Hi, I think Iíve recovered from my Thailand trip so Iíll post this update. Iím not even sure how to begin. Iíll start by saying that I had soooo much more fun in Thailand then I did in Italy. Really two main reasons; itís cheap and all the girls in Thailand love me. (Iíll explain more latter)

 

The way I see it there are 4 places to go in Thailand.

Bangkok (wow what a fascinating city)

Pattaya (single guys playground)

Phuket (beautiful beaches and Islands)

Chiang mai (up north, think more of a cultural field trip).

 

I went to Bangkok and Pattaya.Phuket is next on my list.

I started my 2nd R&R leaving Balad (Home) to fly to Baghdad. This is the hardest part of the trip, a lot of searches and standing in lines with other ex-pats going on their R&Rís too. The Baghdad airport looks a lot nicer now. The A/C works and itís all cleaned up.

They even have a duty free shop staffed by regular Iraqis now, who risk their lives just to go to work everyday. (insurgents sometimes attack the roads leading to the airport) They sell liquor, perfume, Levis, watches and other stuff at the duty free shop. The Iraqi girls smile and say ďhowlowĒ when you step into the shop. From Baghdad I fly to Dubai, UAE.

 

Well, Iím still hung over from a night in Dubai. (to much sake at Benihanas, why did I pick up the tab??) Anyway, I make it to my gate and Iím soon on my way to Bangkok. (I sleep during the 5-6 hour flight). I land at Bangkok Airport and quickly find a cab to take me to Nana Plaza. My hotel is across the street. Itís nice enough and considering it was $130 for 4 nights itís a deal for downtown. King size bed, a big room and great service. I meet Sampong. Heís the bellhop. He arranges everything for me and even calls my room everyday to see if there is anything I need. Iím not sure what all heís selling but in Bangkok you can get anything you wantÖanything. I decided to shower and venture out. I strolled to one of the many bars, they are everywhere. I sat next to a nice girl who spoke English well, weíll call her Phon. (I canít pronounce her real name). We talked awhile at the bar and I downed several Heinekens. She had two and at $2.00 each a good deal. (All of a sudden I was buying.)After a nice Thai dinner, she called her boss and got the next day off.She took me to the Grand Palace, Temple of Dawn, Ministry of Defense (I wanted to see the collection of cannons) and The Bangkok National Museum. We ended the second day (ok she actually got two days off) with a private water taxi ride through the canals of Bangkok to this great sushi place. She saved me money on everything. She got the cabs and haggled for me. It was really sweet. Sheís actually half Thai and Chinese, born in Bangkok, 35 years old with braces. She frowned when I started calling her ďAntiqueĒ but it was all in fun. She gave me a nickname too but I wonít tell you what it is. Thatís when I figured out she was smarter then me. I still donít completely trust her. While on the canal trip, this lady paddled up and sold me some ChopsticksÖ100bahtÖ$2.50. We were on our way to eat sushi so it was timely. Bangkok seems to know what you need before you even know what you want.

 

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I arranged to see Phon again the next night and she suggested we meet her friends. I said that Iíd take everybody to eat and then drinking and dancing. They new just the place. Q Bar Bangkok.

 

 

 

Here are some pics from Q-Bar Bangkok. All the girls were friendly.

 

Itís a rockíin place and was full of Europeans and pretty Thais. I felt at peace.You purchase a bottle of liquor from the bar, 3000 Baht ($75), they put your name on it. Then you and your friends drink from that bottle with free set ups. Johnny Walker Black is what I ordered. They were out of Blue. Considering what a normal drink cost in a high end club in the states, this was another great deal. I also found that most Thai girls werenít drinking that much. Hum?? more for me.I go here two nights, Phon got my cover and a bottle of Jack the 2nd night. She didnít have too but it was a nice of her to do so. We drank and danced, only being interrupted by her friend coming over crying. Apparently some guy was rude to her. I offered to kick his ass but the girls said he just left. So I had another drink. We dance and later Phon says ďYou cute danceĒ but I wasnít sure why she was laughing??? I had another drink. I still donít trust her.

 

Another thing about Thailand, itís a poor country. A respectable salary would be $200 Dollars a month, maybe $300 with a degree.I felt like I was rich and I guess I was in comparison. If I went out in Houston and my salary was 20 times higher, Iíd feel rich for sure.Most of the ďworkingĒ girls at the bars and clubs I met are from northeast Thailand (85%) (I talked to everyone) Their parents make $75 or less a month working a farm from sunrise to sunset. These girls are from the Isaan region, speak a different dialect of Thai/Khmer and hustle rich Farangs (foreigners) for money. They seem to do what they do out of lack of opportunity. (Maybe an economic problem, not moral) Their brothers get past 6th grade but they donít because their parents canít afford books for them. They arenít valued as much as the men. Maybe thatís why if you are nice to the ladies they respond so graciously?All these girls send their money home to their parents and donít tell them what they do for a living. Iím sure the parents know but their culture denies it. The girls believe itís their responsibility to take care of the family and help the family make ďfaceĒ (status). Most sell themselves to do so. Itís really sad from a western standpoint, exploitation by the parents. But these girls seem to chase farangs like a sport. They laugh, smile and genuinely seem happy.So Iím not sure who is taking advantage of whoÖÖThe men that see them or the bargirls themselves. There are lots of nice respectable Thai women too but not so much in the bars. But regardless, all of them seem really nice and would all like to marry a nice rich guy. What girl wouldnít??Itís no wonder a lot of Western men marry Thai women. Unfortunately, some of them find out they have married a whole family which they are expected to support. So pick your gals carefully I says. Thatís true everywhere tho.

 

I was a little choked up upon leaving Phon but what could I do. I still donít completely trust her but she did completely disarm me. I new she was pushing the right buttons and I couldnít resist anymore. I was happy to spend on her and her friends. To me it wasnít that much. She said Iíd forget about her but I knew that meant she didnít want me to. Iíll come back to see her.

 

I left Bangkok for Pattaya the next day. So far so good. But how could Pattaya be any better then Bangkok???

 

 

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After the two hour cab ride to Pattaya I arrived at the Rabbit Resort on Jontiem Beach. Deb, the American owner, assured me Iíd like the place and she was right. At 75 bucks a night it was one of the more expensive places in Pattaya but what the heck, Iím on holiday.

 

 

 

My first night in Pattaya and I had no idea what to do. So after I got a 40 minute massage, manicure and pedicure on the beach for 400 Baht ($10), I decided to catch a cab (Baht Bus: you ride in the back) and head down to Walking Street.

I get out of the cab and pay the guy 100 baht $2.50 (I should have paid 20-40 baht). I start walking toward Walking Street, cab couldnít get me there, I had to walk to walking street. figures. I pass through a dark alley, itís about 21:00 hrs, hot and humid and no sooner do I round this corner then 5 girls at this bar start screaming like they just saw a rock star. I turned around to see who was there and, yep, nobody, they were screaming at me. Ok, I could get to like this place. I donít know if they saw me as a walking ATM machine or, maybe just maybe, Iím kinda cute and the fact that I wasnít with a girl set them off. I didnít care because either way it was fun. It was one of the girlsí birthday, 30th I think.

 

I was talking to a lot of girls, they all smile but their English isnít so good and my Thai is nonexistent. I got up from the table, went to the bar and ordered another Heineken. The waitress asked if I wanted another but I wanted to stretch my legs.As I was up another girl comes by and sticks her hand out and says ďhiĒ.I said hi and shook her hand. For a moment I feared Iíd just make a deal using some weird Thai custom. But she was just using my custom of the handshake. I asked her name. She said ďfriends call me SonĒ Then she added ďI watch you from there, you nice to ladyĒ Son is 26 and has a 6 year old son. Her real name is Sonthaya but people call her Son.I couldnít believe Iíd just met another girl I wanted to put in my bag and take with me. Thai women, Iíve learned, are really pretty and like to pamper their men. Itís part of their culture and itís hard not to get swept up by them. I invited her to go swimming the next day and she agreed. After that, I saw her most of my time in Pattaya.

 

This is room service after swimming. We had a great time at the pool. She rode on my back and would pull on my ears as if I was a horse to make me wander around the pool. She even lit my cigarettes. She said ďThey bad for you but I tell you wantĒ Hell, If she figured that out sheís smarter then most girls Iíve met.The next day I didnít smoke. I could tell she didnít like it but she would never say that. We went all over town together. I felt as if I had a girlfriend.

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She kept my hat. She told me ďI keep you buy anotherĒ I guess she wanted it because it had a Moose embroidered on the side. She had a small Moose embroidered on her shirt when I met her. She didnít even know what a moose was. Iím sure she liked the coincidence though. I smiled as I got into the taxi to leave. It was all I could do to keep from crying. I was going back to Iraq. Thailand was so much nicer. Iím still not sure if I understand everything that happened in Thailand. It was so fast. Iíll be back.

 

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