Part 2 – Pattaya Reunion
NOTE: Yes, it is tedious and drags in some places. I wrote it this way because A) I transcribed it from a semi-daily log, I didn’t “Hemingway” it, 2) I wrote it for the benefit of those who’ve never been here before and need a sort of “Completely Dumb Idiot’s Guide to Mongering in Thailand”, and III) I sometimes write these notes for myself in order to remember how to do things later on, and I need a “Completely Dumb Idiot’s Guide to Mongering in Thailand” because that’s the kind of guide I understand best.
April 8th (cont) – Checked out and dragged my ton-and-a-half of luggage up Soi 4, along Soi 6, and up all the damn staircases of the Nana BTS Station to catch the Skytrain to the Ekkamie Bus Station. PROTIP: the only exit on the even-numbered side of Sukhumvit Rd (where the bus station is) is the farthest end from away from the bus station while still on the even-numbered side of the road. The east end of the platform. The west end only has an exit to the north side of the road. Quite a let down when you are manually hauling a ton-and-a-half of luggage in hot, muggy weather (three guesses as to how I know this).
OK, so you’ve managed to drag your ass AND your ton-and-a-half of luggage to the front steps of the Ekkamie Bus Station. The ticket window you want is to your right. It has “Pattaya” in really big letters on the window. Cost, as of the date of this log entry, is 108 Baht. The trip takes between 2 and 3 hours, depending on traffic and stops. The bus may make one or two stops to drop off passengers at their request, but for the most part it is on an express run. Once you get your ticket, continue deeper into the station and out the back to the bus gates. The Ekkamie-to-Pattaya bus is the first one you come to. If you have luggage or large packages to check, you line up near the bus cargo hatch with the rest of the passengers. The station crew puts a sticker on your stuff & gives you a receipt for it. You then show your ticket at the bus passenger door to another staff member. They take the ticket stub & you get on to look for your seat. The seats have the numbers printed on the backs, facing the passenger behind you. In order to find your seat, you may have to pass it and look in the row behind your seat. Be careful of the cramped spaces, it’s easy to bang your head, get a cut on your arm, or get your carry-on gear hung up (I got all three).
Once in Pattaya proper, you get off, collect your luggage from the swarm of humanity at the cargo bays, and walk out ahead of the bus to where the baht buses are parked along the south-east corner of the station. Fare is 50 Baht, and the driver will ask you for the name of the hotel you are going to. They will also take you to a particular soi, but make sure of the corner or end of the soi you want. In my case, I asked to go to Soi Diana Inn (thinking the driver might not know a smallish soi existed; Soi Diana was on the area map at the station, LK Metro wasn’t). I ended up across the street from the BOTTOM of the soi, not the TOP where Soi LK Metro is located. Next time, I will ask for LK Metro, or The Metropole Hotel (which occupies the space inside the block the two arms of Soi LK Metro form). Ordered a Heineken at a bar on Soi 11, asked directions, and another baht bus later and I’m on LK Metro.
I round the corner and head straight for the Metro Bar and Apartments. The rooms were advertised for 800 Baht a night, but I got the price knocked down to 750 on the basis of a Facebook message from the owner, who no longer considered it high-season. So he told the girls to charge me low-season prices. A 1000 Baht security deposit was refunded to me upon checkout later on. The bar on the ground floor has an internet terminal and multiple flat screens with sports schedules chalked on a sign out front. It serves booze until 3 AM, or later by popular demand, and has menus from 2 different bar and grills on the Soi (The Golf Club and The Windsor, the Golf Club is decent quality and price). I got the standard room, Economy Class. It is LIGHT YEARS AHEAD of anything you will find anywhere on Soi Nana in Bangkok for under 1000 Baht a night! I’d say it is on a par with Woraburi Inn, but cheaper and much closer to the action. Showered, took a nap, headed out around 9 PM.
Hit a pharmacy on Soi Buakhao to pick up some more Ciallis. 700 Baht for a full 4-pack of tablets (remember the Chinese Pharmacy that charged me 500 Baht for just one?!). Then along to Subway and got a 6″ ham and chicken with all the trimmings for 89 Baht. First bar I hit was The Rock House. Small, no frills single-shophouse bar. Girls nothing to brag about, but they did have an internet terminal that doubled as the sound system via Youtube downloads. They also had at least one person in there 24 hours. I ordered a drink or three and enjoyed making myself obnoxious to the ladies working there.
Next up was Champagne A-GoGo. Girls were in bikinis and outfits for the most part. Not sure, but I think the girls in the outfits were coyotes. Checked out the prices: 800 Baht for a barfine, 3000 Baht for a short time. Struck up a conversation with #123, Anni(?). Didn’t mean to spend that much on a bogey, so left. It suddenly occured to me that I didn’t check to see what amount my latest paycheck was (after pay raise and overtime). Went to an ATM across from my hotel.
The verdict? LOTS! Went back to Rock House and did some onliney stuff, did some celebratory DJ’ing on the Youtube account (Kickstart My Heart, Whiplash, Fool For The City [1996 live version]), then back to Champagne. Barfined, without needing to haggle, #96 – #123 from Champagne. Didn’t even consider using the missile, just went to guns and engaged and serviced the target. Fell asleep, then got her up and out around 5:30 AM, and was ready to call it a night when I remembered something…
The Metro has a little quirk in that the steel shutters are rolled down in front of the front doors when the bar is closed. To get in or out, you have to use the side alley door in the back near the pool tables. Poor #123 was wandering around wondering how to break out of her short time prison when I found and rescued her. Went back to bed for a quick nap. Got up early and dug my way through the chairs and outdoor furniture that had been put away for the night to reach the computer terminal. Updated the LOLcats on the Caturday site I liked, emailed my old military buddy that SURPRISE, I’m in country, got some Phad Thai for an early lunch, and am now finishing up my notes. Will continue over aspirin, French Toast, and beer.
April 10th – It’s now just after 12:30, and I’m at the Subway getting lunch. Last night, after I met my buddy was a Kaleidoscopic whirl of alcohol, adrenaline, high-speed motorcy runs, and bar girl after bar girl in bar after bar that we roared through.
Started with a meet up in Rock House. I hadn’t seen M****, my old military buddy, in about 13 years. As soon as I saw him walk through the doors of The Rock House I jumped up and exclaimed a friendly and sincere greeting to my old Sergeant in the spirit of our former command we were a part of.
We caught up on old times, politics, and our latest medical difficulties over beers. Then, being thoroughly and successfully drunk for old time’s sakes, we grabbed a couple of motorcys and roared down to Soi 6. I learned two things after that. One, how to pronounce motorcy. Two, if you are wearing an old Big Mango Bar baseball hat, have a place to stow it while on a motorcy. Gripping it between your front teeth doesn’t count.
We started at the top of the Soi and hit a corner bar with a HUGE mamasan working/managing the place. She wasn’t too sure of my intentions, but I managed to convince her of my sincerity. Her: “you sure you lub me?” Me: “baby, my love for you is almost as big as you are.”
After showing off my cuddling/boob grabbing skills, to the horrified fascination of the onlookers (my buddy and former supervisor was used to that by then), we hit a few more places. Coming out of one bar, we looked down the street to a bar with balloons on display. The manager, we learned upon entering, was having a birthday party and had laid on a roast pork dinner with sammiches and carved up watermelon. In the bar, a chubby, perky bar girl was drunk and hitting on me over snacks. Or FOR snacks, not sure how well those Pattaya girls are compensated for services rendered.
After some jokes back and forth between my buddy and I about her being ‘right up my alley’ (to which I made a joke about ‘right up her back alley’), I took her upstairs and made her #97 – Emmai. I had joked earlier about her back alley, but it turned out she was into that! She got off that way harder than some girls I had done from the front door! After I finished and we came back downstairs, my buddy and I left that bar and went to Halifax Bar further down the soi.
Got frisky with another bargirl named Noi, but what my buddy REALLY wanted to show me was the bar manager. She was a hardened tomboy lezzie with a mohawk hairdo. She would’ve made the ladies I work with in the States proud! Or put them to shame, whatever. In any event, Mohawk Momma was an expert fetishist. When I started to pull a Jonas at the bar (bite me, I’m old and need my old-man naps!), she got a chance to demonstrate it. She bent me over the couch in the front room, then she whacked me on the rear 3 times with what looked like a long, flexible, pvc conduit pipe. It hurt just a little, but it was more loud and scary than painful. And, of course, I was no longer falling asleep! I got into the spirit and yelled, in my best boot camp voice, “Thank you for conditioning my mind and my body! A mind and a body are a terrible thing to waste! SIR!!” That lady could make a fortune in Bar Bar up in Bangkok!
After bailing from Halifax, we grabbed another 60 Baht ride on motorcys and hustled back to LK Metro. Went in The Cave and caught a live band (which, I later learned, is the one thing they are good at). Mainly rock & metal covers, though without the English skills to actually sing them. My buddy and I fooled around with a couple of the bargirls. He got a slutty-looking one in a cocktail dress, I got the actual bartender, Oib, in a semi-uniform with a combination nervous/exasperated look on her face that made her look cute. Can’t imagine why a lady would be nervous/exasperated from hanging off my arm while I bought her drinks.
Anyhow, I drunkenly bellowed and sang along with the band through the difficult lyrics that the lead singer didn’t know. Shut down the band and the bar around 2-ish. Went over and finished off the night at the Metro Bar. After my buddy left, I ran out past the Subway to OzBurgers street cart, got a bacon-cheeseburger, and came back for a 4th-meal of beef, beer, bacon, and bread. Only fell asleep once halfway through the burger, but it must not have been long because when I woke up to continue eating, the same rugby/soccer match was on the flat-screens and the bar was still full of drunken Aussies mumbling some strange, incomprehensible language. Then again, that was the scene from the Friday I entered the hotel to the Tuesday when I checked out.
April 10th (cont) – Finished my sub, and almost done with latest stretch of jotting down my nocturnal miss-adventures. Over to the Metro to check my latest emails, then off to another brilliant adventure. Already extended my stay for another night, and am seriously thinking of staying Monday night as well. Will probably hole up in Bangkok for Songkran and do my taxes (I brought my forms and supporting documents down with me to do when I got insomnia or something). After that, it’s ‘back to the chorus line’ and back to the world.
I spent all of Sunday night hanging at The Cave drinking with and talking to Oib. I had planned to head down to Soi 6 again (I deliberately avoided the Coconut Bar and Walking Street to cut expenses and cheating scams), but the band was doing a marathon of covers of Floyd and other British Supergroups, so I spent another night there. I figured this was more enjoyable than getting ripped off by bargirls, so I passed on the later for the former. I later get some fish & chips from a street cart at the Buakhao end of LK Metro. I spent very early Monday morning inhaling fish, chips and a warm beer all while contemplating just how fortunate I was to be able to do this after spending the previous four years in the American rust belt pissing and moaning about my unfortunate fate.
April 11th – Monday night at Amethyst and there’s another balloon chaser’s special. Buffet food (chicken wings, nuggets, and breaded shrimp) for free with purchase of drinks. Got to draw a prize raffle ticket out of a hat. Mine said “free hug”. So I got up and walked over to the Mamasan. She asked me which lady I wanted, and I pointed to her and said “C’mere and gimme a hug!” Hugged up and copped a couple of feels. The other girls thought that was hilarious and started applauding.
Afterwards, I headed over to Eden Club. I had always wanted to hit the place on Soi 7/1 up on Sukhumvit Road in Bangkok, but could never justify the expense at the time. This time was different.
I followed the usual deal; girls lined up for you to pick two of to go with you up to the room. Girls on one side of the yellow line don’t do anal, those across the line do. There were a couple of start-up West Coast American hip-hop artists/playahs sitting at the bar trying to work up the nerve to do what I was doing (must’ve been 1st time at Eden, or in Thailand for that matter). I decided to pass on a pro-tip to the boys and said loudly, “I’ll take that pro-anal chick on the far end, but she can pick whoever else she wants. That way she gets someone she licks, and the whole thing will go smoothly for all concerned.”
With the other guys at the bar going “sheeeeeeeiit” or something like that, we all three headed up to the room with #98 and #99 – Josie and Luk. We took turns doing alternate orals, but what I most enjoyed was how the girls demonstrated the use of the strap-on on each other. Pulled a “Sam Kenison” (“came on her back, stole 40 bucks outta her purse, and jumped out the bedroom window”, only without the stealing or window jumping part).
Went back downstairs and chatted with the manager, a Thai-American fellow. Talked about how rumours of the industry going away weren’t just rumours: he’d seen business at his place and around the sois drop off for the past two years straight. Very informative and educational conversation. Then it was off to The Cave again for more drunken headbanging.
Must’ve been my lucky balloon chaser night because a newbie that was even drunker and more head bangy than I was ordered three boxes of pizza from a nearby place. Got a free slice of Canadian Bacon and pineapple pizza. Great for drunk munchies! Had to change rooms earlier that day because my room had been reserved for someone else that night. New room was only up one flight of steps, which is a great improvement for an old guy like me with drunk legs. Turned in “early” at 1:45 AM.
April 12th – check out day. Migrate back to Bangkok, then brace for Songkran. Got my laundry back Ya Laundry, 285 Baht for a bag of laundry (prices itemized by clothing item, not by weight). Place is run by an old Aussie. Talked with him for a few about status of the night entertainment industry around Pattaya. His take was that business was definitely slowing or had fallen off the past few years, and wasn’t sure what it would take to bring it back.
Anyway, I grab my ton-and-a-half of luggage and walk over to Soi Buakhao. A succession of baht buses and motorcys slow in front of me trying to get custom. I keep waving them away in search of an actual taxi. At first, the only taxis I see are taken. Then, a minivan taxi across the street slows and beeps at me. I jump up and down and wave my arms frantically in a hilarious (to some) imitation of an old Warner Brothers cartoon character.
Amazingly, taxi stops and waits for me across the road. I load my bags and myself inside and get ready for more painful price gouging and/or hard bargaining. To my surprise, a cab is available at high noon in Pattaya on a weekday, the driver has a meter, the meter is activated, and the driver in question is a cheerful, pretty girl who speaks a little English. JACKPOT! Her name was Em-Orn, and I got her business card and hand-phone number for my next trip down to Pattaya (number available upon request). Nothing like door-to-door service in a air con-equipped taxi for 35 Bhat driven by a pretty lady to start and finish a Pattaya adventure. Now back at Bangkok for the remainder of my nights at the Metal B&B and ready to head for Cactus Bar for the big Tuesday Night feed as soon as I finish this chapter of my trip log.
To be concluded…