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, Shadow Bar, The Old Dutch, Electric Blue, The Duke of Wellington pub, 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. It will double to 6,000 and, if still no winner, to 9,000, etc. Second prize is a "I Support Single Moms" T-shirt. 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).
Here, once again, is the lovely Fon in Burriram. Just click on the pictures: Beautiful brown complexion, dark black hair, sweet smile, lovely figure - all set amidst the natural green of the Thai countryside. Oh, yeah!
Yeah, the market stalls suck, and it is crowded, but Patpong is still fun. Here a few recent shots. Madrid Pizza, of course, has been there since 1969, still run by Dang, I believe. Still frequented by spooks, ex-Vietnam War vets, a few tourists, etc. A good place to start the evening crawl. It is hard to believe that I bought my first lady's drink on Patpong Road 42 years ago. Time does pass, doesn't it? I recently heard from a friend that some bars on Patpong had better looking women now, even the Kangaroo Bar. But there are still ripoff bars upstairs and it is hard to tell which is which so be careful. Even he admitted that in one bar they presented a bill for 600 baht supposedly including a show; he paid only 200 which was the correct amount and left and nobody bothered him. But be careful of upstairs Patpong bars. If you have had some recent experiences with them - good or bad - let me know and I will mention it here.
A bit of good news. Nick and Michael have signed a long lease for a property on Sukhumvit, soi 4. Which means the Big Mango Bar shall rise once again. Still a few months away (possibly a mid-May opening) but glad to see it happening.
All it takes is one puritanical asshole in the Thai government to decide bars should be closed during pre-elections and elections, etc., and so we foreigners can't get drinks even though we can't vote. Make sense? Of course not. But at least we can drink beer out of coffee cups, etc., and some restaurants and pubs were serving; some were not. I don't give notice in advance on this site because I don't want to make any trouble for the places that are serving alcohol during this period. But if you live in Bangkok, you should have no problem sussing them out. (Is "sussing" a word?)
After Dark magazine continues to thrive. Long may it do so.
I have had both long and short relationships with Thai woman and would never say that I would not again but remember the really, really tough part of the relationship with a Thai woman is breaking up with a Thai woman. If she doesn't want to, you can have biiiig trouble. I know of one guy who decided he definitely did not want to have a bargirl for a girlfriend and wanted a "normal" girl; so he got one working in a hotel. She seemed perfect: polite, middle-class, normal. Great. Then he started a business in which he had some Thai female employees and his girlfriend became very jealous and then extremely jealous and then insanely jealous. So he told her he could no longer deal with her jealously and he moved out. He moved to a place where she could not find him. So he thought. As it turned out, she and her family not only discovered where he had moved to but also went there, bribed the guard, and threw all his stuff out of his high-rise apartment to the ground below. He arrived, very angry, got the police involved. The police arrested him. Why? Because the girl claimed he hit her and the family backed her lie up. So now he is paying off the police and the family. Moral of the story is what you make of it but be very careful when breaking up with a Thai woman who "luv you too much."
Now that the bad guys are back in power in Thailand it remains to be seen if the Bangkok Post goes down on its knees again as it did when Taksin was in power. Remember? They fired their editor who wasn't pro-Taksin enough by kicking him upstairs and censored anti-Taksin letters (which was clear because the same letters appeared in the Nation without removing the anti-Taksin part of the letter). The Post has become very pro-Islam and anti-Western in recent times and I doubt they will take any strong stand against the misbehavior of the new guys in office. What is really a shame is that neither the Post nor the Nation has any genuine investigative journalism; this in a country which desperately needs it. Already, now that Taksin is back, the columnist who calls himself the "Anchorman" is writing about how unfairly the press treated Taksin before he was hounded out of the country. What?! It was just the opposite. Enormous pressure was put on newspapers to be pro-Taksin and those who refused to kowtow soon found their advertisers pulling out and they had pressure on them. Very sad, but we can expect more of the same from the Post, I'm afraid.
Just click on her and, like magic, there she is; practically in your bedroom.
I heard something interesting the other day at the Lone Star. A fellow who knew a ladyboy quite well said that the ladyboy and her friends claim that most of their customers want the ladyboys to enter them where the sun don't shine, not the other way around. And the ladyboys were actually sad about this because they want to be, claim to be, women. Therefore they would much rather be the fornicatee than the fornicator. Things you would never know unless you hang about Washington Square. And while on the subject of the Lone Star, the latest news is that the owner, 84-year-old George Pipas, greatly overweight and a great drinker, is doing well enough that the tubes have been taken off him and he may yet make a miraculous recovery. Here's hoping he does; the Texas Lone Star Saloon wouldn't be the same without him.
Notice anything strange about these pictures? Al Eberhardt (red shirt) is not smoking a cigar while playing Liar's Poker. It's true: the Londoner has tables outside for smokers. Beware the healthnazis, my son, they are never satisfied. (In New Zealand some school textbooks for kids will not allow "fish and chips" to be mentioned anymore!) What will the Thai government ban next? And click on the picture at the right and you can see about half of the customers of the pub have moved outside on the stairs so they can smoke. This town is getting weird. And here are a few more shots of the crowd inside.
And why not a few more shots of the Mojo Dancers and All Girl Band in action?
Meanwhile, yet another elephant shleps its way down Sukhumvit, soi 4.
"Two basic rules for aspiring writers are to leave home and see the world in your own way, and to tell the truth. Don't be persuaded by the truth as other people choose to see it. There are endless varieties of perception that people can have of a place, and ultimately it becomes an autobiography, for while you are trying to write about a place, you're writing about yourself in the end." - Paul Theroux interviewed in the Bangkok Post
The always lovely and very sweet Tiger Beer Girl at the Londoner Pub. Why is she doing dishes in a pub? Doesn't she know she could be taken away from all this (and do dishes in my apartment)?
Yes, strange as it may seem I did many years ago while living in Hong Kong write a rather sweet children's book about the boat people off Aberdeen, south of the island. I had done the text for a large photobook called Aberdeen: Catching the Last Rays because the boat people's way of life was disappearing and, once the major project was completed, the children's tale popped out of my head like toast out of a toaster or like darts out of, um, never mind. Anyway, it is very short and the drawings by the artist Tomaz Mok are both colorful and excellent. So if you would like to read it on-line free of charge just click here. And by the way I have found that the level of English is perfect for mia noi's who want to learn English. So if you have a minor wife or if you are a minor wife, this is the perfect book for you. And of course once you read it on line you can get your local bookstore to order it or buy it on Amazon.com (should you be so inclined).
Things are getting weird at the Londoner Pub as you can see in the above. Also, there was a near brawl there recently. Pretty soon you won't be able to tell the Texas Lone Star Saloon from the Londoner. And, by the way, the guy in the picture is being satirized by a friend; he doesn't really have a boyfriend. Although he is a Canadian and they're so wimpy they don't even carry guns, so if you play your cards right, who knows...
Speaking of getting into fights in Thailand, I have warned before against it. First of all, if you start a fight or are in a fight you most likely will be facing several Thai men, not just one. And one or more of them are more likely to have knives readily available than you are. And even if you win you might have to pay off the boys in brown so as not to go to jail for awhile. Especially, ego-fighting is just stupid; stupid anywhere but stupid and dangerous in a place like Thailand. Many is the time over the decades I have walked by tough-looking characters at night in rough neighborhoods from Sukhothai to Bangkok and beyond. But a smile and a "Sawasdee, Khap," or "Mao lao, mai?" (Are you drunk?) almost always brings smiles to their faces and friendliness in the air. Not always. And you cannot always avoid thugs attacking you as reported in the letter about a Pattaya incident below. But, in general, if you keep your cool, and you remember not so much fighting techniques but as the experience bar and club bouncers in America say, "Avoiding the fight is a technique," you should be fine. So I have warned against fighting, and written about the one time when I was so angry I went after a Thai to fight him (but he wasn't there so nothing happened), but I have never written about the one fight I had with Thais, the one time I disregarded my own advice. So here it is:
It was back before many of you were born; and in a more naive and innocent Thailand and I was a young naive man. No, it was not in a bar or massage parlor, it was, of all places, at an English school. I was teaching there just about every day of the week. The school was a strange one with a strange layout, it was wooden, one-story, in a kind of whoreshoe, sorry, I mean horseshoe shape. Some of the rooms were classrooms and some were the kind of places Thais came for tea, etc., and there was even a pool hall, tiny though it was. The entire school was taken down for the Miss Thailand contest which used to be held there every year and then somehow cobbled back together when the contest was over. The Thai owner taught at Thammasat University and many of the students at the school were Thammasat students, nurses, etc. Yum, yum!
Anyway, I was teaching one afternoon and the Thai men playing pool were so loud (and rather drunk) I could barely teach, so instead of hiding behind a skirt, i.e., sending a pretty student over asking them to quiet down, which would have been the wise thing to do, I went myself. After all, I was young and invincible, I had grown up on adult western on TV and John Wayne movies - nothing bad could happen to me. So in I went into the small room where (if memory serves) at least ten or twelve Thais were shooting pool. I explained in gesture and a bit of Thai and English that I couldn't hear my students because of the noise they were making and my students couldn't hear, and asked them to quiet down. One guy responded by kind of mimicking me and lightly poking me in the chest. I waved him off and said "mai dai." He responded by throwing out what I guess he thought was a Muay-Thai kick. It landed on my thigh and didn't hurt. At all. I remember the look in his eyes as if it were yesterday: as if he had shot a bullet and it had bounced off me. No, it didn't hurt but because he kicked me I felt I had to respond, so I slugged him. He went back but not down because his friends were crowded around, beside and behind him and there wasn't really any room for him to fall.
Then all the Thais in the room moved back to give the two of us room so that it would be a fair fight. Now, if you believe the sentence before this one, may I suggest you get on a plane and get the hell out of Thailand, because you are so dumb you will most likely get hurt or killed. Of course, the truth is I was immediately set upon by all the Thais in the room, mainly by their kicking. I wasn't doing too badly, at least not as a punching bag, but was at least still standing when some older Thai man came into the room screaming at the others to stop. They did. So that was that. I went back to my classroom but the bell had rung so I went to the office with the other teachers. My white shirt had turned a bit black from so many feet kicking out, reminding me of the pollution when I had been stationed in Taipei: go out in the morning with a white shirt, return with a black one.
Eventually, the older man brought the young guy over who had kicked me and we shook hands. Not exactly bosom buddies, but the fight was over. Now I know what you are thinking: Didn't anybody call the cops? Well, there are a number of kickers in this story and this is one of them. You see, every Thai in the room was a cop. In fact, they were all police captains (in civilian dress, of course). And the older guy was a police colonel who just happened to be at the school that day for tea. And the students who came up to me after it was over were incredibly angry at the Thai cops and especially the women students, two of whom (very innocent looking) had weapons in their purses and threatened to use them on the cops if they ever bothered me again. I've never seen Thai women that angry, not even in bars. Don't piss off a good Thai girl either! And these were sweet Thai girls in the innocent Thailand of the 1960's! With weapons and with enough anger to use them on cops!!
So what is the moral of this story? Well, for one thing, I could have avoided the fight had I not let my ego get the better of me. When the guy poked me in the chest, that was the time for me to smile and say something like OK, thanks for listening, and exit the room. It is the ego that gets us into these things ninety percent of the time. Also, I am lucky it happened in a Thai pool hall, because in an American pool hall they would be smart enough to back off to give me more room so they could use their pool cues on me. As I say, that was a long time ago. However, I am sometimes amazed that I was dumb enough and brave enough to enter a pool hall, brawl with a dozen drunk police captains, and live to tell about it. The mind boggles. Do I live under a lucky star or what?
I've never stayed at the Secrets Hotel in Pattaya; maybe I should.
US stocks continue to drop; oil continues to rise; the Thai government is getting more and more puritanical and ridiculous regarding smoking and drinking; the baht gets much stronger against the US dollar and, oh yes, Taksin is back and all the independent voices in the Thai government are being transferred out to make way for Taksin's cronies. Does anybody have any good news?
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Khun Nana's Corner
Khun Nana is a savvy local expat who keeps in shape by hitting most of the bars of Nana Plaza as often as possible. From his vast experience, he will enlighten and entertain us with his recollections of the bar scene be they humorous, tragic or somewhere in between.
When I first started writing this column I explored the top ten rules for dealing with regular gals as well as a top ten for surviving with bar gals. I received a lot of positive feedback from both readers and close mates of mine who have to be constantly bombarded by my rants and unsolicited opinions. Since I live in an area surrounded by bar gals who are plying their trade (much like Louis Armstrong and Vincent Van Gogh did) I am often privy to the way these gals think and act. So if you were ever curious about how the other side thinks, here comes Khun Nana’s top ten rules for being a bar gal:
1) The Golden Rule is to make the most money while doing the least amount of work. Yes, I know that most of you are thinking that this is rule number one for anyone working any job. You would be right! The gals are no different. They all want money and most are generally very lazy (I can relate) so maximum income for minimum effort is the key. Guys who send money from abroad are the Holy Grail. Huge money for virtually no effort. Ever wonder why they always ask what hotel you are staying at? There are two reasons for this. First is to set the price, as punters staying in four or five start hotels will definitely be charged more. Just as important is that they want to know how far it is to your place. Guys staying two minutes away are much more desirable than guys staying across town. If you are willing to use the short time room that is 50 feet away you are a dream come true.
2) Try to have fun. Thai gals are fun loving and easily bored, so it is very important for them to have at least some fun while making money. Many gals will quit a job that they consider no fun (“mai sanuk” in Thai) even if it is the 28th of the month and they have no money for next month’s rent! This may seem insane to us responsible foreigners, but believe me when I tell you that the biggest insult you can receive in this country is to be labeled “mai sanuk.” Most gals have chosen the venue that they work in because they have at least one friend there. Often if the friend quits or moves to another bar the gal in question will move on with her. What fun will it be to work in a bar with no friends?
3) Never ever ever ever say you have a boyfriend! They all realize that they are not just selling their bodies, but are also selling a fantasy to the customer. I wish I had one baht for every gal I have heard say “I no have boyfriend. Thai man no good.” They may have a steady Thai boyfriend, several Thai lovers, four western guys sending money every month and dozens of customers, but they will absolutely tell you that they are unattached. This also works in reverse. Many of the customers are married or have a girlfriend but very few ever talk about it when meeting new gals.
4) Seize every opportunity to benefit financially from the time spent with a customer. Receiving clothes, jewelry, mobile phones, etc. will all increase the bottom line. The customer really should be prepared for this one. If you go to a tailor shop to buy a shirt, he is going to attempt to sell you suits, shoes, etc. It’s his job. One of my favorite gals always says “my job to ask, your job to say no.”
5) Collect phone numbers and email addresses from every customer even if he only bought you a cola. I don’t need to tell you the HUGE reward that comes from sending out 357 emails and 642 sms messages requesting money. Just a one or two percent response rate and bills are paid for the month. One gal joked with me “my Mom is sick and the buffalo died, or the buffalo is sick and my Mom died, can’t remember which one but it’s really bad!”
6) Learn to put your mind away in a separate place. Whether the gal is bored, tired, listening to a punter drone on and on about his pathetic life, staring at the ceiling while a stranger has his way with her, or perhaps just not in the mood to work, it is essential to be able to separate the mind from the body. I once asked a gal what she thought about when she was making love with a strange man. Her response was “I think about how I am just about to walk out of there with xxx baht in my hand. And what I am going to buy with that money.”
7) Always say to the customer that the reason you are working in the bar is to help out your desperately poor family. Some gals actually do send some money home. Some give it away to their Thai boyfriends. Many others just blow their money on the latest fashions and mobile phones. Regardless, everyone must learn to say the following: “I no have boyfriend. I no like Thai man. Thai man no good. I no like work in bar but need money to send to family.” No gal will be allowed to work in the bar until she memorizes that script.
8) Learn to prey on the emotional weaknesses of Western men. You must learn how to make customers feel lust, guilt, responsibility, jealousy, and a myriad of other emotions. This isn’t that easy as no Thai man would ever fall for the silly little games that come from this but many (certainly not all) Western men are unequipped to handle these games. One of my best mates likes to say (when referring to Western customers dealing with Thai bar gals) that “the gals have the home field advantage and many of us don’t even know the rules to this game.”
9) Don’t trust all the other gals in the bar. Yes friends, they lie, cheat and steal from each other as much (if not more so) than they do with customers. One more reason it is so important to have at least one true blue friend in the bar. There is no such word as “LOAN” in the bar gal dictionary. It was not a loan, it was a gift.
10) Always accompany the customer to the airport. Guys are so emotional when they must leave Paradise that they are known to lavish gals with money and gifts while waiting for the plane to antisepticville. I was in G-Spot in Nana Plaza one night when a gal came in and started throwing bank notes around the bar and the whole place went nuts. She later told me that her customer gave all of his local currency to her while he cried at the airport. It was over 76,000 baht.
Until next time have fun and be happy!
Until next time. Khun Nana
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I want to respond to Khun Nana's ten rules for being a bargirl above because first I think it is a classic and every guy planning on coming to Thailand for the first time should be required to memorize it. But also because of course there are exceptions. And from my experience the older the bargirl the more likely she is to be telling the truth. For example, I know of a Thai woman in her 30's working in a Washington Square bar who also works as a nurse's assistant in a hospital, her job is the lowly one of washing patients and doing the dogsbody work the nurse doesn't actually do. Then she has to take a long bus ride and put in her shift at the bar. She is also taking care of her 15-year-old daughter. Her Thai husband is long gone. I also know of a 40-year-old woman working at the Crown Royal on Patpong II (a bar where a lot of us old guys hang out). She was working a second job in an office but the company closed and now she cleans offices during the day, takes a two hour bus trip to the bar and works there until it closes. Then another long bus ride back home. She also has two children, one in college, one in high school, a mother to take care of, her father is deceased, and her Thai husband is long gone. So some of these women make enormous sacrifices and have my deepest respect. Whereas lots of the young and pretty ones fit Khun Nana's description and behavior perfectly. So, when all is said and done, it is simply a case of buyer beware.
Soi Cowboy & Nana Plaza & Urine Samples
I have been hearing some good things about Spice Girls lately. Rumor-Control Headquarters says that an influx of nine ladies who emigrated from Erotica Bar at Nana Plaza has helped enormously (including the number one Erotica barfine recipient). However, it is also reliably reported that after ten the usual girls are joined by 'coyote dancers'. Two hundred baht will buy them a drink but there have been complaints that the girls are not very customer-friendly, feeling they have no obligation to sit with you for more than a few seconds in return for their ladies drink before they flit off to another table. And, of course, in traditional coyote style, they see themselves as 'good girls' who require a lot of encouragement before they might consider even giving you a phone number. One punter was heard to say that if he wants to meet haughty, unfriendly girls who think he's an old, ugly, piece of shit, he can stay home in England.
Meanwhile, What's Happening in Cambodia?
Bookstores in Cambodia are improving all the time, with Monument Books in town and at the airport, three or four D's Bookstores, one around the corner from the FCCC (Foreign Correspondents Club of Cambodia), and Bohr's Books on the street just behind the FCCC. And, of course, if you sit outside at a cafe near the river you will be asked many times by many kids selling books from their baskets. They get the books from a market early in the morning and their prices are not bad. Don't dismiss them out of hand; they have some good titles. I was just reading that prices in Phnom Penh are now on the level of lower Sukhumvit and continue to go through the roof. If I were a young man I would learn two languages: Korean and Cambodian. Because when North Korea finally opens up the world's most innocent and certainly among the world's most beautiful women will become available. As for Cambodia, in ten years Phnom Penh's skyline will most likely start to resemble Bangkok's. Learning those two languages is to bet on the future. The picture at left is of the FCCC which is not part of any arrangement with those in Thailand, Hong Kong, etc. But it is part of its own group including one in Siam Reap and I think even in Burma. It is a good place to have a drink at sunset as the place overlooks the river and the action along the river as the locals take in the night air. The FCCC also has a few nice rooms at reasonable prices. Some of the menu prices, however, are ridiculously high and the quality of food ranges from OK to very good. US$3.50 for watermelon juice is one example of their menu. Still, it is a good place to meet although I like the restaurant across the street better despite their incredible slow service.
Speaking of Korea, I went to the restaurant run by North Koreans in Phnom Penh because I remembered seeing some good looking Korean women there once. It is on Monivong and Mao Tze-tung Boulevards. Unfortunately, it was in the afternoon and empty but I knocked and a Korean chick came to the door and I started asking her about the restaurant food, etc. Unfortunately, it was clear from the setup of the tables that it is a tourist restaurant and I do remember a busload of tourists pulling away when I last went by the place. So I cannot recommend it as a place to hang out unless you are really horny for North Korean chicks. I did manage to take a photo of the exterior.
A sign on the wall of Sharkey's Bar, Phnom Penh
The poverty in Cambodia is, of course, horrific. I took a three minute video and shots of the infamous slum, the toxic garbage dump also known as "Smoky Mountain", in the heart of Phnom Penh. If you don't already know how lucky you are not to be penniless and poor, these pictures should do it for you. Just click here:A Horror Show
Click pictures above to enlarge.
Yum, yum, yum, yum, yum!
Farang women outside an Asia Bookstore on Sukhumvit Road fighting for the last copy of Thailand: Land of Beautiful Women. (If you believe that I have twin towers in New York City I want to sell you.) By the way, thanks to those who have wondered why my books have not been available in the bookshop of the Nana Hotel. Now they are.
Click on picture for best common sense sign of the decade.
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Letters from Readers
From: Lewis Hitchcock in Hanoi:
Dean, It's hitting me while waiting in a long line at our Sams
Club-like place (huge German Metro) in Hanoi that the conversation I just had
with a young man, U student, standing in line with me, seemed so normal for the
Hanoi area but would not be considered such anywhere else.
The young man is from Quang Ninh Province close to Ha Long Bay about two hours to the east of Hanoi. Last
time out that way, just short of Ha Long Bay, I noticed restaurants advertising cat. Regarding the
reference to dog, it's as natural of a food here as would be beef, chicken or pork anyplace else. In fact
when some highly placed American, the President maybe, visited Hanoi some years back, the US security guys a few days later noticed and undoubtedly got a chuckle out of how Vietnamese Customs had classified their US guard dogs: "Non-import food item"! So here's the conversation:
Me: Have you eaten cat?
Me: Was it as delicious as dog?
Him: Better ("ngon hon")
Lewis, Sounds like a great place to bring peanut butter and crackers. As for me, I eat all Asian food, regardless of what it is, as long as it has a chocolate center.
I appreciate your previous comments about leg-shaving women and on-going comments about Moslems. Actually, it is not an accident that I put them into one sentence, since they represent the two biggest threats to Western society. I personally think you are writing these things at great danger to yourself. The Feminazis no doubt are not happy about your blog or books. I hope the Feminazis are not planning to feed the chickens at your expense. You are probably safe in this regard as I cannot imagine you putting yourself in intimate position with a 300 pound Western leg shaver. Fatwas are issued against those that talk about the Moslem faith in non-complimentary terms. Now that is scary. [But then, if they issue a Fatwa against you, it would probably help book sales immensely.]
"That man to man the world over Shall brothers be for all that." Robert Burns. Due to the evolving nature of English, "man" includes leg shavers, trees, and assorted nature spirits. Further, many of the rights of a "man" are being afforded legally to cats, dogs, and various rodents. In Western society today, specifically excluded from the definition of man today, is any man who is older than 39. Such men are the lowest of the low, except to the degree that they support leg shavers. Then, of course, they have a status, above gold fish but below the family pet. As evidence of that statement, typically, 40 year old leg shavers have Fluffy sleeping in bed with them between themselves and their husband/boyfriend. The moral of the story: You sure are lucky to be living in Thailand.
Sorry about your Mother. I send you my condolences. Regards, Mark D.
Dean, You might find this of interest. My evening at the Windmill on Soi Diamond in Pattaya was ruined when I was set upon by three or four thugs, resulting in a cut lip and cut on the bridge of my nose.
The situation arose after I had spent around four hours in the bar and spent thousands of baht on drinks and tips. I had been entertaining one of the dancers, but after I made a visit to the toilet I returned to find her missing from my table. Another dancer told me she had been moved to another table. I approached the mamasan to ask why and told her it was bad customer service, and she exploded and started screaming and asked why I was making trouble and began pushing me away. I defended myself by holding her wrists, and then went to my dancer’s new table. Then several thugs rushed to the table and attacked me, hitting me on the side of the head - which can be fatal - and I had to curl up and shield myself from them. Only later did I discover the injuries they had inflicted and the blood on my glasses.
Dean (? - sorry for not being sure as I was a bit shaken up after being attacked), who was apparently in charge in place of the missing owner Dave, came to the table with a Thai security guard or tourist policeman (?) to investigate. He heard my side of the story, spoke with the mamasan and a customer witness who later told me he used to be a go-go bar owner, and the mamasan was sent home. The Thai man told me she was a crazy woman, so that begs the question, if that is known, why is she employed there. She lied to Dean (?) and told him she was going to ask me if my dancer could be moved, but at no time did she do so. She simply wanted to move her to a table with customers but no dancer, and didn’t give a damn about me and the money I had already spent.
Dean (?) has been cleverly schooled, and at no time did he admit any wrongdoing by the bar, and although he took my phone number and e-mail address I was offered no way to contact him or Dave or anyone else. I was told by the security officer/policeman (?) I could press charges for assault, but really, what’s the point with a farang against Thais and them saying one thing and me another. Not one single member of staff, or customer, said I was in the wrong when Dean (?) went around gathering the facts.
I was not drunk, and my dancer, other dancers and the ex go-go owner all told Dean (?) that I was a good customer. I am not some young tattooed trouble-maker spoiling for a fight. I am close to retiring age, and highly respected in my field of journalism where I am arguably one of the top 10 specialists in the world.
There appears to be a worrying problem with Dave’s bars, and I don’t care how active he is on the forums. Last year I wrote on a forum about bad customer service and management at another of his bars, Club 69 on Soi 15, and he wrote an abusive and dismissive response. Only later did he actually bother to go there and investigate and fired the manager and sent me an apology. It might make a difference, of course, if he actually spent time at the places he is involved with and saw what goes on. Dean told me he would report to the missing Dave and ask him to call me.
The appeal of the nightlife in Thailand, while sordid in other countries, has long been regarded as a fun thing here. But that has always been skin-deep and like so many things in the Land Of False Smiles an illusion, and increasing the squalid underbelly is being exposed.
Barry, you are right, of course, Thailand's nightlife has an underbelly much like Ross Macdonald's L.A., etc. You were wronged but it almost never pays to get the police involved in a dispute in Thailand as things can get screwy under Thai law and sense of justice very quickly. Sorry it happened. Forgive me for quoting from my own work but as my detective says in Skytrain to Murder: "Thais are the nicest people in the world. Until they're not." By the way, when I see a girl I like in a bar and I want to barfine her I usually buy her a drink or two and then go with her or else if her answer is no I move on. Why did you spend "four hours and thousands of baht" on the chick inside the bar? Was that not a tactical mistake? You, my boy, should read my book Zen and the Art of Barfining Thai Women. (Which I haven't written but one fine day when mixing uppers with Wild Turkey and black russians may yet.)
Links You Might Enjoy
A video of a five-minute walk down Soi Cowboy. Click here and then click "preview videos."
Like to check out some bars in 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
Listen to RadioBangkok.net
Contact Direct Line for Travel Insurance in the UK
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.
Last week's most humorous caption for this picture: "I hate it when they use too much garlic!"
Second prize: "Jonathan Swift's Modest Proposal comes to Thailand"
So enter and win 3,000 baht in food and drink vouchers, second prize is an "I Support Single Moms" T-shirt, courtesy of Peter, PJ and Jason of Old Dutch, Suzie Wong's, Sheba's, Playskool, Shadow Bar, etc., etc; third prize the usual Nada diddly-squat. This column's prize is again worth 3,000 baht in food and drink vouchers. Just be the first to tell me where this Bangkok picture at left was taken. Yes, it is in a nightlife area.
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, I love you long time; 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
More News on the "Religion of Peace"
The "Religion of Peace" continues to visit Southern Thailand
2/12/2008 (Narathiwat, Thailand) - A district chief and his son are shot to death by militant Muslims.
2/14/2008 (Yala, Thailand) - A laborer is shot to death in front of his wife by militant Muslims.
2/14/2008 (Narathiwat, Thailand) - Two villagers are murdered by Islamic gunmen.
2/16/2008 Thailand Pattani - A gardener is shot to death by Mujahid while sitting outside a teashop.
2/16/2008 Thailand Pattani - An Islamic radical strides into a mosque and blows away a local with a handgun.
2/16/2008 Thailand Narathiwat - A local Buddhist is murdered by Muslim gunmen while riding a motorcycle.
2/19/2008 Thailand Pattani - A 46-year-old Buddhist man is shot from his motorcyle and then set ablaze by militant Muslims.
2/22/2008 Thailand Narathiwat - Twenty-two migrant workers are injured when Islamists set off a bomb at a garbage dump.
Another wonderful short video from Pat Condell on Islam:
Click on Picture
Zanan (Women), Iran's leading women's magazine has been shut by the authorities because it dared to speak out about such issues as domestic violence.
Thought I'd run this one again as it is rather, um, unusual. "Gay Muslims for Peace & the Destruction of Israel". Duh, how do those two chores mesh, dude?
Whoops! Not politically correct, to say the least.
Right, but mustn't retaliate by making cartoons of Mohammad or hurting a Koran. It might upset them.
The Religion of Peace beheads a Christian Indonesian schoolgirl. Three, actually. No doubt more to come.
Typical TV programs for children in Muslim countries are about Jihad and hatred of Jews, as above.
A Muslim in Kosovo urinates in a destroyed church while his friends snaps a picture.
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