Readers' Submissions

Waiting for Godot




I live in Phuket and have been here for ten years and by now I am tired of going to the bars, especially the ones here as we don't have the shows that they do in Bangkok or the quality either nor the quantity of Pattaya and it's always the same old thing, "What your name, You come from where, How long you stay here?"and then the inevitable, "You buy me drink? Most of the time I simply put my hand to my throat and gasp "Can not speak."

Any more conversation on the part of the girl is answered by my nodding my head no with my hand to my throat.

The other night when the bartender/girl asked me, as she pointed to the girl that had just sat down next to me and had started talking to me, "You buy drink?"

I said to her, "Why do you want to know?" Talk about being thrown off stride — the bargirl had no idea what to say — so after a minute of looking dumfounded, which did not require much change in facial expression or even thought no doubt, she said the same thing over again, "You buy drink?" Now the girl had some English so I inquired in clear English, slowly spoken, "You write book? You want to know? – why you want to know?"

You have to try this sometime as the girls are totally baffled by an odd question and it's fun to see how they react.

The bartender walked away in a huff but came back a few minutes later with a new ploy.

"When you buy drink?" A stern look on her face said don't fool with me.

"Christmas time," I said. "You know Christmas?" I smiled.

A stern shake of her head told me no.

"Santa Claus comes at Christmas, buy drink for girl. I no Santa Claus," I said pointing to myself and shaking my head no vigorously.

At that moment I thought that we sounded more like Bud and Lou than Vladimir and Estragon.

You know the experience you have of your girlfriend throwing a screaming fit – of going nuts?

The Thai girls, their faces start to turn dark like a rugged landscape just before a storm, they start to shake slightly and you can almost see the eruption of volcanic debris and verbal abuse building up in side of them, about to spurt out of their mouths covering you with hot ash and fire.

Well, I saw the bartender go dead quiet, staring at me with venom in her eyes, gripping the side of the bar.

I threw a quick one-forty baht on the bar and jumped off the stool and ran out the door. Speaking of which, one-forty baht for a drink at an outdoor thatched roof beer bar here in Rawai is a bit steep, don't you think? <It's fxxxing outrageousStick>

I do on occasion buy a drink for a girl and if we have a drink each, that's eight bucks.

Two rounds of drinks run to sixteen dollars and having had a few who knows where it will stop.

Now I know the prices of fuel have gone up but one-forty baht for a small whisky and soda in some dump in Rawai on a quiet rainy night is a bit high.

Okay, Okay. Why am I complaining you say.

If you don't like it just stay home.

Why bother to go out if your'e going to behave like this.

Well, I am doing just what everyone else does – waiting for Godot, although many of them have not realized that the person they are waiting for will never show up either.

I am not waiting for the GFE – the girlfriend experience.

No, that's for one-day-dreamers, small thinkers and short-timers.

I am waiting for my future wife to walk by, a stunning looker who sees me and stops dead in her tracks and comes over to say hello, none of that hansum man stuff, this is the real deal and she will be all mine, love and cherish me long time.

Okay, so she might not be walking by the bar, she may actually be behind the bar or even behind a chrome pole, but no matter, you get the idea.

You see all those guys that are sitting on stools lined up at the railings of the outdoor bars surrounding the entrance to Nana Plaza and across the street at Nana Hotel. Are they just passing the time of day, watching the traffic go by, meeting a friend, tired of television – no, not on your life.

They may not admit it and a few may not even realize it but they are waiting for the big one to come along – the one that got away. The girl that will change their lives from dull to dreamy may walk by at any moment, any second really. She will probably not be the girl behind the perfume counter in Central department store; most likely she will be in the entertainment industry or on the fringe of it. But that for me is fine and I don't want to get married anyway, go for the whole package, family-in-laws up country, build me a house, my mother is sick, have baby now. No, that's not for me. She'll have to fit neatly into the slot that I have built in my imagination – just as you have. Yes, you out there. Now go back to that bar and have another drink with the rest of them, those men destined to spend their days sitting on the bench, on the sidelines of life and if something does come along it will most likely be a freight train that will run over and destroy you before you even know what happened. And I'll go out to another bar and sit on the stool and wait…and wait…and wait.

Stickman's thoughts:

Given the shenanigans some of the girls pull these days it's no wonder guys don't want to buy them a drink. Some Bangkok bars charge up to 180 baht for a lady drink and there is every chance she will leave in no time….so why bother unless you are genuinely keen on her?