Or waking up, to be honest. It’s another one of those “I’m wide awake at 5am” mornings. I need to pay rent and am out of cash. Songkran is about to erupt, so running to the ATM early seems like a good idea.
I met a couple last night who asked if this was going to be happening tomorrow too. They blanched when I said “Tomorrow is Day One”. This is just the beginning.
So, yes, I get my baht from the magic money thing and as I’m making my way home I meet a nice Israeli woman. We chat a bit. She’s half past drunk and weaving through the street.
I’m waking up and she’s coming down. (Not terribly gracefully, either of us). I help her dodge the occasional tuk tuk or scooter. We exchange names which we both immediately forget.
“No, I do it because I’m a bit of an idiot and it’s fun. And the people who are put off by it are usually people I really don’t want to interact with anyway.” It’s kind of a ‘jerk filter’. And, besides, a pedicure for $5 is a pretty nice way to spend an hour.
We reach my place but she really is hammered and her hotel is only a couple blocks up the soi.
“I’ll walk you home”.
Further on she says “Just so you know, I’m a lesbian”.
“Yeah, I picked up on that. I lived in San Francisco for ten years — my gaydar is pretty sharp.”
“So why are you walking me to the hotel? What’s in it for you?” she slurs.
“Because I wanted to make sure you got home safe. Believe me, I’ve walked in your shoes, coming home after a hard night and would have liked someone to look out for me. Maybe some day you’ll do the same for someone else.”
She smiles an honest smile. “I will.”
When we reach her hotel, she gives me a bone-crushing hug. I think she broke one of my ribs.
I’ll never see her again.
That hug was the payoff.