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A bit of my Pattaya, June 2007

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I have no idea what "Shibuya" is.

 

Japanese for "little pig"????

:)

 

Shibuya's a ward of Tokyo, fashion centre for trendsetting young people. :clown: "Shibu-ya" means "bitter valley" (as in bitter or sour-tasting, not pissed off about something. Interestingly, the word "shibu(i)" (bitter, astringent, sharp-tasting) has come to be used in slang to mean "cool/stylish/sharp" when applied to a person's clothes or demeanour. I don't know if that's because of the Shibuya area connection, or unrelated. :grinyes:

 

Little pig in japanese would be "buta-chan" (piggie) or "ko-buta" (piglet). :grinyes:

 

jack :help:

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Shibuya's a ward of Tokyo, fashion centre for trendsetting young people. :clown: "Shibu-ya" means "bitter valley" (as in bitter or sour-tasting, not pissed off about something. Interestingly, the word "shibu(i)" (bitter, astringent, sharp-tasting) has come to be used in slang to mean "cool/stylish/sharp" when applied to a person's clothes or demeanour. I don't know if that's because of the Shibuya area connection, or unrelated. :grinyes:

 

Little pig in japanese would be "buta-chan" (piggie) or "ko-buta" (piglet). :grinyes:

 

jack :help:

 

Ah-so!

 

Perhaps it would be more appropriate to classify Thai360 as a dot.edu website? I learn something new every time I log on... as the Japanese say: "Thaniya University better than University of Tokyo!" (They do say that Fiery Jack, don't they? Whenever I hang out with Japanese in Bangkok - like, both times - they couldn't stop talking about Thaniya University).

 

YimSiam :thumbup:

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I’ve never known what’s good for me, this much is true. I try to do things right, have a good time, nobody gets hurt, but... there's always a hitch.

 

The story basically starts here in the Pattaya Marriott lobby at noon on a Tuesday in June, where a Korean tour group gawks at me like I’m part of the Ripley’s Believe it or Not exhibit, or maybe they’re looking at my 35-year-old drop-dead-wasted Pattaya freelancer Neung, or perhaps it’s the two of us combined that’s shocking them. Anyway, Neung and I, we’re doing our best to look casual, but near cross-eyed from our night of Pattaya’s worst gutter adventures we parse the couches through cheap faux-glamour Walking Street sunglasses, stalling flat-footed in the lobby to suss out little Tou. This Tou, she’s a regular of mine, due to meet us here about half an hour ago, straight off the bus from Bangkok.

 

Neung’s never met Tou before, but she spots her before I do ‘ I guess the giveaway is Tou’s swollen belly under a long t-shirt, and the fact that Tou’s a cheap-looking Thai girl sitting alone in a nice hotel. Neung pulls on my shirt and points to a chair where a nervous white-skinned girl is holding a magazine and trying to appear comfortable. Neung’s right, for once, it’s definitely my Tou: the sharp nose and chin she had done when she was eighteen, gift of a Japanese customer; the loose t-shirt that tries to hide the pregnant belly; the skittish look, cheeks drawn, of a Thai street girl who hasn’t taken care of herself for years.

 

I hate being this fucked up during the daytime (call me old-fashioned), so I’m hesitant to yell or whistle to get Tou’s attention. Nonetheless, before I can start towards her she looks up and sees me, her Kim. It’s that telepathic thing the girls have, they can feel someone look at them, and go immediately into action.

 

Tou’s out of the chair in a second, running to me, and though part of me wants to blend into the scenery I can’t help but give this tiny girl a hug and swing around big enough to catch everyone’s eye. Fuck ‘em: when that wide-eyed group is back in Seoul they’ll be wishing they were in my crazy shoes. I’ve known Tou for three or four years, she’s played various roles and she hoes a hard row, and what I’ve learned over time is that she’s got a great heart and spirit. These days I’m always happy to see her, especially alive and smiling.

 

Once we’ve had our hello, it’s off to the elevator as quick as I can herd these two - there’s a joke in here about herding Thai pussy, but I’ll skip it. Before coming back to the Marriott, Neung and I were at JP bar from about 6 am, and we are looking well the worse for wear. Neung. Ah fuck me, Neung. She and I go back a couple years, probably because we feed our own worst appetites, and the past evening has been no exception. Even skulking through the lobby alone, we turned heads. Now, with a clearly pregnant little white-skinned freelancer from Bangkok thrown in, we’re obviously the main attraction for staff and customers alike... Damn dirty freak-pervert farang, please stand up, please stand up. Yessir, that’s me for the moment.

 

I press 9, the door slides closed, and here I am: 34 years old, on a supposed holiday, and in an elevator with two lifetime hookers well past their prime, one just out of jail, and one at least three months’ pregnant with the child of an unknown customer ... Where did I go wrong, I wonder again? One day, but not today, I’m gonna write a trip report about the 10/10 stunner I took from some go-go, and the great sex we had, and how I love Thailand and like to cook Thai food and study Thai language, and how I’m sending my stunner my money now. One day, but not today. Shoot me the day that happens.

 

This trip started five days ago, in Bangkok, off the plane from my current home in south Asia. I spent a couple disappointing days in Bangkok, then two in Siem Reap with friends from the States. From Siem Reap straight to Pattaya, it was about 4 am the night I arrived when I got a call from Tou, who explained her current dilemma: a few months’ pregnant, she couldn’t work Sukhumvit anymore, but she didn’t have anywhere else to get money from. [Enter Kim, stage left...]. She’d meant to get an abortion once she’d found out about her missed period, but... well, time just passed and she never had the money, and she thought that next week would be fine. Now, with Kim back in the country, she hoped I could help out with that.

 

Of course, at the first mention of pregnancy, I’d pulled out my abacus and started doing the math... and figured that even with the widest margins of error, the most freakish biological deviations, and the effects of the ancient Chinese calculator, there was no way I could be the father. After that, things took on an academic flavor, I have to admit.

 

This is what she tells me while I’m trying to find a quiet space on Walking Street in the early morning, somewhere quiet enough to hear her pathetic story. In yet another of my many moments of poor judgment, and in a poorly-considered attempt to get her off the phone, I told her to get on the bus and come down to Pattaya, where we could talk in more detail. It bought me time to party a few more hours, but also meant we’d soon be face-to-face. Oops.

 

Get on the bus she did, and that’s how I found myself in my Marriott room with Neung and Tou in the early afternoon, listening to Neung and Tou discuss Tou’s options.

 

You might wonder how Neung and Tou share an interest, and why Neung would be trying to help Tou out at all. I really can’t understand it myself, but there’s a strange ‘honour among thieves‘ with these girls, and girls who can link themselves through a specific farang - Kim, say - can in a way expect some kind of consideration. A few months ago there was a fire on lower Sukhumvit and one of my very ex-regulars, Pom Yao, lost her room and possessions. Among the freelancer crowd, consensus was clear: because Pom Yao was an ex-Kim girl, and because Tou was a semi-ex-Kim girl, Tou should help Pom Yao out during her time of trouble. And Tou did, letting Pom Yao stay with her for a couple months, until she got back on her feet again. Strange. Sadly, Pom Yao is no longer with us these days, it’s too bad. She was one of those messes with some spark deep inside that made her special – still doomed, but special doomed.

 

Anyway, this particular bizarre Tuesday afternoon Neung tried to help Tou with her problem, this child she’s got in her, while I stood witness and watched the problem grow ever greater. I mean, not literally, her round belly stayed pretty much the same, but our awareness of just how fucked she was, of exactly how few options she had, grew immeasurably.

 

Initially, Neung took Tou down to Soi X, where there’s apparently a ‘helpful’ clinic. There, the first problem emerged: Tou has no ID card, having lost it at some point in the past couple months. Neung tries to be helpful, making her way through her mobile phone memory until she’s found a friend who will rent her ID for 1K baht ‘ and a promise that Neung will go to the wat and tamboon for the life lost during the abortion... Neung says she would have been happy to loan Tou Neung’s own ID, except that – of course – Neung doesn’t have one either, she says a friend stole it from her a couple months ago to try to force Neung to pay back debts Neung alleges she doesn’t owe, at least not to the girl who stole her ID... but enough about that. I enjoy Neung and her stories, but trust them? No thanks.)

 

Arranging this whole transaction is taking a while, and just after Neung has finalized everything, pregnant Tou arrives back at the room: the clinic can’t do the procedure, with or without the ID. She doesn’t say exactly why, but she says the clinic referred her to another doctor on Soi Y, who can do it, but it takes all day, so she’ll have to go in the morning. For the time being, there’s nothing to do but wait.

 

Tou begs to stay in my room with me and Neung, but I’ve had it with this kind of nonsense so I hand her some money ‘ enough for the room and the procedure she’s going to need ‘ and send her out to find a cheap room somewhere in Pattaya. Poor baby, here she is, how many months pregnant, and she’s being turned out on the streets of Pattaya while Kim and his newer girl go out all night... Sometimes I think these girls play me like a violin, other times I think I’m the height of cruelty.

 

Whichever it is, kind or cruel, at 10 am the next morning, Wednesday, I’m still out with Neung when I get the call from Tou: the clinic won’t do the ‘procedure’ for the 10k that was estimated. They’ve done an exam and, well, she’s not four months pregnant, she’s six months pregnant. That doesn’t mean a total bar to the procedure, however, which will shock some of you, while others won’t be surprised at all: rather than the usual 10k, they’ll do it for 65,000 baht, but it’s her risk. Neung says she’s had a friend die recently of a botched abortion (but I’ve already noted Neung can’t entirely be trusted, and keep in mind that Tou – however pregnant – does still pose something of a rival to Neung when it comes to Kim), and she advises Tou not to do it. Probably more relevant to the eventual outcome, I tell Tou that I’m not willing to sponsor her ‘healthcare’ at that particular level, so... that’s that. I’m not sure why exactly I draw the line at 65,000 – partly the principle of the money, perhaps a little less some doubt of my own that the procedure at that stage is an ethical thing to do, perhaps just a mixed desire not to shell out that much and to get the whole series of events over with and get back to my partying.

 

An hour or so later, we meet again at the Marriott for a goodbye. Tou is upbeat, as always, laughing about her endless bad luck, and agreeing that her best move is to go back to Bangkok and try to move in with her brother and his family until she delivers the baby. No one talks about what she plans to do with the baby, or with herself, for that matter. She asks to stay and sleep a few hours in my bed, but I just see more trouble with that and take the easy way out: pack her palm with a bunch of US twenties and Thai thousands, and send her to the bus stop... I tell her I’ll try to stop by Bangkok before I fly out, but she and I know it’s a lie, and in the end that doesn’t happen: I go direct from Pattaya to Suvarnabhumi with minutes to spare, and no time for Tou.

 

It’s about a month later now. Tou’s resolved to have the baby, although she refuses to call it her baby in her messages and phone calls, instead referring to it as the ‘gik inside’ or ‘my friend’, as in ‘my friend inside come out 2 months’. She says she’s still working Sukhumvit, and I can only hope that means selling beer on Soi 4 after hours, not on her back. Neung, meanwhile, still seems unable to get it back together in Pattaya after her stint in ‘Hong Kong’ (aka Monkey House), and is floating from friend to friend, no room of her own. There’s some Finnish chump in Sweden who might sponsor her someday, but for now, she’s looking at nothing, wishing it was something.

 

I guess what I mean to say in all this is: you never know when a holiday will not really amount to a holiday, and if a girl ever mentions she’s pregnant, don’t invite her down to see you in Pattaya... But most of all, if you see a light-skinned pregnant girl selling beer down around Suk 4 in the early hours, buy one for you and one for me, and tip the kid big, because she’s a sweetheart and she’s got almost nothing else going for her.

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Previously posted - no fair aiming for double credit! Kind of like plagiarizing myself, and while there's very little limit to the things I'm willing to do to myself, self-plagiarism is out of bounds...

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Another epic necro - you have no idea how many times I have wished I could go back to mid-2007 and do it over, but there's nothing to say that it would have turned out any differently. I might not have walked into THAT bar, or talked to THAT girl, but there is always a bar and a girl lying in wait, isnt there ? She called me a couple of nights back - somehow, it still hasn't quite registered that I wont give her any money, for any reason. I particularly wont give her money to open a bar ........ :banghead:

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