Life in Thailand Through my Eyes
Being Scottish, I do tend to get a little irate when someone condemns another, especially when life leads them into temptation, then kick a dog when it’s down. Thailand is a controversial playground for men, although leaves one open to self-abuse and or entrapment. It’s not exactly the kind of place you go for a holiday, if you’re having domestic problems back home – that’s a cert. I fell into the trap myself to be perfectly honest, this after being conned out of a lot of money by an infamous thief here in Bangkok. He set us up comparable to the movie THE STING.
Being a former Property Developer in the UK, my company eventually collapsed. I could easily have saved some of my property empire, had I returned back home. Needless to say, the allure of Asia had me in its grasp, unfortunately, lust has no conscious. I arrived in Thailand 8 years ago fresh off the banana boat – so to speak. I now have another 2 boys to add to my collection (from my Laotian girlfriend), thus having another 4 kids in England and a fifth in Sweden totaling seven in all.
The very very handsome tag wore off quite quickly. Once I realised you could be a Cyclopes with a single eye in the middle of your forehead and still pull a beautiful teerak no matter what your face looked like – if affluent. The first couple of years were spent getting accustomed to Phuket / Pattaya and last but not least – Nana culture. I stupidly introduced family & friends to this life of debauchery and was quickly labeled the Beast of Asia in my home town, when they realised I was on first name terms with all the local mamasans. It was a cruel nom de plume for what seemed fun at the time to all and sundry, with my new circle of friends in the sex trade fast lane. It soon became apparent, this sordid life was costly and even ‘dangerous’ if it gets out of hand with the seedy people in its employ. Try telling a lady of the night your PIN number isn’t working or you’ve lost your credit card. Countless times I lost phones and wallets like they were going out of fashion once I had more than my fair share of the golden liquid – whisky. On my arrival, being a novice and naïve was outwardly akin to buying the entire entourage drinks, even for the sodden faced punters in these dens of iniquity. The constant bell ringing and drumming on the table and bars was my signature tune, however now more aware I was just another idiotic Farang showing off my somewhat self-importance in the money stakes.
I went from the lavish lifestyle from the penthouse suites in the Lebua State Tower Silom for months at a time, to some shady backstreet rooms with neon lights flashing throughout the night like some gritty noir movie set. I had to get my act together or would sink to an all-time low and never get back on my feet. Now money was scarce, I had to depend on family to keep me afloat whilst reassessing my life. My resilience was the main benefactor, foreseeing my state of affairs was grim to say the least. The time had come to get back on track or perish.
Being well travelled, my pet hate is big mealy mouthed ex-pat know it alls. Their usual modus operandi entails old adages like – life’s cheap in Asia / Spain or wherever you have parked your arse in some bar abroad and crap like’ it’s a perilous world out there. If so, how come they live there? The mind boggles.
These parasites usually congregate in little groups with their polo shirts and shiny red poker faces like a piazza that’s had a bad day in the oven. How dare these vermin proclaim what one should and shouldn’t do while residing in a foreign country, just because they’ve been there for a while and become a self-evident authority on the rights and wrongs of any new visitors. Live and let die and be what you want to be as proclaimed by the great showmen. The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it – Albert Einstein.
Keep your nose clean in Thailand and you're probably living in the best country on the planet. I’ve now made Bangkok my home and never step foot in or anywhere near places I had my irrefutable conquests, whenever I felt the need to unleash Snorky for a bit of leisure. You commonly lose your dignity, therefore become some sexually depraved creature pent on a self-destruction path drinking yourself half to death, this if you don’t see the light to get off the Helter Skelter ride to ruination. It’s pretty weird when I think back to those days, considering you never tend to talk to anyone else other than the whores themselves, never even remotely remembering myself chatting to other patrons. By far, it’s not all doom & gloom and on reflection had some very funny times and loved up for 4 hours until the drink wore off then had to assess the damage. One particular festive night comes to mind. I took my nephew and his friends to Soi Nana to collect some Thai beauties to take away and get some refreshments from a 7/11 store. Anyway, to cut a long story short the mamasan said’ what girl would you like tonight? I said’ eh’ all of them. She laughed and said’ no really which one. I took 4 of them for myself and she roared about the floor laughing. My assembly of beauties all piled out with me to get the taxis to my home in Nonthaburi. I was like Santa Claus on heat.
It may seem to some I’m being melodramatic, nevertheless, most friends have lost seeing their children grow up (including me) after subjecting themselves to this road to perdition, then thrown into purgatory once the funds have dried up and have to return back to their home country penniless and full of idiosyncratic stories of life in Thailand. I’ve met every walk of life in the LOS being from good to bad nonetheless find the Thais pleasing although find taxi / tuktuk drivers a different breed to contend with. Being scammed by these perpetrators of misery in Phuket with their rip-off over charge of a thousand baht for a very small journey that costs peanuts in Bangkok got us into some really dodgy scrapes. Phuket was a mental place for the seriously deranged. For example, one day fed-up to the teeth of drinking and humping prostitutes, I decided to have a day off sightseeing. I remembered on the way in from the airport to our hotel catching a glimpse of a board advertising a snake show. I took a motorbike taxi to where I saw it displayed midway up a hill. We stopped just outside some lean to shacks on the brow of the hill. He then charged away as if he knew something I didn’t. I was approached by an elderly lady who came out of the forest. She had huge warts on her face looking like a witch and completely freaked me out, given that I was still a bit frail now my body was giving off the delirium tremors down to no alcohol. Have you come to see the snake show? Eh’ yes ma’am. Ok follow me. I kept up behind her till we reached some people swinging about on hammocks drinking cheap Thai whisky. She asked why I came alone without friends. I said’ hang on I’ll call them. I hurriedly called my nephew to explain I was here to see a snake show and met some really strange looking people and to get his arse up here pronto. The old woman told a taxi driver where to come to when he called for directions. Once he arrived I felt a bit more secure having the Heebie-jeebies not knowing what was in store for us. The next events were probably the weirdest thing any westerner had seen in his entire lifetime. She beckoned us to come into the biggest shack, set up inside with a circular arena. They had wooden bench seats all around the circled pit. We sat to the left and her and family members poured in to the right of us to watch the show. I asked her if anyone had ever been bitten. She laughed and said’ yes my father over there, pointing to an old chap with a missing leg. I asked how he lost his leg. She said he had been bitten by a cobra and never got it attended to in time and had to have his leg amputated. I started to get a little uneasy by this time when suddenly some guy in his 30s appeared through the door and proceeded into the ring. He was carrying a coiled stick in his hand. I never even noticed the wooden box at the far end until he lifted the lid and pulled out a big f**k off King Cobra into the ring. God be my witness I nearly f**king freaked out when it made straight for where I was sitting screaming like a cat and hissing at me and in my distress, pushed past my nephew to jump out its way. My nephew screamed out at me saying ‘what the f**k’ you nearly got me bitten. This strange family laughed so much at our frightened faces and beckoned us back to our seats. The snake guy used his finger to goad the snake in to action and the inevitable happened, it bit his finger. Everyone laughed except us being horrified until the guy pulled his hand away from the snake who had the dummy finger in its mouth. I was a little relieved for a second until next thing we know he put his arm up and the cobra sunk its teeth in and blood pouring down his arm. I said’ holy f**k what happens now – does he die? No she exclaimed, he’s been bitten so any times the snakes all eventually die and they need get new ones. I was totally and utterly flabbergasted. Next thing we know, he threw another green and black coloured snake into the pit. This f**ker was even angrier than the cobra as it bounced around like a jumping jack. He picked this up and same thing as the cobra – bit his arm. I asked is that poisonous? Yes, she said, but could possibly kill me but not him. Lastly, he put another cream coloured snake in the pit which acted dead and stiff like a cane when left to its own devices but bounced back into life when some little kid around 4 years old got in and wrapped it around her neck like a scarf. The old lady told me it was poisonous but the child was good with snakes. I thought’ wonder what social services in the UK would say about that one? My biggest mistake was not bringing my camera knowing this would have been a huge hit on YouTube.
I’ve encountered snakes here in Thailand a few times and really to be perfectly honest – I’m petrified of them. I explained this strange phenomena to a Buddhist monk. He told me this meant I was a lucky person. Believe me, I don’t think it’s lucky, especially if I ever get bitten. I’ve been lucky enough to have been in 2 Thai TV commercials being picked by an agent from an outdoor swimming pool. I thought she was bullshitting when she said the old shite’ you very handsome, thinking she was out to swindle some money from me. However, she was genuine enough after I visited her TV model agency and sent me on screen tests. One was for Thai pizza and the other Suzuki motorbikes. I’m just trying to impress on you that Thailand can be fun rather than the usual mundane life back in our home countries. I now have a new international career, nonetheless will stay here in the LOS until I need go back to Scotland in my wooden overcoat.