A bunch of my mates came to Thailand and we’ve been having a grand time for the past 3 weeks. The 6 of us descended on Bangkok – a city that will chew you up and spit you out. Of all the things I’ve learnt, the 2 things that concern me the most about my time in this city is that I’m a terrible ping pong player and I’m hopeless at identifying lady boys!
It all started with my mates arriving in Bangkok on 19 December. They had traveled from 3 different countries on some pretty long flights but this didn’t stop them from burning the candle at both ends, even Kaas, who had flown in via Nairobi and was subjected to a 5 hour health check which he doesn’t talk about (but we suspect it involved rubber gloves and KY jelly).
We based ourselves on Khao San Road – the main party street of this incredible city. All you really need to know about it is that the bars and pubs never close and it’s a load of fun throughout the day. The road is closed off to traffic in the evenings and becomes a pedestrian party street – it’s ridiculous fun and worthy of its reputation as one of the worlds party districts. In fact, one friend, who shall remain nameless, was enjoying the night so much that he started chatting up a man who he thought just wanted to be friends (weirdly, everyone else didn’t think he wanted to just be ‘friends’).
I feel the need to apologise to Barkie for my behaviour that night as I was continuously pinching the backside of a girl standing behind him knowing that she would think that he was the culprit. Barkie, who is a proper gentleman and in a committed, loving relationship, became as awkward as a pork chop in a synagogue when this poor girl started showing some interest. Sorry mate 🙂
I’ll be honest and admit I had a shocking hangover the next day. I vaguely recall making a pitstop via a McDonalds on the way back to the hotel and buying enough food for an army and never eating any of it!
I wish I could say that this was the only time I paid for something but never consumed it – a misadventure in Pad Pong the night before saw my mate and I buying the most expensive colas for 2 ‘performers’. Putting my pride and dignity aside, I’ll admit that I was taken for a ride (and no you perverts – not like that): we were played and the separation between ourselves and our money would’ve made a Hillbrow pickpocketer look like a Telly Tubby. Pad Pong is an experience though, you have to do it.
Mom, I know you’re reading this and wondering what Pad Pong is. It’s effectively a circus district like Madame Zingara – very classy and you can rest easy knowing that your son would never do anything involving pimps, strippers and alcohol.
But I digress…
Bangkok is one of those cities which will intrigue you for what at times could be considered questionable reasons but this shit needs to be seen to be believed. The city is certainly one gigantic paradox. Here you have a city littered with Wats and all sorts of temples, yet not 5 minutes away, there is a thriving Red Light District. Most of the local population are still mourning the passing of their beloved King by wearing black whilst tourists are virtually parading around day drunk and scantily clad. It blows my mind!
One such experience that knocked my socks off was a night out in Soi Cowboy. Typically, my boyish good looks, chiseled jaw line and stellar personality generally ensure that women are constantly cat calling when I walk by – it’s a cross I have to bear but I try to do so with dignity :-). As a result of this unfortunate predisposition, I thought I would be ready for Soi Cowboy (my tongue is firmly planted in cheek writing this if you need to ask…).
But Soi Cowboy is something else. I was whistled at, groped, had my nipples pinched, arse slapped, etc. I felt violated. Actually – that’s a lie, I loved it and walked up and down the street 6 times :-).
This street is something else. I played ping pong whilst my friend, Kaas, did the Macarena (and a few squats by sitting and standing for no apparent reason) but certainly the most intriguing experience was a visit to a ladyboy bar called Cockatoo (not a spelling mistake).
I know the men reading this will say that it’s so easy to identify a lady boy. Bullshit. These women/men make Caitlyn Jenner look like a 600lb testicle-scratching, long distance truck driver. I remember repeatedly asking Henry if the people I was seeing were actually men and couldn’t believe it when I was told they were. Although Henry was so enamoured he was a useless source of information. Jokes aside, I actually respect the lengths these guys have gone to to change their identity.
There are too many highlights to write about here and keep you interested, but in a nutshell, it was truly special to see some familiar faces again in a city like Bangkok. From this city, we headed south to the islands, but that’s another post. Right now, my beer is getting warm and that’s a sacrilege.