‘He only noticed the woman, arriving unexpectedly from behind like a cyclone, when a shopping bag hit the back of his knee and he was nearly toppled off his feet by the bag’s owner… whom he then had to catch. The first thing he noticed was the blondish cascade of hair draping itself all over his shoulder and the sweet scent emanating from it. Then the woman herself appeared from behind the surge of hair. She was tall, willowy, and young; she wore a black, spaghetti-strap top and black linen pants. Paul found her very lovely, her jaw defined and her lips pink and full, but her most attractive feature by far was her eyes. Contrary to her expression, her gaze did not imply annoyance, but rather wise sorrow.
The woman Paul held in his arms for a moment fell into the category of women that he could never, even for a moment, dream of having, because he knew they were inaccessible to him. This knowledge began to root itself in his mind when he was twelve years-old and deeply longing for the fourteen year-old girl who lived next door; Marcy was incredibly beautiful and was correspondingly adored by all. When Paul confessed to his father his adoration of the girl and his hopes that perhaps one day he might marry her, his father looked at him sincerely and said the following:
“Don’t make a fool of yourself, son. Don’t waste your time on girls who definitely won’t want you, girls that all the other boys compete for. Choose a simple, sweet, ordinary girl, and you won’t be disappointed. I did the same,” he said, hinting at Paul’s mother.
Paul was initially shocked by his father’s words, but later, each time an exciting and significantly attractive woman appeared on the horizon, he always retreated.
The woman quickly regained her balance, mumbled something in German, then switched to English.
“Thanks so much.”
“No problem,” answered Paul, helping her collect the scattered shopping bags. “Are you a tourist? Bangkok is such a strange place,” he added, a bit flustered.
The woman seemed lost for a moment, not answering, but after the pause, her lips formed a faint smile.
“Well, thanks again,” she said finally, reaching for the bags.
“Wait, let me carry these!” exclaimed Paul trying to seize the opportunity. “I suppose you’re taking a taxi. Let me walk you out to the taxi,” he added, swinging the shopping bags. His tongue seemed unhinged. “Bangkok is a great place to shop. Though I don’t usually do much shopping, I bought a whole bunch of faux brand names from the street merchants.”
The woman laughed.
“Did I say something funny?” asked Paul in disbelief. No one had ever found him humorous before. Even he thought he had no sense of humor. He finally checked himself. “I supposed you’re laughing at me for blabbing all this nonsense. If you even understand what I’m saying.” After all, I haven’t heard you say a single word besides thank you and some German cursing, he added in thought.
“I’m Helen,” said the woman, finally extending her hand with a smile.
Paul wasn’t able to shake her hand because he was holding the woman’s rather heavy bags printed with names like Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, and other similarly high-end designers.
“Paul. Paul Marshall,” he introduced himself.
“Hello, Paul. I’m glad I ran into you, otherwise I would have fallen flat on my face in front of everyone. Let’s head out to the taxi then.”
Paul noticed that she wasn’t wearing a wedding ring and didn’t know what to think. Did it mean that she had no husband? That she didn’t like jewelry? Of course, she must still be rather young, maybe thirty, if that. Women these days don’t marry so young anymore. But surely she had a boyfriend.
They cut across the square among the tables. A crew was just setting up on stage and the smell of grilling chicken wafted from the direction of the buffet counters. Paul suddenly felt very hungry.
“Would you like to grab something to eat?” he said, turning to Helen.
She looked at him with astonished, wide eyes.
“Or anytime. Whenever.”
The woman didn’t answer, but strode resolutely towards a taxi.
“You have to haggle,” Paul called after her. “Don’t get in unless you have your price.”
“Okay. Haggle for me then.”
“Fine. What price do you want?” Paul asked pensively.
Helen laughed again.
“How about a hundred?”
“Alright. But where do you live?”
“At the Oriental Hotel.”
“Is it far from here?”
“About half an hour.”
Paul stepped over to a taxi idling by the sidewalk.
“How much to the Oriental Hotel?”
“What?!” Paul began to walk away.
“Okay. How much you give, mister?” called the driver.
“A hundred-thirty,” said the little Thai man.
Paul nodded and began to load the woman’s bags into the car.
“A hundred and thirty bahts,” he said to Helen victoriously when he finished. “How long will you be staying in Bangkok?”
“For a longer while.”
“Are you on holiday?”
“I’m working. At a photo shoot.”
“As a photographer,” the answer arrived after a short pause. Helen extended her hand in parting. “Well, thanks again for everything.”
One second from now she will be sitting in the taxi and speeding out of my life, Paul thought tensely. She’ll be off to the Oriental Hotel, and I will never have the courage to look her up. Everything depends on this second. He mustered his courage and surprising even himself, he asked:
“May I invite you to dinner sometime?”
The woman seemed astonished.
“Call me tomorrow night. I’m in room seven-eleven,” she answered after slight hesitation. Then she added: “Helen. My name is Helen Schmidt.”
“Paul Marshall,” Paul said, introducing himself again awkwardly, which made them both laugh.
Helen got into the car and waved goodbye. Paul waved back and realized that he had never been so full of happy anticipation before.’
Bangkok: a sizzling, all-embracing, exotic city where the past and the present intertwine. It’s a place where anything can happen… and anything really does happen. The paths of seven people cross in this metropolis. Seven seekers, for whom this city might be a final destination. Or perhaps it is only the start of a new journey? A successful businessman; a celebrated supermodel; a man who is forever the outsider; a young mother who suddenly loses everything; a talented surgeon, who could not give the woman he loved all that she desired; a brothel’s madam; and a charming young woman adopted at birth. Why these seven? Why did they come to Bangkok now, at the same time? Do chance encounters truly exist?
Bangkok Transit is a Central European best-seller. The author, Eva Fejos, a Hungarian writer and journalist, is a regular contributor to women’s magazines and is often herself a featured personality. Bangkok Transit was her first best-seller, which sold more than 100,000 copies and is still selling. Following the initial publication of this novel in 2008, she went on to write twelve other best-sellers, thus becoming a publishing phenomena in Hungary According to accounts given by her readers, the author’s books are “therapeutic journeys,” full of flesh and blood characters who never give up on their dreams. Many readers have been inspired to change the course of their own lives after reading her books. “Take your life into your own hands,” is one of the important messages the author wishes to convey.
Try it for yourself, and let Eva Fejos whisk you off on one of her whirlwind journeys... that might lead deep into your own heart.
About Eva Fejos, the author of Bangkok Transit
- Eva Fejos is a Hungarian writer and journalist.
- has had 13 best-selling novels published in Hungary so far.
- Bangkok Transit is her first best-seller, published in 2008.
- has won several awards as a journalist, and thanks to one of her articles, the legislation pertaining to human egg donation was modified, allowing couples in need to acquire donor eggs more easily.
- spends her winters in Bangkok.
- likes novels that have several storylines running parallel.
- visited all the places she’s written about.
- spent a few days at an elephant orphanage in Thailand; and has investigated the process of how Thai children are put up for adoption while visiting several orphanages.
- founded her own publishing company in Hungary last year, where she not only publishes her own books, but foreign books too, hand-picked by her.
- Her books published in Hungary thus far are:
Till Death Do Us Part (Holtodiglan) | Bangkok Transit | Hotel Bali | Chicks (Csajok) | Strawberries for Breakfast (Eper reggelire) | The Mexican (A mexikói) | Cuba Libre | Dalma | Hello, London | Christmas in New York (Karácsony New Yorkban) | Caribbean Summer (Karibi nyár) | Bangkok, I Love You (Szeretlek, Bangkok) | Starting Now – the new edition of Till Death Do Us Part (Most kezdődik) | Vacation in Naples – the English version will be published in summer, 2014 (Nápolyi vakáció)
To be published in spring of 2014: I Waited One Hundred Nights (Száz éjjel vártam)
Bangkok Transit (English version): http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00HDIT4UY
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Genre - Women's Fiction, Contemporary
Rating – PG-13
More details about the author