A writer I am not, thus this will not address anything of burning significance. Merely a recollection, hopefully of some entertainment value, of a unsettling moment that can later make for a chuckle, as one becomes familiar with the goings on of the LOS.
How to start? Well, have you ever had one of those days where you seem to be a weird shit magnet? You know, odd interactions with people you don't know. Per days spent in the naughty areas of Bangkok, the likelihood of this is increased perhaps exponentially. Part and parcel of the place. Swim in a toilet long enough, and you will inevitably brush up against a few turds. It builds character, as my father used to sardonically remind me.
Having endured a fitful and sleepless night in the balmy Big Mango, at 4 AM I decided that a walk to the 7 Eleven down the street would be in order for a pack of cigs and some water. I had come upon my current digs by gazing out at the Bangkok sky line one day and having my curiosity sparked by a conspicuous building, differing from the other architectural wonders of Bangkok. Somehow it reminds one of an ocean liner of old, proudly plying the seas. Perhaps some of you have seen it. With an equally interesting or perhaps cliché name, the Chateau De Bangkok, located on Soi Rum Rudee. (Etymology of Rum Rudee, anyone?) What a name! Staying at such a place would be fitting somehow with an exotic vacation, spent in South-East Asia.
Upon investigation, I found the accommodation acceptable. Ornate yet just a little dated, speaking to times gone by. Charming, with its slightly aging Thai patina and ambience…..it's got a little funk. The staff, a mix of characters, friendly and idiosyncratically Thai.
As I navigated my way down the street from the Chateau that morning, I noticed a security guard dutifully guarding some non-descript building. He came out to greet me as I walked by, no doubt glad to see anyone, at his solitary posting. In an effort to satisfy my 'privileged westerner' guilt, a variant of the knight in shining armor theme, I determined to get him a treat, to offer upon my return. Having read Stick's words as to how bothersome it is for Thais to endure aloneness also played a part in my attempt to inflict in a positive cultural exchange, by my beneficence. Just call me freakin Mother Theresa.
Upon my return trip to the hotel I caught his attention and offered a smoke. He motioned me to join him at his post, and eagerly brought out a chair for me to sit. He seemed eager and gracious. There was a good bit of silence and pauses between us, as we attempted communication, a predictably frustrating experience owing to neither of us knowing the other's language. At one point I noticed the interesting tattoos on his arm, and remarked approvingly. English letters, KUNG, in ornate font, I assumed to do with some gang / group type affiliation. He then motioned to his belly, where I thought he might have more tats he was wanting show off. Still thinking this was all innocent and such I encouraged him on. Silly me. What he was really on about was bragging about and showing off his 'large' phallus. Which he then furtively did!
Let me pause the action here for a moment. Generally I feel safe in Bangkok, although one can be lulled into unawareness by its balminess and the 'friendliness' of some of the Thais. Reality however is that it is a big city and like any big city, shit can go bad quick and one can find oneself victimized in short order. So….there I am…4 AM….downtown hooker central….Bangkok….semi deserted area….and things have become a bit….
Is this something farm boys of Thailand sit around doing? Was he leading up to some kind of interaction with the slightly freaked Farang? Does he do this with other Farang tourists who might be seeking to 'party' with a Thai guy? Was he just out of his mind from doing ya ba to stay up all night by himself? All of the above? Other?
Discussing this later with some young Filipino girls, after they had a good chuckle of course, (having cocks waved at them is a normal event not to be taken personally) they suggested that it could well be an innocent enough thing. Calm down old white guy, the sky is not falling!
Perhaps he was indeed just a simple country bumpkin wanting to impress a 'big dick' westerner. The more I think about it however, the more it seems that this was probably not the first time this bloke had broached this territory with a farang and that he was likely lookin to make a buck pokin' some western dude who wanted to get his poopshute rootered out by exotic Thai schlong or to perform oral services on said exotic Thai 'Hampton' thereby imbuing oneself with the benefits of the essence of Thainess?…
Uncomfortable with the situation, with Mr. Bigus Dickus, I excused myself gently, as to not offend or provoke, it being 4 AM and a bit vacant of people about, and departed his presence, keeping a cool head and heart. As I began to walk away, he uttered his one intelligible English word out after me. "Money?" A request for money for the grand privilege of seeing his 'Johnson'. I just walked away. Note to self: The road to Hell is paved…You just never know what's gonna happen next in Thailand.