‘Tiger Lily of Bangkok’: Review
Lily was born near the Mekong River border with Laos in North-eastern Isaan, Thailand, the only daughter of Chinese-Thai parents, who owned and ran a small shop in the village where they were born. Not having a large family, they had to hire people from time to time to help out in the shop.
When she was just eleven years old, her ‘uncle’, a trusted family friend, began to abuse her – an ordeal that continued for two years, until a chance occurrence in the school playground, something that no-one of her age should ever have witnessed, gave her an idea which would put an end to ‘uncle’s’ little game once and for all.
However, the final solution was so abhorrent to her that it took her a few ‘sessions’ with ‘uncle’ to pluck up the courage to carry it out. Even when she did do it though and the abuse stopped, the shame did not. In fact, it never really went away, although none of it had ever been her fault in the slightest.
Her father died young and the rumour was that he had died of the shame of letting his little princess suffer so much for so long. Her mother was never the same again after that and grew apart from Lily, who just assumed that her mother did not love her any more.
This turned out to be untrue, but no-one ever talked about it, so Lily was left for Bangkok thinking the worst, while her mother retreated into he shell with her own sorrows, oblivious to what was going through Lily’s mind.
Fellow-villagers learned to avoid Lily too, or at least, she thought they did, so she was happy to take the first opportunity that presented itself to leave home and everyone behind.
Lily used her compensation money to move to Bangkok to study as a medical student, but she had underestimated the costs and fell in with people from the seedier side of society to make up the difference and pay her university fees.
One day, the feelings of neglect and abuse reached boiling point and Lily exploded with terrible consequences. It lasted for just less than two months, but sheer mayhem and terror ruled in Thailand’s capital city forcing people to stay indoors for fear of a gruesome death, since no-one knew how or why the victims were being chosen.
Lily would never be the same again and nor would Bangkok.
by +Owen Jones