People Watchers Paradise
I love the dynamic at the bars. If you are an avid people watcher, then surely there's no better place. Take the girls – settle in with a few beers, and you'll begin to notice little things. Who are the introverts and who are the extroverts. Who are the big earners? – Not always as obvious as it seems, it's the quiet, girl-next-door look that appeals to a lot of men. You'll notice the relationship between the mamasan and the girls – Is she fair, or a wicked witch? – It's often the sharpness of her tone that tells the tale.
I also like the conversations that you spark up with complete strangers – I met this guy from the States recently. He said – "Why do people back home always say "trawling" the bars? They say were always "trawling" the bars! Gives us a bad name! When I go to the library, no-one says I'm "trawling" the library! They say I'm "visiting" the library!"
We shared a beer. "Well mate, that's probably because you don't visit five libraries in one night, then go home with the librarian."
When I wake up in the morning in Pattaya, I always have regrets. But never about the girls – I'm way past that now. No, its always something stupid I did the night before, like sitting at the bar with a complete stranger from Switzerland, discussing how we will set up a company together.
Or giving your real address to that Hells angel dude – "Sure, come over anytime your in England!" 2 weeks later, your tiny road in London is a fug of thick black smoke, as 20 hells angels park up outside, headed by a man called Cactus you once met for 15 minutes at the Kangaroo bar.
I think we've all done things like that. Woken up in Pattaya, steaming hangover, reached for the water, then it hits you – "What did I do last night? – Oh f**k, I've arranged to go to Cambodia at midday with a man called Lars from Sweden!" Always sounds like a good idea at the time.
Then there's the gangs of dudes. Whilst often a pain, they can sometimes provide you with some entertainment. I remember being sat next to these lads on Walking Street, and they were obviously ordering some illegal substances for the night. They thought they were being discreet.
One of them said – "Hey, I'm gonna ring the doctor!" (winks)
His mates say – "OK, ring the doctor!"
"Hi, is that the doctor? I need to order some, uh, some pizza. How many? Hey boys, how many are we ordering?"
"Yeah, I'll go for it"
"Yeah me too, count me in."
"Just a half for me"
"So, that's three and a half, uh, pizzas then mate. 10,500? Ok, same place, yeah." – Who orders three and a half pizzas from their doctor? At midnight? In pattaya!
Of course there's the odd idiot. I got into a bit of a barney with one once, and just decided to walk away. It's not always the easiest option. You want to stand your ground. But its important to remember where you are. Brawling means lock up, simple as that. I don't know much about the Bangkok Hilton, but I'm pretty sure you don't get fresh towels in the morning. As I climbed onto my motorbike, the guy shouts at me – "Moron! If I look up the word moron in the dictionary, there's a picture of you!"
I started to move off. "Well I'm not the one having to look up the word moron in the dictionary!"
Oscar Wilde said – "Never argue with an idiot. They will bring you down to their level, then beat you with experience."
Society can be cruel when it comes to romance. If your love life has been unsuccessful at home and you go to Thailand, you will hear "Haha! You just haven't got a girl in your own country!" Yes, true. Would these people laugh at an overweight guy at the gym? "Haha, none of your diets have worked out, so now your trying something different!"
But if you have no girl back home, even if you've been seeing your Thai girl for years, (I have) it's zero compassion from all back home. Get used to it fellas, it ain't gonna change.
I have a lot of respect for people who have visited LOS, participated, then decided it's not for them. At least they will acquire a balanced view. If these people want to have a dig about it, I'll take it. They will usually do so with a sense of humour. But for the other people back home who have their little digs, to me it's just like a teetotaler having a go at a drinker. The drinkers thinking – "Well sure, you've made up your mind. It not for you. But I can't help thinking that you've missed out a little bit."
Thailand is a great place to meet women. I live in London, and people come to London from all over the world. Why? Because the jobs are here.
I go to the supermarket because the food is there. I go to the petrol station because the petrol is there. Why wouldn't people go to Thailand for girls if the girls are there? Stands to reason.
Our trouble is, we can't just stay at home. As the saying goes – "The male libido is like being chained to a madman."
We need the excitement that only a relationship can bring. Women do have a direct impact with our moods. I remember when things were going well with my ex back home. The birds were singing. They always sang, but only now I noticed it. I'd be sat on the train to work, looking at her photo in my wallet. I'd look out of the window at the rolling countryside and think – "What a great girl she is."
Then we'd argue, and I found myself in HMV looking at music. They were playing "The fairytale of New York". Shane McGowan sings – "I could have been someone!" and the female singer chips in – "Well so could anyone!" – and I'd think – "Typical f**king woman!"
When I was in my twenties I practically lived in nightclubs. Wish I'd discovered Thailand earlier. I've wasted so much time and money in English nightclubs. I have been given so many fake phone numbers in the past, its unbelievable. I've phoned up the next day – "Hi, is that Latoya?" – "The time sponsored by accurist is 8 pm"
"Hi, is that Chantelle? " – "Mr. Wong's Chinese restaurant, how can I help you?"
My last girlfriend in England used to say – "I think the guy SHOULD pay. I suppose I'm just old fashioned!" So you have old fashioned values? Great! So you'll be doing all the cooking, cleaning and sewing then? Not quite. It appears that most western women are "selectively traditional".
Women have set the rules, except they don't always make sense. "We demand equality. Except you buy all the drinks. And if our boat goes down, it's still women and children first for the lifeboats". Okay, let the kids go first, fine. But I thought you wanted equality?
Women just don't like paying for stuff. They don't see why they should. I've seen it, day in, day out. I used to work in a shop that sold alcohol. If 2 men walked up to my till, both holding a beer, the one who gets there first will always buy them both. "I'll get these, mate." 9 times out of 10 that would happen.
But if I saw 2 women in the same situation, that rarely happened. They would both fiddle around with their purses and hand you a payment each. Some may feel I'm sexist for saying this, but it happened everyday.
My ex-girlfriend took every opportunity to tell me I wasn't romantic enough. "Lady in red" by Chris de burgh has a lot to answer for – Women now believe that men actually say the things in his lyrics. She'd say – "Why can't you say things like Chris de burgh says? Why can't you be more like him? What about all the beautiful things he says about the lady in red? You never say things like that!"
"Yeah, well he hardly knew her."
I don't like Songkran. No-one actually likes Songkran, do they? I like the SPIRIT of Songkran. If I was at a bar in England having a few drinks, and footage of Songkran came on a TV, I'd probably say to my friends – "Hey, look – Songkran! Awesome. That's such a laugh!"
It's not though, is it? It's a terrifying time to be out there. I think most people who have experienced it, they really like it at first. But then one bad thing happened. Hopefully it wasn't a really bad thing. Possibly it was just a really annoying thing. But your view on this aqua fun-fest started to change at that moment.
Maybe you were tucked away safely at the back of a songtaew, in your good clothes and best aftershave, heading for a night out. Then someone jumped aboard and covered you from head to toe in water and white powder, rubbing it into your hair that was nicely spiked a few minutes ago. It could have been something as simple as that. Or maybe you were nearly shot off your motorbike at close range, your wheels buckling and only a combination of fast reactions and good luck saving you from a mouthful of pavement.
No-one likes to think of themselves as boring, we all like adventure and we all like to see people enjoying themselves with smiles on their faces. But if you have experienced Songkran, I'm guessing you wont be revolving your trip around it next time. Songkran is a bit like spraying aftershave on your balls. We've all done it. – Once.
How do you describe Thailand to people who have never been? Well a guy from work asked me recently – "I'm going for a Thai massage in London today. Never had one before. Tell me, do you think Thai massage in London is the same as Thai massage in Bangkok?"
I said – "Well, yes it's pretty much the same. Maybe a few small differences. For instance, in London, they may use different oils. Also, in London you may find there's different background music. And in London, the girl probably wont glance outside, draw the curtains, bend down and whisper – "You want me to make banana cry?"
Thanks for reading my submission.
A lot of true words spoken!