He Knows He Was A Fool…But He Still Misses Her Anyway Part 3
John sighed. He was feeling upbeat, but anxious about his return trip to Thailand. Thailand was his Mecca, his promised land, his Amber (If you enjoy Roger Zelazney novels). John wasn't a newcomer to The Land of Smiles. He had been here in 2005 and
2006 as well. Each trip was a tale of fun, woe, & hoe (not necessarily in that order). The great Stickman was the publisher of these true stories. So, here we go for the third time…
John used the same airline, Korean Airlines, as he had the previous years. Their attention to service was the best he had ever experienced in an airline. It's a good thing because a 24-hour flight is tiring enough. John was just getting comfortable and turning on his IPod when he heard a loud cough. This was from the gentleman directly to John's left.
"God bless you," said John. The man, who was middle-aged with a head half full of hair, didn't reply. Maybe he didn't want to set a precedent because he hacked and coughed continuously for the duration of the flight.
"I hope he doesn't have hepatitis, or SARS, or God forbid bird flu!", thought John. John was grateful because at least there was an empty seat on his other side. Disappointment resulted when a morbidly obese lady with a fierce scowl took over this seat. John took out his Lonely Planet Guide to Thailand and studied fastidiously. John thought of the gleaming neon of Pattaya and the busy exciting streets of Bangkok and the trip still felt like 24 hours of hell-incarnate.
Finally, the plane arrived at Bangkok in the new airport. The hugeness of the place made John feel like the needle in a proverbial haystack. Mostly everything else was the same. The sneaky cab companies had their beautiful spokeswoman to lure unsuspecting farang into paying double, even triple what the going rate was. John ignored these touts, and went down the stairs to a new set of touts. These cab proprietors were slightly cheaper in price than the ones on the top floor. "1000 baht, big limo, you very happy!" said a cab spokesman. "How about 800 baht", countered John. "OK. you bargain good for farang", said the spokesman. John beamed, but sometimes not knowing you had been ripped off by only double instead of quadruple is priceless.
John asked the cabbie to take him to the Nana Hotel, called 'the mother ship' by none other than Dana (the great submitter of anecdotes for the equally great StickmanBangkok.com site). The cabbie looked at John like he was an alien from the planet Zircon. "No speak English", said the Thai cabbie. John was nonplussed. He pulled out his Cool Map of Bangkok with Thai as well as English script. He pointed to soi 4 and said, "Nana hotel. Nana, Nana, Nana." The cabbie at first looked confused, then he smiled and said, "Nana, Nana, Nana. OK." The cabbie took another hour to find the hotel. He drove right by the Nana one way and turned around and repeated it the other way. John finally got out at NEP (Nana Entertainment Plaza) and walked across the street to the hotel.
The Nana is one of the most popular hotels in all of Bangkok (number one by a landslide if only monger votes are tabulated). It was almost 1 AM at night so the Nana parking lot was full of people. Most of these people were attractive Thai women of Isaan persuasion. Situated around them were various farang, who sorted and chose according to looks, attitude, and prices (although again, not necessarily in that or any order). John was like a deer in a hunter's headlights. He had been to Thailand before, but he had never experienced the Nana car park. There were young and old (anything over 30 is considered old in Bangkok), short and tall (watch out, that katoey might fool [email protected]), beautiful and ugly (these two are mutually exclusive except when you have been drinking Singha all night), and infinite permutations and combinations of the above.
"How do you pick from so many?", thought John who saw a short, chubby farang who looked like an old pro.
"I'm sure he knows, what hoe, would be appropriate for me", thought John.
"Hi, my name is Bob. Pretty slow pickings. Like from the bottom of the barrel tonight, huh buddy?" said Bob.
"Yeah, sure is. Nice to meet you Bob. My name is John and I'm from the USA."
"Hey, me too", said Bob. Bob and John got along real well from the beginning. Bob was a successful businessman and liked to relax by coming to Bangkok a couple of times a year. Bob was a veteran farang and knew all the ins and outs of Thailand in general and Bangkok in particular. Bob invited John to eat with him at the Nana buffet the next morning. In the meantime, Bob trained John in the finer points of mongering.
"Don't pick that one," said Bob, "She asks every farang for 5,000 baht short time, even old timers like me who know better. And avoid that one named 'Poo'. The name's funny, but I didn't think it was funny when she did a runner on me when I paid her long time. The pretty short girl, Nut, seems like a gamer. I'd go for her or someone along those lines." If mongering was war, then Bob was the General Patton of mongering. He knew all the hot spots, the whens, hows, who's, etc. John hooked up (no pun intended) with Nut of course.
In a Thailand dictionary, next to the word 'GFE' would be a picture of Nut. Nut offered the perfect example of the 'Girlfriend Experience'. She was pretty, always had a big smile on her face, and was generally subservient. Most Thai women wouldn't eat anything except their spicy Thai food, but Nut was willing to try and do almost anything (a good trait more women should emulate). John was so happy with Nut that he took her on many shopping trips and actually had to persuade her to shop! This situation was too good to be true, but anything is possible with 2 weeks and an ATM machine;)
Bob had a good friend named Jack. He introduced Jack to John and they became fast buddies. Jack was another successful man from the USA and indulged his carnal passions in many countries. One that John was interested in was Brazil.
"Brazil is a very dangerous country, John", confided Jack.
"However, Brazil is also the home of some of the most beautiful and passionate women in all the world. And that is no exaggeration. When you are in Brazil, there are many street gangs and thugs who will try to rob and beat you. You must never go anywhere by yourself, especially at night. You must also always take a cab and carry small bills. If you are careful, the experience is awesome. While Thailand overall is cheaper than Brazil, I think the Brazilian women will give you a better GFE experience. In fact, that might be the problem. Some of them fall so hard for their 'gringo', that you might have a hard time later if you want to ditch her for another girl."
John thought, "Why would he want to ditch her if she is providing the perfect experience?"
Jack thought, "Variety is the spice of life kid. it may be a cliché, but it's truer the older you become. You can go to McDonald's for every meal, but why don't you? Variety, you want to try different things. That's what life is about. Experience."
Jack was experienced for sure. He had been to Thailand, Brazil, Africa, Mexico, Nantucket, Phuket, you get the point. John admired jack and wanted to emulate the traveling businessman. The only problem is John didn't make enough money to go to anyplace but Florida
John thought, "Note to self. Must study, go to further school, improve career. Primary goal-Mongering in Thailand." How about saving up for a house, driving an expensive imported car, getting married (God forbid), helping out the Orphans in Patagonia? No, John wanted to be a professional John:)
John, Nut, Jack, Jack's girlfriend, Bob, and Bob's girlfriend had a great time. They would all go out to fine restaurants and fine shopping establishments. There was a particular bar called 'Country Roads' in Bangkok near soi 19. This bar had a spectacular guitarist named 'Bangkok Bob' and an equally spectacular view. This was made apparent to all the male patrons when they had imbibed too much alcohol. When one opened the door to the male restroom, one also got to see the moon, the creek, other tourists. In other words, "Willy, meet Willy"
John made some other friends at the Nana. There was Alex, the actor who could do a perfect Rodney Dangerfield impression. There was the old man who lived at the Nana for over 20 years on his retirement money. There was that Japanese guy who always got mad when someone used the pool while he was swimming laps. Oh, and how about the drunk in the Nana bar who always cursed and raised a ruckus when his friend mentioned the camera & film company "Kodak". A motlier crew probably didn't exist, at least not in this Universe.
John was having a great time in Bangkok. However, John knew he had a friend waiting for him in Pattaya. Lek was waiting and was probably already angry. You see, when John planned his trip, he had wanted some time with some of his other friends. Lek wanted to meet John at the airport the minute he arrived in Thailand. Not being a complete newbie, John knew this arrangement would end up with Lek wearing the pants and controlling the situation. In other words, no butterflying or hanging out with the boys getting drunk and into mischief. Lek had disappointed John in the recent past, so he didn't want to put all his eggs in one bar girl basket. So John told Lek he would meet her in Pattaya, not in Bangkok. His excuse probably sounded lame, but he said it would be a nightmare to coordinate meeting her at the airport at the appointed time and place, it being the new airport and all. This wasn't a complete lie. For bar girls, being a couple of hours late was considered on time. John set a time and place to meet Lek in Pattaya and e-mailed her this information a couple weeks ahead of time. Of course, Lek didn't show up until 2-3 days past this date. John didn't worry. After all, he was the one on vacation.
When John arrived in Pattaya, he chose to stay at the Lek hotel based on recommendations from various Thailand travel web sites. It was considered a good budget hotel (about $25 a night) with a very good buffet and in a very good night spot (near soi 13). John had another reason for staying near soi 13. This spot was very close to the blow job bars of soi Post Office (soi 13 /2?). John considered himself an aficionado of blow job bars, but he hadn't tried the Soi Post Office scene yet. He had tried Lolita's in Bangkok and Pattaya many times. He considered their service very satisfactory. However, nothing compared to Star of Light in Patpong 2. SOL was widely considered the finest blow job bar in Thailand, and probably by extension the world. To John and fellow mongers, SOL was the Mecca of Bangkok, and all true mongers needed to make the pilgrimage there at least once in their short horny lives. John had three hot women doing the deed at one time. His fantasy of acting like a porn star was accomplished. John looked around Soi Post Office and tried to find some of the infamous blow job bars. He spotted Golden Girl and walked in. It was in the middle of the day, so it was probably a bad time. There were only two women working, and one was rather elderly and they were both watching a silly Thai soap opera. The younger woman was about average in looks, but when John asked her she said she only worked as a waitress. The older wench smiled and John noticed a bunch of missing teeth. “She go with you. She give good smoke”, said the younger better looking girl. John politely declined and just bought a drink to assuage the old crone. He then walked quickly to the next blow job bar up the street. This one seemed a little better, at least in quality of the girls. One just didn't seem right though. John couldn't put his finger on it, but the tall girl with very large breasts just didn't seem to fit in. However, she seemed very eager and wanted John to choose her over the three other birds. John finally relented and she guided him into a very dingy room with some adult movies playing to add to the ambiance. John liked to see his women in all their natural glory, so he asked her to strip naked. She resisted, but with a glare from John she took off her top at least.
John said, ”How about the pants, too?”
The woman suddenly seemed very nervous, and John was getting a bad vibe.
“What's the problem? You never showed your body to a farang before?”, asked John.
“I shy. I suck but no show more”, offered the weird girl. John suddenly noticed a change in her voice, and it wasn't feminine.
“Oh shit!”, thought John, ” with my crap luck I've gotten a Katoey!”
John was furious, but he knew he didn't want an angry lady-boy chasing him all over Pattaya. He handed her 1, 000 baht and said he didn't feel like getting blown anymore. The lady-boy took the money, told him he was fat and ugly, and took off. John was thankful that he had been let off easily and walked back to the Lek hotel. He raided the mini bar, and got drunk enough to temporarily forget the previous encounter.
The next day, John was feeling beat. Lek was well-known for their buffet, so John made a bee-line for it in the morning. The food was very good, with many Thai favorites mixed in with American and European dishes. The only problem was a certain fly, which refused to leave his table. John tried to shoo away this insidious pest and the fly briefly left the table. However, the insidious insect was soon back for more like a boomerang to an Aborigine. John swatted at the thing until some other farangs began to notice and started laughing. John paid the bill, ate his last egg, and left the table. If it had been a person, John would have given the insect the middle finger.
Later that day, John e-mailed Lek and found out she would be coming to see him by bus the next day. Well, might as well enjoy my freedom now, thought John. He went to a previous beer bar haunt where he used to hang out with some bar girl friends. The only friend left was the bartender. All the other girls had either quit, been replaced, moved back to Isaan, married gullible farangs, etc. John talked with Nok about better times, and proceeded to get stinking drunk. He didn't remember taking any bar girl back to the hotel, but when John awoke the next morning he saw Nok's nubile body next to his.
“You owe me 2, 000 baht", Nok said matter-of-factly.
“What for? I probably already paid you your bar fee three times over”, John said.
“I boom-boom you thlee times, I bye you expensive meal, I pay for Singha when you too drunk”, Nok replied.
John tried to contradict her account, but he couldn't remember anything. He sheepishly handed over the money and took a shower. Nok went back to her bar and John was glad to see her off. He was actually glad that Lek was late now. It wouldn't do to meet her in his current situation. He valued his manhood too much.
Lek arrived a couple of days later. John took the opportunity to meet as many freelancers, bar girls, gogo girls, skanks, hoes, massage therapists, blow job bar girls, etc as possible. He was worn out from all this exertion, but he rationalized it , ”after all, if she had showed up on time, I wouldn't have had to wear myself out in this fashion. And I could've saved some money.” John had to rethink that last thought, but he was enjoying himself immensely.
Lek finally arrived. Of course the phone rang when John was in the middle of bonking another bar girl. John slipped her another 1, 000 baht and said she needed to leave immediately.
“I go, so you teeruk doesn't cut chimpo off!”, she said laughing hysterically.
“Just go quickly. I don't have much time before she's here!”, John lamented.
Lek was at the ground floor of the hotel. She had gained some weight, but still looked pretty. However, she seemed to have a 6th sense about John and suggested he was butterflying her for almost a week.
“Me, never!”, stated John indignantly, ” I would never even think of butterflying. I'll pretend you didn't even say that.”
Lek rolled her eyes and brought her things up to John's apartment. If you can't beat them, join them and take their money;)
Lek invited her girlfriend, Rung, to dinner with her and John. Rung was a very comely woman and John couldn't keep his eyes off of her.
Lek noticed and said, ”I go to bar later. Is ok if Rung give you smoke only!” That was an offer John couldn't refuse.
Of course, you can't have your cake and eat it (unless your a multi-millionaire or greater). John was not wealthy and Lek and her girlfriends enjoyed a lavish lifestyle. Lek and her friends all went out to expensive restaurants, and ate the most expensive things at the latter restaurants. Afterwards, her friends all wanted to go to clubs, discos, ice cream parlors, etc. The tag-team sex was good, so John generally complied with these requests for funds. After all, he had the honor of being the Farang ATM. Unfortunately, some of the other requests seemed rather onerous. It seemed that every time Lek and her friends were in a shop or store, they each had to buy clothes, shoes, jewelry, etc. Having an entourage was ego boosting but was a baht buster. Even a two week millionaire (in Thai eyes) had limits! John tried to explain this to Lek, but she was afraid of losing face in front of her friends. A couple of nasty arguments naturally ensued.
John thought, ”I should have just done what Bob did- have a series of girlfriends in succession, and when one wore out her welcome, move on to the next in the queue.” Unfortunately, John was too used to being p*ssy whipped at home. He let the girls have their way while he secretly worried about running out of money before the end of his two week vacation.
A phone call woke John from his dire thoughts.
“Hey John, it's Bob! How's everything going?”, said Bob enthusiastically.
“Well, I'm still alive and don't have aids yet”, John replied sardonically.
“Mate, you don't sound like your having a very good time", Bob announced seriously.
“I'm OK, but Lek and her friends are spending baht faster than I can withdraw it from the ATM, ” John said.
“You know what you need to do, John. You need to leave those gold diggers and come back to Bangkok with me and my friends. Jack's got a new girlfriend and Nut is one of the best girls I've met here!”, Bob said.
“Your probably right, Bob", John replied, ”I just don't know if I can leave Lek just like that. It doesn't seem right.”
“You p*ssy whipped bastard! Remember rule number 1! Don't ever fall in love with a bar girl (or any girl for that matter). Do you think she would have any qualms about leaving you when you run out of money? Of course not! When they start getting needy and wanting you to spend money on everything for them and their girlfriends, it's time to move on! This vacation is for you buddy, not her! She should be a better host than to let her friends take advantage of you like that.”
John shook his head, but even he had to admit that he felt used. He told Bob that he would try to talk to Lek about the problem that same night.
Bob said, ”See you in Nana, John. I know you'll do the right thing and come up and party with me, Jack and Nut. Note to self: it is your vacation. If you let someone else have all the fun, then you are a chump! Well, have a good one, buddy and I better see you at the Nana buffet in a couple of days or else;)”
John tried to talk to Lek about the money problems later that night. She got upset and didn't want to discuss it. She said she had already invited a bunch of her friends out that night, and to back out at this time would make her look like 'sticky shit', in other words 'cheap'. John saw he wasn't getting anywhere, so he didn't say anything more. The guests arrived about an hour later. Lek had invited almost 10 guests. A particularly obnoxious Thai girl named Pom suggested they all go to Bruno's (very expensive French restaurant). John tried to dissuade them of this choice, and finally got them to settle on Vientiane near the pier. Lek and her friends ate like a starving Ethiopian village. They ordered Lobsters and shrimp, steaks and pork, Thai delicacies, and beer, wine, liquor (black label Johnny Walker ruled the night). 10,000 baht later, John made a decision. He told Lek on the way back to the hotel after the guests had left.
“Lek, I am going to Bangkok tonight”, said John in a matter-of-fact voice.
“OK you go”, Lek replied smugly.
“You don't mind?”, asked John.
“You want go. GO. I know you butterfly", said Lek.
“That's all I needed to hear.” said John. He started packing his bags that same night. He got a partial refund from the hotel and headed towards his cab. As John was sitting in the cab, Lek held her hand out and asked for a handout. John grudgingly gave her 2,000 baht and told the cabbie to 'put his foot on it' for Bangkok.
John enjoyed most of his return to Bangkok. Unfortunately, there didn't seem to be a bathroom from Pattaya to Bangkok. When John arrived at the Nana hotel, he must have peed for an hour.
The next day, John went to Annie's Massage and got the full 2 hour treatment. Later that day, he went out with Bob and Jack to the Country Roads bar and got happily drunk while listening to a Thai guitarist play and sing American Rock music. John staggered back to his hotel and slept for a good 10 hours. When he awoke, he ate at the Nana buffet and got another great massage from Annie's. John convinced Bob to get one as well. On the way back from the massage parlor, his cell phone rang. It was Lek.
“How you doing John”, Lek asked cryptically.
“Oh, pretty good. How about you.” John replied stoically.
“You come back Pattaya. You left shirt. I clean. I give back you.” Lek said.
“That's OK. You can have it", John answered.
“I don't want shirt. I want you!”, Lek said savagely.
“I'm sorry darling, but I'm happy here. You're welcome to come to Bangkok if you want, but
I am not spending my hard-earned baht to go all the way back to Pattaya", John said.
“If you love me, you come back to Pattaya and be with me”, Lek said.
“I like you, but I am staying here and that is final", John said with certitude.
Lek hung up and an uneasy silence began. John knew he had done the right thing in ditching Lek, but he felt a tightness in his throat and a hardness in his heart. He was finally listening to his wiser but more wary inner self. But like an old poet once said, with greater knowledge doesn't necessarily come greater joy. Bob seemed to sense John's mood and walked over to him.
“You did the right thing, mate. Let's go out to Nana Plaza and drink some Heineken and Singha. Then let's shag some of those hotties from Rainbow 4 a gogo!”, Bob said cheerfully.
John smiled and nodded his head. The rest of his trip went well because he had just one goal- to have fun and enjoy himself.
Note: I wrote this true story (99% true with name, detail changes, etc) because this was my 3rd trip to Thailand and it was a cathartic experience to tell others what I experienced. I know I am not a great writer, but I decided to write 3rd person for a different effect. You might not agree with me, but you might learn from my failures and insights. I know I have learned many things from the many great submissions to the Stickman site. Thank you all, and I hope someday I may be able to go back to that ironic paradise called The Land of Smiles and enjoy it's sun, fun, food, and women. And again, not necessarily in that order;)