People Watching Can Be Fun
Okay, okay. To avoid risk of incarceration at Dana’s Correctional Facility and not have him turn blue while practicing breath control I’ll emerge from hibernation, wade out of my sub-soi, and see if I can come up with a ‘G’-rated
monger article (if there is such a thing). Stick’s first get-together did end a little early, so I ended up with Union Hill and Broken Man checking out the customised furniture in Mandarin just next door. A personalised demonstration
on the use of said furniture could be had for the cost of one ladies’ drink…
But I digress.
Instead, let’s discuss one of my favourite hobbies. It’s called people watching. What I like about it is that it costs practically nothing; the cost of a drink or two (which you’re going to consume anyway) gets you a grandstand seat at any venue you choose.
You can sub-divide this hobby as short-term and long-term observation, and further categorise it as participating or non-participating.
It’s interesting what you get to see.
The places I like for short-term non-participating people watching are places like the Foodland food courts, or next to the rail at Golden Beer Bar or Big Dog’s. The old Big Mango balcony was great for watching all the girls and wanna-be girls (it’s a sport in itself trying to tell them apart) come in to the Plaza and wai the spirit house before continuing on to their place of employment. Another place I liked was the rail outside the Three Roses (now Spanky’s); you could always pop in and have a chat with the girls if things went quiet outside.
The rest stop along the highway on the way to Pattaya is another interesting place. You can spot the more experienced ladies (with their latest teerak in tow) by their dress sense and unique command of English. Just as some farangs have learnt their Thai in a particular environment that places them, so have these ladies.
It’s also easy to spot the guy fresh out of Swampypoom by the look of eager anticipation on his face getting out of the hired taxi at the seven-eleven looking for a couple of tinnies. This look is usually replaced by gloom if he’s buying his tinnies on the other side of the road.
You also find the occasional pickup disgorging an entire Thai family for a meal at one of the many food shops. The lone farang in their midst is usually totally enthralled with just one particular person and is totally oblivious to the amounts of food being consumed. He will inevitably and unconsciously foot the bill for the food.
As much as Dana seems to want to put the place down, the Federal Hotel coffee shop (and the short walk from Sukhumvit to get there) was also a nice place to use as base camp as it used to be open twenty-four hours, had cheap and reasonably good food, and I could park there for free if any of the five parking bays was available. It was also a place where time appeared to have stood still.
There are times when a little participation is involved before you get to observe anything. Here are a few personal anecdotes.
I’m sure many visitors to Nana have been offered ‘snacks’ that the girls seem to live on that have been purchased from the insect cart vendor near the entrance. I sometimes wonder if they really want you to try it, or do they want to watch your reaction when you figure out it’s not quite your everyday staple? I think the latter.
So to put the boot on the other foot, I was not too far from the Democracy Monument one day with the company driver on an equipment buying trip. As is usually the case, I’ll buy a bowl of noodles or something similar when lunch time comes around. It’s usually appreciated. Well, today I had something a little different in mind.
‘Here. Turn round this corner and find a place to park.’ Okay. Great. ‘Let’s go.’ ’What are we eating today?’ ‘Ah, some special Tom Leud Moo (pork blood soup).’ ‘Okay. Sounds good.’
Haha. Let’s see if he’s up to this one.
We sit down. ‘I’ll order.’
‘Two sets, with everything.’
He looks at me a little wide-eyed. He’s seen the menu, and they only have one thing here. The look on his face when the food arrived was a thing to behold.
Today, I have another convert to one of my favourite soups, Pork Brain Soup.
Another great place for people-watching was the small outdoor bar facing the steps going up to Cleopatra in Patpong. I used to have great fun talking with the old mamasan and the few girls who helped man the place. It was also fun getting to meet people from all over.
One day an English bloke stops over for a drink and is aghast at what he’s quoted for a quick roll in the hay. The girls are now avoiding him. He wants Cheap. I tell him. It’s not far. He goes off. The girls come back when they see him gone. Where to? They can’t stop laughing and shake their heads almost in disbelief when I tell them, ’Lumphini.’
One night I had the unenviable task of entertaining overseas visitors. These two gentlemen had come from Holland, and were interested to see how the nightlife compared to their country.
Having been to Amsterdam, and having walked around the Walletjes red light district, where all I saw were bikini-clad ladies in the shop windows, I did not know what they expected.
So after dinner I brought them to the Mermaidium.
The Mermaidium (back then) had a wall-to-wall fish tank. It was so full of water the girls had to swim. And they weren’t wearing anything either. The only accessory I remember was swim goggles, so they could collect tips that were thrown in. I once accidentally pulled out a ten baht note, the girl said ‘Throw it in!’ Haha. No way. I got it changed to two five baht coins first.
The look on those two guys’ faces was priceless.
Now when it comes to long-term observation, it’s like watching a train wreck in slow motion. Like when an American colleague got so infatuated with a singer that he wanted to hire her as a part-time driver and justify that to his wife. Seen too many, and they’re well documented here so I won’t touch on them today.
There are, however, instances when you just want to go out and have fun, come what may. Why not?
I’ve just walked into one of the naughtier bars in Soi Cowboy, and am flanked by two girls before I can even grab a seat. ‘You’re new here, aren’t you?’ It’s more of a statement than a question. I nod in agreement. I usually prefer Nana, but have been coming down to Cowboy the last few times I’ve been out for a drink. ‘Tiger.’ I quite like this beer, having acquired a taste for it when visiting Singapore. I’ve barely taken a swig when the first girl goes for my crotch, guiding my free hand up her skirt. Damn, she’s wearing shorts. Nice bum, though. I give it a squeeze to make sure. She giggles. ‘You buy me drink?’ The other girl is already massaging my shoulders. ‘Me too?’ Haha. It’s a slow night, and it’s still early, but I’m feeling generous. ‘Just one.’ ‘Each?’ ‘Okay, each.’ It makes them happy.
Noy is thirty-three, and Pa is forty. Not all girls lie (too much) about their age. Both have kids. The fact that I’m married and have kids doesn’t stop them from trying to get me into a short-time room. Not tonight, ladies. It’s been a long time since I’d even consider a quickie, and tonight is not one of them. I finish my beer, pay the bill, and wave to both the girls and the couple of guys I walked in with. They’ll probably stay a little longer. Maybe, just maybe… I’ll have another quick beer before heading off home. It’s an early start in the morning.
A couple of weeks prior, I’d been in one of the bigger bars with a couple of friends. This place has had a few renovations, with flashy lighting, mirrored tabletops and ceilings. If you wanted to be discreet and not take a direct view, these tabletops quite nicely mirrored the fact that the dancers were definitely not wearing any underpants. People-watching in these places can be quite fun, as it’s fairly easy to spot the recent arrivals. And contrary to what is to be believed, it is the newer visitors who are squirming at the ministrations of several practically naked girls at one time. The girls have you pegged. Hehe. Time to move on. We repaired to a small bar opposite, where I met a fellow who’d been teaching English for a year or so and was showing his younger brother the ropes. The girl who brought the drinks, Ai, was a little miffed that I’d want to chat with this bloke first and was doing her best to keep my attention. Poo, who’s in her thirties, was giving me a back rub at the same time. Ai is now getting annoyed as she’s finished her stint on stage and is fishing for another ladies’ drink. She flashes her tits at me. ‘One more drink?’ I point a little lower down and she unzips her shorts. I pull the elastic forward for a quick peek, and am rewarded by the sight of light fuzz. She pulls them off. Not to be outdone, Poo, too, has removed her shorts. I laugh and tell them to get themselves another drink. I swear the English teacher’s brother had his eyes falling out of his head. They both come back, thank me for the drink, and want a short-time threesome. I think not. Nee comes over when both of them get on stage and gives me a small peck on the cheek. She wants a drink too. Nee is different. She’s not brash like the others, wears glasses and has her nails trimmed short. She comes back and indicates she would be happy to do a short-time too. ‘I just shave,’ she says, pointing below. I tell her, not tonight, I’m seeing my Mia Noy tomorrow. She looks disappointed, but still asks if she can be Mia Noy number two. I laugh and shake my head.
Time to head for home.
Good Night, everyone.
Thailand is first class for people watching. I like Khao San Road, but nothing beats Walking Street.