Delightful Thailand – A Day At The Sukhumvit Zoo
Delightful Thailand – A Day At Sukhumvit Zoo
Mr. F.'s day in Sukhumvit Zoo starts with the beasts' feeding at the breakfast terrace. Mister F. notices the middle-aged western couple two tables east of him. She is not crying now, but her face looks as if she had been crying all night. Her body is slightly cramped. She stares emptily at the bread, fruit and cheese in front of her – all untouched. "Help me. I need help", anyone can read this message from her appearance. Anyone can read it – except for the male next to her, probably her husband. He expresses just the opposite attitude: According to his face, he towers well above earthly problems, including those of his wife. One leg lies leisurely above the other, moving slightly to an unknown tune. No bread roll, no pineapple and no watermelon slices for him – for breakfast he nurses a Heineken. Maybe thanks to this habit, the man boasts an enormous tomb. Starting from below his belt, the belly forms a beautiful curve to right under his chest. His tightly stuffed polo shirt reveals the perfect semicircular outline of his body dome. Mr. F. has no idea why the couple is displaying such different attitudes. As this is just one quarter of Sukhumvit zoo, she might have caught her husband with a bargirl. But who knows.
Meat Loaf II seems not aware of his lady's woeful situation. More precisely, his face seems to say "Stop your silly crying please – can't you see I don't even ignore your obsolete emotional outbreak?" His upper leg still in rhythmical action, he blows up his well groomed belly even more. The massive mountain of flesh is a perfect fortress against those stupid female desires – faith, understanding, loyalty, all this bullshit just shatters on his fortified belly, slides down and crashes one more time on the floor, never to reach his heart. His lady's face is a mess. She needs a soft voice, a caring smile, a hand that pours her another cup of tea and offers a tissue. Heck, no: The fat man is not going to excel in the field of empathy with the female world. But at 8.23 a.m., he shows some unexpected signs of affection: The waitress has brought another Heineken, and right from the green glass bottle he sucks his morning beer excitedly like a hungry cub extracts milk from its mother's breast.
Mr. F. walks down to Soi 10, to his favorite internet access shop. There he sees this office lady with the familiar face. Wasn't she in the audience last night at Admakers? Or did he see her in the post office recently, wondering about all the letters she has to deliver? The lady notices his stare and looks away with disgust. He knows what she thinks, and she thinks she knows what he thinks. Mr. F. feels very bad, maybe he even feels as bad as she might feel. He wants to stop her: "Sorry, no, I am not mind fucking you, sorry, no, I am not considering you for short time, I just thought I saw you at Tawan Daeng the previous night, please believe me."
But she has already passed him. Any lady walking the lower Sukhumvit sois is under suspicion – and any man, too.
Now Mr. F. is walking down Sukhumvit road with a good looking lady by his side. She wears tight jeans, tight T-shirt, long hair and high heels, but no make-up. She looks like 28. From her appearance, she might be a hooker, but she might as well be an office girl on her day off. From the looks they get on the road, it is very clear: Here goes a punter and his bedroom play thing. Nobody knows that she is 42, has two grown-up daughters and that she is the only lady on Sukhumvit who is never available for money.
Actually, he calls Khun Noi his "Angel on Sukhumvit". She sells T-shirts and bags near Soi 6 – and nothing else. On their beeline between Soi Nana and Soi Cowboy, punters stop by her stall just to indulge in her friendly, undisturbed soul. As does Mr. F. This morning he has invited her to a tourist trip to Wat Phra Keo and the Golden Palace. As usual, she accepted his offer with a slight smile, delegating her T-shirt business to somebody else. Nobody knows what she thinks of him or of man-kind in general. They climb up the stairs to the skytrain and get another sleazy look from two drunken farangs. Lot fai fah catapults them out of Sukhumvit Zoo in no time.
Too hot already. After a speedy train ride and an ensuing taxi crawl, Mr. F.'s entrance to Wat Phra Keo is a bit difficult. With his very decent leather slippers, Mr. F. is not allowed to enter. He has to change into ugly rental socks plus ugly rental plastic sandals. "More beautiful", the service explains to him. From a sign, Mr. F. learns that free heels may not be displayed in the compound "with the exception of monks and Thai people from the countryside". Amazing Thailand. Mr. F. makes a mental note to return in rice farmers' dress.
Strolling around the the temple with Khun Noi. She has never been here, but shows no signs of admiration or surprise about the enormous buildings. No prayers and offerings either. Then there is this old lady sitting in the shadow, muttering about. Noi listens to her sermon for more than 10 minutes. "She 89 years old already", she says with a concerned voice when she joins up with Mr. F. "And nobody take care her." Noi looks really worried now. "89 years already, and nobody take care her!"
Mr. F. has lunch and siesta alone, then back to Khun Noi's stall near soi 6. And, yes, she is willing to accompany him for sunset at Lumpini park. Somebody else can sell T-shirts and bags for her. A short skytrain ride to Ratchadamri station, and they arrive in the gardens full of picknickers and joggers. Now Khun Noi is obviously delighted, she has never seen this easy escape from Sukhumvit Zoo before.
Khun Noi and Mr. F. sit down on a stone bench, enjoying the cool breeze from the lake. Many boys want to sell them old bread that can be fed to fish and ducks, but the hawkers are waved away. Some music is turned on somewhere, and suddenly Khun Noi giggles: "Oh, I forgot to stand up." It had been the Thai national anthem, but she hadn't noticed it right away.
Anyway, this part of the park is closed after the anthem, as she learns from an announcement following the music. When they get up, one of the fish bread sellers follows them with loud screams. Mr. F. jumps right into defence position, determined to protect fragile Khun Noi and himself against this Bangkok robber – Mr. F. will kill the attacker if necessary. The agitated man points back to the bench, screaming more and more. Noi and Mr. F. have another look – and under the bench lies Mr. F.'s wallet. For the following night out, the wallet had been stocked up with more than 4000 Baht. Mr. F. wants to force 20 Baht onto the honest helpful fish food man, but he refuses to take any money. Mr. F. wais him like crazy.
Other parts of the park remain open. Mr. F. and Khun Noi sit beside the lake, the lights of the skyscrapers around Silom road are reflecting in the waters. A lit up skytrain zooms along behind silhouettes of black trees. Two different rhythms of aerobic exercise groups hang in the air. They talk about family, life, and lifestyles. "Why do westerners move away from their parents when they are 18", Khun Noi asks him. "Why everybody needs his own loom?" Mr. F. has no answer. "If I meet my family", Khun Noi continues, "me, Mama, Papa and my daughters, we all want to sleep in one loom. Haha, have four looms, but need only one loom to sleep. My sisters, too."
Still on Lumpini lake. The mobile phone in Mr. F.'s pocket rings, but he pretends he is not hearing it. The mobile phone in Khun Noi's pocket rings. Of course she answers, it is her sister.
More differences. Khun Noi has been to a super posh resort on Phuket with her extraordinily rich sister, and there she has met the unthinkable: Bare breasted farang ladies. She holds her hands like cups under her breasts: "They show everything, they show everything!" She shudders. "Beautiful?", Mr. F. asks. "Oh no", goes Khun Noi. Her hand cupped under her breast again, she looks at him and says one word: "FAT!"
The massage parlour is smallish and unassuming. Right now Mr. F. is the only customer. With 4000 Baht saved from Lumpini Park, he takes a long time to make the best pick. He ignores the mamasan's whisperings and studies the ladies when they are in "free mode", not posing for customers. 17 seems to be a nice one, at least not ugly, but attentive and cheerful with her colleagues. Should he make a choice?
Another customer enters. The man sits down for a soda, ignoring the mamasan's embarrassing plain meat offers. He looks different from other creatures roaming Sukhumvit Zoo: He seems to be a thoughtful, sensitive guy who takes his time to make decisions. No alcohol, no tattoo, no shorts, a pleasant weight/height relation – a rare species. He is in no hurry. Actually, he looks like he could be a friend. Mr. F. wonders if he should discuss the ladies on offer with this gentleman and potential friend on Sukhumvit. But then, turning to the mamasan standing by, he says "number 17, please".
Number 17 walks out of the showroom and towards the customers. She is all smiles – for the other customer! He flashes broad smiles back at her. "No, no!", screams the mamasan who suddenly looks worried, and directs number 17 to Mr. F. Obviously, 17 had serviced the other man several times before, and he might have wanted her tonight. Mr. F.'s eyes as well as 17's eyes wander like question marks between the other people. 17 understands she had been ordered by Mr. F. "No ploplem", she smiles and grabs Mr. F.'s arm. "No problem", the mamasan hurries to smoothen the situation. The other customer will never be Mr. F.s friend, but he is a gentlemen: "No problem", his tired gesture seems to say, "I am not in your way." The mamasan comes back down to business: "You want VIP loom?", she asks Mr. F., while number 17 appears with a basket full of bathroom accessories and one more broad smile.
Number 17's name is Pran. Half an hour after picking her from the fish bowl, Khun Pran had made a very clean and stiff man out of Mr. F. Another half hour later, she had turned him into a trembling piece of pudding (herself in no better shape). 30 more minutes after that, her skilful massage had moulded him back into a regularly shaped human being.
Now she cuddles up between his legs and on his chest. She is so sweet. He has already decided to give her a premium tip of 1500 Baht for sweetness and untired services. She takes care so much, and that includes Mr. F.s travel expenses. "Hotel too expensive for you", she calculates – he can move in with her. She stays in On Nut with another working girl, and they have aircon, what else does he want? (Do they have a VIP bath tub?) She asks for his e-mail address, and with a bad feeling, he writes down a wrong one. Obviously she is acting so sweetly just to extract the premium tip that he already decided to give. If she over exaggerates her friendliness, he will reduce the tip.
They are both dressed now. As he had used his own condoms, she wants to return one rubber from her collection to him – "want which size?"
He slips 1000 plus 500 Baht into her hand. 500 Baht are coming right back from her: "No need to give so much!!! Keep for next time, ok?! Some lady only need 500, you know?!" She refuses one more time to accept another 500 Baht from him. She takes him to the door, and he can still walk like a normal human being. "Tomorrow you check e-mail, ok", the sweet thing smiles, "I write letter for you." With a sour grin, Mr. F. stumbles back into the humid air of Sukhumvit Zoo.
On Soi 4, Mr. F. notices this man with the cultivated face – he has seen this face before. Oh yes, Mr. F. remembers him – he was the only other customer at the massage place, the one who could be a friend, but then lost sweet gorgeous number 17 to Mr. F.. The man still looks interesting, but his face is empty and he seems to be walking aimlessly. He looks like he didn't take another girl after sensational number 17 fell to Mr. F. Understandable. Maybe today he wanted to accept her offer to move in with her? Mr. F. gives him a look. "Thank you, my friend", he thinks with a malicious smile and turns away, avoiding further eye contact.
A last visit at Khun Noi's T-shirt stall near soi 6. Just to see if she is ok and how business was today. When Mr. F. arrives, an out-of-shape drunken grizzly bear pretending to be a western tourist just grabs all over tiny Khun Noi, body and head. Mr. F.'s Angel on Sukhumvit is standing petrified, but without defence. Her usually delightful face looks like switched off: She left her current incarnation temporarily to survive this humiliating experience with her sheer surface. The grizzly's visible back side is sweat-covered, clouds of Heineken breath hang in the air, curly wet body hair is crawling out of his T-shirt. "Yeah, I like you, you like me", he growls.
Mr. F. tries to drag the monster away from poor Noi, muttering "she is not for sale, you go back to Nana Plaza", but the grizzly man is three times his weight and four times Khun Noi's weight. Mr. F. would like to ram a coconut knife into the grizzly, but even that tool would not cut through all layers of fat. "If I had a hammer…", Mr. F. thinks, "even then he would barely notice me". Mr. F. whizzes around the marauding monster like a mosquito who wants to stop an elephant.
In a surprise move the monster turns his face to Mr. F., and not only the face, but also a perfectly shaped semicircular belly – he is the man with the desperate wife from the breakfast terrace! Mr. Heineken-for-breakfast. Oh my god, Mr. F. thinks, now no complications please. The creature pads Noi's head one last time, then just stumbles out into the dark with a fart. How many Heinekens did he down from 8.23 a.m. until now? Mr. F. is happy that Meat Loaf II didn't shatter fragile Khun Noi on his fortified mega-belly. Where did he dispose his depressed wife after breakfast?
Khun Noi slowly awakes from her freeze mode. She re-arranges her hair, her shirt, plus a few T-shirts and bags in her stall and does not want to talk about the assault. She might suffer similar human rights violations every day. "I am so sorry for you", Mr. F. goes, "You know, in the west he could NEVER do that! Never! Only in Thailand, and when drunk, he dares to misbehave like that! Only here he feels strong." "In your country he cannot do like that?" Khun Noi is very sceptical. She assumes attractive girls are free game anywhere. "Oh, he cannot", Mr. F. explains. "If he acts like that in Farangland, a western lady will hit him in the face, or kick him here (a brief point between his legs), then police will take him." Khun Noi remains sceptical: "You sure?" "Sure!" Khun Noi flashes an acknowledging smile: "Wow, lady farang very lucky!"
Tired from his day at Sukhumvit Zoo, Mr. F. asks the night shift receptionist for the room key. He notices a loud word ten meters off. On the stairs stands a bar girl, talking to an invisible customer: "Oh, no need lift, we can *walk* up stair, no ploplem, ok mai?" Maybe she fears ghosts in the lift? "No, we take the lift", a male voice can be heard from near the lift door. "Lift no like, floor 3 can walk stair", the bar girl moans. "You come with me by lift", the punter yells back. He steps around the corner and into visibility. Of course – this is Mr. Meat Loaf II again, the belly beauty. His wife may be in a psycho clinic by now.
The hooker and Meat Loaf II start to discuss lift versus stairs in great lengths. Mr. F. takes a chance, slips into the lift, quickly presses the button to close the door and after that the button for his floor.
His room is too hot, the aircon too noisy. "Colossus can't walk the stairs up floor 3", Mr. F. wonders, "how will he ever make it up onto his hooker?" Mr. F. cuddles up, naked and alone.
Delightful, as always.