Stickman Readers' Submissions August 3rd, 2003

Thai Thoughts And Anecdotes Part 4

Thai Anecdotes And Thoughts Part 4

It's not just about the women you meet. It's also about the men you meet. Once in the lobby of the Nana I found myself sitting across from an urbane, cultured, educated man. We got to talking. His name was Jim and he was from Chicago. Jim had been coming to Thailand for years. He also spent time in Angeles City, Philippines. He had a condo in Brazil. He was renting a house in Cambodia. He was on the road pretty much continually; rotating from house to condo to hotel. Sometimes he rented suites and set up photographer studios and took pictures of the girls.

He Clinic Bangkok

The next day we shared a bus trip to Pattaya. He was taking some photos he had taken to the artists on Walking Street. The paintings would then be shipped to his condo in Brazil. He explained that the girls of Thailand were sexy, the girls of the Philippines were cute, and the girls of Brazil were erotic. I felt like an amateur. When we got to Pattaya he did me a favor and helped me check into the AA Hotel. I asked him why he pursued this lifestyle. He said, "I had a 2 year marriage and then I had a 7 year divorce. I decided it was Me Time. . !"

* * *

Another gentleman I met was from Nepal. Nepal for Pete's sake. Isn't that the dirt poor country where they are eating snowballs and cherry sized potatoes? I mean who's got enough money in Nepal for the airfare to Bangkok? I was in Pattaya and I was on the way to the Diamond Beach Hotel to check it out. I was going to get the staff to give me a tour of the rooms and the facilities before I made a commitment; blah, blah, blah. Mr Big shot. On the way up the steps to the hotel I see this 30ish guy, kind of foreign; just standing there with a look of benign happiness on his face. I ask him if he is staying at the hotel. "Yes he is." he says. I ask him what the level of service, security, etc is. He replies that it doesn't matter. Now the Diamond Beach Hotel is situated at the end of a soi that is packed with bars. The noise is deafening. It looks like Sodom and Gommorah. I ask him why the level of service, etc don't matter. "Watch this." he says. He takes his wallet out, reaches in, and takes out a couple of Baht notes and waves them over his head. Instantly, three girls scream and run up to him. I go into the hotel and check in.

CBD bangkok

* * *

Once when I was a little green and new to the scene I went into the G-Spot at the Nana a little too early. They had not really opened up yet. The door was just open to let the girls in who were coming to work. The place was mostly empty. There were a few girls on stage, and there were bargirls and some wait staff. The airconditioning was on and blasting and without the compensating heat from 500 people it was cold as a freezer. And there sitting all alone at the bar was one single guy. I sat next to him. I turned to say hello and was startled. He looked wide-eyed, disoriented, in shock–maybe sick. It turned out he was from Scotland and this was his first trip away from Mom and Dad's farm, and his second day in Bangkok. And there wasn't anything in Scotland that looked like what he'd seen in the last 40 hours. The guy was disoriented. He was in shock. And he was one of the funniest guys I've ever met. We spent the next hour having giggle fits comparing the women of our respective countries to the beauties of Thailand. Normally, I don't drink and normally I don't go into bars to male bond. But I miss this guy.

* * *

I took Noi on a Beach and Boating tour to Ko Lan off Pattaya. We looked and acted like a couple. People remarked on it. We used to get special and nice treatment. Even young male Thais were nice to us. You'd think there would be some resentment towards me because I had one of their women. But even the least likely candidates for civility were nice to us. Part of the tour is that you get lunch. There is a shed with tables and benches. I was stepping over the bench to sit down to lunch when one of the tour guides taps me on the shoulder and says, "Not here." He had set up a special 2 place setting for Noi and I. We had our own waiter. We got treated special. He didn't have to do that. I got to talking to him later and found out he spoke 5 languages and traveled to many parts of the world. He had done 8 months in a monastery when there was a 'problem' in his personal life. He had a keen sense of how the different cultural groups (Indians, Danes, Aussies, Koreans, etc.) responded and how they had to be catered to. He was interesting, well spoken, intelligent. He was also wearing bare feet, shorts, and T-shirt. Normally, you wouldn't notice him or take notice. Just another generic, invisible Thai. It made me wonder what other interesting Thais I was missing out on.

wonderland clinic

* * *

I have a friend in Boston who helps me with my letters to girlfriends and other Thai-travel related issues. She is Thai and came here years ago as a Fulbright scholar. She now has two Masters degrees, a career, and an American husband. You can't imagine anything more the opposite of a Thai bar girl. One day she said that she had a good Thai friend in Pattaya and that I should look him up. She gave me his address and phone number and wrote out an introductory letter. It turns out he lives in one of the exclusive high-rise enclaves in North Pattaya. I go to visit. Just like my friend in Boston; he is civilized, educated, interesting, cultured. He was educated in Perth, Australia and his son now lives in Ohio. We spend hours talking. It's a shame to come here and just meet touts and tuk-tuk drivers.

* * *

It's afternoon and I am sitting at the bar at the Nana Hotel. Two seats down from me is an American ex-pat who is about 65 years old. He has been in Thailand for 40 years! I am so not in this guy's league it is not even funny. The TV is on and the news is eliciting comments from him about the Thai personalities and Thai politics and Thai current events, etc. This is really his country. But no one will ever really give him the key because he doesn't look right. The author, Christopher G. Moore, could learn from this guy. I would love to slide down two seats and introduce myself. I would like to listen and to learn. I'd like to be taken into his world. I 'd like to hear the stories. But I'm not qualified. I'm just a sex tourist. A short time adventurer. I don't have any social currency. Not even with this farang.

Stickman says:

More wisdom from Dana…

nana plaza