Thai Thoughts and Anecdotes Part 177
• Bund Riverside Hotel
• Chuangye Business Hotel
• Jinrong International Hotel
• Panorama Century Court Hotel
Attn: This is a Dana Submission . . . and remember this is an exhibition not a competition; so please, no wagering.
Are you like me? Have you discovered that if you take those colored marking pens and color your genital warts with different colors that the whole area looks more attractive and inviting to Pattaya boulevard freelancers? Of course you are. Of course you are like me. Everybody is. But that is not really what I want to talk about today. What I want to talk about today are monsters. Thai Godzillas that blunder and crash about scaring and scarring everyone and stepping on souls like Japanese movie monsters stepping on cars. They are of course mamasans; and my essay/story/lament is called:
MAMASANS (DIE BITCH DIE)
". . . snarling, bickering, obscene, husky, full-fronted and heavy chested, with a malign eye, a cat-like grip on life, and a genius for trickery and evil. There was neither faith nor trust in her. Her treachery alone could be relied upon, " –Jack London–
Leave it to Jack London, that chronicler of all that is primal to perfectly describe the typical mamasan as evidenced daily in the farang focused bars of the red-light districts of Thailand.
Oh, I know there are travel romancers and Thai apologists who will tell you the mamasan is your helpmate and your friendmate and your ally in the farang bar war zone environment but these are stupid men. The kind of men who subscribe to some kind of jackass idea that we are all brothers under the skin. The kind of muttonheads that keep their wallet in their front pocket. The kind of men who are still going to bed at night wearing oven mitts so they won't touch themselves.
They are the little hippy dippy fuzzed faced backpack turds you end up sitting next to on a 127 hour bus trip from Vientiane to BKK and they take time out of their busy day to tell you that in the interests of cross-cultural peace and understanding they have finally mastered the tonal difference between dog and horse, and darling and monkey's ass. Oooooh, they are so International. That's when you know you can stop holding in the farts. Or they are not young fuzz faced backpacking fools but broken down western men with bad teeth and shabby clothes who have failed at every endeavor in an unsympathetic third world country and are now holding on to a ridiculous rosy lensed view of life that places them in the land of the delusory.
Real men know in the primal sticky marrow of their bones that the mamasan is an implacable foe spawned from devil dreams and your earthly focused nemesis as long as the blood flows in your veins:
On a trip to Pattaya I met a woman named Tum in an open air bar just at the start of Walking Street in South Pattaya. I fell in love with her at first and second sight and she returned the feeling. I loved her so much I would have licked the ground in her shadow to be closer to her. Ignoring my mantra to be careful of great emotions because of my myocardial infarction; I threw myself down the well of pleasure that only love can bring. When walking I could not feel my legs moving. When talking to her I could not hear my words. When we were finished lovemaking I could not remember how we had started.
At the time I was renting a small freestanding little house on the property of a guesthouse. It had been built to appeal to the ‘Honeymooner' market. Honeymooning couples could have a little place of their own. A clever marketing idea that really didn't take off so I had a long term discount lease on my own little place. So when Tum moved in with me we really got to play house. I have wonderful memories of her in shorts and painter's hat and Mickey Mouse T-shirt and bare feet painting the ceiling with an extension handle roller. Sexy. Cute. Stick a fork in me–I was done. I made flower boxes for the front windows and she planted orchids. We went to some place in western Bangkok near the Chao Praya river on a mainstreet that specialized in religious items and bought a spirit house. She helped me dig the hole and pour the cement. Once it was set up she had some monks come by and there was a ceremony. Etc. I was in love. At night while I was writing she would be in the bathroom wrapped in her big white terry cloth towel washing my clothes in the sink and singing. And of course after I had to go back to the States there was six months of emailing and writing letters. Nothing special except to us. Love.
Six months later I ran back to her bar with a picture of her and I that had been taken on Walking Street our first night together and inquired of her whereabouts from the mamasan.
Mamasan: She will be here at 6 p.m. Would you like a drink?
I go back at 6 p.m. No Tum.
Mamasan: She will be here at 8 p.m. Would you like a drink?
I go back at 8 p.m. No Tum.
Mamasan: She will be here tomorrow at 3 p.m. Would you like a drink?
Next day I rush over at 3 p.m. No Tum.
Mamasan: She will be here tonight at 8 p.m. Would you like a drink?
That night I go to the bar at 8 p.m. and at 9 p.m. and at 10 p.m. No Tum.
Mamasan: She will here tomorrow at 4 p.m. I am sure. Would you like a drink?
This goes on for 6 days. Multiple promises from the always smiling mamasan about the eventual appearance of my love. I showed up at the bar with the picture of Tum and I so many times that all of the girls got to know me and became friendly towards me. A couple of times the mamasan pointed at the other girls and encouraged me to pick one. No. My heart belonged to Tum. "When would she be returning to the bar?"
Finally on the morning of the seventh day I decided to face the Thai facts and not return to the bar and inquire about Tum. There was no Tum and the mamasan had been lying all along just to sell 60 baht cokes once or twice per day. On that same day I was walking down Beach Road and I happened to bump into one of the girls who worked at the bar. Her name was Dom and she was sweet and kind and spoke English pretty well. She informed me that Tum had quit the bar months ago, and was not coming back, and that no one had any idea where she was or how to locate her. There was no Tum. There was never going to be a returning Tum. And there was never going to be a Tum and I. The mamasan had been lying to me from the first day. And she had instructed all of her girls under pain of being fired not to tell me. I can't exactly say they were all in on it – but I certainly did not feel as if I belonged to the same race of humans. All this to sell me drinks. A general and her army conspiring to sell me one to two drinks per day.
Let us see. A total of ten cokes at 60 baht per coke over six days gives a total of 600 baht. That was the value of my love for Tum to the mamasan. Another innocent man from a faraway place with a heart full of love receiving abuse in the Land of Smiles. Another knife in the heart from the people who pray to Buddha every day.
MAMASANS (DIE BITCH DIE)
The mamasans are a funny bunch and a serious submission about them would make for interesting reading.