PAPERBACK BOOKS
THAILAND DREAMING 

For a young man alone in a foreign country, loneliness will often lead to the comfort of romance.
There are three main characters in this story.

Jim is a young engineer, aged in his twenties and lives in Perth, Western Australia.

The story begins when, as a very apprehensive traveller, he heads off for a seven day trip to Thailand, this being the prize from a million to one chance win in a simple newspaper quiz.

This first visit is enough to wet his taste for adventure. During a second visit a year later he meets a young lady in Bangkok. A romance develops between them as she guides him through the wonders of her city. Later this leads to further travel to the outlying country-side with her.

A few years later in the Southern Thai city of Hat Yai he becomes romantically attached to another young lady with similar results.

Songlee lives in Bangkok, she is in her late twenties and works as a receptionist in a medical clinic. She is a very headstrong girl, likes to make her own mind up and is an initiative leader. This is all very helpful to Jim on his first visits to this country. Songlee is also a very dedicated Buddhist, and welcomes Jim into this side of her life as well.

Jesmai lives in the southern Thai city of Hat Yai. She is also in her late twenties and works as an accountant with a company that handles mostly electrical appliances.

She still lives at home with her rather domineering parents, so although she and Jim become very close over the next couple of years, most of their time together is restricted to restaurants and hotel rooms.

In Store Price: $AU24.00 
Online Price:   $AU23.00

ISBN: 1-9210-0533-5
Format: A5 Paperback
Number of pages: 256
Genre: Fiction

 

 

 

 

 


 


Author: Michael J. Cook 
Imprint: Poseidon
Publisher: Poseidon Books
Date Published: 2005
Language: English

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Thailand Dreaming         

 

                 Part fact

                        Part fiction 

                     Part romance

 

                           Part dreaming

 

   

All places mentioned do exist.

The names of main characters are made up.

Although dates mentioned are irrelevant, some events may have happened. Most are only wishful thinking. 

The writer has travelled extensively in SE.Asia and has worked in Thailand. 

*** 

Rugged mountains rise steeply on all sides, covered with dense greenery as if a blanket flung by a careless hand.

In the valley below I see an earthen track beside a mountain stream, a wooden cart drawn by two oxen and driven by an old man. On his head, a coolie hat made of woven palm leaves.

The stream winds across the valley floor, brown from the opening rains of a new season. In the jungle reaching to its edge, a small square of open ground - it’s a rice paddy, the only clearing and flat half acre for miles around, at one corner and raised above the ground, a little hut of bamboo sticks, thatched with the straw of last seasons rice crop.

A scene witnessed from a train, or a bus somewhere in Thailand.  

An old lady walks by. She’s carrying several small pyramid-shaped cages made of dried grass stalks. The woven cages, works of art. In each, two tiny birds for sale.

I say to my friend. “Why she sell these little birds?”

The answer. “So you can free them.”

The cost, ten baht.

It’s all so bitter-sweet.  

Thailand Dreaming.

My real life is but a dream.

I waken sometimes to this world of real dreams.

So short are real dreams.

But they are real life.  

I watched as she knelt before her Buddha in a temple, or a street side shrine. I felt something that I have never felt before, she seemed so pure, so perfectly lovely.

Sometimes, we’d kneel together in prayer as if in rehearsal for some other world.

When a Thai person invites you to light the three incense sticks with them, to place them at the alter before their Buddha and make a wish for a better life, a better tomorrow, a win in the lottery, whatever - this is Thailand.

To do this is not to abandon any existing faith, but to submit oneself, for a brief portion of  time and life, to the very heart and essence of this part of South East Asia. 

Part sample:

He first visited Thailand in the 1980s. This was in fact a package deal; the result of a lucky, correct one-word answer to a simple newspaper quiz, his name had been picked from the barrel, a one in a million chance. It included accommodation in one of Bangkok’s top hotels for a seven day stay.

    A very hesitant overseas traveller in those days, Jim had hardly travelled from his home city in Western Australia. Being a rather conservative guy, his thoughts had always been more towards the safer English speaking countries such as the UK, the US, New Zealand, or parts of Europe that many first time travellers go to.

    On arrival at Don Muang airport, the main terminal for Bangkok, these thoughts were soon cast aside after stepping into the arrival hall. The excitement and activity all about him was electrifying. By the time he reached the hotel his timid thoughts about Asia were starting to change. Within hours he began to gain a taste for this country and its people.

    Although at first hardly moving more than a stone’s throw from his hotel, he soon became fascinated by the place – by the food, the rich world of smells and all the other indelible sensory experiences. He was fascinated by the ornate art that could be seen everywhere, by the calm people and their exquisite manners, even by their arcane spiritual beliefs.

    For the first time the word exotic began to take on a real meaning. His love affair with South East Asia had begun. 

First impressions of a city are often the most lasting.

    This chaotic city of about 8,000,000 inhabitants is teeming with people and traffic. Cars, buses and trucks, noisy two stroke motor bikes and tuk tuks – those three wheeled vehicles powered by a motor bike engine or similar, the driver up front, a partly enclosed cabin extending back over a passenger area. Constant noise, vehicle horns, the roar and revving of motors, the strident sound of Asian voices all around.

    Many major streets are lined with make-shift stalls selling radios, cassette players, watches, jewellery, clothing, toys and just about anything else you could think of. Flanking, and in between these stalls, are people sitting shoulder to shoulder on stools, selling their wares from small tables, even out of boxes – these traders occupying half, sometimes more, of footpaths already packed with pedestrians.   

    On corners and along the side of roadways and in nearby side streets, food is being cooked on small carts that hold glowing charcoal fires. All day, all night.

    There are many narrow streets to lose yourself in, these filled with the smells of fruit, spices and people. Leading off these streets, dingy almost mystical alleyways, no wider than a metre or so, hemmed in on either side with clothes and clothing hung from roof rafters to floor. On quieter streets, people asleep on the footpath, under parked trucks and in shop entrance ways. Many crippled and poor beggars, often in strategic places where you must pass them. They will look up at you, sad eyes imploring, hands steepled before their faces. A tin can, or a piece of rag laid out on the footpath nearby will often contain a few coins to entice you to give.

    This is Bangkok, Thailand.       

Back in Perth Jim could only dream of the time he had spent in that exotic country, its happy people, its beautiful women, its laid back guys and the wonderful spicy food. Soon he was making plans to return, but next time as a backpacker, to travel and explore the place under his own steam. 

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