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Bankok 2000 |
Th. -Fr. |
Sunday 10th June
Got into Bangkok just after 5. Checked back into the 'Good Luck' and slept for a couple of hours before dragging myself out of bed and taking the no.3 bus to Jatujak market. The LP has it that Jatujak has around 8000 stalls. However many it does have I think I went around them all twice.
They have pretty much anything you could want in the way of souvenirs and sights you'll not forget in a hurry. This is indeed a place for gambling and you can bet on cock-fights (I mean the poultry) and even fish fights, which can last for a coupld of hours.
About 9 hours after first entering the market, I left, triumphant with big bags in hand. On the bus back to Kaoh Sarn I met Suzanne, a British American who teaches in BKK but has also been offered a position teaching at a Buddhist monastery in Taiwan.
As tired as I was, I still felt like chilling out in one of the many bars in K.S. with a beer and a flick. While watching some schlock, 'Pilgrim' I started chatting to Marcia, a Brazilian girl sitting at the next table. She'd left her boyfriend home to come travelling a while (and why not indeed!) After the movie had finished we went over to the Grand to have a couple of games of pool (and by this time I was really, really tired.
As we were leaving the Grand, as Thailand is the land of huge coincidences, I met a Norwegian guy I'd met while travelling down in the South and hey! Marcia also knew the Israeli guy he was talking to. Of course to just leave would be impolite so we stayed a while and I got chatting to Andy, a 6 foot something British guy who trains Muay Thai up in Chiang Mai. He's been there three months already. We started talking about this and that and the conversation steered to Pat Phong. Neither of us had been there and pretty much anyonne who knows anything about Thailand, Bangkok or the Asian sex industry is familiar with the name. So we made arrangements to meet the following night and check it out (just out of curiousity, mind you.)
Monday 11th June
Up late, as is becoming the norm. Set out to do some e-mailing and work on the website and way-hey that was pretty much the day done and dusted.
In the evening I found a movie and dinner in Kaoh Sarn and while eating started chatting to Mirella from Holland. The conversation started as it was pretty obvious she was struggling to eat her baguette (well, one bite at a time, y'know!) Somewhere in the conversation I sheepishly admitted my plans with Andy for the evening. On hearing this her eyes lit up and she immediately asked to join. I was a bit gobsmacked but it was fine by me.
After dinner we waited outside the Grand, my meeting place with Andy. It wasn't long before Marcia chanced upon us and before I knew it she was ony too ready to come along on our expedition. Hey, the more the merrier. She did however have to do some mailing and told us she'd be back in five. At least 25 passed by and neither Marcia nor Andy had shown so I suggested we take a walk down Kaoh Sarn to see if we could see either of them. On the way back from our walk down the road we not only found Marcia but also Andy parked at the bar inside the Grand. Now for any of you who've never been to Kaoh-Sarn road and may find it hard to miss people like this, all I have to say is that Kaoh Sarn is sprawling. travellers everywhere, tuk-tuks and taxis trying to get through the people, vendors on the pathways spilling onto the road itself. It has to be experienced first hand.
Cool, at last we were a group and ready to set out. First we found a tuk-tuk and set the price. The driver told us he'd take us to the best place (which funnily enough was outside Phat Phong.) We baulked when we found out that the cover charge was 300 each, so we hauled the driver back to Phat Phong.
We had a beer and a couple of games of connect 4 at one bar and I asked a 'local' expat where was a 'good' place to go. He suggested that any of the three 'Kings' bars would be good and seeing as we were a group (complete wi' wim'n folk!) we shouldn't get too hassled. So that's where we went and by crackie, we saw things that'd make your eyes water. There were objects coming out of orifices you'd never believe!
While we were there Andy met a Thai guy that he'd met the night before who claimed to be a scholar at Oxford. I'm not saying that he wasn't kosher but I'd been reading in the Lonely Planet that there were a lot of scams going on. Apparently what happens is that the scammer claims to have a lot of ties with the country of the scammed and they always carry around incredible proof of status. Hence when he gave us a business card saying 'Candidate for...' plus the course he was attending, my sceptism grew further. According to the lonely planet what happens is that once a definite connection has been made with the visitors home country then beers flow and rapport continues. All pretty usual and innocent so far, but, somewhere in the conversation a simple and easy bet is made. Probably just for a beer or something. Then the betting gets higher and if there's a point that you can't pay then there's always the possibility of getting into deep shtuck with his mates. Horrified that the girls want to go see a male strip show, this guy takes us to a bar with a whole crowd of beautiful women stanfdng on a stage and guess what, the first thing he says is 'Try to guess which ones are real women.' and starts betting for beers (he'd already done this at the Kings Palace.) Luckily the girls didn't want to drink any beer and of course the club wouldn't let us stay unless we all had a drink. On leaving I voiced my concerns to Andy, telling him what I'd read - and I think that this Thai guy was a little too quick to realise my mistrust. He did his damdest to defend himself - even giving me his business card in the UK so I could contact him while I was there. To be honest I think he tried too hard to gain our trust. After a while of this the girls said they wanted to go back to their hotels and we said we'd make sure they got back okay.
While the guy wasn't nearby, I apologised to Andy if it screwed up his night, but Andy only replied that that guy was boring him anyway. We hired a taxi and saw Mirella back to her hotel. Back at K.S. Marcia bade us goodnight. This left the three of us at the Grand with the flirty barmaids for an hour before I finally hit the hay.
Th. -Fr. |
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