Jimmy’s First Night Back In Bangkok
No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.
I was about to test out this theory. I left Thailand on the onset of Covid in February of 2020. I moved back to Canada with my wife of 6 years and my 5-year-old son. Now, 3.5 years later, we have travelled back to Thailand as my wife’s mother has fallen ill and is in an ICU. We spent 5 days in my wife’s village home, visiting in the hospital and seeing members of my wife’s family we have not seen in over 4 years.
However, 5 days is about my limit when it comes to sleeping communally in a non-air-conditioned house, under a mosquito net, so my son and I jumped a bus to Bangkok where I booked my favourite boutique hotel, the Davis on soi 24. We are there for 2 weeks awaiting the inevitable demise back in the village, when I hope my wife will join us.
Airfares are very high and getting to and back from Thailand will cost us about $10k CDN. I therefore plan to stay for at least 30 days and enjoy as much of those 30 days as I can. My son is old enough to stay by himself in the hotel at night and during the day we get out and about together.
Getting back to the quote. I certainly have changed as I will turn 73 in September. At times I feel as if I have passed my ‘Best before date’, especially in Canada, but getting back to Bangkok I feel rejuvenated. Last night I met up with an expat friend on Soi Cowboy. BTW, most of my expat friends have Thai wives and are happily married, but still enjoy getting out and about in the nightlife.
We decided to check if Cowboy has changed and picked a rainy Wednesday night. We started off at Country Road and I was surprised that I was immediately recognized after over 4 years. That was a good feeling and that made me happy. Yes, the band had changed but the tunes and the vibe had not changed. Same old Country Road but down in traffic due to low season, Wednesday night, and rain. I like to sit at the railing and watch the ladies arrive for work. The traffic walking by was similar to years past.
My buddy arrived and we talked and got up to date on our lives over a few beers and then decided to visit 2 of our favorite Cowboy bars. It was now 8:15 PM and the rain had stopped, and we walked down to Dollhouse. The traffic was picking up, and we entered the bar and ordered a San Miquel and purveyed the ladies. There were 15 girls on the stage and one at the pole. The girl at the poll was a stunner and probably an agency girl as she wore a bikini. On the main stage there were 15 girls, definitely the B team as it always is from 8 PM to 9 PM.
The big change was that they were overweight. They were also naked, which made it very hard on the eyes and we asked each other, ‘What are they doing there?’. I mentioned that we had to stay for the changeover and the next group of ladies were what we were used to from the Dollhouse. There was also 20 of them.
We left Dollhouse and walked back down to Long Gun. The walk and vibe were as I remember it at this time of year. Entering the bar, I was greeted with a running jump hug from a dancer I have known for over 6 years. The 3 of us, soon to be four, sat down and I was brought up to date with how they survived Covid.
The quality of the ladies on stage (all in the buff) was excellent and more importantly they were into it, dancing and smiling. Lots more customers, but again, later into the night. This is definitely how I remembered Long Gun before Covid. I spent about an hour there and left to head back to my hotel as it was the first time my son had been left alone. Not a problem, he was talking with his mother on messenger video when I left myself in.
Tonight (Thursday) I will go to Cowboy later and stay until Midnight and frequent a couple of more bars that I enjoy. No rain is forecasted for tonight so the traffic should be up.
BTW, bar fines were 900 baht at Long Gun, up from the 800 baht I remember. Drinks were happy hour prices at about 100 baht and lady drinks were what I remember. Sorry, I don’t remember the exact price as I was having too much fun!
Some things remain the same 😊
Next up, I will report on Nana Plaza and Hillary 2.
It’s interesting to hear your report comparing ladies at Dollhouse and Long Gun. When I was in town recently, I thought Dollhouse had a solid selection while Long Gun was very average – and that is being polite. A photographer friend whose work frequently appears in the column shoots a lot in Dollhouse and some of the ladies in Dollhouse are amongst the few who actually make me stop and think, “Wow!” While I certainly don’t dispute you saw what you saw, I will say that it was the complete opposite to what I experienced when I was in town. Of course, bars do vary night to night.
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