Buying sea-monsters 1st thing in the morning is not exactly what I call fun. But then I am sure there are many things that I’ve had Miss Tim do early in the mornings which wouldn’t have been her 1st choice either.
The troops were in the minivan heading to HH. A bargain price at 2700, considering a taxi is around 2400.
When the troops arrived, the plan was to have a few beers then leave the women to do whatever it is women do when we’re not around (dance around in underwear I’d like to think)– and then us lads head into town for a few more beers. Easy.
First off, Gamblin Man had to check into the Best Western Hotel that he’d booked for a couple of nights. GM told me he’d booked online – but halfway through the booking the page went tits-up, or the laptop went tits-up or his girl went tits-up. Not sure which it was, but he had to go through the whole process again. This was all straight forward until check-in when the receptionist informed him he had 2 rooms. “I only booked one” was the reply. Now, it was obviously a mistake. These do happen. I’d have thought a big chain like Best Western would just refund a room but oh no…. no deal. Where Gamblin Man lost out, Lomeo lucked in. He had not booked a room yet. Now he was given a freebee!
If you ever go to HH and need a hotel, I’d certainly recommend the Best Western. It’s pretty quiet and has a massive pool. The best part being the (downstairs) rooms open up to a patio area with steps into the pool. Very relaxing and you can literally be in the pool within 5 steps from getting out of your bed. Miss Tim and I spent a very memorable afternoon in the pool getting drunk. The waiter kept bringing over buckets filled with ice and beer bottles to our ‘steps’. So if you get the chance – do it!
I am also informed by Lomeo that you could pee into the pool from the bed.
Anyway, we have a Tuk-Tuk which is at our beck and call, so he was called. Within 15mins he always turns up. I say tuk-tuk, but it’s actually a little truck. Just as well, as a Tuk-tuk driver is someone I have a low opinion of.
On the way into town, Lomeo told us of a burger joint called XXL. Said they were really big burgers, so I made a mental note. Miss Tim and I are always on the look out for new eating houses. And really, how big can they be?
The 1st stop was El Murphys. A Irish Bar (obviously) in the middle of the grid. I’ve been fed and watered there many times. The host that day was a big guy who was very welcoming and friendly. A host that makes a point of introducing himself and taking a few moments to exchange pleasantries will always win my return custom.
We were on the clock so headed out after a beer. Now, I’ve not really walked around the bar area in the daytime and certainly not when the weather is less than scorching. To say it was a bit disappointing is an understatement.
There were more than a few bars with ‘forsale’ signs on them and some just plain closed up. None of them looked like they would fit the ‘Big Mango Bar’ title, so I didn’t buy any.
The bars that were open (around 2pm) had few girls. The girls that were not overly covered in make-up (to hide the oldage wrinkles) were sitting around and eating. Those not eating were watching Thai soap operas. Those that were not eating, lazy or ugly were only found in the Soap Opera. I guess this is no big deal really. There are not many customers around and whilst a girl is on the premises they clean the place and take deliveries. Better to have them there than not there.
However, these bars did nothing in the way of enticing us into the bars. If anything, we were turned off.
Kicking our heels, hoping for a diamond among the ruff, we walked along some road where Thai people were going about their business of washing clothes in bowls, eating noodles in the street and sitting on flat cardboard boxes. This was not what we were expecting. It was then we heard a Thai girl speaking and laughing. This could be interesting? Turning around, we spied the Heckler all over her like a cheap suit.
The girl had been out to get food for the staff at her bar. After a few mins of chatting to her – we headed to her bar to wake them up. The few girls there were either applying makeup, sleeping or watching TV. Who could blame them really? There were no customers around. None until now.
Easily woken up with a ring of the bell and hijack of the computer/music system saw them come alive. With a few vodkas / beers down our necks we were starting to come to life ourselves. I can’t say the girls were hot, but the one Heckles was chatting up was the best looking. We were on the clock so pressured him into either marrying her or cutting her loose.
With only a few girls (talking with Heckler) we were getting bored. Jonas wanted more beer. There is only so much time you can spend coming up with youtube songs. The problem with youtube songs is that you have to come up with a new song every 3 minutes or so and while the new song is being searched, there is a silence on the airwaves. Deadly in the party environment.
Time to get the hell out.
We hit one more bar which again was non-descript. Called up the truck-truck to come get us. Head back to the crib where Miss Tim and the girls were getting dressed after having a little swim. This was disappointing as we all wanted to see GM’s ladyfriend ‘The Girl with the Complicated Tattoo’ in her new bikini. We are sure she had one, as GM was given the bill for it. What they were supposed to be doing was preparing the BBQ.
With the gang back on site, Lomeo commenced with the BBQ and Jonas had more beer. Not sure what Lomeo did – but he produced some fine meat. Miss Tim was to make the Red Wine sauce – but just ended up opening a bottle of Red Wine, splashing some meat and then drinking the rest of the bottle. Heckler spent an hour or so asking the lads if he should have sealed the deal with the girl and Jonas did what Jonas does best. He drank. And then drank some more.
All fed and watered, it was time to head back into town and see if it livened up since the afternoon. It had. We got dumped off at the Hilton and a short walk saw us standing outside a bar that looked… well… ‘trendy’! Lots of white sofas and neon lights. I am sure we also saw some swings? However, 2ft into the bar and we noticed a lot of guys wearing tight tops and what looked like studded dog collars around their necks. Hmm… this was not for us. Lomeo maybe, but not us.
Back to the bar we had been in previously, all the girls had changed into evening wear. A good transformation. The Heckler was straight into his game and once again everyone was asking each other what music do we want to listen to. We asked the girl in the bar, but she just said ‘I like what you like’. Not the answer we were looking for. The only thing to do in these situations is to type in Bob Marley Mix into youtube. Can’t go wrong.
A couple of drinks done, we left Heckles with his girl and we headed to the London Bar. It was heaving. They had a live band that I absolutely just love. Quite a few girls in there taking care of the old duffers that were there dancing. Everyone seemed to be having fun. Everyone was feeling a little drunk and a little tired.
Heckles went off into the night with Jonas as his Wingman. Lomeo, Juliet, Gamblin Man and The Girl with the Complicated Tattoo all headed to the hotel.
The next day was a wash-out. Literally. Poxy bloody rainy season. I don’t much care for it.
The plan was to meet up with Lomeo & Juliet and Gamblin Man & The Girl with the Complicated Tattoo. Heckler was already enroute to Bangok and Jonas was still half drunk. After sobering up he grabbed a few bottles of beer and took a minivan to Bangkok. 180bht! Amazing?!! I must give that a try.
After waiting what seemed like 17 hours for my maintenance guy to come and repair a leak in the roof, we headed into town. Too late for bowling but not too late for drinking. Lomeo was not answering his phone, but the good thing with HH bars is that you can pretty much drive down all the streets and see into all the bars. After two or three minutes, we spied them in the corner of a bar. Result!
Drinking commenced. After a few hours we wanted food, so we suggested XXL Restaurant! Truck-Truck driver to the rescue. Off we went. Tim and I sped off ahead to claim a table. When we arrived we found it was closed. It closes at 8pm?!?! What kind of mad time is that for a restaurant to close?!!?!!
There is a Thai style (hi-so?) restaurant next to the Best Western so headed there. Good food / service and around 10pm starts filling up. We were the only farangs there. I think I upset the staff when I asked for a knife. – they didn’t have any.
Tim and I left early as we’re getting old – Lomeo and GM entertained their women.
A day or so passed and Miss Tim and I were riding past XXL Restaurant. Inside we went. I must say, I was rather impressed by the whole concept. It’s fun. However, if there is only 2 of you, or even 4 of you, the 1kg burger is just too much.
After sharing ¼ we were done. Bagged the rest up to give to the dog. If you’re passing XXL Restaurant, you should pop in. The food is just too much. But if there is a group of you then it’s o.k. I’ve said before, a restaurant experience for me is not just about the food, it’s about the whole experience. This place, just looking at the menu and the photos on the wall made us smile plenty.
The next day saw us head to Bangkok for the day. Go to the Mango, pay some bills and then hit the cinema. It was time to check out these mini-vans!
The ride to BKK wasn’t too bad, as I was sleeping for most of it. It took around 3 hours which I didn’t think was bad at all. We got the 6pm back to HH and it was a different story. I don’t mind sharing transportation – aslong as I am sleeping and can’t hear them talk, snore, eat or fart. However, this was not a comfy seat and sleep was out of the question. And, when you’re awake, you can see how mad the drivers are. I really would be interested to see how many drivers on the roads have had proper driver training.
So, minivan drivers are for me – lower in the food chain that a tuk-tuk driver.
A few days by the pool and a failed attempt at barbecuing (we decided we need an Aussie to cook for us), it was time to head back to the bar for the weekend. Fuck the mini-van. I’ll happily spend 2.5k on a (Camry?) which I have to share only with Miss Tim.
-Even if she does talk, snore, eat and fart.