Incountry # 24
• Supreme Tower Hotel
• Changhang Merrylin
• Courtyard Hotel by Marriott Shanghai
• Holiday Inn Pudong Shanghai
What follows is my winter of discontent without the Princess. After living with someone for a couple of years it is hard not to miss them even if you know it is your best interest never to see them again.
Determined not to dwell on my loss and keep a cheerful disposition I planned ways to fill my nights and not be alone.
After I moved out of my house I rented a small room in a hotel close to the intersection of South Pattaya Road and Soi Buakhow. I normally get out of bed around 7 PM.
I start out dining at the Belgian restaurant across the street (the best fried potatoes in Pattaya). After that withdraw a few thousand baht from the ATM and check my mail at the local internet shop to see if there is any mail that needs to be answered.
This particular internet shop is worthy of mention. I spend an hour there every day. It is a scene that every farang who does internet dating should see. I place the net cam a little high so I can see what is going on behind me as well as my normal line of sight to the front. I can see accurately about 10 internet stations and view a number of other monitors.
Talk about, Rope a Dope, this experience is incredibly enlightening. There is a Thai University girl in uniform exposing her breasts to five Yahoo chat screens while the crazy young men from all over the world are flashing the family jewels. A ladyboy is flashing her new T back undies and squeezing her buttocks to a bunch of online old guys. There are five chicks asking for buffalo money while I listen to other sob stories about broken cars, motorcycles and sick brothers and mothers. All this while the Thai boyfriends, tattooed and yabaed up, are just out of camera range sucking on some Thai whiskey. I have been to other internet shops but this one takes the cake. It is on Soi Buakhow just a block from the twice weekly market.
I occasionally use a motorcycle taxi but mostly I try to take a baht bus because of safety reasons. There is another reason to take a baht bus. It gives me a little time to meet new people as it is easy to make eye contact and chat. No bar fines and a handsomely reduced prices early in the morning or late at night.
I take the baht bus to Bar Noi or Jane’s Bar to see what the boys have been up to during the day and if anyone has any wonderful ideas for the evening. I also find out who has a dose of the clap and which bars to avoid in the future. It is easy to tell who has a medical problem by looking for the coke drinkers. I am also kept up to date on the local happenings and who killed who the night before. I personally witnessed three people killed last week.
Rarely do I have a beer before 8 or 9 PM. At 10 PM I check out the nude show and Champagne A Gogo or the painted show at Oasis A Gogo.
Or wander a little off course for the lesbian beer show at Silver Star or the water show at Blue Lagoon.
Up until now it has been a sane evening.
By 11PM I head down to a small bar area that is roughly across the street from Soi 8 and second road going away from the beach. This area specializes in inexpensive drink prices.
Occasionally I will bar fine one of the older mamasans from one of these establishments. When that happens the whole bar cheers because the last time the mamasan was bar fined was 1989. This serves a couple of purposes. One I always get ice cold beer and two it keeps me safe and well informed. They always let me know when Dana is in town and I can avoid being trampled by his hoard of adoring admirers.
Next stop is Soi 6, 7 or 8 and a short time room.
After midnight I begin my lonely trek home, maybe with a stop for a late night snack. Speaking of snacks I was surprised to read in one submission complaining that Pattaya has no 24 hour restaurants. There are at least 50 that I know of. Ya Dong in teapots and fried carp, yummy at 5 AM.
In my room I try writing for a bit. Then I watch a little TV.
I turn up the air and crawl into bed. But I can’t sleep. I have not slept by myself for 2 years.
I miss the warmth of a women next to me. Princess was a good sleeper. Rarely snored and was content to sleep with always a part of her touching me without being overwhelming. It is interesting to note that when she wasn’t screwing other men she slept with these little girly frilly pink pajamas and when she returned to being a hooker she slept nude or in her T backs.
Wide awake at 4 AM and I am up and walking on South Pattaya road between Tops and Friendship grocery store. Who walks with me on this street? Ladies from Walking Street who wanted to save the 5 baht fee for taking a bus home from work. Students from Bangkok trying to make a last minute tuition run. Gangsters, murderers, muggers all taking one last look for a victim before heading out the Karaoke to shoot opposing gang members. All of these people are extremely motivated. 7 Eleven becomes a convenience store in the real sense of the word. Even the clerk at the 7 Eleven tells me she gets off of work soon.
If you can stay alive here this is really like shooting fish in a barrel. These people are really, really motivated. The lateness of the evening does not diminish their desire or fervor.
I fall in love once a night on South Pattaya Road. There is also a secondary effect. The line at my door in the daytime for a missed motorcycle payment, a new purse or some cash for lunch gets longer and longer and the price in the daytime is even more reasonable than night time.
These women seemed to have grasped the principle of supply and demand which has alluded so much of Thai society. 2 PM in the afternoon is even a worse time to get money than 4AM in the morning and almost any contribution is appreciated.
Viagra? I don’t need no stinking Viagra I have Tiger beer and South Pattaya road.
Then, disaster strikes.
Disaster? Oh no, that's got to mean Princess makes a comeback!