Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Jae Hak's Summer vaction part 2 - Bankock Boozing

I returned to Bangkok. When I left Bangkok a few days before for Malaysia, I was road weary, sans camera, and a little hungover. Upon landing and having a shocking 3rd easy run through what I had thought was a horrible airport, I was ready to rock. I returned to the same hostel (I knew I wasn’t going to need a comfortable or even private place to stay after 5 days of being rejuvenated on the beach, just somewhere to pass out) and immediately made friends with some random people. After having a couple beers with them at the hostel, I headed off to nearby Patpong. Bangkok has a curfew, all the bars are theoretically supposed to close at midnight or 1, and when I stayed on Khoa San last year, that was very much the case with most every bar. Soi Patpong seemed to survive in a bubble where no such laws applied. Even convenience stores in Bangkok stop selling beer at midnight, but on Patpong, make-shift stands with ice buckets sell beer on the street at 7-11 prices until, well, fortunately I never had to find out, they were always around when I needed them.

Patpong is most famous for two things - its night market, and ping pong shows, which creates an insane and surreal mix of sex tourists (easy enough to spot, as they all tend to be the cliche you would expect - middle-age to old German guys with mustaches) and families. At little road side food stalls, at one table will be a family of Australians or something, mom, dad, 2 little kids, on vacation and going shopping. At the next table will be a 57 year old German guy with a Thai whore too young to be his daughter. Plus, the street has tons of bars and clubs filled elbow-to-tit with late night Khoa San backpacker refugees and drunken English teachers such as myself. It’s awesome.

While sitting at a bar that proved to be my Patpong home, an outdoor bar adjacent to a large open-air club (but with breathing room and cheaper beer) I watched the whores hanging out just outside the bar. Apparently, like vampires, they cannot enter the bar area, despite the bar’s open-air nature, unless they are invited in. I noticed one, who was a total knockout, get invited to one or two tables, then quickly jettisoned to orbit around the bar once more. I began to wonder why, as a couple random 57 year old Germans with mustaches were sitting next to much uglier and whorier whores. When I went to the pisser, I walked to her orbit and asked her why she kept getting expelled. “I don’t know.” she said, in Barry White’s voice. Ah. Good thing I’m not in the market for “her” services. I can usually spot a ladyboy/drag queen at 50 paces, but “she” had me tricked. At least after 97 beers.
A bartender at my home bar took me to a ping-pong show after another beer. I’d always wanted to see one, but nothing could prepare me for how awful it actually was. The bartender told me it was the best one on Patpong. I wouldn’t want to see the worst. Ugly, overweight (Asian!?) girls who seemed really bored and begged me for money every three seconds like it was a Greyhound bus terminal. I left after 5 minutes, and I only spent that long to drink my 750 ml beer that I paid 9 bucks for (an outrageous price for a beer in Thailand under any circumstances).

I went to a lame normal club, and entered junior high. The girls in the club (all of them western tourists) were on the dance floor, and all of the dudes at the club (again, all western tourists) were sitting at tables. I went to the pisser, which had a bathroom attendant, whom I laughed at when he asked for a tip. I fucking hate bathroom attendants. I am much more likely to give money to a panhandler than a bathroom attendant. Get a job, or do something respectable, like panhandling. I went back to the junior high gym. Nothing had changed. I sat down at my table. A girl beckoned me onto the dance floor. She was not cute. If I had to choose between going home with her or the ladyboy I ran into before, at gunpoint, would be a tough call. Fortunately, I had no such dilemma. I could go to one of the cheap roadside beer vendors, and go home alone, which seemed the thing to do at the time.

I drank my beer at the hostel with a bunch of people that dwindled to me and this Aussie-Brit dude. I considered going to sleep, it was after 3 and I was trashed, having begun drinking at 8 p.m. or so, but he suggested splitting a bucket. Buckets being coke, red bull, and a pint of rum, served in, well, a bucket. I considered balking. “I’ll buy” he said. Shit son, you remind me of my high school drinkin’ coach. Now, let’s drink. And so I worked on my half of the bucket for the next couple hours, as we hit on every questionable to ugly backpacker girl that happened to walk in or out of the hostel.

Overall, a great trip. I’d been on a falling plane, para-sailed, crashed a scooter twice, drunkenly jet skied, hiked through the jungle and encountered wildlife, touched a king cobra, and had a run-in with a ladyboy. Easily top 5. It certainly makes me want to go back to Thailand and hit up Indonesia this winter.

Vacation Cat is on vacation

Bank Islam

Protip: when you come across a restaurant that is both packed and serves only one thing - eat there. This chicken joint in George Town (Malaysia) kicked ass.

Standing Buddha Temple, George Town

The largest Buddhist temple in Southeast Asia, so the say - Penang

The king cobra that I touched

Patpong debauchery. To the right, we see a sex tourist, and to the left, a whore. Will a connection be made?

How did I end up in Harajuku? Thai Cos-play kids hanging out in front of the mall for Japan Fest
Japan Fest from the subway, I ran into this boy band in the bathroom a couple hours before - they were obsessing over their hair

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