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).
A friend of mine speaks fluent Thai and knows many Soi Cowboy dancers very well. He got to talking with them the other night. Many of the dancers live up above the bars and many of them sleep three or even four to a bed. My friend asked them if they ever, well, kind of made out with one another. They all indignantly said, no, of course not. But then they added: well, we do hug a bit, of course; and sometimes cuddle and kiss a bit, and stuff like that but that's all. Uh huh.
Another friend barfined a go go dancer from an upper story bar at Nana Plaza the other night. When they reached the top of the stairs they ran into a Japanese guy whom the girl obviously knew well. My friend waited for them to stop chatting, and he waited, then he walked down the stairs and waited some more. Then he got pissed off and left. When he got home the girl called him and asked where he was. He said she was very rude, etc., etc., and hung up on her. The next time he went to the bar she came over to him gave him an apology and his six hundred baht back. She explained that the Japanese guy always gave her between 15,000 and 20,000 baht so she had to talk with him. My friend of course would not have paid more than 2,000 or 3,000 baht. So my friend said well why didn't you tell me and she pointed out that she couldn't have in front of the Japanese guy. So now they are good friends. But now you know why we don't like Japanese guys around. Nothing to do with race or WWII or Shinto shrines with war criminals or Death March, etc., etc. It has to do with the fact that they seem to be loaded with money and throw it around like there was no tomorrow. Well, there won't be a tomorrow for the rest of us if they keep doing that!
And what is with all these Japanese only bars? Isn't it bad form to have a Japanese only establishment in another country? What are they afraid of that they have to keep everybody else out? And if they can come into "our" bars isn't it a double standard to close theirs off?
OK, OK, by popular request, more pictures of Amy will be coming next column. Here is one or two to tide you over. Anyway, you can just go to Players Poolhall near the Sheraton on Sukhumvit by Soi Asoke almost any night to meet her yourself. The poolhall is where a Korean restaurant used to be. And by the way did you know that the building across the street housing the Country Roads on the corner will be coming down in a few months? God only knows what will be going up.
The Thai bouncer at Rawhide Bar and Long Gun Bar is a muay Thai expert named Charlie. Charlie is a very nice guy. Charlie was seen last week with a bandage on his nose. Why? Because when he was on the third floor of Penny Black Hotel, also on Soi Cowboy, he politely tried to get a farang drunk to quiet down. The guy sucker-punched Charlie. Big mistake. Charlie grabbed the guy's head, brought it down, smashed his knee into his face, and did a thing on his face with his elbow. The guy was unconscious on the floor in less than three seconds. Needless to say, the drunk's friend wanted no problem with Charlie and carried their buddy out.
I have very little tolerance for obnoxious drunks and have never understood men who feel the need to fight after a bit of drinking. Drinking makes me horny, and heavy drinking makes me heavily horny. So for those out there who feel the need to fight, at least be bright enough to stay away from Thai bouncers.
On the 13th of this month a film crew set market stalls up along Soi Cowboy to make it look like Patpong. The movie is called Big Hit in Bangkok starring Nicholas Cage, a remake of Bangkok Dangerous directed by Oxide Pang. Budget for the new film is around US$50 million. Why they didn't simply film on Patpong, I don't know, but figure it was too expensive or too crowded or the owner of the street said no filming. If I say so myself, I keep getting compliments on my novel Skytrain to Murder. That could be made for under US$10 million. So why not film that? Or one of Christopher Moore's novels? Or one of Jake's? Something tells me that when JFK said "Life is not fair" he knew what he was talking about. Although how many people still know who JFK was I'm not sure. I'm so old I remember when Patpong Road was made to look like Saigon for The Deer Hunter starring Robert De Niro. Now that's old.
Next year will be 25 years since Memoirs of a Bangkok Warrior was first published. Needless to say, there will be some event in some go go bar somewhere to celebrate reaching that milestone. So I went to some of the used book sites to see what books of mine are available and at what price. Alibris has Memoirs of a Bangkok Warrior early edition for US$68.95. Abebooks had a copy for US$88.52. And an original 1980 copy of The Girls of Thailand as follows for US$100:
Collectible-Very Good. VERY SCARCE LARGE SOFTCOVER BOOK PUBLISHED IN 1980. NO
WRITING OR MARKS IN THE TEXT, LIGHT WEAR TO COVER, MANY PHOTOGRAPHS OF SEXY
WOMEN. A NICE COPY OF A RARE AND HARD-TO-FIND BOOK.
OK, I don't have a 1980 copy but I do have a 1983 copy which is exactly the same (144 pages, full color) except that eight photographs have been added to the back cover. Over the years, many guys have asked how to get a copy of this book but it is out of print. So if you would like a copy of The Girls of Thailand just send me your bid. The highest bidder gets the book, a signed edition of course. And, of course, all proceeds go to impoverished Thai families in the northeast of Thailand (assuming go go dancers are telling the truth about where the money I give them goes).
Gator, a fellow Squaronian (one who hangs about the bars of Washington Square), passed away recently. He had a long, white, almost handlebar, mustache and was quite a character in the bars. The last time I saw him was at Lucky Lukes at Nana Plaza. He told me I had got him into trouble with his boss. When I asked how, he said he was reading Skytrain to Murder and didn't want to stop so he took a day and half off from work to read it. Like I said, he was a character. The following is from his friend Jim Watling:
I suppose it's about time to talk about BarBar, the newest S&M club in town, right there on Patpong II down from Foodland and a dildo's throw from Electric Blue. It pained me to visit such an establishment (that's a pun) but readers have requested a review. I believe the club is owned by the same French fellow who owns Demonia Bar on Soi 33 and the Castle in Pattaya, except for this one he has an Austrian partner. BarBar has 17 young ladies on the premises, ranging from doms to subs. The interior is not unlike Demonia with candles more or less lighting up patches of darkness and various implements strewn about meant to inflict harm on all those who feel the need for receiving or giving out such infliction. There seems to be an upstairs for those in need of more traditional horizontal entertainment (although why come here if that is the case?) but upstairs activities ain't free, to say the least. BarBar has its own website at www.barbar-bangkok.com and opens about 6 in the evening until nearly two in the morning. Great entertainment for the whole family. Assuming you are raising a real liberal family, that is. And you can be certain that the parents of all the girls working there have been led to believe their daughter is working as a waitress in a restaurant. Or as a paralegal?
I suppose someday some smart person will write a learned essay on why Bangkok now has (needs?) three S&M clubs and at least three or four Houses of Domination, whereas from my travels in China I believe there are none in the entire Middle Kingdom. Which puts China way behind Thailand and indeed China may never be able to catch up. Scholars have warned the Chinese government about the growing House of Domination gap but China has yet to get its act together (Hong Kong excepted, but that is the result of the British influence and you know what the Brits are like when it comes to kinky stuff).
Oh, yes, I must mention the practical details for those who plan on visiting BarBar. The price is the same as Demonia and the Castle. Nine hundred baht for the first beer and then 300 for the next. (Although you might not be in any position to order let alone consume a second beer.) You should wear black but not to worry if you are not, as you will be given a skimpy thin black jacket which looks like it belonged to a Brooklyn funeral home that fell on hard times and went out of business. A lady's drink is 250 baht and you might be encouraged to give somebody a tip. (I did: "Buy low, sell high." That's when I learned that humor is not particularly welcome in S&M clubs. Whap!) Anyway, it is reassuring to know that the glorious tapestry of the human race and its foibles continues unabated and that Thailand is definitely firmly woven into that glorious tapestry.
Most Thai bar girls do their best to have fun and not take life too seriously; even when they have genuinely sad stories to tell. One entertainment provider told the story of how she came to Bangkok and worked in a bar and kept sending money back and her mother wanted to know how she made so much. She said she worked overtime and ate in the department store where she worked and could save money. Her father separated from the mother and he started asking the daughter for money, suggesting he knew where she really worked; it was a kind of blackmail. She sent him some but eventually told him she had no more to send him. The sad part is that these girls do feel a strong responsibility to send money back to their families and help the mother who gave them life. But some families are quite happy to try to get as much money out of the girl as possible. In this case, even the mother started getting greedy, so the girl had to cut back to have enough for her own life. But of course she feels guilty. Some Thai parents should be horsewhipped.
Detmar, a German friend of mine, lives in Lampang and has a lovely Thai girlfriend he uses in ads for his high quality jam which he makes in Thailand and supplies to five-star hotels. Anyway, here is one of his ads. Nice going, Detmar, you sure do know how to sell jam!
A friend of mine who speaks very good Thai went to Bumrungrad Hospital for a cough and told the girl in Thai who assigns doctors to cases that he had a cough. The girl seemed uncertain about what to do but she conferred with an older colleague and he was assigned a doctor. When he went in to see the doctor the doctor had him take off his trousers and underwear and lie down. My friend did so but was confused. So he asked the doctor why this was necessary for his cough (ai). The doctor laughed. He said the girl thought he had said he was shy (ai but different tone) which usually means someone has VD. So for God's sakes watch your tones!
Bully's Pub on Sukhumvit near Soi Nana is looking real good under the ownership of ET. The decor is very nice and it is a pleasant atmosphere. The Champagne Room next door has good looking women upstairs but is an upmarket type of place in an area with lots of beautiful and available women (not to mention ladyboys) so I would find it hard to believe that the Champagne Room concept is working.
Farang women outside a Bangkok bookstore fight for the last copy of Thailand: Land of Beautiful Women
I've been talking to some of the go go dancers on Soi Cowboy who are not at all pleased about how slow business is. Nevertheless, when I joked with a very popular one in Sheba's about how she could probably get her 60-drink monthly minimum in a week, she laughed and said "in two weeks." But like some of the other popular dancers, once she attains that number, she gives the other drinks to other less popular dancers who need them to make their 60-drink minimum. Now ain't that sweet?
Another friend had a phone stolen at Nana Plaza by one of the older boy flower sellers. He went to the police station to report it and the police gave him the wrong phone. Apparently, a lot of phones are stolen around town in one night so watch out for yours! Those little girl flower sellers are cute but the gang that runs them is not.
Truth-to-tell, 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.
"The truth is that anyone who wants to learn anything can do it better on his own. If you want to learn to write, for example, lock yourself in a room with copies of Strunk and White, and Fowler, and a supply of Padre Kino, and a loaded shotgun." - Fred on Everything
Soi Cowboy: Where have all the punters gone; long time passing...
A gentleman believed to be of Scandinavian descent and more than a bit inebriated was seen totally naked dancing on stage in a Soi Cowboy bar the other night. It is said one of the mama-sans was dancing naked with him. I have had this confirmed by several sources and all I can say is: I am shocked!
Al Eberhardt's birthday celebrated in the Londoner Pub, Sukhumvit, soi 33. Al was feeling very well indeed. Soon he will celebrate 40 years in Thailand.
A friend of mine went back to the States for a few weeks and visited his old friend a dentist. The dentist wanted to introduce my friend to his wife's sister but said, "By the way, how old are you now? My friend said, "39." The dentist said, "Oh, no, you're way too old for her; she's 29." Do Americans have a weird mindset or what? While on the subject I know of a millionaire in Georgetown, D.C., who spent 300,000 dollars redoing the entire interior of his townhouse because he wanted to marry a woman who didn't like the fact that he had lived with another woman in it. "I told him I wouldn't marry him unless he threw out all the old stuff he had when she lived with him and he did it." And this woman is no looker by any means. Are American men in America desperate or pathetic or brainwashed or what? Or are they just metrosexual wimps?
A couple of tourists pass by Baccara Bar on Soi Cowboy while the Baccara girls search for customers.
Ho hum, one more farang killed and burned and cut up by his Thai wife and her friends and relatives. Why bother to report yet another one? It must have been a slow news day over at the Nation. The list of guys who have not been killed by their Thai wife and her lover or her family must be shorter than the list of those who have. I luv you(r property) too much! Anyway, for the latest horror story click here.
And if you haven't read about the murder of the farang transvestite English teacher at AUA click here.
And if you haven't seen these pictures of Muslim fanatics in London click here. Here is one of them. Here in Bangkok just over a hundred Muslims marched from Lumpini Park to the American Embassy to show their anger at Hezbollah for dragging Lebanon into a war and to angrily denounce the Muslims who tried to blow up planes. Ha, dream on. They were supporting Hezbollah and blaming everyone but Muslims for the ills of the world. It is a truism: Muslims never blame themselves for anything nor do they protest massacres carried out by Muslims.
But on a happier subject if you'd like to read the Erotic Writers and Readers Association Newsletter click: http://www.erotica-readers.com
Hi Dean, The photo is taken from the upper floor of Shebas during a moment when you could no longer bare to watch the floor show. To your immediate right there is the Black and White awning with Dundees (where nothing ever happens) opposite. Just to the left of Dundees (out of your picture) is a new bar called Starlight Scopes. Cheers, Peter.
Well, done, Peter. You won first prize and I didn't even know about the Starlight Scopes bar. I turn my back for a few minutes and yet another Bangkok bar has sprung up! I do know those scopes light up the night like day and you can see things in shades of green and black. But I didn't know about the new bar. I will have to check it out. Then again are you sure you weren't drunk and mistook Spice Girls Bar for Starlight Scopes?
Dear Mr. Barrett,
I would like to point out some inaccuracies in your column of this month on the internet where you refer to my friend and I as 'two fat unattractive white women'. I cannot dispute the 'fat' or 'unattractive' comments, as these are clearly matters for your own judgement, although I should say that we were rather hurt by this harsh criticism.
However, I can dispute the 'women' part, since we are both pre-op transsexuals in town to go through the final stage of our transformation at the Bumrungrad hospital. It is indeed true that we called out "There's the pervert". However, I think you misunderstood. We had entered the bar for a few drinks as we were a little nervous about the big step we were taking the next day at the hospital.
Well, after a couple of beers, we were feeling a little horny and asked the waitress where we could go to find a little 'action'. She said that she was a good girl from Udon, and didn't know about anything kinky, but that we should ask the man in the corner. Apparently he was into anything, including whips, S&M, bondage, uniforms, you name it. The waitress said that he was the biggest pervert in Bangkok.
I think you can guess to whom she was referring. Well that was enough to turn us on, and we were very disappointed when you got up and left. Hence, we pursued you down the street, anxious to have one final use of our offending members before they got the chop. Indeed upon spotting you in the side soi, we may, in our excitement, have called out 'There's the pervert'. But I can assure you it was not through any form of disapproval.
Sadly our penises are now part of history, so we will never be able to plant them between your firm, manly buttocks. However, we are very happy to wear any uniform of your choice, and I'm sure we could use our imaginations!!! By the way, the answer to your question is "Sheba's". We think you should really give us the prize at least in compensation for spreading such libel about us on the internet. Yours adoringly,
Alice and Mabel
Dear um, ladies: It is letters like yours that make me hope I am reborn as someone who is illiterate. Anyway, nice try, but you see I wasn't at a corner table and the ladies in question had left just before me, not after me. Nevertheless, I am pleased to tell you that you came in second and if you go to Dasa Books you can get 500 baht worth of books for free. If you do not wish to go personally, I will e-mail Don that you are sending over your pimp to select the books instead. Just send me his name. But you mustn't think that just because I am forced to pay a visit to places like BarBar every now and then in order to keep readers up to date on cultural activities in Bangkok that I myself indulge in such activities. That kind of false reasoning is known in Latin as mea mucho culpa makh makh. And always remember, "Sins of the mind are far greater than sins of the flesh." Very best of luck with your proceedings at Bumrungrad. (And by the way, as you spelled "judgement" with an e between the g and the m I can assume you are British. Not for nothing do I write detective novels.)
Sa Wa Dee Khrap Hansum Man Kuhn Barr (if that is your real name)--
1. Regarding Mr. Spillane--his book covers (clever pulp marketing) and book titles (clever pulp marketing) also helped move merchandise. Currently I am reading Perchance to Dream by Robert Parker. More of the tough guy talk and very fast pace. A signature ending to every chapter keeps you going. Great literature? No, but fun. And at about 250 full pages a fast run-off for the publisher and the author (hell, I've got Stick submissions almost that long).
2. Regarding the pic of the Barr related T-shirt: my own T-shirt project has been on the back burner for a couple of years. Thinking of my face on the front and on the back with the letters GLWITHOTU* under the face.* Greatest Living Writer In The History Of The Universe.
3. Regarding the Angelwitch: I never go in there. Too crowded and the girls are wearing outfits. Boring. Reminds me of an over-rated tourist trap in Havana in the late 50's.
4. Regarding Chinese spies: "It's not fair to horny men."--this I believe is a complete 100% misreading of how men's penises get into women. Men are innocent cherubs and women are spawn of the Devil. We have nothing to do with it and should not be held accountable.
5. Regarding the soon-to-be literary blockbuster Dragon Slayer that will have some Vietnam specific allusions: I have stopped writing anything that relates to Vietnam in ANY way because men who have been to Vietnam simply cannot get past the fact that the author has not been to Vietnam (when bullets were flying) so the literary merit of the writing never gets a fair shake. Best to consider moving the action to some non controversial geography like west Greenland or northwestern Hudson's Bay, etc. Dana
Dear Dana, Always a joy in my otherwise mindnumbingly boring and lackluster days and nights in Bangkok to see a letter from you in my mailbox. My Thai neighbors always know when I have received a letter from you as they hear me pounding the walls and stamping the floors in paradisiacal bliss. And many thanks for your advice about not writing on Vietnam but I was in Vietnam during 1968 when I flew from Bangkok to be reassigned to Taipei and had to stop at Saigon's Airport for four hours. You would be amazed at the heroism I displayed crammed into those four hours but I am far too modest to mention it. Nor do I ask for sympathy or special consideration of any kind simply because I lived for years in a Bangkok which had yet to import go go dancing. Hardship duty it was, lad. Finally, you mention that you find Angelwitch boring. Does that even include the act where the girls on stage (including Noy) are dressed as nuns and sing "Fuck you" over and over again wearing dildos underneath their habits? Even I - president of DBB (Degenerates Beyond Borders) could not have come up with that one. And if Noy wearing a dildo under a nun's habit doesn't do anything at all for you, check your pulse; you may have just died.
Hope you are well. Matt asked me to pass on a message for your website columns. Please could you include this information... On Saturday, July 5 in Nana Plaza a credit card was found. Miss Heather Wilkie can collect her credit card from the management in Angelwitch (floor 2, Nana Plaza). Thanks in advance, Dave & Matt.
Sure, Dave, glad to do it but in truth do you really think Miss Heather Wilkie reads this column?
Finally, did you know the Black Eyed Peas were here in Bangkok at the Impact Arena? No, I didn't know who they were either. No one over 19 does or should. However my friend actually took five go go dancers from one bar to see this hip hop band (or however they describe themselves) and of course the band's song My Hump is played to death in every bar and restaurant, etc., in Thailand. Except the Thais hear My Hump as Ma Hao, i.e., dog bark, and so this band is known in Thailand as Barking Dogs. I don't know what you are going to do with that bit of information but there it is. Oh, yes. The girls were very happy they got a chance to go but the mamasan at the bar was less than pleased at losing five dancers for the night.
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.
Answer to last week's contest was Sheba's Bar on Soi Cowboy.
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 one of my books. Third prize is Diddly-Squat. Just tell me on what street is this particular beer garden. Last week's answer was from Sheba's Bar on Soi Cowboy. Many people got that one right.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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