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Faces of Bangkok – Disparities

  • Written by Akulka
  • April 14th, 2008
  • 7 min read



Again we wake at 7am as Nit also has to work on Saturdays. Two nights with only about three hours or less of sleep don’t work for me. I have no idea how Nit can even manage to work after having had so little sleep, especially as she insists she didn’t sleep yesterday evening before coming to see me at the hotel.

There is some drama too.

“Simon I love you so very much.”

Nit insists she wants to move to New Zealand to be with me forever. She says she will clean for me and do anything I ask of her.

“Nit, you have just met me and don’t know anything about me. Maybe you like me, but you certainly don’t love me!”

It’s a futile argument. I know she’s mostly putting on a show, yet it still gives me an immense headache. Right there and then I decide not to see her again. It was her who picked me up, French kissed and groped me in front of an audience of hundreds, and enthusiastically jumped me in my hotel room, but I feel this is going too far now. I’m not a hardened bastard that can easily disregard a pretty girl’s pleads and tears even if I probably should have learned that at least to some extent by now. It gives me a really bad hangover, and I know it’s not likely to get any better over time.

I comfort her by giving her hugs and whispering soft words, but not promising anything. After a short while she calms down and starts smiling again.

She takes a quick shower and then we are off to her work place again. We get there just in time at around 8:30am. This time I don’t accept her offer to have breakfast in the shop again and make it straight back to the hotel. There I discover another declaration of love scribbled down in Thai script on some toilet tissue in the bathroom. “Nit ruk Simon” it reads. Very succinct.

I try falling asleep again to add a few more hours to last night’s sleep tally but for some reason I simply don’t manage.

Throughout the day I don’t receive any messages from Nit. I’m relieved. As promised I write a text to Wipa however, suggesting to meet up for lunch and a movie the following day. She happily agrees.

This evening my expat friend takes me to Soi Cowboy to meet up with two other Bangkok based guys, one of whom I had met during an earlier visit already. I have only once been to Cowboy before, walking through the alley alone on a lonely Friday night without company to see what it was all about. I remember not having been particularly impressed or intrigued back then, and neither am I today.

The first time I went to one of Bangkok’s main farang nightlife areas was only about a year ago. The same expat friend took me to Nana. That was a huge novelty for me. Occasionally reading about it and actually witnessing the scene are a very different kettle of fish obviously. I enjoyed the evening. It was a fun and to some extent a learning experience for me. Some of the girls were pretty. I liked the show at Angelwitchs. Did I feel a strong desire to return? Not really.

This evening at Cowboy I don’t feel much different, only that the novelty has already worn off significantly. Isn’t that what people say usually happens after months or even years of frequenting these bars? It seems like it hasn’t taken quite as long for me. In one way or the other it’s already gotten old.

I don’t like generalizations even though occasionally I obviously fall victim to them. I find it very hard sometimes not to judge someone by his appearance, especially when they obviously make precious little effort to actually look after themselves at least to some basic degree and consequently stick out like a sore thumb.

With regard to that, what is it about all those mongers complaining about scruffy backpackers at Khao San Road when such a large share of the guys I saw hanging out at Nana and Cowboy or even walking down lower Sukumvit during daylight hours look just as or even more raggle-taggle than them, even if in somewhat different ways? In any case, these days I more often than not give both the area around Khao San Road as well as lower Sukumvit a wide berth. There is just nothing much for me there that I’m interested in. That is if I’m not the particular mood for people watching. Admittedly I can think of few places more worthwhile for doing that in Bangkok than those two.

I can’t help laughing out loud as one of the guys I’m sharing the table with points at a chubby, hideously dressed guy with unkempt Hitlerjugend hairstyle in his early twenties and comments: “He looks like he belongs in a pie!” I couldn’t agree more.

In many ways the Thais really are an admirably tolerant and polite people. I can’t think of many other places I have been to, and I have been fortunate enough to have been to many, where society would more or less indifferently – if only in a superficial manner – tolerate this much.

We hop from one bar to the next, order a drink in each one of them, and take in the sights. I share my story with the guys about how I met Nit. They listen attentively and then offer their opinion. She was freelancing they say. That’s also the reason why she hasn’t contacted me anymore today, as I never gave her any money. And indeed she didn’t send me a message throughout the entire day. Food for thought.

At closing time at 1am we part company and go separate ways. Looking forward to getting a good night’s sleep I jump into a taxi and instruct the driver to take me back to my hotel. My phone rings. It’s Nit calling.

“Where are you?” she asks. Her voice sounds sleepy.

“I’m in a taxi back to Rama IV. Where are you? Are you sleeping already?”

“Yes. At home. Sleeping. Can I come to see you?”

“Sorry, it’s too late already. I’m tired. I don’t think it is a good idea for you to come over still.”

“Please! I want! No problem! I am there in thirty minutes okay?”

“Nit! No! I think….”

The line goes dead. Has she hung up on me? I try calling her back. A friendly voice tells me that the number cannot be reached right now. Oh shit.

And indeed thirty minutes later she knocks on my hotel room door. I let her in. She smiles brightly and presents me with a small gift basket from her bakery shop. I’m flabbergasted and don’t know what to say. I can hardly scold her anymore now for literally invading on me in the middle of the night. She has disarmed me already.

Even before we go to bed she says how she loves me and asks if I love her too. I tell her not to be silly. I cannot love anyone after being together for two days only. I tell her that I very much appreciate the present and that I like her a lot. That’s not good enough for her obviously. I am thinking it was a mistake to have her over for yet another night already. This girl has already cried this morning, and no doubt tomorrow it will be even more difficult to depart her.

Lying in bed together I take her into my arms but don’t initiate anything more physical. I’m quite content with holding her like that and falling asleep. She has different ideas. I surrender.


To be continued.

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