Fear and Loathing in Pattaya

  by: Mark Jones



I leaned back, in the rear seat of the taxi, and swallowed the last of the bottle of Red Bull I’d picked up on the way out of Cleopatra’s. I was feeling completely relaxed, and satisfied, after my ninety minute session; so much so that I knew I’d probably start to doze off during the ride back to Marks’ condo. Although the Red Bull would help to pep me up, I’d already decided that a decent steak dinner would do a lot more to sustain the energy levels for our planned night out to Spasso’s. I opened my phone and hit the speed dial for Marks’ number.

“Hey dude, where are you?”

“Sitting in a taxi over at Rachadapisek”

“Oh yeah, been getting a Bangkok sandwich have we”

“Absolutely mate. I’ve just had a pretty good session down at Cleopatra’s”

“Half your luck dude. Cleopatra’s good, Cupidy as well. Are you coming back to the Condo?”

“On my way now but it might take a while mate. I haven’t exactly picked the best time to be sitting in a taxi on Bangkok’s roadways”

“Som nam na dude. It’ll take you at least an hour to come all the way to the condo in a taxi at this time of the day. You’d be better off getting down at Asoke and taking the BTS”

“I might just do that. How about meeting up at the Landmark for a steak?”

“Sounds good dude. Watch out for the Katoey (trans sexual) pick pockets when you get down at Asoke buddy, their becoming a real nuisance these days”

“Okay mate, I’ll see you at the Landmark”

“Okay buddy, I’ll see you there”

I closed my phone and checked the time; it was already seven thirty pm. Once again I reflected on the fact that time just seems to evaporate in Thailand. After a while the days are just a blur and you find yourself thinking that, for all the time that you’re here, what do you achieve of any real significance? The truth is, if I was really honest with myself, most of what I achieve is purely about self indulgence. But, what the hell, we only get one shot at life so we may as well make the most of it. Then again, if you’re Thai, Buddhism teaches that you are reincarnated after the point of death. Woes betide any farang who, in the presence of a Thai, tries to kick a mangy street dog; you might be reprimanded for trying to hurt someone’s grandfather. My reverie was interrupted by my phone ringing. I looked at the number on the screen and didn’t recognize it.

“Hello”

Silence. Shit, not that bloody silly game again. It was bound to be a Thai waiting to see who answers.

“Hello. Ao arai krap (what do you want)?”

“Hello Mike. Fon Pood Ka (speaking)”

I had to admit was happy to hear her voice.

“Hi Fon, khun sabai dee mai krap (are you well)?”

“I’m okay Mike, khun la (and you)?”

“I’m fine Fon, I’m in Phuket?”

I didn’t feel good about lying to her - particularly after she’d helped me out by giving me a timely warning to get out of Pattaya - but for the sake of my own safety, as well as hers, it was probably better that she didn’t know my real whereabouts.

“Hey Mike Phuket lady is suay maak chai mai (very beautiful, yes)?”

Christ, there it is again; the jealousy thing. The priorities of these Thai birds are seriously askew sometimes. Even when their personal safety is threatened they’ll still be totally concerned about their looks. If some other bird was pointing a gun at them I’m sure their first concern would be whether that bird, holding the gun, is more beautiful and not the fact that there’s a good possibility that they’re about to get snuffed. I had a girlfriend, a couple of years ago, that would spend half an hour caking on the make-up before we went out jungle trekking. When I asked her why she replied that it was like an unspoken competition between Thai women. Even if she only saw one other lady, while we were trekking, a pecking order would be immediately established based on presentation.

“Is everything okay for you Fon?”

“I’m okay Mike. I worry about you. I think some bad men want to hurt you”

“Possibly, they didn’t find me though. I left Pattaya very quickly after you called me. Thank you Fon, you have a good heart. Have you been back to work again?”

“No Mike, I not go last night. I stay with my family”

“What about tonight, are you going to work?”

“I’m not sure. Maybe not. I worry about my family”

“If you don’t work how will you take care of them?”

“Don’t worry too much Mike I have a sugar daddy in Germany. He gives me good money every month”

Of course. How could I be so bloody naïve? That would be the reason that she stopped dancing. I laughed. God we’re so bloody gullible sometimes.

“What’s the problem Mike? Why you laugh?”

“Nothing babe. I’m happy that you’ve got a sugar daddy”

“Really? I worry you be angry if I tell you”

“Why would I be angry, I’m happy for you. Are you going to get married to him?”

“Maybe. I’m not sure. I want to marry with you Mike. You jai dee (good heart)”

Holy shit! This was moving way to fast. I’d only spent a few nights with her, over the past four months, and she was already hearing wedding bells. That’s the way they are though; a few nights together and, in their eyes, you’re a boyfriend.

“Come on Fon, you know I’m a butterfly”

“I know. But you’re not a big butterfly, only a small butterfly”

If only she knew.

“Fon, you know what I told you last time we were together”

There was silence from her. The other night at San Sabai Lodge she’d told me that she wanted to be my girlfriend. I’d responded by telling her that I could never have another girlfriend that was working in a bar, even if she was just a waitress. There’d been a little bit of a drama there while she’d turned on the water works. Whether it was genuine, or not, I didn’t want to speculate because these girls are such bloody good actresses when they need to be. Still, there must be some genuine kind of affection there as she’d risked her own, and potentially her families’, safety by warning me to get out of Pattaya. Because she’d helped me there was now an unspoken obligation owed by me. It’s part of Thai culture. If somebody puts themselves at risk, to help another avoid harm, the person being helped is indebted. Nothing is ever said because that would be bad manners. The fact was though, in her eyes at least, there was a debt of responsibility there. I was starting feel awkward and I was sure she sensed it. I wanted to redirect the conversation. Thankfully, she did it for me.

“When you come back to Pattaya Mike?”

“I don’t know, I’m going to stay away for a while. I think it’s not safe for me at the moment in Pattaya”

“Why those bad men look for you Mike?”

“I’m not really sure. I think it’s something to do with Ning and Chris”

“It’s not Chris, he’s a good man. Ning and her Thai boyfriend are no good Mike. They sell yaba (methamphetamine) in ago-go of Chris”

“Are you sure about that Fon?”

“I’m sure Mike. That girl Mint, she’s mai dee duay (no good also). She is a friend of Ning and she sell yaba to other girls in Snappy ago-go”

It certainly looked like Barry was right after all. This had the potential to get a lot messier and I was starting to think I’d bitten off more than I could chew. I knew I had a lot to consider. Fon, however, was proving to be a lot more astute than I’d originally estimated her to be. I decided to prod her a bit more.

“Fon, do you think Ning tried to kill Chris?”

“Maybe. I think Chris don’t like she sell yaba. She makes a lot of money and don’t want to stop”

“Do you think Ning wants to kill me?”

Silence.

“What do you think Fon?”

“I think Ning know you know too much Mike”

“Because her friend Mint overheard us talking?”

“Yes, I think so”

“Are you going back to work?”

“I don’t know. Maybe I’ll be off for a few days or look for another job. I not happy about work in ago-go now”

“Okay Fon, maybe that’s a good idea. Look, I have to go. If you hear something else about Ning, or Chris, please call me okay”

“Okay. Hey Mike?”

“Yes”

“Can you help me please?”

Here it is then; the repayment of the debt. What the heck, she’d helped me out.

“How much do you need?”

“Not too much Mike. I have some things to pay and not have enough money now”

“How much Fon?”

“Ten thousand baht”

Ten thousand was probably about four times more than she actually needed. No doubt she was just trying it on to see if I felt emotionally indebted to her. Everything, well almost everything, in Thailand is a matter of negotiation.

“To be honest, I don’t have much money now. I can send you three thousand baht”

“Three thousand not enough Mike”

Of course!

“Okay, I’ll send you five thousand but that’s it”

“Thank you Mike, you are good man”

Loosely translated that could also mean that I was being soft hearted. Anyway, it meant that the debt of obligation had been sorted out.

“Send me a text message with your bank name and number”

“Okay Mike. Thank you mak maak na ka (very much)”

“Good bye Fon”

The taxi pulled up on the curbside of Asoke Road virtually in front of Soi Cowboy. I paid the driver off and checked the time; it was eight fifteen. No problems, I’d jump on the sky train and be at the Land Mark by eight thirty. I turned and looked down Soi Cowboy. The neon was blazing and, being a Friday night, there was already quite a few punters starting to gather in front of their favorite watering holes. It bought back quite a few memories of an earlier time in my life here in the LOS; a lot that were good and a few that weren’t. I was almost tempted to make a quick deter down to the bar where she worked. A couple of years ago I probably would’ve but time had taught me a few harsh lessons. Nothing would be gained from it except, maybe, shag for old times’ sake. I shook my head and realized that I was being bloody naïve again.

These girls see so much action that she probably wouldn’t even remember me. Why flog a dead horse. A few minutes later, after going the one stop from Asoke to Nana, I walked up the steps of the Landmark and checked my watch; it was bang on eight thirty. Mark was already seated in the restaurant to the right of the entrance. I entered, sat down and ordered a Heineken.

“Well dude, it looks as though you’ve had an enjoyable couple of hours” said Mark.

“Yeah, can’t complain. It certainly helped to settle the nerves”

“How was the massage?”

“It was good. I went to the place that I normally go to and followed it up with a quiet beer at Lolita’s”

“I’ve got a pretty good idea what you mean by that”

“Say, did you manage to get in touch with that babe in Pattaya dude?”

“You mean Fon?”

“Yeah, Fon”

‘I just got off the phone with her about twenty minutes ago. She called me and we had a bit of a heart to heart talk so to speak”

“Sounds as though there could be something developing there dude”

“In an earlier time, possibly, but not now. There are just too many problems associated with taking on a bargirl, or former bargirl, in a relationship. I’ve told her that already. The truth is I just don’t want to experience that kind of emotional head fuck, which comes with all their trickery and deception, ever again. I’m not saying they’re all like that but, when you consider what their bottom line always is, it’s just not worth the stress”

“Aye aye to that dude. That bottom line thing rarely changes unfortunately. For a lot of them, enough is never enough” said Mark nodding in agreement.

“The economic flow is always one way and it’s rarely going to change because most of them are poorly educated, have no hope of securing a decent paying normal job and, to put it bluntly, a lot of them are just bone idle and are rarely interested in trying to improve themselves. Lying down and opening their legs for money is the easiest option”

“Plenty of guys out there willing to go along with it though”

“Good luck to the girls is all I can say if they can find themselves some poor fool to throw endless streams of money at them”

“Pretty funny though isn’t it”

“It would be if it was make believe but the thing is that there’s thousands of guys that come over here, get into a relationship with the first girl that smiles nicely at them, down at cowboy, and then proceed to spend their entire personal wealth on them and the instant extended family”

“The insanity of it all dude”

“That’s not the only insanity”

“What do you mean?”

“There’s a peculiar insanity to the Thailand whoring scene which renders many guys completely confused”

“What’s that?”

“The hierarchy of whoredom”

“That’s a new one. Care to explain dude”

“Just because you’ve got a pocket full of cash doesn’t mean you’re going to get any girl you like the look of”

“How do figure that?”

“The whores that consider themselves to be up market, or hot, will pick the guy that they want to go with”

“I can’t agree with that dude. I always get the one that I want”

“That’s because you’re in good shape and they like the look of you, even though you’re approaching fifty. The point is, you get to go with them because they allow you to”

“Is this just a theory dude, or can you prove it?”

“Are we going to eat?”

“Yeah good idea, let’s order. You were saying dude”

“Okay tonight, when we’re at Spasso’s we’ll take up a position and watch some guys that are out of shape and who aren’t dressed all that well”

“What’s going to happen?”

“The hotter looking whores, in the guinea pigs’ general vicinity, will avoid eye contact and, within a few minutes, will probably move to another part of the bar”

“Okay dude, let’s check it out then. Hopefully we’ll be able to pick up the hottest lookers down there”

“Truth be known, I couldn’t really give a shit. The whole psychology behind this thing about whores with attitude, in this country, is pathetically ridiculous”

“Whores with attitude; that pretty much sums it up dude. I like it”

“It’s ridiculous because they’ve got some strange idea in their silly little heads that they’re not actually whores. That they’re just the same as the hot looking normal Thai girls. That, of course, is complete fantasy world stuff”

“Lot of dudes out there that think otherwise though”

“They don’t know any better, that’s why. Once you understand the mindset of the whores with attitude, and never lose sight of what the bottom line always is, you come to understand that they’re no different to any other whore. They just think they’re worth more. The end result is always the same though” I said with a slightly cynical laugh.

“We’re just paying for it?”

“Yeah”

We finished our steaks and sat back to enjoy the last couple of pulls of our beers. The ringing of my phone once again interrupted my thoughts.

“Hello”

“Mike, its Barry”

“Hey mate, what’s up?”

“I’ve been given some info, by my contacts in the boys in brown, that I thought you might be interested in hearing”

“It wouldn’t be about Ning the nasty, would it?”

“None other”

“What’ve you got then?”

“It seems that the boy’s in brown, down in Pattaya, are quite aware of Ning’s penchant for selling mind altering substances”

“If they’re aware of it why don’t they do something about it then?”

“It’s not that simple mate”

“It never is when it comes to the police in this country. There’s too many vested interests and allegiances”

“Look, despite the chatter you hear out on the street Mike, there are some very astute and professionally minded cops in this country. The ones that I know take their jobs very seriously. The last thing they want to see are illegal drugs being distributed around the place. The fact is that the Police, with the backing of the Prime Minister, are currently doing a pretty good job of eliminating a lot of the scum that are distributing yaba in this country”

“Yeah, I’ve seen that in the papers. What’s the problem with rounding up Ning then?”

“The problem is Mike that, besides having no solid evidence against her, they’re watching the movements of that cop who’s posing as her brother”

“They know about him then?”

“They do but, unfortunately, the pair of them are proving to be very wily operators. From what my contacts have told me, Ning and her ‘brother’, never get directly involved with the movement of the stuff. Not only that, they’ve got some fairly nasty connections here in Bangkok. The Pattaya cops are keeping an eye on them in an effort to establish who those connections are. They can’t move too soon otherwise they’ll scare off the big players”

“Fair enough. Do you still want to carry on with the assignment I’ve given you?”

“To be honest mate, it’s putting me in a bit of a difficult position. The last thing I want to do is screw things for the local boys in brown. I think it would be better if we stay out of the way until they’ve finished their investigation into Ning, and her boyfriend’s, illegal activities. That way we won’t run the risk of getting offside with them.”

“But surely if we can get a few photo’s, that establish a link between Ning and the cop, then wouldn’t that, in some small way, assist the Police investigation” I said hoping to sway Barry’s take on the situation.

“Mike, I think it would be better if we stay out of the way and let the cops conclude their investigation unimpeded” said Barry beginning to sound impatient with me.

“But that could take weeks mate and, besides, Ning could have another go at getting rid of Chris in that time; perhaps successfully” I said starting to feel annoyed with Barry’s change of heart.

“Yes, I’m aware of that Mike. Unfortunately I just think that it would be better for both of us if we don’t get mixed up in what the police are trying to achieve”

“I don’t think I can do that mate” I said

“What are you thinking of doing?” said Barry hesitantly.

“I’ll go down to Pattaya myself and try and get some incriminating photos of that bitch” I said determinedly.

There was silence for a few seconds.

“Look Mike I know you feel strongly about this because Chris is a good mate of yours but, having said that, I’m advising you not to do anything rash. If things go pear shaped, you could find yourself in a world of shit with the police or, even worse, some nasty Bangkok underworld types”

“How can you be sure of that?”

“Because I’ve been here long enough to know how things work that’s why Mike; you’ll be playing a high risk game”

“Well that’s a risk I’m willing to take”

“Fair enough Mike. I can see that, against my advice, you’re determined to go ahead with this mad scheme. In that case you’ll need some insurance in case things go wrong” said Barry trying to sound helpful.

“Insurance, what do you mean by that?”

“There’s a couple of things you need to get your head around mate”

“What’s that?”

“First of all, things aren’t the same here as in the western world”

“I’m well aware of that”

“The second thing is that you’re a foreigner and, as such, you’ve, quite literally, got no rights. If this situation, for some odd Thai reason, goes pear shaped then you’ll be in need of some form of influential help”

“Why do you think it’s going to go pear shaped?”

“I’m not saying it will Mike. However my experience of living in this country for the past ten years, and doing what I do for a living, tells me that farangs’ who get themselves into a bad situation with Thai’s, regardless of whether they’re right or wrong, will usually end up spending quite a few hours dealing with the police”

“Okay, I can go along with that. What you’re saying is that, if it get’s nasty, some kind of influential back-up would be in my favour”

“Precisely. Hopefully that won’t eventuate though. However if you do end up with the police it’s always advantageous to have someone, with some kind of influence, in your corner”

“You mean like some kind of high ranking cop or government official?”

“Yes”

“I don’t know anyone like that”

“Hmmm, then you need to find someone in a hurry or be prepared to pay a substantial fee to get someone to smooth things over for you”

“You mean a fucking bribe?” I said beginning to feel annoyed again.

“It’s called tea money Mike”

“Yeah and it’s an expensive cup of tea. Fuck me; some things never change around here do they? Even if I’ve done nothing wrong, as a farang, I’ll still be expected to pay” I said feeling pissed off.

“Love it or hate it, that’s the game over here Mike. If we want to stay here we’ve got to play by their rules”

“Yeah, yeah. Fair enough. Are you still up for Spasso’s tonight?” I said trying to defuse my anger.

“To be honest mate I’m feeling a bit zapped, I’ve had a busy afternoon. Do you still want to hook up for the rugby tomorrow?”

“I think I might spend the afternoon chilling out, these early sessions are starting to wear me down”

“Okay Mike, give me a call later tomorrow then”

“Will do mate”

I hung up and exhaled deeply. This was beginning to get a lot more complicated than I anticipated. To make matters worse, it appeared that Chris had no inkling of what his nasty gold digger was really up to.

“Dude, this is starting stress you out big time. Fuck it I say, let’s hit Rainbow Four and get blasted” said Mark.

“As much as I’d like to mate, I made a promise to Barry that I’d steer clear of there”

“C’mon guy, nobody’s going to be hanging around there looking for you. Shit dude, they don’t even know what you look like”

“Can’t do it mate, I gave Barry my word and he’s a professional. If I went down there, and he found out, he’d think I was a complete tosser”

“Okay dude, we’ll stick to the plan and hit Spasso’s then”

“Thanks mate. I think it’s better if I stay clear of the well known farang entertainment areas, such as Cowboy and Nana, at the moment. The risk of being spotted may be minimal but it’s a risk I’d rather avoid” I said as Mark waved the waiter over.

We paid our bills and walked back out into the humidity of a Bangkok evening. I checked my watch again, it was nearly nine thirty. Just as we moved off towards Soi Four my phone beeped twice. I flipped it open and saw that there was a message from Chris; ‘Ning’s brother knows you’re in Bangkok.’

Fuck, how would he know that?

“Something the matter dude?” said Mark.

“I just got an SMS from Chris telling me that the cop, who’s supposed be Ning’s brother, knows I’m in Bangkok. How would he know that?”

“Probably tracked you through your sim card while your phone’s been active. You should’ve binned it dude and got another one”

“Yeah, I’ve been a bit too bloody lax” I said as I opened my phone and took out the sim.

“You can get another one tomorrow dude”

“No mate, I’ve got a better idea”

“What’s that?”

“I’ve got a Singapore sim and a bunch of top up cards back at your condo”

“That’s pretty friggin organized dude”

“Yeah. Anyway, fuck this shit, let’s go and hit Spasso’s”

“Right on dude”

We returned to Marks condo and, after a shower and a change of attire, we arrived at the entrance of the Erawan Hyatt a couple of minutes after eleven. The nightclub, Spasso’s, was one level down from the lobby area and, as we made our way down the stairs that led to the nightclubs’ entrance, we caught the first strains of the techno beat coming from the speaker system inside. It was Friday night and we were about to walk into a high end night club in one of the most exotic cities on the planet; cold beer and hot pussy was on the menu. After paying the exorbitant entry fee we made our way towards the front bar. I’d been here previously but it was the first time for Mark.

“This is seriously high end dude” he said looking a little over awed at the plush surroundings.

I checked the premises; on the left was the bar areas and dance floor. Most of the clientele here were a mix of wannabe hi-so freelancers, and punters, looking to hook up for some pay for pleasure action. On the right, the sunken restaurant area. The majority of those occupying the tables, and floor area in this vicinity, were part of the Bangkok elite; real hi-so’s with serious money. A couple of freelancers turned and smiled as we nudged our way up to the bar to order our first round. I smiled back. Most of the ladies working here were at the upper end of the earnings scale for pay for play services. They were a mix of regions; the shorter, darker girls tended to be from the North East of the country while the taller, fair skinned ladies were predominantly Bangkok born. The venue was also a location where one was likely to meet a lady who was a part timer; quite a few had regular jobs and were only here as a means of supplementing their incomes on the weekends. I’d picked up one a few months earlier that had a normal job at the airport. The bartender dropped our first beers in front of us and we started to scan our surroundings; there were plenty of hot lookers spread around the dance floor perimeter. I indicated to Mark that I wanted to move to the bar at the rear; it had a bit more elbow room and was closer to the dance floor. After moving through the congestion of the crowd that was grooving to the beat of the resident band we found a great little spot, next to one of the buildings’ support pillars, with an uninterrupted view of the dance floor. We placed our beers on the small bench, jutting out from the pillar, and turned our attention to the hot Thai pussy gyrating in front of us. There were a couple of twenty year olds, directly in front of us, which were smoking hot; their bodies were trim, and taut, in their skin hugging jeans. I looked at Mark and he nodded in approval as well. We turned our attention back towards the pair of hotties and, as we did so, they broke off from the crowd dancing and moved towards us. It was then that I noticed the two other beers on the shelf where we’d placed ours.

“Check this out mate” I said as they walked right up to us to retrieve their drinks.

“Hell yeah” said Mark as we moved aside so they could grab their beers.

I smiled and nodded in approval at their beauty. They both smiled back in return with that look in their eyes. It was a look that I’d seen in flesh pots around the world; Bangkok, Pattaya, Phuket, Singapore, Vung tau, Hong Kong, Dubai, and Baku. It was a look that seemed innately inviting. It was a look that said I can be whatever you want me to be, and I can tell you whatever you want to hear, for a price. It was a look that always masked a hidden agenda and it was a look to be weary of.

“Chok dee krap (cheers)” I said raising my Heinekin.

“Chok dee ka” responded the friendlier one.

She then turned back to converse with her friend who seemed to be in a world of her own as she continued gyrating away to the music. Both were in their early twenties and had fit bodies. The thought crossed my mind that they might possibly be go-go dancers on their night off. The one that was still in her own little world grooving to the music certainly presented that possibility. She had a vague, almost blank, look in her eyes that suggested being out of it on the type of methamphetamine that was popular with go-go dancers; it kept them going for hours in a zoned out, trance like state while they kept their bodies tirelessly bouncing to the music. The friendlier one turned back and smiled at me again.

“Sabai dee mai (are you good)” I said as I smiled back.

“Sabai dee Ka” she said smiling in return.

It was then that her friend, the zombie, looked at me, briefly, and then said something to her more accommodating partner. The music was loud but I definitely heard the word keeneow (cheapskate) being mentioned. I laughed. Her assumption, that I might be a cheapskate, was, no doubt, being prompted by the fact that I was speaking Thai. The ability to speak Thai, amongst some sectors of the population in this wonderfully complex country, is a double edged sword. While, on the one hand, it makes communicating with the locals infinitely easier it also has the effect of giving the demoiselles of the night the impression that, as you live here, you will be a tight wad simply because you know how everything works. The preference, for most of the ‘working girls’ in Spasso’s was to find a naïve, generous tourist for their evening’s liaison. It was then that I noticed, just a meter or so to the side of us, a punter giving the two twenty year old hotties some serious eye time. He had the look of a first timer about him. Normally, that would make him a prime candidate for the night fighter fraternity but, unfortunately for him, he looked unkempt and overweight. I nudged mark.

“Watch this Mate. I think we’ve found our guinea pig” I said nodding in aforementioned’s general direction.

“Okay dude” replied Mark with an almost cynical smile.

Over the next couple of minutes the ‘guinea pig’ inched closer to the hotties and eventually, when he’d gotten close enough, tried to strike up a conversation with them. The zombie completely ignored him and continued to gyrate away to the music. The other, while being polite, was clearly uninterested as she constantly averted her eyes away from his and towards anything that could divert her attention. After a few minutes, of trying her best not to look bored, she grabbed her zoned out friend and went back to the dance floor. The guinea pig, looking disappointed, moved off to hunt somewhere else.

“I rest my case” I said confidently to Mark.

“Yeah, I take your point. Now all we gotta do is find a couple of hotties for ourselves”

“Well, you can have the zombie” I said nodding back to the dance floor.

“Thanks dude” he said as we both laughed and raised our beers in a toast at the prospect.

I had to admit that the one I’d been exchanging smiles with had seriously got my attention and I was about to plan my evening around making a move on her when I caught a pair of eyes staring at me from further along the dance floor perimeter; it was Nat. It wasn’t so much as a stare but more of a defiant challenge. I hadn’t seen, or contacted, her for a couple of months. The last time we’d been together she’d really pissed me off. We’d been in her car, after a few drinks at Sirrocco, and been stopped by a police breathalyzer unit. Instead of remaining calm, and negotiating our way out of the situation with a small bribe, she’d made a song and dance – even threatening to call in some high ranking police relative – and we’d been frog marched off to the Sathorn Police Station. In the end the police, even though appreciative of her influential connections, were in no mood for her continuing nonsense and issued the ultimatum; pay a twenty thousand Baht bail or spend forty eight hours in the cooler. During the short walk to the ATM, which was nearby, I’d seriously considered not returning with the twenty grand. In the end I suppose I just wasn’t ruthless enough and, even though I was angry with her handling of the situation, I bailed her out. I looked over at her again as she smiled and inclined her head as though inviting me to join her. I had to give it to her, she was a confident bitch. I noticed she had the usual small entourage of hangers on with her. I nudged Mark.

“Let’s make a move buddy. There’s a babe over there that I know and she’s got a couple of friends with her” I said moving off towards Nat.

“After you dude”

“Hi Nat” I said as I sidled up to her.

“You’re not still angry with me over what happened last time are you Mike” she said as she rubbed herself up against me.

“No Nat. All is forgiven. Anyway, this is a friend of mine” I said pointing in Mark’s direction.

Introductions were made and, as we continued to engage in small talk, I looked out on to the dance floor again to where the twenty year old hotties were still in the groove.

“You’re still not thinking of playing with those babies tonight are you Mike?” said Nat following the direction of my gaze.

“I’ve got no idea what you’re talking about” I said enjoying the verbal repartee with her.

She rubbed herself up against me again, smiled and looked me in the eye.

“Don’t bullshit me Mike, I know what you’re thinking. Does your cock still work?” she said grabbing me by the crutch.

I became instantly erect. Fuck she was an erotic, seductive bitch.

“How much are you going to give me tonight?” she said looking me in the eye giving my erection another squeeze.

“The usual” I said laughing at her audacity.

“Good. Now go and get me a red wine please” she said handing me a drink coupon.

“Right Nat” I said nodding in resigned compliance.

As I moved off towards the bar I had another quick glance back towards the dance floor.

“You don’t have to worry about them tonight Mike, you’ve got a real woman now” said Nat with that haughty confidence as I returned with our drinks.

We continued our verbal repartee and, as the evening wore on, I began warming to her irresistible charms again; she was intelligent, confident, and a highly sexed bitch. A bit after one am Nat decided that she’d had enough and it was time to go. I nudged Mark who he was fully engaged with Pam; one of Nat’s friends.

“We’re going to make a move mate. How about you?”

“Yeah, okay dude. Can you give me a minute?” he said looking a bit uncertain.

“Yeah, no sweat. We’ll be waiting at the entrance” I said knowing that he was probably still trying to negotiate his way around the fee for the night.

The rain was falling again and, as Nat and I stood waiting at the covered entrance, I began to consider the idea of price, and its implications, in this land of layered realities. Price, of course, is a very important thing in Thailand simply because virtually everything is equated to a monetary value. Thai’s, unlike so many westerners, don’t have any hang-ups with this. It’s pragmatic and practical. If you want something, then you’ll need to pay the stated, or perceived, going rate. A bit of horizontal folk dancing with non professionals, such as Nat, will cost more simply because they know, only too well, that they bring a lot more to the table than the average Nana or Cowboy professional. The mindset is the complete opposite to what you encounter in the western world. I’ve had Thai women look at me incredulously and shake their heads in amazement when I’ve told them that women, in the western world, do it for free. “Have they no pride” is the reaction I got from one Thai lady. There’s nothing to be embarrassed about over the idea that what they’ve got between their legs has value and is, essentially, a commodity with a price. Taken to the ultimate degree, the idea that a Thai women’s value is equated as a monetary price, it becomes Sin Sod. Sin Sod is the price a Thai man will pay to the parents of the lady he wishes to marry. It is the estimated potential future worth of the daughter which will be forfeited when she leaves her parents. The higher up you go on the rungs’ of Thailand’s societal ladder, the greater the worth and, therefore, the higher the price. This reinforces the idea that, in Thailand, daughters have more value than sons. Thai men, of course, don’t quite see it that way because the illusion, that’s created through the pampering they receive throughout their lives from the women, gives them an exaggerated sense of their worth.

Thai women although perceived by those with limited understanding of Thai culture, are not submissive and dominated; they are the very backbone of the country. They are taught, from early in life, that they are required to support the family and, when they eventually get married, cater to their husband’s needs. It’s a black and white scenario which is completely unlike the muddled, confused concepts of gender roles in the west. Everyone knows their responsibilities. The angry feminists of the western world don’t see it this way of course. To them, all western single males coming to Thailand are labeled as devious perverts - or losers who couldn’t keep a relationship together in their home countries – taking advantage of the submissiveness of Thai women. Their uninformed judgments’ being expressed from a limited knowledge of the people, culture and land they consider themselves to be experts in. Their spiteful attitudes are the exact reason why so many western males are relocating to Thailand.

Thai women, while appearing to be submissive, are, in actual fact, the exact opposite to what you encounter with a western woman; a Thai woman is soft on the outside and tough at the center while a western woman offers a harder exterior while being emotionally softer inside. The emotional strength of a person is, when it comes down to it, just an extension of the culture you’ve grown up in. The western world has become a culture of instant gratitude and aggressive competitiveness where patience is not something to be admired. Thai culture is infused with the Buddhist ideas of maintaining harmony, keeping a cool heart and enduring patience. Something, I’m sure, the average westerner could learn a lot from.

The problem for so many farang males coming to Thailand is that they try to apply the ideas and principles, of their western experience/culture, to a relationship with a Thai lady. Many, carrying the baggage of a previous failed relationship in the west, become even more bitter and confused when the seemingly soft and submissive Thai lady, they first entered into a relationship with, eventually becomes a much tougher entity to deal with. A Thai lady will give you everything you want and more. She’ll give you the best sex you’ve ever had. She’ll wash you from head to toe, clip your nails, serve you breakfast, and wash and iron your clothes. The thing to never lose sight of though is that this attentive pampering is not to be taken for granted; she will expect her efforts to be rewarded or compensated. The trade off will be financial security for herself and her family. Failure by the farang to recognize, or understand, this will see her quickly lose interest and move on to greener pastures.

“Okay dude, all good” said Mark shaking me out of my thoughts.

He had Pam by the hand and there were smiles all round; obviously she was getting the price she figured she was entitled to for the provision of her services for the night. We flagged down a taxi and sped off towards Nana as the rain continued to fall. A light drizzle was still falling as we eventually turned into Soi four.

“Tai soi” said Mark as the driver began inching his way through the throng that was spilling out of Nana Entertainment Plaza.

The circus that tries hard to imitate life was now in full swing as the late night revelers began to gather in the car park area of the Nana Hotel. Two hours from now the last stragglers, of this show that never ends, would still be milling around trying to get that ideal price for a largely forgettable, inebriated liaison in the dull glow of the approaching dawn. Buzz, Buzz. It was my phone again. I looked at the screen, it was Brian.

“Hey buddy, what’s up?” I said vicariously.

“I’ve got some bad news Mike” said Brian in a fairly serious tone.

“What?” I said feeling myself straighten out a little bit.

“It’s Fon, she’s in hospital”

“Oh fuck, what happened?”

“She was found on Jomtien Beach, earlier this evening, after being raped and beaten” said Brian sobering me up even more.

“Holy shit, it was probably because she helped me” I said feeling my pulse rate starting to climb.

“There’s more” said Brian.

“Yeah?”

“The Pattaya News service ran a report about the incident. To make matters worse they’ve included a photo of you saying that the police are trying to locate her farang boyfriend for questioning”

“Jesus H. Christ. That doesn’t make any sense though mate, I wasn’t even in Pattaya at the time this happened” I said as I tried to slow my heart rate with a few deep breaths.

“That maybe true Mike but the inference is there that you had an association with her. Anyone watching the news service is going to come to the conclusion, as wrong as it maybe, that the police are looking for you over the assault on Fon. If I was you mate I’d stay out of Pattaya for a while. Be careful mate, I’ll talk with you later”

“Cheers mate. Thanks for the heads up”

“Hey dude, are you okay. What’s up?” said Mark as the taxi started to pull clear of the madness.

“It’s Fon, she’s in hospital after being assaulted earlier this evening”

“Fuck dude, this is beginning to get a lot more serious”

“Yeah, it looks as though I’ve run up against some real nasty fuckers” I said shaking my head.

“Well, no problems dude. I’ve got a nine millimeter and about one hundred rounds of ammo up in the room if someone comes a calling” said Mark with a hard edged glint in his eyes.

“Jai yen yen (cool heart) mate” I said as we exited the taxi.

“What’s going on here Mike? Who is Fon and are we safe staying with you guys?” asked Nat with a rather seriousness demeanor.

I looked at Mark and he shrugged as if to say ‘up to you dude’.

“Nothing is going on that will endanger you lovely ladies. It’s up to you if you want to come up to the apartment or you want to be on your way now”

Nat and Pam looked at each other and spoke momentarily in Thai as I paid off the taxi driver.

“We’ll come up but only on the condition that you tell us what’s going on” said Nat with that air of seriousness I’d become accustomed to as we walked towards the condo’s entrance.

Mark and I started laughing.

“What’s funny?” asked Pam as Mark swiped his key card through the electronic lock on the entrance door.

“Telling Thai women something, that should remain a closely guarded secret, is just the same as putting it on the front page of the Bangkok Post” I said.

“Oh, so you think Thai women are all gossips?” said Nat getting her hackles up again.

“In a word, yes” I said as we entered the lift.

“Mike, that’s just a very unfair generalization about Thai women” she said looking at me with a challenging stare.

“Perhaps. The thing is though, the less people there are that know my whereabouts the better it will be for me”

“I see. And you think that telling me about your little problem will make things worse” she said as she pushed her buttocks up against my crotch.

There was no doubt that this lady was an incredible turn on. Besides the fact that she had a fantastic body, and face, she was highly intelligent and possessed the kind of fiery vitality that almost guaranteed hot and furious sex. The close confines of the lift accentuated her scent and sensual power. I was entering into a totally different world than that encountered with bar girls. It was a world of Thai female sensuality combined with an intelligence that challenged you. As the lift doors opened she rubbed her buttocks up against my crotch again.

“If you want to play with ‘white tiger’ you will have tell me your story” she said confidently walking out of the lift.

Mark unlocked the apartment door. We filed in and sat down around the lounge area coffee table while he grabbed the bottles. The girls found some glasses and mixed a hefty slug of Black Label with soda and ice. I gestured towards the balcony and we moved outside to take in the bright lights of the ‘City of Angels’ in the wee small hours of the morning. We all leaned over the balcony and, for the next few minutes, took in the spectacular view while quietly savoring the taste of the Black label. Nat cuddled up next to me and looked me straight in the eye.

“Well Mike, are you going to tell me what is going on?”

“It’s kind of complicated” I said hoping to skirt around the issue

“Try me, I’m a good listener”

I spent the next fifteen minutes telling her pretty much everything that had happened, apart from my liaison with Fon, since I’d been to the hospital to visit Chris.

“What do you think” I said.

She looked at me and smiled.

“I would say that there’s a very strong possibility that you’ve made enemies with some of the worst types of Thai people unfortunately” she said as a matter of fact.

“What are my options?”

“Well, that depends on how you deal with the problem”

“What do you mean by that?”

“You can deal with it the farang way, or, the Thai way”

“Would you care to explain?” I said looking a little perplexed.

“Well the Thai way is too, as much as possible, avoid direct conflict; too negotiate, keep a cool heart, be patient and see what turns to your advantage”

“Fair enough Nat. What’s the farang way of dealing with it?”

“To meet things head on and tell the truth”

“What’s wrong with being truthful?”

“In this country Mike, the truth can kill you” she said with utter certainty.

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