Exchange Rates and Escorts
I was a young man then with some good earnings to put aside. Consulting my banker he advised me to convert my CHF into USD. It’s the universal currency that will always be the world’s safest and most wanted money for years or decades to come, he said. As for placement, he suggested KLM titles. That airline he said was on the up and go. My money would be safe and grow in no time.
Of course he was wrong on both accounts and I decided there and then never to listen to a banker's advice ever again. That resolution served me well for many years, even decades. So why did I travel to Bangkok to visit my bank? Simple, to exchange a lump sum from my foreign currency account into local Baht for the equally simple reason that not in many years has the exchange rate been as good as it has in this past week.
The current political instability has of course something to do with that as my country’s currency has always been regarded as a save heaven currency in times of crisis. No need to consult bankers, good old-fashioned common sense is sufficient! On the other hand I have no fears to buy the local money as I’m confident that the situation will improve and the country will bounce back and recover from the current turmoil. It always does, at it least always has for the last 25 years when I first settled here.
Of course the transaction could easily have been done by telephone or internet banking but I like the Thai capital, the feel of Silom Road and the imposing large building where my banks headquarter is situated. Stick's update on the Bangkok protests on 7th December said all was calm on Sukhumvit, Silom and most other tourist quarters, with the airport not affected at all. It was time to go.
Friday morning’s flight on Nok Air was for once only half full. That made for a nice change for habitually it's packed to the last seat. I like Nok Air for the simple reason that it’s Thai, usually reliable and on time. It caters more for people of my generation than that other budget airline whose CEO thinks he is the new Asian Donald Trump and that the younger generation prefer.
After arrival at Don Meuang, on the way to town the taxi driver was quick to reassure me that there was no “mob” (demonstrations) in town. Even so, I told him to go on the toll way and in no time at all I reached the Landmark Hotel. I have to add here that in the “good old days” that so many seem to deplore it used to take from an hour upwards to reach downtown from Don Meuang. The hotel is also reminiscent of my early years in Thailand, in fact it opened about the same time as I came here and I remember walking past it in the early 90’s envying the people who could afford staying there. Dozens of 4* and 5* hotels have been built since that time but I appreciate the service the hotel offers at value for money tariffs, especially with club member card privileges. Most of all I enjoy sitting out on the front terrace early evening watching the world go by or, more to the point, the girls heading for work to the nearby Nana Plaza.
That’s where I sometimes go for a bit of after dinner entertainment. This time and having read a recent weekly on Stickman I decided to try one of the escort services that seem to get more and more popular in the past year or two. I chose the girl on the website and opted for the 4-hour package. I told the telephone coordinator to inform the girl that I would meet her in the hotel lobby at the indicated time but was politely asked for my room # and told that she would come directly to the room.
Amp (pseudonym) arrived on time, actually 10 minutes early. We introduced ourselves and I suggested immediately we’d go to one of the food outlets at the hotel for a snack and a drink. That was met by grateful approval and it was obvious that Amp appreciated the opportunity to get better accustomed to the person she would shortly be intimate with. The “get to know each other time” turned out to be 2 hours. Amp's English was good and conversational skills well above the average bargirl or sales lady in big stores. Inevitably I heard more of escort-related adventures of the sort Stick wrote in his weekly.
The guy who booked a 2-hour package but was done in ten minutes and then proposed to pay her only the “pick-up on street girl” tariff as he had taken so little of her time! Not surprisingly that led to some ugly scenes in its wake!
Another guy booked her for 4 days in Phuket at the daily rate, all expenses, air tickets etc. paid for but then after a day only realized they had nothing more to talk about. Sitting around the pool became so boring to both that he put her back on a flight to Bangkok after less than 24 hours. Amp was hugely relieved to be back with friends at the escort office instead of faraway Phuket where she knew nobody and she’d never met her client before.
Lots more adventure stories of the sort but I leave it to Stick to give an “encore” on the escort chapter in a future blog.
Eventually it was time to get down to business and that proved to be equally pleasant as the long talking session, Amp being much more relaxed and at ease no doubt thanks to the adjustment time taken to get to know each other better.
I realize that anyone under 60 will probably have difficulty to understand that out of a handsomely paid 4-hour package with a pretty escort, 2 are passed eating, drinking and talking! I would believe though that men well in to the second half century of their life span will easily understand. After it was done Amp not surprisingly had fallen asleep and it was me who had to wake her up to tell her time was up. Amp left happy and content, or so she said and was going back to her flat. Normally she said she’d limit herself to one customer, possibly maximum two a day.
It was not yet midnight and time for another drink in the plaza. But too much noise and too many people I limited that to a single and went off to bed in the comfortable hotel. Next morning Somsak picked me up for the drive to Pattaya where I will spend a few days in a rental condo in Jomtien.