This is going to be a strange blog. I am somewhere 28,000 feet up in the air between Hainan Island and the coast of Vietnam bound for Kenya in Africa. Well I hope not. Qishi the plane I am on, KQ 321 (Kenya Airlines) is heading for Niarobi, but they are dropping me off in Bangkok. It is slightly weird. Beside me is Miss X from Shenzhen (qishi Zhengzhou, Hunan) and in front of me is Khun Ittaporn, the slightly left of centre Thai steward. Ok he is a very camp… a womanly soul looking for self-expression in a man’s body, but I have nothing against guys who like guys.. I am sure he would confide such a moral dilemma to me if he had the time, but he is busy running around like the white rabbit, making a fuss, his gestures exaggerated in the tradition of his tribe.. you know what I mean… Nevertheless, I am going to devote this blog to Khun Ittiporn and Miss X (who is now asleep beside me).
I have ingested two miniature bottles of South African Merlot, and have asked for a third. And why not? Being leashed to a plane seat represents a bit of a break for me, and it’s going to be another 48 hours before my feet touch terra firma in Ireland. The rest of the flight will be spent musing over Khun Ittaporn, the Thai, Miss X, the Chinese, and Niall, the Irish.
When I arrived at seat window seat 11H there sitting at ease in my seat was a 60+ year old Chinese man … In next to no time he was classic bu hao yisi pleading with me to transfer to his seat at the back of the plane. Of course, I just stared him out… with that penetrating ‘this is not a countryside train, nor bus in China’ look, where the seat number allotted is never actually the seat one ends up relaxing ones sphincter muscles in… He was gone in a flash. I sat down, glanced out the scuffed window (“how old is this plane?”, being my first thought) and then over to my left. There seated alongside was Miss X.. Her dolphin and heart tattoo said it all, but still I was curious ….
The first statement from her to me: Ni de zhongwen hen bu cuo? —Yeah right! — followed by .. Where will you stay in Bangkok?
Ok, I have been in Bangkok numerous times, geeez I used to live there, in my innocence, above the office of ResearchAsia Bangkok… for 5 months… that is another story… But seriously, what is a girl from Shenzhen/Zhengzhou travelling alone to Bangkok for?
OK a few more questions are in order…. “Curiouser and curiouser” said the White Rabbit…. Do you want to know what the genuine story is? It will clarify why the 60 + year old guy was suffering hormonal overload.
Yep you guessed it, nothing to do with the intoxicating cultural and historical icons that the City of Krung Thep (the Thai for Bangkok, City of Angels) holds… Miss X is going to Bangkok to chase Lao Wai and she reckons in five days she will gross enough money to pay for her flights and have a sufficient amount of change to live a comfortable existence in Shenzhen for the next three months, which I guess also explains the nature of her February holiday in Singapore.
OK, I don’t get it, but then I am not Miss X. Then again maybe I do. My last glimpse of her: she is strategically positioned at the arrivals exit waiting for a suitable well-ripened bloke, radiating loneliness, inadequacy, and wealth to emerge, when out comes the 60+ year old codger who wanted my seat. Oh yeah, Miss X knows all about that primeval human need for animal warmth and comfort.
Khun Ittiporn is the only Thai-speaking crewmember on this Kenya Airways flight …. Now how shall I describe him? I am wondering if he has piles or haemorrhoids, or a spring mechanism in his ass. I have been tracking him, and while he looks extraordinarily busy, he is doing zippo (nothing). All of a sudden, he appears to have some sort of inferiority complex. Is it because I am staring him out? Oh! He has a petite notebook in front of him, and he looks seriously unnerved. Grabbing the microphone it’s his turn to articulate a few words in Thai about safety procedures and the weather in Bangkok…. I just keep staring at him (Oh, there’s the coast of Vietnam below… 12.08 am in Hangzhou) making him uneasy…. We lock eyes again, He closes his eye, takes a deep breath…. He can’t speak. Eyes scowling at me, he reveals a series of agitated expressions that only a twitchy Khun Ittaporn can display before waving his hand at me and effeminately flipping his hair back. Unable to face me any longer he rushes behind the curtain where he unloads in Thai vernacular…. Khun Ittiporn, while very camp, has the voice of an angel.
And to the point of this blog……
Well here it is: Two minutes before boarding this Kenya Airways flight (I was the last to board) I bought a book: Bangkok Haunts, by John Burdett, considered one of the leading writers of thrillers alive.. I have read his highly acclaimed Bangkok 8 and Bangkok Tattoo. The Guardian Newspaper’s review of Bangkok Haunts reads as follows: “The real star is Bangkok, a city in mutation, capital of sex and gender surgery.. a strangely tender book” . Well maybe this book from 28,000 feet up will be quite a read. I already encountered the characters Miss X and Khun Ittiporn…. Landing in 20 minutes. PS Sai Hua, wo hen ai nin