I awoke at nearly midnight with Jeab in my arms. I felt totally worn out which I guess was a result of the excitement of the past few days, jet-lag and making love with Jeab. I lay there for a few moments my nostrils filled with the scent of Jeab’s hair, listening to the distant sound of traffic from Second Road. I was ravenously hungry and gently let go of Jeab as I went to the shower. Jeab stirred slightly but remained asleep. The air conditioning had made the room cool and I switched on a bedside lamp. I stood under the shower trying to decide whether I would go out and take Jeab with me, go out and send Jeab home, stay in my room with Jeab or stay in my room without Jeab. Such are the decisions to be made in Thailand.
I decided to leave Jeab sleeping while I went downstairs to have a drink in the hotel bar. Half expecting to meet green stripe polo shirt I entered the lift and descended to the ground floor. I could hear the music from the bar opposite as I ordered a Heineken and sat down with my thoughts. The bar was virtually empty with only a couple of guys accompanied by Thai ladies. They spoke in hushed tones as I stood up to collect a copy of the Bangkok Post from the newspaper rack. As I did this I heard a voice behind me.
“Mind if I join you mate?”
The accent was unmistakably Australian and belonged to a guy who looked to be in his mid-thirties, about my height with a short military type haircut wearing light blue jeans, a white shirt and suede desert boots.
“Yes, no problem, sit down here, fancy a beer? I’m Gerry from England”. We shook hands.
“My name’s Jim I’m from Sydney”.
I got Jim a bottle of Singha and I got a bottle of Heineken, we sat down at a table with a view through the window of the soi. Jim was in Pattaya on holiday and this was his first night. He had arranged to meet some friends in Pattaya but their flight was delayed and they’d decided to spend the night in Bangkok.
“Great place mate” said Jim taking a hearty glug from his beer.
“My first time here Jim, got here this morning and things are going fine so far”. My mind wandering briefly to wonder what Jeab was doing upstairs. I’d locked all my valuables in the room safe and hated doing it because I wanted to trust everyone but better to be safe than sorry.
“What you got planned tonight?” said Jim as his eyes followed a couple of young ladies walking up the soi towards Second Road.
“Nothing at the moment mate, any ideas?”
Of course Jim had ideas. We discussed our plans and I quickly made the decision to relieve Jeab of her duties and hit the town with Jim. I caught the lift upstairs and knocked on the room door. Jeab opened the door almost immediately, smiling wrapped in a white towel and wearing a shower cap. I explained I was going out with my friend from the bar and would she give me her telephone number. I didn’t know exactly how to say I wanted her to go but she got the message but not before peeling off her towel and standing naked in front of me saying, “I horny tilac”. My return to the hotel bar and my new friend Jim took slightly longer than I anticipated. I introduced Jeab to Jim before she went on her merry way laden with baht.
It was getting towards one o’clock in the morning as Jim and myself jumped into a baht bus and headed towards Soi 8. Jim had been to Soi 8 earlier in the evening and recommended we revisit. We paid the baht bus driver his fare and entered Soi 8. Soi 8 runs parallel to Soi 13 between Second Road and Beach Road further north along the coast. It is lined by bars on both sides and is about 150 metres in length. As we arrived the bars were closing but it was still possible to have a drink outside the bars and the place was buzzing with people. The lights in the bars had been turned off and the volume of the music was reduced but there was still a fun atmosphere with hundreds of people still partying. Girls, and ladyboys, were in abundance all around us as we drank our beers and took in the scenery. We were soon joined by a couple of girls, Bom and Art. Bom latched onto Jim and Art seemed to take a liking to me. We bought them drinks which looked more like works of art than a beverage and settled down to talk away and watch the activities on Soi 8. Art spoke excellent English and we were soon deep in conversation about nothing in particular. I endured the now familiar interrogation – name, duration of stay, name of hotel, how old, wife? Girlfriend? Where you go? etc. The answers I gave seemed to satisfy both Art and myself as the crowds on Soi 8 thinned slightly. Bom got up to go and get some food for her and Jim so I asked Art if she wanted anything. Art smiled and said yes so she joined Bom on the food run. I was looking forward to something to eat as I hadn’t eaten since the chicken and fruit earlier in the day. I asked Jim how he was getting on and I got the response, “Bonzer” which I took to mean things were going great with him and Bom. We got another couple of beers from a very tall ladyboy who had now assumed waitress duties for us. Bom and Art returned clutching a veritable feast which included a doner kebab, a couple of burgers, some som tam, a fish with what looked like garlic, lime and chilli, a few bags of sticky rice and some noodles and we all tucked in although I noticed the girls gave the burgers and kebab a wide berth.
The food finished we ordered more beers and spectacular beverages for the girls and talked about moving on. Bom suggested we went to a disco she knew was open until the morning. Jim and myself didn’t take much persuading as we quickly finished our drinks and hopped into a passing baht bus. I sat next to Art on one side of the baht bus and opposite Bom and Jim held each other as we commenced our breakneck speed journey to the mystery destination. We turned inland away from the sea. I recognised the road we were on from my journey into Pattaya the previous morning as we passed some very large hotels. The street lights became more sparse and darkness seemed to envelope us as we travelled to our mystery destination. Suddenly the baht bus slowed and in front of us stood a huge warehouse type structure adorned with flashing neon lights. It was like an oasis in the middle of darkness with what seemed like hundreds of Thai men and women along with farangs accompanied by Thai girls. Art and Bom seemed very excited to have arrived as we alighted the baht bus and paid the driver.
Outside the queue to enter the venue snaked around the side of the building. There were dozens of food carts sprinkled around the place along with small stalls selling beer and soft drinks to those in the queue. Bom and Art disappeared for a couple of minutes and reappeared clutching bags of what I thought were chocolate chip cookies although on closer inspection they were deep fried baby frogs which both Art and Bom nibbled on voraciously. They offered Jim and myself a frog each but we both politely declined causing the girls to giggle furiously no doubt revelling in the awkwardness of the two farangs.
The girls entered the venue free of charge and both Jim and myself were charged an admission fee which included a free drink. Inside, the place was jumping. Literally hundreds of Thai’s and farangs dancing and having fun. The venue was enormous and was adorned with flashing lights, huge sheets hanging from the ceiling and a stage where I presumed a band would play at some point. Everybody seemed to be having a great time. Suddenly the music stopped and everybody started chanting something in Thai, the noise got louder as the chanting became louder and louder. Me and Jim looked at each other laughing and at the same time feeling slightly excluded. Bom and Art were jumping up and down laughing hysterically and shouting, it seemed the whole place was going to explode when the lights flashed even faster, the noise built to a crescendo and there were three enormous loud bangs. This was when I noticed what looked like foam being shot out of what seemed to be huge drainpipes at the side of the stage. The foam shot up into the air seemingly covering everything. The girls were now besides themselves jumping up and down screaming as they were progressively covered with the foam. We all became unrecognisable as the music started up again and people danced, jumped around and melted into a huge mass of foam and humanity. It was mind-blowingly hysterically funny.
Eventually the hysteria subsided and Jim and myself located Art and Bom who had by now de-foamed themselves. They were still in the vicinity but appeared to be shell-shocked after the excitement of the foam. It obviously wasn’t the first time Bom and Art had attended the foam night and judging by how much they had enjoyed it, it wouldn’t be the last.
We left at around five o’clock and wearily made our way towards a queue of baht buses parked on the road that passed the foam warehouse. Art and Bom by now had stopped talking and entered the Thai girl mode of tiredness where nothing short of a firework up the arse would rouse them. We all returned to the hotel in the baht bus tired, happy and looking forward to a good nights sleep. We caught the lift up to our respective floors, me with Art and Jim with Bom and said our goodnights.
Art and myself slept like the proverbial logs, naked and entwined.