Dutch Jeff lumbered into Thai Garden Restaurant early saturday morning.
The big man dwarfed his little Honda 70CC step thru motorbike. Parking it on the north side of the building, he hoisted off his little son “Jep-noi”, immediately Jep-Noi ran over to Crazy Daves table, where David hadn’t noticed the little guy, until he pee’d under the table and ran off towards the beach while Dutch Jeff mooched a free drink from Texas Larrys bottle of Hon Yoke rum.
Jeff, a true dutchman liked anything free. He sat down at the same table as Texas Larry and began a strange tale. It seemed that Dutch Jeff had actually found employment in Phuket town!!!
Having a job for an expat was strange, outside of the hand full of expat bar/restaurant owners, I knew of NO expat anywhere on Phuket island that actually…worked!
It seems that the big man got a job as an “extra” in the new movie being filmed over the hill in Phuket town! Word soon scrambled over the coconut telegraph and all expats in Phuket made their way to the hiring office for extras, which was IN Thai Garden Restaurant the next day.
Locals, expats,movie star wanna be’s all showed up, stood in line and many were hired on the spot as fill-ins/extras for the new movie “The Killing Fields” soon to be filmed using the old Phuket-Portugese building in Phuket town that looked similar to parts of Cambodia!
The guy next door from the Paradise Dive Shop got a bit part in the movie as a US Army soldier, a few others got similar parts, but Dutch Jeff actually got the part of the Russian Ambassador, a SPEAKING part in the new movie!!
Having a speaking part in the movie meant that Dutch Jeff was PAID MORE for his part and most importantly to Dutch Jeff, it meant he got to eat FREE FOOD DAILY with the “real” actors of the movie, while most of the bit players were on their own!
At the end of each day, Jeff would return to Thai Garden Restaurant and hold court and lord his high pay speaking movie star job over the lesser bit-part/extra players as Jeff would routinely and with great detail, brag about everything that happened or every free steak he ate that day!
Diver Mike, from next doors Paradise Dive Shop would often come into Thai Garden Restaurant in full US Army costume. He’d pick my brains on how to “look like a real solider”,etc and I’d always add a few “suggestions” so he could have his uniform looking strack and Army-like! The guy looked EXACTLY like JFK killer Lee Harvey Oswald and many of us would call him Oswald and Diver Mike would grin and take it as a compliment.
Diver Mike had recently returned from commercial diving in the Middle East while his partner at the dive shop, Mike “Shady” Brady ran the shop. It appears various “contracts” etc by the Irish Diver vs Oswald didn’t pan out the way Oswald thought it would be and in turn he immediately tuned in Mike “Shady” Brady to the immigration, it seems Shady hadn’t bothered to get a Visa/work permit in about 4 years.
Anyway, Dutch Jeff would hold court the rest of the evening,going into night and often brought a “real” actor or two to frequent Thai Garden Restaurant. He always referred to the star, Sam Waterston as that skinny guy!
I’ve searched the movie in IMDB but can find NO MENTION of Dutch Jeff or the part of the Russian Ambassador! But, just watch the movie and notice the big bald Russian Ambassador, a few scenes anyway, I think they cut all of his speaking parts and you can see Dutch Jeff in all his glory near the end of the movie when the fall of Pnom Penn shows them burning documents and throwing out a washing machine! The mystery lives on…
In Old Patong, there was always a mystery, some solved, mostly unsolved and gone into legend!