Pattaya Christmas 2001
I first visited Thailand in 1977 and although I wasn't keen on Bangkok I went to Pattaya and became hooked. I am usually able to visit only once a year, mostly Christmas / January. Perhaps you could give me some insight into my experiences last Christmas, although understanding women, let alone Thai women will probably always remain a mystery to us males.
In fact the story begins Christmas 1999 when I went on holiday with a British girl. I wanted to be in Pattaya for the millennium and she was at the time a live-in so I had to take her with me. So on that holiday I spent time doing tourist things and first met Pira a Thai bloke, who now owns a bar in Pattaya. This was before the bar was open. Pira is a good bloke respected and trusted by the ex-pat community, and I regard him as a friend.
I visited Pattaya last April but didn't know where his bar was, but 5 days before going home I saw a girl who I immediately fancied and decided to stop for a beer. The girls name was Da so I talked with her as you do and decided I was going to barfine her although I didn't tell her this because two things happened. Up to that point my experience had been that if you go into a bar because a girl had beckoned you in, the other girls left you and her alone so that the girl could land her catch. All the time I was talking to Da another girl was quite pushy her name was Ooy. Then in walked the bar owner, none other than Pira, some co-incidence. So I ended up chatting to Da, Ooy and Pira obviously not giving Da the attention she would otherwise received. Then she disappeared. Ooy, quick to spot a chance, told me Da didn't like me and I became more and more Ooy's target. Da had gone at least an hour, I now know this is how long it takes her to get changed and do her make-up etc., (she doesn't look any better, just different) but not knowing this at the time I believed what Ooy had told me. When Da returned I had already barfined Ooy and received a big dirty look from Da, which I thought at the time confirmed what Ooy had said about her not liking me, when in fact she had intended to leave with me. As I only had a few days left to stay, and because I wanted to spend time with Pira, I stayed with Ooy getting plenty of dirty looks from Da during those days.
Onto Christmas eve 2001, arriving in Bangkok I took a taxi straight to Pattaya and Pira's bar. He had arranged my accommodation, and saved me a new girl other farangs tell me they had not seen before who was very attractive but a big zero for personality. All she did was smile, didn't speak one word of either Thai or English, she just kept on smiling, so I decided I wouldn't barfine her and was going to make my excuses, tired after the journey etc. All the girls who worked the bar in April had left and this new lot just weren't the same standard until in walks Da but with a farang. The rest of the night she spent talking with me, her back turned on her companion who eventually got fed up and left, myself ignoring the girl I was with. I spoke to Pira because I didn't want to appear ungrateful for his choice of lady, but explained I wanted to barfine Da. I got the usual "up to you, me you friends" but I sensed he didn't like Da. I have never developed any feelings for a bargirl before but I enjoyed being with Da. Some of the expats who know me were saying how lucky I was. She is such a nice girl virtually marrying us off, but I said wait and see if we are still together by the end of the holiday (one month). I did ask how long she had been working the bar and not expecting the truth she said she worked one month only in April and returned December 23 – her story checked out. She had told me she was only going to stay in Pattaya 3 days this time, but as we were together she would stay longer. I had agreed to pay her 1000 baht each day, I wanted to keep her happy.
I discovered a new hobby, which was most enjoyable, this was walking behind Da, especially one night when she wore white trousers with knickers underneath that became a thong at the back. Now I think even the most inexperienced pervert knows that white trousers become virtually see-through at night, something not lost on others as we walked along Beach Road one evening. It was all I could do to stay behind her, one bloke in particular managed to get in between us and stubbornly refused to get out of the way, both to my pride and amusement.
I had given her 3000 after 3 days but she asked me to give her the money when I was due to leave, she assumed we would still be together. Usually after 2 or 3 days and I get fed up / bored with one girl but I was really happy with Da even after a week, she had been really good, the only thing she pestered me for was a mobile phone.
THE MOBILE PHONE
A slight detour here but the tale is worth recounting. I was determined not to give in to all the hints, furtive glances and occasional pleas but Da was very persistent, so I came up with the idea. OK I'll buy the phone but basically she would pay for it herself, by me not paying her daily allowance until the phone was paid for. I put the idea to her making sure she understood exactly what I was saying and satisfied that she understood and to my surprise she agreed. The phone she wanted cost 4000 baht so she asked how many days would she go unpaid, showing my mathematical prowess I told her four days. This was followed by much furrowing of the brow, even greater use of the fingers attempting to crack the great quadratic equation. Eventually with a smile which suggested either I had short changed myself, or perhaps it was a lifelong ambition being realised she said ok together with a confirming finger count up to four. Off to Big C, credit card in hand, and after looking in every counter three or four times the perfect match was found. If Da fell in love, it was with her phone. The initial battery charge was fun, she just loved pushing buttons and was upset when I told her the phone would not be ready for 12 to 16 hours. The only available power point in my apartment happened to be on my side of the bed so every 10 minutes or so I would be leapt upon, unfortunately not for rampant sex, but so she could gaze lovingly at her new possession. Probably sooner than was best I told her she could use the phone and she rang every number she knew including my own in England (twice in the first hour). A particular favourite which I had shown her, was the free phone number which let you know how much credit you had left on your card. She would ring this tell how much was left and then laugh as if it were the funniest thing in the world, she would ring at least every half-hour even after the novelty should have worn off. Unfortunately the menus on the phone were not available in Thai so I suggested we go back to Big C and change to a mobile which had Thai menus. The girl at the counter spoke good English. She understood the problem and proceeded to demonstrate similarly priced phones which would be more suitable. A look of horror emanated from Da – she would have to give back her treasure – no way. So she kept her phone with no ability to use 90% of its functions, but it was hers. Perhaps I'm being a bit harsh here because most of my friends back in Farangland have the same problem despite having user guides printed in their own language.
Her behaviour started to become erratic bargirl style. Usually at the first sign of this I change girls but with Da she received a yellow card so to speak, it did the trick and she was back to being the girl I'll admit I had fallen for. She had hinted that she wanted me to meet her family but maybe that would be better if we kept in touch and if I met her again on my next visit we would go. That was fine by me and very sensible for an Isaan girl, however one day out of the blue she told me she wanted to go home for a few days. Would I go with her to Prakhon Chai near Buriram? So with some advice from Pira about what not to eat, off we went. She asked me if I wanted to book into a hotel but I said no I would stay at the house if that was ok, good move, she was really pleased. The first day was wonderful, my watch broke on the way so I had no idea what the time was which was ideal for village life. Da was attentive and I think was showing me off. I bought some presents for the family, all chosen by Da of course, probably about 20 items, sisters, brothers, uncle tom cobbley, but nothing for the water buffalo, spent about 3000 baht, things are cheap up-country. No mention had ever been made about our meeting in April, I assumed she just recognised me but not specifically. However she showed me a photo of the girls who had worked in Pira's bar in April and pointed to Ooy saying sexy lady. At first I didn't recognise Ooy it was only later the penny dropped. The day after she changed. The only thing I can think I did to upset her was not wanting to go somewhere when she asked if I wanted to go. What's there? I don't know. How far? 200 baht, therefore a long way, so I said no, or was it she had remembered me with Ooy at last? From that point on she ignored me, wouldn't speak, hugged a cuddly toy which she said a farang had bought her, I assume to make me jealous. Was she jealous? Surely not. I did feel somewhat vulnerable – a farang in an Isaan village unable to communicate as most spoke only what I assumed to be Lao dialect or possibly Khmer and somehow I had upset her – would the family take revenge? She did sleep with me that night but kept her distance, and if I spoke to her I was ignored attempting unsuccessful communication several times. I thought ok this is the end for us but not until I was safely back in Pattaya. Next morning we were due to return to sin city but she told me she wasn't returning. I could go back alone and that there were no buses today, which really gave me concern. I think she must have read my face because next she said "I joke you". About an hour later we were ready to leave and with great relief we set of to Khonchai and the joys of the rot tua. The journey is about ten hours and for nine of them I got the silent treatment, but near to Pattaya she started to be like her old self. Too late my little piranha. We got back to my apartment and she was now attentive, full of life, the girl I remembered.
Breaking with a girl if you stay with her for more than a couple of days is a performance in itself, as I'm sure many of you will know. I have a theory about earthquakes in Asia, could they be caused by the slamming of bargirls belongings when ending a lifelong relationship (3/4 days) the after effects reaching Taiwan some 2000 miles away? This one was no different – tantrums, accusations etc. except in one important aspect. I believed that I owed her 4000 baht. When I tried to explain this I got the response I did not expect. "I don't want your money". If she had taken the money and left I probably would not be writing this now. I offered to take some of her bags back to the bar but she wouldn't let me do a thing. So there I am empty handed walking down Pattaya Klang towards the bar, my little time bomb going past on the back of a motorcycle taxi loaded with bags like you've never seen, or perhaps in Pattaya you have. So the next problem to try to explain to Pira that I wasn't with Da because I didn't want him to blame her. Spoke to Pira who seemed really pleased we had split, said Da no good she always a problem for him. I tried to tell him she was really ok and we had just come to the end of the road, but all I got was Da no good and he would find me a nice lady, right then just what I didn't want – another UXB. Went to have a drink with Eamon and his lady who were friends of Da. They were asking about the trip and I told them the news. Next thing sitting next to me and trying to cuddle up is my erstwhile companion acting like nothing has happened, what is going on? So I thought I 'd best go and have a drink elsewhere. When I asked to checkbin, if I thought her previous dirty looks were killers this one was the mother of them all, even Eamon said if looks could kill you are a dead man. So for the next day and a half I avoided the ladies and spent much time with Mr Carlsberg. When I drank at Pira's bar the atmosphere was almost unimaginable. I always had the cleanest spot in the bar, Da not known for her work ethic would come over say nothing give me a dirty look and either brush up around wherever I was or wipe down the bar next to where I sat. I asked if anyone had barfined her and was told one person had tried but she wouldn't go and furthermore she was returning home the next day. Secretly pleased about her refusing to be barfined but a little upset she was leaving I considered trying to go back with her but decided her leaving was probably the best option. I was in the bar when she had collected her things to go home, there seemed less bags than when she had left my apartment, she just walked out without a good-bye so I called her, said take good care of yourself and wished her luck. I received only a nod as acknowledgement. Later Pira spoke to me telling me to find a new lady repeating Da no good. When I asked him why, the best explanation he gave was that if he visited England he would not understand peoples habits so it would be difficult to judge if a someone was a good person, but he understands Thai peoples habits and Da was no good. So not too much the wiser myself and the beer bottles were reunited. I didn't go with any of the girls for at least a week, the girls in Pira's could not understand why I chose to sleep alone suspecting I had a lady back in my room. One girl who had only just arrived asked me if I was gay. Part of the reason I remained celibate was because after my second day without Da I resolved to phone her, expecting to be subjected to much verbal abuse. So with much trepidation I bought myself a phone-card and called her up. Her response was not what I had expected. She chatted like you would to an old friend and asked how I was. I told her I was missing her and wished she was back in Pattaya. You sure she asked? Sure I replied. OK I come tomorrow was the unlikely retort. So feeling like a dog with two dicks it was happy hour all night, lots of Carlsberg vanishing before my very eyes. So next day and no sign of Da, well it is a long journey but I should ring, find out where she is, ETA. etc. Where are you? At the house. Why, you said you were returning to Pattaya. Have to speak with mama, will come tomorrow. OK, I see you tomorrow. Is she winding me up or am I being unreasonable? The more I thought about it, the more I believed she was taking the piss. Next day I would ring and if she was still at home, I had resolved to tell her to stay there. Interestingly when I phoned the following day all calls were being diverted to her answerphone. At first glance this would appear to confirm my suspicions, yet in this instance given her technical expertise and knowing that she had as much chance of accessing any messages as the infinite number of monkeys had of writing Hamlet, I decided to wait until my little Einstein had pushed the right sequence of buttons to receive calls once more. I had sixty-two baht left on my phone card at this point and calls were costing one baht a minute so I know that when I did get through our never to be forgotten conversation lasted one hour.
It was eight hours later before I could get through and was immediately struck by the quiet background with just the occasional dog barking – she was still at home. We conversed in a mixture of Thai and English, swapping languages seemingly at random. I will recount the Thai words only where a misunderstanding was possible. Hello Da where are you? At the house. Why you no come back Pattaya? Mai sabbai (not well but also used occasionally to mean I am having my period). OK, I don't want you to come back now. Why? Every day I ring you say I come tomorrow. OK, I come tomorrow. No I don't want you to come. Why? Mai sabbai. I think you play joke on me – no I come tomorrow – I don't want you to come – why?
We continued going around in circles for the duration of the call although the message must have registered eventually as the last ten minutes consisted of me being slagged off with not a chance of getting a word in edgeways. Much to my relief the time on the phone card expired and determined to find a new lady each night from now on, I set sail for the wonders of Pattaya's night life, an uneasy feeling going with me that given women's perverse nature, now that I had told Da not to come she would no doubt arrive, I even warned Joe the guy in the apartment next to mine in case he was woken by murderous threats emanating from my room. I wish I could continue by describing a night of incredible sex but the girl of my dreams that night was a Thai starfish, i.e. she adopted that position, lied back, thought of Thailand and wouldn't have moved if she had an epileptic fit. Next night went bar hopping and was reminded of Coleridge "water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink," either the ugly girls were letting no one else near me or the better specimens wanted to tell me all their problems. It got that bad I intended to return to Pira's and barfine one of the girls there, at least you could have a laugh with them. About fifty metre's from Pira's I spotted a good looking girl all alone in her bar and ever the white knight, I adjudged she was in need of rescue (it was also one o'clock in the morning). The lady's name was Kai and sex with her is certainly recommended. By now I had only four day's left before losing my "sexy man" epithet and thought what the hell, I'm not going bar hopping again. I'll stay with her. She was absolutely no problem, the way girls are when you first meet them, and I think because she knew I would be leaving shortly she didn't get any long term desires. Every evening around five o'clock she would go back to her room to get changed. I would have a beer or two at Pira's where she would meet me before returning to my apartment for me to have a shower and change also. A small eco-tip here, if one is to use the shower for the purposes they were intended, i.e. ablutions rather than a pre-coital ritual. Why not save a precious resource and follow immediately with sex anyway thereby saving much needed water. I add this only to contribute to the saving of our planet, no special thanks necessary.
Two days before my return home I was having my evening drink at Pira's, the bar being very quiet this time and while waiting for Kai to return, I experienced an eerie sensation as if I were being watched. I turned around and much to my horror there stood Da talking with the other girls who were indeed also turned looking towards me. The girls must have informed her of my new regular consort as soon after, much to my relief, she disappeared on the back of a motorbike. Not long after Kai surfaced and instead of buying her a drink as I normally would, I suggested that as the bar was empty we should leave straight away.
It was about a five minute walk back to my apartment and I was struggling to keep a clear head, thoughts of Da's return and the reasons thereof maintaining an optimum state of confusion, why the hell did I feel this way about a bargirl? I have read Stephen Leather's excellent Private Dancer, could it be the Khmer tattoo, after all she did live close to the Cambodian border. Oh no, one thing that hadn't crossed my mind occurred as Kai and I approached the elevator. Guess who is standing opposite. She made no attempt to gain my attention, so I hastily ushered Kai into the lift and into my room. Quick thinking urgently required. What excuse could I make to exit? Ah, I forgot we have no water, I'll just pop out and buy some. OK, no problem came the retort, no doubt helped by the fact the T.V. was now on.
With a sigh of relief I called the lift not knowing if Da would still be hanging around. I didn't need to worry, unknown to me at the time, she had been waiting there for hours and must have gone looking for me at Pira's to relieve the boredom. This information was passed onto me by Joe (room next to mine) the following day. He had seen Da and was looking for the fireworks to begin ,especially when he spotted me returning with Kai.
Fortunately for me but not for Joe the anticipated pyrotechnics failed to materialise. I came out and had a confusing conversation with Da. Why you come, you know I go home day after tomorrow? Why you take lady? I ring you, ask you to come but you stay Buriram. Then I say don't come to Pattaya because I think you play joke. I want you stay with me tonight tell lady go, I go home tomorrow – and then told me where she was staying.
I told her I wasn't sure whether or not I would see her, but I would phone later if I was going to turn up. What I have written above represents the main points of our conversation, in truth it was much longer and at one point it seemed as though I was going to get some answers to why she had first stayed away and now decided to return but just when her body language changed the elevator door opened. No it was not Kai, but an expat who knew us from Pira's, together with his Thai wife. "I 'm really pleased to see you two together again, are you coming for a drink", he seemed genuinely happy. I made some excuses and they went off thinking everything was as it was before, but the moment had been lost and I still don't know what to think about my time with Da, this being the last time I saw her. I decided not to see her that night for two reasons; firstly Kai had done nothing wrong and was expecting to stay with me for the next couple of days. Although I didn't have any feelings for her, unlike the way I felt about Da, a promise is a promise and no doubt she had already accounted for the money I was to pay her. Also I couldn't help feeling suspicious of the timing of Da's return, I had told her not to return, and she had messed me about when she had kept telling me she would be back tomorrow.
So end of story or is it? I told Da I would be back in Pattaya Christmas 2002, and I know if I see her I will stay with her once more. Will she show up? Two obvious questions may be surfacing, why don't I ring the mobile? I have – she has sold her "precious" or else she has a Thai boyfriend and this was a story – who knows? Why not ring Pira? I have – he has not seen her and told me he would not allow her to work for him again, she was always a problem. He didn't expand. Of course Pattaya is a big place and she is maybe working in another bar but somehow I think Pira would know if this were the case.
I am left to ponder. Has my suspicious nature prevented me from finding a genuine Thai lady? She seems to be relatively inexperienced as a bargirl, although my instincts that something is wrong have never let me down in the past and linked with Pira's observations lead me to believe I should leave her well alone. Who knows? And I probably never will – this is Thailand. Roll on Christmas 2002
Don't worry too much about having missed the opportunity to meet a genuine Thai lady. She proved herself to be unreliable and while you had a bit of fun with her, keeping it to a relatively short term thing was in my opinion, a blessing in disguise.
Your arriving back at your apartment building reminds me of things that happened to me, back in my days of misbehaving. The worst case was one night when I was out at the Thermae, back in the days when it used to stay open until sunrise. It was around 3:30 in the morning and at the time I had a live in, but the live-in had disappeared for a few days. The live-in did however have a key, though I didn't think she would turn up in the middle of the night. I went outside the Thermae to a phone booth and called my apartment to check if the live-in had returned. The phone went unanswered so I had the green light. I dashed back down into the Thermae, grabbed my new found friend and into a taxi we made the journey back to Stick HQ. Back at the apartment building, into the lift and up we went. As I unlocked the door of my apartment and opened the door, I knew something was wrong when I saw the glow of a light on inside. I NEVER leave lights on when I go out. My new friend from the Thermae had not entered and I quickly whispered to her that "my wife is here and you had better go before she kills you"! The Thermae girl bolted like a buffalo with an electric prod up its ass.
I entered the room and my live-in ran over towards me, fists swinging as she was screaming in English "you want fucking, you want fucking"!? I played dumb and looked at her as if everything was ok. She started screaming that "you bring lady, you want fucking". I denied it all before I realised that she had had the TV on, and had been monitoring the camera at reception that shows all people entering and exiting the building! She had seen me enter with a girl, but critically I had NOT been holding the girl's hand. Knowing it would take the Thermae girl a minute or so to exit the building, I grabbed my live in in a tight hug, pretending to comfort her, but in reality I was preventing her from going over to watch the TV, which was now out of view, and see the the girl exit. The live-in was screaming and I pretended to placate her, all the time killing precious seconds, allowing the other girl to get the hell out! While I must have had about 20 cm in height and 35 kg in weight on her, the live-in burst out of my grasp and bolted to the other end of the apartment to stare at the TV, searching for evidence of this girl who I had entered the building with. I strolled over casually, pretending to wonder what all of the fuss was about, but a little nervous that the girl would be spotted. The live-in sat there, glued to the screen, waiting for the other girl to walk past, evidence that I had tried to stray… But the girl was never seen on camera, and the live-in started to get confused. Although I was a little drunk, I started mentioning ghosts and the live-in ran over, grabbed me – and that was the end of the accusations.
Two girls in the apartment building at the same time, or having your apartment building staked out, is something that has happened to many of us. It is just one of the attractions that you pass on the Bangkok roller coaster.