Sunday, May 30, 2010
The Cambodian government announced the completion of over 1,082 kilometers of road in the year 2009. The fragile infrastructure improvement came thanks to Chinese and South Korean investments. The road from Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville remains the showpeice for internal travel, however the important connection between Siem reap and the Thailand border is a national disgrace. Plans for its surfacing have long been delayed by bribes Bangkok Air to local transportation officials. The Thai airlines fears a dramatic drop in revenue should this dirt road becomes a regular highway connecting Bangkok-Phnom Penh-Saigon. Siem Reap and the ruins at Angkor War are a prime destination monopolized by the airline.
I've traveled on the road between Siem reap and the border. 4 hours of bone-rattling ruts and holes large enough to shallow any car driven without extreme care and there's really nothing to see on this trip. Flat ladnscapes of dusty rice fields withering under the sun.
Of course the 4 hour trip becomes 10 hours with a little rain.
A hellish journey at the best of times.
Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen has announced his commitment to renovate and build as many roads and bridges as possible to help people with quick access to other parts of the country that will help ease the time consuming and transportation cost.
In recent years, many new roads have been built across the country.
In many occasions, Hun Sen said when "there is road, there is hope."
A holy Iman dies in peace. He is astounded to be welcomed by St. Peter at the Pearly Gates.
“Sorry about the no 77 virgins. In this heaven we spend our days in the glory of God, who is non-denominational. You’ll meet the truly blessed evolving into the truly blissed.”
The Iman accepts this heaven in all its goodness, but after a few weeks he goes up to St. Peter and says, “Heaven is great, but all those years on Earth when I was preaching about the horrors of Hell, I was often curious what Hell was actually like.”
“Pretty much as you envisioned it.”
“IS there anyway I can see it?” The Iman was slightly bored with the communal utopia of Heaven.
“Of course there is.” St Peter opens the Pearly Gates and points to a set of endless stairs. “You can visit Hell on a one-time visa. Two weeks. Do anything you want. You earned this holiday by all the goodness you create on earth. Get it out of your system and then return to the bosom of the Creator.”
“And I can go now?”
“Anytime you want?” St. Peter walks the Iman to the stairs. He is greeted by doe-eyed houris and escorted to a bar where Jimi Hendrix is playing guitar. Hitler painting the walls and Marilyn Monroe working upstairs in the Satan a Go Go. It’s all great fun and passes in the blink of an eye. The Iman says goodbye to everyone and climbs the steps to the Pearly Gates.
“So how was it?” St. Peter asks peering down the stairs.
“Not like I expected it.”
“Well, at least you got it out of your system. Back to the eternity of bliss.”
Unfortunately his holiday infected the Iman. He can’t stop thinking about hell. Heaven is all communing with the great oneness. He goes back to St. Peter and asks if there’s a way he could go back to Hell.
“Sure, but if you go you can’t come back.”
The Iman looks over his shoulder at the fleecy clouds and angles and prayers.
“See you on Judgment Day.” St. Peter is all smiles and so is the Iman as he walks down the stairs, although this time the houris greet him with pitchforks. Fire laps his legs. His flesh is torn open.
“St. Peter, this isn’t the Hell I knew. Why’s it so different now.”
St. Peter shouts, “That’s the difference between going someplace on vacation and living there.”
Dennis Hopper, the outlaw actor/director/painter/fiend passed away from this world. His film career spanned decades from the 50s to the 21st Century. EASY RIDER created a genius and universal Studio bankrolled THE LAST MOVIE with a million dollars. Big money in 1970. Hopper was given free rein for his movie and he directed a film about a stranded stunt man in Peru and the locals shooting a film with wooden sticks. He would send back the dailies to Hollywood and the executives freaked trying to figure out what he was doing in the high Andean plains.
Mostly drink and drugs, but I saw the film in the 80s.
It was great if only for destroying any credibility Hopper might have with the studios.
He was exiled from Hollywood after this debacle, even though THE LAST MOVIE won a prize at Cannes.
Of course Cannes is not Hollywood and neither was Dennis Hopper.
Get your motors running, Billy.
You'll never rest in peace.
The 1960 film EXODUS portrayed the story of a contraband freighter delivering thousands of illegal Jewish refugees to Palestine. The movie was hailed as a masterpiece and this week two cargo ships are replicating the plot of the film by attempting to break the Israeli blockade on the Gaza Strip. Their holds are loaded with humanitarian supplies and activist passengers. Several smaller boats are accompanying the flotilla and the Israeli military has vowed to stop the armada and arrest all the people on board for deportation. Several earlier attempts to circumvent the Zionist blockade have failed and now the ships are being held by Cypriot authorities who fear any possible blowback from allowing the ships to steam toward their destination.
Unfortunately Paul Newman isn't alive to play his part in this drama.
Mam has several internet friends. She confides in them. Our story is well-known and their comments help guide her understanding of my mania. Our life is difficult since I have a daughter with someone else. I tell Mam that I am faithful, but no woman believes that a an can be with only one woman. My friends in New York don't believe me either. Infidelity is a natural instinct to our half of the species. I can't explain to anyone why I don't cheat on Mam. They would listen anyway. Mam feels that she's living in Hell. Her internet friend says that she can always walk out of Hell. I wish that she could also, because Hell on Earth is no bargain.
I'm in heaven any time I with hr and my son.
Satan moves in strange ways.
Yesterday I celebrated my 58th Birthday with my nearly 2 year-old son Fenway Smith and his lovely mother Mam Pechdee. The location was the Full Moon Bar on Jomtien Soi 12. Beer beer and more beer. Mam decided to drink a little lo khao daeng or red rice whiskey. The local medicinal alcohol medicine reacted a little too strongly in her lithe body and she won the most drunk of our family, although I came a close second. Fenway was the designated baby. Cold sober to the bone. Best Wishes to friends, fiends, and family.
Tristam Dequatremare photoshopped by head onto Richard Burton's body in the promotional photo for the film THE NIGHT OF THE IGUANA.
Susan Lyons was even sexier in BABY DOLL.
Saturday, May 29, 2010
Eric Bedos posted this painting.
1969 St. Tropez Summer
I was 17. My girlfriend was Janet Stetson. Our beach was Nantasket on the Hull Peninsula south of Boston. Barry and the Remains played at the Surf. Paragon Park's roller coaster was constructed out of wood. The structure creaked ominously with the passage of each car. Nantasket was no St. Tropez. It was fun for teenagers in the 60s. Paragon Park disappeared in th 80s, te amusement park replaced by a phalanx of condos. The beach remains for the pleasure of the people and the memories of that era lives within the aging members of "My Generation'.
Monday, May 24, 2010
Nothing on the interet is sacred.
No ideas are original.
That be said I received a note from a reader warning me to not use copied material
I only added this article wth a compliment to teakwoo.com for having published it.
Sorry to have lit the hair up their ass on fire.
The Chinese have an incurable appetite for animal parts to stimulate sexual prowess. At present there are 1000 million more males than females in China. The coming generation of 'litle emperors' or single child famiies will slant the ratio toalmost 200 million more males than femles and th question has to be asked, if the Chinese male has no sexual partner with whom are they having sex?
If so than the Siberian, Asian, and Sumatra tigers will become extinct not for the sake of a delicacy served at Bangkok rstaurant but for the sak of millions of lonely Chinese men jerking off to Internet porno.
Th future of the tiger is in their right hand.
Save the tiger.
The Chinese delicacy 'bird's nest soup' is derived from the bird's nest constructed with the saliva of swifts. The cost of such a delicacy can cost between $30-10,000US. I've never had a bowl of such soup, however Mam called my hairdo a bird's nest or lan-nok last week. I hadn't cut my hair since December. The last time I was in Thailand. Five months growth wasn't impressive and her comment had me hurrying to the hair salon. Within an hour my bird's nest was on the floor of the beauty shop. My return to hippie status thwarted by simple words from someone born 16 yearsa fter the Summer of Love. I do love her. And not only in words.
"Almost cut my hair today." Crosby Stills and Nash.
While on a tour in 1974 which included Australia, Sinatra became enraged by his treatment by members of the Australian press. After a brief scuffle at the airport, he appeared on stage and delivered a hateful tirade against the press, calling them "bums and parasites," and calling the female reporters "buck-and-a-half hookers." In retaliation, the aviation union refused to refuel or otherwise maintain his private jet until he apologized. He never did. He was spirited away in the night after intervention by a high-level union leader.
His comments came after an Australian reporter, female, had slept with him in order to get a story.
His apology was for telling the truth.
Old Blue Eyes did it my way.
Sad Ferguson sounds like she's having a semaine terrible
Fucking London press. Worst parasites in the world.
I was once doing an interview with Rock Hudson at the Deauville film festival.
My interview was focusing on whether you would rather dine with Rock or James Dean since they had shared the screen in GIANT. I felt Rock was the obvious choice. He had good manners. A British reporter wouldn't let me finish my questions and he asked Rock about Jim Nabors. The Hollywood star ignored the interrogation about the star of GOMER PYLE and fended off any allegations about his secret life as a gay movie idol.
"C'momn young boys have been dying for you for years."
"You mind leaving the man alone." I wasn't gay, but had danced with a few men at 1270 and the Anvil. My younger brother was gay. I threatened anyone who bothered him. And not with words.
"I'm just trying to write a story."
"More like tar and feather Mr. Hudson. Why don't you piss off." At the time I was working as a bouncer at the Bains-Douches. I was more than ready to knuckle the reporter. Rock lifted his hand and said,. "Gentlemen, no fists or knives."
I was holding a silver knife in my hand.
"You can't talk to me like that."
"I'm not saying another word."
"You say it with a lisp." I was still itching for a fight. The reporter stormed out of the dining room. Rock thanked me for my not making a scene and we had a lovely lunch. Atlantique Sole and a brilliant Riesling. he said that he felt James Dean was a great actor. All that pain. Every scene in the movie was a struggle with the chaos within the actor. Rock didn't' understand it and said, "I asked George Stevens, the director, if I should do anything different. He said you're doing fine. He then spent hours talking to Dean. It seemed so simple to me. Read your lines and act like your supposed to act, but what do I know."
Rock Hudson was nominated for an Oscar in GIANT. He was proud of that accomplishment.
As well he should have been.
MArriage into The British royal family should be the most joyous moment in a life. Sadly the brides of this generation have been doomed by an unspoken curse. Lady Diana divorced Prince Charles and died in a horrible car crash in Paris. Sarah Ferguson was two heartbeats from the throne as queen, but threw off her husband Andrew, because his royal duties interfered with her life. No one was able to tell her that her responsibilities were to throne nation and family. Their marriage ended in divorce, although the Prince always defended his ex-wife.
"We have managed to work together to bring our children up in a way that few others have been able to and I am extremely grateful to be able to do that."
Her status within in the Royal family improved over the years. Her troubles were financial. She owed millions to her friends and those seeking access to the throne. Things went really bad, when she was scammed by a News Of the World reporter doubling as an Indian millionaire and their film crew recorded the ex-Duchess of York saying, "£500,000 when you can, to me, open doors"
She walked out the door with $40,000 in cash.
It must have gone fast.
Heavy is the head that no longer wears the crown.
Next up nudes in Playboy.
Like mother like daughter.
Sunday, May 23, 2010
I met Big Al in 2002 at Diamond A Go Go. An ex-air force tech said his friend was writing a book. Having written four unpublished novels I subscribe to the old Woody Allen adage.
"Everyone has a book in them. Best everyone keep it in them too."
But I also agreed help his fiend, but i wasn't ready for Big Al Harlow. An extreme boxer living off extra stints in Oliver Stone films. He gave me his novel about robbing drug dealers and doing drugs in LA. It was better than anything else 'writers' had shown me in Pattaya and I edited his short story TOUGH GUYS. Big Al liked it but rewrote it again in his own words.
‘Tough Guys ’ By A.L.Harlow
Mike Delio was working my corner. He’s been my friend and teacher for the past 5 yrs. Mike’s a tough Italian kid from New York. Most of his 28 yrs has been dedicated to the study of martial arts. He’s studied many different styles and as a result was a five foot eight, two hundred pound weapon. I was told on the first day of training: “Al, never call me sensei or master. My name is Mike D. I went through all the ego strokin’, ass kissing bullshit so you don’t have to.”
Six yrs younger then me and by far the best martial arts teacher I’ve ever come across. Mike had lived at a Buddhist temple in the northern jungles of Thailand for 4 yrs. There he learned a type of kickboxing known as Muay Thai. He also studied an ancient weapons based art known as Krabi Krabong, rarely taught to foreigners.
Some of this knowledge was passed down to me.
My name is Big Al. I’m a five foot eleven, two hundred and ninety pound cage fighter. I’m a white guy of German/Irish decent. My head is shaved and I have a silver hoop earring in each ear. My arms are completely covered in tattoos. The tattoo on my stomach says: ‘No Mercy’ in huge letters.
A veteran of many street battles my trophies are scars. The top of my head is marked by baseball bats. My neck’s hewed by a meat cleaver and a weight lifting accident. My mind is fucked from drug abuse and three prison sentences. Did I mention I have no front teeth?
The door opened to my dressing room and Mike D came in. "You’re fighting in five minutes.”
“What kind of attitude is that? Look, if you’re not into this…”
"of course I’m into it,” I shadow-boxed to keep warm and out of his face.
“Something’s not right with you.”
"I’m a little tired, that’s all.”
“I don’t mean just today. I’m talking about the last month or so.”
“Is your girl giving you problems? Are you back on drugs?” Mike said as he grabbed a wrist and pulled me around so he could look carefully into my eyes.
“Man I’ve been clean for over 6 yrs.” I replied, pulling away from him to continue beating up my imaginary opponent.
“Look Al, you know I love you. You’re my friend and brother. Don’t ever forget that. Now give me twenty kicks, first right then left,” he said picking up the kick pad getting into position.
I just finished my kicks when a knock on the door sounded. One of the owners stuck his head in. “You’re on.”
As we walked out the door and up the aisle I could feel the tightening in my chest. People slapped me my on the back and gave the thumbs up as I made my way to the ring. There had to be at least a hundred people in here.
Sean and his brother Justin own and operate this gym. LA Boxing in the city of Costa Mesa. I used to think there were tough guys in LA County until I came to Orange County.
Some of the well known tough guys that came from around here were Tito Ortiz, Tank Abbot, Kimo and Arron Brink. Today I fight Arron. He is six foot two, two hundred and thirty pounds. At 26 yrs old his body is rock hard and chiseled lean.
Everybody has their own way of mentally preparing for a fight. Arron likes to be kicked in the balls. Not just once or twice. I’ve seen him get kicked as many as ten times. I don’t know if he already has children, but I hope he doesn’t plan on fathering any more. They may not come out right.
I was thankful the ball kicking show was over as I ducked under the top rope of the boxing ring. The super heavyweight bout was the main event. This is what people paid good money to see. This was cage fighting at its best. The referee was giving us the rules. Even on the underground fight circuit they try to have some rules.
“No eye gouging, fish hooking, or hair pulling. No kicks to the head and open hand to the face only. Everybody understand the rules?”
The referee looked from me to my opponent before signaling for the fight to begin.
The bell rang and I moved out from my corner of the ring. Arron met me in the center and immediately caught me with a right hook. I’d seen it coming and tried to block the punch, a split second too late. The blow landed in the temple area on the left side of my head. My brain went numb. Technically I was knocked out, though my body refused to fall. My mind screamed out but my hands would not work. Everything went into slow motion. He caught me with a left and another right, splitting the skin above both eyes.
My head cleared a little and I tried to pin him against the ropes with my weight. The blood from the cuts ran into my eyes. I was blind but didn’t give up. He got in behind me and put me in a choke hold. Using all my power I broke away and threw him to the mat. Hearing the crowd’s lust for blood spurred me on. My attack was cut short when I lost my footing and went down. Before I could regain my feet, Arron drove his knee into my right eye.
The pain was excruciating as it shot through my eye socket and into my brain. I was on my back but didn’t know how I got there. The blood ran freely from my ruined eyes. It tasted of iron. I rolled over and pulled myself to my feet with the help of the ropes. Taking two hard kicks to my ribs for my effort. I turned in time to catch his foot as he kicked me again. With his leg trapped against my body, I caught him in the jaw with a right hand. It had little or no effect so I drove a forearm into his face. He came back with a head butt, crushing my nose. I pinned him in the corner and wouldn’t let him up.
The referee pulled us apart. After 3 minutes and 58 seconds the fight was over. I was bleeding so bad the fight couldn’t go on. It was a good day for Arron. We hugged in the center of the ring and I shook his hand, congratulating him on his win.
Mike D helped me out of the ring and to the dressing room. I would have to clean up then go to the hospital. Before we left, Arron came to my room with the help of his trainer.
“I have to tell you. You ‘re one of the toughest mother fuckers I’ve ever fought.” He shook my hand and limped away.
Somebody once said you have to taste defeat to enjoy victory. There may be some truth to that. But that doesn’t make losing any better.
I left the hospital with seven stitches over each eye and an orbital wall fracture behind my right eye. My nose was broken and both eyes swelled shut. It would be many days before I could see again. Mike drove to my apartment and walked me up the stairs.
“Al, what happened in there?”
“He got a lucky punch.”
“Bullshit. There’s no such thing as a lucky punch. You were sleeping.”
“The kid’s a good fighter and he beat me,” I said, feeling old and tired.
“Hell yeah the kids good, but you’re better. That first punch should never have touched you.”
“Maybe I’m getting too old for this,” I replied as I lay back on the couch, wishing I had something to ease the pain.
“More bullshit. I’m going to ask you again, this time I want it straight. Are you getting high?”
There was a long moment of silence before I decided to go ahead and tell him. “Yeah, I fucked up and started using again. Just when everything’s going good in my life I reach over and push a self destruct button,” I said in a quiet voice. Disappointment was emitting from Mike as the words escaped my mouth. In a way that hurt worse then the beating I just took.
“I knew there was something wrong. I’ve seen you come back from some tough fights before, but this time I threw in the towel. I couldn’t watch you take a beating like that.”
“You stopped the fight?”
“Al, I had to. He would’ve beaten you to death before you gave up.”
“Yeah, but I just couldn’t quit.”
“Maybe fighting and drugs are like other things in life; you have to know when enough is enough.”
Many of my friends considered my flying to Thailand an act of a madman. I explained that Fenway and Mam lived far south of Bangkok and I wouldn't be going to the capitol until the next week, if calm had been restored by the military. US and UK embassy warned their nationals to avoid Bangkok. Not all their citizens heeded the message and this week Thai police arrested a UK man for arson of the Central World shopping mall despite the announcement that all looters will be subjected to the death penalty.
The Brit protested his innocence. The Thai authorities were not buying his profession of 'doing nothing' since he was captured on video with a bamboo pole in his hands shouting, “We are going to smash the Central Plaza to shit and steal everything out of it and burn the fucker down. Trust me. Get the fucking pictures. We are going to loot everything, gold watches, everything, and then we are going to burn the fucker down”.
Burning and looting is not my dream holiday, although during the NYC blackout I was a wild man on a mission for a gold lame Elvis Suit.
The year was 1977 and Fiorucci was the style center for the disco world. The windows boasted the latest fashion from Italy. Wearing them guaranteed almost immediate entrance into Studio 54 or any other disco of that era. Joey Arias sold clothing and the rest of the employees haunted the night like ghost panthers. They only went home to shower.
The summer of 1979 Joey featured a gold lame Elvis suit in the front window. I wanted it bad. It cost $300. Almost a week's wages. I tried to bargain him down by offering him free entrance to Hurrahs, where I worked as a doorman.
"I already get in for free." Joey got in everywhere.
"What about 20% off?" That price was still beyond my finances.
"No way." Joey walked off to get an expresso and I went over to talk with Matt, the dweebish store manager. He said he might be able to do something about the price if I went into the backroom with him.
"No, but thanks anyway."
He was a nice guy, but I was trying not to be gay. Everyone else in New York was going the other way. My friends at Serendipity 3,and seemingly all guys at CBGBs. I supposed if I wore the gold lame suit that I would also be converted to the gay world, so I resigned myself to staying in torn jeans and a black t-shirt. As a punk I got into everywhere too.
July was hot that summer. Lightning rocked the skies without rain. On the 13th I was finishing an acting class at Hunter. I was seeing an actress in the troupe. Carla and I were practicing a scene from STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE. I was playing Mitch. Her estranged husband was in the role on Stanley. The coach thought the inner tensions strengthened our personae, but before the three of us could move onto the next scene, the lights went out. in the classroom. In the school. In all of New York<
It was a blackout.
Getting out of the darkened building took the better part of a half-hour. The chaos of Lexington Avenue revealed the extent of the outage. Cars were stalled at the traffic lights. Several people were directing traffic. I asked Carla, "You want to come home with me?"
"No." She wasn't walking to Park Slope and looked over to her husband. He was handsome and his family owned a meat-packing company in the Midwest. They linked arms and strolled into Central Park. He had a penthouse on West End Avenue. She had told me about the view from the terrace many times.
I headed over to Serendipity 3. My friends were upstairs at their apartment. They had run out of ice for vodka and tonics.
"There's no ice anywhere." Tim complained bitterly with a southern accent. He had studied ballet In North Carolina. His good friend Andy was in the ballet corps. He was already drunk.
"I want ice."
"Maybe the Plaza has some." I suggested since the hotel was the epitome of elegance. It had to have an emergency generator. Ice was less than five blocks away.
"Let's go." Andy and I hurried through the streets. People were talking about looting in Harlem. They looked to the north. A radio said Flatbush was under siege. There were no police in sight. City dwellers were marching home. Some said they had been in the subway for hours. The light canyon of Park Avenue was without illumination. Andy pointed to the sky.
"I can see stars."
"Also the Big Dipper and the Bear." He drew Ursa Major in the night. I saw it as a hog. We turned the corner at 59th and 5th. I stopped in shock. The Plaza was pitch-black. We were back in the Stone Age. Ice only came in season. For some reason this new truth angered me and I said to Andy, "Let's go to Fiorucci."
"They won't have ice."
"No, but they do have a gold Elvis suit."
"No one will be working there now." It was past 11.
"Exactly." I picked up a cinder block from a work site. "I'm shopping the old-fashioned way."
"That's looting." Andy was wild, but never violent.
"Just like the Huns." I had Pictish blood in me. We were an old tribe before the 10th Commandments were etched in stone by a bearded god. I strode up to Fiorucci. The gold lame suit shone even in the black of anarchy. 54 was at my fingertips. I wouldn't be Mitch in the next acting class. I'd be a star.
"Stand back." I warned Andy and then heaved the cinder block at the window. The missile struck the plate glass and bounced right back, narrowly missing my skull. Several guards pointed at me. I hadn't seen them in the murk. They chased us to the Subway Inn and we lost them in the crowd at that dubious establishment. When we arrived at the apartment above Serendipity 3 the boys were entertained by my attempt at communal confiscation.
"I didn't get anything."
"But you tried and that's the key to triumph. The first syllable." Tim was proud of his knowledge of Salada Tea saying and I guess I was proud at being an outlaw, although the next day when I tried to go to Fiorucci Joey Arias ordered the security to never let me enter the store.
"We don't accept thieves as customers."
"At these prices I don't know who who's the real thief." It was the best I could come up with on a hang-over.
Fiorucci closed several years later. Disco was dead. I bought the Elvis suit through Matt. It was two size too small. Andy loved it. He got into everywhere. I was not so lucky. I only went places where I knew the door. That was everywhere too, but I really wished I could have been wearing the Elvis suit. Some things just aren't meant to be.
Nowadays I'm a better man than that and heading the other way, finally wise to my mother's advice, "If you see trouble, head the other way."
If only I could have been so wise with women.
“The true man wants two things: danger and play. For that reason he wants woman, as the most dangerous plaything.” Frederich Nietzche.
Read the rest of this news at Andrew Drummond's blog. He's the best reporter in the East.
A few farangs this past week have blamed the violence rocking Bangkok on the old elite, claiming that five families rule the country. The red shirts seemed to have targeted the shopping malls of their political rivals, the yellow shirts. The drama between the classes is a mystery to most foreigners and a widely accepted way of life to the majority of Thais. I googled 'thailand five families rule' and the search engine offered thousands of five-star hotel rooms without a single url leading to information on the ruling cliques of Thailand. A second attempt on Thai hierarchy revealed little of the ancient class structure other than saying that the King comes first.
He is the one pure Thai.
His family is deemed second followed by lesser nobility and then monks. Social status retreats from this monolith according to income, occupation, education, age, connections, and family, which is why Thais are inadvertently curious about your life in the West.
Are you hi-so ( high society) or lo-so (low society).
Thais are zenotrophic enough to consider all farangs lesser than the the lowest drunk in the Klong Toey slum, but they can recognize status with a glance. Twenty years go I was befriended by an aged female member of the royalty. Anana liked me because I knew New Paltz. She had attended the teaching college there in the 40s. The 70 year-old had a school in Yala. I was one of the few westerners in that town.
"Why are you here?"
"I'm a writer. It's quiet and out of the way." Yala back then was peaceful.
"Too quiet." Anana assumed most men were in Thailand for women.
"I like quiet." The search for sex was partially true for many foreigners, although I didn't have a girlfriend in the provincial city. Anana accepted my answer as a half-truth and asked if I wanted to drive her to Chiang Mai. Yala to Chiang Mai was a long way, but I was game for a road trip. We took off in her BMW and stopped at temples along the way. The monks greeted her with deference and greeted me as if I were part of her family. It wasn't until we visited Songkla for a seafood dinner that I noticed how high was her placement on the social ladder.
We entered the airy restaurant without any fanfare, but the owner immediately fell to his knees. The rest of his staff followed suit as did the diners. We walked through the still dining area to a table vacated by the previous guests. We sat and Anana signaled everyone to rise.
"Now you see why I like you. You greet me like a normal person. I only wish that Thais could do the same."
We had a delightful meal during which she discussed THE KING AND I at length. "No one in Thailand has seen this film. It's too much fun and the king is not fun. At least that's the way the Thai people think of their father."
And with good reason.
The King has presided over the rise of his country from a 3rd World pit stop to an economic miracle, however the riches reaped by the nouveau elite challenge the old ways. Several years ago I was at a golf range and the Thai pro asked if I could move to another slot. I could tell the request hadn't come from him and turned around to see several Mercedes parked behind us. Their occupants were dressed in the height of shopping mall splendor. I was wearing Celtic green.
"Tell them to wait a few minutes." I only had five balls left in my basket.
"They want you go now." The Thai pro didn't look in the direction of the parking lot.
"Really." I waved to them that I'd only be a few minutes. Their eyes bulged in their sockets. One of them came up to me and said in good English, "Do you know who we are?"
"I suspect you come from good families and as such well extend the good manners of your class to an older guest of your country. Thank you." I teed my ball and duffed my drive. They laughed at my shot and the next one went about 50 yeards before burrowing into the grass. My third and fourth attempts flew left and right about 200 yards. More laughter and I placed the final ball on the tee. I looked at the distant 300 yard marker. I concentrated on the ball, the air, and my target and swung with all my might. The ball launched into the air about 200 yards and fell straight down 100 yards from the driving platform.
I shrugged to the Thai pro and tipped him 200 baht.
I waved to the Mercedes mob and got on my motorcycle to drive home.
Not a King, but a master of a bad swing.
Saturday, May 22, 2010
Thailand survived the red shirt rebellion. The repercussions of the violence, the shootings, and anarchy will resonate through the country like a tsunami striking distant beaches. The final outcome remains to be seen, but for the moment peace and calm are the order of the day. Bars are re-opened and the girls are desperate for customers to earn enough money for that sick buffalo up-country.
Mam is very suspect of my moves in such a time. I wake up early to go to the Internet cafe on Soi Buahkhao. It's far from our Jomtien apartment, but the only cafe open 24/7. Mam thinks that I'm out hunting for a bargain with the drunk go-go girls exiting the karaoke bars. I see these beauties wheeling down the soi in high heels like off-balance spinning tops. I have no desire for them, although Mam doesn't believe me.
"You like drunk ladies."
"I only like you drunk." It's the truth but no women believe men. Not if they know what's good for them. In her head I'm having sex with two or three women at the same time. I wish I could see her fantasies. They have to be better than mine.
Western men fantasize about having two women at once. Their aspirations range of girlfriends, mother-daughter, sisters, twins, fat girl/skinny girl, lesbians, dildos runs beyond the scope of most imaginations, however men rarely accomplish this goal for most women are prudes.
Having sex with a man already tests their limits, let alone messing around with a member of the same sex to satisfy a man’s warped perversions. Of course escort services in the West avail themselves to attain this Nirvana, but the hour-long session between two hardened pros would cost your car payments for a few months. And let’s face it only losers walk.
Not so in Pattaya.
A farang can go into a go-go. A beautiful girl will on hislap. Her skin has the texture of a shaved peach. Two Viagra counteract the effects of the 15 beers drunk in a cheap beer bar. blood flees his brain for its lower auxiliary station. Its activation is signaled by the tent pole rising under his trousers. The little exotic dancer knows what’s in store. Five hours of hard-core sex. A hard pace for any woman's vagina and she surprisingly offers the farang an opportunity to address a long-suppressed desire.
“You want go with two ladies?”
Want? He's been living for this day or night.
“Damn straight I want.”
Normally the girl will pick out a friend. Sometimes a girl who hasn’t been barfined in months. Sometimes a lover. The farang doesn’t care, because his skull is pounding with libido soup.
His hotel is too far and the two girls invite him to the nearest short-time room. It has mirrors on the walls and ceiling. The lighting is dim red. The perfect setting. The girts shower the farang in a state of complete nakedness. They laugh as they hang a towel on his member. He think it’s funny too, but swears to wipe the smile off their faces.
Then it’s show time.
He's seen a thousand porno movies enacting this moment and now gets a chance to play movie director. The girls initiate the a lesbian show, since better for them to play with each other than a sex maniac ie the sex-crazed farang.
Once more he doesn’t care, because they are making the right noises and his eyesight is fading in and out with the hot flashes pounding his temples.
Warning: this is a danger sign of having consumed too many ‘blue boys’ or Viagras.
Again he doesn’t care, because if he dies, he’ll die like a champ.
His patience snaps when they lay on the white sheet in a classic 69.
They look so happy.
The farang wants to be happy too.
From here on in, it get too pornographic and there’s nothing really pretty about a middle-aged guy acting like a football quarterback who’s scored the opposing team’s cheerleaders.
Within thirty minutes it’s over.
His heart is thumping like a gorilla banging a bass drum and the girls are dressing to get the hell away out of the room before he demands a second act. The door shuts. The farang alone, but not too alone, because he set his mobile phone on record and will be able to replay his performance to friends in foreign places via the magic of the internet.
“I’m glad I didn’t go to Disneyland this holiday.”
And the farang says it knowing that he meant it and he hadn’t meant anything for years.
We should all be so lucky.
Darwin furthered the theory that Mankind's domination of the planet was the result of survival of the fittest. Joyce Brothers attributed our supremacy to the fact that we smell bad and taste even worse to predators, however my opinion is that we have survived the onslaught of the ages, because we're too stupid to realize our precarious at the top of the heap and the above photos prove my point.
And you have to figure that North Korean leader Kim Song Il has to be a perennial contestant for the Darwin Award especially for attacking his southern neighbor's ship and thinking he can get away with it.
The sad thing is that he probably can.
World Peace seems an unattainable goal, especially with the news that North Korea's leader ordered a submarine to attack a South Korean navy vessel in contested waters. This report from US Intelligence agencies is not conclusive, but all fingers are pointing at Kim Jong-il as the triggerman. North Korea refused to admit any responsibility despite the evidence; external explosion marks and recovered remnants of a North Korean torpedo. This aggression was supposedly revenge on the humiliation of a North Korean vessel last year and Kim Jong-il says that any retaliation would be considered an act of war.
Obviously the little man wants to see how far he can push the West.
Four atomic bombs in his pocket.
"Everyone can kiss my midget ass."
He is after all a man of the world.
NORTH KOREAN JOKES
At the museum, there is a painting in which Adam and Eve are holding an apple.
A Briton says, “They are Britons. The gentleman is sharing a delicious apple with a lady.”
A Frenchman says, “They must be French. They are walking around in the nude.”
A North Korean says, “They are North Korean. They have no clothes and little food but think of themselves as living in paradise.”
A Briton, a Frenchman, and a North Korean are having a conversation.
The Briton: “I feel happiest when relaxing before the fireplace on a winter night.”
Frenchman: “You guys are too old fashioned. I feel happiest when I go on vacation with a beautiful blonde and then bReak up with her up on my way home.”
North Korean: “One night, somebody knocked my door. When I opened the door, he said ‘Kang Sung Mi, You are under arrest!’ I felt happiest because Kang was actually my neighbor.”
Friday, May 21, 2010
Mam watched me sleeping like the dead last night. My snoring kept her awake. Jet lag was taking its toll. The curfew in pattaya was over and Walking Street was ready for 'business as usual. Mam gave me a green light to go out with Sam Royalle. I told
“It’s holiday. Go out with friend. Don’t come back until you mao kah.” Basically meaning get legless.
"Are you sure?"
"I want good night sleep. Not come back for boom-boom."
"No problem." It was already 9pm. I was ready for pillow land. If I didn't leave now, then I'd never go. I kissed her good-bye and rode my Yamamha Neuvo to Walking Street. No police in sight.The parking attendant asked where I had been. I told him 'New York'.
"Long time no see." It was nice to be remembered and he accepted my 100-baht tip with a wai. He needed it after the three-night closure for security measures.
Sam Royalle was waiting at What’s Up a Go-Go. The manager is a tom boy. Several of the dancers are fag hags. A good number are lesbians. Few of the male customers notice this, because near-naked girls dancing to techno tend to appear straight to a drunken farang, however several girls were glaring at others with jealousy, as a pretty girl was bar-fined by a westerner khang-noi or little elephant. Some of whom are not so little.
At first I thought it was envy, but realized the vicious look directed at the male was that of a lover. The Jefferson Airplane once sang. “Saddest thing in the whole wide world, see your baby with another girl.” Same goes for a girl going with a man.
I asked Oy, the manager, if her girlfriend gets jealous.
“Huung like a snake.” She rolled her eyes mentioning the real Thai word for jealous. “My girlfriend thinks I have sex with every girl here. But not true. I only love here.”
“So you don’t look at any other girls?”
“Looking not same as making love.”
“So when you look, you don’t think about making love with the girl.”
“I not say that.” Oy ordered a round of kamikazes to shut me up.
My friend’s girlfriend was cuddling with another friend’s wife. The two appeared comfortable and when the wife went to the ladies room, I asked the girlfriend, “I know you like girls. Why you go with my friend?”
“He has good heart.” Cher looked across the bar to where he was buying a dancer a drink. She raised a thumb to approve of his choice. They would share the performer for a ménage-a-trois later. “But if I not have him, then I stay with lady. Better than man. Lady love you. Man only want to_____you know. You not think girl love girl bad.”
North Hollywood sells several billion dollars worth of DVDs dedicated to lesbianism. I wrote a novel about it. NORTH NORTH HOLLYWOOD. Men fantasize about a love triangle incessantly, only this solipsical equation doesn’t run true to the dream. Girls who like girls like boys only because they really like girls. At best you’re a man-slave. At worst you’re a spectator.
In 1975 I was hitch-hiking in Big Sur. A hippie. It was getting dark in the forest on US 1. Cars were few. The trees were huge. Camping solo seemed my only option, until a pick-up truck stopped. Two men scurried from the flatbed and ran into the forest like they were wanted fugitives. Tow women were in the front. Both cute in a rubenesque fashion.
“Where you headed?”
“We’re going to San Diego. What you think about getting some wine and camping with us tonight?” The cuter one asked from the passenger seat.
“Cool.” And I jumped in the back.
1975. Over thirty years ago. Long hair. Hippie girls. Big Sur. We bought a jug of wine and drove off the road to a grove of redwoods stretching into a cobalt blue sky. Stars were glowing above the treetops. We exchanged names. Theirs were Flower and Sammy. I gave mine as James.
“James Bond?” Flower was older and had long brown hair.
“James reefer Bond.”
Both of them laughed and Flower tolled a joint. She wore overalls without a bra. Her breasts were big. Sammy’s were small. We started a fire and ate fruit, smoked pot, and drank wine. Within 30 minutes we were naked on a scratchy blanket. They called my cock 007, even though it wasn’t that long. We had sex throughout the night. Flower could take everything I gave her, but the second I entered Sammy my pleasure reached a climax like a storm wave.
Hardly one in-and-out.
Flower didn’t like this. I was supposed to be a tool. As the dawn broke over the redwoods they withdrew began a long sumo wrestling match into a 69 Death Grip excluding any male touch. Flower sneered at me, as if her groans were merely a subterfuge to entice Sammy into this embrace.
They had pulverized my libido and I understood why the other tow men had fled the truck. I crawled away from the redwood grove and caught a ride south, knowing that girls like girls and that was it.
Same in Pattaya.
My friends think these girls are experimenting. Most are tom-dee or lesbians and like Gore Vidal said, “Once is experimentation. Twice is perversity.”
They’re only playing a game otherwise.
I left my friends that night and returned home. Mam and my son Fenway were asleep. I lay on the bed and read a little. Ezra Pound. Within a few minutes I was asleep, because there was only one woman in my menage-a-trois. All the otehres are in my head.
When I first arrived in Pattaya 1991 go-go bars posted a list of rules on the wall. No photos, no fighting, no guns, no hand grenades, no durians. A few bars even had dress codes. Shirts and shoes required by male patrons. No bare feet allowed on the premises other than on stage. Otherwise most anything else was open game.
Farting, burping, groping, flirting, cheating, lewd suggestions, and sexual impropriety were forgivable as long as a customer’s flows into the cash register with the regularity of a Christmas goose’s BMs, however certain transgressions can provoke angry and even violent consequences threatening life and limb, which is why go-go veterans have assembled a rough and revolving code of ethics for behavior within a go-go bar.
RULE #1 Never fall in love at first site or sight.
You might not have had sex with a human being for a decade, but the blood pounding in your veins as a naked young girl sits on your lap is simply the re-activation of long-dormant lust sensors. Do not confuse the reaction for love.
RULE #2 Ignore rule #1.
If you haven’t had sex with anything human for ten years, then what’s the harm in fooling yourself into thinking someone could love you after meeting you for several seconds. It only hurts the pocket.
RULE #3 Groping is acceptable, but within limits?
Check the bar. If you see a Thai or farang glaring at you for no reason. The reason is probably on your lap.
RULE #4 Flattery will get you everywhere.
Narcissism is a Thai obsession. Check out how crowded the beauty salons are before opening hours for the bars. Thai bargirls love hearing sweet talk or barg-wan and will believe anything you tell them. The downside of this trust is that they remember everything word for word. “But you say…”
Beauty skin-deep covers a viper’s wrath.
RULE #5 Beware of getting rat-packed.
Generosity is all good and well, however buying drinks for the go-go dancer of your choice, the mama-san, the toilet girl, two waitresses, and the DJ can deplete your ‘fun’ funds faster than a crack binge and within 30 minutes the bill could run into the thousands, so you experience ‘chek bin’ sticker shock. Better to buy your love interest a few drinks and tip her a 100 for her attention.
Lady drinks only earn them 20 baht?
If she calls you ‘kee-nio’ or cheap, then bail on this ungracious demi-montaine. You haven’t lost her forever, because one slow night that one-hundred baht tip will make her greet you with a smile.
RULE # 7 Is it real or faked?
Beware of excessive amorous behavior from a dancer. This enthusiasm usually dies the second after you bar-fine them and back at your hotel room no candles or champagne will re-kindle their ardor.
RULE # 8 Don’t start fights.
Just because you’re 6-3 and fought your way through Iraq doesn’t mean that a 41 kilo 4-10 go-go dancer can’t KO you with a high heel. And once it starts, you’ll suddenly realized that Thais never fight one on one.
“Where’d all those Indians come from?” General Custer.
RULE # 9 Don’t speak Thai in strange bars.
Fluency in this language is the kiss of death to most spinners ie beauty queens. Speaking Thai reveals you have a wife, girlfriend, or have been here too long and they wonder why you haven’t been deported by Immigration.
RULE #10 Don’t dance on stage.
Nothing looks more ridiculous than a fat farang imitating a go-go dancer on the steel pole unless it’s a vid-cam recording of this foolish the morning after. All go-go bars have CC-TV. Smile.
Survival in the trenches of the go-go bars can depend on these rules or not. Who gives a shit what happens in the end? It was only money and there’s plenty more where that went. In the end there are only three real rules.
Rule #1 There’s always tomorrow night.
Rule #2 There’s more of that where that came from.
Rule #3? You never lose your girl, you only lose your turn.
All that said once you’ve been here it’s impossible to go back to the USA or any place else in the Western World
The Pattaya Times released an article last month about the death of Thaksin. The rumor of his demise gained legs with the appearance of his sister entering her Pattaya condo in black along with whispered stories of his family attempting to smuggle his body into Chiang Mai for cremation rites. The date of his death is supposedly April 29, however photos recently hit the internet of his shopping spree in Paris.
Shop until you drop.
Another rumor from the mouths of the uninformed is that the renegade general leading the red shirt was killed by a foreign sniper.
"I am a shooter." I was speaking with a mercenary at the Buffalo Bar. The girls asked about my dog Champoo. The military auxiliary name was Charlie. He thought they were talking about him. "I saw that shot on videotape. Seh Daeng was surrounded by scores of people. The shot took off the top of his head and hit no one else. Only six people in the world could have made that hit."
He didn't say their names.
The other urban legend is that shopping malls burnt after the surrender of the red shirt leaders were arsoned by their owners to recoup on losses during the month-long confrontation. More tales will hit the mills in the days to come, but for the moment I'm glad to be with my sin in Jomtien.
My love for him is strictly the truth.
My family first came to Thailand in the 19th Century. Great Grand-Aunt Bert arrived in Bangkok on a clipper ship. Her father was the captain. The year was probably 1879, but on her 100th birthday she recounted seeing a city of golden temples surrounded by a jungle. "And all the women had black teeth from chewing betel nuts."
Not many women in Bangkok follow that old tradition.
In fact Thailand is hard to recognize as Thailand in its cities with the spread of 7/11s, shopping malls, and fast food restaurants. I was sitting last night with Boy on Soi 12. The police had come down the street, but said nothing about shutting down the Full Moon bar. The owner was worried about a fine and Mam, my wife, was concerned that I might get arrested for drinking a beer past the witching hour on 9pm. It was time for me to go to bed with my son and my internal clock was arguing for pillow time. I drained my glass. Mam was frustrated by my lagging behind her move to home.
"I can only drink as fast as I can."
"You want go jail? You go jail. Then who take care of Fenway?" She stormed off to our apartment. A man's stupidity is a match to the Molotov cocktail of a woman's anger.
Boy shrugged acknowledging it was time for me to go. He was only 21, but he had a wife too.
"This bad time for Thailand. Everyone not know what come next." Boy was one month out of prison. The police had arrested him after he outran them during a house search for ya-baa. Instead of two months he got six. His skin was recovering from the worm infestations in the filthy cells. He didn't talk about the time in 'krook'. It was the same story for everyone busted for 'adung'. Bad.
"No have any farangs come." I had passed through customs the only westerner on the flight from Tokyo. "Everyone scared of the mob."
"Many dead. Many shopping mall burn too." Boy listed several the biggest being Central Shopping Mall on Ratchaprasong had collapsed in flames. "Belong to yellow shirts. Red shirt shopping mall not burn yet."
"Why not yet?" The leaders of the red shirt movement had called for their followers to torch special targets in the city to hurt the pockets of the five families ruling Thailand.
"Because people not realize shopping malls not Thai. Same 7/11 and KFC. Not Thai and change Thai people. Paeng too. Everyone spend money on junk. After pay money to bank. Have no money to eat or drink beer." Boy lifted his empty bottle of Leo. It was a national beverage. Moon the owner of the bar brought him another. The supposed curfew began in 10 minutes.
"So Thai people are angry at the shopping malls?" I never went to them. The food was poison and the clothing bland. They were as bad as the ones in the States, only the Thai consumer was not as fat as my countrymen.
"Yes, they love them, but hate them too." Boy sold ja-baa to pay off a debt to a loanshark. He liked smoking a little too. Now he could pass a police piss test. Most everyone coming out of prison could do the same, but not everyone. Drugs were available in jail as long as you had the money. Everything else was too, except escape. "When I was young boy. Have no 7/11. Drink water from well. Eat food from farm. Now everything different. Everything not Thai. Food not have taste. Only beer still good. Everything bad now. Air bad. Sea die. Puying get fat. But can not say this. People think you crazy. They love KFC. Pizza Hut too."
"And you?" I first visited Thailand in 1990. 111 years after Great-Grand Aunt Bert. abngkok was a city of few skyscrapers. The Malaysia Hotel had rooms overlooking the pool for $20. The city was a pleasure dome. Robsinsons across from the Dusit Thani was the city's sole shopping mall. Up-country was dirt roads through gleaming rice paddies. Everyone greeted you with a wai and a smile.
"I like pizza." He sang out the telephone delivery number for Pizza Hut.
"Sorry, but they're shut." I hated Pizza Hut pizza. The dough tasted like cardboard and the tomato sauce like ketchup, still I wouldn't mind a slice. Boy nodded his head toward my door. Mam was waiting with Fenway in her arms. I was a bad man and bad man can expect a long night of hard glares.
"See you in the morning." My glass was empty."
"Chok dee." Boy toasted my departure with a full glass of iced beer.
"Thanks." I could use all the good luck in the world.
And so could Thailand.
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Several years ago my daughter was playing in the street in Pattaya. A pick-up roared down the street like the driver had murdered his wife and was bell-bent for the border. From my perspective the bumper came very close to my little precious and I chased him on my motor scooter to verbally reprimand him.
At the corner I slapped his door with my open palm. A clumsy move and I swerved off my bike rather than zoom into the main street.
As I struggled to right the Yamaha, the neighbor who appeared to have such a small head through the windshield, got out of the car. The small noggins was attached to a King Kong body with football hooligan tattoos, which I only noticed a nanosecond before his first punch.
Lefts and rights broke my nose and gashed my eyebrow. Grappling his arms, I realized, “Shit this guy is strong and knows what he’s doing.”
Finally he was out of breath and asked, “Had enough?”
“Yeah, but you’re still a cunt for nearly hitting my daughter.”
We left it like that.
My Thai friends from the Buffalo said we have to get him.
Gae-kaen or revenge.
“But not today.” They advised. “Wait, we get him later.”
Their suggestions were a beating or vandalizing his truck. “We do. You not worry. You not call the police?”
“No.” calling the police only meant you had to give them money without any guarantee of satisfaction.
“Good.” The Thais like keeping the police in the dark. “No know. Good.”
My wife looked at my black eyes and bruised face. “What you want to do?”
“Nothing right now.” Taking a baseball bat to his windshield or slashing his tires would escalate the conflict to the point where someone would get hospitalized since Pattaya is packed with lager louts and hooligans avoiding travel in Europe now that Spain has an extradition treaty with the UK. Fascists to a man.
“Good. Better to have jai-yen.” She kissed my cheek and gave me a beer.
My farang friends asked, “What happened to you?”
I explained the situation, but changed the story to say that my assailant was an 80 year-old man.
“Some of these geezers are wiry and fast.”
“What are you going to do?
“Nothing as long as he drives slower in the neighborhood.”
Doing nothing felt funny. George W Bush wouldn’t do nothing, but the Pentagon wasn’t in my back pocket. Nothing seemed wrong, especially when the skinhead lout drove by my house every day. With a pit bull in the back. At least he was going slower.
Doing push-ups to build up my muscles was a waste of time.
I’m no longer a fighter.
But I am vicious and spotted a cluster of red ants in my mango tree. Normally I would have sprayed them with a pesticide since they are wicked biters. This time I went into the kitchen and brought out a pot of honey.
“Winnie the Pooh.” My daughter called out as I coated the leaves with the sweet sticky honey.
My wife took one look and said, “Gae-kaen.”
I nodded my head and waited for the ants to gather their clan.
Red ants swarmed over the leaves to get at the honey. Within an hour the branch bent under their weight. By dark they numbered in the thousands, thanks to my attentive resupply of honey. My wife took a drive around the block and reported that the truck was parked on the street.
A week had passed. A month would have been better. But I wasn’t waiting.
I coaxed the red ants into a paper bag. It actually felt heavy and then I dressed in black. Camouflage for the night. I crossed through several backyards to the adjacent street. No dogs barked out a warning. The skinhead’s truck was sheltered under a tree. I snuck up to the driver’s door. A dollop of honey on the door handle. Another under the door. I checked the street and uplifted the bag . A little too fast, because the ants fell more on me than the door.
Thousands of them sought my flesh.
Hundreds of them found it.
I threw down the bag and ran into the darkness.
My wife spotted the welts. “Gae-kaen.”
“Better to have a jai-yen.”
Revenge is always best served cold.
Especially with red ants on hand.
'Order has been restored in Bangkok' according the the Thai military. The red shirts have been ousted from their strong points. Their leaders have surrendered to the police. The government has rescinded its offer of November elections, yet Thaksin calls for further resistance against the dictatorship of the Abhisit regime. The red shirt revolution will heed his call, but one has to wonder what other demands the protesters issued to the government other than the 'end of dictatorship'.
I could find none on Google other than a call for Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban to be prosecuted for murder of innocent civilians.
Where are the calls for justice for the poor, free education or health care or the end to cronyism and corruption.
The poor people in Thailand remain the victims of a life-long oppression by 'dark forces' ie the elite or am maat. Bad schools, terrible health care, and crushing debts force the people to obey their betters or starve.
Why are cars more expensive here than in the USA?
Because the rich make more money.
Why do those rich ladies wear those ridiculous helmet coifs?
Because they think of them as crowns.
When will the people be free?
When someone comes along to set them free and the red shirts felt that person was Thaksin.
Yesterday I was sitting with a hotel employee. Yama works 11 hours a day, 6 days a week. His monthly income is less than 9000 baht or $300.
"I don't have time to think. To have any ideas. Only time to work, eat, and drink beer. Drinking beer is my only true thought. I wish it were different, but better beer than nothing."
I've heard this complaint from hundreds of Thais over the years as well as farangs saying that Thais are lazy. Only lazy because they are exhausted and this laziness is a rebellion against the rich.
“Freedom is nothing but a chance to be better.” Albert Camus.
And a better life is what the Thais deserve.
No more the slave.
The Thai government has locked down the nation with a 9pm - 5am curfew. Last night the police rolled down our soi and closed the Full Moon Bar. The two officers told the local beer drinkers to drink up and go home. Moon, the buxom owner, instructed her clientele to heed the officers. I carried Fenway my son across the street and climbed to our top floor apartment. The lights went out in the Full Moon, but the drinkers remained at their tables. They were anarchists in a time of chaos as were the children playing badminton outside their townhouses. I went to sleep with my son and Mam, each slightly distant from the other. It is the hot season.
The night passed peacefully in Jomtien.
And Walking Street experienced a second night of enforced puritanism.
No short-times, no long times, no arrests for drugs or robberies or fights or any wrong-doings of any kind. Old-timers can't recall the Last Babylon shut down for a single night and the do-gooders ie condo investors desperate to resurrect Pattayamust be questioning the city council if the curfew or haam aawk naawk baan yaam wi gaan could be installed 24/7. Babylon will fall under such an edict and punters will flee the shopping mall metropolis for Angeles City in the Philippines.
The Crystal Palace awaits them with open arms and bare thighs.
Hundreds of eager dancing girls and I noticed in this photo only a few westerner gits.
Note the two bald geezers in the foreground.
"So many women. So few Viagra."
Curfew or not the Old Roue of Bangkok is making his way down here for the weekend with two of his concubines. I look forward to seeing the philosopher of the East in the last days of Babylon.
Now the situation has all gone to hell. Better in one way - the protest is over the leaders arrested, but as a final parting shot from the more crazy of the crazies, many big Bangkok buildings have been burned down, most distressing being Central World, the huge, spectacular, luxurious and quite beautiful mall. Here are some pictures. The office tower next door, which is where our offices are, was not touched, but everything all around it will have to be demolished. The best link for all the photos of yesterday's crackdown is
Attached pictures of Central World and Zen Dept Store, part of the same complex, is horrifying to those of us who went there every day. It was all so cool and stylish and fun to hang around in - like a huge private city of our own, full of pretty people and wonderful food. To the left of the green glass Zen building in the picture, our big office tower is behind all that yellow smoke.
Weird thing is that I didn't know about any of this until this morning. I don't have a TV, and my girlfriend Fon was over my house so we were just goofing off having a fun time, eating on the back terrace, drinking, laughing and carrying on to the music, and the smoke in the background just looked like the same smoldering tires of the morning. We had no idea.
For the next few days there will be a continuing curfew at sunset, which nobody is complaining about. I will NOT be going out. There's no need to stock up on stuff and the sidewalk cooking will never stop.
Those building pictures are more or less the main extent of the problem, and there are many saying that the mall owners themselves set the fires for the insurance, to try to recoup the billions they have lost since their malls were closed 2 weeks ago. Who knows? Big C, a huge dept store across the street from Central World is also gone. Hard to believe. These were monster size buildings. Like indoor towns. So the rest of Bangkok is untouched and pretty normal. However, there are fires and problems in other far-flung provinces and a big mall is now burning in Pattaya, a resort city about 2 hours away on the gulf. Insurance? Who knows.
No public transport. No skytrain, subway or buses. Nuffink. Only cabs and motorbike taxis.
We all still feel safe. It's all still contained in the same places. It's over, but there may be more torchings here and there. Residential areas like mine will always be safe. But, wow. What a day, huh?
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Last night my soi had the only bar open in Pattaya. Full Moon was serving cold beer and iced whiskey to about 20 Thais and farangs. A curfew was in force throughout Thailand. Everything verywhere was closed by the police. How they missed us was beyond our ken and we listened to Led Zeppelin and Loso throughout the night. My son Fenway was the star. He sang 'Khao Motorsai' on the karaoke mike. Afterwards we drove on my motorcycle down the Jomtien sea front.
It was only 10pm.
I went to sleep early dreaming of Fenway playing for the Red Sox. I woke in the morning and drove down to the sea temple in Ban Samae San. This fishing enclave was surrounded by Thai Navy property south of Satthahip. The U-tapao airport entrance was guarded by two unarmed sailors. Same for the other gates for the navy yard. Guns have not been issued to the troops whose loyalties are suspect. I ended up at the Navy beach. It was 7am. Two water spouts skated along the Gulf of Siam. I swam in gin-clear water. My son and Mam would wake soon. Mam would worry about me. I rode back to Jomtien with the rising sun, buying dried fish and candy at Ban Saray. Life almost seemed normal, excpet upon my arrival in Jomtien I heard that several supermarkets were afire in pattaya.
The red shirts had struck south.
The game in Bangkok was not over either.
The airport was rumored to have been closed.
Burning and looting was reported in Ban Amphur to the south. Young boys on motorcycles threatening fellow Thais with machetes.
Getting ugly elsewhere, so I'm staying close to home.
Bottles of water and bags of rice.
Soy sauce too and eggs.
It's siege time in Thailand and the weather is hot.
Downwith the UDD.
They were elected by no one.
Only the money of Thaksin.
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
It was my 14th birthday. I was a few weeks from graduating from the 8th Grade of a Catholic grammar school south of Boston. I was no hippie. I wouldn't hear the Velvey UNderground until 1968. ROCK AND ROLL. I never saw them play. I stole FREAK OUT from a store at which I was working in 1969. I got fired for that trespass. I still love HELP I'M A ROCK.
My mother warned that if we saw trouble coming then we should head the other way. I ignored her sound advice for decades, but once my foot speed showed to that of a drunken teenager in flip-flops I heeded her words in earnest. Hopefully the red shirt protesters had mothers like mine for the army has moved tanks and armored vehicles into Bangkok to disperse the red shirts.
The time for fooling around is over according to an army spokesman who said to the Press, "I will not answer any questions."
The thousands of people behind the barricades include children and the military will have to be careful not to injure them or their mothers or else the backlash will achieve what the violence has failed to do, namely the fall of the Abhisit government.
Blood will be shed, but if it were up to me then I would head to the nearest bus station and go back home. It's time to plant rice not your body.
America's interest in the world is normally focused on terrorists and France's inability to follow the political edicts of the White House. This heart-felt isolationism has spawned a myth of only 10% of Americans possess a passport. My fellow countrymen rarely leave the confines of the Land of the Free. Our last president's only trip overseas was a cross-border foray into Mexico. The State Department has debunked the 10% passport number with a claim that almost 30% of Americans have a passport and that's not counting illegals. This patriotic soliptism pervades the national media's vision of the world and NewsWeek magazine challenged the narrow global outlook with an article calling deposed PM Thaksin Thailand's highwater mark for democracy.
Last Best Hope at http://www.newsweek.com/id/238161/page/1 strongly advocates that the wandering leader of the red shirts was most certainly a demagogue but not a dictator much in the fashion of Hugo Chavez, citing his near-majority election in 2001 by mobilization of the rural poor, whom he rewarded with new roads, micro-loans, the 30-baht medical plan, and a peace plan for the South consisting of dropping origami birds from military planes.
Popularism sounds good until Thaksin sold the national satellite system to Singapore in violation of Thailand security laws and compounded this lapse by transferring the profits tax-free to family members. Newsweek made no comment on this trespass and only one sentence on his murderous War of Drugs during which thousands were shot by extra-judicial death squads, plus his oppressive handling of the Muslim South led to a de facto autonomous zone in Yala and Pattani.
Best Last Hope?
Maybe but only because the rich eat the poor in this country and no one speaks up for fear of the bullet from the nouveau riche and the old moneyed class.
Free the people from the reach of Old Blue Eyes, CNN, and Newsweek.
Monday, May 17, 2010
I protested the Vietnam War from the time I was 17. 1969 was late to turn against the Pentagon, but I never wavered from my commitment to stop the destruction of a country 9000 miles from the USA. The Pentagon has yet to honor my service against the war effort with a pension despite three letters to demand some compensation for my anti-war standing.
Some men my age are not so determined to follow the path of peace and this week the AG of Connecticut said to a gathering, "Military service has been important since the days that I served in Vietnam and you exemplify it. Whatever we think about the war, whatever we call it — Afghanistan or Iraq — we owe our military men and women unconditional support.”
Sounds great except the Democratic candidate for the US Senate never served in Vietnam and even served in the Nixon white House during those years. He did enlist in the Marine Reserve to dole out Toys for Tots.
Opps but this wasn't the first time he claimed to have fought in the War or the second. What else can you expect from a fucking lawyer?
At least I remain pure to my beliefs.
Fuck the rich.
I love Bangkok. Soi Duplei and the Malaysia Hotel. The klong ferries. Sunset drinks at the Oriental Hotel. Cold beer at a go-go bar in Nana Plaza with the Old Roue. Street food. Smiles. Chaos. The city is a no-go zone thanks to the Army's efforts to evict the red shirts from their barricades. Their spilled blood seemingly all for the sake of the deposed leader Thaksin. The ex-PM's thought were with his supporters during this Saturday's shopping spree in Paris.
Luxury purchases for his daughter.
Nothing for the dead 'Seh Daeng'.
Louis Vuitton knows best.
Fuck the rich.
One a more serious note the violence in Bangkok has escalated beyond the posturing of two power elites. The army has strategically attacked the stronghold of the red shirts bit by bit in order to hide the iron fist of the military. The score is fast approaching Army 0 - Red Shirts 100 dead. The true numbers are hidden from the media. The streets are littered with bleeding corpses without anyone mentioning the words 'massacre' or 'gaan khaat gam muu'. The red shirts are Thailand's white trash. They are getting what they deserved according to the upper classes. No one with an education greater than 6th grade would support Thaksin.
They are seriously wrong for the lower classes only back the rich in hopes of being rich one day and they are coming to realize that aspiration is a failed dream, wherein starts the true revolution against the upper classes.
Down with them all.
Power to the people.
None of the elite will buy that program.
My landlord's wife read a book about Motley Crue. The mother of two was converted to heavy metal. AP her husband exposed her to Penelope Spheeris' DECLINE AND FALL OF WESTERN CIVILIZATION - THE METAL YEARS. For better or worse and I promised her a heavy tee-shirt as a belated Mother's Day gift.
"Black Sabbath or Judas Priest?" I asked, knowing the answer.
"Black Sabbath." She wasn't familiar with Judas Priest.
"Judas Priest was sued by several courts as accessories to murder." Two Texas teens read a little too much into the lyrics of "Better By You, Better Than Me" during a night-long session of drinking and pot-smoking. Their suicides was seen by the DA as a direct result of heavy metal and satanism. Judas Priest was acquitted of all charges. "And Rob Halford is the best dancer in Heavy Metal."
"And even better that millions of young boys idolized him without realizing that he was gay." AP was no Judas fan, but know his rock.
"Gay?" His wife seemed surprised that Heavy Metal didn't exclude gays.
"Very." I loved his dance sequence in BREAKING THE LAW. His sexuality was never a secret to those in the know. "Nothing better than HEAD OUT ON THE HIGHWAY. So I'll get you a Judas Priest t-shirt too."
"Okay." AP's wife had a good heart and a free t-shirt was a free t-shirt.
For a listen to Judas Priest's BREAKING THE LAW go to this URL
Four friends, who hadn't seen each other in 30 years, reunited at a party
After several drinks, one of the men had to use the rest room.
Those who remained talked about their kids.
The first guy said, 'My son is my pride and joy. He started working at a successful company at the bottom of the barrel. He studied Economics and Business Administration and soon began to climb the corporate ladder and now he's the president of the company. He became so rich that he gave his best friend a top of the line Mercedes for his birthday.'
The second guy said, 'Darn, that's terrific! My son is also my pride and joy. He started working for a big airline, then= 0went to flight school to become a pilot. Eventually he became a partner in the company, where he owns the majority of its assets He's so rich that he gave his best friend a brand new jet for his birthday.'
The third man said: 'Well, that's terrific! My son studied in the best universities and became an engineer. Then he started his own construction company and is now a multimillionaire. He also gave away something very nice and expensive to his best friend for his birthday: A 30,000 square foot mansion.'
The three friends congratulated each other just as the fourth returned from the restroom and asked: 'What are all the congratulations for?'
One of the three said: 'We were talking about the pride we feel for the successes of our sons. ...What about your son?'
The fourth man replied: 'My son is gay and makes a living dancing as a stripper at a nightclub.'
The three friends said: 'What a shame... what a disappointment.'
The fourth man replied: 'No, I'm not ashamed. He's my son and I love him.
And he hasn't done too bad either. His birthday was two weeks ago, and he received a beautiful 30,000 square foot mansion, a brand new jet and a top of the line Mercedes from his three boyfriends.'
The revolution will not interfere with the selling of flesh. Reports of a curfew are false. Bangkok's go-go bars are open and the beer drinkers are flocking to their haunts armed with the awareness that once there was many and now they are few. The US and UK embassies have issued warning for their citizens to avoid Bangkok at all costs. The internet has announced the imminent closing of Nana Plaza. The Old Roue is on top of the scene and reports the following.
"I just got on my motorbike and went to Nana to see if it was true that "troops have sealed off Nana".
NOT TRUE. The boys are all drinking at Chequers, the whores are preparing to whore at Nana Plaza, all's well with the world.
The story happened because there are a sort of bit of string across Sukhumvit at the corner of 4 by the gas station, basically as a warning not to go any further, for people driving into the area, because 3 blocks farther along, there really is a barrier - the big one that's been there for days, under the freeway. It's just to warn drivers they'll have to turn around and come back. You can still get to Soi 2 and even to Soi Zero - but you'd be unwise to drive to the end of it because that's where they're burning tyres on Rama 4.
The Marriott is open and Soi 2 is fine. Nick is laughing it off at the bar. There's a sprinkling of armed police along the Soi 6 side of Sukhumvit and the handful of M-16 armed marines are still loitering outside the Plaza - probably looking for freebies.
Sure. Rots o' ruck, as my Fillipina maid used to say in New York.
Thanks for that news. I'm staying down here in Pattaya, for my mother used to tell me that if you see trouble go the other way. It took me a long time to obey her, but better late than never.