Readers' Submissions

The Rise Of The Phoenix

  • Written by Anonymous
  • October 6th, 2004
  • 8 min read

By Brian Potter

Started off as a joke in the office on a wet Wednesday, fancy a holiday in Bangkok like! does a bear shit in the woods I said to my boss! I'll call him Gerry perry to protect the innocent. And some three months later we are sitting in the departure lounge at Glasgow airport heading for Amsterdam and the night cattle truck to the big mango, for what was to be a life changing experience not just for me but for Gerry as well, but we did not know what just lay ahead! as we left a grey and wet Glasgow full of fun and as two street wise Glaswegians we thought we could handle anything But it was all laid out in front of us!

Bangkok 11.30 AM, overnight flight arrived tired but excited passed through immigration customs 20 mins no problems we look kind of official the way we dressed for the flight, well as official as two Glaswegian scrap dealers can look! its going well too well I thought! {bit of advice here for our Scottish country men or women!} went to exchange some sterling at the airport and the guy at the desk said no thank you Scottish pound notes no good in Thailand! oh shit! I had no bank of England notes at all every penny we had was in Scottish currency, luckily I had a few U S dollars in my wallet or we would have been in the shit here!

Our hotel sent a limo for us I have scrapped better cars and first impressions of Bangkok, well it was something else I could have never imagined the smells the noise it was just one big movie set for me and Gerry but we are big boys, we can handle it but I kept my thoughts to myself, tired my bravado was on the wane with the heat remember Scottish men cant take the heat and it was hot too hot.

Arrived at our home for next seven days very nice and on the 31st floor with a brilliant view over Bangkok it was getting better but still no local currency went down to the reception said can I have some baht please for my sterling? Yes no problem sir I handed over 1000 pounds as the reply was your money no good in Thailand! oh fuck I though Gerry says I will go to the bank next door to the hotel someone must have told him, and get us some currency he came back 2hours later soaking in sweat and said no bank in Bangkok will exchange Scottish pound notes! sterling for baht! and in the time he was at the bank I had gone to the bar in the hotel and had a few! merry not pissed I may add! so Gerry perry and me sat down and ordered another drink, Scottish answer to everything drink! we did not have one penny and we were supposed to be in Bangkok for a week! And then like a bolt of lightning the Thai people and personality and charm entered my life! it was the taxi driver from the airport came into the hotel foyer with a black shoulder bag mine! Sir you left this in e the car in that bag was the amount in sterling of 150.000 baht plus personal documents! he gave me it back all intact I did not even know it was missing I was so tired and jet lagged That may not have happened in Glasgow you know! that was honesty for you, lesson number one,

Next lesson, a Thai guy came over to our table, he was a hotel employee in the bar and said I believe you want change money Yes was the screams from us! 10 minute meet me I take you to a place you can change. Great we thought and then we though this could be a trap a con! But we are two Glasgow hard men what can all these small people do to us,

We went very carefully in to the streets of Bangkok I will never until the day I die forget the sounds the smells and the people of Bangkok, from the street seller to the markets to the girls that offered me massage massage and all this was just with walking for five mins Gerry and me with Mr. Pau on our way to the exchange! Change money we were taken in to the back room of an office sat down and given tea now, you don't get that in your local Barclays branch, change our dosh and went back to the hotel! Mr Pau 1000 baht richer but he done exactly what he said he would, got us out of the shit,

Lesson number 3 its like being back at school! Thai ladies first night nerves we got all dressed up and hit the town plenty of baht in our pockets now and raring to go and see the what the night brings! well we ended up in the saddest fucking bar you have ever seen pool bar on Sukhumvit, we went in gingerly and sat at the bar just to suss the place out! a cat like woman beautiful comes up to us and says hello whilst rubbing herself against me in the most sensual way I have ever been touched very discreet you like drink? she asks I'm gasping with thirst and Gerry is too, Beer we say and its delivered she says drink for me? and I say yes big mistake! but she could sense I was new to Bangkok I had done a little research before I went! just through stickman and I was prepared for bar girls! Like fuck I was the whole bar got drunk at our expense that night every girl in that place got a drink and as for the farangs that came and went well I hope that I would never end up looking like them, no offence intended, Music dancing and then a big bill but I had a ball and a girl on my arm to take back to my hotel great night! And I'm getting a girl back to my hotel so Gerry gets hooked up with her sister and we make our way back to the crib for a little fun! get to the hotel the driver says nothing and she says to me give him 1000 baht we were in the cab for 10mins I gave him 500 now I know was way over the score! but id had a good time,

Now the hotel wanted a Thai ID card for safe keeping overnight guests, and all that she could not produce I lost it! well we had to kick the both of them out of the hotel and leave them in the by now pissing rain! her last words were money for taxi and being a generous Scots man I said no! No taxi no bar fine no nothing. Goodnight, I slept like a baby myself my first night in Bangkok and I was all alone .

That was to be the last I was truly overwhelmed by the next six days in Bangkok Gerry met a beautiful girl in a bar, he just kept her for 6 days she was a stunner, and I met a girl who would show me levels of kindness I have never seen in a western woman she was 38 years of age and truly gorgeous, and spoke very good English! she worked in a pool bar! AND YES I KNOW ALL THE STORIES, she could not play pool she would not let me buy her a drink! and she would not take her clothes off in bed, I was worried I got to thinking she was a ladyboy! however she was not, she did not go back to the pool bar all the time I was in Bangkok she never asked for one penny! but she got something I'm not that tight with money, I did all the usual stuff with her temples hired a boat on the river and we had a ball, she stayed at my hotel for 4 days only going back to her apartment for a change of clothes, she had a different look about her, short hair and a stunning look so much so that the hotel security staff just let her come and go as she pleased! while Gerry perry had to pay 800 baht every time his Thai woman entered the establishment, but she was worth every penny to him I have never seen a man so happy than my boss for all the time he was in Thailand it took years off him and he was at it non stop with her! while I had my VERSION of madam butterfly going on in the adjoining room, and next door to me was the burnt out rock band the scorpions, I'm sure you all can imagine it was like a crazy movie, but I was having the best time of my 35 years on this planet and a time that I never will forget, I could go on and on but in one week in Bangkok I was ripped off totally but I enjoyed it! I was given back a bag that had more money in it than that guy will make in a long time I was shown kindness that I never have seen in my many travels all over Europe and north America, seen poverty at a shocking level but with smiles from poor kids, we thought we would just come over to Thailand for a break and a laugh but we learned, Thai society is very complex and in a way we could never understand in the west,

Well a week in Bangkok has indeed made two hard men from Glasgow very humble, the only words I can say are thank you and to the people of Bangkok and Thailand your are beautiful, and to ladies that we met!



Stickman's thoughts:

Sounds like you had a wonderful time. For the Scottish readers – and there are many – it is wise to bring English pounds instead of your “real” Scottish pounds. Scottish pounds can only be changed at the non bank exchange outlets, the easiest one of which to find is called Siam Exchange and it located opposite the Siam Discovery Centre on Phyathai Road.