Essentially comic, essentially written as an entertainment, this is an account of six months living in off-season Pattaya.
New affairs: ‘her big secret was her clam. Her major organs were presumably pickled in alcohol and marinated in nicotine and tar, yet her slot was a little oyster fresh from the sea, succulent and clean. I don’t think I’d come across a nicer one. It was heroically clean in such an adulterated body and deserved a revisit.’
An old love: ‘Loo (that’s her name) was standing outside a bar on soi 6. She was an ethereal little figure, light-skinned, tiny and long-legged, balancing on high heels, smoking a menthol cigarette and taking an intelligent survey of the soi. She was a Lalique ballerina in high heels. She was wearing extravagant eyelashes, white shorts and a chemise of some sort. She was a delicate egg seeking a soft palm to be cupped in and held safe. She was a resolute, clever, honest soul. She was a wisp of nothing, a dust devil.’
Local encounters: ‘An electric guitar man came up the lane. He was working through all the sois and lanes. He had an amplifier strapped to his back and sounded great. He was freestyling molam music, playing fast-fingered. Molam is played on country stages throughout Thailand. There’s a rock band where someone plays a mouth organ resembling a miniature Barcelona cathedral, there are gutsy, bawdy singers with clear diction and there are dancers. The singers are singing about love, sex, buffaloes and crazy friends, I suppose. Most foreigners aren’t into molam unless their Thai friends get them hooked. I liked it. It wasn’t sickening pap. It had guts.’
And the Cambodian gypsy: ‘I took a five-hundred baht note out of my pocket and walked back to her. She was sitting on the kerb. The top buttons of her thick woodcutters shirt were open and a baby boy was suckling inside. She looked up at me, disengaged her child and as she did so I couldn’t help noticing a squirt of milk pumping from her nipple. She stood up, buttoned her shirt with one hand and held the child to her hip with the other. She didn’t want to take my money, she wanted to go with me.’
‘Both very funny and poignantly sad.’ Jonny Questor, Pattaya-Addicts.com member