It’s Not So Bad
I thought after tuning in for what seems like an eternity to your weekly column that it was about time I wrote back.
I wanted to tell you about what I would call my journey in life. The reason for that is because it really began the day me and my ex wife decided that a good destination for a honeymoon would be the exotic beaches of Thailand. So we started doing our research and decided that as we thought we were adventurous, open-minded people we would partake in some other experiences while we were there.
So we planned 3 days in Bangkok for seeing the sights and also doing some naughty stuff with gogo girls and then would put that experience behind us to have the perfect romantic holiday in Phuket. Well, as you can guess that didn't work. We did do the first bit which was great but then it started to eat away at her. So we arrived in Phuket and got to our hotel room to find orchid petals everywhere including on the bed where they had been arranged in the shape of a heart. So far so good. I thought she would forget her jealousy and hatred towards every pretty Thai girl and move on to the romantic bit.
We were staying Karon Beach and at the entrance to our hotel were just a handful of beer bars and as you can guess, the girls didn't worry that I already had a girl so my ex got more and more wound up. So we decide to go into Phuket Town for a night out and end up in a nightclub. We were having a good time with no problems, plenty of farang couples. Then I was tired of dancing so I sit at a table next to the dance floor and the Mrs. decides to carry on dancing. Honestly, within seconds, there is a freelancer on me! The Mrs. goes nuts and I have to calm her down as drinks went flying and dragged her out before there was any real trouble.
The holiday went down hill from there and we divorced 9 months later.
WHAT AN ESCAPE FROM A LIFE OF MISERY I HAD!
The day she walked out I booked a ticket back to Thailand. That was 6 years ago and I have had many good experiences and only the odd bad one.
I wanted to give some positive stories to you but thought you may be interested in how I first came to Thailand because I guess it's unusual although last year I got friendly with an Australian guy in Hilary bar who said he would be returning without his unhappy girlfriend.
I could ramble on forever but here just a couple of experiences.
So having just divorced I land in Bangkok so excited that I almost jumped out of the plane before it landed. The start of a 2-week holiday I book in to my hotel and yes, you're right, it's the Nana. A quick shower and out, a bit tired from no sleep on the 12 hour flight I decide not to hit Nana Plaza and wait until later. I walk up soi 4, back down again and turn left. After 5 minutes I come across a handful of bars under a bridge (soi 1 – gone now) and I see a bar with no bargirls. Strangely that's exactly what I wanted because I was tired. I meet Pim who has been my friend now for 9 years, a struggling bar owner who got kicked out of there with less than a week's notice who then moved across the road into Sukhumvit Plaza and got kicked out again with a week's notice! Well maybe she exaggerated it a bit but it didn't surprise me. <Despite claims by many to the contrary, the bar owners in Sukhumvit Plaza had 9 months' notice – Stick>
Anyway I am rambling again. To cut a long story short, that night an English couple walked in looking for a little adventure but not quite ready for a full bargirl or gogo bar experience. Having seen me and the bartender with no craziness they must have thought it would be a good place to start. So the short version, instead of closing at 2 AM like the other bars, my newfound friend Pim gets some food on the go and invites all the now customerless girls from next door to join. 3 hours later there is me, the English couple, Pim the bar owner and 5 very drunk bargirls trying to break into the swimming pool at the Woraburi Hotel (top of soi 4). hey lock it at 8, I think. I didn't buy the girls many drinks. It was mainly supplied by Pim who continues to do that kind of thing. You could say it's good business as now she is in Pattaya I always go to her bar but she still seems to give more than she gets.
During my first trip I get to know certain girls as I guess most do and so on my second trip 6 months later I am keen to find my new best friends. One has moved to the bar part of the first gogo on the left in Nana (Rainbows I think), can't remember if it was called that then. As this girl never went for happy times with me I can sit and chat just buy the odd drink. While there I get to know a young girl who doesn't go with customers but just massages shoulders and gets drinks. Me being the farang with strange high morals (contradiction haha), decides that seeing her being molested a week later by some old fat farang is not right so when he goes toilet I whisk her off out. What can I say, it seemed like a good idea at the time. Anyway, it turns out she was missing home and couldn't bring herself to do the first time with a farang so that night she went home. I mean home as in the north east. The next day you would think I had committed murder. I got so much shit from the mamasan who blamed me for losing one of her girls.
The reason for telling you all that is because of what happened on the Friday 2 days later.
I have been in and around the bars then up to Nana Disco without finding a girl I wanted so I buy a beer on the street. Anyone who's been there knows at kicking out time you can get a bottle and watch the sometimes amusing goings on. Anyway, I am sitting there, minding my own business, when a 40-something Asian woman starts chatting to me. I am genuinely a softy so I oblige, strangely thinking she is just being friendly. I then make the mistake of asking her to watch my beer while I go to the toilet across the road in Nana Hotel. When I come back she has been joined by her even older friend. Now I am not by any means drunk, maybe a little merry, but certainly not drunk. Their English isn't great so I am really more interested in knowing them as they seem so interested in me. I invite them to some food courtesy of me at my hotel before I go to bed alone at the Woraburi. They oblige gratefully. Cut to the morning where I awake on the roadside in the gutter near Don Muang with a big bruise on my arm not really knowing what planet I am on!
My memory is fuzzy but there was a girl who was a gogo dancer at Nana who always seemed to be at the Woraburi bar early morning who told me the day after that I was chatting to her the night before. She said one minute I was fine and then I was all over the place. She last saw me going off in a taxi with these 2 old ducks. Well, they must have dropped a drug in my drink which I have been told was probably Rohypnol, better known here as date rape drug. I actually half remember drawing the money from my bank and giving it to them.
The next part is why in the midst of all the rip offs and bad news I will always love Thailand.
First, when I woke up in the morning a Thai lady asked me if I was ok and I said no where am I? She then called the tourist police for me, paid for the taxi back to my hotel and actually came with me and gave me 200 baht. She never left her phone number and never asked for anything and the hotel receptionist said she rang the next day to make sure I was ok. That night I go back to Rainbows and tell the mamasan (you remember the one that ripped my head off for losing one of her girls) about the night before so she asks me if I need money. Actually my ATM card was gone and I had to wait until Monday (2 days later) to get money sent through, The problem was I was going home Sunday night i.e. flying back to UK. She lent me 5000 baht on the basis I left her my watch which probably wasn't even worth that much second-hand. Nobody believes me when I tell this story but it's true. By the way, that mamasan whose name is Aeow moved on to Sideline bar in Patpong which was a second floor dive, but she always rang me when she had a girl start work who I would like (she knew my type). Obviously she got back far more than she gave but that's not the point.
I guess I just want to say even now there are still good girls and bad ones, good Thais and bad and for me I quite like the challenge of finding the good people. That includes the bar girls who actually once they know you are not going to bar fine them show there true colours, some good. So I still love Thailand and specifically Bangkok and from the 11th of June you will find me winning all the time at pool in Hilary's.
Drink spiking is a big problem in Thailand and I don't doubt that your story is true. It's nice to hear that in your hour of need you were treated so well by strangers.