Welcome to my website. 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).
"Forget Me Not," yet another bikini bottom slogan from a bikini worn by a lovely go go dancer on Patpong Road in the late 1970's. No slogans these days. Sometimes no bikini bottoms these days, either. From the book, The Girls of Thailand (pub. 1980).
Did you see the movie The Deer Hunter with Robert DiNiro? The Vietnamese bar scenes were set on Patpong Road right here in Bangkok. The casting director was looking for the right Thai girl to be in the movie. When she walked into a Patpong Road bar and saw Noy, she knew she had the right one. Noy didn't particularly like her photo taken but I took it, anyway. So here is Noy in all her dancing glory about 1979. And, believe me, she was something else! Oh, yeah!
I've had three incidents in my many travels to Thailand that could have resulted in lawsuits in the U.S., but I was under the impression farangs had little chance of bringing a successful suit. Am I wrong?
1) I stepped off a curb in Pattaya and went down to the hip in a sewer drain missing a section of grate. Nearly got my head run over by a car before I could recover.
2) I slipped in a massage room shower (no rubber mat to stand on or anything to hold onto) and broke two ribs.
3) I entered Angelwitch with a young American girlfriend who was traveling with me, was seated in next to the stage in the packed house, and immediately after ordering our drinks was landed upon by a flying dancer who had lost her grip on the pole she was flying around. I was knocked to the floor with her landing on my chest with her legs wrapped around my neck. The place exploded in applause, and an Aussie helped me up and bought me a drink. The mortified girl got some fancy Thai dress on and came out to apologize, but no other reaction from management. That was a year and a half ago and I still can't turn my neck to back up the car.
I'm not looking to file any suits now. I love Thailand. I was just wondering what you think in case I'm damaged beyond repair some day. "A New Reader from California"
What I want to know is what does this reader tell his wife as to why he never turns his neck to look behind him when he backs up the car, why he broke two hips, and why these things happen only when he is in Thailand. Well, here's hoping his wife doesn't own sharp knives. As for the massage parlor accident, I have warned before about how slippery those floors are especially around the bathtubs and lots of guys have fallen and hurt themselves so be careful out there. But what can one say except, Amazing Thailand!
The pubs in Bangkok have some truly lovely beer women, don't they? I mean such as the Heineken girl, the Tiger Beer girl, etc. But I was wondering why there are no Viagra girls and Cialis girls and Levitra girls. It seems to me that would be a natural. Some of these young women are fantastic and the Tiger Beer outfit is so clinging it could drive a less stable man than me absolutely nuts!
The go go dancers at Nana Plaza sometimes tend to look down on those working at Soi Cowboy and those at Soi Cowboy tend to look down on the Nana Plaza girls. Although they don't realize it, the truth is the animosity between these two areas goes deeper than that. You see, much of the land of Soi Cowboy is owned by Chinese whereas Nana Plaza is owned by Indians. Nuff said? By I do fear for the future of Soi Cowboy. After all, it is right at the crossing of a subway and the Skytrain and two main streets. The land is getting more and more valuable. How much longer can it stay as it is? Loooong, I hope.
I have never understood the rumors surrounding the need to register our cellphones in Thailand. I don't know if we have to or not but I did go to a store on the third floor of the Emporium, Telewhiz, I think it is, or maybe Takeawhiz, I don't remember exactly. But as they sell one-2-call stuff, and my phone is AIS as is their store, they gave me a very short form to fill out my phone number and name and they asked to see my passport. I had only my NY driver's license which they accepted. And that was it. In one minute. When I asked why this was necessary one of the girls said because of "boom" in South. I don't think she meant boom-boom, in our sense of the word. We dial-a-boom for a woman to come up to the apartment whereas some of the Muslim fanatics in southern Thailand might dial-a-boom to make a boom. Anyway, do get your phone registered because they may cut off service otherwise.
OK, now I can clarify the offer from the lovely go go dancer on Soi Cowboy. The deal is I should pay the bar 13,000 baht and then I wouldn't have to pay for the barfine ever again. But, and here's the catch, I would still have to pay her. And as she is in the show that means the bar normally gets 700 baht barfine if one wishes to take her out.
So let's do the math. 13,000/700 = 18.57. So after 18 and 1/2 times of taking her out, I would then be ahead of the game in barfines and each time after that I would be saving 700 baht. But for 18 and 1/2 times I would still be paying her at least 2,000 baht which equals 37,142.856 baht. Somehow, I just can't see this as a good deal for punters although it sounds great for the bar. And for her. And what do we do about the 1/2 time? Would that mean we have to do it in the bar? Or that we go to the hotel but we can't do it? Too much math for me. I think I'll stick to my normal method: get drunk and grab anything in a bikini with long black hair and a big Thai smile.
Starting next column, Andy's Electric Blue on Patpong will join with The Old Dutch, Larry's Dive, Bourbon Street and the Londoner Pub in offering 500 baht worth of drinks for the winner of the contest. Andy says the 500 baht can be used toward drinks or toward paying the 500 baht bar fine. Neat! So from next time on, the winner will receive a total of 2,500 baht worth of food, drink (and bar fine) from those five establishments. If nobody wins, the prize goes to 5,000 baht, etc., etc.
The Nation newspaper here in Bangkok has a section called "Smartlife" and sometimes it lists some useful sites. On November 14th it discussed a jazz website that jazz lovers should check out, apparently with some local content and the short discussion of the site says it even provides online jazz music. So I went to that site and found this:
The New York Times Sunday magazine has an “ethicist” column in which some bleeding heart liberal answers questions from readers who desperately need to know what is the right thing to do in a particular situation and apparently can’t figure it out for themselves. One reader wrote in that he was Chinese and he was upset that his American friend preferred Chinese (or Asian) women and the Chinese guy thought it was “racist.”
The bleeding heart liberal ethicist columnist Randy Cohen agreed that such an attitude was “racist.”
Needless to say, such stupidity made my blood boil, so I of course wrote in pointing out that the Chinese guy wasn’t “Chinese” at all, but rather a Chinese-American living in America and born in America, which means, “American,” and that he had an American attitude toward white guys preferring Asian women.
Of course that part wasn’t printed but about half of my short letter was:
“Randy Cohen says that men who prefer Asian women are racists. But men who prefer Asian women are no more ''racist'' then my friends from Asia who prefer California blondes. Furthermore, scientists tell us that our preferences for a certain type may well be based on such factors in our makeup as the neurotransmitter dopamine, the hormones norepinephrine and vasopressin and the enzyme oxytocin.
If I prefer Asian women because they don't sit around and babble about relationships, that decision is based on what I prefer in a woman. Only in the columns of a politically correct newspaper could that be construed as racism.”
Does Anybody remember Red Cock Whiskey? Here is a sample of the way they used to advertise. "Happiness is a Red Cock." Yes, indeed, Amazing Thailand!
Some time ago, the Nation newspaper ran an article about a former Thai MP who had been sentenced to nine years in a Laotian prison before getting out early in three years and then when back in Thailand became a monk. The man had been charged and convicted of theft and espionage. But get this paragraph:
“Surathin said he went to Laos to buy a graveyard. But before he passed through a border checkpoint on his way home to Udon Thani province, Lao police arrested him following information from a Thai source who said he planned to steal treasures believed to lay under the yard. ‘I believe the incident is linked to local politics in my hometown. Someone tried to get rid of me,’ Surathin said.”
You see, this is the wonderful wacky world of Southeast Asia that I love so much. There is no follow-up at all about the graveyard or treasure but the article did mention that this guy’s sister communicated with him by writing on a little piece of paper and hiding it in food that she left for him. But if he didn’t want any treasure under the graveyard then WHY THE F**K WAS HE IN LAOS BUYING A GRAVEYARD? Did he wake up one morning and say to wifey, you know what, I think I’ll buy a graveyard in Laos. Wifey: Yeah, sweety, that sounds like a really good investment. You do that. Use our savings.
Can you imagine it? Surathin shows up in the Londoner’s Pub in Bangkok and the lads say, “Hey, Surathin, where yah been? Haven’t seen you around lately!
Surathin: “Oh, yeah, I was in Laos buying a graveyard.”
The Lads: “That’s a good one! I like that! (back slap) You sure know how to tell them, Surathin.”
Further comment would be superfluous.
Two more "Why's": 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?
Why do go go dancers tell me they were at a party and couldn't call back because their phone battery was out or they ran out of time in the phone, when they could have borrowed a phone from one of their friends at the party? Did they not think of that or do they think I will not think of that?
Taipei, Taiwan: A newspaper articles says a dog named Money was in heat. Apparently, very much in heat because Money got so excited to see a female dog below that Money jumped from the balcony of his home, ignoring the five floors he would have to free fall. During his horny descent, Money slammed through the roof of a garage and finally landed on top of a BMW sedan. According to the article, Money survived the fall without serious injury. But it doesn’t specify if he got laid or not. Jesus, and I though I went crazy for Thai women. I guess it does rain cats and horny dogs, after all.
Walter, manager of Big Dogs, was kind enough to point out to me what happens when you turn a Hollywood Strip card upside down. Yes, they planned it that way. Click on it, enlarge it, and gaze with admiration at the planning that went into the card. With cards like these, Hollywood Strip should pick up in no time.
Do you who wrote Bambi, that warm and cuddly story for kids? I bet you don’t. The answer is Felix Salten (born Siegmund Salzmann). He also wrote among other books a pornographic novel titled Josefine Mutzenbacher about an Austrian prostitute which set tongues a-wagging. In my humble opinion, this follows the pattern. For example, I wrote an erotic novel set in 1862 China called Mistress of the East. So just to let folks know I am a perfectly balanced person, I also wrote a book for children called The Boat Girl and the Magic Fish. Multicultural, no less. It’s kind of like if you do the first, there’s almost an obligation to do the second. The children’s book is set in Hong Kong and I wanted to go on to do another book for kids set in Thailand called Noy, The Ricefield Worker and the Magic Snake. But, this being Thailand, the magic snake kept attempting behavior with the little ricefield girl which was shall we say inappropriate for a children’s tale, so I had to abandon the project.
And now from the “Stories You Don’t Want to Know Too Much About” File:
Jakarta’s Agence France-Presse had a story about a landmark bridge in Indonesia’s Sumatra island which was in danger of collapsing “because too many people are fond of urinating on one of its steel pillars…We are concerned that one of its main support piers has been weakened by urine, as it is a popular spot for locals to relieve themselves…Officials said cargo vehicles weighing more than one ton would be diverted from the bridge.”
Please note this article is also from the “Stories Nobody Could Possibly Make Up” File.
Pattaya is of course doing well now that the cooler weather is here and as you undoubtedly know, the sign at the left is one of many along Walking Street. Just thought those of you stuck outside Thailand might want to know how the other half lives. Ah, the way their lovely long black hair contrasts with their white shirts. We are talking pure art here. Yum yum.
Yes, Andy, the owner of Electric Blue Pattaya and Electric Blue Patpong is turning 50! Hence, we get not one but two parties. The first is at the Electric Blue Patpong on November 16th. Free food and loads of free shots. The second is the "big one" at Electric Blue Pattaya. There will be Foster beer specials on the evening of the 19th and food from the Sportsman. Free barfines and drinks. Also a day of golf. If interested in a game of golf contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Film directors who want to peddle their DVD's realize there is a lot of space to fill on the disc. So much so that they are desperate to fill it up and will scrape the bottom of the barrel which in the case of the ghost film I "star" in (for all of about a minute), means the director wired me up and had me do a five-minute stroll down Soi Cowboy. If you'd like to see it, just go to the film's website and click on "Preview Videos": http://www.pbar.info. And you'll learn such useful things as the fact that some of the dancers at the Long Gun Bar are afraid of the two Indian Maidens on the roof of the Apache Bar. The Indian maidens have recently been repainted, by the way. And a teepee has been set up behind them. Check out the scene. Sexiest Apache women I've ever scene.
There has been a lot of speculation in the Thai press about Thailand being one of the countries harboring a CIA interrogation center for the most important Muslim fanatics who have been captured. I hope I will not be revealing any country's security secrets by saying I believe I know where the CIA interrogation center is in Thailand. The last time I was in the Midnight Bar on soi Cowboy, I went to take a whiz and some Muslim-type guy was being hustled into a doorway hidden behind the condom machine by white guys in suits and sunglasses. So I suspect the Midnight Bar may actually be in use as a temporary house of detention; although it would make more sense to use the Cave bar (Demonia) fetish club on Sukhumvit, soi 33, as the sounds of whips and screaming would be hidden by the normal sounds of whips and screaming.
Speaking of the Thai press, did you catch the article about Thailand's Social Development and Human Security Minister (Human Security?) recommending that police should erect ID-card checkpoints outside motels to prevent teenage revelers from sneaking off for "one-night stands"? Apparently, during Loy Krathong Festival, youngsters use the festival as an excuse to "become drunk and indulge in sex." The obvious question is: Why would anyone need an excuse to become drunk and indulge in sex? That's what the police think too and they told this numbnuts that it would be unconstitutional to harass young people. This guy still wants police to shine flashlights in the faces of people heading off to love hotels. Considering that Muslim teenagers from southern Thailand were recently found with a map of dozens of entertainment and shopping areas of Bangkok in their pocket, just possibly the police have better things to do than attempt to legislate morality which isn't their job in the first place.
This just in: The guy was just in the paper again suggesting that Thai women should revive the ancient Thai custom of prostrating themselves before their husbands to show respect. So please allow me to revise my opinion of this Human Security Minister. He certainly is a gentleman and a scholar.
Napoleon Bar on soi 33 was humming as usual the other night.
There is a problem in going into Napoleon or, to be precise, rather a problem
coming out of it. Because the Demonia Fetish Club AKA Cave Bar is
right across the street. And if one is not very careful, one might
just stumble against the door of Demonia, thereby ringing the bell, thereby
setting off an extraordinary chain of events. Needless to say, if you
enjoy seeing women prostrating before you to show respect, Demonia might be the
last place you'd want to visit.
Excellent article on the dangers of chain book superstores to the future of American literature. If interested, click here.
Michael Fenton has sold his Richmond Bar on Sukhumvit Soi 33 and the new owner, an Irish lad, has renamed it the Shamrock. You may or may not recall a couple of columns back I mentioned that several bars were up for grabs on soi 33 one way or another. This is probably the first change of many along that soi. Michael is an amiable enough fellow; he will be missed. But don't worry, the very pretty twin, Mot, is still working there and her very pretty twin sister, Min, is still at Lookie Lookie. I think I begged one of them to marry me the other night but I was drunk so I can't remember which. But since they look alike, does it really matter?
More from soi 33: Rumor-Control Headquarters has it that Renoir and Napoleon chiefs have got together and bought Papa and have been having soft openings. I went to and it was not bad. I think I only asked one of the girls there to marry me, though, that puts it below average. Lots of restaurants and bars keep popping up all over Bangkok and the truth is no one could cover them all, let alone keep track of which ones have closed. Haven't tried the new Tenderloin place on soi 33; hope to soon. Another rumor has it that the owners of no fewer than seven bars now own Papa. How would they make a profit out of that?
A lovely girl named Kim was standing at the balcony of Papa bar. A friend and I were walking by and I started chatting with her and learned that she is half Korean and half Thai. No wonder she is such a doll! But she was in Santana bar dress so I can't figure out where she really works. I decided to try the balcony scene from Cyrano de Bergerac and my friend whispered what I should say to her (I was playing the role of the handsome but not too bright Christian). But I never did get her to bed so I guess the dialogue wasn't as good as in the real Cyrano. And so, as with Cyrano, I have to say, "I have won what I have won, the feast of love but I am faint with hunger." Ah, well, next time, my sweet.
FYI: Seeing a movie in NYC will cost you US$10.50 or US$7 if you can convince them you deserve a "senior ticket." Popcorn in one theater in the city was "US$5, $6 and 6.75." Flag fall in a taxi is US$2.50 and goes up rapidly. Taxi fare into Manhattan from Kennedy Airport is a flat US$45 plus $4.75 toll plus tip, for a total of US$55. But on the way to the airport in Bangkok, the trip from Sukhumvit soi 31 to Bangkok Airport cost me less than the toll in NYC! Less than the large popcorn even! Ain't it nice we live in Thailand?
You think I rant and rave? Then you've never read http://www.fredoneverything.net. Fred lives in Mexico but knows Thailand well. I think you'll enjoy some of his rants.
Dean, Thanks for being patient. Okay, it's set in stone now...I think. The documentary Bangkok Girl is going to open the CBC Roughcuts season on November 15th. Here are the links. Pass it on if you could. Jordan
Jordan, I truly wish I could see the film but I don't believe we get the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation here in Bangkok. Jordan is a young and talented documentary maker who interviewed me while making this film so I might be in this or I might have been relegated to the cutting room floor. In any case, it is probably very interesting. Too bad I'll miss it.
Have you noticed (as I've mentioned before) that business is picking up at Rawhide Bar on Soi Cowboy? That's because the owner (a Thai doll herself, by the way, who also owns Long Gun and the Penny Black Hotel) came back by popular demand and is making sure the girls are putting on good shows. And, of course, the Long gun was packed with punters last time I went in, even though it was a Monday night. Yes, folks, good management does make a difference.
Speaking of Long Gun, I got back from my trip to the USA on Thai International's 17-hour trip from New York and, as usual, had horrible jet lag. So one night when I couldn't sleep I got up to get a book to read and inexplicably found myself in the Long Gun watching several gorgeous young Entertainment Providers dance. Strange town, this, never know where you'll end up, when, or why. Well, maybe I know the why. A friend suggested I was transported as in Star Trek. I wish I could transport some of the dancers back to my apartment the same way.
I've had a few reviews of my latest book, The Go Go Dancer who Stole My Viagra & Other Poetic Tragedies of Thailand. There is one short one I'd like to share with you. It appeared in a USA magazine, Iconoclast. The writer makes no comment on the writing itself but it is a cool review:
"Suzie Wong has moved to Bangkok. Now she has a cell phone and accepts wire transfers. But some things never change: true love is seldom true, you can have as much fun as you can afford, and you can find all the trouble you're looking for. This book of humorous ballads and poems raises a toast to human foibles and double-dealing ironies. While Robert Service famously commemorated the Yukon gold rush, Mr. Barrett tells tales of the gold fields of the Bangkok red light district, a crossroads of fate and chance; of those already lost and those looking to get lost."
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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.
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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:
Contest: No winners last column. Be thefirst to say where this sign is. That is which establishment has this sign? And win 4,000 baht in food and drink plus two Dean Barrett novels.
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!"
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