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The Sukhumvit Time Tunnel (Part 2)

  • Written by Union Hill
  • March 29th, 2006
  • 7 min read


The Sunday morning sunlight was streaming into the room when I opened my eyes. I knew I was in the Rajah Hotel instantly because I recognized the stains on the ceiling. How do they do that? You can understand stains on the floor but the ceiling? I cautiously looked to my left and felt relief that Nok was still curled up next to me. That was a pretty good indication that I hadn’t been robbed. At least, not in the literal sense.

Jesus, the golf!! I almost forgot.

I made a grab for my watch. Thankfully it was only 8:30. I had plenty of time so I gave Nok a nudge. Waste not, want not!

I rinsed myself down in the shower before climbing into my clothes which, despite being the same ones that I had been wearing since Friday morning did not seem to smell too bad, or were my senses shot?

Anyway, now I really had to go home to get my golf clubs and a change of clothes. My regular Sunday four-ball was teeing off at 11:30. I checked us out, got my car park ticket stamped, released Nok and made for home.

Driving down the motorway I suddenly realized what it was that I had forgotten about and had been troubling me all day yesterday. An icy feeling ran through my veins as I recalled that yesterday was the day that the wife had arranged for some kind of Buddhist ceremony to take place at our house. It involved feeding a group of nine monks and various friends, relatives and neighbours had been invited around to join in the ceremony which was to be pretty much, an all day event.

I had forgotten all about it. I pulled into the drive sweating pure guilt.
Judging by the scale of the clean up operation that was underway indoors, I must have missed quite a bash.

The wife glowered at me without saying a word.

We would have to sort this out later, because right now I was late for the golf. I took a hasty shower, changed my clothes, grabbed my golfing gear and scarpered.

I met up with my golfing mates at the appointed hour and we played our round. Of course, I played like a man who had been on the piss for two solid days. Whenever I bent over my putter the sweat would stream off my cap and form puddles on the putting surface. Not good.

I felt better for having had the exercise though.

When we finished it was 5:00pm on Sunday afternoon. John had an important client arriving in town on the Monday so he excused himself and went home. This left my two Thai friends and me. They persuaded me to join them for dinner.

I knew I had to face the music at home sooner or later so like the true hero I am, I contrived to make it as much later as possible.

Now Tang and Pong are both 100% dyed in the wool Thai and both own their own factories. A typical evening in their company exposes you to the type of Thai entertainment and hospitality that most farangs never get the chance to experience. Tonight would be a fairly Hi-so Thai evening or so I thought.

We drove off to Sukhumvit Soi 103 (Soi Udom Suk) which is hardly on the usual farang circuit. Soi Udom Suk links upper Sukhumvit Road with Srinakarindra Road and Bangna Trad. We stopped outside a place that Tang described as a café but really was a smallish restaurant with a small stage set in one corner. The menu was printed only in Thai and there were no pictures in it for assistance. The staff and clientele spoke only Thai. I let Pong and Tang order dinner and of course we had some more beer.

Pong explained to me how things worked.

This restaurant had a group of singers, mostly girls, who would take turns getting up on the small stage and sing Thai songs with the help of a karaoke system. You could request any song and one of the girls would sing it for you. To show your appreciation, you could order a garland from the waiting staff and she would hang it around the singers neck while she was singing. The minimum price of a garland was two hundred baht, the maximum was one thousand. When the girls were not singing you could invite them to join you at your table. They would sit with you, have a drink, chat and help you eat your dinner. All the girls were extremely good looking and as I came to learn, all spoke absolutely no English. Pong explained that if you liked any of the girls well enough, they were usually available for extras but this was at their discretion.

Tang was not slow to invite three of the most delectable of the singers to come and join us. Jum, Sai and Baa where three real stunners. Sai, I discovered had a repertoire of three words of English, “Yes”, “No” and “OK”. I figured I could work with that.

At 1:00am I was in a short time hotel just up the road with the delightful Sai. I’m afraid my writing about that experience just wouldn’t do it justice. I’ll just say, you had to be there really!!

When our three hours had expired Sai explained that she lived close by and asked me if I would drive her home. I was slightly surprised at this request but I agreed anyway. We left the short time hotel and headed off to her place, which she said was a house in a nearby moo baan. I asked her if she lived alone. She said, yes. I asked her why we had to go to short time hotel if she had a house. She said she had no air-con at home. She volunteered that she had bought the house a couple of months ago and when we got there some of the lights were on and I noticed a fairly large motor cycle parked in the drive.

I decided not ask any more questions. I dropped her off outside and made my escape.

By now it was almost 5:00am. I considered my options. I could go home or I could go to work. My head office in Melbourne would now be open so I could make myself useful at work and this is what I did. My office was only a couple of miles from here.

I did some meaningful work throughout the morning but by 1:00pm I was starting to flag and thoughts of a lie down and a decent sleep were manifesting themselves in my mind. By 2:00pm I had had enough and I was just about to call it a day when Fon called my mobile.

Fon works by night as a hostess in a bar in Patpong. I quite like her and she seems to like me but I am a little suspicious of Fon. She has at least one child but maybe two. Sometimes she refers to her daughter and sometimes she refers to her son but she claims to have only child. Once, when I sort clarification she blamed her poor English. Another thing with Fon is that although she works at night, she is never available during the day. She “goes to school every afternoon to learn English”. Yeah, OK. However, today she was calling me at 2:00pm to ask me what I was doing. I knew she was looking to sell her services for some extra money. The question was really, did I need those services today?

I could tell her the truth. That is that I was considering leaving work early today because I was knackered after a three day booze fuelled sex binge but I wasn’t sure that she was really looking for that kind of brutal honesty.
On the other hand, I could have a lie down and a bit of a sleep this afternoon in the company of a very pretty person of the female persuasion, as it was being offered.

At 3:00pm I met Fon in Starbucks in Patpong. I explained that I had had a late night and she told me in her gentle Thai way that I looked like a bucket of s**t. After a cup of coffee we decided to continue our dialogue in the Pavillion Hotel.

At 6:30, Fon was up, dressed, war paint on and ready to go to work. She left me lying on the bed. I don’t remember ever being so tired in my whole life. I decided to stay where I was for a while.

I was awakened by a gentle tapping on the door. I looked at my watch, 1:15am. Fon had come back to see if I was OK. I hadn’t heard my mobile ring apparently. I let her in and we settled down for the night.

Tuesday morning 9:00am. Now, I really had to go home.

Union Hill

Stickman's thoughts:

I could never have a weekend like that. I must be a light weight!