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.
I have just added up the stamps and visas in my passport and count 304. My passport is just approaching 5 years old. That’s a lot of travel.
So you would think that having traveled as much as I have – I would be more tolerant of the ‘behavior’ of others. Or at least be used to it enough that I don’t even notice it?
Wrong. Each time I travel, I am filled with rage and hatred. I know you think there must be something wrong with me, and you’d be right. My problem is I am not a revolting fucking pig. Believe it or not, (and you should) – I am extremely polite when traveling. When speaking with airport staff, hotel staff, chauffeurs, Concierges waitresses and chefs. – I am extremely polite and courteous. You have to be as these people ultimately can ruin your experience. Just think about that one for a minute.
My travel is more often than not a good experience. The thing that spoils my experience is other people. Other people, morons, assholes, tossers, scumbags, pigs, riff-raff and plain smelly bastards.
Which brings me to my trip to Vietnam recently…..
Many people have suggested Vietnam to me, so have wanted to go for a while now. I contacted the Internet to see what they had to say. After a few clicks I saw some amazing pictures. Ha Long Bay. Wow. I started searching on a hotel with fantastic views… voila… those people at the Internet provided me with the name of a hotel with a suite overlooking the ‘Bay’ all for about $300 per night. Very nice I said to myself. Looking at the pictures, I could even see some little islands from the balcony. I was excited if I do say so myself.
For a little more confirmation I visited Trip Advisor Liar. Glowing reports. Not too shabby for Graham.
When I landed at Hanoi airport – I instantly thought the pilot had landed in the wrong place. I was sure I was now in Beijing.
I was on holiday – I wasn’t going to let a big crown of flag following people piss me off. Even if they were pushing past me and shouting at the tops of their voices. Breathe in… Breath out… it won’t be long until I am in the car and off to my luxury hotel suite.
The 2.5 hour drive from Hanoi to Ha Long Bay has to be one of the most boring drives ever. Long straight roads. Nothing to see. Not much traffic.
When I got to the hotel, my first impression was that my driver took a wrong turning and took me to Shanghai. The place was packed with Chinese.
Check-in was pleasant enough – and the room I had was on the top floor. There were not many people on the top floor – as not many people in the hotel were tall enough to reach the top button. Bearing in mind I am borderline midget.
It was a long day, I just want to sit on the balcony, order up some room service and have a nice drink overlooking the bay.
Note to self… never believe anything the internet tells you.
Nice enough suite – but tiny balcony (no outdoor furniture) and the view of the islands really needed the help of telescope. Those people at the Internet and Trip Liar have some kind of deal going on with Photoshop. It’s all one big scam.
I’ll not give you the full daily itinerary – as that’ll just piss me off even more. I’ll just note down the main events which you can then take pleasure from my misery.
First of all, let me just point out (as I’ve said previously) I work alongside many Chinese folk. Some fantastic Engineers. One of my circles of friends is a group of Chinese who I have had many great times with. My good pal Russ is married to a Chinese girl and we are close enough that I was trusted to teach their 2 year old daughter how to stick her middle finger up at people in restaurants. O.k… Maybe they didn’t want me to teach her that, but I thought it was funny.
Breakfast – or better described as Feeding time at the Zoo.
The first thing that struck me was many, many of our little Chinese fellow guests were all wearing the Hotel slippers. I find that odd. I thought they were wearing when you get out of the shower/bath, so you don’t slip on the marble floor and split your head open. Resulting in lots of paperwork for the hotel.
But no, they are indeed a fashion accessory and an acceptable item of footwear for walking around the whole hotel whenever you like. O.k… Understood.
The second thing that struck me – is that my new friends appear to be very hungry in the mornings. So much so, that they don’t have time to queue at the ‘egg station’. Oh no, they have to push past you to get their order of 25 eggs in. They may even eat a couple of them.
As per usual, I was very polite to the young girl at the restaurant reception desk. She led us to our table for 2. There were about 3 tables for 2. There would have been more, but we could see that lots of tables has been pushed together. Probably to get the full overcrowded prison experience.
Breakfast was mayhem. Complete chaos. Our little friends don’t shut up. They don’t talk, they shout. They also don’t let eating get in the way of shouting either. It’s actually quite impressive to see how many croissants they can stuff in their mouths and spray across the table whilst not slowing down in their morning shout.
What was more impressive was how much food they stacked on their plate – was left over. Even after they had filled their handbags and pockets with bread rolls, hams and noodly type things.
They’d then abandon a table which was almost immediately set upon by another gaggle of my new friends who then demanded the poor waitress girls cleaned all the croissant debris immediately.
And what’s with the sneezing over everyone? I remember from being a kid ‘Coughs and sneezes, spreads diseases’! These people were just spraying their mucus all over the place. No covering of the nose.. just point and aim. Revolting.
Now, I don’t have kids, so maybe I am being a little ‘over-pedantic’ here – but is it acceptable to let all your Ferrell bloody monsters to just run around the place, shouting, screaming, fighting, biting, crying, farting and generally pissing me off? Is this normal? I would like to point out that I was the only Western person there. And I am guessing the only person who didn’t have a horrible bloody kid with me also. This is probably why not one parent asked their little shits to shut the fuck up, sit down and eat the food that the hotel has been preparing for you hours before you had chance to put on your hotel slippers.
The staff were amazing. Demand after demand, the staff carried out all duties with a smile. I couldn’t do that. If you were to offer me $10k per month on top of my regular salary, to do that job, I’d tell you to poke it.
Easy one this. There are none. There is nothing to do in Ha Long Bay except get on a boat and go for an overnight cruise. More on that later.
We walked into the ‘town’. Which we never found. The beach opposite was literally a building site. We found no shops to mooch around in There was a row of street restaurants and crap bars which had music blaring out at an incredibly loud volume. Why? There was no way you could talk or hear anyone there. Which as bad as that sounds, I think I’d have preferred breakfasts at our hotel to have the same approach.
Hours of searching turned up nothing. We did spy a Cable car which ran parallel to a massive bridge – it went somewhere. It must go somewhere interesting as there is a massive queue for it.
We queued. Eventually we got on board and I was surrounded by people taking selfies with their Huawei phones whilst I stood behind some guy holding a flag. So this is what it’s like to be in a Chinese Tour group?
They all clapped and cheered when the cable car took off… and once again when the car arrived at its destination. The destination being some kind of Zen Garden. Or as I call it ‘a load of shit’.
We spent the next 30 mines looking for an exit. Trying to avoid falling over little Chinese girls having their photos taken… whilst pulling faces in the background of as many photos as possible.
Couldn’t find the exit. Back to the cable car to get us the hell out of there. What a waste of time and money.
Back to the hotel to drown our sorrows at the bar.
Most evenings were spent in the bar. There was nothing else to do. Unfortunately, many times we were joined in the bar by the ‘other’ hotel guests. Now, everyone is different I know that. But for me, a bar is a place to have a drink and a chat… or maybe even read a few chapters on your kindle and relax.
Oh no…. there are so many other things to do. For starters, you can take a seat on the sofas… remove your shoes and socks and put your stinky wet sweaty feet all over them.
Then, when you are comfy enough – you can open up your WeeYap app and watch movie clips. Not before you turn the volume up full on your Huawei that is. Order a drink? Noo….. no need. You can just drink the water provided by the hotel or one of the juices you’ve stolen from the breakfast bar.
We decided to head for boat cruise. Overnight. After a recommendation from a pal – off we headed to book. We thought we’d actually go to the ‘port’ and have a look round first, as we couldn’t trust anything the Internet had to say.
We used Grab taxi to get us there. 140k dong. Fine. Found a Cruise and booked it for the day after the next. Called up Grab taxi to take us back to the hotel. Within minutes, a taxi pulled up and in we got. The App said it was 140k but the driver waved a receipt in our faces saying he was charged 30k to enter the port to come and pick us up. (it took him 2 mins to reach us – which told us he was already in the port). Odd, as we never saw anyone getting charged when we came to the Port 30 minutes earlier. Hmmm.. a scam me things. Now, 30k might only be a quid so why care? It’s the principle. We gave the driver on the way in 200k… which is what we’d have given this guy if he hadn’t tried to scam us.
When we pulled up at the hotel, he asked for the extra 30k. I asked for the receipt. As I was paying the charge – then that paper is now mine (and he can’t use that again). He started talking gibberish and I kept insisting to see the receipt. As this was going on, the hotel staff saw and opened the door and asked me if I wanted any assistance. I said I was fine and was just dealing with a scamming little bastard.
He promptly gave us our change from the 200k note and off he went. I gave the change to the door staff as I walked by.
Weather – Crap.
It was cloudy and overcast. The hotel staff kept telling us that it’s not normal for this time of year. It should be sunny and clear. But oh no.. it was dark and wet. I guess that’s global warming for you?
Luckily when we turned up for the boat trip – the sky was blue and bright. Sun was shining. The other passengers on the boat seemed to all know each other. I guess they all stay in the same retirement home back in New Zealand. Pleasant enough people – not that we spoke with any of the old bastards.
According to my pal, the Chinese prefer day trips only on boats and no overnights. This is because they have paid for their hotels in their package tour. They’re not about to pay for another hotel (boat) and not use their already paid for hotel.
My pal was right. There were however a couple of Middle Eastern lads (not sure where they were from?) but the amount of food they put away, I guess they came from, or are going to a Concentration camp. Filling yourself with that much food surely can’t be good for you?
We went kayaking… we went to some poxy cave (which was rammed with Chinese day-trippers). Single line walk through of a cave with these little fellas and gals barging past. I managed to get some elbow digs in, stood on a few feet and even managed trip one person up. The thing is, this is nothing to an Asian. They are so use to it – they take it in their stride.
Back on the boat – it was happy hour. Two for one drinks! What we found odd – was that Happy Hour was for an hour?! We made light work of that. Long into the night we kept drinking. This was the 1st day that was enjoyable of the week. We were looking forward to the next day – where we visit some beach and go swimming.
Next day… rain. Lots of it. Swimming was cancelled due to the rain. Didn’t want people getting wet now. We couldn’t stand out on deck – as it was pissing down. The boat went back to shore but had to ‘park up’ for a few hours as it was unsafe to dock. So we sat – in misery. In the rain. On a boat. Shite.
When we got back to the hotel – we went straight to the bar. We did laugh when the barman asked where we’d been the previous night – as we were usually there.
Well, we were there now. Drink in one hand, iPad in the other. We had a few days to go but screw this. I searched for a new flight back to Bangkok. Thai Airways to the rescue. Flight the next morning. Done.
I asked the reception for a driver in the morning. 5am. No problem sir. Great. Upstairs, pack our shit, lick our wounds and put this down as a shite holiday – and never to return.
04:30 we checked out. The receptionist was a little confused as it was a few days early – I just said we have stuff to do. The driver set off at 5am as requested. Normally, I’d fall asleep. But I thought at least one person in the car should stay awake. The driver was a nightmare. Yawning, slapping himself in the face, putting his window down… swerving all over the (empty) road. At one point I was going to ask him if I should drive.
Luckily we made it to the airport without crashing and dying.
Checked in at the airport…. A cheeky Burger King for lunch… (sick of hotel food) and off we went to get on board the plane. Thinking everything was now fine, I heard that familiar sound of someone clearing a load of phlegm in their throat – and then hoiking out a big ‘greeny’ onto the carpet in the airport. Sure enough, you can guess what nationality they were? Revolting fucking pig.
Back to BKK (Beijing)… I had to queue for an hour to get through Immigration but was soon on my way back to HH.
We hit the town that night to reflect back on our week. We should have still been in Vietnam… watching shite TV in the hotel. We had made the right choice in abandoning the hotel and flights – and paying for our early return.
The only things I will take away from that whole experience is that the hotel staff, whatever it is they get paid – it’s not enough.
As for the driving – I can only liken the driving to kids/adults Ice-Skating for the very first time. They kinda have an idea how it’s meant to be done – but have no clue how to actually drive correctly. If you just go with the theory that every day there is the 1st day these people have ever driven, then you’ll be more understanding.
Back to Hua Hin after seeing the freaks of Bangkok for a few days.
Bit of normality. Or so I thought?
First of all – I went to look at a new house with the Estate agent had told us about. Two bed with pool. Looked great on the photos. Bastards.
The photos were taken 10 years ago and the Villa cut a gloomy picture. Estate agents just don’t get it do they. They don’t realize that viewers will be disappointed from the moment they see the property, having just seen the nice new pictures. Back to the drawing board.
Out on the town.. we’d heard that one of the restaurants we like has re-opened. ‘Green Onion’. An American BBQ Rib joint. They slow cook the ribs all day. It’s pretty good. Or it ‘was’ – until they closed down last year and put a ‘for sale’ sign in the window.
Fast forward a year – a chap who had a bar in Bangkok (soi 23) has moved to Hua Hin and taken the place over.
The place is (supposed to be) as it was before – specializing in BBQ stuff. The night we went, Ribs were not on the menu. Not much was. The owner said they had only been open 8 weeks, so were still finding their feet. They were struggling to source Beef/Pork in Hua Hin.
This is where I take issue. Eight weeks is two months. They should be in full swing by now. And as for sourcing meat? Bangkok is a 3 hour drive. You can get all you need there.
What I did notice is that the owner kept promoting the Thai food to everyone that came through the door. I don’t think he realizes that people go to an American Rib joint – for ribs! There are over 100 restaurants within a mile selling Thai food. If people want Thai food they know where to go. Concentrate on the product that attracted people to you in the 1st place!
Into the town for a crawl around some bars. One of stop-offs is a bar called Booze Bar. The staff are friendly enough and remember what we drink each time.
They’ve clearly spent some money on the bar – but what I am disappointed in is their posters/menus which advertise the Saturday Happy Hour. They have spelled it ‘Sataurday’. How is this possible? Surely someone had the job of checking this either before it was sent to the printer, when it was being printed – or when it was delivered from the printer? Fools.
Soi Bintabaht is now referred to as ‘Walking Street’ in the evenings. Vehicles not allowed. The sign reads ‘No car for all kinds’?! I think they mean no Vehicles. Again, it was some idiots job to make sure that sign made sense.
As you can see – it’s policed by a Security Guard. They are hard at it.
Why care I hear you say?
Well, apart from not being a fan of incompetence – all bars in ‘Walking Street’ have to pay a fee for this. There is no exception. When you add up the money – and then the service/product you get in return? It’s not quite right.
We’ve a good little circuit in HH which see’s us have a good time and end up pretty drunk by the time we hit the last bar(s). Not as drunk as this fella. Laid in the gutter – with (Thai) people sitting around him. It’s walking street.. not crawling street. You’d have thought one of his fellow country men would have shoveled him up and at least put him on the steps rather than the rat infested gutter? What am I saying? This is Thailand.
The next day we headed to the Irish Bar El-Murphy’s. We do like the food in that place. The bar itself is tired and old. Could do with an injection of life into it.
Some months back, with custom going down the pan – someone (have to be Thai?) came up with the idea to have the Monks perform some kind of ceremony. So the night before – a huge gazebo was erected, horrendous Thai music was being played on a speaker with too much base – and a bunch of ‘not so friendly’ Thai blokes were sitting around drinking out of a bucket.
I assume it all went as planned for the next day and the Monks came and did their thing… blessed stuff… got fed and paid and off they went.
Now, if the bar suddenly became popular…. the Thai’s would be taking credit for their Buddhist powers.
The bar didn’t get anymore popular. What they did get is several thousand baht worse off for their troubles.
So why is it when I tell a Thai it’s complete mumbo jumbo what they did – they ignore me? Facts speak for themselves.
But I digress…. into ‘Murphs’ for a spot of lunch and to watch the F1.
There were a bunch of guys sitting around with bottles of water. It was a no booze day. (another thing I don’t understand? Why not just ban Thai’s from drinking? It’s not like foreigners can vote?)
Sitting opposite me was some Scando asshole – with his foot on a chair. His sweaty stinking wet foot. Revolting fucking pig.
Seriously, is it just me that thinks this is disgusting?
The bar was full of cheap old bastards. All drinking water. One or two were eating. These people would never usually come to the bar – but came to watch the F1. I hate people like this. Freeloading assholes. Takes me back to the Mango days when certain people would just come to the cheap nights – or would only drink when I was buying. The more I think back, the more I realize what a bunch of parasites they were.
On a positive note… I was invited out to a BBQ the other night, where I met a couple of other guests. They’re Brits, (Hubby, wife kids) lived in HH a number of years ago, went back to the UK and have now moved back to HH. Successful business back in the UK so are enjoying life. Good on them.
I got chatting to the husband is a few days younger than me. All he did was complain and moan about life in Thailand so far. The housing, the driving, the Indian Tailors. For hours he was drinking vodka and moaning. You could say I liked him from the start.
So in a non-gay way – we’ve exchanged numbers and plan on hitting the town to get drunk and see who can moan the most. I reckon I can take him.
On a serious note – it’s good to have someone I can hang out with other than Miss Tim and her pals. Everyone in HH seems to be in their mid-100’s. Maybe that’s why I am miserable a lot of the time. No male company to hang out with, swear, spit and scratch my (own) balls with.
One last moan….
Don’t be fooled by pet ‘Groomers’. Once again I have fallen victim to these blithering idiots that try to pass themselves off as professionals. This lot have gone all in and got themselves a nice big shop / surgery, signage and even a company van.
We handed over the cats and asked for a little trim.
Where to begin? I got a little (a lot) fed up in HH so went off to BKK for a few days to meet up with some pals. Surely a good time can be had right? I mean, how hard can it be?
Prices are pretty high at the moment. Not that I usually complain about hotel prices, but I can stay on the QE2 in Dubai, cheaper than some mediocre hotel in Bangkok. I refuse to hand over my hard earned, to people (hotels) that are not earning it.
The Die-Nasty Grande was chosen. It’s cheap (3k per night) and in soi 6 which is a pretty good location for everything I need. Close by is the new(ish) Citrus Suites which I have stayed quite a few times in the last 6 months. It’s a little nicer – but drowning in Chinese. If you’ve ever seen the Chinese descend on the breakfast buffet and shovel food in their mouths – you’ll know why I chose a different hotel.
Hitting the street… Night 1
I was meeting up with Bubba. Against my wishes we met up in Hooters. Each time I go there – I vow never to return. Service is still shite, drinks are still over-priced and it’s full of Americans. It’s odd. They must see it as a little slice of America and feel safe there – looking onto the streets of Bangkok (soi 4). I also think the food is shite.
Since when did it become the norm to put a Lime slice in everything? If I am paying 240bht for a Vodka – I don’t want it tainted by a bloody slice of Lime.
Each time I am given a slice after specifically requesting ‘no bastard lime’ – I fish it out and leave it on the table – infront of them so they have to pick it up and give the table a wipe. I fucking hate Lime.
From Hooters – we headed to Big Digs, perching at the long bar opposite Luck Luke’s to watch the Lucky girls arriving at the Plaza for an evening of romance and joviality. erm.. I mean Indian and Chinese tourists. Seriously… they’ve taken over.
If you have read Stickman in the past few months, when he is not talking about Ladyboys, he was saying how the Indian Tourists are a great bunch and the future of Bangkok. Yet watching more than 15 scruffy, smelly, ugly ‘middle eastern’ chaps approach a rather ‘glamorous’ ladyboy, all refusing the 2000bht fee – I have to ask myself what on earth Stickman is on?
A few hours easily passed and we headed to the Beer-garden in the middle of the Plaza for a few more drinks (without Lime).
Great spot inside the Plaza. You can see everything. It took us a fair while to come up with a plan of where to go.
Mandarin was closest – so off we headed. Oh how it’s changed. Mandarin used to be the place where young hot little things could be found. Not anymore. Whilst we have all got older and fatter over the last 10 years – so have the Mandarin line-up. The horrible staff still drag the girls around and force them onto you.
I felt bad for the girl which was ‘forced’ into my eye-line. I bought her a drink and she was grateful. The old witch who slung her at me also asked for a drink – which I told to ram it. Why should she get a reward for making the girl and me uncomfortable by forcing us together? (or am I just getting old?)
Next up was Butterflies – was all going o.k until the Service girl tried to sit us on a sofa arrangement (3 together in a U shape) with a bunch of Indians. I don’t fucking think so!
We sat elsewhere. Stickman was right… these Indians are the future. That is, if the future is a bunch of Indian chaps screwing up 20bht notes and chucking them at the dancing girls. Of course, the girls doing their bit and dancing for their food. It’s a damn shame.
There was a time when I used to chuck 1000’s over the dance floor. That was back in the day when girls were not covered in tattoo’s, piercings, fake dental braces and didn’t have a Samsung Notepad shoved down their bra.
– simpler times.
Now – I just cant be bothered as these places / people are just not the same anymore.
Drink up and head to BillBoard.
Wow. Amazing line up. The place (as usual) was absolutely packed. I think they could do with a refit. Get a bar designer in there to sort out the seating plan. The seating at the sides and up in the rafters – are all too far away from the action. I still think Tilac on Soi Cowboy has a great set-up that wherever you are – you are in reach of something. Unlike BillBoard.
After chucking my slice of lime and drinking up, Bubba had to head home to something called ‘a wife and kids’.
I headed along soi 4 to a bar I still don’t know the name of. I did ask a girl and she pointed at the window decal that said ‘Beer Here’… although I really don’t think that is the official name.
The bar is next to Golden Bar (Melody UK) and opposite the Die-Nasty Inn hotel. Great little spot for people watching.
The term ‘people watching’ is great. As you can’t get in trouble for miss-gendering someone. The more I see in the news about some bloke who ‘identifies’ as a woman gets upset because someone called them a man – the more I think that Thailand has the right attitude. No one gives a shit.
It’s only the Western world that gets a over-dramatic about it. Fools.
At what point are Aerosmith going to be hauled up in court and ruined because they released a song called ‘dude looks like a lady’? Surely there must be loads of people in the U.S that are in tears after hearing that?
I must move on… as that is a rant for another website……
Anyway, this bar ‘Beer Here’ is only small and has a live band. This band can easily murder any song you suggest to them. I first thought it was a Karaoke, but it turned out the Thai guy singing – might actually well be getting paid to do so. Whatever he is getting paid, it’s too much. When he asked for requests, I repeatedly requested him to take a break. He was shocking.
Time to head back to the hotel room and get my head down.
Up bright and early. No hangover. Thought I’d venture to Hanranhans or whatever it’s called now?
It’s only a 5 min walk… if you ignore all the Thai guys standing next to a taxi saying ‘taxi’. Or the Tuk-Tuk guys that pull up along side you and say ‘tuk-tuk’. Assholes.
This was where my new little pass-time was born. (and I HAVE done this)….
Stand at the side of the road with your suitcase. When a taxi pulls up and says ‘Taxi…. airport’…. look at him for a second, then look away and say ‘No’. See how they fucking like it.
A big ‘fuck you’ to every taxi who has ever refused a fare when I/we have tried to go somewhere. Seriously, try it. It’s hilarious. Miss Tim gets mad at me when I do it – as she thinks one of them will come at with with a bat. I hope they do. I’ll get medieval on them.
So there we were, in Hanrahans… Food is typical English/Irish pub grub. Not bad.
As we sat there chowing down – 4 Scousers came in. Three blokes and a kid. All fine and well… until the Scouser asked for a kids menu. The service girl said they don’t have one, which absolutely confused the Scouser. He ranted to anyone that would listen (the service girl walked off) that there was no kids menu. I wanted to go over to him and explain that he is in a bar, in soi 4, in Bangkok which is one of the most well known red-light districts in the world, and he is wondering why they don’t have kids menus?
It’s not just me is it?
When in Bangkok, I like to have a little mooch around T21. There are a few people in Bangkok/and visiting who I hope to ‘bump’ into at some point. It’s rare they’d be on the streets of soi 4 – as that would involve them having to spend money. So I live in hope that I’ll one day ;bump’ into them while they’re out window shopping.
No such luck.. but their time will come.
Back to the hotel for a refresh and then to soi 8 to meet up with my old pal PRP for food. Viva. Not a bad little spot. Food wasn’t bad and drinks reasonably priced (I think?). Soi 8 is becoming quite trendy these days and has a good little buzz to it. Not so many packs of Chinese and Indians either. – hmm… did I actually experience something I enjoyed in Bangkok?
After dinner we headed to the little spot from yesterday. ‘Beer Here’ or whatever it’s called?
I checked on Trip Liar to see if I could find the name. I used the Map function to find it. It’s not there. What is there though – is the soi where the old Mango bar used to be. Spookily – it’s named (on the map) ‘Soi Mango’!
How did that happen?! Odd….. but cool!
Opposite ‘Soi Mango’ was a few girls standing on the path – offering their services. Nothing new there. However, one of the ladies of the night was of Middle Eastern origin. I am told (by PRP) she is Iranian. She had a large nose and huge eyebrows. Dressed in an all black Chador. A very odd sight to see in Soi 4 for sure. As we walked past – she did try and talk to us and asked us how we were.
We arrived at ‘Beer Here’, took the stools facing the street and commenced with the watching of people. And when I say people, I am referring to all the weird freaks, morons, wankers and arseholes that scuttle down soi 4.
The place really is a shithole full of the dregs of the planet. It’s certainly not the same place as I once lived for 10 years.
There are so many people which would make the world a better place if they were not in it.
The Indians wearing weird shiny clothing? The dude wearing bright pink sneakers? There was a guy with a bunch of Buddhas dangling from his neck… (clearly not a Thai), there were loads of Muslims (what are they doing there?) and not to mention the gaggle of ladyboys trying to sell whatever services they can sell.
For those of you who remember (and lost mobile phones at) ‘soi katoey’ on sukhumvit road – (between soi 4 and the Landmark Hotel) you’ll remember the LB’s would use the Subway deli to apply their makeup and shave their chins. They were always in and out. Well, this seems to be what’s now happening at the Die-Nasty Inn on soi 4.
We saw many LB’s going in and out of the lobby. There must be a ‘deal’ in place?
PRP and I spent the next few hours laughing, pointing, photographing and at times shouting abuse at people. Every time we saw some asshole with a camera phone or GoPro walking along the road and filming it – we stuck our fingers up. We did this for hours.
At ‘Beer Here’ the Karaoke singer was back, murdering every song he knew. The drinks were messed up only a few times and I only saw 2 Limes appear in my drink. It was a success.
It was time to head off. We were drunk and becoming less capable of defending ourselves if we had gotten into a fight. Time to head back to the hotel.
Up bright and early the next day….. we trotted off to soi 4. Chequres! I used to like the breakfast there.
Sat at the bar outside – it became apparent that this bar is popular with fat old bastards – as the stools were all bent forward, making us slip off them. The big table behind us was taken up by some fat old bastard shoveling god knows what down his throat.
Breakfast came and went. It was average at best. Not how I remembered it. Nothing ever is these days.
Soi 4 cut a pretty poor sight in daylight. The bar called ‘Beer Here’ was hanging out their beer mats for drying – and the staff were wiping down tables. The sign on the door says it opens at 10, but this is Thailand and Thai staff are absolutely fucking useless. It was now 10:30 and they were still getting ready to open. To a Thai, if they open at 10 – that means they arrive for work at 10, then stuff their faces and then start (slowly) doing something.
That’s it… I’d had enough of this hole. Called up my driver and told him to pick me up from the hotel in 30 mins.
Back to Hua Hin – full speed ahead.
So did I have fun? I will not say it was fun. I would say I amused myself by making fun of all the riff-raff and freaks that crossed my path.
I had business to attend in Hua Hin. An Estate Agent had got in touch with a house for me to look at. And as we know, I only ever have good things to say about the people working in the Real Estate industry.
Updates have been pretty thin on the ground lately – as there is nothing to update on. What can I whinge about that I have not already whinged about?
Driving – still sucks arse. Thai’s still can’t drive for shit, nothing new there.
Service – is still shit. Drinks are still messed up and food never arrives when it should.
Real Estate – still a load of shit. Websites still advertising houses which are not available and offering you houses you have no interest in.
Ex-Pats – still a bunch of freeloading wasters full of shit.
… I think you get the message. I have not changed my mind on Thailand. I thought a break from the Land of fake Smiles would do me good so I went to the UK for a few weeks – and had a great time.
I drove on good roads, I didn’t nearly die when on my motorbike. I got good service in restaurants and not once was I given the wrong drink or asked repeatedly what I wanted to drink. It was a good time.
But no one wants to hear about that. No one is interested in my recent purchase of my Aprilia RS250, or the new gearbox in my Esprit Turbo.
My interests have changed (slightly). I used to look forward to coming to Thailand. To going out, hitting the bars and restaurants. Meeting up with the people here and chatting with the girls.
Can’t say I feel like this anymore. I now look forward to going anywhere else. Dubai, UK and even Iraq are more interesting for me now.
And as I said, no one is interested in that. So I feel the time has come to hang up my gloves and give up trying to think of things to report on. There is only so many ways I can say I am bored with Thailand. Plus, my web-hoster I.T nerd seems to be having problems with his Servers and every few weeks I get emails from people saying the site is down. Really, I can’t be arsed with this anymore.
I am working on my eventual move from Thailand. But to where? I could move to the UK – which is going to happen eventually, but maybe somewhere else is on the cards before that?
Today I am heading to Bangkok for a few days. I am hoping to bump into some old faces. Old faces that I am not exactly fond of. Some old faces that deserve a slap.
Who knows, maybe I’ll find a new lease of life this week? Doubt it…
So I’ll just think about the final few posts…. maybe I’ll do a ‘tell-tale’ on all the old goings on? Maybe not.
Doesn’t time fly? It’s been a little while since I gave a little update…. So what’s going?
Well, it’s almost a year since I moved into my current house. Time to move again. The original plan was that this house was to be the last house I rented in Thailand before moving back to the UK. But plans change.
I have decided to give it another year (or so). That being the case, I need to move to another house as I don’t like the one I am in.
I found one online, contacted the agent and asked for details. I should have known that the house I was interested was not available – however, one a little bit more expensive is… that’s how they get you.
Every bloody year the same thing. This is why I have Miss Tim deal with them as I am liable to offend people.
The other house offered to us was pretty nice. Brand new, nice pool, good price. Very nice… take my money. Hang on, not so fast.
The house looked great in the picture. See for yourself. But what the photo doesn’t show is that it’s the only house on the site. The building site. It doesn’t show the make-shift hut which all the Construction workers live in and it certainly doesn’t show the ‘dirt track’ which they are passing off as a road.
Why oh why do Real Estate Agents never give the full story? Do they not realize that NO ONE will want the property when they see it? It’s different if they declared all that – and then someone went to see it. They would have all the info and still interested. Sorry.. but if you are a Thai Real Estate Agent.. then you are a thick twat.
I’ve a few to look at in a few weeks. The main criteria is I need high walls so my mad cats don’t escape. Then again, that might be better than the little bastards ripping my sofas to shreds.
Currently I am in the UK. The weather is fantastic. I came back to sort some cars and bikes out. Each year I have to turn the wheels, start them up and wipe the cobwebs off them. One day, I’ll get to drive and ride them.
Noting much else going on… except a bit of a session next week. I’ve called up my peoples and Jonas is hopping on a plane to join in for the weekend. Should be a good one. Watch this space.
Speaking of Jonas, we are currently in talks about my Route 66 trip. I explained to my pals that riding on a bike for 3 weeks – means we’re going to have to pack all our shit in saddlebags and wear the same pair of pants for weeks. Not really something I am excited about. So…… we’re thinking Jonas following in a pick-up truck might be just what we need.
Another 10 days in the (sunny) UK until heading back to Hua Hin. Stopping by Bangkok for a night – maybe.
I think a trip to Pattaya is on the cards in a few weeks time….