It’s early morning and the ocean view from this hilltop is stunning. The air is sweet with the fragrance of flowers, and the gentle sea breeze adds its own salty tang. Up here from these heights everything seems so serene and dreamlike. It’s so easy to forget that just a few hundred meters below is the tail end of Walking Street, where arguably there is more sex for sale per square meter than anywhere else on the planet. At last my reverie is broken by the need to drive back down from Dreamland and head back to the reality of day to day life here in Thailand. It seems like a good time to reflect on my brief sojourn in Sin City.
It’s been ten years since my last visit to Pattaya, so a lot of what I saw pulling into town is quite new. Obviously there has been a tremendous amount of building, especially high-rise condominiums and shopping malls. But despite the shiny edifices that seem to proclaim that a new era has dawned, the overwhelming number of girly bars, massage parlors and other monger-friendly venues make it clear that sex is the main attraction. Although the Pattaya Chamber of Commerce would like to promote the city as a family friendly vacation destination, the hard reality is that it is the naughty nightlife that brings the gents in legions. I will admit that I am not immune its siren call. I may be a decade older, but I’m not averse to having a drink or two in a bar with lovely ladies wearing very little are swaying to the beat a few feet away. So when Stick invited me to accompany him down to Pattaya for a few days I didn’t hesitate to say yes. The trip didn’t turn out quite the way that I had imagined it would, but I did manage to have a number of adventures…and a number of misadventures as well! Some of the later I can look back and laugh at, although they didn’t seem all that amusing at the time. In any case I certainly do have a tale to tell!
I rarely have an opportunity to come down to Bangkok for the day, let alone spend a night there. As long as I was there in the City of Angels I wanted to have a nice dinner before heading to Pattaya the next day. Stick suggested a pleasant place, with a wait staff that is both friendly and professional (a rarity here in LOS). The food is tasty, reasonably priced, and served in generous portions. The plan was to stroll down after dinner to Soi Cowboy for a drink or two. That plan never got off the ground. My dinner tasted fine going down, however it was decidedly less savory coming up! Just as I was getting ready to pay my bill, my stomach suddenly sent me an urgent signal that all was not well. What followed was something straight out of The Exorcist. Stick later commented that he didn’t know it was possible to vomit such an astonishing distance! <I have never witnessed someone power chuck before and it went a full 4 metres, spanning half the restaurant so it was just as well it was quiet or you might have sprayed other diners – Stick> I am rarely subject to stomach disorders. This in fact is only the second time I have been so sick in Thailand. Hopefully I won’t have another such incident for another decade. In any case I obviously wasn’t going anywhere except back to my hotel room for a little R & R. Oh well, no problem. After all, the next day we were headed for Pattaya and there would be plenty of time of nightlife.
It’s a quick and easy drive to Pattaya, and we pulled into The Pattaya Bay Resort early in the afternoon. I was ready to check in, but just as we were getting out of the car I made a horrifying discovery. I realized that I had left my small shoulder in Au Bon Pain where we had stopped that morning back in Bangkok. In that one small bag was: all my cash, my ATM and credit cards, my driver’s license, and my passport! Never in my life have I lost any of my valuables, and now in one fell swoop I had lost all of that! While travelling I NEVER take off that bag, except in my room. In a moment of carelessness I had taken it off and hung it on the back of my chair and then walked out without it. What an idiot! Needless to say I was in a state of complete panic. Okay…calm down and think things through. The first thing is to call the restaurant and see if by some miracle someone had turned in my bag. Luckily the hotel had a computer with Internet access in the lobby. Luckily Au Bon Pain’s website had the phone numbers of every one of its worldwide locations, including Thailand. Luckily one of the staff had indeed found my bag and it was safely sitting behind the counter. All I had to do was get back to Bangkok and pick it up. Stick’s Thai is a whole lot better than mine, so he was able to quickly negotiate with a taxi driver for a reasonable round trip fare. Soon we were flying down the highway. When I walked in the door of the restaurant, the waitress who found my bag was smiling as she handed it back to me. She absolutely refused to accept the money I tried to put in her hands. Here is a shining example of how nice the average person is here in LOS. Okay it was back in the taxi and soon I was finally able to check in and decompress for a while.
I have only nice things to say about the Pattaya Bay Resort. The rooms are attractive the beds are comfortable and the price is extremely reasonable. This still being the low season, my room was 999 Baht, which I consider a real bargain. The staff is professional and the hotel is not surprisingly “girl friendly”. Although there is a shuttle available, it is only a few short minutes walk to downtown. Check out the hotel’s website.
There are countless places to eat in Pattaya. Stick recommended a place called Restaurant Bordeaux on Soi Day Night 2. I can honestly say that I had one of the finest dinners I have ever had in Thailand. I don’t usually rave about restaurants but folks I can enthusiastically recommend this one. The next time you are down here, you have to try it! Hey, this is coming from a guy who was trained at the Culinary Institute of America, so I do feel qualified to comment on haut cuisine! We both opted for the set menu. We started with a deceptively simple vegetable soup that was beyond reproach. In My Humble Opinion, if a restaurant can prepare a well composed soup, you are probably in for a treat as far as the rest of the meal is concerned. With our meal we were served a generous amount of crusty baguette, which suited me just fine as I am a bread lover. I should also mention that the service was first rate, with our waiter always there at just the right times without having to be signaled over. Our main course was a rich and fragrant beef stew. The sauce was a killer! We were both pretty full, but seeing that desert was included in the set price neither one of us declined. Somehow Stick managed to polish off a puff pastry with ice cream and chocolate. I did the same with some Crème Caramel.
So sufficiently fortified we headed out into the night. It was time to see the sights. Since Stick knows many of the bar owners, we decided to pay a few courtesy calls. Our first stop was Secrets. My first impression was this was a “classy” place, if that term is not patently absurd in talking about a bar where scantily clad girls were busily shaking their booty for our enjoyment. These girls were actually dancing by the way, not shuffling their feet! While the girls were certainly attractive, no one quite caught my eye and I was content to enjoy my drink and just take in the “scenery”. The mama-san then proceeded to bring over a young girl for me to “meet”. This girl, who was not a dancer was pleasant enough to chat with for a few minutes, she was definitely not someone I wanted to bar-fine. Unfortunately this girl just would not detach herself from my lap. It was time to ease on down the road.
Stick debated for a nanosecond or two before deciding to take me to a go-go of a decidedly naughty character. The moment I walked through the doors of Baby Dolls my senses were on overload. I suppose in a cartoon version of my life, steam would have been geysering out of my ears, my eyeballs would have been popping out of my head on springs, and my tongue would have been lolling out of my mouth. On stage a veritable bevy of beauties, clad only in g-stings and fish-net stockings and a smile were strutting their stuff to a powerful beat. It is just so easy to “fall in lust” here in this alternate universe. Once the hormones start pumping it is just so easy to turn off your brain and let another part of your anatomy do all the thinking.
So much for what I liked about Baby Dolls. What I didn’t care for, and this is just my personal tastes coming through, were the “special” performances. I’m sorry; I just don’t “get off” on girls shoving beer bottles into themselves or girls spanking each other with dildos. I especially don’t like watching some sorry looking men groping and fingering away. Okay lots of guys like that sort of stuff. Each to their own.
In any case I found a girl that appealed to me and had our waitress call her over to sit down for a drink. On my very first trip to Thailand in 1998, I met a fellow from Texas who shared with me his “Red Corvette Philosophy” of choosing a bar girl to take home. He said that you know that you want to purchase a red Corvette. You know what you want under the hood for an engine. You know that you want a white leather interior and automatic transmission and a certain type of alloy wheels. You know what you want to pay for all of this. Now let’s say that there are dozens of car dealers in your town, but at the very first showroom you visit you find exactly what you are looking for. The question is why wouldn’t just take out your checkbook and seal the deal right then and there? If it’s what you want, just buy the damned thing and be done with it! The same is true in the P4P world. If there is a girl you really fancy and the price is right, just bar-fine her. This assumes that you are 100% certain of what you are you are getting, which of course is not always an easy thing to do.
Beauty is entirely in the eye of the beholder, but this young lady was my “Red Corvette”. Physically she fulfilled my idea of a dream girl and seemed quite personable. The price for LT was reasonable so it wasn’t long before we sealed the deal and headed hand in hand back home. The word “deal” is key here. In exchange for a certain amount of money, a bar girl “agrees” to provide certain services. I have no problem with that. There Is No Such Thing as A Free Lunch! Unfortunately many bar-girls will make every attempt to provide the bare minimum amount of service once actually in the bedroom. What happened to “love you long time”? Unfortunately, unless you have psychic powers, you just never know what you are getting until its time to get physical. That’s the luck of the draw. I won’t go into the details of encounter, but clearly this girl while cuddly enough was no superstar between the sheets. The real problem was that she was up and ready to depart before the sun was up…and before “round two”, which of course is the whole point of LT! Needless to say I was not pleased, since “the deal” was being broken. She had promised services which she was now refusing to deliver. Oh well, the magic was gone, so she might as well be gone as well. Now I could have, and probably should have, handed her half the agreed about money, but somehow I just wasn’t in the mood for a confrontation. Of course if this girl was expecting a “tip”, she went away disappointed. Oh well, I still had a day and a night here to play. Who knew what possibilities were waiting for me? Let’s just take it as it comes.
So what to do in Pattaya during the day? Well not having even seen the ocean in a few years, a seaside stroll seemed the right tonic. I must say that the city has done a fine job with the walkway along the beach. In the cool (relatively) of the morning it was delightful to just amble along taking in the view. Not as delightful were the rather pathetic looking women calling out for our attention as they lamely tried to sell themselves. The word that came to mind as we encountered one after another of these creatures is “skanky”. I mean they were so utterly unappealing that a fellow would have to be falling down drunk, blind as a bat and have a severe head cold to ever contemplate a tryst with these “ladies”. Okay I am being quite harsh. Why shouldn’t these gals have the same right to eek out a living like the rest of their sisters? The truly sad things about these women were the vacant hollow eyes that spoke of misery I could never begin to appreciate. Many of them were clearly strung out on drugs. Many had pimps keeping a close eye on their “property”. Okay so while I would never even dream of striking up a conversation with these women, my heart did soften a bit toward them. Still I can’t imagine the tourist authority is thrilled with families off for a day at the beach having to walk this gauntlet.
Well having our fill of exercise for the moment we felt that a well deserved massage was in order…preferably one done by an attractive young woman. That was apparently a tall order, at least during the daylight hours. The “Flower of Thai Womanhood” was evidently not in blossom that day. I joked to Stick that outside of some of these massage shops should be a sign, “Here Be Dragons”! Eventually, and it took quite a while, we did find a place where the ladies did not cause your testicles to retract themselves into your abdomen. Amazingly these ladies could actually give a creditable massage. Were “extras” offered? A better question would be is there a place in this town where they weren’t offered? Hey, this is Sin City.
After the sun went down it was time for dinner. Should we go back to Restaurant Bordeaux? Absolutely! This time the main dish was Coq au Vin which was done to a turn. Once again we walked away more than satisfied.
Stick wanted to go back to Secrets, because Larry the manager hadn’t been there when we were in the night before. If you’ve ever met Larry you will agree that he is a hell of a nice guy, not to mention one sharp cookie! I suppose some folks think that running a go-go bar would be a piece of cake. I for one disagree. I think we would all agree that in general the ladies working there are definitely “high maintenance”. Hell, woman in general can be touchy at times, but these ladies boiling point has to be pretty damn low. Then of course there are personality conflicts (Or shall we say “cat fights”) to contend with. Then there is the matter of simply running a top notch business as opposed to just another bar. As the economic tsunami rolls over this industry, only the best will be around. The others will fall by the wayside. It takes hard work and lots of it to offer a quality product that is economically sustainable. This is an area where the best of the Farang bar owners shine. They know what their customers want, they know how to keep their employees happy, and they keep a close eye on what’s happening from day to day. Larry is a pro at all of the above.
Keeping in mind my less than successful encounter of the night before, I asked him if there was any one girl who was consistently well thought of in terms of attitude. Larry said that there were two or three girls that he could personally attest to in that regard. He introduced me to one who was currently in the bar. While pretty enough, she was not the type that I would normally be attracted to, except for her smile. Her smile was a million watts. It truly just lit up the room. She was not a dancer, owing to the fact of some stretch marks from a baby. But that did not turn me off as such considering the fact that last night’s lady had a killer body but was lacking a warm heart. If this woman’s attitude was anything like her smile, I would spend a pleasant night in her company. Okay, since this was a business transaction, let’s settle the details so that there are no unpleasant misunderstandings. Immediately there was a problem. Apparently this was the last day of her period. But she assured me (as did the mama-san) that by morning all would be as right as rain, and then there would be some serious loving. To be honest, if Larry had not personally recommended her, I would have taken a pass. But given that recommendation and the fact that she did seem so sweet I decided to roll the dice and take a chance.
After showering she said that she was tired, and asked if we could sleep now. She immediately wrapped herself around me and was quite affectionate. Oh well, sometimes the best things in life are worth waiting for. Around four in the morning she got up to take a shower. I assumed this was in preparation for what I had been waiting for all night. However she emerged from the bathroom fully dressed and ready to leave. Can this really be happening again? Two nights in a row? Apparently so. “I go now” she said. Okay I replied coolly, go. She looked at me expectantly and said, “You give me money?”
That was it! If she was incapable of being able to provide what she had contracted out to provide it was one thing. I would never dream of making a woman who was feeling ill have sex. That’s being gentlemanly… But then turning around and asking to be paid…now that’s just beyond the pale. I may be a little easy going, but I am nobody’s fool. I simply opened the door, pushed her gently out into the hallway and closed the door. End of story. No doubt she returned to the bar telling about the dirty Farang who didn’t pay her. Of course her story would leave out the part about not providing any service to the said Farang. Hey Larry, if you are reading this, that is the true story. Perhaps 99.9% of the time this young woman provides a world of pleasure to her customers. But this night she didn’t, and to paraphrase that famous expression, “No Honey, No Money”!
I’m not a bitter man. I try to let unpleasant experiences flow right on by. Holding them in only causes aggravation, mental, emotional, and physical. Given my health problems this past year, the last thing I need to do is be angry. On these particular two nights, I rolled the dice and came up empty. Oh well, you win some, you lose some. Despite my disappointments I can say that I honestly enjoyed myself. So as we head on down the hill and re-enter a more familiar reality, I come away with at least a taste of Pattaya Dreams clinging to me. Yes it was an interesting couple of days. Welcome to Thailand!
It was a fun trip for sure!