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Siam Nights: A Love Story Paperback – November 9, 2008
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About the Author
Thailand! Of all places in the world, I was being sent to Thailand. The last time I'd been to Southeast Asia was in the late sixties. That had been Vietnam and it hadn't been a pleasant experience. I didn't expect this trip to be any different. My arranged transportation never showed up at the airport that night and I was left to fend for myself. I knew nothing of the country, its customs, or its language. My boss had told me my hotel was located off of Sukhumvit on Soi Saam Sip Saam. His words had made no sense to me, but I had remembered them. Outside the airport, the dank night-heat of Thailand reeked with the smells of jet fuel and exhaust fumes. An irritating layer of sticky dampness collected on my skin. I was barely moving yet sweat was oozing. This trip was going to suck. A thin Thai man approached. "Taxi, sir?" he asked in heavily accented English. By reflex I reached for my M16 - the weapon I'd carried in Vietnam. I blushed at my reaction but it was too dark for the man to notice. "Sukhumvit, Soi Saam Sip Saam," I parroted my boss's words. "Novotel Lotus?" he asked. I nodded in return. Minutes later we were roaring down a freeway toward the smog-clouded skyscrapers of Bangkok. If there were any rules to the road, they escaped my western ideas of good driving. That wild taxi ride started my unforgettable adventures in Thailand. During the coming years, I made twenty-two trips to Thailand. I spent more time there than I did at my home in the US. Part of my time was spent in Bangkok, but most of it was spent in Pattaya. Long before my work assignment had ended, I'd fallen in love with the country. Like most visitors to a foreign land, I tried hard to learn about the people and their culture. When they talked, I listened. When they told me stories about themselves, I asked questions and shared stories of my own life. I'm sure I heard many lies and fantasies, but I know I heard many true stories as well. Some were happy and some were sad, but all struck emotional chords I could never forget. I decided to put their stories on paper. This book is about them, and me, and the memories we share.
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Mike Johnson has been working in Thailand for two years when he meets Tippawan "Math" Bongkot. He currently has a wife and kids in the states when his affair with Math begins. The book isn't just about their relationship, but more about Math's life.
SIAM NIGHTS came from the author experiences while working in Thailand. The characters were so real that I wondered if they were based on real people. When asked, the author said that Mike and Math weren't based on individual people, but many different and very real people. He said that most of the people he worked with were married men with families in their home countries. It was easy to make Mike married, middle-aged, and lonely. He saw it every day while in Thailand.
The book kept me interested from beginning to end, not just with the relationship between Math and Mike, but the culture of Thailand. The love of the country and its people can be clearly seen in the pages of SIAM NIGHTS.
For fans who don't wish to see this story end, there is a squeal. THAILAND - COLD RAIN: A NOVEL OF LOVE AND PASSION was published in March 7, 2009 by Sabai Books.