Three Nights in Bangkok Part 2
Night 2, Wednesday 28th September
I started the evening at Shark. I hate to be one of those old-timers reminiscing about the good old days, but I have to mention how fantastic this bar was in the years around 2010. There were never less than 20 petite pretties on stage, and they were well managed. I remember once stumbling into a staff meeting at about 7 pm. All the girls, about 50 of them, listening with solemn faces while the mamasan gave them a lecture about something or other. Tonight, there were only about a dozen all told, with six of them on stage just then, five of whom were neither petite nor pretty.
As I was disciplining myself to take things slowly, I had the time to write a brief description of each of the dancers from left to right:
- Slim, but noticeably old. Could be pushing 40.
- Plumpish, but quite pretty and young-looking. Body marred by tats.
- Cute baby face, slightly plump body, especially around the hips. Probably 25 or less. Tats.
- Slim, but even older looking than #1.
- Pretty and young looking.
There were five customers in the bar including three westerners, older guys like me, who, judging by the forensic way they studied the form, were not mere voyeurs, but were in the barfining business. The one at the front was nursing a bottle of water, probably to ensure that he got the most out of the main action.
One by one the girls changed over until there were six different girls of a similar mix of types. One in particular stood out as the star of the bar, petite and pretty with that orange-blonde hair that Thai girls get when they attempt to dye their jet-black locks. Within minutes, the elderly westerner on the front row invited her down – he was a fast worker! But that’s probably the way you need to do it if you’re going to grab one of the few good lookers in today’s Bangkok. Soon after, even before her drink was finished, he paid the barfine and left with her (lucky guy!). Not long after that, a youngish guy – I think a westerner, but he might have been from the Middle East (hard to tell, it was dark in there) – barfined another of the girls. She wasn’t to my taste at all, as she was big and heavy (he’d have to be careful during the bedroom antics! This girl was no spinner!).
It was an object lesson on how to do things in the Bangkok of 2022: go out early and barfine quickly. I took note and I invited #4 from the above list. Usually, in Thailand, you have to wait until they have finished their set before they join you, but it took an age before she was free. The reason was that, after every number, one girl stepped off at one end of the stage, and another stepped on at the other. Trouble is, these techno-rap-boom-boom numbers seem to last forever, and I had finished my Heineken and got halfway down another before she finally joined me. In the Philippines, and in an increasing number of bars in Thailand, they can join you as soon as you invite them – a much better system. As it was, I had exceeded my drink quota of one drink per bar (so that I can see as many bars as possible before I pass out) and, unfortunately, she wasn’t worth the wait. Nan, 23 from – she wrote Pha Ket – did she mean Phuket? The music in Shark is even louder than the over-loud norm and it was hard to hear anything she said, so we had to resort to writing notes to each other as though we were deaf and dumb. Next time, I will judge a bar, not just on the line-up of girls, but whether the music is at a reasonable enough level to talk to them.
Nan was quite pretty, with a rounded baby face and two small top knots that suggested cat’s ears. (though marred by her tats –small stars and other designs that were inked all over her body in an uncoordinated way). There was hardly any body contact, and she made no effort at conversation, so I finished my Heineken and beat a retreat, though not before I’d jotted down a few notes.
My Heineken was 160, a lady drink is 200, and the barfine is 800.
Next stop was Suzie Wong. I have fond memories of this bar because it was here, in about 2008, that I met one of my favourite teeraks: Jiab. You can read about her in Pussy Struck in the Land of Smiles which is a collection of articles and diary entries from 2005 to 2020.
There were six girls dancing in bikini bottoms. Needless to say, the bar was packed with girls back in the day, also in just bikini bottoms (funny how these bar practices persist). I soon took a fancy to #9. A pretty girl with outstanding talents in the chest department. She sat with me topless (just as Jiab did in 2008), which was nice, and encouraged me to fondle her assets. “Fake?” I said, hefting them gently. I was only joking, but she replied, “Yes.” They were well done, though, and felt and looked good (some of the boob jobs I saw looked like blown up ballooms!). Nack, 24 (I didn’t catch where she was from). She sat close, and we had a bit of a conversation, but, overall, it was like sitting with one of those Japanese love dolls – good to look at, but not much else. She had been in the game for four years, which is too long for my taste (fresh is best!). That said, I have a feeling she would be a good performer if you don’t mind lack of communication. There was a kind of Buddhist dreaminess about her that suggested she would go through the whole routine in a trance and that you could do anything you liked to her without her even noticing.
My Heineken was 170, a lady drink is 260, and the barfine is 700.
After Suzie Wong, I walked up and down the soi desperately trying to find another bar that was worth visiting. I tried Spice Girls, Cowboy 2, Tilac and Midnite, only to find few girls and fewer customers. Tilac was typical of the modern Soi Cowboy – all chrome, glass, and fancy coloured lighting, but not much in the way of girls, and those there were looked as though they had been binging on a burger diet. Worse, there is an array of dancing tables around the bar. Horror of horrors! If you go in there, you’ll get your very own personal plumper to shake her rolls of fat at you!
The bar bosses would do better to spend their baht on higher salaries to recruit some halfway decent girls rather than on fancy deco. I don’t go to a gogo to admire the deco. Indeed, there’s only one thing that counts, and if the manager gets that right the customers will come. A good example would be Rawhide round about 2008. That was the most run-down bar in the soi. It looked like a barn inside with wobbly poles that didn’t reach the ceiling. The benches looked like pews bought secondhand from a redundant church, but the girls were hard-bodies youngsters fresh from the rice paddy, and eager to please so that they could buy their first mobile phones.
How those empty bars keep going, I can’t imagine (though to be fair, it was a Wednesday in Low Season and threatening rain). There were quite a few darkened frontages along the soi, and my impression is that things are in the balance. If things don’t pick up soon in the shape of more customers, those marginal bars will close, and Soi Cowboy will find itself in a downhill spiral. So, guys, do your bit, and get yourselves over here in support of a good cause!
In the end, I gave up, and went to Nana Plaza as, partly due to the information on this forum, I had drawn up a large barhop list. This is it, in alphabetical order:
- Twister BKK
- Whiskey & GoGo
I decided to check out Blondie, inspired by those excellent photoshoots in Stick’s weeklies. There were two cute Hello Girls (not blonde, though), but only one girl on the stage and no customers (and it was already 9:30), so I tried Erotica next door. There were eight girls on stage, dressed in black bikinis, who, on the whole, were of a better standard than any line up I have seen on this trip so far. Promising – but there was only one other customer – and he was smoking. Stricter no-smoking laws were introduced in 2018, but most bars turn a blind eye. I smelled cigarette smoke in many bars, though didn’t notice any cannabis. Nevertheless, as the dancers looked halfway decent, I decided to give it a try.
The first problem was the pushy mamasan. She was doing a good job on the whole, keeping the girls dancing in an organised way when it was hardly worth it (but somebody has to do this, or they just sit down, and then prospective customers see an empty stage and don’t bother to come in). But she was trying too hard to interest me in choosing a girl, and it was annoying, as I was trying to write notes about the last bar. Luckily, another customer came in just then and she went away to pester him.
As I watched, I noticed a kind of booth at one end of the bar. Perhaps it was a mini-carousel (not working) or the remains of a shower show, but what interested me most was the writing down the side: PLAYSKOOL. Then I remembered this bar in its Playskool incarnation, the girls dancing in sexed-up school uniforms. It was where I brought Jiab when we went barhopping. I’ve been in several times since, but never found a girl I liked in this bar. It might have been different today if they’d have turned the music down!
Set 2 consisted of six girls of equally good quality dressed in black two-piece costumes. I liked #44 and #46, but #88 was the beauty of the bar, and I would have talked to her too, except that the music was so loud that I knew I wouldn’t be able to hear a word. Pity, really. The girls drew me in, but a combination of a pushy mamasan and over-loud music, drove me out.
Heineken 140, lady drink 195-205 (that seems odd – did I remember it right?), barfine 800.
I thought I might come back to this bar later and pick up #88, but in the meantime, I’d visit Rainbow 5 for a touch of nostalgia. This bar used to be Rainbow 4, and it was the first bar I visited back in 2005. I counted 23 girls/ladies spread over the two stages. I say “girls/ladies” because among the all-too-common UFO’s (Old, Fat and Ugly), there were a few who would not have looked out of place in the Rainbow 4 of 2005. There were quite a few customers, many with girls, and the atmosphere was vibrant.
I studied the form for a while, then noticed a girl with a knockout body. For me, that means hard and firm, with subtle curves in the right places (and none in the wrong ones) – and there aren’t many bodies like that around in the gogo bars of Bangkok in 2022! Of course, in the interests of research, I invited her for a lady drink. She chose one of those tequila shot drinks which are twice the price of the usual diluted Coke. After the last two deadbeats I wasn’t expecting much, but she got hold of me straight away, and made a real effort in conversation. It wasn’t easy though. The music (if you can call it that) in Rainbow 5, like every other gogo bar I’ve visited in Bangkok, is too loud. Will somebody tell the managers that they are running a gogo bar, not a disco, and it is important to be able to talk to the girls? It’s hard enough as it is, what with their limited English and our limited or non-existent Thai, but with a cacophonous “boom, boom, boom” blasting your eardrums, it’s almost impossible. One more moan before I carry on. Will the Boys in Brown please enforce the no-smoking law? It’s getting worse, and by the end of the evening I had a sore throat.
Bum (that’s how she wrote it, but it could be “Pum” – it depends how you transcribe the Thai character), 25 from Isaan. I guess she was under 5’, though it was hard to tell because she was wearing those monster shoes they all go for with what looked like 7” heels and 2” soles. She had two tattoos on her upper chest, but they were not too large or obtrusive. I wanted to find out more about Rainbow 5, but my research was inhibited by the loud music – and, more importantly, because I felt a barfine coming on. I had no intention of barfining on this visit because the sex-scene in Thailand is becoming too transactional and too expensive. There’s a long way to go before it turns into another Amsterdam, but it’s headed in that direction. However, Bum was sending out all the right vibes and my body was responding – and what am I here for, anyway? A visa run, yes – but I could have gone to Bali and sat on the beach instead. I’d rather have Bum sitting on me, so it was time to enter negotiations.
We had a confused conversation about short time and long time, and I wasn’t really sure what I’d signed up for until the mamasan asked me to pay 4,000 up front (1,000 for the barfine, 3,000 for Bum), which is the short time rate. I don’t like paying up front for a number of reasons, but mainly because some girls will make less effort, knowing that the money (or the tab for it) is already in their purses. Nevertheless, I am used to it from the Philippines, so dished out four brown ones without undue concern.
Though I got carried away, I didn’t neglect to jot down some information: lady drink 200-400, barfine 1,000. My Beerlao Dark was 180. I love this beer as it has a similar bitter tang to an English ale. I gave Bum a taste and she wrinkled up her nose – so it must be good!).
As soon as she got out of the bar she lit up (metaphorically, because she was vaping). She turned out to be a chain-vaper and she used the thing almost continually, even in my hotel room. It was a weird sight, those huge clouds of vapour coming out of her small cupid’s bow mouth. At least it didn’t smell bad or make her kisses taste sour. She did the shower and white towel routine, and then sat on the bed as inviting as a birthday present waiting to be unwrapped. She didn’t disappoint. Her breasts were small, but perfectly shaped, her stomach washboard flat, and her pubes enhanced by a trimmed triangle of hair (men of my generation like women the way nature made them!). There was a kind of elastic feel to her body, and she was petite enough to roll around into different positions without bringing on my back pains. Nor did the sex disappoint. Put it like this, she got so wet down below that I could skip the KY Gel for once.
It was over in no time, but that’s life. The boring bits, like my recent 21-hour flight from Brussels, seem to go on for ever. The best bits are over in a flash. To prolong the experience, I suggested that we go for a meal. But the Nana restaurant was closed, and it was raining – how do the Thais say it –meaw leaw hma? (No – “cats and dogs” is an English expression. I think theirs has something to do with nagas and elephants). Anyway, we ended up back in Rainbow 5 – and, on reflection, I think that this was what she intended all along. “Let’s get drunk!” she said. It sounded good, but what she really meant was: “Get me drunk at lady drink prices.” I knew I would have to be careful and watch my spending, as, by now, I only had about 6,000 left, and this was supposed to last another day.
I’ve been in this situation before (and perhaps you have too). If you sit in her bar buying drinks, you will collect a friend or two, and probably the mamasan, and by the end of the evening you will be cleaned out. The last time this happened to me was in Shipwrecked in Angeles City in 2019, when I spent 7,000 PHP on drinks and snacks for Miss Perfect Butt and her friends, the mamasan, and the cute cherry girl in the next seat. 7,000! – and that didn’t even include a barfine!
Things started to wrong (or right) when she introduced her sister, Bee (it might have been “Pee”), 23 – another tight little package, and her first day in the bar. I was in love! In stereo. After all, two girls is every man’s fantasy. Two sisters is… (what’s better than a fantasy? – an impossible dream, perhaps). I bought her a drink too, and a quick glimpse at my bin showed that I had already spent nearly 2,000. Another friend turned up, but (for once) I had the self-discipline to send her away – these two hot sisters were more than enough! We got up and danced in the aisle and Bee rubbed her nubile little body against me. Once again, the word “barfine” came to mind, and I wondered if I had enough baht left to pay it. As I pondered a) whether I could afford it, and b) whether it would work, the hands-on fun continued. I will be honest about b) – I’ve barfined two girls on several occasions (including, once, from Shark), but it never worked out like it does in those Tuk Tuk Patrol videos. Instead of the double blowjob that you dream about, followed by sex in stereo, my double barfines have always taken it in turns, one in bed, while the other hides in the bathroom (maybe I should tell them I’m a Tuk Tuk Patrol director and that I will make them famous).
Meanwhile, the fun continued. There is no doubt about it that that Thais have an unbeatable sense of fun – or sanuk, as they call it. Yes, I was the one-armed-bandit, and they were yanking the lever to get the pay out, but for that hour or so, they were genuinely enjoying themselves, and so was I.
What the heck, I thought as my 7th drink of the evening (and my third Beerlao Dark) kicked in. I’m not here just to do research for my writing, and, as I’ve just retired, I’m all too aware that my days on this planet are numbered, so I decided to go for it. It was a close call, money-wise, as I got right down to the last 100 baht note to make up the amount, but I did it, just.
On the way out, that pushy friend asked for a tip. She didn’t deserve it, of course, as I’d hardly spoken to her, but I was able to refuse politely by showing her the inside of my nearly empty wallet. Then we were away, all three of us, with me on Cloud 9, my arms around two of the few young cuties in the Plaza, about to be taken to heaven (or so I thought).
In the event, it wasn’t great. Bum (or Pum) took Bee (or Pee) into the bathroom (where she, no doubt, gave her a few hints and tips), sent her to me, then disappeared (I thought she had stayed in the bathroom, but I found out later that she had gone home). Bee had a similar tight little body, though with fuller breasts. She was great to look at, but very ki-ai (shy) and awkward between the sheets. As soon as she could, she made an excuse and got away, leaving me feeling deflated.
I think Pum (or Bum) would have stayed all night, and though she didn’t say so, I think she was offended when I invited her sister. That would have been a much better outcome. I could have enjoyed Bum’s wonderful body again in a more relaxed way in the middle of the night or in the morning (or both). (NOTE TO MYSELF: Stop watching those Tuk Tuk Patrol videos and be content with one girl at a time!).
Despite my rant about geriatric bargirls in my last submission, all tonight’s girls have been relative youngsters with an average age of 23.75 (compared to 28 last night). They are there. You just have to try harder to find them and barfine them before that guy with the bottle of water gets them!
To be continued…
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