I’ll Be Back…Or Will I?
I’ve been to Thailand twice in the last 6 months for what was supposed to be 21 and 17 days but was cut down to 14 and 11 for reasons I’ll let you in on later in this piece. A little about me: I've been living the expat life in South Korea for just over four years and have had a little experience with the p4p scene over here. Friends of mine had visited / lived in Thailand and told me of the scene there so I felt before my first trip that I was pretty much “prepared” for what was to come. I couldn’t have been further from the truth.
My first trip I decided would be spent in Pattaya. What the hell, right? May as well jump in the deep end and sink or swim. Arriving there in the low season and rolling down the window of my cab as the driver went to a 7 Eleven to ask for directions to my hotel, being hit with the “unique” odour of the place and instantly getting eye contact / smiles / waves from a number of girls was exactly as I had envisioned my entrance to Pattaya to be…well minus the dodgy smell.
The recollection of my first week there can be described as hazy at best. It’s pretty much an amalgam of bars, girls, booze, drugs and crazy sexual encounters. I was flying high, I’d found what I thought was my Shangrila, my little piece of nirvana, a place I could just relax, be carefree, bust out from the regimented life I lead in Korea. All the farangs I met were on the same vibe as me, no need for macho posturing, violence, the usual one upmanship that occurs when random bunches of drunk young guys get together trying to sort out who is the alpha male. We were all alpha males, everyone capable of finding beautiful, lithe, sensual, kinky girls who know how to treat you like a man, in as quick a time as ordering a drink.
It’s fair to say in the first half of my time in Pattaya I lived the life of your typical two week millionaire sex tourist. Now if I had booked my tickets for two weeks instead of three then all would be well and good, but alas, I was faced with the four words all sex tourists dread “No money, no honey”. Never a truer word spoken. I had done a bit of research on Thailand and Pattaya in particular and figured that 4000 US dollars should be more than enough for a three week stay. Friends who have never had the inclination to dabble in p4p told me they could live for three months, let alone three weeks, in Thailand with four grand to spend. Others who were well versed in the seedier side of Thai tourism assured me that I’d be fine with the money I was planning on bringing.
How they could have said that knowing me and my sporadic compulsive / addictive personality is beyond me. If I had doubled my budget I would have been fine but as it was money got really tight after about 12 days and it took a bit of an effort on my part just to remain financially solvent until I could change my flight date to an earlier day back to Korea.
So I left Thailand early, hating myself for the poor financial decisions I had made that led me to end up in that situation, but also loving the way girls reacted when, in the heart of the off season, a youngish, in shape, carefree guy with money to burn, walks into a gogo bar and starts buying lady drinks ten at a time. What the hell! They’re only 100 baht each, drink up girls. Being surrounded by scantily clad honeys all vying for your attention whilst older (wiser?) more thrifty farangs look on drinking the 50 baht draft specials is a part of the experience that drags you in, sinks in its claws and has you begging / yearning / craving more.
So forward five months and I’m due to make my return to Pattaya, this time being wiser and no longer a newbie. I’m bound to have learnt from my mistakes and approach things differently. My downfall starts pretty much from the get go. I flew into Bangkok at 1:40 AM and was in Pattaya by 4. After checking into my hotel on Soi BJ, the seediest, dodgiest little soi in Pattaya but 2 minutes walk from all the major Walking Street hotspots, I went to an infamous 24 hour bar and saw the same guys I was drinking with on my first trip, sitting in the same place, up to the same shenanigans. Copious amounts of Thai whiskey later and a bucket for us to projectile vomit into, we were all well and truly slaughtered. (What can I say? I’m from New Zealand, vomit buckets at parties are just a part of the décor within certain segments of the population).
Thus began another 10 day sex / drug / binge drinking slide into debauchery. There’s nothing quite like drinking champagne with show girls in gogo bars whilst flying high on certain substances to let you know you are alive. Dancing with freelance working girls in clubs and having them almost begging you to leave with them sure takes a lot of beating. All was good with the world again. I was back in my groove, a permanent smile etched across my face all the trials and tribulations of living in Korea now a distant memory. Good times of the kind I were having don’t come cheap though, spending 10,000 baht, sometimes as much as 15,000 a night to maintain the kind of high I longed for was necessary. I didn’t care, and once again, having lived the high life, being a pretender and not a contender, I blew the arse end out of my budget and was forced to reschedule my flight dates. I can only put this down to fiscal retardness, sleep deprivation, substance abuse and the fact that I had been on the wagon for about two months prior to my departure. I came, I saw, I partied like a rock star for 10 days or so, I went home early and with a morose sense of being somehow unfulfilled.
I’m dragging this out a bit so I’ll call it quits here and get to work on part two later.
Interesting story. It has to be said that you can have A LOT of fun in Pattaya on much less money. 10 – 15K a night is not necessary although we all do like to party differently.