I was sitting at my desk drinking my coffee, thinking two more sleeps to go. Just like a young child for Christmas or their birthday. My target was a little bit different. I had two more sleeps to go before I got to Bangkok. Living and working in Singapore was ok, but I sure looked forward to some time in Bangkok.
Friday morning finally came and I took a cab to the office with my case. I was lucky working for BBB (Big Bad Bob) although we all refer to him as BB for short. He has been working in Asia for 15 years including a 24-month stint in Bangkok before he was married. We had a regional conference starting Sunday night in Bangkok and all the younger guys try to arrive in on Saturday for a big night out before the work sessions. BB tries to join us for these night outs when he can but on this weekend he had other commitments like a ballet concert and a PTA dinner on the Saturday night. Luckily as we get along really well now and he knew my special plans he “asked” me to go on early flight so I could meet a client of his on the Friday evening. I obviously obliged.
The morning seemed to drag slowly and I could not concentrate on figure work so spent most of the time going from office to office chatting and trying to make my watch go faster. After lunch I went to the airport to get the 3.30 plane to Bangkok. I like to go on Thai to try to start the experience early. In economy class you always get the younger hosties: I like to wai them and get a smile and start the juices working. They talk and my fantasies start going.
I got to the Ambassador Hotel in Sukhumvit Soi 11 which I picked because of the two entrances which means you do not have to go through the main foyer: you can go through the arcade next to Villa market if you want. A quick shower and shave and I am now ready for the fantasy beginning. I need food so go to the Thai place on corner of Soi 5. A few beers, some local food, trying to catch the eyes of the waitresses who love to chat amongst themselves with their backs to the customers, which seems to be standard training in Thailand and then I am ready to go. I walk down towards Nana intersection, passing the girls in front of Tony Roma’s. Black African girls at 8.30 at night, Oh my, how things are changing in Bangers. I tell myself to forget all thoughts of them. Man, you are on your way to see if heaven exists. As I cross the road at Soi 3 intersection and walk up, I notice how decrepit this walk way is, with stalls encroaching on the pavement, rubbish in between them and people everywhere. How different it looks at 8.30 pm with a sober mind rather than seeing it through the rose colored glasses of the lustful alcoholic haze at 11.30 pm.
I walked into the entertainment capitol of the world, Nana Plaza. Well ok, maybe only the entertainment capitol of Bangkok! Well at least it is the capitol of the lower Sukhumvit area. Still looks the same and still smells the same, maybe even a little bit stronger. I stroll around the ground floor just trying to soak up the atmosphere: sex, fantasy, hope, desperation, squalor and money. Maybe there is more squalor and desperation for money with the current climate. I slowly stroll around to where she usually hangs out but cannot see her. I feel my pulse go faster, a little fear factor starting. What to do? Just sit down there, get a beer, wait and think.
Getting to know BB really started after I had been in the office for around four months and we did a trip together to Bangkok. We did the day work, did the entertainment part to around 11.00 pm and found ourselves dropped off at hotel a little worse for wear already. I mentioned to BB that I had never been to Patpong and thought I would go and have a look. A light seemed to come on in his eyes. He said he would come, just for a little time to show me around as we had an 8.30 meeting at the hotel in the morning. He took me to a few bars for a quick look and then we headed down to the section near the Silom end. He stopped; he put his arm around my shoulders and said softly in that Texas drawl of his: “Buddy, you do know that what happens in Bangers stays in Bangers, don’t you?” I just nodded and smiled. When your boss says that, who would dare to argue? We went into Madrid bar. It was immediately evident that he had been here before. It was quiet with just two other customers. A number of girls came up all saying “Khun Lobert where you been, no see you long time”. He smiled and waied them back and bought drinks for them all. Then the little smiling one came along. It was obvious that they had been good friends. He introduced me to Sar. They sat down at a table booth and talked and laughed for a long time. I chatted with the girls and drunk more beer. Next minute BB gets up and rings the bell. All the girls start yelling and rushing over to Bob. I then learnt the meaning of the ringing of the bell. At 2.30 AM I drag him out of there reluctantly and pour him into a cab. He is happy and fully pissed. I tell him that I will postpone the meeting to 10.30 and he agrees.
After this episode our private lives seem to be more like older uncle and younger nephew, with him giving me advice. He still reamed me out at work for different things but when we had a coffee or a beer, he loosened up and I learnt a lot about him and he tried to wise me up to the real world out there in Asia. He told me to be careful about Bangkok. It can be like a tropical disease. Once it gets into your blood, it is hard to get rid of it. It will make you want to go back and back. It can suck your money up very easily if you let it. The free wheeling style that you have there is so intoxicating. He told me to experience it, enjoy it and live it but to remember, it is not a real life.
Sitting there at Nana, watching, waiting and hoping that she would turn up this evening, I thought of when I had told him what I wanted to do. He seemed to understand. He said to try it, experience it for the first time, if you don’t like it, you do not have to do it a second time. He said we are all virgins at some times in our lives and this was another time for me. Everybody had different tastes. Who was to say the gender benders were not ok? I told him that I just wanted to see what they looked like. I did not know what would happen, but I wanted to see up close and personal and I wanted it to be with her. When I had first seen Pim there at Nana I was with about 6 mates who all took the piss out of me because I bought a drink for “one of them”. When I was there a month later and saw her again, I spoke with her for 10 minutes before we all left. She was small for a katoey, looked very feminine and ordinary but had slightly large feet. I wondered what she would be like up close. I just wanted her to show up so I could live out my fantasy and see how it felt. What would she look like down there? He said to try it. Enjoy but above all being careful and not being risky.
Just as I was thinking of going into a go-go bar she arrives. She talks to the other “girls’ around her and then she saw me. It was like her memory took about 2 seconds to register and remember. She came across and said in that husky voice of hers, “so you come back for me”. I smiled and nodded. We did the negotiations there in the middle of the plaza (so romantic!) and then she runs off to make up or something and comes back. All her “friends” are laughing and asking me to buy them a drink. I did for one round. I was happy. We walked out of Nana to start the "walk of shame" back to the hotel. I had done this before and always felt a little embarrassed but now with Ms K on my arm and with her wearing a short red tight skirt with matching lipstick and red high heels, it was going to take me to new heights of worry and embarrassment. She asks me, “are we get taxi”. I tell her no, we have to walk. As we get on to Soi 4, the woman selling fried insects looked at us both and half smiled, half sneered. I thought stuff you lady, I am with a “friend’, I am not selling bloody insects and cockroaches from the gutter of Soi 4. I am going to do man’s work. You could not help see people looking at us as we got to the Nana lights. Of course Officer Plod Somchai is sitting in the a/c box eating his som tum and reading the paper as traffic piles up across the intersection. He looked down at the crowd and I am sure he saw us and smiled. The bastard then made us wait another 15 seconds before giving us the green light to cross and turn right up Sukhumvit with my head looking down at the pavement. She also seemed to be tentative in her walk.
As we stopped at the Soi 7 corner for traffic, an older guy stood next to me and nodded and said softly “enjoy yourself buddy, you are a lucky man”. I looked back at him and smiled and stood tall and walked off holding her hand even tighter and looked up at all the faces coming the opposite way. She looked at me and smiled and our arms seemed to touch and get tighter. In that second I could hear Don Henley from the Eagles singing the words from Hotel California. This could be heaven or this could be hell! As I looked at her she seemed to get more confident herself and I did not know what to think but knew that the knot in my gut was starting to turn and twist more. We turned into Soi 11 and she guided me to walk down the road in front of the motor bike taxis. As all the Thai drivers watched she started to sway her hips as we walked up the street. They were all looking. I am sure the last guy had his jaw drop and kept on looking with his mouth open. I had the feeling that she was having her “Marilyn Monroe” moment in the sun and I thought that we were both out to live our fantasy this night.
As we got out of the elevator and walked down the passageway, the knot in my gut started to relax and unwind. I stood in front of her as I tried to put the keycard in the slot. My hand seemed to waver a little. (It was shaking but I could never admit that!) When we were in the hotel room, I took my shirt off and tried to hold her. She slipped away and turned the lights off and came to me. I moved her away and turned the lights back on. I told her I want to see. I want to see all of you. She smiled. Probably started to think that this may be an easy night for farang to have look at her and then let her go. She took her blouse off and then her bra. Nice small pert boobs. Did not look like silicone job. She then turned away and took off her black knickers. There she stood in front of me just wearing the small tight red skirt. I held my breath and could feel my blood pumping in my forehead. I was trying to stay still and not move, to just look and take it all in. She asked me if I wanted her to pull it up slow or fast. I moved my arm up fast to indicate to do it that way. She looked at me with that beautiful smile, winked and then pulled the skirt up fast. I was about to get the answer to that Eagles question.
A very nicely put together story.
You are a brave man…