Live And Let Live
Just returned from Thailand. I have been going there periodically since the late 70’s when I worked in the Middle East. I have been a Stickman reader since he got started, I think. I had communicated with Stickman a couple of times via e-mails
but never contributed any articles. You are doing a great job, Stick. Since this might be my last trip to Thailand
(I hope not), I decided to write a few words. I owe Stick at least that much after years of freebies from his site.
I took Cathy Pacific this time. When I walked onto the plane as usual all the problems and worries and pressures and complaints and craps that were slowly but surely draining my life away were all thrown out of the window. This is a time for no one but myself. A time well earned for taking the shits in life. A time to enjoy life before the expiration date. It sounds shallow but the images of those nights in Bangkok were the fuel that kept my engine running since the previous trip.
The flight was terrible though. What a cattle train. Tight, crowded and took forever. The return flight back to California was even worse. If one adds up the total time including the ride to the airport and the waiting and the transit and the luggage and the immigration and whatnot, it is a 30+hour trip each way! God, what we don’t do for a night in Bangkok! The next time I will probably spend the extra bucks for the business class to make the flights more bearable. One good thing about the CP flight is that it arrived in Bangkok at noon so I had plenty of time to rest up for the evening events. Goodness graces what evening events!!
For at least the last 5 years I had been staying at the Nana Hotel when I visited Bangkok. I love the convenience of being able to just roll right out of bed and into the actions. Since this trip is my retirement treat for myself I decided to try their deluxe room instead of the regular prison cell for a change. Not bad at all. The large bed room was separated from the living room so it was more of a suite (may be it was). The bath room was good size with good ventilation. The AC worked perfectly. The living room window has a view from Nana Entertainment Plaza all the way up to Soi 3. I was pleasantly surprised. The only problem was the tiny little gnats on the bathroom ceiling that kept coming back even after I had the cleaning lady sprayed them several times. I just kept the door closed. They even leave numerous large clean towels in the bathroom every day. Too bad I don’t do multiple short times so those towels could be put to good use. I think the room costs about $20 a day more than the basic room but well worth it. If you are to stay at the Nana this is the way to go.
I scheduled 5 nights in Bangkok and spent the entire time in the NEP area. Rainbow 4 and Rainbow 1 are definitely the places to hang out. With the limited time and tolerance for beers, I spent most of my evenings in those two places and snuck in a couple of beer bars here and there. Those 5 nights were just wonderful.
The mini-bus ride to Pattaya was not too bad this time. As usual it spent the first 2 hours driving around all over hell in heavy traffic picking up passengers, but at least it did not make that stupid side trip to that 7-11 style store on the way. And the passengers were all a quiet bunch this time.
I stayed at the Sawasdee Sea View on Soi 10 for a week. I booked a deluxe room (again, as a special treat for myself) and had confirmed with the hotel by e-mail that the room has a sea view. Well, my room looked right onto the tin roofs of a bunch of old sheds and nothing more. After patiently and politely talking to the front desk, they moved me to a different room. Same-same. More tin roofs. I again patiently and politely talked to the front desk as though I was the one who screwed up and again show them the e-mail confirmation. The clerk told me that the only rooms with sea view are the suites for about 900 Bahts extra a night, that is “extra” each night! And they have no knowledge of my
e-mail confirmation or who confirmed it. “Man no here.” All right, what the heck, since
I had made up my mind before the trip to enjoy the trip and ignore all unpleasant matters, I gave them the extra money and moved into a suite. Yes, the room has a good view of Pattaya Bay. Beautiful! Big room too. I was happy as a pig in mud and all set for partying. I spread out my stuff and get ready for a shower. Then, I tried to turn on the AC. It was at least 95 degree outside and the AC wasn’t doing anything and I was sweating from running back and forth with my luggage from room to room. So I politely called the front desk again. I was beginning to feel guilty for calling repeatedly. Guess what? The genius now tells me that the AC is broken in that room and when I look out at the porch I saw the AC pieces scattered around. She told me to kindly stay in that room for the night and the AC will be repaired tomorrow sir. Bull shit! Knowing how those people work that damn AC won’t be repaired for another year at least. And there was no way I could survive that heat for another hour, so, after some more discussion they refunded me and put me in another deluxe room because there was no other suites available. This time, would you believe, the deluxe room has a little of the sea view. Damn, why did they make me go through all the hassles when they had that room available all along? I am sure they were calling me a pain in the ass and stupid behind my back (may be right at my face for all I know). Got to admit, the hotel is all right even though my room wasn’t half as good as the one at Nana. They also didn’t charge extra for “visitors” as they told me they would when I reserved the room. But still, the next time I will go back to one of the hotels on Soi 8.
Contrary to my usual M.O. of going straight to the beer bars, I checked out several go-go bars around Walking Street. I spent 2 nights each at the Happy-a-go-go and Super Girl. Those two in my opinion are the best in the area. They were packed with great looking girls. Watch out for the so called “hostess” though. Most of them are good looking but unless you want to take one out you should try not to be too generous with the lady-drinks. I learned from my mistakes. They would hang around you so much that basically prevent you from hitting on the lovely nude dancing girls. Oh my God, there are so many of them on the stage and running around! My advice, unless you want one of the hostesses, sit at the edge of the dancing stage. Again, the go-go girls in those two places are gorgeous. Just throw a dart and anyone would be just great!
I went into the Diamond-a-go-go twice but left soon afterward. Sorry Stick, I tried twice because of what you said in one of your weeklies. May be I was just too early or too impatient but I was bored both times and the place was empty.
The bars in the Nana Plaza close at about 1am. I have no idea what time they close in Pattaya because it passes my bed time whatever it is. The go-go girls at the Nana Plaza kept their bikinis on completely. Kind of ruins the atmosphere and mood a bit. The go-go girls in Pattaya though, have their bikinis on but take them off most of the time or until a buzzer comes on indicating the imminent arrival of the storm troopers.
By the way, to that fellow who wrote about his height being a disadvantage, no sir! I noticed quite a few real short guys in Pattaya, I mean really short ones in different bars, being hit on by the girls. Even the guys in wheelchairs got hit on. So, no problem there.
Things sure have changed in the last 30 somewhat years. First of all, there are clean food courts and restaurants all over the place now so I can eat without much fear of stomach problems. I have a rather weak stomach and in the old days I always ended up with some sort of stomach related issues half way through my trips. I have not had those problems in the last two or three years.
The other noticeable change may be due mostly to my imagination. I have been sensing a gradual reduction of the feeling of “girl friend experience” in the last couple of trips. May be I have been doing more go-go bars instead of my usual thing of hitting the beer bars. I think the girls from the beer bars tend to be more amiable to “long time” and they seem to give the customers more of the GFE feeling. This could be due to the chatting and playing at the bars before going out. Whereas the ones from the go-go joints, without the benefit of much “introductory” chatting, seem to be more “business-like” and in a rush to get back into their clothes right after boomboom. “Must go to my loom to sleep”. Yea, yea, you want to do another short timer before the bar closes, that’s what. Without the feeling of GFE (Yes it is an illusion but I love it) I might as well just visit the escort places back home. Cheaper and much more convenient if boomboom is all you want.
Speaking of cheaper, the price of everything in Bangkok and Pattaya seem to have gone up, including the food. The girls who mention the price up front are regularly asking for what I used to give them only if they had given me an exceptionally good time. The good thing is that there are still girls who say “Up to you”. Those I usually make sure that they are not disappointed. “Up to you” is a good habit for those girls to keep, and should be rewarded.
The old timers can probably still remember Pattaya Beach back in the 70’s. Beautiful and clean, no out-of-control vehicles on land or water, no ugly-low-fare-group-tourists blocking the streets. No annoying souvenirs shops and hawkers. I remember that there was only one row of may be a dozen beer bars in the middle of Beach Road. Is my memory correct? The atmosphere was just totally pleasing and relaxing. The girls in the beer bars were so damn lovely and inviting and young and sweet. No obnoxious loud screaming of “Hansom man—welcome”, just their demure smiles and lovely faces were enough to melt any man’s heart. Those were the good old days! Come to think of it, those construction crews working on Walking Street for the past several years seem to be the same ones doing the same thing back then and at the same place.
Yes I saw that 50-ish fat white guy in some sort of pseudo-police uniform sitting at the entry of Walking Street with the local tourist police and acting like an important real cop. Is he there to help or intimidate the tourists and girls? Can someone please find him a real job somewhere?
One final item, sorry folks please bear with me, I have a message for a special farang. The message is for that 30-ish white guy in the Day and Night Bar across from the Nana Hotel during an afternoon on the weekend of October 9, who was giving me the dirtiest look and stares and obviously agitated when I picked up the best looking babe in the bar. I don’t think it was the girl being picked up that bothered him. I think the fact a
“non-white” was picking up a girl in a bar full of white guys that bothered him. My message to him is: Chill out! If you want to be an international lover you would have to leave your racist baggage behind. In case it didn’t dawn on you, we were both foreigners in another country. Your attitude is archaic and unacceptable nowadays even in the redneck bars down south or Soho or wherever you came from. If a Chinese guy picking up a girl bothers you, you don’t belong in this century. I flew half way across the world to make love, not war. The title of this article is therefore dedicated to you and all racists like you and I hope that you will think about it: Life is too short, so Live and Let Live.
Comments to follow, ultra busy at the moment!