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Thailand adventure begins

The plane departs at 12:05 Wednesday morning from SFO toward Hong Kong to land at 6:45 Thursday morning. I have a 10 hour layover so I head into town on the train to explore the city. I walk, and walk, and walk and walk. Up and down the hill and occasionally stopping for coffee at any place that was open on the first day of the Chinese new year. After about 6 hours of walking around and absorbing the city, I tire of the 4 dollar coffee and it’s apparent strict separation of the natives and the occupying caucasians. We depart from HKG to Bangkok at 16:00 and arrive 3 hours later around 18:00 and take a cab to my hotel. All in all, approximately 30 hours of travel time with perhaps a total of 4 hours of sleep.

By the time I am situated, it is 20:00 local time so I ask the hotel concierge what there is to do nearby. She directs me to take the sky-train a couple of stops over to a night mall. The Bangkok night malls are a garish spectacle of lights, music, go-go bars, with couches in the streets and vendors packed in shoulder to shoulder selling sundries from sunglasses to pornography. It all reminds me of Burningman if everyone attending Burningman was trying to buy or sell something.

Before I was really even in the night mall, a man approaches asking, “What I was looking for?” I tell him that I am just looking around absorbing the Thai culture. He says he can take me to girls and drags me to a hosted bar. The women line up on the couch in a revue fit for a Nevada brothel.

I quickly realize this is not at all looking around and absorbing the local culture so I excuse myself. My new friend drags me to a go-go bar with bikini-clad women dancing on stage. I tell him this isn’t looking around either. I tell him I really do not want his help in finding anything since I can look around on my own. As soon as I ditch him a new leech attaches itself, trying to get me to patronize another go-go bar. All the while I am criss-crossing the night mall and actually getting a feel for the bazaar. I lose the second leech and in the same length of time as his order, a new one appears.

“Hey man, what you want?” to which I forcefully indicate my desire to be far away from him. He looks a little offended and suggests I should go get some sleep. Luckily, at the end of the alleyway we are on has a small little bar called Nomads with pleasant music playing and no hard sell to have a drink there so I sit right down on one of the couches. I am greeted by the woman running the place and order a margarita. I sip my margarita and chat with Ariel Dong for a while. Her English is pretty bad and my Thai is close to non-existent though we manage to discuss live bands and the night market in general.

Upon finishing my drink I step into a massage joint called Adam Spa. Because of all the airline related walking as well as the six hours in Hong Kong my feeties were tired! The establishment had 4 lazy-boy recliners in the front two of which were already occupied by someone getting a foot massage. I ordered an hour long foot massage at 250 Baht and quickly a twenty-something Thai boy comes out and washes my feet. He then begins liberally applying cream to my feet, calves, and shins and rubs away the stress of the day. During the massage there were others coming and going. The patrons were usually men with 2 women total while I was there. Near the end of my massage, a woman emerges from the back with quite the freshly fucked look on her hair and face thought it could have simply been a really good massage. As I go, I am given a card for the spa as well as offered a gay guide to Thailand. I start to explain what I am in merely vacating in Thailand and decide it is too difficult to explain my relationship with queerdom given the language barrier. He whispers, “It’s okay,” which is sweet if misplaced.

Since I had never been to a hosted bar before this night and I want to see what Thailand’s menu contains, I return to the bar from earlier in the night. Again with the line-up and I actually choose the woman with the biggest smile – named Goy – and order a shot of whiskey. Eve, the proprietor of the establishment comes and sits with us, pulls out a calculator, flips it around with 1,500 on the display and says, “Ok, for this much, you can go upstairs, get a massage, get a suck, and fuck. How about it?” I was completely ignorant that this was basically straight up prostitution though in retrospect it is all pretty obviuos — there would have been more patrons if it was an opportunity to just have a drink with a cute girl. I offer to finish my cocktail with Goy and then be on my way which Eve accepts. Goy seems disappointed and she also accepts the arrangement. In total, it was actually kind of fun to have a drink at a place with someone fawning over you. I think they are missing a real business opportunity by exclusively pushing fucking. Goy spent most of the time playing with my piercings and trying to convince me to go upstairs with her. After several refusals, I finish my drink and give Goy large tip for her time.

I return to Nomads for a final cocktail of the evening, talk to Ariel a bit more, and finally return my hotel back through the throngs of the night market.

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