Fleas and Dogs on the road. Thailand.
I´d fled the seedy red light district and landed in a local young blood’s bar close to the backpacker street. I was finally making my way back to the guest house after the stools had been put up and the lights switched on.
I noticed a figure sprawled against the curb at an awkward angle. This didn’t look like a street sleeper, more like someone passed out. I went around to the other side of the body and saw a giant vomit trail.
Okay, first thing to do was check the breathing. Still breathing. She was a girl and a local by the looks of it.
I shook her gently, ‘Hey, hey, are you okay’. A wail was my answer.
‘Do you want a taxi?’
‘Okay, do you remember where you live?’
‘Okay, we´ll get you a taxi’.
There were no taxis on this street.
‘Look, I think we need to walk to the end of the street, there are lots of taxis there,’
‘waaaaaaa noooo, I’m sorryyyyyy waaaaaaaa’
What’s your name?’
‘It’s fine sweetheart, you’re just a little drunk. Not a big deal. Just sit up, drink some water and we’ll get you in a taxi.’
(Oh god please help me!)
‘C’mon, up you get, up up up, upsy daisy!’
Another tourist stops: Is she a tourist?
‘No I think she’s local.’
He makes his apologies: Sorry I can’t really help you.
I let him go. No point in two of us being caught with the weeping mess.
I try to get the neighboring bar staff to help me. They give me the bright vacant smiles I’m coming to recognise in the hospitality industry here. It’s just as bad as the camarero scowl back home.
I heave her up in to a sitting position and prop her against my legs. As I try to hand her a bottle of water she retches a fresh batch and slumps to the ground.
‘Waaaaaaa I’m so sorrryyyy!’
‘It’s fine, you’re just drunk. Just try and sit up for god’s sake!’
(Finally, I can speak to the younger generation from a position of experience.)
I pick up the Blackberry clutched in her soggy hand. There is no key pad lock. I wipe it clean and start dialing all her last dialed numbers, particularly the ones that say ‘fam’ as a prefix. God only knows what it really means in Thai.
One woman, called ‘fam:Jim’, finally answers.
‘Hi, do you know Abeya?’
‘Can you come and get her?’
‘Er, no. No!’
‘Well can you contact her friends or family to get her please?’
‘Er, who is this?’
‘Look can you come and get her please?’
‘She’s very drunk and in trouble. If you don’t come and get her, she’s going to sleep in the street tonight.’
‘Oh my god!’
Suddenly a girl in a red dress appears in front of me.
‘Oh my gawd, is she okay?’
‘Hey! Do you speak Thai? Speak to the lady on the phone please.’
‘I know her’, she says pointing at the prone figure of vomit soaked Abeya.
‘Great! Speak to the lady on the phone!’ I shove the phone in her hands.
‘It’s fine, I know where she lives’ she gives me her assurance.
I turn around to find two local young men lounging against the barrier along with another young lady, looking down at Abeya in the peculiar disinterested interest only teens can summon.
One of the young men: ‘Oh my gawd, did you like, take care of her? Wow thaink you sooo much!’ (What is this? Thai hipster?)’
‘Well not really, …. (she’s still lying on the street in her own vomit), but here you can take care of her now’, I shove the packet of tissues into his hands, and the bottle of water into his companion’s. ‘I’m so f*****g glad you turned up! Bye Abeya!’
Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! I’m so sorrrryyyyyy!!!!!!!
p.s: Fleas and Dogs is on the road again.