The Day of Free Beer's Wedding.
The Ambassador Hotel, Bangkok, around 5 a.m.
I am having a heated debate with hotel security. They are noticably upset. There are a lot of angry words and finger pointing. Rude hand gestures. Their grasp of English is limited and my grasp of Thai is minimal ( phrases like 'thank you', 'please' and 'I apologise' are quickly forgotten since I don't use those pleasantries in my native tongue. Yet the Thai words for 'prostitute' and 'scumbag' will be lodged in my grey matter for ever) but their sentiments are obvious.
They have been chasing a nude individual running around the corridors, frightening the guests, going up and down the fire escape till they have tracked him to room 329, which coincidentally happens to be mine. This drunken bastard is no other than my travelling companion, Jenks, who has only been in the country for less than six hours and is already causing me an unbearable headache. Or maybe that's the gallon of alchohol in my bloodstream? Negotiations are usually my forte, but when I'm swaying to-and-fro, eyes blurry with drink I find it hard to concentrate on the matters at hand. Agreements were eventually made ('If he does it again I'll shoot him myself'), voices lowered and the door was closed.
The Ambassador Hotel, 10 a.m.
Breakfast. The first time I went to get brekkie with meal coupons in my mitts the waitress took a look at them and motioned me to follow her. We went outside the restaurant, down the hallway and outside the hotel. Ah, I thought, they're on to me. Who alerted them? Interpol? But my fears abated when I was taken to an outside eatery connected to the hotel. This is where Jenks and I recovered from last night's misadventures. Neither of us say very much.
The Ambassador Hotel, 3 p.m.
Jenks had decided to forego the birthday suit for a real suit for the wedding. Morrisey shirt, sunglasses and, wait for it, pants. I am in my Hitman Black suit that I wear to all formal occasions. It's a good thing we've decided to turn up to the wedding an hour early as we discover that the Four Seasons Hotel is the most difficult hotel to locate in the whole of Bangkok. It's like a bad skit show in a foreign language, a Thai version of 'Who's on first?'.
The Four Seasons Hotel, 3:45.
We finally locate the hotel formerly known as the Regent in the country formerly known as Siam. Un-believable. The lobby lounge is the plushest I've ever seen in my life so much so that it's almost forgivable that they charge five times as much for a local beer. Should've checked the prices I guess. We're listening to classic music. Not stereo music. That's for the pissy four star hotels. There's an actual quintet band upstairs so you can make requests ('Play Chisel!') and throw peanuts at them.
The Four Seasons Hotel, 4:20.
The wedding should've started twenty minutes ago. Free Beer is dressed in a traditional Thai garb that is quasi-militaristic. He has a towel slung across the shoulder for wiping his hands after he goes to the bathroom.
Me:'So, what happens at the ceremony?'
Free Beer:'I don't know. No one tells me anything. Everytime I ask they change the topic.'
Buddhist monks have a luxurious life. They only have to work in the mornings, which means they can go surfing all afternoon and party all night. The ceremony was a real casual affair. After being told that I had to carry a massive banana leaf for part of the ceremony, they turn around and tell me 'You should carry something heavier.' It's a plate full of little green fruit/ balls/ grenades, and it weighs a ton. Here's a secret westerners- They Make Everything Up As They Go Along. People bowing. Putting things in Free Beer and E.E.'s head. Pouring water on their hands and making a wish. Waiters carrying soup with the testicles of Thai kick boxers. Mobile phones were going off like crazy. It was nuts.
Fatman goes to Bangkok and all I got was this stupid e-mail,