Stickman Readers' Submissions January 11th, 2010

A Rather Sexy Toy

Meandering, as one does, along Sukhumvit Soi 22 you never quite know what is going to happen. Plenty of beer bars, a bit of a reputation as a shakedown area for the cops and even mad old-timers in Washington Square weaving their way home. The previous night I'd been stopped by a fellow Brit, a complete drunk who demanded some baht for his taxi home. More like his next beer. He was quite upset when I told him I did not know where the nearest toilet was – my polite way of telling him to go f..k himself. If he'd been less drunk he may have managed to whack me one but I was long gone by the time he got his mind around the idea. At heart, there is always the thought that I might end up like that, so such people tend to really piss me off.

But this fine December night, someone screamed my name out; didn't recognize the voice but saw the hand beckoning me into one of the beer bars that threatened to spill over into the street. I recognized the woman, first saw her some twenty-five years ago… she was such a star in the small Soi Cowboy bar that I never actually saw her dance, she was always barfined or in what passed for a relationship with some besotted farang. I'd been told she had one of the hottest bodies in Bangkok but never got close to seeing it – she always wore loose clothing, strictly pay to see! It took me a couple of beers and going through the alphabet a few times before I came up with her name – Toy!

He Clinic Bangkok

Back then, her sponsor was an aged German who ran a Bangkok restaurant and already had a Thai wife and kids. He had her stashed in a cheap apartment in one of Soi 22's narrow lanes. She must've been about twenty back then, but I was never really interested as I found her face a bit of a turn-off, a bit too much of the hooker in it, as in I want all your money, fast! But the German, Toby, was about seventy and obviously needed a hot body to get his motor running; no vitamin V back then.

I was twenty-nine and living with a nineteen year-old gal from Nong Khai, Sawn, who was related to both Toy and the mamasan at the bar in Cowboy. The mamasan married to a very glum Scandinavian chap who only brightened up when one of his fellow countrymen visited the bar. Both Toy and the mamasan shared a passion for young Thai men who were fit enough to pass for boxers, although I only ever saw them once. They had not managed to pass them off as brothers, DJ's or toilet attendants – Thais tended not to rub it in the faces of farang back then. Or at least less so than today, I was actually physically ill when I found out the depths of the deception, when the Thai gigolo bar upstairs in Soi Cowboy was pointed out to me…

Having said that, Bernard Trink was writing his nightlife column in the Bangkok World – I think – and almost every week he warned imbibers not to fall for the b-gals because they all had local husbands, boyfriends, pimps etc. At the time, it sounded like the sour musings of a tired out old man but the more I learnt of the bar scene, the more correct he proved to be. One thing is for sure, the neon areas were much more interesting when the go-go bars weren't all part of one of the big groups – stuff all the bright lights and excess neon, just give me dives with cheap prices and plenty of fresh country girls. All that, for the most part, is ancient history these sad days and I find myself disinclined to bother with the motley collection of overpriced hardcore go-go dancers and ex-brothel gals.

CBD bangkok

Bangkok is a small city for farang, something like ten years ago I'd bumped into Toy in Thigh Bar in Patpong, all married up to some American guy – nice enough chap but completely clueless about Toy. After Toby gave Toy a five baht gold chain for Christmas he was dumped – when her Thai man went to sell it, turned out to be fake and he was almost arrested. Big loss of face all round, so Toy moved on to some Japanese guy for a few years and then disappeared for a while.

Toy's best friend was Bee, fat even when she was young, she never seemed to get barfined at all, but had already dropped one kid with a Thai man (long gone as far as I could tell). She ended up going off to Saudi with a rich Arab – for a while, came back rich enough to avoid the bar scene and pay for some serious education for her son. I'd started off living near to Soi 22 and over the years had moved further away along Sukhumvit and ended up in Soi 81 (apartment rental stayed the same, I just had further to walk or commute to the bar scene). Hadn't seen her for years when I bumped into her in the market on Sukhumvit opposite Tesco Lotus – she was now running some kind of shoe wholesale business. Despite twenty-odd years of wear and tear she didn't look much different and had sent her son off to University in London! A success story given that she started off with no appeal whatsoever to farang.

Writing that reminds me that she was also into lesbian sex and was hanging out with Kaa, who was somehow, distantly, related to Sawn and popped in and out of our lives over the years. Until she died of AIDS. Being Thailand, being a lesbian didn't mean she wouldn't go with men for money and somewhere along the line had caught the dreaded virus – back when it was not easily treated. Kaa was actually a tiny little thing and much more to farang tastes than Bee.

Sawn's best friend was Dee, who was maybe twenty years older and already past it for the bar scene but she had a way of getting under the skin of elderly Germans who always came back to see her a few times a year. She ended up in a serious relationship with a German professor who was a guest lecturer at one of the universities – no one seemed to understand why I was pissed when Dee organized a birthday party for the German's farang wife (she had no idea of their relationship). The Thais found it all hilarious. Anyway, Dee's various German friends put her sons through school and eventually set her up in a restaurant in Saraburi. When there weren't any Germans around, every time we saw Dee she was with a youngish Thai chap who claimed to work as a security guard – he wasn't your typical scowling Thai pimp, a very amiable if very large lad. He was such a nice chap that I actually hope it all went well for them. Before getting into the bar scene after her Thai husband died, she worked in a restaurant so she had gone full circle.

wonderland clinic

Sawn and I eventually parted company, she off to Israel, marriage and a kid. A few years later I saw her dancing naked in one of the Nana bars but she decided to ignore my existence – not one of her success stories, my pleading of poverty had eventually pissed her off and led her to leave empty-handed. Later, she so enraged her new American beau that he beat the shit out of her, left her for dead and fled the country. She only just survived the surgery and to this day can be found in a Phuket bar waiting in vain for her next sucker… given that she started out as a stunner and fantastical f..k (I have never found better, anyway), rather a waste – not that I am complaining as I enjoyed her best years!

All these people worked – for a while – in the same small go-go in Cowboy and seeing Toy again brought back the memories. There was also Lek – there's always a Lek, isn't there? – who always looked a bit ill to me, who later worked in Tilac for a while, ended up as a yaa baa junky and into Thai men; not seen for at least a decade. And the most beautiful of them all all – Hoi. She turned her Swiss husband – young and athletic – into a heroin addict, only rescued by his mother turning up and taking them back to Switzerland. Once she got her Swiss passport, divorced him and ended up with some large, blonde-haired, blue-eyed giant who was as thick as two short planks and thus easily controlled. Not sure if she was into the money, though, as the last time I saw them about five years ago they were staying in a very cheap hotel, though one renowned for its drug connections… nothing changes, it seems.

And so it was with Toy in Soi 22… whilst the American husband was left slaving away over a hot computer in their condo, the shameless hussy was arm in arm with some young Thai army chap, not giving a shit who went running to hubbie with tales of infidelity… and, Toy, for once, showing off long, dancer's legs – giving me a final hint of what I'd missed over the years. Or not.

Stickman's thoughts:

That's a nice trip down memory lane. Some things never change!

nana plaza