My Story, Happy And Sad
When in 1975 I first visited Bangkok, the very first bar I entered was El Toro Grande on Sukhumvit Road (now the Black Swan pub). It was close to the Rosemary Bar, Rosemary 2 and the Three Roses, conveniently situated for visits along the well – trodden path to Soi Cowboy via the George and Dragon for lunch. In those days it was the norm to start looking around the bars at about 10:00 in the morning, having lunch somewhere and checking out a few bars to see which ones were worth a visit later in the evening for some serious bar-fining.
Having recently suffered the failure of my one-year marriage to a grade A, copper-bottomed English bitch-whore whom I attempted to get out of my system by going out with some of the best looking girls in the world, in my opinion, the Thais. As many as I could possibly perform with.
I had several girlfriends which I often kept for one month at a time, some longer (I was working as an aircraft engineer in the Middle East and got a month's paid leave every six months, or more often if I saved it up, with free flights thrown in). I fell in love numerous times, each time getting yet another broken heart. Most of the girls I fell for worked as gogo dancers at El Toro Grande, where I soon built up a reputation as a generous man. My shortcomings on the 'handsome front' seemed less important to the girls, so long as the money kept flowing.
I went out with one particularly happy, petite girl with a lovely figure. She had a drooping right eyelid from an illness – she had to have a hole drilled in her skull for a brain operation of some sort, which gladly had done nothing to spoil her delightful sense of humour. I really liked Jummy although I never fell in love with her, I just enjoyed her company and great sex.
At the same time I was going with her I met another petite Isaan girl who was friends with all the girls in El Toro Grande where they all worked and I started going with her on and off as well. Let us call her Nook.
One day we three were in the bar having a pre-prandial chat and the subject of making a choice was raised (I forget by whom but I think the suggestion cane from Jummy) and eventually we came to the unanimous decision that I should go with Nook and leave Jummy to her own devices. Nook knew that Jummy had a Thai boyfriend about whom she was serious, in addition to a few other farang men (she was a popular girl) so I went along with the idea and became monogamous.
I was quite happy with Nook. She was very petite, just how I liked, and she was a good Buddhist (most of the girls were in those days) who had a little boy by an American serviceman while the Vietnam war was winding down. When she was pregnant he had legged it of course, back to the States and his American wife.
I went with Nook for a couple of years and eventually we kind of drifted into marriage after attending the wedding of two friends of ours whom we knew from El Toro. I was always conscious of not allowing myself to completely lose my heart, holding back something for the sake of survival.
I got a job in Thailand and we rented a nice apartment in Vichit Court which was on the corner of Soi 24 as I recall, not far from the Chok Chai building which was at that time the only 'sky-scraper' in Bangkok. There was a Hawaiian Restaurant on the roof with a great dance show, suitable for all the family. We often dined there or had drinks before going elsewhere.
In 1980 my daughter was born in Rajavithi Hospital and Nook's sister came down from Udon Thani to help take care of her. Vichit Court was really nice – it had a communal swimming pool and the floors of the apartments were teak. I should have been happy there, but I was always pining for life in the bars groping lovely girls and my modus operandi was to pick an argument with the missus so I could bugger off to Soi Cowboy. She was well aware of what I was doing and even searched me out on occasion in one bar or another and let the girls know I belonged to her, so they shouldn't get attached.
Eventually I became quite ill and quit my job, being rushed to Bangkok Nursing Home for an operation on my abdomen. That pretty much put paid to my career in Thailand and I came back to the UK eventually to set up home for Nook and the kids to come to. My Mum and Dad helped me raise the deposit and bought me a ticket to go and fetch the family from Bangkok, which I did in 1982. We later expanded the family unit by one more boy and lived a rather frugal life. There was never enough money. There was a recession as well, so decent jobs were few and far between.
In 1984 I got back into my trade of aircraft engineering. I studied hard and got my UK CAA Aircraft Maintenance Licences and transferred to Dan-Air's Line base at Gatwick Airport.
Life gradually became easier, then when Dan-Air went down the tubes I started contract work around Europe, or wherever else I could find it.
The years drifted past without much excitement and life became dull and boring in comparison to the life I had led in Thailand. I yearned to get back there. Twenty mind-numbingly boring, tedious years later when I was already retired I decided to do a training course in Phuket which seemed like a bloody good excuse to visit Thailand again (on my own!).
A couple of weeks ago I recounted to Stick the extremely sad tale of how I met Siriporn on my first night back in Bangkok, allowed myself to fall irretrievably in love with her, flew her down to an island paradise with me for 6 weeks and then back to Bangkok where she fucked off with my laptop, camera and money, the traditional Thai divorce! Stick kindly published the story in his Stickman Weekly column.
Well, I still had a week to go before I was due to catch my flight back to Heathrow, so naturally I first went for a massage to check my libido was still functional and then went back to Soi Cowboy where I met some friends of Siriporn on whose shoulders I cried my heart out all that night. There was to be no sex that night, only misery for me. Her friends tried to rip me off as well. Everybody aboard the bandwagon, this wanker's a pushover!
The next day I went for my first ride on the skytrain, covering the whole line in both directions. I was amazed at how the city had expanded and modernised since the 'old days' I remember so well. I got off at Ploenchit on the third leg of the ride and went for a walk to the Nana Hotel. I'd never visited the Nana Entertainment Plaza and I'm not sure it was even built when I had left Bangers in 1981 <It may have been but the first of the bars did not arrive until 1984 – Stick> so I popped in for a look around during the daylight hours – I didn't want to get waylaid by katoeys, blacks or other dangerous riff raff which abound near Nana.
I walked around the courtyard, the bars were pretty quiet on the ground floor so I explored the second, then the third. When I started coming back down near the corner closest to Erotica this mature Thai woman gave me a cheery shout, beckoning me to come in for a beer. I looked at her face, with that droopy eyelid and said “I know you – you're Jummy!” It took a few seconds for her to remember my face (it had been 30 years since we went out together after all) but when it sank in we hugged and shed an amicable tear and sat down for a few beers together. It was a very nice experience tripping down memory lane with her and bringing her up to date with intervening events since marrying Nook, whom I telephoned back in UK and passed the phone to Jummy so that she too could have a good old chin wag with her old stablemate. Nook's initial reaction was jealousy, obviously remembering Jummy as she looked in her 20's and thinking I was interested. However, Jummy was by now in her late 50's and mamasan in Erotica Bar.
She had set up house with her Farang boyfriend in Bangkok but never married, and she had kept her Thai boyfriend 'faithfully' in the background for all those years, eventually moving into her condo when the Farang boyfriend popped his clogs. And they all lived happily ever after!
Except for me.
During my last 4 nights in Bangkok I had done a few bars in Soi Cowboy ending up in Kiss where I met two truly delightful girls. Well, I say 'girls' but the first one I met was a real beauty of 37 (although I put her nearer 25 and incidentally, she was the only girl I've ever met in Thailand who can really kiss) and the other was a beautiful and energetic 20-year old dancer, with whom the older girl persuaded me to sit. She was truly delightful and I stayed there until closing time talking to her between dance sets and plying her with lady drinks. It turned out that she wasn't barfineable and didn't go out with the customers. Her mamasan kept a very close eye on her and made it very difficult for the girl even to give me her phone number. She seemed to be little more than a 'slave' in Kiss, employed to be friendly to the punters and encourage them to take out one of the regular girls who danced topless, unlike my “coyote” dancer as I understand such girls are called. She's a truly great gogo dancer, putting everything she has into her routines. Well, we got on like a house on fire and I couldn't wait to go back the following night and sit with her. I gave her a very good tip to ensure that between sets she would sit with me for as long as she could get away with before mamasan made her circulate among the other customers, mainly Japs, Brits and Yanks. I fell very hard for her and managed to get her phone number and explain to her that I was on the rebound from my mia noy Siriporn and needed a nice girl to put me together again.
I wanted more than anything to take care of her and protect her from all the unpleasant, tightwad foreigners of various shades who came in the bar wanting to take her out and use her for their own satisfaction as cheap as they can get away with and without any regard at all for her well-being.
She is strikingly beautiful and every man who sees her wants her. However, I was quite content just to watch her dancing (she always looked directly at me throughout her routine) and to sit and talk with her. I think I was too nervous to risk anything physical with her, even if it were possible, which it wasn't. She only met me once outside Soi Cowboy, and that was for a quick meal at Foodland on her way home with a girlfriend. I got her to write down her email address and postal address so that we could keep in touch after I came back to the UK.
She seemed happy to stay by my side and that made me feel hugely proud. She would cuddle up against me and have a little sleep on occasion, she obviously felt safe and comfortable with me. To be honest I think she was also bored to tears because I am partially deaf and my hearing aids render conversation almost impossible, the loud music in Kiss drowning out all other sound. I'm not a great conversationalist either, so most of our time was spent looking at each other, hugging, holding hands and trying to shout affectionate terms in each other's ear. She only once kissed me on the lips which came as a real jolt. I had got used to the fact that kisses on the cheek were going to be the norm, so it was a wonderful surprise for me.
So I returned to a snow-covered London Heathrow airport to freeze my bollocks off and here I am sitting at home in front of my PC, missing her like crazy. The memory of that kiss is still vivid. Then WHAMMO! Out of the blue my peace was seriously disrupted by a phone call from Siriporn, my former mia noi, telling me how she had been looking at our photos on my (stolen) laptop and camera and had missed me terribly. I'm sorry to have to admit that I was stunned back into an earlier time when I truly loved her and we were happy together. I was scared that if I see her again I'll fall straight back in love with her, so I'm trying desperately to concentrate on my coyote dancer.
By the way, Stickman, I expect you are thinking about my infidelity in the way I left my wife behind while I selfishly visited Thailand for one of my adventures. Well, truth be told Nook had been unfaithful to me about 15 years ago. She admitted the affair after she found out he was a penniless scrounger who had convinced her he was a millionaire – he certainly knew how to pull a Thai woman's strings! We haven't slept in the same room since then. <Did you know that in Thailand the refusal of sex for a period of more than one year is grounds for divorce! – Stick> She lost all interest in sex and went through menopause early. I consequently went along with her wishes and remained celibate and more-or-less faithful apart from squeezing a few tits in pole dancing bars when I was on contract around Eastern Europe.
I hope that explains how it felt on the first night with Siriporn, 25th October 2010 when she reversed my wife's psychological 'castration' process and turned me back into a fully functioning man. It was wonderful and I wanted it to last forever. I dreamed of divorcing Nook, selling the house and splitting the proceeds, then coming back to the apartment or condo I wanted to buy and share with Siriporn. Then those dreams were shattered on 13th December when she ran off with my stuff. She texts me most days with messages in English like “I love you”. “I miss you darling”. I had bought her an English-speaking translator in Central Department store, which she probably uses to find phrases to text message me, tongue in cheek, I suspect, laughing at my gullibility all along. To think of her that way seems the only way to retain some semblance of sanity. Once they fuck you over the first time, the next time comes much more easily.
I need to believe that my coyote dancer is a truly decent and nice girl who is waiting for me to come back to Bangkok to be with her. I simply cannot contemplate the possibility that she has a string of farangs all sending her money to wait for them, although I'm well aware that this is a strong probability.
I must be honest and admit that I was on the verge of asking Stick to do an investigation on her, but I know that like so many others whom I've read about in the Stickman column over the years I could not bear to hear that things were not as I wish they were. That would really break my heart. Of course, there must be a possibility, however remote, that she is the real thing.
I'm a silly old bastard who never learns, but I need the illusion, if that is what this feeling is. I need to feel that someone out there loves me and wants to see me again. Bryan Ferry was right – “Love is a drug and I need to score.” I keep finding myself singing Karen Carpenter's – “I know I need to be in love, I know I've wasted too much time.”
Deep breathing exercises help – breathe in through the nose saying 'Poot' then breathe slowly out through the mouth saying “toh”. Poot toh, poot toh, poot toh.
Lord please make my dream come true.
Let her be the genuine article for the sake of my sanity and her spiritual wellbeing.
I really enjoyed reading this story and there are a lot of small points to comment on.
Wow, that woman is still in the industry after 30 years? Gosh. I'd imagine she must be rock hard.
That your wife turned the tap off 15 years ago makes me wonder why you stayed with her. It sort of sounds like someone staying in on a job they hate. Life really is too short.
I had to laugh when you said "Whammo" when the girl in Kiss Bar kissed you in the lips. If she had put her hand on your leg I reckon you would have just about blown your load!
In all seriousness, it sounds like your life in the UK is not wonderful and you crave your time in Thailand. Why not sell up and make the move?