Thailand Nightlife Roundup

Welcome to my website.  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 2,500 baht in free food and drink from Larry's Dive, The Londoner, The Old Dutch, Electric Blue 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).

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I think I'm going to give up on getting any news from the Shamrock Club.  I've been in there many times since the last owner Michael Fenton sold it and the name changed to Shamrock but have yet to catch even a glimpse of the new owner.  Whenever I ask where he is the girls always tell me he is upstairs or out shopping or wherever.  That's strange because if I owned a relatively small bar on soi 33, where the competition is fierce, you can be sure I would be around to greet customers.  But the women there are cool.

In 1979, Patpong Road was the place to be.  No Night Market, no wide-eyed tourist families, no upstairs rip-off bars.  And in all of Patpong, one of the top three or four go go bars was the Mississippi Queen.  And in the Mississippi Queen the most famous dancers of all were the twins, Joy (on my left) and June (on my right).  Joy I took to Hong Kong (where I was living at the time) and explained to the Chinese immigration officer that she was my "research assistant."  He gave me a strange look and a smile, but let her in.  And research we did.  (You may have noticed I have a thing for Thai twins.  And, sorry, Dave the Rave, but yours can't compare with these.  I no lie you.)  There are indeed a lot of beauties around in 2006 but, believe me, there were then too.  (Someone told me that I looked a tad sleazy in the picture.  Really?  I thought I looked like a perfect gentleman.  Oh, my.)

 

 

Don't forget the final of the three dance contests will be held on the 26th of this month, Sunday, Sheba's bar, Soi Cowboy.  Motorcycles will be raffled off and beautiful young women will be cavorting on stage for prize money.  Not sure if I'll be asked to be a judge this time or not but, if so, I'm still going to give points for Lesbian Tendencies.  I don't mean in any way to pass judgment on people but if you miss this one, you're probably stupid.

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Up until a few months ago, my friend Dave and I used to hang about the bar scene in Bangkok and discuss the wonders of the various young ladies out and about.  As in the relative merits and demerits.  Then one day he decided to move with his lovely Thai wife back to her village near Buriram.  After three months, he just returned to Bangkok for a quick visit and when I finished talking about my latest adventures with go go dancers, I asked him how his days go.  It seems he gets up at 6:00 in the morning (I didn’t know there was a six in the morning) and begins working around the farm and he says he loves it up there.  (Of course he wanted to meet me in a bar so that still interests him as well.)  Here’s a small part of what he had to say about his new life in the village outside Buriram.

“We were harvesting in the rice field and all of a sudden everybody starts running around with sticks, all shouting and excited; the combine which was gathering the rice stirred up the rats so everybody chased the rats and they grabbed a large rat by the tail, threw some scraps of wood down and started a little wood fire, threw the rat in the fire and burned off all the fur.  Then they took the rat out of the fire, dumped water on it and put it in water and it made the skin very brittle.  They peeled what was left of the fur and skin off, then they disemboweled it.  They made a small incision and pulled out the intestines." 

Me:  "Um, right, Dave, that's really fascinating but-"

"And when I got back to the house that night they cooked it in the oven.  Sliced it down the middle, basically splayed it open, the rat was served so that it had the head, the feet and the tail, all the internal organs."

Me:  "Right. Excuse me for a minute while I puke my-"

"Of course, the first thing that goes is the head, I mean the big cheese of the family gets to eat the brains and the eyeballs then the internal organs.  The only thing I tried was I nibbled on a little leg.  Basically the thigh bone, about two inches long.  Absolutely delicious!  Cooked in a little bit of pepper and salt but no additional sauce.  You know, Dean, it’s just a psychological thing because if I hadn’t known it was a rat I would have eaten a bowl full.  It really was delicious!”

Ummmm.  Well, yes, I have heard that kind of thing before from my friend Steve up in a village somewhere near Kalasin.  He said if I went up to visit, I would eat for dinner whatever I could catch – snakes, scorpions, etc.

Dave also has become the official chicken killer as his wife’s family is Buddhist so they don’t do it.  His wife’s grandfather used to do it but he is mid-sixties now and is building up his karma and doesn’t want to kill anything.  So Dave grabs it by the neck, and, according to him, “you pluck it while it’s alive, you pluck the feathers around the neck area, you just basically crank the neck back and with a sharp knife you just slit the throat, of course you hold it over a bowl because they’ll use the blood to cook with. (Of course.)  You drain it of all the blood and once it’s dead you put it in boiling hot water and pull it out and pluck off all the feathers and bingo!"

It really does warm my heart to see farangs like this getting into the real Thailand.  Farming, plowing, harvesting, building sheds, fixing fences, slitting the necks of chickens, eating rats and snakes and scorpions, and I think we should be proud of guys like this.  I mean they are the ones who give all farangs a good name, people who get into the real rural life and culture of Thailand.  But, you know, whenever I meet a guy from the Thai countryside doing these incredible things my main reaction is to think

THANK GOD I’M HERE IN BANGKOK NO MORE THAN TEN MINUTES FROM SOI COWBOY!!

What can I say?  Different strokes for different folks.  Oh, Yes, it seems Phuket Air now flies into Buriram again, once a day from Bangkok.  Of course, you don’t have to go to Buriram to find and eat a rat but maybe they taste better up there.  After all, an amazing percentage of good looking women in the Thai nightlife scene come from there.  So maybe the tastiest rats come from there as well.

And speaking of rats, did you read about the 81-year-old guy in New Mexico who tried to burn a mouse in a pile of leaves but the mouse caught fire and ran into his house and the entire house burned down?  What surprised me was that I saw the article in two different papers but neither editor used what I thought would have been the obvious title for the article: The Mouse that Roared.

I just got a call from the Canadian Embassy which woke me up from a delicious Ronald Reagan-type afternoon nap.  Some Thai woman who sounded sexy asked me about Dave because he'll be visiting Canada with his wife, or something like that.  She asked some questions including can you describe him so of course I said he's not as good looking as me.  She actually asked me if I know the color of his eyes and I informed her that if a man knows the color of another man's eyes, he's probably gay.  She laughed, said she would remember that, and rang off.  Well, Dave, if you don't get the visa, don't blame me.

As you already know, the Londoner Pub brews its own beer and you can see the vats near the back of the bar not far from the drunkards throwing darts at anybody who moves.  This photograph was taken late at night in an attempt to catch the thief who has been siphoning off beer.  Unfortunately, he scurried off into the darkness before he could be apprehended but he is believed to be of Swedish ancestry from the stylish way he dresses, especially the typically Swedish hat.  Should you have any clue as to the man's identity, please contact your local police box or the Swedish Embassy immediately.

I was in the Conrad Hotel the other day, I forget why, probably checking out the women in the Diplomat Bar.  I like to watch the dressed-to-kill bar girls decked out and acting as if they are hi-so and the farang guys dressed-to-kill and fiddling with their cigars and acting as if they are business tycoons.  Hell, maybe they are.  Anyway, the Conrad has such a spacious, clean and inviting men's room, I was thinking it's almost too bad I'm not gay because that would be the place I'd choose to hang around.  Maybe somebody could write a gay guide to Bangkok hotel men's rooms.  I mean, for example, the Oriental has a nice one off the lobby but way too small for rendezvous purposes. 

"If all the troubles of the world were laid in a heap, each would come and select his own as preferable."  Rene Descartes, 17th century French Mathematician and Philosopher

"If all the cell phones stolen in Bangkok were laid in a heap, each bargirl would come and claim they all belong to her."  Dean Barrett, 21st century American layabout & bon vivant

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Ah, men flying into Bangkok have a wealth of choices available.  At least if the covers of the "Dancer" books are to be believed.  On one it appears as if a lovely lady has some very nasty intentions toward her beau.  On the other the gentleman's supply of erection-propelling pills have been purloined.  So, in one case it gets cut off; in the other, it isn't cut off but not of much use.  As the sergeant used to say on Hill Street Blues: "Be careful out there."

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Had a fun time at Forte recently.  Forte is one of the clubs on RCA (Royal City Avenue) just off Petchburi Road.  It is known as the place for young Thais to go but farangs are welcome as well.  A few years ago I remember seeing acres and acres of young Thais out in the street having a great time.  Then came the crackdown.  Then came the revival in the form of upper class hi-so clubs which it is now. 

Clubs and bars close at two in the morning.  First, though, I went into the bar area of a club called Slim.  It being a Thursday night at 8:30, I was the only customer.  (Young Thais start partying late.)  On the drinks menu were cocktails ranging from 150 baht to 180 baht.  Three of them I did NOT try were "Dogs Don't Drink," "3 Some Snap," and "Yellow Bomp."  I stuck to my Black Russians and then headed over to Forte about 9:15 and asked the doorman if it was open.  He assured me it was but when I went inside over a dozen guys were setting up and not a woman in sight.  It is a huge place, lavishly decorated with one main stage and other bars and tables, etc.

A woman named Oh appeared, one of the (quite young) mama-sans, I believe, and told me they were running a bit late because they had all had a meeting.  She assured me the club was busy every night but obviously later than when long-in-the-tooth types like me stay up.  She also said I could have a membership for 20,000 baht which included 12 bottles of Chivas or 9 bottles of Johnnie Walker Black and in either case a discount on girls' drinks and other benefits. I lost track of some of what she was saying because within minutes there were over a dozen dancers dressed as nurses up along the bars gyrating like no nurses I ever saw before.  One of them near me had a stethoscope around her neck and knew how to dance with it.  Every now and then one of the gutters full of some kind of fuel behind one of the bars would be lit and that added a nice backdrop to the dancers' cavorting.

Eventually, a not-too-interesting band and singer came on the stage, allowing the dancers a rest, or rather allowing at least two of them to hit on me.  Miss Stethoscope was one of them.  Her name she said was Garfield and the other was Frog.  We had a great conversation and I ordered another Black Russian and a drink for each of them and eventually a drink for Miss Oh as well and another Black Russian for me.  More and more customers were entering and one Thai guy thought I was his teacher.  I explained that I used to teach English but not now.  He left but the two dancers were very interested in learning English and one gave me her e-mail address.  They asked if I had really been an English teacher and I said "Yes, until recently."  "Recently" is, of course, a relevant concept, the truth is I last taught English in Thailand in 1968, but who's counting? 

We got to talking and Miss Stethoscope wanted to know why farang men like their brown skin.  I told them we don't have women with complexions like that in America and how natural it is, etc.  I also told them I have this thing for Thai women who can bend their supple hands backward into that graceful, feminine arc.  They both could do it and did it beautifully.  Erection City.

The bill came and was 1500 baht and change.  Not as bad as I had thought it would be.  Much less than a similar club in the West would have charged.  I asked Miss Stethoscope if she had imagination.  She said yes.  So I asked if she could imagine me as a handsome, young man whom she could fall in love with.  Which caused her to nibble on her stethoscope.  Apparently, she was having some trouble with that one.  I asked the dancers if rich men came there and they said yes so I told them if they want money go for them but if they want great sex, drop me an e-mail.  Now both were nibbling on one stethoscope.  I waved goodbye and Miss Stethoscope waved her stethoscope and tilted her nurse's cap.  Oh, yes, she also said they don't dress as nurses every night.  Each night is different and they sometimes dress all in black, sometimes as soldiers, etc.  The mind boggles.

  

I mentioned before that Alex started the Renoir Club on soi 33 at a time when everyone thought he was crazy.  Not much of anything was in the area so all his friends thought he would go broke.  Well, needless to say, he didn't.  I was sitting in front of the Club with him the other night watching some of his stunning women in tight white dresses come and go.  Despite this, I was really trying to pay attention to what Alex was saying.  Because Alex is in fact a very interesting guy.  For example, he was talking about the Thai words "chao" and "toom".  Chao is "morning" as in "mong chao" 7 a.m.  Toom is used in the "evening" as in "see toom" 10 p.m.  He said the reason they use "chao" is because a kind of gong was sounded in the morning in the very old days when Bangkok first became the capital; and at night they used a drum.  He made the sounds and sure enough they were onomatopoetic.  He also said the walled city of Bangkok had four other drums sounded according to the situation: one in case of a fire, one in case of a petition to the king, one at sunset and one in case the enemy was approaching the city.

I kept thinking one should be sounded when I get a raging erection staring at his women but I didn't say so.  He really was interesting but, as I said, some of these Renoir women are stunning and every now and then they would come out to take the night air then head back in, throwing me one of those Thai smiles.  Agggghhhhhhhh!  But Alex was not in a great mood because he has "only" 50 girls working there when he wants 70.  He says so many of his girls leave to get married with customers he always needs more staff.  He also told me how much rent per month he has to pay and while I can't make it public it was incredible.  So now I understand why girls on soi 33 cost 1500 baht for a barfine.

And, don't forget, on the 23rd of this month, there will be an Arabian Nights evening with the Dance of the Seven Veils, belly dancing and free food.

"Women defend themselves by attacking, just as they attack by sudden and strange surrenders."  Oscar Wilde - The Picture of Dorian Gray 

 

A Lovely lady on Soi Cowboy all dressed up for a festival.  Isn't she sweet?  Nope, this time I'm not going to tell you who she is or where she works.  You'd have to cross my palm with silver to elicit that kind of information.

 

Has anybody else been pestered by some scruffy looking farang guy asking for money around the area of the Emporium?  He may cadge for money elsewhere as well.  He supposedly needs a ticket back to somewhere but if so he's not doing a very good job of raising the funds because the first time I saw him was several months ago; saw him again a month ago.

Shades of Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men, I done a baaad thing.  I sometimes bring a lovely Thai woman into a local pub and introduce her as my daughter "by my first marriage to a Thai woman."  Everyone says hi to the lovely Thai woman but, knowing me, realize I am throwing a bit of bull.  But a nice English woman visiting Thailand was there one night and before the Thai woman arrived I told her that my daughter was about to arrive.  She was surprised to learn that I had a daughter and asked the normal questions including if I was still in touch with the mother.  I replied, "not lately."  (Which was true as I had never met her mother at all.) 

So, anyway, my "daughter" arrived and the three of us had a nice chat and I suggested that when Paul, a friend of mine and of the English woman arrived, the four of us go to dinner.  So I got talking in a very friendly way to my "daughter" and eventually when Paul arrived the English woman spoke quietly to him and I found out later how it went. 

English Woman: "Dean suggested the four of us go to dinner together.  What do you think?"

Paul:  "Um, I'm not sure that's a good idea."

English Woman:  "Why?"

Paul:  "Well, they might want to be alone."

English Woman:  "Why?"

Paul:  "Well, you know, Dean might feel it would be more romantic."

English Woman:  "What?  Why would he want to be romantic with his own daughter?!"

Paul:  "She's not his daughter.  He just introduces her that way."

Yeah, ah's bad.  I done a bad thing.  But the English woman forgives me (although she never believes anything I say anymore).  And isn't it nice to know that there are still trusting, unsuspecting people in this world? 

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Just a Bit more Ranting on the Writing Profession

As I said last time, I am getting more and more e-mails from people who want to write something on Thailand.  So: You want to be a writer?  Sure, but first take off the rose-colored glasses.  Don't look now but we live in a world of dumbed-down news, MTV-watching, sports-obsessed, quiz show-watching, assholes-on-stranded-island-loving, wrestling-watching, extreme-sports-crazy, computer-obsessed societies.  Even in America most people wouldn't know the difference between Pearl Harbor and Pearl Buck.  (The cliche in the writing profession is that there have been two great disasters in American history: Pearl Harbor and Pearl Buck.)

There are many extremely talented writers in America and elsewhere who can barely pay the rent on what they make from their writing.  And when some jock with the IQ of a dying water buffalo makes tens of millions for throwing or kicking a ball into a net even I can figure out that something is off center besides the Knicks in their last game.

The way I see it, we writers must have done some pretty bad things in our past lives, or at least in the last one, and so now we are paying the price.  I have vague memories from my past life of being a female frog in a noxious swamp assuring nearby flies that I wouldn't harm them and then doing them in as soon as they got within range.  OK, so I got what I deserve - I became a writer in this life.

But did you hear the latest from Rumor-Control Headquarters?  Rumor-Control Headquarters has it that so many people are getting into trouble and becoming felons, and so many of them are writing a book, that if a convicted criminal can't attract a literary agent, the court will appoint one for him.

I have had plays staged in New York City and been published in New York but, like every writer, I have enough rejection slips to fill every drink bin on Soi Cowboy.  Over the years, editors have told me things like they "regret passing on this novel."  Even the occasional "We truly regret not being able to take this on."  And even "You write so well, Mr. Barrett, it is really with regret that..."

Editors are always "regretting" passing on my material to the extent that I often wonder if they wouldn't be happier if they just published the damn stuff and be done with it.  I hate to think of the amount of "regret" I have caused in New York editors over the years; no doubt it will affect my karma in the next life.

As the years pass and we get older, we have some hits as well as misses and we develop the ability to laugh at even the most ridiculous responses.  Perhaps the most common are what I like to refer to as the "binary star" rejections.  That is when on Monday you receive a rejection slip telling you how wonderful your plot is but unfortunately there is a problem with the characterization.  And on Tuesday you receive a rejection slip from another publisher (for exactly the same novel) which compliments you on the colorful and wonderful characters but they have to "with regret" pass because "the plot failed to develop as we hoped."  (So why don't they write their own damn book and develop their own damn plot as they hoped?)

And of course the inevitable:  "It's a wonderful novel, Mr. Barnett, but I'm afraid it's a bit uneven."  So's the New Testament, you 22-year-old, innocent, callow, wide-eyed, well-intentioned but infuriating editorial assistant sweetheart from Smith College, you, so how come that gets published!  And the last I looked it was "Barrett" not "Barnett."  I wonder if the Dummies series would like me to write the title, Rejection Slips for Dummies. 

And, finally, a few quotes on this subject from the NY Times:  FRUIT FROM THE LITERARY TREE

"Gautama Chopra freely admits that his last name helped sell his novel.  His first agent was a friend of his father, the best‑selling New Age guru deepak Chopra.  His publisher, Amber‑Allen, was the publisher of his father's blockbuster...His father even wrote the foreword to the novel..." 

The Times lists several offspring of famous writers and says, "All were born with the most valuable asset a writer can have: access....Agents know they have a better chance of selling a mediocre book by a person with a recognizable name than selling a very good book by a person who's unknown..."

So there it is, folks.  And all this time you thought the most valuable asset a writer can have is talent.  Now you know.  Still want to be a writer?  I would say more but I'm on my way to the Bangkok courthouse to change my name to Stephen King.

 

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From the Mail Bag

 

 

 

Stewards protest

 

   

A Stewards protest occurs in horse racing, where the Stewards are the governing body at the racecourse. If a rider (or owner) wants to protest a decision (the winner) the protest is made to the stewards, who will then determine if the protest is right or wrong. 

Have a good weekend. 

Jan

On Love and Letters

The letter copying business seemed to become big business during those SEA War years.  After my experience in Ubon, I recalled seeing books of 'love letters' that the yings were reading, but had paid little attention as to why they were reading them.  I did a COT (consecutive overseas tour) to Korea in 1971, and found offices near military bases emblazoned with the Old English word: "SCRIVNER".   For a fee, they'd write a love letter for anyone.  Since US Forces had been in the ROK since early 1950's, the business was well established before I arrived.

I had an SYT (sweet young thing) in the RP for 3 years.  I found her in a place called "Louise's Beer Barn" in Balibago.  A painted lady was on my lap when I spotted a cute, little 'Plain Jane' sitting in a corner behind the bar.  I asked who she was, and was told she was straight from the 'Province', and spoke little English.  She saw me watching her, and walked past my barstool.  I reached out, and took her hand as she passed.  The lady jumped off my lap in a huff, and I wrapped my arm around the new girl.  She wore no makeup, no plucked eyebrows, no fake boobs...age 19.  At my hotel, I was amazed at what I was getting.  She acted like a virgin, and the bed was a mess.  I quizzed her, and found she'd had only one Filipino boyfriend.  In other words, she was a virgin once I got beyond the 'used part'.  She was the best I ever had in the RP.

She eventually graduated from barmaid to pole dancer.  I'd walk in, and she'd flash that smile at me.  When her number finished, she'd jump off the stage onto my lap, and my fellow crewdogs would salivate.  The Mamasan knew she was mine whenever I hit town.  I'd slip $5 into her bikini, and off we'd go.

After my last visit in '82, she claimed I was going to be her 'Baby Daddy'.  I paid for her prenatal care, and all medical fees.  She sent photos of the baby girl who was clearly half Anglo.  I sent her $80/month for the next 2 years, and wrote that I would come see them for Christmas.  To those who don't know, that may sound cheap, but in those days, the starting wage for a Filipino base employee was $3/day, an apartment could be had for $20/month, a live-in maid cost $30/month, and an SYT could be bought for $60.  Her full course of prenatal care, and delivery cost $100.  I sent her more on special occasions...$80 was just basic. 

Anyway, her reply to my letter was a 7-page letter on legal size paper begging me not to come, because she'd married a Clark Air Base GI.  She swore 'Josie' was my daughter, but she had a new love, etc.  Well, my little gal was barely able to speak Anglo, much less write a 7 page letter!  I wondered how many dudes, besides me, had been sending her $80/month.  I cancelled my visit, and last time I saw her was in Airman Magazine.  She was climbing down from a C-141 at Travis AFB with an armful of Pampers.  She'd been on a Mt. Pinatubo airlift out of the RP.  (All Clark AB personnel and families were evacuated from Pampanga when it was clear that the volcano, Mt. Pinatubo, was going to erupt.  She was on one of those flights.)

The chapter from your The Go Go Dancer who Stole My Viagra book entitled, "Buffalo him die send money", had me ROFL.  Most of us who have been a party to that little scam never tell about it.  You, however, told it perfectly!

Dr. Vern Wagner
Retired USAF Flight Surgeon
Southeast Asia, and Gulf War Veteran

(Dr. Wagner adds that he is not in any way what one would call tall and so the sweet young things at Ubon in the old days would refer to him as 'Nit-Noy Muaw' (itsy-bitsy doc).  When a friend in the Officers Club attempted to say it it came out: 'Nit-Noy Moi' (itsy-bitsy pubic hair).  "Several Thai waitresses laughed themselves breathless."

Tonal languages are always dangerous for any reason.  In Chinese mandarin it is polite to add the sound "ba" (buh) at the end of a sentence as a polite request.  Except when asking someone, for example, to pass the chicken.  Why?  Because chicken is "ji" (gee) and jiba is a not nice term for the male organ; at least not nice at the dinner table.  Moral of the story: When in China, don't order chicken.
 

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“And who’s to say how many passions and how many warring thoughts can cohabit in a man?” - The Immoralist, Andre Gide

Rumor-Control Headquarters has issued a bulletin about Robin Hood Pub, Sukhumvit at soi 33/1, opening something new on Soi 4 near Bus Stop.  RCH also confirms there are no more shower shows in G-Spot Nana nor plans for any.  This just in from RCH: "Vice President Dick Cheney has just shot former Vice President Dan Quail in a duel."  (Sometimes I wonder about the sobriety of people at Rumor-Control Headquarters.)

You know the expression "be careful what you wish for; you just might get it."  Well, take a look at what this Bitch Fairy did.  Click here.

“If sex was knowledge, and I believed it was, I was on the verge of knowing everything.” – My Other Life, Paul Theroux

If the girls in Erotica VIP bar get any younger, the management will have to teach them how to walk before they can teach them how to dance.  They do have a lovely pralat khik ceremony and certainly the girls are among the most energetic and enthusiastic in all of Nana Plaza.  And if you think the girls in Dollhouse on Soi Cowboy go crazy over chasing ping pong balls, watch these chicks.  Just don't get in their way.

OK, so your go go dancing girlfriend's birthday is coming up and you've already given her the usual stuff: perfume, gold jewelry, house in Issarn, pickup truck, monthly allowance, etc., and you want now really to impress her with something different.  Well, picture this:  One day a letter from America arrives at the bar where she works and, much to the delight of your girlfriend and her friends, her face or perhaps both you and your girl are on the postage stamp itself.  Possible?  Legal?  Easy to do?  Yes to all three questions.  (Click on the samples at right.)  After many years of stagnation, the US Postal Service has been doing some interesting and imaginative things to try to get out of the red.  And you can see how the picture you like will look on the stamp before paying for the stamps.  And you can tinker with the picture on the stamp as well.  No, alas, I do not get anything for this recommendation.  (You can also put personal pictures on postcards at the USPS site and they send them out for you.  I've done it, it works.)  Anyway, if you're interested in the stamps, just click here: Go Go Girl Birthday Stamp

No, this isn't Mistress Tahn, this is Mistress April.  Wearing a specially designed leather slit-to-the-waist Chinese cheongsam-(chipao) type outfit which I thought looked so good on her that I couldn't resist adding her picture to this column.  One can only shudder at the sin-filled mind which created this outfit.  Wouldn't she look good on a postage stamp?  Of course you have to click on the picture to enlarge, no?

 

So after I spent lots of money on the go go dancer to get her tooth capped by the best dentist in Thailand, everyone started telling her what a beautiful smile she has.  And more and more guys barfined her and now she is with a new boyfriend and so she doesn't go out with others anymore, including me.  So by making her more attractive, I screwed myself.  Excuse me while I beat my head against the wall.  No, come to think of it, I'll head for Demonia's or Chateau Jade and let the ladies there do it for me.

Any truly serious work of art should make some attempt to explore the human condition.  One of the best ways of doing that is by challenging cherished beliefs.  Be it in a novel, or play or painting or in whatever form of art.  Muslim fanatics are directly challenging our right to freedom of expression even in our own countries.  Click here if you would like to see the Mohammad cartoons.  Pass them on.  I've also added a new rant on the same subject. 

Those of us who have spent many years in Asia all have one great fear that we seldom talk about.  Remember the musical Miss Saigon?  Yeah, that one.  Nightmares that one day some little kid is going to come to our door and knock and when we open it he or she will look up and say, “papa!”  Which is exactly what happened to me recently; and as this four or five-year-old kid said it, my thoughts focused on hastily packing my bags and heading out for Nakhorn Nowhere or Mongolia or Peru.  But after several heart-stopping seconds, I remembered that the plumber had been in my apartment about 30 minutes before.  So I asked if he meant his dad was the plumber.  Yes, that was it.  He thought his dad was still here.  Whew!  Don’t ever do that to me again, kid. 

Geoff Alexander was waiting to board a plane for Thailand in Singapore Airport watching arriving passengers from Thailand pass through their incoming check when all of a sudden an alarm rang out and a Thai guy got surrounded with security guards.  The Thai guy opened his shirt to reveal seven pralat khiks (phallic amulets).  Most of those are made of wood or wood and ivory so I’m not sure why they set off the alarm but possibly it was the chain they were on.  Although I have been in Asia long enough to suspect it was the power of the seven phallic amulets together, i.e., a kind of phallic aura, that set off the machine.  But, then, maybe I’ve been here too long. 

I had heard that the blues club on Sukhumvit, soi 33, Mojo’s, had closed its doors and that just possibly the Office Bar opposite had taken it over and had plans for it.  So I went to that soi and asked a girl at the door of the Office Bar if it was true that Mojo's wouldn’t reopen.  She said she thought it “might open next week maybe”.  Which is the most definite response any Thai person has ever given me.

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Links You Might Enjoy

A video of a five-minute walk down Soi Cowboy.  Click here and then click "preview videos."

http://www.pbar.info/videos.html

 

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.

Like to know more in depth about what music is playing where in Bangkok each week?  Try this great site:

http://www.bangkokjungle.com.

 

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.

 

www.monsoon-country.org

 

 

 

Like to learn a bit about retiring in Asia?

 

http://www.retiredexpat.com

 

 

 

Black leather doesn't hurt anyone.  But she does.

 

Our Lady in Black

Links You Might Not Enjoy

T-Shirt Hell: for lovers of very black humor only. 

http://www.tshirthell.com.

 

Politically incorrect rants and raves from dear old Fred.

http://www.fredoneverything.net

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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 deanbarr@loxinfo.co.th.

 

 

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Just be the first to let me know where this picture was taken and win 2,500 baht in food and drinks.  Second prize gets one of my books.  (You should live in Bangkok or be about to visit or else how could you use the vouchers?)  Let's see how well you know Bangkok because this is not an easy one.  Last week's picture was of the new Chuwit Park off Sukhumvit Road around soi 10.  You may recall how small bars and shop owners had a rude awakening one morning while military type guys tore down their businesses.  Khun Chuwit was allegedly the man behind the order.  I got a good response to the contest from Barry Wood who says: "I think they should knock it down and build some beer bars and small shops there."  Right on!
 

That's all for this fortnightly column.  Drop by again.  Explore the rest of the website.  Meanwhile, as the girls used to tell me during the 1960's: "I no lie you, GI, you number one!"

Dean Barrett can be flamed at: deanbarr@loxinfo.co.th

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