The Point of No Return

This post was written by Matt from Phuket Vogue.

No doubt you will have met a few characters in Bangkok. There are some, however, who are just so surreal that you wonder what planet they come from. The most notable characters I met during my two years in Bangkok were the kind of guys you expect to read about in books. This blog post is a tribute to Duncan, a Mississippian whose life was always destined for failure.

Within days of meeting Duncan he’d taken me to Patpong, explained in great detail how bar fines work and praised every part of the anatomy of the Thai female. “I don’t know any Western man living in Thailand who hasn’t at least got a blowjob off a ladyboy,” said Duncan one time.

The rumor was that Duncan was wanted on drug charges in the US. He was a gang member and had the cigarette burn on his forearm to prove it. After overstaying for more than two years, it was if Duncan was settled in his role as an English teacher in Bangkok.

Duncan ambled from day to day, teaching his classes, partying all night with bar girls and buying himself “one nice thing a month” with his limited budget. Duncan took drugs, he was always late for work and he owed a barmy Swiss guy a lot of money.

Then one day his life changed as he inherited 1 million baht from the US. This was finally Duncan’s chance to clean himself up. All of a sudden his downtrodden appearance was shaken off and replaced with a clean-shaven man ready to take on the world. Within days he had married a bar girl and bought himself a fridge, a TV, UBC, a hi-fi and a gold chain, which his wife took charge of. There was talk of opening a shop and buying some land.

For about two weeks Duncan was a changed man, but then the parties started getting wilder and later and his money became a fund for booze and drugs. One night, I met Duncan and he had a four-inch scar from above his left eye down to his left cheek. He looked as if his faced had been run over by a lawn mower.

The story went that Duncan had been out drinking with the Swiss guy to whom he owed money. A fracas occurred in which the dynamic duo had bought too many shots for the girls at the bar and didn’t want to pay the bill. Duncan did eventually pay up, but his change was giftwrapped with a metal bar to the face. He then spent 24 hours being nursed by a ladyboy at her apartment before staggering home.

This was the point of no return. The money ran out, the wife left him, the electrical items were all returned and he lost his job. He’d reached the point at which great men go on to do great things, only to lose his mind and tumble back down to earth.

Duncan did eventually find himself a new job, but it only took a couple of weeks for him to disappear without a trace. He packed up all his belongings and vanished. Nobody has heard from him since.

This post was written by Matt from Phuket Vogue

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