Readers' Submissions

Incountry #16



OK, Dana. You asked for it. Just sit down and write, eh? Every hour in Thailand is a writer's dream? OK, OK. I will write for two hours. I don’t think I have ever written a dog story before, so I will try a dog story, Thai style.

What you see is what you get.

Ask not for whom the dogs bark, they bark for me.

At the South end of Soi Bou Kouw there are a number of sois that run parallel to Soi Bou Kouw and that is where I live.

I have two dogs that sleep on my porch. If you walk by they bark. The dogs don’t understand English. They do understand Thai. The dogs are soi dogs. The first time I fed them they waited till I went back into the house before they approached the food. They smelled it and gingerly tasted it. My soi dogs are not a trusting lot.

Last night I had two BBQ chicken feet in my pocket when I went out. I had a plan. The night before I had been attacked by an angry female dog with pups at the end of the street. As I opened my door my hitherto scary soi dogs sat patiently wagging their tails looking at me with those big puppy dog eyes one sees on Soi 7 at 2AM when there is only one remaining fat chick left to be bar fined.

In slow English words, so they could understand I told them we were going to the end of the street and they were to scare the hell out of that bitch that tried to bite me last night. After that I would give them both a chicken foot.

The dogs looked at me as if I was crazy and the illegal Laotian construction workers across the street were laughing hysterically at the farang talking to the street dogs. I looked at the dogs again and said, “by, phom me din gai.” Go, I have foot chicken. They both nodded and off we went and I gave the thumbs up to the construction workers.

As we rounded the corner there stood the bitch. I said, “my chop.” I don’t like. Like Batman and Robin, my dogs took off after the female dog who promptly beat a retreat. When they got back I gave them the chicken feet.

I boarded the baht bus and went a half of mile to Soi Chi A Poon. I walked past the first beer bar filled with good looking women but off limits to me because Princess and I walk past there at least 3 times a week, said hi to Jack, at “Crazy Dave’s Pub”, the Englishman who has lived in India for 20 years and then I had a beer with Jim from Ireland at the curry place across the street. Later I found a table on the street in front of the Seaside2 restaurant and ordered roast pork. If you factor in cost, edibility, absence of poisonous toxins, service and variety leaving out décor and culinary creativity Seaside2 might be the best restaurant in Pattaya. 10 oz. roast pork, large baked potato, cabbage, carrots, broccoli and apple sauce 120 baht. Seaside2 also has excellent Thai food for your lady de jour.

I had a toy motorcycle in my pocket and gave that to the owner’s son so he would leave me alone during dinner instead of using my feet as soccer goal posts as he usually did while I tried to eat.

It started to rain as I finished my dinner and I ordered a Tiger and relaxed as the parade of wet bar ladies walked by on their way to work on Soi Diana.

The rain was a 4 inch an hour Texas gusher. In fifteen minutes it was obvious it would flood. I waved to a waitress at Crazy Dave’s who brought an umbrella to escort me the 30 feet to her bar. I went to Crazy Dave’s because he has high bar stools and the water was rising. It is a constant source of amazement how the lights stay on during a flood here. There are exposed electric cables everywhere, street signs and extension cords in every direction. When the water reached the second rung of my bar stool I signaled to the kid I had given the toy motor scooter to and told him to get me a baht bus.

I would have walked but last week I read a story in the Bangkok Post about a man finding a leech in his anus after walking in flood water. I have been obsessing about that story every time it rains hard. What would I tell the doctor after he asks if this is a new fetish in Boy’s Town? What if I didn’t notice it and the girls at the Castle found it? Or the lady bartender at the King Kong who won’t let me go the toilet by myself. God forbid I met some of my VFW friends. “Why Kelly, back in the Nam we’d shoot them leeches off with an M-60 and we’d do it at night, the tracers make it easier to see em.”

Ten minutes later I am on a bus cruising up and down Soi Chiapoon in one foot deep water stopping at each bar enquiring if anyone wants to go to Noi’s Bar. A baht bus is normally 10 baht but I had to give the driver 100 to bring him out in the flood and needed another 9 riders to cover my cost. All said and done I made 10 baht on the ride.

The usual crowd was at Noi’s. Steve, the 60 year Englishman with a full head of blonde hair and an aristocratic demeanor was buying an “original Rolex reproduction from a ya ba hyped vendor whose pupils looked as big as silver dollars. Steve has a beautiful 25 year old Thai lady companion and they argue once every 45 minutes which is fun to watch. Roy, a 65 year old diabetic appliance repairman from Arizona was chasing a kid down the street because he had just stolen Roy’s flip flops. Roy’s lady, little flower, a devastating 20 year old beauty and ex-employee of Soi 6 was patently waiting for him eating cockles in hot sauce and drinking bottled water. Pee Rot was helping Jack, a 76 year old American across the flooded street as Jack’s ex girlfriend was hitting him on the head with a long handled flashlight and screaming at him to come home.

I don’t usually give money to beggars but there is a crippled man who can only walk on all fours because of a spinal deformity and he is out in the flood wading up to his chin in water around the corner. Normally I give him 5 or 10 baht. Tonight I gave him 20. Noi’s bar girls are making an offering of whiskey to Buddha in between to yelling, HELLO WELCOME, to every male passerby.

A farang transvestite walks by in a drenched sweater and white mini skirt with a young Thai woman and stops for a drink. He is a nice guy, perfectly straight with good looking legs but one of the ugliest men I have ever seen.


Roy comes back with his flip flops in his hand avoiding the sparking cables in the Pizza lady’s motor cart and sits down at the bar with a cheery, “Hey Kelly, how’s the wife and kids?”

Gup the bar lady next to me says, “Look look Kelly, dogs boom boom, good luck for you.” I look across the street and there are two dogs going at in the rain. “Why is it good luck for me Gup?”

“Make me horny Kelly, we go short time across the street in hotel. OK?”

My two hours are up.


Stickman's thoughts:

I had to laugh about the bit where you made 10 baht on the baht bus ride!