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Are we there yet ?

So when are we going to get there?

I told you.  In about two hours.

But you said that two hours ago.  The farther we go, the longer it seems to take.  At this rate I don’t think we’ll ever get there.

No, it’s just that I have follow the roadmap.  It says we have to go through here and here and here before we can get to there.  And it takes time to get to each one.

But you drew the roadmap yourself. 

No I didn’t.  It was him on the back seat.

But he just does what you tell him.  I just wish you wouldn’t keep leading me on.  It’s as if you don’t really want to get there.

Of course I want to get there.  I said that right at the beginning. 

Which was three hours ago when you said it would take maybe an hour.

Well, things have happened since then.

We might go faster if you could drive a bit better.

What’s wrong with my driving?  Everybody tells me I’m a fantastic driver.

Well I don’t know why we’re driving with two flat tyres.  I’m sure we’d go faster if they were fixed.

What are you talking about, flat tyres?

The flat tyre that says nobody can discuss where we’re going and the flat tyre that says nobody can get together in groups of five or more and push us along a bit quicker.

If we let people form mobs or say what they think, it will be chaos and I won’t have any control over the car.  We’d never get there.  Anyway, I’m thinking about fixing them in a bit.

When?

In about an hour.

Give me strength.  But you are stringing me along, you know.

What do you mean?

Well when you stopped to talk to that farang, you said we’d be there in one hour, not two.

What farang?

That one with the funny hair.  The one that made you buy the guns and pork.

He didn’t make me.  It’s called free trade.  It’s because there’s an imbalance in the trading relationship.  You wouldn’t understand.

So why is the boot now full of pork and guns?  We make our own pork and who are you planning on shooting?

Like I said, the bilateral trade wasn’t in balance and he didn’t like it, so I had to buy stuff from him.

Had to?  And you call it free trade?  Anyway, you told him we’d be there in an hour and he said that made him happy. 

No, I didn’t say that.  I didn’t say we’d get there in an hour.  I said I’d tell him in an hour when we would get there.  That’s different.  

That’s not what it says here.

Where? 

This agreement you both signed. 

You’re not supposed to look at that.  It’s written in farang anyway.  Who told you what it says?

That’s you all over.  You never want to know if something might be true.  Just go after who’s saying it.

I don’t what you’re talking about.

Well all I know is there’s a big paddy wagon behind that’s been following us all the way and it’s not getting any emptier.  It’s an embarrassment whenever anyone goes past and at this rate everyone seems to be going faster than us.

Will you give over with the snide remarks?  As if I don’t get enough with those press people that keep following us, pestering me with questions.  I mean, I stop every 5 or ten minutes and give them speech, but is it enough?  Oh, no.

They gave up listening to your speeches hours ago.  I don’t know why you bother.

I’m trying to concentrate on the driving and it’s just one question after another.

Well I still have one question.

What?

When are we going to get there?


About author:  Bangkokians with long memories may remember his irreverent column in The Nation in the 1980's. During his period of enforced silence since then, he was variously reported as participating in a 999-day meditation retreat in a hill-top monastery in Mae Hong Son (he gave up after 998 days), as the Special Rapporteur for Satire of the UN High Commission for Human Rights, and as understudy for the male lead in the long-running ‘Pussies -not the Musical' at the Neasden International Palladium (formerly Park Lane Empire).