Sunday, 29 April 2007

Cold shoulder

I cleared the air with farang J last night, the one who dragged my name into an argument with his Thai girlfriend, Isra.

With my help, he had discovered that a teenage girl she claimed was her niece was in fact her own daughter - a secret Isra has kept from him for two years.

I did not tell him directly, merely hinted at it. It fell to another foreign friend, farang M, to fill out the picture the next day.

Talking to Isra, farang J asked why, when he mentioned the girl who was supposedly the niece, I was reluctant to acknowledge her as such.

'Then, when I mentioned the episode to farang M, he went further and claimed the girl is actually your daughter,' he said. 'So which is it?'

Isra is angry with me, as she reckons I betrayed her. In truth, I didn't want to give away the secret, but nor could I play along with the lie.

When I met farang J at the shop last night, he admitted  he was silly to have mentioned my name (true), as I was barely involved in the deception or 'betrayal', and said sorry.

Plain-spoken farang M, the one who told him directly about the girl's parentage, was also there.

'Don't they think we talk to each other?' he asked, incredulously.

He found it hard to believe that Isra thought she could get away with her lie.

Last time farang J paid a visit from his native Britain a few months ago, he and Isra decided to get engaged, and visited the family home in Esan.

Farang J took the opportunity to ask Isra if she was keeping any secrets from him. She said she had no stories to tell, as she was hiding nothing.

The revelation that she was lying about the identity of her daughter has shattered his trust.

Farang J and Isra enjoy arguing, and using me as the go-between to relay messages. I have told them that I am sick of that, and they should look for their entertainment elsewhere.

Farang J, a builder, is here for four weeks. All they do is sleep, shop, and make love. I could think of better ways to spend a holiday, but then life as a single man in Britain must get lonely.

Isra wants to visit farang J in Britain, for her first trip overseas, for which she needs a visa. The embassy needs to see a bank statement showing that she has a regular income here - which, other than the money which  farang J sends her when he is overseas, she lacks.

She has asked her boyfriend to transfer a large sum of money into her account to help overcome that problem, but he has refused.

I have no idea what she thinks she will do in Britain for up to six months.

Farang J's job requires him to travel around the country. He would have to drag Isra around after him like a piece of luggage. That sounds about as much fun as his month-long stay over here.

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