7. Chiang Mai 

We made it to the new shack in Chiang Mai, Northern Thailand, around 9am. Aimée said she needed to “get ready”.
“For what?” I silently wondered. Where are we going? What had I agreed to this time? I hoped it wasn’t something major that I’d completely forgotten about. Again. I was sweating, not because I was oblivious to what we were doing, but because I’m an English man sat in a jungle town. I walked over to the fridge and there it was; the Holy Grail. A cold beer. Three to be precise. I cracked one open and whipped my t shirt off, reclined on the bed and found a football fixture on the TV that I could watch but couldn’t even hope to pronounce. But I loved it. Horizontal, beer, football. This is my happy place. 

I half watched it, and half watched Aimée in the mirror ‘get ready’ for something or other. I never will understand why she ‘needs’ to do anything as she’d already woken up looking like the most beautiful person on the night train. Not that it was hard, but still, properly beautiful! She hadn’t spoken to me in half an hour, although she’d exchanged a couple of glances in my direction through the mirror. I noticed her cheekbones, I’m pretty sure she’d noticed my slight beer belly. I kept drinking. I couldn’t be sure if this was the silent treatment or whether makeup just requires an enormous amount of attention. I did what any sane man would do; I kept very quiet. I mean, what could I have done? Her expression was blank. It’s definitely not her birthday, I’m sure of that. Had I said something? Had I not said something? I need a shower, get this sweat off. All that silence was disturbing my football. I opened the bathroom door, and there he is, a giant 6 inch cockroach looking at me, grinning. We were both about to meet similar ends I feared. 

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