Friday, August 12, 2005

Jesus, Is He Still In Bangkok?

Well, while I am obviously not, my story still is. And I think I'm ready to continue. For those of you who migt be curious, from here on out, my travels will be recounted glasses-free, as I have (so far) survived the LASIK surgery performed on my eyes yesterday afternoon. Pretty cool. OK, I left you all in:

July 9, 2005

Having survived the monsoon and placed in the 34th Annual Heidi Fleiss Billiards Tournament, Monkey and I headed back to the hotel to shower and hit the town. We first returned to Soi Cowboy, to see what it was like when it was alive, rather than what it was like in the afternoon. Though we tried to sneak by the bar where we played pool (because we had promised the ladies we would "come back later"), they did, in fact, spot us. So we chatted for a few minutes, never crossing the physical threshhold of the place (for fear that, like in a horror movie, gates and doors would, seemingly of their own volition, slam behind us, deadbolts would turn without being touched, and one of our hookers would say something to the effect of "No Farang escapes this bar without paying to fuck me. Bwahahahahahah!"), and, once again, said we would return later, after checking out a few of the other bars.

There was one purported country-themed bar which promised live music, and an Asian dude with serious long hair was obviously tuning up on stage and getting ready to jam. I would have loved to stick around long enough to be able to, in the middle of his set, yell drunkenly, "Pray some Skynyld man! Fleebild!!!!" But, as the guy was not naked and wearing a number, Monkey wasn't interested in staying too long. So we moved on to a bunch of go-go bars. My notes aren't great, but some things you never forget:

At one of the go-go bars, there was a dancer who reminded me quite a bit of an ex-girlfriend of mine. Now, you're all correct - I've never dated any kind of Asian chick, let alone a Thai girl. But she had a similar body, and there was something about her eyes too. There was also the dyed blonde hair. I was, apparently, expending an inordinate amount of visual energy on this girl -- let's call her, oh, I don't know, #25, because that's the number she was wearing the only place there was room for it, on her boot -- because one of the other employees motioned to her, and next thing I knew, 25 had come to sit down next to me. We "talked" and smiled and I bought her and several of her friends a few Lady Drinks. I wasn't gonna be rude and ask her to leave. But I also wasn't gonna do anything to lead her to believe that she should go pack up her stuff and follow me to my hotel. As it turns out, that wouldn't even have been necessary, because one of the "mama sans," the women who run the ho rental franchises in the go-go bars, came over and inquired as to whether I would like to take 25 "upstairs."

This place wasn't just your average go-go bar, but a full on whorehouse. All I could think of were saloons in old westerns where they have rooms upstairs for the gunslingers to drag a hoop-skirted girl by the arm, calling her "little missy" all the way, and telling her how purty she is. But, of course that's how it worked - I was in Soi Cowboy! I declined, politely and repeatedly, again blaming my imaginary "girlfriend at home," and we eventually left that bar.

To move on to a similar place. This one was a kind of ("it's OK, it's a") hybrid. A go-go bar with a live band. I must say, the band wasn't bad. Nor were the girls. I again made the mistake of focusing on one in particular. We'll call her "Doc," because -- crazy story -- she was actually working at this place to put herself through med school. See, in Thailand, there's not a whole bunch of other ways for an attractive young girl who comes from a poor family to make decent cash, and she had her heart set on becoming a pediatrician so she could go back to her small village in Northern Thailand and provide much-needed medical care for the impoverished children.

Wait, did you really believe that? Moron. We're calling her "Doc" because she was #16. So, Doc came and sat down next to me, and was really friendly. She was really cute, and smiled a lot, and was nice even before I bought her and a few of her friends some Lady Drinks. She actually seemed kind of shy, to the extent that a girl who keeps putting her hand on your crotch in an effort to get you to agree to pay her for sex can accurately be described that way. She left a few times to go back on stage and dance, but always came right back to me when she was done. Monkey told me that I should have been particularly flattered that she went to the bathroom to "freshen up" after dancing before coming to sit by my side again. And, in some perverse way, I was kind of flattered. She sat with me for quite a while, arms around mine, touching my hand. It was like we were at the movies. Except instead of watching Tom Cruise try to drive the alien invaders to surrender by preaching to them about the horrors of antidepressants and hearing Dakota Fanning shrieking like the evil being from hell that she is, we were listening to some Thai dudes playing a passable version of that Santana song, and watching a bunch of Doc's colleagues shake their tits and rub up against some chrome poles.

Doc was cute and sweet and all that. And I started to legitimately feel bad that she was expending so much effort on me when I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that she wasn't gonna get what she wanted. I said so, explicitly, several times, giving her an opportunity to take her leave graciously. I certainly would not have been offended; I know her objective is to sell the VIP package, hot wax and all, and I wasn't interested in any more than the exterior wash. I sure wasn't gonna let her rub down my tires with Armor-All. But she hung out with me, no doubt because, on some level, she realized that I was infinitely more pleasant company than any nasty old dude who would actually go for the works. Or because she was trying to snag my wallet out of my pocket without me noticing.

But after spending more time with Doc than I have with women on most first dates, it happened. She kissed me. It was soft and gentle and she's cute and she smells good and OH MY GOD SHE'S A FUCKING HOOKER. A HOOKER JUST KISSED ME!!!!!

Part of me wanted to run to the Men's room and wash my mouth out with the urinal cake. But that would have been rude. So I smiled, patted her on the arm, apologized to her, and told Monkey that it was definitely time to go. To Doc's credit, she hung on until the bitter end, not giving up. I finished my beer (making sure to swish a few gulps of it around in my mouth in hopes the alcohol would do a little disinfecting on the way down), we paid, I touched Doc's shoulder and said goodnight. And she followed us out of the bar, a look on her face like I had just strangled her puppy. I felt horrible. Like I had let her down. How ridiculous is that?? Very. Very ridiculous. Once outside, I gave her a hug, and a kiss on the cheek, and said goodnight. I felt like I had just ended a 3 year relationship. Doc, it's not you, it's me.

So, after an experience like that, there was only one thing to do. Hit a few more go-go bars. Including one that had a schoolgirl theme. Which is hot. But I made damn sure to spread my visual attention around evenly, and managed to escape the places without a rebound girl to help me get over Doc.

We went on to another overpriced velvet rope club. At which I stayed for approximately 15 minutes. Enough to get and drink half of my first "included in the price of admission" drink, pee, and say adios to Monkey, who had, in the same amount of time, attempted (unsuccessfully) to talk to 4 women, at least. I handed him the ticket for my other "free" drink, as I knew he'd put it to good use, and headed back to the hotel, circa 1 am.

Yeah, you can wait for what happened next.