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Phuket Paradise Again



Black Pagoda Patpong Bangkok


Here I’m again on Phuket Island.

Today is November 11. This morning the sky is cloudy, the temperature doesn’t overstep a reasonable 25°C and there is a small breeze that rustles the fan shaped leaves of the nearby coconut palms.

It is just the beginning of the high season and the mood is far more laid-back than in March. The Thai people working there know that they will make their money in the following months. Their good nature has not been yet swept away by the annual tsunami of demanding tourists.

Resting on the poolside balcony of my favorite hotel, I’m jotting down some minutes in my notebook while T** is slumped in the patio chair next to me drying her very long jet black hair and checking for split ends. The brown skin of her legs and arms makes a striking contrast with the blinding white of the towel that she has wrapped around her. We are both grinning, me because I’m happy in her company, her, well, maybe because she is Thai and maybe also because she likes repeat business with me. “Good for me”, she said when I informed her that I may stay one week.

Oh yeah, she is the same darling from the Udon Thani province and we have resumed our improbable and implicit relationship where we let it a few months earlier.

Many well intentioned people advised me not to see her again and not to fall in love with her. From my previous writings many have predicted that I will “bite the dust”. But I’m the stubborn pig-headed type, I often follow my intuitions, sometimes against all logic.

In March I spent four wonderful days with her. I formed myself on opinion about her, I had a wonderful picture of her in my mind. Now I’m confronting this image with what I see… and I find her unchanged, gracious, sexy, easygoing, smart, funny…

You see, T** is not waiting for Mr Right in her bar, she likes her independent and entrepreneurial life. She has projects for the future, opening a massage center or a shop with her savings. But she is not in a hurry, because each time she consulted a fortune teller the prediction has been quite the same: she will have to wait until her fortieth birthday to have everything a woman wants: house, husband, children… And at 26 she is a believer that knows better than trying to force fate. “Good for me”.

Trying to describe her won’t make any justice and I guess that 80% of the Thai girls of the same age range from Isaan could match my description: short, bronze skin, high cheekbones, jet black hair and almond eyes.

What strikes me is the symmetry and the balance of her body: I can’t guess how tall she is from a distance, and when she is wearing high heel slip-on shoes her legs look interminable. She has a cute face that she knows how to make look even cuter only by arranging her hairstyle and like many Thai women she wears these big earrings so nicely. Her body is well toned from not eating or drinking too much and from doing exercise at the local gym or in her room whenever she can some, following a TV program with a bottle of water in each hand.

She dresses rather conservatively and you could mistake her as a tourist. She is the kind of girl that you can’t French-kiss or grope in public. “We are not in room” she would say to calm you down while at the same time reminding you what awaits you.

When she laughs her eyes narrow even more in that mischievous and funny way that is so infectious that you can’t help but smile too. I can see that her body is not perfect… But I like her for everything that makes her stand out, and when you acknowledge and accept these so-called imperfections I’m conscious that love is not far away.

What’s love got to do with it?

One may think that love is a small land with definite borders that can be mapped with a heart shape, where everything that is not inland is forbidden land. Some believe that the legitimate love can’t coexist with the outlaw, that it must be deserved… But others may believe that the heart of a man is like a forest where small trees live and grow harmoniously in the shadow of the bigger one…

Am I lovestruck?

Right now..? Definitely yes! I chose a girl that suits my needs and my taste and I have the feeling that if such a big disaster happened that I would be forced to stay here permanently she could be my partner in life.

You see what’s happening during these Thailand holidays can be compared to watching a movie. Upon arrival at the airport I switched on stand-by mode my critical sense. The show can start, and for the duration of the film I will allow myself to get caught into the plot including falling in love… But as the immigration officer thuds a stamp on my passport, the word “END” appears in dazzling white letters on a pitch black screen and my normal life resumes.

OK, during the following days, I will replay in my mind the best sequences. I could even join a fan club so that the movie goes on a little bit more, or write about it to share my experience, but the film is nevertheless over.

The hotel where I’m staying is not a luxurious one, but for 1800 THB per night you get a clean and tidy 40 m2 room, with a large bed, A/C, ceiling fan and a brand new flat screen TV with many music channels on which you can enjoy Luk Thung and Morlam programs with your teerak. There is nothing better to cheer her up and I enjoy listening and watching her singing in play-back and doing the hands dance, with time to time a break where she explains to me very seriously what is the song about: “She broken heart. Him has many lady. Humm… How many lady you have?” “This one speak South, not same Isaan…”

This hotel is a two storey building that makes a U shape around a pool and a terrace shadowed by palm trees from where time to time a green snake falls down on your deckchair. A bonus, free of charge! No need to go to the zoo! The screaming and the stampede of the customers is a show in itself, and I’m not talking about the slaughter of the poor harmless reptile by a scared maintenance guy with a 5 m long wooden pole.

At the reception desk the girls are very informative and they can answer nearly any inquiry. That’s where I learnt that if I’m not dying from that green snake bite then it means it is definitely not poisonous!

1800 THB is expensive for Thailand, but in Farangsetland I would pay 3 times this rate for the same kind of facilities. Who is going to complain? Not me!

I spent last night in Patong, the most touristic place of Phuket Island.

You know this place where you can have a yummy fresh fish for dinner in a beach restaurant. The fine, lukewarm sand under your naked feet beats any carpet. The soft breeze from the sea that cools down your back beats any A/C. The whooshing ebb and flow beats any background music. The occasional soundless lightning far away over the wooded hills beats any background light. The graceful and smiling waitress in sarong that seems to glide a few inches above the ground beats any snotty French waiter.

A place where you can just enjoy eating for what it should be: feeding the body while satisfying the taste, and Thai people have great recipes to satisfy both. Of course I’m surrounded by many other loud tourists, but luckily for me, after one Gin + tonic I’m floating in my own bubble and I’m so relaxed, sharing the secrets of my life with my friends that the other diners are just static noise. Anyway I don’t understand a single word said at the other tables, and these people are allowed to be happy too, even in their loud way.

Patong, described in some clever tourist guide as “overcrowded, oversexed…” Well, the people that wrote that don’t spend long weeks working in rural China where you can have all the quiet and picturesque upcountry scenery for all your life.

After diner I went to Soi Bangla. There you can hit the bars and drink, sing, laugh, play games with lovely young women, or watch sexy shows in a gogo, up to you. They are so many girls, of all shapes, sizes, ages, and skin colors that it is a sure thing one will catch your eyes.

These girls beat any shrink. They have the power to make you feel number one in this world. I don’t know how they do it, maybe mind reading, but they have a knack of saying what you want to hear at the right moment.

OK, I admit I’m a bit excessive on this point and that I may be influenced by something I read recently. Sometimes they can make very harsh comments about your body, “oh you have baby” while patting your potbelly, or about your behavior. But as your face is darkening they will react at light speed, beam a “just joking” and start such a contagious laugh that you will without fail forgive them. They also know when to be silent and listen to your ramblings. Even when they don’t have a damn clue about what you are saying, they reward your garrulousness with a gentle smile… It is so good to have comprehensive and supportive people around you, isn’t it?

While I was threading my way through the touts, overweight tourists, freelancers and katoeys that swarmed in soi Bangla, I was still wondering if I should seek T** or not. Of course I didn’t tell her I was coming, surprise always gives an advantage, and this afternoon I have had a wonderful oil massage with a girl that would be very happy to spend the night with me.

So I headed to Margarita, an open air bar just in the corner of the soi, in front of Hard Rock A Gogo.

The only girls you will find there are the waitresses, and they are not especially chosen for their beauty, and the teerak or farang women that are coming with their partner. There they have a small dance floor in front of a live band that knows all the standards and you can even write your favorite song on a chit if you want them to play it.

Customers are nice to each other, arrangements can be made with the chairs and the tables without any fuss, and it is not exceptional that glasses are clinked over close tables while “À ta santé” is answered by “kan bei”. It seemed to me the perfect place to digest quietly while skimming through the signed copy of Frank’s Visakay latest book, “Jasmine Fever”, and sipping an other Gin + tonic.

As I feel the warming presence of T** just by my side, my recollection of last night is stopped and I wonder if there is other countries where you can be laid two times in a time span of only a few hours by two different women that will behave like horny girlfriends?

Everything would be perfect if my brother hadn’t been forced to stay in Hong Kong with a raging fever. If his state worsens I may have to stop my holiday and return home.

My teerak is now happy with her hair, she’s silently getting up from the chair and passes in front of me slightly swinging her hips. She stops at the room doorstep, glances at me to make sure I’m looking and starts to untie her towel. You will understand that I have to stop this journal entry right now. I just wonder how it will develop with her in the next days.

Stickman's thoughts:

How will they develop indeed.