Was It Worth It?
On March 1, 2020, I left Bangkok for possibly the last time. I did my 2 weeks and was very happy. Two weeks later I remember I was at work. I am a unionized state government worker in the US. I work in IT and have been since the late 90’s, though only 15 years with the government in 2020. I was outside walking during one of those nearly first days of spring. I saw a former co-worker of mine who works in a different building. I hadn’t talked with Ted for at least a year. He is 7 years younger than me, but had 2 more years of government service. He’s a database administrator and we’ve had an inside joke for years that he made more than me. Even this past year, I sold back a lot of vacation, sick, and personal leave and I had him beat until the last paycheck where he squeaked out a win. No, I’m not bragging about my paycheck. It’s a nice paycheck and I have a lot of gratitude to my employer because of it. Since we are government employees, our pay is public; so anyone in the world can look us up and see what we make each year. Except this year, I don’t think he bothered looking anymore.
That afternoon when I bumped into him, he came clean. He needed someone to talk to. His wife who was an attractive women in an old picture I saw on his desk and about 7 years his junior had asked for a divorce. Ted paid for his wife’s education, she does not work. She is a stay at home mother with two children and an aerobics instructor. She gave Ted an ultimatum and that was a new German sedan or she was leaving. She was also seeing a man who was in his mid-twenties. Ted told me those things and I consoled him. He still loved her very much, but it seemed hopeless. I told him that if the divorce happens, you can still have a good life and a decent retirement. You may have to work a couple of extra years and be stingy with your money, but it’s possible. I then said, I have a secret which I don’t tell most people. When I was 45 I realized that the dream of meeting a good girl and having a warm loving family was over. I was in a long-term relationship with a girl and 2 other girls were courting me at the same time. I lost all 3 within a month and after a 1 year break from women, I started dating. And after 2 years I had only met a few women and none were quality. It might take 6 months to get a date with someone who was OK looking, but they immediately throw themselves at me (very similar to LOS). In the past 10 years I’ve had 5 girls ask to marry me, this typically happened within the first few dates and then if I ignored it, I was cut off. So my solution to this problem was to start traveling. I discovered that there was a new way of life on the other side of the world. I showed Ted a picture of a teerak of mine (I didn’t tell him I met her on Soi 6). And said, I am planning to retire in about 5 years to start a new life, because there’s nothing left here for me here except death and taxes. He along with the other handful of people I told about Thailand looked at me in confusion; in fact most people I have briefly discussed Thailand with are no longer in my life. And I didn’t bring up the nightlife and entertainment, though I did show him a couple of photos of my Thai friends. I did say that there options in this world other than losing half or more of your assets and working until you die.
Later that afternoon after I got home from work, I received a text from my boss that we were to work at home until further notice. We all went into a 3-month lockdown and I always wondered what happened to Ted. At the time he was still living with his wife and children. As bad as my life was, his was probably a nightmare.
Nothing For 2 Years
No alcohol, how about no human contact for 2 years! I had essentially no human contact for 2 years. I was invited to a close friend’s son’s graduation party. The problem is that she is black and this was right after the George Floyd incident. I was scared, but she is good people and so are her children and brother; so I went with my head up. I gave her a hug and shook her brother’s hand. I then went and got food and was left alone in a banquet hall of 100 people of which 3 were white. That is it for me. That’s is the only physical contact for me for 2 years.
Test And Go
Then came November and the Test and Go with the 1 RT-PCR test was being marketed by the TAT. I jumped on it, but the Thai Pass people kept stalling. My city was getting hit hard by the Omicron variant and before I got approval, it was suspended. Naturally, I did not receive a refund on the hotel room and test, but did get a reimbursement for my airline ticket.
Then came the Test and Go with one before, one on arrival, one on day five, and then one on my last day. A total of four. It’s ridiculous, but I have saved a lot of money and decided if I got the chance, I would head back at all costs and on an unlimited budget.
I finally left and decided to fly through the Middle East instead of Japan, as everyone in the Far East is taking this too seriously and I didn’t want any problems. I thought that the flights would be empty, but quite the contrary. From New York to Doha, I do not think there was an empty seat on the plane. Even Doha to Bangkok was nearly full. Unfortunately, with the pent up demand, full flights will probably linger for several years. And I learned that I will not willfully fly Qatar or go through the Middle East if I can help it.
Finally, I made it home. It was just how I remembered it and I stayed at a hotel on Soi 11. They gave me the RT-PCR test and I laid in bed in fear. Later than night I was negative and headed out on the town. Not a whole lot was going on but did hook up with a freelancer on Soi 4 and then headed to Soi 7 and hooked up again. The girl whom I hooked up with some 3 years ago recognized me with my mask on. The funny thing is that if that happened to me in the West, I’d probably have a heart attack. But it was as if I never left and everything was natural.
Besides the 4 tests, the hotels were the biggest hassle. Since I’m American, I am extremely fortunate to receive 2 weeks holiday. The culture in the US is that there’s no need for more than a week as there is no reason to travel anywhere outside the US, unless you’re traveling internationally to Mexico or the Caribbean. A once in a lifetime trip would be to visit your fatherland, such as Great Britain, France, Italy, or Germany. Though, I did get 15 days of Thailand holiday, I wanted to and typically head to Pattaya for 3 or 4 days on the second Monday as Bangkok can be a little slow early week. After the quarantine and going back to the quarantine hotel, down to Pattaya, and even the last night when I stayed at the Nana Hotel, I went through 7 hotels in 15 days. It was a complete waste of time.
The original plan was to go to Phuket for 4 days with my Teerak, but she had to attend her 2 year suspended university graduation or at least that was the excuse. Typically I plan everything out in advance, but this trip was all done last minute. So here is my hotel journey: Solitaire (1, Day 1 Test and Go), The Carlton (3), Solitaire (1, Day 5 Test and Go), The Landmark (3), The Hilton Pattaya (3), The Sofitel (3), and The Nana Hotel (1). Oh, I didn’t mention the prices. Most 5 star hotels were 50% to 75% off. My favorite stay was in the Carlton, and the least was Hilton Pattaya. The Carlton on Soi 25 Bangkok was $254 USD for 3 nights and that’s with one breakfast buffet. And lastly I prefer to stay at the Nana Hotel on my last night because I like the fact that they have a no nonsense taxi service to the airport. 680 baht is pricy, but when you must get home, no reason to take a taxi off of Sukhumvit that may be crazy. It happened once and that was enough.
About the Nana Hotel, it appeared that the breakfast buffet was in the cafe. I left near midnight, so I cannot verify that. I will say that I did not see one crawling insect, though a couple of mosquitos did find the opening at the bottom of the door into the hallway. Also, a lot of the staff of 2 years prior are gone, including the ladies at the front desk, the nice older gentleman bellboy, and the not so nice bellboy. The 30+ year old desk guy is still there. And lastly, there appeared to be a few Vietnam War vets hanging out on the patio; which is always good to see.
Something must have happened to me over the past 2 years. I was not aroused by any ladyboys. There were a ton of ladyboys in the Nana to Robinson area. Oh, they harassed me to no end, but there was nothing. I am neither looking for friends nor trying to be like everyone else, just honesty expressing my feelings. I have typically spent time with a few ladyboys on my previous trips. Though, they had been looking more and manlier to me on each trip. I know a ladyboy who is very attractive I ran into early on during this holiday and nothing. I now see a man with tits and makeup when before I saw a new kind of woman.
When I began traveling in 2015, I began because I gave up on the West. I gave up on western women, most notably white women. Sometimes I think that maybe my attraction towards ladyboys was a substitution for over 30 year old western women. Both have some femininity and both are strong, but ladyboys, especially those very convincing ladyboys are much more attractive. I am a bit of a pervert, but to be honest I don’t know what the hell I was thinking!
What Did I See?
At first everywhere in Bangkok seemed dead. Soi 7 and Soi 7 / 1 was the only place that had any life. Even the malls were dead. As each day passed, the nightlife improved, Soi 4 was starting to look like the old Soi 4, Country Road was hopping, and the street bars extended all the way from Soi 5 all the way to McDonald’s next to Robinson. And Soi Buakau / LK Metro were looking like the old days, just minus a lot of punters. Walking Street was dead except for maybe a dozen agogos and night clubs of which most enforced on the spot ATK tests. Pattaya Beach was a bit of a surprise. There were many Thai families that were camping out there all night and the Hilton which I stayed for 3 days seemed to be about 50% Thai occupants. And I came to the realization that the girls of Bangkok, either the naughty ones or the normal girls, are much more attractive than the girls in Pattaya. And to be honest, I think it might be a couple of years before I go to Pattaya again. It doesn’t offer me what I’m looking for. Though, if you love Pattaya, the Soi Buakau and LK Metro area are quite good right now.
I did notice that I did not see any soi dogs in Lower Sukhumvit. And for the first time, I received a lot of mosquito bites while in Bangkok. That tells me that maybe the Thai government sprayed for mosquitos in the past and lately have been removing soi dogs from tourist areas. And to my surprise, the wiring on Second Road Pattaya was being removed.
I will not lie. Every trip after my third trip during October of 2016 has been a little experiment. Yes, I spent quite a bit of time with a working girl university graduate that is at the cusp of determining her future. I made myself clear to her that she is my friend. She thinks I am 42 for some reason, but in reality I’m 52. I realize that there are millions of good girls out there, but I have not written her off. Hopefully she stays my friend, with or without romance. I bring this up because I see too often these working girls go right back to where they come from. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s the thrill, the sex, the money, the chance at catching a whale, or maybe it’s because they know nothing else. I remember several years ago in front of Art Box, when it was still open in Chuvit Garden, a YouTuber who once lived in Thailand’s partner was loitering there. It really disgusted me. I then saw the YouTubers partner working on Soi 4 this holiday.
Lastly, I did notice 3 very attractive girls working the street on Soi 4. I actually know one of them, but noticed that they are not still for very long. The girl I know charges 2000 baht and I saw her disappear accompanied several times in just a few hours. Similar to the 2 other very attractive girls. I would not be surprised that these working girls make big money.
What Did I Do?
Of course I made the rounds of the naughty areas of Bangkok and Pattaya, minus Patpong. In previous trips I would hike 4 to 8 hours per day mostly Bangkok and then hit the naughty parts of town at night, but this trip was different. I had 2 girlfriend experience’s. There was an attractive massage worker that offered her services for 1 day if took her out of the parlor for 4000 baht. I took her up on it, a day later. It was nice to do what I wish and then be massaged and back scratched all day. Then comes my main girlfriend experience.
My main teerak was a university graduate working Soi 6, I presume as an agency girl 2 years ago. At the time, she was easily the most attractive and normal looking girl there. I mean she looked like and attractive thin Bangkok girl, devoid of any tattoos. She and I were more like boyfriend / girlfriend than a pay for play arrangement. We did go and see Wat Paknam Phasi Charoen and another day hiked though an area about 10 minute walk north of the Lebua State Tower on the river. Nice artsy and interesting area. I enjoyed both outings immensely. We also went to see a couple of movies and ate out a lot.
My alcohol ban was lifted. One night we went to the Carlton roof top bar and I had my first full pint in 2 years. Just one is enough, but it was extremely tasty. I never had Singha before, but I sure enjoyed it. Also, her best friend and us two met at Hillary 2 on Soi 4 and had a nice dinner, some beers, fun live music and good food. In fact, it was the best night of the trip.
I also spent half a day in Jomtien. I have been lifting weights since I was 15 and completely enjoy it. Down in Jomtien, a new gym opened just before the pandemic by the same guy who owns the Muscle Factory off of Sukhumvit Soi 56 in Bangkok. It is also named the Muscle Factory. The gym in Jomtien was decent and just like in Bangkok, open to those on daily or weekly passes. I will admit that the Muscle Factory in Bangkok, though definitely not perfect, is my favorite gym which I have ever gone to.
What Would I Have Done Differently?
I’d made plans and not done everything adhoc at the last moment. And not flown Qatar on the way back, especially through Chicago. It was a 36-hour day for me, including doing 2 runners in Chicago Airport trying to catch my final flight home. Lastly, maybe not spent 6 days and nights with the same working girl. I started feeling attached to her and I’m sure that she would love a sponsor.
Was It Worth It?
I am a 52 year old white male from America that is despised by just about everyone. Thailand has provided me the respect and the needs I have which are no longer offered in my country. Hey, Thailand is far from perfect, but I am happy there.
As I burn the last couple of hours before I go back to jail, a little reminder of Thailand’s imperfections. I was walking by the Dynasty Inn after a Thai massage at P’s Massage on Soi 4 and unknown to me was that the Dynasty Inn had wrapped barbwire around their chromed front railing. So yes, now I have two nice and bloody cuts on my arm.
I spent near 6K USD on this trip and topped my investing account twice because of the volatile equity markets leaving me with a paltry $600 in my bank account. So was it worth it? Yep, no remorse. I am getting older and want to get in as much as I can, while I can. I’m already planning my next trip for July, well after the next credit card statement.
The author of this article cannot be contacted.