My Evening With Igor
I was in Bangkok for a few days recently to pick up my new work visa for Indonesia. I caught up for a few quiet drinks with an old friend and former work colleague who has married and settled in Thailand and now lives a couple of hours out of Bangkok. The plan was that we would drink far too much that night and that he would pass out on the lounge in my hotel suite.
We started at the Bus Stop in Soi 4 for a couple of drinks with a business associate. My friend made sure to tell us how good a job his attractive young Thai wife had done that afternoon of convincing him that he would not be desiring a lady that night. Ain't love grand! A number of drinks there and we headed out for some food. My friend proceeded to break a wisdom tooth on Soi 4 kebab. The tooth was then painfully extracted by himself, using a sturdy toothpick, the alcohol already consumed acting as the only anaesthetic.
After eating we played some pool and had a few more quiet drinks. Around 11 my friend informed me that he needed to go deep, deep, deep undercover to investigate a certain naughty bargirl in Soi Cowboy. We made our way to the bar where his favourite informant works. We sat down and ordered our drinks, my friend's informant was very quickly by his side and I was doing my best to be polite but disinterested in the girls that came to sit with me. One of the dancers directly in front of us was gyrating a lot more enthusiastically than the others. She would have been fairly attractive if not for the apparent nerve damage to one side of her face that made all of her facial expressions rather hideous. It would not have been all that noticeable except that she kept trying to smile.
Now, if I were living in Farangland and was presented with a brown skinned young lady half my age writhing around a pole and trying to smile lustfully at me, a little facial nerve dysfunction would not bother me at all. But a couple of years of living in South East Asia have taught me that I look like George Clooney on a good day, that I am charming and sexy and that despite the paunch and receding hairline and grey hair I look at least 10 years younger than I actually am.
My friend has lived in South East Asia much longer than I have, and is therefore even more handsome than I am. He pointed to the young lady in question and said in his usual charming manner "How would you like to wake up next to that!! It would be like waking up next to f***ing Igor!"
Unfortunately, even the large amount of alcohol we had consumed by this point had ceased to be an effective painkiller on the remnants of my friend's wisdom tooth. He asked if it would be okay to disappear upstairs for half an hour with his informant for a quiet chat and a chaste massage to hopefully make him feel a little better. I was tired, I had been burning the candle at both ends and it was starting to catch up with me, but I told him to go right ahead. I was content to entertain myself by watching the other punters there that night. One was a large middle-aged man, having the time of his life sucking a young lady's breasts while being a little too familiar with her with his free right hand. The other was a very, very large man – he must have weighed at least 200 kilos. He sat at one of the seats along the wall, the kind that will comfortably accommodate a punter with a bargirl on each side. This fellow was so large that when one of the smaller girls came to sit next to him she barely managed to get one butt-cheek on the seat. Apart from them it was rather quiet, every now and then 1 or 2 guys would have a look inside, most were not too interested in what was on offer and moved on. Usually the girls would squeal and run to the door, grab an arm each and try and drag them further inside. But none of the girls were packing a lot of muscle and the punters mostly managed to escape.
Half an hour came and went. There were, of course, plenty of comments by the staff to the tune of "Where your friend?" (accompanied by pointing a finger upstairs and a snigger). I smiled knowingly, my friend was only having a chaste massage and a chat.
Midnight came and went. Maybe they had a lot to talk about. I continued drinking and watching the show, most of the girls had lost interest in me by now, my eyelids were growing heavier and heavier and I really needed some sleep.
Igor came up and asked if she could come and sit with me. What was I to say? Of course, no problems. I moved over a little and she joined me. I did not offer to buy her a lady drink and she did not request one. We got down to the usual riveting conversation. The 3 questions, the usual shocked reaction that I could possibly be as old as I claimed, the usual frightening attempts at smiling, some subtle snuggling up to me, the by now familiar flattery regarding my handsome appearance. Igor kept trying to push the sides of my mouth up, thinking I was unhappy when in fact I was struggling to stay awake and wondering where my friend had gotten to.
12:45 came around. I was informed that it would be last drinks, I ordered one more and settled up. At 1am (by which time the massage had been going for around 2 hours) Igor informed me that the bar had to close and that we could wait together for my friend in Penny Black pub. Or rather, the mamasan informed me of this as Igor had a lot of trouble forming the appropriate words with only the left half of her mouth.
We made our way to the Penny Black. I settled down on a rather uncomfortable barstool. Igor, or course, leaned and snuggled against me. She really was a sweet girl, I am sure that she had won over the occasional drunk punter with her persistence. I was far too tired and too drunk to do anything but wonder where the hell my friend was. Around 2:30, more than 3 hours since he went for his massage, my friend showed up. Turned out he had barely gotten his shirt off and lay down when he fell sound asleep, and his informant thought that he probably needed the rest and left him that way. He was only woken by a combination of loud drunken singing and a noisy elephant outside his window. I paid for my drinks and slipped Igor a few hundred baht. She looked rather sad and I felt like a right cad! As we headed back to the hotel my friend apologized profusely and asked the obvious question: "How the f*** did you end up with Igor?". Thanks buddy!
The legendary Igor strikes again…