Princess and a 300 Baht Short Time Room
Last time I wrote about meeting Chiang Mai Kelly in person and how he had asked me to meet up with Princess, her daughter, Pan the friend, and photograph them. I’d prepared my camera and light gear and was ready when they were. On Wednesday I received
a text message from CMK that Princess and company would have time to meet me Thursday evening. A few text messages later I’d arranged to meet them in the lobby of the Mothership (Nana Hotel) at 7pm Thursday night. I left in plenty of time
anticipating the heavy traffic that time of evening normally brings, not to mention the last 700 – 800 meters as you head down Soi 3 before crossing Sukhumvit into Soi 4, sometimes that last 700 – 800 meters can take over an hour. Often I’ll
taxi into the area, or even catch the BTS, but with my gear with me I chose to drive. Amazingly the traffic was light and I parked and made it to the lobby 30 minutes early. The last time I was here was with my good Christian woman a few months
back, but nothing really seemed to change. I decided to check out the book store while I was waiting and had my nose buried in the shelves when I received a text message saying they’d arrived.
Walking out to meet them I’ll admit to being a bit taken aback by Princess. She seemed older and perhaps a bit heavier than I’d mentally pictured her, but Pan who was with her was pretty much as I’d pictured so 50/50 wasn’t bad. I looked around and I didn’t see a younger version of Princess so I asked about her and was told she wasn’t to be included. We sat in the lobby and chatted a bit, getting the feel for each other's limits of our languages. Princess seemed to have a good grasp of English, far better than did Pan. Of course my Thai is horrible.
Princess wasn’t what I expected. Immediately she struck me as intelligent, she chose her words with care, and she didn’t seem to miss anything. Reading CMK’s submissions I suppose I was expecting the Thai whore version of the Tasmanian Devil, but instead she appeared to be the typical Thai girl next door and very pleasant.
Pan on the other hand seemed “bouncy”, like she had just had ten strong coffees and there was a hint of wild in her eyes and good old fashioned fun in her demeanor. This was going to be interesting!
We talked about what we were going to do and I made sure they both understood my intended use of the photographs, that I intended to write a submission for a Thai website about my experience meeting them and include selected images from our photo session.
They enthusiastically agreed and were ready to go. I almost got the “time is money” feeling from them.
I headed over to the reception desk to rent a room and was asked for my passport. I handed them my Thai drivers license like I’ve always done for the last 5 – 6 years I’ve been in Thailand and reached for the check in form. The preppy looking desk clerk told me my Thai drivers license could not be accepted, only a passport. I tried to talk my way past his but they wouldn’t budge. Next, Princess tried to use her ID card and they wouldn’t take that either. A passport was required period! Was it the camera bag over my shoulder and two Thai females in tow, or was this normal policy? I’ve traveled all over Thailand without a passport for years, been checked through literally hundreds of checkpoints, and have never had an issue with only having my Thai drivers license, and now here I was at the Mothership, and being rejected! I suppose I could speculate.. <This for me too would be a first. I also use my local drivers licence all the time and have never had a problem – Stick>
Pan put her arm through mine and told me she knew of a hotel down the soi we could walk to. I told her it should have a parking lot because I brought my car. We all got in my SUV and headed down Sukhumvit with Pan trying to give me directions in English and no amount of pleading could get her to give them to me in Thai. She was damn proud of her ability to give directions in English and that was that. The only problem was she mixed up her left / right every turn we made. To her credit she must have been familiar with every hotel room in the area because every time we made the wrong turn she’d say “that’s ok, I know another one.. straight ahead please..”
Finally she directed me down a very small and dark soi. The hairs on the back of my neck stood up. If these girls weren’t friends of a friend I’d have been very suspicious. Then, when she told me to turn left into a very small driveway I
stopped the car and confirmed we were talking about “left” and not “right.” The driveway she wanted me to go down was totally dark, the walls were chipped and dirty concrete that must have been 100 years old, and it
was barely big enough for the SUV to pass. She insisted this was the place. 2 – 3 meters into the drive I made a hard left and then I could see an unlit car park area in what looked like a rundown tenement building with a place to pull your car
in, but with a curtain in place to hide your car. From the looks of things the place was at about 90% occupancy, yet there wasn’t a person in sight or a light to see by.
Pulling in an attendant appeared out of the woodwork and pulled the curtain across my SUV and took us up a flight of stairs into a room that couldn’t be any larger than 2.5 x 3.5 meters. There was a double bed with a threadbare sheet and two very flat pillows, a very basic bathroom, and that was about it. “300 baht please” he said and asked if we’d like any drinks. We placed our order, paid him, and there we were in a 300 baht short time room, me, Princess, Pan, and my camera. I’m looking around the room wondering how in the world I could ever take a decent picture in this tiny room. Allow me to explain.
Taking high quality artistic images of cute young things in a variety of hotel rooms has become a sort of specialty of mine. You see, when a room is small you need to use a very short focal length and this tends to distort the subject A high quality lens and perfect technique help negate this issue. Then there’s the lighting. Depending on the model you want to use a lot of shadows to hide less than perfect attributes like stretch marks, C-section scars, jelly rolls, and even saggy breasts. Hard lighting that produces shadows also provides an artistic look that when done right is very attractive. I’ve photographed women from 18 – 67 years of age and I’ve always been able to make them appear their most attractive, subdue their faults, and highlight their attributes through the use of creative hard lighting. The problem is, you need a fairly good sized room to separate the subject from the light source from the camera. This wasn’t going to happen in this room. Even with the lens stopped all the way down and at the lowest ISO setting, my light at its lowest power setting was going to flood the room with light and there would be no creative use of lighting. What we were going to get was the “deer in the headlights” raw look that police booking departments all over the world are famous for. It’s like trying to take a flash photo inside a bread box.. you know the entire inside of the bread box is going to be brightly illuminated. Considering all this, and then looking at the relative appearance of Princess and Pan, all I could do was accept defeat. I’d have to accept that “any landing you can walk away from is a good landing” and suck it up.
Smiling Princess was ready to work. “Would you like me to take my clothes off?”
I replied “Lets slow down a bit, did you bring any lingerie, bathing suits, or fancy underwear with you?”
Looking puzzled she said hopefully “I’m wearing a G-string?”
I smiled and said “wonderful!”
Pan looked worried and spoke up “I don’t have a G-string.”
Putting on a brave face I smiled and taking the threadbare towel from the bed where the attendant threw it I said “You’d be surprised what we can do with a simple towel and Photoshop.”
Pan looked relieved. After all I was the professional photographer and I must know what I was talking about. Not wanting to give them too much time to think about not having fancy underwear I suggested I set up my light and take a few test shots with them in their street clothes. This seemed to please them and soon I had them smiling and posing in their street clothes and you couldn’t have asked for nicer or bigger smiles. After all, I was in a short time room with two seasoned hookers and my camera, what did I have to complain about?
A few minutes later we’d exhausted the poses you can take in street clothes in a 2.5 x 3.5 meter short time room and they were both looking to me for direction. Pan seemed the brave one, Princess looked to her every time I gave a direction to see if everything was ok, so I choose Pan first and suggested she remove her top. In a millisecond her outer shirt, bra, and tub wrap were gone and she was standing there topless. “Let us slow down a bit” I said, “Would you mind putting your bra back on for a few poses?” She smiles and put her bra back on, probably wondering why I wasn’t in a hurry to see what so many men were eager to pay for.
Her English isn’t that great so I almost have to help her remove her bra, slip into the tank wrap, take a few snaps, and the she took off her skirt revealing some pretty modest flesh colored underwear. I found myself wondering what a paying customer would think after paying her barfine and taking her back to her room, only to find granny panties and bra, a C-section scar, a few jelly rolls, and a peppering of stretch marks? Even so, her smile was captivating and she oozed sex, you just knew she could bonk your brains out with only half an effort, I’d guess that is what guys are paying for. J
This is so different than “being” with two women at once, or maybe it isn’t. Or perhaps I’m just more natural “being” with two women than photographing two women, because you could feel the competition heating up as each vied for attention, yet each tried to appear shy and not too eager to pose. Princess smiled big, tried to wrap a towel around her waist to hide her G-string for as long as she could, and giggled shy giggles so common with shy young girls. Her personality was infectious, she had a way of making you feel she was 17 and innocent, and in the next instant about to be swallowed to the hilt and ridden into the sunset. How could she do that with only a smile, her eyes, and no words at all? Skills of a pro? Not having been with a hooker before I can only guess, but I will say she was good at it. Finally we managed to get her shirt and skirt off, her giggles subdued, and into a few poses.
Taking pictures with the both of them was like playing verbal tic – tac – toe, skipping over steps, reversing, and then more steps. They seemed to really enjoy themselves with Pan taking the lead 95% of the time. Just to be complete, and I’m sure
from habit, we covered every step I normally cover in such a shoot, poses sitting, standing, laying on the bed, kneeling, with and without underwear, and whatever poses we could think of with out limited prop materials.
To be very honest I had the images I wanted for this submission in the first ten minutes, but I had the feeling both girls enjoyed posing and expected the full treatment, and were having fun doing it. If I’d bugged out when I wanted to there might have been some hurt feelings, and then there was the matter of getting to know them. I had questions, the biggest question was how did I reconcile a man of Chiang Mai Kelly’s quiet confidence and obvious experience, with this woman who we’re told gave him so much grief over the years? The proverbial roller coaster ride is no fun for anyone, yet in his case it became dangerous at times. What kept these two coming back to each other despite the fireworks? I was about to get a hint.
I’ve photographed a lot of women nude, and most at one point in the shoot would lose a big chunk of their inhibitions and really loosen up. Pan was loose way before Princess even considered it. I had the feeling Pan was a true E-ticket attraction, better than Mr. Toad's Wild Ride. I also had the feeling she totally expected me to end up posing with them, but this wasn’t on the agenda. Why? A few reasons. First, they were a friend's women and even though he gave the green light it’s a line you just don’t cross regardless. Second, they truly weren’t my type appearance wise. Third, they scared the living crap out of me. I’m certain they would have wrung every last ounce of energy out of me and maybe my heart would have given out in the process. Thinking about this more carefully I developed an entirely new level of respect for Chiang Mai Kelly, at least a decade and a half older than myself he was still going as strong as most 30 years his junior!
Pan got this glint in her eye and looked at me as if to say “are you ready” and she turned to Princess and began to show me the level of care and quality a man could expect if she has the inclination (and baht). Princess was surprised, resisted a few moments, and then gave in. Was it real? Were they faking? How would I know? Besides, I was busy taking pictures and worrying about such things as proper exposure, running out of film, and what fun I was going to have in the darkroom later on.
Anyone who regularly reads StickmanBangkok.com knows no experience with a Thai hooker(s) is complete without settling the bill! This was no exception. When we were done and dressed both Princess and Pan sat on the end of the bed and looked at me as I
stood there ready, camera bag over my shoulder, car keys in my hand, ready to leave. The silence stretched into 20 – 30 seconds without a word, and then finally Pan asked “You are going to pay us, aren’t you?” Oh oh..
Before beginning I had given them my business card and explained I was a professional photographer and people PAY ME for my services. I had promised to provide them with images for their trouble even though I wasn’t getting paid. Chiang Mai Kelly had asked me to take the photos and write this submission, or had he offered? I was starting to see the wisdom of always setting the price beforehand to avoid issues after the fact. Not being an experienced monger, or a monger at all, I’d missed this part despite reading about it on StickmanBangkok.com many times. No amount of telling them I was a professional, that I was the one who usually got paid, that I was doing them a favor, none of it mattered. They had performed a service and they were used to getting paid for their services and this was all they cared to understand.
The only way I was going to get out of this was to draw on the experience of the most experienced mongers I could think of. I closed my eyes for a moment and there was Dana laughing his ass off at me, complete with his pink shirt! I’d show him! I channeled Dana and hijacked his ass and started letting him talk through me. You’d think this would be a great idea but it wasn’t. It seems they knew Dana and Princess went from calm and collected and reasonable, to getting a bit agitated and asking Pan if she had a kitchen knife handy. I’m not sure what Dana had done to piss off Princess and Pan and I didn’t really care. I unchanneled him in a heartbeat and started talking for myself again. They were between me and the door and I knew there was no escape. There must be some solution.
As soon as Dana went back to the spirit world, or Boston, or wherever Dana goes when not whoring around Thailand, Princess calmed way down and became her reasonable self again. She suggested she call Chiang Mai Kelly and get to the bottom of this and I thought that was a wonderful idea. She dialed him on her mobile an they started talking and Princess took on a glow, clearly happy to be talking with Chiang Mai Kelly, but perhaps not fully aware of how she went soft and sweet within seconds of hearing his voice. You could see the muscles in her jaw relax, the veins in her neck disappear, and then she was Princess again. She hung up and looked at me resigned, she understood I wasn’t to pay, after all I hadn’t accepted any “services” which now seemed like a very good decision.
Pan however wasn’t happy, she explained to me how she could have been working, made so much baht, and how she’d be on her second or third “client” for the evening. Princess watched her work me in silence. Pan went on to tell me that the other day some perverted old man with a Walmart point and shoot digital took pictures of her for 30 minutes and paid her 4,000 baht. His “camera” was small she said, while mine was obviously huge in comparison. His “camera” was white, and mine was black. She had decided in her mind that this made me a professional (which I introduced myself as), I was using professional equipment (true), and would be using the images for professional reasons (false), therefore she was due A MUCH larger payment than the baht 4,000 previously paid by the pervert. Then she brought up that there were two of them, so double that figure! I knew if I did agree to pay them then they’d think they deserved to be paid, and they would think they deserved more than baht 10,000 between the two of them!
I closed my eyes for a second again and now Dana was really laughing, rolling around on the floor holding his belly and pissing his pants from laughing so hard. Before I could open my eyes and get rid of him he blurted out “Remember, you don’t pay a whore to have sex with you, you pay them to leave when you’re done!” Yep, he was certainly right about that. I decided I didn’t want them in my car when possibly angry, especially when sitting behind me, so I decided to take a stand. I looked at them trying to hide my fear, certain one of them would produce a large knife if they didn’t like what they heard, and I apologized for the misunderstanding. I told them Chiang Mai Kelly would settle with them which seemed to be what he told them on the phone. I told them I understood their disappointment, but I would not be paying them, and I had an appointment elsewhere (true, my shorts needed changing), so for my own convenience would they mind taking a cab the half kilometer back to the NEP and I’d give them baht 1,000 to pay for the taxi ride. Their eyes brightened up, it was something, it was a compromise, and they both suddenly smiled, held out their hands, took the baht 1,000 note, wished me a long and happy life, and walked out to the soi to find a taxi. I got in my SUV and started driving home, and thought about this experience the entire trip home.
I’m probably not alone when I wonder what Chiang Mai Kelly and Princess see in each other. They seem very different on the surface, even a few layers down, but as I got to know them in the short time I had available I began to notice similarities. For instance, it wasn’t difficult at all to see they are both generous in their own ways, both are givers, both seem very comfortable in their own skins, and both could really care less about what other people really think of them. Something else. I never saw them together. I met each one time, separately. Yet, when each talked about the other it was easy to see the love. Chiang Mai Kelly’s voice lowered a bit, his eyes changed, and he leaned forward towards me when telling me about Princess to make sure I heard what he had to say. Princess made sure to let me (and Pan) know he was “her Kelly” and when I saw them talk on the phone no one else was in the room with her, even though Pan and sat a few feet away chatting until she was done.
What draws these two together? What draws any couple together? Big questions and bigger answers I’m sure, but I can honestly say I was given the impression they cared about each other, and respected each other, as much or more than any couple, married or not, that I’ve known. How much love must a man have for a woman, and a woman for a man, to live with such wild presents and pasts? Loads I’m sure. I’d say that’s pretty special! I’d guess many of us could learn things from this pair.
Until next time…
Great report, extremely well put together. You managed to keep it tasteful, which is important.
I can really imagine how things got tense when the money issue came up at the end though.
Pan is a very pretty girl indeed and has a great smile.
* Some readers may question why I have run this submission given that recently I wrote a column that was against the customers of bargirls photographing them nude and in compromising sexual positions in the bedroom and posting their pictures online without their knowledge and permission. In the case of this photo shoot, the girls knew from the outset that the very reason the shoot was done was that their pictures would be posted online. They gave permission AND importantly, while some pictures may be suggestive, they are not pornographic. No naughty bits and no "action", so to speak.