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Ibaraki English Teacher: Chapter 2

Author:Joseph Robbie, Issue: October 2000, Topic: Commentary

"Yankee go home" was the chant from staff and patrons alike, as Randy Rogers was forcibly escorted off the festive barge permanently moored to the left bank of Klong Tui, a district frequented almost exclusively by local Thais seeking sensual pleasure of one illicit sort or another. His face bloodied, his shirt torn, he tried to focus, tried to remember.

The evening had started out fine. Getting off work at 9pm from B.E.S.T., Business English School Thailand, he'd hailed an open-air, three-wheel tuk-tuk and been driven to his regular hangout, the King's Palace in Patpong. Enjoying a Kloster beer with other working expats, he watched the show, ordered a back massage from the frisky middle-aged lady who regularly relieved his stress, and looked forward to the kickboxing matches that were to start at 11:00.

One barroom buddy, Hans Hoeflich, an engineer from Berlin, recommended the cheese schnitzel with fried potatoes for Randy's hunger. "Better than Bavaria", he claimed. The meal arrived and was truly delicious. In gratitude, Randy ordered a tall beer and a shot of Jaegermeister snaps for the two of them. As the boxing commenced, Hans reciprocated the gesture. Not to appear cheap or ungrateful, Randy got the following round. And so it went. By 2:30, they were totally polluted and the best of friends.

"Let's get away from this tourist scene", Hans suggested. "I'll take you to a place you'll never forget!" Randy was game. Thus they took a taxi to the barge. Upon exiting the cab, Randy's money clip missed his pocket and fell into the gutter. Uh, oh!

Aboard, they had a grand old time. Rude, crude, booed by the locals, they partook of a bit of all that was on offer there. Loud, obnoxious, oblivious of the glares from the others present, they drank, smoked, stroked and puked. Randy passed out.

Shaken roughly awake as dawn was breaking, Randy was asked to pay his tab and leave. Hans was nowhere to be seen. The tab for the two of them was roughly $320; not bad for the limitless debauchery they'd enjoyed. He found his trousers and reached into the pocket. Nothing. Frowns, scowls, harsh words exchanged. The bouncers there were about half his size. "I can take these guys out and make a run for it", he reasoned in his belligerent haze. After five months in country, he might have known that most Bangkok bouncers are martial arts experts. The inevitable scuffle ensued, and Randy was soundly thrashed.

The police arrived, the situation was explained, and Randy was given two choices by the authorities: leave the country voluntarily the next day; or, get charged, do time in a Thai prison and then be deported. He opted for the former, filled out the necessary paperwork, and was taken to shore.

During the two-hour walk back to his hotel apartment, Randy reflected on his recent past and near future. Several years ago, he had been forced to flee his hometown in Ohio; Gozaiymas was a small town with no secrets. Having impregnated the district attorney's 16-year old daughter, yet not ready to wed at age 24, he paid for and downloaded from the net a handsome and authentic-looking BA diploma in English Literature from Mid-Ohio College at Kent (MOCK). Degree and passport in hand, he flew to Acapulco, Mexico, and began what was to become his pattern in life. First, he found a local girlfriend with room for him at home. She then found him a teaching job at a local English school where his "diploma" opened the door.

Following Mexico, where Rosa's brothers had threatened to cut off the "eggs" of this deadbeat parasite, he made his way through Hungary, Turkey, and Pakistan in similar fashion before arriving in Thailand. Where to next?

He'd learned that there were only two places to make good money as an English teacher abroad: Saudi Arabia and Japan. He considered both options. Saudi's strict Islamic laws called for no alcohol, no contact with women, and beheadings, stonings and amputations for violations of various laws. In addition, it was said to be hellishly hot. Japan was rumored to be very open to drinking, full of beautiful women, and eager to hire English teachers. It also boasted a mild climate of four reasonable seasons.

So, he packed his backpack, retrieved his hidden stash of $1200, and slipped out of the hotel's rear delivery entrance to make his way to the airport. Ticket in hand, he waited nervously for the departure of Thai Air flight #69 to Haneda.

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