To Die in Pattaya

The NY Times published a list of why Americans die.

The leading causes of fatality come as no surprise; heart disease, cancer, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease in that order. Almost all of them are related to environment, bad food, obesity, or a cocktail of the three. You are what you eat.

However westerners in Pattaya are promoted from this mortal coil for a contrasting set of circumstances.

#1 Motorcycles.

Men over 40 hit their second stage of youth. They rent a Japanese riceburner without a helmet. The wind blows across their bald plate, as they sing the title line from BORN TO BE WILD until they plow into a slow-moving song-thaew at full speed. DOA and I know because I survived a crash two years ago, because I was wearing a brain bucket.

#2 Sex on Viagra.

A farang is 55 years old with a pacemaker. He’s 30 kilos overweight. He drinks 10 beers a night at least and barfines a 45-kilo go-go dancer to bring back to his hotel. In his hotel bed the farang has lost his ardor and drops two Viagra to re-awaken his dormant libido. He’s totally out of shape for this sprint and shares a pipe of Ice with the go-go dancer. His heart redlined to 10,000 revs. The aorta clamp shut down on an OD of lust. No one knows how many farangs are bodybagged for in Bangkok-Pattaya Hospital each month for exceeding the speed limit for heartbeat per minute. Some say 50-60/month.

At least they died in the saddle.

#3 Suicide.

The farang has blown out his bank account, savings, and credit cards for an 18 year-old bar girl named Lek. Once his ATM goes dry, her eyes dart over his shoulders.

“She can’t be looking at that 80 year-old fat man?” He asks himself.

Two minutes later Lek’s sitting being the octogenarian on a taxi bike waving as if she were going to 7/11 to a phone card. Last the farang will ever see of her. No money. No bird. Nothing other than a plane back to Heathrow. His family will be waiting in East Doversham. There’s only one place to go.

Graham Greene wrote in OUT MAN IN HAVANA that suicide was the work someone who reckons that the odds of ending it all are better than going on.

I know from personal experience it’s always darkest before the storm and whatever doesn’t kill you will only make you wish you were dead. Once you get past that drama then things get better and you can drink beer again. In the words of Scarlett O’Hara, “Tomorrow is another day.”

Add in drinking, ODs, and murder, you have to ask, “Do any farangs in Pattaya die of natural causes?”

Not if they can help it.

Post a Comment

Your email is never shared. Required fields are marked *