Solo In Thailand #3
After arriving in the Pattaya bus terminal and taking the motor bike taxi to my hotel off beach road, I instantly felt the "shadiness" of Pattaya and that buzz of a place that is crawling with human activity. I decided to cool off in the pool
and while swimming watched all the characters milling in and out of the lobby with young attractive girls. It seemed that the girls were heading home either to get some more sleep, or work on answering another call or two from another punter
across the way. I decided to go have a walk about, the beginning of many strolls through the bar-girl hoots and hollers of SOI 8.
I began a nightly ritual in Pattaya, first stopping in at the 7/11 picking up a few Singhas and chilling on the boardwalk next to beach road. I loved watching the sunset and the human circus meander up and down the walk way. It is really enjoyable seeing all the nationalities, and the little quirks that make us all different and unique; the Japanese being bussed in one after the other on chartered buses, complete with a tour leader or is that a karaoke singer??? The Germans and their sock/sandals, the Brits pissed up early, groups of Indians returning from monkey island and local Thais folding up beach chairs, eating/drinking whiskey or sleeping off a big meal. However, my favourite sub-group was the older ex-pat crowd that had retired to Pattaya. Complete with a younger Thai woman usually hand in hand, meeting up with other ex-pats, or walking/jogging in the evening. While yes, Pattaya was shady, in my own view it felt more "alive" than most places, truly an adult Disneyworld.
I could easily understand how a majority of these older men where really enjoying their "golden years", living rather than dying in a retirement community. Worst yet, being regulated to a shut in existence, enjoying the occasional monthly visit from a family that felt burdened by the care they now needed. Here these men seemed happy, many of the ex-pats I met had joined clubs, golfed, ate and drank with beautiful women a couple times a week. Had established new friendships with people from all over the world, and still raised hell here and there. I realize there is also the other side of that coin, the darker element of society also in Pattaya. However, seeing the retirement alternative in the states, especially in Florida, South Carolina and Arizona…I would choose Thailand hands down as a more "living" retirement area.
My first night out in Pattaya began like almost every night for me in Pattaya, heading out "solo". I believe this is the best way to allow yourself the opportunity to see where your night will take you, without feeling the pressure to conform to a group, or another's desires. I had read up enough on Pattaya, all the various forums, Stickman's site, and years of educating myself via the internet. (Stick, I agree the internet has had a MAJOR influence on tourism to Thailand) to have a little understanding of what the naughty nightlife was about.
Soon I was in a baht bus off to Walking Street and beginning the go-go bar/beer bar circuit. As Dean Barrett described it, I had the look of a newbie in Thailand. I had the jaw on the floor more than a few times inside some of the better go-gos in Pattaya. Truly I was amazed at some of the stunners in these places. While I bought a few drinks here and there and bantered with the girls I really just enjoyed my time taking it all in. Finally I ended my night at Insomnia nightclub and was being approached or smiled at by many beautiful women. Yes, it's true, I could no longer contain myself. I was grabbed by a Thai beauty. Her name was May and she was one of the stunners I had made eye contact with at Happy a go-go, she remembered me from earlier in the night and was already spinning me up in her web!!! After a few drinks and dancing we were headed back to my hotel. To say the least May was a blast, my hotel room was rocking in and out of the bed. The next morning, more like afternoon I slipped May a couple thousand baht. She wanted me to come and "take her out of work" but I quickly told her I was here for fun, and I was a "butterfly" enjoying Pattaya. She understood and left with a smile. I had agreed on the rule, no way would I spend more than 3 days with one girl, pointless especially since I was leaving in a few weeks, and secondly in a place overloaded with more women, why allow myself to get roped into just one girl…well that macho man theory was quickly put to the test the very next night!!!
Again I was off to Walking Street, checking out more than a few bars, and again ending up in Insomnia around 3 a.m. I bellied up to the bar and ordered a drink and felt the eyes of another beautiful Thai girl on me. I introduced myself and was greeted with "hello, my name is Faye, let me guess you're an American and I can tell this is your first time to Pattaya, am I right?" I was shocked, not just because she was correct in her assumption, but this was by far the best English I had heard from any Thai girl I had met up to this point. Faye started in on me, laughing about how many times she had seen me walking up and down the street earlier in the evening. She at first thought I was lost but realized I must be new to Pattaya and her friends in the Irish Bar got a kick out of counting how many times I passed by their window.
Faye soon suggested I join her at JP's pool bar for a game of pool and some drinks with her friends. I agreed, and we played pool for hours. I laughed at how serious these girls took their games, especially Faye. These girls were true pool sharks. Where were Paul Newman and Tom Cruise when you needed them!!! Soon I noticed the sun was coming up, and I was about to leave when Faye grabbed my arm and said "I would like for you to be my guest at my mama's restaurant for food and drinks." I agreed and we walked through some back alleys towards the loud blaring music and many Middle Easterners dancing and smoking hookahs. I felt like I was in Saudi Arabia and was laughing at how these Arabs were still going strong as the sun was coming up.
We walked up to a restaurant that had an outdoor cafe. Faye introduced me to two young Indians who escorted me to a table and brought out whiskey and cokes, wet towels and appetizers. Faye disappeared inside the restaurant, and returned a few minutes later. "My mama is happy I am here, please eat and drink whatever you like, the food is excellent." Faye was correct the food was delicious and soon I was inquiring about Faye's background…it just didn't seem like a typical freelancer to me…but once again nothing seems to be what you think it is in Thailand.
Faye's background was indeed very interesting…she had 2 brothers and 2 sisters. Her real mother lived in Phuket while her aunty or her Mama lived in Pattaya with her sisters who owned a few restaurants and golf driving ranges all over Pattaya. Faye had attended university in Bangkok and her brothers were involved with security for the royal family. Needless to say, Faye had many connections in Bangkok. Faye had recently been married to a young wealthy Italian, who had a very successful resort/business ventures in Phuket. Faye travelled all over the world with her new husband. She could speak English, Italian, and Russian. Faye loved her new lifestyle. However, a few years into the marriage Faye discovered her new husband had been unfaithful with a co-worker in Italy, and Faye had returned to Thailand. She spent her time, during low season in Pattaya helping her sisters and mama and the other half of the year working in the resort business in Phuket. Faye could tell I was sceptical and asked if I would like to come to her condo tomorrow and see pictures. I agreed and a date was set.
With the sun rising in the sky, I was ready to head off to sleep, Faye insisted she give me a ride back to my hotel and off I went into the Pattaya morning. Again I felt "alive" on the back seat of a motorbike, with a beautiful Thai girl driving, the sun rising, morning commuters zipping by me, late night revellers still not wanting to give up on there night, and bar-girls heading back from their exploits…I still chuckle at that surreal moment in my head!!!
Faye dropped me off at my hotel and we exchanged numbers. She told me she had a surprise for me tomorrow…with that she sped off…and I headed back to my room with a huge grin on my face…replaying the night over in my head and waiting to see where this new exotic adventure would take me…to be continued.
There are some adventures to be had in Thailand, and not just the usual thing. Some of the characters have some really interesting and varied backgrounds and it sounds like Faye was one such person.