The Hangover Part 0
Having recently watched the Hangover Part 2 and then having read Caveman’s latest submission “SE Asia Journal 10.15”, I was reminded of my bachelor party five years ago in Bangkok. Caveman and Stick both recently mentioned a mad preacher on Khao San Rd which brought some hilarious memories flooding back, so I thought I would share those with the Stickman readership.
First, a little context to myself and the bachelor party. I spent part of my childhood living in Thailand, but I have spent the majority of my life in the West. I do visit Bangkok regularly and have enough family connections in Thailand (step mother and her family, in-laws etc) that I consider Bangkok as my second home and I do spend a lot of time in Bangkok. However, I am rarely in the red light districts and usually only go if I am entertaining a friend who has never seen a ping pong show or similar before, so I guess I am a bit naive in that respect and the following events will no doubt highlight that.
Anyway, five years ago, I got married. I had two weddings, with the more elaborate one taking place in Bangkok. Friends and family from several continents flew to Bangkok and we had a great ceremony. As part of the proceedings, the best man organized a bachelor party. It made sense of course. Who could think of a better place for a bachelor party. It proved to be quite a night with a lot of fun memories. To those that participated in the night and read this column, well, now you know who Phrakanong Pete is!
We started the night easy. We met up in our hotel lobby. The best man had instructed us to wear black pants, a white shirt and a black tie. We all complied. In the lobby, the best man handed black hats out to all of us. The theme, it turned out, was the Blues’ Brothers. So, a bunch of Western lads dressed as Belushi and Aykroyd then caught the skytrain, dressed identically with black hats and ties, and went to MBK for dinner, consisting of a nice little banquet and saki at Fuji. I have to say, we got plenty of curious looks from the locals and tourists alike along the way.
We then caught the train further, to Asoke for Soi Cowboy. We bar-hopped through a few places and I have to admit that I have forgotten which ones as it became a bit of a blur. We had fun with the girls, talked etc. One or two of the group were doing something unusual towards the back of one of the bars… probably just urinating, but who knows 😉
One of the more amusing things as the night got later, was there were a group of Christian missionaries (about three from memory) standing at the head of the soi, with one guy preaching at the top of his lungs, and the others standing around him, all with bibles open. Unfortunately, they were dressed pretty much identical to us, except they didn’t have hats. The guy preaching appeared to be doing so in Thai, although his pronunciation was terrible (I asked some nearby bar girls if they could understand him and they could not). Because he was yelling at full pitch, he was pretty much unintelligible even if he had been trying to speak English.
We ducked into one more bar, but didn’t stay long as the girls seemed totally disinterested. This actually surprised me a little, as I would have thought that a group of young guys, dressed to party and being in a very festive mood, would have created some excitement. In some bars we received that kind of attention. However, in others such as this one, we did not. We were almost ignored, other than being asked to order drinks. Maybe they thought we were Christian missionaries.
After we finished our drinks, we left Cowboy, having to walk past the missionaries. They greeted us. We said our hello’s and kept walking. We stopped near the corner with Sukhumvit at the kerb-side restaurant to have a quick bite before we moved on to Patpong. After we had ordered, the missionaries rounded the corner and came straight to us. I thought about leaving, but then decided this could be fun.
They introduced themselves. I think they were from Texas or somewhere similar and were born-again Christians, whatever that means. They asked us what Christian group we were with (keep in mind, they had seen us going into the bars). One of the quicker-witted members of our group immediately piped up and said we were “bucksnighters” (pronounced quickly as one word). The American readers may not get this joke, but a Buck’s Night is the Aussie term for a bachelor party (with Hen’s Night being the term for the bridal equivalent). The missionaries didn’t get the joke and thought it was a serious Christian denomination, “Bucksnighters, never heard of that group… where are you based?…”.
Anyway, they continued on, wanting to compare notes and have a general chin-wag about religion. The conversation actually got a little heated at one stage because they were telling us that we needed to be born-again Christian. Some of the members of my group (especially the Europeans) were a little cheesed at this comment and questioned why the fu$# they had to be “born again” when they were already Christian. We continued taking the piss and making jokes of the missionaries during the conversation, and it really took them a long time to cotton on that we were doing so. In fact, when they finally left, I still don’t think they realized that we were not missionaries at all! They probably just think that the Bucksnighters are very rude and mischievous Christians, which is probably why we need to be ‘born again’.
Back to Asoke station and we traversed all the way to Sala Daeng for Patpong. I don’t really know why we were heading to Patpong as I had taken the view that it was no longer a viable “entertainment” option since the night market killed things off. One member of our group, who is a long term resident, suggested it was still worth checking out as a late night venue, so we listened. It was pretty late by now and the night market wasn’t too full, so traversing Patpong 2 was easy. We passed one bar which was teaming with beauties and so we stopped and chatted a bit… the girls stole one or two of our hats, so we had a choice of either losing the hats or having at least one drink. The decision was actually pretty easy. As we were entering, I was thinking to myself that out of all the bars we had visited, it was strange that this was the only one that had all good looking, tall, big titted girls. Something was nibbling at the back of my mind but I didn’t think too much more about it. We sat down and ordered drinks.
One member of our group was a bit shorter than the rest, and the biggest girl in the bar (tallest and also built a bit like a body builder) materialized from no-where and decided to sit on his lap. He had no chance to escape and he just sat there quietly whispering to me and others “Help me”! When the body builder showed up, I realized what had been nagging me… these girls were too tall to be girls… they were all “enhanced”. The body builder in particular was a dead give away as her five-a-clock shadow was starting to pierce her make-up. The other guys were starting to understand as well and we had no doubts whatsoever when one of the more petite “girls” (who really did look like a girl… no Adam's apple, no square jaw, no masculine arse etc) bent over in front of us and we saw something stashed away (taped?) between her legs.
Anyway, I think we broke a few records downing our drinks and getting out of there. Stuff the missing hats (although we got those back as we exited the door).
Next and final stop was one of the upstairs places. We enquired at the door… any cover charge, any other charge etc etc… “no no and no” confirmed the guy at the door. Fair enough, so we all went up to see what was on show. For some of our group, this was their first trip into a go-go bar. I feel sorry for them, if that was their introduction to the Thai go-go scene. When we got in, there were only two other tables occupied. We took up a couple of tables towards the back (far from the stage) and ordered drinks. The shows were really dismal. The worst I have seen. The girls performing were old and over-weight. I query whether some of them were doing shows back during the Vietnam conflict. We decided to have just the one drink and then we would probably call it quits for the night. We had a day of rest the next day, and the day after that was the wedding.
We called check bin, and we had a surprise when the lady arrived and quoted the total verbally (nothing written on a piece of paper). “How many thousand?”, I laughed out. We ended up in an argument (in Thai). A couple of bouncers appeared, but we stood our ground. In the end, we gave a little and ended up paying a bit more per beer, which still worked out no-where near the original asking price, but they were willing to accept as long as we didn’t let anyone else know. Fair deal, we agreed. We paid, and then declared (quite loudly) that the place was a scam and people should leave ASAP as they would be ripped off with a large cover charge. The bouncers made a move towards us and we ran, while laughing, down the stairs and sprinted back towards Silom Road. Out on the street, we weren’t pursued, so all was good.
The final fun for the night was getting back to the hotel. Everything was either closed or closing. The skytrain had closed for the night (which was a bugger given our hotel was right on the line), but fortunately, there were queues of taxis waiting. We walked up to one and said the name of our hotel. The taxi driver then quoted a price. The Thai resident in our group then highlighted to him that he should be using the meter. The driver just ignored us. We approached a couple of others and of course, the same thing. I really started laughing when our Thai resident then steps in front of one of the taxis, and gesturing with his arms, he draws the “taxi” sign and spells out that it says “T A X I M E T E R” (with emphasis on the “meter”). We were all doubled over laughing, while the driver just looked at us incredulously. I don’t think he knew what to make of it.
We crossed Silom to the other (wrong) side. There were taxis travelling past (heading in the opposite direction from our hotel) and so we flagged one down. This one had no issue using the meter. A bunch of us jumped in (the rest catching the next taxi – also no meter issue), we did a u-turn and got home safe and hassle-free.
The night was nowhere near as exciting as the bachelor party in the film, the Hangover Part 2, but then again, we were mere mortals. The highlight was easily the interaction with the missionaries. I look forward to meeting more of them for future stories.
Sounds like you and your mates had a great night! For sure, it's hard to think of a better place for a bachelor's party than Bangkok!