tuesday.

Obviously the bottle of coke, the packet of noodles, the packet of cigarettes and 20 baht add up to well under 200 baht, which would normally be a great price for what was a great shag.

But since I was expecting it to be free, I can’t help but feel ripped off. Not as much as my charitable neighbour was, obviously, but it’s all about me at the end of the day. It’s a hard life…