Stickman's Weekly Column June 13th, 2004

Murphy’s Law


Murphy’s Law struck and my hard drive with the week’s column almost ready to go up online died yesterday. That will teach me for not backing it up… This week’s column is thus a lot shorter than usual and the readers’ emails represent just comments from the last 24 hours. What a total fxxp up. The way I work on the column is that I write a little bit here and there each day and then do a major edit on Sunday before putting it up online. Unfortunately as it was all lost, I had start from scratch, and some of the news that had been included in the column’s previous incarnation has been lost along with all of the emails.

Stick

I popped by Nana twice this week and both times it was quiet. Ok, that is not just a bit quiet, but really, really quiet. For once I actually felt sorry for the bar owners because a couple of the bars that I poked my head into were playing good music and had a many staff who seemed to sitting around bored, with no customers to entertain. So why were they quiet?

Customers will seize the chance to complain about just about everything. Ugly girls, expensive drinks, bad attitude and poor service are just a few of the things that roll off the average customer’s lips. They are not at all shy to criticize this or that, and I’ll be right near the front, telling you all that is wrong with the bars these days. But truth be told, those I poked my head into this past week were not too bad.

But look around, and what do you see? The city is modernizing and as well as the improved infrastructure and general sprucing up, there are more and more venues opening.

There are heaps of pool bars these days – and most of them seem to do a good business. Try and get a table at night in Brunswick or Megabreak and you’ll be lucky. And the queue to get a game on a solitary table in a beer bar can be very long indeed.

There are heaps of other bars, some of which fringe on the naughty nightlife, some of which do not. And some of these bars can be very big too, like Gulliver’s, which takes a lot of trade away form the regular naughty areas.

And when we think of the naughty bars, there are more and more of them too. So where in the past everything was concentrated at Nana, Cowboy and the Pong, now we have lots of smaller satellite bar areas, like much of Soi 4 on Sukhumvit, the area on the Asoke intersection, Sukhumvit 22 etc

But, like I said a few weeks ago when I talked about the issue of guys ending up with bargirls which I hypothesized was simply an issue of them not knowing where to meet ‘regular girls’, I think it is much the same with the naughty bars. In the past guys simply did not know where to go and there were fewer options, so people sort of gravitated towards the naughty bars as a form of entertainment when because that was the only type of place that they knew of which catered to their Western tastes.

Where is this pic?

Last week's pic.

This week's pic.

Minburi…no-one got it right.
Yes, it is in Bangkok!

Last week’s pic of the golden fish was the first time that not one person even guessed where it was, let alone anyone getting it right… So, the prize for last week remained unclaimed… I’ll talk with the owner of the bar and see if he’ll do a jackpot this week….his choice, but if he says yes, then it is a 1,000 baht bar tab, a ripper! Oh, I still haven’t told you where the pic was… Minburi, perhaps the northeastern most corner of Bangkok, about 30 or 35 clicks from downtown Bangkok. We were coming back from a funeral a couple of weeks ago and stopped at a major intersection where I saw these majestic looking golden fish and couldn’t help but take shots of them. I’m surprised no-one got it right…. Minburi can’t be Stickman country I guess…

Each week the first reader to correctly state where this week's pic is wins a 500 baht credit at Tony's Bar in Soi Cowboy. Please note that the credit MUST be claimed within two weeks. So, to claim that prize, you must be in Bangkok at some time in the next two weeks.

FROM STICKMAN'S BAG OF EMAIL:

Can you trust her?

For all you fools sending money to your Thai girls while youre at home, listen to this. I met up with a gal I had met in Thailand few years back and she wanted me to meet some of her friends. We got to her friends house at 12 AM, this frickin house was huge with two new motorbikes in front. I walked in and was stripped of my clothes and was told to wait after they smoked. Then a three way and other naughty things later I was told that all girls had farang boyfriends who give them enough money not to work. What the fuck!!!!! Im a very good looking man, but my God. Guys, don’t secure these Thai gals with money. I had the wildest sex ever, three girls, mid afternoon, for free!!!!! no names-Man from Norway with skinny Thai in Hua Hin, you are being played. Young Canadian with dark lady in Hua Hin, you are being played. The girls house is bigger than mine in the US. All they do is smoke (Bob Marley) and watch TV. Be careful..and smart.

Who was the guy in the uniform?

I did a visa run yesterday and got quite heavily questioned but not by the guy doing the stamping. I went into the office to fill in my immigration card and a uniformed guy who was reading a newspaper sat next to me. He seemed to be having his break and assumed a friendly air but casually dropped questions into the conversation about whether I was working and if I had a girlfriend. He picked up my passport (although technically he had no right to do so at the time) and had a good look through noting several Thai stamps. Well, according to the rumour mill, next month is when all this starts to happen so my next visa run will be interesting.

Six, count ’em!

Tried the 'Robin Hood' near Soi 33/1. Just another British style pub but very busy on Friday night. Food ok but a beefburger and chips came with six chips. The 'Black Swan' is not open yet but again looks like another British style pub.

How much money do the bars pay? Rumour has it that in Nana, the monthly charges for bigger bars 5K and for smaller bars, 3K. Seems a lot lighter than I would have thought…

There may be problems accessing this site locally if you are using the Easynet ISP. It would seem that some sort of internal caching (or other) problem is resulting in this site showing no updates since late May, which is obviously incorrect. There don’t seem to be any other issues with other ISPs.

Has Pay Pal made their service officially available in Thailand now? I had a nosey at it for the first time in ages and noticed that Thailand is one of the countries which one can designate as their base. In the past one could not “officially” use Pay Pal from this part of the world.

There have been some reports of people being asked to show their passport and their visa status being checked on Sukhumvit Soi 3. Crackdowns seem to occur in this part of town from time to time, so it is nothing new.

Yesterday film producer John Lamond shot his latest movie about a hitman in Bangkok. The film crew hired Hollywood Strip in Nana to film inside. As the two lead characters enter Hollywood Strip, guess who is playing the barman! It looks like the manager of the bar just made his debut on the silver screen.

And in what seems to be a weekly thing, the cops were down in Nana this week checking out all of the girls’ registration forms. They didn’t seen too bothered about anything else.

And there was a piece on the Thai news about a raid on Soi Cowboy. As the piece was reported on Saturday ,I guess the police were down there on Friday. While we expect rain once or twice a week at this time of year, weekly raids on nightspots are even less welcome.

Club Electric Blue in Patpong was supposed to re-open yesterday…I never dropped by…will do soon.

Wanna get rich in Cambodia? Get a job as a customs officer. The official visa fee to enter Cambodia is $US20, which is about 800 Thai baht. The officers at the border will insist on anyone coming in from Thailand who does not have US currency that the price to be paid in Thai equivalent is 1,000 baht, about $US25…or at least that is how it used to be. At Ko Kong and Poi Pet, they are now asking not for 1,000 baht, but for 1,100 baht, or about $US27! With the amount of border traffic, they must be making a killing!

Down in Soi 33, The Office seems to be doing a roaring trade and almost everywhere else is really quiet….REALLY quiet.

But I did drop into Woodstock this week where their beefeater sandwich was excellent as usual. However, I couldn’t quite understand them playing a movie at 7:30 at night, with the sound turned up and none of their excellent music. The question has to be asked.

If a Mr. Roy A Hill is reading this, a Mr. Southwick wishes to contact you. I can provide email address if needed.

The idea of checking in on another’s email is one which is fraught with many moral arguments and the idea of looking at email not intended for you is questionable, to say the least. Nut it really is a big deal these days and many guys would give an arm and a leg to know what is going on with their teeruk’s email, wondering just who else might be checking in. Well, one way to look is to guess the answer to her secret question. The likes of Hotmail and Yahoo all require users to include an answer to one of a number of specified questions. If the account holder forgets the password then they can answer the question and are automatically logged into the account. However, they must choose a NEW password, rendering the old one different. This means that the account holder would not be able to get back in, because the password is not disclosed as such. Anyway, for the devious folks out there, simply check what the question is, and casually drop that subject into conversation with your teeruk. It is usually about favourite pet, sports star or something innocuous like that.

Are the coppers trying to get me? I swear that when I approach certain intersections, particularly those where the road passes under an expressway or some sort of overbridge and where there is a sort of no man’s land in he middle, that the cops change the lights when they see cars approaching. This makes the driver wonder if he should stamp on the brakes and end up stopping on no man’s land and risking being hit from behind. In my case it is change two gears down and nail it, but this sees you passing through the second set of lights which is probably red….and guess who pokes hi head out from behind a tree a couple of hundred metres down the road…the local plod, who waves you over. I reckon they are up to something. I watched one intersection one day for about 20 mins and something was going on.

A mention must go out to three of my fellow countrymen who performed the most rousing rendition of the New Zealand national anthem that I have ever heard live. At the end of New Zealand’s commanding performance in the rugby international where they thumped the world champion Brits 36 : 3, three Kiwis, beautifully resplendent in their eye catching All Black jerseys screamed the New Zealand anthem at the top of their lungs. If you were a rugby mad Kiwi there like me, it was hand on the heart stuff. Again I must re-iterate that The Londoner really is the best place in Bangkok to watch sport live. I believe they are open late for the France vs. England Euro 2004 match tonight. If I wasn’t working…

Mrs. Stick's Corner

Each week, Mrs. Stick answers your questions about Thai / farang relationships and general issues that baffle the average Westerner in Thailand. Mrs. Stick likes to think of herself as an open-minded Thai lady so go ahead, ask anything because you won't shock her. Please send questions for her, via me, at the usual email address. Two questions will be chosen each week and answered in the following week's column. The responses are hers and NOT mine although I may attempt to correct her English from time to time. Please note that I may not necessarily agree with what she says. Unfortunately, she doesn't have time to reply to your inquiries via email. Questions for her should be limited to 100 words. Mr. Stick may answer the odd question in place of Mrs. Stick of he thinks he can do a better job. Mrs. Stick is out for the day so no answers to questions this week, I'm afraid.

Ok, that is it for this week…the recovery column. Time to back up a bit more often I guess.

Your Bangkok commentator,

Stick

Thanks go out to Dave The Rave, as always and Noodles.