The Roadshow & The March Of Time
Monday evening – Singapore.
Aah… the march of time. There is no disputing the fact that it treats some of us better than others. Take me for example. Ten years ago I had a full head of hair. My girth measured about four inches less than it does now and I could run up six flights of stairs without chucking up my breakfast.
Now?…… Well you get the picture.
Then, last week I saw Lek in the country music bar in Orchard Towers. I couldn’t help but stare. Was that really the same woman? Then she spotted me looking and wandered over.
“Hey, long time, no see. Where have you been?” she said.
I could tell she couldn’t recall my name. In fact, she might not even have recognized me at all. This could be just her working me like she would any potential customer.
But boy, did she look scary. Her face was haggard and although covered with a thick layer of make-up had a kind of grayish hue. Her teeth were the colour of a set of billiard balls and her voice croaked and crackled through years of gin and cigarette abuse. She had so much hairspray holding her barnet in place I considered she must also be a walking fire hazard. They worry about that sort of thing in Singapore.
Lek was now a pariah in Orchard Towers. She bumbled from bar to bar cadging cigarettes and money. Customers and working girls alike would give her a cigarette or a couple of dollars just so that she would go somewhere else and leave them alone.
So that’s what fifteen years on the game in Singapore does for you, I thought to myself.
Ten years ago, this same woman looked very different. She was tall for a Thai and back then, always elegantly turned out. She would dress showing just enough leg and just enough cleavage. In those days she always had men flocking around her. She was always in demand in Top Ten and Club 392 but for her, those days were well and truly gone now. I knew she was only about forty years old maybe a little less but she looked closer to sixty. For a second I thought I saw the shadow of the Grim Reaper behind her.
We chatted for a while. I told her that I had moved to Bangkok some years ago, still not sure if she really remembered me or not.
Then she said, “You still married to the same girl?”
“You remember you take me and my friend to Balestier Hotel before?” she asked.
I remembered. That had been some time in 1994 I think.
I looked into Lek’s bloodshot eyes. I could see only pain and misery in there. I decided to finish my drink and put some distance between me and Lek. This encounter had made me feel quite mortal all of a sudden. I drank up and decided to move to another bar in search of a reason to be cheerful.
And anyway there’s only so much ‘Margaritaville’ and ‘The Devil Went Down To Georgia’ a sane man can take.
It’s funny how an encounter like that can weigh on your mind. These days there are loads of bars in Orchard Towers and heaps of pretty girls looking to turn a trick. There are girls from Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and Philippines but all of a sudden, after seeing Lek I was just not in the mood. I had a couple more beers then sloped off to my hotel, alone.
And anyway, the next morning I had to fly to Manila so it probably was all just as well.
Tuesday afternoon – Manila.
I must admit I like Manila. It was early afternoon when I arrived at my hotel in Makati. Just a short shlep down the road from the notorious P. Burgois Street. Bloody marvellous!!
What a place P. Burgois Street is. The last time I was here, the road was not even paved. It was just a dirt track. Now it’s a properly sealed road. Most of the bars looked the same from the outside. Bottoms, Dimples, Hollywood……I recalled having had some great fun here a few years back.
Outside on the street, rough looking fellows were walking up and down peddling everything you could imagine. Girls, boys, lighters, knives, swords, boxes of Viagra and flowers. Every few yards, someone was shoving something in your face and telling you how cheap it was. I got the feeling you could probably buy a gun here too if you really wanted one. I dived for cover into one of the bars.
The form here is that on entry, you are immediately surrounded by girls all vying for your attention. If you keep a cool head and don’t let yourself be pressured you can choose the one or two that you fancy, buy them a drink and the others will just melt away into the background, springing into action again when the next victim walks through the door. Your choice will sit and chat with you.
I like this part. I had chosen a lively duo who turned out to be great fun.
Now it is well documented by me on this site that I like Thai girls. This won’t change. However, there is something different about the girls from The Philippines. Broadly speaking they are shapelier, their English is very good and you don’t get that “it’s up to you” kind of subservience. Philippine girls know what they want and are not shy about telling you. Also, they take great pride in their bedroom prowess. When you wake up in the morning with a Philippine girl, you know you’ve been shagged!! Your bones have been well and truly jumped.
But wait, I’m getting ahead of myself here.
Back in the bar Corinne and Angelina (I just love those Philippine names) were doing their best to entertain me and I was having a great time being entertained. Both girls were playful and sexy little foxes. After a few drinks I bar-fined them both and off we went to a couple more bars before heading back to my hotel. After Thai girls, there’s something about a pair of full rounded breasts that I find most gratifying. Two pairs, well that’s just heaven. Whoever said “more than a handful is a waste” was an idiot!
In the morning, we woke up about nine o’clock and had a lazy breakfast delivered to the room. I was suited and booted and taking care of my real business by eleven o’clock. That slice of decadence had cost around nine thousand pesos (about US$160) including drinks, barfines and all. I thought that was a bargain.
My business day finished about seven that evening. I got back to the hotel and flopped in to the chair. Could I face another night like last night? At that moment I was not sure. I decided to watch the TV for an hour and see how I felt.
Two hours later, I was in my play clothes and back in P. Burgois. I spotted Corinne standing outside her bar from the taxi. My thoughts drifted back to the previous night when she had been massaging my ears with her ankles. She didn’t see me and I mulled over the thought of going back there and taking her out again. While mulling, I decided to have a beer at an outside bar about half way along the street and watch the world go round. I sat and watched the street life for an hour or so before deciding that I would give myself the rest of the night off and head back to the hotel.
There are times when your body tells you that you just aren’t twenty four any more. I accepted the reminder gracefully and went to bed alone.
Thursday morning, up like a lark and off to the airport for my return flight to Bangkok. Tonight I’ll have a drink in the Safari Bar, Patpong.
What a life!
There's going to be a number of Stickman submission readers hunting for Corinne now!