On the side street where the AA meetings are held is a new bar. Four nubiles from Korat, brokered by semi-pro Oy. At first they are frightened. Within a week they are exalted by the whirling bar puteria, and have learned the nightbirds' familiar jungle siren songs:
--Hello, come inside!
--Hello, handsome man!
It is the South East Asian peasant girls' equivalent of going away to college. The freedom from small town restraints, from dire drag of rice farmer poverty, from hick Buddhist chastity…captivating! And now they bring a fresh verve to the harsh whoredoms of this city of liberty. They begin to venture out from the sanctuary of the bar, in a bunch at first and then in twos and then solo, quick giddy forays to the shops, sudden confidence in purchase of clothes and toys: a blue
denim miniskirt emblazoned with red letters KISS and a big heart valentine, ceramic kittens. Myriad sweetmeats of night town samsara. There is money now, and a happy awareness that sex with white
men isn't the dreaded ordeal they had pictured.
Greg is the first to swive the two prettiest. He is a young cocksman who speaks the Lao dialect of their village. He rationalizes deflowering the maidens by pointing out that if it were not him, it could easily be "a drunken 16-stone swine of a bastard". The horror!
Oy Oy Oy
Infatuated with those mellow, cunning eyes, I find Oy one of the best in the city. I'd met her at Bird Bar Beer. Went back to consummate my folly and she'd gone.
--She got man, said the bartender, another retired harlot.
Well, OK, then. But a week later I'd seen her again there at Bird and she'd been partying, a birthday fiesta which I'd shamelessly crashed so I could watch Oy dance on the tiny go-go stage. The normal snaky Thai-writhe erotic dance, a pelvic undulation with little variation from babe to babe.
When I finally asked her to go with me Oy said no, to my angst, but gave me a card with the address of a new bar on Soi Skaw Beach. I scoped the place and found Oy working as a mama-san, manager and bartender in this tiny bordello. The teen poon was her idea; the girls were friends of hers from the village in Korat where there seems to have been a large Cambodian exodus.
I asked Oy to show me the short-time room. When we got upstairs I tried to embrace her but she merely smiled, gave my crank a firm tug and then begged off, saying she had to work the bar and
supervise the defloration of the new girls on the block. Sad but horny I told her, --I love you, you no love me.
Favorite guilt-trip line of Viet bargirls in Phnom Penh, but she just smiled that enigmatic Bayon Buddha smile and sent up a skinny wild older trollop to slake my cranky need.
I strongly suspect Oy is the girlfriend of the Belgian biker-type who finances this operation, but I am shy to ask her,
--You fuck Belgian man?
Not that she'd tell the truth anyway. Not that it matters.
So far I've given Oy a string of pearls mixed with garnet and a couple of Guatemalan schmattas. How the Thai love the rich bright colors of the Mayans.
--Chao khao Amelikaa, I say, when they ask where the textiles come from. Hill tribe in America, true enough.
All this has to do with my move to the edge of town, a beach strand out and away from the heat and dirt of Pattaya. Nobody gives a damn in this ugly sprawl. Promiscuous double-parking, flouting of all traffic rules. Blowjob bars paying off the coppers in bagsful of Jack Daniels. Raw sewage spewed into the Gulf of Siam.
Better to live on the edge of the hot chaos, keep the sweet madness at arm's length, a mere ten minutes' motorcycle ride away. Palms sway in the sunset etcetera. In the dusk, yester-eve I walked in the sand. A party of Siamese smiled, asked if I want dink wees-ky, want eat. Overwhelmed, I said thank you, no, and a few meters later broke into tears.
I go to Phnom Penh for a month, I return, look for Oy and the bar of the innocents, but it has gone, and in its place is another beer bar pretty obviously run by the cops: uniformed drinkers, Thai clientele. Was the place raided in my absence? Is Oy languishing in Naklua gaol?
No. There would have been a tear-jerk front page extravaganza in the local English rag, another Sex Slaves Rescued, Chinese Owner Held story, ho hum.
Guess I'll never know. Doesn't seem to matter so much, after Phnom Penh, I mean.
© ganesh. All rights reserved by the author.
Ganesh was the fictional name of a man who wrote wonderful moody stories of his times in Southeast Asia. It was rumored he was a professional writer on assignment to Asia. He is said to have died a few years ago.