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Home Invasion (corrected, I hope)


JimnT

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We were sitting at the Ratchaburi VIP bus station waiting for the bus to Hua Hin, when my girlfriend's phone rang.  "It's Jip", she said.She talked a few minutes and hung up.  The traffic was too loud for me to hear the conversation."She wants to come stay with us on July 6, 7, and 8 for Asarnha Bucha Day", she told me."Great!  Jip knows she's always welcome."Jip is one of my girlfriend's seemingly inexhaustible supply of nieces.  She has stayed with us several times, even cooking and cleaning for me when my girlfriend was away.  She knows our door is always open no matter why she comes to visit."Well, tirak, there's one little thing...""Yeah?  Is there a problem?  Did some boy hurt her?  I'll kill the little..."  I am a bit protective of my 'nieces'."No, no, nothing like that.  She wants to bring nine friends."Oh, sh*t.  Jip's in university and will get her accounting degree soon.  She's a wonderful girl, but NINE extra friends?"I have to think about that, dear."I thought about it.  What if they were like me when I was in university?  THAT would be a problem...For many years my life in America was so quiet that even having one or two houseguests was uncomfortable for me.  Over the time I've lived with my girlfriend in Thailand, I've become comfortable with a house full of people on an occasinal weekend, and I do mean a house FULL of people.  Sometimes there are as many as fifteen extra people in a small, two bedroom bungalow.  But college students?  Our visitors are usually married relatives with kids, all people I know from upcountry rural Ratchaburi."All girls, or boys and girls?", I asked."Boys and girls"."How old?""Everyone is twenty or twenty one.""Okay.  Here are my rules:  I don't care if they drink.  I don't care who sleeps with who.  But, at the slightest indication of a fight, or if I even SUSPECT anyone has drugs, EVERYONE is out immediately, and Jip can never return.  I will call the police myself if necessary."  I shouldn't have worried.  The kids arrived Monday afternoon in a songthaew that brought them from the train station.  The only suspicious items were a guitar and a bottle of Hong Thong, but neither was used to excess.  They were quiet, considerate, and polite.  They bought and cooked all their own food, and cleaned up their messes immediately.  Aside from using our motorbikes a little to go to the market, they arranged all their own transportation.  All in all, aside from the fact that there were nine strangers in my house, they could not have been better guests.  Only one of the kids spoke English well, but she wasn't the talkative one.  The talkative one was the 'wild' boy who brought the bottle of whiskey, who turned out to be gregarious but unfailingly polite.  After just a few minutes he understood my limitations in Thai, tailored his speech accordingly, and we had a very pleasant couple of conversations.Both Tuesday and Wednesday mornings I woke at my usual time, 6:00 AM, to find one set of kids cleaning while others were cooking breakfast for the rest.  Each night they were asleep by 11:00 - 11:30.  When they left Wednesday afternoon, my girlfriend spent about ten minutes putting the guest bedroom in the order she wanted it, but every dish, pot or pan in the house was clean, the floors had been mopped, the porch swept, and the trash emptied.  As a final gift, one of the boys, an IT student, had done some work on my girlfriend's computer that I'd been putting off.These kids aren't poor, but certainly it is a big strain for them and their families for them to go to university.  Jip, for instance, lives on 1500 baht per month.  For them, university is the hope of a better life.What a great bunch of kids! 

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We were sitting at the Ratchaburi VIP bus station waiting for the bus to Hua Hin, when my girlfriend's phone rang.  "It's Jip", she said.She talked a few minutes and hung up.  The traffic was too loud for me to hear the conversation."She wants to come stay with us on July 6, 7, and 8 for Asarnha Bucha Day", she told me."Great!  Jip knows she's always welcome."Jip is one of my girlfriend's seemingly inexhaustible supply of nieces.  She has stayed with us several times, even cooking and cleaning for me when my girlfriend was away.  She knows our door is always open no matter why she comes to visit."Well, tirak, there's one little thing...""Yeah?  Is there a problem?  Did some boy hurt her?  I'll kill the little..."  I am a bit protective of my 'nieces'."No, no, nothing like that.  She wants to bring nine friends."Oh, sh*t.  Jip's in university and will get her accounting degree soon.  She's a wonderful girl, but NINE extra friends?"I have to think about that, dear."I thought about it.  What if they were like me when I was in university?  THAT would be a problem...For many years my life in America was so quiet that even having one or two houseguests was uncomfortable for me.  Over the time I've lived with my girlfriend in Thailand, I've become comfortable with a house full of people on an occasinal weekend, and I do mean a house FULL of people.  Sometimes there are as many as fifteen extra people in a small, two bedroom bungalow.  But college students?  Our visitors are usually married relatives with kids, all people I know from upcountry rural Ratchaburi."All girls, or boys and girls?", I asked."Boys and girls"."How old?""Everyone is twenty or twenty one.""Okay.  Here are my rules:  I don't care if they drink.  I don't care who sleeps with who.  But, at the slightest indication of a fight, or if I even SUSPECT anyone has drugs, EVERYONE is out immediately, and Jip can never return.  I will call the police myself if necessary."  I shouldn't have worried.  The kids arrived Monday afternoon in a songthaew that brought them from the train station.  The only suspicious items were a guitar and a bottle of Hong Thong, but neither was used to excess.  They were quiet, considerate, and polite.  They bought and cooked all their own food, and cleaned up their messes immediately.  Aside from using our motorbikes a little to go to the market, they arranged all their own transportation.  All in all, aside from the fact that there were nine strangers in my house, they could not have been better guests.  Only one of the kids spoke English well, but she wasn't the talkative one.  The talkative one was the 'wild' boy who brought the bottle of whiskey, who turned out to be gregarious but unfailingly polite.  After just a few minutes he understood my limitations in Thai, tailored his speech accordingly, and we had a very pleasant couple of conversations.Both Tuesday and Wednesday mornings I woke at my usual time, 6:00 AM, to find one set of kids cleaning while others were cooking breakfast for the rest.  Each night they were asleep by 11:00 - 11:30.  When they left Wednesday afternoon, my girlfriend spent about ten minutes putting the guest bedroom in the order she wanted it, but every dish, pot or pan in the house was clean, the floors had been mopped, the porch swept, and the trash emptied.  As a final gift, one of the boys, an IT student, had done some work on my girlfriend's computer that I'd been putting off.These kids aren't poor, but certainly it is a big strain for them and their families for them to go to university.  Jip, for instance, lives on 1500 baht per month.  For them, university is the hope of a better life.What a great bunch of kids! 
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such a great story and your gf should be very proud (as should you) of Jip. Just goes to show that we all have some character stereotypes ingrained in our minds!!

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Admin: My gf is a smart woman, but was denied education by her father, who was a sexist SOB (I know your profile says male - this is different). I take enormous pleasure in watching her daughter and nieces, aged 6 to 21, kick ass. In all other ways, her family's values were okay, but girls were second class. No more!

dk: Thanks! After three or four years here it was my first entry.

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