1. A Counter Offer
So it's 2:30 in the morning and I am too wired to sleep. So I leave the Nana Hotel, cross Soi 4, and end up around the corner on Sukhumvit. I'm just standing there. I got no plans. And then I hear it. The most wonderful sound in the world.
"Sa Wa Dee Ka?"
You know the sound. The sound of a Thai female saying hello. The sound that can't be duplicated anywhere else in the world. The sound that we travel thousands of miles to hear. I turn around and there are two Thai girls sitting on the steps. Everyone is smiling. I go over and sit between them and put my arms around them. It seems they have a problem. They spent all their money at the Angels Disco and now they don't have enough money for taxi fare to get home. "Well", I said: "I'm a rich American and I might have a solution to your problem!" (Yes, I really said that. It amused me to say it. So call the Feminist Police. I don't care!)
Anyway, I turned to the one on my left who I rather fancied and suggested that if we went up to my room and did Boom Boom for 500 Baht that they would have enough money to get home. They didn't even pause but instantly starting talking in Thai behind me. Then they came back with a counter offer. They didn't want to do that because the one that got left behind would get lonely. So their counter offer was that they would both come to my room, we would all take a shower together, and then they would both sit on the edge of the bed, and then they would both: ok, the details aren't important. I accepted their counter offer.
2. You Know The Look
Sometimes it is just too easy. I'm checking into the Parkway Hotel and just to the right of the lobby desk is a woman sitting at a little cocktail table. She is very attractive. She looks at me. I look back. She looks at me. You know the look. The look you don't necessarily deserve because you are not really that handsome, or that rich. The look you NEVER get in your own country. But often when you are checking into a hotel you have just gotten out of a cab, or off a plane, or staggered from an all night train; and you are just dead dog tired. Too tired, you tell yourself; for anything other than just checking in to the hotel. So when the check in procedures were completed I picked up my bag and key, gave her another look, and went to the elevator.
Ten minutes later there is a knock on my door. I open it. There she is. I'm tired. I'm so so tired. And in the part of town that I am in the women are like fleas, like locusts. I don't have to follow up on this. There will be another.
OOPS! Too much time thinking. Now she is in the room. I close the door. I'm still not sure where this is going. I'm so tired. So I decide to accelerate the process to see what we got. I stand in front of her and strip naked. She knew what to do!
3. They Were Stunned
Some of the bars at the Nana Entertainment Plaza are great and some of the bars at the NEP are really terrible. In almost all cases the terrible bars are pokey little rooms run by owners with an ignorance level that beggars comprehension. These owners and managers don't seem to understand that it would benefit their business to hire attractive woman. Fatties, porkers, elephants, the clumsy and unsmiling, stretch marks, shabby outfits, etc. If that is what you are looking for then go to these bars. Anyway, I went in to one of these places once and the hostess was really nice to me, and whispered nice things in my ear. She was 42, had two grown kids, and her body was that of a 42 year old woman who had two grown kids. Up on stage were half naked unsmiling girls. Later, after cruising all the other bars in the NEP, I went back.
The hostess smiled at me and whispered nice things in my ear. I barfined her. The expression on the faces of the dancing girls on stage was one of incredulity. They were stunned. But they still were not smiling at me. I took Na back to the Parkway hotel and we spent the night together. We slept together as if we had known each other for years. It was wonderful. I made the right choice.
4. The Thai's Perspective
Sometimes a different experience can cause you to alter an opinion somewhat. Let me give you an example: Buddhism has taken a little foothold in England. There are English people who have embraced the tenants of Buddhism and made it a central core of their life. They do not always get 100% acceptance from Thais, both lay and religious. I used to think that this was not only mean spirited and unfair, and contrary to the teachings of Buddha; but also just completely unjustifiable and beyond understanding on every level.
Then one day I was at the Wat Doi Suthep complex outside of Chiang Mai. My girlfriend and I were there getting interviewed by the monks, and having strings tied around our wrists, and walking around and around, etc. And on this particular day there were a lot of English lay Buddhists there. I guess they were making a pilgrimage or something. They were all wearing sarongs, and sandals, and fabric around their shoulders. And they were all huge. It seemed like they were all 6 footers. They looked huge, and clumsy, and big boned, and out of place. Suddenly I could see them a little bit from the Thai's prospective.
5. Visually Stunned
Nothing is easier than dumping on the Thai taxis and the Thai taxi drivers. There isn't an easier target. Depending on your luck on any particular day you can be paired with the criminal, the retarded, the indifferent, the brainless, and of course the ever popular incompetent. But I did have an interesting experience once.
I flag down a taxi on Soi 4. I want to go to the Royal Palace. It is going to be a long trip. I slide into the taxi and I am visually stunned by the interior. The driver has glued or pinned to every interior surface paper money and coins from his customers. There are examples of paper currency and of coins on the dash, the roof, the back of the seat, and the door sides. It is fantastic. And he is interesting. He likes his job, and he likes his life, and he likes his taxi. He speaks multiple languages, and he can converse like a modern person. He knows how to get where I want to go, and he doesn't try to cheat me. I like him and I like the experience. He gets a tip.
6. I Have Guarantee
I am finishing up with Lek. She is getting dressed and doing makeup. It is that awkward time after the deed and the money has been paid. She is doing something vaguely businesslike with her phone. And I say,
"You are very professional."
It was just one of those inconsequential stupid things you say to fill the awkward dead air social space. She lights up like a candle. Big Smile. And then she says,
"I business woman. I have guarantee."
"Really," I hear myself say, "What is the guarantee?"
"One shower, one Boom Boom, one orgasm, one hour. Guarantee."
I now have her Email address. I look her up every time I go.
7. It's Play
It's so easy to be politically correct and it is so easy to be wrong. I am in a village on the Burma border. The village is full of Burmese refugees that the Thai government doesn't recognize and won't help. And now the Burmese government won't take them back either. They can't leave the jungle. They can't even go into town. This has been going on now for a long long time. Nations should be embarrassed. Burma and Thailand aren't embarrassed. These people are totally isolated and totally primitive.
So the isolation of these people is complete. It's like witnessing life 1000 years ago. I feel a little uneasy. It is so primitive and divorced from the modern world that it is spooky. Elephants have been brought in. We are going on an elephant tour through the jungle. There are mother elephants and baby elephants. And the children of the village are throwing baseball sized rocks at the baby elephants. And pulling on the baby elephants' ears. And trying to push the baby elephants over logs, etc.
"Oh, this doesn't look good. This looks wrong. This looks mean and cruel. This looks so politically incorrect. God, what stupid people."
But this is my first exposure to elephants. And I notice after a while that these baseball sized rocks are bouncing off the baby elephants like ping pong balls bouncing off cars. And the elephants aren't running away. It's play. Understood by everybody. And the tour guide points out to me that the mother elephant is watching. If there is a problem, she'll solve it. I decide to just get in my elephant basket and shut up!
8. A Paper Bag
I'm staying at a hotel on a lake. The construction of the little guest houses is something that I have never seen before. All the walls and all the floors are round rocks set in concrete and then sealed with a clear sealant of some kind. It looks great, and it is cool, and it is obviously maintenance free, and it is attractive. But there is absolutely no place to hide money.
Believe me; on the subject of hiding money in hotel rooms, I'm an expert. Gifted. And there is no way to hide money. I'm leaving the hotel for the day and I need a place to sequester my valuables.
"No problem," says the hotel manager lady, "you bring things tomorrow morning. I take care."
So the next morning I go to the front desk with my travelers checks, and all my credit cards, and my important documents, and my passport, airline tickets, cash, etc. There is a big crowd of people around the front desk but that does not bother me because I assume that the hotel manager lady and I will go to her office; and in private I will witness her put my valuables in a hotel safe.
She shoves everything in a paper bag and throws it under the counter.
© Dana. All rights reserved by the author.