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Saturday, October 1, 2011

...AND OVER TO PATTAYA

NARRATIVE

One of the main reasons I had come to Thailand was to visit my Native Guide, Tonto. Whilst I was in Bangkok, I was feeling remiss not immediately seeing him so I decided to head over to the town of Pattaya. My native guide gave me instructions on going to the airport and catching a bus from there to Pattaya. I ignored all of these having found a bus on the other side of Bangkok and thinking he had just failed to know about this.

Don't ignore your native guide.

It turns out there are two different kinds of buses in this country just as there are trains in other countries. There are express buses which take you right away to where you are wanting to go and there are the 'whistle stop' buses. These stop about every kilometer or two and round up people to take on. Having boarded this bus, I had turned an hour and a half (or perhaps two) hour drive into a four or five hour drive. "Oh no!" Tonto said on the phone when he heard.

No, I still don't own a phone - I was on the bus drivers phone. These are friendly folks.

That wasn't all I did. Remember how I said the bus station that I had discovered (well, been led to by other natives who weren't as clever as Tonto) was on the other side of town? I decided I wanted to avoid the 500 BHT taxi ride so I took public transportation. My native guide was impressed I was able to navigate those waters. I was too but I was following my usual 'bug the natives till they tell me what I want' strategy.

Here is how a 'whistle stop' (or possibly 'local') bus works. You have three people that operate it. One is the driver. His job is to be fairly insane and reckless. And to drive the bus. You have the ticket lady. Usually, these are women who spend far too much time sitting around eating and tend to get 'Logan shaped' from doing so. And they have a particularly annoying whiny screech they can employ offensively as a weapon. In those rare times when they must do their job, they collect the money and issue tickets to the people that just got onto the bus. The third guy is the most interesting. I call him 'the leaper'. As in he jumps. If you misread that as 'leper', yes, that also would be interesting. More frightening but interesting. What the leaper does is leap on and off the bus while it is in motion. I'm not joking. The bus comes up to a bus stop and the leaper jumps off to try to find out who is going to where ever the bus is and hustle them onto it. The bus drivers sound the horn repeatedly to try to drown out whatever the leaper is yelling. When the leaper has his back turned, the bus driver tries to drive away. The leaper then spots this and comes and leaps back onto the bus. The ticket lady waits.

While I was on the bus, I overheard someone saying to the bus driver that they would like to get off and catch a taxi. The trip was taking way to long. And, they were going to Pattaya. "Pattaya?" I parroted. We agreed to share a cab. My cut was two hundred baht. It was worth it to get off of the amazingly slow bus. It turned out that I would get a lot more than I bargained for. The family I was sharing a cab with included Paul (think it was Paul), his wife and child. Turn out that Paul (I'm sticking with Paul till he contacts me and tells me I muffed it up) use to not only teach English here but own a school here as well. Apparently, there is a lot of demand for people to teach English here. At the smaller schools, you don't need any certificate to teach - nor do you need to sign a contract. If your students like you, you're in. Doing this sort of work, you make 400-600 BHT per hour. That means in one or two hours of work, I'd have my rent paid. If I did two hours, rent and food. It would be easy to live comfortably on that amount of money. But that is not where the big money is. The big money is in private tutoring. There you can make 600-1000 BHT per hour per child. [Yes, this is one of the jobs my mentor Adam The Wise had mentioned - but it is good to get local information on it. In Thailand it seems a well paying job, in Georgia, a shitty job.] Now, I'm not certain if I will enjoy teaching English to people or not - but I think it's worth trying out. I am going to work on finding a place I can get paid daily. Since I have no work visa here, the company could fuck me and I'd have no legal recourse. Plenty of illegal recourses but not a road I want to go down. Again. You always get paid on the spot for tutoring but I don't have the contacts to just start on that. We'll see what I can find. The important thing for me would be to see if I like teaching English. If I don't, I'll have to find something else. If I do, I can try to get into a bigger school or something which can help me to get a teaching license (or I've been told I can get it online) and a work permit. And more money.

Eventually, I made it to Pattaya. Fortunately, it was nearing nightfall. This is the only time when my native guide can go forth from his home. He is a vampire, much like Count Chocula though he has never expressed great love for cereal.

Here is a picture of Tonto:


Here is a different picture of Tonto, posing for the camera with me. I may not be recognized as I am wearing a mask:


He picked me up from where the taxi had dropped me off on his motorcycle.

This is what it felt like:


So, there I was, riding bitch with the big bag on. Not once but again the next day when I changed where I was staying. Tonto drives like a local which is to say that he is completely out of his mind. Fortunately, he took it easy when we had the big bag on the back.

There was nothing wrong with the place Tonto had originally picked out for me. It was quiet, cheap (500 BHT, negotiated down to 400 BHT) but it was too far away from everything. I'd rather give up quiet for more shit to walk around and see.

I thought I had a new 400 BHT room available but the guy did the old 'bait and switch' to get me into a 500 BHT a night room. Since I dislike dealing with liars, I took the big bag on a long, long walk and found a better 500 BHT a night room. Not a great cost, but he sure isn't getting any of my money.

So, I'm going to try out this room tonight and see if I like it. If I do, I will stay for a few days or longer here. I'm tired of moving around and want to sit and watch movies and read books for awhile. Saving some money would be nice.

Making some money - also very nice.

We'll see how that goes.



PATTAYA

Although the Wiki article tries to make it a 'family' town, it's all about the sex tourism. Seriously. It is the main reason this town exists and they are very open about it. Whole different culture here. Apparently, the women do it by choice. There are no pimps, no drugs. Although I haven't (yet) sampled anything, I did get the costs for those who are curious. Although it is interesting to me, I am not going crazy as many tourists do here. The cheap sex and bright flashing lights blow their minds. No, it's not making me go crazy - lived in Korea for a year when I was eighteen or so. Went berserk then.

Personally, I am more interested in finding a place to teach some English. But who knows - the sex may come eventually. Tonight, all that is scheduled is a massage. Not a happy ending massage - I'm just interested in getting my back looked after. Lots of pain, as per normal.



PHILOSOPHY

Somebody asked me today how I feel. My answer "Every day is a miracle. I feel very lucky to be doing what I am doing. I wake up every day with a hard on." But that may just be from needing to piss. But I am excited.



FACEBOOK GOODNESS

"Tourists don’t know where they’ve been, travelers don’t know where they’re going.” Paul Theroux. - to which I responded "That's very funny because I literally don't know where I'm going." Thanks to Behzad



COSTS

Blowjob, 700 BHT

Bar fee (for taking girl out of bar to go have sex with her), I believe 300 BHT

Girl fee to have sex with her, 1000 BHT

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PICTURES

{{2011}} London, GB | Rail N Sail | Amsterdam, Netherlands | Prague, Czech Republic | Budapest, Hungary | Sarajevo, Bosnia | Romania | Chisinau, Moldova | Ukraine: Odessa - Sevastopol | Crossed Black Sea by ship | Georgia: Batumi - Tbilisi - Telavi - Sighnaghi - Chabukiani | Turkey: Kars - Lost City of Ani - Goreme - Istanbul | Jordan: Amman - Wadi Rum | Israel | Egypt: Neweiba - Luxor - Karnak - Cairo | Thailand: Bangkok - Pattaya - Chaing Mai - Chaing Rei | Laos: Luang Prabang - Pakse | Cambodia: Phnom Penh | Vietnam: Vung Tau - Saigon aka Ho Chi Minh City

{{2012}} Cambodia: Kampot - Sihanoukville - Siem Reap - Angkor Wat | Thailand: Bangkok | India: Rishikesh - Ajmer - Pushkar - Bundi - Udaipur - Jodhpur - Jasalmer - Bikaner - Jaipur - Agra - Varanasi | Nepal: Kathmandu - Chitwan - Pokhara - Bhaktapur - (Rafting) - Dharan | India: Darjeeling - Calcutta Panaji | Thailand: Bangkok - again - Krabi Town | Malaysia, Malaka | Indonesia: Dumas - Bukittinggi - Kuta - Ubud - 'Full Throttle' - Gili Islands - Senggigi | Cambodia: Siem Reap | Thailand: Trat | Turkey: Istanbul | Georgia: Tbilisi

{{2013}} Latvia: Riga | Germany: Berlin | Spain: Malaga - Grenada | Morocco: Marrakech - Essauira - Casablanca - Chefchawen - Fes | Germany: Frankfurt | Logan's Home Invasion USA: Virginia - Michigan - Indiana - Illinois - Illinois - Colorado | Guatemala: Antigua - San Pedro | Honduras: Copan Ruinas - Utila | Nicaragua: Granada | Colombia: Cartagena | Ecuador: Otavalo - Quito - Banos - Samari (a spa outside of Banos) - Puyo - Mera

{{2014}} Peru: Lima - Nasca - Cusco | Dominican Republic | Ukraine: Odessa | Bulgaria: Varna - Plovdiv | Macedonia: Skopje - Bitola - Ohrid - Struga | Albania: Berat - Sarande | Greece: Athens | Italy: Naples - Pompeii - Salerno | Tunisia: Hammamet 1

{{2015}} Hammamet 2 | South Africa: Johnnesburg | Thailand: Hua Hin - Hat Yai | Malaysia: Georgetown | Thailand: Krabi Town | Indonesia:
Sabang Island | Bulgaria: Plovdiv | Romania: Ploiesti - Targu Mures | Poland: Warsaw | Czech Republic: Prague | Germany: Munich | Netherlands: Groningen | England: Slough | Thailand: Ayutthaya - Khon Kaen - Vang Vieng | Cambodia: Siem Reap

{{2016}} Thailand: Kanchanaburi - Chumphon | Malaysia: Ipoh - Kuala Lumpur - Kuching - Miri | Ukraine: Kiev | Romania: Targu Mures - Barsov | Morocco: Tetouan

{{2017}} Portugal: Faro | USA: Virginia - Michigan - Illinois - Colorado | England: Slough - Lancaster

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