A Mickey, And Not Mickey Mouse
Having just today returned from my first visit to BKK for 10 years (sadly only a 4 day trip) I jumped on to your site to thank you for the wealth of useful info on your weekly reports. I spent most of the flight from the Middle East to BKK reading and
digesting the last 10 weeks issues.
I read your latest chapter over lunch today and was amazed to read about the boys who had been slipped mickeys on Soi 4 and just have to advise you of what happened to me last Friday night, also on Soi 4.
I have to put this in the slight context that I am a person who can fortunately hold my alcohol extremely well and have a propensity to consume not insubstantial quantities with little effect…put more accurately my friends consider that I should come with a government health warning! I am an extremely happy drunk..have never fought and only fallen over once in my life through alcohol and that was 32 years ago on my 18th birthday! Additionally I don't do ANY drugs…alcohol more than takes care of my needs..(but sometimes limits others later on!)
I will try and be brief but I too came out onto Soi 4 quite late after visiting a few places on Soi 4 and NEP after having decided that I would go for a nightcap on Soi 33 – Monet where I had visited earlier and found the staff to be very very helpful and friendly. I had in my wallet a small number of baht for the taxi both ways and a couple of beers, no more. I lie not when I say that I had drunk six or seven beers over four hours. Nothing by normal standards.
What happened next is partly recollectable but many of the finite details are very unclear. I took some sort of taxi and ended up in Monet but with no money…a wallet yes but the 600 baht had gone. My head was swimming and I felt that I had drunk five times what I actually did. By this time I was really confused and apologised to the staff at Monet who had, unasked, given me a beer (they remembered me from earlier) but for which I could not pay. Embarrassed and with the beer untouched I left for the door and I literally collapsed on to the pavement. Picking myself up I recall some guys trying to get me to take a taxi and I kept telling them that I had no money but that I would sort it out but they had to take me back to the hotel if they wanted money for the ride. I did take some sort of taxi however and after about twenty minutes realised that I was in trouble as it was not going anywhere near Soi 4 (Stayed at the Parkway Inn and had refreshingly walked the journey to Soi 33 earlier).
I recall showing the taxi driver my wallet had nothing in it and that may have assisted as I kept saying just get me back to the hotel and I will sort it out. By this time I knew something was very wrong. I recall an altercation about directions and then
perhaps not very cleverly but fearing that this was all getting very unclever I did a runner (or staggerer) at some traffic lights. I also remember that I was really concerned at my condition both physically and financially. I was staggering uncontrollably
with the head willing but the legs refusing to join in! I must have SOMEHOW convinced another taxi driver to take me back to the Parkway. I also recall saying over and over that it was impossible for the beer to be that strong (Kloster! Ha! I
drank a damn site more next day with the minimum effect as usual!!!!) We duly arrived and I went up to get my money from the safety deposit box only to find that I had lost the keys and that they did not have a duplicate. The hotel staff, bless
'em, kindly lent me the money for the taxi but when I went back down the taxi driver was nowhere to be found…A spare key was found for the room and I collapsed into bed and vividly remember hallucinating wildly (a new and somewhat frightening
experience for a first timer!). I awoke to find no wallet or keys but whilst lying in bed trying to recollect the night's experience I was phoned by my friend to say that he had been contacted by a taxi driver who had my wallet and wanted
to return it!!!!! (See below as to why the driver could do this.) This was duly done later that day even though the wallet contained nothing of value I rewarded the driver handsomely for his honesty. He apparently was moved on by the police outside
the hotel and I had apparently given him the empty wallet as surety that I would return!
I am sure you have heard this a thousand times but I ALWAYS religiously follow the following common sense rules which apply the world over (in similar circumstances) if you are out at the bars and like a beer or seven.
a) NEVER take more cash than you think you need for the night. You can always go back to the hotel for more if need be.
b) NEVER EVER go to bars with a credit card or ATM card. I find this action very strange especially in BKK since I wasn't aware the delightful girls actually carry Amex or Visa machines around with them! I find that cash is the most acceptable form of currency both behind and in front of the bar – worldwide!!
c) Never wear a watch..or if you must then a 2 dollar Casio does the same trick. (My Seiko was also in the safety deposit box) Asking the time often strikes up a nice conversation with a girl in the bar ("Have you got the time please" is normally replied to with a very friendly "Shawtime or Rongtime?"….."Ahh sorry I meant ACTUAL time!!!")
d) Leave your new all singing all dancing Motorola phone at the hotel also. Most people cannot operate all those fancy buttons anyway when they're trousered! A 10 dollar "What-does-it-do-It-phones-from-a-to-b-thats-all-phone" will more than suffice and is a damn site cheaper to lose!) Rings. Although I don't have any I cannot for the life of me think way any sane man who has them would want to wear his rings out to a bar in BKK. Off with them PDQ upon arrival and into the safety deposit box as well!
d) If you have one then always write the telephone number of a local friend or the hotel down on paper both in English and in Thai and keep it in your wallet. There ARE honest people out there!! (Hence the return of mine..intact!)
It is clear from your column that several people need reminding! I am also sure that you and others will have even better local and general advice than me but the above worked for me and limited what was potentially very costly and scary to a minimum. But without doubt a Mickey it was and that is the frightening part. I just thank God that I had the ability to hold it sufficiently together somehow and I am convinced that the fact that I had nothing of any value on me helped tremendously in getting back safe and sound. I can give you the names of the bars on Soi 4 that I went to that night if you want because I remember that! I am not sure you would want to sleuth that much though!
(I had to pay a King's ransom for the box to be drilled and repaired! Ehhh you have to say that they are canny. They had me by a certain part of my anatomy!!!!!)
This is a very scary trend.