So I’m in Thailand now. More specifically, Pattaya Beach.
*even longer pause*
You know, I’ve heard over the years about how awesome Pattaya is. Being in the Navy, I’ve heard the stories. And being in the Navy I know that, however ridiculously overblown those stories may sound, they are in all likelihood 100% true. Because everywhere else I’ve been that had stories that sounded too good to be true – *cough* Australia *cough* – ended up living up to their reputations completely.
But even knowing that…even being mentally and physically prepared for this place through the hard-won experience of myriad sailors over the decades…the reality still blows my mind.
Allow me to share an anecdote to elucidate.
For what it’s worth, my wife will very likely NOT approve of said anecdote, and for that, I beg her ever-indulgent forgiveness.
Ok. So there I was, and this is a no-shitter.
(As an aside, it is generally held to be true that whenever a Navy guy starts off a story with that phrase, it is a either 1) a complete lie or 2) something so awesome he could not have thought to make it up if he wanted to. This story shall forevermore be filed under the latter category.)
I started out the afternoon with several other fellows who are on the ship with me. We wandered the beach area of Pattaya, checking out various shops and what have you, for a while.
(Another aside. One can get custom-tailored suits for ridiculously cheap here. I knew that when I deployed, but I didn’t realize HOW ridiculously cheap they are until I got here. Considering I’ll need some good suits for job interviews in a little less than two years, when I’m preparing to retire from the Navy, I intend to pick up a couple.)
However, events and people being how they are, one way or another I, one by one, lost the fellows I was hanging with, until I found myself, alone, on Walking Street. At night.
Anyone who has been to Pattaya can tell you how precarious a situation that can be.
This fellow approached me, flyer in hand, asking me to come to the bar he was hawking. The flyer announced things like “Girl-on-Girl Show” and “Boy-on-Girl Show”. Being in a semi-inebriated state already, I shrugged and figured, why the hell not? Sounds amusing.
(Yet another aside. It is my experience that East Asia contains sights of that variety that shame just about anything else one can find. Anywhere.)
As I walked into the place, I figured it would be just another Buy-Me-Drinkie bar, but maybe with some nifty shows to make it worth the while (most Buy-Me-Drinkie bars suck…more on them later). Turns out, the place was pretty much empty. Just me, a small group of dudes, and two girls were present.
I took a seat to the girls’ right. The dudes were to their left. Seeing as the dudes were talking amongst themselves, I engaged the girls in conversation.
(I will admit here that part of the reason I did this is because one of the girls was, to my standards – hell, probably to anyone’s standards who has any sense – ridiculously attractive.)
Turns out the girls were from Russia. Moscow, to be exact. They told me a sob story about how they’d blown a big chunk of money on something (I can’t remember what at this point), and I, being the sap – *cough* gentleman *cough* – that I am, I bought them both a drink.
We sat in silence after that, as the bar’s show began.
Now. I have been to the Far East many times. I’ve seen a number of shows where ladies (I use the term loosely here) do various things using their private parts that one would only think Superman could do with four arms had you not seen it done before.
(Trust me on this. It is 100% possible for a woman to pick up coins and then deal out exact change for any denomination of dollar bill without ever using her hands to do any of it.)
(No. Seriously. Trust me. I’ve seen it done. One word: Kegels.)
Anyway, this show was nothing special, as far as those sorts of shows go. There was nothing going on that I hadn’t seen done before. Mind you, it was still cool, but it wasn’t anything new. Now, the dudes on the other side of the ladies were loving it. Turns out they were all Marines, and this apparently was most of their’s first deployment. So they were all suitably amazed.
Reminded me of my mis-spent youth. Or it would have, if I were no totally engaged in mis-spending my adulthood too. At least, this week, anyway. ;)
So time went on, and the girls left the stage. I spoke with the barmaid, ordering another beer. When I turned back around, the hot Russian girl was up on the stage, twirling around the poles (of course the stage had poles…duh) like she was born to it. I did a double-take, then turned back to her friend. “You said you two were studying law, right?” The friend nodded.
Well, who am I to judge?
I watched, appreciatively, and a minute later, the girl (her name was Julia) sat back down with her friend and the bar’s show went on.
At this point, I began to be suspicious, because when does a random girl just get up and dance on the stage at a bar/burlesque/whatever you want to call it?
But whatever, Julia and friend went back to being chill, and I figured she had just let off some steam.
A few minutes later, though, one of the bar girls was up dancing (to at best mixed attention from the crowd, which by now had expanded to quite a sizable group). And then, all of a sudden, Julia was up with her. The two of them started grinding together, and then they split up and Julia began her pole routine. And then the bar girl pulled Julia’s shirt off. Her pants followed, leaving her in just her panties and bra.
And then the bra went.
By now, I was sure she had been playing us all for saps. She clearly was working at the bar the whole time, and she and her friend had been using the whole “I’m a just a tourist, and woe is me I’m low on cash” bit to get us to buy them drinks (because girls at Buy-Me-Drinkie bars get paid based on how many drinks dudes buy for them….and on how many dudes pay their bar fines so they can bring them home with them…but that’s a whole other topic for another day). And it had worked, because I bought them both a drink and so did the dudes to their left.
But right then, watching her prance around, showing off her body in all its glory (and let’s be honest, it was glorious), I didn’t really care that I had been a sucker and fell for her scam. Because damn.
Except that it wasn’t a scam.
No. Really. It wasn’t.
Once she got back to her seat (after she got dressed again), after slapping high fives with everyone around, she started talking with the Marines and me. (The Marines and I had struck up a conversation at some point. Turns out we were both in town for the same exercise, and so we hit it off easily. Of course, being in the service, we probably would have hit it off anyway, but every little bit helps, right?) One of the Marines asked her and her friend – and me too – if they wanted to come pub crawling with them to the next bar. I said I was down, and Julia and her friend agreed too.
So we went to the next bar.
It was an even more blatant “Buy-me-Drinkie” bar. The kind that advertises its bar fines, and where the girls are blatant about it too.
And those two Russian girls were just hamming it up with the Marines, and with the bar girls, and having a good old time. And I was left with the inescapable conclusion that, in fact, they had not been putting on a scam. They were, in fact, just tourists like the rest of us, and Julia had, God bless her, decided to dance on stage and show us her goodies (and Holy Smokes were they good) just because she felt like it. For fun. Not for her job.
I left the bar a short time later, completely amazed. I’ve since come back to my hotel room. I called my better half, and am now bound for bed. But I felt I had to relay this story because it sums up the weird, yet awesome, place that is Pattaya quite nicely.
You know, I’ve met a lot of people from a lot of places. I’ve met a bunch of Russians, and a bunch of Russian girls. But tonight, this Julia girl has officially topped the list as being the single coolest Russian I have ever met.
And let’s face it. She’ll probably never be bumped off of the pedestal.
Certainly not by any man, anyway.
Hot damn. Pattaya, man.
Jesu Cristo. What a place.