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Posts Tagged ‘Pattaya’

I arrived in Bangkok at about 2AM. I do not recall having traveled through the City at this time in the morning before. Not that I haven’t. I may have. It’s just that I do not remember. The bars were mostly closed but the “street vendor” bars were in full riot. Nana Plaza was eerily lightless, but the ladies and ladyboys of the night mingled with their patrons in a black seething mass that slopped out into the street.

I slept most of the next day. The few times I was awake the Little Masseuse would tell me stories. One was about an older man who lives in the country.

The Old Man’s Story:

Every day the old man spends the daylight hours rummaging through garbage cans for food and other necessities. He especially searches for bits of electrical wire. In the evenings, through well past midnight, he melts down the bits of  the wire he found that day, burning off any coating. Every month, he produces about a one-kilogram lump of copper that he sells for about $20. He uses this money to augment whatever he finds in his dumpster diving. In this way, he works hard every day and survives. In this way, he is reasonably content with this meager lifestyle. When asked about this he says: “I have no worries. People always throw away more than even I can ever use, so I get to choose only  the best.”

I try to swim every day at the pool in the Health Club located in the Ambassador Hotel on Soi 11. The health club now includes a Muay Thai training facility to go with the pool, gym, racquetball courts, yoga rooms, Karate lessons and Chinese fan dancing instruction.
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Some parrots in the Ambassador Hotel’s extensive aviaries.

After swimming, I usually have a massage at my friend Gary’s spa (The Silk Spa) on Sukhumvit Soi 13. If you are in Bangkok give it a try. Especially experience the new two-person sauna that Gary built himself. Gary is Canadian, plays in an Ice Hockey League in Thailand and is often followed around by a precocious four-year-old named GJ.
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On Wednesdays, the Little Masseuse and I go to Terminal 21 to see a movie (Wednesday tickets are only $3 each.) Each floor of Terminal 21 is dedicated to a different city. The photograph below is part of the San Francisco display.

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After a week in Bangkok, we took a van to Jomtien Beach to spend a few days by the seashore. The ride was longer than usual. We seemed to go a different way than we normally do. We passed an attractive small lake and through the town of Sri Racha, neither of which had I seen before.

The small hotel we usually stay at was full so we found an even less expensive one for $17 per night.
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In the evenings, we walked along the beach.
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We also ambled along the seashore in the early mornings.
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On our walks along the beach, we were often accompanied by a small pack of beach dwelling Soi Dogs.
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Soi Dogs are the indigenous feral dogs of Thailand. They rarely bark or growl and skitter away if you come too close to them. The King of Thailand claims they are the country’s native dog and seeks AKC recognition for them.

One morning we came across a group of ladyboys overacting on the beach and frolicking topless in the surf.
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The Good/Bad David joined us for lunch one day at a pretty good Mexican restaurant in the gay quarter of Jomtien Beach.
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David on the right and me with my hat and walking stick.

The gay quarter is located in a lovely complex just off the main road to the beach. While the gay community still lived in shadow and in Thailand was the object of ridicule, the complex deteriorated. But now, acceptance of their lifestyle has rejuvenated the area. At night, it is quite joyful, if a bit startling when as you walk by, the rent boys call out and comment on your physical endowments. (I assume this is not so surprising for most women, since the rent boys are like men everywhere, except that their entreaties are directed at a different sex)
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For about three hours over margaritas, we exchanged stories. David kept us enthralled with tales about his life as a safety expert in the jungles of Borneo and Nigeria and on the sands of Arabia in the employ of the plunderers of world’s billion-year solar energy reserve of hydrocarbons — stories about armed men and boats equipped with 50 cal machine guns — of sudden deadly explosions — of giant crocodiles and poisonous snakes — of days and nights living, under a sentence of death in a fortified encampment. When not engaged in derring-do, he lives in Thailand where he relaxes in his own special way. If there were a Nobel Prize for hedonism, David would be a repeat winner.

Along with his other stories, David related the recent travails of Tina, a friend of us both and of whom we are very fond.

Tina’s story:

Tina is a sex worker struggling to raise two children alone. Her daughter is now nine-years-old and her son twelve. In the past, she usually worked during the day, rushing home in the late afternoons to greet them when they returned from school and to spend the evenings with them whenever she could. She now has reached that age where her appeal as a sex worker has diminished. At first, she toiled as a manager of a cocktail lounge called Heaven, when that did not work out, she opened a small bar of her own that failed. Now she walks the streets of Pattaya, her son watching over his younger sister in their small apartment until she comes home.
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Tina in Heaven.

 

After leaving David we passed an interesting place that contained an artist’s studio and gallery, bar, night club, restaurant and foot massage facility all in one large room open to the street.
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We decided to enjoy a foot massage. The Masseur told us his story
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The Masseur’s Story:

It seems that a few years ago he found his dream job working as a Massage Therapist and rent boy at the Happy Massage Parlor across the street. He enjoyed working there and was popular with the customers. Alas, over the years he put on weight and soon the customers no longer sought his services. So, he now has been relegated to working the sidewalk foot massage station across the street. He is very distressed by his current situation. Nevertheless, he gives a great foot massage.

One evening, we went for dinner at an Italian Restaurant we like in the gay quarter. Da Nicola is owned by a father and son from a town (Licata) in Sicily quite near that of my mother’s town (Canicatti). The father considers the wines from Canicatti the best in Sicily. He should know, the house wine in the restaurant, although from Australia, is excellent even though served a little too chilled. The food there is as good Italian food and pizza as you will find in the Pattaya area.
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David laughing at something while the Little Masseuse ignores him and the restaurant owner photo-bombs in the background.

 
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The Owner of the Restaurant, LM with the pizza oven behind.

 

A few days after returning from Jomtien Beach, my favorite Thai holiday, Loi Krathong, the Festival of the Lights with which the Thais welcome in the new year, was celebrated. Tiny boats made of flowers and festooned with lit candles are set afloat on the nearby waterways.
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We went to a lake near my apartment where thousands had gathered, bought our Krathongs and found a place by the lake to launch them.
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We tried to light the candles but a strong wind suddenly struck making that impossible. The wind was quickly followed by a torrential downpour causing a panic among the thousands since most had not brought umbrellas. Everyone fled and tried to squeeze into the various inadequate public transportation options (No one in their right mind would try to drive in Bangkok to something like this). All in all, the Festival of the Lights came to a dismal end.
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A very wet Pookie.

A few days later, on Thanksgiving, I dined on a plate of pork fried rice garnished with cucumbers and onion shoots.

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To celebrate my free day, observe the ending of the world and visit Bill’s new venture the “Winchester Gun Club,” a “gentleman’s” club in Jomtien Beach, I decided to travel to Paradise by the Sea and spend a few days there. After a not too unpleasant two-hour bus ride, we arrived and tried to find a room at the little guest house that we usually stay in.

Alas, it was the time of the year for the mass migration of Russians from the frozen Steppes south on to the ragged edges of the Indian Ocean. The only similar migration of which I am familiar was the sweeping of the “alters” from the frigid streets of New York and the depositing of them like dice rolled in a street corner craps game upon the burning sands surrounding Biscayne Bay, there to remain until their internment in some recently reclaimed bit of the Everglades.

Even though the area in which the little guest house was located was downscale even by Russian standards (but not so for American expats on Social Security) there were no accommodations available in any of the 50 or so small hotels in the two block area. All that was left were a few tiny windowless rooms usually reserved for short time rentals. (For those of you unfamiliar with the term “short time,” try to think of what activity requires the rental of a hotel room for three hours or less.)

The streets, hotels restaurants, bars and massage parlors in this little neighborhood teemed with Russians; Slavs with their inverted banana ski-jump noses and the denizens of the Caucuses and the Steppes with their grand potato schnozzes.

Now some of you have commented on my obsession with probosci of all sort. That infatuation, however, is not engendered by a fondness for my Mediterranean ancestors spread along all sides of that remarkable inland sea who sport some of the most gargantuan and bizarre examples. You probably do not know this, but one of the first physical changes that separated us from our cousins the chimpanzees and bonobos was the movement of our nostrils from within the plane of our facial plate outward, to dangle in space at the end of a slightly flexible hunk of cartilage. So when you hear the phrase, “follow your nose,” it does not mean to follow the smell since that sense had diminished greatly from the capabilities exhibited by our simian relatives when we obtained our proboscis, but to follow the ascent of the various permutations of civilization these inquisitive appendages, for better of worse, have gotten us into.

We chose a room in the place I usually stay at. The street level floor is an open shop front with a counter. The proprietor sits behind the counter. She is almost always accompanied by her child who appears stricken with severe birth defects, rendering her immobile and deformed. When not dealing with customers, the woman spends her time rubbing down the child’s limbs, feeding her or speaking or humming something softly into her ear. The woman has a look of intensely deep sorrow. It is beyond anything I have ever seen in Thailand. Everyone else in the country seems to hide their feelings behind either the ever-present smile or a blank emotionless face that leaves one often wondering if anyone is at home. I do not know why I always chose to stay at this particular guest house, but I do.

As I said our room is windowless that means if there is a fire we die. Since the world was going to end in two days anyway, I was willing to take the risk.

The next morning we got up early and went out for our walk along the beach. When we got onto the sand we were greeted by the sight of hundreds’ of exposed boobs, both male and female glistening brightly like bleached bones in the morning sun, destined to glow a bright cherry red when the sun reached its zenith and turn a dark mottled brown like burnt toast when the sun sets that evening over the gulf of Thailand. On a pure tonnage basis, including my own, not insubstantial, addition, I reckon that the males have the females on that beach beaten by the proverbial country mile.

As long as I am discussing humanities difference from other simians, I should point out that at about the same time the protuberance made its appearance in the middle of our ancestors faces, perky little sprouts bloomed upon the chests of their pubescent females that contrasted greatly with the determinedly consistent flat chested aspect of our ape cousins. Another advance in the humanity’s march to dominate its environment. Another time, if asked, I will explain the role in the development of civilization of the disappearance of hair from most of our ancestor’s bodies and Sophie’s Choice that it presented to the human body louse. (Speaking of Lice, did you know that Napoleon’s army was not destroyed by the Russians but by typhoid bearing lice. It was a lousy way to go)

I took a long walk along the water’s edge. The water was as warm as freshly spilled blood. Now and then I would leave the sand and run across the road to look at the condo sale and rental ads in the windows of several of the real-estate agent’s shops that lined Beach Road. I still hoped to return to live there some day.

After the walk, we returned to the room to rest and escape the midday heat. While dozing I dreamily watched a television news program showing a security camera tape of a child, about two years old, playing near the rear wheel of an automobile. Suddenly the car backed up running over the child. It then moved forward running her over again. Shocked, I screamed, ran into the bathroom and started retching. I could hear the television reporters describing the scene as they played the tape over and over again. When I finished retching, I returned to the room and quickly shut off the TV, threw on some clothes, left the room and ran down the steps to get some air. LM ran after me, “Wait,” she said, “Good Luck. Baby lived.” I ignored her. Outside, I walked rapidly back and forth in front of the hotel wondering what kind of culture would show such a thing on television. At least there were no hoards of reporters seeking out the child’s pre-school classmates in order to get exclusive interviews on what they thought about the situation.

I no longer felt like visiting Bill’s new place and after a brief evening walk along the beach, I went to bed and slept badly. Thankfully, my dreams were not about run over little children or even those shot with assault rifles. Instead, the blackness of my dreams were filled with giant translucent jellyfish-like those that wash up on the beach here in great numbers. They resembled giant oozing glowing boobs that loomed up out of the darkness. They chased me along the beach. I tried to scream when they caught up to me but I couldn’t because they began to smother me, and then, of course, I woke up. Interestingly, I did not dream about noses. I probably do not fear them as much.

In the morning, another walk on the beach followed by a van ride back to Bangkok. For the first time in over a decade, I did not feel sad at leaving Paradise by the Beach. I guess that will pass, eventually.

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Women are more favored than men in indulging their passion for coition. it is in fact their speciality; and for them it is all pleasure; while men run many risks in abandoning themselves without reserve to the pleasures of love.”

The Perfumed Garden, Richard Burton, Trans.

 

 

INTRODUCTION

 

Throughout the history of the world, there have been shores on which the flotsam and jetsam of humanity have washed up. Some of these nomads and refugees arrive looking for adventure and fortune, others to escape either the authorities or penury, but most travel to these places for sex and to find release from the burdens of unrelieved competition,  stress, and failure that marked their lives wherever they came from.

Thailand in the last few decades of the Twentieth Century and the first decade of the Twenty-first is just such a place and Pattaya can be viewed as its ultimate example. Originally a sleepy fishing village, it evolved into the R and R location of choice for the American soldiers fighting and dying in the steaming jungles of Viet Nam. The Mid-west farm boys and ghetto youth of all races got their first taste of oriental hospitality and sex. They liked it and many stayed. Many of those that left could not forget and ultimately returned. Later, as the City grew into a justly famed center of worldliness, others, men mostly, came to retire or otherwise escape the apparent pointlessness of what they referred to as the “Rat Race” and the women (and in some cases men) who did not understand them or rejected them for others more pleasing in one way or another.

Almost every afternoon at about 3 PM a small group of these men would assemble at a comfortable bar in a building located on the border of Pattaya’ (hereinafter referred to as ‘The Outskirts of Hell’) and Jomtien Beach (hereafter ‘Paradise by the Beach’). They would gather for a few drinks, to swap stories and on occasion to enjoy the attention of the large number of young woman, independent contractors, who offered various consulting services to the generally quite older male clientele.

Now, our gang, the Geriatric Knights generally sat at an oval table in the back room of the bar. From this perch, they could observe the comings and goings around them as they and everyone else went about their business because indeed it is business that is the purpose of the establishment and everything that goes on there.

The name of the place is “The Kennel Club”. According to one of the Knights, it was so named because it is a place, “where old dogs come to die.” In addition to the large oval table, the back room contained a long bar, a few sofas and another large table in the corner. Also, there was a public hot tub located about three paces from the oval table for use of the ladies and their guests.

The Kennel Club had another large room bathed in red lights containing a smaller bar, some more sofas, and tables and a darkened corner referred to as “Blow Job Corner”. There also was another room which contained the inevitable pool table. In this room, the free Wednesday and Saturday BBQ’s are served. Off this last room were about 5 well-appointed smaller rooms containing a bed and a bathroom that could be rented out on a short time basis so that a gentleman and lady would have some privacy and quiet to discuss such things as the “Problem of Evil” and the “Big Bang” theory.

Now our gang consists of 5 middle-aged and older male refugees from the incipient ruin of the US. For purposes of confidentiality, they shall be called, Harvey, Density, Spy, Giufa, and Jerome or Horace as he preferred to be called.

Now in order to accurately picture these stories in one’s mind, I suggest that the reader imagine this as a big budget movie starring aging male celebrities and movie stars. Our Knights then could be played by Al Pacino, Keith Richards, Nick Nolte, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Willie Nelson. Feel free to replace any or all the characters with celebrities of your choice.

The owner of the bar, an American with a mysterious past, who goes by the name of Carmine, always sits at the end of the long bar. He will be performed by Robert DeNiro. His girlfriend and mamma-san of the Kennel Club can be played by the aging but ever lovely surgical wonder Cher. Her Thai name is Nat.

One of the more notable customers (not a member of the Geriatric Knights of the Oval Table) is a Seventy-two-year-old man with single long drop earring who attends the Kennel Club almost every afternoon. He is often referred to as “The Dancing Man”. You can imagine him as played by Gary Busey.

The Bar girls, although numbering between 25 and 30, for this initial tale we will be meeting only three. Playing Tai is Angelina Jolie. Natalie Portman plays another bar girl named  Daw. And the young Miley Cyrus, having just achieved her 18th birthday has been cast as Maliwan a bi-spectacled, clumsy strangely dressed young women trying to break into the business. All three are sitting at the oval table with the Knights when our story begins.

But first an explanation as to why western women movie stars have been chosen to play Thai woman and not Thai celebrities. The reason is not racism or at least the racism that one would expect. It is because no self-respecting Thai lady would expose herself to the humiliation of playing women like that in a movie such as this. However female Hollywood stars are used to humiliating roles and besides everyone knows that good female movie roles are hard to find these days.

Anyway, our tale begins with Spy (Willie) offering Angelina Jolie (Tai) 100 baht ($3) to remove her bra and panties and throw them in the middle of the oval table. After collecting the money she does so with aplomb and as an encore flashes her yoni and nipples to all at the table. Miley Cyrus (Maliwan) jumping up and down squeals to let her do it next.

When Spy hesitates, Cher (Nat) approaches him and says, “Go ahead, give the young girl a break”.

Spy responds, “I will do it only if you also will take off your bra and panties and throw them onto the table.”

Nat agrees but only if she is paid whatever the other girls are getting.

Spy pays and Cher whips off her bra and panties throws them on the table, flashes her yoni and returns to sit beside her boyfriend.

It is then Miley’s turn. Unfortunately, she has difficulty unhooking her bra and needs Angelina to help her and she then tears her panties when they get caught on her spiked heels as she hurriedly tries to remove them

Meanwhile, Natalie Portman (Daw) is busy giving Density (Arnold) a full body lap-dance.

Stay tuned to the next installment in which Harvey (Nolte) discusses conflicting economic theories with Tai (Angelina).

 

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