Delightful Pattaya – His Nui Days (2)
His Nui days had already expired. Suddenly, most unexpectedly, they seem to go on again.
Ten months after his last visit to Pattaya, Mr. F. is back in town. He stumbles out of the taxi, checks into his default Beach Road hotel, takes a shower, secures a motorbike and walks down Beach Road again for a first inspection.
2 pm, but not really hot on this late December day. Good old Pattaya: The gullies still emit their foul fart camouflage odour. The walkway is packed with freelance whores. But quickly Mr. F. notices new aspects too: The beach walk is a whole construction mess with a lot of dirt and unprotected holes – perfect for the Christmas season. And among the strollers Mr. F. notices big numbers of Arabic, Indian and Russian man, significantly more than in his last visits.
Promenading down Bitch Road, Mr. F. gets the usual ultra-meaningful to pseudo-horny looks from the hookers. But these days Mr. F. doesn't like Pattaya's frenetic dull drugged girlies-for-sale any more; of course he would try hidden gem Nui again, his old Pattaya regular (see Delightful Pattaya – His Nui Days), but generally he now prefers to crack regular good Asian girls. Mr. F. mainly traveled to Chonburi to enjoy Pattaya's unique combination of surf and sand in the daytime and spicy Thai live music by night (see Delightful Pattaya – Good Clean Sanuk").
Pondering whether tonight he would take X-Zyte, Saep Isaan, Kum Punn or Tawan Chai as his first music venue, Mr. F. leisurely strolls down Beach Road. Suddenly one heavily made-up girl jumps into his way, beaming all over: "Hello ((strange word))! Massage 500 Baht?! How was Nong Khai and Chiang Khan?" Now what is this? Rikshaw drivers in Phnom Penh and Saigon play the old-friend-trick to grab customers, but not Pattaya's Beach Road females?
Ten months ago, cute innocent Nui had been his Pattaya main whore. As she was so new and passionate, he had even developed feelings for her. Slightly out of his mind, he had even enthused to the StickmanBangkok.com audience: "If you were to choose a long time partner right here on the Beach Road, you could do much worse than taking Nui." So upon leaving Pattaya, he had thrown away the SIM card which stored Nui's friend's number – thus she was completely unreachable for him, and she couldn't contact him either.
Though involved otherwise, Mr. F. never really forgot about Nui. He knew she would start to work in a traditional massage shop right after his departure and hoped she would cash enough for herself and her baby up in Uttaradit. He hoped she would retain her fresh natural charm and provincial good girl shyness. He wished she would not have to "work farang" after starting the regular massage thing. Actually he hoped for her she would not stay in Pattaya any longer and he would not see her again in sin city.
Then on one business meeting in Farangland, bored Mr. F. fumbled around his hand phone. Know what? There was "Nui Pattaya" in his phone's address book! The number hadn't been stored on the DTAC SIM card for Thailand; by mistake no-nerd Mr. F. had kept Nui's friend's number on the mobile's internal memory. A very excited Mr. F. did not delete Nui's number now.
"Hello ((strange word))! Massage 500 Baht?! How was Nong Khai and Chiang Khan?" WHO IS SHE??? Why does she behave like that? Why does she know his typical destinations? This hooker can't be Nui – Nui never looked like a whore, Nui is busy in the massage shop now, better yet she might be back in Uttaradit. Of course he had tried to call Nui's friend right after touch-down in Bangkok, but the number seemed out of service, so that was that.
"Hello ((strange word))! Massage 500 Baht?! How was Nong Khai and Chiang Khan?" But then again – she somewhat looks like Nui! Tall, round face, and in spite of her street worker outfit a certain harmless friendliness and unsexy air around her.
"Sorry so much – are you NUI from Uttaradit mai khrap?" "YES, YES, YES!!! Happy to see you again!!! Did you have good look thung and peur cheevit in Nong Khai and Chiang Khan?" She knows too much about his destinations and faibles, she really must be her! They sit down on a stone bench.
Heck, that bitch really is his lost Nui. Thing is: Her friend with the apartment and the hand phone disappeared. So she no longer has an apartment, but stays day-by-day in a guesthouse for 200 Baht a night. Her massage job disappeared too. Now Nui is a full time freelance hooker, scratching Beach Road from noon till after 2 AM.
"((Strange word))! You want massage 500 Baht?" A "massage 500 Baht" had been their daily afternoon delight 10 months ago. After breakfast and beach lazing, Mr. F. had phone-ordered Nui into his hotel room for a very powerful and skilled Thai massage. Which sometimes ended up in something more, sometimes not, just as they both liked it or not – quite relaxing and exciting afternoons back then. Their times always ended with cuddling and a short nap arm in arm; then she had to go before dark: perfect for a solitary sunset promenade along the shore. Whatever she delivered or not back then, he would give her 500 plus 200 tip, because her delightful natural charm and honesty was way above anything else you could get for money in Pattaya.
Wow, Nui again! Secret inspection: She looks much more worn than ten months ago. She looks miserable. She looks even older than her age (must be 29 now). Nui now wears blocky high-heels, pink lipstick and over-long square-cut fingernails he only knows from disgusting San Fernando valley porns. She sports a tank top that promises to reveal a lot, but she never had so much to show off. Oh, one thing is really there to reveal: a new tattoo above her left breast, she never had one before! Nui, what is this?
Nui says she didn't have boom-boom customers for some days. She didn't have food for some time. She says her baby is ok, but unlike last time, that topic doesn't make her smile and liven up.
She rests her head on his shoulder and instant-flashes a promising, prefabricated smile: "Massage 500 Baht, we go, ok?" She never behaved like that before.
He says he wants to cross the road to buy a phone card at 7-11. She asks if she can join him and will he buy water for her? She never asked for such favours before, but refused any food offers. He holds the door open for her, and there it is again – her shy, surprised and delighted "khop khun khaa" plus smile as she walks inside ahead of him. A glimpse of her former undisturbed upcountry flair.
With her nam plao, they sit down on Beach Road again. Nui still has no hand phone and no e-mail. Worse, she still does not speak any English. So how can she pursue her sex job? All their conversations take place in Thai, and of course Mr. F. only understands a fraction of her report. If she gets customers, it's only short-time. No john ever took her to long time, to Samui or to Chiang Mai. And understandably so, who wants to stay with a hooker with no English; thus she always has to sleep in the 200-Baht-guesthouse instead of lodging with horny farang males in nice hotels where even some food might be free for her.
"((Strange word))! Massage haa loi mai khaa? We go, okay khaa??" Why does she pressure him so much? That's new, before she had always waited for his moves and suggestions, so convenient and easy. And all that bar girl attire, and her miserable face. But now he understands her strange word – it is his alias name he told her, and with a bizarre pronunciation. He only uses it for red light encounters.
Nui stands up to look for a friend. He inspects the flesh between her tank top seam and her jeans belt; it looks wobbly and not at all desirable now. Did she have those stretch marks back then? He realizes Nui's body and soul no longer interest him. He would not like to spend any more special time with Nui. She notices how he is mustering her like a horse on sale.
There is this other hooker sitting three steps further away. He had been watching her for 20 minutes now. That one looks good, well dressed, easygoing, humorous, clever and has fun playing with her camera phone. She obviously takes care of herself. Mr. F. would really like to smile and order a snack for that one, but now he has to deal with Nui, his discarded Beach Road hooker.
"Massage 500 Baht? We go, okay?" She asks about his hotel, same like last time? His lies, he says no, he changed to Lek Hotel. Last time she tended to wait in front of his hotel, so this time she'd better wait at the wrong one. She asks for his phone number, same like last time, but he just smiles her question away.
Mr. F. does not want to forget: they had been really and delightfully honest before. Ten months before, Mr. F. had only been her second farang ever (according to her). Their sex had been a very mutual affair. Nui had clearly shown a lot of affection. Anyway he had told her everyday that they weren't partners, but business friends, and that he will leave soon, maybe forever, with no more support for her and her kid.
Sometimes back then, he didn't have small bills. He had given her 1000-Baht-bills, and she always quickly returned the change on the next occasion. They had been friends after all, Nui was/is the perfect no-bullshit-no-attitude-neighborhood girl. He wants to pick up the old honesty again.
"Nui…." – "We go hotel, ok mai khaa?" – "Nui… you know, before I like you so much, because you look like lady Uttaradit… not same-same ladies on Beach Road. I like! Now you look like lady Pattaya – so different, sorry I cannot…." A sad smile, then Nui looks down for a long while. She knows and she understands. She might answer, "I look nutty, but I still have a good heart!", but she doesn't say that; she accepts his changed judgment from her changed outfit. And maybe her heart changed too, as he can see from her questions for food and quick business.
Then she points to her tattoo: "Pen only, can remove!" She points to her long ugly fingernails: "Can cut and do good massage!" But even the pure historical fact that once she liked to dress up like a full-on prostitute turns him off.
He wants to make sure she has a shower and a place for the night. He slips her 200 Baht. She reacts with a wai and her heartbreaking thank you smile, just like in their golden days. Nui… But no, he cannot take her again. He decides to give her a daily 200 Baht; after all she's still Nui, his old friend and bedroom buddy.
He gets up and says "See you again, today or tomorrow, ok?" – Nui: "When?" – "I don't know, but I come back soon." – "When you come back? Today 7 pm, ok?" – "I don't know, see you, bye bye for now."
He walks on and looks back. Her eyes follow him, but with no smile. She looks really really sad. Back then she had soaked in all his courting: He had served her drinks and snacks on the bed, he had toweled her off after shower, he held open every door for her, he changed the air con to her liking, he repeatedly told her how much he liked her good heart, her nice smile, her massage and her body. She had sensed it wasn't all "pak wan" (sweet mouth) and feasted on his attention. But now Nui realizes that Mr. F. had inspected her again – and this time she did not qualify, his old compliments are revoked. From his 200-Baht-donation she realizes he sees her more like a poor beggar, and not like an attractive lady inside and out whose services and body he would like to buy again. Her old customer moved on to brand new products. Good old Nui is dumped. From something like a friend and bedroom companion, his inspecting looks have turned her into a piece of meat, and she is more spam than filet now. There are hundreds or thousands of girls on Beach Road; Nui is just one creature in the cattle, a piece of livestock, and not the most promising one. He has walked out of sight now.
4 pm, he jumps onto his motosai and heads for Jomtien's Dongtan beach. Roaring down Beach Road, he sees Nui still sitting on her old position, looking frustrated and uninviting like before. Should he stop and point to the Honda's back seat, taking Nui out for sunset and a cocktail on the sandy shores? But then, would he have to warn her he wouldn't pay for her company? Nui sits there like a frustrated jobless whore. Mr. F. bounces on alone.
He starts his beach time with a light curry meal plus beach view in a delightful breezy boutique resort, the only place with some charm actually, frequented by young families and regular couples from Europe and Asia. He pities Nui on her Beach Road post. Even his mild trip to Jomtien would have been a major splurge for her. But back then before, Nui had been the perfect hooker in good-girl-disguise. He could take her to restaurants outside the red light zone. Now she visibly is a desperate worn prostitute; he really doesn't want to be seen with her in a decent place like this delightful beach resort – where he himself wants to appear as decent, too.
A sunset stroll, feet in the water, head in the wonderfully cool December wind. Would he like to be with Nui now? This part of the beach has fat white farang oldies in swelling tangas grabbing over slim tanned tiny tattooed Thai boys; so his whore friend Nui wouldn't be less than offensive now. Holding hands would be romantic. Still, maybe he doesn't need Nui now: She tends to talk a lot, never realizing that he speaks much more Thai than he is able to understand from Thai speakers. His desperate attempts to catch at least fractions of her sagas have already exhausted him in the afternoon. Nui is no longer an option.
And when Night falls upon the fun town of Pattaya, Nui is not an option too. Mr. F. does a comprehensive round through live music pubs and discos, registers changes and well-kept standards: The second band in the Kum Punn pub on soi 2 now has a new sexy female singer; she dances around the microphone tripod like a gogo artist; but with a hell of a lot of talent, fun, sex and – an innocent face like a school girl. Unbeknownst to 999.999 of one million hi-season visitors (source: TAT, quoted by LP), Pattaya has great entertainment for Thais, definitely better than Bangkok and almost as good as the Isaan fun towns Khon Khaen and Udon Thani.
While cruising the scene aboard Baht bus and motosai taxis, Mr. F. remembers Nui and thinks she might enjoy pub-hopping with him; she has told him she likes I-Nam, and in Kum Punn they now do a very good I-Nam cover that has the Thai crowd screaming and dancing around tables.
Around 1.30 am, he finishes off the night with a Baileys at Bamboo pub near Walking Street. This tourist-oriented place is not the most sophisticated venue for live music aficionados, but they do a decent job with Thai and western tunes that get many people dancing; they have the most comfy chairs of all live music places and – relief – an English language menu is available.
Mr. F. strolls home along Beach Road alone. Will Nui still be on her post? Heck, her default hang-out seems to be quite close to his hotel. What if he brings home a "Nui 2" and they have to walk past the discarded original. He ponders paying "Nui 1" for staying far from his hotel for three days.
Nui 1 – there she stands in the streetlight! She leans against a lamp post, and her face is sooooo tired and sad. But then she smiles at him hopefully. She wears earphones. He takes one speaker out and listens – she hears Thai pop from a MP3 player, but the sound is worse than from a cheap mobile phone, and with many interruptions.
He notices her changes after the meeting around 2 pm: The bizarre pink lipstick has gone, and she wears a different shirt that hides her tattoo. Did she do that for him? She proudly points to her new attire – yes, she changed for him, wants to transform back to the old upcountry girl he requires to be able to perform. She displays her fingernails, now short and rounded: "You see – cut already!" Wow, what an investment, Nui really changed something to secure business with Mr. F.
Mr. F. is tired now. He just wants to sleep, and alone. "Nui, did you have customers today?" – Her face goes down: "Nooo…. no man likes me…." – "But you have my 200 Baht for the guest house, right?" – "No, need 150 for eat in restaurant near here…." – "What, on the market you can eat for 25 Baht!" – "Yes, but market far away, need food quick to go back to Beach Road quickly." A story about her empty wallet follows.
His old buddy Nui, a failed Beach Road hooker. Stupid girl, why did she use up his money? He really wants her to have a shower and a safe clean bed tonight. He takes her hand, "Ok, we go!" – "Oh, you take me?!" Her smile lights up 100 procent. – "Let's go." He is not really sure what to do with Nui, massage, boom-boom or simply snoring side by side? He just wants to get his old friend off the road, even though he thoroughly enjoys sleeping and waking up alone.
She points towards Lek Hotel. "This way, no?" – "No, this way, I stay in the same hotel like last time." – "Oh." Now she knows he has lied to her about his hotel, just what farangs do with whores they want to get rid of.
They walk towards his actual hotel. He remembers Nui has no regular room in the daytime. "I guess you are happy to take a shower now?" – "Ah, no need shower", she says! – No shower, what is this? Just as they want to enter the hotel, she says "Find something to eat, ok?" She makes clear she has no money at all. – "Why not, how did you spend the rest of my 200 hundred?" "Oh, drink Beer Leo!" Drink Beer Leo, again, Nui, what is this?
They enter the 7-11 next to the hotel, and Nui does a round through the shelves. How can he continue his 200-Baht-payments to her if she stupidly uses his guesthouse money for expensive restaurants and Beer Leo? Nui rips up a plastic cup of Mama noodles and fills in hot water from a fat-bellied thermos. How can he stay with a girl that drinks beer, wears tattoos, demands food payments from him while not handling her available funds carefully? His old time Nui had refused any suggestion to order Thai food for her. The new Nui grabs a bottle of drinking water and bizarre mini-sausages and drags him to the cashier; 47 Baht.
With a very happy smile Nui sets out back to his hotel door. Nui looks forward to enjoy her fast food on the bed or in a comfy armchair. She looks forward to spend the night in a clean inviting cool bed with a relatively polite man whom she already knows, and she is looking forward to making some money at the same time. Just three steps to the hotel door and into safety.
But Mr. F. leads Nui away from the hotel and across the road, back to a stone bench on Beach Road. He gestures her to sit down and to start eating now. She looks quizzically. He: "Nui… so sorry… but I want to sleep alone. Ok mai khrap? Sorry, but I really want to sleep alone."
Her positive smile breaks in 1000 pieces. Her face goes bunker. Her body bends. She speaks no word. Helpless Mr. F. pats her back like a dog. "Sorry, and good luck for you! Enjoy your food! See you again!"
He stands up, he walks across the street towards the impressive inviting hotel entrance. He looks back, smiles and waves. But Nui doesn't look at him, and she doesn't look at the group of western blokes that are just passing her. She looks down, she looks sick, she looks like she is going to vomit soon. She looks like a rejected desperate Beach Road prostitute with a cup of lukewarm Mama noodles. Her dreams just included this one night, but even that she can forget now.
He opens the hotel door and waves back one last time. No reaction from a bent down Nui. A Baht bus with tattooed partying Brit skinheads on board roars along, as he steps in. Nui looks down.
His Nui days have expired once and for all.
Absolutely brilliant! Yet another wonderful, wonderful story.
* A note to any readers who might be new to the readers' submissions or readers who do not have much time. Go back and read all of the "Delightful" submissions by Pothole – they are all absolutely first rate.