Jomtien, 29th January, 2010

Today I have been….. well, see below…


“A Night in the life of Mobi”

I have decided to write about what transpired last night, not because I believe you will be particularly interested in the events per se, which are utterly commonplace and typify the lifestyle of farangs and their involvement with bars girls; but because I believe it serves to illustrate the extent of my second addiction – women, which often provokes relapses in my first addiction – alcohol. The two addictions are indelibly and irrevocably linked.

The ‘night’ started in the morning.

Out of the blue, I received a telephone call from Nong; a young lady I hadn’t seen in several days. She was a pretty, very sexy young twenty three year old who worked as a Go-Go dancer in a Jomtien establishment.

I had been frequenting the place on a regular basis since moving to Jomtien. Believe it or not, the main reason for my visits there was to enjoy the excellent rock ‘n roll videos that were played on large screens and through an impressive and very loud sound system.

I have not previously mentioned that one of my hobbies is collating music video clips by ‘ripping’ them from music video CD’s and also downloading from the internet. I have a collection of almost three thousand music videos; ranging from old classics like Elvis and Frank Sinatra, right through the rock ’n’ roll era, and up to the present day.

I am forever adding to my collection, which is stored on a huge external hard disk. I can play whatever clips that may take my fancy on my TV screens via a bespoke media player which is loaded onto my lap top, where I collate my own play lists.

My system, which I have developed myself, can send the video signal to multiple screens and is similar to that found in a few bars in Pattaya. I have even helped a friend put a similar system into his own bar (copying my own video clip collection for him), which has proved very successful in attracting and retaining customers.

I have seen more of this type of thing in Bangkok, but again not too often, but in the Philippines it is common place, with almost every bar having such music video systems.

I mention all this because I was fascinated by the system used in the Jomtien Go Go bar. Unusually, they didn’t use a computer, but original video discs. A resident DJ chooses the video tracks and then lines up the tracks  in the same way that regular DJ’s do for standard CD’s or vinyl.

To some of my more ‘switched-on’, technically minded readers, what I am writing about is probably old hat, but for me, being strictly an amateur in such matters, I find it absorbing.

Music is one of my passions, and I have a wide ranging musical taste: choral, classical, pop, rock, stage musicals and even country and folk music. I also have an unhealthy passion for requiem music, which is something I should dwell upon.

For me, watching the artists perform their music as well as listen to it through good sound systems simply enhances the pleasure and the overall music experience.

Hence my frequent visits to this slightly seedy, Jomtien establishment where for the most part, the girls who work there there are pretty much ‘rubbish’.

However, early this year a new group commenced work and  one of their number was a very ‘tasty’ lady indeed.

I started to chat to her and bought her drinks regularly. Of course I was interested in more than just having a chat with her, but soon after I met her she told me that she had a medical problem and could not go out.( A very typical story by girls who do not fancy sleeping with a particular customer).

However, she strung me along by assuring me that in a week’s time her medical complaint would have cleared up and she would be able to escort me home. I didn’t really believe her, but played along, as I didn’t really care; I was there for the music and if I had a beautiful, sexy girl sitting with me, then that too enhanced the musical experience.

As expected, when the due date came for her to be ‘available’, there were further inventive excuses; her mother was coming to visit; she had to get up early to go somewhere on personal business, and so on, so I finally became tired of the game put the whole idea out of my mind. This was one that was never going to succumb to the undoubted ATM charms of ageing Mobi. A fact of life that I am reluctantly having to come to terms with.

I haven’t been to the Go- Go bar for several days, and as stated above, out of the blue, this morning I received a call from Nong. I didn’t even remember giving her my phone number, and I certainly didn’t expect her to still have it. The following conversation is a rough translation from Thai.

“Why haven’t you been to see me?”

“I’ve been busy.”

“I miss you; can you come and see me tonight?”

“What’s the point? You always play games and lie to me.”

“No I never lie – you don’t understand me. Tonight you come to see me at about 1 a.m. and I will go home with you.”

“I don’t believe you.”

“It’s true. I want to go with you. Please come at one o’clock.”

(What did I have to lose?)

“OK – I’ll see you at one.”

I thought she would hardly bother to call me if she wasn’t serious this time. She even paid for the call which is unusual for these ladies. (They usually call you and ask you to call them back, so that they preserve their prepaid phone credit) Anyway, what the heck! It was worth a try – she was, after all, a very lovely young lady.

As the day went on I started to become quite excited about this encounter scheduled for one in the morning.

By eight o’clock I was getting very hungry, so I decided to go to my regular pub for a meal. Many of my recent adventures with ladies have originated in this pub, and it is always quite an adventure to sit at the corner of the bar, sip my Diet Coke, munch away on my evening meal, and watch the ‘goings on’ with the girls who work there, some of whom I know very intimately.

The first unusual thing I noticed as I walked in from the rear entrance and passed by the toilet area was that one of my ladies of a few weeks ago was busy puking her guts out in the wash basin. It was Lek, the young, very pretty bar tender.

You may recall in my blog of 8th January where I wrote of my ’brief and disastrous ‘affair’ with Lek, the premature conclusion of which had been the catalyst for me to pick up a drink after 127 days of sobriety.

She had stood me up and played the usual games with me. Apart from anything else I had realised very quickly that she was an alcoholic, and would get drunk on a regular basis. Every night she has bottles of beer secreted under the bar counter which she sips on steadily throughout her work shift.

However, I was recently to experience a complete shock,which served to put her drunken and difficult behaviour into more perspective. It was her startling revelation one evening, when she was pretty far gone, that she was a lesbian, and did not like men at all. She was trying to kiss and fondle other girls and was being quite outrageous in her behaviour.

The objects of her affection were embarrassed and tried to extricate themselves from her clutches, but she kept insisting that she only liked women. There was one particular girl who she would not let go and kept saying over and over again how much she loved her.  She told her (in Thai, of course) that she was always turning down men who wanted to take her home because she had no interest in them – and she only wanted to sleep with this particular lady.

Although she was drunk, I think she was telling the truth and as far as I was concerned, it explained her earlier difficult behaviour when she had been with me.

Following this incident, I noticed time and time again how she would accept drinks from male admirers at the bar, but never  agreed to be ‘’bar fined’. Now I knew the reason why.

So a few days ago I was surprised to see her strike up an close friendship with a young man who had been patronising the bar of late. At first she just accepted drinks and stayed her side of the bar. But the next day she was actually sitting with him and making all the usual romantic gestures, as she had done with me some weeks ago.

I was interested to see where this business was going. She certainly appeared to be smitten with him. Maybe she was bisexual, and in my case, simply didn’t fancy the idea of a man more than twice her age.

Nothing much happened that night, but the following night, I saw them both getting drunk together and playing pool. He must have ‘bar fined’ her or she wouldn’t have been able to spend so much time away from her duties. That was the day before yesterday.

So last night, there she was puking her guts out, and out at the bar was her erstwhile boyfriend, looking very distressed and trying to ‘drown his sorrows’. I have no idea what had actually transpired, but she didn’t reappear, and after about an hour the guy paid his bill and left, looking as though the world had caved in. Much later that evening, the hapless Lek finally reappeared, but she was still very drunk and staggered out of the bar and went home.

As I sat watching this little ‘drama of the bars I was amused to listen to the chat of two or three of the regulars there. They all had farang benefactors who worked in places such as Iraq and Afghanistan, and came to Pattaya for their R & R. The girls were comparing stories:  how much money the men sent; when their next visit was due; what they were going to do when their men arrived to maximise their earnings; and so on. It was all fascinating stuff and in the meantime, of course, they were ‘available’ to all comers.

In a way it was a very cynical approach to their lives as bar girls, but in another way it was so revealing. They clearly saw nothing amiss with their approach to life. Why should they indeed? They had to live and feed their families, and there were no guarantees that their men would continue return, or if they did, whether they may change them out for a younger, model.

Then there was another lady, Gina. Gina wasn’t a very nice lady. For the past two nights a very portly, elderly Englishman, who was now sitting  along the bar from me, had been entertaining Gina with copious lady drinks. The gentleman in question had bar fined’ Gina on the previous day and also last night. But as soon as he had ‘bought her out’, she had disappeared, not to return, and the poor old bugger sat there for hours in vain awaiting the return of his date.

The girls told me in confidence that Gina had a young Thai boyfriend and she would regularly con some old ‘fart’ into paying her bar fine ,at which point she would shoot off for an assignation with her lover. There were rarely, if ever any comebacks from the ‘old farts’. They were too embarrassed and upset to make a fuss and demand their money back.

I had seen such attitudes and incidents on countless occasions since I had lived in Thailand. In fact I have seen much worse, but this is just a ‘snapshot’ of a few of the things that were going on in one bar on one night in Pattaya.

I decided that I wasn’t going to wait until one o’clock to see if Nong was really going to go home with me. A surprise reconnoitre was in order. Maybe she had planned an early assignation, returning in time to meet me at one a.m. for a second bite of the cherry.

I arrived there at around ten thirty, and there she was, as cute as anything, dancing up a storm behind the bar. She seemed delighted to see me and came over and was all hugs and smiles. We chatted, and she confirmed that she would really go home with me later. I had one drink and bought her a drink and she implored me over and over again to promise to come back at one to take her home.

I left around eleven, and returned at the appointed hour to finally consummate the relationship. She was dancing again when I arrived, but immediately knelt down and told me that she would be free quite soon and I could pay the bar and we would be off.

She said she just had to finish her drink with a customer who she had been sitting with.

No problem – I could wait a few minutes.

A few minutes became ten minutes, and ten minutes became twenty. She was dancing again. I asked her if she was ready to go. She looked at me and said she couldn’t go now because there were only a few ladies remaining to entertain the customers and the manger wanted her to stay until closing time, which was four a.m.

I was enraged, paid my bill and stormed out. Once outside I started to ponder her behaviour, which I knew was all bullshit. Why had she gone out her way to drag me down there, and told me over and over again that she would go with me, only to cancel out at the last moment?

I had a shrewd suspicion that she had changed her mind because she had a better offer from the guy she had been sitting with. I decided to have a drink, (not alcoholic), at an open beer bar on the other side of the road, directly opposite the Go -Go bar. From there, I could see who came and went very clearly.

I ordered a Diet Coke and sat down to wait.

A few people came and went and the clock was moving ever closer to two a.m. and I was just starting to think that maybe after all she had told me the truth, when the door opened and out she came.

I was one hundred percent correct – she was with the customer I had seen her sitting with earlier and the two of them squeezed onto the back of a motorcycle taxi and disappeared into the night!

Of course you know how I felt.

I was totally shattered. I knew it but I didn’t want to see it. I secretly harboured the notion that all my misgivings were somehow mistaken and that she had really told me the truth after all.

These were the same twisted mind games I had been playing with myself for the past six years with regards to my wife’s outrageous behaviour.

I decided that this short, sharp shock was good for my well being. I should go home and get some sleep and forget about this wretched girl who I hardly knew.

But I could not do that yet. The first thing I did was send her an sms telling her that I saw her leaving with the man and what I thought of her and her hurtful games.

Once I had sent the message, I paid my bill and walked to my car.

Then suddenly, I had an overwhelming desire to have a drink.

If this bloody girl hadn’t called me, I would have been fine. Why did she do that, and then screw me around? I was furious.

I had a knot in my stomach that I wanted to get rid of, and I knew I could never sleep in my present mental state.

I decided that just a few beers would settle my stomach and make me feel sleepy. Then I could go home, albeit slightly tipsy, but at least I would  have a good night’s sleep.

I told myself that I could keep this little drinking session a secret from everyone and that I would not even mention it in my blog.

They were all crazy thoughts.

By now it was well past two o’clock and as I drove around Jomtien looking for a suitable bar to start my drinking session, I found to my dismay that nearly all of them were either closed or about to close.

Then I thought about the crime of drunk- driving which I had sworn never to do again. I toyed with the notion of parking the car at home and then walking back to Jomtien to find an open bar. But that seemed all too hard.

So in the end I decided to drive to Pattaya. I could park in the Wat on Pattaya Tai near Walking Street, and leave the car there after I had been drinking and pick up the car the next day. It would be safe there.

I drove to Pattaya, parked in the Wat and took off on foot for the short journey to Walking Street.

This all took some time, and as I walked towards my first bar it was past three a.m. I became aware that my urge to drink was receding. I was still very upset, but was slowing calming down and as I became calmer, the need to drink also receded. I sent an  sms to the kind AA friend who had rescued me last week.

(I am so sorry to disturb you in the middle of the night but I am in danger of picking up a drink and don’t know what to do.)

He didn’t call me or acknowledge my message, and I went into a bar full of naked ladies.

I ordered a Diet Coke. The craving had left me – I was OK.

I spent the next hour in several bars, chatting to lovely ladies – most of whom were pissed out of their minds, before deciding to call it a night and drove home, still sober at four o’clock.

I still couldn’t sleep, but eventually dozed after five, but woke up two hours later and haven’t slept again since.

At eight thirty this morning Nong called me. She said she was home and had been alone last night. I told her that I had seen her leave with a customer. She still tried to claim I was mistaken.

She asked me what she was wearing, and when I told her she was wearing a purple dress, she said it couldn’t have been her because she had worn jeans. I told her she was a liar, that I was at the bar opposite ad saw her very clearly. She still tried to lie and convince me that I was mistaken.

In the end I shouted:

“LOOK – I SAW YOU – I WAS ONLY FEW METERS AWAY – IT WAS YOU – WITH YOUR CUSTOMER AND YOU BOTH DROVE AWAY ON A MOTORBIKE TAXI!!”

There was a very long silence. Finally, she said:

“I am sorry, Mobi,  I am very sorry. I made a bad mistake. Please forgive me. I am so sorry”

“It’s too late to be sorry, Nong. I can never trust you again.”

She hung up.

I went to the morning AA meeting and felt much better.

Today I have been sober for nine days.

6 thoughts on “Jomtien, 29th January, 2010”

  1. Thank you for the parable.

    Of course Nong didn’t care – except that it might have messed up a regular source of income. I know that.

    My problem is I too like the clarity of the deal, but I have still have problems to avoid becoming emotionally involved.

    I will continue to work on it.

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  2. Mobi, I don’t mean to oversimplify a problem i have no experience with, but it seems that once you are able to become emotionally detached from these girls you meet in pattaya then you’ve contained the demon. for every girl you meet in a bar, do not give them the benefit of the doubt, do no trust them, do not care about them. perhaps it sounds harsh, but it really seems to be the best approach. otherwise, your emotions seem to drive you to drink. console youself with their short term company for a fee. you have other things to do to occupy your time (such as music and AA). trying to develop a relationship with any bargirl will be your undoing – have limited fun with them and then move on. sorry if it sounds like i’m lecturing – it just seems to be a “common sense” approach to living in Pattaya as a single alcoholic.

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    1. Big Skippy, you are not oversimplifying the problem, and you are not lecturing.

      I appreciate your comments.

      It is difficult but I will try to follow your advice.

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  3. Hi Mobi,

    I won’t dwell too much on the drink driving as it is just unacceptable and you know it is. Were it only you who could be injured then so be it but it is not fair on innocent others and I have shopped friends to the authorities for doing this, so strongly do I detest it. Enough on that, you know what you have to do.

    Can I suggest that you investigate hired transport. The rip off Pattaya taxis are a rip off but if you could come to an accommodation over fees with them, or even some baht bus drivers or mini cab drivers who ply streets at night, then you would at least have someone to pick you up and take you to where you wanted to go and also to take you back, though as you know, transport back is hardly the problem. It was something I did when living in Pattaya.

    As to the drinking, I concede you are an alcoholic but apart from the driving, is it really so bad ? Remove the vehicle and have you solved most of the problem ?

    Of course your relationships have been largely disastrous or ended up that way. No matter how great my wealth, I would never have build a Bt20m mansion and virtually invited my Thai partner, my ex hooker Thai partner in your case, the opportunity to do anything, safe in the knowledge that Thai law states that she should get half upon divorce.

    I get the feeling that you don’t have many friends and console yourself in the company of hookers as they will trade temporary friendship for drinks, gifts and cash. Yet I also know that most friends in Pattaya concentrate themselves around the bars, which you see as the greater problem.

    I don’t think you are in the right living environment. I lived very near you in very similar accommodation and unless you wanted to stare at 4 walls you went out. That introduces the issue of the car again.

    Would a better solution not to be around one of the sois off Sukhumvit as they have bars and some eating places or even to be in a condo in town. Why ? well you either have fellow expats in the village or you are in town and don’t need to drive.

    Would a time lock safe be an idea ? lock your car key in when sober and then you could not get them out when drunk later on ? Radical but ?

    No, I think you should think more about your immediate environment. I’m sorry but I don’t see not drinking as a permanent solution and perhaps I don’t see a need to try to manage the problem in that way. I’ve also been around booze enough to know more than a little about what I am saying. Permanent abstinence may work for some but if the alternative is off the booze then benders and then off again, perhaps taking away some of the problems you get into when drunk could be the answer.

    You will undoubtedly disagree with me and you may well be right.

    Of course, you have to deal with the last Mrs Mobi. Until that is dealt with any drinking will lead to you telephoning her and crying in your beer. You know it is not somewhere you can return to and you need to close that chapter ASAP.

    I feel that if you could get her out of your life then you might be able to move on but I see her as the main reason why you jump from abstinence to bender when there may be a middle ground for a more mentally stable Mobi.

    Were I around, I’d happily have a beer or a coffee with you . Maybe some day.

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    1. Andy, thank you for your long comment.

      There is no argument about the drink driving. I will do my very best to ensure that I never go back to it.

      I believe you are wrong about my drinking. Trying to drink smaller amounts on a regular basis simply does not for people like me – alcoholics. It can work for those who are known as “heavy drinkers” but not for fully fledged alcoholics.

      I was trying to do that for years before I finally realised that it would never happen. Alcoholism is a progressive disease; it gradually gets worse, and the person gradually loses more and more control of his/her drinking. Blackouts occur ever more frequently, and he will reach rock bottom, quit, or kill himself. It is a very well documented path.

      Many heavy drinkers, and I know quite a few, have trouble understanding why a person can’t decide that he’s had enough and quit for the night. An alcoholic can only quit when he is incapable of taking another drink, and he has absolutely no control over his intake.

      If I tried to do what you suggested, I would be on a binge every day of the week, except on those days when I was too sick to drink. This is the alcoholic.

      I have met so many like me at AA meetings.

      If you are still in doubt, try attending one of the AA open meetings and hear the stories – then you would understand the disease.

      You are spot on as far as the future ex Mrs Mobi is concerned. I have seen her once, briefly since i left her last October, and it was OK-ish, but she didn’t miss the opportunity to get on my case a bit. We have also spoken on the phone a few times and she is very keen to remove the intermediary and deal with me directly. I know what she is up to; she thinks that once she deals with me alone, she will find ways to manipulate me. So I am resisting a change in the arrangements.

      She is also being very stubborn about the sale price, which is far too high in the present market, and also refused to consider renting, which while not ideal, I think is a very viable interim solution.

      So until things are all sown up with Dang, my life will continue to be in a bit of turmoil.

      As for friends, well I think it is me refusing to embrace them rather than the other way round. I do have a few very good friends and should use them more for companionship and comfort, but I am not very good with friends. For much of the time I prefer to be alone – it is all part of my disease. Of course in this country, I have learned to my cost that many so-called friends are not all they appear to be, and this is another reason that I exercise caution when embarking on new friendships.

      Some of the kindest and most genuine people I have met are members of AA. There is no shortage of good folk there if I chose to let any of them into my life.

      I think it is all down to me – as ever.

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