Love, Betrayal And Very Nearly Death
By Thai Che
This is a story of love, betrayal and very nearly death in Thailand, just like Stephen Leather's "Private Dancer" – only this is non fiction. It is an overview of my two visits to the LOS.
It was only my second time in Thailand and it came just six months after my first. Why? Well a girl, naturally. The first trip had seen myself and three pals head to Pattaya for a fortnight. We all being in our early / mid 20s had originally planned a week in Ibiza. However after many pub sessions and information from friends who had already been to Thailand, we were assured that though the airfare would obviously be more expensive, everything else would be a whole lot cheaper. This would also enable us to double our holiday length, always a winner. We also learned about the girls, the shear weight of numbers and how fit, willing and able they are. We were sold.
My father took charge of sorting the tickets and got us the cheapest available on Russia's notorious national carrier Aeroflot / Aeroflop (note to self, never again). We really couldn't fall off for 445 pounds return even if it did mean a stop in Moscow, where by the way we were treated like shit by all the airport staff who when you asked for there help would simply take it in turns to scowl at you. They didn't even have an ATM.
Anyway we arrive in Bangkok and I think that our treatment in Russia made the welcome even more welcoming. A throng of smiling faces jostled for position to offer us taxis and hotels. We hadn't booked a hotel but in no time at all were sat unpacking our cases in the Thai garden resort Pattaya. Soon came the question, can we get some girls now? It was only 2pm surely it couldn't be done. A quick 10min tuktuk ride later and we each had a girl back at the hotel, we had only been there 35 mins. I'm beginning to like Thailand. We played, paid, said goodbye, took a shower and hit the strip. We were told walking street was the main attraction so away we went. We sat in a beer bar and as we had just arrived and had plenty of cash began ordering expensive cocktails and double JD and cokes whilst enthusing about what we had just done and how it was inconceivable that Ibiza could be better than this. Soon a voice from the bar directly beside the one we had chosen became audible. A deep Dublin accent continued, ”come over here lads it’s cheaper and look at the girls";note Thais aren't the only ones who can smell money. He wasn't lying either the girls were better and Dug and his bar (G-Spot ) became our friend and our local respectively. It’s amazing that with all of 1200 or so bars/go gos/nightclubs in Pattaya that in my experience you only ever patronize a handful.
In Dug's bar there was a lovely Isaan girl going by the name of Mam. I immediately took a shine to her and she seemed to like me too, I barfined her that night. The sex was average to say the least but she was a real babe. Every time we went to G-Spot she always made a fuss off me saying all the right things and I must admit I was taken in. I must point out that at this point I hadn't come across Stickman so was naive in the extreme. The remainder of the holiday was spent walking around with our mouths open catching flies in amazement at the sites and sounds Pattaya had to offer. I spent the final 4 nights with Mam and my pal Alan did the same with her best friend Po.
Back in England Alan and I exchanged phone calls, e-mails and text messages with each of them, occasionally we would organise a session on MSN via the webcam. These were always spent talking pigeon English and pulling faces at each other, childish but fun. Then Alan stumbled on Stickman’s site and brought it to my attention. We began hurriedly reading and sending shocking tales of whoa to each other. What were we thinking? They’re hookers for god’s sake! By now however it was too late and our flights were booked for our return, just the two of us this time the other guys had avoided the love bug (lucky them). Once the flights were booked my correspondence with Mam became less and less. I knew something had changed but didn't want to admit it. Alan and Po were fine, still talking nearly every night on MSN but Mam had gone very quiet. I sent her a text saying that if something had changed i.e. a new boyfriend could she please let me know before I arrive so that I’ve got a chance to take it in and it doesn't stop me having fun. A message came quickly back saying that everything is ok and she couldn't wait to see me. By now Alan and I were on Stickman every night finding out all we could and I was already preparing myself for a fall, I just new it.
We arrived in Bangkok on New Years Eve morning and I immediately tried to call Mam, her phone was off. We got to Dug's apartments and Dug told me to sit down. Why? I said.
`I think you wanna sit down for this`
I sat and was told how Mam was now seeing a wealthy Hungarian entrepreneur named Soldier who had a restaurant and nightclub back home. She was no longer working in the bar as he was paying her not to and also sorting her family 10,000 baht a month for good measure. I couldn't compete and I felt empty. Dug and Alan tried in vain to console me but never have the words "plenty of more fish in the sea” meant so very little. Although Mam no longer worked in the bar she often visited with Soldier to see her friends and Dug wanted my assurance that there would be no fisticuffs. I agreed, I wasn't pissed off with Mam or Soldier. I was pissed off with myself for being such a mug. I saw her that night and she hugged me and apologized. Soldier began to say something in broken English, jeese louise how do they communicate when her English is better than his? I told him politely to never again engage in conversation with me and proceeded to get wildly drunk on cheap Thai whisky. In the days that followed I tried to keep my chin up but being a trio instead of two couples was too much. I was fortunate however in that a good friend of both mine and Alan's (Neal) was there at the same time and as luck would have it needed to do a visa run. I didn't need much persuading, the Philippines it is.
Po told Mam of my intentions and that night I received a phone call – you guessed it, Mam. She said that she wanted to see me before I left, I agreed. On my last night in Pattaya we as a foursome went out and got smashed in a quiet soi where Mam wouldn't be seen by Soldier or any of his friends. Later we went back to my room and had fantastic sex. Did I feel any trace of guilt towards Soldier? Did I f**k? He had already done this to me and Mam certainly didn't care. We talked a lot and she told me that she loved me and was only with Soldier for her family. I told her that as she already had a sponsor I wouldn't be paying, she said she didn't want my money and that she was there because she genuinely liked me.
Neal and I spent a fortnight in Angeles in the Philippines which by the way is brilliant. The girls all speak perfect English and have tits too, unlike Thailand. Manila is worth checking out too, some fine specimens. From there we hooked up again with Alan and Po in Samui. The weather was sweltering and the beaches beautiful, I was nearly over Mam too until over a meal Po told me that Soldier's going back to Hungary for a visa and to check on his businesses. She told me the dates and said that Mam would very much like to have another sneaky rendezvous with me. Only this time it had to be in Bangkok, no problem I said, now more confused than ever. First however there was the small matter of the full moon party to negotiate.
Neal had been to the full moon party before and said that whilst it wasn't really his cup of tea it had to be seen to be believed. He decided not to come. He also stressed to me to get the slow boat taking 75 minutes instead of the speedboat which took 30 minutes. I ignored him and got 2 return tickets for the speedboat for myself and my new rented girlfriend Fon. I had elected to take her for two reasons. Firstly, to keep an eye on me as I would certainly end up in a state and secondly so I didn't have the trio scenario again. To begin with everything was brilliant, the speedboat trip across was pleasant and the full moon really was beautiful. Fon and I waited for Alan and Po to arrive on the slow boat once they did we started to party. We drank the buckets of sang som, lupo and coke with gusto, a truly weird combination but quite nice. Then it was off to mushroom mountain for the milkshakes. Alan was a bit wary, so too Fon, but Po and I weighed in. They didn't taste nice but then that’s not there purpose, is it? When I was on my third Fon began tut tutting and finger wagging. "Listen Fon, they sell them at the bloody bar. How can they be illegal"
Alan agreed and carefully followed suit. Soon we were in the water and on the beach rolling around having a ball. The light shows and men with fire sticks were excellent when normal but the shakes intensified both sight and sound and were quite potent.
At about 3am Fon had had enough, I could have stayed a bit longer but seeing she was sick and being a gent I agreed. This is where it started to get very scary.
I had to leave Alan as he was totally incoherent; he had drunk seven buckets himself because he wasn't planning on having any shakes. However after about four buckets had summoned the courage and had one anyway, what a mess. It later transpired that Alan was sick in Po’s lap on the boat back whilst asleep, not a great ending of the night for Po you might think. Well mine was about to get much worse. We said our goodbyes and Fon and I made our way to the harbour. The speedboats don’t leave till they are full so once we realised that ours wasn't we went back up the steps and chatted for a while, her English being pretty decent. Suddenly we noticed a rush for the boat and made our way down to the water’s edge. We got in the queue and waited, people were scrambling onto it like it was the last one ever. Fon led me by the hand into the shallow water, the Thai guy offering his arms to lever people up and into the vessel. Then I said "no way Fon, there’s too many people".
"Come on”, she insisted, now clearly pissed off.
"No look, it’s already full and besides I like to be at the front not the back cos it’s less choppy”. I stuck to my guns and led her by the arm to wait on the harbour wall for the next one. Fon wasn't very happy but would later thank me.
We got to the front of the queue for the next boat and subsequently got my preferred position, the front. I sat with my arm around Fon; the Thai guys who ran the boat sat up there with us and a couple of male Thais who had been to the party. There were no other farangs up there. After only a couple of minutes it became clear that one of the Thai crew had some very real grievance with me due to the fact I was sat with this lovely pale skinned girl. At first I thought it was just bravado but he got himself more and more wound up until the enthusiasm caught hold of his friend and fellow crew member. I obviously couldn't understand what they were saying but Fon could, so could the other Thais and it was their expressions that were scaring me the most. The two Thai blokes were just staring at their feet as if to say go ahead I can’t see and Fon was gripping my arm hard and also making me look into her eyes, thus not making eye contact with the psychopath opposite me.
I’ve been in some tight scrapes before but never ever have I been that scared in my life. Here I am out in the ocean with no means of escape and no farang witnesses being threatened with what I later found to be being thrown over the side. I stared at the full moon praying to god and Buddha (I wasn't being picky) to please get me off this boat alive but my thoughts continually switched to how easily they could get away with it. When you bear in mind that a couple of people drown at this event every time it’s held by just being too inebriated. They could coerce the Thais to keep their mouths shut, even Fon, when I turn up tomorrow floating I must have been swept out by the current and nobody is none the wiser.
Then the boat suddenly drew to a halt and I thought shit this is it get ready to swim when I saw the captain who'd been driving waving his arms and screaming. He pointed into the water then I saw why he was so freaked out. There were dozens of people in the water perfectly illuminated by the full moon; they'd been thrown from the earlier boat when it capsized! The boat had corrected itself but had no power, some were managing to clamber back on board it. Most however were too exhausted to even call for help. Our boat helped about 10 people onboard, a few needed heart massage and mouth to mouth. The captain then radioed for help and took off at a very steady pace, I saw at least 2 people get left behind. I tried in vain to get them to go back but I didn't want to risk getting killed myself. We got to the harbour and I jumped off way too early into chin deep water, waded for all I was worth grabbed Fon and ran at full tilt until Fon, visibly shaken, started being sick. We jumped on a motorcycle taxi each and high tailed it outta there. The safety on the boats was non-existent, not even life jackets. The boat was way too full and the driver must have gone too fast. I was so very nearly on board it too. Had Fon had her way we would of been.
It was all over the news the following day, 14 people were either dead or missing presumed dead. I felt the need to go and see big Buddha and thank him for saving me not once but twice. I did. I also cut short my stay with Fon in Samui and went to see Mam in Bangkok.
Mam was lovely and I was glad to be alive. When I told her about the accident she said it was definitely Buddha who had saved me and that it was a good sign for me. I had hoped to spend a few days with her but she had told Soldier and her family she would go home to Sakon Nahkon and I’d arrived a day late which meant just one night. She couldn't really justify having her brand new top of the range Nokia phone off for longer than that. So she just texts him and says that she can’t get a signal in her village. Classic. The hotel was very nice, The Royal Parkview and Mam paid for both of us for one night. Again I never paid her and she never asked. She also had 30,000 baht in her bag from Soldier. He had given her money for all sorts including airline tickets which she said she had bought when really she was taking a 12 hour bus journey, what a girl. Do I still have a soft spot for her? I’m not sure, even knowing what I now know I'm still unsure. She is beautiful and can seem so caring, genuine and loving but she’s a player and she does it well. Will I ever see her again? Watch this space.
The remainder of my stay was spent in my home away from home, Pattaya. It was the fifth and final week and I was exhausted and feeling the pace of non stop drinking. I divided my time between Dug`s bar and the Lazy Pig on Soi Yamoto, or Soi Hooligan as it’s referred to by some taxi drivers. I mostly just watched the football but still managed a few more girls though because there’s always enough in reserve for that. What have I learnt about Thailand from my visits? Firstly I still love the place and the people. Thais are so different from westerners, some of their ways are quirky some weird and some very annoying like getting ripped off by the tuktuks. Overall if you treat them with respect you'll have no problems. I also now know to always get the slow boat to the full moon party and finally if you want to snare the best looking bargirl in Pattaya you've got to be a rich Hungarian entrepreneur who cant speak a word of English and throws his money around like a tosser. . . .