A Religious Holiday
These bar girls are mostly pretty unimaginative love makers. They certainly aren't anywhere as adventurous and kinky as Farang girls. So, I bought a Penthouse magazine at a corner newsstand. I thought if I leave it lying around my room, the girls might thumb through it while I'm in the shower and perhaps get a few interesting ideas. Well, it was a special Thai edition. All Thai girls. All very pretty. All very well clothed and covered! Breasts exposed and little else. Not even bare asses showing. Censorship laws, no doubt.
I decided the thing was useless to me and that I would give it away to the first Thai guy I saw. The motorcycle taxi drivers on my corner are pretty cool and would probably get a kick out of it. Lord knows they'd never spend the 180 Baht it cost to buy one for themselves. Well, when I next went out, Penthouse in hand, the only moto taxi guy there was a kid. Looked about 15. He's probably already got over 100 trips to the local brothel under his belt, but it says on the front cover, "Must be 18 to purchase!" I don't want to be accused of corrupting the local youth and forced to drink hemlock, so I hold onto the magazine and walk over to 7-11 to get a beer.
On the way inside, I toss the mag (it's in a bag) onto the table out front. Don't want the clerks inquiring what's inside and whether I've paid for it. A peek in the bag and they'd snicker and sneer while my ears would redden. I grab a beer and approach the counter where there's a Thai lady who appears to have just done her monthly grocery shopping for a family of ten. A pile of stuff to be rung up. Looks like a long wait. I open my beer and start sipping. Damn, this is taking a long time! Thais do everything at glacial speed. The beer costs 37 Baht. I remove 40 Baht from my wallet and hand it over the counter while showing the price tag on my beer and say, "Here's 40… 3 Baht tip… OK?… Gotta go!" Clerk says, "No!" I say, "What, 'no?' Beer's 37. Here's 40. Keep the change!" I drop the two twenties on the counter and head out the door.
Left the mag on the table. The first guy that comes along can have it; I've got things to do. Strolling down the street, drinking my beer, everything seems strangely quiet. People are staring at me. What are they looking at? They're looking at my beer! The bars are all closed! What's going on here? Then I remember: today's a very important religious holiday in Thailand. That clerk in 7-11 wasn't objecting to me cutting in front of the lady with the mountain of groceries. He was trying to tell me all alcohol sales are strictly forbidden on this holy day! My God!
I hope nobody noticed it was me who left the porno on the table too, just before purchasing the contraband beer! I can see the headlines now: "Depraved Farang tourist arrested for buying alcohol and distributing smut on sacred Buddhist holiday- lurid details inside!" I swallow the remaining 3/4 bottle of beer in one gulp and scan the roadsides, frantically seeking a garbage bin. After an eternity of 3 or 4 seconds I find one and quickly dispose of the incriminating bottle. Jump into a taxi to the other side of town.
Some of the bars are still doing business, but very, very quietly. No lights. No music. No mirth. Cops on motorbikes cruise slowly by, patrolling the streets, peering into the darkened bars, yet seeing nothing objectionable- or so it would seem. Is their night vision less acute than mine? Perhaps the Thai diet is lacking in vitamin A. Someone must tell them to eat more carrots. I briefly consider sitting down at one of these places and ordering a whiskey. I'm sure they'd be happy to serve it to me in a coffee cup. But I'm still feeling a bit shaken from the previous episode at 7-11 and it just doesn't look like fun drinking in the dark and feeling vaguely like a criminal. I remember the whiskey back at my room and return to sleep alone
Oh you are a naughty boy!