The Brokenman is Repaired Part 164
It is Friday evening the week before Christmas and I am back in Bangkok. Having booked in to the Mothership I take a motorcycle taxi to Soi Cowboy and soon find myself in Tilac. I take pole position which was the favourite seat of my late pal Phil for many years. I am joined by some of the older dek serves who remember Phil and for the price of a drink launch into their own anecdotes about the old curmudgeon.
I pop my head into the Dollhouse where there are some delicious girls on show but I only stay for one beer as the atmosphere seems different from on my previous visits (I have since learnt the sad story of Darel, the owner, which explains this). As I traverse the street I am dragged in to Long Gun by an attractive blond-haired girl. She sits and has a drink with me and I am quite taken with her. With an engaging smile I am struck with how sweet and innocent she looks although she was probably in her mid-30’s. As I am contemplating paying her barfine she informs me she has to go to dance. She appears on stage naked, gives me a huge smile and to my surprise performs an act involving ping pong balls and her ladies front bottom. The illusion was shattered; my bubble burst and all thoughts of taking her home to meet my mother evaporate.
I sit and chat with a couple of girls in Country Road and realise I am once again prematurely inebriated. This was probably down to not eating much that day due to travelling or am I turning into a petal dick? I am just glad my pal Union Hill was not there to see me as he would declare me a soft shandy-drinking southern Jessie. I admit defeat and take a taxi back to my hotel.
I woke with a huge hangover and had missed the Nana breakfast. I eventually find my way to Hilary 4 bar and order a coffee in an attempt to revive me. As I am forcing my second cup down, Gin, my daytime girl from the previous week, appears at my side. She seems pleased to see me but tells me she has just been berated by her mamasan for not wearing black in memory of a dead senior monk who had died a week earlier.
Gin looks me up and down inspects my hands then informs me I look terrible and need a haircut and a manicure. I can not disagree but my first priority was to eat something so order a Thai omelette. The food in the Hilary bar is very good and once consumed I feel ready to rejoin the human race. I buy Gin a drink and relate the events of the two weeks since I had last seen her.
A major topic of conversation with all customers of the Hilary bar was the progress of Hooters bar opposite. The consensus was the intrinsically American concept would not work in Soi 4. The boarding was down and the construction work was now clearly observable.
I pay Gin’s barfine and we make our way to my room at the Nana. I had become quite enamoured of Gin – she had an attractive face, a pleasant demeanour and for a girl in her late 30s an unblemished, slender body.
Once back in the room she treated me to a soothing manicure (and pedicure). We take a leisurely shower together and our subsequent coupling was relaxed and unhurried. She responded quickly to the employment of Mr. Tongue and her wobblygism was surprisingly swift.
I could not fail to notice a distinct change in her attitude towards me. In the previous week although she was attentive and proficient it was inherently businesslike as is to be expected. However, I got the impression she had identified from that previous encounter I was basically a decent and harmless old cove and now felt comfortable with me. When she saw the mosquito bites on my legs she conjured a jar of Golden cup ointment which she smeared me with. For a few minutes I lost all feeling in my skin but within 10 minutes I noticed all the itchiness I suffered had disappeared.
At 6.00 her shift complete she departed so I had a gentle kip for an hour. I later took a stroll to the Bus Stop restaurant for a green curry then returned to the Hilary bar where I had arranged to meet my pal James E. I have been corresponding with James for the past five years but this was our first meeting. James is American, an educated and cultured chap until recently involved in a technical role with the US Navy. He arrived on time at 8.00 and we very quickly hit it off. He was great company and he told me some fascinating things about his life. I found our conversation both entertaining and interesting.
Amongst the topics of our conversation was inevitably the building of the Hooters bar opposite. I expressed my doubts it would work but James enlightened me that he had seen the one in Soi 15 and declared the girls there were beautiful, which in his opinion trumped all other concerns. I modified my own outlook in light of this information. At 12.00 James returned to his room at the Marriot and I reflect it is meeting erudite fellows like James that makes me continue contributing submissions to the site. How else would I meet chaps of the calibre of James? He is one of the few Americans who understand self-deprecating humour. Another is Jay C who I met last visit who also understands English football.
I take a seat in Bangkok Bunnies and enjoy the eye candy on display. I am joined by a pretty girl with braces on her teeth who declared she was from Laos. She had hardly any English and she could not understand any of my attempts at Thai so the interview was terminated (as they say in my local constabulary). I popped my head in Mandarin and saw many of the serving staff who had worked there for years, a couple of them remembered me from previous visits. I note that many of the girls dancing look very young. I recall on my first visit to Bangkok being taken to this bar by my pal Dr Dave and remarking then how young the girls appeared. I also recall David’s statement at the time, "These girls will never look better than they do now”.
Sunday morning I overslept, missed the Nana breakfast so made my way to Hilary 4 for a reviving cup of tea. When Gin arrived I paid her barfine and took her to Kathy’s pantry for breakfast. On the way to my room I visited the Nana hair salon for a much needed haircut. We return to my room for a slightly early session of afternoon delight. Gin continues to enchant me not just for her slender body and perfect little mudgeon but her sense of fun and her happy demeanour.
My pal Nathan B had recommended I should visit Chan and Yupa’s, a pleasant tea room on Soi 10. Gin was inquisitive so we take a tuk-tuk to this exclusive area. We find the charming tea room in its own well manicured garden alongside old houses in gated compounds. We are the only customers and Gin was thrilled at the gentle ambiance of the establishment, I felt we could have been in an English country town like Cheltenham or Shrewsbury. The “high tea” they served was well presented and most impressive with small sandwiches, tartlets and even buttered scones with cream and proper strawberry jam. The tea was served in a large teapot with bone china cups and saucers which completed the effect.
Gin clearly loved the novel experience of an English high tea until three elderly Chinese looking Thai ladies walked in and took a table the other side of the room. From that point she appeared decidedly uncomfortable. She yanked down her short skirt and literally tried to make herself invisible. I did not understand this until I recalled the tale of my pal Peter H taking two bar girls to the Oriental Hotel in a story publicised by Steve Rosse.
Although Peter is renowned for his sense of mischief I believe he meant no harm. However, the two inappropriately clad girls were extremely embarrassed being in a reputable establishment with the hi-so Thai clientele and staff looking down their noses at them.
In my case I considered the three elderly Thai ladies somewhat shabbily dressed and not particularly worthy of esteem. In addition I did not discern they were paying the slightest attention to Gin never mind show her any disdain or contempt. Whilst I can (sort of) appreciate Gin’s sensibilities, other than a short skirt she looked respectable if not elegant but her deferential impulse is too deeply ingrained.
I accept as visitors we must be sensitive to Thai culture and customs but much of it is bogus and downright silly. I always dress respectable and am always respectful to everyone but I am disinclined to bend over backwards to accommodate the xenophobia and class obsession that passes for Thai culture. Anyway as an Englishman I know I am inherently superior to Johnny Foreigner whatever his class or status. Everyone knows that God is an Englishman. (Before I receive scores of emails admonishing me…I am only joking)
We returned to the hotel and enjoyed each others company until Gin leaves about 7.00. Another suggestion made by Nathan B was I look up a particular female in Bar 4. I had attempted to do so a previous week but she was not in the bar. Tonight I try again and find said girl and bought her a drink. She was an older lady and as pleasant as Nathan described but I quickly identified she was not interested in me.
I stepped out on to Soi 4 unsure where to go next. Should I go right or left? I turned left and ended up in Check Inn 99. The famous Mama Noi was absent that evening so I would miss her sponging English cigarettes off me as on my last visit. I had a very pleasant dinner and enjoyed the Philippine band and the buzz of the place.
Monday morning as I collected Gin she remarked she had seen me the previous evening and thought I looked lost. She then asked me why I didn’t ask her to stay the night with her. Seeing my bemused expression she continued “I am not asking for any money I just like being with you.” I must admit this was a fairly novel experience for me. I pay her bar fine telling her to do what she wants for a few hours and I would call her later. I was meeting my friend Thomasso at lunchtime.
For some reason my bowels were in turmoil that morning. I am extremely tolerant of Thai food and very rarely suffer from the Thailand trots but I was suffering that day. A couple of Imodium tablets settle me a little and I take a taxi into the city. I was meeting my pal Thomasso. We have been corresponding for some time and had met up on my visit to Bangkok last year.
We meet at the Erewan Tea Room in the Grand Hyatt. I had earlier been talking about class but Thomasso is a fellow with real class. Well educated and cultured, he is an absolute pleasure to be with. He holds a senior position in government service and I had been informed (from a separate source) he had once been named on the honours list for his charity work and services to the community although he was too modest to confirm this. He is also extremely charming and soon had the girls in the tea room giggling and dancing attendance on him. I still felt a little queasy so my friend made allowances and we had a pot of tea instead of eating.
We caught up on our respective tales since our last meeting. I knew my friend was hungry so suggest we go somewhere else so he could eat and he took me to an up market cafe in the Amari mall. It was a pleasant establishment and part of a new chain (but the name escapes me). I always enjoy our conversations, he moves in different circles to me so it is fascinating to hear from a different world. After we had eaten he walks across the footbridge with me so I could collect a taxi back to Suhkumvit. I observe that although we holiday in the same city he inhabits a completely different Bangkok to the one I do.
I returned to the Hillary to collect Gin and settle in along the rail overlooking Soi 4. I notice the Hooters bar ready to open the following evening but the girls there decide to do a pre-opening introduction in the form of a little sequence dance. I was very fortunate to see this and filmed the event.
The Hooters girls were beautiful and shapely and I was totally enchanted by them. From that moment I could certainly see the Hooters bar contributing to the renaissance of the Nana district. First time tourists nervously dipping their toe in the murky waters of Suhkumvit would have a convenient place to watch the activities from a western refuge. Whether it will lead to the eventual gentrification of the Nana area, who knows?
That evening I took Gin to the Huntsman pub in the Landmark. The food is good and I enjoy a very agreeable beef stew. The Philippine band has been playing there since the Stone Age and is competent and entertaining. Gin appears bored with the band so I ask if she wants to see Bangkok Bunnies. She had previously told me she was inquisitive to see it. Once settled in the Bunnies bar, Gin was fascinated with the girls on stage. I was attracted to one girl wearing spectacles who looked young enough to actually be a real student. I have a thing about Asian girls wearing glasses and often wonder if anyone else shares this minor depravity. Gin stayed with me that night which was nice. As a single bloke I miss the little domestic intimacies of having a female around me.
On Tuesday Gin wakes me; we take a shower together then go down for the Nana breakfast buffet. She claimed she had never had breakfast at the Nana before. I was surprised she hadn’t stayed there before but who knows?
I still can not get on the hotel wi-fi so pop into the Hillary to contact the outside world. I pay Gin’s barfine and let her disappear for a few hours to do whatever Thai girls do. We meet for lunch in the Bus Stop and I enjoy a tasty beef in oyster sauce then spend a leisurely afternoon doing nothing in particular. We go for dinner in Kathy’s cafe and try the Sushi. Gin requested we have a look at a few bars in the plaza she was inquisitive about. We take a look at Rainbow 1 and Angelwitch. In Jailbirdz we were totally ignored. After waiting ten minutes and were still not served we left in high dudgeon. As we got to the bottom of the staircase Gin gave me a wicked smile and opened a door. To my great surprise it leads us into the Hillary bar. We stayed there for the rest of the night and Gin further surprised me by paying for a couple of rounds of drinks.
I am woken by soft lips on my cheek and a soft hand on my Hampton. I was due to return home and it appeared Gin wished to give me a farewell gift before leaving. An hour later a Nana breakfast inside us Gin helps me pack then at 11.00 I check out of the hotel. As I take my taxi Gin gives me an affectionate kiss and wishes me a safe journey. She is too professional for overt displays of affection but I suspect she likes me a little.
The journey home is always long and dispiriting but gives time for reflection. I had enjoyed my trip, I was relaxed and had recharged my batteries for whatever the future year had in store. I appreciate I am in danger of having my mongers licence revoked for the reduction in the level of carnality I have indulged in on my last two visits so would not appeal if the committee decide to do so. I also acknowledge I am getting rather boring. In my last week in Bangkok I hardly moved more than 200 yards from the Nana Hotel which is an indication of how predictable I have become.
I arrive back in the UK to unseasonably warm temperatures and eventually climbed into bed at 3.00 AM on Christmas Eve morning. At 7.00 the power to the flat went off so I had to get dressed and drive to a local newsagent to top up the key for the pre-pay meter. I was not pleased. My youngest son and his girlfriend had been staying in the flat and the only thing I had asked them to do whilst I was away was to keep their eye on the electricity and gas.
On Christmas Day I cooked dinner at my aged mother’s house and had a quiet day with her. My mother’s Alzheimer’s is quite advanced now but she is coping remarkably well. On Boxing Day I go to a local pub with my eldest son to watch Swansea beat Albion 1:0. We then go to the casino to meet my brother and his tribe (the Borg collective) and monopolise the karaoke all evening. I win £100 on the roulette which pays for the evening.
The next day my pal Devin invites me to a housewarming soiree at the love nest he has set up with his young mistress. Most of our middle class friends are there. They ask about my Thailand trip (obviously wanting to hear some scandalous tales) but this time I restrict my anecdotes to an account of my visit to Ban Chiang and descriptions of the Bronze Age excavations there. I could sense their disappointment but I was trying to convince them I no longer engage in salacious activities. I suspect they didn’t believe me for a moment.
Devin’s mistress invited me to dinner the next evening. As well as being quite a babe she is an accomplished cook. The pork dinner she prepared was exquisite and being a single bloke I never miss the opportunity to eat a home cooked meal or attend a free buffet.
On New Year's Eve I had bought tickets for the festivities at three local pubs afraid I may be missing something if I only went to one. I sang a couple of numbers on the karaoke in the “Pisshead and ponytail” then made my way to my local the “Welded Wallet” to find it was full of strangers and I didn’t know a soul in there. I finished the night in the “Benefit Claimers Arms “which was extremely lively. The last fight of the night was over, the miscreants ejected and the place was full of scantily clad young girls in their 20s. All had very pretty faces and lovely complexions but there were very few discernible waistlines and certainly there was not one who had a figure or legs to match my 37 year Bangkok timeshare girlfriend Gin.
I think the transition for the appearance of cellulite around the thighs starts around the age of 40 amongst Thai women. In England the transition occurs around age 24. Many achieve an obvious level of obesity at age 30. My son reckons at age 20 English girls either discover prick or pies and this determines the evolution of their body shape over the next few years. I do love a good generalisation and would never allow the truth to ruin a good prejudice.
As I welcome the New Year in I reflect that 2015 was probably the best year I have had in ten years. I kept my head above water financially, regained my self-respect and finally changed my ageing vehicle before it became old enough to vote. 2016 also looks promising. I have a busy time ahead with a full programme of work up to Easter and things look hopeful up to June. My younger brother is getting married in May after 20 years of prevarication and my eldest son is getting married at Christmas. I just need my youngest son and his girlfriend to move out of the student squat my flat has become. I continue to wrap their sandwiches in a road map as a hint all to no avail.
I made several New Year resolutions and have broken most of them already. As the year progresses I will be planning my next Siamese sojourn. I also envisage I will encounter some misadventures along the way which I will continue to report to my friends in the Stickman community so watch this space.