Welcome to my website. Yikes! Do you realize this site has now been up for a whole year? Saints be praised! In case you're new, you might care to know that the purpose of this site is 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 a free book written by myself and other prizes such as free food and drink from Larry's Dive, The Londoner, The Old Dutch 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.
I will also add information to a column as I receive it or report on nightlife as I encounter it so check back now and again as there may be much new even within a week or ten days. 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).
It would be difficult to over-praise the shows at Angel Witch, Nana Plaza. They simply get better and better and are without question the most erotic, cute, sexy and interesting shows for heterosexuals in Thailand. Lots of new skits such as the dancing to "Hey, Big Spender," lots of whips and chains, nuns outfits, Issarn dancing, modern dancing, sexy moves and well thought out choreography and, to top it all off, lots of new and attractive regular dancers as well. Knocking out the back wall has allowed one more row of seats which gives a much needed spaciousness to the bar and even with the extra row it was nearly full for much of a Thursday evening. Congratulations to Pim and Matt for a fine selection of shows. Whether or not Angel Witch Pattaya is ready by mid-December, it will be a very large place.
Only minus in this picture: The Thai workmen apparently got it wrong and didn't make the shower wall translucent. The idea was that when the girls took showers, shadows of one sort or another could be seen. Kind of a sexy tease which never happened possibly because the Thai workmen didn't understand the word "translucent." (New T-shirts now available.)
Remember the bitch who threw a bowl of noodles at the stewardess because the stewardess wanted her to turn off her cellphone? So many tales lately of asinine behavior on planes reminded me of the one time, and one time only, that a good-looking young woman was seated next to me on a plane. She was Chinese from Taiwan and I speak Mandarin so I did my best to engage her in conversation, and use my charm, and this was years ago when I wasn't bad looking, but she had boarded with some friends, and once we were up there at 30,000 feet, she moved right away to sit with them. That was too bad. I have no hard feelings. I mean people can sit where they want to sit, right? bitch.
So many of the lovely ladies around the nightlife areas in Bangkok and Pattaya and especially some of the most beautiful dancers come from Buriram. That's why the picture you see of Buriram airport at left was actually taken at rush hour. They've all already come to Bangkok. Nobody's left to fly. Click to enlarge - but you already knew that. And after this picture was taken it came to pass that the last airline to Buriram has stopped flying there. So the airport would look even more deserted than in the above photo; if such is possible.
Speaking of Buriram lovely ladies, here's one with me in Pattaya on a rainy day along Walking Street. She's the one in the white. There is always a sweet young thing to keep a fellow from getting bored. She used to work on a rice farm and knows how to plant her rai a day, but you already figured that out, right?
A tip from a friend who somehow got involved in a lesbian show in a well known go go bar: body oil smeared on the lenses of your glasses by the torso of a young Thai lady makes them very difficult to see through, so take off your glasses first.
According to a local newspaper a "teenage" Thai singer was killed by a crane. It also gives his age as 22. Is that a teenager? And, as you have already guessed, the crane operator is nowhere to be found.
The show at the Long Gun bar is really good; nothing elaborate as with Angel Witch but the show just keeps going on and on and on with lovely maidens appearing in different outfits. A few of them came out with large butterfly wings on which made me think: "Truth in advertising." In fact, I hadn't intended to go there but as I was walking from soi 33 to soi 31 somehow I ended up on soi 23. Which, of course, is where soi Cowboy is. No harm done: just one lost evening and a morning of recovery. Rawhide, the bar almost next door to the Long Gun, has also improved on its dancers and, again, while there are no skits as such, there is plenty of variety, especially as the night passes into early morning.
What's up with e-bay? How come they never answer my letters? Not long ago I had one of the top go go dancers from a well known bar on Soi Cowboy up to my apartment for a, um, casual stay. At one point in the evening, before the main cultural event started, she went in to take a shower and asked if she could use one of my disposable razors to shave her, um, anatomy in a certain area. Of course, I said sure. After she left, realizing the value of a cultural relic, I plucked the razor out of the trash can, tucked it in a safe place, then forthwith wrote to e-bay announcing my willingness to allow this valuable find to be put up for auction. They never got back to me. I mean, they sell toast that supposedly has an image of Jesus on it but they won't sell a go go dancer's razor! Discrimination is what it is. But, as Bill would say, I guess that would depend on what "it" is. I wish William of Occam were alive to see this. He's the 14th century English fellow made famous for "Occam's Razor": "Entities should not be multiplied beyond what is needed." Um, yeah, right, William, whatever you say.
Anyway, if Japan can set up vending machines with female used panties why can't Thailand have vending machines set up with razors used by go go dancers from different bars? The weird thing about Japan is that not only they wouldn't know which woman the unmentionable was from they don't even know for sure if it was a woman. That's the beauty of my idea: Quality Control. The vending machines will be just like candy vending machines except instead of peanuts and M&M's and Clark bars falling out, the slots will be labeled with bar names such as Long Gun, Playskool A Go Go, Midnight, etc.
If you'd like to be a partner in this surefire venture, let me know. Your job will be to invest some money and put up the machines. I will be Quality Control Manager whose job it will be to check the girls to make certain the razors have been utilized as advertised. But, wait, it gets better! You know how computer magazines shrinkwrap discs so that the buyer gets a disc along with the magazine? I can shrinkwrap one of these razors with each copy of Thailand: Land of Beautiful Women. God, am I a marketing genius or what? Although, speaking of shrinks...
Now this is serious. The headline reads: "Transvestite's kiss costs visitor dearly." Some tourist to Bangkok took a transvestite or two back to his room, kissed him/her, "then felt dizzy and passed out, and woke up 10 hours later to find that his cash, watch, mobile phone and notebook computer had disappeared." The article says the transvestite gang confessed to concealing "strong sedative pills" under their tongues and spitting them down the throats of their victims while kissing. Yeah, but how come the pills don't affect the transvestite while under the tongue? I guess they have to be swallowed to work. I confess to being curious to knowing what such pills would be made of.
A recent article in a Bangkok newspaper says that Cambodia is destroying 36 surface-to-air missiles discovered recently at a military base to prevent them from falling in the hands of "international militants." How do you "discover" 36 surface-to-air missiles? Did somebody hold an inspection and one of the grunts finally cleaned under his bed? Whoops, lookie here, I just knew I had put those 36 surface-to-air missiles around her somewhere. And you thought Thailand was weird.
Three from the Mail Box:
Can you ask around in your circle of friends if anyone happens to know an American by the name Bill Longworth. If alive would be in his late 50's. Last known as a long-term resident in Bangkok in the mid-1980s. He was in a medical supplies kind of business. Very outgoing guy, thus could be well known.
It has been my experience that Pattaya bars and clubs close at 1am by turning off the lights. The patrons seem to finish their drink which in some cases might take a little more time on some evenings or mornings. In general most clubs turn up the lights at about 2:30am and the go go girls and bar girls leave, which leaves the patrons alone. They usually get the idea that the place is closing. However, there are a few discos that stay open until 3:30 or 4am or whatever. I've been at a couple of discos until 3:30 am when they turned on the lights and stopped the music. Did you know that when they do that it seems so odd to keep on dancing. It's really discouraging. I left.
"Happiness is a Red Cock." Classic! I found something similar, albeit tamer, in Japan. It was a candy named "Cream Colon." I also saw a bar sign that read "Men Only -- FUKU". Question: Why does the motorcycle taxi driver stop at the corner of a busy intersection to let me off rather than drive on into the soi 20 yards or so which would be a much safer spot? Potential Answer: Because they don't have to spend as much time going down the soi to get back to Sukhumvit to find the next customer, thus making more money. Keep up the good work. Remember, we Americans "stuck here" are living vicariously through you.
Well, wherever you are "stuck" remember those of us living in Bangkok have our problems too. Stumbling over beautiful Thai women all over the place, trying to avoid beautiful Thai women, closing down our phones because of too many calls from Thai women. You mustn't think living the life of an immature lecher is all fun and games. ;-)
Did you have a good time on Loy Krathong? Mao lao, mai? Andy's birthday party at Electric Blue Patpong was a fun affair and I have to admit Patpong did itself proud on Loy Krathong. Once again the ladies dressed up to the nines. Thai designers in the old days sure knew what they were doing to enhance the female allure, didn't they?
There are many things in life I don't understand. I've already mentioned not understanding why lots of people get so excited about sweaty lads with the IQ's of dying rubber trees kicking balls into nets, and not understanding why lots of foreign women in Bangkok get so upset when seeing older foreign men with younger Thai women, etc. Yet another thing I don't understand is why anybody likes to watch Larry King. This guy has never asked a hardball question in his life! He gets aging actresses to tell us about their love affairs of 30 years ago with some at-that-time famous actor (like who cares?) or else he has some panel on the latest gruesome crime (or tragedy) fascinating Americans who apparently have nothing better to do but he never asks any real hardball questions of anybody.
When Donald Trump was on his show, instead of asking about all the financial problems the bloated Trump was having in New Jersey with his casino, he simply kissed his arse calling him The Donald. I like to take a break from writing in the afternoon but when I turn on the TV to watch some news, there instead is Larry King, sucking up to yet another actor or businessman or whoever. And in his ad for himself, he boasts of having done 40,000 interviews, and then says, "What a great gig, huh?"
Well, yeah, Larry, you don't have to do anything but sit there asking softball questions. Maybe we should call it a great scam. Why watch this guy at all? He's the opposite of the recently retired Ted Koppel. Just my opinion of course and you are free to disagree although if you do that would make you an asshole.
There are so many go go bars in Pattaya now it is difficult to say which is best and which is going up and which is going down. Just remember in years to come you will be telling your grandkids that you lived during the Golden Age of Thai nightlife; even better than Shanghai in the '30's. So enjoy every minute of it. But isn't it nice that Soi Cowboy has greatly loosened up these days?
Below is one of many letters of mine to the Bangkok Post which the paper refused to print. (Jane Austen was not the letter writer’s real name.)
Jane Austen describes the spoiled, self-indulgent bimbos in Sex and the City as “extremely feminine, and also intelligent, confident and successful.” Far from appearing confident, they appear to be extremely insecure in their lives and in their “relationships” and, as for intelligence, I doubt that any of the four could find Afghanistan on a map. Western women who have no Western intellect are not threatening; rather, they are boring or irritating; and they do not have the charm, femininity, humor and Buddhist cultural heritage of Thai women to fill in the gap.
During my 12 years in Manhattan I could not enter a café without overhearing some superficial, self-pitying, puerile conversation about “relationships” (spoken in reverential, almost religious, tones). They were most likely some of the nine million American bimbos who bought the book Men are from Mars; Women are from Venus. (No doubt even now someone is writing the follow-up: Men are from Lopburi; Women are from Ayudhya.) I shall refrain from describing Sex and the City as the true Axis of Evil as there may be readers who would find such a description over the top. However, what Jane Austen doesn’t understand is why such chuckleheaded bimbos-in-heat are so depressing to men. Because if any proof were needed, Sex and the City shows that when women have the same financial independence as men, the same education, and the same opportunities, they are every bit as juvenile, self-absorbed, egotistical and crude as men. Most men being romanticists at heart, we had hoped for something better.
Sincerely, Dean Barrett
DANCE CONTEST: A dance contest for charity, for an orphanage, in fact. Sexy women guaranteed. Where? Playskool a go go Nana Plaza. When? December 7th starting around 8 o'clock. It's also Ao's birthday, so it should be a right swingin' bash.
Nothing to Excess Dept: A guy in The Netherlands murdered his wife and two daughters, aged 5 and 3, the day before a visit from a Polish striptease artiste whom he had fallen in love with. He spent three days with the chick in the same bed in which he'd murdered his wife and he covered up the blood spatters on the wall with pictures drawn by his children. Any comment would be superfluous.
"There is no success where there is no possibility of failure, no art without the resistance of the medium." Raymond Chandler - Playback
When I was recently in New York's Kennedy Airport preparing for the 17 hour Thai International non-stop flight back to Bangkok, I saw and heard a guy on his computer with some kind of earphone gadget and speaker. He was talking to his Thai girlfriend in Bangkok about how happy he was because he would soon be there. I could tell from his side of the conversation that she was saying all the things he wanted to hear. So you see, the game begins even before these guys get on the plane to come here. ;-)
A judge in England recently awarded the equivalent of US$7,000 to woman who took a porn film company to court because the spicy scenes advertised on the outside of the video were not in the film. Congratulations to the judge and for the woman for not being afraid to fight for truth in advertising even in that situation!
What is it with Gary Glitter? He allegedly went after really young girls in Vietnam and is now in prison there awaiting trial. I hate child-molesters as much as the next fellow but if he wants to take the chance, I would think the sane thing would be to go to Cambodia (which I guess he already did). But going after 12-year-olds in a dictatorship like North Vietnam - oops, sorry, I mean, Vietnam, force of habit - is like asking for very big trouble, is it not?
Did you read about the guy in Germany who got drunk and wet his bed? He tried to dry it with a hair dryer, left the dryer on lying on the sheet, and went out. When he returned his home was destroyed by fire. I think the moral is if you wet your bed, wash the damn sheet! I mean that is pretty low class, is it not? True, I once studied the spots of a go go dancer's menstruation on my bed sheet but that was, as with oracle bones, only an attempt to predict the future. Nothing kinky, I swear. And it worked, I was able to predict the future. I predicted that if the maid saw it, she would be pissed off, so I washed the sheet myself. Now that's class.
"You may not be interested in war; but war may be interested in you."
Talk about a screwed-up Sunday. I took a lovely hairdresser to the Emporium for lunch and a movie. I bought the tickets for Zorro because I had already seen Lord of War and Proof. At least I could look at Catherine Zeta-Jones's cleavage. I always check my tickets. This was the one time I did not check my tickets. The movie started and you guessed it - it was Proof. Proof is a fine movie but not the kind you want to see two days in a row. Which is what I did because Zorro I knew had started at the same time. I guess that is Proof that yours truly can be an idiot on a Sunday afternoon when enamored with the charms of a lovely Thai hairdresser.
I have just reached the peak of my writing career. One of my one-act plays was selected by a prestigious Philadelphia group for staging. According to them, Death of a Legend won first prize in the Philadelphia Young Playwrights Festival. Um, right, I'm not exactly "young," am I? Sure enough, some young scoundrel changed my name to his, made a couple of minor changes and submitted the play. The people in charge sent me a letter of explanation and said of course it would be cancelled. So even when I win, I lose. They said "During the process of bringing the play into rehearsal, dramaturgical questions to the young writer led us to investigate further..." The play involves three hit men, one of whom is cleaning his five-shot Smith & Wesson revolver. Maybe the kid didn't know his revolver from a semi-automatic. Anyway, the kid showed good taste in wanting to steal my play. So it's OK. And as there is no money in playwriting if this incident causes him to choose a career that can actually pay the rent, then getting caught was the best thing that ever happened to him.
I was in a British pub here in Bangkok the other day and there were two guys sitting at the bar ogling the 19-year-old dishwasher and arguing between themselves over which one had gotten the bigger smile from her when he had walked in. Two grown men old enough to be her father (at least) arguing over which one the child-woman likes better. Talk about puerile and pathetic. Of course, I was one of the two guys and I swear she gave me the bigger smile. Speaking of pubs, the Robin Hood has a nice menu, good food, and a nice atmosphere. The waitress, Min, has a great smile. But why it takes everyone so long to process the bill and payment and bring back change I'll never know. I think the problem is in the system itself.
Speaking pubs, two of the lovely waitresses at the Londoner, Joy and Dict, are leaving for hotel jobs. They will be missed. And a very happy birthday to Frank for whom Frank's Corner inside the Londoner is named. Every evening reserved signs are placed along part of the bar which say, "Reserved for the Young People of Frank's Corner." Frank just turned 80. But, hey, our women are young. And if you play your cards right you too might have a beautiful wife like Frank has as well as a cute 4-year-old son.
Someone named Kong Rithdee wrote a nice summary of Western films on Thailand over the years but then couldn't resist the usual clichéd swipe at local writers in Thailand: "Or take a look at novels published by Westerners living here - one must wonder why such a staggering number of them are about one subject: bargirls."
Well, Kong Rithdee, I haven't read them all, but I have never read a novel on Thailand which was merely about a bargirl. In some novels, such as Jack Reynold's A Woman of Bangkok, the bargirl is messing with the foreign fellow's mind and driving him up the wall, but the book is exploring the human condition, not simply about one subject. There have been books written in the northeast mainly about rice growing and village life but no one complains about there being no bargirls and the novel being only about village life. But if a Westerner writes a novel set in Thailand about a bargirl then it must be "pulp fiction" "about one subject." When will people making such comments realize that the comment reveals more about their own puritanical nature than anything about the writer. As granny used to say, the cows may come and the cows may go but the bull goes on forever.
I know many people think writing is fun and a great life. But if you are among them all I can say is it only looks great from the outside. For example, I believe in getting inside my characters as much as possible and to be able to do this it is often necessary to do as they would have done. So, for example, when I wrote Hangman's Point, set in 1857 Hong Kong and southern China, I read up on the tall ships of the period that would have been in Hong Kong's beautiful deep-water harbor. But reading didn't cut the mustard so I eventually worked on board the HMS Rose, an 18th century 24-gun frigate, also an exact replica of the real Rose and that used in the film Master and Commander. In that way I began to really understand the life of a seaman on board a tall ship.
Then when I wrote Murder in China Red about a Chinese detective in New York City who carried a Smith & Wesson 5-shot revolver, I naturally had to go out and buy a Smith & Wesson 5-shot revolver, spend time and money in a shooting range, try out belt and ankle holsters, etc. I mean, how do you know how your revolver smells in the rain, for example, if you don't have one?
Which brings us to the present. The novel I'm working on now involves a guy from the States who gets involved in a kinky sex affair with a sexy Thai go go dancer. So, naturally, in order to explore his emotions I have to do much of what he's doing. Oh, God, how writers suffer for their art.
Dave Walker has a great idea for a bumper sticker in the USA: "Yes, you do look fat in that dress."
A new date has been set for the celebration of King Naresuan the Great's victory in an elephant duel with a Burmese prince. The date was January 25th; it is now January 18th. Why? Because a professor at the Royal Institute figured it all out by "using the lunar calendar of the second night of the waning moon in the second month of the year 954 and other historical records." Any comment would be superfluous.
"And he gave it for his opinion, that whoever could make two ears of corn, or two blades of grass to grow upon a spot of ground where only one grew before, would deserve better of mankind, and do more essential service to his country, than the whole race of politicians put together." Gulliver's Travels, "A Voyage to Brobdingnag" - Jonathan Swift
Finally, speaking of Gulliver's Travels, if you have been reading Argaiv's Travels, don't miss this month's chapter. I suppose what became of the spaceman's sister was inevitable in a place like Bangkok but still it gives one pause. The final chapter and the spaceman's harried escape from the Kingdom of Thailand will be coming soon. (But probably not) to a theater near you.
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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 at email@example.com.
A video of a five-minute walk down Soi Cowboy
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:
Last month's sign was atSpice Girls on Soi Cowboy. The winner was not only a Thai but a woman. Women read this column! Saints preserve us! Anyway, Be a winner of this column's contest and win 2,500 baht in food and drink. Just let me know where the above picture was taken. Hint: Try Pattaya near Walking Street.
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, you number one!"
Dean Barrett can be flamed at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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