A Possibly Atypical Bangkok Bargirl – Part 2 – Second Round
While I was living high on the hog in Manila, eventually I knew my Southeast Asian party had to end so I made my arrangements to return home to Farangland. Ahhh, the disappointment of not being able to stay as I had never enjoyed myself so often with women, both Thai and Filipina. Sheet, the joy! Dear readers, you know this well or you would not be here!
But wait a minute! I decided I could afford one last weekend fling in Bangkok. I did not tell Nat I was coming, I just showed up at her bar. At first, I did not see her so I had that thought: I should have told her I was coming, she might have been barfined already. So I asked around where she was. Maybe 15 minutes later, I heard a scream and turned to see what that was about. It was Nat! Another girl who remembered me was leading her in my direction. This other girl had pointed me out to Nat; when Nat saw me, she screamed with mak mak delight, flashed that big smile, was jumping up and down like a pogo stick, then running to me and planting a big wet sloppy kiss on my cheek. Actually, a lot of big wet sloppy kisses. Her co-workers were smiling and laughing, happy for Nat. I needed to borrow a napkin to wipe her lipstick off my cheek, the mamasan and the co-worker came over to help me clean up … too funny, that. But there was no denying Nat's joyful mood, that was for sure! Very definitely sanuk!
So I barfined her for the weekend and she went with me to a number of places around Bangkok. When we went out, she did not go all tarted up, she dressed quite modestly in a somewhat loose polo shirt, ordinary long jeans, plain sandals, no makeup, hair let down in a simple manner, doing an admirable job of blending into the scenery. OK, she is from Isaan so her darker complexion and facial features gave that away, but she did not attract attention to herself and if someone was shooting dirty looks, they were doing well at keeping their distance. She really got into our trip to the temple at Wat Phra Kaew. Dunno what she prayed for when she lit the incense sticks and got down on her knees in front of the Buddha icon. But I can guess…
I did catch a whiff of the disdain that some mainstream Thai have for Isaan when I took Nat to dinner at the Emporium one night. I suspect some Stickmanites would tell me that was a mistake, that place is beyond her station in life. Whatever… The fair-skinned waitress was haughty and could not be bothered to serve us in a timely manner even though she was not busy; the waiter who was working with her apologized to me on her behalf when he took over my table while she was on her break. I tried to ask Nat about that, but she did not really want to talk about it. She just wanted to keep the happy face that she had when she was with me. Got some of that don't make waves business. Don't face the unpleasant stuff.
So this is where it gets interesting for me: over these few days I made an effort to really look at her, see how she was with friends and co-workers, see if I could separate the truth from the bull about her background. I found her age: mid 30's, no surprise there. I found her hometown: a city in Isaan. I found out when she stopped going to school: age 12. I never found out for sure if she was married and / or had any children as she was vague about that part and I did not push it. I figured I might not get the truth. I detected no stretch marks on her, but then again she is a bit taller and a bit less skinny than the waifish spinners we see out there. But definitely a woman with a woman's voice in case you Dana fans and katoey fanciers are wondering about that. Fon had told me that Nat was a hairdresser before she went into the bargirl business. One of Nat's friends confirmed that by telling me that "(Nat) make best haircut, best style, but very little money" without any prompting from Nat. And apparently she still made a bit of small change by doing her friends' hair. Nothing like bargirl change though. But she didn't seem like a lazy girl.
One night I remembered that I had enjoyed going to a family style karaoke club with some girlfriends in Manila so I asked about finding something like that in Bangkok. She started out taking me to her home, that was a stop off the MTR, then a walk through a neighbourhood I never heard of. But her small apartment was actually not bad and her friends seemed like nice people who liked me too. So the friends lead us to a couple of different karaoke clubs: none of them have English language songs in their catalogs, these were strictly Thai places. I asked Nat if she wanted to sing; she demurred saying she was shy about that. But I caught an undercurrent of something else: that she was not able to read the lyrics that well. Which is what got me to asking her about her education the next day.
We ended up at a Thai cabaret-style nightclub where they had a large song and dance troupe doing several dances and short scenes. Some of the female dancers were really very, very hot, but of course they looked like central Thai and probably did not look at me at all since I was with an Isaan girl.
Here I must digress: I was astounded to recognize the last scene: the story of Cinderella. Wow, there it is Thai style. I was fascinated to see how the Thais would carry this off. No, I did not understand the dialog, but knowing the basic story, I didn't need to. Just followed the actions: the poor girl Cinderella being made to sweep the floor and look after the older girls, the lost shoe, the prince, and so on. They abridged the story a bit to fit the time, but it was still remarkably similar to the original. The audience applauded loudly when this act finished so the story must have resonated with them. Sorry I do not remember the name of this club or where it is. Maybe a reader knows the venue I am talking about. Remember, also this was back in 2006.
When Nat and I said goodnight to her friends, they all wai'd me and let me know they thought I was "nice man, come back again". It is hard to tell since face is so involved, but it appeared to me that the affection between Nat and her friends was genuine. Also Nat seemed to get along well with her co-workers at the bar though she was older than most of them. Again, take my words with a grain of salt, but it seemed like the younger girls at the bar really enjoyed Nat's company. I can say Nat sure loves to talk, she was quiet to me as she did not speak English well, nor I Thai, but she ran her mouth with her friends, that sure was an eye-opener. Fun, that.
To be continued …