10 things I hate about Bangkok (Part 5)

BARGIRLS’ MOBILE PHONES: Have you ever met a bargirl whose phone does not have Bluetooth, email, digital camera, WAP, GSM, HSCSD, GPRS, SyncML, J2ME, MMS and a whole lot more unintelligible acronyms? Neither have I. It always puzzles me why anyone financing an extended family in Isaan, various unwell buffaloes and a Thai boyfriend would invest 15,000 baht in a phone with functions they cannot use. A girl recently asked me if she could download some photos from her phone to my computer. “Me have Bluetooth,” she said, producing a USB cable. “No, Bluetooth is a wireless application – that is a USB cable. Anyway, my computer does not have Bluetooth,” I explained. She looked horrified. “You no have Bluetooth? You Cheap Charlie mak mak.”

LARGE THAI SCHOOLBOYS IN SHORT TROUSERS: As the locals get bigger on their new diet of Big Macs and KFC, there are unfortunate consequences for those overgrown youths forced to wear school uniforms. On the Skytrain recently, a schoolboy of monstrous proportions got on at Ploenchit. He was about 6ft 3ins and 100 kilograms. He had stubble and looked as though he could hold his own in the front row of South Africa’s pack at the Rugby World Cup. His machismo, however, was somewhat dented by his attire of white shirt, very skimpy blue shorts, white socks and shiny black shoes. He was obviously embarrassed. I wanted to burst out laughing but did not dare. I did not want to be beaten up by a 13-year-old.

‘MY FLEND NO HAVE DINK’: This is a relatively new expression among Bangkok’s bargirls. Several times recently I have performed my duty as a mobile ATM by buying a drink or two for a girl. This generosity is not enough. The girl will invariably then point at a morbidly obese jungle bunny sitting morosely on the other side of the bar and say: “My flend no have dink. You buy for her.” Frankly, it is of no concern to me whether she dies of thirst, but I sometimes relent and buy another 120-baht Cola to enhance my reputation as a customer of “jai dee” (translation: good heart or farang sucker).

THE GREEN GOO IN 7-ELEVEN SNACKS: What is this stuff? Does anyone like it? I prefer savoury to sweet but each time I buy a pancake or other bakery product, I bite into it and see this sickly-sweet green goo. The new government must tackle this issue.

RESTAURANT STAFF PAID TO STARE AT CUSTOMERS: I recently had a very unnerving lunch at the Sizzler chain’s Bangna branch. I was the only customer and every move I made was scrutinised by the 10 staff lined up in front of me. It was like being a condemned man eating his last meal before being executed. Each time I sipped my iced tea, the iced tea supervisor came rushing over to top up my drink. When I went to the salad counter, six staff followed me. I know they were just trying to help and were grateful to have a customer, but it was a truly scary experience.

THAI GIRLS WHO SPOON-FEED THEIR FARANGS: This vomit-inducing practice is part of the Thai “taking care” philosophy. It has to stop. I have had enough of looking at middle-aged farangs with smug grins being spoon-fed their khao pad gai. Where is their self-respect? Next time bring a high-chair and a bib, you gormless tossers.

SHOWER FETISHISTS: I know cleanliness is next to godliness, but Thai girls can take it too far. We have all come across the ones who insist on you and her showering more often than is good for human beings. I once entertained one who could barely go more than 30 minutes without a shower. She could not speak English and just kept on shouting “abnam, abnam” all the time. By the time she left, I had spent so much time in the shower that I was starting to rust. At least she added another word to my Thai vocabulary – “abnam” means shower.

FARANG JOGGERS: These misguided fools actually think they are doing themselves some good by running in Bangkok’s heat, humidity and pollution. Wrong. They are also letting down the entire farang community. Thais expect us to spend our leisure time in bars drinking too much and negotiating short-time rates. We should not disappoint them.

THE BEGGAR ON CRUTCHES: You will have seen him patrolling the entrance to Nana Plaza and rudely accosting everyone who passes. He even uses his crutch to tap people on the shoulder. I spent an hour observing him from Big Dogs and, believe me, he does not need your help. I saw him counting his money and it was a very impressive wad. He won’t be swapping begging for factory work.

SLEEPERS: Thai girls appear to have a sleep gene that enables them to slumber for up to 20 hours at a time. I once had an overnighter who I had to wake up at 6.30pm and tell to go because I had no food in my flat and was desperate to eat. At first I thought these girls were staying so long because they liked me, but the awful truth gradually dawned that they just like sleeping. There is only one sound that can rouse them – the opening of a wallet. 

10 things I hate about Bangkok
10 things I hate about Bangkok (Part 2)
10 things I hate about Bangkok (Part 3)
10 things I hate about Bangkok (Part 4)
10 things I hate about Bangkok (Part 5)

15 thoughts on “10 things I hate about Bangkok (Part 5)

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  • October 29, 2007 at 2:32 am
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    hahahah, nutter you are a littlebit funny, but morbid at the same time, im not surprised you have a heap of bad tales to tell, all your subjects are hookers,
    as i sayd before try finding normal chicks they actualy are really nice.

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  • December 20, 2009 at 12:59 am
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    I’m sitting in my room in a guest house in Bangkok right now, being hugely disappointed by the place: I asked a tuk-tuk driver to take me to a bar where I was going to meet a few guys I met today, the smelly rat instead decided to take me to the bar where he would get a free gas coupon. Definately some of the worst type of people. So having decided I’d rather lock myself in my room and sit at my computer than face the horrendous place that Bangkok is, I googled “I hate Bangkok” and found this. You’ve made me smile. I cannot thank you enough.

  • December 20, 2009 at 10:30 pm
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    Wow Gavin.One dishonest Tuk Tuk driver is what makes you decide to stay in your room and sit at your computer?

    Do you not have any shady characters in your country? Do these characters make your city horrendous?

    If you that easy to disillusion, then life is going to be a lemon for you.
    There is a lot to enjoy to enjoy in BKK. Go on and test the water.

    I must admit though,that most Tuk Tuk drivers are probably the lowest life form in BKK.My advice to all visitors is to avoid them totally. Take a meter taxi instead. If everybody did this, it would put them out of business. BKK would be a better place without them.

  • December 21, 2009 at 12:14 am
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    @ZED: Agree 100%. I hate tuk tuk drivers with a very special passion. What they do would be considered kidnapping in some countries.

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  • April 22, 2010 at 2:46 am
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    The worst thing a customer of those ‘sleepers’ can do is criticize them for what they are! LOL…and going by your article, you seem to be providing half the Thai night business. You are such a hypocrite.

    Dont get me wrong..you have a good writing style and i did somewhat enjoy this article..find better topics, i am sure u would do well.

  • January 20, 2011 at 11:42 pm
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    I’m with Gavin on this one, just did exactly the same thing, wondering if anyone ever hated a holiday so much as I have hated the past four days in Bangkok. Sick of constantly dodging the scams, and getting condescending looks and comments from the people in this city. I trust the rest of Thailand isn’t like this, but no longer care to find out. I’ve done my last trek up Scum-vit road to the BTS. The street cart fried chicken is great, and the Singha and Chang is ok, but I’ll be glad to see the back of this toilet.

  • July 9, 2012 at 5:00 pm
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    I’ve been here for five days now and I just got over the smell. My first few days, walking soi 4 (Nana plaza) checking out the sights, I honestly almost vomited. It’s the combination of garbage, exhaust fumes and the street vedors burning fish and other unsavory foods mixed with high humidity. I seem to be getting use to as I don’t feel like chucking up whats in my belly.

  • July 10, 2012 at 7:32 pm
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    honestly is a pity do criticize people and country where you are happy for many reasons, but I must admit that thai people are very clean but the country is very dirty, especially most of beaches which i dont mention now….is nice to see people smiling, but if after each people smiling, you meet tuk tuk which bother you wild way without respect, then you are confused whether to stay in one place and not go around or go around and send to hell all those tuk tuk drivers and also illegal taxi drivers……I am living at Laos now till end of year and believ me, tuk tuk are even much worse, because they cheat on prices left and right

  • July 10, 2012 at 8:05 pm
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    @ ant45 I never said anything about the people. I find the Thai people very nice but parts of Bangkok are a real mess. With that said I am now oblivious to the smell and I can say that the mess adds to the charm. I’m having too much fun if that is even possible. I need too slow down, I’m here for awhile and I don’t want to go broke. I think it’s time to really explore the city and keep my dick in my pants.

  • July 10, 2012 at 8:08 pm
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    Oh an yes Thai people are very clean. I wish I could say the same for myself after walking for awhile. I’ve never sweated so much in my life.

  • July 11, 2012 at 3:56 pm
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    Tony, I really like your opinions and what you write….but if you keep your dick in your pants, it might happen that with so many walking sexy girls, that your dick will not obey you

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