A Humble Report
Having lurked here for a while now, it’s time to for me to put up or shut up. But first, I have to repeat my hilarious (my opinion) of a story that is apocryphal to all and to me in particular.
There’s a movie that was released a year or so ago about two idiots from the UK who go to Vegas for some fun. But first, they agree very solemnly, they will NOT get ripped off, buying champagne for strippers, etc.! No sir, they are too smart for that (they’re from the UK).
So the first time they walk into the strip club, they see, after their eyes adjust to the dim lighting, the most shapely, beautiful girl standing by the bar. Eyes demure, ass out to here, boobs out to there.
To which the first guy says:
“I REALLY want to buy you some champagne!!”
Ba Da Booom!
And that, my friends, is how I blew $15,000 in two weeks last May / June 2014 in Soi 4 and Ko Samui.
I’ll dispense with the finer detail of how I got to BKK; some folks like to tell you that they took a taxi to their airport (it cost $23.76!) and how many times they went to the bathroom before boarding. I took Emirates for the first time, not bad at all. For me, 13 hours to the SandPit and then another 5 – 6 hours to BKK. Must have watched 6 movies, played with the route map, napped over the entire subcontinent of India. Had a serious crush on a flight attendant who spoke Brit English until I tried to flirt with her, “What’s for dinner?” to which she told me to “Read the printed menu”. Oh well. Was fascinated by the TV cameras mounted above the cockpit and under the plane for serious real-time take-offs and landings and cruising through the clouds in between. Landing at night at BKK was exciting, flying over the countryside, rice fields turning into to suburbs then neon-filled Bangkok city proper. 7 AM in the morning, jet-lagged like crazy but excited to get downtown.
Before this last trip, in 2013 I had a quick one-week trip to BKK before meeting up in China for non-mongering purposes. I spent the first two days having a ball, then came back to my hotel room and swigged a whole carton of whole milk that had been sitting out not refrigerated. The next morning after I had bade farewell to Ms. Thailand (ok, Ms. Sukhumvit) I developed an acute case of the runs, which lasted for 6 weeks. 6 weeks! Lasted all week in BKK, 10 days in China and the rest at home. No medicine could stop this. I couldn’t figure out whether it was the female company, the Soi 4 street BBQ chicken or the milk that did me in. Anyhoo, suffice to say I slept for the last 3 days and nights in BKK before hauling off to the airport. Mission NOT accomplished. So last year I was going to make up for it and didn’t drink any milk the whole time and I was fine.
Made sure my bank knew I was going to withdraw cash abroad so I was feeling smug. Golden bar, Hillary 4, boy was I the most popular guy there, strange though how my one friend multiplied to 6 and then 10 at Hillary 4. By the time I caught on I was in the hole for $200. So I paid it, closed it out. Then opened another tab for ~$200, go figure, something to do with alcohol, jet lag and the delights promised me by my 2 new friends!
I did have 2 other friends from Nana 17 years ago and I was going to tell that story here, how in my wonderful kindness I treated two farm girls to breakfast at the Mandarin and shopping, but that story, told to a fellow poster here in confidence, was stolen and presented to you dear readers as original content a few months ago. (Stick doesn’t recognize intellectual property). <Actually, Stick certainly does take the idea of intellectual property seriously. There is, howeber, a big difference between sharing a tale with someone which they may later retell with their own spin, as opposed to, say, copying something someone else wrote outright, word for word – Stick> “Pretend-local” I call him now. He knows better than you; he was married to a Thai. (Circumstances of his not being married any more are murky, however). Sneers at mongers for the lifestyle and exhibits utter contempt for them in private mail but depends on them for his readership. No one else wants to know about stories from 10+ years ago, the last time he set foot in LOS. Sorry about that, but a good email conversation quickly went south when the contempt crept in.
So, on to more happy anecdotes and about girls, the reason you read these submissions. I read all the horror stories about girls cheatin’, lyin’ (killin’??), stealin’ but I found none of that on my travels. The girls I squired around were decent, honest girls after the financial negotiation was settled. Although in retrospect, a Galaxy S, laptop and gold chain did seem a bit much for one as well as the food and drink she could eat. But I was happy, she was happy and everyone got what they wanted. (My motto: Eyes Wide Open) Except for the odd champagne thingy above, no harm no foul.
You will notice I have been a tourist (two-week millionaire?) and have no intention of moving here later but I did catch myself calculating how much my US Social Security and corporate pension would stretch here for a second or two…but it was quickly dispelled when I saw some scary Brit ex-pats in Lamai Beach, Samui, drinking beer by the McDonald’s before noon. Is that me in 10+ years? Noooo…
I am not a catch by any means, north of 60, belly that has seen too many beers, used to be a jock (Rugby Union, old chap) but not anymore. However, I make it up by my superb sense of humor and humility, which Dear Reader, you have already grasped, correct? I move from Brit-speak to US-talk easily since I came from there and live here now, so it’s funny to see fellow posters using their local idiom which some folks would not get.
Ladies were numerous and fun to be with on this trip. I never had any problem with money, trust issues or not doing what we agreed. When I was clipped by a motorcycle rider on Samui, my friend #1 was very defensive and helped me out of a potential spot with the rider, who rode his bike into my wrist and then into the back of a parked taxi. Titter… Looked bad, gas leaking all over the road. Obviously my fault, it seemed. I paid him off but only after my friend’s intervention. “What about my wrist?” I asked, “Let’s go”, she said. Sensible girl…
As some Brit posted before, he never realized Pattaya was on the beach, which I found very funny. I had been to Samui before but this trip the water was grey and I walked on the beach maybe twice. But had a great villa right on the front, private swimming pool first two nights (midnight naked swim in private pool with Germans on beach 20 feet away, freaked out my friend) until I realized I had better cool it with the budget, then a villa on the front at Thai Beach House, walk out and you have the beach in front and the massage ladies right in front of you and the pool to your left. Paradise. Got to know the massage ladies after the week was up, on first name basis. One lady was the smallest, most petite but she really bent me double with her strength.
I like a sandwich, so after some adjustment with ladies who were not used to that, we settled down into a routine: cocktails on the villa deck, stroll up to the (good quality) seafood restaurant in the downtown Lamai area, then up the block to the Irish Bar, live music at 9 PM every night. Scary when the Filipina lead guitar gets to know your name after the same request every night and says “You want Brown Eyed Girl AGAIN?”
Irish owner gave me deal on the good stuff malt behind the bar. At least that’s what he told me, I couldn’t tell and didn’t care after a few nights, things were so pleasant. I found out that the Irish bar girl Leprechaun waitresses were not barfinable, it took me a week to figure it out but I had my hands full anyway (3 really is too many, don’t you think?) so wasn’t a problem.
The owner of the seafood restaurant was a funny guy, very friendly, I guess since I was dropping $200 a night on dinner for a few. But he looked a little confused when some friends kept swapping out for new faces each night.
Things I didn’t see: elephants, male phallic rock, beach, scuba diving. I scuba’d years ago there and it was great fun overnight to Ko PiPi, with an international bunch of instructors (read: Brits and a Kiwi) all chasing the female European and US diving students on the boat. Did see shopping center for shopping (surprise, they have an ATM there). Went to see the Bob Marley bar in Chaweng, I didn’t recognize it from 17 years ago, where there was a beautiful restaurant and bar set by the water was now an urban strip, completely unrecognizable. 16 years ago, they were setting off fireworks one night and the rockets landed in the straw roof of the bar and it burned down. This is Thailand (TIT).
Back to Bangkok for last 3 days: I had gotten a great corporate rate before the trip to Samui and after at the Four Seasons and loved it there (could not afford the Mandarin). My posse who came over were, to put it in Brit-speak, gob-smacked at the place and we didn’t get hassled by the staff at all. No check ID, no nothing except to open the front door for us. I think my posse were used to the Nana. I’m not knocking the Nana; I used to be a fan in my youth. The Four Seasons was great but do not take guests to breakfast there: budget buster – after the great corporate rate, there was no corporate breakfast rate
Bad news about the Four Seasons, it’s a walk to Nana, the taxis drive about 3 miles up the road to get back with chock-full traffic congestion. I stopped taking tuk-tuks, they are for the younger crowd. Good news about Four Seasons, you can hop on the subway, I finally figured out how to get to MBK and Asoke. Walking down Sukhumvit was good for me…
Great trip, broke again. Next trip, may even explore outside of lower Sukhumvit.