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Ramblings of a Life Left Behind: Episode 3

  • Written by Jake
  • August 28th, 2009
  • 22 min read


The Mahouts will Go First

Not long ago I received an email from a fellow Soi 13 resident; I think his name was “Danainamerica” or something along those lines. My neighbor opined that every tourist arriving at Suvarnabhumi should be issued a firearm and 50 bullets. The tourists should not be allowed to leave until all bullets are expended, thus thinning the collective herd of scammers, touts and other undesirables, was his opinion. While my initial response was disagreement, I have now adjusted my thinking. I support this idea, and the first to go will be mahouts, specifically those working in Phuket (and later, the ones who work near the Nana hotel).

Scum, garbage, exploiters to the absolute upper limits. Mahouts are supposed to be the kind caretakers and trainers of elephants. While the word ‘mahout’ quite literally translates into “one having great measure”, its translation in Thai should be more along the lines of “one who uses elephants for the sole purpose of extracting money from stupid farang.”

How to run a successful elephant trekking tour: Keep the elephants healthy, give them a good place to sleep. Market to tourists in all applicable tourist magazines, websites, hotel brochures, wild life conservation websites, animal rights groups, media etc. Create displays showing how you have saved elephants from certain death and abuse by housing, feeding, and generally treating them with kind regard and respect. Educate farang about elephants. Simple information will do. African elephants have ears shaped like the continent of Africa, Asian elephants are smaller, with smoother skin, and the females have smaller or non-existent tusks. You know, stupid, simple facts that farangs hear and associate with value for money. Create a display or booklet showing what horrible fates await wild elephants at the hands of ruthless individuals. Apply to the farang’s general sense of guilt and responsibility to protect wildlife from exploitation. The money will come with minimal requests or effort if this strategy is properly executed. It’s 2009, farang don’t feel sorry for poor people, but they still feel sorry for poor animals.

How to run a Thai elephant trekking tour in Phuket: During low season or slow times, mahouts need not work, lounging or sleeping is sufficient until a tour group arrives. Don’t provide any information about your operation, such as how many elephants you’ve saved, what you feed them, where they come from, or what mahouts learn during training, this is irrelevant to farang. They just want to sit on the smelly beasts and get their pictures snapped. Only wash, clean or feed the elephants when tourists are present, doing so at other times is a waste of energy and is not sanuk. Educating tourists about elephants is not necessary, in fact, during the entire trek, the mahout should be begging for money, only inserting useful facts arbitrarily during his carefully memorized and choreographed routine. The mahout should be continually mentioning how he has many children, a jobless wife, and how being a mahout doesn’t pay enough.

The mahout should further mention that the trekking company charges him 2000 baht per month for housing, but only pays him 1500 baht per month, thus necessitating his constant and regrettable begging for money from honorable tourists. If a tourist asks a question, the mahout should somehow answer the question by emphasizing his poverty, ex: “So how much do these Elephants eat in a day?” Answer: “Elephant eat more than me, I so hungry, my kid so hungry, my wife very hungry, elephant trek pay not enough.” “So, my good mahout, where is your hometown?” Answer: “I from Isaan, this most poor part of Thailand. Every day must send money to family, so hungry, so poor part of Thailand!” Farang love paying to learn about and interact elephants, and then being regaled with tales of your abject poverty instead. It’s what they come for.

Finally, large signs must be hung throughout the trek, in English, stating that the elephants will surely starve to death and die if you do not tip your Mahout generously. How generously you may ask, my dear farang? Fear not, an even larger sign above the elephant stables towards the end of the tour will state in English “Minimum Tip Required to Save the Elephants from Certain Starvation: 1500 baht. Anything Less Would Be Inhumane.” A similar Japanese sign will be posted next to the English sign, stating the same in Japanese, but with the baht amount changed to 5000 baht.

Mahouts will be the first to go. I recently went on an elephant trek in Phuket. Basically it was an hour long plea for money from the desperate mahout. I wanted ear plugs. His begging was cutting into my vestibular nerve causing ear pain and an eventual migraine. I looked around for something to club him over the head with, but my female companion and I were wearing only sandals, nothing heavy. I pondered strangulation. Possibly blunt force trauma to the temporal or parietal. No one was watching, there were no cameras, we could just pretend like he fell off the elephant, we’re 30 minutes away from the nearest human, we’d be the only witnesses. Danainamerica’s email flashed through my head. Yes, every tourist issued a gun at Suvarnabhumi and 50 rounds. 14 in the first clip and one in the chamber with little elephants stamped onto the casings of the hollow point hydra-shok law enforcement grade rounds. Mahouts will be the first to go. Much like the free roaming cattle of the Pushkar region of India, the elephants of Thailand will again be free to roam the streets uninhibited.

On Monger Networking

We’re sitting in a bar. We’re in Singapore. Just another business trip, another hotel, more names and faces that are easy to forget, and more nights fueled by whatever we can get our hands on. It’s monger friend/co-worker Brian and I, sitting at “The Bar”, inside the Regent hotel. It’s too early, almost empty. A Filipino band is playing and a round faced 50-something Filipino man is crooning. It’s "Daddy Don't You Walk So Fast" by Wayne Newton. The crooner is putting forth sufficient effort, but is not doing justice to the original recording from 1972. Brian and I are quarreling with regards to which blow job bar offers the best service/baht ratio. Brian is arguing in favor of Lolita’s (Pattaya) while I am advocating the Pump Station (Pattaya). I am partial to the Pump Station, mainly because of its format, creative naming and overall uniqueness. Other blow job bars are not really “Blow Job Bars” they are bars, with little side rooms, that have little couches, little curtains, and either pillows, mats, or at the really cheap places, towels for the girls to rest their knees on while working on your member.

For me, uniqueness is rare, and thus demands more recognition. A seedy bar with little curtained off side rooms is common. Just visit Soi 6 for countless examples. The Pump Station is set up like an actual bar, where the lovely lass of your choice crawls under the counter and services you while you sit at the bar, sometimes with others sitting around in proximity. You could potentially have some of your mates all sit at the bar, and then have each contestant begin at the same time, and whoever blows their load first has to pay for everyone’s drinks. You can have fun with it. You can high five your buddies, while getting a sloppy BJ, sitting at a bar, drinking a cold beer. Curtains and couches just don’t cut it.

Brian argues that the quality of women at the Pump Station is not up to par with Lolita's. I berate him for this ignorance, and remind him that what you can’t see, can’t hurt you (AIDS excepted). Thus, if you can’t see her face, it doesn’t matter. In fact, his comment is so far off base, I feel as though we don’t even exist on the same plane of consciousness. We are talking about a BJ bar. I’m not paying $20 USD plus a three dollar tip to see a pretty face. That’s what high end clubs are for. Bring on the grannies. Bring on the trannies. Bring on the toothless beetle nut chewing geriatrics from the furthest provinces. Forget sucking the chrome off a trailer hitch, I want the most demented and surgically altered tranny, who can suck a trailer hitch so hard that it breaks down into its most basic of molecules, and almost ceases to exist. I’m paying for a service, not a beauty pageant. Bring on the toothless yaba addicted former freelancer who can fully dislocate her jaw and spin her tongue at 86.5 rotations per minute. I’m paying for talent, god given or developed over years of hard work. Save the pretty girls for soapy clubs and model clubs. These junior mongers are clueless, though Brian is actually older than myself, which makes it even more shameful.

Anyhow, I got side tracked. We’re sitting at the bar, which is conveniently called “The Bar”, so as not to be confused with “The Restaurant”. A man ambles in and sits himself in the chair next to Brian. He is in his 50’s. I’m guessing, wrong side of 55, but could be wrong. He has the face of an experienced man. Wrinkles in all the right places, a skin tone dark enough to hint that he goes places and does things, but not dark enough to suggest that he is on vacation or retired. Casual attire, he wouldn’t appear comfortable in a suit, not a business man, but a professional nonetheless. He’s wearing a shirt bearing the logo of the “Apocalypse Now” bar in Saigon. He is an experienced ex-pat. It’s not his first time at this bar. He is comfortable. He is at home. He is confident. I peg his appearance and manor as distinctly West Coast American but possibly Mid-west. I venture to guess that he is captain of a ship. After introductions, I learn that he is actually a pilot. We get to talking, and conversation, as it invariably does, quickly turns to the subject of hookers. Which places are best? Which places have the most selection? Which places offer the best value for the money? Here we are, Brian and I with nearly unlimited corporate jet miles at our disposal, and this man, whose job is flying around Asia. Three men, who travel, and monger in the same part of the world. Three similar minds, in one place, at one time.

Being a pilot, and a pilot in Asia, I imagine this man to be a bottomless well of prostitute related information. After all, what other job allows one to frequent the most happening nightlife areas of Asia, week after week, year after year while simultaneously allowing one the monetary means to enjoy every last millimeter that each fleshpot has to offer? Pilot. Asia. This man is my new hero. All of the sudden, our argument about Pattaya BJ bars seems trivial. We now sit back and listen to this man, this self-professed monger with years upon years of Asia experience. I want plug into his head and download every last bit of useful mongering related information that is encoded in his brain, firing between groups of neurons. We beg him to grace us with his reviews, his experiences, his stories.

Wanting not to waste this man’s time, we ask for a solid recommendation. Anywhere in Asia, if given the chance, where would this man return to? His answer: Orchard Towers, in Singapore. A pause. I wait for the punch line. The punch line never comes. Years in Asia, and this is what he recommends? Orchard Towers? Four floors of whores? Are you serious? “How about Thailand” I query. His response “Oh yeah that Patpong is wild, ohhhboy, yes sireeee, wild shows there.” How about Cowboy? How about Nana? How about Pattaya? This man, this Asia traveler, with supposedly over 8000 hours logged in flight, this self professed card carrying member of the naughty night life club, when asked about the absolute best place for mongering in Asia could only reply “Orchard Towers”. First of all, it’s packed with trannies now (not the hot kind). Second of all, even if you climb all the way to the top floor, and locate the hottest piece of meat, she will hardly compare with what Walking Street has on offer any night of the week. Unreal. We realize that on the monger compulsory education ladder, this man is a first grader. We politely excuse ourselves and continue our Pump Station vs. Lolita's debate. Part time mongers are everywhere. Serious hobby mongers, and career mongers, harder to find.


Bangkok August 16th, 2059

Well, we’ve come a long way in the last 40 years. And baby, things are different. Upon arriving at Suvarnabhumi, clearing customs and immigration takes less than 5 seconds. Sub-dermal RFID implants, encased in silicate glass relay our arrival information and itineraries directly into the Thai Immigration Bureau’s central data processing center as each person passes through an un-manned entry carousel. There are no immigration delays, because those whose RFID implanted microchips contain incomplete information wouldn’t have been allowed to board the plane in the first place. Creative thinking. Problem solved. It’s as easy as 1,2,3. The same immigration computer that scans my RFID chip also checks my health using temperature and heart rate measurements. All tourists from China or other so called “plague infested” zones who demonstrate even the slightest fever or symptoms are automatically quarantined in a sealed glass container, and shipped via subterranean conveyor belt to a government hospital, or in some cases directly back into the departure lounge, where they will be loaded onto a departing plane.

The city has done away with airport taxis entirely. Too many complaints. Too dirty, too slow, too much traffic. There are now Mag-lev high speed bullet trains running non-stop to Pattaya from Suvarnabhumi. Separate lower speed Mag-lev trains run to the lower Sukhumvit area and other areas essential to farang visitors. Originally the Pattaya Mag-lev line, also known as the SLUT line (Super Land Utility Train) was intended to reach speeds of only 334.5kph, but the resident farang population of Pattaya all got together in a town hall meeting at the Jenny Star Bar (JSB) on walking street, and collectively petitioned to have the train modified to reach speeds of 569kph. Thus, the time required to transport one’s self from Suvarnabhumi to Pattaya is now reduced to just ten minutes and fifty five seconds one way (additional time having been allotted for acceleration to full speed and deceleration from full speed).

The original SLUT line used an Electrodynamic propulsion system, but it was quickly discovered that Electrodynamic means of propulsion were causing passengers’ pacemakers to go hay-wire due to heavy magnetic interference, so the SLUT line was recently updated to an Electromagnetic propulsion device, so as not to disrupt the operation of pacemakers.

A long time ago, before the adaption of Mag-lev trains and RFID chips, many Thai scoundrels would attempt to separate a farang from his hard earned money by way of trickery and deception. Well, times they have changed, as does culture, as do people, as does the weather. Thai scammers, plagued with too much so-called “Brain Hurt Syndrome” (BHS)have now resorted to more direct means of crime. In short, scams have disappeared, and now morally challenged locals just take what they want, when they want. It works like this; a criminal spots you, puts a gun in your face, and just takes what he wants. Depending on his mood and the relative cost of bullets as compared to whatever he has just liberated from your wallet, he either lets you go, or dispatches you on the spot.

No more gem scams, no more closed temple scams, no more tuktuk scams, no more beggars, no more tailor shop scams, no more taxi small-change scams. Gone the way of the dodo. Completely disappeared, never to return. The Thais have realized that time is money. It takes too much time and effort to trick farang. Those clever farang have become much savvier than they were back in 2009. It’s easier just to point a gun, and take. And so it was that Thai culture came to war with itself, on one hand wanting and needing legitimate tourist dollars, while on the other hand also wanting to extract illicit dollars with as little effort as possible. The tourist sector and criminal sector of Thailand are now two completely different and warring factions within society. Once they were intertwined closely, being scammed was part of engaging in tourist activities.

But that was back in 2009. Now the criminals have separated themselves from the tourist industry completely. And now they don’t waste time with trickery, they just point, shoot, and take. No more katoeys stuffing wads of paper into your pocket to disguise the wad of baht they just removed. No more poor moms begging on the Sukhumvit with someone else’s baby. It’s just point, shoot, take. Anything else requires too much effort, less time spent on trickery leads to more time spent on other pursuits, like Mekong whisky, Isaan school girls, and sleeping.

As a result, the Farang Tourism Ministry (formerly TAT) has separated all tourist areas from the rest of the cities completely. We’re talking large walls, with broken glass and guard dogs. We’re talking armor plated Mag-lev trains soaring high above the criminal ghettos below. We’re talking separate free economic zones, within major cities. The FEZs (or Free Economic Zones) span the lower Sukhumvit area, Patpong, Cowboy, Pattaya, etc. Completely separated. The FEZs even use a different currency, called the Monger Dollar, which is not pegged to any single currency, and provides a favorable exchange rate to all major world currencies. The only limitation being that a monger cannot exchange more monger dollars upon exit than what he exchanged when he first entered. This rule was set in place to prevent abuse of the Monger Dollar Favorable Exchange Rate Policy of 2018.

Monger Dollars can be used anywhere inside the Free Economic Zones, and can take the form of paper money or virtual credits added to a SMART card which can be used in the place of cash. (The Mayor of the Free Economic Zone Coalition would like to apologize to all citizens of Nigeria, but due to repeated abuse of the monger dollar exchange system, citizens of Nigeria are not permitted to enter the FEZs). Instead of carrying around a gangster-roll of cash, a tourist may simply use their SMART cash card anywhere, any time. Bar girls can make use of the monger payment gateway located inside every bar, and linked to a merchant account at the Monger Industrial Bank to process customer payments for lady drinks, bar fines, and short time/long time. Every transaction is recorded. Freelancers who wish to use a monger payment gateway or terminal will have to incorporate as sole proprietor businesses at the Free Economic Zone City Hall, and will be given a tax ID along with their electronic, portable, monger card processing terminals. Now paying for fun is as easy as 1,2,3. Point and click baby. Cash is a thing of the past, only used for gratuity in rare cases.

The current merchant account rate offered to bars, bar girls, and every industry person will be 7%, plus $0.25 monger dollars per transaction, and a monthly maintenance fee of $19 monger dollars. Higher than average, but for a good cause. The Monger Industrial Bank uses the profits to maintain the perimeter walls, and the high speed Mag-lev trains, as well as to keep the streets within the Free Economic Zones spotlessly clean and free of graft (aka Police). These kinds of things don’t pay for themselves. You see, prostitution can contribute to improving communities. Monger dollars may only be spent within the confines of the Free Economic Zones, and are worthless outside. The internal economies of the Free Economic Zones always favor the buyer. Everything is cheap regardless of external contributing factors. Businesses take losses as opposed to raising prices. This promotes a feeling of security and predictability, which reduces stress among consumers, and encourages them to spend freely, thus buffering businesses against times of loss (aka low season).

Normal Thais need to apply for special visas to work, enter, or do business inside the Free Economic Zones. Criminal background checks are mandatory for locals applying for entry (bar girls and katoeys excepted). Those without legitimate business concerns within the Free Economic Zones are not granted entry visas. As a result of the virtual non-existence of scams, harassment, beggars, touts, and hawkers, tourists in the Free Economic Zones feel much more inclined to spend their monger dollars, and honest tourist related businesses that are granted permits to operate in the Free Economic Zones benefit greatly without the need to scam anyone.

Monger dollars flow freely, everyone is happy. Salaries are generous, dishonesty is frowned upon. Back in 2009, these streets were filled with touts, lying in wait to fleece the unsuspecting farang. They are now extinct. They exist only on the outside of the perimeter walls, clawing at the concrete, hoping, wishing, scheming. Lower Sukhumvit, Patpong, Cowboy, and Pattaya are now Free Economic Zones, independent of the rest of Thailand. Culture, temples, tuktuks, songtaew, and reclining Buddhas are waiting for you on the other side of the perimeter walls, along with every tout and scammer who would slit their own mother’s throat for a dollar. Why risk it? Cultural tourism was long ago over-run by greedy gangsters and scam artists. This is the Land of Smiles, 2059, and the only people smiling are on this side of the wall, looking outwards.

Two Neungs and a Noi, on the Rocks

I’m obsessed with the idea that the entire monger experience can somehow be encapsulated and sold or at least retained. Not on video, not in digital stills, but in an all encompassing experience. It is, after all, an experience, and not something real or physical. Being just an experience, and not something tangible, then it is perhaps something that can be re-created by use of chemicals, visual or auditory stimulation, or perhaps technology. Imagine the monger experience, broken down into numbers representing sounds, sights, smells, visuals, and feelings, and then re-assembled and stored in proteins and isoenzymes which are then chemically re-produced, synthesized, and compressed into a tangible pill. Something real.

For example, a red colored pill could be “Noi”, and a green colored pill could be “Da”, purple could be “Fa” and a pink pill could be the combined sounds, sights, smells, visuals, and feelings that comprised your experience with the lovely “Neung”. Memories are simple connections between neurons. When a neuron makes and then reinforces that connection with another neuron, that is a memory. Feelings are perceptions related to chemical reactions within our minds. Happiness or well-being can be caused by inhibiting serotonin re-uptake. In layman’s terms, we have pills that allow us to perceive pleasure where it did not exist before. So why not go one step further?

I’m working day and night, putting my company’s vast resources into good use and pushing towards clinical trials. I’m up late manipulating molecules and pressing pills. Last September I patrolled walking street straddled with an EEG machine, measuring my brain waves, and taking notes. I recorded encounters with more than 60 ladies, carefully measuring my brain waves against time and taking notes of points of particular interest or feeling. Changes in brain waves and blood flow were continuously monitored, and the results for each unique experience were then fed into a piece of proprietary software which converted the readings into 1’s and 0’s. Whole feelings and experiences converted into mathematical equations and patterns.

We took these results back to the lab and began breaking down and separating parts of each experience. For example; Neung. The lovely Neung. She’s my first subject. She had short hair, shaped perfectly like a bowl cut, and dyed bright pink. She had light skin, and a distinct perfume. The way she moved, the feeling of her skin, at each point in the interaction, each sense was being utilized. This created a unique feeling, resulting from a specific series of chemical reactions, and overall creating a specific numerical report that could not possibly be duplicated in nature, even by Neung’s twin sister. To recreate the experience of Neung, one need not capture Neung’s actual smell, one need simply to capture the perception of her smell, and the chemical reaction it caused in the brain in order to recreate the experience. Neurons hitting other neurons. You can remember smells, farang, can’t you? Just neurons hitting other neurons in your mind, re-creating a smell, a memory.

Well technology is here. Imagine, you are sitting back in Dallas, or Sydney, or Auckland or New York and you suddenly want Neung. You need only swallow an 80 milligram pink Neung pill, and wait 20-30 minutes for the full Neung experience to kick in. You’ll be able to smell, sense, recall visually and aurally the whole Neung experience in its entirety. It is technology put to use for the advancement of mankind. It is neuron manipulation and chemical trickery. Cocaine is for amateurs. Imagine capturing each of your Thai experiences and synthesizing them into little pills, which you could use at a later time to recreate your favorite experiences.

Better than cameras, better than DVDs. Better than any illicit substance on the face of the earth. Memories, perceptions, feelings and experiences can be broken down into unique numbers and recreated. You know that guy in your office, three doors down? The guy who annoys you. The guy who asks for favors, borrows money, makes excuses, shows up late to meetings, etc? There are pills for him too. Why not spike his morning coffee with a brown pill, aka the tranny bondage gangbang nightmare memory pill. I love science.

Stickman's thoughts:

Very nicely put together.