Nov 23, 2010

I’ve now logged over a month here and am at last beginning to develop a structured life. This includes exercising three mornings a week, putting in serious hours on my memoir (entitled In Love With Asia), and some self-study work on the baffling Thai language. (If I can halfway master the alphabet, I may look for a private tutor.) To top things off, I’ve even got a special female acquaintance: Ms. Drink-My-Beer Rasamee, of all people. I had not really planned on seeing her again, but ran into her one afternoon a week or so after our little scuffle at the Boomerang and exchanged pleasant hellos. I returned to her bar that night. This time we hit it off with no extraneous wrestling and went back to my place. She is quite attractive for her age (forty-six, but looks ten years younger), has a sense of humor, and is an uninhibited lover. A bit thick in the legs and, as I’ve already noticed, aggressively playful, but that’s all part of the package. She seems more taken with me than vice versa, so I’ll need to be careful about that.

The biggest challenge so far is trying to balance my memoir efforts with Rasamee’s stay overs. When she does that, I get little quality sleep and the following day is basically wasted. I need to find an acceptable ratio of working days and passionate nights. Writing versus sex…I wonder how Ernest Hemingway handled this? Not to mention his drinking. Need to try and read A Moveable Feast again.

My nascent social life received a boost two weeks ago when Nok’s newly renamed bar had an opening night party. She made a point of inviting me to it when I passed by earlier on my way to dinner. I cautioned myself that these affairs were often not to my liking, but ended up having a super time. The hors d’oeuvres were very tasty (grilled chicken with spicy Thai seasonings) and Nok pawed me for part of the evening while nearly going into hysterics over another American’s buffoonery. (Seated at the bar with his head bent back, he slapped the countertop while making seal barks. I later complimented him on his performance.)

Alas, that was the last I saw of dear Nok, who apparently has moved on to another job somewhere. However, the pool shark from two years ago that I have re-established a rivalry with (Bom) has relocated to Nok’s bar (the area is one big employment carrousel). On two or three occasions each week I get in some games with her around dinnertime — before the evening crowd arrives, if it ever does. But this routine faces obstacles, specifically a new bargirl there that I’ve taken a real disliking to. Not particularly good looking, her raucous voice rubs me the wrong way. So on some nights — such as tonight — when I stroll by the bar and see her there without a customer, I just can’t find the enthusiasm to stop in for some pool with Bom for fear I’d have to include her. For that matter, now that Nok is gone, that place has no one that interests me. Makes me want to talk to the owner — he’s often plopped down behind the bar, smoking and watching TV — and ask him what the hell kind of joint he’s running. The location next door, on the other hand, almost always has a few nice lookers. When I went by tonight around seven, four middle-aged Westerners were already parked at the bar, downing San Miguels and flirting with the girls. Maybe worth a closer inspection?

What fun this all is! Every night, if I so desire, I can go out for Thai or Chinese cuisine, maybe play a bit pool afterwards, then decide if I want to visit Rasamee’s bar for some live music (with the option of paying her bar fine and taking her home). Except for eating out, none of these oh-so-agreeable activities were ever a part of my life back in Seattle. And the good times are in some ways only just beginning. Out towards Pattaya Beach (maybe three quarters of a mile away) can be found dozens of bars and go-gos dotting the main arterials and lining the access roads. The Soi 7 and 8 Streets in particular are packed with boozing and schmoozing opportunities. A whole new world awaits, which will only become more lively as the tourist high season approaches. I’m looking forward to getting out and experiencing it.

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