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 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).
This just in: Soi Cowboy will definitely be closed off to traffic, trucks, cars, taxis, motorcycles, elephants and whatnot. Also, signs will go up (or have already) at all bars about fines for not having photo I.D.'s. They are serious about it because in the event of a police check, if you have no photo I.D., you will have trouble but the bar will get fined a lot of money. Some bars elsewhere in town got shut down recently for 30 days for this offense. So if you don't carry your passport, do carry a driver's license or some I.D. with photo. Why piss off the police plus the bar owners if you don't have to?
I noticed a new ad for yet another Bangkok condominium. This one promises NEW YORK STYLE. I love New York but having lived in New York City for 14 years I just gotta ask: Does that mean there will be cockroaches and rats? Or does it mean each tenant will own his own Smith & Wesson revolver? Or does it mean there will be cocaine vials crunching on the steps as we walk? Or does it mean the bathtub will be in the kitchen? Or does it mean several of the neighbors will be higher than a kite most of the time? Or does it mean we get to hear police and ambulance sirens all the time? Curious minds would just like to know.
Yea! Elephants back on Soi Cowboy again! At least they were four nights ago when I was there. Ever try to feed an elephant at the same time you buy a rose from a rose seller at the same time you are trying to get to a bar and barfine a go go dancer before your friend gets the jump on you? Never a dull moment, as they say.
Did you know that for the not unreasonable price of 13,000 baht (US$325) you can pay a bar to have the dancer of your choice in the future available whenever you like without paying any more bar fines or anything more to the lady herself? Not sure what the split is between the girl and the bar but if you are paying two thousand baht plus hotel plus drinks each time, then very quickly the one-time payment becomes a pretty good deal. I guess it depends on how much you like one particular dancer and if you've got money to spare. I don't know what percentage of bars have this policy but some do. So check with your local dancer and stop throwing money away on education and health insurance and alimony when you can be doing something exotic and whimsical like this.
Don’t forget if you want to know what animal corresponds to your time of birth and why you should know that, then go to that section of this website. For example: Would you choose a girl who was born in the year of the monkey if you were born in the year of the horse? She would always be jumping on your back and causing you to run and buck all over the place. But you knew that already, right?
As I said last column, the reopening of the Apache Bar on Soi Cowboy was a lot of fun with tabletop dancing both upstairs and down and upstairs booths around which curtains can be drawn. In other words, what goes on up there is the business of those in the booths. The girls were lovely but of course some were drawn from the other bars Peter owns for the opening night. I saw the ever popular Duang from Sheba's, Som from Suzie Wong a go go (formerly of Midnight) and lots of other young women, some of whose buffaloes struck by lightning were replaced by Yours Truly. The horrible thing about the bar was the rap music they were playing. Or was it hip hop? Whatever, pleeaase, Peter, change the music! We're old guys, remember?
What no one has revealed in print, however, is that according to some of the girls who work at the Long Gun and Rawhide opposite the Apache is that the two Apache maidens sitting on the roof of the Apache bar actually move! Some of the girls who used to work at the Apache also claimed the same thing. Punters say the Long Gun girls only see them move late at night when they have had too many Tequilas (the Long Gun girls, I mean, not the Apache maidens). Whatever the case when you are next on Soi Cowboy, stare at the Apache maidens for a while and see if they move. I have done this myself and caught myself wondering how at my age I ended up in Bangkok on a street called Soi Cowboy in front of a bar called Long Gun trying to see if Indian maidens across the lane on a bar called Apache were moving or not. Where did I go wrong? (or right?)
Update on Apache Bar about ten days after opening on a Thursday night: Nobody upstairs, not many customers downstairs. Two dancers well overweight. Why hire fat dancers when all around are bars with good looking dancers? But I still think the booths upstairs around which curtains can be drawn are cool. Have a look. Update two days later: The place is swinging again with a few very attractive ladies as well as the overweighters. I think in the future I will venture into a bar around 9 and then around 11:30 on two separate evenings. That, I think, will give a fair assessment of whether a place is swinging or not. To give a report on a bar from just one quick visit isn't really fair because it is just a snapshot which might not be representative. Which means from now on I've got an excuse to do a lot more drinking. Hooray!
Remember these two things and you will have a genuine headstart on life. These should be taught in every school in America: 1. Nothing says I love you like a thousand-baht bill. 2. Nothing says goodbye like a bullet. Further comment would be superfluous.
Just when you thought things couldn't get much worse in the government's control of Thailand's media, now there is a takeover bid by Taksin's rich friend for both the Post Publishing Group and the intellectual Thai-language Matichon newspaper. Black arm bands are being worn by the editorial staff of the Matichon (which was mentioned in the Nation newspaper but not in the already tamed Bangkok Post.) Sayonara to dissent?
Update: Yes, the Grammy Company withdrew their bid for now, but the victory for the press may just be temporary. Also, in a major defeat for Thai viewers of intelligent and independent TV, Channel 9 cancelled its "This Week in Bangkok" program. That was about the last truly engaging and interesting show on Thai television.
I knew a gigolo once. A real one. An Italian guy. Very handsome in the European way. I met him at a bookfair. He was a friend of a friend. We only knew each other for a few days but we got on well and got to talking. On the last day he leveled with me. He said being a gigolo isn’t what it’s cracked up to be. It’s hard as hell. Waking up with an older woman and trying to pretend you want to have sex with her and are happy as hell around her all the time. By the time he finished his story I felt sad for him and was damn glad that I wasn’t born with Romeo looks. So, remember, the ricefield on the other side of the dike isn’t always greener. It just looks that way. (Dykes aren't always greener, either.) Although lovely go go dancers less than half my age wake up with me in the morning and are always happy as hell around me. ;-)
Meanwhile, on soi 33, Christie's Club still has a mighty pretty sign and down below the sign some mighty pretty young ladies, often dressed in long white very tight gowns. The only way not to be tempted is to ride on the back of a motorcycle taxi and look the other way. But since there are lovely women in front of bars and clubs all along that section of the soi, best thing to do is to close your eyes and say to yourself: "I want to get home to my wife and kids and indulge in family values and watch Animal Planet on TV." Try that as your mantra. Let me know if it works.
I was sitting with a lovely young thing on Soi Cowboy and I couldn’t help but notice she had very large, natural looking, cheeboobs. I complimented her in Thai on her “beautiful mountains.” She said, you like them? I said, oh, yeah! She said: “Then you should wait a few months and the mountains will have water.” Hmmm. Don’t even ask.
I know a fellow who used to manage several bars on Soi Cowboy and he says to be careful. He says that in every bar on Soi Cowboy and Nana you can find a girl who has a scar because of a motorcycle accident. So be careful out there. (Choose one without a scar. Or wasn't that his point?)
Another ex-bar manager tells me he is waiting for an opportunity to buy a bar next to any of the Rainbow Bars in Nana Plaza. Why? Because he wants to buy it and change the name to Pot of Gold. Get it? Pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Oh, well, moving right along, then...
Talk about overkill: a woman in Rio de Janeiro died and was placed in a coffin and a gang war raged around the place and a bullet hit her. She got shot after she was dead. Like I said, overkill.
A Vietnamese woman was arrested in Cambodia for trafficking in women including her own 20-year-old daughter whom she sent to Malaysia! You know how puritanical prudes from the West always look at Thai and Filipino go go dancers and ask, "Would you want your daughter to do that?" Well, I guess in this woman's case, the answer would be "yes." T'is a strange world we live in.
Ah, yes, even Thailand's lovely doms have to pay a bit of attention to makeup. But it sure looks like they're enjoying their task. It does make one wonder what happened to their mirrors, however.
OK, so you've been living in Pattaya but getting older and now you need new glasses. So what do you do with the old glasses? Throw them away? Wrong answer! There is a box for your old eyeglasses across from the Information Table at the front of Henry J. Bean's, Beach Road, north beach, Pattaya. The glasses will be sent to a special project to supply children and the elderly with eyeglasses they can not afford. And if you can't find the Information Table, you probably need glasses.
As long-time readers of this column are aware, except for Western-style boxing, sports bore the hell out of me. However, those who love golf will be pleased to know the new style golf tees are available now. Just Click here.
The Soccer World Cup is heading to Germany next year so what do you suppose the Germans are doing about it? You guessed it - building brothels. Everybody is looking to cash in on the expected boom in the sex trade. A luxurious 60-room brothel with restaurant and 100 prostitutes, etc., will be a very short walk from Berlin's Olympic Stadium. And another German city involved in the Olympics is building "sex garages." So that's why men like soccer - at last I get it. All this time I wondered why anyone would want to watch sweaty half-men, half-children with the IQ's of a dying breadfruit tree kick balls into nets. Now I get it.
True story: A middle-aged Frenchman recently arrived in Bangkok was complaining to a friend of mine that he felt “uncomfortable” walking down Soi Cowboy as the girls touched him even before speaking to him. Uncomfortable! This loser should get back on a plane and head back to the West where he can feel more comfortable. Talk about a loser!
The Thai Scene in Copenhagen
You asked about the Thai scene in Copenhagen so I filled my pockets with a
wad of cash and hit the streets to investigate. The street to start (...and
finish) when we are talking "adult sanuk" in Copenhagen is Istedgade. It’s a long
street that starts at the back of the main railway station. In it’s heyday
this was the center of the porn universe when porn was made legal in Denmark
in 1969. It has cooled a lot since then but there is still fun to be had. This
is also the place where you see the largest Thai presence. There are several
restaurants and shops. There is even an Isaarn food market (...if you like
roadkill with loads and loads of chili ;-). Under one of the bigger Thai
restaurants you will find a bar called "Thai Corner". Here you find several
Thai girls/ladies drinking and singing karaoke when they get drunk enough.
This is where I started my night out. It’s actually a quite fun place if you
are really starved out like me. But the girls are not be had like in
Thailand. They probably all have Danish husbands/boyfriends. Not a problem
really, they were NOT pretty in any way - even after heaps of beers... Later
on a stag party wandered in and a stripshow was soon after in progress. An
unexpected piece of luck. She was a very pretty Danish blonde with natural
big boobs. As a show-stopper she poured hot candle wax on her clit. Pretty
and nasty... So now I was really in the mood and got back out in the street.
A minute later I was outside a place called "Madam Pim," It’s sign boasted
Thai "shows" and rooms... What a combo, I was sold. The cover was about $10
and I was showed to the bar where I got a beer for $15. Ouch... But
nevermind. Like I said - I was in the mood. Until I looked around that is.
Can you believe it - the only Thai stripbar in Copenhagen is a fucking katoey
bar!!! And I was the ONLY customer!!! Can it get any worse? Yes, because as
the barmaid pointed out "you lucky - the show starts now". Have you ever
seen a katoey show? Oh the horror... I drank my $15 beer at lightning
speed and left. I was no longer in the mood. Call me old-fashioned but a
creative, cosmetical surgery show is not my cup of tea. To finish off I had
planned a visit to one the sidestreets many mini massage parlors. But you have to wait
for a story on these places until next time. I went home... alone. God, I miss Thailand!
An American friend of mine lives in the north of Thailand in a village with his Thai wife. He recently moved in and wanted to plant several trees between his property and the next, mainly for aesthetic reasons. The neighboring property is “owned” by an American businessman who spends much of his time in the States, and his Thai wife and her family who live full time on the property.
My friend speaks Thai and he gave his namecard to his neighbor’s family asking that the man call or e-mail him as he just wanted to check with him about the trees. Nothing happened and again my friend reminded them. Nothing happened. Through a coincidence, my friend got the man’s phone number in the States and gave him a call. He found that he was very nice and also learned that of course no one had told him about the trees or his namecard or his request that he contact him. My friend happened to mention that it was good that both of them had bought when they did because the next similar property was now twice as much. And he mentioned what he had paid for his property.
That, of course, is when the American in the States realized what my friend already suspected: The Thai wife and family had told her husband that the property cost far more than it did. That’s why they wanted no contact between the farangs and when they found out they were not ashamed – oh, no – they were furious with my friend for spilling the beans.
Thais are great people but, remember, your girlfriend or wife has a first loyalty; and it is to her family; there are cases where it is to you, but those women are exceptions to the rule. So make absolutely certain you know the true costs of things when investing in Thailand. Obviously, I am not suggesting all Thai women would do this; for example, my friend’s wife is as honest with him as they come. It’s simply a case of paying attention and making sure. As they say, a fool and his money is soon parted. And I might add it is parted faster in Thailand than anywhere else.
I took a lovely young lady from the show at the Long Gun Bar the other day and brought her back to my apartment for the night. She looked around my cluttered rooms at the stacks of books – my own and others I’m reading or will read – stacks ready to topple over, and said in English: “You know, you should get out more.”
I never thought at this stage of my life it would come to this; a Thai go go dancer telling me I should get out more. Actually, I thought going to go go bars was getting out more.
“If it’s not spicy; it’s not delicious.” That’s what Thai girls always tell me about food. Then they say, but, don’t worry, your dish is not spicy. Right. To Thais it probably isn’t. To me it’s like shoving pissed-off fire ants into my mouth.
Uh oh, it happened again. One long-time “friend” of mine dancing in one go go bar on soi Cowboy has moved to another bar where there is yet another “friend” of mine dancing. This bodes ill for one and all. If my columns disappear you’ll know why. Be kind to my memory.
I did it! I rang the bell at the Texas Lone Star Saloon for the fourth time in four years. Am I the Last of the Big Spenders, or what? Of course it was morning and only the girls were there so it only cost me eight drinks. The girls loved me for it and showed their appreciation. The bill came to less than the price of a lap dance in the States. I sometimes feel very sorry for men living in places like the States and England. Places where the sanuk seems extremely limited indeed.
However, it is true that one guy once saw three girls in the Texas Lone Star Saloon and rang the bell; alas, seven more came out of the kitchen. Then there is the also true story of the guy who rang the bell and when the bill came he saw it had doubled. When he protested, the girl said she was including the girls who worked the morning shift as well. Needless to say, he got the bill changed.
One of the things I love about the Londoner Pub (besides the women who work there)is that on the way to the men’s room you pass between the dart board on the wall and the people throwing darts. If you’re drunk enough, it becomes a fun challenge to make it through to the men’s room unscathed.
Listen up, young-un's, and I'll tell you a tale. It was in the late 70's when I began photographing Thailand in earnest and you see in those days things were a bit different than they are now. In those far-off, remote days, they had go go dancers in Thailand, all right, thank whatever gods may be. However, they wore larger bikini bottoms. That allowed them to add slogans to their bikini bottoms and to express themselves the way some folks do nowadays with T-shirts. So I began photographing these bikini bottom slogans and starting with this one, will display one a column for the next several columns. Ah, yes, a lovely bottom it was too. And a lovely way to thank a punter for a drink.
I decided to try a smaller massage parlor for a change. So I went to the “Korea style Akasuri & Massage – Sazanka” in Washington Square just down from Bourbon Street and just up from the Texas Lone Star Saloon. It was 980 baht for the massage and I tipped 400 baht. That means I paid about 1,000 baht less than I would have in one of the larger massage parlors in town. The massage is a real massage but, thank the gods, not a Wat Po-type that hurts like hell.
You are shown pictures of the girls available and you choose one or say no thanks and leave. If you like what you see, you will be led into a small cubicle with a narrow bed and then, wrapped in a towel, down the hall or down the stairs into yet another small cubicle and then while lying on a narrow bed the girl will pour warm water over you and then scrub you down with special gloves. Then back to the room and onto the narrow bed for a massage. You will leave feeling relieved although not having interacted. (Note how cleverly I avoid being overly descriptive but yet get the meaning across.)
Certainly an enjoyable experience and a cute girl. Yet I most likely won’t be back. I simply don’t like the Asian way of having to go to another room to take a shower or bath or be bathed, and, above all, I don’t like being in a cubicle in which the walls don’t reach the ceiling and you can hear the folks next door and they can hear you. I suspect Asians are more used to that. I guess, for me at least, the privacy and decadence of the larger massage parlors are worth the extra one thousand baht.
I remembered that my old mate, Shrimp, of Shrimp Studios, was down at soi 20, and I hadn’t seen him for quite a while. I also wondered if he was doing another erotic calendar or had some new erotic photos of Thai women. So I wandered off down there but alas found that he was out of the country for a few days. But on the way back I stopped at Bei Otto’s German Bakery and Butchery. I’m not much for heavy meat meals so I have never eaten there but I did buy some of their pastry and it was quite good. “Almond Bretzels” and something like “streveslkuchen.” So I ventured down a Bangkok lane in search of erotic pictures of Thai women but ended up with German pastry. Only in Thailand, folks, only in Thailand.
Did you know that the girls who work in the Rawhide and Long Gun bars all go to a lady doctor on soi 22 once a week to have their equipment checked visually? And that they go to another place farther up Sukhumvit Road once every three months to have their blood checked for HIV? Yep, they do. As the Entertainment Providers themselves say, “Good for girl; good for customer!” Right on, sweetheart.
I took an American friend and his wife to soi Cowboy the other night and while we were in a bar, I made a date for later with one of the dancers. My friend asked me how I worked it. I told him that she said when I get back home to call her and she will come to my apartment. She’s been there before and she knows where it is. He asked if they always come. I told him the truth. If they say they’re coming, I take the blue pill and know I’ll be ready; if they say they can’t come, I take the white pill and get a good night’s sleep. Either way I figure I come out a winner. Of course, as wonderful as these EP's (Entertainment Providers) are, they are not always reliable. I have had occasions when a girl said she was coming, so I took the blue pill, but then she didn't come, and I was ready for action all night long. Conversely, I've had cases where an EP says she can't make it, so I take the white pill. And just as I'm falling into a deep sleep, I hear a knock at the door, so all night long I have a beautiful woman in my bed and I'm snoring. Such is life in Bangkok, Thailand...
The very same American friend told me about how he had gone to a soi 33 bar without his wife and with his cellphone in his pocket. The cellphone got turned on somehow while he sat down or while one of the girls was massaging his legs. His wife was listening to every word. Fortunately, he was telling the girl in Thai that “I’m married and nothing is going to happen here.” Things like that. It was only when he got out of the men’s room that he somehow noticed it was on. His wife then repeated his conversations back to him word for word. As I say, fortunately for him, he was being faithful, just having a few drinks. But those damn fool cellphones have in one way or another tripped up a lot of guys. Be careful out there!
Are you interested in some really insulting slogans on T-shirts? Have you ever been to the http://www.tshirthell.com website? The guy is so far out he has had death threats. Give it a try. But only if you have a very black sense of humor!
Wow, first tabletop dancing and now Singapore is having its first erotica convention called Sexpo Singapore, showing sex toys, furniture designed for sex play, etc. Good for Singapore. Years ago when I lived in Manhattan I went to one such event and there were sex toys, furniture especially designed to enhance sex, dominatrixes, etc., and I met the legendary Al Goldstein, the publisher of Screw magazine. I think it lasted for three days and I was told on one of the days I wasn't there, one of the doms brought in one of her submissives and demonstrated how to tie him up. Great Moments in Sport.
The actress Angelina Jolie is apparently doing some good things in Cambodia, giving money, adopting a kid, etc., so she is now a Cambodian citizen as well. So I don't mean to say mean things about nice Western ladies doing nice things in Asia but when I saw her in a recent movie I assumed she was in her late 30's. Someone told me she is 30 years old. I'm not sure, but if I'm wrong, and she is 30, well, to my eyes, she looks about 40. But I've spent about 25 years in Asia and I'm used to petite women at 30 looking like schoolgirls. How do they age so fast over there in the West?
Speaking of actresses, Demi Moore is now well into her 40's and she has a 26-year-old "hunk" as her serious playmate. Good for her, I say, but I wonder if the feminazis who hate the sight of older men with younger women approve of older women with younger men? Speaking of which, I was at the Emporium on a Sunday recently and enjoyed watching farang men much older than the girlfriends they were walking with. They all seemed very happy. Good for them.
Did you see the article about the Malaysian wife in New Zealand who was putting weird things into her husband's food because he was having sex with her 35 times a week and she was desperate to slow him down? The court said it really didn't look like she was trying to poison him, just slow him down sexually, so let her go. Talk about weird events and weird people. Not limited to Thailand, that's for sure.
I was toying with the idea of having second and third prizes to the contests in this column. But I was thinking of having negative second and third prizes. For example, if you win the top prize you know you get at least 1500 baht in food and drink plus one book. But if you come in second, you owe me 500 baht in drink; and if you come in third, you owe me 1,000 baht in drink. I’m still toying with that idea.
Rumor-Control Headquarters has it that soon the Thai government will pass legislation making it an offense for any neighborhood in Bangkok not to have either a 7-11 or a Starbucks coffee house. They must have one or the other or else everyone on that block gets fined. No doubt someone at Rumor-Control Headquarters was drinking heavily. But stay tuned.
This column's contest below. Win 1500 baht worth of food and drinks and one novel.
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 at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Like satire on Thailand? Try http://www.farangaffairs.com.
Like to know what music is playing where in Bangkok each week? Try http://www.bangkokgigguide.com.
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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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