Chaliao

chaliew How to spell her name? Her passport now reads "MRS. CHALIAO CANFIELD". Her passport says her name in Thai is "นาง เฉลีว แคนฟิลด์". In the past I have spelled it "CHALIEW". In her bank book it was spelled "CHALEIW".

During 1997 I was living in Banphai. Every month I would go to Bangkok for a few days on a business trip. During these trips I had gotten into the habit of visiting the Apache gogo bar on Soi Cowboy. The ladies were friendly and sweet and not pushy; it was a nice atmosphere. If one of the ladies wanted to spend the night with me, so much the better. No complications, no ties, just friendly snuggling.

A lady named Saitong ran the place. Saitong never went with anyone.

One trip I got it into my silly head to seduce the cleaning lady. Tong always had one lady in the back corner to mop the floors and wash the dishes. The cleaning lady varied from time to time, but cleaning ladies were not available. Whoever she was, she was not part of the merchandise. This one was not particularly pretty; in fact she was fat. But she was there, and she had a sweet smile, and warm hearted, so I took it into my noggin to take her for a night.

She was flattered by my attention. She was curious and willing and I was ready. But before we could pay the bar fine and walk out, another gal jump all over me and grabbed me for herself. In retrospect I think that the cleaning lady did not know the protocols, and Tong wanted to protect her from unnecessary heartbreak; I think that Tong sent the other gal to grab me.

However, when I came back the next month there was no such interference. I smiled at the sweet little dumpling, and she smiled at me, and nobody got in the way. Probably, in the intervening month, Tong and the gang had explained things to her, what she could expect and what she could hope for and what not to hope for. There are rules to the game, and a sweet little dumpling who doesn't know the rules can get caught with her heart in a pinch and get hurt real bad.

Anyway, the cleaning lady and I spent the night of July 6, 1997 together. The next morning I said "Good-bye" and gave her the usual alimony to compensate her for the token heartbreak of losing my wonderful company. The next month when I came back she was gone. I rarely took anybody out twice, but even so I thought it was weird that most ladies who slept with me quit their jobs afterwards.

That's my story of when I first saw Chaliao. Cut ahead 18 years, to 2015. Chaliao Canfield and I are married and have an 8 year old son named Wing Canfield.

But that's not Chaliao's story of when she first saw me. She says that before she ever came to Bangkok, she stayed at her sister's house which was near Tong's house in Tong's village in Buriram. Chaliao says she remembers when I came to visit the village with Tong. Chaliao remembers that I ate vegetarian back then. Chaliao says that I was quite handsome. So, apparently, Chaliao saw me well before I ever noticed her.

I became Tong's lover, but that's another story. Tong and I spent much of 1998 together. Then things went sour and in November I walked out on her. When the lady is outside and you hope she doesn't come in, it's time to walk out.

I didn't see Tong for a month, but I sure missed Apache. Finally, on the Saturday evening after Christmas I visited Apache again. Tong sucked me around until, once again, I was officially Tong's fellow. Then Tong found some other guy she wanted to spend the night with. So Tong took me aside and told me that I should go to the hotel tomorrow afternoon at four PM and telephone her from there, and Tong would come over and meet me at the hotel.

I was pretty sure that I would not do what Tong told me to do, but I didn't tell her that. I left, but I didn't get very far. The bar next door, Five Star, was playing some good live music so I wandered in there. Really good music, stuff like the Rolling Stones. There was serious rock and roll music being played, live, by the band in the corner.

The bar was dark. Something brushed against my chest. I looked down, and there is this cute brown round happy face smiling up at me. Not a woman to grace the cover of Time magazine, but a gem of a different kind. She was short, chubby, a round little face with a smile in it. We got up and danced together. She knew my daughter Payu; she must have played with Payu when Payu visited Soi Cowboy.

When the music was over this gal wanted to go home with me. But I declined. I was not ready yet. Also, I knew that when I walked out the door with her, someone from Apache would see and Tong would hear about it and be hurt. So I said "no". This gal must have known about Tong, because she said "Tong is asleep already" (in Thai, "TONG LAHP LAO"). I have since often reflected on that simple statement as a token of insurrection, the little people defying the authorities, not openly but in secret. "The king is asleep."

Really, I wasn't ready to pick up someone new. I wanted to hug an old friend, but old friends seemed to be hard to find. This new dumpling would be sweet, but how could I be sure that she would be well behaved?

Sunday afternoon I did not check in to the hotel and I did not telephone Tong. Early that evening I went back to Five Star.

The sweet little round one came over instantly. We sat and talked together. I got out a piece of paper and she wrote down her name. She wrote it in Thai. It is pronounced "CHA-LEO". I have written it many ways in English. But I once saw her bank book, and there it was written "CHALEIW". I guess that is as official as I'm ever going to see.

Nope. We are married now, and her Thai passport reads "Chaiao Canfield".

One of the other gals there (probably her friend Aw) said "Do you love her?" and I said, honestly, "I don't know her. I only met her last night." At about that point this sweet little round thing revealed that she used to work at Apache as the cleaning lady, that she had gone with me one night! Wow! The dumpling, the very very huggable teddy bear, turned out to be an old friend!

She told me a story. She said that the previous June she gave birth to a stillborn child. The baby was born dead. Inquiring about the father, she said that she was not sure who the father was. She had gone with three men. One of them used a condom, so I suppose that he could not be the father. That leaves two men, and she honestly does not know which if the two of them was the father of her dead baby. The creepy thing is that I was one of the two. I asked what color hair the baby had, and she said the hair was gold colored, like mine. Diplomatically, I did not ask what color hair the other man had, but most men have dark hair. My computer records say that I spend the night of July 6, 1997 with her; 11-12 months before her dead baby was born. So I guess it did not have my chromosomes. Not that it matters. I told her that if she ever finds herself pregnant with somebody's child, she should tell me; that children are important. What more can I do? The baby is dead already. Even if we dug up the corpse and ran a DNA test to prove paternity, there is nothing I can do now. Whether or not the fetus is my baby, Chliao is certainly my friend and I will help her out as much as I am able.

Well, an hour or two later Chliao and I left together, and we spent Sunday night together in my hotel room. Monday morning I explained that I was going back to Banphai and I'd come back to Bangkok in a week or two. I thought that I would see her again but I didn't know what sort of relationship might develop from it. If it was just a one night stand, that's OK, it was a night that I really really needed.

Well, I didn't go home Monday. Monday evening I bought a doll and gave it to her, then went to sleep alone. I didn't go home Tuesday. Tuesday evening I came to see her and she came to the hotel with me again. I just didn't feel like leaving Bangkok. I should go home, but I hung around to see Chliao. Wednesday morning Chliao took me to the bus station and made sure I got on the bus back home.

Three weeks later I was in Bangkok again. Sunday evening I was sitting in Apache getting hugs from sweet ladies who dare not seduce me or they'll lose there jobs, when suddenly Chliao sits down next to me. It was her day off work, and she was drinking a beer she had bought for herself. I don't know whether it was God or Tong or the Apache girls who brought her to me, but I accepted the gift and spent the night with her. In my apartment, which is pretty serious stuff.

The next time I came to Bangkok Chliao had quit work at Five Star and gone to work down the street at Cowboy One. I did not follow her.

Chliao has a wonderful heart and a sweet huggable body. But she is a little lacking in the brain power department. She is a sweet teddy bear, and about as bright as a teddy bear. When she and I are awake and not making love, there is nothing to talk about. She is a pure white light but it isn't a very bright light. I am very fond of her. I want to remain friends. I feel protective towards her. But I can't imagine being her hubby. She deserves a truck driver with a heart of gold, someone who will love her and care for her and get drunk on Saturday night and beg forgiveness on Sunday morning. I hope that someday she finds a good man to be a partner for her for life.

Chliao's best friend in Five Star was a girl named Aw. After Chliao left Aw and I discovered each other and one thing led to another and I fell in love with Aw. Aw's story is elsewhere, this is Chliao's page.

After Aw and I became lovers, not just overnight but living together, Chliao came back to work at the Five Star bar. At first there was tension between her and Aw. Chliao reasonably felt like Aw did steal her boyfriend from her, and Aw felt that Chliaw would steal her boyfriend from her. But over time we worked it out. Now, sometimes, Aw gets jealous of Chliao. They know that if it weren't for Aw I might take Chliao back to my bed some night. There are lots of nights when I need a teddy bear. But Chliao helps me when Aw is angry with me. I have told them that I like Chliao but I love Aw. Girls in that environment understand "I want you" but they don't really understand "I love you".

Whenever I'm in Bangkok I try to stop by Five Star to say "Hello" to Chliao. Actually, it gets a lot more hot and heavy than "Hello". Friends of Aw cannot believe that Aw's man is doing this with another woman, but Aw knows and Aw understands. Chliao knows that I belong to Aw, and Chliao and Aw both know that I won't take Chliao to my bed without Aw's permission. But oh my God if I get permission!

Chliao is seven years older than Aw and it shows. I worry sometimes that Chliao may be developing a drinking problem. I want Chliao to be well taken care of, and if nobody else does it and Aw lets me then I want to watch over her. I can say that I feel towards her like she is my younger sister, but even I don't believe that. She's a friend when I need a friend; someone to hug when I need a hug.

On Tuesday, December 7, 1999 Aw sent me to Bangkok on business. Aw deliberately stayed in Banphai. Chliao and I said a big "Hello"; two nights. Aw trusts Chliao.

Chaliao is fat and stupid. But she's got a good heart - everybody loves her. Including me.

Fat? When she was 8 months pregnant with our son Wing, the hospital gave her a caesarian (cut out the baby). She's never gotten any smaller. Basically she goes through life as if she is 8 months pregnant. But she's happy.

I can prove that she's stupid. When she worked in Bangkok she had a bank account. The bank gave her an ATM card. It took her ONE YEAR to learn how to get cash out of the ATM machine. During that year she always had to have a friend go with her to push the buttons for her. I know, because a couple of times I was the friend.

II am committed to taking care of Chaliao - FOREVER.

She's a sweet heart. By the way, the picture shown at the top of this page shows Chaliao in June of 2007, six months pregnant. Here is a more recent picture of Andy and Chliao:
Andy and Chliao

More about Andy and Chliao ...