Day Seven – The Last Day
Morning sex, and disaster struck. Martha’s period appeared to have begun. Either that, or she had been up half the night delicately filling herself with beetroot juice. You never know.
With sex off the menu, and with Martha being far too pretty to be any good at the art of oral sex (see Poodle’s comment on Part One), I was left with absolutely nothing to do.
The thing about Angeles City is that it’s fine for bar-crawls, picking up girls, and eating vast banquets. But there is absolutely nothing else to do. The nearest beach is hours away, and apparently isn’t even very nice.
So I took Martha for breakfast by the pool, then sent her off home – promising that I’d drop by her bar later on. Back to the hotel room, then, to kill time until On Nutter called, suggesting dinner at 8.45pm.
He’d already been busy, taking a girl for an early evening short-time from the King of Diamonds gogo bar. So at least he was having no problems finding suitable partners.
And I ought to point out that it wasn’t just him, either – there were hundreds of guys marauding through the town every day and night, happily taking girls out of the bars, so the smart money is on my tastes just being completely out of kilter with everyone else’s. High standards, or different tastes? What’s the difference, really?
Our flight was due to leave just after 12pm the next day – I double-checked our confirmation emails to be sure – so we’d need to be up at 9am, and out of the hotel around 10am. Rather earlier than I’d managed all week, but not too unpleasant. We’d have plenty of time to quaff a few final beers after dinner.
After bequeathing the remains of my meal to a grateful On Nutter, we moved out to the Agasya bar on Real Street – an Asian-targeted bar with a relaxed lounge feel, and a series of inoffensive choreographed numbers where a group of girls went through the motions of pop video dance routines. Well, some of them did. One just couldn’t remember any of the moves. Which made the show far more enjoyable than it might otherwise have been.
Then On Nutter had one of his less stellar ideas, dragging me into Midnight Rodeo Country & Western Bar, which he had visited with The Baron on the previous evening. I don’t like Country and Western music. We were the only customers in the tired-looking bar, and the ageing, grizzled band called over to us almost immediately that they would play our favourite C&W songs – we just needed to write them down. A waitress scurried over with a pad of paper and a pen. I was in hell.
All eyes on us, all I could think of was the scene in The Blues Brothers where they accidentally get a gig at a C&W club, and play Stand By Your Man.
It wasn’t as funny in real life.
On leaving the bar, I noticed that the upstairs floor was occupied by a gay kickboxing-themed
hostess host bar.
Fittingly, it was in fact time for me to man up. Given that Martha was riding the crimson wave, and that we had to be up relatively early to fly in the morning, I wasn’t going to barfine her. Instead, I had to visit her bar and say goodbye.
She took it better than I’d feared, but was still blinking back tears as I bid her adieu. A great girl, and one who deserves a better life than this. I hope she gets snapped up by a more worthy guy than me sooner rather than later.
From there, we had one last bar crawl to round the week off – Bedrock was uninspiring, so we ducked out without even ordering, but had a decent time in Nero’s Forum. In fact, we saw probably the best dance shows of the week in here, really energetic and fun, with some cute lookers.
Typically, since it was our last night and since we had to be up early for the return flight, this was the night all the stunners came out of the woodwork. There were plenty in Nero’s.
From there we hit Club 68 (“We owe you one”), where On Nutter reprised his palm reader routine. A new low was reached when he soothsayed “Aha, I see you have one baby already!” to a Cherry Girl. Oops.
68 was slim on lookers, but their 12am-2am happy hour – 60 pesos (à¸¿42) for San Miguel Light – was a nice touch, and from there we returned to old favourite Club Asia – another stellar lineup, and I was beginning to actually feel sorry that I’d soon be leaving.
Finally, down to our last pesos, we crawled down Blow Row for the final beers of the trip. I had just about enough cash left to end the week as I began it – with the same Service Provider, no less.
We settled up, and I tipped my remaining 250 pesos to the girl swilling the Listerine, as we braved the onset of Typhoon Mirinae on the way back to the hotel – I set my alarm, and slept.
Day Eight – Cebu Pacific, How I Love Thee
Up at 9am, packed and ready in the lobby by 10am, we settled the hotel bills, and our carriage awaited. On Nutter tipped most of the remains of his pesos to the hotel staff. I’d already given mine away the previous night.
And so off we went in the taxi to our destination – where we were greeted by a surprised-looking airport employee at the closed doors of an empty airport.
“What are you doing here?” she asked.
“We’re here for the Cebu flight to Bangkok”.
“But that doesn’t leave until 8.15pm. Ten hours from now”.
Evidently, since we’d booked our tickets, Cebu had changed their schedules. And not thought to actually inform anyone. We had the best part of another day to kill.
If there is a worse airline anywhere in the world, I would like to hear about it.
And so into a taxi, paid for with the last pesos in On Nutter’s wallet, and back to the hotel, where the surprised-looking staff laughed, and said of course we could store our bags behind the desk until the evening.
We were out of cash though. We hadn’t seen a single ATM in Angeles City so far, but were directed to the SM Mall, about a mile or so away.
On the way there, as we passed the usual irritating street vendors (“Viagra!”, “Porno!”), we met the most surreal one yet.
“Folding tables!” he beamed. I stopped, and looked. He was indeed holding a wooden folding table under each arm. Fantastic.
After a long walk, and the unpleasant experience of queuing for an hour behind people who appeared never to have used an ATM before, I was able to actually withdraw some money from my Thai account – which was a nice surprise.
We took a trike to Perimeter Road – it was my turn to sit in the sidecar – and eventually found ourselves in a bar called Honey Kos, where we spent much of the rest of the afternoon.
Daytime gogos always frighten me a little. It seems horribly unnatural to be sat in a darkened bar, watching bikini-clad girls performing the chrome pole shuffle, in the knowledge that it’s still broad daylight outside.
We had a good time though, and when one kind soul (not me) rang the bell, I was delighted to note that all the girls on stage removed their tops. Was this common practice at all the bars? Surely not. I’d have rung a few bells myself if it was…
Kicking back on a couch at the rear of the bar, On Nutter and I reminisced on what had been an entertaining week. A bargirl or two on either side attended to our needs in terms of massage and other forms of groping, as we went over the highlights.
“I liked it when The Baron asked that girl whether her home province was further away than the moon”, I said.
“Yes,” said On Nutter, “and she said that the moon must be closer, because you can see it from here”.
We chuckled. I once had a friend in Bangkok who had a map of the world on his wall. Whenever a bargirl was leaving his place, he’d offer to double their pay if they could find Thailand on the map. They never could.
On Nutter, it transpired, had been asked by the mamasan, after a marathon palm-reading session in Fantasy Club, where he had learned the mysterious art of palm reading. He’d told her that he’d trained under a master in a temple in Bangkok. She had nodded, sagely.
Another bargirl had asked him whether Thailand was in Europe or Singapore.
Most troubling though, was the waitress that he’d taken from a smaller bar on Day Five, after I’d retired – defeated by my mammoth burrito.
In hushed tones, he confessed that he’d somehow ended up shagging her without a condom, and been unable to pull out in time.
I thought on this.
“You know,” I said, “there’s a very real chance that in a few short years time, there is going to be a half-English, half-Filipino toddler wandering the nurseries of Angeles City, stealing all of the other kids’ half-eaten rusks”.
It was soon time to make our way back to the hotel, collect the luggage, and from there, make our way home. On Nutter had been on the San Miguel Light all afternoon. I’d been on the orange juice, and couldn’t finish the last one.
“Are you going to…” he began to ask.
We found our way back to the airport, having expertly managed our purchases so as to have spend precisely all of our pesos once again, thus ensuring that we wouldn’t be taking any worthless currency back to Bangkok. So it was rather annoying to discover that there was a 600 peso departure tax.
It was even more annoying, for me at least, to discover that there were precisely no smoking facilities airside. Security even confiscated my cigarette lighter for good measure – a first, anywhere in the world.
Smoking is a polarising issue, of course, but since smoking was not only permitted, but practically encouraged everywhere else we’d been in Angeles – restaurants, gogo bars, hotel rooms, hotel lobbies, trikes – I just hadn’t been prepared for two hours in a bleak departure lounge without the opportunity to punish my lungs any further.
We had been looking forward to arriving in Bangkok in the early afternoon, heading to our respective homes, perhaps enjoying an afternoon nap, and making to the Big Mango Bar’s Halloween Party in good time.
Now, with the flight showing as half an hour delayed from a time already eight hours later than advertised, it wasn’t looking quite so simple.
The phrase STP has entered the popular Bangkok vernacular in recent times – Straight To Plane refers to having a final night of one’s trip to Bangkok so epic that one stays up partying all night, and woozily makes one’s way to the airport the next morning, still wasted.
On Nutter and I countered this with SFP – Straight From Plane. We took a taxi from Suvarnabhumi airport direct to the Big Mango Bar, and while we missed the peak of the party, we still had time for a number of beers with pals before the end of the night.
On the flight though, and even in the taxi on our way, I had been reflecting on the differences between the Filipina girls and their Thai sisters.
The Thais are always being accused of being more mercenary than in the good old days. People complain that diva attitudes have ruined many of the girls, and even some of the bars entirely, and that the money is now the only thing on the girls’ minds. There is a brash side to many of them now, rather than the sweet, loving and innocent young maidens of yesteryear.
A hint of rose-tinted glasses there, of course – and most of the complainants are themselves less attractive prospects than they were ten or twenty years ago – but it’s a gripe I hear too often to entirely disregard.
I still maintain that there are plenty of girls out there who just want to have fun, but can see where some of the grumblers are coming from.
Certainly in Angeles the girls, although less pretty, seemed more demure, a little more classy, better educated at least as far as English was concerned, and generally closer to the kind of girl you could consider taking home and introducing to mother without breaking into a cold sweat.
“Did I show you the photo of that girl’s tattoo from yesterday?” asked On Nutter in the taxi.
“No, I don’t think you did”.