Thailand: The Good, The Bad And The Ugly Part 2
It is April 2002 in Bangkok, Thailand. It’s the middle of the night, hot, very hot, but I really do not know just how hot it is because I am still in my air-conditioned hotel room here at the Nana Plaza area. I am looking down from my bedroom window at the parking lot of the Nana Hotel, with these butterflies running through my stomach. I am too scared to leave my room, even though I see people in the parking lot laughing and having a good time. I just can't seem to get the courage to walk outside and take a look around.
You see, this is my very first vacation to another country. I have never been anywhere on a vacation, just my backyard. I used to spend my time off in my rubber pool with a few hot dogs on the grill, trying to soak up some summer sun so some of my associates at work would think I returned from some sort of island vacation. Travel? Who me? No, not me! I am just a single, five foot six overweight 48 year-old man with not many friends to hang with and of course, like many men in the United States, I have no girlfriend. At my age I would have to be very rich and handsome in order to meet someone who might show interest in me. But even I know that any lady showing interest in me would in fact be showing interest in my pocket book.
I mentioned I did not have many friends, but I did have my father, God rest his soul. Wonderful man and when he died he left me and my sister, Julie, a lot of money. But you would just need to read part one to know all this.
So am I going outside or not? I keep saying that to myself as I pace my room. All right, so here it goes, my first ever walk into a unknown world. My first step for the next part of my life. I really do not know if anyone has ever felt the way I feel now. You know, being somewhere that is so alien to you and not having anyone to share it with, no-one to watch your back so to speak. My mouth is dry and of course the first thing on my mind is a very cold beer and a corner to sit in. For my first night that would make me feel safe. The elevator doors open to loud music, some kind of nightclub inside this hotel and a lot of women sitting around, most on cellphones. I feel kind of funny because they are staring at me. All right, I better keep walking. There, ahead of me, the exit to the parking lot and if I remember correctly, what looked like a couple of beer bars just outside near the Nana Hotel.
As I go through the glass door the air outside hits me. Yeah it's hot all right! You could cut it with a knife. I can feel the sweat running down my back and what, have I even walked ten yards? More ladies in short skirts looking my way, talking on cellphones.
Then I hear some lady say "Hey handsome man." But I do not look up. That could not have been meant for me anyway. Then I see it, there it is, bingo, a bar to my right so I sort of jump in and there in the corner a seat overlooking the street. Great, now I can relax and take this all in. I can not believe what I see as I look around, all the people walking up and down the street. Sounds of laughter and talking everywhere. I mean the street is filled with people everywhere! Across the street are bright, neon lights and what looks like a circus of some kind. What on earth is happening over there? I guess this to be some kind of circus, because of these tall women wearing silver head gear with very large breasts walking in and out. I have never seen anything so beautiful and tall. I did not even think Asian women could be that tall. Also, right in front of me an elephant surrounded by people who are taking turns trying to feed it.
I hear so much different music coming from across the street and it looks like a dead end inside almost like a black hole. It looks like one way in and one way out – and every man is walking in. I hear some lady’s voice saying "Hello handsome man." I also notice how happy the ladies are, because they never stop laughing and hanging on each other. They look so excited to be out and I wonder if this a ladies night out? Or do they do this every night? No, they can't do this every night. Look how much fun they are having kidding around with the men walking by the bar they are drinking at. As I stare at all this I start to notice how old the men look. Most look my age yet they have very young woman hanging on them, all drinking and having a very good time together. It made me smile to myself when it occurred to me that my brother in law, Stan, who talked me into coming here did so with the very intention of dropping me smack into the most active nightlife area I have ever seen in my entire life! I started to laugh to myself when I was suddenly tapped on the shoulder by the most beautiful woman I have ever seen. I looked into her eyes and she into mine. She smiled and through her jet black hair I could see more of that wonderful face. She then put her hands together like a prayer and said Sawasdee Ka. Yes I fell in love at first touch and for a moment I did not know what to do.
“Oh, yes please a cold beer. Do you have cold beer?”
“Yes we have.”
“Then a cold beer please. A beer from Thailand. Do you have a Thai beer?”
“Yes we have.”
She walked away to get my drink and I watched her every move. As she came towards me I noticed her slim body and high heel shoes, very tight-fitting pants that hung to her legs and very long black hair. She set the beer down and placed the bill in a cup next to me. I took the beer and drank it down almost in one swallow. Then looked at her without saying a word she smiled and walked back to the bar to get me another one. She then handed me the next cold beer and placed another bill in the cup. Never taking her eyes off me and me never taking my eyes off her.
“What your name?”
“How long you stay Thailand?”
“Maybe a very long time, I do not know yet.”
“Holiday? No just a very long vacation. I just want to see how I like Thailand.”
“You like Thailand?”
“I think I do, this is my first night here. So I am going to take it one day at a time.”
“You first time Thailand?”
“Yes first time in Thailand, first time anywhere really.”
“You buy me drink?”
“Sure, yes anything you want. What is your name?”
“Phim, name Phim.”
Phim, I just met a girl named Phim and suddenly I found what a wonderful sound that could be, Phim. Say it soft and it's all most like praying. Say it loud and it's all most like raining. Phim. I just met a girl named Phim. It was like a musical on Broadway, it was like being in a movie. We held each other tight sitting next to each other and she never left me. She stayed the night with me. I did not even have to ask her. The bar was closing and she said let me get my purse and we go back to your room. That was after I paid the 3,000 baht bar tab. I did not realize I drank that much but those drinks she kept ordering looked expensive. Throw in something called a bar fine and that was another thousand baht. She told me she had to give the bar something or she could not come with me. Not a problem. We were going back to my hotel room and to think I found my soulmate my very first night in Thailand…
Yep, a lot of guys thought thy found their soulmate on their first night in Thailand. It has happened to the best of us. That warm, fuzzy feeling does not last long though, does it!
Looking forward to part 3.