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Lek in Barry

My name is Lek and my husband, Craig and I are on holiday in Craig's hometown of Barry in the Vale of Glamorgan, South Wales, UK. We are staying with his mum, whom I have met before as was mentioned in the book 'Behind The Smile ~ The Story of Lek, a Thai Bar Girl in Pattaya".

Lek in Barry

by Owen Jones

Lek in Barry

I love the port of Barry and was eager to get out to see whether I could remember parts of it and whether some people I had met last time would remember me. It was quite exciting as we said 'good-bye' to Mum and went out the front door.

Ostensibly, we had to go to the funeral reception for an old relative who had just died at the age of 92, but it would be a fairly happy event at which we would meet up with lots of Craig's cousins and family. That was to start at 3 pm. It was midday when we left so we had a few hours to explore.

We caught the bus into town and started from there. Even the ride was interesting as I had forgotten a lot of the landmarks on the bus route. We passed the football ground, Jenner Park, on Barry Road and then went up Crogan Hill before turning left down past the Tynewydd Inn on Tynewydd Road and onto King's Square, the centre of town.

I reminded Craig that we had had several good evenings in the Tynny as it is nicknamed and asked if we could go back there again. Craig seemed quite delighted that I had asked to go back again.

It was a cold day with a bitter wind and a threat of rain, so it was not surprising that there were few shoppers about, but I did think that I recognised a few faces as we walked up and down Holton Road looking for somewhere to buy a couple of British SIMM cards, as our Thai ones wouldn't work.

We found the SIMM's and as we were looking we spotted some lovely shoes for me, which I bought. I put the 'old' shoes in my bag and wore the new ones to meet the family.

Holton Road was almost deserted, but Craig said that it was probably a pre-Christmas lull, when people were saving up for the Christmas and New Year period. Some of the shops were the same, as far as I remember, but there was an interesting-looking coffee shop that was new, so we went in to warm up.

The coffee and cakes were gorgeous and the air hung with the heavy smell of freshly ground and made coffee. I will make sure we go back there again in the near future. In fact, there are a few good reasons for coming back into town soon, so a revisit is as good as guaranteed.

We strolled on down to the Memorial Hall where the reception was being held in the annex. The Barry Male Voice Choir had sung at the funeral and they were at the reception too. I was disappointed that the reception did not last long, but apparently many had far to go to get home and with the weather being forecast to get pretty bad, they wanted to get on the road early.

Still, it was lovely to see them again and I remembered some of the family and they all seemed to remember me! I don't suppose there are any other Thais in the family though - if they consider me part of the family yet. I'll have to ask Craig about that.

Nobody mentioned my new shoes.

Reprinted with kind permission from Behind The Smile ~ The Story of Lek a Bar Girl in Pattaya. If you like this article, please click through to read more about Lek and the book.