Nana Car Park: A Lot of Sex – The Conclusion
I encountered Da during a late-night stroll along Sukhumvit Road in January, 2006. What follows is the conclusion to my adventures with her. As we made ready to leave the fold-up eatery, a guy I'd been talking with earlier gave me the thumbs up and smiled knowingly. He was part of a group of five that hailed from the coal fields of West Virginia. I could tell they had worked damn tough jobs – I noticed an assortment of visible scars on their faces and forearms, several had missing finger tips, and the oldest wheezed with what was probably black lung. They'd been saving a long time for their vacation in pussy paradise and the women had astounded them beyond their wildest expectations. But they were very disappointed with another aspect of the Bangkok scene. Under the new and stricter rules for bars in Thailand, they couldn't be served alcohol because they were miners.
Da and I stepped to the curb and quickly caught a cab that took us to the U-turn at Soi 20 and then back tracked to Soi 18. She was a little apprehensive as I kept motioning the driver "forward, forward!" to the end of the soi, but was reassured by the appearance of the lobby of the Town Lodge. She was enthralled by the jacuzzi suite and literally clapped her hands at the size of the tub.
The disadvantage of a big jacuzzi is the time it takes to fill it, so as the water ran, Da and I returned to the room's sitting area for a chat. She asked if she could have something to drink from the mini-bar and I told her to take her pick. She grabbed a Heineken, but I figured I'd had enough beer and chose a Diet Coke. We sat on the sofa and sipped our drinks as the water ran full-blast into the jacuzzi.
In response to my questions, Da said she'd been doing "many things" since our first brief and non-sexual encounter. She mainly supported herself through buying and then re-selling various sorts of merchandise, usually in cooperation with her brother. Sometimes she helped out in various small shops owned by family members or friends. It was only when she – or more accurately stated, her family – needed extra money that she resorted to the Sukhumvit stroll. She didn't express it in exactly those words, but that's the broad outline I drew from her answers.
Her English was better than many TGs and that was, as I suspected, attributable to a long-term live-in relationship with a native English speaker. She'd been very happy during the year she'd spent with him. They'd had a nice apartment, he'd paid a generous amount of support to her family each month and had generally taken good care of her. Life had been sweet. But when he met a lady he liked better, he'd kicked her out almost overnight. That had dealt a serious blow to her personal finances, as she'd been passing on virtually all the sponsorship money to her family and had saved nothing for herself. If she were to continue sending money back home every month, she'd have to start selling pussy again as well as flogging clothes and kitchen gadgets. It was at that point in time and space that I'd met up with her again.
The jacuzzi had filled nicely and the water was at a good temperature, so we showered quickly and hopped into the tub to relax. The jacuzzi jets shot out water at fairly high pressure, so the massage effect was noticeable. She'd finished her first beer before we got into the tub, but took a second Heineken to drink while we soaked. Maybe she really liked beer, but I suspected it may have had more to do with needing at least a mild alcohol buzz before having sex with a farang who was more than twice her age. I exited the jacuzzi first, sponged off in the shower, then flopped down on the bed. I reached for a bottle of after shave lotion on the headboard and splashed some on because TGs are always sensitive to smell.
Da joined me a few minutes later after what I assumed was the customary feminine wash up. The sex was certainly good, but nothing special – an adequate, if uninspired, version of the free-lancer canon. We finished; she, then I, showered again and returned to bed.
"You want more? " Da asked in a rather drowsy voice.
"No thank you, sweetheart," I told her. "You go to sleep." As Sir Lancelot might have said, once a night is enough.
She kissed me and rolled over, still holding my hand. I waited a few minutes for her to settle down, then disentangled myself and moved to the desk on which I had set up my laptop. After my long evening nap, I wasn't really tired, at least not enough to sleep again. It was then about 4.00 a.m. and I checked and answered email and surfed the Web until about 6.00 a.m, when Da awoke and stumbled sleepily into the toilet.
When she came out, she complained her stomach hurt – bad. From what I could gather, it was some form of acid indigestion. I gave her the only remedy I had at hand – old-fashioned Alka-Seltzer, the effervescent tablets you drop in half a glass of water. She didn't much like the taste – "Too salty!" – or the sensation in her mouth, but drank it down. In a few minutes, she announced "Your medicine good," and was ready to go back to bed. I was feeling tired myself at that point lf and crawled into bed as well.
As I waited to fall asleep, I felt hollow inside. Empty. Drained, but not in a good way. I couldn't really put my finger on what was wrong, but I figured I wouldn't be seeing Da again. Nothing had gone amiss, – it just seemed meaningless. Perhaps I'd become jaded after too many years of mongering. Maybe it was only that I "think too mut" but it was with those gloomy ideas that I drifted into sleep.
The next few hours would prove me wrong. I would see Da for several more days and it would be one of the more interesting and enlightening experiences I've had in Thailand.
Life and Death at Bumrungrad
I awoke a few hours later to Da poking me in the ribs and crying in pain. Her stomach hurt very badly, she said. She took my hand and placed it just under her breast bone, where the esophagus connects with the mouth of the stomach. I don't know if it was the stomach or the esophagus, but something inside her was spasming and I could feel it clearly. It scared the hell out of me. I didn't know whether the spasms were serious or not, but they definitely weren't right.
Of course I was worried about her but also about myself. If worst came to worst, I didn't at all fancy explaining to the BiB why there was a dead TG in my hotel room. In just a few minutes the stomach condition – whatever it was – had gotten worse for her and she was now howling in pain. I pulled on some clothes, stepped out in the hall and asked one of the maids I saw to stay with Da while I went down to the reception. I asked the desk clerk if she could summon a doctor because my girlfriend (what else was I going to call her?) was very sick. That wasn't possible, the clerk said.
"What we do instead?" I asked.
"OK. You call ambulance."
"No have ambulance."
I didn't know if she meant there really wasn't a public ambulance service in BKK or simply that she didn't know the number to call. But this was Thailand, no point in freaking out over an unexpected reply.
"What we do instead?'' I asked once again, as calmly as I could. "She bad sick."
"Taxi," was the answer.
So the hotel tuk-tuk driver was sent in pursuit of a cab and I went back up to the room to see what was happening with Da. She was screaming and her back was arched – I was afraid she was going into convulsions. The maids – several more had tuned up – were doing there best to comfort her.
Da was in no shape to walk down a flight of stairs, even a short one. I sent one of maids to wait for the return of tuk-tuk driver. He'd have to help me carry her to the taxi. I grabbed my passport, money, credit cards and my U.S. insurance card from the in-room safe. Da was crying from the pain and she was dressed only in a bathrobe. I intended to put her clothes in a bag and take them with us to the hospital, but at that point, the tuk-tuk driver stepped into the room. He picked her up by himself and carried her to the cab. Not wanting to lose any time, I didn't bother about her clothes. She'd be making the trip to – and hopefully back from – the hospital clad only in a bathrobe.
I expected the cab driver to put up a fuss about transporting an obviously sick girl or at least demand extra pay for it. But he didn't say anything at all, just tried to drive to as fast as he could to Bumrumgrad on Soi 3. I'd have thought there would have been a closer hospital to Soi 18 but for whatever reason, the staff at the hotel and Da had decided Bumrungrad was best. It took the driver about 15 minutes to traverse the distance, part of the ride going down in best Hollywood style. He had one hand on the horn and his foot pressing hard on the gas pedal most of the time, even driving against the traffic on a one-way soi for half a block to get a less crowded street.
As soon as we pulled into the emergency area of Bumrungrad, two male practical nurses lifted Da over to a transport cart and had rushed her inside before I had even gotten out of the cab. I paid the driver 100 baht, he thanked me and I think he wished me luck in Thai. Inside the emergency room, Da was already being examined in a curtained off cubicle. A nurse asked me a few questions and I told her I would assume financial responsibility for the treatment. She seemed satisfied and there were no more formalities for the moment. It sure as hell wouldn't have gone that fast at any hospital in the U.S.
The nurse directed me to a waiting area just off the emergency room. The odd thing was that I could see everything that was happening in the emergency room. Not, of course, in the curtained examination bays, but I had a clear view of the patients as they came in and it was sometimes very grim. A few minutes after I sat down, a young Asian man and woman were brought in, horribly mangled in what must have been a motorcycle accident. The man was quickly examined in cubicle and stripped of his clothes, then rushed out of the emergency room, presumably to surgery. The young woman left about 30 minutes later, covered by a white sheet. An elderly, lifeless-looking Middle Eastern man in a wheelchair was brought by four family members. He also left the examination bay under a white sheet, probably dead on arrival. His family began wailing their grief, but the Thai staff wouldn't allow them to accompany the body to the hospital's morgue. They were led, still wailing, to somewhere else.
This was too much real life for me and a sure-fire way to shatter any semblance of vacation spirit I still retained. I asked a nurse if there was somewhere else I could sit. She directed me to the cashier's area. I guess she didn't want me to get too far away before I'd paid. I also asked her if she knew what was wrong with Da.
"Indigestion," she answered.
"Is it bad?"
"Will she need to stay in the hospital?"
"How much longer long will it take?"
"Not long," she said with a shrug of her shoulders.
I sat for the next hour facing the two rather severe young men behind the cashier's counter. They didn't appear interested in chit-chat. I did have a conversation with another farang who was settling his bill for treatment of a sprained ankle. He was a professor of Judaic studies from a U.S. university who'd been doing a long-term research project in China. Apparently there had been several very active Jewish communities in China during the Middle Ages, especially in the city of Kaifeng. They proved very adaptable, especially regarding kosher dietary restrictions. While they continued to regard pork as forbidden, they accepted dog meat – a staple in that part of China. Over the centuries they assimilated into the local population and lost all knowledge of the Jewish religion, but still retained some customs and preferences from the old days, the professor said. Among the present-day offspring of the Jews of Kaifeng, a favorite breakfast dish is cream cheese on beagles.
Suddenly Da emerged into the cashier's area, seated in a wheel chair pushed by a nurse's assistant. She was smiling, happy to be out of pain. I was happy too that whatever it had been was apparently over. I gave her a kiss on the check and stepped up to the cashier's counter. One of the clerks handed me the bill: 2,700 baht, including the medicine she needed. I had been expecting 10,000 and had mentally prepared myself for more, so I figured I'd gotten off cheap. Her name didn't appear anywhere on the bill, and I'd be able to claim it all back on my insurance.
With Da still clad only in the hotel's bathrobe, the nurse's assistant pushed her to the hospital's entrance and we caught a taxi back to the Town Lodge. Inside the cab, she immediately hugged me tighter than I've ever been hugged before.
"Thank you, thank you," she whispered. "Without you, I think I dead now."
She cried softly all the way back – tears of joy she was still alive. Somewhat overdone, I thought. Acid reflux is a damn painful condition, but I don't believe it is life-threatening. There was no way I could convince her of that and she clung to me like a drowning sailor to a buoy. When we arrived at the Town Lodge, she had to make her way through the lobby and up the stairs. The hotel staff were relieved and all smiles that she was back OK, but a couple of punters were clearly amazed. The guests at the TL are 95% hardcore mongers, but it's not every day you see a girl arriving at midday dressed only in bathrobe, even in Bangkok. One guy's jaw dropped almost to his chest and another shook his head in astonishment.
Back in the room, Da immediately dashed into the shower. She emerged a few minutes later, a towel wrapped around her. She hugged me once more and began crying again, thanking me profusely for helping her. She promised she'd pay me back the money I'd spent on the hospital. She also said she'd "do anything" for me the rest of the time I was in Bangkok.
I told that she didn't need to pay me and whether she wanted to stay with me or go was entirely up to her. I explained that almost a year ago to the day, a Thai girl – Gina of Eden Club fame – had stayed by my side when I was seriously ill (also with a stomach ailment) and saw to it I got the help I needed. It was karma that I should help her and rather than owing me anything, she had enabled me to repay a karmic debt.. She seemed to understand and we just sat embracing for a long time, each of us pondering the odd but appropriate way life sometimes works.
Satori in Bangkok
It took Da about 24 hours to regain her strength and she did indeed stay with me the remaining four days I was in Bangkok. The hollow feeling evaporated and it turned into a total girl-friend experience, with Da catering to my every need, sexual and otherwise. I guess there's nothing like the perception of a near-death experience to create intimacy. She told me again and again, "you want me do something, you ask me, OK?" I'm sure she would have done just about anything, but it somehow just didn't seem right to try any kinky experiments. The sex was very affectionate and fulfilling, but nothing like the nerve-tingling sessions I'd become accustomed to with the ladies of Eden.
But the conversations we had I count among my absolute best mongering memories. Somehow, the trip to the hospital had created a bond between us. For those few days, it did seem like we had surmounted a lot of the barriers that separate older mongers from Thai girls – age, culture and language among the foremost.
She gave me a lot of insight into the world of free lancers. She'd tried to "work bar" several times, but hated it because of the inevitable fights with other girls and the never-ending stream of unpleasant customers. She didn't mind cheap Charlies so much – that was an occupational hazard. It was the crazy Charlies she feared – the ones who'd suddenly get violent without apparent cause. Next worst were the guys who tried to cheat her out of at least part of her hard-earned fee. She almost never went with a customer who wanted to use a short-time hotel because they were the ones who were most likely to argue about compensation or pull an out-and-out runner. Then came the "stinky men," the ones with poor hygiene. She said some guys stunk even after they'd taken showers. I don't want to ignite a lot of flaming, so suffice it to say that in Da's mind, body odor and ethnicity went hand-in-hand.
She said Japanese and English-speaking farangs were her favorite customers. Japanese men always paid well, smelled good and never tried to gip the girls. They seldom wanted the girl to stay long time, which she also considered an advantage. I asked her about the "2-3-4" rule: two inches; three minutes; 4,000 baht. She said she'd never heard that, but laughed and acknowledged it was "something true."
However, her explanation of high fees from Japanese is different than the usual one of them being lame-dupe overpayers. According to Da, Japanese men "f*ck quickly but come many times." The higher relative fee covers three or four pops in an hour or so. This meshes well with the Asian concept of virility, which is at odds with the Western pattern of one poke with many, many strokes. A virile Japanese man comes fast, but also gets it up quickly again and rolls her over, lays her down and does it again. She agreed completely about the size of the sons of the Rising Sun, though.
"Very cute," she said, holding her thumb and forefinger about one-and-a half inches apart. "Like baby."
She also told me some cheap Charlie horror stories, another reason why girls nowadays are hesitant about long time. One guy who took her traveling for a few days urged her to steal food from the breakfast buffet, or at least eat a lot, because they weren't going to have lunch. In the evening, he gave her 20 baht with which to buy something to eat while he went to a restaurant alone. She said she had one sure test to reveal which guys were cheap at heart. As soon as they got back to his room, she asked for a Coke from the mini-bar. If he gave her one, she knew he wasn't a tight wad. But the guys who refused – whether it was because they hadn't had the foresight to stock up at 7-11 or because they were really concerned about an extra few baht – usually turned out to be bad customers, she said. It was a fascinating glimpse into a side of mongering about which I hadn't thought too much.
The day I departed LOS, I had a late-night flight to catch. Da cried the entire cab trip to the airport. She'd adamantly refused to take any more money from me, but I insisted once we were inside the terminal.
"For your family," I reminded her and she thanked me with more tears and hugs. After I checked in and paid the departure fee, we said our final good-byes. She made me promise I'd call her next time I was in Bangkok. She hugged me one last time and I walked through the entrance to the Immigration Control.
I never saw her again.
Da had given me her cell phone number and her email address and we stayed in regular contact for a few months. She thanked me over and over again, always telling me how much she missed me and asking when I'd be back in Bangkok. She claimed not to be free-lancing any more, but was only taking whatever legit work she could find. Her stomach problems hadn't returned. She never asked me for any money.
Then the emails from her stopped and mine went unanswered. I tried calling her, but I only got a message that the number wasn't in service. Perhaps she'd found a husband or at least had gotten her life ordered to the degree she didn't need to keep in contact with farang mongers. Then again, maybe a motorbike accident or something even worse had claimed her. I figured I'd probably never know for sure what had become of her.
But I had underestimated the power of the Internet. I got a message from a guy who said he thought he knew who Da was (that isn't the name she goes by in real life) and where she was then working (a straight job, she's not in P4P anymore). It turned out Da was actually a friend of my informant's girlfriend and indeed the same lady I had encountered on Sukhumvit. The message that was relayed – with several degrees of separation involved – was that she had suddenly broken off with her former clients because she'd entered into a long-term relationship with a farang. I decided that for many reasons, it wouldn't be a good idea to meet her again. At least I knew she was safe – for the moment.
Da had lived a precarious existence and more than once she'd told me she feared that the last sight she'd see would be the madness in an over-excited customer's eyes. She wasn't asking for much from life – just a decent income so she could support herself and help take care of her family. It still troubles me that those modest goals turned out to be so difficult for her to achieve.
Part of this reminds me of a submission from a few years ago where a girl ran out of the shower and fell over in a guy's hotel room and started screaming in pain. The big problem was that it was an expat cheating on his wife and he was then in two minds about what to do.
It is great to hear that Da managed to get out of the bar scene.