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Everything posted by Londoner

  1. Don't forget the impact of birth-control; on rural families. Large families fuelled the journey to Pattaya; the fifth and sixth child could not be supported at home. Condoms became widely available, in part due to the work of a guy whose name I can't recall....you, know, the one who owned the restaurant called Cabbages and Condoms. A true Thai hero.
  2. Loy Krathong was a pleasant occasion on Jomtien Beach last week, with its lanterns, krathongs and children playing in the sea. A family occasion, gentle and very Thai. That evening lingers in my memory as London freezes on my arrival back home. Songkran, on the other hand....for me, once bitten (in 1999) twice shy. I agree with TMax.
  3. It's hard to take seriously a TV doc in which the commentator cannot even pronounce "Pattaya". Pa-TTAI-ya?
  4. Ladyboy beauty competitions were apparently held in at least one school in northern Thailand pre- 2000, I am reliably informed.
  5. Much more expensive, I cannot deny. Mainly because of the travel. Once there, hotel rates are cheap compared to Europe and food....well, we eat well though not extravagantly every night. Neither of us drinks alcohol which is a help, but we find it nigh on impossible to spend more than 1000 bht for two. Three trips a year, each of three weeks. Some consider this too little- I agree sometimes- but I find the anticipation and then the recollection of the days in Thailand means that I always have something to look forward to. And my life in London has pleasures that not available in Thailand, cultural, political and sporting- if you can call being a season-ticket holder at a Premiership football club "sporting"!
  6. One benefit of living in Thailand, or as in my case, being a frequent visitor, is that Bangkok is the hub for Asian travel. If I were to be based here, that's what would give me enormous satisfaction....health permitting. I was interested in the retirement- home suggestion. I'm sure this was proposed a decade or so back and that perhaps even plans were made. It was certainly a popular topic on one of the gay forums. However, the generation which considered and lauded the idea is no longer here and their successors, as has often been noted, may well be very different in what they seek in retirement. I never regretted aborting my plans for relocation back in 2005. They were made in the first heady months of my meeting with P, and significantly, when sterling was very strong against the baht. I ended-up being a frequent visitor, travelling and living as luxuriously as I can afford - as I've noted before, growing old as disgracefully as my bank balance and body will allow- and have never regretted that decision, even if I can be a little tearful (in a manly sort of way!) when I say goodbye. As to owning anything here (I am posting from Thailand), thereby turning days of carefree delight into nights of worry....not bloody likely.
  7. I remember a Pattaya-resident named Neil, well-known to many, who had seemingly unlimited funds from a profitable business in the US, spending millions on up-grading a fading Boyztown bar into something rather splendid. He relied on an old Thai friend, a former go go boy, to run it so that he could relax, occasionally enjoy it and continue his pursuit of other (if similar) pleasures. Pattaya regulars will remember what happened. Millions were spent. The planning was exhaustive. Neil wanted to make it the best gay bar in Thailand. He persuaded me to visit despite my having given-up such bars years before. It was not for me; the guys were mainly macho and the music too loud resulting in an ambience that was aggressive...quite at odds with what I regard as echt-Thai. Soon, the mamasan decided to take advantage of Neil's nightly absences- it seems he just became bored with it- and organised after hours parties for both sexes. A rival went to Neil's house, woke him and told him what was going on. Neil arrived to the bar with the party in full-swing and sacked his old mate on the spot. Like other go go bars in the area, it failed. Clean toilets, though welcome, weren't enough to attract punters. Even its location (Pattayaland 2) was a minus. Neil made many enemies, particularly when he was running another gay forum, bitter ones who even celebrated his death in the most unwholesome terms. He died while travelling back to the US for medical treatment. The poor guy was suffering from many serious ailments. i always found him an amusing companion and loved the way he would be seen walking around followed by a coterie of four or five cute guys. He was- as many will recall- a very large man indeed. He reminded me of a mother duck being followed by her baby ducklings....his chosen guys tended to be on the small side. Bottom line on buying a go go bar? Don't.
  8. Never, in twenty -five years. As usual, in my first few visits I followed the advice of Michael Nottcut whose Thai Scene was my guide: he strongly discouraged it. Then , when I started being with P (who told me he'd won a competition for the best Wai in his locality!) I understood that a smile was the safer bet. Far less complicated for both Thais and falang to understand. I say "never" but there was one; when I was first introduced to Mama and Papa. For this momentous occasion, I was provided with detailed guidance.
  9. We've stayed in Krabi on three occasions and love it there. We didn't see a single gay establishment in Aonang, nor did we hear of any. In all that time, we saw only one apparently-gay couple. Of course, we had no idea what was happening behind closed doors in hotels! Nor on the dating sites. Let me add that we were welcomed wherever we went.
  10. Yes. There was also a chain actually called Hot Pot, similar but without the waiters- a buffet- which was even cheaper. The Central one closed during Covid. Other ones in the chain (Tuk Com and Royal Garden) closed long ago.
  11. Ah, MK....a restaurant on floor 5 Central, in Big C and terminus 21 ( and all over Thailand) that is invariably full in the evenings , catering predominantly to middle-class(ish) Thais. It is based on the cook-it-yourself model, featuring large, bubbling cauldrons on each table into which diners put meat/fish/vegetables from a huge menu. All very fresh. it also serves duck in a ginger sauce that I maintain is superior to any that I've enjoyed anywhere in the world, whatever the cost. The staff- young girls and boys, always cute- do a choreographed dance periodically, the girls enthusiastically, the boys shyly. The cost (without drinks) is about 800 bht for two. P and his mates think it's the best place to eat in the world. Or at least, in their world.
  12. My impression is that the JC bars are doing better than they were on my last visit in July. Tuesday was particularly busy...there must have been fifty people enjoying bingo. Don't ask me why when there were a host of cute guys making themselves available. Chacun a son gout! As far as hotels are concerned, ours is full. We struggled and only just succeeded in finding a room for a friend of P who wants to stay with us a for a couple of days next week. On the other hand, I've never seen MK in Central so quiet. In fact, the whole place was quiet. Our Chiang Mai hotel was busier than since pre -Covid days. The plane was full both ways and the markets and temples had plenty of visitors. Accordingly, my advice is to book early.
  13. I'd be surprised if many bars stay open that long. Even in unregulated days decades ago, 0200 was more or less "it" for go go and host bars. By then, they were almost or completely empty. However, I do recall a certain bar in Boyztown keeping going at full volume until beyond 03.00 a few years back. It was for the benefit of half a dozen punters. And to the detriment of the rest of us.
  14. I feel sorry for the Laos/Cambodian guys arrested and deported. Many gay venues won't survive without foreign workers. But I do have one amusing memory of a raid in Sunee back in the day....I was sitting in Corner Bar as news came that the Fuzz were on their way. The doors of Sundance Bar were flung open and a dozen guys scuttled down the soi, simultaneously trying to put their trousers on (pants for US readers) like characters in a French bedroom farce. The police never arrived.
  15. Interesting topic. In one respect, today's mbs are fortunate. Back in the day, before the advent of the dating sites and Social Media, there was little chance of earning much between the closing and the reopening of the go go bars. Yes, there was the beach and I recall Royal Garden being a popular meeting place in its early days, but limited opportunities were available. But now, punters and mbs can meet 24/7. And who would have thought that some can hold down two jobs simultaneously? Sitting outside a JC bar, eyeing passing trade and at the same time scrolling through hornet!
  16. This is a second-hand opinion...I haven't been to NB for many years... and it comes from a local, Thai guy. He thinks that, unlike most other bars, the NB guys overwhelmingly earn their keep from tips collected in the bar rather than offs. Is that possible? Maybe. It's hardly scientific but when I read about the bar here, the posts seem to concentrate on happenings in the bar rather than in the bedroom.
  17. I don't blame Thailand; it didn't give him cancer. His insurance was from the US; that is what failed him when he needed it most. His last weeks of life were unbearably sad and painful. If (or when) I am seriously ill, I'd rather be here.
  18. The NHS was the envy of the world- remember the 2012 Olympics tribute?- but it has been seriously under-funded by successive governments starting with that of Lord Blair of Abu Ghraib and continuing with the current bunch of gangsters. Nevertheless, compared to the situation in the US for example, it remains a marvel of compassion and , as I grow old and decrepit, I thank God for it. It's one of the reasons why I'm not in Thailand. My American buddy died in a public ward in Pattaya after his insurance ran out, by the way. He couldn't even afford effective medication.
  19. My first trip to Pattaya was a few weeks after I'd been staying on Grande Anse Beach in Grenada. I remember looking out of my window at Royal Garden and saying, "Oh my God." There were of course some compensations. In fact, so many that I've never returned to the Caribbean.
  20. I wonder if one of the issues in Dom's death may be connected with the college he was attending. English professional football clubs put millions into youth football in their determination to discover the next generation of stars. Boys as young as eight are training with my premiership club, and other wealthy ones. They are scouted as young as five, their parents are rewarded, promises are made, contracts signed and hopes of stardom and unlimited wealth "sold" to young children desperate for success. And to "pushy" parents. Only one per cent "make it". Most are disappointed and many traumatised. When Dom arrived here, I thought it would end in disappointment, but not tragedy. The standards are so high, the demands so great, the avenues for success so few that only the most able and the most psychologically-strong even make it as far as youth level. And here was a Thai boy, alone and ill-prepared for the challenge. Bringing him here was well-meant but football as a career, as an ambition? Unwise. Dreams are fine but the fact that Dom was merely a good player in a village team. None of this may be relevant to Dom's tragedy but I do have some personal experience of what is serious problem in the UK.. And don't get me started on the problem of impoverished kids being dragged out of poverty in Africa and abandoned once they are seen not to be good enough.
  21. Agreed. If it is cover-up of failings by the college, or indeed anyone else, it is unforgiveable. I suspect snippets of information may be forthcoming but there are undoubtedly people- teachers, students, friends or family- who know more. And why has it taken so long ?
  22. It refers to the sort of love, affection and (importantly) sense of debt that a Thai feels for his parents, or perhaps for a special teacher at school or university who has guided him/her. Or for a falang who has helped him or her, perhaps changing his/her life for the better.
  23. Absolutely. That'; what happened in Boyztown. If you are chatting with a guy in the hope of an assignation, it's hard enough overcoming the language barrier without all four ears being assailed by loud music.
  24. Boy69 is spot-on. There were times when P and I stared at each other with total incomprehension in our early years together. Has anyone read "Thailand Fever" by Chris Pirazzi? It is about relationships with Thai women but I found it very helpful at those times, particularly since the text is translated into Thai and so the book can be shared with our friends. And here's a Thai word, a concept perhaps, that needs to be understood...."gatanyuu". No exact English equivalent. Posters who have experience of ltrs may have views on it.
  25. We were in CM nine months ago and return shortly. As I say elsewhere, the lack of Chinese tour -groups has had a big effect. I can't comment on the gay scene but our two favourite restaurants, one of them the celebrated Whole Earth, were closed and haven't re-opened. in fact, we ate much less well than usual. I smile when the airport taxi takes us along the moat to our hotel- so different in atmosphere to Pattaya and Bangkok- while a look of serenity appears on P's face when the stupas of his favourite temples come into view. One of our favourite places in Thailand.
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