5 Months – still sober. (Well done Mobi – pat yourself on your back☺)
It seems such a long time ago that I took my final drink.
It was a very drunken New Year’s Eve night, out at the Lakeside bars – amazingly on foot, followed by a drunken stagger home, stopping on the way at Sammy’s Bar, where I had my very last drink. Upon arrival home, I found Noo and my 3 dogs waiting for me; sleeping on and around the sofa. I recall flopping down beside Noo before passing out. The next thing I remember is waking up, several hours later, with my head hanging a few inches from the floor and my body draped, fully clothed, across the sofa. Noo was napping in the far corner of the long sofa. I roused myself, grabbed hold of Noo and she led me into the bedroom, where she helped me to undress and I collapsed once more, this time onto a bed, where I slept for many hours.
Upon awakening, I felt terrible for Noo and somehow I knew that this was it. My drinking career was at an end and there would be no turning back.
Initially, I sought the support of AA, but as time went on I decided that I really didn’t need them and decided to go it alone. AA was always there if I felt the need later.
Now, exactly five months since that momentous decision, I think I have done reasonably well. I am still sober and have no lingering desire to drink, even when I am with drinking buddies in bars. I regard this as a considerable achievement. In other matters, my life is a changing slowly but surely and no-one knows better than me how far I still have to go. There are many issues that I still have to address, not least of which is my addictive propensity to play with the girls and my lack of physical exercise. However, I do feel confident that over the next 5 months, these and other issues in my life will slowly climb to the top of my agenda.
The Brassy Bar with the not so brassy whores fights back!!!
On May 15th I wrote a piece about a new bar that had recently opened up near the Lake by the name of Brasshouse Bar and restaurant. I usually refrain from ‘naming and shaming‘ these days, but for some reason, I decided to ‘out’ this particular establishment. I know it’s a bit mean and the last thing I want to do is deprive someone of their livelihood, but I doubt that anything Mobi says in his blog will affect their custom too much, and in any event, a ‘wise word’ can sometimes be heeded for the better….
Here is what I wrote: Mobi’s blog of May 15th – Brassy whores and Brasshouse bars…
And here is what one of the outraged owners recently wrote back to me:
WE ACTUALLY CHARGE 30 BAHT ON TOP OF THE DRINK PRICE FOR LADY DRINKS.THE REASON FOR THIS IS TO KEEP TIGHT ARSED FUCK-WITS LIKE YOU OUT OF THE BAR.
IF YOU WANT TO PLAY ABOUT WITH YOUNG GIRLS I SUGGEST YOU FUCK OFF TO ANOTHER BAR YOU BEAST.!!
NEXT TIME YOU WANT TO VOICE AN OPINION PLEASE FEEL FREE TO POP IN AND I WILL COVER THE COSTS OF ALL YOUR DRINKS FOR THE EVENING.
OK, I was a little nasty about where these owners might have originated, but let’s face it, some of the points I was making about this particular bar, and indeed many others in and around Pattaya, were, in this blogger’s opinion, completely valid, and anyone with even a modicum of intelligence would know it.
I mean it’s not exactly ‘rocket science’ to know that if you are running a bar and hope to attract customers and retain them, then a welcoming smile when they arrive, and a ‘Thank you for your service’ when they leave, and the occasional ‘drink on the house’ would do wonders to their customer loyalty. But do any of these ‘johnny come lately’s, who fancy themselves as God’s gift to bar owners do any of these simple things? Hell will freeze over before it even occurs to them.
They just don’t seem to understand that east of Sukhumvit, Pattaya, there are very few tourists, only residents – some long term, some short term, but whatever they are, there is only a finite number. In Pattaya, you have a new bunch of tourists virtually every day of the week and many bars can get away with treating their punters with contempt and even ripping them off – it doesn’t really matter there, as tomorrow there will be a new load of mugs arriving and ready for the taking.
But on the Darkside, it is a whole different kettle of fish. In my opinion there are already far too many bars for the number of people living here and you can see this clearly if you drive around the lake or down Nern Plub wan, Soi Kow Noi and other Darkside sois. Each bar will have its’ own little clique of 2 or 3 regular customers; but on some nights, there are no customers at all.
New bars are opening all the time, and for a while they will succeed in ‘stealing’ a few customers away from the established bars until such time as the punters get fed up with the new place and move on to yet more recent additions to the multitude of bars.
So every bar struggles to survive, for there simply aren’t enough customers to go around. Not only do most newcomers to the bar-owning scene fail to understand this, but they also fail to appreciate the power of the ‘spoken word’. If one customer gets pissed off, or, in his opinion is treated badly or overcharged or has his bill padded (an extremely common occurrence), he will tell all his mates and acquaintances. And the next time he goes into a rival bar, he will tell everyone there who wishes to listen. So thus, within a very short time, not only will the disgruntled customer refuse to ever go back to the place that upset him, but a whole load of other people will also give that place a miss. Why not? There’s loads of alternative places begging for your custom?
There was one bar – one of the first successful bars on the lake – that had a host of regulars who would drink and eat daily. I was one of them. It had (still has) one of the best positions on the lake with a wonderful view of the lakeside sunsets and is really a nice pace to relax for a few hours over a few beers. But over a period of time, successive farang mangers who were employed there, succeeded in pissing off the customers so badly that eventually, for over a year, there wasn’t a single customer in that place. The owner was sufficiently well off to sit it out and it is only recently that the bar has shown signs of recovery after all the old ‘disaffected’ punters have finally moved on and a new generation has rediscovered the place.
Then more recently, there is another large pub/restaurant – larger and much nicer than Brasshouse, with a Lakeside view and everything going for it, which is now in such dire straits that you can sit there for 3 or 4 hours and never see another customer. A year ago, this particular pub and the restaurant was awash with customers – from early morning from breakfast, to the late, late hours. People would come and go all day long, some of them heavy drinkers, some out for a chat with friends, others with their families, and the large restaurant was always buzzing and many customers came purely for a few drinks and a ‘take away’ to eat back at home. Saturday night would see a ‘family karaoke’ with free food and a great fun was enjoyed by a full house. It was by far and away the most successful bar around the lake and probably the entire Darkside, but now it looks in terminal decline, unless someone quickly takes it in hand.
What happened? The farang owner was an alcoholic, and as his drinking and drunken antics became worse, the management of the place slowly fell apart. He eventually got kicked out by his Thai wife, but although she means well, the wife has no idea how to manage a bar and her staff and how to keep her customers happy; so the place has slowly lost all their regulars. The service there is very offhand and the food is almost inedible.
There are other bars and restaurants which have suffered similar fates – almost invariably due to the management’s failure to understand the first concepts of the restaurant and bar trade. The customer is ALWAYS RIGHT, (even when they are wrong!), and one dissatisfied customer quickly multiplies into dozens, once the dreaded words gets out.
Why is it, I wonder, that thousands of farangs, with no previous experience in the catering industry or running bars, with no previous business experience and no experience in managing staff – let alone staff who don’t speak English, suddenly imagine that they can run a bar successfully on the other side of the world where they can’t even speak the language and have little or no comprehension of the customs, culture and work practices. They marry a whore, and think that if they can’t run it, then their ex-whore-wives can!!! laughable, ain’t it?
And even if a miracle happens – or maybe they just luck out – and they actually succeed in making money, they will almost certainly be robbed blind by their Thai partners/wives /girlfriends along with drinking themselves into oblivion. If they happen to stumble upon a really successful formula, they will either be bumped off by a rival or subject to so much extortion by the mafia-cops that they will either end up in jail, deported or or dead, (i.e.jumping from the eighth story of a condo). One way or another, their new found success will not last long.
Due to the glut of bars of all kinds on the Darkside, any new bar has to offer something new – something different – to attract the punters, and the management has to pull out every trick in the book to build up his customer base and retain it. Do these dozies over at Brasshouse understand this? I doubt the thought has even crossed their minds.
So what do they do? They charge more for a lady’s drink than any other bar on the Darkside – in some instances it is more than 100% more expensive than other bars in the area and even many in Pattaya itself. I am accused of being a TIGHT ARSED FUCK-WIT (sic). Again they have totally missed the point. This isn’t about being a cheap Charlie; (anyone who has ever been drinking with me will know that whatever accusations you can justifiably level at me, being a tight arse isn’t one of them), it’s about paying a fair price for a fair service. If every other bar and pub in the area is charging from 65 to 95 Baht for a lady’s drink, why on earth should I pay 130 Baht plus at Brasshouse for the privilege of sitting next to a distinctly ‘3rd drawer’ lady’ who won’t even hold your hand in a distinctly average, open air bar, without even a lakeside view???
The esteemed Brasshouse management then continues his tirade: “IF YOU WANT TO PLAY ABOUT WITH YOUNG GIRLS I SUGGEST YOU FUCK OFF TO ANOTHER BAR…”
Well seeing as he has brought the subject up, I will remind him – or maybe his Brummy partner, (There are 2 farang owners – I don’t know which one of them wrote the comment to me), that the only person who welcomed Mobi to his bar with anything resembling a smile was his, (or his partner’s wife), who knew me very well from an infamous ‘short time’ bar nearby!! She was a working girl there before she had presumably been ‘rescued’ from that den of iniquity by a guy who now looks down on those who, like himself, used to ‘play about with young girls….’ As far as I can see he (or his partner) is still playing around with one particular young girl… I wonder how long that will last?
Two more points.
Firstly, nobody can remember the name of the place, (we call it BB or Brummy Bar), because the sign is so poorly designed that it is only in the bright light of day that you even have the slightest chance of reading it when driving however slowly past, in a vehicle. On a cloudy day or as soon as it starts to get dark there is no way you can make out the very dark purple lettering.
Good thinking guys – make a sign that no one can read.☺
And last but not least – The place is called ‘The Brasshouse Pub and Restaurant’. Guess what? There is no restaurant and no food, unless you want one of the ‘third drawer’ waitresses to order a take-out pizza for you! So we have prospective new customers, who are driving by and succeed in reading the sign. Feeling peckish, they decide to stop and have a couple of beers and try out the menu; whereupon they are told: ‘No have! – you wanna Pizza?
As dear old Trink used to say:
“But I don’t give a hoot!”