The Current Malaise

Happy Sunday, reader. How’s your life going? Have you caught omicron yet? If not, you will. I’ve just come out the other end of that particular metaphorical colon, and I’ll be honest—it weren’t no picnic. What started as a sore throat and nagging cough migrated into my chest, head, joints, and ass, and 10 days of home isolation became a malaise of flu symptoms and a resurgence of my childhood asthma and old-age arthritis that stubbornly remains even after my body beat back omicron. I’m in the clear now, though along with lingering joint pain is a general feeling of exhaustion. This week, I really wanted to hit Nana and Cowboy, just to see if conditions have improved, but I was just too tired. I only managed two nights out—both in Patpong—that ended early with me falling asleep on the couch. Not what I’d call a complete recovery, but like the rest of the world, my return to normal is turning out to be painfully slow.

Thailand has returned to the useless practice of lockdowns, mainly due to their inability to think of another solution. Tourism remains stalled thanks to constantly-changing, knee-jerk reactions to case numbers and outlandish nonsense like the fake “Deltacron” variant. Last week King’s Castle closed again, mere days after reopening, due to an omicron outbreak. So now we’re closing businesses and home isolating over a cold.

I feel bad for the not-gogo dancers. The bars of Patpong (The Strip, Bada Bing, XXX Lounge, Black Pagoda, and Pink Panther) are positively rammed with hot chicks in cocktail dresses. They’re available to chat with, drink with, and barfine. It’s a fish/barrel situation for any monger who wants to be inundated with throngs of attention-starved (and in some cases, actually starved) women. The Pong continues to be a monger’s market.

I’ve heard from friends that Nana continues to draw crowds—at least, to the first-floor outdoor area. The bars of the upper floors are struggling to lure customers. Joints like Billboard are in an identity crisis without the bathtub and rotating stage.

The long and short of our current situation is, for lack of a better term, limbo. We’re just waiting for omicron to sweep through the country and give us herd immunity. My personal goal for next week will be to get out to Soi 7, Nana, and Cowboy again. Oh, and to meet up with Jack Nites for another podcast. We’ve been out of commission for far too long. In the meantime, here are a few pics from my time in the Pong last week. If you can get out there, I recommend it. There are lots of hotties waiting to keep you company. And between now and next week, keep your beer cold, your balls warm, and cheers to surviving a global pandemic in the greatest country on Earth: Thailand.

On Saturday, The Strip had its 15 Year anniversary party. Free beers for customers. It was a madhouse for most of the evening. I didn’t attend because the last time I was there, the bartender “misplaced” 2,200 baht of my money. I can’t drink in a place where I can’t trust the staff to not lose my cash, so until they get better employees I’m going to have to skip that joint. I did sit outside the place for a bit while Jack Nites snapped some photos.

Khun Panom–Patpong’s resident somtam seller–made her triumphant return to Soi 2. I bought dinner for the girls at XXX Lounge two nights in a row.

The girls of King’s beer garden have been in good spirits. Despite being the only bar open on Soi 1, they do pretty steady business on an evening, possibly because they’re now the only Thai-owned nongogo in Patpong. That environment attracts a certain type of clientele–namely Japanese tourists.

Black Pagoda continues to be a fun night out. There are tons of girls there, all in a party mood, and their antics don’t disappoint. In addition, the back room–commonly referred to as Club Black, with its couches, stripper poles, and billiards table–now features girls in lingerie. If you’re into that sort of thing.

My two new BFFs are Nan at XXX Lounge and Golf at Pink Panther. I’ve known Nan since she got her start dancing at Thigh Bar on Soi 1 many years ago but we never really hit it off until recently. Mostly we just sit outside XXX and smoke. I met Golf last month at Bada Bing. Since then she’s shifted to King’s Castle, and now to Panther, along with a gang of her raunchier friends. They’ve turned the Pink into a veritable den of iniquity. Sai is also an old galpal. She began her career in Kiss Bar, which is now permanently closed, after which she moved to Glamour (also currently closed), and today calls XXX home. She’s there with her old cohort Bpai, but their friend Mint found a home at Black Pagoda. Every time I visit one or the other joint, the girls always ask about each other as if they’re miles apart and not 80 meters down the Soi.

That’s all for now, friends. Tune in next week for a more comprehensive update. In the meantime I’ll schlep out to the other RLD’s and report back. Peace.