The Brokenman is Repaired Part 16-2
I wake early, take breakfast in the Nana Hotel and after packing my bag quickly make my way to Hilary 4. I had been having problems accessing the Nana Hotel internet for two days which was really annoying me. I needed to contact the outside world so go to the Hilary 4 bar to get on their wi-fi. It also gave me chance to say a temporary goodbye to my delightful timeshare girlfriend, Gin. With my internet missions sorted Gin appeared we had a drink and a pleasant chat for an hour. With promises to see her again in a week or so I take the Hotel “limousine” bound for Pattaya.
The elderly gentlemen of the Nana taxi service know me well and have been taking care of me for over ten years. The journey is pleasant and comfortable, they let me smoke in the back of the vehicle and their careful driving skills are greatly appreciated. I noticed many new industrial developments had appeared along the way since my last visit many claiming the land was on dry land not flood plains.
I am deposited at the Opey de place, a pleasant unpretentious modern hotel in Soi Lengkee off Soi Buakhao where I have stayed many times before. For the first time in those years I am given a ground floor room which is only three yards from the pleasant pool. I had not had much exercise for a time so resolved to take advantage of this facility.
I switch on the TV and find the local channel. Pattaya TV news fascinates and amuses me. In fact it is so deliciously naff it is absolutely compelling. There is one presenter who talks like one of the old wartime Pathe newsreels with a clipped British accent now only heard in comedy parodies. The channel seems to be dominated by Barry Upton who made his name in the 70’s joining Brotherhood of man AFTER they had won the Eurovision song contest and is also responsible for the group Steps who had a number of British hits in the 90’s. He recently produced a ladyboy band which featured on British TV. He must have felt Pattaya TV was a bit of a comedown or maybe not?
I took dinner at the Jolly Friar involving a very tasty fish and chip supper. I then made my way to Armageddon bar in LK Metro. I was meeting Keith R, a pal of some few years standing. Keith is a level-headed bloke who has given me wise counsel over the years. For many years he had a very interesting lifestyle involving a ménage a trois that never failed to fascinate me. He has now left his Thai wife and married his mia noi so his life should have got a little less complicated. However nothing is simple in the Alice through the looking glass world known as Thailand. The catastrophic decline in the oil industry has meant he will be losing his job as warehouse manager after 20 years. However I am confident he will be ok. He is a big powerful pragmatic bloke with years of valuable experience and is very resourceful. It is only his choice to wear a pair of goat skin shoes that evening I found questionable.
We make our way to the big Aussie bar on the corner which seems to be full of older girls all well past their sell by date. I find it amusing how fussy I suddenly get when in Thailand. Whilst I am in the UK I am grateful if any woman with a pulse shows me even the slightest interest yet become quite selective in the Kingdom.
Keith expounded his take on the decline in the Pattaya bar scene. Once there were three categories of girls in Pattaya, go-go girls, bar girls and the dregs that included freelancers from the coconut bar. Now all the attractive go-go girls have moved to pastures new. The bar girls have become go-go dancers and the dregs have moved to the bars to become bar girls. Although I did not fully concur I could certainly understand his premise. I had noticed many go-go girls had become agency girls (coyotes). Then with a smile Keith declared he would take me to a bar that contradicted his theory.
“Scooters” is a themed bar based on the British Mod culture of the 60s and 70s. It is a wonderful concept with Soul, Motown and two-tone music played on a widescreen TV screen. There is even a classic Vespa motor scooter on display. There are some very pretty slender young girls clad in uniforms that rotate between black/white checks and union jack themed dresses. The dresses are extremely tight and short and display the girl’s charms to great effect. They all look delightful. I was mesmerised by the ambiance of the bar so stayed for a few beers after Keith left to attend to his ever growing collection of ailing felines needing his attention.
I awoke early with a cup of tea and sat around the pleasant pool. I quietly reflect that although I should not feel obliged to always have a female companion there was always the danger of having my monger’s licence revoked for not keeping up my flying hours. With the proximity of an attractive swimming pool I decided to have a poolside holiday for a few days. This was something I would detest to engage in Europe. For many years I have avoided taking vacations in places like Benidorm Majorca or Greece. I know I would be rejected by the same females I would be ignored by in the UK except they would be wearing swimsuits and sunhats.
After taking breakfast in the Devonshire I spent the afternoon swimming in the Opey’s pleasant pool. I can not fail to notice the lovely young Thai ladies who accompany the residents.
In the early years of my visits I used to frequent a bar in Soi Yamato called the Meeting place which was opposite the notorious Dogs Bollocks bar a former refuge of London football hooligans. The Meeting Place was run by two young Albion supporters from my home town and patronised by what I can only describe as lively young men. One of the things I recall from those riotous days is the little pretty young Isaan bunnies who were the girlfriends of my two pals. These girls were exquisite and I was extremely envious of my young friends. Although in the past ten years I have met some very attractive girls I have never found anyone to compare with their like. For years my search for an Isaan bunny as them became somewhat of a quest for the Holy Grail.
That evening I take a motor cycle taxi to Walking Street and make my way to the Secrets bar. I settle in and eat a Tom Yum Kung. The food in Secrets is first rate but I was a little disappointed as there no interesting girls to view and the few hostesses seemed aged compared to previous years. I take a stroll down Walking Street and was saddened to see the FLB bar had effectively closed. In the Simon bar I chat with three interesting girls and joke the about the hordes of Chinese tourists we see following the tourist guide flags along Walking Street. I observe that they stay in corporate Thai/Chinese hotels, eat exclusively in corporate Thai/Chinese owned restaurants and travel in corporate Thai/Chinese owned buses. Their money goes straight into the pockets of the Thai/Chinese elite whereas our money does percolate to the ordinary Thai people. Why the Thai tourist authorities now consider these creatures preferable to western tourists is both questionable and an illustration of what is fundamentally wrong with the morons who run Thai society.
I go to the Beer garden to meet my old mate Bernie. It is the first time I had visited this bar which was a fascinating place with good food and a bevy of interesting freelancers on display. I am always pleased to see Bernie who is one of nature’s characters. He is the archetypical grizzled old Ocker. In his youth he worked in various jobs including sheep shearing and later running a successful holiday resort in Australia which he sold to retire in Thailand.
Since moving to the kingdom he has dedicated his life working for a few Thai charities including the celebrated Jesters for children organisation. He is legendary for being first on the scene of the tsunami in 2004 administering aid a good three days before the international agencies turned up. I am proud to know him and I know my admiration embarrasses him. I always enjoy my conversations with him. He is quite scathing of the international charities and has a very low opinion of all NGOs which I found enlightening but not surprising.
I can always draw the tales of his fascinating harem from him which shock even me. I was particularly amused by his latest misadventures with a girl he referred to as the feral creature. I wish he would write a submission to stick about these crazy ladies one day. When he finally left me I reflect that if there were more guys like Bernie about the world would be a much better place.
I went to Baccara and confirm that some of the most beautiful girls on the planet dance there. I take a motor bike taxi to LK Metro. I pop my head into Scooters bar and find myself chatting with couple from my home town. I walk the few steps to Champagne. I am spellbound by the videos of porn cartoons showing parodies of Disney and Japanese films. I sat with a hostess who reminded me of a young Whoopi Goldberg. I could have indulged my Guinan/Jean Luk Picard fantasy but hadn’t bought my star trek uniform. I step outside and realise I am once again as pissed as a drayman’s nag so summon a motor bike taxi to take me back to my hotel.
Take breakfast at the Devonshire again and spend all day around the hotel pool. At 6.00 I make my way to the Aussie bar in LK Metro to meet Don R another Stickman reader. I have corresponded with Don for a while but this would be the first time we have actually met. Don’s missives are hugely entertaining and often include very imaginative and amusing photo montages of his misadventures with Asian damsels in distress. Like my pal Bernie Don is a genuine philanthropist who supports disadvantaged families in the Philippines and his activities as Santa in the hospitals and orphanages of Chiang Mai is also worthy of note. I recognised him instantly from his photos. I reflect if it wasn’t for the stickman site I would never have met guys like Bern and Don who I feel actually make a real difference to the world with their energy and enthusiasm for life.
As an aside I returned to the practice of taking a little ice in my beer in order to slow down my alcohol consumption, if only just a little.
We take a look at KAOS bar which is a small establishment that has some real lookers. I am drawn to one girl in particular who is a little older than the rest of the line up. Her enlarged breasts and cosmetic nose job are not my usual spec but she fascinated me. I did everything except stand on my head to attract her attention whilst she did everything to avoid eye contact with me…..she was obviously a superstar, if only in her own perception.
Don suggested we try the Showgirls bar. I must admit I was extremely impressed. It is a large bar and I tentatively express the opinion it is one of the best bars I had seen so far. It was clear Don had previously frequented the place as a truly lovely girl joins him to screams of delight at recognising him. It is a well run bar with a good line up and I would recommend a visit.
Don left on some mission so I go to the Scooters bar. There was one particular girl I had my eye on. She came over to me and I bought her a drink. I can not recall her name so in deference to the Mod theme of the bar I will call her Steph which the character a young Leslie Ash played in the movie Quadrophenia. She was a delightful little poppet in her early thirties and after a couple of drinks I was becoming quite smitten with her. I asked if she liked Seafood and suggested I would pay her bar fine the following evening and take her to one of the fish restaurants on Walking Street. With arrangements made I make my way back for some much needed beauty sleep.
On Friday morning I took breakfast in Loafers, an establishment that bakes its own bread. The rest of the day was spent swimming and catching a few rays. I wasn’t getting a tan but was beginning to lose my deathly pallor. A little lunch in the hotel, a power nap and at 5.30 I was ready for my date.
I collect Steph and must state she was lovely with a pretty face, slender figure and a 1000 watt smile. She is one of the prettiest girls and the nearest to my holy grail I have seen. We take a baht bus towards Walking Street but get stuck in a serious jam at Second Road and the driver suggests we walk. With my problem I know I can not walk that far so summon a motorcycle taxi who drops us off at Soi 16 and walk the few yards to one of the large seafood restaurants that overlook the sea. We settled in and examined the menu; she declared she wanted to eat lobster as she had enjoyed it when she tried it some years before. She pointed at a photo of a lobster thermidore on the menu. I warned her she would be disappointed as the lobster she had eaten previously would have been Thai style. As expected she ignored my advice so I ordered Thai style prawn and fish dishes in readiness. She was pleasant company and her English fairly good. She told me she had worked as a maid in a hotel in her home town. Then last year went to Korea with her Chinese ex boyfriend to work in massage but had problems with work permits and were deported. When her lobster thermidore arrived she tried some and her facial expression confirmed my warnings. The Thai sea food and prawns compensated for her disappointment.
I had told her I was later meeting some friends in the Secrets bar. She suggested she came with me for one drink then return to her own bar where we could meet later. We entered Secrets bar and gave a wry smile when I saw Barry Upton was setting up to play there later that night. Steph stayed chatting with me until my pal Sandy arrived.
Sandy is an intriguing fellow who I met on my visit last year. The initial impression is he is a quiet unassuming fellow but he has a dry wit is very observant and a font of knowledge on the comings and goings in Pattaya. He spent most of his life as a bus driver in southern England. With foresight he invested carefully into a pension scheme and now enjoys retirement with a pension better than his salary was. He never married and was by his own admission not particularly sociable in England. Retiring to Thailand definitely bought him out of his shell and he regularly explores the country on his motorbike which I consider most adventurous. I certainly enjoy his company and find him anything but unsociable.
We catch up on our respective stories and are later joined by another Stickman reader Gordon F who I have corresponded with. Gordon is Canadian and years ago wrote a few Stickman submissions under the pen name “Frozen Farang”. He is clearly well known in this bar and has a couple of girls hanging on his arm. Gordon is a cultured and intelligent chap and we enjoy a conversation until the band begins to warm up. He is not comfortable with the noise level so departs with his two companions.
I often receive requests to meet and wonder what they expect when they do meet me. I have been fortunate that in 13 years all the fellows I have met through the stickman site I would be happy to call a genuine friend.
As the band begin playing Sandy makes some derogatory remark about Barry Upton (who he obviously knows) and suggests we find another venue. We repair to the new Doll house but only take one drink as I was not too impressed. Sandy suggests we go the Sapphire which is a place I had never been before. As soon as I walk in I am gobsmacked by the incredible buzz this bar has got. We get settled in and I tell Sandy how impressed I am. With a huge grin he replies “It’s better than having to listen to that prat Barry Upton”.
Sapphire is an incredible bar and probably the best go-go in Pattaya. The line up of girls includes some real stunners that could bear comparison with the best of Baccarat. Sandy is obviously well known in this bar as he is quickly joined by a dancer so eye-catching she would not be out of place in a TV Shampoo advert. He clearly knows this girl well as she sat on his lap and showered him with kisses. I was a little disappointed that none of the girls seemed interested in joining me. When his little beauty returned to dance Sandy explained that these girls are paid so much just to dance they don’t feel the motivation to mix with the customers. “In fact” he continued “I don’t recall seeing anyone actually pay a bar fine and taking any of them out”. We stayed for a couple of drinks enjoying the amazing spectacle of these beautiful creatures dancing.
I left Sandy and made my way back to LK Metro and the Scooters bar. I bought my little sweetheart Steph a drink but she continued to serve other customers. Eventually I asked if she was ready to go but she said no, she was not coming with me. I explained I had paid her bar fine but she insisted I had paid the bar fine only to take her out earlier to eat. I had experienced some unusual behaviour in the many years I have been coming to the kingdom but this was a completely new one.
To say I was disappointed would be a British understatement. For a moment I considered kicking up a fuss and asking for the return of my bar fine at least. However I took a deep breath and realised the futility of such action. It was clear she didn’t fancy me so even though I was besotted the interest was not reciprocated. I left the money for my drink and strolled away in high dudgeon. I had a beer in the Aussie bar but it took some time for my black mood to evaporate. A couple of beers in the Showgirls lightened my mood. As I made my way back to my hotel I was now mellow and somewhat philosophical about the experience. I reflect that back in the UK a stunning young girl like her wouldn’t even have given me the time of day.
I woke refreshed all thoughts of my previous evenings disappointment behind me and eat a hearty breakfast. Took a swim and topped up my faint tan. That evening I returned to the Scooters bar. I noticed my little poppet was sitting with a guy about my age. In my irrational green eyed jealousy I felt she paid him more attention than she had to me. I do appreciate going to the bar was like putting my fingers in a fire knowing it would burn me but I was compelled to do it. It confirmed that even experienced old geezers can still make fools of themselves. It was a reality check and a salutary reminder that Pattaya is a fantasy land and one should always treat it as such.
I make my way to Walking Street and the Secrets bar. I am immediately joined by an annoying young dancer and an old hostess who appear to have become my blockers in this bar. I spot a hostess from years ago; she used to be blond and quite a stunner. Her hair was now black and she hadn’t aged well. I bought her a drink and asked her to join me. I was inquisitive about her friend Mo with the unfeasibly long legs who I had spent some time with a few years ago. She is now married to a rich guy and lives in India. I was happy to hear of her good fortune she was a nice girl.
I got chatting with Ben the owner who discussed his plans for the bar which included introducing freelancers. He claimed later in the evening the bar was full of stunners. I must admit I had not seen any evidence of this.
I took a look in Angelwitch which was almost empty so took a stroll to Sapphire again. It is an amazing establishment. I think the owners have a very successful business model. Scores of beautiful girls with no hassle for lady drinks clearly gets the customers in buying drinks turning over cash. It is definitely a bar I would recommend.
I return to Secrets and eat beef in oyster sauce which was probably the tastiest meal I had in Thailand this trip. I must admit the food in Secrets is excellent. I was meeting David from Preston, another fellow Stickmanite. He contributes to the stickman submissions as “Jumping Mcflash” and recently made a comment that “A new sub from Phet was like receiving a gift from a rich uncle”. He had a pal with him who had no interest in stick site affairs but sat tolerantly whilst we had an interesting chat for an hour. However they had only just arrived in Thailand and were young men with an itch to scratch, so I let his impatient friend drag him away in search of carnal activity.
I find myself back in LK Metro and take a look at Pandora’s which Sandy told me opened that night. The manager is the legendary Ricky who it seems has run almost every bar in Bangkok and Pattaya over the years. I have known him since he ran Angelwitch in Bangkok years ago. He was pleased to see me and as he is a Crystal Palace fan we chatted about football. He also gave me some wonderful snippets of gossip about the bar scene but I am buggered if I can remember any of it now.
On Sunday I had typical lazy day and in the evening had dinner with Don R. Don was staying in Suto’s which was next door to the Opey. We take dinner in Jockeys which is opposite our hotels. The Special dinner was an excellent farang roast and Don introduced me to some of his friends from the hotel. Memorable was an elderly English fellow in his 80’s who Don introduced as Richard Duke of Suto’s.
Richard is the archetypal English eccentric who I imagine would be considered an anachronism even back in the English Home Counties. He was a pleasant fellow but I am certain he completely misunderstood Don’s description of me as a writer of submissions to the Stickman site. I suspect he thought I was some kind of investigative journalist. It would have been too much like hard work to explain his error.
At LK Metro popped into Ninjas and noticed some real lookers. It was later when I was told this was a ladyboy bar I realised I need to recalibrate my Katoey radar.
In Walking Street I take a look in Sugar baby which is a cross between Tilac and the Windmill. The manager is Phil (Mr. Egg) who I knew from managing Secrets last year. He is a fellow baggies fan and his parents live near me so we had good chat. I am joined by a girl who was the spitting image of my friend Anne who owns the Thai restaurant in my hometown.
At 11.00 I return to Secrets to see the West Bromwich Albion v Liverpool game on a screen Ben had reserved for me. I buy drinks for the two girls who are my blockers and settle in for the match. The game ends in a 2.2 draw after ten minutes of extra time but I was amused when that big soft German Jessie who manages the Scouser gits led a lap of honour. I nearly pissed myself laughing that the once mighty reds considered holding lowly West Brom to a draw was worthy of such excessive celebration.
After the game I leave and return to the hotel. Tomorrow I was leaving Sin city for a visit to the Isaan. I was flying to the fair city of Udon Thani for the next stage of my Siamese sojourn.
To be continued