Reed in Asia
Someone to come home to now
I woke up for work early the next morning, I slid out of bed gently so as not to disturb On, then went to the bathroom and got myself ready for work. It was still quite early, so I made myself a cup of tea and sat by the window sipping my tea and smoking. On woke up then, smiled at me and made her way to the bathroom for a shower, I made her a cup of coffee and then sat down by the window again. When On was dressed she came and sat with me, picked up her coffee and lit a cigarette, I told her that my transport came at 08:00 and if she wanted breakfast, we had plenty of time to go and eat before I left for work. We had breakfast together and I told her that anything she wanted that day, just phone reception and put it on the room bill, I went over to reception then and told them about my new living arrangements and they said that they would take care of everything for me.
When my transport arrived a little while later, I said goodbye to On in the coffee shop, gave her the room keys and told her that I should be back at about 17:40 that evening. At the dome that morning, I switched the power on and ran the system through a target profile routine, which seemed to work okay, but I still had to adjust the calibration a little and did the same with a few more profiles. Then the dome door opened and a RTAF officer came in and he told me in broken English that the Bofors 4080 had arrived. So I went outside, saw the gun, which was very large, I had never even seen one of these before. I then opened the large main access door by unlocking the bolts, pushing the door outwards until it slotted into the guide rails and then sliding it sideways along the rails. They brought the gun in towed by a landrover and I showed them where I wanted it positioned. Once in position, I asked the RTAF people to remove the barrel, this took them quite a long time because it was very heavy and there was only four of them. The barrel had to be removed because it is too long for safe operation in the limited area in the dome, that is why GQ supplies a counter-balance fitting which is the normal barrel breech fitting but with no barrel just a large circular lump of metal that weighs the same as the real barrel for normal operation, but it is only a total of one metre in length for operation in the dome.
When the counter-balance was fitted and the gun barrel removed from the dome, I closed the main access door and most of the RTAF people then left, just one person stayed to help to get the gun operational in the dome, I gave him the power cables supplied and he fitted them to the gun. He then had to teach me how to operate the gun because I had never operated one of these before, but it was fairly straight forward and I learned quite quickly. Once I was happy with the operation of the gun, I thanked him and he left the dome. I then had to fit the 'on-target' sensor and the CCTV camera to the gun and align them to the weapon sight, then run some target profiles and check that the 'hits counter' was operating correctly. The calibration of the weapon took me all day to set up to my satisfaction, I didn't even stop for lunch that day, so when my transport arrived later, I was glad to see it, I was also looking forward to getting back to On that evening, so I shut down the dome systems and locked up quickly.
Back at the hotel I went straight to my room, the door was unlocked and I went in but I couldn't see On, I walked further into the room and she jumped out at me from the corner of the bathroom, she grabbed me by the collar and tried to throw me to the floor over her hip, so I side-stepped, put my leg behind her knees and pushed her to the floor with me on top of her We both just started laughing at this and when I asked her what she was doing, she said that she had learned judo and that she was practicing on me to surprise me. I then had to tell her that I had learned judo a long time ago in my teens and that now it was just instant reflex to me, I thought then that she must have been watching too many 'Pink Panther' films and trying to act like 'Kato', but I found the whole situation very amusing and I was now lying on the floor on top of her so I kissed her hard. She told me then that she could not go to the Tavvern to work that evening because her sister was bringing her clothes and other things to the Airport hotel and she went on to tell me then that she had to keep her job at the Tavvern, so if she missed a night she was fined 120 baht and could I pay this for her, this I easily agreed to because 120 baht was less than the price of two beers in the Tavvern anyway .
I told On that I had not eaten that day and that I was now very hungry, so we both went down to the coffee shop and I let her order some Thai food for both of us, we had green chicken curry, Tom Yam and something called Yam Talay that was very spicy and everything was good. I have strange tastes for a Westerner anyway and I love spicy food, probably something to do with my mother cooking curry for me all the time when I was young. As usual I washed everything down with a large beer and we just sat there talking for a while, then 'Dim' the chief waitress in the coffee shop came and sat with us, I knew Dim by then anyway because she had been dating Adrian before he left, Dim and On started talking together in rapid Thai then and I just sat there sipping my beer, smoking and feeling quite happy with myself and my new personal arrangements. After we left the coffee shop we went into the hotel lounge and the Philippine band was just starting to play, I called a waitress over and I asked her for a piece of paper, which she got for me, I then wrote a short list of songs on the paper and I asked her to give it to the band. This she did and she gave the list to the lead singer, he took the list and read it, he then spoke to the waitress, looked over at me, waved the list and nodded his head to me.
When they started playing the songs that I had listed, the lead singer told everyone in the room that these songs were for his friend sitting in the audience there (me) with 'Lady Longhair' meaning On and then he started singing 'Hello' by Lionel Ritchie. We had a very good relaxing evening in there that night listening to the music, On drinking coffee and me drinking beer. On's sister arrived a couple of hours later and On saw her come in, so she went to meet her at reception. They then must have gone to the room for a while, so I just sat listening to the music and . They came to sit with me a little while later and On introduced us, she said to her sister "This is Ian" and then she said to me "Ian, this is my younger sister Noyna" and I shook hands with her. On asked me then if her sister could stay in the room with us that night because it was too late for her to go home now and I agreed, after a few beers I can sleep anywhere
We went up to the room a little later, I put the music on low, I got myself a beer from the fridge and sat near the window. On and Noyna sat on the bed and started chatting in Thai, then each of them went for a shower and I just carried on drinking and looking across at the airport. I was all set for sleeping on the floor that evening, I just needed a couple more beers, the floor was thickly carpeted in the room anyway, so no problem. When we were all tired later, I let the girls get ready for bed, but then something strange for me happened, Noyna started lying on the floor near the bed, so I told On to tell her sister to get in the bed and that I would sleep on the floor that night, but they didn't agree, they both insisted that I sleep in the bed, I didn't agree with this arrangement, but it looked like I was out-voted and I was tired anyway, so I fell asleep fully clothed on top of the bed that night.
'And so it goes On!'
I shall be adding to this site over time, so if anyone is interested then please have a little patience and call back here from time to time. One of my very few pleasures in life these days is beer so I shall be occasionally referring to beer, I just wish that beer was the only reason that I am legless all the time
Thanks for viewing my site, cheers for now, Legless
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