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PattayaPete

Nightmarch

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Pattaya Pattaya

The Fat Over There Cracks a Fat Over Here: The spread of the West is continuing apace. A recent report suggests Australian women are fatter than they were 10 years ago (empirical observation when I return to my homeland suggests this is entirely correct), are not interested in exercise and, more importantly, aren’t very excited about mattress dancing. They’d rather curl up with a good soap opera or watch some inane reality TV show. The results of this study, I wouldn’t mind betting, could be extrapolated to include American and British womanhood as well.

 

The knock-on effect is this: male visitors from these countries are so desperate for a sexual encounter with anything other than their hand they are willing to pay almost any price to get laid. An example. I was told of a dancing damsel in the Far East Rock ogling den (Soi Post Office) who went for a short tryst with a customer but demanded a fee of 2,000 baht for her charms. He paid it. I don’t blame her for attempting to fleece a man with a hard-on; her job is to get as much as she can for as little effort as possible. The clown who coughed up this amount probably would use the care-worn excuse, “Back in England I’d be payin’ 4,000 baht to get me leg over.” Add in the cost of the airfare, transport and accommodation and work it out on a daily rate and then tell me it’s cheap. If you are the person who succumbed to this ambit demand you deserve to have the word ‘moron’ tattooed across your forehead.

 

What Price a Short Time? According to accounts from people living in and around Bangkok when the Pacific phase of the Second World War began at the end of 1941, a short time with a prostitute cost 75 satang (the equivalent of 37 US cents at the time). At the same time, for purposes of comparison, the monthly rental of a wooden house was 15 baht.

 

I’m led to believe, by those who frequent places of this nature, that a short lie down in one of the many establishments along Soi 6 will set the average punter back between 250 and 300 baht for the bar fine and 500-700 baht for a personal guided tour and testing of the lying-in facilities.

 

It’s Up to You, Pattaya, Pattaya: “If you can make it here/ you can make it anywhere/ it’s up to you, New Yoik, New Yoik,” is, from memory, one of the lines of a song entitled ‘New York, New York’. I have been reminded of it in recent times by verbal statements, letters to the editor and a section in Stephen Leather’s new book Private Dancer belittling many of the foreign men who choose to live out their lives in Thailand, and especially Pattaya, rather than their own countries.

 

These tiresome old chestnuts are dusted off and trotted out by people who can’t believe anyone would want to live in a cesspit such as Pattaya, or Thailand in general. They believe anybody living and working here is only doing so because they are incapable of ‘making it’ back in their original home, a First World Developed Nation. Why, they opine, would anybody come to a Developing Nation and ply their trade, whatever that trade may be? They can’t possibly make as much money as they would in their own country. While this is true, in general, it ignores one key factor: not everyone gives a flying toss about making guano cartloads of moolah. Mind you, there are plenty who do, so what about the late Bob Kevorkian, John Everingham (of ArtAsia Press), and Bill Heinecke (head of the Minor Group) to name just three highly successful businessmen who have lived in Thailand for umpteen years? Are they the exceptions who prove the rule? Possibly.

 

As a journalist and writer I have gained far more inspiration living here than I ever did back home in Australia. That may be because much of what interests me on a personal level is available in spades in countries such as Thailand, Cambodia and Laos. Could I potentially earn far more money working back in Australia, or spending time in Britain as a journalist, than here? Of course I could. Do I want to? Not a bloody chance, because I know I wouldn’t have anywhere near the fun I’m having.

 

Equally, I believe I could quite happily settle down somewhere in Africa or Central America and find a million things to pique my journalistic and writing interest. I still wouldn’t receive the same amount of money I could earn in the Land of Oz, but I don’t care. I’ve never been particularly interested in the accumulation of money. If I were I surely should never have been a journalist. Better to have been a property developer or even an ogling den owner (despite their constant moaning about dwindling profits, very, very few ever seem to leave the business; if it was so bad, why do we see more and more of the genre being opened?).

 

To be perfectly blunt, one key reason why so many foreigners settle down in Thailand, and especially Pattaya, is the ready availability of cheap, no-strings, sex. As one wealthy ex-pat American man told me, “That’s what’s great about here and the Philippines and Asia, the sex is taken care of. This allows you to concentrate on doing other things.” What he meant, of course, was that if you required some form of sexual intimacy at almost any time of the day or night, it’s easily available and obtainable at prices that won’t empty the bank. Of course, what tends to happen is foreigners become involved with one particular girl and life starts to look more and more like the West.

 

If money, and the amount you have of it, happens to be the only arbiter of success, then the vast majority of foreigners living here are abject failures. If success is measured by the number of days you wake up and can’t wait to get out and about and see what’s in store, then I think Pattaya is a great place to be. “It’s up to you/Pattaya, Pattaya.”

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Thanks Pete. Another gem of erudition. Have to say that if you chose to move to another third world country in the future, New Zealand would be a good choice.

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Pete, your writing style is terrific. You really hit the nail on the head regarding making tons of money and where it takes you. I have been fortunate in that dep't here in the US and have had the nice homes,porsches.etc....I have come to the realization that my quality of life is WAY more important than all the materialistic possessions. Therefore, I am making my way to a full time residency in Pataya at 52 and will make it work for me.

 

Eric

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