I’ll be back…… hopefully soon?!

With the vaccination program underway, travel (although restricted) starting to become possible, I thought I saw a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel.  Turns out, it’s more like the headlight of a freight train which looks set on having a wreck.

I could just about smell the hot air as I walk outside Arrivals at Swampy airport.  

I guess that’ll all just have to wait.  Again.

I am sick of people saying ‘oh what a challenging year’ and ‘when will it be over’ blah blah.  Well, if people had followed the rules, stayed at home when asked and stopped licking necks and sneezing over everyone, I am sure we’d not be in this mess still.    But we are where we are because people are dicks.

I will look back at 2020 as being a year where I got have a little ‘me time’.

So what have I been upto when not crawling around the streets of Hua Hin, Bangkok or Dubai?

Well let me share…

Some of you may know, I am a fan of cars and bikes.  I have one or two scattered around the place.  Last year I enrolled in an Automotive Custom Paint course.     (Early days of Covid before lockdown)

It was 14 days of long hours, intensive learning.   From mental/plastic work, welding, sanding, priming, spraying, airbrushing, polishing etc…  lots covered.   I am not going to lie,  it was tough.  I almost threw my petrol tank across the shop and walked out more than once.  The other people on the course (4 of us in total) all gave support to each other when one of us wobbled and contemplated walking.   I stuck it out I am glad to say.

I shall not bore you with all the details.. I’ll just show you a before and after shot of the Fuel tank I worked on.  Yes… all my own work, but did need some help/guidance along the way

Lot’s of prep work….
Soooo many different layers
Easier than it looks….
This took about 4 days – learning the techniques
The final product..

The ‘board’ is the practice or workpiece we produced when working on our techniques and processes.  It’s amazing the results we produced.

I am no art student and certainly no Rolln. Never have been, never going to be. The course was enjoyable after I had completed it and Hell while I was on it.

After that, I popped back to Thailand for a week and then innocently went off to work with my little travel bag.   Little did I know, that was the last time I was to leave Thailand. 

I was in the Middle East when disaster struck.  Eventually we had to leave site and go to a Country that could take us.  Luckily, I have a place in the UK which is where I returned to.

I am a rotational worker, so work a month and then have a month off.   I did a rotation ‘working from home’ which I enjoyed.  I have a nice place in the UK but rarely spend much time there.

In fact, I liked it so much…. I bought the apartment above me which was for sale.  Better views of the river.  Not too shabby for Graham.

As we were on lockdown, business was slow, so I had to wait a while for all legal papers to process. 

While I waited for that – I headed off to the South of France for the Summer.  Again, ‘working from home’.

Back in the UK when France went down the pan further, I moved into my new Apartment and set about the refurb.  It took a lot of time and money – but the end result was great.  It’s certainly a place I was happy to be locked down in.  Looking forward to having some parties there and showing it off.

January saw me head back to work.  The controls in place are amazing.  There is nowhere in the world that I would feel safer.  I can’t begin to explain all the procedures which are in place to keep us safe – not just from COVID, but the baddies of the world too.   Very impressive. 


The UK is doing a great job vaccinating everyone.   I went online and booked my second jab in June.  Hopefully, other Countries will be better shape by them so I can get back track.

My plan is to head back in August.  Assuming Thailand hasn’t gone to shit by then.

Until then, it’s head down… crack on with work and wait for that light at the end of the tunnel to turn into something other than a freight train.

Carry on.

Is it over yet?

It’s been a while I know.  I am still alive and kicking… but with no visits to Thailand on the horizon and being locked down in France and then the UK… there is nothing much to moan about.

I was looking at heading back to Dubai to live for a while – but that’s just full of Chavs now.  What the hell is an ‘influencer’ anyway?  Who exactly are they influencing?  Whoever it is.. they’re all dicks.

So I’ll just find some quiet corner of the world and wait it out.

No point talking about the current situation we’re all in…   Just get on with it I say.

Luckily for me I am now back at work, and dreaming of when the world eventually gets back to normal. 

Until then it’s head down, mask on and be patient.

Still no Thailand for me….

The World is still fooked.   I can’t get home to Thailand,    I can’t get to my place of work, I can’t be in a group of more than 6 and I can’t get married.

What can I do?   Well,  I’ve been taking this ‘down-time’ to enjoy the UK.   I’ve not spent 3 consecutive months in the UK in over 20 years.    I quite enjoyed it.   I got to drive my cars and ride my bikes.   I realised that some vehicles I have had so long and never used – are in fact a load of shite and therefor I have sold them.    I did take advantage of a BMW dealer discount and got a new car which is so far impressing me.

So there I am….  Riding bikes, driving cars…  hanging out in the UK.    What’s not to like?  Well, for someone like me,  being in the same place for too long tends to give me itchy feet.  

I need to move on, but where?

First I thought of Sweden to see my pal Jonas.  Except Sweden has more lurgy than most, so that’s a no go.     I thought about Spain, but that’s full of dumb Brits who don’t give a fuck about social distancing and think that after 4 months of doing fuck all at home.. they somehow deserve a holiday.  So off they go to Spain to pack themselves onto a beach, and what a surprise, the infection levels have risen.  Twats.

So,  I decided to head down to the South of France.  The Pyrenees Mountains.    I know a woman who knows a woman and arranged a nice little house rental until the end of the year.   I loaded up the car and set off on the 15-hour drive.

I’ve said it before, but the French roads are brilliant.  They would be even better if the crazy twat French drivers were not on them.

Here I am now.   Overlooking the mountains.   In a sleepy little village which is out of the way of the Virus (so far).    Few little restaurants and cafes around but not much else in the way of action. 

In the evenings, I pour myself a glass of wine and relax on the balcony taking in the view.

I’ve not been here a few weeks and have made a bunch of new friends. There is some kind of party going on a few times a week, which is quite fun.

It’s nice here. The people are nice. Time to start thinking about moving down here on a semi-permenant basis maybe?

Unless Sweden opens its borders soon.

Keep us in lockdown… please!

Looks like the lockdown is slowly being relaxed (in the UK).

Is it wrong of me to say that I enjoyed every moment of it?

I am loving it.  Peace and quiet in the streets.  Everyone gets out of your way when you go to the shops.  I can sit and work in my underpants which I’ve been wearing for a week and no longer need to shave.   What’s not to like?

o.k.. maybe I exaggerate a little.  I still shave.

Many people have contacted me – asking me how I am coping being on my own.  I just have to reply that I am my best company.  If I were in prison, I’d be asking for solitary confinement.   I can do it standing on my head.

This is the longest I have spent in my Apartment in the UK.  Usually I am here for a week or two – every 6 months.  I’ve now been here 2 months and loving it.

Literally 30 seconds from my front door is a river.  Each day I walk along the Riverside – having never really noticed it all these years.   I’ve now an appreciation for where I live.

I’ve lived in worse places…..

I’ve also had chance to ride/drive vehicles that I’ve not used in YEARS.  I am a bit of a petrol-head and have a bit of a collection in the garage.   Now is the time to dig them out and go for a blast.

So every few days I’d swap out a car or bike and go for a little drive/ride.   Problem is, with an old car/bikes comes great responsibilities.

Driving around in an old Lotus, I couldn’t help but think it would break down at any moment.  I can’t say that getting in and out of it is very flattering either.  Should you make noises getting in a car? Likewise with my old Ducati.   No… this is not the fun I was wanting.

So out with the old and in with the new.   Old cars/bikes returned to the back of the garage and off I went to find some on-line ‘lock-down’ bargains.

With everyone in lock-down and not spending money,  showrooms closed and only doing on-line business, there are many cars/bikes sitting in showrooms.

Now, I am not an asshole and want to take advantage of struggling companies – but if they are offering good deals… who am I to ignore them?

First up was a little BMW Adventure bike.   Love the looks, size handling.  Hate the performance.  It’s crap.   It’s o.k for going to pick up some takeaway food, but not much else.  I need power.   Had I tried this before buying, I’d have walked away.  That’s the risk with buying unseen/tried online.   Lives and learns.

Thought it would be great…. turned out to be shyte!

Luckily I got it at great discount.

Next up was a rather striking Z4.  Sitting in the showroom.. no one buying.   I called them up and asked for their best price to buy it immediately.   No more advertising it.  No hassle of arranging finance for someone,  no having to wait for lockdown restrictions to be lifted to show it to someone.    You can shift it right now with minimum effort.

The deal was done and I picked it up a day later – after they had completed their pre-delivery check things.  

This one is a bit of a beast.  Really pleased with it.   Bit of an impulse buy if I am honest, but pleased I bought it.  Unseen, no test-drive… bit of a gamble but sometimes you have to take a chance.

Gets me from A to B…..

So that’s pretty much what I have been upto during lock-down.    Spending time on my vehicles.. and exploring my local neighborhood.  

I am not even bored.

I was thinking of moving back to Dubai to wait it out until I can get back into Thailand – but as the UK Summer is almost breaking through the clouds.. I am thinking the UK isn’t such a bad place to be right now.

Once Miss Tim is allowed to leave Thailand… she’ll come join me.

My intention was to always return to the UK.  Maybe the time is now right?

The end of the world as we know it…..

It’s been a while since I posted on here I know.  The last time I was on here the world was normal.  Well, as normal as we’ve known it.

Now it’s all gone to shit.  I am not going to harp on about it.  Deal with it.

I went to work in Feb  – and the world got sick.  I stayed at work for a few months and then last week left my cushy little bubble and went to the UK, which is where I am now.   

Lock down?  Fucking love it.   Walking down the road and people get out of your way?  – Love it.   Went to the Supermarket which had reduced people inside and again.. every got out of the way.  Brilliant.     I have been Social Distancing back in the days when it was called plain ‘anti-social’.

Like many people – I am working from home.  I’ve got a nice little office set up in my Riverside Apartment.    The Supermarket is a 5 min walk and I am allowed out for an hour a day for a bit of exercise and fresh air.  

I never really took advantage of where I live.   In the last week I’ve been out and about and took notice.  It’s really quite nice.

So this is my life for the foreseeable future.  Nothing happening.

Back in Thailand Miss Tim is also self-isolating with only online shopping and the cats to entertain her.

Who knows when I can get back into Thailand?  Will it be this year? 

Like I said, the world is sick.  We all have to take measures.  Get on with it.  For all those people who are bitching and moaning about having to sit at home and watch tv all day – please give yourselves a slap.  These are the same people that bitch and moan that they work so hard and deserve time off.   Wankers.

Now that the lockdown has been adjusted slightly so we can now travel somewhere for a little exercise or sit down in a park,  that means I can get the cars and bikes out.  Not much traffic on the roads… perfect!

You’ve all seen the websites predicting what life will be like in Thailand when this is over, but I take that with a pinch of salt as no one has any idea what’s going to happen next.   Best off keeping quiet and see how it plays out.

My only prediction is that you’ll see the smaller little old farrang owned bars pop up.  Crap buildings, low rent, cheap décor and hungry staff.   

Can’t rely on the international sexpats visiting anymore.  No longer is a bit of chrome and neon going attract punters.    The only people going to the bars will be the hardcore punters who go for a drink with their pals, play with the girls and don’t care if a cockroach walks across the bar.  

But that’s just my opinion.  Means nothing.

Until I can get back to Thailand – or come across something interesting to share.. I shall stay on lockdown….  Away from all the diseased people out there….

I suggest you lot do the same!

Up in the air again..

I am on my travels again.  Heading to the UK via Dubai and Amsterdam.    I HATE traveling.    I hate airports and I hate the people who travel around me.

When I arrived at Swampy last night, I thought I had walked into a Surgeons convention.  99% of people were wearing face masks – which is great, as I don’t have to.  They are keeping their germs to themselves.

What on earth is it with these people? Do they not have an immune system?  Do they any idea of what the odds are of catching the virus – let alone dying from it?  I really can’t stand these people. 

I am sure the Chinese government could have stopped this (and all other) viruses from spreading in China by simply telling people that gobbing everywhere – really is a dirty fucking habit.   Whilst they’re at it, the Middle East could tell their people that it’s also fucking revolting to remove your sandals at every opportunity and put your dirty, smelly, sweaty fucking feet on chairs, tables…     Seriously.. what the fuck is wrong with people?

And if the Chinese ever do accept that spitting everywhere is fucking disgusting – maybe we could also teach them to talk instead of shout?   And that you don’t need the loud-speaker for calls made in public areas.

As a frequent traveller.. there is certain etiquette that is expected of folk.  

  • Do not queue jump.  Ever.
  • Fill out your immigration card BEFORE you get to immigration
  • Empty your pockets BEFORE going through the X-Ray machines
  • Escalators – Stand on the right.. walk on the left. 
  • Travelators – you are allowed to walk.  You’ve spent god knows how many hours sitting on your lazy fucking arses – and as soon as you see a traveling floor – you stand still?
  • When disembarking the plane – let the people  in front of you – out.
  • Coach / Train / Plane – DO NOT watch your shitty videos on loud-speaker. Ever.
  • Window seat?  Night flight?  LEAVE THE WINDOW BLIND DOWN.
  • Do not go into the plane toilets wearing only socks on your feet. Or even bare feet – you revolting fucking pig.
  • Do not recline your seat until the plane is up in the air.
  • If you want to get out of your seat – for the toilet or whatever – DO NOT climb over me.  I will happily get up and let you out – you fucking rude twats.
  • Stay in your seat until the plane has at least lowered it’s speed to under 150mph when landing.
  • When getting your luggage – see that line? Stand behind it.. that way everyone else can get to their bags also.
  • Airport lounge?  Old man on his way home after visiting his young bar girl.. DO NOT FACETIME her, speaking pigeon English at the top of your voice and call her Tilac.  Wanker.

There are so many of these ‘rules’ which I can honestly say that I adhere to.  So do my colleagues and friends.   But Chinese Tourists?  The Middle Eastern tourists?   Fuck no.

Traveling for me has now reached such unpleasant levels that I really want to kick off and punch people in the face.  Or face-mask.

I am now watching the news with a different interest than others.  I hope Chinese Government decides to stop all Chinese leaving China.  Ever.

Currently I am sitting in Schiphol airport.   It’s rather pleasant.   This has to be one of my favorite airports in the world.   Dubai is horrid.   This morning I walked into the Emirates Lounge – only to see a ‘Middle Eastern’ man with his finger so far up his nostril I thought he was tickling his eyeballs.  Revolting arseholes everywhere.

I am in the UK for 2 weeks – and already I am dreading the journey back to Thailand.

Apart from that.. all is good!

Back to Hua Hin… and moaning already.

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 shot.  

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 thumb-gloves.  Seriously? 

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…

Happy New Year!

What’s been going on this past year?


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!

Bar tales….

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 back. 

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.

Hmm.. maybe I’ll pass then.

It’s been a month….

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 choosing.      

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 us.

All in all.. a good time was had.  Looking forward to my next trip back.

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…..

Speaking of peasants…. 

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.

More later.