Tales of Saturdays Nights, Curfews and “Property Development” Girls
Like clockwork, the protest season has come and gone again. Being bivouacked in humpies along Asoke is doable in the cooler months. The five hundred baht day rate, free food and the odd shot of whiskey is a reasonable alternative to the unproductive dry, fallow lands back in the villages. But right on cue, as the days started to get hotter, the rent-a-crowd mob lost their enthusiasm for the cause and packed up their tents, porta-loos, mobile kitchens and disappeared back to the provinces. The Thailand Tourism Authority should consider changing their angle of attack when it comes to promoting their “Amazing” country. The monsoon season’s the time to visit; protesters (aka the “mob”) aren’t too keen on camping in the rain. And besides, the rice needs planting.
The coup that wasn’t going to be a coup finally happened. The tour agents and the businesses which depend on tourism were, once again, merchants of doom predicting and for the umpteenth time this was the end of life as we know it in the kingdom. The introduction of a curfew and the rapidly approaching low season certainly gave some merit to the predictions of the doom merchants but as an expat / pseudo resident in this land of make believe, my attitude is somewhat selfish in regards to the falling number of tourists arriving here; it’s more enjoyable during the quieter times.
I’ve always considered the low season the best time to be here anyway; hotel prices are cheaper, the joint is less crowded and the demimondaines, knowing pickings are lean, often display a friendlier attitude. Friendlier attitudes don’t necessarily translate into cheaper prices, it’s just the levels of attention and service appear to go up a notch. Even so, the number of soldiers out on the streets coupled with the approaching leaden skies didn’t make things any easier for those earning a living between the hours of sunset and sunrise. Times are tough, and getting tougher, according to drinking buddy and fellow Bangkok fringe dweller, 006.
Oskar; great food, inexpensive drinks and a good place to meet some “property development” girls
“There’s a war on, you know” I said tongue in cheek.
“Yeah, great isn’t it,” replied my seasoned colleague.
“How so?” I said, wondering what his angle was.
“There’s desperation in the air, a hunger, and the sense of uncertainty because it could all go pear shaped without warning. It’s life on the edge and there’s a certain excitement about that.”
“Well I understand what you’re saying but the bottom line is how that translates into lower prices for this lot,” I said scanning the crowd of Thai ladies at Oskar.
“It’s a numbers game, in’t. Less punters here means slimmer pickings and slimmer pickings should translate to reduced prices.”
Unfortunately the local economic tough times pricing model doesn’t quite work that way. More often than not, when business is slow, the Thais will put their prices up. And that, when considered in the context of the paying customer's expectations, can leave us feeling exasperated or even annoyed at the logic of the locals. There’s no doubt there’s a good deal about this place which can completely infuriate us but there’s also a lot which is still quite enjoyable. In this regard the bottom line is not to get too involved with anyone or anything, and never take life too seriously. The Thais don’t so why should we? Still, there are some who get to the point where they just can’t take it anymore; the pressure valve blows, they’re cooked and it’s time to leave. The following was taken from another Thai centric website and, to be honest, there’s nothing there which I can really disagree with:
Thailand the CONS: Naturally there are exceptions that prove the rule and not all Thais fit all descriptions.
Rampant domestic violence. Endemic Racism; even against other types of Thai. Dangerous driving (Frightening RT death & injury statistics). Deceitful, disingenuous, slothful, indolent, corrupt, populace. ‘Buddhist country’ absent of understanding of ‘Buddhism’. Inherent greed, envy, and jealousy. Filth, (rubbish/garbage) and stinking klongs. Mass infantile behaviour. Ingrained stupidity. Devoid of manners/etiquette. Festering, howling ‘Soi’ dogs. Loud constantly barking neighbour’s dogs & Ignorant owners. Noise! Tannoy (Loud-speaker) fed propaganda (especially in the early hours). Motorised, peripatetic vendors with megaphones pointed over walls (at me). Ambulant hawkers selling anything & everything employing, bells, whistles, horns, speakers etc (at my gate). Ignorance. Scams. Balcony deaths (on the increase). Denied/ignored; raging HIV, tuberculosis and STDs. Taxi & tuc-tuc mafias. Dual pricing. Drunk & Drugged-up Taxi, lorry, bus drivers. Corrupt out-dated education system. Pollution.
Incompetent/corrupt/drunk Paramilitary Police Force. Inexistent 'Rule of Law'. Ridiculous concept of 'Face'. Scant basic hygiene. Dangerous & unsightly electricity systems. Increasing background violence. Stupid people with whistles! (Parking & protesters). Nok gow-wows (Koel). Penis dismemberment, especially the underlying causes – Institutionalised adultery. Universal low quality food; (Hormones, pesticides, bad hygiene). A country run by and for adolescents. Censorship (Domestic Thai, and irritatingly also Farang; who should know better). Ludicrous Foreign Policy & Immigration Rules (esp in application). Infantilised Television (Boing, pling). Pervasive shoddy workmanship. Eternally pubescent populace infatuated with uniforms. Population with a selfish, self-centred, self-absorbed, ungrateful, expectant mind-set, only surpassed by an inflated self-importance. Worthless Educational Certificates, Diplomas, Degrees. Dearth of privacy. Out-dated University Curricula. Paucity of respect for private property and disregard for personal belongings. Non-existent adult democratic politics. Riots, coups and insurrections. Unbounded Graft. Polluted beaches/rivers/countryside. Brainwashed masses. Mediaeval standard garbage/refuse collection. Overuse/misuse of plastic bags. Intellectual infancy- Scarcity of intellectual adult conversation. Absence of Critical Thinking. Illogical superstitious dunderheads. Feudal society. Multitudes irreparably conditioned by their culture. Finally, those <deleted> smiles that aren't smiles!
Sun. Cuisine (as opposed to food). Spas – Massage. Fruit in abundance. Eye candy. Well-priced Dental & Medical facilities.
And yet knowing all of this, if you’re a single guy with a pocket full of cash and a spring in your step, would you want to spend your last Saturday night on this planet in any other city than Bangkok?
As luck would have it I was back from another lengthy work contract, the last weekend before the introduction of the curfew. A notable line from an entertaining Vietnam War movie released a few years ago was “You can get an idea of a place by what kind of Saturday night you have there.” I’ve had Saturday nights in Singapore, Saigon, Hong Kong, Sydney and Dubai and I still reckon Bangkok trumps them all. Over the years I’ve established my own routine for a Saturday night in the Big Mango. I normally kick things off around 8 PM with a few warm up drinks on Soi Cowboy and around 10 PM cruise on down to Soi 11. Going solo is doable but it’s always more fun to be in a group or at a minimum, have a dependable drinking buddy along to help create a few laughs.
At bang on 8:30 PM me and OO6 were easing through the red curtains and looking for a seat at Baccara. Unfortunately the recent fire has created an overcrowding situation – due to the reduced seating capacity – and even at such an early hour the place was already packed to the rafters. It was standing room only as me and OO6 looked for a spot to perch ourselves. There wasn’t any and I found myself getting annoyed at the touts outside on the street, surely knowing the joint was full, but still ushering punters through the door. With our view of the dance platform blocked by one of the pillars, and waitresses beginning to harry us for drinks, we decided to can it. Until the refurbishing is completed in the upstairs area a Saturday night at Baccara is firmly off the list of watering holes to visit in this town. Never mind, an easy solution to our predicament is right next door; Shark Bar. The good old Shark Bar, with its 80s retro furnishing and a bevy of attractive ladies, is actually my favourite go-go bar in Thailand. It’s what I call a “vanilla” go-go bar. There are no shows – and by extension overpriced show girls with attitude – and there are none of those pernicious coyotes to create confusion for the punters. It’s just three shifts of reasonably attractive dancers rotating out after every five tunes. As an added bonus there’s also none of the dreaded, harassing mamasans that one so often gets at many of the other establishments along the soi. If a waitress asks for a drink, a polite but firm “no” will put an end to their further pleas.
Soi Cowboy; a good place to start your Saturday night with a couple of warm-up drinks
We found a spot midway along the bleachers and ordered our first round. A quick scan of the crowd revealed the usual Japanese contingent. My impression is these guys are the ones who’ve realised there’s more to the soi than production line meat market next door at Baccara and now prefer the more relaxed atmosphere in Shark. A high percentage of the girls shaking their booty at Shark are what I would term “fit” and one of the fittest, despite her advancing years, is Ann. With her taller, slim figure and no tell-tale stretch marks, Ann is still easy on the eye. I’ve known Ann about 4 years; even bar fined her a couple of times. She speaks good English and is always pleasant company due to a more mature attitude compared to her younger colleagues. A Bangkok-born and bred lass, she’s been plying her trade in the city’s go-go bars for nigh on 20 years. I guess there’s probably very little that ruffles her feathers, no doubt having witnessed more than most in this unforgiving lifestyle. She was in her usual spot at the end of the dance platform as me and 006 settled in for our first beers. Being a moderate drinker compared with her Tequila swilling sisters, Ann knows I’m always good for a round or two of Heineken, her favoured beverage whenever she joins me for a chat. As far as bargirls go, she’s one of the more sensible. Her drinks limit is two beers per night and she only ever does short times, preferring to be home and tucked in bed by 2 AM. As far as I know she’s never been married but, like so many Thai ladies working in the industry there’s always a Thai boyfriend or local gik lurking somewhere in the background. The family is also a high priority in her life. Her mother runs a stall at one of the local markets and Ann likes to pitch in where and when she can to make life easier for her dear old mama. Like most, she’s also got a foreign sponsor or two, making things a bit easier financially. I remember her once mentioning a Scandinavian country as the source of her foreign sponsorship but these days I never enquire. There’s no point – it’s her business, not mine. And if some deluded individual still living overseas, believes a monthly stipend to a bar girl buys any kind of loyalty, all I can say is good luck to the girl; a fool and his money are soon parted.
The set finished and without hesitation Ann and one of her work mates joined us in the bleachers. Another round of drinks was ordered and it was time for a bit of light-hearted banter before the girls made their way back to the dance platform. In an earlier time I may have considered barfining Ann or one of her colleagues; these days I’m far more circumspect. Perhaps it’s age taking its toll but I’m now at the point where I consider a night on the booze and sex to be a poor combination. If I’m out drinking I’m in no rush to take someone back to my condo and if I do, it’s going to be at my own pace and not some hurried assignation from a go-go bar.
Sukhumvit Soi 11 has probably now become the pre-eminent farang oriented late night scene in Bangkok. A few friends make the point that with the closing of the “Bed Supper Club” and the emergence of all the street side bars the soi has passed its heyday. And in some respects I think it probably has; the congestion and clutter created by those streetside bars has the place looking more chaotic than ever. My favorite watering hole along the soi these days is Oskar. With its lack of entry fee, good music, great food and relatively inexpensive drinks it’s an oasis of value in amongst the other overpriced late night venues. And of course, there’s always the ladies.
Some of the booze busses cluttering up the side-walks along Soi 11
At just after 10 PM, 006 and I settled into our usual spot at Oskar, a window table, for a bit of prime time people watching. For one reason or another the place has developed a bit of a reputation as a high-end pick joint. Why? I don’t know. Certainly one can occasionally see the odd small grouping of Bangkok’s young hi-so fraternity wining and dining but the fact is the majority of the ladies “hanging out” hail from Isarn and they are not, as they so often declare, employed in marketing or the property industry. Still, they do their best and one can’t be overly critical as they are, after all, just trying to earn an honest living (and pigs might fly). Their game or gambit often works because the majority of punters hanging out are, more often than not, cashed up local or visiting business men. This is the deal – the ladies there are nothing more than freelance prostitutes; mainly from the North and North-East of the country. Due to their advancing years and previous squandered opportunities, the majority are playing the long game; they’re trying to hook the cashed-up big fish. Those that are successful and manage to reel in a locally based cash cow will disappear from the scene for a while, only resurfacing when the game is up. Those who snare the more favoured option, the overseas cash cow (sponsor), can be seen hanging out, partying, and drinking every night and looking for a well-paid one night stand or, the preferred assignation, a young Bangkok based farang stud to party with and go home with – at minimal cost to the stud. Old Asia hands such as me and 006 hardly get a look in because these cunning little vixens are well aware we know their game. And their game always has the same formula; they want to be in complete control of the situation. The majority of punters who end up in a relationship with these predators eventually find out they’re not hi-so models, marketing analysts, or property developers; just alcoholic, emotionally-disturbed, financially undisciplined deceivers. Regardless of the nonsense of it all, it does make for great entertainment as they go to work on the unknowing. Most have the rather deluded idea they’re not actually prostitutes and their cover stories provide a few good laughs.
An Oskar “marketing analyst / property development” girl crunches numbers at the bar
After another couple of rounds we were in the mood for some more good-natured banter and as the place filled we eventually found ourselves chatting with a couple of northern lasses claiming they were in Bangkok for cabin crew interviews. That was one I hadn’t heard before and I gave them their dues for originality. Most who know me always make the comment I lack the tact of the more skillful players, that I don’t have patience for this game of pretense. Quite true as I’m not one for putting up with BS and will always cut to the chase by simply asking what their price is. This blunt approach works fine in a go-go bar but in a pseudo scene such as Oskar it’s less appreciated by the demimondaines; they are, after all, trying to create the illusion they’re not really that type of girl, they’re not really doing it for the money, it’s just there’s a shortfall in their property sales bonuses and they’re in need of a bit of extra cash to pay the rent. After a few minutes spent listening to the cabin crew nonsense 006 decided he’d heard enough and embarked on a course of bluntness making my lack of tact seem taciturn in comparison.
“Are you prostitutes?” said 006 in jovial spirits.
The two cabin crew girls, who we were yet to ascertain if they really were cabin crew girls or prostitutes posing as cabin crew girls, seemed to take it in their stride. They didn’t appear to be particularly perturbed by 006’s enquiry and as they made light of it I could only deduce they probably were prostitutes posing as cabin crew girls. All well and good and as we ordered another round of drinks, the two prostitutes posing as cabin crew decided we probably “knew too much” and moved on to potentially greener pastures along the bar. Oskar is predominantly a warm up joint for all the would be cabin crew, marketing and property development girls. Once they’ve conned, cadged and maneuvered their fill of free wine, Mojitos, and pizzas out of the “hansum men” competing for their affections it’s off to one of the late night venues for a more serious round of imbibing. A favoured spot to continue their night's “work” is directly across the road at Levels. As the clock approached midnight the queue, waiting for the lift up to Levels was spilling out onto the road; such is the popularity of the place.
The entrance to Levels, a popular spot for the cabin crew/marketing analysts/property development girls to continue their night's “work”
With the crowd beginning to thin out around us, 006 and I got into serious discussion about what our next move might be. I didn’t have any particular fondness for Levels and with the burgeoning crowd across the road waiting their turn for the lift, decided the place would be too much like hard work. In the end we agreed to head for a venue with more sleaze factor; Mixx. The Mixx discotheque is in the basement of the Intercontinental Hotel and is divided into two sections; smoking and non-smoking. The more interesting section, in terms of P4P, is the smoking section as this is where the Russian ladies ply their trade. If you’re bored with the Asian variety of prostitute then Mixx is the place to venture to if you want a romp with the more buxom white ladies. Russians and Ukrainians predominate the scene and although appearing friendly enough, they’re very much about business. Which, in some ways, is a bit more refreshing than the pretentious BS of the would be cabin crew, marketing analysts and property developers back on Soi 11.
006 and I settled in along the bar with our first round and it wasn’t long before a couple of tall, chesty blondes sidled up to us. Both spoke good English and in the few minutes we spent chatting I got the impression both were reasonably well educated. Apparently they only get a one month visa so they’re firmly focused on the business aspect of their presence at Mixx. Small talk is fine for breaking the ice but within a few minutes the one I was chatting with cut to the chase.
“If you want to go with me tonight it’s 5000 for short time and 10000 for long time,” she said with a smile and a determined look in her eyes.
“Let me think about that,” I said not completely discounting the idea of walking out with her.
“Okay, no problems,” she said grabbing her drink and moving off to join a group of guys on the other side of the bar.
A couple of minutes later the demimondaine 006 was chatting with slinked off to join her colleague across the bar. No doubt having received the same uncommitted response.
“These Russian birds don’t muck about when it comes to getting down to brass tacks,” said 006 rejoining me at the bar.
“A bit on the expensive side but at least they’re straight up with it, unlike the pretentious bullshit back down on Soi 11,” I said as we ordered another round.
“Ah, yes, the would be property development girls. It’s just more of that silly face saving nonsense, I’m afraid,” said 006 as we directed our gaze at another group of buxom blondes perched along the edge of the dance floor.
“More like it goes with the territory,” I said shaking my head at the silliness of it all.
“Something which Thai hookers are masters at my friend. Creating an illusion; pretending one is something other than what one really is.”
“Murphy’s Law” is something which often intrudes into our best laid plans in the LOS. In an endeavor to get off the booze for a while – not completely mind you – and embark on a more fitness / health oriented approach to life I decided to get out of the big smoke for a while. A night out in the Big Mango can be great but the following morning's hangover often has me ruing my excesses. The Russian had been good but with the fatigue from my big night out still clutching at my physical well-being it was time to hit the beach for a few days. A hotel was booked on Patong Beach and the anticipation of sun, sea and surf grew as my date of departure neared. Just when I thought things were going too well the army stepped in and declared and confirmed the inevitable; it really was a coup and just to compound it there was a curfew in place as well. No problems though as I wasn’t particularly focused on partying while in Phuket and the enforced early closing hours of the bars in Patong would offer the benefit of a few early nights whilst there.
Rightly or wrongly Patong has received its fair share of criticism over the years. A recently overheard description of the place was that it’s “a cesspool with an ocean view.” There’s no doubt the shenanigans of the tuktuk and jet ski mafias give the place a bad rap but if you can minimize or outright avoid your use / involvement with these dodgy groups then the place is probably no worse than any other high profile tourist destination. And despite the sleaze factor, a few paces back from the beach, the 2.4 kilometer strip of sand, particularly in the low (rainy) season is still a great place to hangout, swim and get a suntan. My favourite section of the beach is the northern end. Near enough to access the bars and restaurants of downtown Patong, with minimal travel time, but far enough away to avoid the incessant noise intruding on a good night’s sleep. With this in mind I booked five nights at the B-Lay Tong Hotel.
The Northern end of Patong Beach in the low season – still a good spot to hangout, swim and get a tan
After an early flight out of Suvarnabhumi I was booked in to the hotel and on the beach by 11.30 AM. There was a one meter swell running so half an hour of body surfing was in order to kick of the fitness regimen. By 1 PM the sun was well and truly at its zenith, and with the scorch factor beginning to take its toll, it was time for a stroll down to Bangla for a cold drink and the rugby. Much to my chagrin every local sports channel was off the air courtesy of the coup, with a resumption of normal viewing yet to be determined. All the popular bars had nothing but a blue screen, with some kind of decree backed by traditional Thai music, on their TVs. Only another Kiwi would truly understand the importance of being able to watch, or not being able to watch, our national game / religion. With the bugger factor kicking in I embarked on a thorough scout of all bars, nooks and crannies along Bangla eventually stumbling on an Ozzie sports bar with the rugby being taken live via streaming from Astro in Malaysia. The good old Ozzies, an organized bunch to be sure, can always be counted on to ensure the sport screens are never blanked; particularly when the amber fluid is flowing. And the amber fluid was certainly flowing as I took a seat at the bar. It was only early afternoon but it looked as though the place was full of old-timers, perhaps local expats, getting their fill before the early closing time – 8 PM – imposed by the curfew. I don’t mind a drink but I’ve always kept to a basic tennet that I won’t start partaking until the sun is at least on the western horizon. A few of these boys looked sozzled already and it was a stark reminder of where an alcohol-based lifestyle leads to in this place. Out along Bangla the bars were full of buffed younger guys getting their fill and it was almost a snapshot of before and after. I was sitting amongst the after crowd; these were those younger guys, but 30 years on. Mai bpen rai, each to their own I guess.
I took up a spot along the bar, directly in front of one of the TV screens, and ordered a naam soda. I’d barely got myself comfortable on the barstool when a withered, leather-skinned bargirl zeroed in on me with one of those packaged wet wipes, offering to mop up the perspiration running down my arms. The poor old dear looked well past retirement age and certainly deserved pity. In an earlier time I might have been pliant, and naïve, enough to have her fussing over me but not anymore. I’m no longer in the mood for buying worn out, haggard bar girls a round of drinks. She looked at me with an expectant smile. Just as she was about to give the refrigerated plastic pack the double chop with the edge of her hand, I plucked it from her grasp, tore it open, wiped myself down and said “khop khun krap.” The smile evaporated immediately. Realising I was an old hand in this part of the world she slinked away dejectedly. Unfortunately for her I was the wrong punter with the wrong drink at the wrong time of the day. The word must’ve got around quickly amongst the rest of hostesses that I was keeneow. I was left in peace for the rest of the time I was there.
With the rugby over and the sun dropping towards the horizon it was time to hit Bangla again. The word on the street was the bars would stay open until 9 PM, giving everyone another hour to get off the streets and be safely indoors by 10. Whether or not the army would be aggressively enforcing the curfew was yet to be determined but, from what I’d seen so far, there were no troops anywhere in sight. At 6 PM, as per the usual run of things, both ends of Bangla were barricaded off and with dusk descending, the neon came on and the circus cranked into gear again.
Curfew notwithstanding, it’s business as usual along Bangla; albeit at an earlier closing hour
I had a couple of quiet beers at one of the outdoor bars and, with the wariness of an early get up and too much sun beginning to clutch at me, it was time to amble back to the hotel.
The following day was more or less a repeat of the previous. I hit the beach in the morning for another round of tanning, and exercise, and then made my way back to Bangla for the rugby in the early afternoon. The local sports channels were back on so I decided to hit one of the dedicated sports bars, streetside on Bangla.
Four hours later, with the sun once again dipping below the horizon, I was making my way back a long beach road to the Belgian Beer Bar to RV with a friend and resident Phuket expat, Bill.
Sunset over Patong; the ideal time to enjoy a couple of cold Stella’s
At a touch before 7 PM Bill and I were settled in on the outdoor veranda of the Belgian with a couple of cold Stella’s. Life was good to be sure. Bill, a fellow fringe dweller, had arrived in Phuket a few years earlier and, through hard work and street smarts, had made a good life for himself through a successful property brokerage business. He was essentially a middle man between the Thai property developers and foreign buyers. His website advertised a number of developments – predominantly condos – and a knowledgeable, local English language link for potential buyers. Even so his apparently successful life in paradise by the sea was not without its pitfalls and, like so many of us, he’d almost been tripped up a couple of times by the local maidens. As he sat there telling me about his latest near miss I found myself thinking once again how was it seemingly intelligent foreigners get reeled in by these little vixens.
“Yeah, well the last one really was a tale of deceit and I should’ve known better. Luckily I came to my senses before I was in too deep,” said Bill as the colours of sunset gave way to dusk.
“Well, they certainly are experts at tapping into a bloke’s wants and needs. What was the story,” I asked as we ordered another round.
“The surprising thing was she wasn’t even a bargirl. She worked for one of the property development companies I use. I met her during a visit to the office and it kind of snowballed from there.”
“A real property development girl,” I said having a chuckle.
“Yeah, isn’t that the worry?”
“How much did you invest,”
“Well, it started off innocently enough but it wasn’t long before the requests for shopping money started being mentioned. I didn’t think about it too much and just kind of went with the flow. You know, the usual stuff – Iphone, laptop, shoes and clothes.”
“What about the gold?” I said knowing where this would eventually lead to.
“That happened after about 3 months, just before I put a deposit down on a car for her. I wasn’t thinking clearly, I was in lust and even considering tie-ing the knot,” said Bill shaking his head at the insanity of it.
“But you didn’t, what changed your mind?”
“Gut instinct and few red flags that started to pop up. I asked her to move in with me and she was hesitant. Then there were the other things such as often walking out of earshot during many of her phone calls. Then she told me she was pregnant and that’s when the game was up.”
“It wasn’t yours?”
“No and luckily I had the good sense to force her to do a DNA test. Turns out the father was some Japanese guy she’d been seeing on and off for the past couple of years. There were tears, of course, when she had to admit the truth of it all. I ended the relationship there and then and a month or so later, she boarded a flight to Japan. It didn’t turn out too bad though as she gave back the deposit on the car.”
“You certainly dodged a bullet there, any further contact with her?”
“Yeah, that’s the funny part about it all. The deal with the Japanese guy fell through and she’s back in town. She drops by my place every now and again for a free shag but I’ve told her, point blank, she’s getting no more money from me,” said Bill his head and laughing about it.
Touts drumming up business along Soi Bangla
With the sun well and truly down and darkness beginning to envelope the bay, we decided to move to a more up tempo location; the Rock Hard A Go-go. With the curfew due to impact on our Saturday night’s imbibing at 9 PM, we wanted to make the most of what little time we had available to us. We parked our scooters in the underground parking area below the large open air beer bar complex on Bangla, and then made a bee line for the rock hard. We pushed through the velvet curtains to find the place packed, even at 7:30 PM, with a raucous crowd of rugby players / supporters. Apparently there was some kind of tournament happening over the weekend and there were teams in town from all over South-East Asia. A waitress guided us to a vacant bench seat and took our orders. No sooner had we got ourselves comfortable when Nid appeared in front of me and, like a bloodhound picking up a fresh scent, jumped in my lap and demanded a lady drink. It was all a bit unexpected. I hadn’t seen her for over a year and I honestly thought she might have moved on in life. Apparently not. After downing a shot of tequila, in one fell swoop, she was back off to the chrome poles.
“Wow, she’s a hot little number. How long have you known her?” said Bill looking suitably impressed.
“About 4 years. I was one of the first to bar-fine her. She was fresh off the farm. How things change,” I said quietly acknowledging Nid was now a bog standard, drinks hustling go-go gal.
“Well she still seems fairly keen. What’s the story there, another love interest with a bar girl?”
“No, nothing like that. Friendship perhaps, but there is a little bit of history between us,” I said casting my mind back to times passed.
“Do tell,” said Bill.
“Well, it was at a crazy time of my life about four and half years ago. I’d just broken up with my ex and I was in a state of flux,” I said shaking my head at the silliness of the situation.
“Flux is something I’ve had to deal with here with these local birds. How does the story of your ex, and this bird, tie-in together?”
“Well it’s a typical Thai drama of intrigue and revenge which poor old Nid was largely innocent to.”
“And?” said Bill expectantly.
“When I broke up with the ex I made the mistake of not relocating to another condo building. In hindsight it wasn’t really a smart move but the complex we were staying in, at On Nut, had a good restaurant / bar on the grounds and it was all very convenient. I also had a couple good friends there so, instead of relocating, I just moved to another unit in the building. Things began heating up when the ex started bringing the new beau back to the complex. To be honest it wasn’t that much of an issue for me. I was actually glad to be rid of the bitch; she was a complete nut job. It was the mates, who were staying there, who read more into the situation than I did. We’d be sat in the beer garden having a few bevvies in the evening when she’d pull up with him in the black Mercedes and prance about like lady “muck.” “Big action” is what the Thais call that type of ostentatious display. Anyway, the boys made the comment “it was right out of order.”
“I don’t see what the issue was. She’d got her new beau so why didn’t you just start bringing new fruit back to your room?”
“I did eventually but, initially, I went along with the ex’s silly game of me being the Pua Noi. The gloss of that wore off quickly. Getting free sex was the lure but I’ve never been one for being dangled on a string or dancing to some bitch's tune. After a few days of that nonsense I told her to “jam it” and started bringing girls back to the room.”
“Good for you bro, fuck being pussy-whipped by any of these whores,” said Bill as another round of drinks landed in fronted of us.
“Yeah, all’s fair in love and war. The problem was the ex was beginning to lose some serious face because a number of the birds I bought back were better looking than her. To alleviate the sniggers and gossip from the Thais living and employed in the complex, she started turning up with some of the giks she’d had over the years. Some of them, according to other long term residents, were guys she’d been seeing while I was away at work. The benefit of it all, if there was one, was it actually revealed what an absolute, rotten cunt she really was. It all came to a head when I barfined her best friend out of Shark Bar and paraded her around the restaurant the following morning.”
“Haha, good one,” said Bill having a belly laugh.
“Well, yes and no. Pay backs and victories can be short lived in this country. Never underestimate a Thai woman regarding the levels of menace and venom they’ll stoop to when it comes to saving their precious fucking faces and winning. And never forget that “winning” is everything for a Thai person of such a vindictive nature.”
“That rotten bitch, somewhere along the line, got a hold of my estranged wife’s number, called her and humiliated her by telling her some nasty shit.”
“About all the stuff I’d bought for her and that I loved her, the ex, more than the older ex.”
“What an absolute rotten cunt.”
“To be sure. Anyway, I decided to cool things down by taking off to Phuket for a few days. And that was when I met Nid.”
“Well, that was a bit of good fortune?”
“Nid was fresh, and she looked hot, but she was bloody clueless in the sack.”
“The new ones usually are.”
“Anyway I had a few days in Phuket with Nid and with only a week left before heading back to work decided to take her to Bangkok for a holiday.”
“Geez, I bet that set the cat among the pigeons; touché,” said Bill as we clinked our bottles together.
“Yeah, I had the last laugh. The ex was still simmering with venom but in the end had to deal with the reality there are many others around younger and hotter looking than her. The salve of having the new beau throwing hundreds of thousands of baht at her mitigated her residual spite levels, somewhat, as well. The novelty of having Nid around wore off quickly though as I realised there were serious benefits to being single once again. At the end of the week I gave her 20K baht and put her on the bus back to Phuket, went back to work for 2 months and forgot about the both of them.”
“Well, at least they weren’t property development girls,” said Bill having another good laugh.
“Nid wasn’t but the ex certainly is,” I said somberly.
“She’s into the property development game?”
“Indirectly, the sugar daddy is paying for a palatial home on the outskirts of Bangkok. With a price tag of 15 million baht apparently.”
“Geez, where does it end?”
“It doesn’t with those types, mate.”
Me: I decided I’d had enough of lock down in Thailand and high tailed it to Vietnam for a few days. I’m now spending a lot more time over there and seriously considering a move in the not too distant future.
006: In the last days of the curfew got into nasty scrape on a darkened Soi 11 with a dozen angry motor-bike taxi thugs. Fortunately the boys in brown showed up just in time to save him from serious injury. His saviors turned out to be opportunists though and once back at the local police HQ he was harassed for a cash settlement. Luckily he had a couple of well-placed local contacts and after a phone call and some lengthy negotiation, walked out of the police station with his wallet fully intact. He is now considering his options and a move back to the UK seems likely.
Bill: Is still doing well with condo sales down in Phuket but being young, single and cashed up, he’s getting sucked into the partying lifestyle and still dodging and weaving amongst the vixens.
My Ex: Called me the other day after not hearing from her for an age, and wanted to have lunch. In times past “lunch” normally meant she wanted shagging. I said yes to the free lunch but no to the free shag. She’s become a wino / lush with a whole bottle of red being polished off on a daily basis with her lunches. Her 15 million baht, 4-bedroom house will be finished and ready to move into by the end of the year. And yeah, she still is a disgusting cunt.
The “property development” girls: Can still be seen at Oskar and along Soi 11 on a nightly basis crunching the numbers and looking for some extra cash to top up the shortfall in their monthly sales bonuses.
It is never ending with this lot…