Living The Dream, страница 1
Table of Contents
Also by the Author
Chapter 1: Arriving in Thailand
Chapter 2: The Sloan Square Bar
Chapter 3.: So this is Pattaya!
Chapter 4: There is a Rhythm to the City
Chapter 5: That’s a Date
Chapter 6: The Radio DJ
Chapter 7: Just another day in Thailand
Chapter 8: Living the Dream, a routine!
Chapter 9: Golf Trip To Khanchanaburi
Chapter 10: One of the Boys
Chapter 11: What’s love got to do with it!
Chapter 12: A weekend away in Paradise
Chapter 13: One More Day in Paradise!
Chapter 14: There is Nothing Like a Good Night Out!
Chapter 15: The Truth is Out
Chapter 16: A High Society Double Wedding
Chapter 17: Some years are better than others!
About the Author
Living The Dream
1st edition 2015
Text by Guy Lilburne
Print ISBN 978-1-63323-358-4
Published by www.booksmango.com
E-mail: [email protected]
Text & cover page Copyright© Guy Lilburne
Cover photograph & design by Guy Lilburne
Edited by Burnie Sinclair
Front and back cover photographs by Alain Muhlemann @Stills from motion
Front cover models: Jules Lee, Burnie Sinclair, Gerry Davis, John Farmer, Johnny Diamond and Patrick Murray.
Back cover models: Jules Lee, Burnie Sinclair, Gerry Davis, John Farmer, Johnny Diamond, Patrick Murray, Miss Apple, Miss Tuk, Miss Kung and Becca Harrop.
This book is a work of fiction. The characters, incidents and dialogue are entirely drawn from the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual events or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
No part of this book may be reproduced, copied, stored or transmitted in any form without prior written permission from the publisher.
This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. It may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you are reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author, editors, researchers, copyright holder, publisher and contributors.
I love Thailand. I always have. The country, the people and the ex-pats who live here. They inspire and motivate me. I like to sit in the bars and cafes around Pattaya and watch the world go by. That is when I had the idea to write ‘Living the Dream’. It has been an emotional roller coaster. I have laughed and I have cried. I have met some amazing people and listened to their stories. I have loved every minute of the journey.
As always I would like to thank my editor Burnie Sinclair and my good friend Jules Lee for proof reading and everything else that he helps me out with. I’d also like to thank Keith Callaghan for proof reading and let the world know that he has to take credit for the ‘Testicular cancer’ line in the book.
I’d like to thank the photographer and models for the cover. Again a ‘Big Thank You’ to Jules for the use of his bar.
Thanks to Gerry Davis who was my special advisor on the character of Terry Davis and all things ‘Cockney’. To John Farmer who was my technical advisor on shouting out swear words. To my good friend Les who may or may not have been in the SAS and inspired the character Gary Sloan. To DJ Johnny Diamond who inspired the character Simon Smith and to all the Thais and ex-pats who made this book possible. The biggest ‘Thank You’ is for you, the people who read my books. You make it all worthwhile.
Dedicated to my beautiful children, Sasha and Jack. I will love you always.
Also by the Author
The Thai Dragon.
My Thai Story.
The Kiss of the Dragon.
Cocktails & Dreams.
The Flower Girl.
Graham, Just one shade!
My Thai Story II
‘Death in Pattaya’ The new Danny O’Brien murder story.
‘Loving Life’ Gary Sloan and the boys take over a resort business.
Chapter 1: Arriving in Thailand
Simon Smith had left England almost 20 hours earlier. When the Etihad Airways 747 touched down in Bangkok’s Survarnabumi Airport he glanced at his watch. It showed the time was 02:30am, but that was only because he hadn’t put his watch forward to cover the six hour time difference. He was tired, he needed a shave and he discreetly sniffed at his underarms. That confirmed he also smelled a bit, but he didn’t think he smelt too bad. He looked out of the window next to him as the aircraft taxied to a halt and various announcements were made to people making connecting flights. Simon was 47 years old. He was an out of work actor and it was his first time in Thailand. In the pocket of his cream coloured corduroy jacket he had his passport, a work visa and the documentation to prove he had a job at Pattaya’s 205FM Radio. He was about to start a new life in the ‘Land of Smiles’. He looked like an actor, even though it had been nearly a year since he last worked. His hair was long and blonde and tied in a ponytail at the back. He was wearing a white shirt open at the collar, with white slacks and shoes. He was tanned and good looking and in good shape for his age. He had the quiet confidence of a man who had made good money over the years from many modelling assignments, but his dream of becoming a famous actor was still an ongoing struggle. He didn’t scramble for his bag from the overhead locker like everyone else when the plane finally came to a stop. He was too cool to do that! He was the last person to leave the aircraft and he nodded and smiled warmly to the flight attendants as he exited and made his way to immigration and then baggage reclaim. It was bright and sunny outside, but the air conditioning kept the airport building cool. As he waited in line at immigration he adjusted his watch to the correct Thailand time. He expected some questions from immigration officials when it was his turn to stand at one of the many counters and look into the tiny camera held on the flexible coiled steel arm, but the pretty lady in the smart uniform just checked his paper work, smiled and stamped his passport. She told him in perfect English that he would have to report at his local Immigration Office within the next 90 days. Simon smiled back at her, flashing his perfect white teeth. He decided that he liked Thailand already. He collected his suitcase from the carousel and walked out into the madhouse with heat and humidity that was Bangkok. He was suddenly surrounded by Thais offering him taxis, minibuses, hotels and money exchange deals. He took a green and yellow coloured taxi and handed the driver a piece of paper which had the name of a small hotel just off Soi Buakaow in Pattaya City.
Thailand looked very strange to Simon. It seemed to be all motorways and concrete pillars, flyovers and under passes. It seemed to Simon that the taxi driver made several U-turns and within minutes Simon had totally lost his bearing and his sense of direction. Huge billboards advertised famous international brands - Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United, had team photos advertising Thai beers. There were huge photos of the King of Thailand everywhere. It wasn’t the exotic, sexy place that he had read about! One motorw
The hotel seemed to also be a café and the reception area consisted of a lot of tables and chairs. Lots of foreigners and a few young Thai girls were sitting and eating cooked English breakfasts. There was a counter and Simon walked up to it. He handed over a piece of paper and the girl checked in the hotel log book and nodded. The Radio station had already booked and paid for the room for the next 3 months. If everything worked out OK then the 3 month contract with Pattaya’s 205 FM would be made more permanent! The girl behind the counter shouted out something in Thai and another girl, who was obviously in the middle of cooking something, came out of the kitchen. She was still wearing an egg stained apron with a splash of tomato sauce down the front of it. She showed Simon to his room. It was on the third floor and there was no lift. She did offer to help Simon carry his luggage, but her heart didn’t seem to be in the offer and Simon was too much of a gentleman to let her anyway. The stairs were steep. The stairways and hallways were painted a sickly orange colour and the dim lighting buzzed, throwing out more sound than light. The hallways were dark and hot and Simon was drenched with sweat by the time the kitchen lady opened the door to his room. He was tired, hot and jet lagged, but he was excited. The room was as drab as the stairways and hallways, but cream coloured paint replaced the orange. The room was basic and consisted of a double bed, an old wooden wardrobe, a dressing table with an old fashioned TV on it, which was probably as old as Simon. There was a mirror screwed onto one wall and a painting of a Thai rice field on another. On the far side of the room was a glass sliding door, which led out onto a tiny balcony overlooking the street below. There was also a small bathroom with toilet, sink and shower. The room, like the rest of the hotel, was old and tired looking, but it was clean. Simon dropped his suitcase onto the bed, stripped off and had a cold shower. It felt fantastic.
Sloan Square was the name of a small bar just off Soi Buakaow. It was owned by Gary Sloan and his Thai wife Tuk. Gary was 50 years old, very overweight and very bald. He had a chip on his shoulder about pretty much everything, an opinion on pretty much everything and he was angry with pretty much everything. He was loud and boorish and saw himself as the perfect landlord and business man. His wife Tuk was 20 years younger than Gary. She was a pretty woman of slight build. She was quiet and spent most of her time behind the bar or cooking food for the foreigners who ate in the bar. Gary spent most of his time drinking in either his own bar or other bars around the city. He was well known by all the ex-pats living in Pattaya, but not universally liked by all of them.
Sloan Square was a quiet bar. There were no girls working in the bar and there wasn’t a pool table, although Gary kept promising customers that he was in the process of buying one! The bar was geared towards ex-pats wanting to eat cheap English food rather than holiday makers wanting to have a good time. It was Gary’s wife Tuk who was the main driving force behind the bar. She cooked great food. She cleaned the bar and served customers with a smile and everybody liked her. Well, everybody except Gary. Theirs was a love/hate relationship! There was a small group of friends who spent most of the day, every day, sitting in The Sloan Square Bar playing dominos, moaning about life in general and watching the world go by – well, at least watching the bar girls and lady boys go by. Each and every day they raised their glasses to each other several times a day in congratulations to each other and toasted ‘Living the Dream’.
Chapter 2: The Sloan Square Bar
The Sloan Square Bar was little more than a hole in the wall type place with a metal roller shutter door to pull down at night. It was 12 foot wide and 20 foot long. The walls were painted cream and the bar furniture was an eclectic mix of metal, plastic and old wooden furniture. Half way along one of the side walls a bar had been erected and the rest of the walls were covered with football scarves, photographs and old pub mirrors. A couple of old ceiling fans moved the smoky air around and years of customer’s smoking had stained the white-painted ceiling a burnt yellow colour.
“I’m knocking on twos I’m afraid and I mean that sincerely,” said Terry in the strongest cockney accent that he possessed. He pushed his glasses higher up along his nose with a straight index finger and looked around the group for some acknowledgment. None was forthcoming. “Norris, I’m being deadly serious about this - you’ve got really long hair growing out of your ears and your nose. Can you see where I’m coming from?” he added.
“His eyebrows are getting pretty long too,” chipped in John, as he played the double two domino.
“Bloody ’ell,” said Norris putting both his hands flat on the table and showing off the Birmingham City tattoo that had decorated his left forearm since he was 17 years old. “I’m not deliberately growing it like this; it’s not a ’air style. I’m 70 years old. When you get to my age ’air just sprouts and grows everywhere.” Norris never pronounced an ‘H’ where there should be one and often added an ‘H’ where there wasn’t one.
“Not on your head it doesn’t,” laughed Terry, with a forced and overly loud laugh. Real life’s equivalent to ‘LOL’ on the internet chat rooms.
“Well I disagree with you there, because actually I do still grow ’air on my ’ed.” Norris ran a hand over the short white hair that ran around the sides and back of his head like a pelmet.
“It doesn’t grow on your head as much as it grows out of your nose and ears!” countered John.
“You should either cut it or start combing your face,” said Terry, pushing his glasses up the bridge of his nose again and forcing out another loud laugh to underline the joke. Gary Sloan, the bar owner and known to everyone as ‘Sloany’ did the very same thing. He always forced out a very loud and very false laugh when he thought that he said something funny. He sounded like a machine gun with a very slow firing mechanism when he did his loud laugh and you could hear it from a long way off.
Sloany walked around from behind the bar towards the group of friends playing dominos.
“Come on you drunken old bastards - get them drinks drunk and get some more in. You can’t sit here for free all day. I’ve got a business to run.” He finished off the sentence with his usual Gatling gun laugh. The domino players were all friends of Sloany. Norris was his oldest friend of over 30 years and a fellow ‘Brummie’. They used to drink together around the bars in Birmingham and go and watch City play at St Andrew’s every other week. Norris had got Sloany many jobs over the years, usually in the building trade as a labourer. They became big friends despite the 20 year age difference and Norris was a sort of father figure to Sloany. Ov
THE DOMINO PLAYERS:
‘Old Tony’ was a retired RAF fighter pilot from Oxford. Now aged 73 years old, he had been living in Thailand for the last 20 years. People who knew him then always commented on what a handsome man he was when he first arrived in Thailand, but 20 years of living the good life with too many women, too many cigarettes and too much alcohol had taken its toll. He had aged badly. He looked 100 years if he was a day and his body looked painfully thin. When he smiled or laughed his teeth looked too big for his gaunt face. Despite his frail looks now he still did alright with the ladies, because he was not without his charm, a sense of humour and, of course, he had the money to pay for the girls - which was a must in Thailand! Nobody really knows when Tony became ‘Old Tony’. It just sort of happened and it happened a long time ago - probably when he was still in his fifties and not very long after he arrived in Thailand. Old Tony really was a retired RAF fighter pilot, but he never talked about it very much. Not like the hundreds of fake retired fighter pilots who never stopped talking about it, when the only planes they had ever been in were the ones that brought them to Thailand. To Old Tony it was a lifetime ago and his interests had moved on. He had become very spiritual since he arrived in Thailand and realized he had a gift for telling the future, talking to dead people, healing people who were still alive and telling their fortune. The ex-pats didn’t take him too seriously, but the Thai bar girls were fascinated and loved him. Over the years he had got a lot of free sex in exchange for a reading or a healing! Old Tony also raised a lot of money for The Pattaya Orphanage, Father Ray’s. He was a well-known figure around the city because he was always dressed in a white Arab style robe and he always had a trilby on his head - either his black one or his white one, depending what mood he was in!