It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Normal

Well friends, it looks like we might be outa the woods. Out of the tunnel. Into the sunlight. In the past few days, the Redlight Districts of Bangkok have started to resemble their pre-scamdemic selves. Enthusiasm among girls and bar staff has started to swell, like the first ripples of a wave. Punters are punting again. Mongers are monging again. Gradually, the volume knobs of DJs are turning up to eleven. At the risk of jinxing it, I daresay we’ve turned a corner.

Today’s a real emotional mixed bag for me, reader. It’s Sunday morning, and my building—one of the oldest in Silom—is having its electrical wiring refurbished, so I’m typing this inside a Starbuck’s after first trying and failing to use the wifi at a Burger King. I’m also reeling from being rinsed by my favorite gogo bar last night. More on that later. Here’s a quick RLD update—both the good and the bad…

Over in Patpong, King’s Castle 1 has reopened. So along with their street beer garden and Tip-Top billiards hall, that’s a total of 3 open venues on Soi 1. We lost Thigh Bar, Superstar, Madrid, and Kiss Bar in the pandemic purge, but there are rumors that one or two might make a comeback, along with Safari and Radio City, who appear poised to reopen when more tourists arrive.

Things are much livelier on Soi 2, with BarBar, The Strip, Bada Bing, XXX Lounge, Patpong Café, Crystal Palace, Black Pagoda, The Patpong Museum, Paddy Field, French Kiss, Pink Panther, and the slew of gay bars, beer bars, ladyboy bars, and upstairs bars in between all open. Some of the upstairs sleazy bars sporadically close on odd days for unknown reasons. Glamour remains closed for the moment but will likely come back to life when more tourists hit the tarmac.

 

In the Pong, the most festive parties are at Black Pagoda, Bada Bing, XXX, and of course, The Strip. The girls in these joints are a tour de force, so mongers beware. Thar be barracudas in these waters. Our friend Jack Nites hit Nana and Cowboy on the weekend. He’s reporting that several bars on the 2nd floor of Nana are open, including Spanky’s, Sexy Night, and Rainbow 5. On Cowboy, the entire lower third of the soi is active. Cowboy is currently hampered by the Catch-22 of mandatory ATK testing. Punters won’t punt if they have to test first, and/or simply tuktuk up the road where they don’t need to test. Bars won’t open unless more punters punt. It’s the Covid-era equivalent of shooting yourself in the foot.

Over at Shenanigan’s they’ve shipped in two new beers on draught: Leffe Brun and Dream Alone, a Vietnamese IPA that ran out two days after tapping the kegs. And so, with the current dearth of Guinness in Bangkok, I guess it’s the ole Leffe brown for me for the foreseeable future.

   

Lately, my harem girls have been showing up late to my apartment. This is a direct effect of increased street traffic due to people ending their practice of work-from-home. As a result, I’ve been getting into the Pong later each evening, missing the chance to grab dinner. A happy accident of the scamdemic is, notgogo’s like XXX Lounge have a full food menu. Sure, they get the grub from G’s German on Soi 4, but so much the better. Last week I ordered in to XXX on two occasions. Those dishes were: moo dat deyow and chicken satay, and sausage n sauerkraut. It’s nice to be able to have a good meal whilst also in the company of randy girls in cocktail dresses. Occasionally one will help herself to a bite of my food (looking at you Nan, Earn, Beer, Benz and Poo), which I mentally place on a tally sheet in my memory to be paid back at a later date, probably with an ass grab or a titty shake. Speaking of, Saa’s fake boobs over at Black Pagoda have settled nicely, following the customary first 2-month acclimation. She says she’s doing her due diligence—massaging them every day. But I wasn’t convinced. After a few assessing squeezes, I determined she’s not squeezing them enough, and so treated those babies to 10 minutes of manhandling. And because I have a heart of solid gold, I didn’t charge her a single satang.

Over at The Strip, in a bold move they chose to open their doors on Friday—a day before their widely publicized return date. Hostess Mameaw showed up around 10 pm, squealing and dancing around like a drunk woodland creature from a Tolkien tale, insisting she wasn’t intoxicated despite her erratic behavior. I chalked it up as her being “drunk on happiness” at coming back to work. Pupae and Ang were both back as well, looking decidedly plumper than before. They’ve been working at The Strip Phuket for the past several months, and business was good. Good enough to pig out regularly. And, evidently, hit the beach, as evidenced by their decidedly more golden-brown skin.

If I’m honest, though, I have to say that their time in Phuket has changed them. It pains me to say it, but they’ve gone from goodtime girls who are up for a laugh to money-grubbing shysters who pad your bill and hound you for cash every minute you’re in the bar. It breaks my heart to report it. On Friday during their soft open, the mamasan hit me up to buy the girls dinner—1,000 baht—and pressed me to spring for tequila shots for the girls because “it’s first day open, first day good luck SevENNNNNNN!” I looked up, counted out loud 8 girls, and reluctantly said “OK.” At the end of the night when I went to pay the checkbin, it was 3,000 baht and 16 girls’ names were on the bill. On Saturday after Jack and I recorded our podcast, my bin contained every beer drank by 4 girls the entire time I was in the bar. I paid without complaining, but I won’t darken their door again for a few days. Don’t get me wrong–I still love The Strip and I don’t blame the girls. And it’s likely they took such liberties because they know me and expect me to fork out after four months away. I doubt they’d attempt to hit up a casual punter for 16 drinks. But I’m not nearly as rich as the mamasan seems to think I am. In fact I’ll have to stay home this week for purely financial reasons.

Bee—arguably The Strip’s most popular dancer—didn’t go to Phuket. In fact, she chose to use the scamdemic as an excuse to leave the pole forever, in order to spend more time with family. She did pop by Saturday night though, to reminisce and party with her friends. And since it was Bee’s birthday on Friday, the girls got her a cake (with a can of Chang stuck in the middle of it) and a bottle of whiskey for good measure. She also sat for the start of our Sunday Rap podcast. You can check it out over on Bangkok Nites’ YouTube channel, along with some footage of the night’s antics.

 

And of course, there were plenty of lovely ladies at XXX Lounge and Black Pagoda to sidle up to and give a squeeze. I followed Jack over to BP for a bit while he took PR photos. The girls there are always fun and friendly, especially Best, Saa, Mint, Pui, and Pla.

Anyway, that’s all the mong that’s fit to monger from me this week. As I’m finishing this blog, I’m also busily editing the Rap, so by the time you read this it’ll hopefully be loaded to YouTube. I hope you’re doing well, reader. I hope you can feel, as I can, a kind of lifting of the veil—a slow but inevitable return to normalcy. The girls still can’t take to the gogo stage (how in the fuck not dancing somehow prevents the spread of a benign flu is beyond my understanding) but at least the bars are open, the booze is flowing, and the girls are—well, present. There’s a lot there to be grateful for. Until next time, keep your glass full, your balls warm, and here’s to another week above ground in the greatest post-Covid place to be on Planet Earth: Thailand. Cheers.

(Some photos courtesy of Jack Nites. Thanks Jack!)