The Broken Man Repaired Part 3
I arrived in Bangkok in October for my third visit within 12 months. My old pal ”P” met me at the airport and he steered me through the taxi mafia into a cab to Nana as on previous visits. As before the “just for men” was applied to my hair and I had shaven my genitals, but I suspected this trip was going to be different. The reason being was that I suspected my time-share girlfriend N was not going to see me this visit.
I met N in Pattaya last November and I brought her back to Bangkok for the second week of my vacation. I spent the most pleasurable time I had known in 20 years. (See my previous submission, "The broken man is repaired"). Since then we had kept in touch through daily emails and weekly phone calls. She has never asked me for money or made any demands of me. In her early 30’s, she is not classically beautiful and a little on the plump side but she is affectionate, perceptive, and highly intelligent with a well-developed sense of humour. She is the most fascinating girl I have known for 20 years and also on occasions extremely infuriating in a way that is unique to Thai girls.
After Christmas she left Pattaya to work in her family business for a few weeks before starting an office job in a town south of Bangkok. It was only when I told her I was returning in June that she came clean about her relationship with the owner of the company she worked for, and that he was supporting her financially. In return for a monthly allowance and living in his (not insignificant) holiday home, she looks after his business interests and his other needs on his visits to Thailand. I think she enjoys full “Mia noi“ (little wife) status and has on occasions inadvertently referred to him as her husband.
Although she had been instructed to break all contact with me, she evidently did not. When I visited in June she spent a week with me (see "The broken man repaired part 2"). However in the weeks before this latest visit she had intimated that
she was having problems and would probably not be able to see me this time.
My Thai Airways flight arrived at 0600, an ungodly hour so I had to wait a few hours for my room at the Nana hotel to be prepared. I have breakfast with P after which he left me to go to work. I then have a phone call from N telling me she has used the excuse of visiting her doctor in Bangkok and was already on her way to see me.
She arrived at the Nana mid afternoon and we spent a pleasant few hours chatting and catching up on things. Over dinner she explained how on my last visit she concealed her absence to her sponsor's other employees by saying she was going to Isaan to see her family, but her mother's arrival this week had precluded this as an excuse. I got the strong impression she was under pressure to say goodbye to me but was reluctant and couldn’t quite bring herself to do it.
I do not claim to understand her attraction for me, or her motivation. Cynics may suggest she is keeping me in reserve for when her current sponsor trades her in for a younger model. But she clearly knows that I have neither the wherewithal or inclination to join the Institute of Farang Patrons. In truth I care a great deal for the girl and have seriously considered bringing her back to the UK but it is the implication of supporting her extended family I fear is beyond my means.
Seeing her off at Ekamai bus station and resigned to the fact I would not be spending any time with her this visit, I proceed via skytrain to Soi Cowboy to catch up with a few old pals. I had a couple of beers in the Dollhouse but my heart wasn’t in it. I returned to the Nana hotel and had a good sleep (alone). I felt a chapter had closed in my life.
The next morning I woke up early totally refreshed and ready to start my holiday. After breakfast I had a leisurely stroll down Sukhumvit Road ogling the little honeys. I visited a bookshop, bought Christopher Moore’s book “Chairs” (an excellent collection of short stories), had a beer in a couple of bars around soi 5 (including Gulliver’s) and gradually make my way back to the Nana’s Golden Bar. It was quiet so I have the opportunity to buy drinks for about six girls and engage them in conversation. I have developed a technique for getting past the “what’s your name, where are you from” routine to establish if the girl is interested. One girl in particular seemed curious and I logged her for future reference.
That evening found me in the Dollhouse in Soi Cowboy for happy hour with my old pal P. I love the Dollhouse but after an hour the Chang draft beer tasted like the back of a postage stamp and with P engrossed in voyeuristic pursuits, I needed a change, so I wandered into the Tilac. I settled down with a Heineken and felt a hand on my knee. Expecting to see a delicate little vision I was shocked to be confronted by the oldest and most ugly woman I have ever seen in a go-go bar grinning back at me. I was so startled I jumped up and knocked my beer over!
“My name is Pig,” she said (at least that was what it sounded like) “and I am customer services, buy me a drink”. This woman looked like my Great Aunt Doris and, quite out of character for me, I replied “if I had wanted an ugly old hag I could have stayed in Dudley”. I recovered my composure and apologised saying “I will buy you a drink if you can select a pretty girl for me who can speak good English”. No sooner the word than the blow within a minute she returns with a smiling little beauty “K”. I knew K from my previous visits; she is the long time girl friend of one of my older pals who comes to Bangkok 4 or 5 times a year and I spent time in their company on a previous visit. I know that a boyfriend can be defined as a guy who barfines the girl on more than three occasions or buys her an expensive present on the second, so I had no real qualms about borrowing my pal’s girlfriend for the night.
K seemed delighted to see me again so I immediately bar fined her telling her I was taking her dancing. K claims to be 26, looks 16 but I suspect she is nearer 36. She is a bundle of energy and is great fun to be with. I took her to the Country Road Bar at the end of Soi Cowboy. Although not to everyone’s taste this is a bar I really love. It is the only place in the world you can still hear “Have you ever seen the rain” (and occasionally “Yellow river”) being played. Although this time I did not get the chance to get up and sing with the band as I usually do, we danced for a couple of hours. K is a natural dancer and enjoyed being the centre of attention. She was in such high spirits that night she later dragged me into Black and White (Tilac’s sister bar) were she danced on the pole for 20 min even though she was in her civvies. When we eventually got back to the Nana, as suspected, Ks’ energy extended to horizontal activities with an enthusiasm that I feared would lead to my untimely demise.
K left me early the next morning declining my offer of breakfast, somewhat to my relief, as I needed the rest. I slept till midday eventually making my way to the Golden bar where a stiff brandy and a strong coffee revived me. One of the girls I had talked to the previous day immediately joined me with a huge smile on her face. “H” is in her early 30s, not a great beauty but she has the most fabulous legs I have seen in years but more importantly after talking to her for a few minutes I perceived she had a genuine interest in me (I know the cynics will claim the interest is only money but I am sure many Bangkok veterans understand what I mean). I bar fined her and took her for lunch at the Bus stop and later dinner at a restaurant on Soi 5. I also took her to Gulliver’s. I had heard rave reviews about it and had popped in the previous lunchtime. This may be tantamount to treason but I must admit, I did not like the place, it was too much like the bars in England I wanted to escape from. H and myself sat outside so I could watch the young honeys coming in and out. Many of them emulated the fashions of their western sisters. What was disconcerting however was the amount of Thai teenagers I saw with fat derrieres like their western sisters. I think this maybe the shape of things to come.
H stays the night with me and during breakfast we joke about walking her to work. I walk the 5 yards to the Golden bar with her and whilst she goes into the backroom, I seat myself at the bar and three of her friends join me. On her return H gives me a little affectionate kiss on the cheek and goes away to serve a customer but the reaction from her friends is priceless. They look astonished and remark that was something they have never seen H do before and I must have made an impression on her. I must admit it is the little things like this that make the Thailand experience so enjoyable. These little displays of affection make a pleasant change from being viewed by a western woman as something unpleasant under her shoe.
Midday I caught the bus down to Pattaya and book into the Opey de place. I make my way down to Soi Yamato to meet up with some of my younger pals. Two fellow Baggie supporters own the Meeting Place bar. It is a friendly little bar, more an extension of the lads’ front room and always has a few Black Country lads recuperating from the previous evening's activities I had a few beers, showed them a few photos I had taken of them (and their delightful girlfriends) on my last visit in June and we picked up the conversation as if I had not been away at all.
My old pal P was also on his way down to Pattaya on a business assignment so I meet him and another old pal in the Hippo restaurant for dinner. I must mention the Hippo, I had the best steak I think I have ever eaten and the maitre de is an absolute goddess, very tall, statuesque with poise and bearing that would not be out of place in an English stately home. I could have sat and worshipped her all night but I was reluctantly dragged away by the other two to visit a groping bar they knew. After an hour or so I escaped and made my way back to Soi Yamoto to Stringfellows (which is also owned by a fellow Baggie fan). There was one girl in particular I wanted to see, I made her acquaintance in June but never got around to offing her. I was surprised at the warm welcome I received there; two of the girls actually remembered my name. I bought all the girls a drink and immediately barfined the object of my attention.
“W” is a delightful girl in her early 30s, exceptionally pretty with a very pleasant disposition. I took her for a drink in my pal’s bar, offered to feed her (which was surprisingly declined) and ended up at my hotel. Something I have noticed before is the way the girls sniff your neck at intimate moments. I find it quite endearing but I speculated; is it they think they can establish your personality through some enhanced sense of smell? Thinking I had a theory and perhaps an article for publication, I asked W about this. She informed me she just liked the smell of my cologne.
The next evening I had a buffet dinner at the Lek Hotel with my old pal P and later took a baht bus back to a bar in Pattayaland to see an old friend of my Teeruk N. In truth I was inquisitive about N’s other man. I found out what I wanted to know; although younger and considerably wealthier than me, he was (allegedly) not as good looking or anywhere as much fun as I was. Avoiding the temptation to barfine her, I made my way back to Stringfellows to find W was not there. Assuming she had been “offed” already (and knowing the etiquette would prevent barfining any of the other girls), I made to go but the other girls stopped me leaving assuring me W would be in soon. From this I deduced she had gone short time. This is the dilemma we all face; do you really want to stir another man’s gravy? However when she did arrive and I saw her pretty face, my reservations disappeared, I barfined her and took her away. The next morning after breakfast, we have a leisurely stroll and had a look at the sea, this was my third visit and I hadn’t fully realised Pattaya was by the seaside!
My old pal P had finished his business assignment and was returning to Bangkok that afternoon. I met up with him for lunch at Palmers bar, which is a fascinating place, more, a restaurant that serves beer than a bar. With a better class of customer it is the nearest to an English Conservative club you will see in Pattaya and you cannot get to the bar without falling over a Rotarian or two.
That evening I returned to the Hippo alone for a steak and an unrequited ogle at my Isaan goddess. I made a visit to Electric Blue bar in Walking St, which is an excellent bar with some great girls but I ended up in a go-go bar in Pattayaland owned by another pal of mine. It is a first rate bar, well run with some lovely girls but I must admit to having my first disagreeable experience with a girl this visit. In retrospect I should have seen it coming. The girl concerned was delicious, in her early 20s, which is admittedly a bit younger than I usually go with. She was wearing tights, which was in itself unusual but she claimed it stopped her feeling naked. She was cheerful, a good talker and appeared genuinely interested. She took me to my hotel on the back on her motorbike but when she dismounted it was obvious she was the “worse for wear” for drink and staggered to my room. She spent all night in the bathroom “praying to the porcelain altar”.
I am generally philosophical about the minor mishaps one encounters in Thailand but I was annoyed on this occasion. Whether she was actually drunk or she didn’t fancy me and was pretending to be drunk, she shouldn’t have let me barfine her. Next morning I refused to pay her big money, although apprehensive of possible intervention by the boys in brown, I offered her a token sum to pay for her breakfast and for her to save face. She stormed off in indignation but returned within 5 mins to accept it. In retrospect the token sum I offered would have paid for a girl last year.
That morning I caught the bus back to Bangkok in company of a bunch of middle aged Aussies. Like most Antipodeans the guys were great company but their wives were typical western harridans. Having to listen to their ill considered and strident opinions during what became an interminable journey, reminded me what I came to Thailand to avoid.
On booking back into the Nana I get my daily phone call from N confirming she still cannot get away, but we do have phone sex, which is another new experience for me.
I barfine H, take her for dinner and buy her a denim skirt and top from the Sukhumvit Rd. She has breakfast with me but tells me she cannot see me later as she has a prior engagement that afternoon, (which meant she had already been bar fined). Being inquisitive I stayed the afternoon drinking in her bar and watched her depart with the other guy (who annoyingly was younger and considerably more handsome than me). Amazingly she returned to me within 20 minutes. I contained my curiosity for once and took her for dinner.
That evening I met my pal P in Soi Cowboy and we caught the impressive new underground metro to Patpong. I usually avoid Patpong, I feel it is a bit too much “in your face” but that night we end up in Queens Castle II, which was excellent, the beer was cheap and there were some very pretty girls. Although I am ambivalent about pussy shows the act was very impressive and the origami presentation novel; making paper cranes in this manner was something I had never seen before. I will certainly reconsider my attitude to Patpong for future visits.
My pal P claims to remember a girl in the Long Gun who displayed a greater accuracy bursting balloons but this was back in those good old days when all bar girls were beautiful, beer was 20 Baht a pint and pints were as big as buckets.
P left me to get his beauty sleep (which he clearly needs) so I returned to the Nana Plaza courtesy of Sky train and reflect that I had visited Soi Cowboy, Patpong and NEP in one night and how easy (and cheap) the Skytrain and Metro made this possible.
Nana Plaza was disappointing that evening even the good bars were empty of customers prompting the girls to a more aggressive attitude to the few ones remaining, as if we should compensate for those absent punters. I stayed till almost closing but realising
I had drunk too much, decided not to pull a girl and went back to the hotel alone. I got waylaid in the lobby by an American acquaintance and ended up in the cocktail bar drinking bourbon and coke as if it were going out of fashion. Like many
guys I know when I have had enough to drink but will still have a further ten just to make sure. I remember nothing until I was woke the next morning by a woman blowing my pipe. She was one of the old stagers from the Nana lounge. I have a vague
recollection of saying hello to her but I certainly do not remember bringing her back to my room. I have heard her described as “well past her sell by date”, which I consider unfair, I think she would still turn heads if I took her
into a pub in Wolverhampton, so a sense of perspective is called for. But knowing I would be unable to raise even a smile that morning, I paid her off and slept off the mother of all hangovers.
7.30 saw me in the Dollhouse relaxing with a bag full of street food and a cold beer. I barfined “J”, a Tina Turner in miniature, and took her to Country roads. J liked the music but was not interested in dancing. Her English was good and she liked to talk and told me all the gossip about the girls in the Dollhouse (and some of the punters). In her mid 30s she was an intriguing girl and she told me a lot about bar girl life. She also taught me more about sex than a man of my age has a right to know and I knew I would not be appearing for breakfast. I took her for lunch, she was refreshing company and never stopped chatting until she left me late afternoon.
That night was Halloween and Soi Cowboy had a great party atmosphere. I escaped the Dollhouse and had an hour in the Long Gun. The Dollhouse is my favourite bar, it is well managed with a comfortable relaxed atmosphere but I do love to get into the Long Gun. The shows are well choreographed and the dancers make a real effort to entertain. I had a delicious little girl join me and I bought her a drink. She was possibly only 20 and “farm fresh” from Buriram. I was tempted to barfine her but considered my previous experiences with younger girls and demurred.
There was a recent readers submission by Lucky Wee Willy giving advice to newcomers, most of which was generally good, with the exception of the suicidally stupid idea of losing bar receipts, (and I suspect that was tendered with tongue firmly in cheek). He advised choosing a girl who cannot speak English implying that if their English was too good; their teachers had been in their pants. Although this has some validity, I feel not being able to communicate detracts from the pleasure, irrespective of how beautiful a girl is.
In the article he also alluded to the issue of prices. It is amusing to hear the advice, particularly from older guys quoting 1000 to 1500 Baht for all night with a girl. I feel they are sadly out of touch. 2000 Baht appears to be the norm in Bangkok, with some go-go girls asking for 3000 Baht! I accept we still have the power of negotiation but these girls have a perception of their value that has no relationship to the usual laws of supply and demand. Although I still feel it is tremendous value for money, a newcomer to the scene with expectations from reading these articles is going to be disappointed. I acknowledge that the prices in Pattaya are about 75% of those in Bangkok but I predict by the end of the high season there will be parity with Bangkok. It is a pity that there is not a futures market that quotes bar girl prices; I could lose as much money on that as I have on the conventional stock market!
Anyway, that evening I was on a mission to visit the Thermae coffee shop. I had heard much about the place and knew its antecedents went back to the days of the Vietnam War so I can claim my interest was historical. I get there about 11.30, it is an unusual place and it took me a while to orientate myself. Within minutes I was joined by a vision of loveliness. This girl in her early 30s was an absolute angel “wafted in from paradise”. I straightaway fetched her a drink to prevent her escaping. Her English was not too good but for this girl I was willing to forego all my principles. I conveyed her by Taxi to the Nana with such indecent haste that I hadn’t discussed price. I took her into the bar and let her choose some exotic cocktails to put her at ease because she seemed different and genuinely shy. As a gentleman I do not usually recount intimate details but she was the first Thai girl I had met who hadn’t trimmed her bush. She had a very luxuriant growth, probably the hairiest I have seen (I half expected to find a WW2 Japanese soldier hiding there). I was very gentle with her and her physical responses were surprising and unexpected. Once she got over her initial reticence she became quite enthusiastic for the task in hand.
The next day we had a pleasant lunch together but as her English was on a par with my Thai, communication was difficult. I asked her to tell me about herself and as she had difficulty explaining she showed me her ID as receptionist at a big Bangkok hospital. When I let her go to begin her shift at work I must admit to being captivated by her. She had certainly disturbed my equilibrium. In all probability I may have had my first experience of that mythical entity; a shop girl out for a little rent money
I realised this was my last day in Bangkok and that I missed my little time-share girlfriend N. She had phoned me every day. I had told her of my other girls because I felt our friendship would stand it and (because we had already done all the temples and tourist sites together on my previous visits) I couldn’t think of enough convincing excuses for how I had spent my time without her.
In the absence of N I went to see H and asked if she would see later me that evening. She agreed to meet me in the lobby of the Nana at 10.30.
7.30 saw me in Soi cowboy enjoying what would be my last drinks in LOS for a few months. After saying my goodbyes in the Dollhouse and Tilac at 10.00 I made my way back to the Nana by Skytrain. As I walked down the staircase at Nana station I spotted two katoeys lurking in the shadows at the foot of the stairs. I guessed their intentions and as I stepped off the bottom stair the one approached me, hand extended to shake my hand (as the second one began to walk behind me). I smiled, let the first one get close and deftly sidestepped him. Overbalanced, he fell against his associate as I quickly made my escape into the better-lit areas of Sukhumvit Road. I was thankful I was relatively sober on that occasion; on another night they would have had my wallet for sure.
Safely back at the Nana, H turned up on time and after a few drinks in the cocktail bar, spent the night with me. She was particularly affectionate that evening and she told me more of her life story. She compared working in an electronics factory to her current job. The work was less arduous, the money slightly better, but the downside was some of the bad guys they experienced. The stories would make your hair curl. We had spent quite a bit of time together, and I hope she considered me one of the good guys.
The next morning we said our farewells and I caught a taxi to the airport. I went early with an hour with two to spare. This was prompted by a phone call the previous evening from N informing me she and her mother were flying up to Isaan that day. I made a detour to the domestic terminal and found N. I must admit that when I saw her my heart melted. After being introduced to her mother we all had lunch together in the restaurant. Her mother although polite, clearly disapproved of her daughter’s relationship with me considering N should stay faithful to her other guy. In a perverse logic she approved of the other man who was happily married (but sponsored her) above me who was single (but didn’t pay anything), but that is their culture, I can understand and sympathise with it.
I could see what a graceful and self assured woman N had become. Our daily contact had undoubtedly improved her English and I hope helped develop her self-confidence and feeing of worth. Her other man had given her a taste of the good life and experience of running a business. He had clearly enhanced her social skills and he may also have raised her aspirations. It was then I had my epiphany and recognised that I could not give her the security she sought. I do not have the resources to support her and her family in the manner she was becoming accustomed to. I had nothing to offer but friendship however I did not want her completely gone from my life. Our regular correspondence had become an integral part of my existence. On agreeing we would continue our contact we joined our respective flights.
I have been back in the UK a month or so and N resumed her contact with me almost immediately. Initial correspondence admonished me for my “butterfly” activities but has since returned to a semblance of normality. Her missives are charming and perceptive and I continue to amuse her in my own inimitable way. I am reconciled that we have probably “passed the Rubicon” in our relationship and are basically pen pals now. I still derive great pleasure from our friendship and although I am probably being overly optimistic I hope it can continue even if she finds what she is seeking.
I must recount an incident that occurred within a week of my return to the UK. I have my hair cut by the hairdressing students for free at the local college (which confirms my keeneow tendencies). I am in no way ashamed of my activities in Thailand and will recount a tale to anyone interested (even people at my Church get a Readers Digest version), but I am obviously cautious, particularly with pre-menopausal women of a certain age. Any mention of Thailand is an anathema to them and any man who goes there is considered the devil incarnate. I do not think there is any moral dimension to this attitude I am convinced it is the thought of men escaping and finding an alternative to their control that annoys them. (Why do married women close their eyes during sex? Because they can not bear to see a man enjoying himself)
The girl cutting my hair that evening was a mature student, an attractive married woman in her early 40s. The lecturer in charge is an old friend of mine and during the session she comes to me and asks me about my recent trip to Thailand. At the mention of the T word I could hear the woman’s hackles rise and I feared the worse. To compound matters the young girl in next chair remarked she also knew a few guys who go there for the women. By now the grinding of her teeth had drowned out the buzz of the hair clippers! I tried to appease by explaining that it was a refuge for men of a certain age who are not considered attractive by English women, unfortunately this precipitated an eruption which began “I suppose the girls are just stupid and naïve”, (and poor! pipes up the young girl, trying to help).
The subsequent tirade was delivered with a malevolence I think usually reserved for someone who had asked to eat her children. But she had to stop for breath eventually and she asked, “Why do you go there?”
I replied, “I think your outburst has probably answered your own question”. The onlookers clearly embarrassed by her unprovoked attack all smiled at my response. But it was a Pyrrhic victory, as the state of my hair when she had finished with me will bear witness.
I made my first visit last November, which began my love affair with LOS or more accurately began what Christopher Moore refers to as “the sickness”. Following a divorce that left me emotionally and financially drained this initial trip and subsequent visits did much to repair my spirit and restore my self-esteem. But it also has left me with a problem. My experience with the daughters of Isaan has spoiled me and I no longer have any interest in English woman. I endure four months of celibacy rather than submit myself to their capricious whims.
But I acknowledge my addiction for the “Dysfunctional Disneyland” can only be transitory. Pragmatism suggests living and working in Thailand is unfeasible, supporting a Thai girlfriend requires a commitment commensurate with a small mortgage and the logistics of acquiring a Thai bride appear daunting.
But one must keep a sense of perspective; where in the UK could a guy in his late 40s get even a smile from a beautiful slim girl in her 30s, never-mind spend the night with her? And all the whinges from tourists and Thailand veterans about prices and the minor inconveniences should also be kept in perspective. For a guy like me this is the only game in town and I shall continue to visit as often as my resources allow.
Writing these submissions is also extremely therapeutic. It is therefore my intention to return again in the New Year and I look forward to again submitting an account of my subsequent adventures.
The point you make about Thailand ruining guys, at least in terms of women in the West, is an interesting one.