Reed in Asia - Asian Diaries
The warrior returns triumphant
At breakfast the next morning, I decided to try some Thai food for breakfast for a change from my usual English breakfast. I asked On if she had any suggestions and she gave me many choices, but I chose the rice soup (Kao tom) because I reckoned that basically it would be similar to Scotts porridge oats which I like. When my kao tom arrived many things came with it, to add to it, so I added some vegetable, some dried fish and other things, when I tasted it I thought that it needed a little salt and pepper, so I was just shaking the salt into my bowl when On stopped me and she said "don't put salt in it, use this" and she passed me a bottle with some brown coloured liquid in it, when I asked her what it was, she told me that it was fish sauce (Nam Pla), so I put some in and tried it and it was good, it salted the dish and gave it a little added taste too, I then added some dry chilli powder to it and it was very good and I really enjoyed it. The only Western touch that I added was, I ordered some slices of toast to eat with it. I really enjoyed my new breakfast and I decided that this was going to be the norm for me from then on.
We sat at the table after breakfast for a long time, I just kept ordering more pots of tea and On was enjoying herself chatting with Dim, I had no rush that day, I had decided to head on over to the RTAF HQ at about 13:00, so I just sat there drinking gallons of tea and smoking for a long time. When it was time for me to go, it was a little later than I had planned, but it was not far anyway I gave On some money and I said that I hoped that I would be back at the normal time that evening. The drive to HQ was easy, just across the end of the airport runway and then turn right into the RTAF area, I parked my car next to Dumrong's car and I saw him standing there, so I went over to him. We still had about twenty minutes to wait, so we just went over to sit on some chairs at the front of HQ, had a cigarette and waited. Then many cars started arriving and a few vans too, I wondered who all these people were because they did not have uniforms on, so they were not RTAF personnel, then I saw the cameras hanging around their necks and TV cameras started coming out of the vans, there must have been about fifty or sixty people there. I then heard the helicopter, it was quite distinctive and the sound was very easily recognisable to me as a Huey, the helicopter then appeared coming in from the right and landed on the pad about fifty metres in front of the HQ, immediately that it touched down all of the people there surged forward to it. Dumrong and I stood up, but with all of the people and TV cameras around the helicopter, we couldn't gat anywhere near it, so we just stood at the back and watched.
When Group Captain Chiloey exited the helicopter, everyone rushed towards him with cameras, TV cameras and microphones shoved in his direction and I thought to myself "There is no way we are going to get anywhere near him today". Then something that I wasn't expecting happened, Chiloey looked over the heads of all of the reporters around him, spotted me and waved, he then pushed his way through the reporters and cameras and came to me, he said "Ian, do you have a problem?" so I quickly replied that I had a problem with one of the weapons and that I needed his help, he then said "Just go and wait in the dome and I shall go there to see you just as soon as I can" then he went back into the crowd of reporters and TV cameras. Dumrong and I then got in our cars and drove to the dome.
After about an hour of waiting in the dome and nothing to do, I suggested to Dumrong that we should go to cafe On and have a beer, I said that if we sat near the window, we could spot Chiloey as he passed. So we went to the cafe and we had a few beers and a snack. After a couple of hours, we still had not spotted Chiloey passing, so I paid the bill and we went to the dome anyway and just waited there. When it got near 18:oo that day, I said to Dumrong that I didn't think that Chiloey was going to make it that day, so better that we just leave and come back to the dome the next morning, Dumrong agreed and he got énÿhs car and drove off home. I was just reversing out of my parking slot, when Ciloey's car pulled up next to me, he apologised for being late and he told me to just go to my hotel and he would meet me there. Back at the hotel I parked the car and then waited at reception, Chiloey arrived about two minutes after me, all of the staff in the hotel immediately started waiing him and then we went into the coffee shop, because it was quiet in there and Chiloey said that he was a little hungry anyway. We sat down in the coffee shop and the first thing that we both ordered was beer, after filling his glass Chiloey clinked glasses with me and said "I really need this today" I smiled at him and raised my glass, then he jokingly said to me that the media was worse than the enemy and smiled back. I then told him all about the problem that I had with the counterweight and gun barrel and he said to me that he would sort it all out quickly for me the next day. I asked him if it was okay if On joined us in there and he agreed, so I phoned On in the room and told her that I was in the coffee shop. On arrived a few minutes later and she seemed very overwhelmed with Chiloey, she kept putting her hands together and waiing him, eventually she sat down and we ordered some food. Chiloey was very obviously relaxing now, a load seemed to have been taken off him and he was certainly enjoying the beer and so was I
After finishing our food, Chiloey thanked me for the food and beer and then said that he had to leave and that he would see me at the dome the following morning, I stood up and shook his hand and thanked him for his attention and help, On waied him and then he left. On then said to me "Do you know who that is?" and I replied that of course I did, because I work with him. She then told me that she had been watching TV in the room and that she had seen Chiloey on the news on TV, she also said that she saw me on there too, I didn't remember seeing any TV cameras pointing at me, it must have been when I was having a quick word with Chiloey about the dome. We then went into the lounge, the band played 'our song', I had more beers and I was now feeling much more relaxed having Chiloey back with me and we had a good evening listening to music in the lounge, then into the disco for a while and finally up to bed for the night
'And so it goes On!'
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Me - Ian Reed / John McMiken (The Legless Fool)
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'Attempting to correct a bad mistake that I made in the past in my life in Asia.'
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