Who is Watching Over Who?
• Huizhange Hotel Shenzhen
• InterContinental Hotel Shenzhen
• Fraser Place Shekou Shenzhen
• Kempinski Hotel Shenzhen
We were on our last leg of the long trip from Detroit to Bangkok. We were finally getting to Thailand after leaving home nearly 30 hours ago. I looked over at my buddy Ken. I was worried about him. I have been to Thailand several times, but this was his first. I was wondering if he would be able to maintain control there.
Ken is what many on Stick’s site would label as an old fat bald farang. I have known Ken since our childhood because we grew up in the same neighborhood. We went through many life experiences together, like school, Boy Scouts, baseball, pony league football and the same part time jobs. Ken was always considered to be an unattractive guy. He was a short fat kid all through school and over the years turned into a short heavy set bald guy.
There was a time during the high school years where we drifted apart. During the years when young men had one thing on their minds, women. Not to brag, but I was always considered a pretty good looking guy and was involved in a lot of athletics in my younger days. I never had a problem picking up women. Though I feel bad about it now, back then a “cool” guy like me didn’t hang around with guys like Ken. It didn’t help me get women, so I didn’t have time for him. I remember many lunch periods in high school where I would look across the room and see Ken sitting off by himself, usually with his nose stuck in some kind of book. I imagined he had a pretty lonely existence back then. We even ended up going to the same college.
All along, I never recalled Ken having any girlfriends or even going out on any dates. Not that he didn’t try, but he was always on the receiving end of the infamous rejection line that went like “I think you are nice, and I really like you as a friend, but…” So after a while he just sort of gave up on women and concentrated on his studies and on building a fairly successful accounting practice. I myself got into the construction trade, and when Ken really helped me out of a financial mess and brought some order to my books, my business took off. We gradually renewed our childhood friendship. He was a top notch accountant and he really looked after the financial well-being of his clients. He was a good guy to have on your side when you had to deal with the IRS (the US tax agency.)
After a particularly nasty divorce for me, I found that most of my married friends didn’t have time for a suddenly single again guy like me. But there was Ken and he turned out to be a good listener. Ken never married so he didn’t have much of a personal life. I spent a lot of afternoons and weekends with him drinking beer and watching football or ice hockey on TV. He became one of my best friends. He always had a cheerful attitude and was a gracious host. He would do anything to help out a friend.
After my divorce, I was feeling pretty liberated and went to Thailand quite a few times to exercise my new found freedom. I did the usual drinking and whoring around with bar girls. I would come back and tell Ken of my adventures and he would listen with intense interest and always say that it sounded great and he should check it out sometime when he had a chance. Well after a few years of asking, he finally fit it into his schedule. So here we were, a couple of 40 something year old guys heading to the LOS of some I&I (intercourse and intoxication). And that’s what worried me. It is easy for a rational man to lose his grip on reality over there. Seduced by the sunshine, cheap alcohol, and scores of beautiful women. I was starting to think it might have been a mistake bringing Ken over here. He was a prime candidate for losing control. Years of never getting laid, combined with a fairly sizable bank account could make him a target for one of the crafty bar girls with an eye out for snagging a rich sponsor and bleeding him dry. Stick’s site is filled with many tales of men like this getting burned. I would have to keep an eye out for Ken, just like he did with me when dealing with the IRS. Maybe it wasn’t such a good idea coming here after all. I would feel like shit if some almond eyed beauty drained my friend’s bank account and then left him in emotional tatters. All because I brought him here.
We finally made it to Bangkok. Ken said he wanted to spend some time at the beach, so I had previously booked us a flight to Phuket and it left a few hours after we arrived in the Big Mango. So we had to wait in the airport. After getting something to eat, we took a seat and watched the people parade go by. I thought Ken was going to sprain his neck looking at the women. He looked like he was watching a tennis match, his head was going back and forth.
“Fucking A dude, every woman here is beautiful,” Ken said to me with a smile.
“Yes they are, but just remember, all that is beautiful isn’t always good,” I said. I know Ken did some research and was well aware of the seductive lure of Thailand. But knowing about it is one thing, avoiding it was another.
The hours flew by, with Ken and I re-hashing old times together, punctuated by the occasional, “Damn! Look at that hot babe!” from Ken. It was time to head to the domestic terminal and fly to Phuket where we planned to spend two weeks.
The flight made it to Phuket without incident. We took Thai Airways down, and Ken kept commenting on how pretty the flight attendants were. He was right. The flight attendants on the flight over from the States looked like they have been on the job for about 30 years. The Thai Airways flight attendants all looked so young. But again I was concerned that Ken was slowly starting to fall for the lurid side of Thailand. Hell, what the fuck was he going to do when we hit a beer soi and there were women climbing all over him wanting to screw his brains out for what was essentially pocket change. I didn’t have a good feeling.
We took a taxi for the 45 minute or so drive from the Phuket airport to Karon beach. I didn’t want to start Ken off at Patong. I thought something quieter would help him ease into the scene. But hey, there are still great places to get laid in Karon. We checked into the hotel and decided to get some sleep and then head out later that afternoon to get loaded.
Later that day, I knocked on Ken’s door to see if he was up but there was no answer. I looked out back (we had one of those pool cabana rooms where you walked out the back door and stepped right into the pool) and there Ken was sitting on the patio with a cold Singha and smoking a big cigar.
When he saw me he excitedly said, “Fucking A! Do you see how cheap that shit is in the minibar? This is fucking great.”
He was an accountant alright. “Where did you get that cigar?” I asked.
“I went for a walk down the road and a place was selling them. They are Cubans! Can’t get those back home. Do you want one?”
“Sure!” I said and sat down beside Ken and cracked open a cold one myself.
“Now Ken,” I said. “When we go out tonight, we will go to some bars where the chicks will be all over our asses. Keep an eye on your wallet and for Christ’s sake, don’t be flashing around how much money you have. Remember, the people here see us as walking ATM machines. Don’t believe a word they say. OK?”
“Sure, sure,” Ken said with a smile. “I will be on my guard. Tell me more about these chicks.”
I proceeded to explain bar fines, short time versus long time, what a “lady-boy” was, and to always use a rubber. Not a Thai brand but an American brand. Just to be sure I gave him a couple of the Trojans I had brought over.
After a few beers and a shower, it was time for our first night out in Thailand. We walked up the street a few blocks and entered the first beer soi we found. It was a typical one, with many bars lining either side of the alley. There were nice looking girls all over the place trying to entice us to come to their bar.
As we walked by, they would run out, grab us by the arm and say, “Hello handsome man! Where are you from? Come drink with us!”
Ken had a huge shit eating grin on his face. He wanted to stop and talk to every fucking girl. I kept tugging on his arm and said, “Let’s go down here. There is a pool table.” We went to a place in the corner and sat down. Immediately two girls descended on us and took position on either side.
“Hello, where you from?” asked the one hanging on my arm. I looked her over. Damn was she good looking. Had all the classic Thai features I loved. Small in stature, long black hair, brown skin, a perfect set of white teeth and those lovely almond shaped brown eyes. She was simply the sweetest girl I have ever seen.
“I am from America,” I said.
“You want drink? Singha?” she said with a sweet smile.
“Yes please. And please get a drink for you.” I said with a smile.
She then went behind the bar to get the drinks.
She placed a cold Singha in front of me and then started mixing herself a drink. I looked over to Ken and he also had a pretty nice looking Thai lady hanging on his arm. She shouted something in Thai to the girl behind the bar and she fixed them two drinks as well.
Now one thing I always liked to do is pay for my drinks as I go along. I got burned too many times running a tab only to be hit with an astronomical bill at the end of the evening. Plus you never know when you want to make a quick exit. Didn’t want a pissed bar owner or a miffed bar girl chasing my ass to settle on the account. I reached for a small stash of cash I kept in my pants pocket. I never wanted to show my wallet to any bar girl to let her know how much cash I had.
“I have this round!” Ken said enthusiastically. His girl was already snuggling up to him and rubbing him all over.
“No problem! I have the next round.” I said. I saw the smile Ken had on his face, and I thought to myself that I haven’t seen him smile like that for a long time. It made me glad, but it still had me worried.
My attention was quickly diverted from Ken and focused on my girl who slid into the chair next to me. She pulled the chair real close and her legs straddled my knee.
“What your name?” she asked.
“My name is Steve. What is yours?”
“My name Nik. You married?”
“No I am not married. And I do not have a girlfriend.”
“That good,” Nik said with a smile. “You are a very handsome man.”
“And you are a very beautiful lady.”
Nik then sort of tightened her legs around my knee and smiled while rubbing my upper thigh. Damn! I knew I would be bar fining this chick tonight. I checked on my buddy Ken and he was already buying another round of drinks for us. His girl had a big smile on her face and was laying her head on his shoulder. Fucking A. Things were moving fast tonight!
We spent the next couple of hours drinking, talking and playing all the normal bar games like Connect 4, Jenga, and that damn dice game. Ken seemed to be getting along splendidly with his girl. They were playing pool together and doing a lot of hugging and snuggling. I must admit, for a moment I thought that Ken looked like one of those typical old fat bald farangs who looked ridiculous hanging on some young girl half his age. Though Ken and I are the same age, I must admit that time has been much kinder to me. I was still slim and had all my hair. I secretly hoped I didn’t look as ridiculous.
Ken certainly was generous that night. He was buying all the rounds and hell, he bought a drink for anybody that was at the bar or even near the bar. He even told the bartender to put a bowl of cold bottled water out for the scruffy looking soi dog lying about. I could almost see the dollar signs in his girls’ eyes. Ken didn’t seem to listen to me when I told him not to flaunt cash around like he had an endless supply of it.
After several more drinks, Ken came over to me and said, “Damn! I like this girl. She sure is a looker.”
“Yeah she sure is, what is her name?”
“Her name is Nun. How are you getting along with your girl?”
“Well my friend, I think I am going to have some serious boning tonight.” I said with a smile.
Ken’s eyes got wide and said, “Really? Hey, why don’t we long time these girls? Have them hang out with us for a couple of days?”
I didn’t like the sound of that. I mean I didn’t want to get tied down to one girl. I wanted to be a butterfly for a while. But on the other hand, Nik sure was a fine looking girl. Maybe it wouldn’t be too bad hanging out with her for a few days. I was sort of worried about Ken, he seemed heading right for the abyss.
“Well, I don’t know. It is our first night here. Maybe we should check around other bars and decided later. Maybe find something better.”
“I don’t think I could find a nicer girl than Nun.” Ken said.
A nicer girl? Jesus H. Christ. He thinks these girls are nice? This wasn’t boding well for Ken. Hell, he knew shit about women and even less about Thai bar girls. Just then Nik gave me a soft squeeze in the crotch and when I looked at her, she had a smile on her face that said let’s get to some serious screwing. Well Ken was a big boy, he could make up his own mind. I was here to have fun, not baby sit anyone. The next thing I know I was saying to Nik, “How much for long time? Many days long time?”
The next few days was a blur of drinking, screwing, eating, shopping and sightseeing. Nik took excellent care of me and I really enjoyed her company. To be honest, Ken and Nun only joined us occasionally. I don’t know what they were doing all those days. We would hook up for dinner, drinks or some sightseeing trips, but a lot of the time they were on their own. Every time I did see Ken, he had a huge ass grin on his face, like a fat kid turned loose in the candy store. I also noticed that Nun was now the owner of some rather expensive looking jewelry that she proudly showed to Nik. Aw man, it was like reading one of the stories from Stick’s site. He was spending some major cash on this girl. I decided it was time to pull him aside and see where his head was.
“Ken, your head still screwed on straight? Remember, this place is like the dark side of the Force you know.” I asked.
‘Not a problem,” he replied with a grin.
“Well ok, but just remember, keep your shit together over here or these chicks will chew your ass up and spit you out. Remember, we are nothing but walking ATM machines to them. Once you run out of cash, they will dump your ass in the street with out a second’s hesitation.”
“Thanks for the reminder buddy,” Ken said cheerfully and gave me a slap on the back. “Now if you don’t mind, I am going to get back to my lady friend.”
Later that evening, Nik and I were lying on the bed watching TV after some really intensely satisfying sex. Nik had her head on my chest, we were snuggled up close. She looked to me and said, “I talk to Nun on phone. Nun like friend you, Ken. He good man. He treat her nice, buy her many things, giver her money for family.”
“Really?” I asked. Fuck. I read this script before. Poor Ken was being sucked into the vortex of falling for a bar girl.
“Yes. Nun want to bring him to meet her family next time he come.”
This was just great. The poor sap was falling for this girl hook line and sinker. But what was I to do? He is a grown man for crying out loud and I just can’t go and tell him what to do. I tried to warn him. Some things you only learn from experience. This is one of them.
The two weeks went by pretty quick. I saw less and less of Ken. I spent all my time with Nik. Our day for departure back to the States was rapidly approaching and I was wondering if he would even show up for the plane ride home tomorrow. I didn’t see him for a couple of days, so I asked if Nik would call Nun on her mobile phone to see if Ken was with her. Turns out he was.
“Ken? Are you still alive? Where have you been?”
“Hot damn right I am alive. Having the time of my life! This is a great country. The food is great, the people are great, the scenery is great and you can get a beer anywhere at anytime! How are things going with Nik?”
“I am doing just fine. Hey you know we are leaving tomorrow, right?”
“Yes, damn depressing thought isn’t it?”
“I will arrange a taxi for the airport tomorrow, ok?”
“Sounds good. Let me know when it leaves. I will see you then. Now if you excuse me, a certain young lady wants my attention. I will talk to you later buddy! And thanks a million for bringing me along. This place is great!”
When Ken asked me that question about getting along with Nik, I realized that since that first night in Karon two weeks ago, she hasn’t left my side. And to be honest, I was getting quite used to her being around. She was an absolute doll. She would take care of my every need and asked for nothing in return. I told her up front that I would pay her for each day she spent with me along with her bar fine. She never asked for the money, but I always gave it to her. I told her that we were leaving tomorrow and I could see the tears start to well up in her eyes. Damn. It hurt seeing that.
“I wish you not go. You are good man for me. Will you come back to see me?” she asked with a sad look on her face.
“Of course I will,” I said and then gave her a hug that lasted for a long while. Nik looked into my eyes and said, “Let’s go to bed.” She then took me by the hand and led me to the bed where we had one of the most passionate nights of my life. It was incredible.
The next day came too soon. We met with Ken and Nun and went to get something to eat. Nik and I were sort of depressed, because soon we would be leaving each other’s company and didn’t know when we would see each other again. The previous night we exchanged phone numbers and emails and all that, but it just wasn’t the same. On the other hand, Ken and Nun were in a great mood. They were holding hands, walking arm in arm and kissing each other like a couple of fucking hormone laden high school kids.
Then the time came for us to go to the airport and back to Bangkok for the long flight home. The taxi ride was pretty quiet. I think Nun finally realized her constant companion for the past two weeks was about to leave. Ken still had a big wide grin on his face and spent most of the time looking out the window. He had his arm around Nun and she had her head on his shoulder. I could see the tears forming in her eyes.
We got to the airport and we checked in our bags. The time soon came for us to go through security, so we had to say goodbye to the girls. I didn’t want to leave Nik. She was the perfect mate for the past two weeks. I realized that I fell head over heels for her. We just stood there holding each other and I heard Nik softly sobbing on my shoulder. Damn it. I fell for one of these bar girls. Fuck. Nik made me promise that I would call her when I got home and she promised to call me and email me everyday. Then she said it. She loved me and wanted to marry me. And by damn, I felt like marrying her right then and there.
I noticed Ken and Nun moved off by themselves to say their goodbyes. I hoped the poor sap wasn’t giving her the farm. Then out of the corner of my eye I saw Nun run by and she was crying pretty hard. I saw Ken walk through the security check point.
“Nik, I have to go. But I promise, when I get back I am going to book a flight as soon as I can to see you again. I promise.”
Nik looked up at me, her eyes were red from crying and said, “You promise?”
Looking into her eyes, at that moment, I would have done anything for her. “I promise,” I said.
After one more hug and a long kiss, I moved through the security check point. Once on the other side I saw Nik standing there, watching me until I was out of sight. It was heart wrenching. I truly felt like shit, like part of me was ripped away. I caught up with Ken who was in one of the seats by the gate. He was just sitting there, looking like he was in deep thought. I took the seat next to him.
“Damn it dude” I said. “What the fuck did we get ourselves into? I am going to try and get back here as soon as I can. Until then I am going to call Nik and email her every day. You going to do the same with Nun?”
Ken looked at me with a weird look on his face and said, “Fuck no.”
I was taken aback and asked him, “Didn’t she want to keep in touch with you?”
“Well yeah, she wanted my phone number and email and all that. But I told her it wasn’t necessary. Then she got pissed and ran off crying.”
“You don’t want to stay in touch? Why not? I thought you liked this girl.”
Ken looked me straight in the eye and said, “Are you serious? What the fuck? These are fucking HOOKERS dude. It is all about the money. It’s like you said. We are just walking ATM machines to them. I came here, I spent some time with a really great girl. I treated her nice and with respect. And I think I more than generously compensated her for her time. It was a business deal. I rented a girlfriend for a couple of weeks. Transaction is over. That’s all. Don’t tell me you fell for their line of bullshit? Get the fuck over it. Like you told me, don’t believe a word they say. Besides, you live on the other side of the world. She will be getting hit on every night by a different guy. This spells disaster. This long term relationship crap never works. I am really surprised to hear this shit coming from you.”
I couldn’t believe my ears. All this time I was worrying about Ken being sucked into the abyss of falling for a bar girl and in the end, it was me! Who was looking out for who?
I ended up exchanging a few emails and phone calls with Nik, but Ken was right. Distance and time cooled the relationship down and eventually Nik stopped communicating with me all together. It really hurt, because I still had strong feelings for her. In one of her emails, Nik did say that Nun really did fall for Ken and kept asking Nik to ask me to get Ken’s email or phone number. I did ask Ken a few times, but he said he just wasn’t interested. I told him that Nun said he was a very considerate and generous man and she didn’t understand why he didn’t like her anymore. Ken said that Nun made a mistake and forgot the rules of the game. The rules according to Ken are; Farang goes to Thailand and meets bar girl. They have fun. Then farang leaves. Bar girl forgets farang and finds new farang. Farang forgets bar girl. That is the way the business worked in Ken’s eyes.
Nun also told Nik that Ken never even had sex with her. She said he always slept in the other bed in the hotel room and never tried anything with her. When I asked Ken about this, he said he was too embarrassed to have slept with her. He said his sexual experiences he could count on one hand, and didn’t even need most of the fingers to do it. He said he wasn’t going to look like a fool in front of a professional whom, as Ken said, has probably seen more swinging dick in one month than a urologist sees in a 35 year career. He said it was nice to have some female companionship for a time, but he really preferred to live life alone. It was just something he has gotten used to over time. Man, I thought the bar girls could be cold and calculating, but Ken had a cold hard streak in him that I never realized. I was so worried about Ken being a gullible mark for the bar girls when in fact, he had his head more solid than 99% of the guys going to Thailand.
This last trip sort of cured me of my Thailand fever. I don’t want to ever go back. I don’t think my heart can take it again and I don’t know what I would do if I saw Nik in the arms of another guy. Ken may be an old fat bald guy, but it protected him from the dark allure of Thailand. He was so used to not getting the girl, the whole experience was like an amusement park ride. He had a temporary thrill, a moment of fun and then when it was over he just got off the ride and walked away. I feel bad for Ken in a way. I think over time, he has lost the ability to feel love. In a rare moment of seriousness, Ken once told me he really has no feelings for anyone. I think that is his way of dealing with a life of being an old fat bald guy and constantly being rejected by women. On the days I look back on that trip and think of Nik, I wish I could say I had no feelings too. It sure would hurt a lot less.
I really enjoyed this story. Well paced and well written.