The Sukhumvit Grapevine

I went on a slight bender the other day. Usually, I don’t flirt with girls too much, when I go for the beer. But it so happened, I ended up on Soi Cowboy sitting in one of the outside bars. I did some people watching and spotted a few Ronald McBoyfriends, and what looked to me, as a middle-aged American father apparently showing his 16-17 year old son the sights.

I somehow ended up chatting with one of the gogo-girls working the place, where I had never been before. She spoke pretty good English, and she had charm and a sense of humour too. Since the place wasn’t busy, she had plenty of time to talk, and I bought her a drink just for the sake of talking.

As we came further and further into the conversation I got an eerie feeling, because the girl, whom I had never met before, in a place where I had never been before, seemed to know a thing or two about me.

Being Thai and a gogo-girl, she of course wasn’t in anyway straightforward about it. But she kind of revealed herself on a couple of occasions. At one point she asked me – out of the blue – if I liked pizza. Now, that may have been her way of asking me to bar-fine her. But a couple of days before I had been around the corner to Little Italy, where I had had a pizza on my own sitting outside on the terrazzo.

This may all just have been coincidence. But she also seemed to know that I’m not the type who likes to wait. If someone makes me wait, I usually leave. A couple of days earlier I had left another place on Cowboy because the service had been to slow. Someone had kept me waiting for too long.

The gogo-girl apparently also knew that I was a bit of a bad boy when I was a young man. A month earlier I had told a girl up on Sukhumvit something like that. Now, this girl was no longer working. She had moved back home to Isan several years ago, and was in Bangkok on a visit. I know this to be true, for reasons I shall not explain here.

Now, back to the gogo-girl, whom I had never met before, in a bar where I had never been before. She also seemed to know a thing or two about me being single. Bare in mind that this was all indirect in her conversation.

But at a certain point, I asked, why she seemed to know a thing or two about me. She looked all innocent, and told me she was just guessing.

I like pizza; correct

I don’t like to wait; correct

I was a bit of a bad boy, when I was a young man; correct

I am single; correct

Maybe she was just really good at guessing. It must certainly come with the territory when being a gogo-girl.

Or maybe I’m going paranoid or maybe I was just drunk.

Then again, I still couldn’t escape that eerie feeling of being in a village, where the Grapevine is faster than an Echelon internet connection.

Now, I kind of realized that already, but all of a sudden Sukhumvit and Soi Cowboy seemed like a place with less than a hundred inhabitants.

Maybe I should stay off Sukhumvit and Soi Cowboy for a while. But I’m not sure if it will make any difference.

6 thoughts on “The Sukhumvit Grapevine”

  1. Giacomo,

    You might be a little paranoid, mate 🙂

    Let’s go down the list:

    Likes pizza: What farang doesn’t? There’s a reason why they sell pizza in every country in the world. Farangs love it!

    Don’t like to wait: Who likes waiting? Especially impatient farangs.

    Bad boy: Could have been something you said.

    Single: Well, it’s a 50/50 shot, right? 🙂 Either your single or your not. No ring, not too hard to guess.

  2. You are probably right. But these girls are all over the place. And they do like to gossip.

  3. Giacomo: Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean that no one’s out to get you.

    I admit your list is a little general in nature, the fact is that the farang community in Bangkok is fairly small and easily recognizable, and the bar girls have links to one another that are normally completely invisible to us. The information flows like water, though not always accurately.

    I once had my Thai girlfriend (at the time)screaming and crying because one of the girls at her old bar had told her that her boyfriend had barfined another girl from that bar the night before. Nothing I could say would change her mind, but I finally planted enough doubt in her mind that she did a little fact-checking.

    Everything was correct, except that the girl was talking about her LAST boyfriend, not me.

    About five months ago at the Mandarin Club I had a dancer giving me the same kind of creepy feeling you described in your blog. I finally asked her about it, and she said, “Do you remember Oi from Soi Cowboy?”

    Indeed I did. I hadn’t seen her since she’d retired from the chrome pole in early 2006 and moved back to Isaan.

    “I friend Oi. She alway talk you good man.”

    Mind you, this was 2 1/2 years after Oi had deserted Bangkok, and I was sitting in NEP; Oi had worked on Soi Cowboy and been a bar girl for only about ten months before she decided to give it up and move back home.

    Stay off Sukhumvit for a while? Yeah. In a decade or so they might begin to forget who you are.

    Bangkok’s a small town if you’re farang.

  4. Cheers WW! I have, in fact, tried to keep a low profile. But it seems a fact that The Sukhumvit Grapvine is fast, efficient, and long lasting. I think, I will stay paranoid on purpose!

  5. No shit, WW.

    I still get the odd girl who comes up and asks me if I remember Nit (or something similar). She was the first girl I ever barfined in Pattaya more than 5 years ago. BF’d her only twice, maybe 3 times, then went back home. Came back 2 weeks later but she was tied up, then disappeared.

    No loss to me. I can’t even remember the girl’s name, but her mates still ask me about her. (Tell me she’s married, have baby, live in Germany now.)

    Who cares? Only they do.

  6. Believe it or not, but a farang-guy was walking through the street from Soi 4 to NEP the other day.

    It was somewhat early in the evening since no one else were walking the street.

    I had descended on one of the bar-stoles in an outdoor bar along the street to grab a beer. Others had done the same. Among them two English-speaking farangs who, I presume, were expats of some experience.

    When they saw the guy walking into NEP, one of them said to the other: “Here’s that idiot, who lives in xx…Have you seen him before?”

    In saying so he proved the point that Sukhumvit is a Grapevine, both when it comes to the girls and to us local farangs.

    Please bare in mind, I wasn’t eaves-dropping. The “talker” was talking rather loud.

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