SAWATDEE KRUNGTHEP — HELLO BANGKOK
The bald eagle has landed! Dave The Rave has returned from his reality check to Farangland. So, how was the trip? Did I land in London with a resounding bump? The answer is a definite YES! I dislike the whole chaos of mega busy airports like Heathrow. Although it was my annual family visit, I am pleased to be back in Bangkok. As my luck would have it, this summer was the worst on record. (As most of you know, Britain ranks highly, as having the most miserable weather in the whole of the western world). In reality, the winters are getting longer and the summers are shorter. I have to admit that the catastrophic climate is a depressing characteristic of my motherland. The icy winds and driving rain does nothing to inspire the people. During the holiday, some days the weather was quite reasonable in the daytime, but cold, wet and windy from early evening onwards. We are talking about August here, so I dread to think what the winter months will be like in England. Fortunately, I don’t have to suffer the harsh winter in Farangland. This is one of the best things about living in Thailand. We enjoy a 12-month long summer, which is briefly interrupted by the rainy season. Even the so-called Thai winter (akaat yen), is similar to a fine summer in Farangland. Originating from Antarctic conditions, I always appreciate Thailand’s wonderful weather.
During my visit home, my family decided to go to Skegness. For those who don’t know dear old Skeggy, it’s a seaside town not far from my hometown in the Midlands. I have many childhood memories of our family holidays in Skegness. But, I have to say that it was weird returning to Skeggy after so many years. This is especially true considering how long I have lived in the Land Of Sanuk. Skegness comprises of shops, amusement arcades, fairground rides, stalls, markets, hotels, guesthouses, holiday camps, pubs and some beachfront thrown in for good effect. It’s another world compared to Thailand. Looking around the numerous shops and market stalls was the main event, because the weather was so awful. Rows upon rows of shops were selling seaside souvenirs, buckets and spades, trinkets, saucy postcards, junk food, seafood, tacky toys and cheap clothes. My seaside homecoming really was a reality check. Four days in Skegness was more than enough for me. Fortunately, my mother did not traumatise us by insisting that we visit Butlins holiday camp! My body was at the English coastline, but my heart was in Thailand. It’s fair to say, I am happy to be back in Bangkok.
IS EAST LEAST AND WEST BEST?
Spending time in both the East and the West does give us a different perspective in our lives. This is particularly true when you consider that East and West are two very different worlds. In saying that, I know many people living overseas who would love to spend more time in Thailand. Furthermore, they might even want to live in Thailand. The difference is that the guys who travel to and from Thailand, do get to experience both worlds. It is also possible that they appreciate their lifestyles more. Before we decide to move to another country, it’s advisable to spend time contemplating this decision in detail. My personal preference is to continue living in Thailand. With so many problems in Farangland, I definitely don’t see that “East is least and West is best.” The credit crunch, the oil crisis and spiralling inflation have all taken their toll on Western nations. In addition, England is so expensive that I was in a state of shock. The cost of living in England is nothing short of blatant extortion! Thailand is not perfect, but overall I very much enjoy living here.
RUMBLE IN THE NEON JUNGLE
Closing time in Nana Plaza has consistently remained at 2:00am, or later. Despite what you may have heard, or read on the internet, Nana Plaza is open until at least 2:00am nightly. If the boys in brown are late arriving, some go-go bars carry on partying. When the police do arrive, it is normal procedure to instruct the go-go dancers to stop dancing and leave the stage. In Angelwitch, the girls can sit with customers and there is normally no reason to hurry to finish your drinks. Angelwitch Go-Go Bar prefers to shut down in stages at closing time. In some other go-go bars, the white lights are suddenly turned on, the music stops immediately and the service girls ask you to pay your bill. In extreme cases, you are promptly told to leave the bar. This sequence of events happens so quickly, it’s like a rude awakening. In some bars, the bargirls cheer because it is time to go home. All this is not at all inspiring for the guy who is spreading the wealth! Although the draconian methods by the Thai authorities are mostly to blame, the go-go bars themselves could be more subtle at closing time. I wish that closing time in Bangkok’s adult entertainment areas could be left to the bar bosses. Unfortunately, I can’t see anything changing in the near future. On the other hand, if seven hours is not enough drinking/ogling time, then you do have a serious problem!
Furthermore, regarding closing time in Nana Plaza, 2:00am was reinstated some weeks ago. This is important, because it allows Soi Nana to operate on a level playing field with Patpong and Soi Cowboy. Currently, all three of Bangkok’s adult entertainment areas are open until at least 2:00am on a nightly basis. As always, I will keep you informed if there are any changes.
Following a quiet period, bar trade across Bangkok and Pattaya has increased this month. Out of all the nights in particular, weekdays like Sundays are surprisingly busy. Why surprisingly busy? Well, it’s a fact that overall Thailand is having a very bad low season this year. One particular problem is the political unrest in Bangkok. Although the street protests are very isolated, the foreign media have sensationalised their news reports. Hey, there are no surprises there! Unless you are one of the protestors, you will not know anything is happening at all. Meanwhile, the vast majority of folks in Bangkok go about their daily lives, completely unaffected by the protests. That is the truth of the matter, but it does not stop certain Western countries issuing travel warnings. These incessant travel warnings are like a broken record! I have to say that I feel a lot safer in Bangkok late at night, than I ever would in London. The amount of stabbings and murders in England has reached record levels. Forget the farang media hype, there is no need to cancel your trip to Thailand for personal safety reasons.
BAR CODE — HIPPY HORROR SHOW
Over the past few years, the customer base in Nana Plaza has transcended quite considerably. There is a definite increase in tourists and other infrequent visitors. Tired of the genital gymnastics shows and extortionate cover charges in Patpong, newcomers now visit Nana Plaza instead. In fact, Nana is a melting pot of people. The peculiar mixture of foreigners is rather colourful to say the least!
Last Sunday night in Angelwitch Go-Go Bar, two stray hippies staggered in. They paraded themselves around the bar and were obviously away with the fairies. One hippy tried to stagger onto the stage during Showtime. Fortunately, I was there in time to intercept that hippy horror show. This was after they had tried to take photographs of the Showgirls on stage. As onlookers gave them stern and bewildered stares, only the two hippies themselves thought they were so cool. To top it all, they even had the audacity to share one beer together. Was it the ignorance of youth, or substance abuse?
NEWBIE’S NOTE! It should be a matter of commonsense, but NEVER EVER take photos of the girls on stage. Also, the go-go stage is DEFINITELY NOT for intruders – especially during Showtime. Keep it real guys!
NANA ENTERTAINMENT PLAZA
Nana Plaza is noticeably busier this month, as the totty troops march into the neon jungle. During this past fortnight, Angelwitch has filled up on most nights at Showtime (around 10:00pm-1:00am). Some nights there are large groups of farangs visiting. The line-up in Angelwitch consists of a variety of age ranges, shapes, sizes, looks and characters. As the old adage goes, “Variety is the spice of life.” Any appealing go-go bar should endeavour to have somebody for everybody. Getting the Q Factor (a quantity of quality) to a satisfactory level is an ongoing battle.
Willem, the owner of Cathouse Bar has decided to “Thai the knot” this week. Following the marriage of Willem to his Thai partner Tawan, they will throw a party for everybody this Friday, September 26th. There will be the usual generous spread of food. The buffet will be served at 8:00pm sharp. Don’t miss the FREE FOOD because Willem lays on a quantity of quality. Willem also promises that there will be some surprises during the evening. As usual, all are welcome.
The decision to install three draught beer pumps in Cathouse Bar is paying dividends. There is now a choice between Chang, Singha and Heineken Draught. When you order one glass of Heineken Draught Beer for 99 baht, you will get another one free. I do not know of a better 2-4-1 draught deal in the Nana area. It comes as no surprise that Heineken Draught Beer is the bestselling beverage in Cathouse. Cheers for the cheap beers!
(Cathouse is located on the middle level in Nana Plaza, directly above Big Dogs Bar. I extend my congratulations to Willem and Tawan).
SOI NANA HOTEL UPDATE
Both Nana Hotel and Dynasty Inn now charge a shade under 1,500 baht for a standard room. Depending upon your personal preference, Nana Hotel still includes a complimentary coupon for the all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet. However, this is for the people who know what good morning means! Some of you will be pleased to know that Nana Hotel has a swimming pool, 24-hour room service, coffee shop, restaurant, cocktail lounge and Angels Disco (open until at least 2:00am nightly).
DAVES RAVES — AFTER DARK ASIA VOLUME 7
By the way, the latest edition of After Dark Asia is on sale now. In addition, updates and improvements have been made to the After Dark Asia website. The cheap charlie clan will be devastated to know that a copy of the girly magazine will cost them 10 baht more. A copy now costs 160 baht. Enjoy the eye candy!
NOTE THE QUOTE — THE GO-GO BAR BUSINESS
The go-go bar business is a numbers game. The go-go dancers all have numbers and they are all on the game. (Dave The Rave 2008
EMAIL — [email protected]
Thanks for visiting. In the meantime, if you can’t be good be careful… And, if you can’t be careful buy a pram!
Dave The Rave — Go-Go Guru