One Night in Bangkok

Pulse Magazine interview (published by The Big Chilli):

It’s interesting that the interviews for this column often end up revealing more about the interviewees than about Bangkok nightlife. In this issue, author, playwright, and old Asia hand Dean Barrett just lets it all hang out. Opinionated, bolshy, and an unashamed chaser of anything in a skirt, the man pulls no punches and takes no prisoners. This may be the first column in which we feel compelled to warn our dear readers that we take absolutely no responsibility for the opinions expressed below, or the consequences that may ensue from following Dean’s recommendations.

Pulse: Describe your socializing style? (bar crawler, music aficionado, people watcher, skirt chaser, etc.)

Dean: I am a bar crawler, people watcher and skirt chaser. I like music, of course, but in many of the places I find the music too loud and some sets start past my bedtime. Of course, I don’t just chase anything in a skirt. I chase anything in a skirt, sarong, pa-ong, longyi, kimono, cheongsam, bikini, hot pants, pinafore, Bermuda shorts, jeans, tube dress, halter top & mini-skirt, hip hugger with bell-bottoms, cut-off jeans, crinolines, petticoats, nurses’ outfits and, of course, school uniforms.

Pulse: Favorite place to hangout with friends for a drink?

Dean: The Londoner Pub. We have a reserved area in that pub with signs on the bar saying, “Reserved for the young people of Frank’s corner.” Frank was 79 when he passed away. (We may be old but our women aren’t.) Also, the Carlsberg girl at the Londoner used to wear off-the-shoulder outfits revealing her beautiful shoulders but then Carlsberg had some business dispute and pulled out of Thailand causing her to lose her job. As a typically paranoid writer I am convinced Carlsberg did it to spite me and I am planning legal action unless they bring her back.  Also hang out at the Texas Lone Star Saloon.

Pulse: Favorite pubs/bars?

Dean: Any bar in which there is a beautiful woman who will refer to me as “hansum man.” I love to sit outside bar areas when the girls are arriving for work and watch the action. It has a charm to it that you find nowhere else in the world.

Pulse: Favorite restaurants in Bangkok?

Dean: Not being into any special kind of cuisine, I generally choose restaurants based on the beauty, charm and attitude of the waitresses. But Larry’s Dive has the best ribs in town; Bourbon Street has the best Georgia pecan pie. Both places have cute waitresses. Of course, Cabbages and Condoms is on that soi also and has fine Thai food. They give out condoms instead of after dinner mints. Which is convenient because just a stone’s throw* down the same soi is Darling Massage Parlor. I also like Old Dutch Corner right on Soi Cowboy. They have lots of out-of-town newspapers and a nice view out the window of the bargirls hanging about and walking around. So I can sip coffee, check out the women and read about the latest atrocities of the world all in one place. The food is OK but, again, I don’t go to restaurants based on quality or quantity of food. Surveys show that people who go to restaurants mainly for the food are anal retentive, tend to vote Republican, and believe in Social Order campaigns.

Pulse: Name one place in town that everyone should check out at least once.

Dean: Well, for starters, one should begin by checking out The Big Chilli magazine office where rumor-control has it that the owner has an all-female staff, and he dresses them in classic school girl outfits, and chains them to their chairs until they finish their work late at night. Second best would be Demonia bar on soi 33 (or BarBar on Patpong 2). A nice place for the whole family. Fuji show in Chinatown was the best ever but, alas, they closed several years back. Also, watching busloads of euphoric Japanese tourists pose for photographs next to the very dolled-up Thai ladyboys from the Mambo show at Washington Square is always fun. It makes you contemplate the human condition. One should also pay a visit late at night to the Texas Lone Star Saloon at Washington Square. However, if you in any way resemble a Khao San Road backpacker you will get the shit kicked out of you. By the way, a fun thing to do while you are in the Lone Star is to say in a loud voice: Country & Western music sucks big time! You’ll see they have a great sense of humor.

Pulse: Are you a live music fan? If so what’s your favorite venue?”

Dean: Sure. Eden Club on soi 7/1. Lolita’s on soi 8. Just drop in and ask what’s playing upstairs.

Pulse: Favorite place to stay out late?

Dean: Any of the areas detested by people who read “relationships” columns in newspapers or who sit around and babble about “relationships” or who think the four bimbos on Sex and the City were “intelligent” and “independent.” Any place that doesn’t resemble an American singles bar, any place that doesn’t have TVs and huge screens all over the walls showing hideously overpaid, half-boy, half-men with the IQ’s of dying water buffaloes kicking balls into nets.

Pulse: Do you think Bangkok nightlife has changed much over the last few years?

Dean: Somewhat, but it is still great. I mean when I first washed up on Bangkok’s shores in 1966 there was no go go dancing so I considered it a hardship post. In those days, young Thai women were very innocent especially about foreign men and had yet to understand that foreign men love their skin tone and their smile and their attitude and just about everything else. Now they understand all these things and worse yet they understand the power of the female sexuality, putting long-in-the-tooth types like myself at a decided disadvantage. My last Thai girlfriend even stopped putting toothpaste on my toothbrush for me and as I hadn’t done it myself for so long I had forgotten how to do it so my teeth are screwed up. Also, some of today’s Thai women have strange personality quirks in that they seem to prefer men in their own age bracket. Possibly some kind of communist plot but more likely the fault of the Thai education system and feminazi articles in cutting edge magazines like The Big Chilli.

Pulse: How do you think the city compares with other regional capitals?

Dean: Better than all combined. Only Manila or rather Angeles City begins to compare, but only begins to. Although I haven’t been to Manila since Virgin Valdez and Good Pork Betty fought over Whore House Charlie.  I do get to Cambodia once a year and Phnom Penh is an interesting city but hard to compare to Bangkok.  Nothing compares to Bangkok.  Nope. Nothing.


*just a stone's throw" was originally "just a dildo's throw" but the Chilli magazine editors wisely decided to edit.  DB

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