I was walking down Sukhumvit Road last night between Soi 23, and Soi 4 Nana. This is the red light entertainment area. I have been wandering up and down the street since ten pm after getting dumped by my girlfriend of 2 years. I just wanted to get drunk and talk to a pretty girl for a while. Now, it is 3:30 AM and the bars are closed. The after hours action then hits the streets, with street side carts and plastic tables set up for people to keep drinking until 6 AM. I am looking for a type of face. The facial type like my girlfriend had. She was from the Thai/Cambodian border region, and girls there have high cheekbones, full lips, and dark skin. They look like the bas reliefs of Khmer angels on Angkor Wat, knows as 'Apsaras'. To me, they are beauty incarnate. Graceful, feminine, exotic, and divine. Just like the girl who broke my heart. I need a substitute, and nothing I see can compare to her beauty.
Finally, after wandering for five hours, I see a flash of a smile from a street side bar. For a minute I think its her--my ex girlfriend. I ignore the other women asking me "Bpai Nai?" (where you go?), and I zero in on the smile. I approach her and I stop dead in my tracks. Everything is the same--the spacing of her eyes, the delicate curve of her cheeks, the outline of her lips, and most of all, her smile. The only difference is there is a slight brown tint to her hair.
I walk up and greet her in the dialect of the countryside known as Isaan, "Sabai dee baw?".
The girl just smiles, and beckons me to sit down next to her on the plastic chair on the side of the road. I stroke her cheek and it feels cool to the touch on an otherwise sweltering Thai night. I talk to her for five or ten minutes about where she is from, mixing English with Isaan, Thai, and a bit of Khmer. She is laughing at my jokes, and is astonished when I pull out a pic of my ex-GF and show her how much she resembles her. She asks me if I want her to be my new girlfriend too. She puts her hand in mine and rests her head on my shoulder. I stroke her hair, and sit back and absorb the night (things happen this fast in Bangkok). There are two women who run the street side bar, and they are staring at me. I look back at them and say "Arai na?" or 'what's up?"
They come up to me and ask if I want a drink. I say I'll have a Sprite with salt in it (a Thai hangover cure), and whatever my new companion wants. The two women look at each other, and then one of them asks..."What lady sir?"
I turn to my right and I look at my companion in the eyes. She smiles at me again and laughs. I turn back to the two women and point to the girl at my side.
"Her," I say.
The two women laugh, and roll their eyes slightly. Their face says 'Who is this crazy farang? (foreigner).
"You want one Sprite with salt, sir?" one of them asks.
I look back at my new girl as she slides her hand down my thigh. "Yeah, and something for her." I say.
"Who?" the woman asks.
I'm getting upset, but in Thailand you have to remain calm above all else. I speak slowly so she can understand, "The-lady-next-to-me."
She pauses, and then says, "Sir, there no lady."
I turn to my right, and I am looking at an empty chair. I feel a rush go through me, almost like someone is walking through my body.
I freaked out. "Where'd she go?" I ask.
"Sir, no lady. You sit alone."
I jump up and spin around. There are taxis, and street urchins trying to sell roses to single men and their paramours. The girl, however, is nowhere to be seen...
One of the women's face turns to fear. She starts talking to the other one rapidly. Too fast for me to understand. Something you should know about Thailand--this is THE most haunted place in the world. Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE knows about ghosts here. People go to witchdoctors instead of psychiatrists. Almost immediately, the women conclude that I saw a ghost. They don't think I'm crazy at all.
Some background: This is the second time I had a visitor like this in Thailand. The first time was a couple of years ago, and I submitted a story here about talking to a guy at a amulet sellers table, who also wasn't there. So, either I am becoming a schizophrenic, or I am now becoming sensitive to the dead in some way. On both occasions, it came after some emotional trauma. As I wandered the streets with my heart in knots, I must have been receptive to some kind of energy. I don't know. I can only say what I experienced. I'm still processing this and I'm a little freaked out. Just writing this down to document what happened to me.
Thank you for reading.