By Ekamai Guy
Recipe for a moral dilemma!
1 church goin’ 14 year old red blooded American male
A generous allowance
A liberal curfew
Great quantities of very active hormones
Place in Bangkok, vintage fall of ’67.
Blend until completely mixed up!
Stateside I had thought I was goin’ ta hell for thinking those thoughts about women. How could a church choirboy be so consumed with such thoughts of women and what he might do with them! Now the family had joined Dad who had taken a job assignment in Thailand. Do we really have to go live in Siam? Can’t I just stay here with my friends? Damn it is hot here! No football…soccer? Oh shit!
Second day in Bangkok Dad took me to the Chevrolet Hotel for lunch. On the way out he pointed to a place called Thermae and said I was to never go in there. It only took me a year (boy was I mixed up and slow!) to figure out that he wasn’t saying don’t go a massage parlor…just keep away from where he liked to hang out!
My new school friends were “good boys” like me. We wanted to be cool. We smoked cigarettes and sometimes visited with the local Ekamai Bong Club boys. We drank Singha and Mekong and soda. Did a little of the over-the counter stimulant taking. We knew some butterfly girls just because we talked with people and we were welcomed into social life in the neighborhood (Petchaburi Road Klong @ Ekamai). They all called me “chelly boy”. I thought chelly was some kind of Thai word I didn’t yet understand.
My world did a flip-flop one night after dinner. Mom took me aside for a heart to heart. She said, “I know you are a good boy and want to save yourself for your wife. But if you sometime find yourself out with your friends and drink too much beer and end up in a Massage Parlor…son, use a prophylactic.” She continued and explained that my father had “given her a discharge”. Yep, the old man had given mom the clap. I told mom that she need not worry about me and my behavior. I excused myself and headed for the front door. I ran one block before I fell down laughing. Quite a vision a farang teenager face up in the middle of the soi laughing his fool head off!
I was not overjoyed the next time I heard “where you go, chelly boy?” I had become friends with an Australian man who decided it was time I visited a massage parlor with him. I enjoyed the massage and the “handiwork”. Heaven knows I asked her for bomb-bomb but I couldn’t even get an exposed boob. “Pooying teenie mai dai.” (Girls here don’t fool around) What a terrible thing to say to a chelly boy who finally got to the inside of a massage parlor.
What a trial. I made up my mind that 1968 would be my last year as a virgin. My birthday and Christmas came and went. Cash was the gift of choice. Sawadi Bee Mai! New years Eve. Try to find some buddies at Jams…a new bar where the International School in-crowd hangs. Nobody home. Walk around nervous as all hell. I know I should be on Petchaburi to find what I’m looking for. I think I’ll just go get a beer in this hotel on Sukumvit soi 3. No bar…going back to Sukumvit to get a cab to Petchaburi.
I hear “Where you go, dawling?” This girl is in an alley behind a massage parlor on Sukumvit. She is wearing a pasin (traditional Thai clothing). She is no butterfly and most likely a recent transplant to Bangkok. I say, “Pom by tio, Krup! (I am going everywhere) I run the checklist. Not a katoy. Young..maybe eighteen. Not great on looks but a good figure. Willing and interested. Fits my needs.
It’s about 10:30. We hop a bus headed for the National Parade Grounds. Sixty thousand drunk Thais and every one of them wants the one and only farang there to have a slug off their bottle. Mekong and Singha, yes. But keep that rice wine stuff away from here! Pom, my new found friend, is thrilled to be with the farang. She says, “We go Jack’s Bar now?” Wade through the sea of drunken Thais and finally get a cab. She is sitting’ really close. We are necking something fierce when the cab slows. We move apart to go through the Police “cab inspection station”. I ask her where she lives, my hand having found its way inside her blouse. She gives me the street name and I redirect the cab driver.
A modest stilt raised shack over a pond. Fine by me. One dim light bulb hanging from the rafters. Great! Mosquito netting around a floor level mattress. Like heaven. Having been a bottle baby I have some serious first time nibbling to do. Great kissing. A man is supposed to pleasure a lady first…just a taste, okay. “Mai ow…grueay hom.” Never mind I say as she pulls me to her. I should have been in the American Revolution…I’m a minute man! But what a minute…seems the whole world is screaming…and it is…12AM “Happy new year”….. “We go Jack’s bar?”…. “Chai, tee luck, rau by Jack’s bar” (Sure honey..let’s go).
We’re dressed and off…catch a Sam Lor (Tuk Tuk) to top soi. She wants a cab to Petchaburi. The cab arrives and she negotiates the price. Twenty baht is way too much but it is New Years and he wants his price. I open the door for her…and close it for her after handing her 100 baht. I may have broken a heart…I never knew. I grew at least a foot in my own eyes that night.
In retrospect I have concluded that I may have turned a lonely girl into a pro that night. And though I should not impose my Western concept of shame on Thai cultural beliefs, I shamed myself by walking away rather than going with her to Jack’s…which would have been the right thing to do. But then again…what the hell…no more of this chelly boy crap!
Oh, it must have been a really GREAT place for a farang way back then. Uncrowded Bangkok, pollution free, with so much of that Thai charm. You were here in the golden days…back when even Flashermak was a young 'un!