Business Is Slow In Thailand
Yup. Business is Down in Thailand. The mean-spirited part of me would like to think that it is some cosmic retribution for the bad way that they treat us. But of course when I return, I'd like the place to be jumping. How down is business?
Well, it is worse now than it was in April when I was last there. In April the Nana Plaza would have looked great to a first timer, but I could see that business was off. Bars on the ground floor like the Rainbow were packing them in, but one floor up the G-Spot was slow. The Cascade on the top floor was empty. But you could still have a good time. As usual Bangkok wasn't so much a city as an urban aneuryism.
It's when you traveled two hours south to Pattaya that you noticed the difference. The place was DEAD! I took a beach and boating tour to Ko Larn. I've been twice before so I know what to expect. The beach was EMPTY! And off the Beach Road in Pattaya at least 10 of the large tour vessels were not even being used. I know April is a slow tourist month but this was exceptional. One night in a bar on Soy Pattayaland 2 there were 22 girls and two guys (I was one). This sounds like great odds but they were 22 BORED girls. They didn't even look up when I walked in. DEADLY!
And the service hasn't improved because business is slow – it's gotten worse! Sadly, this is typically Thai. I'll give you an example:
I ordered a coke in a bar in Soy Pattayaland 2. It never came. I waited and I waited and I waited and I waited. No one looked at me and no one came over and said hello. I was well dressed, had a fat wallet, and was wearing a gold nugget watch. I am handsome and fit. So clearly my business was not wanted. I left. As I was heading up the center of the road I heard "MR! MR!". I turned to see a Thai woman running towards me. She caught up with me, gave me a lecture about not paying for drinks, and then presented me with a bill for 60 baht. I tried to explain to her that I didn't owe any money because my drink didn't come. But this was asking Thai thinking and logic to cross on the graph. Plus there was the language barrier. So I grabbed her hand so tight that she couldn't shake loose and dragged her back to the bar. I know this was stupid but we shouldn't have to check our balls and our humanity at Immigration when we enter the country. Inside the bar I gestured with my other hand as if to say "Where is the drink?" There was talk in Thai. People scurried. A coke (warm as usual) and a glass was brought and slammed on the bar. No Thais were smiling. I opened the coke so that they could not reuse it and poured it into the glass. I paid the 60 Baht bill and left.
I'd like to hear how this story was told by the Thais. Honestly, I believe they think we should just walk up to the bar entrances and throw in our money. The fact that we actually come into the bars and expect service and product for our money is a terrible imposition on them. And this is their behavior in the slow (really slow) season when every penny and every smile counts. It must be idiotically simple to grow rice, because if it required any brain power they would have starved by now.
So that experience kind of took the blush off the bloom for the night. I left the bars and went down to the boardwalk. There I found a woman who was past her prime but glad to see me and I took her home.
Business is Slow in Thailand!!
Like I've said before, I've had both the best and the worst service in my life in Thailand. The service you received was hardly exemplary.