Birthday in Thailand
First of all an apology. I am now using Windows 8. The only advantage which I have discovered over earlier Windows versions is that one can turn it off faster. It could be that some errors in this report occur through this sh** Windows version (my private opinion). Any errors in my English are to be attributed to Windows 8 and not the fact that I have been living in Germany, and using the local lingo for 40 years. I would include a few photos but I have not got “Gimp” running yet under Windows 8 (I do have to make subjects unidentifiable).
Birthday in January. Here in Germany by 260 degrees Kelvin (for non physic fans -13 C) I have no real interest in performing my birthday duties of buying drinks for my so called mates and freezing my ar** off in the process, so I book a flight with Thai Airways to the land of smiles and my usual room in the guesthouse on Sukhumvit soi 22.
I booked a flight which I could take after work on Friday evening after work (saving one holiday day) and landing in the land of my dreams on the next day, early in the afternoon. Upon arrival, the queue at Immigration was one of the worst I have ever experienced but I used my old trick of taking my (collapsible) walking stick and assuming a bad limp (which I have a bit of anyway, after a motorcycle accident but not bad). I was guided to the (almost empty) queue for Thai nationals. The extensible walking stick has another function. If during the flight the person in front of me decides to lower their seat back (crushing my knees) then I can extend it between my seat and the back of his / her seat to prevent this action.
The arrival was accompanied with the usual half hour wait for my luggage and the half hour walk through the complex carrying my luggage. They have now built gates in front of the escalators to prevent passengers from using the baggage trolleys to transport their 30 kg luggage to the taxis. The taxi from the official taxi stand took about 45 minutes to reach my guesthouse in Sukhumvit and I was greeted by a young lady who was new to the place. I just told her that I had booked Hong Hok and had an e-mail confirmation and there was no problem although she hardly spoke a word of any farang language known to me.
Now the fun begins.
I went down to my favourite bar and had one beer. I had enough Thai baht for my first few hours in Bangkok left over from my last trip. After this one beer I decided to go to the next ATM and collect some money for my night's adventures.
ATM 1 says NO (oh shit the ATM is out of order)
ATM 2 says NO (oh big shit maybe my card is not in order)
I take my other card from another bank
ATM 3 says NO (now hell is breaking lose – I'm in Thailand with no money)
ATM 4 says NO (now it's time to go back to the guesthouse and talk to other people just to keep me sane)
I am now of course totally shocked (panicking). How can I survive in Bangkok with 2000 baht in my pocket for the next two weeks. I’m already considering the possibilities of buying a flight back next day with my credit card. On my way back to the guesthouse a young lady “P” who I became very friendly with my last time in Bangkok sees me and asks if I am staying at the same place as last time. “Yes but I have no money because the ATMs are not working for me”, I reply.
She says “No problem. After my bar closes I come over”, but I just tell her that I am tired after my flight and want to sleep.
Back in the guesthouse, the manager J explains to me that many guests have had this problem. I was even lent 10,000 baht to carry me over until the problem was solved. They could deduct it with my credit payment for the room if no other option was available and they have known me for a long time, and trust me. Through the Internet the German online telephone book and help from “J” (www.teleauskunft.de) I find a number from my bank. This in the middle of the night on a weekend in Germany!
I am connected to a call centre and explain my my problem. “Your card is not enabled for Asia” was the reply. The curious thing was that as I received a new card about 3 months earlier and had asked if it was enabled for Asia, to which the bank replied affirmative. I was asked a few questions about my account to verify that I was the owner and they enabled the card for Asia until the end of the month.
I went straight out to the next ATM, with the result that I could return the same 10,000 baht which J and his wife S had lent me about 15 minutes earlier.
Once back in my bar of preference, I asked if one of my favourite ladies from earlier trips who since moved to Pattaya was still in Patts. About ten minutes later “T” was standing next to me. The story was that she was in Bangkok because in Pattaya there were erections for a new government and the bars there were closed for the weekend. (She has the typical Thai difficulty to pronounce an “l”). OK, I thought, if you're not in Pattaya there will be a few erections less there over the weekend. Our business was sealed with a barfine and we went to eat, listen to music and arrange our own erection.
On the next morning at about 8-00 someone started knocking on the door. I was not quite awake and shambled to the door to see what was going on. Outside was “P” who asked “David why you not call me. – Oh you have lady already” (after looking in). I was not quite awake, otherwise I would have replied “yes but only one, but there is room for another”. I later discovered that the young lady who does the day shift in the guest-house had (not knowing my habits) had let her in and told her which room I was occupying. She received quite a telling off and promised not to repeat this cardinal sin.
After three days “T” had to return to Pattaya because she had arranged to meet her sister there (for reasons which I would determine later) and we arranged to meet in Patts on the next weekend which was also my birthday. I used my remaining 4 nights in Bangkok constructively to renew a few old acquaintances including but not only “P” (the lady who had appeared at my room at 8 in the morning), “M” from the Soi 7 Biergarten and “W” who used to work for my guest givers but now was running a street-bar on Sukhumvit after having a baby, who she had first thought was mine, until she realised that it had the wrong skin colour (see previous article “Visit October 2011” by Innocent Farang). A good time was had by all (but not at the same time), and I did take “P” to Bar Bar where Mistress Yoyo made it very clear to her what would happen if she came uninvited to my room again!
Saturday morning I packed a small bag with necessities for a couple of nights in Pattaya. Fresh socks, underwear, shirts, medicine and 20 party hats. The first taxi which stopped asked for 2,500 baht for the ride to Sin City and I explained to the driver that I did not intend to buy the taxi! At a price of 1,500 baht including the toll fees we reached agreement and it was off to the AA Residence in Pattaya. Upon arrival “T” was waiting for me there at the appointed hour (she had already learnt from a previous visit what happens when I have to wait for a Thai lady). I was not intending to let my birthday be spoiled – come what may. After checking in and a shower, “T” told me that we had to go down to the beach where she had arranged to meet somebody. I asked who but she was being a bit secretive and suddenly had difficulties to articulate herself in English. I didn’t mind much because there was plenty of time to find alternatives if things went **** up.
Down on the beach, with her munching seafood and me appreciating a cold beer, she told me that her sister was coming soon and would I mind if she came along with us this evening? About an hour later her younger sister arrived. I was pleasantly surprised by her appearance. She was not the classic beauty like “T” but a very pleasant “bubbly” personality. “L” was a very attractive young lady who also spoke almost perfect English and did not appear to work in the same vocation as her older sister. “L” was a little more rounded than her older sister but they had both exactly the same facial characteristics – they really were sisters. Then came the hammer. They were planning to go to a party that evening where a friend of “T” was celebrating her birthday (I also know the lass “N” from previous visits as she used to work together with “T” in the TQ1) and why don’t we celebrate together. This was getting better all the time :-).
At 6 o’clock in the evening the two wrenches picked me up at the AA Residence and took me to a very good European restaurant so that I could eat before we went to the party. “T” knows that I cannot eat seafood because of an allergy and the party was scheduled in a Thai “Isarn style“ place somewhat outside Pattaya to the west. The party was fun with of course the “Happy Birthday” from the musicians and small birthday cakes where we had to blow out the candles (they cheated with the candles – only a hurricane could blow those bxxxers out). “L” and I stuck to beer but “N” hit the whiskey and got totally stewed. We had to help her to find transport back home and to put her to bed. I was quite glad about the fact that the party finished before midnight so that we (“T”, “L” and I) could get away before I was too tired. On the way back “T” got the idea that we should look into the TQ on Beach Road were she did work for a time. Before I realised she had recruited two girls (also sisters) as a special birthday present.
Upon arriving at the AA, the dragon behind the reception started to protest that I could not take four girls to my room. One or even two OK bur four not allowed. 500 baht solved the problem and off we went. No further details here except that it was a very satisfying night. It was necessary to use a product known as “Kamagra Gel” and I discovered that my party hat supply was rapidly diminishing.
The next evening I was sitting in a pleasant music lounge on Beach Road with “T” and “L” when “T” received a phone call. “N” had been involved in an accident on her motor roller (probably still pissed from the previous evening) and was laying in hospital. “T” hat to go and recover the vehicle leaving me alone with “L”. We decided to move on to the Hot Tuna Bar in Walking Street and gave “T” a call so that she knew where to find us. In this time “L” and I got talking together without the presence of her sister and told me a quite interesting story. She had been married and had a daughter who lived with “L”s mother at the moment. She was a qualified beautician and had run her own business which failed because of her ex husbands cash requirements due to his gambling habit. She was now looking for work in the cosmetic segment and could she come back to Bangkok with me so that she could try and find work there. I was very pleased with this idea but had one small problem. I'd already promised “P” that I would meet her when I returned to Bangkok and there was no way of keeping my presence there (with a different lady) secret. The “Bush Telegraph” in Soi 22 is amazingly efficient in contrast to many other Thai services.
“T” met up with us in the Hot Tuna and first told us that her friend was not seriously injured but had to spend one night in the hospital after having her leg stitched up. The most important thing – she was insured. “T” also tried to explain her sister's wish to try life in Bangkok and “could I help her a bit to find her way around because she had an appointment with a customer from Singapore”. In for a penny in for a pound, the gentleman which I am agreed to help the poor “L” to find her footing in Bangkok.
Back to Bangers
“T”, her sister “L” and I take a taxi back to Bangers. I get out at my guesthouse and the sisters travel on to find a cheap room for “L” which “T” is sure that she will find near Don Muang. “T” cannot stay with her sister more than one night because she has a previously arranged appointment with a gentleman from Singapore. After spending the evening with “P”, the lady with whom I had previously involved with in Bangkok, I received a phone call from “T” on the next morning. Could she meet me together with her sister later ? We met at a discrete location on Suk. Soi 22 (if the is such a thing) and “T” explained to me that the room which she had found in the Don Muang area was simply too expensive as her sister was looking for employment and also too far away from areas where she could find decent work opportunities as cosmetic or visage specialist in Bangkok. What does the gentleman do? He goes over the next Internet Shop and finds cheaper but clean and comfortable accommodation for the lady. The ladies go off to check the accommodation (on the same Soi) and we agree to meet one hour later.
One hour later (punctually) “L” arrives alone. She tells me that the accommodation is in order and the price is OK. Just to be sure I ask her what she is paying and it turns out to be 100 baht more than the advertised Internet price. “T” has disappeared now, to meet her “customer” from Singapore. We go back to the guesthouse where she has booked and ask why is it more expensive than advertised. “L” does not want me to challenge the opinion of the revered receptionist but I insist and tell her to cancel the booking and I will book over the Internet where she will earn even less because the booking agency earns a rebate too. Suddenly the room is 200 baht cheaper.
“L” is very pleased at the result and decides to accompany me for the rest of the afternoon. It's too late to go visiting anywhere interesting and too early to hit the bars. Apart from that I have an appointment with “P” at 21:00. My little brain (the one downstairs) kicks in and tells me that I can't take her back to the room because “P” will surely notice if the bed is in disarray after been used during the day. I walk with “L” the couple of metres to Sukhumvit and rent a room at the Crown Hotel for three hours. The next three hours were exhausting. “L” who was not a “professional lady” and seemed to be starved. After the third round (thanks to the Pfizer company) she had her “Petit Mort” and afterwards told me that in Pattaya she had “got wet” but had not come properly but now she was really happy.
On the evening I met “P” and my adventures continued (no details, I am a gentleman) but keeping up this rhythm for the next three days was defiantly tearing at my constitution. I just kept thinking about a an Austrian philosopher “all movements which do not serve the reproduction or the nourishment are perverse”, bit my teeth together and endured it. It was the only exercise which I get in my life and I had to go through with it or wilt away.
On my last day I had a flight rather late in the evening and just went down to “Eden Club” to relax. before returning to Germany in the cramped new Airbus 380 from Thai Airways. The arrival back in Frankfurt reminded me of the question by many ladies in Bangkok. “Oh you have snow, that must be beautiful. How cold is it ?” To which I could only answer (pointing downstairs”), and showing with a small space between my fingers “about two centimetres”, which was always good for the general Heiterkeit (Amusement, sanuk). My next flight is booked in September. Thai Airways now uses Airbus 330s on the route (not so cramped) and “T” has replied to my SMS and is waiting for me (if she's still employed outside the” industry” in between). I can only hope that next January I can celebrate my- no I'm not giving away my age- next birthday (and retirement) in the land of vertical smiles
You always seem to make the most of your trips!