Newbie Misadventures Part 4
By Frozen Falang
My last installment ended with me hiring a cab to return to Bangkok for my last two nights in the country; there’d be no uncomfortable bus ride for me this time. The cab cost 800 baht, I believe, an incredible deal considering the cost of taxis at home.
I arrived back at my cheap hotel on Soi 1, the Street One Lodge, in the late afternoon. After getting cleaned up and changed, it was off to new adventures. I just started barhopping here and there down Sukhumvit, and eventually ended up in Soi Cowboy around mid-evening. I wandered down the street with no particular destination in mind, just soaking up all the smells, music, hello girls and general ambience – and loving every minute of it. As I approached one of the smaller venues, a little cutie with a gorgeous smile grabbed my arm and started dragging me into it, chattering and laughing all the while as I protested feebly but jokingly. As soon as she got me into the bar she sat me down on a stool and was all over me, arms thrown around my neck and kissing me repeatedly, all the while laughing and smiling and chattering away – here’s a live one, thinks I. Of course I had to buy her a lady drink as well as refreshment for myself, and this went on for a while before she popped the question, “you pay bar me?” Well, at this point, how could I refuse? She’d definitely made an impression on me.
Her name was Lee, and she was more cute than pretty –her hair was bobbed fairly short, exposing the back of her neck – a little different look than the long-haired girls that had caught my eye up to this point. (The Japanese consider the nape of the neck to be an erogenous zone, and I tend to agree, she had a lovely neck.) She had a wide, sensuous mouth with full lips, and a gorgeous smile displaying perfect teeth. How can so many of these poor farm girls have such perfect gleaming white teeth? Is it genetic, or dietary, or both? Whatever the reason, seeing those lovely white teeth against that golden brown skin is definitely one of the delights of being around Thai women.
She was probably about 5’2 or so and around 95lbs – a bit bigger than a “pixie” but not tall enough to be a “slinky”, and perfectly proportioned – not an ounce of fat in the wrong place anywhere. She spoke passable English, said she had been working the bar for three months (a likely story) and also said she was studying massage at one of the big temples (probably true, they do teach this at one prominent temple that I know of) during the days.
I think we may have done a little barhopping on the way back to the room – I remember we walked all the way, and had a pleasant session that night before falling asleep. It was a delight waking up with this little honey in my arms the next morning – she just seemed to fit perfectly, and we had a little more fun then as well. She was in no particular hurry to leave, and I remember she spent what seemed like almost half an hour yakking on her mobile, ostensibly to her sister. Then she finally got her things together, and prepared to get going. She said she lived with her sister out near the airport somewhere, and I gave her a little extra tip for cab fare along with the normal “wage”. She asked me if I would come and see her that night, and I said I’d think about it.
I think I spent my last day just lazing around sipping beer and watching some street action – I don’t remember going back to the Beergarden and I didn’t bother with any short time girls, I just didn’t feel like it. I guess I had already made up my mind that I just had to see that little cutie one more time.
Towards late afternoon I started slowly making my way down Sukhumvit towards Soi Cowboy. I had just gotten to around the Ambassador Hotel area, and who do I run into but Tai!! Shit! I thought she had gone to Singapore to work….this really wasn’t part of my plan at all.
Well, of course she thought we’d just pick up again where we had left off, and I had to break the news to her that I had found another girlfriend. Naturally, she was less than pleased to hear of this, and I was glad she was alone and not with a friend, or the loss of face would have been much worse. I told her I was really sorry, I didn’t think I would see her again, and what could I do to help her? She thought for a minute, and then asked me to buy something for her. I agreed, and we went to a little market place around the area where she picked out some clothes, and I was happy to buy them for her. Then we said a final goodbye, I gave her a hug, and that was that. I don’t remember what the clothes cost, but it was small compensation for the time and help she had given me before – I thought about it much later and didn’t feel very good about it, she certainly deserved more and I have done my best to be more generous with my bargirl partners since. Of course, I had paid for everything else during our brief tenure together, but you’ve got to remember that these girls must support themselves too. She never once asked me for money, but that doesn’t mean she didn’t need it.
I finally got to Soi Cowboy and Lee’s bar in the early evening when things were just starting to get going, and she was already outside getting ready to do the “hello” thing. When she saw me approaching, she held out her arms and flashed me that huge smile, and I picked her up by the hips and twirled her around a couple of times, with her workmates clapping and cheering us on – she gained some good face there, and I felt like some kind of hero for a couple of minutes – not the jerk who had just dumped his last girlfriend a couple of hours before. Well, it was no time to worry about past events, it was my last night in the country and I wanted to have some fun. Lee got changed into a pretty white dress, and we had a couple of drinks there before I again paid her barfine and we headed out.
We ended up in Patpong that night – I had been there the week before with Tai and one of her friends who had married an Italian fellow, a really nice guy who could speak passable Thai. We went to the Muzzik Café, where they had what I am sure was a Filipino band who were playing some old pop stuff from the 60’s that I hadn’t heard for decades, and I wanted to hear them one more time.
We spent a couple of enjoyable hours there, and the place was quite busy with some not bad looking freelancers hanging around. I did a little last minute shopping in the market there, and we caught a cab back to the hotel.
The next morning I awoke with sweet little Lee in my arms again, and I started doing some packing while she slept in. I thought my flight was leaving at 1:00 in the afternoon, lots of time… then I thought I better double-check that, and was horrified to see that it wasn’t 1:00, it was 11:00AM! SHIT – it was already 9:00, I had to get going ASAP!! I rousted her out of bed and told her what was happening, and rushed through the rest of my packing. Then I discovered that I didn’t have enough money to pay her, the taxi and the departure tax, and there was no way I would have time to get to a bank machine. I told her I would only be able to give her 500b because of this, and she just gave me a big smile and said those sweet words “mai pen rai” – no problem. Of course, I never even thought of the fact that they probably had an ATM somewhere in the airport, although I still may not have had time to find it. She said she would come to the airport with me, as she lived nearby.
Off we went, and thankfully the traffic wasn’t that bad. I made it with about fifteen minutes to spare, and she came into the airport with me to see me off, smiling right to the end. We had a final kiss and hug, and then went our separate ways. I had asked her before for an e-mail address, and she said she didn’t have one; I gave her mine but never heard from her.
That girl’s smiling face and sparkling personality were on my mind for days after that – I think if I had had another week or so to spend with her I probably would have fallen madly in love – I knew I was on the way. I am now glad that I had to leave when I did, I just didn’t have the knowledge or experience to deal with the whole bargirlfriend experience at that time. I was lucky to escape before I did anything really foolish. But, like most other visitors, I was already planning my next trip as the plane took off from Don Muang….
Thanks to this site and others, I had a whole different perspective when I returned a year later.
But I still couldn’t resist the urge to go back to her bar to see if she was still there and say hello. Her fellow bargirls informed me that she had gone back to her village about six months before. She had told me that her family lived in Bangkok, yet another example of how they all take liberties with the truth, no matter how sweet they appear to be.
On the second trip I was there for weeks, and went through lots of girls both long and short time, but never again felt the same way about any of them that I did about Lee. Was I just a lot more savvy and wary of the whole thing, or did none of them appeal to me quite the way that she did? Both reasons, probably.
On subsequent trips I got to know a “nice” woman through the internet, and that was okay for a while until her insane jealousy just got to be too much for me. A good woman, but I was just not interested in a long term relationship that would go on for years until I was financially able to spend more time over there.
If you’re a casual tourist, and not specifically looking for a wife, stick to the bargirls – you can have your fun, live your illusion, and leave without causing either of you too much heartbreak, hopefully. After all, why travel so far and spend so much just to see one, when there are so many thousands available? I still figure I’ll settle down with a Thai woman when I am able to retire there, but I do not have the least inclination to bring one back to my frigid northern climes, it is just too hard for them to adapt here. I’d go the Filipina route if I was planning to do that, they assimilate much more readily.
But the country and the women sure get under your skin – and how can you explain the whole Thailand experience to people who have never been there, and are conditioned to a lifetime of western thinking? I’ve had several western women sniff “ well, I think it’s a long way to go to get laid”. Sure, but there’s a lot more to it than just getting laid, obviously – the charm and beauty of these women just seem to grow on one more and more, especially when combined with the exotic smells, the heat, the fantastic food, the laid-back “mai pen rai” attitudes, the chaotic but surprisingly polite traffic, the variety of people you meet from everywhere (and some really strange looking ones, I’ll add) – hey, if 12.4 million people visited this place last year, there’s gotta be something special to experience here, wouldn’t you say?
And they sure as hell aren’t all “sex tourists”, either – although many western females seem to think the country is one big brothel for single men to visit. It’s a pity that people tend to believe everything they read – these are the same people who are freaking out about travel to Thailand because of the tsunami damage, and not taking the time to find out just how small a part of the country was affected.
Visiting Thailand was for me an epiphany of sorts – if I had known places like this existed when I was young, my life would have taken a different path. I probably would have gotten into seasonal work, so I could spend my winters over there; or perhaps worked on oil rigs in the Middle East, and spent my time off in Thailand as so many do. Maybe it’s better that this didn’t happen, as I at least have a pension to look forward to now, and am still young enough to enjoy being single and relatively free. Nowadays, too, the tourism infrastructure is so developed that I feel right at home in the bigger places, anyway – and I feel safer walking around Sukhumvit in the middle of the night than I would in downtown Vancouver. When I step out of the airport into that soft and sultry Bangkok heat, I just feel like I have come home.
It’s a fantastic place – what more can I say? I am still a newbie of sorts, but I’m learning more with every trip, and enjoying myself thoroughly while doing it. Will I ever live there fulltime? I don’t know, but I’d sure like to try it….
In closing I’d just like to say to all the other newbies out there:
Get over there and enjoy it before it changes too much – don’t worry about 3rd world issues, just do some research on this site and others, keep your wits about you, be calm, polite and respectful, don’t be too much of a “keeneow” (cheap charlie) and you will have the time of your lives.
And whatever you do, don’t fall for the first bargirl you meet!! (or the second, or the third, etc….?)
Good stuff – look forward to reading more.