‘Sup everyone, and by ‘everyone’ I mean the one person who reads my blogs, I’m Bangkok Seven—whoremonger with a heart of gold and frequent visitor to Patpong—BKK’s oldest adult entertainment zone, aka red-light district.
But I wasn’t always a Pong rat. In fact, I lived in Thailand for three years before ever setting foot in the nation’s capital. It’s hard to remember life pre-Pong. It was a mostly dull existence, characterized by lonesomeness, angst, and a search for purpose. Now, of course, I know my purpose: to bed gogo dancers in between trolling the bars with a beer in one hand and someone’s silicone tit in the other. The only break in this routine comes in the form of a Sunday ritual. On the Seventh day, God rested, and on Seven’s seventh day, he indulges.
That hasn’t always been the case. For most of my years on this Earth, I had no Sunday tradition. In fact, it was a foreign concept until I moved to the UK and discovered a thing called the Sunday roast. Which isn’t to say that Americans don’t have their Sabbath Day rituals. Many go to church. And I suppose watching football would be one, though as someone who’s always been bored by professional sports, it never appealed to me. My notion of a Sunday ritual really started when I moved to Thailand, way back before Bangkok, back on the beach in Ao Nang and then after that, Phuket. Since then, I’ve maintained a once-a-week practice of treating myself to some of life’s pleasures outside of—or in addition to—those of the flesh. What follows is a description of my Sunday self-treating rituals over the last decade:
For two years, I lived in a tiny, one-traffic light town about 60 km outside of Krabi Town, where I worked for a fake NGO and taught English to the very sweet citizens of that blip on the map, with weekends off that were mostly spent in Ao Nang, with a few side trips to either Patong or Samui. In Ao Nang, Sundays always went like this: wake up next to Ta, the bargirl who had claimed me as her own despite being the town bicycle in my absence, shower, shave, and go to breakfast at Last Fisherman’s, followed by a walk on the beach, feet kicking in the surf, down to the south end where a colony of monkeys typically congregate to bathe and play. Then back to the hotel room for a morning sex session (sexsion for short, copyright BKK7), then checkout, then a bus ride back to the fake NGO compound for a nap, followed by dinner, followed by lounging in the front garden with big bottles of Leo and hand-rolled cherry cigarettes. It was a simple existence, and an island in the stream of my life journey. I sometimes wonder whether it was all just a dream.
In 2012 I relocated to Bangtao, a sleepy fishing village north of Patong in Phuket that consisted mainly of resorts, plus a small road lined with half a dozen or so tiny beer bars where the same collection of expats and Thai girls hung out, drank, and listened to classic rock from around noon to 2 am. On Sundays, after having spent Friday and Saturday in Patong, I’d wake up and motor back to Bangtao to have breakfast at Nok and Jo’s restaurant, followed by a swim in the Andaman and a long walk on the beach, killing time until beer o’clock when I could go to Heavenly Bar, put on my Youtube playlist, and lay in to the San Miguel Lights with the owner’s daughter—too young to shag but old enough to get plastered with a gang of sun-dried Aussies and me. In the late afternoon I’d take a break and go back to Nok and Jo’s for their Sunday bbq buffet and Cabaret show, shoot the breeze with Jo for a bit, and then bar-hop slowly back to Heavenly, just in time for the night staff, aka short-time girls to arrive. Then it became a matter of getting sloshed enough to settle for one of them, drag her back to my room and attempt to break the headboard before losing consciousness. And that’s how I expected the rest of my Sundays to go, until a BKK job offer materialized and I left the beach for the big city lights.
When I finally made the move to Bangkok, it was to take a poorly-paid job on Sukhumvit. Rent there was too high and I was forced to get a cheap, Thai-style room on Sathorn Soi 1. By the time Sunday rolled around each week, I’d already overspent my budget on Friday-Saturday fun, and so I did very little. Breakfast was usually pad krapow or a Thai omelet. Afterward, I’d run on the treadmill in my building’s gym and then walk up to Lumphini Park and back just to kill time. Dinner was usually chicken on a stick from a street vendor, and I’d finish out the day by watching old South Park episodes with a couple of big Leo’s. And while it may have been my lowest point in TLOS, I was never unhappy because at the end of the day I was where I wanted to be—in the greatest country on Earth. And I still managed to Pong twice a month.
Pay raise and better digs in 2014, nearer to dear Patpong by way of a small, modern apartment on Suan Plu with new furnishings and a rooftop pool. 15-minute walk to the Pong, which at the time was, to me, stupendous. I went from a 2-Pong visit per month budget to a 2-Pong visit per week budget. Cue the Hallelujah choir. For a year, my Sunday ritual was to lay around all day, cook at home (usually a quesadilla), then have one of the Electric Blue girls over around 18.00—either Ploy or Momay or both—then grab a tuk-tuk with her/them to EB just in time for them to hit the pole, stay all night playing games on the girls’ phones while they danced, and groping them between rotations. It wasn’t a pre-determined ritual—it’s just how every Sunday ended up, and I thought I’d died and gone to Heaven.
This was just one straight year of hitting up Electric Blue every single Sunday (and also the other 6 days of the week) to hang with my harem, all of whom hailed from said gogo.
And this, my friends, was when the Sunday ritual changed forever for Seven. It’s the year Bangkok Andy—former owner of Electric Blue A-Gogo, turned said gogo into The Steakhouse Co. At first, I was despondent. My favorite gogo gone-gone in favor of a restaurant? Perish the thought! But then I started eating at said restaurant, and it was, in short, the fucking tits. My Sunday ritual then turned into an all-day session at The Steakhouse, beginning with the roast, followed by a drawn-out sampling of the beer list, then a charcuterie and cheese platter with a bottle of Beaujolais, then a burger cooked to my personal specifications with off-menu ingredients chosen by yours truly before thrashing through the gogos with reckless abandon. That was by far the high point of my Bangkok life. But like all good things, The Steakhouse came to an end. Bangkok Andy packed up and went to Pattaya, and I went on a desperate search for something to replace it.
What replaced it was Shenanigan’s, a restaurant juggernaut that burst onto the Patpong scene a few years back, and has enjoyed massive popularity among tourists and the expat community ever since. In 2018, Shag’s began to offer up a Sunday roast, and in a stellar example of consistency, they still do, despite the onset of Covid and eight straight months of no tourists. And thank Saint Patrick for it, for it is upon that great gravy coated goodness that my new Sunday ritual is built. Now the Sabbath goes like this:
Wake up, pull a can of cold coffee from the fridge, post the weekly blog, email mum, and then head to Shenanigan’s. Stop on the way in Foodland to pick up a bottle of Bordeaux (usually from Graves), to bring to Shag’s (corkage fee: 400b). Have the roast with lamb, eat said roast, drink said wine, and finish with a nice Cuban cigar—usually a Partagas or H. Upmann. Then head to some other watering hole, eg Paddy Field, for a couple of pints before going home for a nap. Then wake up in time for my number one harem girl to swing by. She’s got uni classes every Sunday, so she comes and then comes and then goes in her school uniform.
What’s your Sunday ritual? Is it rich with indulgence? Is it rife with life, with the things that make it worth living? I hope so. I hope you find some way, some sweet something to savor, some of that “oh-yeah” flavor to add a little love to bookend the weekend before heading back to the grind. Because we need it, people. And we deserve it. For all of us who punch that card from 9 to 5 (or in my case, 7 to 5). So let’s all get off the sofa and treat ourselves, shall we? Here’s hoping your day goes down as smooth as the roast at Shenanigan’s. And speaking of, I’m off. Peace out.