12 Days in Thailand
Last year in June I had a visa run to Bangkok. Normally I do my visa runs in Singapore but it gets really boring as I always stay in the same place (a guesthouse with dorms), I don't like shopping and don't have the money for it. So my main activities in Singapore during my (mostly 3 days and sometimes 5 days if I have left Jakarta on a Friday or Saturday) are taking my passport to the embassy and waiting 3 days in the guesthouse (mainly spent reading books in bed) to retrieve it again. Sometimes I leave the guesthouse to get some food or just to have a stroll on the streets ogling those Singapore girls. The only exception was my 2010 stay in Singapore. During this run the 2010 Word Cup was on and I befriended an Indonesian freelancer in Geylang (where I was watching the semi-final between Holland and Uruguay) with whom I had a great few days (and Holland beat Uruguay).
I don't know if I am the only one but I have travelled extensively in most South-East Asian countries but I think I never saw so many gorgeous girl per, let's say, square hectare as I always see in Singapore. It really seems that every second girl is gorgeous….or maybe that is just my taste? There are a lot of beautiful girls in Jakarta but beauty seems not nearly as concentrated as in Singapore, not by a mile. For every 50 girls I see in Jakarta there are 5 good-looking or beautiful ones and the rest are just average or worse, but in Singapore it seems at least 25 in every 50 are gorgeous!
So last year I decided to go to Bangkok instead of Singapore for a change. And I also decided to make it a small holiday, I still had some 12 days left that I could use up. So instead of 3 days I planned a 2-week visa run to Thailand. I had not been there in more than 3 years.
I landed in Suvarnabhumi Airport with my Air Asia flight. I think domestic Air Asia flights still fly to Don Meuang as I would later find out when I collected my Indonesian friend from there who landed there from Samui to spend some days with me. I decided (of course) to stay in Nana which is actually not that far from the Indonesian Embassy. I have never been good with Thai people – I have a quick temper and that often fires back, because when I get angry at a Thai person for some reason I tend to vent that strongly and in return they will get even angrier with me.
The same thing happened with the taxi driver who took me to Soi Nana. The fee was around 300 baht including the toll fare, but I only had a 1,000 baht and a 500 baht note. When I gave him the 500 baht note I expected at least some 150 baht change but instead he turned around to me waving the 500 baht I had just given him and said “OK, mister, enough thank you!” I told him I wanted 150 baht change, but he said he had no change. So I quickly grabbed back the 500 baht he was still waving and he got mad. I shouted to him I planned to go out to one of the shops on the road to look for change and I left the taxi (with my bags). The driver also got out of the taxi shouting and pointing at me, and to my discomfort a small crowd started to gather quickly.
Of course I had heard lots about this kind of events and what could be the outcome if a farang was involved in the ruckus so I quickly asked some vendors if they had change. Luckily one provided me with the necessary small money so I went back to the angry driver and put 350 baht in his hands. At first he almost would not take it and nearly threw it back in my face but at the last instant he took it and went back to the taxi, still cursing me.
I was walking in Soi Nana thinking “Welcome in Bangkok!” I was a bit flustered and shaking a little. I had some sweat trickling down but at least I had survived my first Thai encounter in 3 years.
The thing is, and I certainly don't want to defend Indonesian people and especially Indonesian taxi drivers, but I have taken literally thousands of taxis in Jakarta (also from the airport) and this never happened to me with the taxi drivers of Jakarta. Maybe that can partly be explained by the fact that I speak fluent Bahasa and I always converse in Bahasa with the taxi drivers. Because of that they probably think I cannot be taken as a fool and that I know the ropes, but I don't know, maybe they are a bit more relaxed and not trying to cheat a traveller out of his money. The only real problem I ever had in Jakarta was in a taxi with a drunk taxi driver who got himself and me involved in an accident which could have killed both of us.
I went to the soi where I had often stayed in a small, cheap guesthouse (I believe it is Happy Homestay for the knowledgeable), a bit back on the soi so I walked that way and found the place again. I had not stayed there in at least 7 years but the last time I had stayed there I had made such an impression on the old female owner who was still sitting at the back that she instantly (partly) recognised me. While I was checking in she looked at me enquiringly and asked me “you stayed here before nah?” I told her yes, some 7 years ago. “Yes, I remember", she replied. "You had big accident and your whole face was covered”.
During my stay 7 years earlier I had been involved in a motorbike accident. I had been hit sideways by a rogue truck and had fallen flat on my face on the concrete, breaking my nose and chin, smashing my lips and shearing my hairline (I looked like I had been scalped). I was taken to the nearby Bumrungrad Hospital (very expensive but luckily I was insured) and they had stitched me up. I had spent two nights in the hospital and the third night I had been released, bandaged like a mummy (at least on my face). I had been a huge sight in Nana and many people in the bars had taken pity on me (including the bargirls). Finally I got so fed up explaining what had happened that I invented a fight. But I told them “You should have seen the other guy, he is still out there in the hospital on life support”. I got a lot of free drinks even though I was still on antibiotics.
Even though my hairline had receded way up because of the accident, the hair grew back. I was very depressed because the doctor had told me it was 50 : 50 whether my hair would come back or not, and it would depend on whether the roots had survived or not. But I really got all my hair back even though it took some time.
Anyway, after the checking in and after I had taken my bags upstairs in the room and had a shower and a change of clothes, I decided to have a look at the bars. I used to be an occasional consumer and I wanted to see if I was still up for some paid service but I quickly felt I could not do it anymore. Already 3 years before when I had my last stay in Thailand I had not taken one single girl during my whole stay (probably a record). I just don't feel up to it anymore.
But it was still nice to see all the tourists and other guys in the bars going for the girls, and the bars actually seemed pretty busy in this late June.
After I had booked my visa run and holiday to Bangkok I had gone on some Thai dating sites to try to hook up some (hopefully) nice Thai girls to meet. Instead I had met an Indonesian girl on one of the Thai dating sites who was working in Samui. I had already spoken with her on Skype so I had verified she looked great. I had invited her to come to Bangkok to meet me if she could take some days off and she had managed to get 6 days off which was great. She was due to come to Bangkok in 2 days, so I could wait and just enjoy the bars with a drink.
The next morning I went to the Indonesian Embassy to bring my passport for the extension of my business visa. Every year I have to get a new one, and in the meantime I have to renew it every 2 months within Jakarta, so I only have to leave once per year. I took the BTS to the station near the road to the Indonesian embassy.
In the evening I went to the Biergarten. I always like to go there because I always seem to meet nice characters there and so it happened that night. I met a great group of guys and we drank the night away. One of the guys even hooked up with a gorgeous young freelancer, a girl I would love to have taken home because she was as fit as they come and gorgeous.
The next day I met my old Australian friend who still lives in the soi next to Soi Nana. I always kept into contact with him over the years so he knew I was coming. His wife and he invited me in their home with incredible hospitality as usual and what a cook she is. I stayed with them well into the night until I almost forgot that I had to collect my Indonesian friend. I quickly said my goodbye. Nick had told me he did not mind to take me to the airport by car but I wanted to spare him the trouble. I took the train to Don Meuang instead, a new experience for me. The old rundown train to Don Meuang is incredibly slow but luckily I made it in time. 10 minutes after I entered the airport my friend arrived in the arrivals hall and we went to the taxi line. I actually wanted to take the train back again (I am as stingy as they come) but I think it would not have been a good introduction to our time together.
The girl was really beautiful, slim and tall with very white skin. Originally from Bandung a real Sundanese flower as they say there. When it was our time we went inside the taxi and were quickly close. She asked me where I was staying and I told her. Apparently she had never heard of Soi Nana and what went on there, so I really wondered about her reaction when we would enter the street and she would see the Nana scene. She was quite shocked actually when we arrived but I suspect it was partly played because living and working on Koh Samui she would be no stranger to the bar scene, I imagine.
We would not be staying long on the street anyway because we had agreed to go to Jomtien the following day. We went to bed quickly because it was late and after a nice night we woke up the following morning to prepare to go to Jomtien. We took the bus and arrived there an hour after noon. We checked in to a guesthouse near the beach, one I also had stayed before and had a good first day. The next morning I went alone to Bangkok to get my visa which took me almost a whole day, so I was back in Pattaya late that evening. We decided to hit the bars in Walking Street, and later we went into Lucifer's, a disco I have always liked for some strange reason. I had never been with an Indonesian girl in Thailand before and it was quite funny at times to see the Thai people assuming she was Thai and starting to talk to her in Thai of which she understood even less of than I did. So she always said in English “Excuse me, I am Indonesian and I don't understand Thai”. She told me it had happened to her about a million times now so she was totally used to it and fine with it. I asked her why she still did not speak Thai after 2 years but she told me she could not get the hang of it. She was doing a course but it just did not stick.
One of the girls in Lucifer's really liked my friend and invited us for a bottle. She seemed to be doing well or maybe she had just hooked a very wealthy customer but she had a bottle of Jack Daniels at her table which she was sharing with a few other girls. I was a bit apprehensive at first fearing I would be confronted with a massive bill at the end of the evening and I told my friend so, but she told me not to worry, if things would go bad she would share the loss with me. Anyway, sometimes one has to take the plunge for experience otherwise life is bland and nothing will ever happen, even if it means that you sometimes hit your toes in the process.
Things were ok and we chatted, drank and danced with the girls who (strangely enough) appeared not to be really looking for customers, at least they did not make an effort. I was a bit afraid to ask them about that but I found out (at least they told me) they were from Bangkok and on holiday in Pattaya. Anyway, the girls actually did not ask me to pay my part. They seemed to have enough cash to throw a big party and we all had a good night. Around 1 AM they told us they would relocate to Insomnia for some real serious fun and if we were up to it to join them. I told them we did not want to bother them but they would not hear about it. The girl that fancied my friend was already pulling her to the exit so a man has to follow.
Now I really dislike Insomnia. I don't like the music there, and I don't like the place. I don't like the girls (even though it is the same girls as in Lucifer). It is too busy and the music is too loud and it's trance. I am way too old for that place! Maybe if I had been 20 or 25 years younger I would love it, but unfortunately I am not. It is also very easy to lose people in that place because it is one big, packed mass and this night was no exception.
Of course I quickly lost my Indonesian friend and our Thai companions. They were probably dancing somewhere. I was a bit worried about her because she was already quite blasted, and so was I actually. I went outside and took my mobile and started WhatsApping her, hoping that maybe she would see the messages, but no reply came forward. I tried to call her but no answer, the place is so loud even a cat wouldn't hear anything.
I decided to go for some food to one of those barbecue stalls and got some chicken and sat down opposite the entrance of Insomnia so I would see my friend if she or they came out. It did not happen and I called again but again no reply, but wait, I had received a WhatsApp message. It was indeed from my Indonesian friend. She told me she was still in Insomnia and where was I? She had been looking for me all over!
I told her I was outside having some food, just in front of Insomnia. A couple of minutes she came there with the Thai girl that seemed to really like her, suspiciously so. She asked me what the plan was and I told her I would not mind going home, but she could stay and come to Jomtien later.
The Thai girl told us to wait, as she would go back in and collect her friends. So we waited. A couple of minutes later the girl came back out alone and told us her friends wanted to stay, but she had had enough of Insomnia also. So we walked back down Walking Street, the three of us. While walking I was ogling the Thai girl who was walking in front of me and I had to say she was a pretty and sexy girl, but not my type. She was the kind of snobby type that would normally never associate with me. In the street lights I could see that she was not a Pattaya bargirl. She really looked like a Bangkok girl. “So you guys are staying in Jomtien?” she asked me. I told her yes. They were staying in the Hard Rock Hotel.
Well what to do it was apparent she was not interested in me but only in my friend and not really willing to let her go so when we came to the end of Walking Street we sat down in one of the open bars that was still open and had a drink again. I was not really sure about my friend but I felt she was not averse to the advances of the Thai girl. Anyway, the girls had been quite nice to us so I asked her if she wanted to follow us to our place in Jomtien. She did not want it as she apparently had never been there and told us we could come with her to Hard Rock Hotel if we liked. At this stage I did not care anymore. I was up for anything and this again promised to be an adventure so I said ok let's go to your place. So we took a van to second road and up the second road. She knew the way so we got out and went into one small soi up to Beach Road again and there I saw her big hotel.
We went into her room without any security asking anything, everything went smooth as butter. She opened the fridge and cupboards and I saw they were well stocked with liquor. Whiskey, Vodka and even wine. The Thai girl snuggled on the couch next to my friend and then suddenly got up again asking us if we wanted a drink. I had decided I wanted to get really smashed because it was just the night for that so I asked her for a Whiskey coke. She got the whiskey and the coke from the fridge and told me to go ahead. I poured an incredible amount of whiskey and a bit of coke and started drinking as if my life depended on it. The girls had meanwhile decided to watch a movie. The Thai girl put on music and a DVD in the player. I don't remember anything about the movie. I don't even know anymore what movie we were watching. It could have been a Thai movie, an American movie I have no recollection. I just kept drinking. I remember I started smoking (I have quit smoking for some years now but that night I suddenly started again) There must have been a pack of smokes in the room because I surely did not buy a pack before we went to the hotel. I went to the balcony to enjoy the view. They were staying on the beach side and quite high so the view was great with a nice sea wind to boot. There I must have been for quite some time, at least an hour (I had taken the whiskey and the coke with me) smoking and drinking and actually feeling great.
I don't know what happened inside when I was on the balcony but when I went inside to go to the toilet I noticed the girls had gone, the movie was still on but the music was turned off. At this stage I was so drunk that I could hardly walk anymore let alone think so I did not care. I turned off the movie, sat down or lied down on the couch and I must have fallen asleep.
I woke up some hours later with a pounding headache. It felt as if my face was going to burst like an overripe melon in the hot sun. But I was greeted with a beautiful sight of a sleeping girl on the chair opposite the couch, one of the friends of the Thai girl. I got up and first did not really know what to do, I was getting as sick as a dog and went into the toilet where I dropped down on my knees and vomited long and very loud. The Thai girl on the couch had woken up and was alarmed she came to the toilet and asked me if I was ok. The other girls were also appearing.
My Indonesian friend luckily was also still ok and she was the most worried one of all. What happened next can only happen in Asia, and is part of the reason why I love Asia so much. The girls came with a wet towel, instructed me to lie down on the couch, one was already administering me a head massage, another one was massaging my stomach. It did not help a lot though and a few minutes later I had to bow again in front of the toilet.
I think I had minor alcohol poisoning and one of the girls had already gone to the chemist to buy some kind of pills. They were really nice. We ended up staying a couple more hours in the room until I felt strong enough again to battle the sun and leave. The girl that fancied my friend accompanied us to the street and when we had hailed a baht bus we said goodbye to her and jumped in to Jomtien.
I asked my friend what had happened between them but she kept really vague. She told me they had just talked together and then slept but I don't know.
We spend a couple more days in Jomtien until it was time for my friend to go back to Koh Samui. We never saw the three Thai girls again. I had not gotten their phone numbers, and when my friend had gone back I looked for them in the bars and discos but perhaps they had gone back to Bangkok. I did not dare to go to the Hard Rock to look for them – I am too shy for that.
Anyway the experience with the Thai girls had been really nice, they had apparently not been looking for (my) money or requested me to pay for the drinks etcetera. So in all it had been a good experience, even though I had not been sexually close with them even remotely. If I had been alone in Pattaya I would never have had such an experience.