Biting The Dust In Pattaya
Well, another one has bitten the dust and this time her name’s Noi. Her story is illuminative and short. It serves to show just how difficult it is to work in a Pattaya a go go bar and has got me thinking whether I should patronise the places. Of course, I will continue to do so because of the great fun to be had in these dens of iniquity, but I will post Noi’s story so as not to forget. Her quiet narrative is yet another nail in the coffin of all my Pattaya dreams. It is Fun City. It is Sin City. It is the Extreme City. The problem is why the fun, sin and extremity exist, where my role as punter comes in, and how far I can continue to ignore that whenever I see a naked girl adancing, whenever I buy a gorge. a drink, whenever I fondle and carry back to my one-room condo a lush maiden, I can forever forget Thailand’s sea of social ills, that makes my conquest so questionable and my joy so short-lived.
Here’s Noi’s story. It’s from the Isaan, Khon Kaen, where she gives birth to two children and where her lover deserts her. With the arrival of her second child and the desertion of hubby / boyfriend, she journeys to Pattaya, telling mum that she will find work in an office or restaurant. She heads for Hippy Heaven Hotel A Go Go in L. K. Metro and on her first night we converse. I bar-fine her and we consummate our passion within forty-three minutes of bar-fine. I become her temporary taxi and she asks me to get her to a soi in Jomtien. I understand a part of her phone-conversation with a “friend” and I think she is going to be used by her friend and associates. I offer her a room if ever she runs into trouble and I say it sounds like people want to live off her, but I clarify I don’t know if they do.
About three weeks later, Noi is in my room, and every night she goes to Hippy Heaven Hotel A Go Go and dances in high heels, thong and bra or high heels and thong. She seems to be enjoying herself, gets free drinks, makes friends, observes ladyboys near her bar who parade with their testicles hanging in front of their mini-skirts for all to see, including Noi. She usually comes “home” at four-thirty in the morning and crashes out. On occasions she returns much later, at eight, and tells me she went to the seaside with friends. After work she eats a big meal, sometimes two, grabs a motorbike-taxi, returns to the room, showers, and falls tequila-fast alseep. I am treated to quite a lot of nakedness. Noi has small breasts, a flat stomach, a firm bum, a tight vagina, three tattoes, long, reddish-brown hair, and she sometimes reminds me of a farmhand when she stomps round my room. A naked farmhand or a bumpkin or a countrygirl just hit town. If we make love I pay her, and I often give her gifts. I ask her if she is enjoying herself, if she has a day off, when she will be paid, how her children are…just lots of what’s fairly normal up here or down here in my neck of the woods. How are the ladydrinks going? Has a client fallen in love with her? What does she think? Where’s it all going to? It’s not that easy to communicate because Noi is not at English school and I am a failure with my Thai. Let’s just say we muddle along.
She gets her first month’s salary, and the Isaan gulps and it is gone. I notice she has a constant cold, sniffs, coughs, gets hot flushes. Alcohol is no good for these things and of course I mention it. Fatigue is no friend to bacteria, etc., etc. I give friendly advice. I am always glad to leave “her” room because I think I will get sick. It is small, claustrophobic, she is bumpkin-like, it is full of ladies’ underwear, bottles of water, I can’t use it for other Pattaya-lays, she wakes me at four in the a.m. Indeed, I make sure I don’t see her a lot of her. Yes, of course, naked she’s still very attractive. D. H. Lawrence would go mad for her haunches, but something else has kicked in. And I have a better life in my big house with what I created at another time and seemingly almost in another life. It’s called a long-term friendship plus the Thai family in manageable numbers. Of course, I know what’s going on in my “bachelor-pad”. More or less.
Noi goes to the doctor. It’s expensive. She officially lives in Khon Kaen so she goes private here in Pattaya. She continues to work, drink, eat two meals as one, come “home” exhausted. She is never that well, and one day she shows me a series of red marks which have surfaced on her stomach. About the same time she faints in the lavatory of my penthouse-abode. I ask her how long she lay there. She cannot tell me. I am duly alarmed. She ends up in hospital where someone photographs her lying in bed, drip in hand or arm (can’t remember which). She is on antis. Her infections are stubborn and want to continue to feast on her vulnerable body. In my dim brain it clicks that Noi has two children but is not strong.
She starts to negotiate with Hippy Heaven Hotel A Go Go. It wants her to return to work. It wants to fine her for undue absences; if she doesn’t return there’s other money to cough up! She pays her medical bills through the nose, and her money diminishes. She needs to return to work which she does but doesn’t get better. She uses her money to get well and she works to get ill to be fined and to pay her Pattaya-doctors. She declines, that is goes down, that is doesn’t regain her health.
Many beeps on my phone (unheard), but eventually I pick it up, turn it on, learn she needs to see me. The Saturday comes when we can meet and she’s in Sattahip with a friend. “That’s a good sign,” I cogitate, note-ingly. She returns to her room, my room, dressed in a black skirt which rides up, slender, white legs, very pretty face, rouged full lips, young flesh for an old beast, and tells me she’s going home to get well. Her medical expenses will be nil or thereabouts. She strips, treats me to my last look, showers, dresses, tells me she will miss me, squeezes all her clothes into a tiny case, coughs, sniffs, blows her nose, tells me again she will miss me, and I start to feel sad, ever so. She phones mum, thanks mum. She phones Hippy Heaven Hotel A Go Go but has to wait another hour to go see boss-man. He’ll be arriving at eight. She has made money on ladydrinks I presume. There will be some sort of compromise I’m sure. The Thais look after the Thais. That’s what I hope, and I think her a go go is exclusively Thai-run but I’m not sure. Again. We are kissing and telling each other we will miss…exactly what? Yes, we will miss each other.
“Oh, dear!” I exclaim, “what about the keys? I have to go and you can’t lock up without the keys.” I devise a plan to put them in a little plastic bag I pierce to the waterpipe, handleless meter- nob outside my condo. Noi says it will work fine. I go off to a pathetic party on the dark side of Pattaya. Noi’s grateful kisses are soon put aside, but later at eleven-thirty I return to look inside the insides of Nirun Condominium and see the little, white bag hanging there. It has my keys in it. I text Noi. “Dear Noi, good luck.”
If ever she wants her free but gloomy, little penthouse-pad back it’s waiting for her. I’d better not meet another Noi tonight! However, that’s unlikely. I am usually selfish enough not to put anyone in my bachelor-pad, my bolt-hole, and even I didn’t like being woken up at four in the morning. A chastening experience if ever there was one for a sixty-five-year-old beast preying on young Isaan gazelle.