8 Months, 25 Days, still sober.
I’ve been a good boy since my last blog and have managed to stay away from places of temptation.
As with my fight against booze, I do feel I am approaching a watershed as regards my sex/girlie bar addiction and I am now starting to resist the temptations to visit these establishments where I derive brief, but gratuitous moments of pleasure from sexy, young girls, a third of my age.
I still do not see anything much wrong with this activity, per se and I believe that these days there is little or no real exploitation of these young ladies, who are all there because they want to be there, and by and large, they enjoy immensely what they are doing. They have been blessed with nice bodies and pretty faces, and most of them are highly sexed and have decided that they would rather make money this way, rather than work in a factory, a farm, a supermarket or even an office.
As I wrote in my last blog, in my view, for the most part, Thailand is no longer a ‘developing country’ and most women these days do have a choice; they will no longer starve if they elect to stay away from the sex industry and can easily get some other kind of job.
Whatever anyone may say to the contrary, there no doubt in my mind that a good proportion of Thai women are amoral, enjoy their sex, and by and large, see little wrong with having a number of sexual partners, even when they have steady boyfriend or a husband. They are not a lot different to Thai men, but have less opportunity to indulge their urges. Through the years I have observed this in all strata of Thai society, from Hi-So, to middle class, down to the working class Issan girls.
In recent years, I have found an increasing number of what used to be ‘respectable working girls’ who are now working the bars. Many are factory and hotel workers, and there are loads of supermarket and 7/11 check-out girls, hair dressers and even secretaries and middle management office workers.
OK some of them may be lying, but my knowledge of the Thai language and my ability to ‘connect’ with them leads me to believe that most are being truthful. They are usually very honest about the detail of lives and happy to share their stories with a customer who they can converse with, recounting what they had been doing before and why they had decided to become whores.
Also, unlike the bars of old, they speak little or no English as they simply haven’t been around long enough to learn. Some of those who do speak a smattering of English have actually learned it at school – some even at university – and this English is a million miles from the ugly bar-girl English that used to dominate the old red light areas in Bangkok and down-town Pattaya.
Of course the reason for them taking up work as hookers is always the same – an easier, lazy, life style and more money than they can earn in a 9 to 5 job. The fact that they have to indulge in sex with strange men doesn’t seem to faze them in the least, and there has been any number of girls who have actually complained to me that they are so horny because haven’t had a decent screw in days!!!
Then of course, there is the farang husband factor. I would say that nearly all the girls who come to work at the bars on the Darkside in East Pattaya are actually looking for a farang husband, and many of the prettier ones do not have to work the bars too long before they find one. In fact, if you are a farang, looking for a wife in these establishments, and you come across a good one, you better move fast or she will soon be snapped up by someone else.
This is not necessarily the case in Pattaya City proper, in areas such as Walking Street, or even the infamous soi 6, where the best looking girls make so much money that it would take a very rich farang who could afford to match their lifestyle; but here on the Darkside, even the most beautiful girls only make ‘adequate’ money and most are looking for a good man who will provide them with security.
Although fewer than before, there are still many girls who have left a baby or two back home, having been dumped by the Thai father who never legally married them in the first place. As a result, many of them harbour a dislike and deep distrust of Thai men; they believe – rightly or wrongly – that farangs will be more faithful to them and generally treat them much better. There are also a number of girls who are simply more turned on by farangs than Thais, in the same way that some western men are more turned on by Asian women than their own kind.
Some of this preference is to do with appearance, but most of it has to do with – dare I be so bold? – the size of the average farang’s ‘equipment’. Let no one fool you, size does matter to a vast majority of women and Thai women are no exception, although sometimes an extra-large size can in itself become a problem for certain, ‘mini-sized’ women – I can vouch for this from personal experience!!! (Ooo… I’m sure I will get some abusive flack for this….)
But with or without family obligations, these days, the girls do not have to work in bars to survive – they choose to do so as it is an easy, and for many, a pleasant alternative lifestyle.
I will also probably get howled down for this, but I honestly believe that the Thai women’s amoral attitude to sex and their enjoyment of, and unrepressed attitude to sex, contributes mightily to the proliferation of the sex industry in Thailand. They seem to be culturally and genetically programmed to enjoy sex in a free-wheeling, uninhibited manner; unlike women from other countries and cultures, particularly in the west, who are so uptight and brain-washed by women’s rights’ groups that they wouldn’t know how to enjoy sex if it was served up to them on a plate.
So however prosperous Thailand becomes, the sex industry will always be present here in abundance. It may change, it may become much more expensive but it will never disappear.
Like any business, it’s all about supply and demand. There will always be plenty of demand, as the Thai women are just too bloody sexy, alluring and gorgeous; just as there will always be a permanent and endless supply of young damsels who desire the kind of a lifestyle that a well-run whorehouse or bar can provide.
No don’t get me wrong; I’m not suggesting that human trafficking and sexual exploitation and even illegal enslavement doesn’t exist in Thailand. It clearly does, although these days, most of the girls who are trafficked and exploited in this manner are not Thais – they are usually Burmese or Cambodian and others who are stateless and vulnerable. But these nefarious activities only occur in strictly Thai brothels for the Thais and they are mainly located out of the main metropolises in the troubled South of Thailand and certainly nowhere near tourist areas such as Pattaya.
Returning to my opening paragraphs – yes, I do seem to have got a bit carried away on this subject, (I wonder why), – as I said, I see nothing wrong with a bit of innocent fun now and then, (I never indulge in outright sex –just a bit of slap and tickle is as far as it goes), but I am increasingly finding it only briefly titillating and then somewhat boring. Added to this, is an increasing feeling of guilt over my duplicity with Noo.
I know she suspects and worries when I disappear for a few hours, ostensibly to meet up with friends, and as we have now been together for 10 months, I think it is only fair to curtail these visits and try to become more of a genuine family man. Noo is everything any man could possibly want and she tends to my every need – and I mean EVERY need – so why spoil everything just for a bit of brief gratification?
Then there is the cost of these little jaunts. When I go to these places, I never skimp on what I spend. I always have at least two women, sometimes three, and I make sure they all have a good time, so it doesn’t exactly come cheap.
In fact, I probably spend more money than if I had taken one of the girls to a room at the back and screwed her. So while it is still affordable and will not exactly break the bank, I am thinking that in these very uncertain economic times, it might be prudent to ‘batten down the hatches’ a bit as far as my spending is concerned; or at least until the world markets start to stabilise a little.
I have no plans to abstain 100%, but I will cut these ‘extra-curricular ’activities right back – I hope.
Movie reviews – It’s no contest between Angels & Demons and Chunking Express.
Last night I decided it was time to start watching some of the dozens of films I have downloaded over the past few months, so without thinking too much about my selection, and following a friend’s recommendation, I started to watch ‘Angels and Demons, with really knowing what it was all about.
As soon as the movie started, I realised I had made a mistake.
I am not totally against ‘action movies’ or indeed any decent suspense or clever mystery yarn with ‘baddies’ and ‘goodies’, but it has to be really good – an Oscar winner, or close to.
By way of example, a recent action movie that I thoroughly enjoyed was The Town: a bank heist, cops and robbers pic set in Boston and it was one of the best in that genre that I have ever seen. There was plenty of drama, action, suspense, and real people with real dramatic lives, to the extent that you actually believed in them and cared about what happened to them. But in the main, most of the formula-ridden junk that the film studios churn out these days leaves me absolutely cold.
I read Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code, as it was a world-wide phenomenon, and I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. Well it was a clever romp with some genuinely suspenseful and exciting story lines; and I know I am being elitist, but I thought the quality of the writing was pretty ordinary, to say the least. I was interested enough to give the hyped up movie of the same name a viewing, but frankly, I couldn’t even make it to the half way stage. To me it was totally boring crap.
And now, inadvertently, I was watching a Dan Brown ‘sequel’, complete with Tom Hanks performing a reprise role. I decided to give it a chance and watch it for a while, for something in the back of my mind reminded me that this movie was reckoned to be a much better film than the Da Vinci Code.
It was a certainly a well-made flick, and the ‘no expense spared’ production values oozed out of every inch of footage. The actors, including Hanks, were doing their best, but frankly it became very tedious. There was no chemistry between the two leading stars and there were lots of stereotypically creepy Cardinals and other nasty Italian priests playing all the bit parts. The plot might have been fascinating in print, but to this reviewer, it was a piece of boring nonsense and the behaviour of the leading participants didn’t contain one iota of credibility.
A plot, in which a sinister, murdering group of scientists, whose ancestors went underground in the middle ages to protect them from persecution by the catholic church and which involved the kidnapping and killing of 4 cardinals and blowing up Vatican city with a piece of stolen anti-matter was, to say the least a bit far-fetched; but in this day and age, it is all just so many variations on a totally unoriginal theme.
I am OK-ish with unbelievable plots – even way out science fiction, but the characters must always behave in a convincing and credible manner. In this movie, as in so many of a similar ilk, they simply don’t, and as such, there was no way to relate to them as being believable, real people. They are just comic-book cardboard, cut-out dummies, with their strings being pulled by a avaricious studio producers.
I gave up after about one hour. Not for me I’m afraid.
So I went back to my movie hard disk and came up with a wonderful little gem; Chunking Express.
I doubt whether many of you have heard of this film; it is a Hong Kong movie made by and starring Hong Kong Chinese, with English sub-titles. For any of you out there who are tired of the main stream hogwash churned out by the major Hollywood studios, then I suggest you track down this movie on your computer and download it. It will make a very pleasant, entertaining change to your regular movie diet.
This film is in fact two separate stories about two Hong Kong cops back in the mid 90’s who have both been ditched by their long term girlfriends. Doesn’t sound like much in the way of story lines, but trust me, they are both fascinating little contemporary drama vignettes. The second one in particular, is full of unpretentiousness, humour, warmth, with just a very small dose of pathos.
The humour, in both stories, is so original and funny that it actually had me laughing out loud, and believe me, it takes something very funny for me to do that. (This is not slapstick humour – it is real humour.)
The cinematography is truly innovative, and the performances by the ensemble cast of Hong Kong /Chinese actors, is absolutely riveting.
If you want to see parts of Hong Kong that you probably have never seen before; see how the working classes and the aspiring ‘upwardly mobile’ classes were living in the 1990’s; watch a couple of charming, delightfully endearing and amusing stories without any of the tear-jerking, syrupy drivel that Hollywood romances attempt to drag out of you, then you could do far, far worse than watch Chunking Express.
According to IMDB, Angels and Demons grossed 133Millon dollars, and Chunking Express grossed 650 thousand.
That’s sad, or maybe I have bad taste.
The appalling waste by our governments
While I am in the process trying to rein in my daily Mobi- spending to protect my ever depleting funds, which would amount to more than twice their present size if it hadn’t been for the pernicious hands of the UK revenue collectors, I see that back in the old country, last year, Britain lost an incredible £35bn in uncollected taxes – the equivalent of 7.9pc of the annual revenue.
The Secretary to the Treasury said last week: “Just in the last few weeks we have challenged offshore tax evaders, closed tax avoidance loopholes and created a new HMRC unit to ensure that the wealthier members of society pay their share.”
So to all those tax evaders out there, the warning is clear, Her Majesty’s Inspector of Taxes is coming gunning for you.
Mind you, if successive governments didn’t waste such extraordinarily high amounts of tax payer’s money in inefficiency and ‘white elephants’, maybe there wouldn’t be such a pressing need to track down all these heinous tax dodgers.
It recently came to light that a nice little sum of 469 million dollars was completely wasted on yet another Civil Service IT debacle. This time it was a grandiose plan, introduced ten years ago by the previous Labour government, who decided that it would be a good idea to abolish the 46 local fire and rescue centres across England and set up a network of nine regional control HQ’s in their place.
These were to be “state-of-the-art”, computer-linked units that would co-ordinate the response to disasters and save time, money and lives. Or that was the theory. It turned into one of the most expensive fiascos in the history of public project management, and it has some strong competition for that accolade.
The original cost was estimated to be 72 million pounds, but now, 469 million pounds to the bad, it has been determined that the plan can never be implemented and all that money has been a total waste.
History is littered with complex computer systems, in both the private and public sectors which have never been delivered. In fact, I would wager that in the league of which projects, public or private, top the league in total waste, then IT projects must be very near the top of that list, if not the very top.
Even during my time with my own ex -employer, an international commercial organisation where I prided myself in running a very tight, profitable ship, I somehow got suckered into agreeing to embark on massive state of the art IT project which was designed to replace the cumbersome 1980’s technology which was figuratively being held together with ‘rubber bands’.
I well recall the early discussions on this proposed project when I argued in vain that it would be better, and considerably cheaper, to fix what we had by developing PC systems that would sit atop our existing, but ageing mainframe system, rather than try to start all over. But in the end I allowed myself to be persuaded by the main board to go for a brand new system and was charged with delivering it in due course.
Of course, several years, and several million dollars of development money later, the project was eventually abandoned. The Company was simply too big; we had made too many acquisitions, too many varying, complex lines of business with different systems requirements for us ever to develop the one ‘system that fits all’ concept that had originally driven the project. Indeed, the overall business model had more than doubled in size since the project had first started.
The point in telling this anecdote is to point out how easy it is to waste vast amounts of money on IT and how often people who have no real understanding of such matters, (such as my board of Directors), often make the ultimate, fatally flawed decisions. Maybe I should have stuck to my guns, but even with the benefit of hindsight, I can say that I would never have won the day. They simply couldn’t see that an inefficient system where we continually had to ‘paper over the cracks’ would be preferable to throwing it all out and starting again. They would never have agreed.
And what have they got now, more than ten years after dumping the new development? They are still using the same old system, with the cracks being re-papered, again and again, and supplementary PC systems, as I had originally suggested. But at least it works.
And of course I am by no means alone in contributing to making such calamitous decisions. Private industry and the public sector are littered with similar, far more costly fiascos. In fact, it would be an interesting exercise to conduct a survey amongst freelance programme developers, who spend their working lives on new IT projects and ask them: how many of the projects that you have worked on were successfully delivered to your clients and were actually implemented? I think we may well find that number of projects that are actually completed is quite small. Most are unceremoniously dumped.
But it is hardly surprising that a government, who introduced more highly paid administrative, non-medical, unnecessary non-productive management to the UK health service than doctors and nurses, would have little conception on how to manage and deliver an ambitious new IT system for the UK’s emergency services.
BUTT…BUTT…BUTT…I don’t give a hoot!…