Expat@Large

With The Lot

Posted in autobiography, Bruce, food, Thai girls, Thailand by expatatlarge on June 26, 2009

Bruce had an added exaggerated loll to what had once been called his “unfortunate” gait this evening. Four hours in the car yesterday morning, an afternoon on the vinyl seat in the cop-shop’s backroom, cheap sheets in the hotel last night and no talcum to lubricate the creases (it had been a rough and spontaneous trip to Buriram to bail a mate out of prison), then another fours hours in the car back to Bangkok, to deliver the chastened mate off to his non-too pleased wife, and then through the traffic jams to his own apartment off Wireless Rd. Sweat rash, flaring around his tackle. “Out of action” until this settles down. In his immuno-suppressed condition he was susceptible to such hazards. He made his way slowly to the pharmacy on Sukhomvit Rd just up from the Marriott where Pei, the lovely attendant, found some of the appropriate cream – part hydrocortisone, to take away the itching, and part mycolytic to kill any fungal spores – in fact the base cream probably did most of the hard work.

Pei was big-boned girl for a Thai, well-fed with it, though she presented an amazing, classically beautiful face that kept drawing your eyes back to it: the gentle line of her nose, her full lips, her huge almond eyes and those not-too-high cheekbones. To the Thai men however she was too brown-skinned and hence working class. In a westerner like Bruce’s opinion, she should get an eating disorder or hit the horse and become a cat-walk model. She should be selling magazine covers, instead she was selling people like Bruce lotions to rub on their balls.

Bruce usually picked up his medications – a wide range we won’t discuss here – from small shops like this. Girls like Pei and the splendidly grumpy pharmacist Boochit (Bruce’s called him Bullshit) made the effort of topping up his prescriptions a pleasant chore.

He came around the corner into Soi 4 slowly, past the fried cockroach and locust stands, gingerly stepped down to the road to avoid a herd (two) of baby elephants on the footpath and waddled eventually to the entrance to the infamous Nana Entertainment Plaza. He looked in briefly, saw the gaudy sign of Pharaohs and thought back to the pre-Thaksin days when all sorts of things counted as “entertainment” and how the shows were now a poor shadow of their previous shadowy hyperbole.

He had a sour stomach from the food in Buriram. There were locust stalls there too – this was not just a Nana phenomenon to shock gullible tourists – but the hot and sour Isaan soup he’d had for early lunch had sat there for hours. He needed a western food fix.

The small stall stands squarely at the Plaza entrance. You have to walk past it to go in, but Bruce was not wasting him time tonight as he couldn’t take a girl (or two) home with this broad purple rash (it looked like a bruise in the dim light of his bathroom) all around his arse.

Minn was a short girl, as chubby as Pei, but with a square puffy face and not at all attractive – except when she smiled. Any slight joke would break her face in half with immense perfectly aligned teeth in a captivating and contagious smile. Bruce gave her a wink, and she recognized him at the rear of the solid contingent of European men around the front of her stand.

Sawaddee na klhup, khun Minn,” he wai-ed to her. Her hands were full of utensils so she could only continue her brightest of smiles. She had on a yellow ‘We Love The King’ polo-shirt under her grey apron.

Sawadee kaaa, khun Bruthe, she said as she flipped three burgers over on her hotplate.

She arranged another bun to toast at the side of the hotplate, pulled up a patty and dropped into a small puddle of fresh oil, cracked an egg into a ring and laid some bacon down. The usual for Mr Bruthe.

“Best burgers in town,” said Bruce to the big fella in front/next to him who had noticed the special attention given to him by the short-order chef and was staring blatantly. “You live here, or are you a tourist?”

In a soft Aussie accent the embarrassed man replied, “Live in Singapore, come here one week a month. For work… Look didn’t mean to stare, just that… well, your Thai is very good.”

“Yeah, this is the place for burgers in Bangkok. Fuck McDonalds and Burger King, eh? I been living here since 2003. All my mates we… if we are in this part of town, we always come here for a burger. You’re an Aussie too, eh?” asked Bruce.

The other man nodded. His 70Bht burger was delivered wrapped into a tight triangle of butcher’s paper with a perfect one-third of it exposed, just begging to be chomped into.

“Certainly looks good,” said the man as he admired its tidy presentation – lettuce, onion, tomato, beef patty, squirt of mustard, squirt of tomato sauce, fry-toasted bun, neatly tucked into the white paper which was folded in such a way as to hold any juices.

“Come over to the bar here, grab a beer to wash that down,” said Bruce. “If you got time.”

“Yeah, I’ve got time.”

“Wanna tell you story. True story. What’s your name, lad?”

The man, no longer a lad, had dripped some juice from his first bite of burger onto his goatee where it eventually fell onto the striped t-shirt stretched over his protuberant stomach, and it joined a stain from his lunch, or breakfast, or yestrerday’s dinner… “My mates call me The Expat at Large,” he said. “Please to meet you…?”

“Bruce,” he said. “You can call me Bruce…”

“Like the sketch in Monty Python,” laughed

E@L

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8 Responses

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  1. expat@large said, on June 26, 2009 at 5:47 pm

    Shit, I gotta stop blogging. It took me 2.4999999999… hours to write that. I had intended to go to bed and rest my groin rash 1.4999999999… hours ago.

  2. dh said, on June 27, 2009 at 3:01 am

    Good heavens ….Bruce is getting all post-modern. I bet he remembers the frog show at Hollywood. No? How about the shower at G-Spot? Coin-diving in the Mermarium?

  3. expat@large said, on June 27, 2009 at 3:37 am

    He certainly does. And the condom-free ass-fucking by a big black strap-on dildo one of the lucky ladies gets from the frog girl as the climax to the show. He told me ALL about it. He described it so well, it's like I had seen it myself.

    Still, the boy shows in Soi Gay in Patpong are still 100% active and full-on. I had to escort several intrigued ladies there once.

  4. expat@large said, on June 27, 2009 at 3:38 am

    I mean HE had to…

  5. dh said, on June 27, 2009 at 2:45 pm

    Bruce will probably have noticed the nocturnal entertainment becoming progressively less imaginative. In fact I believe many establishments are now almost totally dependent on anti-sex tourists and journalists exposing seedy underbellies.

  6. expat@large said, on June 27, 2009 at 3:04 pm

    And they're all smoking-free! Apart from Long Gun which still does the smoke-pussy routine.

  7. dh said, on June 27, 2009 at 8:00 pm

    Second hand smoke. I guess some people just can't quit.

  8. dh said, on June 27, 2009 at 8:46 pm

    I'd tell those girls to try the patch.

    It's just one quip after another today. Funny because I'm in a shitty mood.


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