Tall, Tasty & Thai
Me and that Lady ‘Luck’ have never been great friends. I don’t have anything against her. It’s just that she’s never really done me any special favours. I’ve never won anything in a raffle, not even a few measly quid on the lottery. I don’t gamble on the horses or visit a casino very often. It’s not that I get bad luck because I don’t. I just don’t get much in the way of good luck either. Usually, that is.
Then there was last Thursday night when I was a very lucky bugger indeed. As Frank Sinatra put it, Lady Luck really did blow on my dice.
Last week I made one of my regular business trips to Singapore. Nothing unusual about that and I checked into The Hilton Hotel on Orchard Road, as usual. I proceeded to my room on the sixteenth floor and it was then that something unremarkable happened. As it turned out, this insignificant event probably saved my career and therefore my life, as I have come to know it. Only later would I appreciate its significance.
I placed the keycard in the lock. The little green light came on and the lock clicked thereby indicating that the door was now unlocked. I tried to turn the doorknob but it would not turn. As you only have a few seconds before the door automatically locks itself again, I put my bag down and tried again. No good. I really did not want to have to go all the way back to the reception desk to get this sorted so I tried it again. This time I gripped the doorknob tightly and applied a good amount of force. The door clicked open but for sure, this required more forced than would be reasonable and an old Chinese woman, for instance, would not have been strong enough to open this door.
I made a mental note to inform reception when I next passed by then promptly forgot all about it.
I choose the Hilton because it is right across the road from Orchard Towers where, if you are looking for some nocturnal adventures, Orchard Towers can provide them. If you are unfamiliar with Singapore, Orchard Towers is a respectable shopping mall and office block during the day but at night it turns into The Four Floors of Whores. When the sun goes down, the place starts to rock and now it rocks on until five o’clock in the morning!! In it’s various venues there are heaps of Thai girls, Philippina girls, Indonesian and Vietnamese girls all running around looking for a man to sleep with for money. My kinda place.
More ladyboys also seem to be running around there than I remembered but that’s not my thing anyway. I was surprised to see that one of the most popular venues in Orchard Towers has now closed. Top Ten has closed its doors permanently. Top Ten was something of a Singapore icon in its day. A live music bar cum nightclub. I for one, am sad to see it go. I think I still had half a bottle of vodka with my name on it in the members’ bar.
Anyway, there are loads of other places and I swung by the Ipanema World Music Bar on the first floor. No changes were apparent in here. The carpet still gathers into those bumpy little ridges that trip you up when you’re half pissed and trying to look cool. The bar service is still the worst in all of Asia and the air-con is set at full blast. The place is flooded with hookers (mostly Thai) and you can’t see more than ten yards through the haze of cigarette smoke. The music is great and I love it in there.
I had not been there long and my drinking sessions are no longer the extravaganzas they used to be so I was basically checking out the talent. Then I saw her. She was just my type. Tall, tasty and Thai. Including her shoes, she was wearing precisely four pieces of clothing. A spaghetti strapped floral dress, a pair of knickers and high heeled sandals. Game on. This lady would be sleeping in the Hilton tonight.
And so it was.
I bought her a drink or two and we had a chat. No dancing was required or any nonsense of that sort and by eleven o’clock me and Em (well that’s what she called herself) headed back across the road to my hotel room.
The games commenced and after a couple of hours playing ‘hide the sausage’, I fell asleep.
The next thing I know, it’s about four o’clock in the morning. The bathroom light was on and Em was climbing back into her dress.
“Oh, are you leaving?” I asked as I got out of bed.
“Yes, I have to go but the door is locked.” There was a slight nervousness in her voice but I didn’t register it immediately.
Of course, the door was not locked. It was just very hard to open because I had forgotten to tell the hotel about it.
My intention had been to get up, pay the girl and show her to the door as any gentleman would but there was something wrong.
My laptop was in its carry bag and the bag was on the floor just inside the door. That was not where I had left it. I picked up my wallet. Guess what?
Em stood there looking nervous.
“What’s my computer doing there?” I asked showing her the inside of my empty wallet at the same time.
Of course she had just been caught with her hand well and truly stuck in the cookie jar. I was now a bit miffed.
There had been about two hundred and eighty five Singapore dollars in my wallet and two thousand baht. She had swiped it all but she had left my credit card. My phone she had also packed into my laptop carrybag.
“So what are we going to do now?” I asked her. “Shall we call hotel security?”.
Remember this was Singapore, not Thailand. She could well get hard time if I had wanted to make a real problem with this. I had caught her and she was now starting to panic.
Her voice quaked and she pleaded with me to just let her go. She gave me back my money which she had screwed up in her hand. I took it then opened the door and all but threw her out into the corridor.
To put this in perspective, my laptop contains my whole life. All my work stuff is on it. Quite simply, if it were stolen or lost my whole career would collapse. It was not until this rather unfortunate event that I realized just how valuable the damn thing is to me. I have at least now backed it up properly.
I locked the door and went back to bed. Maybe, when I wake up in the morning this will turn out to have been a nasty dream.
Well, eight o’clock came round and no, it had not been a dream. Apart from being annoyed with myself I also felt a bit depressed. No matter what anybody tells you, sleeping with hookers is dangerous.
I went about packing my things up and I wondered into the bathroom. On the counter top next to the washbasin was a small leather wallet. One thing I knew for sure, it was not mine.
I opened it and inside was five hundred dollars in crisp fifty dollar bills, Singapore currency. Nothing else.
I sat on the edge of the bath and had a little chuckle.
Outstanding, a good read even by Union Hill's high standards. There is a God after all. I hope you spent the 500 bucks "wisely"!