And Some More
Dear Stick and Readers,
I don't really have many annoyances with Thailand. Maybe because 8 weeks per visit is not enough time for them to get under my skin.
I stay in an area of Bangkok that is mainly a Thai neighbourhood for a change. On my first night of arrival it was a late flight. I dropped my bags and went straight out for a cold Singha and some spicy Thai food. Just when the bill arrived from a table behind me I heard the word farang said out loud. It does not bother me when I hear it but please leave me alone to eat my food in peace and quiet. Be happy that I am spending. I wouldn't shout out Thai if you were eating here in the UK at a table next to me. One tuktuk driver thought he was being smart by saying khun farang. I have been told that I look quite like a Thai even though I am not. Most places treat me well and my favourite gogo bar in Bangkok never rush me to leave even when I am the last customer left. When treated well I will return; where I am not I won't.
I like to give little treats to the staff that are often overlooked at my apartment like the cleaning staff and security. The rental prices increase but do the staff get increased wages in relation to the rental rises? I doubt it very much. The smile I get from giving the staff a cold drink out of the refrigerator after tidying my room is what makes me feel alive and happy that I traveled.
On my last vacation nearly all the taxis and motorbike taxis that serviced me in Bangkok were very polite which makes a change from the service I have experienced in Pattaya. Was it because I was staying in a Thai area of Bangkok?
Over the years I have visited Thailand I have experienced both ladies from the bar and also had girlfriends which held 9 – 5 jobs who had nothing to do with bars.
Though these 9 – 5 job girls are getting harder to find as one girl told me when she finishes work she will go to Climax or the Intercontinental hotel – meaning if the price is right she is available for an assignment. <I would have to disagree here and say that girls who never dreamed of ever working as a prostitute are easier than ever to meet – Stick>
Sometimes I think I would like a long-term partnership. Last time I did with a non bargirl she moved in with me and after one week she wanted to go everywhere together. I wanted to go to gogo bars, my biggest weakness in Thailand even though I just like to chat and observe. After 10 days I had to tell her to leave. I wanted my freedom back so nowadays I don't get involved. I like my own space too much right now. Maybe it is a phase in my life in my early forties.
A friend of mine from San Francisco who has been visiting Pattaya since the '80s has finally realized that it is virtually impossible for him to find a long-term girlfriend. He has tried numerous times and the last time it became apparent that the motorbike taxi that was always parked outside his apartment was actually the Thai boyfriend of the girl he was with. He had not realized that for many months he was being watched. He has given up now and his 3-month stays in Pattaya he does not bother taking any girls now.
I have never got too much involved with the girls. But I was really smitten with one girl from Bubbles in Pattaya which I think has closed now. I missed this girl so much I came back to the UK, handed in my notice at work, lined up another job to start 2 weeks later. And I returned to Pattaya 4 days after I had left! Another learning curve, as of course she didn't pick up the phone. You know the story!
I remember getting a taxi from Bangkok to Pattaya and the taxi driver was really in to learning English and was practicing while he was driving. I felt sorry for him as he had all these holes in his t-shirt, was working long hours, his son was a ladyboy, and his wife kept all his wages!
We arrived in Pattaya in the evening, I unpacked my bags and gave the taxi driver a brand new t-shirt to wear. I had purchased a large bottle of single malt scotch whiskey from duty free which I gave to the taxi driver and told him he could drink it and stay in the room while I visited Walking Street. I returned later in the night to find the taxi driver in a right mess, steaming drunk! He was holding the bottle of scotch which I grabbed and had to wrestle from him. He did a good job of nearly drinking 1 litre in the space of 4 hours! Well, I made him forget about his ladyboy son and his wife for a few hours. Probably the best day he had in ages with no demands from anyone.
I have had some memorable times over the years in the LOS.