A Different Kind of Girl Friend Experience (GFE) Part 4, Khun Eddie
About 45 minutes later they pulled up to a large multi-story building emblazoned with huge neon signs. The driver gestured Steve to exit and head towards the gilded doors that looked like a gauche version of the entrance to Caesar’s Palace in Las
Vegas, except that instead of burly centurions at the door there were tall and svelte Thai beauties in long, body-hugging Chinese style purple silk dresses. They wai’d deeply, smiled oh so seductively and swung open the doors to allow Steve
This was a Thai entertainment complex that caters to the social, personal, intimate and many other needs of the locals, and that means the clients are almost exclusively men. Women are allowed but hardly welcomed, and only if accompanied by a man…or two. Perhaps things are somewhat more liberal now but 20 years ago the rules were very clear: this is the Thai man’s private playground.
The abundant brightwork in the lobby area sparkled under the twinkling but very grand chandeliers, while the onyx granite floors were so polished they appeared to be liquid. At the back of the entrance there was a polished wood and steel counter behind which was an array of scores of liquor bottles with small white tags on them. They were backlit by a cool blue fluorescence that made them glow and seem like alien concoctions from a Star Wars bar scene. Steve could hear what seemed like distant strains of a Thai pop song.
One of the hostesses led Steve to an entrance to the right and to another set of high double doors, where there was another pair of gorgeously slim and light-skinned ladies in purple form-fitted silk dresses. Each of the ladies wai’d and then opened her respective door to allow him entrance into the inner pleasure domain. As they opened the doors the Thai pop music was suddenly louder and Steve saw it was being played by a live band on a stage in the center of what looked like a small amphitheater. Yet another Thai beauty greeted him and with an erotically graceful stroke of her hand gestured the direction in which to follow her. She led him past booths and clusters of tables where Asian men sat surrounded by a number of radiantly beautiful young women. At the foot of each area kneeled a girl in the requisite Chinese silk dress, this time in black, presumably to blend into the background so as not to distract from the other talent entertaining the men.
As they reached a booth on the far side of the room a Thai man stood and extended a hand in welcome. He was tall for a Thai, perhaps even 6 foot, slim, handsome in a lean and chiseled way and elegantly dressed in a crisp white cotton shirt and tailored tropical wool pants. As Steve shook his hand the man beamed a big smile and said, “I am Eddie. Welcome to Thailand! Please sit down and relax.” The kneeling girl immediately reacted by shuffling on her knees and offering Steve a cold towel and then placing in front of him a glass of iced water. Steve had heard that to show extreme respect or deference one should keep one’s head below the level of the most senior person, and so he reckoned that was why the serving girl was shuffling around on her knees. Steve was initially almost resistive to this seemingly demeaning position, but the genuine and warm smile from the girl made it easier to accept…that and the thoughts that flashed through his mind of the erotic possibilities that the kneeling position offered. She then poured a healthy two fingers of Johnny Walker Black from the labeled bottle on her drinks tray into a tall glass, added a mixer and then plopped in a few ice cubes. Evidently she had done this a time or two before because the last ice cube brought the elixir just a sip from the top of the glass. She shuffled around to Steve’s side of the low table and presented him with the drink, smiled as he took it and then demurely looked away.
Eddie was a gracious host with an easy smile and disarmingly friendly manner, and so it was quite easy for Steve to finally relax after the ordeal of the last 24 hours. The surroundings certainly helped, especially when 2 deliciously exotic girls in shorter and more modern dresses appeared in front of them and then after what seemed like a slightly saucy wai, slipped into the booth and sidled up next to them. Steve had done the rounds of the go-go’s and beer bars where the girls were open for and often encouraged some touching or even groping, but he was not at all sure what was appropriate in this altogether more refined environment. It was soon obvious that the type of establishment determined the type fun on offer, and so it involved a lot of drinking, chinking of glasses, laughing, general sanook. Surprisingly his girl spoke a little social English, and certainly enough to amuse him with some hilarious manglings of Thai and English in a mashed-up Thaiglish, but Khun Eddie’s appeared not to speak any.
But even though it was fun and Steve definitely needed to unwind, he kept on his guard because he didn’t know how much of a fixer Eddie really was and if perhaps a very different type of fix was happening.
He knew that Chanida, Bas and Kritsana had more going on with Eddie than they had let on, and so Steve kept on his guard as Eddie wove seemingly innocent questions into their social banter. He gently probed about things back in LA, how Steve had met the others and what he thought of the business. And then he asked if Steve had a girlfriend…if he liked Thai girls and perhaps he’d like a Thai girlfriend. Steve played along, raised a glass in toast, stroked the silky-smooth bare thigh of the girl squeezed up next to him and said how would any man turn down an opportunity to have a girlfriend like that. In an almost too casual way he asked Steve how he had met Chanida, and what about a good Thai girl like her? Steve’s mind raced as he ran through all the implications of Khun Eddie’s seemingly innocent inquiry and the best way to answer. He tried not to betray his nervousness and he replied that he was sure Chanida had told him already and he didn’t want to bore him at such a fun time by telling him again. Khun Eddie paused a moment and then looking Steve in the eye seemed to agree by allowing that it would be boring to go over the same story, but then threw out a barb designed to wound and worry by adding that some stories had different endings depending on who told it.
A few moments later Eddie commented that Thai girls will always do what is best for their family or the ones they have obligations to, perhaps at the expense of a boyfriend, and that farangs didn’t understand the Thai heart. That they thought what they saw is what is real, but like the stunningly statuesque “girls” lip synching on stage, not all is what it seems. Steve didn’t understand until Eddie gestured towards the stage while saying a few words to the girls seated with them. Steve heard farang and katoey a few times, in between wide-eyed and then amused looks from the girls. His girl petulantly accused him “You like ladyboy? You not like girl same me?” and then for dramatic effect moved about a foot away from him. Then it finally dawned on him that the “girls” onstage were of course ladyboys. Steve laughed out loud and for fun, played along. He pretended that he did like ladyboys and patted his heart and fanned himself in mock arousal at the ladyboys on stage. His girl peered at him as though he was crazy and then when Steve burst out laughing and said “Mai chob, mai chob!” she shrieked and slapped his forearm and then snuggled up to him and gave him a friendly squeeze.
But in all the hilarity Steve had not missed how subtly Eddie had delivered the underlying message and the ugly implied threat, and then so skillfully redirected his attention to the spectacle in front of them.
Despite the delightful female company, the extra stress of having to be so careful about what he said and what emotion or feelings he betrayed in his enervated state exhausted him even more. And so after a couple of hours a wave of exhaustion suddenly hit Steve and he desperately needed to sleep. But he also felt vulnerable and so he craved a place where he could feel safe, and out of the game that Eddie so expertly played.
Gamely he tried to keep in the spirit of the festivities, but he couldn’t suppress the non-stop yawning that obviously signaled just how tired he was. Eventually even Eddie noticed and realized that it was time to leave the charms of the gorgeous girls. So a few minutes later they were presented with the bill. Until then Steve hadn’t thought about the cost, but now he shuddered inwardly at the thought of what this type of sensual pleasure actually cost, and was he supposed to foot the bill? He really hoped they took credit cards, AmEx travelers checks or dollars because he didn’t think the 1,000 baht in his wallet would even cover the drinks mixers.
So he was very relieved when Eddie peeled off what looked like 10,000 baht from a very bulky bankroll and then slipped each girl another 1,000. A total of 12,000 for a couple of hours of hi-so entertainment, not including his bottle of JWB that was kept in the array behind the lobby counter. That was $480 at the 1991 rate of 25 baht to the US dollar. Steve wasn’t sure if this was the actual price or Eddie was showing off for his benefit, but whatever the case he was sure that he’d end up paying for it one way or the other, plus interest! How true that would become, although Steve could never guess just how much that interest payment would turn out to be.