Readers' Submissions

Changes In Bangkok Part 5

  • Written by Jurgen
  • October 23rd, 2004
  • 4 min read


Black Pagoda Patpong Bangkok

I had to spend one year in Nigeria, this was just about the worst part of my life. Another year at the Ivory Coast, 9 month in Japan and many other countries, most of them were ok apart from the racist attitudes of the common Japanese people. Finally on to Argentina, it had been arranged that I would join their Air Force. As I spoke English I did do a lot of material and weapon procurement for them, in 1981 I had to travel to Sydney then on to Libya and Tel Aviv.

As I had one week time between conferences I stopped at Bangkok to find out what had happened there. The city had almost completely changed after only 6 years of absence. Sure the landmarks were still the same but the rice paddies between the airport and the center had almost disappeared. The traffic in the city was much worse then before, the lower Sukhumvit road was practically filled with small peddlers trying to make a living. The GI hotels I used to know now catered to European tourists, mostly fat old Germans with their beer bellies sticking out like a half moon, they seemed to be a most unpleasant lot only complaining about the food and how dirty everything was. Well I told them that it might be better if they stayed at home if they don’t like it here.

I did not like Bkk anymore, to many changes in the people themselves. They still smiled and tried to appear friendly but to me it looked as if it was only a mask under which they tried to hide their true feelings. I was probably wrong but I do not believe so. The pollution also was a big negative factor for me; all told I was not happy at all.

I did meet one of the ex Air America pilots, he did not return to the US in 1975 and was running a bar close to the Grace hotel. We had a good chat and quite a few beers together talking of old times; he told me he had a very special girl for me. Eighteen years old, very beautiful and she had only started in his bar the same day. Well he introduced me and I must say he was correct. She had extremely white skin, very large black eyes and hair hanging down to her hips, a nicely rounded body; very beautiful indeed. She also was well dressed in Thai silk. I went with her to my room at the Grace hotel but did feel somehow uneasy. I do not know what it was but whenever she came close to me I could feel my hair standing up and a shiver running down my back. As the case might be I went to the bathroom and after I came back she was not there anymore. Nothing was missing but somehow I felt relieved as if a heavy load was taken of my back. I asked the floor boy if he saw the lady leaving but he would not say anything at all.

I went back to Kevin to find out what went wrong. He said that the girl did not return to the bar, he then asked the other girls if they knew what happened but they said they did not know and that the “lady” never talked with them. Her room was also empty and looked as if nobody ever lived there. Incidentally she never came back to the bar. So I really do not know what was wrong with her.

Years later I talked to a Buddhist monk in Rangoon about it and he was horrified about the story and he asked me repeatedly if I had touched her. I said I did not even shake her hand or talk with her. He was very relieved but would not say what was wrong. He mumbled something “about black or dark Princess”, but I could get no other remarks out of him. Maybe one of Stick's Thai readers could give me some information. Whenever I think about this episode I feel very uneasy, even now as I write this.

Kevin recommended another nice girl for me, not as good looking as the other but very beautiful indeed. She stayed with me for my whole time in Bangkok. Just for company, we went to the Crocodile farm to a few entertainment and dining places. We even went to the beaches and many other tourist places. I did enjoy myself. The total costs were only 250 baht a day. The Grace hotel also charged 300 baht a day for my room, I might be wrong with the hotel price; it was a long time ago.

I usually did go for lunch and dinner to the Heidelberg restaurant; the girl of course was invited and did eat Thai cuisine. I do not remember what the charges where in those days. That I did not touch the girls had a very good reason; I was newly married in Buenos Aires to a very nice and intelligent lady, I simple could feel nothing for other women. Sure I enjoyed the company, even sleeping together but that was as far as it went. It is actually funny, but at night time I do like to feel another human next to me. Maybe it is loneliness, I do not know.

Well the time came to say goodbye to Bangkok. I had to go to Rome and then on to Libya. It was a long boring flight indeed, and I remembered how BKK was ten years before.

I did not realize that it would be another seven years before I would return to Thailand. But this is another story.


Will be continued

Stickman's thoughts:

You've lived a colourful life.