สิบเอ็ด. Our Selfish War Part 1

To the left, the broken dam had caused the valley flood… The water chased the road around each curve, disappeared behind cleared-out mounds of mud then came back to swamp them in a pall of grey mist. Black trees stuck out leafless and drowning, isolated stick creatures stretched out as frozen cracks on the surface. Wooden huts sat like fat shining slugs on gnarled logs in the water, some huddled close, linked with rotting planks, while others were pushed away from the pack, as if they had quietly lost their mooring and had absent-mindedly floated away.

A pale sun hovered low over the horizon. It shimmered the lake’s surface silhouetting huts and dead trees. Then the valley disappeared behind a hill and the bus climbed higher, further into a thick moist atmosphere. Even the vegetation was dead and suffocated under the weight of monsoon mud. Mud stained the leaves. Mud dried in thick crusted rivulets on the trees. Mud solidified in deep tyre ridges on the roads and the bus pitched and reared as the passengers held onto their seats, knuckles clenched with every bump. Mud splashed up like paint onto the windows. and up they went, further, so that the lake rose to meet them, and flick flashed sun in their eyes. In the distance, a single long-tailed boat, outlined in black, skirted the far bank. It carved silver-rimmed arrows in the water.

The Players

The setting is the region around the Thai/Burmese border at Three Pagodas Pass, a well-established customs point for smuggling Western goods from Thailand into Burma.

Glen is a wiry blonde-haired American from Florida. Looks like an albino. Straight out of Miami U, he goes by MG. He has a cocky manner, is impetuous but is otherwise easy-going. His accent is exaggerated by his constant gum chewing, and after travelling through Thailand for four months he has now grasped a functional knowledge of Thai.

Mick is a well-built ginger-headed Irishman from Belfast, has a thick red beard with grey flecks that he plays with whenever he speaks. Wherever he goes he carries a large blue and white golf umbrella. He speaks with a southern Irish lilt uninfluenced by the Belfast brogue. He’s only in Thailand for two weeks.

Danny is a lanky unassuming Englishman from Cornwall who tries to disassociate himself from the other two whenever he can. He finds MG’s language hard to take. He started in Sri Lanka then stayed in an ashram for three months before making a circuit round India. Thailand is the last country he will visit before returning to England.

There are seven other Westerners, five men and two women who are always seen but who do not significantly contribute to the scenes.

Sepuluh. The Boat and the Brothel สิบสอง. Our Selfish War Part 2
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