The “Home” page is my daily blog. The remaining tabs contain previously blogged, episodic ‘stories’, which are now re-published in chronological order.
I am still, sober and still alone. Quite an achievement methinks.
Tomorrow I have to go to Bangkok to see the psychiatrist, and today I am spending the day at home still recovering from my recent bout with food poisoning and also from my very long bout with alcohol.
I have decided unblocked the comments section, so please feel free to comment once again.
So today I thought it would be a good idea to ‘re-start’ my latest Mobi Vignette, which I originally commenced back in May.
In order that you don’t have to go trawling back through my blogs to find the original entry, I am re-publishing below, the “Nid (Preface)”.
I have also taken this opportunity to tidy it up and extend it.
Azzy, the Nigerian Lady, was my first wife, and Lynda, a Thai lady from Ubon Ratchathani, was my second.
My marriage to Lynda was the shortest, by far, of all my marriages as the marriage wasn’t even consummated when it fell apart. The break up happened on my wedding day.
I met Lynda in the early 70’S in HP Massage Parlour, on Sukhumvit Road, opposite Soi Five, on land that is now occupied by the Landmark hotel.
If you look in ‘Mobi’s Story’ (Part 2), I recounted the events that led up to Lynda being ‘kidnapped’ on my wedding day and how I had to pay a ‘ransom’ to set her free.
It was a miserable, but mercifully short affair, and I soon put it to the back of my mind when I eventually took up my new job in Jakarta, Indonesia.
So followed a very drunken year in Indonesia, (also recounted in depth in ‘Mobi’s Story’), then a return to Thailand where all my savings disappeared in a matter of months. This resulted in me scratching out a living, teaching English in a suburban, low class technical college to a bunch of unruly students who had little or no desire to learn anything.
When even that meagre work failed to keep the wolf from the door, I managed to find my way back to England, where after a couple of months I obtained a job back in the oil industry in Tripoli, Libya.
This lasted almost a year, before I had to flee the country with the cops on my tail for making and selling illegal alcohol.
Back in Bangkok, after a wild couple of weeks in Amsterdam, I ran into my friend, Dave, who I had first met at the Fortuna Hotel some three years earlier, and it was he who indirectly introduced me to the lady who was to become my third wife.
At that time Dave was running a recording studio which had been built in offices in Wireless Road, not far from the American Embassy. He had a Thai-Chinese partner who also had his business offices in the same compound.
I have also written about this in ‘Mobi’s Story’ about how I was persuaded to ‘throw in my lot’ with Dave’s partner. This was the first, but certainly not the last occasion in which Dave introduced me to a ‘trustworthy Thai’ who then did his utmost to relieve me of my hard-earned money.
In any event, Dave’s introduction to this dubious entrepreneur had effectively kick-started my helter skelter career and adventures in the pop music/ concerts / radio/TV entertainment business.
Most of Dave’s business during this period was involved with the writing and recording of music jingles for the advertising industry. He had made a few friends in that business and it was through their introductions that he started to get commissions from the advertising agencies, many of which in those days, were run and partially staffed by foreigners.
Up to this point, there was virtually no original music or songs used in advertising in Thailand. Every commercial, be it radio, TV or cinema used music and/or songs dubbed or copied from commercial music albums. Copy-write laws were totally ignored, and there was no infrastructure or history of studios in Bangkok producing original music for the advertising industry.
Dave’s arrival on the scene changed all that, although it was a long time before he was able to command reasonable fees for his productions, as the agencies simply did not budget for original music, and only came to Dave when they were unable to find a suitable song or a piece of music to fit their ads.
In those days, The Derby King bar in Patpong was the place to go for all farangs who were in some way engaged in the advertising business in Bangkok.
The place was packed daily with farang advertising executives during their very long lunch ‘hours’. Then, after a brief afternoon respite, the bar would fill up once again after work.
It was inevitable that Dave would take me down to the Derby King, so one evening, shortly after I had returned to Bangkok from Libya, on my very first visit to that bar, that I met the girl who was to become Mrs. Mobi number three.
Nid (Part 1)
Back in 2000, I wrote a series of short stories based in Thailand, entitled, ‘Tales from Thailand’. I was very fortunate to have this humble volume published by a very small internet based POD publisher. Unfortunately the book sank without trace, but at least I was published.
One of my stories had its origins in Patpong’s Derby King, so I thought it might be an idea to publish on my blog some excepts from my story which was entitled “Mudita” and was written some 10 years ago.
“It is generally assumed that it was the arrival of American GI’s in Thailand during the Nineteen Sixties that spawned the growth of the Patpong ‘red light’ district of Bangkok. Some students of such fascinating snippets of history may not agree with this conclusion, but it is without doubt that the arrival of huge numbers of American military personnel into Thailand had a major influence, for good or bad, on certain aspects of Thai culture.
The American military command opted to use Thailand as their principal base to bomb the hell out of North Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia and for obvious reasons, they also used Thailand as one of their main regional drop off points for rest and recuperation, or ‘R. &. R.’
Back in those days, the pro western, authoritarian regime in Thailand, like other non-communist states in South Asia, subscribed to the western propagated ‘domino’ theory. In other words, they believed that each country in turn would be crushed and taken over by the communists, either Chinese or Russian – or possibly even both. This meant that during the period of the Vietnam War, Thailand benefited from having billions of American dollars injected into its economy, to such an extent that the dollar virtually became a dual currency with the Thai Baht. One Dollar was twenty Baht, an American quarter was five Baht and a dime was two Baht, all freely exchanged in the shops and markets of Bangkok and provincial cities.
Thais have always had a penchant for assimilating alien ideas and culture and reinventing them in a uniquely Thai way. One only has to look at modern Thai cuisine, which has embraced regional dishes and non-indigenous ingredients to produce an endless array of the most delicious food that can be found anywhere in the world.
And so it was that as the American bars started to surface in the towns which hosted American air bases, and countless Thai women discovered the joys that the Yankee dollars could bring to their impoverished lives. The Thais embraced this latest addition to their ever changing life style and the principal growth area for American-style hostess bars in Bangkok, was in the locality of Patpong. The bars were more American than Thai, but retained a unique Thai ambience, that was more oriental than western. By the mid-seventies, western type go-go bars were also starting to appear, but even these had a distinctive Thai ‘flavour’…….
…….‘Some twenty-five odd years ago, the male members of the expatriate community in Bangkok, and in particular the Brits and Aussies, spent much of their leisure time in the ‘Derby King’, a bar in Bangkok’s infamous Patpong red light district. There was nothing particularly special about the ‘Derb’, (as the Aussies in particular would fondly refer to it); standard size, with the bar running along the right hand side of a long rectangular shaped room, liberally furnished with high bar stools. Open sitting booths with small drinks tables were crammed along the left-hand side, leaving barely sufficient space for customers and staff to squeeze along the narrow aisle in between.
In most respects The Derb was no different to the dozens of bars that were located on the main Patpong Road and its nearby environs. Go-Go dancing was in its infancy and most bars offered an assortment of attractive waitresses to serve the drinks and, if required, sit with customers for the price of a ‘lady’s’ drink. Other ‘services’ were also available, but I get ahead of myself.
The Derby King was indeed mainly patronised by expatriates, or ‘farangs’, (as they are called by the Thais), but strangely and somewhat incongruously, there was also a small thriving Thai clientèle who mixed happily with the farangs and helped give the bar its unique atmosphere.
The service was friendly but not pushy. No one felt under any obligation to buy drinks for the ladies. Indeed, although there were usually two or three good looking girls to cater for the occasional farang tourist who may stumble in – most of the female staff had seen better days.
The food was good – especially at lunchtime, and the Derby King had become a good place for a business lunch, the business district being conveniently located within a five-minute walk. It was also a good place to meet friends, or to have a couple a quiet drinks before setting out for an evening of hitting the high spots, or to stagger back to at the end of a night’s debauchery. It also happened to be an excellent place for those who were in a state of depression to quietly drown their sorrows.’
Indeed many of the ladies of the Derby King had certainly had seen better days, but there were one or two who belied that description and were as pretty and beguiling as any that could be found in the environs of Patpong in those far off days.
I hadn’t been in the Derb for more than ten minutes when I spotted one of the most beautiful ladies I had ever seen in my life. There is no doubt that she was a beauty by any standards. She was quite small, almost petite in stature – which is how like my women. She had a truly exquisitely formed face with a flawless, pale olive skin. This was complemented by her breathtaking figure, which she showed off to the full, dressed as she was in a tight blouse which tantalizingly revealed her generous cleavage and the ‘piece de resistance’, a very short, thigh hugging skirt which revealed almost all of her beautifully crafted and so enticing thighs.
In the following 35 years, I have rarely, if ever, found many to match Nid in both beauty and figure. She hailed from Lop Buri, (the invasion of the beauties from Issan had barely begun), spoke fluent, ‘bar girl’ English and was an extremely bubbly, fun-loving girl who was in her element when she was charming and ‘playing’ with the high earning expatriates who were her daily customers.
She had no children; I was later to discover that she never practised any form of contraception but she simply never became pregnant. Obviously a medial issue of unknown origin as she was certainly impregnated often enough by a high number of very fertile males.
I had just been on an eleven month stint in Libya, where female companions were few and far between, so it was inevitable that just one look at Nid and I was completely bowled over.
Nid saw me looking at her and immediately came over to say hello and persuade me to buy her a drink. One drink followed another and it wasn’t long before I was asking her to go home with me.
Dave, who was sitting next to me, wasn’t too impressed with this turn of events. He told me that it was OK to have a bit of fun with Nid in the bar, but it was quite another to take her home. I enquired why, but only received a mumbled and confusing reply to the effect that he didn’t think Nid was the right lady for me.
This only served to increase my desire to get Nid into my bed, and as she seemed willing enough, I duly paid her bar fine, and off we went in a taxi to the Mobi’s apartment, which in those days was on Sukhumvit, soi 24.
From that day forward, Nid never went back to work at the Derby King, although she spent plenty of time back there as a ‘paying’ customer. At first, we would go to the bar daily to pay her bar fine, but after a couple of weeks, Nid decided that as she was staying with me on a long term basis she should quit her job and save the money.
I had no problems with this suggestion, and as a consequence Nid became my permanent ‘live-in’.
Both us would still go regularly to the Derby King of an evening to meet with Dave and other friends I had made in the weeks since I had been back in Bangkok. I would invariably end up the worst for wear, and Nid would have to help me into a taxi for the ride back home where I would immediately fall asleep on the sofa.
Even in those early days, Nid would frequently disappear, both when were in Patpong together, or when I was in my apartment, without ever providing me with satisfactory explanations for her long absences.
I was very naïve in the ways of Thailand and Thai whores in those days, (some would say, I still am!), and although her behavior was a source of irritation, I never really gave it too much thought.
I was too preoccupied with my new career in the wonderful world of entertainment, with Dave’s Thai partner, an outwardly charming man who spoke excellent English. He was Ittiput.
Ittiput was a genuine entrepreneur who loved pop music and was determined to make his mark and change the entertainment scene in Thailand forever. In this respect he was a true pioneer, and although now he is long gone and forgotten, it is unlikely that Thailand would have made the breakthrough that it did at that time in so many aspects of western music entertainment if it hadn’t been for his dedication and dreams.
But for Ittiput’s dreams to come true, he needed investment funds, and he was far too canny a Chinese to invest his own money.
Enter Mobi, stage left……