Of Newbies And Bargirls
By Kiwi Fresh
Bar girls are clairvoyant! They generally try to conceal this talent, but occasionally it is as obvious as dogs whatits. Bear with me and I shall prove my rash statement.
Flashback to June 2000 and I have just arrived in Bangkok for a 4 week holiday. I had fallen in love with Thailand 8 years previous when I first arrived there to work for an Australian company. And after I left the LOS in ’94, I managed to stay away for 5 years before succumbing to the Siren’s song and returning for a second time. Since then I am lost, and find myself returning much more frequently. But I digress. Accompanying me in June 2000 is my big cousin “D”, one week older than me, but a newbie to Thailand, actually his first time to South East Asia and first OE <overseas experience = kiwi expression – Stick> in 12 years. I was to be his guide and make sure he didn’t do anything foolish or embarrassing……yeah right!
Now to set the stage for this story: Our flight arrived around midnight and we caught a taxi to our hotel at the end of Sukhumvit Soi 2. Previously I had attempted to contact a number of hotels from the Lonely Planet guide, but this had been the only hotel to answer my faxes. It soon became apparent why, they really needed the business. But what
the hell, we weren't about to start walking the streets at midnight. We had booked two rooms, but the door on mine wouldn't open, so, as my cousin’s room was big with 3 beds, I told the checkin girl we would just share the one room. After a shower and with our body clocks totally out of whack with local time, we decided to wander out for one beer before bedding down. One thing led to another, and I’m not sure how it happened but somehow around 2.30 AM we found ourselves in the Thermae, as you do. My cousin is in “Thermae newbie” mode, not knowing which way to look. And to cut a long story short, a little before dawn I find myself leaving with a girl named Pookie and my cousin with her cousin Mei. Pookie is a stunner, tall, attractive, awesome figure but only basic English. Mei is shorter, plumper, not so pretty but speaks better English. We go for noodles and more beer, but me and cousin “D” are starting to seriously feel the lack of sleep over the last 2 days. So we apologise to the girls and tell them “we go home alone”, explaining that we are sharing a room, but promise to meet them tomorrow night, in Thermae.
The next day “D” and I change hotels and that night, true to our word, and after checking out a couple of bars around NEP, we head to Thermae to meet our two friends from the night before. We take them for food, drinks and some dancing, ( not necessarily in that order ) before heading back to our new, separate hotel rooms. It was a fun night and a good time was had by all, say no more.
Pookie had to leave me at 7 AM for “English Lessons” but came back about 9 AM. Later we took the girls for brunch and then they left us about 2 PM, after we promised to see them again that night. The rest of the afternoon was an opportunity to rest up until it was time to get ready to face it all again. Life is tough, but, well we do our best, don’t we. Early evening “D” and I do dinner and a beer bar before heading to NEP and, picking a bar at random, end up in the Carousel (I think) on the top floor. Instantly “D” is drooling over a sweet young thing in a school uniform. He buys her a drink and another for the older woman massaging his shoulders. I get talking to another girl, a little older who is actually interesting to talk to, but half my mind is on Pookie. After a while it seems obvious that “D” is thinking that Miss “school girl” is much better looking than Mei, and it is time to trade up. After a time, the girl I’m talking to has to go back to “hello duty” at the door, and it is also time to go meet Pookie and Mei. I remind “D”, but he is still drooling over Miss ”school girl”. He asks me to tell Mei he is sick or something, but to stay at Thermae until midnight, and if things don’t work out with the “school girl” he'll turn up there having made an amazing recovery ( geez, who is teaching who here?). I tell him not to worry “I’ll see ya right”,….. yeah, right in the shit, chuckle chuckle. So off I go, and get to Thermae about 11 PM. Pookie and Mei are there and Mei asks me “where your friend D?”
Now what am I supposed to tell her ?…. Oh yeah “I left him talking to some guys in a bar in Soi Cowboy, but I come ahead so you not think we not coming. I think he will be here soon”. She looks unconvinced.
So I buy drinks and we chat, and drink, and chat, but around 11.45 Mei says she thinks D has found another lady. I admit that it is possible that he is the biggest butterfly this side of the black stump, or maybe he is still talking to those guys. She says never mind, she doesn’t want to see him anymore. At this stage I’m still hot for Pookie so I invite them both out for a drink, and off we go.
I ask “ok where you like to go drink?”
“We like go A Go Go bar “
I suddenly have a bad premonition, but hey, I told them we were drinking in Soi Cowboy right! “Ah…, what Go Go bar?”
“We want go Nana” , ….Oh shit, but hey it’s a big place….isn’t it?
So we find a taxi, and off to NEP we go. A quick ride and we are all suddenly standing at the entrance to this den of inequity. I’m trying to play it cool, letting them lead the way in a kind of reverse psychology kind of thing (yes ladies, any bar, choose any bar, I’ve nothing to hide).
But I ask “okay so which bar you like?”
“We go up there” Mei says, pointing to the same level Carousel is on, and heading for the escalator.
Oh shit again, but hey, we’re heading up to the opposite side from Carousel bar, and there are still plenty of bars up there right…RIGHT?!
At the top of the stairs the girls start to walk along the balcony, and I am sure gentle reader that by now you can see exactly where this is going. At this stage I to am starting to ponder the inevitability of fate, destiny, the interconnectedness of all cosmic things, and the possibility of plain dumb luck. But I decide to try one last attempt to save “D” any embarrassment. I try to think quickly of a plan, something crafty, smart, and creative. In short “a plan so cunning, you could pin a tail on it and call it a weasel” – Blackadder.
So I try ….“hey, what about this bar, this looks okay?”,….pretty original huh?
“No, we don’t like this one” and they keep walking.
I reconcile myself to failure and give “D”s fate over to the lap of the Gods, or the prescience of two Thai girls. We continue to the corner, turn left, walk across the back of NEP to the next corner and stop. Do I imagine it, or does Mei close her eyes and touch her fingertips to her temples in concentration? For a second I think we are going to go back the way we came, but no, they turn and we are moving down the third side towards Carousel bar. I look at my watch and note it is 12.45. Ok I tell myself, no sweat, “D” will either be looking for us in Thermae (fat chance) or probably screwing the “school girl” by now. Mai mee bunhar. We pass doors, getting closer and closer to Carousel, but stop one door way short of Carousel.
Grasping at the opportunity I quickly ask “what about this bar?”
“OK, this bar” is the reply, and I try hard not to smile as I hustle them inside before they change their minds. BUT, as I duck through the doorway I suddenly realise that this is a second entrance to Carousel. As I glance through the arch way into the other part of Carousel, you can guess who I see. My cousin is a largish bloke and the white shirt he is wearing is lighting up like a weather balloon under the blacklight. But the two girls haven’t seen him yet, and I hustle them into a corner, and seats where I hope they will not easily see him. But I am trying to challenge forces I have no understanding of, and as we sit down, Mei points and says with apparent surprise, ‘Oh my Buddha, there’s your friend” I counter with my own show of surprise. “Where? Oh my, what’s he doing here, and with those girls, oh what a big butterfly, oh what a terrible man!”
I take the opportunity to get a good look at “D” who, with his back to us is unaware of the fact that he is sooo BUSTED. But at the moment he is contented, in fact the term “pig in shit” springs to mind, as he now has two girls massaging his shoulders, three others sitting near him, one on his knee and a table full of drinks. I feel sorry for Mei but thankfully she seems only a little disappointed and very soon “D” pays his tab and leaves with Miss “school girl” who is now looking a respectable age in jeans and tee shirt. He leaves, totally oblivious to the fact that we watch him go from the other side of the bar. We relax, I buy another round of drinks and I contemplate what a weird evening it has been. What were the odds of picking this bar? Was it really just dumb luck, or was there a secret spy network in operation? I didn’t think so as we had never been in this bar before. Or could there be a darker, more sinister explanation? The more I think on it, the more I am convinced that this experience proves conclusively that Thai bar girls have psychic powers.
The jungle telegraph is a very efficient system that the West could learn from… Did it come into play in this situation?