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 3,000 baht in food and drink, i.e., 500 baht each, from Larry's Dive, The Londoner, The Old Dutch, Electric Blue, The Big Mango 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. Second prize is one of my books or else a 500-baht book gift voucher from Dasa Books.
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).
Does the guy arrested in Thailand for the murder of JonBenet Ramsey look scary or what? No wonder the school fired him because they said the children were scared. Of course he was innocent until proven guilty but something about his eyes were weird. The paper said if the kids couldn't finish an in-class assignment, he wouldn't let them go to the bathroom. I also read he's been in trouble regarding children before. Now a Thai doctor says the guy consulted him about getting a sex change. A far out fellah. And now of course all teachers in Thailand are under suspicion. Well, here's a news flash: most molested girls in Thailand are molested by a family member such as an uncle. I know of some who had to be moved out of the house and out of the town to get away. So leave poor, underpaid, horny teachers alone. And now that his DNA doesn't match the killer's and it seems he is just a publicity-seeking nutcase, will people apologize for stigmatizing teachers in Thailand as pedophiles?
Be polite, be professional, have a plan to kill everyone you meet
(Actual rules-of-engagement sign of US Marines posted on their barracks wall in Barwana, Iraq. Sounds like good advice when walking through Nana Plaza)
As promised, more pictures of Ammy at Players Poolhall. (She spells her name with two "m's", I guess for mm good!) Stop by and say hello, play her a game or two and enjoy getting beat. Something about a good looking Asian woman with a pool cue in her hand turns me on. Not as much as a good looking Asian woman playing the violin but still...
While I was at Players, I got the worst putdown from a Thai woman ever. A girl working behind the counter was looking real cute so of course I had chatted her up a bit, so when Ammy wondered off, I said in a loud voice, "Well, now I guess I'll get back to my first love." She looked up and said, "You mean, she's second? I said, "Yep." She said, "And I'm first?" Knowing I had her hooked now I said, "Yep." Then she said, "So please tell me is there a way I can be last?" Ouch! These girls from Siam University on the Thonburi side of the river are too smart. I think that school should be shut down tight. And turned into a gambling casino or shopping mall or a giant 7/11. And the students fed to a giant squid with lots of suckers on their testicles, sorry, I mean tentacles.
Bangkok's Soi Thonglor has a lot going for it. Ten years ago it was a collection of places catering to those wishing to tie the knot. Now, in addition to those places, there are at least three Starbucks, two Villa markets, one Au Bon Pain, Witch's Tavern, Bosse Club and other clubs near the bridge, Playground with its many hi-so shops selling strange things nobody needs, J Avenue with its many shops and new shops across the street, more ice cream parlors than there are entertainment providers on Patpong, and now, the latest, True coffee shop with ice cream, coffee and over 40 computers. Forty baht for an hour; twenty baht for half an hour; near Soi 13 right on Soi Thonglor. The Pridi Panomyang Institute is also on this street. And remember Woodstock which used to be in Nana Plaza moved to soi 13 just a two minutes walk off Soi Thonglor. I haven't been in but I go by at night in a taxi two or three times a week and I must say I have never seen many people in there. I doubt that they get much walk-in traffic in there. One minute walk from the soi brings you to Victoria Secret and the Metropolitan Museum of Art Shop and to a lot of clothing stores. Needless to say at J Avenue and elsewhere along this road one tends to find pretty Thai ladies although they are mainly of the hi-so, hand-me-that-whitening-cream-will-yah-huh?, white-skinned variety whereas I tend to prefer the luscious copperbrown or caramel brown of the Essarn ladies. But at my age I take what I can get.
It was the best of times; it was the worst of times. The best of times for us punters but the worst of times for many bar owners. Some areas are doing a bit better but it varies week to week. Things have been looking up a bit on Soi Cowboy but there are still far too many empty seats inside the bars. It is the low season so no one expects business to be booming but some of the smaller bars have nights during the week when there are few punters inside. Even Long Gun seemed to be feeling the low season blues, at least during the week. The girls at Rawhide just get better looking all the time. And they have a playful, friendly attitude. The dancers at Deja Vu also have a let's-have-fun attitude. And this bar boasts a glass ceiling with dancers up above and dancers down below. While I was there the dancers downstairs wore cowgirl hats and, well, that was it. Rumor-Control Headquarters has issued a release that there are two rooms upstairs where one may have a bit of privacy with one of the dancers. I had to use the men's room which is upstairs so I can confirm a pool table up there for sure. I believe the owner here is also the owner of Midnite and Spice Girls. Haven't been to the other two lately but Deja Vu is a fun place. The dancers on soi Cowboy now have so few articles of apparel I think maybe we should take up a collection so they can buy some clothes.
I don't know if you have heard about the flap over what the idiot American female journalist, Rudi Bakhtiar, said about Bangkok on Fox News but it is on all the Thai talk sites, etc., and folks are hopping mad! Here is the transcript as a reader sent it to me. I think it first appeared on either www.BangkokAtoZ.com or www.Mangosauce.com, not sure which, but thanks to Jim Watling for sending it to me.
Anchorman: If the suspect John Karr did rape and kill JonBenet Ramsey, as he says he did, it's not surprising where he fled to. He was busted in Bangkok, a place some people call a pedophile paradise because of its lucrative child sex industry.
Bakhtiar: This is a billion dollar industry in Bangkok... Kids as young as 5 or 4 being trafficked and taken to brothels, taken to "painter" bars, taken to places where they basically are used and abused for sex objects.
Anchorman: What is a "painter" bar?
Bakhtiar: It's some bars that are, you know, in some place called Washington Square in downtown Bangkok where people go to get drinks. It's a low key bar but where sex is offered.
Anchorman: With kids?
Bakhtiar: With kids varying in ages and the kids are treated very poorly, John. Basically, they have diseases, they don't get medical attention, they're not fed properly, they're beaten if they don't make enough money.
Anchorman: This guy, there's a lot of suspicion falling on him because he has a history. He was arrested for having child porn on his computer, he fled from the charges, he's claiming to be in love with JonBenet and, therefore, confirming all this is the fact that he was in Bangkok, Thailand.
Anchorman: Is the only reason somebody would go to Bangkok, Thailand is the sex industry?
Bakhtiar: Well, I'd hate to speculate on that and ruin Thailand's tourist industry altogether in one shot, John, but it's listed as the third place for child abuse and child sexual exploitation. Basically, children there see anything between two and ten clients per week... it's one of the biggest industries for them.
OK, well, getting back to reality, there is no "downtown Bangkok" unless this bitch is talking about the river. The Artists bars are not in Washington Square nor could anybody hanging about in Washington Square afford the barfines in the Artists bars. Furthermore, not only are there no children about in Washington Square but the ladies who work in those bars are quite a bit older than the girls who go go dance in such places as Soi Cowboy. Bourbon Street Cafe in Washington Square is known for great Cajun cooking, and in the six years I have been going there to eat I never saw any kids being abused. As far as kids getting beaten because they don't make enough money that sounds like the (alleged) Thai gangs behind the garland sellers at intersections or the flower girls at Nana Plaza. But no farang is involved. The only people getting beaten in the area are some of those going to Demonia S&M bar and they want to be beaten. I hope you will write a nasty note to Fox News which I believe is at firstname.lastname@example.org. (By the way, Koreans hate Fox News because when they hosted the Olympics and the World Cup Fox News made it look like every Korean eats dog meat every day. I say fox news people eat foxes.)
One of the nice things about nightlife areas in Thailand is that you often run into the unexpected: from elephants forcing you off the road, to girls in traditional Thai dress, to bar birthday specials, to sudden floods, etc., etc. And then again some of the dancers' costumes are somehow very imaginative while leaving little to the imagination. In many of the bars the girls have a choice of getting a firm lower monthly salary or else taking a higher one but then having to obtain a certain number of drinks and in some cases "offs" as well. According to one bar manager, whose owner does not like to fire any girl for being too old or for not getting drinks from customers, the girls in general know when it is time to go. And they go back to their village without ever having been fired as such. A kind of sweet ending or at least a soft landing.
Not to jump a topic but Rodney sold The Green Parrot on Sukhumvit, soi 33, to a Dutch fellah. Somehow the place never seemed to be the same after Rodney the parrot died. Business seems to be holding all right for now, though. Even some of the formerly hot clubs on soi 33 are really slow, Dali bar being one of them but certainly not the only one. More massage parlors have opened on the soi including Love Teen and Teen Massage and lots more. The Monet bar at left almost looks like the setting for a stage play. Hamlet maybe? A Samlor Named Desire?
"I'm desperately trying to figure out why Kamakaze pilots wore helmets." - Thomas Edison
A difference in values. Click on the cartoon:
The Bangkok Post has recently been celebrating its 60th birthday and of course Taksin showed up at the party. Which is fitting because you may recall how last year the Bangkok Post got down on its knees and kissed the derriere of Taksin and in fact fired one of their editors (kicked him upstairs) when he wasn't pro-Taksin enough. And for many months the paper made a fool out of itself with articles ignoring anything evil Taksin did and praising him to the skies, as something like 70 of its staff wore black armbands to work in protest. At that time if you really wanted to know what was happening in Bangkok and even at the Post itself you had to read the Nation because the Post said nothing about the protest in its own house. Little by little, the Post seems to have got up off its knees but the Nation is the one that tells it like it is. For example, the Nation recently ran a photo story on its front page about the American who is suing Taksin. Don't hang by your thumbs until the Post does something like that.
The Post also seems to be involved in some kind of childish effort to portray itself as leftist, anti-Western, but it doesn't seem to know how to do it in an intelligent way. For example, every two weeks they allow a Muslim fanatic a platform to spread his hatred of the West and of Jews but the Post refuses to allow Hindus, Jews, Christians, atheists, and Muslim women to have articles alternating with their own embedded Muslim fanatic. I most likely don't like George Bush anymore than you do but allowing a Muslim fanatic to prattle on without restraint does not enrich a newspaper; it degrades it. I can only assume that his Thai handlers at the paper think that because his garbage generates a lot of letters, that is a good thing. But if Hitler were alive and had a column he too would generate a lot of letters. Does that mean allowing fanatics in the nuclear age to run off at the mouth unopposed is what a newspaper should be doing?
Roger Crutchley is good value but as he appears in the establishment newspaper you know he isn't going to say much to rock the boat which Roger Beaumont at the Nation just might well do. Here is a good bit from Crutchley:
Most readers may regard the Post as essentially a sober newspaper, but over the years there have appeared little gems from everyday life. I particularly liked the story of the government official who was transferred to an inactive post because of a lack of productivity. When asked why he had done nothing, he replied frankly that nobody had asked him to do anything.
There is magazine advertising as well as a website for a new nightclub in Bangkok "coming soon." It is called Superfly but its website tells us only that it is "A new funky universe dedicated to the mission of making you shake your booty!" I hate to be a wet blanket or to piss on anybody's parade but I damn well don't want to shake my booty. So what else you got?
Would you believe that the Lending Library on soi 24 has closed and has been replaced by a massage parlor? I love books and I love massage parlors so I am torn between rejoicing and sitting about in deep despair. The Thai lady who ran it was very much dedicated to books and literature and it is a shame. But in that same subsoi off of soi 24 opposite where the Landing Library used to be is a bookstore just called Used Books, Rare & Secondhand Books. It is a used bookstore and much of the stock is in German, with some in English and Japanese. The owner there also owns the Elite Bookstore on Sukhumvit near the Villa Market. Anyway, the owner, Vichien, is willing to sell the stock of 25,000 books for one million baht. So that is 40 baht per book. Not bad considering that he has lots of hardcovers. He can be reached at Vichiensukit@yahoo.com. He wasn't afraid to talk about actual rents and the rents of the small massage parlors and how much more the parlors can bring in per day than bookstores. But he says he doesn't like to see more massage parlors open so he doesn't want to let a massage parlor take over his shop. He has mainly nonfiction because he says he can compete with nonfiction but not with fiction. Anyway, an interesting fellow. The store is open daily 1-9.
"Culture is whatever men do and monkeys don't." - Chimpanzee Charlie
The latest issue of The Big Chilli magazine has a cover story on Mamee, the gorgeous, succulent, curvaceous star of the film, Butterfly Man. That's the movie in which the guy was playing beach ball on the beach and the ball accidentally hit Mamee (who was buying or selling something as a vendor in Phuket, I think it was) and he briefly went over to her and apologized and then went back to play ball with his mates. True, as has been suggested to me over a many-year period, I may be a tad oversexed, but, come on. Anybody sees a woman like that and goes back to play some dumb sport with his mates needs help. Fast. If you haven't seen the film, there is a scene in the movie where she rubs some powder or cream on her nipples so that when he takes her to bed and indulges himself he ingests the powder and falls asleep. And gets robbed. It works like a charm in the movie. There are tales of it working in real life in Thailand but who (yawn) knows? ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ
Ancient brothel sparks debate over historic site preservation
The brothel, built in 1733 in the ancient town of Jinggang, Hunan Province, is teetering on the verge of collapse and the local government has been pressed to make a decision on its historic value. The authorities have held meetings to discuss its fate and most officials support protection of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) building known as Hongtaifang. But many locals have protested, arguing it should be demolished as it represents the worst aspects of China's former feudal system.
The thought of tearing down a brothel, even an ancient, unused one fills me with gloom and despair, forces rivers of sweat out of me, and makes my flesh crawl but that's just me. I traveled for several days through Hunan Province but never knew there was an ancient brothel in need of resurrection. Shades of Ozymandius. Maybe I could have bought it and fixed it up. The Feminist Nightmare Brothel, Hunan China, Dean Barrett, Prop. I hope if they take leave of their senses and do tear it down, whatever replaces it is haunted by the ghosts of the entertainment providers who worked there. Why does a brothel in Ch'ing Dynasty China suddenly remind me to remind you to see the new movie of the mad poet Charles Bukowski starring Matt Dillon? From his novel Factotum. I haven't seen it yet but it should be good. Reviews are good.
How do you kill a Thai girl?
Throw a mirror into a swimming pool.
Proof of global warming: Click on photo
Hello From Seattle, WA. How about a book on CD for those of us that commute to work everyday. loyal fan John Erickson
Dean, I just came up with a great new tagline.
"Genocide- Get with the pogrom". I just can't come up with a story to go
with it yet. I guess it'd make a good bumper sticker or t-shirt if nothing else.
Peter, I know you love fine wine. Is it possible that you've had a few too many glasses of Trockenberren Auslese?
Hi Dean, Have a look at this. To coin a phrase 'further
comment would be superfluous'
Mark, thanks. I hope Trink doesn't sue us both for using his phrase. Anyway, here is the article: Muslims call for special bank holidays
Hi Dean, You will be saddened to know that the former upstairs 2nd hand bookshop opposite the side of the Emporium which always used to stock your books has now been turned into a massage parlour (of which there can't be many more than 50 in the vicinity). Maybe someone should compile an Atlas of Bkk Massage Parlours. Cheers, Peter.
Peter, that is sad. Yes, it is the lending library (see above). The young Thai lady who ran it was extremely dedicated to furthering reading even though she knew she could never make a profit. By the way, my Microsoft spell check tells me that you are spelling "parlour" incorrectly but having lived in Hong Kong for 17 years under the British I know it's just one of those quirky British things. Which means I know more than Microsoft.
How do people compensate for not living in Thailand?
Thai police corner a thief who attempted to steal a copy of Murder at the Horny Toad Bar from a Bangkok bookstore
Some of the new girls in Playskool a go go at Nana Plaza are from the coastline down south and seem a little strange. Here I am with one of them in Pattaya. She swam up to me from out of the sea. I thought there might be something fishy going on but hey I was horny. If you're not sure, that's me on the right. I guess this is what they mean by "getting a piece of tail."
I must say many of the bars on Soi Cowboy now have some good looking dancers. I decided to check out Midnite bar which had fallen from its former seedy-in-a-cool-way to just plain seedy with very overweight dancers. When I was there the other night there was one very overweight dancer, two slightly overweight dancers, and several fairly good looking dancers. Plus the place has been redone and looks quite good inside with all the neon around and the leaves attached to the ceiling. There were not many customers so no girls were dancing on the glass ceiling. Most bars with glass ceilings only have dancers up there when there are enough customers. Jeffie, I believe the owner is called, is an American who owns Spice Girls and Deja Vu as well. Rumor Control Headquarters has issued a statement to the effect that there are two casual stay rooms upstairs at Midnight and at Deja Vu. The owner has had some problems in the past with the Boys in Brown but seems to have got things in hand now and is raking in the lucre.
Did you see the article in a local Bangkok paper about how private investigators in Chiang Mai have lots of business in investigating "giks" - casual affairs. And how their investigations are upsetting politicians and businessmen who happen to have young girlfriends and mistresses. It seems now a lot of men are also asking investigators to check on their minor wives, etc., to see if they are loyal or not. And so it goes...
The other day, the Manager Online Web site flashed a prominent
headline, which said that a ghost residing in the same jail currently holding
Lieutenant Thawatchai Klinchana had taken possession of the car-bomb suspect.
The above quote is from a local Bangkok paper. Rumors are flying that a jail ghost took possession of the guy suspected of wanting to blow up Toxin. Is this country weird or what?
Calvary greetings in the name of God, Greetings to you
in the most wonderful name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. His richest
blessings shall be upon you forever.
I am Mr. Lorraine Batty, 45 years old from United Kingdom, My late father was killed by his business associate in 2004, and during the same period both my son and wife were also murdered in cold blood, I am now afraid of showing myself to them (Business Associate Including members of my Family) as all are after my life too, All because after the death of my father, I inherited all his business and wealth. Currently, I am suffering from leukemia. From all indications, my condition is really deteriorating and is quite obvious that I may not live more than six months, because the cancer stage has gotten to a very severe stage.
OK, the above is the usual lying bullshit from some asshole but what is funny is how badly he overdoes it, talk about piling it on too thick; plus "My late father was killed..." if his father was already "late" then he was already dead when he was killed. Amazing some people fall for this garbage.
Two much of a Good Thing?
"An Indian man born with two penises wants to get one of them removed so that he can marry." The 24-year-old Indian man checked into a hospital for the operation. His condition is known as "penile duplication or diphallus." It is very rare and apparently this is the only known case where both of the penises are functional rather than one being rudimentary. OK, but to sick minds like ours this gives rise to certain questions, does it not? I mean, let's say he wanted to, um, indulge in a bit of horseplay when alone. Does this mean he could handle one after the other? Or both simultaneously? And is he able to take a whiz through the penis of his choosing? Or both simultaneously? Curious minds wish to know. And did you read about the English judge who had a penis pump under his robe and was using it during courtroom sessions? Or the Cambodian monk who stripped naked and raced through suburban streets after drinking rice wine laced with toads all night? Truth to tell, I may be the least perverted guy out here.
I'll repeat this so you don't miss it: The Big Mango partners at Nana Plaza are having a bit of trouble getting Hooters-type girls with big cheeboobs but I hear from the partners from time to time that they are giving it their all. And now comes the 1st Year Anniversary Party Friday, September 1st. It will be the usual anniversary party merriment including: Free Food, Happy Hour Pricing all night including 60 baht Beer lao, bottle, shot and cocktail specials, T-shirt, keychain, and other giveaways, pool tournament with prizes, free pool all night, and best of all, the first three customers to show up after 7 get the girl of their choice one hour for free. Well, OK, I made the last one up but it still sounds worth dropping by. (This was great; pictures of the event will be up in the next column.)
I'll be giving a talk to the Pattaya City Expats Club on Sunday the 10th at 10:30 in the morning. Open to one and all. Mainly about writing in Thailand and about my latest book The Go Go Dancer who Stole My Viagra & other Poetic Tragedies of Thailand.
And lo and behold it is the 20th anniversary of Bourbon Street Cafe at Washington Square on 15 and 16 September. From 5 pm on until late there will be an all you can eat buffet with over 25 items for 220 baht per person plus tax and vat. Bourbon Street is known for its Cajun food and Mexican buffets, etc., so this should be good.
Very important one-question honesty quiz. Please click here.
“Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.”-- by Nobel Laureate physicist Steven Weinberg.
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.
New contest is for 3,000 baht first prize in food and drink vouchers. You must be the first with the answer and you must live in Bangkok or be about to arrive. Second prize is a 500 baht voucher for Dasa Books. Third prize is Diddly-Squat. Easy one this time. Just tell me where this painting can be found. Last column's beer garden was on Suriwongse Road opposite the end of Patpong. Only one winner. Seems like not many folks get down that way.
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!" 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: email@example.com
Back to the Welcome Page