Dana Made Me Part 1
Been a Stickmanite for a while now, but never posted a submission. After perusing Dana’s recent submission, I have taken the plunge, don’t expect much but I hope it’s OK. Using Dana’s one line starters I’m going to use his 1st ‘I met a girl and she’s not like the others’. I hope to do the greats proud, such literary icons as Dana, Marc Holt, Union Hill (where is he, still under house arrest?) the great Chang Mai Kelly and the ever informative BKKSW and Thai Thies.
This is my story and how I met someone, how my friend met someone, and how both adjusted (or didn’t, let’s not spoil the surprise yet) to living in England and some of the trials and tribulations we had. It should be noted that any opinions expressed in any of these parts, are my own thoughts on what I have experienced, I try not to generalise and think I’m fair in what I say. I think this will be in about 4 parts, so bear with, this part is setting the mood!
First the obligatory background. At the time (1999) I was 24 my mate (Big J) was 26. Both lived with our respective parents (sad) in the south-east of England, just outside London. We were both employed by large multi-national companies doing nothing special just ‘Grunt’ work as I like to call it! Appearance wise, well I’m what many would consider short (5.5) but not especially fat. (Think Lister from Red Dwarf), Big J was about 6.0 foot and was the spitting image of the big Buddha (I am not kidding!)
A group of us, had decided to go to Thailand (Patong Beach, Phuket) for a 2 week holiday. The group consisted of 3 couples and 4 single guys (me, Big J and 2 others). None of us had been to Thailand before (and for most it was our first holiday outside of England or from the parental fold!) being astute travellers as we were, we did absolutely no research into what we were getting ourselves into. (We had a friend who had been before, but he only gave some snippets of advice, and didn’t explain what may go on)
Other than getting some rather strange looks from Thai’s at Don Muang while we were awaiting our connecting flight. We were playing poker, Gin rummy and various other card games in the café there, in full view of everyone, hey we didn’t know it was illegal!, and whilst I was smoking in those delightful smoking rooms, my mate was bashing me on the head with a magazine, whilst a Thai bloke was sniggering in the corner. (Another faux pas!, and I don’t know why he was hitting me, must have been something I said)
We eventually arrived in our hotel, a very nice 4 or 5 star effort practically at the end of the bay. (2 people to a room, me and Big J) It was early evening, so we all showered/changed and set off for the beach front which we had gone past. (So far we hadn’t seen Bangla road). After a meal and listening to some dodgy house band murder various European songs, we set off in search of beer.
(The only bit of info we had from a friend who had been was to keep money separate, and not ‘show your wealth’ in front of the Thai ladies. I took this to heart, and as I was going through a combat trousers phase (sad I know, and I’m thankfully past it) I had at least 4 pockets were various amounts were stashed. (20s in top left with a couple of 100’s, 100s top right with a couple 500s, bottom left 500s and a couple of thousands)
Noticing the Banana Club, we headed towards it, none of us are ‘clubbers’ but the open-air bar below was just what the Doc ordered. Looking at the drinks menu I decided on splitting a bottle of ‘Mekong’ with ice and mixers with some of my friends, along with a few beers thrown in. (it was horrible, and I’ve never had Mekong again, but it was cheap and we finished the bottle, naturally). Drinks finished, we decided to move on. Nothing interesting down the rest of beach road, and then we turned into Bangla.
It hit me, full in the face. The lights, the sounds, the smell, the ‘hallo handsome man’ calls from petite ladies. My eyes widened, my heart thumped, I felt like I was home! So many people, (so many females!). We decided to have a few more chill out drinks and choose the Gonzo Bar (in those days it had a pool table and you could request songs from the DJ). We walked in, sat down, and beers were ordered. As we were such a big group (12) and had 3 ladies with us, we weren’t instantly swamped with ‘interest’, and allowed to soak up the atmos (generally aimed at the 2 gorgeous lovelies not wearing much playing pool).
After some games of pool (establishing that whilst the ladies are great potters of the balls, they are not tactically astute) and so I basically snookered them all the time to gain extra shots and win! (I’m a gentleman so drinks were bought to compensate), and various rock tracks were requested (AC/DC, Metallica etc), we decided to move on. This is where Big J makes a huge mistake.
Most of us paid our ‘check-bins’ separately, my mate Big J decided he wanted to also get some change, opening up his wallet (where ALL of his money for the night was) he fanned out several thousand baht in full view of everyone (including the ever present ladies) and proceeded to pay his bill. (Eyes lit up all around him, and mental notes were made of the Buddha look-a-like).
The Blue Lotus bar was next, and was to become home for the next few weeks. Good atmos, good beer, football on TV and a grandstand view of the ladyboys across the soi (without actually getting too near, it was our first time and everything!)
The evening festivities over, everyone drunk and happy, and just chilling on the first night. No ladies taken, cries of ‘tomorrow I will’ were made. Big J’s mistake in the Gonzo would prove to be one of several he makes over the years. (But I’m not here to judge, merely report).
Days in Patong were uninteresting affairs, sleep, beach/pool and eating ruled my days, and they were just a means to the evening jaunts to come. The second night came, and we arranged to meet in the Gonzo bar. Within seconds of beer ordering ‘Dah’ was all over Big J (a nice enough girl, but not my type, she looked a little older than the majority). Big J, happy with any female attention (not successful in our country, but he does try) was lapping it up, and when it came time to move on, the bar fine was paid. (our first introduction into how these worked). Much merriment in the Blue Lotus was had after that, but I was on a mission, and there were no cuties in the Lotus I liked.
(as an aside at this point, one of the girls we had befriended refused to go with a customer, interesting I thought, as I still had that ‘western hooker’ head on. It was then that I came to realise (through the help of one of the girls) that the girls also have a choice to say no as well as we do (I guess within reason thou), and it changed the way I looked at the girls)
I made my way over to the ladyboy soi…and walked straight past them, (HA, for a moment I bet I had Dana salivating at the thought of my first conquest being of the ‘other’ variety) until I was accosted by a cute young thing in the Parrot bar. Well call her ‘Ah’, (because I don’t remember her name, I don’t even remember if she told me!). Drinks were provided and games started, (ah the dice game, don’t cha just love it!). She was cute, long hair, and spoke reasonable English (handy cos I spoke zero Thai), and obviously had worked out very early on that I was a ‘newbie’. The bar fine was offered, I readily accepted and she scooted round the bar to join me. (what great legs too). Further drinks, and amusement at the ladyboys walking down the soi from the Cabaret to the LB bars (well I found them funny at the time, and somewhat enchanting too). It came time to make a move back to the hotel, arrangements were made with Big J (who I was sharing a room with) and he was spending the night with ‘Dah’ so I had the room free to myself. (as it turned out, he spent most of his time with Dah, and rarely came back to the hotel).
Back at the hotel, I was introduced to the ‘guest fee’ of 500 baht, which I reluctantly paid, and it was off to the room. Inside, she kicked off her shoes (and instantly lost a foot in height!) I was a bit shocked, I hadn’t expected that, I hadn’t been looking at the shoes. The shower ritual was explained and we got underway shortly after. (no specifics, but it was a very athletic night). After a bit of a sleep, it was time for her to go. I figured I had to pay her, but we hadn’t discussed prices and I had no idea. I thought I’ll give her 500 and see what she says. At the door she turned, smiled that sweet smile, and said ‘can give me money, please’. ‘Sure’, I said and showed her a 500 note with an inquisitive expression. ‘500 more’, she said, I slipped another 500 from my pocket and gave it too her. She smiled, sniffed-kissed me and turned to walk out the door. (1000 baht it is then, and no taxi money!). We walked from my room back through the hotel and I veered off to join my friends for breakfast while she made her way back to wherever. (my first Thai girl, and no drama, this was easy!)
Bars and drinking ruled the many nights, and apart from Big J with ‘Dah’ the ladies were more of a distraction than anything else. Friends were made between them, but no others were taken for about a week. A mixture of too much hassle, and funds being low, (and reluctance on some parts) were the general sources. Still it was good to ‘see them work’ so to speak on the other customers, and we gained a greater respect for them and an understanding of ‘the game’.
‘Dah’ had come to the hotel room once, while Big J was picking up some stuff. I tried to talk with her, but I don’t think she was interested, and to be honest I didn’t really like her that much. Nothing she really said or did, but I just had a feeling about her that she was taking my mate for a ride. I told him this several times, but he’s a stubborn guy, and just kept agreeing with me without actually taking anything in. (something that gets him into trouble in the future)
I spent the last 4 days of the trip with a girl from the Blue Lotus, she was nice, good body, and a demon in the sack. But I wasn’t there for romance, and she knew this, there was no ‘love you’ etc and we both knew when I left, there would be no further communication. (and I gave 1000 a night, which she seemed happy with).
I left with a heavy heart, I wanted more time (and more funds to spend on the ways of the flesh), I told everyone on the plane home, I was coming back next year.
The following year I returned, but not till Big J had made a complete arse of himself, and how come the best laid plans of mice and men are always disrupted by women?
Part 2 to follow.
Get to the good bit, please.