Sex in the City - Bangkok (",)

after a long flight from manila to bangkok, my first thought was to hit the inviting bed and take a couple of zzzzs when the phone rang. ho hum, the usual call from the hotel, welcoming guests...

"good evening sir, would you like girls to your room? russian, chinese and thais... very young, very nice, very good!"

for a moment i thought they were promoting the international cuisine in their restaurant. blame it on a tiring trip, but after a couple of seconds i realized they were offering an extra kind of room service. let's put it this way, if i wanted to eat anything raw i'd be hitting a japanese restaurant.

politely, i declined the offer. the phone rang again and i was getting irritable of having to prolong the agony of burying my face in the soft pillows.

"did they call you about uh... you know... uh..." my travel mate was stuttering on the other line. i guess he was a victim of the same call.

"yeah.. and don't act so naive about this one, the hotels in makati ave are just as notorious.."

"why would i check in the hotel when i have my own pad.." - good point there, but the reality of the matter is that extra room service is starting to become a pretty common offering. I just didn't expect it from amari watergate in bangkok as it is a premiere hotel.

"good point... well i wonder if they called juni..." i heard a loud guffaw at the other end that almost ended in choked gasps. for the reader who is not acquainted with dear juni, juni likes his girls as friends, not girlfriends. i can imagine him giving a frosty reply... "am sorry, i am not a lesbian. shet. pakyu."

as it turned out, juni was almost in tears when he called from his room...

"the people here are so bastos (rude)... they keep calling me bakla (gay). pagbaba ko pa lang sa eroplano tawagin ba naman akong bakla?!? (the moment i deplaned they started to call me gay)"

to make the long story short, ross, one other travel mate in this company trip, told him that "kap kun kap" is the term used to denote homosexuals. poor juni, everyone from the customs, to the bellboy, to the porter, to the receptionists called him gay. never mind that the phrase actually means "welcome".

fast forward to dinner time and we crammed ourselves in a cab.

"patpong..."

the driver smiled a very polite smile, reached over to the dashboard, picked up some brochures and handed it to us...

"you like girls?"

there it was, naked women in all sorts of color, pose and state of undress. apparently, pimping is a normal activity that cab drivers do. they get a cut from a motel if they are able to bring in guests. patpong is the night market that covers for a red light district. just like any market, the wares are displayed alongside the streets and hawkers try to entice people to take a sample and watch some "cultural" shows.

that aside, patpong really has a great selection of things for sale that are amazingly cheap. in every nook and corner there's also a restaurant that serves amazing and spicy food. the staff wanted to get some night shopping done and try some of the local cuisine. i turned a blind eye to the obvious oggling of the guys every time we pass by a bar with its doors partly open to reveal strobe lights and gyrating topless ladies inside. look but no touch - that was my policy.

"sorry, patpong only."

the driver was quiet for five seconds before he casually handed out another set of brochures..

"you like boys?"

"uh... no boys... and no animals too! Ok?"

i prefer my duck on a plate.

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