The Mongering Philanthropist Part 3
In the last episode we saw our newly prosperous hero exploring the salacious sois of Suhkumvit and meeting a conservative Thai lady who quite disturbed his equilibrium.
Part 3. I never realised Pattaya was by the seaside.
The next day I woke early, booked out the Nana hotel and took the limousine service down to Pattaya. This service uses aged Volvos not seen in Sweden since Abba topped the charts. The drivers are of a similar vintage but are amiable fellows and let me smoke in their vehicles. I had booked into the Opey de Place just off Soi Buakhoa. It is a modest clean and modern hotel that had always suited my needs.
Pattaya is an incredible city, the largest seaside resort in Asia. It is also the largest red light district not just in the world but possibly in the history of the world. Historians have suggested that the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah would have blushed in shame at the activities of Pattaya. It is an astonishing place and has to be seen to be believed.
My first evening, I stayed in the vicinity of Soi Buakhoa and investigate the new LK Metro development. It was quite lively; I explored numerous bars and bumped into some of my younger pals from the football bar they had in Soi Yamado a few years ago. I once again found myself disgracefully inebriated and made my way back to my hotel just grateful that no clumsy sod trod on my fingers as I did so.
The next evening I go for drink in a bar in Soi Diana on my way to meeting some pals. I had not taken the skin off my beer when a noisy argument breaks out at the in the bar Every time you hear an altercation or argument in Pattaya it invariably involves an English Neanderthal. George Bernard Shaw once said an Englishman only has to open his mouth for another Englishman to hate him. I must admit to being quite ashamed of some of my countrymen at times.
At the other end of the bar was a product of dysfunctional politically correct Britain, the ubiquitous tattooed yob loudly berating his tearful Thai girl friend. This had put the dampers on the atmosphere in the bar and the girls working the bar were not interested in making conversation.
I am still quietly nursing my beer when a western woman comes into the bar and takes the seat next to me. This woman was quite striking, mid 40s slim and with quite an attractive face framed by an alluring Paddington bear hat. To my astonishment she engages me in conversation. Without any word from me she tells me she was Australian and a doctor. She claimed she was currently employed in the A and E at the local hospital. She regaled me with tales of English guys causing most of her problems at the hospital. Without any prompting she also told me her fascinating and implausible life story. I did not believe a word of it but smiled and nodded at appropriate moments in her telling of it.
Now you may find this far-fetched but after 15 minutes or so I got the impression she was interested in me. She stated to me that I was clearly a gentleman (what are you all laughing at?) and different from most Englishmen she came into contact with in Pattaya (maybe because I had both my ears). She suggested we move on together to another bar. I imagine it must be difficult for western women in Thailand and I deduced this strange lady was feeling lonely. I did have some sympathy but remained considerably sceptical.
I knew if we were back in the west a woman like her would not have given me the time of day and my interest would probably have involved a mean spirited rejection. I would also have bet my newly acquired fortune that I would quickly be jettisoned if she received a better offer during the evening. So I politely declined her proposal much to her surprise and disdain. I suspected this young lady had never experienced rejection in the west but this is Thailand.
As we went our separate ways I did appreciate turning down this opportunity could have been seen a futile gesture akin to pissing yourself in a dark suit; when you get a warm feeling but nobody notices. However I could not help feeling I had probably saved myself great deal of anguish.
That evening I had arranged to see some old pals and we meet in a bar near my hotel. I was particularly pleased to see Benny who is a fascinating character. He is the archetypal gnarled old Aussie. Now in his 70s, in an interesting lifetime he had done numerous jobs including sheep shearing in the Australian outback. Since he retired he dedicates his time to charitable work particularly to helping a local children’s home. I spoke to him about charity and philanthropy in general. He is somewhat of a philosopher and explained he felt it was a man’s duty to do all he could to help those less fortunate. He further explained it did not need to involve money but giving time and doing something with whatever gifts and skills you are given.
Although not a particularly religious man he declared everyone should strive to improve the lives of people around them everyday and even the simplest of actions can make a significant difference. I must admit his words had a profound effect on me and I returned to my hotel in reflective mood.
The next day I stayed in the environs of my hotel having a gentle swim in the hotel pool and engaging in conversation with the dysfunctional clients the hotel attracts.
By evening I was ready to face the spectacle that is Sin City. I shower shave and change into my best drinking shirt. I take a motorcycle taxi to Walking Street and reflect the changes since my first visit to this pedestrian promenade of pleasure. There were the ubiquitous Russians I had witnessed on my last trip but there seemed to be a lot more Chinese and Indian tourists. These new waves of visitors encouraged by the Thailand tourism bureaucracy give the impression they were only there to gawp at the spectacle of Walking Street and had little intention of parting with their cash. I felt this new influx could not fail to eventually alter the whole dynamic of Pattaya and not necessarily for the better.
I pop my head into Super baby a go-go which I consider one of the best bars in Walking Street, similar in character to Baccarat in Bangkok. I also peruse a few of the Go-go bars around Soi Diamond and am pleased to meet up with Ricky an old pal who I first met when he was managing the Angelwitch in Bangkok. He has run several bars in Pattaya in the intervening years. He is a Crystal Palace fan and knows his football from the 70s. It was lovely to chat with him about the old days but realised I was once again becoming incapable of servicing a lady that evening if I was not careful.
I eventually made my way to Secrets bar an establishment I consider one of the premier bars in the city. I am joined by Mo a hostess who claimed to remember me from previous visits. Mo is 35 and is quite tall for a Thai girl. Her English was excellent which she attributed to having previously worked as a Hotel receptionist. She was naturally chatty and told me she had two teenage daughters who lived with her.
It did not take much conversation to establish she was a perceptive and intelligent girl but surprisingly open and totally without guile. I was somewhat fascinated by her so asked if I could bar fine her to which she readily agreed. We walk to the end of Walking Street and I have the inevitable heated discussion with the baht bus drivers about the extortionate fares they wanted which was resolved by Mo’s diplomacy.
We returned to the hotel but as I was waiting for Mo to come out of the shower I fell into a deep sleep. When I did wake in the morning Mo told me she had tried to rouse me when she came out of the shower but I was dead to the world. She apologised that she could not stay as she had some business to attend to that day. I asked if she would see me that evening as I fancied eating some sea food and did not want to eat alone. She smiled and promised to collect me later that evening.
I paid her 1000 baht and gave her an additional 1000 to pay the bar fine. When she left I returned to sleep. When I finally awoke mid morning I resolved to seriously cut back on my drinking. I took a light lunch in the hotel and later went for a swim in the hotels pleasant pool which quite invigorated me.
At 7 pm that evening I am collected by the delightful Mo on a brand new Honda motorbike that she had collected only that morning. It was a nice experience being ridden by a girl. She informed me I was her first passenger on this bike and actually the first farang she has had on any of her bikes. She parks near Secrets bar and we walk to one of the fish restaurants in Walking Street.
The food was excellent. The “small” platter consisted of lobster crab mussels prawns cockles squid and fish. With a Tom Yum Kung soup it cost less than 1000 baht and it would have sustained 4 people. I tucked in with great delight to this veritable feast. Mo commented that she had never seen a farang who could eat like me as most western blokes she knew were very finicky and would only pick at a few things on a platter like that. Several girls over the years have remarked on my catholic taste and ability to eat almost anything, I feel there is a bit of a pattern emerging here and maybe they all think I am an indiscriminating greedy pig.
We make our way back to Secrets were she had parked her bike. After one last drink there she takes me back to my hotel. I was very comfortable in her company and the ensuing horizontal session was leisurely and relaxed. A couple of days rest and Mo’s tender ministrations had restored my libido. As we lay together I could not fail to notice she had the longest legs I have ever seen on a Thai woman. I was totally fascinated by them and spent most of the night exploring their amazing contours.
The next day we took a ride to a shopping outlet out of town. I bought Mo a few clothes. It did not cost a lot but I got a great deal of pleasure watching her make her selections. I had forgotten that shopping with a woman could be so enjoyable.
That evening we explored a few music venues and ended up in the ZAB near the entrance to Walking Street. There was a full Issan ensemble playing the music of the region. The band comprised three singers and two dancers with a full backing group. I found the two dancing girls mesmerising. The elegant and poised balletic moves of the Issan dance are so graceful and so pleasing to the eye. I imagine girls are taught these dances at school and they performed them with an energy and enthusiasm rarely seen in country type dances elsewhere.
I find Issan girls no matter how sophisticated or world weary they are they become little girls again listening to the music of their childhood. Mo told me she really appreciated me taking her to hear this group. By now she had established I was a harmless old sod and was relaxed in my company. That night we talked of hopes and dreams. When she left me the next morning I reflect I had experienced a mini version of the Thai girlfriend experience.
After a few days in Pattaya I decided I needed a change of scene so made a phone call to an old friend then arranged a flight up to Udon Thani. I had never been to the Issan before but I thought it about time I saw the source of the stream of girls I see in Suhkumvit and Pattaya. Like the Victorian explorers seeking the source of the Nile in deepest Africa. I just hope I don’t end up in an Issan missionary pot. Although I knew there is always a good chance of being eaten alive if only metaphorically.
To be continued