Khon Kaen Travel Blog› entry 58 of 66 › view all entries
I stretched out and yawned as I looked over the terrace at the lawn browning in the morning sun. Another morning in Issan, my mind was like a muddy bog my shirtless back was sweating. The calls of birds filled the air but my mind was lost on other things. I was supposed to be taking time off to relax with my girlfriend but Sai had been acting weird these days. The other night she did her nut when I told her I wasn’t going to stay in Thailand. “You just don’t want to stick to anything. You got no sense of commitment, you’re afraid of it.” “Oh, that is so cliché. Give me a break” I wasn’t ready to stop here, there was just so much more in the world for a man with my vision. “You know, I’ve been hearing things about you” she looked suspiciously, “from my friends.” “So what? I don’t ask you about what you’re up to” unfortunately I’d picked up on some macho attitudes upcountry, “I don’t have time for these petty jealousies.” In the end she’d come around and we’d be happy for a time until something else came up.
I was standing there scratching myself and thinking how futile it all was when she came out from behind me and put her arms around me. Her head leaned softly against my shoulder as I tensed up straight and tried to act nonchalant. ‘Man, this isn’t going to easy to leave’ I thought.
I never thought much of Khon Kaen before it was always just a dusty ugly little city with lots of small brown people. But now everything took on a new look. Walking down the wet markets with her at my side all the stalls started to come to life. The pawnshops started to take on new glitter the townhouse facades a new shade of colour. The steep slants of the tin roofs and curved trellis works became more noticeable. The noise and bustle of schoolchildren and tuk-tuks zipping by added new life and vibrancy to my weary soul. I turned and looked at her, she smiled at my eyes. I took her hand led her away.
We stepped into a local hotel. There was a shifty old Caucasian man with a beard and pony tail lounging around the lobby. He was wearing a tropical shirt and eyed Sai as we walked past him to get the room key. The stairs, doors and walls were all dark hardwood.
Inside the room was an attached shower, a little girl with white teeth came to give me clean towels. It was a bit dodgy but exciting nonetheless. I pulled apart the blinds and looked out the dust-covered window as I unbuttoned my shirt. The shower was tepid and brackish but the linens were clean. The bed was creaked and the walls were thin and rattled. We were swept away in high passion…
When I awoke I lay for awhile gazing at her sleeping form. She was firm and sleek her black hair flowed over her dark skin. She slowly woke as I reached out and touched her.
Hanging on the song-teow on the road back I hardly noticed the heat and dust. I was in a blissful daze. She looked pleased enough to purr. As the sun set we sat in a gazebo jutting out over a small lake. Frogs peered out from between the lily pads making small ripples in the still surface. Apart from an old gardener we were alone in this private garden. I talked about wild things. About going out to live in the jungle or in a village in Cambodia. “We wouldn’t need walls. At night we’d just pull down the reed mats..”
The air was thick and balmy. The palms and fruit trees were heavy with fragrance. Everything was calling me to stay. She had love in her brown eyes desire on her moist lips. Right then to me she personified this magical land. Full of spice and passion, ripe with tropical appeal. I was in love with her. I was in love with Thailand.
“Stay… stay..” the whispers grew louder till they filled my ears. I could almost feel the crawling vines wrap their tendrils around me. My strength would be sapped from me. Pleasure and ease would creep on me like red ants bite me off piece by piece, pick me up and carry me away. All the while a smile would be on my face and dreams in my mind. This was a precarious position. I was getting this picture of myself lying on an air mattress floating downstream gazing at fleecy clouds all the while drifting to the point of no return. Besides this sense of foreboding it was all like a wonderful dream. If only this sweet syrupy daze would last longer.