19.07.2007 - 19.07.2007 -17 °C
.........After leaving Marks bar; I walked around the corner and came upon the Sawadee Court, a budget hotel that cost five pounds per night....cheap and cheerful, clean and pretty nice staff. I originally was only going to stay in Pattaya for four nights, but ended up staying sixteen......I loved it there, primarily because of the wonderful people I met.
Sawadee Court Hotel
On my arrival day; I met Howard and Derek. Howard looked remarkably like John Wayne and is a retired restaurateur, and Derek, Howard's partner for over thirty years, is a retired designer who had worked on the first moon landing - he didn't actually go up to the moon with Armstrong, Aldrin, and Collins, but helped design the Apollo 11 craft. They had met each other in the army during the Vietnam war and these guys were so interesting, articulate and intelligent that it was a real pleasure to listen to their stories. I count myself lucky to have met them, they took me under their wing and showed me Pattaya as they had visited many many times before.
My was the next person I met, he's a local wannabe lady boy who I encountered at the Panorama bar in boyztown, he reminded me of a young boy George. A real sweet lad with a terrible eye infection that got steadily worse over the days I talked with him. He and his family come from North Thailand and he was working in Pattaya to help support his ageing parents keep their small farm. It seems that many of the money people sell themselves to support family members and work far away from their place of birth, they rarely go home to visit because of the lack money and because they only get two days off per month.
My and I became quite good friends and on my birthday he and his friends took me to a local night club. Unbeknown to me; My bought me a birthday cake and candles and arranged for the clubs cabaret artists to sing happy birthday, it was a great experience and most of the clubs clientele came over to shake my hand and wish me happy birthday. As a kind of thank you; I treated My and his friends to some of their favourite snacks and I tried them too. Crickets, scorpions and caterpillars were the delights on offer and though I didn't try the big black scorpions, I did munch on the other two....never again though!!! The cricket taste quite like crispy chicken skin and the caterpillar was like a zit exploding in my mouth, I know it sounds awful and it was! After the club My and his friend Arm (many Thai people have nicknames and normally use them rather than their christian name) went off to their apartment and I watched the sunset over Pattaya beach.....what a birthday.
The next night I met up with My and his eye infection was getting worse, he had no money to go to the doctor so I gave him some to get it looked at. The doctor prescribed medication and put a patch on one of his eyes, but as My was walking home he got knocked over as he couldn't really see where he was going....bless, thankfully he wasn't too badly injured. My returned to the doctors the next day and they kept him in for observation for a couple of nights, he was released and returned the Panorama bar to work his shift. My and I chatted for quite a while and eventually I gave him some money for a bus ticket to go stay with his parents and recuperate, he had to finish his shift that night, but the next day I waved him off.
I've met many people in the prostitution industry here, and ever the counsellor; I listen to their stories and hope, as with My, a difference can be made. Often they spin a line, but when I let them know that I'm not interested in them sexually; they either walk away or enjoy a chat with a farang (white western person),
Kitipong, Lek and Weed are an interesting bunch of people that work as go go boys in the Sunee district of Pattaya. Kitipong and I really clicked, he spoke pretty good English and was an extremely good looking person. Many of the Thai people have very low self esteem and because of the colour of their skin they feel inferior to the farang. Some of the lady boys are more feminine and more beautiful than a lot of the women I know....no offence intended!!
Kitipong really looked like a catwalk model, coco brown skin that was so healthy it shimmered, chocolate button eyes, scatter cushion lips and eyelashes that float like butterflies. Both inwardly and externally these go go boys were beautiful people and loved sharing there time with me. One particular day they took me out and showed me many of the wonderful sights in and around Pattaya. We hired motorbike taxi's and sped about the place, I felt like easy rider with my gang of dancers in tow. I hadn't been on a motorbike for years, I had a pretty nasty crash about twenty years ago, and at first I trepadasiously road pillion clinging on to the driver for dear life...the poor man could hardly breath, after a few stops my confidence grew and he always took his time and was very cautious of speed. I've seen so many farang with bandaged knees and elbows riding around on their big hired Harley's - they're mad!! I offten got a ride on a Baht bus and for ten Baht I could travel any distance, in Pattaya, I wanted. The Baht bus is like a pickup truck with two benches along either side, great fun and as it was open, the views were fab too.
Kitipong, Lek and weed took me to many places, but the three that stand out the most were the Sanctuary of Truth, Big Buddaha view point and the Tiffany show.
Part 3 to follow