There are some really positive things about being single.Especially if you are lucky enough like me to be to be living in a luxury apartment in Thailand until the UK throws off winters grips.
I “reside” in a two bedroom,two bathroom apartment.That means I don’t just have one cleaning lady,I have two.They come with the place.
Monday morning 0900 is my allocated time,which means anything between nine and ten o’clock.That is the only thing in my agenda the whole week.
Invitations are all very last minute so there is no need to note those.
In this paradise I have time to call my own,and can read again without getting a bad conscience because I should be doing some household chore or cooking dinner.
Not that you can attempt any heavy literature in this heat, so I enjoy just a good book that can also accompany me to the beach or down to the pool.
I have now discovered Jeffrey Archer who fits my requirements perfectly.I know he has been around for quite a while but if you haven’t read anything by him and need a book for a long journey or holiday he is your man.
Last week I finished “Paths of Glory”,a story about George Mallory,the English mountaineer that led the first attempt to climb Everest.
Based on fact it poses the question of whether history should be rewritten.
It is exciting,interesting and yet most amusing reading, written in a W.Somerset Maugham style,and in fact at times it is difficult to say who the writer is.
Now I have advanced to a collection of short stories by Archer.”A Twist in the Tale” Just as entertaining but enabling you to get up and do things between them.
There is no escape.
Everyone travelling or staying in the tropics gets hit by it sooner or later.
The situation where your poor western stomach says,enough is enough of this eastern food.
You don’t really know whether it was the deep fried cockroaches you had for dinner the night before,or the cheddar cheese sandwich with Branston pickle which is also available here.But whatever it was you had better make sure a bathroom or bowl is in easy reach. Having established that they are near, you can lie back and wish to die.
You don’t of course, but it certainly feels like it,and in fact you will probably hope for your passing at the acute stage.
Luckily it is usually something that takes at the most 48 hours to get over.Afterwards you will sleep and sleep,then greet the next day, a couple of pounds lighter and with a stomach that is now immune to the ‘joys’,of in my case,Asian cuisine.
A thought that went through my head while I was suffering was,
“now you are alone”
there is no family to accompany you on whatever journey this was going to take you,nobody to hold your hand,or make sure you got some fluids into you.It is all up to you.
But I managed it,and survived.
Although being alone when you are in need of care might be something that stops women doing what I did, this incident showed me we are all strong.It’s just fear that is the inhibitor.
You might ask what I am doing in Thailand for the winter months.
Not exactly the place for a single woman to go if she was looking for a western man,much too much competition from young Asian women.
No,I am certainly not looking for another man,I am here for several other reasons;
I hate the cold
I love South East Asia
Most of my new friends are here too.
But most of all, because I now have to look after myself with not all the money in the world to do it with,and here you can definitely live more cheaply than in Europe
This money thing,is of course the stumbling block.
I am sure there are countless women of my age,who might like to get up and leave, start a new life,and try and find happiness and satisfaction in the days that are still granted them, but they are frightened.
Frightened of loosing their security,frightened of being alone in old age,frightened of not being able to pay the bills.Frightened full stop.
I was too,still am,but I am confident that things will turn out well for me.
I am confident it could also turn out well for you.