Welcome to my website. Unlike the universe, this website has a purpose: to offer rants, tirades, opinions and discussion about books on Thailand, give an overview of nightlife in Thailand and, yes, to provide a few news items which might not appear elsewhere. And to have some fun.
Bar, club and restaurant owners who would like to send material on their special events, birthday bashes, anniversary parties, etc., are welcome to do so but please remember men in Thailand are a bit jaded so if you’re just going to offer the usual free gourmet food and free full band entertainment and free beautiful and eager-to-please women, well, the lads have been there, done that. So do try to offer potential patrons something special. ;-)
There is a contest every two weeks when this column appears and the first to answer the question correctly or identify a photograph correctly will receive vouchers worth at least 3,500 baht in food and drink, i.e., 500 baht each, from Larry's Dive, The Londoner, The Old Dutch, Electric Blue, The Big Mango, PJ's Steak & Rib Grill, and Bourbon Street Cafe. The prizes will build up in case anyone doesn't win it immediately so the bonanza for the eventual winner could get quite interesting. It will double to 7,000 and, if still no winner, to 10,500, etc. Second prize is one of my books. And please remember a part of all money received from the sale of my books goes to needy Thais (in the form of payment to go go dancers, waitresses and hostesses).
Meanwhile, back at the farm (with Dave, Fon, and Fon's family in Burriram). OK, come on, admit it, you've always wondered how green tea in Thailand is made. Well, wonder no more, here is the straight dope: The tea leaves are picked, stacked, cut, steamed, washed, pressed, dried in pans, then dried in ovens, then packed in bags or according to the wishes of customers. The ovens are necessary or the leaves would crumble to dust in the pans. Some folks actually bring over their own tea leaves to have them processed. Sometimes the bai tuey leaf (pandamus) is placed with the tea leaves in the pan heating process for flavor then discarded before the tea leaves are placed in the oven.
Absolutely nothing on a farm is wasted. The stems of the leaves that are first cut off before the process begins are fed to the water buffalo and cows as a special treat. The water buffalo are then led to the remnants of the cut-off tea plants and allowed to eat them. Twice a month Dave's father-in-law is up all night driving to Bangkok with a pickup truck full of tea bags for sale. Dave's farm has been named best farm in the amphur and visitors and students often show up to be shown around. Fon's parents took me to the airport and on the way stopped to buy me expensive silk for a shirt. Considering profit margins up there in Burriram it was very expensive gift and I'm grateful. But I don't know how to make a shirt from silk. So I guess now I have to find a Thai woman to marry who can make a shirt?
One of the things I learned on the farm is that transparent bags affixed to stakes on rice fields means that even though the rice has been cut and bagged, the farmer still has plans for the field. If there are no bags, people like Dave can take his buffalo over and they can graze. But if the bags are there, it’s off limits. The picture at left shows both the old water jar and the new. In between is the rice storage shed, one of two. In one, the rice is loose; in the other it is bagged.
The setting is simple and beautiful but there is often psychology involved as well. A woman whose cow was hit by a train gave meat to the family. The grandfather in turn knew how much rice to give in return when harvest time came. And while they get along fine, Dave speaks very little Thai. So Fon has to interpret for him and her family and there are times when cultural values or ideas on how to do things differ. At such times Fon is caught in the middle. One example was when a farmer wanted to use Dave’s kwai as a stud. Dave charged 300 baht and when he didn’t get it, Fon’s dad said, well, he will only pay if it works. But when Dave wanted to use someone’s else’s stud, it was 300 baht, pay whether or not it worked. The father explained how one was a distant family member and it couldn’t always be the same. Dave saw it otherwise. But in general the family and Dave and Fon work in wonderful harmony.
I also learned dirt can be expensive. It cost Dave 60,000 baht to raise six rai high enough to be impervious to flooding. Dave also likes the finer touches and placed hanging plants around his barn which needless to say the Thais thought ridiculous. He does admit there are plenty of mosquitoes around during the rainy season. Some barns protect their water buffalo with fish nets around the barns or by starting fires outside the barn. Dave now has an electric bug zapper protecting them.
When you stay on a Thai farm, even for a few days, one of the feelings you take away with you is that farmers work their asses off. They do it for very little money. They are often on the precarious edge financially. And they usually get screwed by fat-cat politicians. That they deserve a better deal is obvious. And full credit to Dave for making the switch from scuba diving teacher to farmer and sticking with it. And making it work!
Burriram, November: Family farm of Dave and Fon: Dave with Fon's 97-year-old great grandmother.
On the evening of the 9th the boys in brown appeared at Nana Plaza prompting fears of a bomb threat but they stayed only briefly and apparently were looking for underage girls. I wrote to a friend about the police and their search for underage girls and he sent an SMS back saying "Me too."
Question: Do rich Thai people have nothing better to do in life than go shopping? Every time Taksin is shown wandering around Asia he and his plump wife are shown in a shopping center. Even horrible president Jimmy Carter went on to help build houses for the poor and other American presidents donate money to causes, etc. Which is worse? Americans and their self-absorbed babbling about "relationships" or Thais and their need to go shopping. I suppose the worst thing that happened during the recent bombings in Bangkok is that shopping centers closed their doors early on New Year's Eve. No wonder the Thais are pissed off.
And while I'm in a complaining mood what about that big, fat, stupid blue pipe that now juts well above the sidewalk for several blocks along Sukhumvit Road? Is it a water pipe? Whatever it is, why wasn't it sunk below ground level? The sidewalks along there were obstacle courses before, now it is almost impossible. Try walking from soi 33 up to soi 39 without nearly tripping over the pipe or over part of the broken up sidewalk. And of course the flower sellers in from of the Villa Market take up most of the space along there anyway. Did I mention that Villa Market used to be an American NCO Club in the old days? Did I mention that two or three of the checkout girls in Villa Market are so impossibly cute they make me forget my age? And, no, the rumor that I got tossed out of Villa Market for flirting with them is not true. That rumor was probably planted by undercurrents created by dark influences of pro-Taksin pond scum.
When I was living in Manhattan there was a guy who actually made some money jogging for other people. His deal was that he would jog for them so they wouldn’t have to. I kid you not. So, with that concept in mind, I have decided to start humping for other people. The deal is that many readers don’t live in Thailand but wish they could be here now doing the nasty with luscious Thai women. Well, until you can come yourself, I will do the nasty for you with luscious Thai women AND I will do it as you would prefer (within limits) AND I will give you a report on how it went. All you have to do for this service is to send me money. It’s the least I can do for overseas readers of this column.
I was discussing a subject with Michael, a Canadian friend (as I lived in Manhattan for 12 years I find it a bit strange to have friends who don't carry guns but I try not to look down on Canadians just because of that). The subject, of course, was Thai women. We were discussing their many wonderful qualities and at one point he said what he loves about them is their "life-affirming quality." I think that was very well said, they are indeed "life-affirming." Too bad Samuel Beckett never spent time in Thailand. Or maybe it is a good thing. If he had he might not have written so great but so depressing plays; he would have been too busy getting laid. Waiting for Godot might have been Waiting for Lek.
As I mentioned last time, being in a go go bar in Bangkok with wild women, fast music, crazy dancing, potent drinks, etc., all the while knowing bombs were going off somewhere outside, was a very surrealistic experience. There was a great deal of fun in many of the bars but choices for Best New Year Bar must be made. So I would like to say two bars were outstanding. The runner-up to most-fun-bar on New Year's Eve would be Suzie Wong on Soi Cowboy with its elaborately dressed employees and spirited women. However, without question, the winner of the most-fun-bar on New Year's Eve is Dollhouse also on Soi Cowboy. In his wisdom, Darryl every year brings in an enormous amount of tiny Styrofoam balls so that one must wade and swim across the floor, one hand on a glass and one hand on a lovely, skimpily clad lady. I don't know what it costs him but I have heard it costs 20,000 baht just to get rid of the Styrofoam balls afterward. And, as I mentioned, in a desperate attempt to prevent the women from barfining themselves and taking off for the holidays, barfines were set at an amazing 4,000 baht! Yet it looked as if some were still being barfined, anyway. It was a real blast and kudos to those at Dollhouse who put on such an unusual party. Some of the girls and guests dove under the Styrofoam and stayed under for so long there were times I was worried but they eventually emerged with big smiles. In years past, searches had to be made for lost cellphones, watches, etc., but I didn't hear of any such losses this year. The prize, by the way, for winning the most-fun-bar on New Year's Eve is the opportunity to serve Dean Barrett unlimited free drinks. As you can see in the picture at upper right, inside the Londoner Pub on New Year's Eve, Al Eberhardt grabbed hold of Lak and Nang. The Beefeater girls had shucked their Beefeater costumes for something a bit sexier. Love that off-the-shoulder stuff! And at lower right there is a picture of folks inside the Silver Dollar bar at Washington Square. The parties there were also quite wild. These pictures were taken with a throwaway camera and came out much better than I expected.
by Pattaya Polecat
Whoever said tourist arrivals were down? Over Christmas and the New Year Pattaya’s top hotels quoted full occupancy, and the go-go bars were bursting at the seams with grinning holidaymakers literally chucking green and red notes at dancers, or trying to insert them in their not-so-secret places. Smug fat men sat surrounded by delicately clad sylphs sipping their umpteenth ladydrink of the night, then leapt onstage to show off their own pole-dancing skills, while cocky 40-something professionals, doubtless on seaside-release from the mia luang in Bangkok or up-country, conversed in fluent Thai with top-of-the-range showgirls. Young men looking distressingly like footballing stars and boy-band escapees roared through the town on a tsunami of testosterone, and ATMs everywhere were glowing red-hot.
Partying round the clock is de rigueur, and this is when the dance-clubs come into their own. Now to those of us reared on 60s/70s basement discotheques, 80s pogo-a-thons or 90s mosh-pits and e-fuelled raves, Thai clubs can seem a teensy bit precious. The dance-floor is studded with tables with high stools, where you sit and get extremely attentive service while watching a live band or dance act. Every now and then the DJ spins some chart-toppers and you stand up and wiggle politely on the spot. It’s like the purpose is genteel entertainment, to see and be seen, not let it all hang out. Nevertheless, maybe because of the farang contribution, the Pattaya clubs can work up a good sweat when the place gets crowded and the groove stays relentless. Drinks prices, at 160-220 baht, are high – but since you don’t have to pay to go in, and many staff salaries, including those of professional entertainers, have to be paid, they don’t seem unreasonable. If there’s more than two of you, you might prefer to buy a bottle of whisky for around 1000 baht, mixers and ice about the same again. Clubs generally stay open till 3am, till 4 on Walking Street.
The tone is set immediately you enter TONY’S (Walking Street), recently refurbished in the supercool white plastic fashion of What’s Up and Heaven Above agogos: the entrance foyer is flanked by a Mercedes sports car on the left and a Porsche on the right. Then comes a wide white-tented atrium, with pool tables and double-bed recliners, and beyond that the entertainment area, also ceilinged with white pleated drapes. A very professional live band belts out hip-hop (an idiom that may not be immediately appealing to those of us carrying our pension pass-books), and coyote dancers ripple to the DJ’s selection. LUCIFER higher up the street offers similar fare, while MARINE, next to Peppermint agogo, has a wide open dance-floor and doesn’t really get hot till after the gogos close. And INSOMNIA (a small upstairs dance-floor opposite Coyotee agogo in Marine Plaza), fittingly, keeps pumping vibes till 6am.
All these clubs on the main tourist drag are happy hunting grounds for ladies who feel uncomfortable holding down a regular job. In fact, some of Pattaya’s most beautiful women, the real traffic-stoppers, surface late in the day, lounge in a Thai bar all evening playing cards, then taxi down to Marine at 3am to snare a trick, collect maybe a few thousand baht, then back to bed. Why pound the poles for hours when your smile can bag a ‘hansum man’ at twenty paces?
But do take care in these dark, unregulated places, dear reader. Some beautiful women are indeed beautiful; but not altogether women.
Away from Walking Street the clubs are bigger and/or swankier, and cater to a wider clientele: young Thais out for an evening’s fun, or couples from Germany, Korea, Azerbaijan, as well as farangs with their holiday squeeze. One of the best is STAR DICE on Naklua Road, with dazzlingly pretty dancers going through a range of luxury costume changes, and a hot live band. The vast X-ZYTE on Third Road, its interior a cross between a 1930s cinema and the starship in Close Encounters, also has lavish dance-and-sing shows, and roving video-cameras capture stills of merry punters on big screens. It’s unusual in that it asks a 200 baht entry fee from farangs, which buys your first drink; but you can get a bottle of 100 Pipers whisky for 580 baht, or Chivas Regal, which the club appears to have a tie-in with, for 950 baht. A chummy and eardrum-busting alternative is HOLLYWOOD on South Pattaya Road, popular with the gay community.
The new kid on the block is SLIM, part of a huge development between Sois 5 and 6 which is still unfinished, so the club is presently a neon gem in the middle of a concrete desert. It has two modest spaces: DJ Club, a dance area with moveable tables and a band which starts at 11pm; and Fashion Club, a kind of upmarket agogo with 6-8 beautifully dressed coyote dancers and pricier drinks than the dance-space – 250 baht for a bottle of anything. Despite heavy advertising it is still waiting to be discovered by its target clientele, which I suspect may be well-heeled Thais, or possibly the Korean market that has a few nite-spots in this part of town.
After a hiccup at the beginning of the month, the brand-new Pattaya branch of The Eden Club has renamed itself THE HELL CLUB (Soi LK Metro), but is exactly the same operation, open from 1pm to midnight. It has an appealing-looking staff trained to the usual high standards, and is doing so well that much of the time all the staff are taken. Not to worry, reinforcements are promised later in the month. For more information see http://www.thehellclub.com/ The place to go before moving on to Lucifer, no doubt – or Heaven Above.
Early sixties hit singles rule at CLUB OASIS, the new agogo on Soi Buakhao, going from strength to strength. The dancers are just amazing. Forget the girls themselves, possibly their mothers weren’t born when the songs topped the charts, but just see them excitedly adapt their rhythm to Glad All Over, Great Balls of Fire, and especially Let’s Twist Again, which, watching them dance it, you just know Chubby Checker borrowed from north-eastern mor lam. See them muddle the mimes for YMCA. Sanuk at its best. Opens 7pm, closes 2am.
A new go-go bar has opened at the north end of Walking Street called PINKY GIRL. It’s a sad little affair: one sexy dancer and 4 makeweights; a nervous, big-breasted girl in a clunky glass-brick bath; 3 pretty service girls leering for drinks, which (except soft drinks) are over 100 baht – there’s no draught beer or happy hour. They might just break even with curious passing tourists; but, talking of golden oldies, their most honest course would be to change the dreadful name to the title of Dionne Warwick’s greatest hit.
I’m petitioning the authorities who oversee these important matters to promote BETTY BOUP in Soi 6 from “Short-time bar” to “Go-go bar, Class II”. The youthful staff have been kitted out with 3 skimpy sugar-and-spice uniforms (varied day-by-day) to go with their high-heel calfskin boots, and have been organized into a dance rota starting at 3pm. No longer the typical Soi 6 bar, it now offers a warm welcome to connoisseurs of the art of agogo. It helps that many of the girls, especially in the evening, are seriously cute; and that clearly, from the reception I get, I’m every girl’s dream come true. Rooms available, usual Soi 6 rates, open till 2am.
NEXT MONTH: In the next mailing, appropriately for the month of Aquarius, the Pattaya Polecat will take A Walk on the Wild Side.
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Bangkok After Dark – by Andrew Harris. A paperback book on Thailand’s incredible nightlife scene published by MacFadden-Bartell (haven’t heard of them lately) in 1968. I knew the author well (no, it wasn’t me) but there is no reason to reveal his real name. In fact, he was the one who introduced me to Jack Reynolds (A Woman of Bangkok). Anyway, Andrew Harris was quite a good writer and also wrote a novel set in Thailand under his real name. And thumbing through this book brings back lots of memories. The boom had started and that led to what one might call the boom boom. Just the table of contents alone tells something about those days:
Why I Stayed in Bangkok
The Life of a Bar Girl
Something More than A Massage
Harems and Minor Wives
The World’s Newest Night Life Center
Men who Dress like Women
Women who dress like Men
The Pattaya Beach Boys
The short-time scene
The many ways of sex
An Invitation to an Orgy
Sex and the Law
I especially like the chapter about the world’s newest nightlife center which, of course, in those days was New Petchburi Road. Those of us stationed in Bangkok or living here generally headed for Patpong Road or Gaysorn (which was a road in those days). But New Petchburi Road in the 60’s, not much but ricefields before, was the place with the glitzy facades and palatial nightlife establishments catering especially to GIs on R&R from Vietnam.
“We hit New Petchburi and soon the clusters of bars, massage parlors and night clubs began. Although every major night life district in Bangkok had expanded enormously in the past few years, all had existed on some scale before the current business boom began. On New Petchburi, since there had been no road before, there had been nothing, only rice fields with peasants and water buffalo. The builders of New Petchburi had not been crowded for space. They had been able to let their imaginations run wild. The facades of the nighttime on New Petchburi were like the facades in Miami Beach or Las Vegas. From the outside, a single massage parlor could look as imaginative as a highly modern Hilton Hotel. The façade of a bar could be as grandiose as the biggest nightclub in New York. You always have a sense of unreality on New Petchburi. It is the Disneyland of the night world.”
Of course, that scene on Petchburi Road is no more and the description now, to quite an extent, fits that of Rachadaphiset Road with its huge massage parlors and model floors, etc. The book concludes:
“Sex is so prevalent in the city that there are times when it seems overwhelming to even the most accomplished roué. I used to sit at an outdoor bar in Thonburi and look across the river at the lights of Bangkok, and sometimes my mind would start to reel at what I knew was going on: the hundreds and hundreds of girls in revealing dresses dancing to bands; the scenes at the Sex Club and other orgy sites and at homosexual and lesbian gatherings; the scrubbings and caresses performed in the massage parlors; the flirtations and sly maneuverings in the bars and night clubs and girlie restaurants; the thousands of creaking beds in the brothels and short-time hotels and motels...There may be more bar girls in Tokyo, though not in proportion. And there may be more hardened professionals on Taiwan, though never on a comparable scale in a single place. The whole world is a potential scene for nighttime adventures. But shortly after my arrival in Bangkok, I knew that there was something unique there, and that no one who has lingered in the city can ever be quite the same.”
Yep, he got that right. An interesting and well written book on Thailand in the 60’s.
Strange Items Sent to me Dept: "Dr. Calvin Rickson, a Professor of Sports Medicine at Texas A&M University has invented a bra that keeps women's breasts from jiggling and bouncing, and prevents the nipples from pushing through the fabric when cold weather sets in. At a news conference, after announcing the invention, a large group of men took Dr. Rickson outside and kicked the shit out of him."
Apparently, the once renowned and popular Darling Massage Parlor has reached rock bottom. At least according to a friend's report. He called and asked where might be a good place to take his out-of-town friend for a massage and because some that I suggested were a bit far out he took him to the more conveniently located Darling, Sukhumvit, soi 12. To be fair, it was afternoon, and they hadn't been open long. But there were not many girls available and while my friend was looking the mama-san-from-hell came over and said, "You want a girl or not!" And when she left the room my friend said loudly "What a bitch!" and got the impression the male employees liked what he said. But when he asked one when more girls were coming, an employee abruptly said that was all there were. So, needless to say, they left without giving the establishment any business. Somewhere I must still have one of their miniature bathtubs with the slogan "Feeling is Darling" and in the old days it certainly was. Alas, it seems those days are long gone.
Pictures of bombing victims such as this taken by AP must be giving the Thai Tourist Association nightmares. At least the rumor that someone lost a leg was only that - a rumor. And as of this writing no more bombs have been found. But of course neither have the culprits.
Genesis According to Lek
OK. Here, there, topside, bottomside, no hab nothing. No can see nothing. Can say no hab here; can say no hab there. Dark too much. But hab Topside Man. Topside Man Him have power. Can do what him like. Maybe him pay off police. When Him say light can hab, light hab. Him looksee light say, OK! Him happy.
Him say light go there; dark go there; say light day, dark night. So then one, two, three day can hab. Him know how many. And Him say OK now hab water too much. And Him say OK now hab land too much, and hab heaven and land but not same same, and land no hab water. Him like. Him happy. OK.
Him say rice, mango, nam pla, somtam, tom yam kung, can hab. Then hab. Him say OK. Him like. Him make hot season. Him make rainy season. Him make big light for upstair and litten light for downstair and make star too much. Him look, him happy, say OK!
Him say OK now can hab something in water and something can fly over land and him looksee, say OK! Him happy. Him make elephant and water buffalo and cow and chicken and pig and duck and gecko too much. Him say OK now all can boom boom so can make more same same. And more day hab go by.
Then Him say now make puyai in charge look same same Him. He be number one. So Him make puyai from dust. Him say name him Sombat. Then Him make specien garden in Nana and Him say OK you man go garden hab breadfruit, durian, rambutan, mangosteen, appen so many fruit. Can eat. But Him say one tree specien, you no can eat. If eat, you know too much. You be sorry too much. Sombat him think maybe Topside Man dlink too much but him say OK.
But Topside Man Him see Sombat lonely so Him say Him make somebody keep company for him. Him Make Sombat go sleep and kamoey rib Sombat and make woman for Sombat so Sombat can hab sanuk. When Sombat him wake up, Topside Man say OK you hab her longtime. Sombat looksee woman, Sombat him happy, no care lose one rib, two rib, twenty rib, no care.
Woman she happy, her name Noy. Both no hab nothing can wear. Sombat him say to Topside Man, OK, nothing can wear maibenlai, krab, but Noy she begin think about go shopping.
Nana hab one Burmese python, him wicked but plenty smart. Him say to Noy, Why no can eat specien tree? Noy say Topside Man say they die. Serpent say no way. Topside Man Him know if you eat you know too much, same same Him. So he no like; he want be number one. Noy no listen. But serpent, him say, You eat, you say must hab clothes, so you can go shopping.
Noy she like tree, like looksee, like eat, like go shopping, so she eat fruit Topside Man say no can eat and she tell Sombat eat too. Him eat. But then they think no hab clothes specien too much, not like before; Sombat looksee Noy him get big and boom boom Noy. Him happy! Noy happy too - now can go shopping. At first they find frond too much from banana tree and make clothes can wear. But they can hear Topside Man him coming so they hide in bamboo grove.
Topside Man say where everybody go? Sombat say, I no hab something to wear so I make banana leaf to wear and hide myself in bamboo grove. Topside Man him moho too much! Him say who say you no hab clothes? I tell you no can eat specien tree but you no listen! Sombat say not his fault, Noy she give him fruit and Noy say serpent he put her under magic spell, not her fault.
So Topside Man tell serpent because you no listen you allatime got to crawl on ground. Him tell Noy you no listen so Him say from now on when she hab child she hab jeb too much. Nobody tell Noy what mean child so she think maibenlai; but when Topside Man say from now on she must do what Sombat say then Noy pissed off.
And him say to Sombat, You number ten! You listen Noy not me, eat fruit, so now you hab work hard and you someday hab got die. Sombat think nobody tell him what is work, what is die, so him think maibenlai.
Then Topside Man make coats of animal skins for Sombat and Noy, and Noy she very happy. But Topside Man kick their ass out from Nana and they hab plant rice and till ground with water buffalo.
But Noy she still happy too much, she get more clothes later. Sombat him very happy, him get Noy longtime. And they live happily ever after.
Happy Londoner Pub girls
Do you remember Gogi Grant singing The Wayward Wind? Or the Champs playing Tequila or Roy Orbison singing Running Scared? Well, whether you do or not, if you love music, this site is for you. Pick the year and enjoy all the hits. You can let it play through the entire list of that year or highlighting a particular song will play it instantly. Give it a try:
Here is the lucky Leigh who is not shy about spending time around Nana Plaza sitting with a gorgeous creature at Lucky Luke's. Doesn't he look happy? And why not? He could be shoveling snow in Colorado or somewhere. Someday I'd like to do a book on the many ways in which happy men discovered Thailand, such as, a friend, internet, military or diplomatic posting, guidebook, totally by chance, etc. Business has been quite good for many of the Nana Plaza bars. Closing time falls between 2 and 2:15 a.m. The Big Mango had the busiest night ever on New Year's Eve and Nana was open until about 6 a.m. on the unforgettable evening. The Plaza is packed with high season customers filling lots of bars even on Sundays and Mondays. Needless to say, the Rainbows and Angelwitch are doing great business. On soi 4, Golden Bar is packing them in as usual and Morning Night is busy but a bit less so. In fact on one night recently it was closed with the shutter down and I thought the boys in brown might have done it but in fact it was just closed so the girls could see the show at the nearby Hillary II bar (I assume the owners are the same). Morning Night has a katoey greeter outside which is a bit weird in my opinion.
French maid party at the Office Bar, soi 33, on the 16th of January. If you like women in French maid outfits, don't miss it!
There will be a book signing for The Risk of Infidelity Index, the 9th novel in the Vincent Calvino series, at the Lonestaar Bar, Washington Square, on Saturday, 20th January, 2007. There is free food. The signing starts at 2.30 p.m. Come meet the author, Christopher Moore, have a few drinks, buy a few drinks for the ladies, buy a book, get drunk, buy more books.
Juling Pongkunmul, the teacher who months ago was beaten into a coma by Thai Muslims in southern Thailand has finally died. This is after Thai Muslims tortured and beat two Thai Marines to death. And after they beheaded monks, beheaded rubber planters, shot and burned teachers, killed police and school guards, etc. I wonder how long before people wake up to the fact that it is not poverty or government arrogance which is the main cause of these events but the jihad imperative within Islamic theology, in this case a demand for an independent Muslim nation.
Meanwhile, the British cannot swim in the pool while Muslims are swimming. In England! I kid you not. Click here. And several recent incidents demonstrate just how incompatible radical Islam is with modern medicine and your health. In British hospitals, Muslims refuse to use the anti-bacterial gel cleaners before entering wards.
I could not believe it - the signs are large enough and clear enough but they just took no notice and walked straight onto the ward. I was there almost every day for three weeks and I saw it repeated dozens and dozens of times. When I raised the matter with the nursing staff they just shrugged and said that Muslims were refusing to use the gel because it contained alcohol. They said they couldn't force visitors to use the gel and I understand that — but I was astonished that anyone who didn't wash their hands was allowed onto a ward. I know the dangers that bugs like MRSA can cause. They kill hundreds of patients a year.
And in Turkey female doctors wouldn't treat a male. And in France Muslim male relatives are preventing female patients from being treated by male doctors. (For example, women in labor have not had epidurals because the anesthetist was a man.)
You think Muslims are not imposing their demands in America? Guess again:
A group of Muslim taxi drivers at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport have demanded the right to refuse to pick up passengers carrying alcohol. Instead of simply canceling the drivers' licenses or asking them to forfeit booze-laden fares, airport authorities are considering a compromise: Drivers will be allowed to place an extra light on their roofs signaling their willingness to ferry the offending cargo. "From the airport point of view, this is completely satisfactory," explains Daniel Pipes. "Passengers are not stranded. Taxi drivers are content. But from the larger point of view, this has incredible implications: The sharia is now in effect in Minneapolis airport with two different lights. Think of all the people the drivers might not want to take: Hindus, homosexuals, unmarried couples. I mean, where does one stop?"
Been having a lot of conversations lately about whether Thailand is a cheap place to live or not. I think it really comes down to what lifestyle you want. It’s not any cheaper than the West if you want to live a Western style; or not much cheaper. Of course, hotels here are incredibly cheap compared with hotels in most Western countries. But if you want to eat at Lord Jim’s at the Oriental and pay lots of money, fine; or you can pay 20 baht for a delicious somtam on the street or 30 baht for kwei dio. It’s up to you. Much depends on where you moved here from. I moved here from Manhattan so everything in Thailand seems very cheap to me. If you moved here from the hills of Arkansas I imagine it seems pricey.
Some Scams Never Die Dept: Just heard from a non-smoking friend that one of the brownshirt BTA cops tried to say a cigarette on the ground near the Emporium was his and he should pay a 2,000 baht fine. He shouted out “not mine!” several times and the cop finally gave up and moved off. Rumor-Control Headquarters has it that the reason tourists were still milling about when bombs went off again was because the police were too busy arresting smokers and had no time to clear the square.
Rumor-Control Headquarters had it that Pretty Lady Bar in Nana Plaza was open again. And that, assuming there are no more disputes between the owners, it might just stay open this time. So of course I had to check the place out. At first, there were four dancers, then six, and a few nights later, ten. When I went a week ago, there were many dancers, a few lookers, and the usual obscene cartoons on not one but two TVs (That's television, not transvestite). Tops and short, pleated skirts with nothing underneath which of course reflect in the mirrored counter. Not bad but it will take time for the owners to earn the trust of dancers that they will not close again and truth to tell there is no guarantee as it seems to be an owner truce rather than a peace treaty, but I am happy to say the place is quickly regaining its style. It remains to be seen if it can regain its customers.
The papers say the police are bringing in all the trash cans from the street so no one can place a bomb in them. What trash cans? Over a many year period, whenever I want to throw something away I can’t find one.
I have been a soldier in Thailand, a teacher, a photographer, a writer, written several books and dozens of articles on the country, traveled all over the country, read a lot about Thai culture and history, published and edited Thai International's inflight magazine Sawasdee, had Thai girlfriends from about 30 minutes to over two years, learned Thai reasonably well, and more. So why much of the time do I feel I still don’t really know a damn thing about Thailand?
One of the best ways to learn Thai is of course drinking a cold beer while keeping company with a lovely Thai go go dancer. Recently, I ran my hand over the beautiful leg of such a woman and said riap (smooth). She said, “No, reap is for things; if you want to say my leg is smooth you should say nian.” Aren’t they wonderful teachers? And one thing I have learned about Thai is that you should pay attention to rising tones and you should pay attention to falling tones and you can screw the rest.
I went to two new pubs recently: Hanrahans on Sukhumvit, soi 4, and the Duke of Wellington on Silom opposite and just down from Patpong Road. If you don’t know who the pubs were named after, Hanrahan was the guy who led the elephants against the Romans and fled to the New World where he founded the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. The Duke of Wellington was the English general who surrendered at Yorktown and then later got shot dead by a French sharpshooter aboard his tall ship, The Robert E. Lee. I hope that clears up any lingering historical questions.
I like both of these pubs, actually. Paul, manager of Hanrahans is a nice fellow up from Phuket, and Mark, manager of Duke of Wellington is an affable fellow who used to work at Robin Hood pub for over a year. Both know their trade and both pubs are comfortable with good food and reasonable prices. Both have male bartenders, a policy which I hate, but both have female waitresses which helps to make up for it. Both have a lot of business customers and both go out of their way to make certain customers can drink in peace and not be bothered by working girls. Although both seem to have working girls about now and then (thank God). The second floor of Hanrahans has a nice view of the street below, the third floor is open air, and there are singers on the ground floor. I see no reason why both of these pubs won’t be successful: good locations, nice décor, friendly atmosphere, good food and drink at reasonable prices. Official opening party of Duke of Wellington was standing-room-only. I guess to prove I am an independent reviewer I have to say something negative about them. Um, OK, I didn’t get laid in either place.
Where are the snows of yesteryear? And, ah, where is the beautiful Siriwan Chongpu now? Dancer at Mike's Place, Patpong II, circa 1980. Traveling companion in Thailand, Hong Kong, Macau. Last seen in L.A. many years ago. They don't make them like that anymore. Believe me.
Dean, I would like to thank you for your services to humanity in providing the picture of the poor wench in her ill-fitting and tattered jeans. It was on a par with the pic of a Pattaya girl carrying her shopping that used to be on Stick's site. Bangkok Barry
Barry, no problem. Many readers seem to think I am only some kind of oversexed hedonist but as you saw I do think of the less fortunate from time to time.
Hi Dean, Your piece about the secret number in your mobile phone prompts me to let you know it does not appear to work. The intent is correct but when I lost my phone a couple of months back, we reported this number to AIS and they said it was not worth even trying now as the hackers had found ways to unlock the phones so it might block the phone for a short while, but the block was now easily circumvented. Interesting to know if anyone else has had the same experience or was I being sold a line by a lazy operator? Harry Bonning
Yes - the telcos can block phones being used by blacklisting
number. The problem is that a) the telcos really don't give a toss if your
phone was stolen, so don't want to bear the cost of maintaining this list,
and b) the phone is only blocked on a single network unless the blacklists
are shared, again causing the telcos to baulk because that would involve
cooperating with their competition and again bearing the cost.
Some countries actually have such blacklists, generally having been pressured into it by politicians. I think England is the most high profile. In some countries the blacklisting is done automatically once the theft is reported to the police if you know your IMEI. However, all of the Thai telcos 'do not do'.
The general excuse used by the telcos for not doing anything is that thieves can change the IMEI numbers. However, the more recent your phone model was designed the harder it is and there are plenty of models that haven't been cracked yet and it at least hinders the thieves and keeps the amateurs out of the racket. Stuart Bishop
Many thanks for that, Stuart. The Thais will never pressure greedy companies to do anything, so I guess we can forget about saving numbers to block stolen phones.
Regarding your character Taylor (Memoirs of a Bangkok Warrior), he later meets a wonderful Thai woman and his thoughts I put in my journal years ago. Later I wrote a submission about my first trip to Thailand and the first Thai woman I met that changed my life, etc.
We are desperately in need of more pictures of Fon here in Boston. You are too busy keeping the Fons of the Kingdom to yourself in a giant Deanarium Stud Farm outside of Dean Buri where they gambol about in innocence and little else. Well, the secret is out and I have people scouring the country and we are going to find this little hide-a-way. Your 'Fon-is-only-for-me' days are over. So ask not for who the bell tolls, the bell . . . . ok, forgot the last part but you get the point. Dana
Enjoyed reading the content on your website. I have a comment about the starfish entry in your glossary. In the Dominican Republic the same girl as the starfish would be described as "all show no go". Thomas F.
I'm in my early 30's, American/Romanian (by the way - nice to see a plug for the Romanian Tv dancing girls on your site, they are called 'bebelushele' (plural for bebelu[pronounced 'oo']sh = little baby, meaning literally baby/child, but in this case it's slang) and yes they are very hot, in fact Romanian girls are very beautiful - mostly Latina-looking with just a bit of Slavic. I'll see if I can find other samples for you. You should visit there sometime, it's inexpensive and worth it! There is a good reason why I keep a house there :) (in fact it's a curse, every time I travel to Romania I swear I will never travel to Thailand again and move back to Romania, and when I travel to Thailand, I swear I will never travel to Romania again and move to Thailand). Best wishes, Julian
Hi Dean, As a man who has lived for many years in Thailand and who always paid for sex, I found that I agreed with the theme you developed in "I Never Pay For It". My opinion is the one you stated which is that most people feel that only a loser openly exchanges cash for sex. But what is it when you take a western woman out to an expensive dinner, buy her flowers, etc? On the other hand, one issue I am looking at is: "Why do I care what anyone else thinks about manners, policy, sex or, for that matter, any other subject including me?" What does any of that have to do with the price of tea in China? I have read and enjoyed a couple of your books, one was about the Horny Toad Bar and the other was Memoirs of a Bangkok Warrior. By the way, are you not a little nervous about the possibility of some dingbat religious radical "taking you out"? Be careful, the woods are full of wolves and wild jackasses! Cheers, Glenn Evans
Glenn, I have no doubt that someday I will hear the sound of Allah Akbar! behind me just before the lights go out. But I regard militant Islam as a clear and present danger, not unlike the rise of Nazism in the 1930's, and so I write about it. The subject is directly related to Thailand because of the Muslim problem in the South, which, like elsewhere on this planet, as I mentioned above, arises from the jihad imperative within Islamic theology. And, hey, be honest, how many other websites can you name that combine Thailand's incredible nightlife with examples of Islamic hypocrisy and brutality?
Dean, went into "Club Electric Blue" on Patpong the other night and to my horror they now have a "Cut" katoey dancing and going out there. Please do your readers a service and warn them of this travesty. claymore
Dean, got carried away and forgot to say "it's" real tall has LARGE breasts and usually dances on the right as you come in the door on either the first or second pole and has been there about 3 or 4 weeks now (could be more because it goes out often and I may have missed it.) claymore
Dean, unfortunately I spotted IT right off and IT looks so good my Thai wife disagreed. So I told her to look at it's fingers and sure enough it's first finger was shorter than it's ring finger (indication of lots of testosterone). To settle the matter we checked with those we knew there who said I was the first one to "spot the not" and that I was correct but that it had already been cut/converted. It blew them away that I knew because of the fingers so they had a little experiment with looking at their fingers and calling over real girls and looking at theirs and then the "person" in question and I was proven correct. The finger method is about 90% effective and it also can out the "women loving" women also. This method was part of a study on lesbians at one of the "Left Coast" universities where they "photocopied" their hands and match sexual preference just by finger length. Real normal women have a first and ring finger of about the same length, men and butch women have a first finger that is shorter than the ring finger, the shorter the first finger the more testosterone. claymore
Claymore, you're scaring the shit out of me! It took me five minutes to get up the courage to look at my fingers. Sure enough, the first finger is shorter than the ring finger. Whew! But in a check with women they all seem to be in the "ten per cent" so I am not sure how accurate this is. I never heard of this method before and I can't fathom why Electric Blue would hire a katoey when there are plenty of ladies available. But as I mentioned before with regard to another bar in Nana Plaza, the owner said Japanese guys kept asking him if he had a cut Thai male and so finally he gave in and hired a few. To each his own, I guess, and to be fair to Electric Blue I haven't yet checked on this but I will. And thanks for the finger test. Any sex tests done with toes?
Links You Might Enjoy
A video of a five-minute walk down Soi Cowboy. Click here and then click "preview videos."
Like satire on Thailand? Try
Like to know what music is playing where in Bangkok each week? Try http://www.bangkokgigguide.com.
Like to know more in depth about what music is playing where in Bangkok each week? Try this great site:
Tired of shoveling snow? Check out Bangkok's sunshine.
Bangkok's weather report.
A great site for listening to Thai Morlan music and other folk music of Southeast Asia.
A bit of black leather never hurts. But she does.
Our Lady in Black
Like to learn a bit about retiring in Asia?
Maps of all the provinces of Thailand
Links You Might Not Enjoy
T-Shirt Hell: for lovers of very black humor only.
Politically incorrect rants and raves from Uncle Fred.
Girlfriends looking for Taliban boyfriends.
Taliban Singles Dating Page
Do you have a product or service you would like to advertise on this website? You can, you know. In fact, you don’t have to have a product or service at all; you can just send me money. Or perhaps you would like me to plug a product or service that you are involved in? Sure, just send me cash. Be sure, however, to mark the outside envelope:
“Birthday money for Dean Barrett –
Absolutely No Bribe Enclosed”
Got feedback to this column? Got information on Thailand you would like to share? Happy as a dung beetle to be living in Paradise? Been ripped off? Just write me.
This week, be the first to answer this question and win 3,500 baht in food and drink vouchers, second prize is one of my books, third prize the usual diddly-squat. Last week had only two with the correct answers. It was the Holy Redeemer Church off of Wireless Road. The photograph for this column was taken in Bangkok. Be specific in your answer (whatever that means.)
That's all for this fortnightly column. Drop by again. Explore the rest of the website. Meanwhile, as the girls used to tell me during the 1960's: "I no lie you, GI, I love you long time; you number one!" And, remember: nothing says goodbye like a bullet. And the more people I meet the more bullets I need.
Dean Barrett can be flamed at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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