(Thai) Music to my ears…….

Seems I am not the only one who likes a little moan. I recently read on Stickboy that he is less than impressed with the music being played in some bars. – A subject close to my heart and one that I have written about many times in the past.

The beef? Well, my beef is with the bars that play that horrid Issaan music. Or any Thai music come to that. The patrons are not Thai,  they didn’t come to listen to that and It’s not as if it’s nice on the ears is it?

There is the (weak) argument that if it makes the girls happy – then that’s a good thing and in turn, that’ll make the punters happy?

No. I don’t agree. Every time I have been in a bar where they whack on a set of Thai music, every Thai starts jumping around, singing and generally going nuts with EACH OTHER. They don’t even notice there are Farangs in the place.

Mandarin have got it right. Next to the stage they have a big bucket of what I can only assume is cheapest, nastiest booze they could find – with about 50 straws. The girls get drunk. They’re happy, the punters are happy. At no point are everyone’s ears assaulted.

But let’s not beat up on the bar owners too much for the music.  Gogo’s are different – as they have some Thai DJ who plays the shite music that he and all his Thai mates are into.  When it comes to a small bar – its not so easy to please.

You can please all of the people some of the time or some of the people all of the time.  Casting my mind back to the Mango days – there was a particular group of people that I remember.  Always bitching about the music.

First they asked us to move a speaker – as it was above the table which they liked to sit at.  So we did.   Soon after they switched tables and complained the music was too close to their ears.

At the Mango we had the usual Rock/Pop collection of CD’s.  They’d moan everytime a song came on they didn’t like.    Eventually I asked one of them to give me a list of music they liked and I’d make up a playlist for them.  I was nice like that.

The guys response was (and I quote)  “It’s not my job”!!   Brilliant.  There I am trying to please him by playing music he likes – but am told I more or less had to read his mind to find out what he liked?!

From then on – I made a point of ignoring them.  All I had to do was stay away from the bar during happy hour or when there was a promotion on so as not to bump into the cheap charlie peasants.   I still see them about soi 4.  Hanging out in Happy Hour bars where they are not acknowledged by anyone.   Serves them right.   I could go on for hours about those expats who barely survive in Thailand . Buying fake crap and selling it on eBay.  These people are losers.

Another peeve I have (and I need to be careful so as not to offend some friends) is the people that wear those Amulets – when they are clearly not Thai or  Buddhist.

There is a guy at work who has one round his neck. He was married back in the UK.. got divorced, got some money, got old and then got a Thai bride. Fair enough. He’s happy, but why have this thing hanging round his neck?

I asked him. “I wear it to keep the wife happy” was his response. This made me dislike him even more. Nob. I am sure there are many things that he wife would like him to do – which he doesn’t. Lose weight, stop fucking around, stop speaking pigeon English, stop being a dick…etc… he doesn’t pay any attention to those requests.

No.. the only reason these guys wear this stuff is because they think it makes them interesting and Thai’s respect them – which they don’t. There is no other reason. I don’t buy this ‘it brings me luck’ crap – as that’s false and to be honest – total fantasy. I’ve not met one person who is in a good place right now who can lay claim to the fact the soppy piece of gold around their neck brought them luck.

I am however open to anybody explaining how this luck thing is real.  I’d like them to explain how these bring ‘good luck’ – when almost every car/van/truck in Thailand that was involved in a fatal crash had been blessed or had some kind of religious Charm in there somewhere.

If that’s good luck – you can keep it.

 

 

 

 

Back in Bangkok….

As some of you know – I am always on the lookout for a decent hotel.  While I am sure there are many out there – I  guess that I am too much of grumpy old bastard to appreciate the fine offerings out there.

Well that’s all changed now!

Someone suggested the Landmark Hotel.  And glad I am that they did.

I can’t tell you how refreshing it is to be a guest in a hotel where everyone there knows what they are doing – or should be doing.

I arrived at 8am – well before the usual 2pm check-in.  Normally I’d just head straight out for breakfast with the rats, but this time I was carrying some frozen (Indian) food in my case and I needed to get it back in the deep-freeze.   I’d already e-mailed ahead to the Landmark who told me they had the facilities to keep frozen goods.  Great.

I checked in at 8am and handed over my little cool bag.  The very smartly girl on reception asked me only for an electronic signature and apologized that it was not possible for them to give me the room just yet.  That was fine.  It was me that was early.   She did however say the room is empty and shall cleaned shortly.  With that, she gave me a drinks voucher and pointed me in the direction of the outside bar/café.

I couldn’t have been there more than 5 or 6 minutes.   Everything went as it should.   The reception desk was spotless, the staff dressed immaculately and utmost polite.

A few hours later, someone came and got me from the Café.    Room was ready by 10am.

I didn’t go mad – I went for the Executive room which was about 3500 a night – which I didn’t think was too bad.

Very nice room.  Everything you’d expect.  Massive bath, TV stations that I could actually watch and 24hour room service.

Not the cheapest of room service

The two days I stayed there were pleasurable.  When I was coming in and out, I was always greeted by the staff – regardless of what state I was in.

I shall most certainly be staying at the Landmark again.

Bath is big enough for 3….

But enough of that…. I was in Bangkok……

GamblinMan had a weekend off from the Casino so popped over the Bangkok.  Lomeo was out of town on some personal business so it was just to two of us.

We met up at the Huntsman.  Many times in the past we’d both been in there for a Sunday lunch.  Never disappointed. – until now!

I ordered the Chicken Pie with Curly Fries and GM ordered the Fish n Chips – with the fish to be in breadcrumbs.

When the food arrived, my fries were not curly and the fish was battered.   Hmm…  Even after the waitress read our order back to us and we were very clear on the order.

Still, it didn’t seem to matter to the waitress who basically just said eat your food and shut yer face.   GM was having none of it and sent it back, much to her annoyance.

It took them a whole 20 mins for them to scrape the batter off and dip it in breadcrumbs.  I should have told them to take mine and keep it heated up, but I have learned the hard way not to piss off the people that handle your food.  Besides, waiting that long for GM’s food – I am sure my fries starting curling up.

With a belly full – we thought it best to get a little exercise and walk it off.  All the way to soi 4.

Big Dogs (I think) was the first stop.  The usual corner.  Pretty uneventful.   The soi doesn’t cut a very nice picture in the daytime.  Or the night time either if we are honest.

The bars along Soi 4 are not of much interest to us anymore.  There is not one better than the other. None that have pretty girls or give better service than any other bar along the soi.  I don’t know how the prices compare but I assume they’re all competitive with each other.  – with the exception of Hooters which as everyone knows is a rip off – but is at least clean.

We did notice that in some of these bars – we were approached by girls – wanting to score drinks off us.  We politely told them to scram as 1) we were there to catch up and have a drink – not speak in ‘kids talk’ about where we are flom and what our names are and 2)  the daytime girls are hogs.

We did actually have one girl come out with ‘hellowhatyournamewhereyouflom’  without so much as a breath or pause.  One long sentence.  I don’t even think she knew what she was asking?

This past year or so has seen us ditch soi 4 and head for the soi 22 area.   Is this what happens to all people who have been in Thailand for a long period time?  I ask this as the people around the 22 area all seem to be of the more ‘mature’ end of the age group.

After several hours hopping around bars between 18-22 soi’s we headed to Cowboy.

Crazy House is always pumping so we thought we’d see what all the fuss is about.

Having had a few drinks in there – I am still not sure what all the fuss is about?  In fact, I really don’t like the place.  Its’s way too crowded with Japs downstairs and upstairs feels like you’re sitting in a staff changing room.  It’s dingy, dark and there are bunches of girls milling about the place.  In the corner we saw a pile of shoes which girls would come and put on, take off with no regard for verrucas or used band-aids which maybe lurking in them.

Not impressed with CH – we went for a stroll up Cowboy.  It used to be a soi where there would be many hot girls outside trying entice you in. No longer is the case.  The only reason to choose a bar over another – was because we had an old memory of the bar it used to be.

It didn’t take us long before we found ourselves at the top of the soi being offered fake Rolex watches by Indians and  being asked if we wanted an overpriced taxi.

And what is it with these Indians selling watches now?   Do they have an agreement with the Thai’s?  On a few occasion now, I have seen Indians approaching customers in bars – trying to sell fake/cheap shit.  Isn’t this the Thai ‘turf’?

In fact, that really annoys me now.  I tolerate Thai’s coming up to me when I am in a bar – trying to sell me a wooden flog, or a map of Thailand.  It’s their Country and they’re trying to make a living.  But Indians?   WTF?  Isn’t there a law against this?  Hang on.. what am I saying?  Law?

If memory serves me correct, we walked from Cowboy to Nana.  Gotta get them fitbit steps in.  Didn’t take long – not since the sidewalks are clear of ladyboys, dildos and DVD’s.

As per usual – we hit Pretty Lady.  Only a few girls I knew and none of them Pretty. There was a guy launching ping-pong balls at the girls.  I’ve done it many times myself.

Looking at it though – I see a flaw.  Why do people chuck ping-pong balls?  They chuck them so the girls can get a few bucks tip.  Good on them.  The girls are doing their thing on stage.. why not?

But where do most of the balls end up?  On the floor.  And who is on the floor?  The service girls.  Who more often than not are too ugly to be on a pole.  A lot of the time they are horrible creatures and don’t deserve the 20bht ping pong balls.  And if they are any good – they’ll have been given tips directly from the customers.  No.. I don’t agree with the Service Urchins getting in on the ping-pong ball act.

Out of there and into another bar.  Can’t remember the name.  It was shite though.  We drank our drinks as fast we could.   And saw something that both pissed us off and impressed us at the same time.

When GM paid the bill and was given his change… the girl held the little silver tray out to receive a tip.   As the note almost hit the tray, the girl pulled the tray back so the note landed on her hand – where she said a quick thank-you and backed away.  Masterful move.   If I ever go back there (and I wont) I’ll make damn sure she never gets a ping-pong ball.

Next up was Diamonds.  Owned by the girl who has Strapps and Jersey Bar.  I’ve known her for many years so we had a catch up.  Business is down all round.  Heard some interesting things about the place.   All I can say – is that I am glad I am no longer part of that world.

Time was cracking on and it was time for me to hit my crisp bed sheets.  The best thing about staying at the Landmark was its location.   Took me less than 5 minutes to get home.

Out like a light…  good comfy bed.  I could get used to that.

Lazy morning – driver was picking me up at 12.

Checking out was simple.  The staff were really polite and were nothing but professional.  The little guy arrived at my car with my still frozen cooler bag. Brilliant.

Time to head back to HH…….  looking forward to it.

 

 

 

More whinging….

Time flies when you’re having fun – apparently. Well, this past month has flown by, so I must have been having fun. I was having fun. But you know, as much as I have fun, there are always a few reasons that have my blood boiling and make me want to punch someone in the face. So what have I to whinge at this time? Only a few things. I’ll keep it short.

I have given up caring about the motorists in Thailand. I’ve learned to accept that no one can drive for shit here and I’ve no sympathy when I see people crash. The only people I feel bad for are the innocent people on the roads who get hit – but saying that, there is a high probability that person doesn’t have a license or insurance either.

But anyway…..

Thai Banks. I don’t have a Thai bank account. I bank in various places in the world, but when it comes to Thailand – I feel they’re in the dark ages.

Each month I am back in Thailand I’ll send Miss Tim (or a Rat) an amount of money which they’ll withdraw and give to me in cash which I can then invest into the local economy.

When I carry out my online transfer – I check all the boxes which say I shall pay ALL fee’s from my account – which I note I am always charged. ALL fee’s.

So why is it, the receiving bank then charges the account holder 100bht? What part about me saying I’ll pay all fee’s from my account to they not understand?

– its no biggie – I just have to add on another 100bht when I send money. It’s just as this extra 100bht is not mentioned anywhere in the transfer fee’s, I feel like a motorist during a police roadside check.

And then there are the branches. Why is it you are charged to withdraw your own money from an ATM – FROM YOUR BANK but in another city? Miss Tim is charged each time she uses an ATM in HH. Using the ATM of HER BANK but the account was opened in Bangkok. Really? Why?

I can’t remember the name of her Bank, she has a few and probably a few secret ones too, but she is not offered a Visa card or Online banking for some reason. And don’t get me started on all the queues, form filling in and little books that have your balance printed on them. Like I said. Dark ages.

So there I am with a fist full of dollars – which at some point I’ll head off to a supermarket to purchase food that looks like it’s been prepared by a professional company rather than some scabby old woman using a cauldron of 6 month old cooking fat.

What is it about shoppers that makes them leave trolleys and baskets at various stages of being filled – all over place? Just the other day I must have had to move 2 or three ‘abandoned’ trolleys out of my way and kicked at least 2 or 3 baskets which some lazy bastard couldn’t be bothered to carry.

O.k, maybe I can understand a full basket being placed on the floor if it’s heavy, but not in the middle of the isle?

Again, it’s numpties that have no brains that piss me off. More often than not, I’ll give Miss Tim the shopping list and have her seek out the goods – leaving me outside to take deep breaths while trying not fantasize about going on a rampage.

Speaking (whinging) of shops, I plain refuse to enter any shop that requests I remove my shoes – and therefore expose my feet to whatever filth, disease, puss and germs which have been laid down by the people who have walked there before me.

My latest experience in this is the pet grooming clinic. Hmmm, a ‘Clinic’. O.k, maybe an exception should be made? Well, I have no choice in going inside, as I have the hairiest Persian cats in the world who need their monthly pampering. Inside the clinic there is a vets surgery and all the floors are shiny and polished. Maybe this place is the exception and kept sterile all the time?

Wrong. After leaving my shoes OUTSIDE, I entered the Clinic only to find a motorcycle in the corner and a puddle piss in the middle of the floor. So I question the need for me to remove my shoes and expose myself to whatever else is on the floor which I can’t see?

I could be accused of being a little fussy, but then is it fussy – wanting a better service? It’s not like I am expecting people/companies to use technology they don’t have or use skills they’ve not acquired – all I am (foolishly) expecting is for people to use their brains and think about what they’re doing and why they’re doing it.

Seems to me like an awful lot of people need a punch in the face.

Carry on.