At 24 years of age, Lek was as cute as a button.  She was one of those ladies who, the closer she got to you, the prettier she looked and her photo would do justice to any beauty magazine.  She could light up a room with only a hint of her smile and, combined with her bubbly personality, it would take severe determination for any man not to quickly fall under her spell.


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Pattaya girs


Lek had never worked in a bar.  She didn’t need to.  Turning heads wherever she went, if she ever wanted the company of a man it was never a problem.  She did not have to put herself on display behind a bar to do it.  But Lek’s life had not been easy, due mainly to a division of loyalties.  She wanted to find love and happiness but she had a manipulative mother; always there, always giving orders and always in need.  At 19, she met and fell in love with a young American in Bangkok on holiday.

She married the American and, for a long time, everything was rosy.  He was young and handsome and provided enough money to keep her mother happy.  Things changed when, for some reason, they moved from Bangkok to Pattaya.  At her mother’s instigation, the hitherto happy couple brought Lek’s 10-year-old brother to stay with them and attend school in Pattaya.  This put an immediate strain on the relationship.  Still, they managed, but her husband’s three trips back home during the following year became progressively longer.  On one such trip, Lek’s mother moved in to ostensibly take care of her two children while he was away.  This marked an unrecoverable downturn in the marriage.  The money he left for Lek and the money he sent was significantly less than before and Mama fuelled the fires of discontent with suggestions that he was possibly running out of the folding stuff.  To add to the problem, when he returned after five weeks, Mama did not move out.

The situation her mother had alluded to was in fact true.  He was running short of money.  He was not from a wealthy family and too young to have accumulated any real wealth on his own.  His working trips back to the States were never long enough to subsidize his life in Thailand.  Now, his idyllic life with Lek had turned into a family affair and he had three mouths to feed instead of one.  On his next trip home, he never returned.

For Lek and her mother, leaving Pattaya would mean uprooting her brother from the school he had come to enjoy, so they decided to stay in the two-bedroom apartment and make do as best they could.  Her mother, of course, realized Lek’s earning potential and encouraged her to go out and work to find a new benefactor.  Lek refused to work in a bar, preferring instead to freelance at the nightclubs and discos.  This proved to be a good move and, over the coming months, the money rolled in.

Contrary to the lifestyle to which she had now succumbed, Lek always wanted to be a one-man woman.  She liked the idea of caring for one man and having him take care of her.  Even though she wore her heart on her sleeve and could easily have fallen for any of the ‘boyfriends’ now throwing themselves at her, her mother was always there on her shoulder doing the accounting.  But as luck would have it, she did fall in love and, more importantly, he fell in love with her.  He was English, older than her soon-to-be ex husband but nowhere near being an ‘old man’.  And he was handsome.  He took her on holiday to Koh Samui and Phuket and provided enough money to satisfy her mother.  Lek was happy too and was certain, this time, she had found her true knight in shining armor.

The full circumstances behind the next twist in Lek’s life are unclear.  Perhaps he realized a life in Pattaya with the beautiful Lek would stand little chance of success.  Perhaps she brought him to her Pattaya apartment and he did not like the living arrangements.  Whatever the reason, he wisely concluded he and Lek would be better off living out in the country.  Now, Lek and her family did not actually come from Bangkok even though she had spent many years in that city.  Her home was in Korat and, after a trip to her village, the Englishman said he would build a house for the two of them on a piece of land not far from where she spent her childhood.  What happened next would make avid Monty Python fans break into a silly walk.

Lek was over the moon at the prospect of her own house but the Englishman said there were conditions.  He had to go back to the UK for some work commitments and the house would be constructed while he was away.  He told Lek under no circumstances was she to go to Pattaya.  To that end, he paid for a telephone landline to be installed in the house she would be staying in, explaining he could call her at any time of the day or night and someone must answer the phone.  If she did not answer herself, whoever did must get in touch with Lek immediately and she must be there to answer his next phone call which would come twenty minutes later.  This was to ensure she was never far away from home and most importantly, not in Pattaya.  All going well, he would be sending her partial payments for the house, money for herself and money for Mama.  Any mistake on her part would mean the deal was off and no more of his money would be seen.  Lek accepted the conditions but was heard to tell some friends her boyfriend was, “too clever”.

While he was away, he sent her a total of 600,000 baht for the house; the figure he had been quoted by the builder.  He was told all was well and, true to her word, Lek stayed in her village the entire time.  But then, during one of their phone conversations, he asked her to take photos of the house and send them to him.  Lek’s heart sank.  You see, even though she truly did love him, she was sadly lacking in the planning, forethought and consequence departments.  She could have easily taken photos of some other house in the area and claimed they were his house but, to her credit, she decided to come clean.  Their subsequent conversation must have been priceless and I imagine it went something like this:

“Darling, could you send some more money to finish house?”
“Why?  Has the price gone up?”
“No, but need more money.”
“Well, the roof should at least be on.  Is it?”
“No, not exactly.”
“Well, what about the walls and the floor?”
“Not finish yet.”
“Bloody hell!  Are the foundations done?  The concrete slab in place?”
“Not yet.”
“I’ll be over by the end of the week.”  Click!

Yes, it appeared that while her financier was in the UK, Lek had been remiss in her primary duty of overseeing the house construction.  Instead, she had been making a big name for herself among her family and friends in the village.  There had been parties, booze, new this and new that, renovations to other houses and generous gifts to everyone but, as far as her own house went, not one hole had been dug.

Four days later, the boyfriend arrived in Korat to greet a very sad Lek, fully prepared to face the music and, perhaps, never see him again.  Yes, he was furious when she told him the truth about spending all the money but, to her surprise, he did not want to end the relationship.  Moreover, he wanted to finish the house.  This time, he said, since it was obvious she could not be trusted handling the money – a point with which she sadly agreed – he would do everything himself.  He would stay and pay the money directly to the builder as and when each stage of construction was completed to his satisfaction.  Sincerely remorsefully for her actions, Lek could not believe he was giving her a second chance.

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Bringing this tale up to date, last reports were they were still living in the village and their home was nearing completion.  Like a Monty Python sketch, the story of their romance has a lot of slapstick silliness interspersed with flashes of brilliance.  On her part, has she learned her lesson?  On his, what made him stay?  Was it that English stiff upper lip, dogged determination or plain foolhardiness?  Only time will tell.

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