Gary was sitting on the balcony enjoying his beer with his roommate in a comfortable shelter in Sattahip when someone knocked on the door once and went right in.
“Mr. Gally you can leave today. 14 day finit”
“Oh really I was just getting used to being in this nice room with free food next to the sea, and your hospitality. And my roommate is very kind. She and I had a lot of fun. Thank you Taew.” Gary winked at her.
The officer rolled his eyes. “Your roommate is a he”
But Gary was too busy packing to hear.
“Do you know how I can get to Koh Samsung from here? I need to meet Nid Noi”
“You mean Koh Samui? No Gally, we look your partposs you overstay today. You mut go leport polit satation.”
“How could I be overstaying anything I haven’t gone anywhere!”
“Solly, your visa gib you 14 day, today 15 day.”
“Now what? I want to stay longer, go drink beer, and meet lady”
“Do you have flend?”
Yeah I have Bob he’s in Pat-tia.”
“OK you call Mitter Bop and he take you to Polit Sa-tashun on Beed load.
“I don’t have local number on my phone can I borrow your phone please?”
“Solly my phone wit my wibe, she check my Line chat all day. But Gally, I not sa-toopit, She not know I hab second phone, but solly na, second phone not work, no kedit.”
“Do you have a public telephone somewhere?”
“No hab. But I call my kik, she hab new iPhone I buy for she today.”
“Shhhh…you no sapeak laoly.” Kik is girl fend.”
“You mean your mistress has a new iPhone? What does your wife have?”
“I think Nokia. Or maybe Motorola. I buy her 20 year ago.”
Within 20 minutes the kik showed up with her I-phone 11.
Gary looked up his contacts and found Bob’s number.
“Hey Bob? Gary here. Sorry for not calling earlier I’ve been quarantined in Santa-heap for 14 days and now they’re telling me that I overstayed my visa so I have to go to the police station.”
“Gary? I’ve been worried about you. But I can’t see you I’m being quarantined in the hospital for COVID-19 in Phitsanulok.”
“Piss-on-a-log? Covid? How did you get that?”
“Soi 6. Long story. OK never mind, listen, what you do is you go to the police station on Beach Road. Now opposite the police station on the beach under the coconut tree you will meet Bird. I will tell her and she will help you at the police station.”
“I’m going to meet a bird? Bob, do you have high fever?”
“Yes Bird, in Thai it means nok, nok is Bird, she likes to sound international so she calls herself Bird.”
Gary got on the van provided by the quarantine department and arrived at the police station on Beach Road. He immediately crossed the street and looked for a girl named Bird. None to be found except some birds eating watermelon, so he called Bob.
“Bob I don’t see anybody except a bird eating watermelon.”
“Yes that’s her, they like to eat watermelon here to keep hydrated.”
“Her? How do you know that it’s a she?”
“Well does she look like a lady boy do you?” Bob could hardly breathe under the ventilator tube.
“Lady boy? Lady boy bird? Bob, how high is your fever?”
“Gary don’t waste my breath just go and talk to her.”
“Do you want me to talk to a bird?”
“Not a bird, Birrrd.”
Gary thought that Bob was losing it with the virus he contacted so he decided to cross the road back to the police station and deal with it himself.
“Why you over stay Mitter Gally? You mut pay fine and go immikashun.”
As soon as Gary told them that he was in quarantine for 14 days for Covid all the police dispersed. He was thrown a form to fill through the gap of a door, and to take it to the immigration.
“Where is immigration?”
Gary waved down a songthaew.
The Songtaew drove away cussing “farang baa!”
Gary hailed down another one
“Ok mitter. You only one in song taaew. 500 baht”
The immigration officer looked at Gary, then his passport, then at Gary, then passport.
“You owerstay, I gib you one day. You mut leep tomollow.”
“I just got here and was quarantined for 14 days how can you give me one day visa now? I still have to meet the ladies, enjoy the bars, and then change my flight. All in that order.”
“You wanna go tomollow or you want go today?”
Gary got his visa stamped and walked out. He went to a local restaurant nearby and looked at the menu. He had learned a few Thai words on food from his roommate and was quite confident he could order.
“Pad kapow ped, my ped”
“You want duck with no duck?”
Immediately realizing he was not going to make any sense so he just pointed the menu.
“Oh, you want pad kapow ped, my ped.”
“That’s what I just said”
“And what you dink?”
“Nam plow with some nam king”
The food came. It was a pad Thai. He got a glass of water and a glass of ginger water.
“What’s all this? Wrong food, and …ginger tea?”
“You order you eat.”
The girl walked away. Gary looked out to the sea and thought it’s not such a bad experience so far even though he didn’t get to meet his dream girl Nid Noi and spend more time in Thailand but he had a good 14 days. All the bars were closed though. He went to bed.
The next morning the little guesthouse he stayed at called him a taxi to the airport.
Just before the taxi got off the motorway to the airport they were stopped at the police checkpoint.
“You cannot cross diffent povin, you from chonburi, now you in Samutprakarn.”
“I’m going to the airport.”
“No can. Emergency deekee by go-werment”
“But I need to leave the country my visa is running out. Oh I see…wait…but I have only one thousand in Thai Baht, and I still have to buy breakfast at the airport.”
Gary handed the note.
“No wolly I have chen. Here, 200 baht for your coffee.
Hab a safe fight sir. Solly for inconvenien.”
Gary went to the counter to check in.
“Your flight has already been canceled two days ago didn’t you read the news?”
“No I didn’t read the news, I was in quarantine with no phone.”
“Sorry no flight. You can try other airlines and buy a new ticket.”
A long line of people waiting at the information counter. Finally he managed to get a ticket on “Double No Nonsense” airlines.
Then he waited in a line at the immigration.
One officer came up to him.
“You not wear mark you cannot fly.”
“But where do I get a mask?”
“Good quesshun. Solly, No answer.”
A British guy waiting behind him came up.
“We heard that 199 million pieces of masks were missing and they suspect that these were exported through the back doors to other countries. And now the doctors are coming out on TV to ask the public to donate surgical masks. It’s a mess.
“So I’m not sure where the masks are to be honest. I think it’s all politics and the hoarding of the business people. But I can tell you what the government should do about all this…”
“Sorry, Do I need to know all this? I just need to get a mask and get on the plane.”
“Oh sorry I thought I could vent out my frustrations about the government on somebody but you’re right, you have a flight to catch, so here, take my mask, only worn by two persons today, once by my wife this morning when she went to the market and then she gave it to me.” He removed the sweaty mask and handed it to Gary.
Gary hesitated for a moment but thought best is to just take it and get in and get out of there.
“Thanks…uh…but What about you?”
“Oh I got another one from my kik, Nid Noi. She came to see me off and gave hers to me.”
“Wait, are you John?”
“Yea, how do you know?”
“Next!” The immigration called.
Once Gary got inside the departure lounge he took off the mask and gave out a big sigh as he walked pass all the duty-free shops still open.
“You buy sikkalatt today cheap cheap for you shockolatt perfum, Legency. Big Promotion today. Buy one…”
“Nothing. Just buy one.”
“No thanks I just need to sit somewhere and have a beer.”
“Oh solly, no sit down, you can only take away.”
Gary went to a food mart and bought himself the only beer available, Corona ofcourse, and sat on the floor at gate 21.
Then came an announcement.
“Attention please attention please. Double No Nonsense airlines flight DNN941 has been canceled due to entry ban in the US.”