teaching on the wild side
I handed in my flat keys to Mister Patel then went round to Streatham to say goodbye to Auntie Iris.
“Good luck, Neville,” she said. “I hope you know what you’re doing. Old Cyril never had much luck out there. He died of a tuba.”
“I think you mean tumour, Auntie.”
“No, tuba – one of the other bandsmen in the Hong Kong barracks dropped his tuba from the balcony and it landed on his head.”
I gave her a peck on the cheek “Don’t you worry,” I said. “I’m going to Thailand not Hong Kong. And anyway I’ve got everything I need to make a fresh start. And that nice Thai girl I told you about is loaded. She’s related to the Deputy Minister of Energy.”
“Are you sure? I thought they were all on the game or rice farmers out there, Neville.”
“Not this one. You’re getting mixed up with Sweden. Anyway, Thailand produces more cars and even computers than this country does. It’s not all paddy fields and water buffalo now. The economy is booming big time.”
“Are they are OK about you not seeing that doctor lady then, Neville?”
Auntie Iris always got my therapeutic relationship round the round wrong way, bless her! For the umpteenth time I explained I was the one doing the therapy and Doctor Kwan was the patient. And of course they were fine about me going.
“But I didn’t think you were allowed to leave the country, Neville.”
“It’s not a problem,” I said breezily. “It’s part of my rehabilitation plan. They want to see us being pro-active. You know – engaging. Especially when it comes to being cross-cultural.”
“If you want to be cross-cultural why don’t you just go to Peckham? You can get the bus. It’ll be a lot cheaper.”
"Not far enough, I'm afraid."