So here I am, sitting outside a crazy little club in Khao San, Thailand. The next thing I realize is that there’s someone yelling that at me, and when I look over, the voice turns out to belong to a wild-eyed, very drunk-looking Caucasian man.
Realizing that I looked pretty puzzled, this amusing fellow assumes I do not know English, and tries to speak something (apparently Thai) in an otherworldly accent, and places his hands together and practically bows to me.
And well, I obviously do understand what he just said, I just don’t understand what it is that he bloody wants.
This is when he finally brings his hand up, as though giving me a thumbs-up, and wiggles his thumb up and down.
"May I assume that you’d want to borrow my lighter, friend?"
"OH GOD, you can speak ENGLISH, mate!! I thought you were Thai!"
If only it was that easy every time. The above scenario occurred only a few nights ago, when I was still in Bangkok. You see, I rarely, if ever, club. I do not like dancing and call me a wet blanket or whatever if you will, I just like having my drinks on a big comfy leather chair in dim, warm lighting, without the deafening thumping music and the blinding colourful lights and lazerbeams stinging my eyes.
The fact that my gin & tonic glowed under the blacklights was amusingly fascinating though.
I am originally a Thai, born in Singapore. I lived my entire life in Singapore and hence I look and sound Singaporean. Which makes it somewhat annoying for me when I attempt to speak in Thai to the Thais, because the people rarely believe that I am Thai even if I speak the language well.
On the other hand, however, this puts me in a unique position. When I go to the pubs, especially those catered to foreigners, we are often approached by gorgeous Thai girls who mistake us for Japanese. They realize then, that we aren’t Japanese, and that we aren’t exactly looking for a night of rumble-tumble fun. We’re just a Thai guy and a friend who want to have a drink. If you are wondering why I have a preference for pubs that tend to have such girls in the first place, you’ll need to remember that I enjoy drinking in dim, cozy environments. Like the old English pubs you see in the movies. Sadly, the majority of Thai pubs that I’ve seen are a little too classy, modern or chic for my liking, and it just so happens that the pubs in the seedier areas possess those qualities I like.
Back to my original point, the unique position I am in is that I look like a foreigner, and hence they are technically still doing their jobs when they entertain us, but I am also able to converse in Thai, so even though they realize that we won’t be paying them any money for any additional entertainment, they can actually have a conversation for fun, and hence I often make friends with them pretty easily.
This way, I get to find out where the local wild child hangout places are, such as the amazing clubs of Khao San. I said I do not like clubbing, and this is true. But clubs in Thailand are still, overall, incredibly entertaining.
Everyone. EVERYONE is dancing. The men, the women, the men/women, the waiters, the waitresses are all dancing. There’re men dancing with women, women dancing with women, men dancing with men, men dancing with men/women, men dancing with men (straight), and they are dancing EVERYWHERE, at the door, outside the door, on the steps, at their tables, at the bars, in front of the toilets.
I know the toilet one well because a group of what appeared to be beautiful African-American women were dancing outside the toilet and cornered me while I tried to go into the toilet, proceeding to grind me with their behinds with big naughty grins on their faces.
While in all honesty this would not have been a bad thing, I was actually pretty nervous as it was all I could do to keep myself from pissing my pants, because my bladder really was that full.
In the toilets, there is something that takes some getting used to, toilet attendants who handed me hot or cold towels, and gave me shoulder rubs while I washed my hands, or even while I tried to take a piss at the urinal. It was very awkward, obviously, but I couldn’t help but appreciate their incredible effort and sincerity, and so I gave them a 100-baht tip.
Heh, well, hmm. I don’t really know how to end this.
Me wantsa summa beer. Now.