Happy quarantine, reader. I’m Bangkok Seven and this is my blog. Let’s not talk about coronavirus, what do you say? Let’s distract ourselves with thoughts of better times both past and future.
Today’s offering is a comprehensive comparison (compreharison for short, copyright BKK7) between a night out in Bangkok and a night out in my hometown of Los Angeles. There are some stark contrasts. Let’s dig down:
In my twenties, my friends and I had a routine for going out. First, we’d meet at someone’s house and decide who would drive. Typically we needed to take two cars. It’s much cheaper to drink at home, so we’d split a couple 6-packs before taking off, stalling until rush hour traffic cleared. Then we’d hop on the freeway and drive over the hill into Hollywood. Our favorite club was The Palace, on Hollywood and Vine (now called Avalon). First, we’d park the car in a price-gouging lot a block from the venue and finish off the beer. Then we’d walk down to get in line on the street, elbow to elbow with some of the worst human beings on the face of the Earth. When the doors opened, we made a bee-line for the bar on the top floor, where the queue would be shortest. What followed was 3 hours of alternating between getting a drink and being turned down by women on the dance floor. Once everyone agreed they’d struck out enough for one night, we’d pop down to the Key Club or The Trocadero on Sunset to once again get turned down by every girl because we weren’t rich or famous, then head over to the all-night taco truck for an el pastor quesadilla (arguably the highlight of the evening) before drunkdriving home to pass out.
Nowadays things are a bit different. Most of the old crew are married, so they don’t come out. The few of us who remain free still meet up to go out, usually for a live show. My most recent outing was with a buddy of mine to see a Keane concert at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood. After the show we dropped into The Well, a hip bar near the Palladium, where I recently saw Snow Patrol. It’s the bar everyone goes to after the concert. The place was packed with fashionable-looking couples who each seemed to wear the other like an accessory. Our bartender was a Swedish transplant with huge tits, no bra, and a cowboy hat. She was polite enough, but it was clear she only worked there in an effort to meet a producer, casting agent, celebrity, or trust fund Millennial, and I am none of those things. The jukebox played Post Malone, which made it hard to keep my drink down—a drink, incidentally, that was $25 despite the fact that it contained only vodka, soda, and ice. Everyone talked too loud about the famous people they knew and/or their very important showbiz job, straining for relevance, yearning for acknowledgement. After an hour of that, it was once again time to hit the taco truck for carnitas and asada, then home.
Contrast the above lackluster malaise (lacklaise for short, copyright BKK7) with a night out in the other City of Angels. I typically begin the night with a short visit from one of my harem. 20 minutes of cardio later: I’m laid, she’s paid and we’re both off, sometimes to disparate destinations and sometimes to the same. Namely a gogo bar in Patpong. If it’s cool enough, I’ll walk there, stopping at the ATM for 2 grand and then a quick bit to eat before swinging in to my usual seat at Black Pagoda-XXX Lounge-Kings1-Pink Panther-Bada Bing-The Strip with the option of slumming in Thigh or grabbing a Belgian beer in Kiss. In every place, I’m bookended by girls who don’t care about my wealth or which celebrities I’m on a first name basis with. If I can buy them a drink, their smile’s a bit broader but even if I refuse them, they’ll stick around to chat and play games on my phone, and make oral contracts for future appointments at my boudoir. Everywhere I cast my gaze, there is some sexy, scantily-clad pretty young thing who works for my attention with a sultry show. Every new location presents a different set of tits to grab and ass to rest in my lap. The staff are all polite—not because they want something, but because it’s a cultural norm. The only negative element is the presence of other farang, all of whom I find detestable. But it’s easy enough to ignore them, especially when mobbed by dancers.
Drink prices range from 90 baht to 170 depending on time of night and location. The only joint where I’d expect to pay a comparable price to LA would be a gentleman’s club like The Pimp, who charge an entrance fee. You can pay that much in Patpong if you want to. Just point at one of the high-end liquors behind the bar. XXX Lounge still serves many of the premium whiskeys and gins left over from The Steakhouse Co., where you can also buy a Cuban cigar to go with your Glenlivet 18 (585b). So if you want to spend LA prices, you can—the difference is, it’s actually worth it.
And if you’re not into the red-light scene, a night out in BKK might look something like…
Happy hour cocktails and tapas at a rooftop restaurant like Scarlett or @38th to watch the sun go down over the river. Then hop a tuktuk to Suk Soi 11 for bar-hopping before hitting a club. Say…Levels. There you can dance, be annoyed by loud-talking farang, and gawk at lovely Thai freelancers. Afterward, lurch down the soi drinking at the various pop-up bars and snacking at food stalls or tuktuk over to Charley Brown’s for some expensive but great grub and more annoying loud-talking farang. Not my cup of tea, but I know many expats who live for it. And it still beats a night out in LA by a country mile. At least there’s always a chance of bailing on your companions to take home one of the exotic dark-haired lovelies surrounding you.
So as you continue to self-quarantine, if you’ve never been to that oriental city, consider what you’ve missed. Linger on what you’ve squandered. Or if you’re lucky enough to be locked-down in Funtown, look back with fondness on the wild wiling nights, assured that as soon as this mess is over, you’ll be back on the prowl in the greatest city on Earth: Bangkok.