Another month passes….
And I am back in Thailand. Having been
in Iraq, where things are, well you could say ‘a little tense’ right now, I was
looking forward to getting back here.
After one day though,
the excitement has worn off.
Arriving at the
airport was o.k and I was public side within 20 minutes of landing. I decided to take the coach this time – as I
feel safer inside the massive vehicle rather than the little Toyota that my
driver hammers down the road – trying to avoid kamikaze bikes and trucks.
It was at the Coach counter where I got my first reminder I was back in Thailand.
Luckily for sleeping
beauty here, I had been laying down on
the flight here so I wanted to stand and stretch my little dwarf legs. For the 10 mins I waiting nearby, I tried my
hardest to muster up a fart and release it in her face.
The Coach service is
pretty good. From the airport to HH in
just over 3 hours. About as long as it
takes my driver – as he usually stops to fill his car up with gas, and his
belly up with donuts.
Back in Hua Hin – we headed
into town as per usual. There is a new
little bar with outside seating which looked quite nice, so we gave it a
One of our favourite pass-times
is people-mocking. Similar to
people-watching, but as there are some weird people around, we tend to laugh
and mock them.
How old do you have to
be to ride a bike in Thailand? This ‘kid’
can’t be old enough surely? He couldn’t
even touch the floor when riding. I know
I struggle sometimes, but this is taking things a little far.
Why have signs
up? What’s the point?
So the Chinese are
trying to kill us all with their virus’s?
Someone asked me how it spreads, and then we saw a Chinese person gob on
the floor. I am not sure how it’s
spread, but that can’t help?
Lots more people
wearing face-masks now. What I don’t
understand though, is why they are wearing them on a motorcycle – when they are
not wearing a helmet? What is their thought process? Are they thinking ‘to be on the safe-side, I’d
better wear a face mask’.. and then ride off into the traffic with no crash
helmet? The amount of people I see,
with a mask and no helmet is amazing.
There is no other word for it than ‘thick’.
The first night was
over and we were suitably drunk. We had
to meet our Grab taxi and a secret location as they didn’t want to get their
arses kicked by the local TukTuk mafia.
How dare them Grab drivers provide a safer, more reliable and cheaper
way of getting you home?
Day 2 – we were
invited to a party at one of Tims friends who owns a little back-street
bar. I am not a fan of these little shop
house bars. Basically just a room,
miss-matching furniture and a pool table.
The last time I went there – the people playing pool were all wearing
I spent half an hour
talking to some big fella about how Farrangs in Thailand all think Pool their
pool skills are impressing people. I
remember when it used to be about the fun.
I (still) see blokes playing pool with girls – and not talking to the
girl, except for the odd “shot”.. from
the other side of the table.
So after my 30 minute rant about how all these ‘serious’ pool players with their own cues, gloves, telescopic sights are all a bunch of losers who are missing the point of being in a bar with a bunch of Thai girls – I find out this guy is the No.1 player of the bar. Oops. I hope he went home and thought very seriously about what I had told him!
A relatively quiet night… so as not to be rough in the morning. I had been looking forward to not being hungover so we could go have lunch at the beach. Nothing we like more than to have spot of lunch whilst watching all the people learning how to Kite-Surf. As we know, learning means going head first into the water every 30 seconds!
At the weekend I am
off to the UK for a couple of weeks. Can’t
wait. Some interesting stuff planned
there.. more on that later.
For now, it’s business as usual in HH. Eat, sleep, repeat…
I’ve had several trips to Bangers this year – and none have been too exciting. It’s not like I sat in my hotel room watching TV either. I went out and did the usual bar crawls. It just wasn’t as fun as it used to be.
My soi 4 hangout is split between Big Dogs and ‘Cool Beer’ bar. Cool Beer is a good place late at night, perched at the counter looking out into the street. There is a live band at night which are so bad, they’re entertaining. They murder every song, which means you feel the urge to start singing yourself (when drunk). It can be a good laugh. I did have a fall out with a staff member who was hassling me for drinks. I bought a few before asking what she was actually drinking and how much it cost. She was drinking a little glass of apple juice at 250bht a time! She even had the cheek to ask for a tip! So Big Dogs was then favored.
Big Dogs has always been one of my go-to bars since I first came to Bangkok back in the day. it’s latest version is the best it’s been I think. Get a good table and you are entertained for hours just by watching what goes on.
It may just be me, but it just doesn’t feel like fun anymore. There is no ‘buzz’ around the place. When the Rats and I are skulking around, we are constantly scratching our heads on which bar to go to. There was a time when we all had bars we wanted to visit in the night and struggled to fit them all in. These days, we struggle to find 2 or 3 bars we want to be in.
Last month GM and I visited the QPP before it gets torn down. It’s a sorry state – but then always has been. It’s rare we ever went further than the 2 or 3 bars at the front. Only the hardened dirty old bastards would venture further inside and not be disappointed. Not for me.
Cowboy – not too many visits for me this past year. This new (young) crowd of girls are just not as fun as the girls from years ago. The people walking up and down the soi have also changed. Lots of middle/far east – which I have no desire to be around.
BKK Airport / Tourists – I fly a lot. 40 flights per year minimum. Which means hanging around in airports a lot. There is a new breed of traveler. I call them ‘the fucking arseholes’. These arseholes are also found in coffee shops and some restaurants too. These arseholes are the people that make calls on their phone – using the loud speaker. WTF? WHY? Why do they feel the need to share their conversation with everyone else near by?
Ignorant fucking arseholes. Likewise, these arseholes that watch youtube/Faceache videos with the volume turned up. I think it should be allowable that anyone who gets annoyed by this can punch these people in the face and stamp on their phone. Arseholes.
I had a recent experience where I was on a plane – sitting next to some Chinese lad. He was watching some noisy crap on his phone… which I could hear even thought I had headphones on, listening to music. As it would be frowned upon if I were to smash his face into his tiny screen – I just scowled at him and told him to shut the fuck up. Which he did. A few hours later – food was served. If I thought his phone was loud, that was nothing compared to the noise he made when SUCKING his food from the bowl into his mouth. Pig. Is it just me, or is this world a horrible place?
Hua Hin – I was looking to move again.. but just couldn’t be arsed. I’ll get Miss Tim on the case again soon. Just recently a French family moved in opposite us – with 3 feral kids – whom shout instead of talk, sit in the parents car and hit the horn through out the day, draw shite pictures on the road…. out side everyone’s house (which I hose down when I come home at night) and generally just run around making a nuisance of themselves. Again, I am not allowed to go over there and throw dog poo at them until they leave, so I’ll have to find somewhere else to live.
I still plan to move back to the UK at some point, I am just too lazy at the moment. Plus, Miss Tim’s family is very much a part of her life, so we stick around for now.
I do like HH though. I’ve a nice place on the beach where we like to take lunch and watch all the kite-surfers fall in the water. We know a few bars/staff which ensures we have a good sociable night out and there so many restaurants we like, that we eat out 6 nights per week. The 1 night a week we eat at home, is when Miss Tim makes Spag bol. No matter which (Italian) restaurant we go to, Spag bol is a load of spaghetti and little spoon of bolognese. I much prefer a huuuuge dollop of meat on the top.
The driving standards have not improved at all – but my awareness of how rubbish they are has improved. I drive very defensively and expect someone to pull out of every side road there is on my route. I am constantly frustrated by arseholes riding bikes which have no working lights. How much is a bulb for fuck sake? And now I see an increase of arseholes riding bikes whilst using a phone (texting). I heard on the HH Radio News this morning that nearly 200 people died on the road in the 1st two days of the holidays. I am not surprised.
Apart from all that.. I’ve had fun! Quite a few trips back to the UK for me. Each visit has been really good. I added some more cars and bikes to my collection – which I am looking forward to playing with at some point in the future.
My Route 66 Tour went out of the window when I failed to get my US Visa due to the inefficient useless twats at the US Embassy in London. I spat my dummy out and walked out of the place after waiting 6 hours after my appointment.
So what’s in store for 2020? More of the same I guess? I’ll still be in Thailand, shouting and screaming at everyone who pisses me off. Some UK visits planned – and a UK/Ireland Bike Tour in the summer with some pals. I want (must) get back to Manila to see the lads too. Another Barcelona and South of France visit is also planned. Lots to do… little time to do it.
So that’s me. Another year of being a miserable old bastard and looking forward to another year being miserable.
Hoping you lot had a great year – and have a great year going forward!
Another month passes….. What’s been happening? Relaxing in HH, a couple of nights in Bangkok before heading to the UK. More on that later.
I’ve been binging on YouTube programs recently. Gordon Ramsay & the Hotel Inspector. If you’ve never seen these – basically the experts visit a failing restaurant or hotel and points out where they’re going wrong and devises a plan to get them back on track. I like watching the owners think they know it all – and argue with the experts. Brilliant. I have a great respect for the Experts. They are experts for a reason. They’ve been there, done it and have been very successful. You should listen to them, they know what they’re talking about.
Personally, I think of myself as a bit of an expert in my
field. This was reinforced recently when
my old Boss phoned me up and asked if I’d be interested in returning to my old
Position which I quit 7 years ago. The
person they brought in when I had left was not so much of an ‘expert’. So much so that not only did he make a pigs
ear of the job, the pressure got to him and he had a breakdown. It’s not easy being an expert.
As flattering as it
was – I don’t want to go back. The best
way to turn them down without actually telling them to poke it – was to price
myself out of the job, so I gave them a figure which would be needed to get me
interested. Problem is, this didn’t put
them off. Oops.
I’ve now got to make a
decision. I love my job.
Where I am, I am an expert. If I
were to go back (lower position) just for a pay-check… well, I am not sure that’s a good move. I shall need to think a little more..
One thing I don’t claim to be an expert in – is the bar business. I never treated it like a business, as I never needed to make money from it. Yes, I didn’t want to lose money, but it was more a hobby than a job. In fact, it was never a job for me. Some people have mad ideas that I/we lost a load of money, which just isn’t true. In fact, the rent on that 5 story building was something like 40k per month for the 1st 3 years. After 3 years, it went to 50k. My house in HH cost 45k per month – and I am not selling booze. So no, the old Mango didn’t really have to do much business to survive.
So no, I am not an expert in the bar business.. but having been involved in the bar business for 10 years… I am sure I have a better understanding than a punter.
To this day, I still get asked many
questions about my days in the bar business. One question I have been
asked more than once is ‘if you had your time over again, would you buy a bar’?
Good one. I think I would, but
I think I’d have to do things a little different.
I have always maintained, and still
do, that for me, the bar was for my entertainment. As long as I didn’t
lose money, then I was happy. If I made a few bucks along the way, then
it was a bonus. More often than not, we ‘gave back’ to many of the
customers when the bar was doing well. I could never count
the amount of drinks that were given away. The amount of free food that
was offered. The number of pints of beer which were sold for 20bht?
It was a lot.
At the time, it was just some
fun. I got to meet many great people – some of which I am still in
contact with today. I met many, many liars, bull-shitters and chancers
too. Way too many.
One of the problems of a bar – is
that you get to experience people when they are drunk and their guard is down.
After a recent chat with long term Blog reader Danny, it got me thinking back to some of the people from yester-year.
Balloon Chasers – we all know these. The Mango had it’s fair share. I remember sitting with DavetheRave – watching some guy shovel food down is throat.. then go back for more… and more… He had 2 pints which cost him a total of 40bht.
There were many people like
this. Total scumbag peasants.
Leaches – It was not uncommon of me to buy a bunch of drinks for people in the bar. I have been on the receiving end many times. But there was this one fellow – who only drank soda. Except when a bell was rung or it was me buying a drink. Then his tastes changed to premium beverage. Every time. To the point where all the staff knew what was coming. Thing is, it’s not like this guy didn’t have any money. – he was just a tight leach of a bastard.
Happy-Hour seekers. All bars have Happy-Hours and the Mango was no different. I remember one afternoon, I am sitting at the bar watching whatever was on the TV… a customer opposite on his laptop asked why the Water was not reduced during Happy Hour? I took exception to this. Just because I was not paying attention to him, I was well aware how long he had been there, how much he had spent, and what he spent the last time he was there… he was not exactly a valued customer.
So when he said that our Water was
300% of what it costs in 7/11 – I had no choice other than to remind him that
he was sitting in an air conditioned bar, with lights on, watching
TV, his laptop plugged into my power, using my WiFi, using the
toilets, water, soap, bog roll. Sitting on a stool that I paid
for. Drinking from a class that needs to be cleaned. Not to mention
the ice which is topped up by the person being paid to serve him.
He was getting a lot for his 40bht
bottle of water. But the ignorant twat that he was – just saw that it was
more expensive than 7/11.
I’ve no time for these assholes.
The music experts... Getting music right is not easy. You don’t like what I like. I don’t like what most people like. I personally would rather listen to cats shouting than Ed Sheeran. But everyone is different. So I again took exception to one guy who always complained about the music. I handed him a pen and pad and asked him what he likes to listen to. He replied that it wasn’t his job?! Erm… I was merely trying to get his tastes so that I could source the music for him. The bars are different now – they all have YouTube ready for the customers to choose their own, but back then, it was down to me to find the music and create a playlist. And this asshole complained rather than help me provide him what he wanted.
The same guy complained that one of
the music speakers was mounted too close to where his regular was. – which was
disturbing for him. So, I had the speaker moved. What I
didn’t expect was the dick to then decide he no longer liked his seat and moved
near to the speaker. Seriously, I kid you not. In
the end I lost my rag with him. I told him to get the fuck out and not come
Bullshitters…. One group of guys wanted to rent the upstairs for some Rave/house music function. He told me how he was an event’s organizer and could make us all millionaires. He went on to tell me how he was a director of some Thai bank – and was only teaching English to Thai’s for fun. Seriously?
Another guy was telling me how he was
trying to get a visa for his gf to visit the UK. He spent a lot of
time telling me about how he was the owner of some massive construction company
who builds shopping malls all over the world and is a gazillionaire.. blah
blah.. After a skinful, he paid his bill and went next door to the
cheap and nasty hotel where he was staying. Sorry, but gazillionaires
don’t usually stay in low-budget accommodation. Dick
Thieves – the amount of cutlery, bottles, condiments, cd’s and various other items we went through was amazing. I was always told you need to factor in 20% for thefts. No. That is unacceptable. I even had my sweaters go missing.
The Staff? Shit, I have lost count of the staff we went through. There are maybe 3 or 4 that I liked and could (probably) trust. They were all thieving little shites. The ones I trusted – I am still in contact with today. The rest, I’d not trust as far as I could throw them.
I had one of the cooks come to my
apartment one day – crying that he wasn’t receiving his share of the Tips and
needed money for his new kid. I felt sorry for him – and chucked
him some money and told him I’d look at the way the tips were
distributed. The very next day I had a friend look over the books and
found this Cook was submitting food receipts in his own hand-writing. So
there I was, giving him handouts whilst he is claiming money for
ingredients/food that didn’t exist! He was hoofed out straight away and
told never to show is face again. He later
applied for a job with my other partner Kwan – who took great pleasure in
telling him where to go.
All in all, is it worth it? Well, the biggest upside to owning a bar is that you get to walk through a door marked Private. You get to entertain when the bar is closed. The private parties we had upstairs were awesome. I’ve actually forgotten many of them.
I did meet a bunch of people who I am still in contact with – and have a lot of time/respect for them. The handful of these genuine people make up for the many, many tossers that I had came across.
So would I do it all again? I think I would, but I’d probably not be so nice and polite a second time round. I’d ‘cheap-shame’ people. I’d ban the balloon-chasers and stop all happy-hours. I’d play my own music and employ robots.
Wow! A month has passed. Times flies when you’re having fun. Not been posting anything as, well, I just can’t be arsed. So what’s been going on then? Well, not too much.
A few times a year
Miss Tim and I head to the UK to shop, eat and drink. Turns out that it’s cheaper drinking in the
UK now than it is in Thailand. Lots of
things are cheaper in the UK than Thailand these days. Gloss over the expensive flights – but it’s
probably cheaper to spend time in the UK than HH.
When I fly on my own.. I hate it. Everything and everyone pisses me off at the airport or on the plane. Miss Tim calms me down and the flight is fun, and we laugh a lot. Food isn’t bad either. Whatever it was?
The food in the UK is
great. I am not talking ‘Fish n
Chips’ – but Chinese, Indian, Italian
and of course Doner Kebabs.
A few minutes walk from my place is a bar which offers 2 for 1 cocktails. Can’t turn that down right?
After a few hours on
the cocktails – we’re ready for food.
There is so much available in the City that we have a tough time
Although, when drunk,
the only food worth tucking into is a Doner Kebab. It has to be done.
After a night’s drinking
and eating… it we head out each morning before the sun comes up and walk
through the city. We love the peace and
quite of the early mornings.
A few weeks of abusing
ourselves, eating, drinking and shopping too much – it was time to head back to
Thailand, stopping off in Bangkok for a few days before returning to Hua Hin.
I like the UK more and
more these days. It’s a pity the weather
was crap – as we would have liked to take the bikes and cars out – and drive on
roads without the fear of imminent death or kamikaze bikers nosediving towards
All in all.. a good
time was had. Looking forward to my next
1st Day back in Thailand – and a few days in Bangkok was on the agenda.
Miss Tim wanted some (Thai) food, so we headed
to an old fave ‘Have a Zeed’ in T21.
The problem is – not
matter what time of day, there is a queue out the door. So much so now, they have seating, tickets, a
screen and a speaker to call you when your table is ready!
One you’re in, the food comes as and when it’s ready. There was a 10 minute gap between us getting our meals. Yes, the food is good, but I am over it. The restaurant is rammed full of Chinese people. There must be some Chinese trip adviser that had this place as the no.1 place to go. Not that it’s a problem… but have you ever sat next to a hungry Chinese man with a bowl of noodles? Say no more.
A night out on the
town (soi 4) – it’s hard to find a bar that I like much. There are maybe 3?
Opposite the Raj Hotel
Carpark is a nice-looking bar called Red Zone.
It’s clean and the few staff are really good. It is a great location, great for people
watching and oddly enough – empty?
The only problem is….
The people that do seem to enter – are from the middle east. I’ll let you guess which country. As soon as they spot the pool table, they
ask if it’s free. They then ask for the
cheapest drink on the menu to share between 4 of them. That’s my cue to leave. Peasants.
If I were a bar owner,
I’d hoof them out. Then again, I’d hoof
most people out. Balloon chasers, happy
hour hunters, leaches and plain cheap fucking arseholes (you know who you are)
– the lot of them.
When I think back to
the Mango days, I can’t help but think of all the cheap bastards that were
lurking around. Didn’t notice at the
time as I was enjoying myself. But
looking back, jeeez…..
That reminds me.. the Indian Lounge & Club on the top floor of the building opposite has now closed down.. . wonder why?
Fancy a spot of people watching? The little corner bar next to what was once Liquid, opposite Blanket and Bean.. great place to watch the weird world go by. Just how tall is this dude? Surely the girls must run when they see him approaching and licking his lips
A few days in Bangkok was o.k. Any longer and I’d go nuts. Soi 4 is just like a street in the Middle East now. Lots of smelly, hairy people in groups, dragging their flip-flops along the ground.
Can’t say I care for the place or the people.
Next off to Hua Hin.. I am starting to like Hua Hin more these days, that’s because it’s nothing like Bangkok.
No, I am not talking about when you and your girlfriend got frisky and didn’t have a condom to hand. I am talking about these Thai fucking idiots on bikes who just pull out of a side road – onto a main road without looking or even slowing down. DICKS. I see this on a daily basis when riding in Hua Hin.
I don’t even notice all the idiots not wearing helmets anymore. That is almost as common as riding around at night with no working lights. At the risk of offending the Thai authorities… THESE THAI PEOPLE ARE IDIOTS.
I arrived back in HH last week. After being away for 4 weeks, the 1st thing I did was head into town, say hello to some people and have a few drinks.
I should have pulled the plug when I got my buzz on. I didn’t. I kept going, and had various bar owners buy me drinks. I don’t remember leaving the town. I do remember the next morning feeling like hammered dog shit.
Hua Hin right now is pretty busy. The start of the high season?
Trying to stay away from the bars each night – we headed to the Cinema to watch some gratuitous mindless violence. Rambo Last Blood.
Why am I telling you this? Well, sat a few seats away from me were a Chinese Family. Mum and her 3 kids. THREE kids. I can only guess at the ages – from 6-9. Really not the age group to be watching people get an axe in the face or a sawn-off shotgun in the ball sack.
After 15 mins, they left, but what I didn’t understand is what on earth possessed them to come into the Theater in the first place? Maybe you can forgive them, thinking Rambo was a cousin of Dumbo? But that’s no excuse for the Thai people on the door selling the tickets. Is there no duty of care here? No morals? Certainly no fucking brains.
After the movie – we headed to Prime for a bit of Steak. The Waiter greeted us and said he’d not seen us for a while. Well, there is a reason for that.
The food in Prime is good. Really good. The service though – is shite. I am sure the owners and staff think they are doing great – but as a seasoned diner – let me tell you a few things about the general public…
Don’t stand 3 feet from me – and watch me eat.
You don’t have to refill my glass after each sip I take.
You don’t have to ask me 3 times if my meal is o.k.
Don’t stand over me once you present the bill.
Or am I just being a grumpy old bastard? All I ask is that you leave me the fook alone so I can eat my dinner and talk to my gf in peace.
Luckily for me – I am off back to the UK again in a few days. A week here is about as much as I can take without wanting to go all Rambo myself.
Two weeks in the UK. Driving my cars, riding my bikes, shopping for clothes which are not made for Asians and more excitingly, eating food which is not deep fried.
I’ve been asked why I’ve not been posting much these past few months. Reason is, I have nothing nice to say about much these days.
The world sucks. Each day I find myself getting wound up about something.
In the UK.. there are now footpath’s dedicated to people using their mobile phones. The phone zombies can walk along in a world of their own and not worry about holding others up or bumping into people. Assholes.
The only good thing I see in that – is that robbers on motorcycles now have the ideal place to go and snatch phones. Good.
Over in America…. everyone seems to think ‘Gender Neutral’ is a real thing. Well let me tell you.. it’s not. You are either male or female. End of. That’s like me saying I don’t want to be known as border-line midget.. I want to now be called a tall person.
And what the fook is it with Thai’s and their fashions? I am still yet to understand the teeth braces girls wear ‘for fashion’. When was this a good look? I remember being at school and making fun out of all the ‘cheese grater faces’. Do women (and men) think this is attractive? What is wrong with this world?
But this one makes me really mad. Girls wearing Glasses with clear lenses because it’s fashionable. I don’t get it? I thought glasses are an aid to help people see.?
One girl I saw, was wearing a pair which didn’t even have clear lenses?! WTF?
Again, at school.. we’d go pick on ‘four-eyes Edwards’ just because of his face furniture. And now it’s a fashion? What’s next, are we going to start wheeling around in wheel-chairs – before going for a jog? Why not get ourselves a guide dog even though we can see. Don’t stop there, let’s all head to the hospital and get some Chemo… as we don’t need that either. I could go on.. but I get mad. The world is a fucked up place right now.
People are idiots.
If ever there is a plan to send people to Mars – but it’s only a one way ticket – then put my name down. I have only 1 condition though……..
It’s been a while I know. I’ve been off radar. Why? Well, I have not anything to write about.
All my moans and pains.. you’ve heard. More than once. It’s just more of the same.
I am getting bored, so was looking for new adventures. Hmm… what about America? I have some pals there and one of my best pals (Russ) who I spent most of my time in Dubai with – is settling down in America. So.. why not venture over there? I also arranged with Russ to do the Route 66 with him.. so it all makes sense. Or so I thought.
Before I get carried away, note that I am a fan of America. Love the food, the cars, the service, the shopping, the people… most things. However… America… can now fuck right off.
To go to America, us Brits need an electronic visa thingy. It’s called an ESTA which can be done online and you get an email that says you are good for 10 years or so. Simples.
There I was filling out the little form – all going well until the question ‘have you visited any of these Countries in the last 5 years – Syria, Iran and Iraq. Hmmm.. that’ll be a big fat yes then. I ticked ‘yes’ and continued. The site went on to take my money and went off for processing.
That was months ago. It’s still ‘pending’. I then found that if you have been to one of those countries, you need to apply in person for a visa and have a little interview. Now, I’ve no problem with that, but why didn’t it say that on the ESTA form? Why did it let me continue and why did they take my money – knowing full well I was not eligible for the ESTA? I’ll tell you why, because whoever came up with the system is a complete twat.
After huffing and puffing I went the long, long route of applying for the visa online. For those of you that have done this, will surely agree with me that the site/form is the most user unfriendly site and looks to have been created by a 12 year old. And this is mean to be the U.S of A? shite.
Several hours later – I had my application in and an appointment arranged in London for last week. 10am was my appointment time which cost me $200. I had my photos, passport and application form ready. How hard can it be?
I got to south London – the US Embassy at 09:15. Went to the little desk (outside) at 09:30 and signed in. I was then told to stand in another queue. After half an hour – we were told to join another queue, then go through security.. then join another queue. Around 10:30 we were in the building and in the ‘hall’ which had loads of people sitting around. Along the side of the room were a bunch of little kiosks and Embassy folk behind thick glass.
An hour passed and my number came up on the screen. I went to a window where I handed over my papers. The lady asked the purpose of my visit to the US and how long I’d be going for. I said ‘vacation’ but have no idea of the duration? Lets say a couple of weeks, 3 times a year for starters. The lady then asked is that why I’ve not used the ESTA system? I explained to her that I am not eligible because I have been in Iraq. It’s also shown on my application form which I assumed she was looking at as they’ve had it for 2 months. She told me to go sit back down and wait for my number to be called again.
I sat. I walked around. I sat again. At 13:30 I saw the numbers on the screen were not changing at all. I got up and had a walk around. All the people in the kiosks had fucked off for lunch!
By 2 o’clock I had enough and walked out. Stamping my feed and muttering obscenities to no one in particular.
What is the point in having an appointment system if it means nothing? Why could then not inform people they can expect to be there the best part of a day?
I had to get back across London to a train to head home for another appointment.
So I don’t have a Visa. I did not have anymore time. I just assumed that if my appointment was 10am, I should have been done and dusted by 11 or 12.
Why did I think that? Well, I have several colleagues who had to do the same – only they applied in Dubai or Bangkok – and were done within the hour of their appointment.
I sat around for 5 hours for nothing. So fuck America. I am not going. I don’t have time to sit around so I can persuade them I want to go to their country and spend the average national income in a weeks visit.
This means I now have to find somewhere else on this planet to go hang out. So that’s America, India and China all on my shit-list.
I am not a fan of the rain in Thailand. Apart from hitting the ATV park.. there is nothing much to do. And no matter how much it sounds like a good idea, I just cant sit in a bar all day.
The plan was to pop over to Manila for a week or so, but as GM was in Thailand for a few weeks, that idea was out of the window.
So what’s been happening? I’ll give you a brief update of what’s been going on…
Met up with GM for a few nights. Stayed at the Die-Nasty Grande Hotel on soi 6. Nothing special. Clean, cheap and great location. I have been staying at the Citrus Suites next door fairly recently, but am fed up of all the Chinese getting under my feet. I am also not impressed with the ‘egg-station’ being outside the restaurant. I think there is something not quite right about having to walk from the Restaurant, through the lobby to the front bar (and back) to get your scrambled eggs?
Soi 4 is still a dump. Mostly Middle-Eastern groups of blokes now. Talking of which, what is the problem with 1) washing or 2) using deodorant? Seriously.. if I can smell them from 6 feet away, what must it be like for the poor girl who’s face they’ll be sitting on later?
Walking along soi 4, behind a middle-eastern chap and a street walker, I could hear him say ‘1100, no more’. She looked quite normal. She did reply ‘you promise to pay’. No word of a lie. And yes, he stunk.
Waaaaaay down soi 4, just past a Hillary Bar, there is an Iranian Lady plying her trade. As I walked along the path, there was a Middle-Eastern chap talking ‘not-so-nice’ to her. I stopped infront of him (he was blocking the path) and gave him a look that made him wish he had all his pals behind him. The Lady very politely and gently said (to me) ‘sorry my dear, and moved him out the way to let me pass’. He then carried on ranting. I stopped for a moment, wanting him to kick off at me but he just walked off. I was drunk I admit. But was still up for ruck. Next time.
Note to all – if ordering Breaded Fish n Chips from Hanrahans/Fitzgeralds – make sure they understand what BREADED means. Twice we have ordered BREADED fish and twice we have received a fish that has been battered more times than a retired ladyboy’s arsehole. When this was mentioned to the Waitress, she just shrugged her shoulders and told us to speak to someone else?!!
I have lost count of the times I have gone to ‘Have a Zeed’ in T21, only to find people (Chinese) queuing out the door. I can only assume ‘Have a Zeed’ is on some Chinese tourist website. Amazing. The food is good, but not good enough to have me stand in line with 30 chinese tourists.
The bars of soi 4 are getting a bit tedious these days. I remember the days where we’d be deciding which bars to visit 1st, now, we sit scratching our heads, wondering where to go.
At one point we ended up in Hillary 2. They had a Live Band on. Sorry, but watching / listening to a bunch of Thai guys murder every Bruno Mars song is just not my cup of tea. Neither is watching a bunch of drunken Farrangs all sign up for Pool, thinking 1) they are the greatest pool players on earth and 2) girls are impressed with their pool skills?. Dicks.
Into the Plaza… we paid a visit to Pretty Lady or whatever it’s now called. One drink and then ran away. Ugly old hogs. Mental note made to never return there again.
There were other bars… which names elude me right now, but they’re all pretty much the same. I find these trawls pointless these days. If you want to see some hot girls – then just go straight to Bill Board. Are they more expensive? I don’t know, but think of the money you’ll save, by not having to buy a drink (and leave half) in all the bars which are just safe houses for monsters.
You could say I was not too impressed with my short visit. I know, unlike me right?
Back to Hua Hin.
A new restaurant has recently opened up. Complete new build on the main road, beach side between Market Village and Bluport. Siam Restaurant. Nicely done out. Some friends and I visited for the 1st time last week. The 1st (and last) visit.
Inside it was brightly lit up. Too bright. Like a hospital. Remember, bright lights kill atmosphere. Not that there was much atmosphere to be lost. For some bazaar reason they were showing the Cricket on the big screen. With commentary. Sorry, but I am sure the other group (with kids) were not interested in India V’s Pakistan playing cricket. It’s not a sports bar, it’s a restaurant.
Half way through our appetizers the service lady came over and asked if we’d like our main courses now. Erm.. no thanks, we’re still chowing down on these spring rolls and bruschetta’s.
5 mins later, our plates were empty so were taken away and our main course promptly served. Steaks! Steaks look good. Tasted good too. However, they were just warm. Not hot. These leads me to believe they had been sitting on the kitchen counter for the last 10mins cooling down. Not impressed.
There was a farrang manager/owner sitting in the corner talking with a pal/Thai business partner. I was hoping he’d come over and say hello (the place has only been open a week). I could have told him about the lighting, lack of background music and food temperature but he never came over.
Another pet hate of mine is that as soon as I had put the last bit of food in my mouth, they lady came and took my plate away. I’d not even finished chewing. I hate that. Of course, the others at the table had not finished – and any chance of me relocating food from their plates to mine had gone out the window.
So that’s another restaurant never to return to.
Hitting the bars… well, it’s rainy season, so that always puts a dampener on things. One of the bars on our ‘circuit’ is Murphys. We like the food. Not much else is good about it. Music is crap, service was so-so and there is no aircon on in the daytime. However, the past few month’s things have improved. The staff are better, there are more customers and on Tuesday nights they have an acoustic band! They used to have a band most nights, but not sure what happened to that? The Acoustic band is just a bloke and a girl. Pretty good. Worth a visit on a Tuesday night for sure.
Along the road into our little friends bar.. ‘DEEP’.. after a good few hours of drinking, we noticed a table of Chinese folk. Two guys and a girl. Everyone enjoying the evening… they raised some glasses to us.. we did the same.. ‘cheers’ and all that. They then sent us drinks. We returned the gesture. Then more drinks were bought for me and the Chinese dude came over to try and communicate with me… hugging me and taking selfies with me…. Now, I know I am a handsome man, I hear the girls in the bars telling me all the time.. but never attracted any Chinese men before. The more drunk and happy he became, the more he wanted to hug me. It reached the point where he said he wanted sexual relations with me. That was my cue to leave (not with him). I paid my bill and left via the back door. That was the only back door action that was happening with me that’s for sure.
Nothing much else happening in HH at the moment. It’s pretty quiet due to all the miserable bloody weather.
Last night was no different. Thought I’d hit the town but it was raining. Shite. We darted into ‘Green Onion’ – a little BBQ rib place we like. It’s under new management and the new owner is struggling to find decent Beef in HH. I did tell him to find a decent on in Bangkok (there must be one?) and get it delivered. He is losing a lot of custom (me) by not having the Brisket he is showing on the menu.
Anyway, with no Brisket on offer, we had the pulled pork and a half rack of ribs. Nice Very nice indeed. If you like your BBQ / Ribs stuff and are in HH, give it a look.
Saturday night is going to be the last blow out session for me for the next month. Back to work next week (thankfully). Off to Dubai for a few days first for a bit of sun.
But tonight is Friday night… hmm… might have to check out soi 80. It’s been a number of years since I ventured that way. If the rain holds out.. I’ll do a bit of research.
To sum up my last month in Thailand? Well, I would have had more fun in the UK that’s for sure. Next month I think I will head there instead of here.
This will come as a bit of a shock to some, but today is a happy day.
Last night we walked into ‘Booze Bar’ in Hua Hin for a drink. We’d not been there since April.
Booze Bar is a nice little bar on our rounds. When out for the night, we stop by for a couple or more drinks. They remember us and what we drink.
As soon as we sat down, the Cashier/Manager lady came over to us and apologized – for making a mistake on our last bill. She had the (old) receipt and showed us. Apparently there was another bill added to ours by mistake.
She handed over 400bht!
We made them double check as we had no idea. Looked through the receipts and the drinks one of the bills were our, and the other was totally different. However, we had no idea.
A good lesson to check your bill? Am I mad they got it wrong, or am I happy they put it right? I personally am impressed they kept this aside and waited for us to return.
Many people don’t understand the time and effort involved in running a bar. Yes, there are a lot of people out there who think they know everything about the bar business, but until you’ve done it yourself, you’ll never know the reality.
Just so happened that Tuesdays (and other nights) are ‘Ladies Nights’ – where women drink for free! Again, it’s not often you hear of those deals?!
I was with 3 girls, so thought it not fair for me to be the only paying customer. The girls opted for the drinks they wanted rather than claiming the free drinks, which I was happy about.
The reality is, I could have gone into Booze Bar with 3 girls.. had 2 or 3 drinks each, and still come out with more money than I went in with!
Booze Bar is certainly a bar I shall continue to drink in – and recommend to all visitors.
Now, it’s not often you’ll hear me saying something nice about somewhere!
Having recently gone through the process of applying for a U.S Visa – I found myself having to list all the Countries I have visited in the last 5 years. As I cast my mind back, I couldn’t help but surmise the place up in a word or two.
Kicking off in no particular order…
Spain – Shit. France – Shit. Netherlands – Shit. Germany – Shit. South Africa – Shit. Vietnam – Shit. Laos – Shit. Philippines – Shit. UAE – Shit. India – Really shit. There are a couple of Middle Eastern Countries to go on that list.. but I’ll leave those off.
A pal of mine recently said to me that maybe… just maybe it’s me is the problem? I don’t quite know what he means?
I am currently sitting in Bangkok airport in the Emirates lounge. I am not happy. No happy at all. The reason for this is I’ve just my tiny powerbank confiscated. The same powerbank that I have carried with me more than 100 times through this airport. They can’t determine the power size which means it’s not allowed. The thing is small. Very small. Obviously not as small as the girls brain who nabbed it.
No point in trying to explain to them to look it up on the internet to find a datasheet.
Just another thing to add to my ever growing list of bad experiences in this (and every other) Country.
I’ve been in Thailand less than a week and can’t wait to leave. I arrived last Friday and stayed in Bangkok for a few days to show a work colleague and his kid some sites at the weekend. A bit of culture that I had heard about.
After the touristy stuff was done, I headed to soi 4 & cowboy to meet up with the lads. It had been a while – so thought it would be really exciting and all the women beautiful. I was wrong.
I had to drink my body-weight in Vodka before I could get in the swing of things. And when I did, I ended up fuming – again.
Ignoring all the bloody lady drink glasses I keep getting served, we ended up in Twister upstairs in Nana.
I was half past drunk and some bint on stage made an effort to interact with me. I like a bit of banter, instead of the usual hanging onto a pole. So I slipped her a brown sheet for tip. She got excited and came down from the pole. She asked for a drink. O.k I tell her. Small chit-chat for a few mins. Where you come flom? What’s your name.. the usual. The drink was slammed in one.. so the service girl on standby prompted me for another. Go on then. Service girl also asked for one. No. Fuck off.
The girl talking to me then had her two drinks delivered. Tequila & Coke. Not sure how much that costs, but I am sure it’s way more than the shite vodka and syrup cola I have been served in a lady drink tumbler.
Then… another girl appeared with a tray of potato type snacks on little trays. She looked like she should be serving in a Cinema or fairground. I wasn’t interested. The girl with me however grabbed a couple of trays and then another girl on the stage started chowing down on them. I was then asked to handover the 100bht to pay for it. I argued that I had not asked for them, didn’t want them and maybe they should ask the girl on stage who has a gob full to pay? I was not impressed.
I didn’t want to embarrass my pal who has ‘friends’ there so did only what I could. I voted with my feet. Check-bin the fuck out of there.
I made sure I pocketed all the change and was just about to storm out when the girl with me asked me for a tip?!! She’d had 1000 out of me. 3 or 4 drinks and 2 trays of crap all inside 5 mins. And now she wanted a tip. I told her I had to go to the ATM – as I wanted to barfine her and needed a stack of cash. I’d be back shortly… cow.
That’s another bar on my long list of bars never to return to.
Back to Hua Hin. It’s quiet. Really quiet. Good. No people to piss me off. It’s rainy season so there is nothing to do in the daytime. In the evenings we headed out to catch up with some people we know. One night out of the 5 was a good night. I don’t like them odds.
I am glad to be heading out of Thailand. Off to Dubai where it is roasting hot. I’ll spend the next week relaxing in a nice hotel. Hooking up with pals and work colleagues. Do a bit of shopping and hangout at the pool. Of course, that all sounds well and good, but I am sure in the next week I’ll be bitching and moaning about something.
I really need to find something that gives me happiness.