Better Dead Than Alive

Back in September of 2007 I was coming home from visiting Mint in Jomtien Beach. Our affair had lasted almost a year and showed no signs of losing steam. She had her place and I had mine. We rarely slept together. Mint said it was because I was in love with my ex-wife. I told her no.

“Then why you no sleep with me?” Mint was 21 and loving. My ex-wife hadn’t touched me in years.

“I don’t know.”

“You only want me for sex.”

“No, not only sex.” Mint was beautiful. Just seeing her naked body acted like a natural Viagra.

“Then you have other lady.” Mint was jealous.

“No, only you.” Pattaya was an easy place to satisfy a man’s libido. Mint offered me something else, but I wasn’t willing to ask what at this point. I bid her good-night and headed back to Sai 3.

I normally avoided the main roads of Pattaya. Too many cars. Too many angry farang and Thai drivers. The traffic over the hull was slow-moving and I decided to overtake an SUV on my Yamaha Neuvo. The road was clear except for a single bike. I was pulling into my lane when this bike swerved to the right. His bike clipped my handle bar and the front tire wobbled to wrench the handlebars out of my grip. I wasn’t going fast, but tumbled to the pavement in a heap. Luckily there was no oncoming cars or trucks and I rose to my feet thinking, “That wasn’t so bad.”

The other motorcyclist had fled the scene of the accident.

A common occurrence in Pattaya.

I glanced down at my right arm. I was wearing a long-sleeved shirt. It was blood red. I lifted the sleeve up my arm. Red was gushing from a jagged wound six inches long. I could see bone. I tested my hand. Everything was working and there was little pain.

A motorcycle taxi driver stopped to help lift up my bike. He said that I should go to the hospital. I agreed and took a small beach towel from the boot of my scooter. I wrapped it around my arm and drove to the Buffalo Bar. Uwan, who rented cars, was sitting on one of his trucks. The balding Isaan native looked at the bloody towel and said, “U-bat hyt.”

“Yes, an accident.”

“And other driver?”

I told him a 30 words or less version of the accident complete with a visual reenactment of the other motorcyclist fleeing the scene at full speed. U-wan laughed, as I unwrapped the towel. The fat Thai smiled with a grimace upon seeing the nasty slice on my arm. The blood was still flowing, although less than before.


I could see muscle. He was right. It was ugly.

“Where to?” Uwan asked, wrapping another towel around my arm.

“Pattaya-Bangkok?” The Sukhumvit hospital was the first choice of most farangs.

“Paeng.” Very expensive for Thais.

“Where go?”

“Banglamung mai paeng.”

“Okay.” Not expensive sounded good to me.

Uwan drove his truck to Banglamung Hospital. He wasn’t in a hurry. Uwan was sure that I wasn’t dying too.

Upon arrival the young nurses escorted me into the emergency ward. Saturday night had yet to begin. A doctor examined the gash.

“No tendons are cut. That’s good.”

An hour later I was out the door. The bill was 1150 baht. Uwan helped me to the car, as the usual weekend mayhem flowed into the hospital. Saturday was going to be a busy night. I stopped at the Buffalo for two beers with Pook. She’s 18 and a lesbian. Uwan said, “She make good nurse.”

I agreed but went home alone to lick my wounds and quiet a suspicion. Before leaving for home, I asked Uwan, “You think my ex-wife might have had someone crash into me for my insurance policy?”

It was worth a million baht.

“No, if she wanted you dead, someone hit you with pick-up. Dead for sure.”

“That’s what I thought too.?” My ex-wife might not love me, but I was the father of our daughter.

I must be getting old, if I thought someone would want to kill me for a million baht.

I called Mint and asked her if I could come over to see her.

“You stay night.”

“Yes.” I would explain about the crash later.

“Please hurry, I want drink beer.”

I got back on my bike and drove back to Jomtien.

This time on the back roads.

After all a million baht is $30,000. A lot of money anywhere in the world.

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