Check Inn 99, 1998
[Written in 1999]
My first visit to the club was about a year ago in 1998. I had started the evening in Soi Cowboy, where I wandered into Cowboy 1. The lead hostess (I will call her Porn), wearing a conservative, gray suit and decidedly below average in looks, walked me to the bar and then, to my surprise, sat down beside me. Her English was excellent. I got the quick, short story. She had recently lost her job with a foreign firm (SEA downsizing), and had turned to the bar for income. She apparently had some pull, which had landed her the hostess job.
She was a good conversationalist, talking about a variety of things that I cannot now remember. I was hungry and asked for a dinner recommendation. She mentioned Cowboy 2. Then she asked me if I would take her with me. Her exact words: "I will stick to you like glue!"
This was definitely a case where I decided to take brains over beauty, and off we went, then later back to my hotel. We spent a very enjoyable night. Unlike many Bangkok stories however, I was awakened the next morning not by the feel of warm, wet lips but by a soft, brushing sound that finally stirred me. I opened a slightly hung over eye to see her squatting on the floor beside the bed, wearing only a pair of black panties, busily shining my shoes–a memorable snapshot of Southeast Asia for my collection.
We spent the next day and night together. I suggested going to some nice places for dinner and entertainment. She went home and changed into a beautiful silk cocktail dress that made a quantum improvement in her overall looks. Isn't it amazing what the right clothes will do?
We finally ended up that night at Check Inn 99 after a stop at Spasso in the basement of the Erawan Hotel (another nice venue, full of very good looking freelancers). At Check Inn 99, the dwarf ushered us inside. We went to a table. My lady friend asked if I would order a drink for the mamasan and invite her to come to our table. Strange, I thought, but I placed the order. In a few minutes the archetypal mamasan arrived, carrying the drink I had bought for her. Early sixties, face heavily rouged. She wore the lifetime creases of many hard miles and a frilly, black cocktail dress with a push up bra. The hour was late, and she was weaving noticeably.
She sat down and started talking to Porn, in Thai, which I do not understand. They talked for several minutes without ever referring to me or even glancing my way. Finally, Porn turned to me and said, "This is Noi. She's my mother."
I don't know why this should have surprised me, but it did. Now I knew the source of the "pull" that got my friend her job on Soi Cowboy. Noi didn't speak much English to me. The little she did was badly slurred. She mentioned having something like 15 drinks that night, then ordered another one for herself on my tab.
Porn and I left soon and returned to the Montien. I got up at 4:00 AM to catch my return flight to the USA. I talked Porn out of coming to the airport with me. I NEVER allow this for a variety of reasons. Instead, I put her in a taxi and sent her home. Except for a little expense money on the day before, no money changed hands. For a while, I considered taking the relationship a little further. I had her address and telephone number. Despite her drab looks, she had a great body and was quite well versed in bed. And she would shine my shoes while I slept, for Chrissake! Maybe worth another shot. But I do not need another wife.
I did not visit Cowboy 1 on two subsequent trips to Bangkok. But in April, 1999, I did go back to Check Inn 99. I sat at the bar. I ordered a drink for myself and said I would buy one for the mamasan if they would find her and invite her to sit down with me for a few minutes. I really did not have a plan, my Bangkok wanderings being largely the product of whim and circumstance. I wasn't really longing to see Porn again, and I don't remember having an answer ready if the subject came up.
Mamasan Noi arrived, looking very much like she had before, but not nearly so tipsy, since it was still early in the evening. She obviously did not recognize me from my visit with Porn six months before, and I didn't remind her. We chatted for a while. She brought me a beautiful girl, young, long hair, silk minidress, reasonable English skills. We talked, but I did not buy her out. The dwarf flashed his iridescent smile when I left.
I never saw Porn again. The glue had come off.
It's a small world!