Just back from the annual sojourn to the LOS and all the fun and frivolity that goes with the grown man's Disneyland. Saw the usual things and did the usual things and as usual came back reinvigorated and ready to tackle another 6 months of the grind.
This year however there were a couple of eye opening and annoying occurrences that I would like to share with you.
My business in Australia is; at long last, doing well, very well, no in fact it is “killing the pig”. And with this success and growth has come the expansion of the empire into shores foreign, in particular Japan. So this year's trip to Thailand was “tacked onto” the end of a 2 week business trip to Tokyo. And what an eye opener that was. No wonder the Japanese don’t want to come near any of the low rent gogo bars that infest Nana, Patpong and Cowboy and the rest of the “white trash” parts of the LOS and stick to their own clubs. After 2 weeks hanging out in the Tokyo scene all I can say is if you were Japanese “why would you bother with white Farang orientated bars?” Here’s a typical night out in Nana as far as I see it.
You wander in and get accosted by the usual “scrubbers” that position themselves in the “high traffic” areas. And lets not beat about the bush here, most of 'em have heads like chewed lollies and about as much charm as a road accident. After maneuvering yourself into the bar of your choice you are shown to a seat that is probably still covered with god knows what mess from the last punter that vacated it. The carpet was last cleaned when it was laid 10 years ago and the smoke is so thick in the air that the bar needs landing lights. The music is thumping so loud you can't hear yourself think let alone hold a conversation with any of your fellow barhops and then you have a look around and think “hmm probably a good thing that the music is too loud for conversation”. Now there is no other way to say this but to say it and so I shall. Cheap worldwide airfares have completely changed the nightlife scene in Thailand and in particular the punters who visit it. Now don’t get me wrong, I have traveled widely and for a long time (28 years) and I am capable of getting on with anyone in any social setting. But thanks to cheap airfares I increasingly find myself seated next to some low rent, tattooed, cheap Charlie thug from the west, whose sole achievement in life has been saving enough money to get on a plane to Thailand. And that’s it. End of conversation. Until he and his mates get well and truly tanked up and then decide that its “clobbering” time and proceed to take themselves or anyone else in the immediate vicinity on. And maybe it is just me, but the numbers of this type of punter seems to have swelled completely out of proportion in recent years. So much so that now if I enter a bar and I can see more than 1 of 'em in there I am out of there and on to the next drinking hole. Let me give you an example of why I do it.
I had been having a few quiet ones in the late afternoon/ early evening at the home of a good friend and his wife who live in BKK and have done so for a long time. At about 8pm I decided that it was time to bid them good night and head out for the evening. Within 40 minutes of leaving them I was seated in a very well-known upstairs bar in Nana taking in the scenery that was on offer in the premises and deciding which of the lovelies was to be mine for the night. After the second shift change onto the stage came number 42, superstar material and definitely the one for me. Now I have been around long enough to know that top shelf material NEVER lasts beyond 9.30pm and so when I see something I like I grab it there and then. So with all due haste I called the mamasan over, bought her a nice big drink, bought the waitress who fetched her one, told her to buy number 42 a double of whatever (double coke or whatever, who cares) and send her a message that I would love the pleasure of her company after she had finished gyrating on the dance floor. Whilst waitress was doing her stuff with the drinks delivery to the delectable number 42, I had a nice chat with the mamasan about life, business and the fact that money is not a problem for me when I see something I like and that whilst I appreciate her expertise I will conduct negotiations with the young lady directly but she can be assured that my intentions are honourable and business like. In other words I wasn’t there to piss anybody about. All Mamasans know a punter whose serious when they see one and that coupled with the fact that I am a non-smoking, light drinker of reasonable figure and dress in what the girls call a “nice “ way usually means I get what I want. In due course number 42 presents herself for introductions, sits down, impresses me with her grasp of the English language and general demeanour and is deemed by me to be eminently suitable for a night on the town followed by some relaxing adult fun. We discuss terms and conditions for the lease period including services available and an option to extend for a further period should I be satisfied with the outcome of this night. ( call me romantic but I don’t do short times) We come to a mutually satisfactory agreement and number 42 decamps to get into her “civvies” so we can off into the night. All is going as per usual until…
I had noticed when I arrived a group of 3 blokes sitting in a booth bar for no other reason than their matching the description given above earlier. I made a mental note of their location, the fact that they were already “pretty under the weather” and thereafter dismissed them from my mind. So it was with a sense of “here we go” that whilst finishing my drink and waiting for the nights entertainment to get changed 1 of the gang of 3 stumbles up to my table. He proceeds to tell me in no uncertain terms that I have “taken his girl” and that she was not leaving with me and that guys like me need a “good hammering” for driving prices up and that he was the man to do it and his mates wanted to help out too.. I can look after myself pretty well when it comes to the biffo but the LAST thing I want when I am holidays is a bit of the knuckle action. I am on holidays for Christ sake!! Relaxing, having a good time, forgetting about the real world for a while. Not doing a Van Dam tour of the Far East! These guys would HAVE to have been straight off the plane cause behind this guy in the distance near the entrance I could see that the Mamasan was completely tuned into what was going on and word had been sent for the cavalry who had in fact just made their way quietly through the side curtain and were spreading out in a classic 3 pronged pincer movement. At this point Mr. Moron in front of me decides he would like to take a swing at me. It missed due more to his pissed state than any action on my part and before he can take another shot “ Mr. Thai Special Forces” has arrived on the scene and proceeds to show our bad tempered and rude friend how to quietly drop a 90 kilo farang in 2 seconds flat. Mr. Moron goes down, his two mates get up to react and they are quickly and quietly dealt with, subdued and bundled out the side curtained staff exit by the rest of the dark haired team. This whole event takes no more than 30 seconds and people at the other end of the club would not have even been aware of its occurrence.
The mamasan asked me on the way out when I was leaving with number 42 if I would like to join the “ special security men” who were still out in the private staff area of the club with the miscreants showing them how naughty boys get dealt with in LOS. I have seen enough things in my travels in Thailand and other 3rd world countries to know that sometimes it is better to not know what is happening behind closed curtains. But I just know that those 3 would have been mighty sore and sad for the new few days or weeks and probably given all the money that had on them that night as gifts to their new found friends to boot.
From conversation with number 42 that night it turns out that Mr. Moron had indeed made an approach to her earlier in the evening and had offered her what anyone with any experience of the nightlife would call a ludicrously small sum for the night. She naturally declined and as he was not going to negotiate “ because he had read on the internet how much to pay” and the matter had ended there. But obviously not in his mind. This is only one example of what seems to me to be a more frequently occurring event in the scene these days. I can really only put it down to cheap airfares and more flights allowing all and sundry access to the Wonderland. Bring on higher fuel prices and subsequent higher plane fares I say!
I had another interesting experience in spending some time with an expat “teacher” in the kingdom. He is the son of one of my bigger, loyal and long term clients back home and I was asked by the client if I would do him a big favour and meet with his son when I was in Thailand. The pretext of our meeting was so that I could deliver some documents of a family trust nature for the guy, explain their significance to him, have him sign them and then return them to his father back home but I think the underlying real reason was to see exactly what it is that he is up to in LOS. My client knows I am “ a man of the world” and that I can pretty quickly sum up situations and so prevailed upon me to do this for him. I agree with some reluctance. I met with this guy, an individual in his mid 30’s and we ended up spending a couple of evening together in the company of some of his friends who also turned out to be “teachers”. “Teachers”, what a joke! None of these knuckleheads have any formal teaching qualifications whatsoever between them apart from some Mikey Mouse course called “TEFL” ( maybe the spelling is wrong). Back in the real world they would be lucky to get a job serving fries at McDonalds and yet in LOS they conduct themselves as if they are highly qualified professionals. I think one of them might have actually had a BA from some obscure university somewhere but when I went to Uni a BA was worth exactly what it was named BA = ‘bugger all”. Anyway the clients son decides that he should “round table’ the Family Trust documents for him to sign amongst his teacher friends so they can give their “opinion “on it. I really think the reason was more so he could show the others that he comes from a wealthy background. What a joke. Some of these esteemed professionals were having a hard time even reading the documentation let alone understanding and contributing to its editing or alteration. All in all a very eye opening experience. Subsequent to this time spent with these people I found out that Thailand is one of the few countries in the region that doesn’t require a real degree in order to teach and so all the unqualified dregs end up teaching their rather than in Japan or Korea. You must be kidding me! Listen you boofheads (and I know you read Stickman's site). When you have finished playing “grown up pretend teacher” in Thailand get your
arses back to the real world, study and work hard and earn your self a real qualification and then you can call yourself a professional. Up until that point you are nothing more than a child care worker (and not even qualified at that). Wake up and get
Hmmm so all in all another interesting trip. It is safe to say that even though there are some real viable and more interesting alternatives to the Thai naughty nightlife scene emerging in the region I will continue to have the annual pilgrimage to the Altar of LBFM in LOS. However some of those emerging regions and countries, and in particular one to the West are getting a more regular visit from me now and I can see a time in the future when they will overtake Thailand as the destination of choice for discerning punters looking for quality product in convivial, relaxed and friendly surroundings.
Sorry, ran out of time today – so nothing to say.