Thai Tigress

Pattaya, Thailand

“Nice to meet you. My name Neon.”

When entering a Thailand watering hole, I first look for a pool table, then a halfway cute partner. Failure to select someone means you will likely be paired with one of the less attractive girls while the bar proprietor keeps the “lookers” stationed out front to draw in more suckers. Neon clearly stood out, then further impressed me by taking one out of three games of Eight Ball. As one who has little patience with women who whiff shots then giggle uncontrollably, her left-handed, no-nonsense pool stroke was refreshing. I quickly bought her a beer as I nursed a Jim Beam and coke.

Unlike the U.S., when you buy a woman a drink in a Thai bar, the question is not if she will go home with you but when. It definitely cuts through the BS one runs across back home and most important, eliminates the need for the guy to have some dynamite pickup line. (Me, I could not talk an alcoholic into entering a liquor store.)

With the booze flowing, we soon were having a merry time, not really caring who won each game. Soon I broached the idea of our going home together, with Neon quickly consenting. Paying her bar fine (the fee for taking a girl out of the establishment), I gallantly escorted her around the corner and up the street to my studio apartment.

In my room I already had the usual weapons of mass romance in place: candles, Elton John’s greatest hits, a used towel immaculately folded, a used toothbrush carefully inserted back into its wrapper… For one frightening moment I feared I had misplaced the condoms, but when I brushed against my suitcase and it rebounded off the wall, I realized where they were.

Nevertheless, there was one unforgivable oversight: I had forgotten the wine! What was Neon going to think, entering an apartment that lacked a robust Chardonnay?

There are moments in your life when you stand at the precipice. When the difference between ruin and redemption hinge on a few well-chosen words.

Neon supplied them: “You have whiskey?” A pretty, lithe, brown woman with a mischievous smile asking if I had hard liquor?!?! This was beyond anything I had ever fantasized about. Nervously, I suggested that though I was out at the moment, perhaps a run to the nearby 7-11 could be done to pick up a bottle (or two or three).

Neon said that was fine and while I was out she would take a shower.

The neighborhood 7-11 is right around one hundred meters from the front gate of my apartment building. I made it there in .03 of a second under the gold medal time at the Beijing Olympics.

Arriving back at the love nest with the booze, I immediately poured her a Seagram’s and water, then hurriedly took a shower of my own. A few minutes later I was back in the room and noticed her empty glass.

This concerned me. Had she spilled it? Seeing no evidence, I decided to make her a second drink and stood slack-jawed as it quickly vanished.

“I corny! You make me very corny!”, Neon suddenly and repeatedly exclaimed as she climbed onto the bed and began sliding towards me. (And just what the hell was she saying? Horny?)

To my horror, and far too late, I realized the monster I’d created. Grabbing the Seagram’s bottle (the one non-organic object with a chance of sustaining her attention), I slowly backed into the bathroom. In a last, desperate attempt to stave off a sexual version of the Alamo, I raised it over my head. “Stop!” I cried, trying to keep the terror out of my voice. “You try boom-boom me, no drink more whiskey!”.

My neighbor found me the next morning. The door was partly open and I was curled up in a fetal position in a corner of the room, mumbling something about Davey Crockett. I was taken by a friend to a local physician who prescribed some sedatives while gently poo-pooing the idea of a woman with an uncontrollable sex drive. While intrigued to have met a Thai who had obviously married an American girl from the Midwest, I nevertheless tried to convince him of the lethality of the local species and the need to warn other foreigners. But it was an exercise in futility. Finding his condescending attitude infuriating, I finally stormed out of the office.

That afternoon I left an envelope addressed to Neon at her bar. Inside was the doctor’s business card. I figured he deserved a walk on the wild side.



In front of an aging personal computer…

Being a former I.T. person, I realize my Thai woman-chasing essays may be confusing for my fellow middle-aged programmers. To assist them in their own shy and awkward efforts, I have written some instructions in the “ancient” COBOL programming language.

** Controlling function.

      THRU 1100-EXIT
** Anything wrong with her?
              THRU 9999-EXIT
** How smart is she?
      THRU 1200-EXIT



** Oops! Not a woman. Abandon ship!
        GO TO 1000-EXIT


A Languid Day in the Life

Pattaya, Thailand

My flung beer bottles from prior mornings having missed their target, my aforementioned little winged friend has become more pugnacious with shrill, predawn chirping; a kind of feathery alarm clock. But I am getting used to it, plus getting up in the tropics is a simple affair with a minimum of clothing and effort: roll out of bed, don a t-shirt and shorts, gulp a few swallows of beer along with a slice of leftover pizza (part of this complete breakfast!), and I am all set for the new day.

The rules at the apartment require the residents to leave their high heels, shoes, and sandals outside on the front steps. My half-decade-old tennies are always recognizable by the encircling pile of dead ants and roaches who ventured too close in the night. A Thai Pest Control company has contacted me about selling my footwear. I’m waiting until there are holes in the soles of both shoes.

But before I tally up the Nike body count, my first chore is to sneak by the lady in the lobby who handles the apartment business and serves as my informal Thai teacher. Every morning she has a new, practical, but largely incomprehensible phrase for me to learn, making me feel even more foolish than usual. Slipping past her unnoticed is the only reliable way of avoiding my lesson. I tread lightly and quickly.

First up is a stop at the local laundromat to pick up my clothes. For some inexplicable reason, each time I drop off my laundry, it takes them longer to do it. It used to be around twenty-four hours — ready by 10:00 a.m. the next day. Then the time slid to noon, and now it’s approaching late afternoon. At this rate I’ll soon be needing a lunar calendar to follow the schedule: drop off during the waxing crescent moon, pick up when it’s full.

There’s always some uncertainty about the garments I’m getting back. This time I am surprised to re-discover my ragged Las Vegas t-shirt! This had disappeared after the last cleaning, and I’d assumed Thai health codes had forced the laundress to condemn it. But no, it had been simply misplaced. Perhaps to atone for that mistake, the woman has this time added a pair of low-cut, white socks with ‘Elvis’ labels on them. Out of curiosity I try them on, and the fit is so comfortable I decide not to make a fuss.

There is a spring in my step as I continue down the street, now attired in the latest Thai fashion. Elvis has left the laundromat!

Twenty-one years as a programmer have infected me with a technology craving, satiated through a few hours in an internet cafe. On Youtube, I bring up Al Stewart’s 1977 song of Asian infatuation (Year of the Cat) and let the haunting melody and searing instrument solos wash over me while I check my messages, my gaze continually sliding off the screen towards the Thai waitresses. Being in the midst of the real thing causes the tune to resonate in a way that no video could hope to achieve. Soft memories from my college days (when the word “cat” referred to a pet) overlap with the pleasures of the present. The immature, twenty-year-old, girl-crazy student merges with the immature, fifty-something, salivating old man I have proudly become. True lust never dies!

Following the morning’s chores (and a lunch at McDs), it is time for a well-deserved afternoon siesta. To combat the stifling heat in my room, I position an electric fan no more than five inches from my head and set it on high. Calvin Coolidge, the largely inert thirtieth president of the United States, made a habit of these kinds of snooze sessions. Imagine napping in the White House… A man must never lose sight of his dreams.

For the evening, I decide to stay home and watch some sports on TV. I’ve become especially interested in the game of cricket after having seen a televised match while in Cape Town early last year. Last week I was able to tune in and catch the end of it. There’s a new match this week between the Aussies and England, but I may be in the U.S. in eighteen month’s time and will therefore not be able to catch the conclusion.

Eventually, middle-aged drowsiness and the sudden barking of the dogs beneath my window signals it is time for bed. I re-position my shorts and t-shirts on the same chair as the night before, pour all the leftover beer into a single bottle, and stuff the three slices of pizza into the vegetable bin of the refrigerator (they do after all have green peppers). With my valuables thus safely secured and my earplugs in, I sleep soundly.


Be it ever so humble.

4 Dog Night

Pattaya, Thailand

It is the beginning of calendar winter as the tropical morning sun peeks into my window, warming the room. Having declined to find a companion the evening before, I permit myself the luxury of sleeping in, stretching out over the double bed.

I am awakened, as I have been the past three mornings, by the frenzied warbling of some exotic bird. It sounds like he is right outside my window, sharing with me his joy over the new day.

If he stays there any longer, I’m going to peg the noisy little bastard with a beer bottle.

But no, I had promised myself that I am stockpiling that ammunition for the local dog chorus whose performance begins around 10:30 each night in the vacant lot next to the apartment building. Usually it begins with an impassioned solo by a mixed-breed Rottweiler, reaching out to all other canines within hearing and inviting them to add their yelps of yearning.

For the second movement, two bedraggled Fox Terrier tenors from across the street add their mournful laments. Harmonizing with the Rottweiler like water in Gravy Train, the trio builds towards an irresistible, ragged crescendo that can briefly restore hearing loss.

It is the French Poodle’s staccato-like outbursts which define the third and final movement. Rising above the drawn-out howls, its endless yapping radiates a shrill warning for postmen everywhere. As the ferocity gathers, the maelstrom begins to crowd out all other night sounds. The universe has become an all-encompassing cacophony of barks and yelps from which there is no auditory escape.

The silence that follows the climax is stunning in its emptiness. Slowly, hesitantly, other animals begin filling the late evening with their gentler serenading. The simple chirping of the cricket, the lonely meow of a distant cat…..and the warbling of that damn bird!

The evening’s guest soloist.

Thailand Immigration Entry Form

General Information


Sex:  Yes [_]  No [_]
With Whom?  M [_]  F [_]  Either [_]  Both [_]

Reason For Visit
Business [_]  Education [_]  Tourism (wink, wink) [_]

Kindly Answer Below Questions
1. You bring sharp-edged objects (like ex-spouse) into country?  Y_  N_

2. You bringing bad drugs into country?  Y_  N_
If answer no, would like to buy some?

3. You have any pornographic materials?  Y_  N_
If no, why not?  You want only to eat Thai food?

4. You carry more than $10,000 USD in currency or condoms?  Y_ N_

5. Any vegetables?  Y_  N_
Must not bring: Carrots, cucumbers, zucchinis.  Make girls nervous.

6. How long be in Thailand?
a. 14 days.
b. 30 days.
c. Until I find a bar girl to go home with me.
==>Attention: Duty Free bar girls available in customs area!
d. Until the statute of limitations runs out back home.

Please write name if telling truth: __________________________
If not tell truth and only want women, write “Bill Clinton”.

We hope you visit give good memories.
Please to come again when you healthy and have more money!

Recipe for a 3rd World Country

Manilla, The Philippines

Why is it that some countries are perpetual losers in the global economy? How are they able to stay mired in the economic sludge decade after decade? In my never-ending efforts to foster better understanding between cultures through sarcasm and ridicule, I thought I’d document the secrets of their lack of success.

1. A tropical location. The afternoon jungle heat and humidity. Cholera, malaria. I certainly wouldn’t feel like putting my nose to the grindstone. Would you?

2. A constitution easier to change than last week’s underwear. Yesterday’s tough, charismatic, pro-democracy president morphs into today’s tough, charismatic, totalitarian dictator.

3. Give Peace A Chance. With no external enemies to threaten and unite the population, hostilities quickly turn inwards, leading to tribal warfare and civil uprisings.

4. Have children like palm trees have coconuts. This puts a strain on the country’s resources; impoverishes young women; and insures an ever-expanding underclass.

5. We don’t need no education. You don’t have to be dumb to be a third world country, but it helps!

6. Blame someone (anyone) else. Colonialism, racism, the Dalai Lama…it doesn’t matter as long as it provides the country with ample reason to avoid serious self-examination.

But how, you may wonder, can we combine some or all of these in a durable form? The solution is simple and elegant: Be colonized by Spain, with its sterling traditions of shaky governments (#2), an inept military, an inablility to engage foreign opponents (#3), plus Roman Catholicism with its condom condemnations (#4). And when things inevitably fall apart, it is easy to point fingers back at the Spaniards (#6).

To rephrase an old saying: If you want something done right, you must do it yourself. But if it absolutely has to be done badly, if success is not an option, necessitas una persona de la Espanola.


Boracay Beach Buddies

Boracay Island, The Philippines

The island of Boracay is one of the more popular tourist destinations in the Philippines. The beach is postcard pretty, with a gentle slope and non-threatening waves. Relaxing in the warm water is akin to being in a giant bathtub.

It’s almost enough to make you forget the scantily clad women on the shore. They can drive you to distraction regardless of what you are doing, their dusky sexuality twisting your thinking. For example, last evening I tried reading my astronomy magazine to prepare for some stargazing, but when I opened to the page that talked about how Mars was once hotter and wetter than it is now, all thoughts of finding the Southern Cross went right out the window.

Clearly I had to get out and meet the natives of the female persuasion before I began forgetting meals.

This did not require much effort. The beachfront on Boracay is basically one big red light district. The ladies congregate out in front of the bars, focusing their attention on middle aged men, especially those who look like they have gone a long time without companionship and thus might be susceptible to the charms of a younger woman.

I have never been so popular.

I had just finished my first drink of the evening and was fighting off the audio-induced nausea of a disco bar when a lady wearing plaster of Paris makeup sidled up to me. Grabbing one of my arms, she exclaimed that she loved old men.

My first reaction was to look around to see whom she was referring to. Certainly not moi? And what a crappy pickup line. I should have replied, “Oh, you are in luck then, because I love women who resemble walking statues!”

Leaving my initial encounter behind, I began strolling down the sandy path towards other watering holes, running the gauntlet of admirers at each. It seemed they were all working off the same tiresome script. What these charming hostesses fail to understand is that for us middle-aged men, eating is the activity we have real enthusiasm for. So instead of, say, Golden Showers, they should be trying to pervert us with Golden Arches.

Most confusing for me were the ones operating in pairs, offering a “special massage”. But who was going to be massaging who and when? I sat down on the beach with one of these duos and tried to map out the possibilities in the sand, but it ended up looking like an NFL punt return. All I could tell was I’d be in the center of the action, but there would be bodies coming at me from all sides.

In one instance I found only one of the women attractive. Wanting to get rid of the other (named Loi) via a tactful and seemingly fair process, I resorted to trickery:

“OK girls, this is a coin I’m going to flip. If it is “heads”, then Layla (all their names start with “L” for some reason) will go home with me and Loi stays here. If “tails”, Loi goes home with me and Layla stays. (I flip the coin.) It looks like… tai… oh darn it. I dropped it in the sand. We’ll have to try again!”

But Loi’s luck was a juggernaut that evening. Some twenty minutes and many lost coins later, I was still trying to eliminate her:
“Eeny, meeny, miny, moe, catch a ni…, er, African-American by his toe…..”

As midnight approached:
“No Loi, you don’t understand. Scissors cuts rock!”

Finally exhaustion set in and I had to call it a night, but not before giving Loi some money to purchase tickets in the Philippine Lottery. I figured with her luck, she had at least a fifty-fifty chance of getting set for life, and without having to sleep with me. Above all things, one must know how to keep a woman happy!


And that’s not all!